Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz

David Lagercrantz picks up with Lisbeth Salander in The Girl in the Spider's Web, the first novel to follow the late Stieg Larsson's successful trilogy. In this fourth installment, anti-social punk computer hacker Salander is drawn in to journalist Mikael Blomkvist's investigation of the murder of a leading expert in artificial intelligence which is also being looked into by the NSA. What could possibly go wrong?

I've written before that Larsson created a great character in Salander, someone who you both understand and are baffled by, someone you like and get annoyed by. The original trilogy provided the most wrenching plot twist I've come across in my reading in at least a decade.

Lagercrantz continues developing these characters while hardly missing a beat. One aspect of the originals not recreated here is the cringe-worthy description of violent acts. And one aspect added is a character development that I thought was a bit too convenient in the way it forecasts the fifth and later novels.

But right now I plan on reading Lagercrantz' next treatment of the girl with the dragon tattoo.

Lagercrantz' website is

The website for the movie version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is here.

"Nothing can be said about writing except when it is bad. When it is good, one can only read and be grateful."

I have to believe in luck in order to tolerate...

Brian Eno announced his next album, The Ship, to be released 29 April. It's available for pre-order but I'm just waiting for a teaser track or two.

Biology proves the business adage that being first to the market doesn't mean you'll end up the leader. Case in point: the first animal on earth was probably the sea sponge. Cuz rocks. And yet today it's still just a sea sponge. Which you could also say about Donald Trump.

Painter Mark Bradford shares his thoughts on Clyfford Still's work. I love Still's work and I've always been intrigued by Bradford's so it's nice to hear the latter's words on the former.
Mark Bradford, Red Painting, 2009. source. This may be one of my favorite painting of his.
Mark your calendars: on April 12th artist Frank Stella will be speaking at The Modern in conjunction with his retrospective that goes on display April 17th.

A conversation with Jackson Pollock: "I'm very representational some of the time and a little all of the time."

Speaking of The Modern, Highlights from the Permanent Collection remains on display through 20 March. Highly recommended that you watch this video promo and then go visit.

Science gives us the best photo of the Milky Way EVAR.
This list of the 19 (of the) best BBQ restaurants in Texas (I've been to 4 and am waiting for the 5th to open their new store) omits Cousin's, my personal favorite here in Fort Worth.

What's better than Twinkies? How about green slime filled Twinkies in honor of the upcoming Ghostbusters movie?

Persian mosques can be quite exquisite. source
˙ɹoʇɐɹǝuǝƃ sɹǝʇʇǝן uʍop ǝpısdn ǝɥʇ ʎq noʎ oʇ ʇɥƃnoɹq ǝɔuǝʇuǝs sıɥʇ

John Cleese on creativity. Must watch.

The U.S. Air Force's LRS-B (Long Range Strike Bomber) has a designation: The B-21
While on the topic of bombers, this is not your typical B-2 flyover.

...the success of people I don't like. ~Jean Cocteau (paraphrased)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Words ought to be a little wild because...

J.Peter Schwalm's new album,  The Beauty of Disaster can be pre-ordered from Rare Noise Records. Previews available. I highly recommend.

Called the most popular physics book ever written, the complete Feynman Lectures are now online in glorious HTML 5: Volumes 1, 2, and 3.

Use EagleCam to watch an eagle's nest at the mother tends to her eggs.

Visualizing Painter's Lives is wonderful.
The Van Gogh Museum has posted online high-resolution images of the master's works so you can zoom in to your heart's content.

Industrial designer Dieter Rams authored 10 principles of good design. The first, good design is innovative, strikes me as odd. Both because it's first and because I'm not certain I agree.

And then there are Disney's 12 principles of animation as applied to UI design.

This list of trends for 2016 strikes me as kinda silly, expect #6 Cybersecurity.

And an even weaker list of strategies for the year of the monkey.

Forbes' trends for 2016 also includes cybersecurity but predicts everything will be uberized, "businesses will follow consumers into the sharing economy."

Track app usage in real-time.

Philosophy Explained
A bunch of photos and Cyrillic text that I believe is from a Russian rocket museum and some of the displayed articles are nukes.

The worst kept nuclear secret, the U.S. stored nukes on Okinawa.

Engineering a better bra. Bonus: follow the link to the video about what it's like to have breasts.

Where to have a beer in Cleveland.

Where to be safe? Colleyville, Texas.

I think ASCIIFlow Infinity lets you draw flowcharts. (What's next? An online tool for making punch cards?)

...they are an assault on the thoughts of the unthinking. ~John Maynard Keynes

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Educating the mind without educating the heart is...

The National Video Game Museum opens 02 April in Frisco, Texas. On a related note, the Internet Archive now hosts the online Malware Museum.

I can't get this song out of my head so here it is for you. An acapella medley of Disney tunes featuring Pentatonix' Kirstin Maldonado (who's from Arlington, Texas).

Fort Worth's Benito's makes this list of the best Tex-Mex restaurants in Texas.

The states ranked by artsy-ness. Uh oh, Texas.
Terminal State remixed KOMARA's Dirty Smelly.

How would you like to 3D print your favorite music? Check out solid vibration.

The compact disc, CD. That's still how I buy my music. And when I'm forced to buy an album via download only, I immediately burn it to CD. Even Rolling Stone wonders why we're in a hurry to get rid of the CD.

And therefore Disney's box set of Silly Symphony soundtracks, while interesting to me, won't get bought because it's only available on vinyl or download. Really?

Why music? Peter Gabriel says it stocks our emotional toolbox with which "neglected parts of our personalities can be rediscovered and reconciled."

I know a total of ONE person who'll likely be interested in this database of Fairlight sounds.

Silence? There's no such thing. John Cage and what it means to listen.

Mom told you to never look at the sun. But I dare you to turn away from this gorgeous high-resolution time-lapse video of the sun.
80% of survey respondents would take extra perks over a raise. If this list is indicative of the kind of perks that make a difference, I'm saddened because most are lame, some are stunts, and others are the kind of things only a Google can afford.

Take a test and find out whether you're left or right-brained.

Did I link to this already? Have your beer brewed by a robot with BrewBot.

I almost peed my pants watching Triumph the Insult Comic Dog interview college students about political correctness. "frat boys = rapist americans." The funniest part is the level of discomfort displayed by the students who are either great actors or had no idea what they were in for.

And here's John Cleese telling us how we can't have both comedy and political correctness.  "If people can't control their own emotions, then they have to start trying to control other people's behavior."

With film award season upon us, I've been seeing a lot about the nominees in animation. The Annie Awards for 2015 awarded Ed, a film about figure models, with Best Student Film of 2015. The rest of the Annie winners (including Pixar, Pixar, Pixar) can be found here.

Robert Motherwell, Face of the Night (for Octavio Paz). Currently at The Modern in Fort Worth. education at all. ~Aristotle

Saturday, February 6, 2016

If I cannot do great things...


Norman Lewis, Crossing, 1948. source

The 10 worst kinds of software developers. Do you recognize anyone? #6 The Protester (i.e. "Not my problem.") Bonus: how to decipher a job ad for a programmer. For example, "self starter" means "we have no process."

I'm a fan of Red Bull Air Racing so this video, 8 Disciplines of Flight Converge over Moab, is very cool.

Two of my faves come together in H.R. Giger's Mario.

Learn how this photo of the "elephant's foot" beneath Chernobyl was taken, forgotten, and found.
HBO is broadcasting the 7.5 hour Godfather Epic, a super-cut of Godfather I, Godfather II, and previously unreleased scenes. Now's your chance to see these great films in a totally unique way.

First, this guy has pledged to draw one butt per day at Second, I didn't know .lol was available as a top level domain.

Know yer Star Wars vehicles.

Know yer beards. Dirty or germ fighting?

Know yer Excel. More specifically, learn these Excel tricks. #7 Forecasting (I had no idea Excel could do this.)

The Washington Post lists six technologies that will define 2016. #4 is virtual reality and holodecks. Uh, no. Can you say "3D TV?"

The Egg McMuffin is pretty darn good. But what if you could make a better one at home?
Paramount released a trailer for a J.J. Abrams film called 10 Cloverfield Lane. Is this or is this not related to Abrams' Cloverfield (which I enjoyed)?

Did you know American Airlines has an online tool for tracking your checked baggage?

The animated Bugs Bunny film What's Opera Doc? is consistently ranked as one of the greatest of all time (and rightfully so). Enjoy this documentary about its making, Wagnerian Rabbit.

Of the Oscar-nominations for best animated short film, World of Tomorrow looks fantastic.


...I can do small things in a great way. ~Martin Luther King