Sunday, October 6, 2013

If you think government's problems are bad...

Rejoice! The long-lost 1933 Three Stooges film Hello Pop has been found and will hopefully make its way to a screen near you soon.

I've never watched Breaking Bad but I do like periodic tables. So here's a text-based periodic table where each "element" links to some factoid about the show.

By now everyone has heard of the passing of Tom Clancy. I credit him with renewing my interest in modern fiction back in the late 1980s when I was reading mostly classics. Reading all of Clancy's novels (a term he preferred to "techno thriller") and non-fiction books led me to other authors such as Larry Bond, Greg Iles, Dale Brown, Stephen Coonts, and Vince Flynn (who also recently passed away). About 10 years ago I saw him speak here in Fort Worth and I remember two things. When asked whose books he likes he said John Varley so I immediately bought and read Demon and Red Thunder. Second, Clancy's stated goal was to achieve verisimilitude in his work. After looking that up in the dictionary (the appearance of being true or real) no one can deny that Clancy achieved that. But more so than the technology what he made real were his characters and that's what kept bringing me back.

Not to overdo the Clancy stuff, but here are his five rules for writing.
  1. Tell stories. Take people away from their drudgery.
  2. Writing is like golf. Keep doing it until you get better.
  3. Make pretend more real than real. The difference between fiction and reality is fiction has to make sense.
  4. Writer's block is unacceptable.
  5. No one can take your dream away.
Web nerds: see how to draw a triangle using CSS.

Dirk Loechel's graphic comparison of the relative size of science fiction space ships
Cruise to the Edge's lineup of progressive rock bands (Yes, Marillion, Steve Hackett, UK, Tangerine Dream, Stick Men, and more) isn't enough to get me on a cruise ship.

Here's a really interesting article about Charles Mingus but be warned: tl;dr.

Ever wonder how animated cartoons were made in 1919?

A revised edition of Don Norman's classic The Design of Everyday Things is due out in early November. If you have not read the original then this ought to be added to your wish list at your preferred book seller.

Explore this hand-drawn family tree of math

Programming friends, before you click the link as yourself what the smallest crashing C program is. It may surprise you. It surprised me.

Those wacky folks at Dogfish Head Brewery have brewed a beer with moon dust: Celest-Jewel-Ale. If that's too extreme for your tastes, checkout this list of the best beers in the world. #2 is Three Floyds Brewing Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout.

In the olden days "the fact that your teeth are so polished just shows you’re the more full of piss." This and other uses of pee-pee are described in the Smithsonian.

There's no such thing a good cake without taste. See this baked tribute to Rothko's White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) and many more edible modern masters.
 The Lewis model of national cultures around the world. Is it accurate?

Scientists have finally pinpointed the location of a volcano that erupted in 1257 with eight times the force of Krakatoa: Indonesia's Lombok Island.

More history you say? Take 7 minutes to watch this animation of WWII in Europe showing the movement of the front lines every day.

Take a photo tour of the abandoned Cold War-era listening station in Teufelsberg, Germany.

From tub drain to Monique Goossens' studio: typography hair

Falling falling.

...wait until you see their solutions.


Francis Shivone said...

On pee, one of my earliest recollections was my father saying,
"I have to pee so bad my back teeth are floating." I still say it.

I'll be forwarding the 20 best beers to my sons. Makes me wish I still imbibed.

I liked the Clancy axioms. Liked him, too.

John said...

I've never understood the floating teeth comment. But I hear it a lot.

All we have to look forward to from Clancy is a novel coming out in November (Jack Ryan Jr. timeline) and a movie in December. I don't think the latter is based on any particular novel but if I wasn't lazy I'd check IMBD. I think the movie is called Jack Ryan.