Friday, October 17, 2014

Deep thought

Did you ever have a friend named Godfrey? What did you call him for short?

(With Leibniz, it might well have been appropriate.)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Gmail search tip -- use the from: and filename: keywords

Just noticed this string that appeared in the Gmail search window after I clicked on one of the thumbnails in the "Recent photos" sidebar while looking at a new message from ... let's say somebody@example.com. It looks like a handy way to find that picture that person sent you that one time.

from:somebody@example.com filename:(jpg OR jpeg OR png)

Works whether the pictures are attached or embedded in the body of the message, despite what it says here.

You might want to add gif and other extensions, of course.

Note the parentheses, the colons and the absence of a space after them, and the capital ORs. Not positive, but I think those might all be requirements.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

For further review

The lede didn't grab me ...

WHEN was the last time you saw an anti-smoking ad?

... because my immediate and then also considered answer was "the last thousand times I watched any baseball or basketball game for at least fifteen consecutive minutes."

But apparently, my evident non-membership in the article's target audience notwithstanding, there are all kinds of shenanigans associated with that lawsuit thing a few years ago, against Big Tobacco. I am too tired, right now, to really get what's being described in the article, but superficially, it appears to be: billions of dollars won, then lost, and it's probably only going to get uglier.

As in, way uglier.

Let's hope a night's sleep and then some coffee will make it at least a little better. But I'm betting on nightmares.

[Added] Sadly, related.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Missed this last week, but ...

... wow, just when you thought Peak Wingnut was almost nearly maybe in sight (sorry, JC), it apparently became time to come out of the fort built from couch cushions to bellow about that noted liberal spearhead of political correctness run amok, the NFL brass.

And also, "... because corporate America is, itself, liberal ..."

Bless you and your cast-iron stomach once again, Roy Edroso.

Upon further review ...

... or reflection, I guess ...

... that catch by Nori Aoki might be the greatest catch I have ever seen.

The GIF here will remind you, if you, too, were lucky enough to see it live, but it doesn't come close to doing it justice. I've seen a couple hundred more prodigious feats of sheer athleticism, but I've never seen one outfielder back up another that close to the wall. In any league. And certainly never to that good effect.

If memory serves, none of the three fine commentators even knew who, if anybody, had the ball, until a certain grinning rightfielder was halfway back to the dugout and, off-handedly?, turned his glove the other way.

Not even an ice cream cone. In the web, all the way.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

L'esprit de l'escalier

After walking ... upstairs, as it happens, ... I wish I'd titled that last post Pick-up Line.

Acceptance

After three days, I think we can conclude that dead animal in the road in front of the driveway is not playing possum.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Oh, man. Cosby on Colbert?

Two heroes ...

Worried ...

... phew ... better than I had any right to watch. Out of my league. Link eventually.

I felt like I was just in the presence of geniuses.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hey. Stop living my dream.

Bottom of the fifth, two out. You've been pitching your usual well, but you're down one. Tying run on third didn't get driven in when it was one out. Now you're up to bat. You're leading the division, but your magic number is irritatingly still in existence, and you're playing your contender.

Triple, all the way to the wall, right-center gap.

DAMN YOU, KERSHAW.

[Later] Also, that Yasiel Puig can muthafuckin' throw, can't he?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Oh, you must read this article by E. O. Wilson

Hard not to blockquote every last word of Masters of Earth, Alone in the Universe, but here's a taste:

Human beings are not wicked by nature. We have enough intelligence, goodwill, generosity and enterprise to turn Earth into a paradise both for ourselves and for the biosphere that gave us birth. We can plausibly accomplish that goal, at least be well on the way, by the end of the present century. The problem holding everything up thus far is that Homo sapiens is an innately dysfunctional species.

Chances are, if you visit this blog regularly, that you will find yourself saying, "Yes, I know that" many times during your reading. Read it anyway. He says what you know succinctly and well. And maybe, just maybe, you'll think of someone to pass it on to, who may not yet get the big picture Wilson paints.

(h/t: David Dobbs, who linked to part 1)

Line of the Day: 2014-09-19

Lanny Davis talking about ‘integrity’ is like listening to Bristol Palin lecture on abstinence.
    -- TBogg

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Line of the Day: 2014-09-16

What say you about the multiverse?

It’s hard enough to have a theory for one universe.
    -- Peter Higgs

We (if I may be so presumptuous as to include myself with a hero's hero) are being flippant, of course. It's a good article, though. Overbye is worth more than whatever they're paying him, as I hope you already know.

Can you imagine? Never mind fluoridation, this would make chem trails fall right off the radar.

old ad for what is now called 7-UP
The Uncola

In which it is argued that we should consider adding lithium to drinking water, because, among other things, it might decrease suicide, homicide, and rape (at least among Texans, so who can say?), a fun fact that I had never heard:

Lithium drinks were in huge demand for their reputed health-giving properties, so much so that the element was added to commercial drinks. 7-Up was originally called Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda and contained lithium citrate right up until 1950. In fact, it’s been suggested that the 7 in 7-Up refers to the atomic mass of the lithium. (Maybe the “Up” referred to mood?)

Not as sexy as marching powder in Coca Cola, but still, better living through chemistry, amirite?

(pic. source: Bipolar Planet, you are doubtless shocked, shocked to learn. Many other great pix at the link.)

Monday, September 15, 2014

What could possibly go wrong?

Seen on Ars:

Engineers from Stanford and Berkeley Universities have figured out how to make radios the size of an ant, which have been created specifically to serve as controllers and sensors in the Internet of Things.

The radios are fitted onto tiny silicon chips, and cost only pennies to make thanks to their diminutive size. They are designed to compute, execute, and relay demands, and they are very energy efficient to the point of being self-sufficient. This is due to the fact that they can harvest power from the incoming electromagnetic signal so they do not require batteries, meaning there is no particular lifetime associated with the devices.

Emphasis mine.

[Added] Related.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ah, jeez



Is it me, or is the Overton Window getting as narrow as it was pre-Iraq invasion?



[Added] Next thing (via @edroso) that I saw after clicking publish. Don't know whether to be comforted that I'm not the only one thinking these things, or distraught that I'm not the only one thinking these things.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blast to the past

The latest spam comment on this blog just got blocked. From this post.

Does rickrolling seems really long ago to you?

A larger mystery: why spam comments appear on posts from five years ago, and not on the latest ones. (This is usual, and regular if not particularly frequent.) Do the spammers think they'll have a better chance with the old posts of sneaking in unnoticed? But if so, why would they think anyone would ever see them?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The magical free market sparkle pony gives you the bestest cheapest cell phone service!!!1!

Or, you know, not:

“Over the next decade,” Mr. Meinrath said, “U.S. consumers may overpay by over a quarter of a trillion dollars for worse levels of service than customers in other countries receive.”

USA! USA! USA!

Line of the Day: 2014-08-24

Over the course of my work I have come to the realization that it is very difficult to endanger or kill large numbers of people except with a claim to virtue.
     -- Robert Jay Lipton

The piece from which I swiped that is ... I dunno. Either meh, or too much of a 101-level course when I'm looking for 102. It's about shifting attitudes regarding climate change, if you're interested.

But I did like that line.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What's black and white and read all over?

From a piece by Clay Shirky about the decline of printed newspapers:

... and black newsroom humor long ago re-labelled the Obituary column ‘Subscriber Countdown.’

(h/t: David Dobbs)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The first thing we do, let's kill all the humans

Not really, obvs, but cheese and rice, sometimes a blurb will make your knee jerk.

Salmon, once nearly extinct on part of the Columbia River, are recovering, to the delight of birds. As a result, those charged with protecting the fish have a new plan: shoot the birds.

(story link)

On the upside, he's now got more time to go on the down-low

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

(h/t: KK, via email and the FB)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Statistically improbable phrase of the day

... I started hanging out at a local pigeon supply store.

Also, is a “pigeon mumbler” like a horse whisperer?

Also, too, would you consider this gentrification? And if so, with all the negativity that that connotes?

John Gotti’s old Mafia headquarters became a pet-grooming center.

Based on the article, that's a book I'd like to read.

Um ... yeah. Well, I certainly aspire ...

Sometimes, throwaway lines make you (me) think. Here's one, from the start (about 4:50) of a Google Talks interview thing with an erstwhile Tibetan monk who seems now to be in the business of ... talking to small crowds of people like the Googlers, which is not a bad thing, something he says one of his teachers told him:

... unless you can improve on silence, it's better not to say anything at all.

I can hear everyone I work with nodding with cocked eyebrows, of course, but that's not the important part.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Nerd food

This isn't for everybody, but I hugely enjoyed it, and I think some of you will, too:

The never-ending conundrums of classical physics
Even today, scientists still try to solve sprinkler brain teasers from the 19th century.

I remember having a discussion with several other bright undergrads, our TA, and one of the physics profs about the sprinkler problem (we were all reading Feynman at the time), and we came to ... no conclusion. (I managed to end the discussion by speculating that the sprinkler would move chaotically, which, while incorrect, at least had the advantage of being a proposal no one else had made.)

I also remember the feeling I had at about the same time -- a few weeks into my Intro to Modern Physics course -- that the message of the course was everything you have previously learned about physics is wrong.

As with most things, it turned out to be not quite that simple.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

John McWhorter: "Txtng is killing language. JK!!!"

I thought this fifteen-minute TED talk was great. I especially liked the bit about the earliest of the language scolds.

I agree with McWhorter's general argument, and have since reading Lewis Thomas (e.g.), but he made a number of points I hadn't thought of, and I liked the little tastes of professional linguistic discussion he added.

(h/t: Jack, via email)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Yazwho!

Congratulations, Mr. Jeter.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

If there were ever a number you'd think no one would underestimate ...

“I didn’t know there were that many lesbians in San Francisco,” said Tracey Kaplan, 26, a vendor manager for Google Enterprises who was in attendance.

In the same story, how's this for a name for someone representing the progressive side of the issue?

“We’re starting some good conversations,” said Ms. Neaderthal ...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Welp, we might as well try a little psywar

During a bank robbery ...

Once inside, the robbers cracked one of the two vaults and stole the $290k. The other vault, the Post reported, contained more money.

That'd be the Post's "unnamed source," which I'd wager was from the police. Or the bank.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Line of the Day: 2014-07-08

Anyone got a Thomas Aquinas facepalm gif?
    -- Roy Edroso

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