Saturday, October 5, 2019

The only easy day...

The best fast food in every state. Ohio = Gold Star Chili?

Science tells us what happened the day the dinosaurs died.

The Comet, a video about comet 67P.

Disney Docs is where a guy shares his collection documents related to Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and more. (It's nice to see a focused collection.)

It's still difficult to understand how the Red Bull Air Race can be over. But it is. So they share some memorable moments and some best moments.

Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park No. 22, 1969. From an article by Tony Berlant on Diebenkorn's influence. "A yin-yang balance between impulse and revision is felt in all his work."
Mark your calendars. The Modern will host the exhibition Mark Bradford: End Papers from 08 Mar 2020 to 09 Aug 2020.

Imagine an entire magazine dedicated to the periodic table of elements. You don't have to imagine it - just read the 28 Aug 2019 issue of Businessweek.

Money only motivates when tasks are simple and formulaic. Otherwise, money demotivates. So what do we want? Autonomy, mastery, purpose.

What's rarer than the collision of two black holes? The collision of three black holes.
Innerviews features Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks. Interesting to hear him be open about feeling a wee bit inferior to the solo careers of band mates Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford.

Robert Fripp said that music is the goblet that holds the wine of silence. Read more about the history of silence in music.
Got a tech (programming) interview coming up soon? Don't forget to ask your own questions. What kind of meetings happen every week? How do you prepare for disaster recovery?

What's most interesting to me in this announcement from D23 of a 50th anniversary celebration by the Walt Disney Archives is that the exhibit will be traveling with an announcement of locations promised in 2020. DFW?

The fall foliage map for 28 Sep 2019. It looks like North Texas has nothing to get excited about until the end of October and beginning of November.
Excel mavens rejoice. XLOOKUP, the successor to VLOOKUP, is coming. The article claims that VLOOKUP is the 3rd most used function in Excel behind SUM and AVERAGE. (I guess I might as well learn what the hell VLOOKUP does.)

Fort Worth's Near Southside is primed to be an innovative economic force.

What are the most important leadership competencies? #2 is "self-organizing," provides goals and objectives with loose guidelines and directions.

The first ever photograph of light as a particle and a wave.
A golden toilet named America was stolen from a gallery where it was being exhibited. How?

You are looking at the world's oldest fossilized turd, the Lloyds Bank Coprolite. It's from a 9th century Viking.
Science proves that knives made from frozen poop don't work. (Who thought they did?)

...was yesterday. ~U.S. Navy Seals

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Those who can make you believe absurdities...

OK, jazz lovers. Kind of Bloop is an 8-bit tribute to Miles Davis' classic album Kind of Blue. Genius.

The long-ish article How Art Transcends Logic and Language ends with a short-ish insight: the unique nature of art can show us what's implicit in the gaps between our certitudes of rationality.

by Hans Kleinsman. source

True aviation pr0n - this year's video salute to the EA-18 Growler.

User Inyerface is a frustrating, game-based homage to bad user interface design.

As an antidote to that last link, here's a page full of (good) design principles. #1 for interaction design is "anticipation."

Ugly Gerry is a font comprised of gerrymandered congressional districts.
Excellent video with insight into the animation of Cinderella's dress. Seriously.

An introduction to particle physics. Go ahead: read it. It's OK.

See, I'm putting the music links in the middle.


How to kill cancer cells? Disguise chemo drugs as yummy fats.

Science has found a way to grow new tooth enamel. No more cavities?

Richard Serra, sculptor, makes the massive become ethereal.

Visiting an art museum makes you happy. I could've told you that.

Believe it nor, they did consider adding external munitions to the stealth fighter.

Quick: how many engines are on a B-17? Four? At least one had 5 with a T-34 mounted in the nose for testing.

Greg Bustin's 25 leadership lessons includes #20 Have Fun. Humor in the workplace is vital.

Disney's pressed penny machines now charge $1 instead of 50 cents. So I can no longer call pressed pennies "fifty ones." And the machines don't take coins. I bet soon the machines will all lose their hand cranks.

Can you limit all your email responses to 5 sentences?

Next year will be Syracuse University's 150th birthday.

Mortality rate by county and cause.
Unko, poop in Japanese. When in Japan visit the Poop Museum.

Buttsss, a collection of butt illustrations.

And the best thing on teh interwebs. A soundboard chock full of affirmations from Alex Trebeck.

...can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Work shapes the mind...

Some tunes for while you read.
Eyvind Earle, A Sounding of Surf. Earle is one of my favorite Disney artists, maybe because his style is so distinctive. source
How exactly did art arrive at Jackson Pollock? Let's begin with Manet.

I love this aerial photo of Disneyland on opening day in 1955. See more here
Something's hidden on the moon. But unlike 2001's monolith, it's a lump of metal that's five times larger than the main island of Hawaii. Something like that isn't too hard to find. It's in an impact crater that's 2,000 km in diameter. That's right, its an asteroid impact.

Here's a 4-quadrant diagram of French fries rated on taste and texture scales. LOL - In-N-Out is dead last where they belong. (Their fries taste like someone sliced a raw potato and ran the bits under hot water for 30 seconds.) Guess who's #1?

MAD Magazine will be no more later this year. A huge part of my childhood.

Would an illustrated version of the Mueller Report make you want to read it?

2,400 previously unseen post-9/11 photos of the WTC were bought at an estate sale and are now on Flickr.
Think the solar system is dusty and dry except for the Earth? WRONG. There may be more superionic ice than any other form of H2O.

Oh, the solar system has a tail.

Photos of quantum entanglement? We got 'em.

Light has more properties than you'd think - or science can predict. They just discovered a new one: self-torque.

You can download from GitHub the original source code for the Apollo mission's guidance computer.

More science you ask? OK, how about the ability to teleport quantum data into a diamond?

The secret science-advisory group Jason is being disbanded by the Dept. of Defense.

Here's a 10-week introduction to meditation with freely available guided tracks to follow.

And here's 10 myths about work-life balance. #2 Life needs to be compartmentalized. The best alternative expression is work-life rhythm.

A visual representation of the warming of Texas over the period 1850-2018. Customize it for your region with Show Your Stripes.
Honestly, the National Military Strategy 2018 is a bit underwhelming. This unclassified version is only 6 pages. I wonder how many pages are in the full document?

The best book for every age from 1 to 100. I've read exactly 6 of them.

This is kinda interesting: the 101 things changing the way we work. Stuff I've never heard of: office farming (exactly what it sounds like), microdosing (want a little LSD with your work?), JOMO (the joy of missing out), and Globotics.

Take a tour of the Doomsday Plane.

Can you see the shock waves in this photo? I had to look really closely. source
Nuudii (a Kickstarter project) is said to be between a bra and bra-less.

Would you rather live in Fort Worth or "the LA of the south." LOL

What's the world record for sitting on the toilet? 116 hours.

Did you know they had robots in the 1700s? Did you know the greatest one was a pooping duck?

I started with music so I'll end with music. But you can control this music. Here's a Gregorian music generator.

...leisure colors it. ~James Dolbear

Saturday, July 27, 2019

To live is to suffer...

Well, poop. I'm already past my work peak. (Duh. No one else is surprised.)
  • Apollo Extended Edition, a remastering of the original Apollo album plus a second album of totally new material, will be released by Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, and Roger Eno on July 19th.
  • AKKU Quintet's (founded by SONAR drummer Manuel Pasquinelli) latest album is Depart.
  • Scenes from the Flood is Bryan Beller's (bassist with The Aristocrats) new double-album.
  • The Aristocrats' 4th album, You Know What...? 
  • John Bonham's Moby Dick drum solo
Drummers may have different brains than the rest of us says science.

Helen Frankenthaler, For E.M., 1981 (source).  Inspired by an article about a current exhibition of her paintings in Venice.
Speaking of Frankenthaler, she shared tips for being an artist. #4 Let mistakes lead to invention.

Greg Bustin's recommended summer reading on the topic of leadership includes Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning which I just finished reading. One of the book's essential philosophical or psychological points is that life is not about pursuit of pleasure or power but of meaning.
From Present & Correct comes a collection of TV test cards.
If "ablaut reduplication" is too technical for you just remember I-A-O and you'll never flop-flip your flip-flop.

Hey, smart people. You choke under pressure because your mental abilities cause performance anxiety. (Instead of trying to be right, just do your best.) Also, if you believe that intelligence is a fixed trait you're likely to fail at activities you're not instantly good at.

I have never seen this spiral version of the periodic table before. See it and more unusual periodic table designs here.
A bit more traditional is the periodic table in pictures.

Deservedly so, the Colossal Cave Adventure was inducted this year into the World Video Game Hall of Fame.

This is from back in May but have you seen the surface of an asteroid close-up?

How about a font comprised entirely of colored dots?

Or some more traditional looking fonts by designer Clotilde Olyff?

Can you solve the secretary puzzle?

A longish and hard-to-read article on Disney animator Bill Tytla (think Chernabog).

Did you get some Ellsworth Kelly postage stamps yet?


How many mechanical movements are illustrated and animated for internet-friendly consumption? 507.

I enjoyed the Chernobyl series on HBO but what did actual Chernobyl survivors think of it?

How about the SR-71 flight manual?

Or maybe you'd prefer to fly the B-17.

A world map showing every city with more than 500 people.
The DFW Metroplex is the fastest growing metro area in the country and Fort Worth is now the 13th largest city.

At last we know: Libyan desert glass was created 29 million years ago by a meteorite impact.

Science has invented a drug that is successful against antibiotic-resistant bugs.

Thrilling to the live stream from Hungary this morning made me realize how sad it is that the Red Bull Air Race is ending this season after September's race in Japan. It "did not attract the level of outside interest as many other Red Bull events." I'm wondering if after some time off the event can be retooled and brought back.

Mark Rothko's Untitled (1961) recently sold at auction for $50.1 million.
POOP

Why does coffee make us poop? Science tells us it has nothing to do with caffeine.

If you ate rocks you'd poop sand too.

I'll take feline excretory systems, Alex. The answer is "Bacteria." The question is "what do cats farm in their butts?"

How long would it take for you to use up the forever roll of TP?

NOT POOP

And I leave you with hours of potential time wasting: this is sand.

...and to survive is to find some meaning in that suffering. ~Friedrich Nietzsche 

Friday, July 5, 2019

The Mueller Report

It took several months but I finally finished reading the Mueller Report, also known as the Report on The Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election. I don't recall where I downloaded the PDF from but you can get the PDFs from justice.gov: Part 1 and Part 2.

It was a tough document to read because it was so dry and boring. I'll admit to not reading the appendices in Part 2 and I only skimmed the last section of Part 2. I am not an attorney nor do I claim to have any special expertise on legal matters. But that won't prevent me from sharing my conclusions.

The Russians engaged in a massive and systematic program to influence the 2016 presidential election in favor of Candidate Trump. Why President Trump seems so eager to let Putin off the hook is beyond me. I've heard of "keeping your friends close and your enemies closer" but Trump's statements on the topic are ignorant at best, irresponsible at worst. The Russians and others will likely continue activities like this.

The Trump campaign did not collude, coordinate, or conspire with (interestingly, only "conspire" has a legal meaning within the context of criminal law - the former two words do not) agents of the Russian government or directly with the Russian government to influence the election. This did not surprise me. However, members of the Trump campaign, either through naivete or craven greed or inflated self importance, allowed the Russians to lead them around by the nose like a bunch of chumps.

Probably because they had been led around by the nose, several members of the Trump campaign and/or administration did commit crimes, evidence of which was uncovered by the investigation.

And the big one: there is a considerable body of evidence that indicates President Trump engaged in several acts consistent with obstruction of justice. And the caveats: because the Office of Legal Counsel issued an opinion stating that criminal prosecution of a sitting president would be "bad" (my word), only an investigation was conducted without the potential for filing charges. (The section of Part 2 that I only skimmed was a refutation of the president's personal counsel's arguments that a sitting president could not be charged based on the obstruction of justice statute and Article II of the Constitution.) The significant paragraph from Part 2 is one we've all already heard:
"Fourth, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgement. The evidence we obtained about the President's actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him." 
This leaves me to wonder: When Mr. Trump is no longer president and the OLC's opinion is no longer applicable, will the evidence collected by the Commission be sufficient bring obstruction of justice charges at that future time?


Saturday, June 29, 2019

The enemy of art...

Music
Not music per se, but FirstSounds.org compiles and maintains the earliest known sound recordings going back to 1853.
Innerviews explores King Crimson.
Clyfford Still, PH-432, 1964. Found while exploring his museum's online archive of all his work.
Business Stuff

Reading from a screen is not the same as reading from a printed page. That's why there are these 11 tips for writing for an online audience (backed by studies performed by user experience experts.) #8 Use lists to make skimming easy.

A TEDx video on how to avoid death by PowerPoint. If you display a poorly designed slide and talk about it, 90% of what you said is forgotten within 30 seconds. True? Anyway here we go. #1 One message per slide. And there are 5 more. Another intriguing question based on human visual attention goes like this. We notice things that are moving, use signalling colors, have high contrast, and are big. Given that 4th one, why is a slide's title the largest font on the page when it's rarely (never?) the most important content on the page? (At the beginning of the video he says he searched for help on how to prepare and deliver good presentations but couldn't find any. I too have used such blatantly unfactual statements as a presentation device.)

101 questions to help you decide what to do after you sell your business. #31 What would I have done differently in my career?

If you polled the people who worked for you and asked them these 13 questions about your leadership, what would the results show? #8 My manager communicates clear goals for our team.

Channeling their inner Tolstoy ("Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves."), HBR recommends that to improve your team you must first improve yourself.

Mary Obering, Winter, 1992. This painting reminds me of another artist's work. Can you guess? Wait. Wait. Callum Innes.
Aviation Pr0n

A love letter in video format for the F-4.

Video inside the B-2.

Photos of an F-22 flying with the Blue Angels.

Aircraft will soon carry directed energy weapons to shoot down targets like missiles.

Flight ops on the USS Shangri-la, 1962.

Humor

Why summer is women's winter. A funny look at setting the a/c in the office.

Lit

Italo Calvino wrote one of the most intriguing books I've ever read: If on a winter's night a traveler. He also gave us 14 reasons to read classic literature. #6 A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.

Mark Rothko, Untitled (Red and Burgundy over Blue), 1969. From an article on using AI to predict sale prices for Rothko's paintings.

Geek Stuff


The Incredible Machine is a video from 1968 about the Graphic 1 computer.

Could we render nuclear waste harmless with frickin' laser beams?

For some reason I had always operated under the impression that you shouldn't mix Advil and Tylenol. Now I see that combining them is more effective than an opioid, especially for dental pain.

So you've created the largest molecule ever. Now what? Maybe use it to deliver drugs.

And interactive timeline of earthquakes and volcanoes.

LIGO keeps on detecting gravitational waves.

I don't know why you'd want to generate a medieval fantasy city, but you can.

Vittles

Just Encased, a food truck specializing in craft sausages, deserves to be visited at least once just for the name alone.

Poop

In high school I thought about becoming an archaeologist. Maybe I should've. Fossilized poop shows that someone back in the day ate an entire rattlesnake.

Hippo poop helps move silicon throughout the ecosystem.

Let's all go to Poopoo Land in Seoul.

Until next time

You can make Mark Zuckerberg smile.

...is the absence of limitations. ~Orson Welles

(FORM IS LIBERATING!)

P.S. I'm thinking of moving this blog from Blogger to Wordpress. Good idea or not?

Saturday, April 20, 2019

From music people accept pure emotion...

Tom Peters, he of many words on Excellence and other topics, has written a concise 1-pager with all his top topics: The Everything Paper.

OK, Tolkien freaks. New York's Morgan Library Museum hosts Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth through 10 May.

Careful: you can get lost in these graphics of how U.S. households spend their money. For example, households in the top quintile spend about as much for food at home as eating out ($6,500) versus $2,500 and $1,500 for households in the lowest quintile.

Speaking of demographics, what large U.S. cities have the highest share of families with children? Fort Worth is #2 with 36.3%

Agnes Martin, Untitled 2. source. Be certain to watch the video.
As the yellow first down line is to football, the ghost plane is to the Red Bull Air Race. Find out how it's done.

A second-hand tale of working on the XB-70, the Cold War, Mach 3 bomber that fascinates me.

Did you know there were different kinds of superconductivity? Neither did scientists until last year. Ytterbium-Bismuth-Platinum superconducts with electrons at a higher spin.

Congrats to Town Talk Foods for making Fort Worth Magazine's Best of Fort Worth 2019 list for grocery shopping.

Robert Fripp is revered as a god in a music genre he can't stand. Read more about the King Crimson leader in this Rolling Stone article.

If I had pursued archaeology instead of engineering back in high school when my career aspirations were still forming I might've been one of these researchers who are digging up pee (using urine salts to measure population density).

Richard Diebenkorn, Cityscape I, 1963. Here's an example of an artist moving between representation and abstraction. Is this representation with abstract elements moving in?
Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park 43, 1971. A beautiful example of Diebenkorn's most famous abstract motif, is there representation in here? 
So as not to leave you with something too classy, here's a compilation of toilet flushing sounds.

...but from art they demand explanation. ~Agnes Martin