Monday, September 29, 2008

Abstract Expressionist tattoos

Get Inked
Get Inked by joeschmoe96 on Zooomr
I am disappointed not to be able to find examples of body art in homage to the giants of Abstract Expressionism. Neither color fields (Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman etc.), nor gestural tats (Jackson Pollock of course, or Willem de Kooning) turn up in my searches. I would think that California hard-edge monochromes (Ad Reinhardt and others) would be nearly ideal for the medium, say a bold patch of solid black across the chest, or maybe a subtle work where the recipient has been tattooed in the exact same color as their natural skin tone. Such a thing would be a pointed commentary on the experience of pain in the service of pure art.

I see a great need.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Note to Becks

David Beckham launched his “Instinct” eau de cologne last year. Now about that branding, David   I have a few little comments I would like to pass on:

  • That name. Do not pick a fragrance name which ends in the syllable “stinct.” Note that this also would rule out “Extinct” and an Apple-sponsored line of cologne called the “iStinct.”
  • The sports angle. Your strength is among football (soccer) fans so why not remind them of that? Try calling it “David Beckham's Header” or “Banana kick” (it would help if it smelled like bananas in the latter case).
  • Scoring. Why not just name it “Goooooal?” Works for me. (See also this old post on my other blog.)
  • The problem of sweat. There is this unfortunate association, not unfounded, between physical exercise and sweat, which works against the marketing. Maybe you should meet this head-on (of course), and go with a name like “Super-anti-sweat.” Though that makes a better name for an anti-perspirant, really
  • Field fresh. Now to the smell of the stuff itself. Not so feeling enamored by this description:
    David Beckham Instinct is classified as an oriental, spicy fragrance and features top notes of orange, mandarin and italian bergamot; middle notes of cardamom, pimento and star anise and base notes of vetiver, white amber and patchouli.
    How about more fresh cut grass, pints of ale, and sunshine, and leave all that spice stuff for the missus?
  • Posh. Speaking of whom, you should trust her judgment, in that she is a woman, and your target market is more likely to be women buying scent for their men who won't buy it for themselves anyway. Unless she came up with that whole “Instinct” thing anyway, as seems likely, in which case you should discount her every word and go with your, uh, instinct.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More action saints

aircraft-passenger-icon
aircraft-passenger-icon by /lekcyc lllumukcyc on Zooomr

The venerable Cracked magazine's website has a post up about six saints who had astounding physical prowess. This fits in nicely with my previous video game proposal, on which I have heard exactly zero reaction from the hierarchy. An opportunity is being missed, one which could feature St. Olaf swinging a great big two-handed broadsword in 3D, and it is a pity. As far as I know, the only video game saints one can play with today are the ones based in New Orleans.

Odd that there's no mention of St. George drilling a dragon. It's just that ugly "legend" label keeping that boy down.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

10 tips for those let go from finance

Close up shot of pen
Close up shot of pen,
originally uploaded by Jeff MacKinnon.
With the number of high finance executives being downsized from Shearson Loeb Rhodes Pierce Fenner and Smith Mae Mac and the like, it is time to think of ways in which the affected workers can make a positive step forward in their lives. Here's the list I came up with:
  1. If you were an experience in Structured Investment Vehicles, get yourself to Detroit and see whether they might be able to use you in a new line of concept cars of the same name.
  2. Employers are probably completely swamped with resumes from your colleagues right now, trying to figure out whether all the acronyms are real or made up. Hire yourself out as a resume reader to help filter the good ones from the bad.
  3. Contribute a foreword to a new published edition of Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.
  4. Take your skills offshore to bring the home of universal homeownership to the common Chinese citizen. Learn Mandarin first.
  5. Don't you know there's a crisis in the health care industry in this country?! Get a set of scrubs on, pull on some surgical gloves, and learn to do something useful, anything!
  6. If you are still occupying space in an office, open up an account at Etsy and sell the crafts you make from leftover office supplies.
  7. Form a monastic order with your coworkers, roam midtown Manhattan begging for alms and doing good works. Call yourselves the Mad Mendicants.
  8. Get yourself to the State of Alaska, where all citizens are granted an annual stipend from the state, making it the ideal socialist paradise. And IT folks: while you're up there in the frigid north, you could make a living running computer datacenters with natural rack cooling provided by the Arctic air, and piping the warm air to heat dwellings. Ample diesel supplies to power the backup generators are available as well.
  9. Entrepreneurship may be a good option. See the picture for one concept.
  10. Appear as a contestant on a new reality show for mortgage insurance specialists forced to live by their wits and set in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. One challenge could involve defrauding the local denizens of their swine and roots. Attire: formal business wear.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Zippers have all the fun


by Olivia Moore on Zooomr
On Boingboing, they are having a discussion about tritiated zipper pulls mostly concentrating on legal issues.

Maybe one could buy up a bunch of these (and rifle scopes, etc.), burn them up, and condense out the heavy heavy water?

Late to the party

Sonic Youth
Sonic Youth,
originally uploaded by Dunechaser.
I am unhappy that my band name Sonic Geezers has already been invented again and again.

Ditto with Old Farts on the Block. Which reduces one to consider constructs such as Middle-Aged-Person Rock, and that is just sad.

Friday, September 19, 2008

My evil side

demon
demon by SUeTYAuLuN on Zooomr

I am doing my part to fill a great need for websites advising evil masterminds on how to be better villains by putting up my new website evilHow. It features a wiki, a blog, and user forums for anyone who wants to discuss such stimulating topics as How to destroy the planet. There are still a few kinks in the presentation, but still worth a look if I do say so myself.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stay out

Stonehenge, UK
Stonehenge, UK by davidpclarke on Zooomr

Archaeologists reveal signs that the builders of Stonehenge fenced the common people out.

I am eager to find out exactly how this worked. To get in to see what was going on, could a person go to a 3000 BC ticket counter (bearing a kid goat, perhaps)? Or was there a stone-axe wielding bouncer at the main entrance with a list? If one of the masses caught a glimpse of the Megalithic structure, could he or she sell the story to the mass media in order to satisfy the popular curiosity? Or would that be suicidal?

In a more practical sense, it raises the question as to whether the ancient palisade structure ought to be recreated. It could be done privately, supported by advertising space, thus leaving the great stones untouched by commerce.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Regular expressions of marriage

marriage?
marriage?,
originally uploaded by Rootytootoot.
Opponents of gay marriage favor the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, forming the basis of a traditional family. Using the language of regular expressions, we can formalize the allowed configurations of families under different assumptions.

Let us represent a family grouping by a character string including various numbers of children, men, and women in that order (alphabetical).


Extended monogamy
^(child)*(man(man|woman)?|woman(woman)?)$

Traditional monogamy
^(child)*(man(woman)?|woman)$

Childfree
^(man(man|woman)?|woman(woman)?)$

Polygyny
^(child)*(man(woman)*)$

Polyandry
^(child)*((man)*woman)$

Polygamy
^(child)*((man)+(woman)*|(man)*(woman)+)$

Anti-spinster
^(child)*(man(woman)?)$

Anti-bachelor
^(child)*((man)?woman)$

Nuclear family
^(man|woman|(child)*manwoman)$


I wrote a little Ruby program to test a number of configurations against these regular expressions to give you an idea of what is allowed and what is not under those models.
Family groupingAllowed?
Anti-spinster (hetero, no single women, single fathers okay)
mantrue
womanfalse
manwomantrue
manmanfalse
womanwomanfalse
manmanwomanfalse
childmantrue
childwomanfalse
childmanwomantrue
childwomanwomanfalse
childchildmanmanfalse
childmanmanmanfalse
manmanwomanfalse
childfalse
Childfree (extended monogamy without children)
mantrue
womantrue
manwomantrue
manmantrue
womanwomantrue
manmanwomanfalse
childmanfalse
childwomanfalse
childmanwomanfalse
childwomanwomanfalse
childchildmanmanfalse
childmanmanmanfalse
manmanwomanfalse
childfalse
Open family (any configuration allowed)
mantrue
womantrue
manwomantrue
manmantrue
womanwomantrue
manmanwomantrue
childmantrue
childwomantrue
childmanwomantrue
childwomanwomantrue
childchildmanmantrue
childmanmanmantrue
manmanwomantrue
childtrue
Nuclear family (hetero, no single parents)
mantrue
womantrue
manwomantrue
manmanfalse
womanwomanfalse
manmanwomanfalse
childmanfalse
childwomanfalse
childmanwomantrue
childwomanwomanfalse
childchildmanmanfalse
childmanmanmanfalse
manmanwomanfalse
childfalse
Anti-bachelor (hetero, no single men, single mothers okay)
manfalse
womantrue
manwomantrue
manmanfalse
womanwomanfalse
manmanwomanfalse
childmanfalse
childwomantrue
childmanwomantrue
childwomanwomanfalse
childchildmanmanfalse
childmanmanmanfalse
manmanwomanfalse
childfalse
Polygyny (1 man + n women)
mantrue
womanfalse
manwomantrue
manmanfalse
womanwomanfalse
manmanwomanfalse
childmantrue
childwomanfalse
childmanwomantrue
childwomanwomanfalse
childchildmanmanfalse
childmanmanmanfalse
manmanwomanfalse
childfalse
Traditional monogamy (1+1 of opposite sexes, single parents okay)
mantrue
womantrue
manwomantrue
manmanfalse
womanwomanfalse
manmanwomanfalse
childmantrue
childwomantrue
childmanwomantrue
childwomanwomanfalse
childchildmanmanfalse
childmanmanmanfalse
manmanwomanfalse
childfalse
Polyandry (n men + 1 woman)
manfalse
womantrue
manwomantrue
manmanfalse
womanwomanfalse
manmanwomantrue
childmanfalse
childwomantrue
childmanwomantrue
childwomanwomanfalse
childchildmanmanfalse
childmanmanmanfalse
manmanwomantrue
childfalse
Extended monogamy (1+1 of either sex, single parents okay)
mantrue
womantrue
manwomantrue
manmantrue
womanwomantrue
manmanwomanfalse
childmantrue
childwomantrue
childmanwomantrue
childwomanwomantrue
childchildmanmantrue
childmanmanmanfalse
manmanwomanfalse
childfalse
Polygamy (n men + n women)
mantrue
womantrue
manwomantrue
manmantrue
womanwomantrue
manmanwomantrue
childmantrue
childwomantrue
childmanwomantrue
childwomanwomantrue
childchildmanmantrue
childmanmanmantrue
manmanwomantrue
childfalse


A few minutes' inspection of the results reveals how the regular expression in this model encodes the assumptions as to who is allowed to mate and who is allowed to raise children in a powerful and concise manner. Specifically, each of the regexs is short enough to fit on the front of a T-shirt, with room to spare, so that no geekish onlooker would need to wonder what your family philosophy consisted of.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Top 20 names for a stoat

This post has been scientifically designed with an optimal title which will appeal to blog readers everywhere.
Hi :-) — Ferret · Frettchen
Hi :-) — Ferret · Frettchen by thorix on Zooomr

  1. Chrome Hrothgar
  2. BeeBeeBeeSharp
  3. Michael Phelps the Ferret
  4. Arwen Undersofa
  5. Overclockster
  6. Dawg
  7. Kilometry Cyrus
  8. Sssssss
  9. Unhandled Exception
  10. Mahdi Fruvous
  11. Antiquark Aggregate
  12. Kansas City, KS
  13. Madame Bovril
  14. Lowermost Saxony
  15. Finasteride
  16. #AA328C
  17. The Ruler of Sol 3
  18. Strawberry Finn
  19. Edward Teach
  20. Password:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Keepin' it holy

I was looking through my logs today and saw that my post on holy drinking water and other products was linked to on the news page of the site itself (under Blogs). The company in question is Wayne Enterprises of San Joaquin county in California, which is not to be confused with this one or this one which are both notably drinking-water-free concerns.

St Christopher
St Christopher,
originally uploaded by Talleyrand.
This news arrives just as I was wondering why car companies don't marketed a model specifically toward Catholics concerned with freedom from peril on the road. The Cadillac St. Christopher I have in mind would have not only the usual dashboard figurine, but this hood ornament and a trunk medallion, just to be extra-sure. I am sure that the legal department would want to include a disclaimer about the presumed safety of driving your St. Christopher through raging streams. The owner would be advised to consult his or her local cleric to have the vehicle blessed according to a regular maintenance schedule — at least every July 25th.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

More crane fun

Crane
Crane by AJPS2 on Zooomr
Here is a list of some other things that a household bridge crane could bring within reach of the ordinary kook like me.

  • A visual artist could use it to paint canvases many meters across in the paint-drip style of Jackson Pollock, ones too wide to reach across normally without having to step onto them. You could either come up with some arrangement with paint pots and servo motors mounted on the hoist, or else a harness to lift the artist up to apply the paint by hand.
  • Along the same lines, the kids could put on a production of Peter Pan. Test those wires before flying too high, though.
  • It seems to that the main room cleaning chore remaining once you have a robotic vacuum cleaner is the need to shift the furniture both to spare the carpeting from getting those pits where the legs dig in and to give the robot a chance to hit those areas underneath. A judicious application of hoisting points on your sofa, coffee table, TV, etc., would allow you to whisk them away (perhaps just as the Roomba is heading in their direction) and to redo the room layout every single time a cleaning pass is done.
  • You could have one of the world's largest games of pick up sticks using a pile of aluminum trusses.
  • At the end of a dinner party, tie all the corners of the tablecloth to the hook and lift the mess out of the way in one dramatic gesture. Or if your gearing is up to it, tie only the corners at one end of the cloth and execute the classic tablecloth trick.


Really, it's surprising that more people aren't already clamoring for the personal bridge crane already.