Saturday, June 2, 2012

Life is hard.

The blank page. It's a roadblock, a paralyzing agent, a potent talisman. Its emptiness is a ponderous weight. And that's why we're compelled to fill it with easily generated content. Hence, Lorem Ipsum - quasi-Greek text from a work by Cicero ("Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure.") that's easily cut-and-pasted to banish whitespace and allow us to move forward. And it's good to know what someone besides me is very interested in collecting Lorem Ipsum generators and image generators (like the bears shown below).

 Here are some examples:
  • (Postmodernism) The characteristic theme of the works of Eco is the bridge between class and sexual identity. Sartre promotes the use of neotextual deconstruction to analyse and deconstruct narrativity. 
  • (Zombie) Zombie ipsum reversus ab viral inferno, nam rick grimes malum cerebro. De carne lumbering animata corpora quaeritis. Summus brains sit​​, morbo vel maleficia? 
  • (Gibberish) Zip blobbing flibble boo tizzle dee weeble. Dee hizzle duh wacko flubbity blungtangle, zip zingle kanoodle bam blabbing tangcringle zong.
Kraftwerk's website is exactly how you'd think it would be.

I'm not really good at interpreting Hollywood speak, but I don't think Variety liked Prometheus as evidenced by their review. "...remains earthbound in narrative terms, forever hinting at the existence of a higher intelligence without evincing much of its own."

Chips. Salsa. Double dipping. Bad or not? Scientifically speaking, probably not. Yes, there is bacterial transfer from mouth A to chip to dip to mouth B. But probably not enough to be medically significant. (It's like kissing every other chip dipper at the party. Creepy perhaps, but not especially dangerous.) However, socially speaking the double-dip is probably not acceptable. But what if you're at home among immediate family? (Not that I have a reputation or anything.)

Aviation pr0n of the week: a C-17 kicks up dust on takeoff.
If you prefer your aircraft to be of Cold War vintage, here's the F-80.

What did the 2011 earthquake in Japan sound like? Frankly, like my guts after French onion dip.

The largest whales have a heretofore unknown organ in their jaws that's unlike anything ever seen and is perhaps the reason for their enormous size as it helps them feed.

You too have probably been wondering why the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft have experienced unexplained deceleration. Science to the rescue. The culprit seems to be anisotropic heating of the spacecraft's generators.

Science is on a roll this week. In breaking news, it has been shown that being touched by a man makes women hot. (Trust me, there's a difference between how this works in the lab and in real life.)

Speaking of touching women, there are several ways I could go with this story about two former Microsoft employees who developed an algorithmic approach to bra sizing and opened an online store. There's the angle of what's the fun of letting a computer assess your boobage. There could be a nice "blue screen" joke about bras. There's also something you could say about them being the Zappos of bras. Sometimes these things write themselves. I must be getting lazy because I'm asking you to write this one yourself.

Jenny McCarthy, on the other hand, is not a scientist. Which is probably why her unofficial position as spokesperson of the anti-vaccination movement has led to the Jenny McCarthy Body Count, a website tallying the number of preventable illnesses and deaths attributable to lack of vaccination since 2007. Jenny, thanks for showing us your boobs but you can keep your mouth shut.

Roy Lichtenstein, Brushstroke with Spatter, 1966. I was listening to a podcast about an exhibit of Lichtenstein's work while writing this post with no intention of including it here. However, one reason why I enjoy the Modern Art Notes podcast is the opportunity to gain a greater appreciation for various works. The discussion about this painting (about 1/3 of the way through the podcast) really opened my eyes.
Is it just me or have their been a lot of words recently written and spoken about science and art? Neil deGrasse Tyson takes a shot in this video which includes interesting thoughts about the difference between artistic and scientific creativity.

Let's now look at it from the artist's side with John Lasseter talking about the future of animation. "Art challenges technology and technology inspires art." Lasseter says even technology's screw ups inspire him to think "what can we do with that?" Which, when I saw this article about the Pixar's physics of hair, reminded me of the screw-ups with Rapunzel's hair that Glen Keane recently showed.

This could be interesting. 250 original works of Disney animation art, primarily from Sleeping Beauty, that had been lost in Japan are being returned. My god, if these ever came up for auction...

My little pony bacon. source
With a tip of the hat to Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar On Me, here's Put Some Bacon on It. If you to prefer to put things in your bacon instead of putting your bacon on things, here's a bacon koozie.

How to shoot abstract images with a digital camera. 50 animated GIFs. (Do not look at this if you already have a headache.) Or just interact with these droplets.

Advice for a new president. Not the one we'll get in several months, but the one we got 30 years ago. However, one might say that what was good then will be good now too. 

I'm gonna hang out at the internet tonight. source
Last week a map of England by authors caught my fancy. This map of NYC by rappers does absolutely nothing for me.

Creepy is not how I'd describe these photos of abandoned missile silos. But rare is an accurate description of these photos from Life magazine of the aftermath of an atomic bomb test in 1955.

It's even harder when you're stupid. ~John Wayne

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