alexr_rwx: (Default)
Some wikipedias for you.

Steve ShirleyW
Dame Stephanie "Steve" Shirley, DBE, FRA, FREng, FRSA (born September 16, 1933, Dortmund), is a British businesswoman and philanthropist. She originally arrived in Britain as an unaccompanied child refugee.

Shirley founded the IT company, F.I. Group (now Xansa) in 1962. She adopted the name "Steve" to help her in the male-dominated IT industry. She officially retired at the age of 60 in 1993 and has taken up philanthropy since then.
Livery CompanyW
If you hear about "Worshipful Company of ...", then that's one of these. They're organizations recognized by the city of London, associated with some particular line of work, many of which aren't practiced anymore. The first one was apparently founded in 1394, and it's still around. Bizarre.

Worshipful Company of Information TechnologistsW
... and they keep making new ones. This was founded in 1992.
alexr_rwx: (clango: drink more coffee!)
So I've been sitting on some changes that need to get committed to the great repository of your friends list. Or something.

- Hugh Gallagher is a real person (the one who wrote the famous "I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes" college entrance essay), but as his alter-ego Von Von Von, he produces some honestly catchy smooth synthpop with some quality wordplay. "I don't make mistakes. I'm too busy making love." "Well, Chuck, I can't say I know the ghetto. But I know the ghettoir..." (his album's free on his site!)

- Channel 101. Channel 101! Remember them? (it's okay if you don't). They work like this. There are all kinds of awesome mini-TV-shows here, including classics like Yacht Rock and Sockbaby (which spun off to its own site), and ones you might not have heard of, like Groove Fighters. Also: Channel 101: NY has its own site? This was where Jesus Christ Supercop happened.

- So I'm having occasion to crash-course myself in learning some Japanese... Mark has pointed out the excellent Denshi Jisho online dictionary, which will help you find some words. It even blows up the kanji really big when you mouse over them -- because to me, they look like indistinguishable blocks of squiggles.

- Kanji Converter: cut and paste some Japanese text, and this can spit out the Romaji version -- which you can read, because it's in the Roman character set. But where are you going to get Japanese text that says what you want it to say? The Goog is on it. Either hit up the Language Tools page -- or (新しい!) send a Jabber message to "" and it'll write you back with automatic translations. (I've spoken with these guys. They're terrifying and I want to grow up to be them.)
alexr_rwx: (lizard brain)
Jeffrey Rowland nails it. You just can't write code without the superfluous cyberpunk goggles.

(Overcompensating is comedy gold, by the way.)
alexr_rwx: (communist underneath)
- Not one but 'six giraffe species': The female Maasai giraffe may be looking at the male reticulated giraffe and thinking, 'I don't look like you; I don't want to mate with you'," Mr Brown explained." (Ooh, burn sauce!) ... what could it be that separates out the different sorts of giraffes? Apparently their ranges overlap, and giraffes can cover a lot of distance, as you might imagine. Upshot: there are these giant, extra-visible, well-known mammals out there, and we're suddenly realizing that their breeding habits are kind of mysterious.

- What a difference a friend makes: [via mindhacks] The Department of Health and Human Services has this new site about mental illnesses, friends, and how you can help your friends be happier and healthier (and just how having friends and being friendly is, y'know, mentally healthy). Aw :) Thanks, DOHHS. Thohhs.

- Speaking of thanks! Look Around You. It's become clear that some of you haven't been exposed to this yet -- this must be rectified! I recommend "Maths" and "Iron", particularly.
20 GOTO 10
- Jesus Christ Supercop. ... pretty much what you would expect, but very well executed. Absurd salty language. "I don't like the way you work." "I don't work the way you like!!"

- Semirelated: You may have seen this one on BoingBoing. "This is turning out to be a very historically inaccurate nativity scene, guys." "I think we threw historical accuracy out the window when you brought that iron broadsword to a bronze-age campaign setting!" Fear of Girls meets Christmas, with verra nice animation.
alexr_rwx: (Default)
So I was at this talk -- but most of you weren't.

See! Peter Norvig with his awesome green Cat in the Hat shirt making jokes about SQL injections!

See! Don Knuth ask about algorithmic complexity -- also, Guido van Rossum ask about the antigravity module!

See! Randall talk about Rubik's Cubes and cube-ing while inebriated -- also doing some stick-figure drawing live!
alexr_rwx: (Default)
Tonight: Highlands and around the park (~ 6.5 miles).

Cool things:
- You can still give inexpensive cool laptops to children in developing countries! Give One Get One has been extended. For half the price, you can just give one, of course. I kind of want an XO, though... might be fun to play with, and it'd certainly make it easier to build software for the childrens...

- Internet Anagram Server (aka "I, Rearrangement Servant"). Lovely, lovely site, for all your anagrammatic needs -- and it's so fast! Clever database-ing on their part, surely. (sort of like that scrabblebot, still in progress...) Your name almost surely has all sorts of anagrams to it! Sadly, their dictionary does not contain the word "crunk", which falls right out of my last name...
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Bruce Schneier doles out the harshness: the House of Lords is trying to reason about not letting liquids on airplanes.

That noise? Oh. I'm snapping my fingers. It keeps the dinosaurs away.
alexr_rwx: (Default)
- via mindhacks: Remember This: A woman with unusually detailed and comprehensive memory of pretty much everything, a man with debilitating amnesia (who doesn't realize anything's wrong), a little bit of physiology, and a history of memory in culture. Terribly well-written, very nice.

- US-Iraqi contract 'in disarray'. Surprise! They can't account for where the billion dollars went, when they were supposed to be training the Iraqi police. (previously: The Great Iraq Swindle: your money, hard at work. No-bid "cost-plus" contracts, flying palettes of cash into war zones, and you.)
alexr_rwx: (no a la guerra!)
- Monkeys kill Delhi deputy mayor.
SS Bajwa suffered serious head injuries when he fell from the first-floor terrace of his home on Saturday morning trying to fight off the monkeys. ... One approach [to the city's monkey troubles] has been to train bands of larger, more ferocious langur monkeys to go after the smaller groups of Rhesus macaques.
I see no possible problems with that.

- Lemonodor has a roundup of differing accounts on what happened in South Africa recently -- what's clear is that something went wrong with a mostly-autonomous antiaircraft gun and it killed nine people and injured over a dozen more. Some accounts say that it was shooting wildly for a long time, and others say that it took less than a second.

Look, we can't make a stable web browser... what do you expect when you give really big firearms to software?
alexr_rwx: (Default)
- Eric Fensler must have gotten through his legal troubles with Hasbro (unpleasant itching and minor inconveniences upon their legal department!) because the Fensler Films site has the well-known G.I. Joe PSAs back up. He's done quite a lot of other work as well, some of it more commercial.

- "You cannot harm me! ... I'll hit you with your own pimp!" Another original dance! (warning: fairly salty lyrics, funky-fly dancing, derivative works from derivative works from cartoons)
alexr_rwx: (Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin)
Court hears boot camp testimony.
A Florida boot camp supervisor accused of killing a 14-year-old boy has told a court that guards would not have beaten the victim if he had kept exercising. ... He was beaten by guards for 30 minutes and made to inhale ammonia, and died in hospital a day later...

Beaten by guards for 30 minutes. A 14-year-old boy. Beaten by plural guards for 30 minutes. How many cops does it take to handle a single 14-year-old boy, and how long should it take them?

What the hell is wrong with us?

Related link: Bay County Sheriff's Office. "God bless America, and God bless our troops." Out of the gene pool, all of you.
alexr_rwx: (Default)
Coolhunters Martin [ profile] samarin and Lauryn [ profile] yourusername point out that the best way to get the word out about your new dance is to make a song about it.

Solo Da Pope - New Dance (Bird Walk)
alexr_rwx: (my fandom writes your software)
Things you probably want:
- An inexpensive, durable, adorable laptop with super-long battery life that works in sunlight.
- For a small child in a developing country to have such a laptop, so they can learn interesting things and share what they learn, talk to people, play games and become a whiz-bang programmer.

A link you can click:
- Give 1 Get 1. In a month or so! Laptop for you! Laptops for the childrens!
alexr_rwx: (Default)

- This weekend, we watched My Neighbor Totoro, which at least for the moment is my new favorite movie. Some days, you just want to perform a ritual dance with two of your colleagues that involves raising and lowering umbrellas and hopping over acorns, so as to entice them to sprout. In fact: I secretly wish my life involved more ritual dances as an official-and-solemn means of signification. Perhaps my Little Cats A and B will cooperate.

- Mr. C. Doctorow pointed us, a few weeks ago, to this fantastic essay about the early web and the evolution of our popular concept of what it should look like. I personally ran across another interesting early-web artifact, which happens to have a very long URL.

“They may call it a home page, but it’s more like the gnome in somebody’s front yard than the home itself.” -- Tim "The Hammer" Berners-Lee.

- The Hawaiian locals have this wild dialect, typically referred to as Hawaiian Pidgin (although it's really more of a creole), based largely on English but with features from the native Hawaiian, Japanese, Portuguese, and a few other languages. It has perhaps one of the most kick-awesome features in a language ever -- the magnificent metasyntactic Da Kine. Sample: "Ey, I no can da kine if you no like da kine, too!" Expressive, yes?

- Speaking of interesting dialectical features: my dad has an intrusive R, sometimes -- but not always! The more British among us apparently have it much more frequently. Esther, word to your mom!
alexr_rwx: (Default)
If you don't read the Mind Hacks blog, you probably should!

They're up on it, linking to the very best optical illusion I've seen yet. It's a picture of some cartoony almond-like nuts that looks like it's animated (in a slightly disconcerting, wavy sort of way) -- but it's just not. If you squint, or focus really hard, you can tell that it's not moving.

Bizarre. Brains and minds and eyes, seriously, wtf?
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MC Frontalot is getting boingboing'd. His new video is about interactive fiction text adventures. Check check check it.

It's from his lovely new album, Secrets from the Future.

Other recently interesting news for you:
- Asafa Powell breaks world 100m record. 9.74 seconds. A football field. Jebus.
- Woman jailed for serving salty burger to police officer. Not far from Atlanta. Oh, the police. Oh, McDonald's.
- 1966 prediction of home computer in 1999. Everybody loves retrofutures!
- Mark Guzdial: Software Engineering and the Cause of the CS Enrollment Crisis. Mark (whose funky bunch I was a member of, last year) speaks about the dearth of Awesome in current CS education. (paraphrase)
- Virus implicated in bee decline. Apparently it wasn't cell-phone towers or global warming. Not that we shouldn't still be concerned about those.
- Ronald Jenkees. OMFG Ronald Jenkees rocks out so hard. Improvised phat beats and hott keyboarding. I'm getting his CD.

And comics:
- Overcompensating. It's pretty awesome.
- the latest from xkcd.
- Diesel Sweeties. Why don't you read these comics already?
alexr_rwx: (Default)
The Delicious! A lovely short film. Thanks for the heads-up, Miriam :)

Part One:
Part Deux:

I think you'll appreciate. Martin, you especially!
alexr_rwx: (clango: drink more coffee!)
You knew, dear reader -- you knew that this day would come. That if you let me teach summer camp one more time, you were going to have to have me linking you to pictures that the campers made, just like last year, and the year before. You had the option. You could have stopped me. But no.

But my kids! They wrote programs in Python that manipulate images -- they wrote programs to make them negative, flip them around, futz with the colors, paste them together creatively! (and I helped!) They also made some cool 3D animations and games. Take a look! My kids made these, no photoshopping involved, just code!

Awesome gallery for June!
Awesome gallery for July!
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