Tuesday, June 29, 2010

f.lux yourself

 f.lux:   Against that eerie blue glow.

f.lux makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Go


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Born Alive, Living Dead

Take your colors back.

So here's the deal.

Right at the beginning, you know? Like right there, when you're all fresh and wet, and you have just been pulled out into the bright, cold, hard noisy world and you don't know anything? That's it. Right there.

You are most alive.

A beginner. A rank, sloppy, completely undisciplined amateur. You can't even control your own backside. Just that capability alone is at least a couple of years into the future.

Yet despite all that, despite the crying and being wet and hairless and freshly pulled out of your mother, and being unable to do anything at all that could be described as productive work, that's it.

You are directly on target. You are most creative, most artistic, most wise, most human.

You were.

Not now, not any more, but you were, once.

Here's how it goes.

At first everything is possible. Partly because that's all you've got, and partly because it is, really. At first the only part of you that counts is the possibilities part. For a long time all you can do is eat and cry, nap, and poop. So it can only get better from there on out, productivity-wise.

Cuz it can't get worse.

Before too very long some things happen.

You learn to feed yourself. Dress yourself. Control bodily functions. Speak. Read. Do fractions. Remain silent until spoken to. Look down on others. Forget to dream. Become a cog. Do the daily grind. Bore everyone.

Be absolutely predictable.

Be a data point.

And then one day something happens.

But you don't notice.

Because you are now a productive member of society and you have no dreams. Not even in monochrome. And no soul.

And then one day something doesn't happen.

What doesn't happen is that you fail to be yourself.

Let's rephrase that. You fail to be "yourself".

You become unproductive. You gaze out the window. You sit, and do nothing obvious. You think about becoming a fireman, a ballerina, a pirate, a supermodel.

Or all of them at once.

You have a dream. You don't understand what's happening. Then you have another dream. And still you don't understand.

You start to do something though. You find the loopy drawings you did with crayons when you were six. You look at them. You don't think much, you just look.

Then you grab a crayon and play with it. You draw. You don't care what it is, you just like the drawing of it all, whatever it is. You touch life once again.

You think about writing a book, about becoming a professional birdhouse architect, about feeding the world. Or something else.

You begin to go crazy and continue being unproductive.

You wonder what would happen if you stopped worrying. About your pension, your mortgage, your standing in the community, your chance of making it, of being respectable, of being hard to fool, of making a decent living, of fitting in. You wonder what would happen if you did nothing but scribble with crayons for an entire year, and then burned it all. What would happen if you hitchhiked around the world blindfolded.

You wonder what would happen if you became yourself.

If you try to be someone because of what you expect is wanted from you, or if you try to live your life or run your business based on guessing about what is average or what is accepted or what is ordinary, and if you judge yourself by how well you roll along that old straight-and-narrow groove, and you fear change and delight and random serendipity and those all-night, full-color dreams about being a pirate ballerina, you've lost your chops.

You don't remember it (no one does) but back at the beginning when you were wet and small and helpless you were a lot braver. Better organized. More decisive.

When you were hungry you ate. If the food wasn't there, you called for it. Lights too bright, too dim, your back end too messy? You acted. If you saw a dark fuzzy blur you grabbed it. Kitty had to cope with your urge to know all, be all, create all. And so did everyone else.

It made you what you are.

You handled it then, as a naked and helpless infant, as an absolute beginner, when all things were possible and you couldn't even begin to conceive of a limit, let alone of self-consciousness, let alone self-censorship. Let alone failure.

Try it again. Pull the cat's tail. Chase a housefly. Scream joyously. Start a business. Just for fun. Failure is an option.

But only one of many.

What else should you do with your time?

What else, really?

From buznutt

Friday, June 25, 2010

Make My Kitty Titanium

 MailOnline:   Oscar the bionic cat

Fighting for his life after an horrific accident, now Oscar is a bionic cat after surgery to give him prosthetic back paws. Go

Posted via email from Dave's posterous

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Today's Twitchy News

 News:  'Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meets California governor Schwarzenegger Tuesday', shares notes on how to be a good robot.

 News:  'Iran claims higher enriched uranium production', applies for gold star on its report card.

 News:  'Thousands of striking French workers hold nationwide protests', complain about government callousness and stale pastries.

 News:  'Hundreds Wait in Line as IPhone 4 Goes on Sale.' Meanwhile IPhone goes on sale. Whoopee.

 News:  'YouTube, RumbleFish Partner for *Friendly Music*.' We fart with excitement.

 News:  'Wal-Mart, Best Buy, RadioShack: No iPhone 4 for walk-ins.' My cat upchucks another furball.

 News:  'Chevrolet and Microsoft team up for Volt *test drives* on the Xbox 360.' Batteries not included, license not transferrable, etc.

 News:  'Borders Bundles Kobo Electronic Reader With Gift Card.' One third of young Americans still fail to graduate from high school.

Posted via email from Dave's posterous

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Way I Do It

A biologist, a statistician, and a mathematician are sitting at a cafe. Across the street, a man and a woman enter a building; ten minutes later, they emerge with a child.

"They've reproduced," says the biologist.

"No," says the statistician. "It's an observational error. On average, 2.5 people went each way."

"You're both wrong," says the mathematician. "The conclusion is obvious. If someone goes in now, the building will be empty."


Posted via email from Dave's posterous

Friday, June 11, 2010

Messages From The Ancients

While walking home from downtown today, and carrying a new
pocket camera, I came across some cryptic messages under a bridge.

These symbols were obviously left for us by the Ancients,
hoping that we would find them in our time of need.

And I found them just in time.

Please apply them immediately, with vigor.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Ugly Guy Goes Panoramic

This week (Tuesday) I got a Sony HX5V (catchy name). It's only a pocket camera but it has some neat features:

  1. It doesn't break when I point it at myself, even if I press the shutter release.

  2. Built in HD video. Haven't tried this yet.

  3. ISO up to 3200. (!)

  4. 25mm - 250mm lens (35mm-equivalent).

  5. Image stabilization.

  6. Built in sweep panorama. Happens in about two seconds. (Zowie!)

Today I went for a walk in the rain with it.

Couldn't help trying it out on my face, such as it is. Camera still works.

Not bad at all.

Watch Charles, The Dickensian

 Futility Closet:   Lost and Found

Charles Dickens, during one of his visits to Paris, had his watch stolen from him at the theatre. Go


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Creepy Peeky

 Gadget Lab:   Cute Panasonic Spy-Cam is All-Seeing, All-Hearing Nightmare

It will sit and wait. Should it hear a sound, see movement or detect body-heat it will go into action and start filming, day or night. Go

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Bite Me

 Saltidin:   The Scottish Midge Forecast

Midges are tiny insects with a wingspan of just 1-2mm. They suck blood from the skin, causing itching and swelling that can last several days. Go

Posted via email from Dave's posterous

Saturday, June 05, 2010

365 Days Of Birdies

 Ornithoblogical:   Day 158: scout

A daily image blog by illustrator Anna Raff. Go

Posted via email from Dave's posterous

Friday, June 04, 2010

Missed My Birthday Parasite Again

 Parasite of the Day:   May 31 - Rickettsia prowazekii

The bacteria are transmitted from person to person by the human body louse. Go

Though my actual birthday was the day before and had a much cooler parasite, the highly spooky Ascaris suum.

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Two Million Homes for Mexico

 Livia Corona:   Two Million Homes for Mexico

In remote, agrarian lands, from 2000, almost three million nearly identical homes have been built in groups of 100 to 80,000. Go

Posted via email from Dave's posterous

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


 Maclean's:   We're too broke to be this stupid.

[Never underestimate the stupid is what I say. You want fries with that?] Go

Posted via email from Dave's posterous