Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Nobody could have predicted a surly M. Bouffant:
And here's what Lou thought of you, fans & music consumers. Betcha can't listen all the way through. (Not that there's any reason to. Points to him for getting RCA to put it out, 'though.)
Bouffant the Philistine was referring to this wonderful gem:

Listen and feel the love. I have!

Competing blogs struggle to comprehend the acoustical emissions of infants, but we here at Substance Labs™ create them at will, based on whimsical news items like the deaths of your heroes. And so the other day we had many short greedy persons dressed up in funny costumes and agitated for a suitable length of time, denying them what they REALLY REALLY WANTED. The results, I think, stand as a fitting tribute to the previously mentioned art, the method of its production, and the man who produced it.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Design Problems

Friday, October 25, 2013


The 10.9 OS update from Apple seems to do a better job of handling memory, which is quite nice, but NO NO NO I do not want the iTunes that takes away iTunes DJ, the only reason I use iTunes at all.

Fortunately instructions to go backwards and get iTunes 10.7 working are here.

Works fine so far.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Can Relate to This Guy

Yes yes, I'm behind. But I love this.


Monday, October 21, 2013


At the start of the school year:
Students and faculty at the University of B.C. are expressing shock that new students at an orientation at the Sauder School of Business were encouraged to sing along with a rape chant that promotes sex with underage girls.
And of course a little way into the school year...
VANCOUVER -- The atmosphere at Totem Park Residence on the UBC campus — near the site of the third sexual assault in three weeks — is “tense,” music student Elana Cooper said Sunday.

Cooper and her friend Rachel Stiyer were notified of the latest sexual assault at an emergency meeting in their dorms on Saturday around noon, hours after a man wearing a hoodie emerged from a wooded area near their building and attempted to drag a 17-year-old girl into the woods.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bye Ed

Thanks for the fun.

The wind-up before squeezing the trigger in kill #4 is etched in my brain.

Bronson kill-count here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Paperless Society

Some press-release journalism from some crappy site you don't need to care about:
Toshiba Canada unveiled an eco-friendly multi-function printer called the e-Studio306LP that comes with a sidekick unit that erases toner enabling users to reuse the paper up to five times.

The sidekick unit is branded the e-StudioRD30. The RD stands for “reusing device” and it can sort printing paper even paper with hand-written annotations, digitize them, save them and file them away in an archive. This MFP also has a proprietary chip so that the data drive is encrypted.

In this video product review, Al Perkins, pre-sales support for Toshiba Office Products, give CDN a demo of the combo-products.
Reusing the paper is sort of interesting. There's video at the link.

Not included in the video is this, which is too bad:
Perkins said that the marketplace will not get rid of paper altogether, especially in North America. But there are markets in Japan, and Europe where the concept of social responsibility and sustainability is important.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Over at The Corner:
Florida senator Marco Rubio has indicated that he will vote against the announced Senate deal to reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling. He predicted that this deal would lead to similar crises in the future.
Truly a reader of tea-leaves.

Monday, October 14, 2013

From the Files of — Oh Hey, Look Over There!

A new ubiquity on the horizon:
“Ambient backscatter” might sound like an experimental music genre, but it’s actually a groundbreaking method of networking developed by researchers at the University of Washington. Bringing us one step closer to an Internet of Things reality, the technology allows devices to communicate with one another wirelessly and with no batteries. Instead of creating their own signals, ambient backscatter devices essentially freeload off existing signals from radio, TV, cellular, and Wi-Fi networks, which invisibly blanket much of the earth. It’s a bit like stealing your neighbor’s unlocked Wi-Fi, except on a much grander scale.

Vamsi Talla, one of the University of Washington developers, spoke to Co.Design about the advantages of ambient backscatter. “We started out by looking at the problems faced by today’s sensing and computation devices. As an example, use of Wi-Fi on phones or GPS on wearable devices, such as Google Glass, consumes large amounts of power and drains the battery,” he says. And traditional radio communication requires the expensive generation of radio signals. Talla's team wanted to explore more power-efficient means of communication, and realized that they could just leverage the wireless signals already surrounding us instead of making more.
Might 30 years of destroying someone's land cost money?
The trial is the latest chapter in a dispute over environmental contamination between 1964 and 1992 at an oil field in northeastern Ecuador operated by Texaco, which Chevron bought in 2001.

Chevron says Texaco cleaned up its share of waste before turning the field over to state-owned Petroecuador. But in 2011, an Ecuadorean court awarded $18 billion to people from the village of Lago Agrio, which was affected by the pollution. The court subsequently increased the award to $19 billion to cover fees.
Hannah Price:
This project is a work in progress documenting a part of my life as an African-Mexican-American, transitioning from suburban Colorado to consistently being harassed on the streets of Philadelphia. These images are a response to my subjects looking at me, and myself as an artist looking back.


Sarah Palin, will you join my sense of humour in wedded bliss?

Somehow a guy from Microsoft writes a parable about scalability and engineering and the first paragraph of the PDF goes like this:
According to my dad, flying in airplanes used to be fun. You could smoke on the plane, and smoking was actually good for you. Everybody was attractive, and there were no fees for anything, and there was so much legroom that you could orient your body parts in arbitrary and profane directions without bothering anyone, and you could eat caviar and manatee steak as you were showered with piles of money that were personally distributed by JFK and The Beach Boys. Times were good, assuming that you were a white man in the advertising business, WHICH MY FATHER WAS NOT SO PERHAPS I SHOULD ASK HIM SOME FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS BUT I DIGRESS. The point is that flying in airplanes used to be fun, but now it resembles a dystopian bin-packing problem in which humans, carry-on luggage, and five dollar peanut bags compete for real estate while crying children materialize from the ether and make obscure demands in unintelligible, Wookie-like languages while you fantasize about who you won’t be helping when the oxygen masks descend.
And it continues that way.

From the Style section of The Washington Post:
Guantanamo Bay prison camp still at work on its image
By Billy Kenber, Published: October 13

GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA — Weeds now grow where nearly two dozen kneeling and blindfolded men in orange jumpsuits were photographed as guards in fatigues looked on.

It’s been more than a decade since these iconic images of the first detainees at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay were taken, but for many they continue to define this barren outcrop on the eastern tip of Cuba.

“It’s as frustrating as complaining about the weather,” says Navy Capt. Robert Durand.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Everyone Else Is Blogging About It, Why Can't I?

I expect Ofek to be out of a job soon.
For example, just recently an editor named “Ofek” at Biology-Online.org asked DNLee to provide some free content for him. She responded with:
Thank you very much for your reply.
But I will have to decline your offer.
Have a great day.
Here’s what happens less often: the person asking for free content, rather than moving on, responds by saying
Because we don’t pay for blog entries?
Are you an urban scientist or an urban whore?
Where I grew up, when people politely turn down your request for free stuff, it’s impolite to call them a “whore.” It’s especially bad when you take into account the fact that we live in a world where women are being pushed away from science, one where how often your papers get cited correlates strongly with your gender, and so on.
DNLee was a bit taken aback, with good reason. So she took to her blog to respond. It was a colorful, fun, finely-crafted retort — and also very important, because this is the kind of stuff that shouldn’t happen in this day and age. Especially because the offender isn’t just some kid with a website; Biology Online is a purportedly respectable site, part of the Scientific American “Partners Network.” One would hope that SciAm would demand an apology from Ofek, or consider cutting their ties with the organization.
Sadly that’s not what happened. If you click on the link in the previous paragraph, you’ll get an error. That’s because Scientific American, where DNLee’s blog is hosted, decided it wasn’t appropriate and took it down.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

What Happened to News?

Here's a good long read:
...We created this oral history project — curated at Harvard by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy in conjunction with Nieman Journalism Lab — to document the experiences of a broad group of primary participants, some of whom were there at the beginning of the transformation (a time we judge to be some 35 years ago, long before the advent of the World Wide Web) and some of whom have only recently arrived but are profoundly affecting the force and direction of the current that is washing away the foundations of the legacy news media business.

Joining together as a team, we three Shorenstein Center Fellows decided to seek the personal recollections of a broad but select group of principals who faced the choices, made the decisions, placed the bets, and now have the benefit of hindsight as to how it could, or couldn’t, have played out differently. The original participants number more than 60 and could grow in time. In hierarchy, they range from the mighty: Eric Schmidt; to the defenders: Arthur Sulzberger, Steve Newhouse, Don Graham; to the disruptors: Arianna Huffington, Nick Denton, Jonah Peretti, Henry Blodget; to the artisans: Andrew Sullivan, Michael Kinsley; to the humbled: Jerry Levin, Tony Ridder; to the philosophical: Walter Isaacson, Steve Case, Gordon Crovitz; to the journalists-turned-capitalists: Mike Moritz, Will Hearst; to the scientists and academics: Tim Berners-Lee, Nicholas Negroponte. And many others in between: pioneers, martyrs, eyewitnesses, victims, conquerors. There were some players we didn’t approach, either to avoid duplication or because we simply lacked the time to reach everyone. We purposely chose to not interview the journalists and pundits who have covered this transformation over the years, although we believe this could be a worthy addition in the future.
Scroll down, the page layout's a little deceptive. AS IS THE LIBERAL MEDIA.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Snow White Discovers My Frottage


John J. Miller:
The main figure in this movement to ban football was Charles W. Eliot, the president of Harvard and probably the single most important person in the history of higher education in the United States. Indeed, Eliot hated team sports in general because competition motivated players to conduct themselves in ways he considered unbecoming of gentlemen. If baseball and football were honorable pastimes, he reasoned, why did they require umpires and referees? “A game that needs to be watched is not fit for genuine sportsmen,” he once said. For Eliot, a pitcher who threw a curve ball was engaging in an act of treachery. But football distressed him even more. Most of all, he despised its violence. Time and again, he condemned the game as “evil.”

One of Eliot’s main adversaries in the battle over football was Walter Camp, one of the players in the game Teddy Roosevelt watched in 1876. A decent player, Camp made his real mark on football as a coach and a rules-maker. Indeed, he is the closest thing there is to football’s founding father.

In the rivalry between Eliot and Camp, we see one of the ongoing controversies in American politics at its outset—the conflict between regulators bent on the dream of a world without risk, and those who resist such an agenda in the name of freedom and responsibility. Eliot and other Progressives identified a genuine problem with football, but their solution was radical. They wanted to regulate football out of existence because they believed that its participants were not capable of making their own judgments in terms of costs and benefits. In their higher wisdom, these elites would ban the sport for all.
Speaking of depraved college officials, Miller was speaking at Hillsdale College, where he teaches some form of bullshit or another.
In November, another right-wing wolf cloaked in family values sheepskin was unzipped to the American public. George Roche III resigned as president of conservative Hillsdale College in Michigan after accusations of a quasi-incestuous relationship with his daughter-in-law, Lissa.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

British Colombian Art News

A friend kindly got me out of the hole of my head long enough to go to the Vancouver Art Book Fair, put on by the good folks at Project Space. We ended up seeing a presentation by Andres Fresneda from La Silueta, a Colombian publishing house and maker of art objects mostly resembling books, which is apparently a chore in Colombia where reading is not a habit among most of the populace. They publish photographic works and stuff about scary whistling skeletons among other things. More here.

Among the most interesting Other Things is stuff by Powerpaola, who wrote Virus Tropical which is sadly not yet in English, but I suppose The Lovely Daughter will be able to figure it out. It's autobiography, the title of which refers to a doctor's diagnosis of Paola's thought-to-be-sterile mother. It sounds good: Paola's father was a Colombian priest who kept a family in Ecuador. Also mom is a witch. Powers other than Paola have decided it should be a movie at some point in the future. Have a trailer:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Ride the Lightning

As if more proof of the evil of golf is needed, here are the Top 100 Musicians in Golf:
1. Rudy Gatlin
+1.3 Singer's touted motivational speaking must have contributed to improvement from 2.4 Index in 2006; plays at Royal Oaks in Dallas, where he shot 68 in June.
2. Kenny G
0.0 Jazz saxophonist was our No. 1 in 2006; says his proudest athletic moment was hitting a great drive in front of Jack Nicklaus. (Read more about Kenny G)
3. Marty Roe 0.2 Vocalist and acoustic guitarist for Diamond Rio plays at Nashville Golf & Athletic Club; improved his Index over summer months.
4. Vince Gill
0.8 Country singer, on tour through November, has raised millions for junior golf with his "Vinny" pro-celebrity event; The First Tee Nashville facility is called The VinnyLinks.
5. Steve Azar
1.3 Singer-songwriter played almost daily with college roommate, listening on headphones to Springsteen, Mellencamp and Seger.
6. Adrian Young
1.4 Drummer for No Doubt with mohawk cut belongs to two clubs in San Diego area. (Read more about Adrian Young)
7. Steve Gatlin 3.4 Hasn't improved as dramatically as No. 1 younger brother, but he's down from 3.9 in '06.
8. Larry Gatlin 3.5 Went from gospel to country to Broadway.
9. Dan Tyminski 4.4 Ten-time Grammy winner released his second solo album, "Wheels," in June.
10. Griffin House 5 Singer-songwriter grew up playing at Springfield (Ohio) Country Club, where his scratch-player dad is a former club champ.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Head Shot

In the course of wondering why my skull had somehow been rendered so weirdly it occurred to me to actually pay attention to the error messages Osirix was giving me:

Thickness, it turns out, is not a sober assessment of the basic problem of your humble narrator, but rather a measure of the slice thickness or interval (one of those) of a part of the CT scan. And it turns out that slice thickness carries through to about the midpoint of an 88 slice series and then changes to a second value, meaning it might be possible to render the two sets of slices without much fiddling and make them into a better facsimile of the most-naked me ever.

Yet somehow the two halves added together in MeshLab seemed to produce a horrifying dome of the type sported by various super-villains and some old-style Cylons.

Silly me: of course I should have understood that I really AM that horrifying. The slices aren't on an eye-fooling XY axis as suggested by the stripes but rather are diagonal in order to better view those sparse chunks of brain without irradiating unnecessary and equally unattractive chunks of me.

3D print cost estimate in the works.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013