Saturday, June 8, 2013

Every man makes a god of...

Today's soundtrack is A Massive Glowing Three-Axis Cross from the album Digitalis by Markus Reuter. And for fans of free music, here's a link to Brass Tactics by David Byrne and St. Vincent. (Full disclosure: I have not yet listened to Brass Tactics.)

Take that, journalists. The Restricted Data blog (about nuclear secrecy) gives you an easy way to convert any energetic event to Hiroshima Equivalents. I'll repeat the instructions because they're priceless:
"Whenever there is a natural disaster, explosion, or, really, anything relating to energy that just doesn’t have enough pathos, tragedy, or excitement for your average reader, call up a scientist at a university somewhere, ask them to calculate how much energy was released in the event in question. He or she will probably give you some nonsense about “Joules” or “Kilowatt hours” or “Calories.” Take those meaningless numbers, paste them into the right places on the calculator, and you’ll instantly know how many Hiroshima-equivalents you are talking about! You simply can’t go wrong."
Along those same lines, please enjoy Stupid Calculations - a blog about oddball ways to represent and visualize things. Like how many boxes of Jello would you need to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool with dessert? (7.9 million). The blog also has several ways to slice and dice the $43.8 million paid for Barnett Newman's Onement VI, which leads to my next topics.

Richard Serra, Shift, 1970-72. Is this really one of the "most significant sculptures of the last half-century?"
Painter Sean Scully shares some insight into abstraction. It's the desire to show everything, all at once - an out-of-context moment of thought - as opposed to representational art in which is limited to the painting's subject.

And everyone's favorite artist to hate, Dan Flavin, is the subject of this video on how to go about making a posthumous installation of his work in a gallery he never saw.

The art of physics? While interesting, this page gives me a headache.

I do not understand why everyone's got their panties in a wad about NSA's PRISM being an example of illegal search while at the same time being ho-hum about TSA's daily and invasive searches (which I believe truly are an example of an unwarranted search).

Nice map-based visualization from 1921 of electricity usage by state. This was obviously done before air conditioning hit Texas.
The conclusion that the saddest tweeters live in Texas is completely unsupported by the map showing states' moods. Sorry, Louisiana.

Freedom of religion doesn't mean you are protected from criticism or being confronted by alternate or even contrary beliefs.

Scientists capture images of a chemical reaction in progress at the atomic scale. Truly, this is chemistry pr0n. Hot atom on atom action. Bonding like you've never seen it before.

Programmer's quick reference for C++. Starting from 1945's ENIAC, here is the computer family tree. And from Assembly to Ruby, the evolution of programming languages.

Read like you mean it. Learn the difference between a novel and literature, between craft and art.

Time is a dimension just like space and we must let go of human-centric notions of it. The interesting aspects are a) why can we only move forward and backward in the other three dimensions but not time and b) what's going on with the other dimensions (what is the current theorized total? 11) and why haven't they "unfurled" in our universe? tl;dr

For film junkies, here's a scan of the complete out-of-print book about Stanley Kubrick's 2001. Everything you'd ever want to know is in here.

You can't swing a dead cat this time of year without hitting a recent graduate. So with apologies, here's yet another list of rules for new (college) graduates. #5 Do what's required, from the menial to the extraordinary, to get the job done.

For the friend whose wife has warned against yet another beer glass, here's the Spiegelau IPA glass, designed in collaboration with Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Brewing. But to hell with the wife - get this arcade-style video game that dispenses beer.

Why just fly a jet when you can fly a military-style personal jet from Saker Aircraft.

They say the ability to draw hands well is essential to being a good animator. Here's a page full of hands.

Speaking of body parts, how does the ear work? Enjoy this interactive guide.

Git yer debate on. The Writers Guild of America listed the 100 best written TV shows of all time. Mad Men is #7. Seinfeld is not #1.

The Dollar Shave Club (mail order razor blades for a $1) has introduced a new product. One Wipe Charlies are flushable, scented, "butt wipes for men." Before you scoff, let me ask you two questions. What part of your body wouldn't you wash with soap and water if poop got on it? And after dinner, do you just wipe off the plates with a dry paper towel and put them back in the cupboard?

The edible anus. The Belgian chocolate that made Britain great.

Maybe you prefer your poo-themed candy to come from the good ol' U.S.of.A.
...his own desire. ~Virgil


Francis Shivone said...

Virgil was right.

I'll limit my comments to the top ten best written TV shows.

Soprano's may be the best, I have never watched an episode and probably won't, same with The Wire, but I'd like to see if the critics still think so 10 years from now. That The Twilight Zone is still on there is good. It deserves it. My wife and I are watching the West Wing on Netflix now. and I have to say that I agree there as well. Although the machine-gun style banter is unrealistic. But there are some great characters. I could do without some of the emotional buttons they so readily push and the Republican bashing. But we like it.

As to the others: All in the Family, Cheers, etc., I agree as well. But Seinfeld should be up there near the top at least. IMHO.

John said...

I honestly don't watch enough TV to judge. That's more my wife's area of expertise.