I would like to think that I would laugh

A visitor to Japan put her camera into video record mode and sent it around the sushi conveyor belt. It’s fun to watch.

The thing that always strikes me about videos like this is how few people seem to find amusement at this person’s creative engagement with her world. To me, this seems delightful, but so many people either never notice, or don’t fine amusement, it makes me a little sad.

This is what being a kid should be about.

“The Tinkering School”:http://www.tinkeringschool.com/blog/ sounds like the appropriate antidote for over-protective parents. *Every* kid should get to have experiences like this. And yes, it might be risking life and limb, but, you know, life’s tough, wear a helmet.

What do you mean firsthand accounts are better than conventional wisdom

In response to someone making a comment about “the Osborne Effect”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osborne_Effect (how scary is it that you can guess URLs for Wikipedia entries with a reasonable assurance that they’ll be there?) on a photo forum, one of the people who was at Osborne at the time makes “a post to set the story straight”:http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=22319970

Basically: corporate infighting brought things to a halt in a company that _always_ had problems with cash-flow, since they were undercapitalized and in manufacturing.


Mapping lyrics of songs

What if “your song lyrics were a state machine?”:http://www.whatspop.com/blog/2006/11/glancing-alternative-song-structures.cfm

This could not be real

I don’t think most of these colors actually appear in nature. “Check it out”:http://www.sauria.com/blog/2006/02/07#1473

I should have noted this yesterday (obviously)

So, at least “according to Wikipedia”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_day. *no one knows why it’s named Boxing Day*. It’s silly, but in a wonderful sort of way–it’s apparently centuries old, but no one knows why the hell it’s called Boxing Day.

So, O’Reilly’s got a magazine coming out

“Make”:http://makezine.com/ describes itself as:

bq. The first magazine devoted to digital projects, hardware hacks, and D.I.Y. inspiration.

Sucker that I occasionally am, I suspect I shall subscribe–apparently the first issue will be subscription-only, with the second appearing on newsstands.

Watch the computer thinking


A shot from “a computer chess applet that shows a graphical representation of it’s analysis”:http://www.mackmo.com/nick/blog/java/?permalink=ThinkingMachine4.txt.

“Via Nick Lothian”:http://www.mackmo.com/nick/blog/

This is just fascinating to read

TNH (perhaps Teresa Nielsen Hayden to you) “has a link to a riveting narrative about using a hot-type Linotype printing press”:http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/005370.html#005370. Well, actually, it’s about progression in the printing industry, and talks about a bunch of other systems, too, but the hot-type press is the most fascinating.

I could not tell you why, but I find things like this fascinating, just about regardless of the actual subject. I guess it’s because it’s about The Way Things Work, which I always find intriguing.

After reading the description, I find it ironic to remember that (even?) after the Linotype company had moved to offset printing and such, you’d see reference to “Linotype/HELL”. Seems like it would have been a lot more pertinent when the machines involved molten lead.

Oh, the bizarre patterns of nature

You know, there’s not a lot of arguments for believing in some sort of overarching creator figure that I give much credence to. But I have to say, the strange and wonderful things that nature produces, well, they almost convince me, because how could cicadas be anything but “a particularly elaborate joke”:http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=2647052?

If you don’t know about Wait! Wait! Don’t tell me!…

Well, first, derive anything you can from my pity. Then “go listen to some episodes”:http://www.npr.org/programs/waitwait/index.html.

Watching them do the show at the “Carolina Theater”:http://www.carolinatheatre.com/ in Durham was fun. Besides the usual amusement that is the show’s stock in trade, it was something of an eye opener–although I guess I had unconsciously know that there had to be a lot of editing and other stuff going on behind the curtains, I never imagined how much.

Oh, and Charlie Pierce is probably right–“Elihu Root”:http://www.nobel.se/peace/laureates/1912/root-bio.html has to be the funniest name in the history of American politics.

Gee, want an Isabel poster?

“Here’s a NASA shot of Isabel”:http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/2003260-0917/Isabel2.A2003260.1824.250m.jpg.

*Warning*: This is huge. I mean, 10MB. 7000 by 9600 resolution. Muy gigante. Act responsibly.