Author Archive

“The skyline was beautiful on fire”

“Standing by the front door, she turnd for one last look, aware that she would never be coming back. The thought made the apartment appear unbelievably shabby, like a prison that only locked from the inside, bereft of any picture of vase. The only thing left was the bargain-sale rubber plant on the balcony, which she had bought instead of goldfish. She could hardly believe she had spent years of her life in this place without question or discontent.

‘Good-bye,’ she murmured, bidding farewell not so much to the apartment as to the self that had lived here.” – Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

The British Electrical Plug as Design Marvel

Well damned if this isn’t a masterclass on design for nerds. Seriously, anyone who cares about making stuff can learn a lot from this video. After all, most of the features he talks about here come down to two of the cardinal rules of functional design: 1.) Make it hard to do the wrong thing. 2.) When you fail, fail safe.

Living in the Future: Explaining Amazon Fresh to a Cat Edition (with Apologies to Randall Munroe)

I’m spending the evening using a metal rectangle full of little lights to prepare a presentation for my colleagues. The presentation is about a horrible failure in the way our light-boxes share patterns with one another. It allowed them to know each others secrets! Patterns of lights were seen where they weren’t meant to appear! While I change the lights in my presentation, I realized that I was low on a few essentials, including black pepper and diet pepsi (two of the foundation stones of my food pyramid). Fortunately, we have a whole army of light-boxes whose whole job is to use light patterns to signal a fleet of pickers, packers, shippers, and drivers, to deliver essentials right to my apartment at short notice. And so, with a few deft flicks of the lights, I signaled what I needed and scheduled a convenient time for them to deliver it, less than 24 hours in the future.

Our light-boxes may not make us as happy as a cat, but they sure can solve a lot of problems for us. (When their patterns aren’t all wrong and causing us tons of grief, that is.)

A Little Something for your Monday Night

I only recently discovered Cashmere Cat, a genre-bending DJ from Norway, and I’m completely hooked. His first two EPs are both fantastic. This track, off of his more recent record, Wedding Bells, is probably my favorite tune of his so far. It’s called “Pearls”, and I’ve had it on heavy repeat all night. I strongly suggest you give it a listen.

Stolen Desktop Recovery, the Hacker Way

Lots of good lessons here about physical security, data security, and the dangers of stealing computers.

“If They Find It, They’ll Play With It”

A great, on-point (and slightly NSFW) take on an important point of gun safety:

The Universe Has Amazing Bass

This is the sound of a black hole in the Perseus Cluster pitch shifted up several dozen octaves. The real frequency is approximate 1/306,102,000,000,000 hz, or a tone 52 octaves below middle C. To put this in perspective, while Concert A (the pitch to which orchestras commonly tune) has an oscillation period of 2.3 milliseconds, this tone oscillates once every 9.6 million years.

For those of you keeping score at home, it’s a B♭

“Oh what you do to me, no one knows.”

Because it’s been far too long since you listened to this Queens of the Stone Age masterwork. Engaging lyrics, flawless drumming, and an inspired hook. That, my friends, is how you write a rock song.

“Awaiting the trumpets to raise your ivory gown”

Is it possible to miss a band that broke up before you knew of them? If so, then I miss Tarkio with a fierceness. Their whole discography, start to finish, is straight up brilliance.

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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.