Monday, April 29, 2013


John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall:
I got an email from a reader yesterday that went something like this: "Hey, the American Cancer Society says you're full of it on the link between breast cancer and abortion. Trust me I'm an expert and a scientist, and you're being less than honest. So do us all a favor and shut up and stick to finance."

To which I reply: "Hey, if you're an expert and scientist why are you citing a lobbying orginization like the American Cancer Society? Thanks for proving one of the points in the email/hate mail column."

And the point was: People, especially conservatives, are distrustful of experts. As they should be.
Dirty orginizations! Don't trust experts, trust NON-experts, like John Ransom, who doesn't purport to know anything about anything.

Down the page we interrupt an anti-tax rant in mid-spittlefleck:
And then I’m thinking “What spending cuts?” Don't spending cuts require government spending to actually go down?

Only with DC’s dishonest budget math- thank you Dan Mitchell- can politicians, journalists and other "experts" claim that spending that will rise year-over-year for forever, is somehow a spending cut.

And so lastly I’m thinking “Thank God I have a gun.”

My gun makes me the expert on so much.
I've gotta get me one of them things.


Free market principles at work:
What's a push gift? It's a present your hubs gets you for carrying and generally pushing the baby out (and don't worry: C-section moms definitely deserve one too). Of course that gorgeous baby is reward enough, but if there's one person who deserves a little spoiling, it's a woman who's just rocked L&D. Although jewelry is the most traditional pick, we've come up with a few other unconventional ideas, too. Hit "send to a friend" to get these perfect picks into your husband's inbox, stat.
If you don't give the gift, what's her incentive for getting that kid out of there? Pony up, cheapskates.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


This is how to shoplift:
Ontario, Canada – A $26,000 bottle of scotch has been stolen from the shelves of a liquor store in Ontario.

The rare spirit, a 50-year-old Glenfiddich Single Malt, is one of 15 in the Canadian city, and one of only 50 in the world.


It was only after the man had left the store that staff realized the pricey scotch had disappeared. The bottle is the single most expensive item ever stolen from an Liquor Control Board of Ontario store, said Heather MacGregor, media relations co-coordinator for the LCBO:

“This bottle was displayed in a locked cabinet. There are quite a few very exclusive and rare products that are offered at that store.”
On the other hand maybe not:
Surveillance cameras at the Queens Quay liquor store picked up a suspect, a man in a Burberry shirt, cap and brown trench coat. The alleged shoplifter can be seen in the grainy CCTV image below.

The Exploratorium is in a new building.

Video from the Torygraph:
Einstein the goldfish, who had lost the ability to swim, is afloat once more after his owner made him a special buoyant frame.
Science On The March:
The bomb detector that 56-year-old British millionaire James McCormick peddled sounded too good to be true. It could sense C-4 at a range of 600 yards. And it could be programmed to root out other contraband, too. The pistol-sized device’s simple metal antenna would magically point to where explosives, ivory, even $100 bills were hidden. Authorities in countries like Georgia, Romania, Niger, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, where McCormick was able to sell the detector, could, with a flick of the wrist, stop smuggling, organized crime, and deadly terrorist attacks.

Guess what? McCormick was full of shit. His device, dubbed the ADE-651, was bogus. Earlier incarnations of the detector, produced under the brand name ATSC, were based on $20 novelty golf ball detectors, the kind of plastic gag gift you’d give your argyle-wearing uncle whose slice off the tee is worse than he’d ever admit.
New mujahedeen?
The EU's anti-terror chief has told the BBC that hundreds of Europeans are now fighting with rebel forces in Syria against Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Gilles de Kerchove estimated the number in Syria at about 500.

Intelligence agencies are concerned some could join groups linked to al-Qaeda and later return to Europe to launch terrorist attacks.

The UK, Ireland and France are among the EU countries estimated to have the highest numbers of fighters in Syria.
Californians don't know shit about recycling:
More possible fallout from this weekend's 4/20 festivities: An employee at the faux-shabby Joe's Crab Shack found three garbage bags filled with marijuana in a dumpster behind the seafood chain's Fisherman's Wharf location.

According to SFPD, the bags contained "maybe 50 pounds" of unwanted kind bud. The investigation is still underway, so police don't have any additional information on where the weed might have come from or if it could possibly have any connection to the nationwide seafood chain. A quick search of the location's Yelp page produced 24 reviews claiming the service was "a bit slow," "definitely super slow" and "so slow it almost move backward in time." But all that is probably unrelated to the huge stash found in the dumpster.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Trolling as a Money-Making Enterprise

Props to Manila Luzon:
SAN DIEGO – The University of San Diego – a large, private Catholic college – hosted a drag show in its campus theater Thursday night, prompting a protest by students and local residents who called the event an aberration to Catholicism’s values, while others on campus defended the performance.


The performance starred Manila Luzon, described on his personal website as an “Asian Glamasaurus” drag queen who can been seen with his/her boyfriend around New York City “at the gayest of spots holding each other’s hands and each other’s drinks.”

Before the show began, Luzon stood outside the building in which the theater is located, and where several San Diego news station cameras rolled. He donned a cherry-red kimono-styled dress and Asian-inspired make-up and laughed and chatted with students.

Social media posts Luzon made prior to his show included “If I had as many people buying my songs on iTunes as I have people signing petitions for me not to perform at a Catholic university, then I’d have enough money to pay for a gay wedding” and “Jesus is really mad I’m performing at University of San Diego.”

Protestors, in a flier emailed among members of the San Diego Catholic community, lodged their concerns over Luzon because he is “openly homosexual” and because of his “vocal support of same-sex marriage.”

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hello There. I Am Awful.

Brent Bozell:
But one thing everybody knows, whatever their political or religious persuasion: they want to blend in. They don’t want the “audience” – their family, their friends, their co-workers, even strangers – to look at each other and whisper, “Did he really say that? What a fool! Wayyy over the top.” No matter how old we get, no matter how secure or successful we become, for many of us, nothing ever takes the place of being “cool.”

Is same-sex marriage “cool?” That’s what the “cool kids” tell us. It’s up there now with smoking, nose-rings, vampire romances, and holes in your blue jeans. Unfortunately, it also wreaks havoc on the home, shatters the social structure, confuses children, and corrupts the culture. History shows that no society has ever indulged it and long survived. Which is probably why it is so clearly and strongly discouraged by the God Who created men and women, marriage and sex for His own purposes. And why those purposes have never altered to accommodate current fashions.

But then God, of course, is not cool, and never has been. And moral conventions have always been so … conventional. Neither plays well against the standards constantly being revised by Hollywood and political opportunists. Neither is easily explained to, or widely respected by, our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters, our grandchildren, so many of whom are now embracing the hot, cool cause of redefining marriage.
I suppose the good part here is that Brent acknowledges that he wants to be cool and can't be and will suffer until he dies.


In what is a total surprise to me this is Alan Sears and not Brent Bozell. I blame Hollywood permissiveness.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Offbeat China:
Below are pictures of two RMB notes donated to the recent earthquake in Sichuan…with handwritten text on them. The words on the green one (RMB 50 yuan) on the top read: “This is what I donated to Ya’an. Fuckhead, I dare you to graft this.” The words on the red one (RMB 100 yuan) on the bottom read: “This is what I donated to Ya’an. Whoever dares to graft this, your whole family will die.”
Metaphors and the law:
Culminating a two-week trial in which no hacking in the traditional sense occurred, a California man was convicted Wednesday under the same hacking statute internet sensation Aaron Swartz was accused of before he committed suicide in January.

Defendant David Nosal was convicted by a San Francisco federal jury on all six charges ranging from theft of trade secrets to hacking, despite him never breaking into a computer. Nosal remains free pending sentencing later this year, when he faces a potential lengthy prison term.
Orcas vs. sperm whales.

Film about architects competing for a project.

Rotoscoped GIF Tumblr. Go see.

Artists in Laboratories:
Zarestsky has co-habited during one week in a terrarium with E. Coli bacteria, worms, plant, fish, frogs, mice, flies and yeast. He has dedicated part of his research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to playing Engelbert Humperdinck's Greatest Hits to fermenting E.Coli continuously for 48 hours and observing the impact that the rather camp music had on the bacteria. More recently, the artist has worked with materials that include surgically manipulated pheasant embryos and a preserved turd of the deceased writer William S. Burroughs.

So that's what we are going to discuss in this episode of #A.I.L., turds from a famous writer but also eyeballs in armpits. And ethics, biotechnological materials and "Full Breadth Genetic Alterity."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pascal's Wager

Katie Pavlich, News Editor, Townhall:
For months we've been hearing from gun grabbers that AR-15s can't be or shouldn't be used for self-defense. Well, they were just proven wrong. From
Jasper Brisbon, 32, wandered up to a couple late Friday at the Lynnewood Apartments as the pair spoke outside their unit. Brisbon, they told police, appeared to be on drugs. He stared at the pair for several minutes before the couple decided to go into their apartment, police said.

But as they entered their home Brisbon jumped between them, forcing his way in.

The male of the couple ran to get a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle and insisted Brisbon leave. Brisbon refused. Instead, as the man yelled “Stop! Stop Stop!” Brisbon moved menacingly toward the man, police said.

The man fired a shot striking Brisbon in the torso and immediately called 911, police said.

An ambulance rushed Brisbon to Abington Memorial Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead. According to court records, Brisbon was awaiting trial on a charge of aggravated assault stemming from an incident in December.

Police said the residents of the apartment were cooperating with police, did not know Brisbon and that the AR-15 was legally purchased.
The AR-15 is lightweight, compact, easy to use and very effective at stopping a violent threat. Those who say otherwise don't know what they're talking about.

In case you missed it, check out my series about training at Gunsite Academy last week where I learned all about the benefits of using an AR-15 to stop a threat.
Clearly the AR-15 is not the only solution here: one could also use a Ruger Mini-14 or a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum or a Glock 19.

Also have I mentioned that I endorse Disneyland? Hello Disneyland! Free trip?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Beam Mots

Molly Powell:
Yesterday, while the younger Tsarnaev brother lay recovering and apparently unable to communicate, receiving treatment in the same hospital as some of his many victims, the bishop of Long Island visited an Episcopal church in Brooklyn. He began his sermon by asking us to think “especially about how the United States is perceived in the world, and how we act — and overreact — sometimes.” The rest of the sermon was a plea to the congregation that we practice Christian kindness even when it is hard to do so. The sermon was inspired, he told us, by reading many hateful tweets and Facebook posts, some from people he knew and respected, that urged all kinds of vengeful punishment upon the 19-year-old bomber. The bishop found the tweets shockingly, unspeakably vile — un-Christian — and he criticized himself for not responding. He exhorted us to be better Christians, his vehemence shading occasionally into anger. He was very angry . . . at the Americans who gave unseemly vent to their anger. In his entire sermon, he had not one word of remembrance for the bombers’ victims, not a single suggestion that we pray for the traumatized families or the many fear-stricken Bostonians. He made no mention of the murderous act that might impel Facebook users, even Christians ones, toward rage at Dzhokar Tsarnaev. See no evil, apparently, unless it’s within our own souls.
Something that Jesus said applies here, which is "Dude, your brother's got the evil eye so rip it out of his skull."

Sunday, April 21, 2013

An Ordinary Weekend

From an afternoon recital:

My haiku is wrong
I miscounted syllables
What do I do now?

What's with airline food?
Salsbury steak and carrots?
It sucks! Who's with me?

Sadly, I cannot take credit for the drawing below. I did put it in motion, however, after figuring out something about pivoting in Quartz Composer: "Origin" controls on the XYZ axes change the centre point of an image, meaning that you can orient rotation pretty easily and therefore pass control values up through the chain without too much trouble. Then you can keep the template around for re-use in proper Hanna Barbera style.

Audio stolen from The Heckling Hare and possibly the greatest sequence ever put on film.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


An Incomplete and Disorderly Catalog of Prince's Dirty Songs:
Objects in the Mirror—wherein Prince is excited that he gets to put a load in your dryer, metaphorically, unfortunately

Sister—wherein Prince suggests that it's not thaaaat weird to bang your sister

One Kiss At A Time—wherein Prince discovers foreplay in 1996

Sexuality—wherein Prince recommends sex as a good thing to try sometime

Peach—wherein Prince spins a tale of a crazy fantasy world in which there is this one super hot girl who doesn't want to fuck a nameless miniature man in women's clothing who writes political statements on his face with eyeliner and shaves his beard into abstract art, WHATEVER, her loss
And so on.

Technology way back when:
To login:

ycht + ver + type + size + name + del1 + cookie

ycht = YCHT
ver = 0010
login = 0001
size = len(name) + len(cookie) + len(del1)
name = username
cookie = cookie
del1 = 0x01

Yahoo will reply to that packet with an acknowledgement. It looks like this:

59 43 : 48 54 00 00 01 00 00 00 YCHT......
00 01 00 00 01 7F 41 73 : 6B 46 6F 72 42 6F 6F 7A ......AskForBooz
65 C0 80 61 68 6F 6C 65 : 2C 61 68 6F 6C 65 73 2C e..ahole,aholes,
61 73 73 68 6F 6C 65 2C : 61 73 73 68 6F 6C 65 73 asshole,assholes
2C 61 73 73 77 69 70 65 : 2C 62 69 61 74 63 68 2C ,asswipe,biatch,
62 69 74 63 68 2C 62 69 : 74 63 68 65 73 2C 62 6C !@$,!@$es,bl
6F 5F 6A 6F 62 2C 62 6C : 6F 77 5F 6A 6F 62 2C 62 o_job,blow_job,b
6C 6F 77 6A 6F 62 2C 63 : 6F 63 6B 73 75 63 6B 65 lowjob,cocksucke
72 2C 63 75 6E 74 2C 63 : 75 6E 74 73 2C 64 69 63 r,!@$,!@$s,dic
6B 68 65 61 64 2C 66 75 : 63 6B 2C 66 75 63 6B 65 khead,!@$,!@$e
64 2C 66 75 63 6B 69 6E : 67 2C 66 75 63 6B 6F 66 d,!@$ing,!@$of
66 2C 66 75 63 6B 73 2C : 68 61 6E 64 6A 6F 62 2C f,!@$s,handjob,
68 61 6E 64 6A 6F 62 73 : 2C 6D 6F 74 68 65 72 66 handjobs,motherf
75 63 6B 65 72 2C 6D 6F : 74 68 65 72 2D 66 75 63 ucker,mother-fuc
6B 65 72 2C 6D 6F 74 68 : 65 72 66 75 63 6B 65 72 ker,mother!@$er
73 2C 6D 75 74 68 61 66 : 75 63 6B 65 72 2C 6D 75 s,mutha!@$er,mu
74 68 61 66 75 63 6B 65 : 72 73 2C 6E 69 67 67 61 tha!@$ers,nigga
2C 6E 69 67 67 61 73 2C : 6E 69 67 67 65 72 2C 6E ,niggas,nigger,n
69 67 67 65 72 73 2C 70 : 65 64 6F 66 69 6C 65 2C iggers,pedofile,
70 65 64 6F 70 68 69 6C : 65 2C 70 68 61 67 2C 70 pedophile,phag,p
68 75 63 2C 70 68 75 63 : 6B 2C 70 68 75 63 6B 65 huc,phuck,phucke
64 2C 70 68 75 63 6B 65 : 72 2C 73 68 61 74 2C 73 d,phucker,shat,s
68 69 74 2C 73 68 69 74 : 73 2C 73 68 69 74 68 65 hit,!@$s,!@$he
61 64 2C 73 68 69 74 74 : 65 72 2C 73 68 69 74 74 ad,!@$ter,!@$t
69 6E 67 C0 80 54 61 6E : 67 6F 62 68 C0 80 20 C0 ing..Tangobh.. .
80 30 C0 80 31 : .0..1
Explanation here.

Abigail Adams writes to her husband John:
Braintree, 31 March, 1776….

I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.

That your sex are naturally tyrannical is a truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute; but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of master for the more tender and endearing one of friend. Why, then, not put it out of the power of the vicious and the lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity? Men of sense in all ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the vassals of your sex; regard us then as beings placed by Providence under your protection, and in imitation of the Supreme Being make use of that power only for our happiness.

“Trump University is not a public figure because Donald Trump is famous and controversial,” the court said. “Trump University is a limited public figure because a public debate existed regarding its aggressively advertised educational practices.”

The ex-student, Tarla Makaeff, who paid $34,000 in enrollment fees, sued the school in 2010 on behalf of herself and other students alleging deceptive business practices. The school countersued, alleging defamation.


Trump University, founded as an online school for business professionals, later became the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative.
For those of you that have your heads stuck under rocks, which apparently is the majority of this chapter, we have been FUCKING UP in terms of night time events and general social interactions with Sigma Nu. I've been getting texts on texts about people LITERALLY being so fucking AWKWARD and so fucking BORING. If you're reading this right now and saying to yourself "But oh em gee [first name redacted], I've been having so much fun with my sisters this week!", then punch yourself in the face right now so that I don't have to fucking find you on campus to do it myself.


"But [first name redacted]!", you say in a whiny little bitch voice to your computer screen as you read this email, "I've been cheering on our teams at all the sports, doesn't that count for something?" NO YOU STUPID FUCKING ASS HATS, IT FUCKING DOESN'T. DO YOU WANNA KNOW FUCKING WHY?!! IT DOESN'T COUNT BECAUSE YOU'VE BEEN FUCKING UP AT SOBER FUCKING EVENTS TOO. I've not only gotten texts about people being fucking WEIRD at sports (for example, being stupid shits and saying stuff like "durr what's kickball?" is not fucking funny), but I've gotten texts about people actually cheering for the opposing team. The opposing. Fucking. Team. ARE YOU FUCKING STUPID?!! I don't give a SHIT about sportsmanship, YOU CHEER FOR OUR GODDAMN TEAM AND NOT THE OTHER ONE, HAVE YOU NEVER BEEN TO A SPORTS GAME? ARE YOU FUCKING BLIND? Or are you just so fucking dense about what it means to make people like you that you think being a good little supporter of the Greek community is going to make our matchup happy? Well it's time someone told you, NO ONE FUCKING LIKES THAT, ESPECIALLY OUR FUCKING MATCHUP. I will fucking cunt punt the next person I hear about doing something like that, and I don't give a fuck if you SOR me, I WILL FUCKING ASSAULT YOU.
Some interesting Chrome extensions, plus one more. Rapportive sounds somewhat scary.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Limbless Americans: 3/5 of a Person?

Mario Loyola:
In the midst of a big research project I’ve been doing on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, I happened to come accross the Department of Justice’s 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. It is the single most insane official document I have ever seen.*

New and altered dwelling units have to have kitchens and bathrooms five feet wide, with expansive kitchen countertops. (I immediately wondered how on earth New Yorkers of the future will be able to afford their rent, just to provide access that might not be needed once in a hundred years). The regulations on recreational boat slips and pools seem almost intentioanlly absurd. But by the time you get to the mandates for mini-golf courses, it’s not so funny anymore. If you’re already having a bad day, you probably should not look at this document, especially if you have ever read Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (1944).
You know you're on the road to serfdom when a cripple PEES IN THE STALL NEXT TO YOU.

*It may be worth noting that Mario Loyola served at the Pentagon under Doug Feith and must have some basis for comparison.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


In Quartz Composer pursuits I've been playing with Collada files (which have a .dae file extension). I was relatively enthused about looking at them since they're just XML files, which are usually readable and therefore manipulable by simpletons but it turns out they're really big and complicated and annoying. For instance this download is the simplest possible cube I can make, spat out of Sketchup with all options turned off and Texture Mapping as the material choice, and dimwitted manual chopping after that. It's a fucking CUBE for god's sake, and if you open the .dae in a text editor it's 86 lines long with vertex information and a count of polygons - 48 of them from 0-47 - and so on. That seems like overkill, even though it's still less than half the line-length of the cube here. So the previous javascript in Quartz Composer wins for simple objects ...except that Javascript in Quartz Composer seems to like overpopulating its arrays so we limit the size with a method stolen, once again, from Kineme.

It turns out that once I figured out some of the logic of Collada files (this was a big help) I could paste information about Callista into one of those and end up with a relatively small file (~80kb) instead of the 8MB giants like this baby, but I don't yet understand how to fill out volume so she ends up as a set of menacing polygons:

Turn her in this direction and she's building material for witchy wheatfields:

Kineme also has some plugins that will spit arrays out into a plist...not sure why that was chosen but it does that, and from there we can do a smidge of TextWrangling and just paste vertex and colour information into a JavaScript structure from whatever we have around, that being Callista.

As Callista on her own, pushed into the same javascript module as that cube, she renders quickly and cleanly, disregarding my crappy vertex-order problems; the thing that was making my poor laptop fan try to become airborne and get outta there was just the process of parsing the initial PNG to do array population with (and also I had a pretty big window of data output so I could see where I was fucking up). So with that and some other things lying around...


Okay, you can just SHUT THE HELL UP.

Hmm...I wonder if I can actually salvage some kind of use out of an ambulatory—THERE SHE IS AGAIN! GET HER!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Do You Realize?

A composition by local alternative rock stars The Flaming Lips is no longer the official state rock song, and while one legislator claims Republican Gov. Mary Fallin allowed the related executive order to lapse for political reasons, the band itself believes it was an oversight that will be rectified.

A spokesman for Fallin confirmed Friday the governor didn't renew an executive order proclaiming “Do You Realize??” the official rock song when she took office. Spokesman Alex Weintz said the governor had other priorities, and the order “did not make the cut.”
Apart from The Flaming Lips I don't think much about Oklahoma.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Competing blogs have staff that clog up the sidewalks in run-down neighbourhoods and the authorities have been notified.

Friday, April 12, 2013

What, Exactly

Andrew Stuttaford:
For a good example of not approaching this issue with humility, take the UK’s massive investment in wind energy, discussed here by Bjorn Lomborg (a believer, I should stress, in AGW), the ‘Skeptical Environmentalist’ himself:
The UK Carbon Trust estimates that the cost of expanding wind turbines to 40 gigawatts, in order to provide 31% of electricity by 2020, could run as high as £75 billion ($120 billion). And the benefits, in terms of tackling global warming, would be measly: a reduction of just 86 megatons of CO2 per year for two decades. In terms of averted rise in temperature, this would be completely insignificant. Using a standard climate model, by 2100, the UK’s huge outlay will have postponed global warming by just over ten days.
And yet David Cameron presses on, scarring what’s left of the landscape of his crowded island and forcing up energy costs for, well, what exactly?
I too wonder what the benefit of harnessing a cheap source of power co— hang on, the plasma TV's fallen into the blender again.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Extra-Bad Writing, Thinking, and Whatnot.

Jay Nordlinger's writing about something else, but this is what he opens with:
In the English-speaking societies — which still include America, for now — we have this thing called a “hate crime.” There’s regular old assault, murder, and whatnot. And then there’s extra-bad assault, murder, and whatnot. You know how it works.
Strangely, New York resident Nordlinger is unaware that extra-bad-murder is not a new concept.


This video is kind of jerky...building the model takes a lot of horsepower and then running the screen capture at the same time adds more to that. But yow is my brain ever tired of figuring out how to do this, and boy am I addicted to figuring out how to do it. Quartz Composer runs a single pass on an image and collects vertices and colour information, and as it does so it builds the charming image below. It gets more smooth once the model's built.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Virtually Impossible

Via the kind Dan Coyle, we have Lawrence Meyers:
It is nearly impossible to read a review of David Mamet’s work now without the critic noting the playwright’s conservative politics.
I accomplish the near-impossible BEFORE BREAKFAST AROUND LUNCHTIME WHEN I WANT TO and sometimes I don't want to so there.

Subtextually, the film is a political allegory. This story didn’t have to be about Spector (played by Al Pacino). It could have been about anybody. To understand the allegory, it’s helpful to pay attention to the gigantic disclaimer as the film begins:

This is a work of fiction. It's not "based on a true story." ... It is a drama inspired by actual persons on a trial, but it is neither an attempt to depict the actual persons, nor to comment upon the trial or its outcome.

Get it? Mamet is telling the audience this is a political allegory.

So what is that allegory?

Spector is the stand-in for the successful American entrepreneur. He is persecuted simply because he is successful, famous and rich. The liberal media, eager as it always is to tear down success, demonize him. Baden is provided as the rational thinker, Mamet’s idealized American who weighs the evidence, logically considers all the angles and ultimately gives Spector the benefit of the doubt. Mamet’s deeper political agenda then, it that rather than immediately condemning the successful man because of what his attackers claim, people take the rational route of actually using their mind and examining evidence before condemning anyone.
And chief among the problems a successful businessman has is maintaining a supply of weaponry to keep the staff in line.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Should We Accept Foreigners as Immigrants?

Shocking news from Mark Krikorian:
Margaret Thatcher couldn’t be elected today. It’s not just that she was a great woman and such people don’t come along every day. Rather, the British Left made sure of it by altering the electorate through mass immigration.

This isn’t conspiracy mongering. Andrew Neather, a former Labour-party speechwriter, admitted in 2009 that the immigration boom engineered after 2000 was specifically intended to import a new people [...]
Oh for the glory days of Britain without all those nasty other races, said the Armenian immigrant. If only they'd brought in more Englishmen.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Totally a Quartz Composer Structure Tutorial

Here and here are two helpful tutorials that show you how to make a simple shape in Quartz Composer. I tried them out, they work fine, and I'm grateful. They do, however, rely on plugins from the fine folks at Kineme, and they require a lot of fiddling with little elements and building up connections. Now that I have unparalleled* ability to paste numbers into a javascript patch I know an easier way to make simple shapes, no plugins necessary.

So rather than forty-some little connected widgets we'll use five, with one being optional. In Quartz Composer do command-return to get to the Patch library and drop these into the editor window:

Clear clears the stage with the colour of your choice. The little "1" on the right means it's at the first or bottom level of rendering, visuals added later are by definition on top of that.

Javascript is where we're gonna store the coordinates for our shape.

The Mesh Creator takes information and passes it to the Mesh Renderer. There's an important setting in it: click on it, press command-I and then command-2 to get to the Settings pane. We want the drop-down menu to say Volume.

The Mesh Renderer should work fine when you pull it out of the library. The little number should say "2". If not, adjust it.

The LFO is strictly for showing off. It produces a number that varies in a predictable way over a period of time, so we'll rotate the image to show that it has volume. Parameters used:

If everything's hooked up - script to vertices and texture coordinates, Mesh Creator to Mesh Renderer, LFO to any rotation coordinate - then you go to the Settings pane of the Javascript patch and put this in there:

_Queue = []

function (__structure Queue) main ()
var result = new Object();
_Queue.push([0, .5, 0])
_Queue.push([-.5, -.5, 0])
_Queue.push([.5, -.5, 0])
_Queue.push([0, 0, .5])
result.Queue = _Queue;
return result;

Being an ignorant savage I couldn't write a Javascript from memory if my life depended on it, so beyond knowing that "Queue" is an array and I have pushed a series of numbers into it, no I have no idea why the syntax is what it is, and there's no reason to care as long as it does what I want. I know it works, and each combination of numbers is an XYZ coordinate.

Conveniently for lazy people who want psychedelic grooviness on the cheap, texture coordinates are Red Green Blue and Alpha, and if you don't supply the alpha Quartz Composer doesn't care. So what the hell, you plug the same values from the Javascript patch into both Vertices and Texture Coordinates in the Mesh Creator and you get this rotating in your viewer:

Save it. Find your library folder, drop it into the Screen Savers folder and voila, you have made a screensaver.

Javascript is apparently the slow way to get some more intense operations done, but for some simple static shapes it shouldn't be a problem.

*All claims entertainment related only.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mr. Gorbachev, Build Up This Wall!

Talking about the changing political landscape, former House speaker Newt Gingrich expressed concern today that religious Americans may soon face a “secular tyranny.”

“The great danger is that you’re going to see a real drive to outlaw and limit Christianity,” Gingrich said at a National Review breakfast briefing. “It’s okay to be Christian as long as you’re not really Christian. It’s a very serious problem.”

“You can’t actually have an adoption service that’s run by Catholics unless they’re willing to be not Catholic,” Gingrich remarked, alluding to the Catholic organizations that refuse to consider gay couples for adoptive parents and have had to close as a result.

“That should bother people,” Gingrich continued. “You’re now beginning to see a secular tyranny begin to set in that is very dangerous, and we need to have a national debate about it.”
Opening the door to more people to do more things: tyranny. See also libertarian conceptions of freedom.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

You've Probably Seen This...

Start at around two hours thirty-five minutes in.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Chain of item theft starts here for me.

Urban Life

Persnickety throtwottler and bird of ill repute:

Drunkard's gahooga:

Grey Northern skulk:

Obviously a hypnoduck:

Rockhumpers, foreground Waddlerius itchmius:

Grey Southern skulk:

Monday, April 1, 2013

Because She Was There

I'm not quite sure what to make of this except that it was made:

Yes, that's Callista Gingrich, and I have gotten Quartz Composer to take a PNG and turn it into a DAE equivalent with brightness as the third dimension, to what end I do not yet understand. The squares are representations of points; in theory I should be able to make a Callista wireframe and manipulate it, but there is apparently some magic to the ordering of meshes that I haven't worked out yet; at the moment trying to give her volume doesn't work because the vertices are in the order of the slices of PNG (in a Javascript array - yay me) and it just makes lines in mildly Callista-shaped grill. Hmm. It may require some math I am not up to. Anyway, for now I can do weird shit like this:

Maybe the path to learning this is to just make a simpler array and mess with the vertex order before trying something so complicated.