Saturday, December 29, 2012

The world is a hellish place...

The Beginning

Drone isn't everyone's cup of tea. But you can stream Nicholas Szczepanik's 43 minute piece La Luna del Este while reading this post. And if you decide it is your cup of tea, he's made it available for purchase with a "you name it" price.

Try to guess what this is. Then click the link.
Tender Vittles

Vegan Sci-fi? Vegalien? Delicious Vegetable Alien by Till Nowak.
For the meat lovers. This fetching young lass has a certain je ne sais quoi. -OR- You had me at braunschweiger. (God help me, I can't look away.)

STOP THE PRESSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Just look at it. I couldn't do that if I tried.

And what the hell's a wombat?

Improve Thyself

Goals, hope, and achievement. Consistently setting overly optimistic and ultimately unachievable goals (for example, the United Way drive at a previous employer who annually set goals of 100% participation) is counter-productive. However, our brain (specifically the left inferior frontal gyrus) is biased toward optimism resulting in a slight overconfidence which may be one key to achieving our goals.

Use the 5 most persuasive words in the English language in a sentence. You like new and free things because they instantly give you gratification.

This is a bit incestuous, but here's a list of the 100 best lists of all time. It ranges from the adolescent Maxim's Hot 100 (#95) to Picasso's Recommendation's for the 1913 exhibition of modern art (#55). I won't spoil #1 for you.

It's been a while since I ran across any interesting periodic tables. And you can actually purchase this glass platter of the periodic table of entertaining.
HO, HO, Holidays are Over (Better Late Than Never)
Students at the University of Sheffield have put an end to uncertainty about how to decorate your Xmas tree. (I was not aware that uncertainty existed. My decorating mantra has always been "put it all on.") You can use their treegonometry calculator to get the optimal number of lights and bulbs. (I also am curious about their calculations as they only take into account the tree's height and not it's base diameter. The latter number will influence the tree's surface area which seems like the parameter on which ornament density would be based.)

Create your own snowflake based on the mathematics of your name.

Maybe you prefer your snowflakes from a galaxy far far away. And made from real paper. So try these Star Wars snowflake templates.

If you're attending a holiday party with beer snobs a good brew to bring is Delirium Noel. This and other suggestions are available per type of party.

What if rather than concealing a gift, wrapping paper gave it away ("It's a pair of socks!")? That's what Crapping Paper is for. And you can generate your own.

Naughty Bits

Pr0n stars can be exciting even when fully clothed. But if you think my commentary here is often shovel-worthy check this out: "The hedonic experience can’t be isolated from its history and the prior facts (and expectations) you bring into it. This sort of insight is essential when we start talking about utilitarianism as if it’s a simple calculus." Say what?!?

I can't tell whether the courts are sending mixed messages or not. An Iowa court ruled that an employer can fire an employee for "irresistible attraction" even if the employee hasn't been flirtatious (the "I'm too sexy for my work" doctrine). But an Italian court has ruled that it is a crime to tell a man that he has no balls (i.e. it has an injurious quality).

Time to Get Crunk (As the Kids Say)

For the vinophiles, a wine styles infographic.
Not to be outdone, here's craft beer news.
For when you're just not that thirsty - the world's smallest beer.
The Trouble With Reading is All the Words

Harvard Business Review compiled this list of their top 33 posts of 2012 that we need to read before 2013. First, ain't nobody got time fo dat. Second, the most commented upon post was I Won't Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here's Why.

But when the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps tells you to read a book you say "Yes, sir." and "Which one?" Good thing he has a list of books organized by a marine's rank. For example, sergeants should read Sun Tzu's The Art of War while colonels should read Thucydides' The Peloponnesian War.

How poetry makes you weird.

Gimme an S, gimme a P, gimme an O, blah blah blah

The United States of Pro Football.
Or on a team by team basis, see these truly honest NFL team logos.
You call that art? My kid can do that.

I'll take art for $500. "No single event, before or since, has had such an influence on American art." What is the 1913 Armory Show, which celebrates its centennial next year. Notable among the paintings exhibited there was Matisse's The Red Studio said to have greatly influenced Rothko.

The LP aka the record. A quaint historical artifact. We've gone from LPs to CDs to mp3s and now, in some sort of digital full circle, you can take your mp3 and convert it to an LP using 3D printing. (If my turntable hasn't been broken for over a decade I'd consider giving this a shot.)

OK, not cool enough for you? How about a record made of ice?

Philip Glass' REWORK is available as an iPad app. Too bad I don't have an iPad. 


Let no one confuse this for a fashion trend. Clean Air Asia has created visualizations of air pollution by nose hair length.
Jerry Seinfeld describes how he writes a joke. (The one he describes needs a bit more work.)

Define the intersection of these two sets: software engineers and Miss Universe 2012 contestants. The answer is Shilpa Singh, Ms. India.

Use this calculator to decide what's better - buying or renting a home. (You know who you are who needs this.) It looks like if you're going to keep the house for 5 years it's better to buy.

Translate C code to English. For example, int (*(*foo)(void ))[3] means "declare foo as pointer to function (void) returning pointer to array 3 of int."

Whatever this is, please don't do it. Because otherwise TSA will start looking for it.  source
Aviation Pr0n

Free reading for aerospace geeks: NASA's e-books, including a couple about the X-15 that look interesting, are available online in PUB, MOBI, and PDF formats.
One engineer's trash is another engineer's treasure. Code One Magazine has a great article on aircraft designs found in engineers documents destined for the burn barrel during a recent housekeeping. The concept drawn above is Lockheed's L-225 nuclear-powered bomber.
Principles of atomic bombs (with illustrations).

B-25 on display at the 2009 Chino air show. Many more photos at the link.
The Ending 

I leave you with this drum machine from Tokyo Plastic.

...and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering. ~Tom Waits

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