Monday, September 30, 2013

Comedy News

At Big Hollywood, comedy goes to WAR.
Comedian Evan Sayet doesn't mind preaching to the choir with his unabashedly conservative material.

Sayet, who divides his time between sober political punditry and satire, tells Breitbart News the choir needs all the enthusiasm it can muster these days.

"If this is a culture war, I've gotta be a part of this fight with the weapons I do have. There's no Bill Maher for the right," Sayet says.
Hi.  I am Dennis Miller and I am utterly forgettable.
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ahead of Their Time

When dad would fire up attempt to squeeze some audible worth from The Kingston Trio it seemed obvious enough that they were hopelessly uncool, but I never understood any of the back story:
Despite the Kingston Trio's nearly unprecedented success in record sales, by early 1961 a rift developed and deepened between Guard on one side and Shane and Reynolds on the other. Guard had been referred to in the press and on the albums' liner notes as the "acknowledged leader" of the group,[8] a description never wholly endorsed by Shane and Reynolds, who felt themselves equal contributors to the group's repertoire and success. Guard wanted Shane and Reynolds to follow his lead and learn more of the technical aspects of music and to redirect the group's song selections,[41] in part because of the withering criticism that the group had been getting from more traditional folk performers for the Trio's smoother and more commercial versions of folk songs and for the money-making copyrights that the Kingston group had secured for their arrangements of public domain songs.[1] Shane and Reynolds felt that the formula for song selection and performance that they had painstakingly developed and rehearsed still served them well.[41]
Furthermore, over $100,000 appeared to be missing from the Trio's publishing royalties (an accounting error eventually rectified)[41] and that created an additional irritant to both sides: to Guard because he regarded it as inexcusable carelessness and to Shane and Reynolds because it highlighted what they perceived as Guard's propensity to claim individual copyright for some of the group's songs,[42] including "Tom Dooley" (though Guard eventually lost a suit over copyright for that number to Alan Lomax, Frank Warner, and Frank Proffitt)[43] and "Scotch and Soda".[42]
Such an obvious business model: take someone else's freely-given effort and spin it into cash. It's like they invented the internet.

What assholes.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Rationale

I'll be:
In a 5-2 vote this week, the Randolph County School Board of Education banned the book from county school libraries after the mother of an 11-grader complained. The mother claimed Ellison's work was inappropriate for 11th grade summer reading, citing both language and subject matter.

In response, Board members each received a copy of the novel to assess for themselves. According to The Courier-Tribune of Asheboro, N.C., at Monday's meeting, the board chair rejected "Invisible Man" as a "hard read," and another member stated he couldn't "find any literary value" in it.
I await the ban of all textbooks.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bow Bend Over to My Mastery

Yes, that is correct, I played ANAL over BUM, forming NUN and ABO (noted by Smut) in the process.

Do not question it, accept it.

Speaking of other shit, Chris Bertram on Fleetwood Mac:
Sorry Belle … I think it is partly an allergy stemming from a certain view of their history: the great British blues band (with Peter Green) morphing into an American soft-rock ensemble. When Rumors (1977) came out, the UK was in the throes of punk and I was 18 …. they were everything I hated and I’ve never been able to shake the association.
Peter Green's sort of dull, but there's a degree to which I sympathize with the view of Fleetwood Mac as near-worthless wallpaper. Rumours and Tusk I now find terrific almost all the way through, so in advance of Chris's comment I wrote:
Almost all of Rumors and Tusk is worth a listen. Personally I was put off by how smooth it all was when I was younger, and repulsed by the idea that they spent $1,000,000 recording Tusk. I suppose I am now just as dull as they were.
Hooray for me getting on Fleetwood Mac's lawn! Everybody else GET OFF IT.

The weakening of Fleetwood Mac was in the Bob Welch era:

Welch evidently thought the rough edges should have been smoothed off and re-recorded it:

That is a song that never rose above feeble drowsiness and never aspired to. Kinda catchy though...

Meanwhile Rumours starts off with this, which was a little loud for dad at the time:

Friday, September 20, 2013

Self Portrait

In addition to a deformed layer of bone, the thoughtful tomographist has provided me with a deformed layer of skin. Perhaps if I go here and print the skull out I can also get myself a nice rubbery bag of my head to carry it in.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


From Big Hollywood, an OUTRAGE:
Writers are taught to avoid cliches in their art, but Oscar-nominated scribe Aaron Sorkin simply can't help himself.
Mmmmmmmm, the sweet smell of cliché avoidance.
Sorkin's HBO drama The Newsroom packs plenty of overt, and obvious, anti-conservative cliches in an average episode. Sunday's season finale stuffed as many as Sorkin and his writing team could rally, proving he cares more about scoring political points than crafting solid stories.
Solid stories can't use clichés? Yet Indisputably Good Things like complaining about liberals complaining about conservatives RELY on clichés. It is a piddle wrapped in a hysteria inside an angina.
The sense of projection is stunning. So, too, is Sorkin's inability to separate his rage for conservatives from his duties on his very own show.
I have never seen this show, and likely will never see this show. But it seems to me that, two seasons in, maybe Sorkin has developed a sense of duty that, in some perversion of the universal law that being mean to conservatives is wrong, delivers him large bags of money.

Oh dear, I seem to have left the headline to this item for last:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Human Body Project

The Vancouver Fringe festival is over, and the only thing I went to see was Tasha Diamant's Human Body Project. She explains the project here. The Project itself was a standard theatre space with her walking around in front of a couple of signs - VULNERABLE and PRIVILEGE - and the audience doing what it likes. I'm skeptical that the project achieves what she hopes it can - although a friend I went with was moved to tears so I'm a big skeptical jerk - but at the same time she's a very smart and perceptive person attempting to reveal rather more of herself than most people feel comfortable doing, and the dialogues that form between her and her "audience" (can't really call it that if it's in the street) are very interesting, and people can become moved to reveal their own vulnerability.

She's worth supporting.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Expressway to Your My Skull

Thanks to Osirix I can get a tissue layer and a bone layer out of my CT scans. Those can be exported as 3D images into MeshLab, where I can do a little cleanup. Sadly I then need to get usable DAE files from SketchUp, but oh well. The DAE files can then, of course, head into Quartz Composer where anything can happen.

And as it happens, the workplace has 3D printers and a free SolidWorks for me. What can I use this for? Coffee mug? Planter?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Media's Poop

Started a copy of The Road to Miltown that's been gathering dust for a few years. The second piece begins with a quote that is too weird to be true, yet it must be real.

Those interested in the weird can buy the book I snagged the image from or pony up the four bucks at The Times if they like.

Enjoy some similarly absurd drumming.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Forbidden Diagrams of Iran

Via Golestan University of Medical Science (PDF):

I wonder what the punishment for that one was.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Capitalism Dependent on Christianity? Or the Reverse?

It seems that Antonin Scalia is a crazy asshole:
"The cardinal sin of capitalism is greed, but the cardinal sin of socialism is power. I'm not sure there's a clear choice between those evils," Scalia said. "While I would not argue that capitalism as an economic system is inherently more Christian than socialism … it does seem to me that capitalism is more dependent on Christianity than socialism is. For in order for capitalism to work - in order for it to produce a good and a stable society - the traditional Christian virtues are essential."

Scalia, who is Catholic, discussed how religious orders once took care of orphans and the elderly, which is now done in large part by "salaried social workers" and financed by tax dollars.

"The governmentalization of charity affects not just the donor but also the recipient. What was once asked as a favor is now demanded as an entitlement," he said. "The transformation of charity into legal entitlement has produced donors without love and recipients without gratitude. ... It's not my place or my purpose to criticize these developments, only to observe that they do not suggest the expanding role of government is good for Christianity."
Keeping someone else's granny alive is just not worth it if it turns you into a sourpuss at tax time.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Trolls

Caroline Criado-Perez asked the Bank of England to put more women on banknotes. So...
In this society steeped in misogyny, celebrity and inequality, I was someone to be both envied and hated – even as the rape threats continued to come. And of course women turning on me led a man who was stalking me to crow: “Even some feminists are turning on Caroline Criado-Perez now, they can see her real motives. Could be a big backfire #assraped”. He was right though. It was feminists too.

The impact of all this on my life has been dramatic. When it was at its height I struggled to eat, to sleep, to work. I lost about half a stone in a matter of days. I was exhausted and weighed down by carrying these vivid images, this tidal wave of hate around with me wherever I went. And I kept being asked to relive the experience for endless media interviews – when I look back at that relentless attention, I can’t quite comprehend it. It didn’t feel real then, and it doesn’t feel real now. I still can’t quite believe this has happened to me.

The psychological fall-out is still unravelling. I feel like I’m walking around like a timer about to explode; I’m functioning at just under boiling point – and it takes so little to make me cry – or to make me scream.

And I’m still being told not to feed the trolls.

I can’t begin to tell you how much I hate that phrase. That phrase takes no account of the feelings of the victim – only of the feelings of a society that doesn’t care, that doesn’t want to hear it, that wants women to put up and shut up. It completely ignores the actions of the abuser, focusing only on the actions of the victim – because that’s what we do in this society. We police victims. We ask “why doesn’t she leave?” instead of asking “why doesn’t he stop?”
And it doesn't stop: she's still getting the same messages from the same people.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Routine Head?



Okay okay, I've been lazy here, but I've been busy elsewhere, the above being part of the action. There's no emergency or crisis or anything, just poking around in there.

Thanks to the wonders of the Canadian medical system I have received a copy of my brain on a disc, and yet I have no Roomba in which to put it. The disc comes with some kind of Windows reader and the files are in DICOM format, so I had to do a little digging. In what must be an obvious relief to those with fears of immortality, some folks have come up with a medical image viewer and called it OsiriX.

Once fired up, OsiriX noticed the disc immediately and imported all the image data, and it has a ridiculous number of ways to look at and tint them. In this view, for instance, it's clear that my mercury levels need topping up:

Looking for other heads? Here are some free ones in blue.