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

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Like love, music's a mystery...

And we begin with the tunes.

Everything Disney Owns
From the Long Now Foundation comes this article on slow music, Transmissions from the Ambient Frontier. Slow art is a thing (do people really only spend on average 27 seconds looking at a work of art?) and slow music is too, although I find ambient or drone challenges some people immensely. This is a long article but worth a slow read. 


If you're going to be in the neighborhood of the Berkeley Art Museum before July 21st, go see the exhibition Hans Hofmann: The Nature of Abstraction
Does anyone really care that Mickey Mouse is 90 years old? Cartoon Research shares how he used to be a much bigger deal.

Are you a "small giant," a company that has chosen to be great instead of big.

The Wadsworth Museum is hosting Sean Scully: Landline through 19 May.
Here's a serious and almost academic study of swearing on TV.

The one guy who flew both the F-22 (Lockheed Martin) and YF-23 (Northrop Grumman) says that L-M won because they did a better job of marketing. Regardless, the YF-23 is a beautifully cool aircraft.

Javier Riera, light projection onto trees. source
Pixar's Inside Out only featured five emotions (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust) but despite not being able to find a connection I suspect they're based on Robert Plutchik's eight primary emotions (adding Trust, Surprise, and Anticipation) illustrated graphically as a wheel below. Like my fascination with the periodic table, there's something pleasing about this graphical depiction of a "soft" subject.
Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions. source. See more above.
The first web browser was called - no, not Mosaic - WorldWideWeb. Now to celebrate it's 30th anniversary, an in-browser implementation of WorldWideWeb has been developed. Go surf the web like it's 1989.

Somewhere under a rainbow. source. It's been a while since I did some aviation pr0n.
This article says that in future versions of Microsoft Office, you'll be able to convert a photo of a data table into an Excel spreadsheet.

Ellsworth Kelly is coming to a postage stamp near you soon.
The average American - or so this article says - uses 3 rolls of toilet paper per week. This seems high to me.

...when solved, it evaporates. ~Ned Rorem

Saturday, April 6, 2019

It isn't positions which lend distinction,

Tunes for you:


I wish I had learned 88 truths about life. If I had, I might share them like this guy did. #26 Credit card debt devours souls. A bit histrionic, but true otherwise.

Included in these seven tips on writing from William Faulkner is "events in a story should flow naturally according to the character's inner necessity." This jives with something similar another author (whom I've forgotten) said: each character should want something.

Piet Mondrian, The Gray Tree, 1912. There are a few paintings that I've fallen in love with on first sight. One is Monet's Impression Sunrise. Another is this.
On this list of hot leadership topics for 2019 (I'm only two months behind), we find how culture can drive high-performance and innovation.

This article introduces the term SaaB (software as a barrier) in the context of listing 10 things the best software companies do. An interesting statistic about Google is cited: 70% of development time is spent on "building out" their core products, 20% on innovation, and the remaining 10% on what might be coming in 10 years.

Mark Rothko, Untitled (Red and Burgundy Over Blue), 1969. This can be yours at an upcoming Sotheby's auction.
Watch this animated, time-lapse bar chart of the world's most populous cities starting in the year 1500 when the big dog was Beijing.

A collection of vintage press kits from Apollo.

The first periodic table. It's 150 years old.
See the infinite CVS receipt.

Watch Idle, Torrent. Just do it.

The flying butt.
C'mon, play the pink trombone. (No, you perv, not that.)

You've probably seen the clip from The Office where they're watching the DVD logo bounce around the screen. Now you can watch Too Many DVDs.

...but men who enhance positions. ~Agesilaus

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Reality always wins.

NEWS FLASH: Quantum mechanics experiment proves objective reality does not exist.

What time is it? Ask the Human Clock.

David Torn keeps appearing in my music listening ouevre, most recently in the form of Sun of Goldfinger, a trio with Tim Berne and Ches Smith. Here's the album teaser. You can buy the album on Bandcamp.

I've already pre-ordered The Bill Laswell Mix Translations of tracks from Sonar's Vortex album.

How about the teaser for Chat Noir's Hyperuranion.

And here's a live solo performance on piano by Jamie Saft.

One last one is Mark Wingfield's Tales from the Dreaming City.

You too can make your own logo in Led Zeppelin style.
Let's go on a video tour of each element on the periodic table.

And while I'm revisiting favorite themes, here's an animated map of U.S. population density over time.

Another map? How about this one of political prejudice by U.S. county. Unfortunately, the DFW metroplex seems to be pretty damned prejudiced.

Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1960. You can buy this painting at auction for an estimated $35-50 million so that the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art can use the proceeds to freshen up their collection.
Speaking of Rothko, Houston's Rothko Chapel will be closed for renovations until mid-December. I look forward to seeing the chapel's paintings in a new light, literally and figuratively.

Poignant is the word I'd use to describe hearing Mark Rothko's son read his father's letter to Lee Krasner on the death of Jackson Pollock.

Advice from painter Willem de Kooning includes "seek out glimpses of inspiration in the world around you."

I don't know what to make of the fact that the 76104 zip code (home of my favorite company) has the lowest life expectancy in the state of Texas.

As proof of Thelonious Monk's statement that all musicians are subconsciously mathematicians, here is John Coltrane's circle of fifths
Science says that 400 miles underground the earth is hoarding enough water to fill the oceans three times.

I'm glad that Bill Gates chose to include on his list of 10 breakthrough technologies for 2019 "new-wave nuclear power."

The tiny archeologist in me (I wanted to be one in high school) loves discoveries like this untouched Mayan cave.

This article from The Aviationist, one of my favorite blogs, was the first I heard that the USAF is thinking about a fighter to replace the F-22 called NGAD, Next Generation Air Dominance. I just hope they build more than 187 of them.

From the Aviation Pr0n category, here we see the first photo of the USAF's XQ-58A combat drone. 
If you want to live longer, check out what works and what doesn't.

In case you didn't hear, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge (aka Star Wars Land) at Disney World and Disneyland in August and May, respectively.

The warty comb jelly (great name for a band) creates an anus each time it has to poop and makes it go away after wiping (i.e. transient anus - an even better band name).

I always say I should read more science fiction so the 2018 Locus Recommended Reading List will come in handy. Now if only my library's cloud app had any of these titles.

Your only job is to get in touch with it. ~Wilfred Bion

Saturday, March 2, 2019

We are kept from our goal not by obstacles...

If you're a fan (or even familiar with) business author Tom Peters, you might want to check out his latest slide deck based on his book The Excellence Dividend. Here's Putting People (REALLY) First that makes the case for making any organization of any size a great place to work.

Here's the trailer for the movie APOLLO 11. This might actually get me into a theater.

Take 2 hours and 40 minutes to watch the Titanic sink in real time.

If you're not following Neill Blomkamp's work at Oats Studios you're missing some fantastic stuff. And watch all of it, not just the Anthem trailer.

As a boss at work, when you give guidance do you deliver ruinous empathy, manipulative insincerity, obnoxious aggression, or radical candor (video, book)?

Jack Whitten, Dispersal 'A' #2, 1971. Dry pigment on paper. source
Wow. Who could've seen this coming? Google fined 50 million euros by France for GDPR violations. (I say that not because I think Google is in violation but because somebody was bound to fine the big guys shortly after the law went into effect.)

When animator Clair Weeks left Disney in 1952 his "goodbye book" was filled with drawings, autographs, and notes from everyone. Check it out.

I've extolled Stephan Thelen's Fractal Guitar album but why not hear about it from All About Jazz.

Did you see it during the lunar eclipse? The meteorite impact
The Red Bull Air Race is only scheduled to come to the U.S. once in 2019: Indianapolis in October.

Trends affecting business in 2019:
Do you know the difference between a shitshow and a clusterfuck?

Been a while since I posted one of these but here is a the periodic table by country of discovery.
And I could read this visual history of the periodic table all day.

Science proves that not all poop is equal.

And prepare to waste hours and hours with Idle Breakout.


And I leave you with the ability to turn any image into a mosaic of emojis.

...but by a clear path to a lesser goal. ~Bhagavad Gita

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Proverbs are always platitudes...

If you only listen to one mashup all year, make it DJ Earworm's United State of Pop 2018, Turnin' It Up.

If you're in NYC maybe you can take time to visit The Met for the exhibition Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera.

Mark Bradford, Duck Walk. From the Epic Abstraction exhibition linked to above.
Can you tell a real Pollock from a fake Pollock?

If you're looking for a new, original painting to decorate your home and you're in Cleburne, TX be certain to check out Pam Yarborough Originals. (I know the artist.)

Colleyville is the 3rd wealthiest zip code in North Texas. You know who's #1.

33 tips on how to be an artist. #9 Embed thought in material. #5 Work, work, work. (There is no muse. Stop waiting.)

Matthew Plummer Fernandez, Every Mickey, 2017. Every 3-D model of Mickey Mouse found online, combined and 3-D printed.
Forbes offers us seven news year's resolutions. Only one got my attention: save 10x your final salary if you want to retire at age 67. Start by having saved a nest egg worth your annual salary by the time you're 30.

Can you tell whether a food is a sandwich? Apply the cube rule.

Marketing expert David Meerman Scott agrees that mixing business and personal in your social media posts is a good thing, something I've advocated for years. Interesting that this comes at the same time as a grassroots effort to eliminate everything personal from LinkedIn.

I'll admit to being a pen snob. I've been using a Rotring ballpoint for years because I like the feel. So you can imagine I got interested by a list of the 100 best pens. The Pilot G2 Ultra Fine, which I find a bit light in the hand, came in at #92. The Uni-ball Roller, which I think puts out way too much ink, ranked at #72. The BIC 4-Color scored as #12 and I love to have those around for their versatility in note-taking. Their #1 choice surprised me because I don't like pens that have a purely cylindrical case because they simply roll away.

Pantone's color of the year for 2019 is Living Coral
You've probably heard of physics' "dark matter." Well, things get a bit weirder if we're open to "dark fluid" with negative mass.

Other new music:
Know what an eggcorn is?

I really have to get down to Houston to see the remodeled Menil, especially their new Drawing Institute.

What exactly is glitter?
#NoBeef is a campaign to save the earth by eliminating beef from our diets.

An unopened and unlooted Egyptian tomb was discovered south of Cairo.

Flourishing is a concept from positive psychology based on the PERMA model: Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishments.

How to design a website like it's 1998.

...until you have personally experienced the truth of them. ~Aldous Huxley

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The most wasted of all days...

Have you ever wondered why the tiny tardigrade (aka water bear) is almost indestructable? Science found a clue and it's a protein.

Science also found a 19 mile wide impact crater below the ice in Greenland.

Here's where science gets freaky. Quantum switching means both the chicken and the egg came first.

How do whales show stress? In their ear wax.

Hilarious, as always. True Facts: Carnivorous Dragonflies.

There are good business opportunities and bad business opportunities and IMO this article has both. The bad one is just a bland statement about people wanting "smart" homes. The good one is that LiftMaster, the garage door people, have found that people want to optimize their garage for storage. That's pretty obvious based on the number of garages I've seen that are packed full of junque while the cars are parked in the driveway. So what kind of products might we expect from LiftMaster?

Mark Rothko, No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red), 1951. Absolutely glorious. I see shades of Monet's water lilies.

The percentage of unvaccinated children in the U.S. has quadrupled since 2001. Irresponsible. Dangerous. Unintelligent.

Tom Cruise won't be playing Jack Reacher anymore as the series is moved from the silver screen to streaming. I thought Cruise did an admirable job in the movies but I agree that he's too small to play the 6' 5" Reacher.

Brand New Roman builds a font from company logos.


On my "listen before you buy" list:
Revenue from album sales dropped 25% in the first half of 2018 compared to the first have of 2017.  This article in Rolling Stone says that albums and physical albums (i.e. CDs) in particular on on the decline to death because we're reverting to a track-based, online, music economy.
Hilma af Klint, unknown
Fort Worth's West Magnolia Avenue, one of Pointwise's neighbors in the Near Southside, was named one of 2018's 5 great streets and 15 great places.

For those of you old enough to know who/what Max Headroom was/is, htere's a 4K video loop of Max's background.

In the article Quantifying Mark Rothko there are a lot of graphs like this one showing the number of paintings he made during each year of his career. While this is interesting, the payoff in this article was the image at the top of this page that I don't recall having seen before.
A lot of the Chicago Institute of Art's collection is online.

Ze Frank's latest True Facts video is about Carnivorous Dragonflies and is hilarious like all of them.

From the Student Academy Awards for animation, I suggest you watch Raccoon and The Light which is beautifully and minimally hand-drawn.

What can you do with a non-Newtonian fluid? You fill a speedbump with it that only hardens when people go over it at high speed.

Wassily Kandinsky, Circles in a Circle, 1923. This beautiful Kandinsky (how many Hidden Mickeys are included?) is from an article on generative art. Is art really about the artist's hands or their mind?
What might be the lineage from Impressionism to Modernism in painting?

Forget that. The world's oldest drawing is abstract. 73,000 years old. More here.

What do you say when your program doesn't work? #17 How is that possible?

Python is holding strong at #4 in the competition for programming language of 2018.

Proof that the Hybridizer can be just plain freaky.


Put a planetarium in your web browser with Stellarium.

See a binary asteroid.

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing is coming up in 2019 and Buzz Aldrin has created a website Road to Apollo 11 50th Anniversary we can all follow. Yes, there's merchandise. But I'll point out that I purchased two Buzz-signed pieces at the AIAA Foundation's silent auction for much less than the stuff on that website is currently going for.

Just a cool Dutch F-16 paint job. source
Cool video footage of a pair of F-16s and a pair of F-35s doing a flyby.

Smell a scent.

Conserve a sound.

It's a little bit post-peak for this fall foliage map.

Control panel pr0n.

Artist Chuck Jones says one of these drawings is of the word "goloomb."  Can you guess which one? From an article on drawing sounds
The first animal on earth (558 million years ago) was a blob.

The Talmud is online.

Restoring a Jackson Pollock in front of a live audience.

At the heart of Tom Peters' The Excellence Dividend are the 14 number ones. For example, Commandment #1 - Excellence is the next five minutes. (In other words, it's not an aspiration.)

More business advice, this time from Verne Harnish. #7 Make customers want to pay for sales calls. Not that you should do this but the idea is to deliver so much value about your market that customers want to hear you speak. In other words, out-teach your competition.

From how to write the perfect sentence: "a sentence is a living line of words where logic and lyric meet."

Just a photo from the surface of an asteroid. And a great album cover.
Tom Peters has documented his 18 #1s from all his books and lectures and put them in one handy document. My favorite has always been "Excellence is the next five minutes" (i.e. it's not a general aspiration). Followed closely by "Read, Read, Read."

I'll leave you with something to a) watch and b) fiddle with. Generative Artistry hosts a live code tutorial on generating art in the style of Piet Mondrian.

...is one without laughter. e.e. cummings