Archive for June, 2013

“I’ve done things in your room you’d be ashamed to accuse me of”

The Mountain Goats, “Houseguest” (Nothing Painted Blue cover)

Guns + Science = Awesomesauce

I’m a big fan of the Smarter Every Day channel on YouTube. Destin does remarkably good garage science, and the results of his experiments are often surprising. In this case, his hypothesis seemed trivially true to me, right up until it was proved false. Definitely worth watching both for the awesome slow motion video and the interesting scientific outcome.

“Charlie, I think I’m happy”

Neko Case, “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis” (Tom Waits cover)

Beautiful. Heart breaking.

Danny MacAskill, “Imaginate”

Ladies and Gentlemen, Danny fookin’ MacAskill.


Debugging occasional or hard-to-hit code paths can be a bitch. This is especially true when working in Android across ADB. I recently discovered some magic to ease the pain significantly: Debug#waitForDebugger()

This handy little static method suspends the current thread of execution, pending connection of a debugger via DDMS. This allows you to easily attach a debugger in hard to debug code or only in those cases when a bug condition is hit. Crazy helpful.

Also very helpful is the Debug#startMethodTracing() family of methods, which lets you programmatically start method tracing, rather than having to do it yourself through DDMS.

“I’ll get back in line behind the other guys”

Har Mar Superstar brings the doo-woppy, horn-laden retro goodness with “Lady, You Shot Me”.

“Authenticity” as Conservatism

I was talking to my friend Bryan today about “authenticity” as expressed by hipsterism and punk rock culture. And it occurred to me that, in a way, such authenticity is deeply conservative. Per Jonathan Haidt’s work on moral foundations, conservatives are greatly concerned by both tradition and purity. This seems to me to be well expressed by hipsterism’s obsession with lost arts and crafts and punk rocks desperate revulsion for “selling out” and adulterating music with fame and fortune.

Every hipster who takes up blacksmithing or craft gin distilling is trying to preserve a tradition that they feel is at risk of being lost. That desire for preservation (if honest, which is a seperate question) is not so different from the protective adoration felt by Catholics or other old faiths for their traditions and rituals. One of the few conservative parts of my character is the love I have for the Catholic rituals of my youth.

Similarly, the punk rock ethos (as well-articulated by John Roderick in an infamous essay) is premised on the flawed idea that “selling out” irredeemably sullies one’s artistic life work. Of course, here, “selling out” means taking any positive step towards popular or commercial success. Punk rock culture is inherently nihilistic (in the life-denying sense of the term) in that it axiomatically assumes that anyone who makes it has polluted themselves and all their work. Cf. the tortuously negative morality of Born Again Christianity and this obsession for musical purity seems to me to be the epitome of ideological conservatism.

These are just some random thoughts, and I greatly welcome feedback. I’m interested how this conservative view of authenticity might contrast with the general garden-variety progressivism common to both hipsters and punks (though, admittedly, punk culture seems more politically anarchic and admitting of variation than does hipsterism). Any comments or points to further reading would be most welcome.

“Not everything that goes around comes back around, you know”

The punishment for those that don’t listen to Queens of the Stone Age is to be exactly who they are. I think Epictetus said that. Also they miss beautiful, swooping, prog-rock gems like this.

“with a compass point driving ink into my arm”

I’ve been on a bit of Lucy Spraggan jag lately. I love this tune. I love the thumping, primal feel of it, and the solid folk sensibility. It feels raw and earnest and desperate.

Canadian Mugging

Fun fact: I had no idea my manager (who is made of weapons-grade awesomeness) was a Canadian until I heard him apologize for something.

“I’m sew-ry, but …”

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Magic Blue Smoke

House Rules:

1.) Carry out your own dead.
2.) No opium smoking in the elevators.
3.) In Competitions, during gunfire or while bombs are falling, players may take cover without penalty for ceasing play.
4.) A player whose stroke is affected by the simultaneous explosion of a bomb may play another ball from the same place.
4a.) Penalty one stroke.
5.) Pilsner should be in Roman type, and begin with a capital.
6.) Keep Calm and Kill It with Fire.
7.) Spammers will be fed to the Crabipede.