Fume-Induced Divine Ramblings

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Contacting Delphi… the oracle is unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience.

New Apple In-Ear Headphones

Filed under: hmmm

Making the Phoenix Work

Above: The iconic panel when the Dark Phoenix snacked on a star and toasted several billions living beings. This post was prompted by Marvel’s inability to handle strong women characters.

As muddled as Jean Grey’s story became I can’t help but think it didn’t have to be so messy. As I understand Chris Claremont’s conception of the Phoenix’s powers they are not unlimited. The young Phoenix was even defeated by Magneto one time. The Phoenix was basically a battery of potentially unlimited capacity… but she still had to be charged up with something external.

When attempting to repair the M’Kraan Crystal she wasn’t strong enough, she needed the life forces of two teammates. Of course, in the panel above she really charged herself up and became pretty unstoppable. But a good writer could have limited the Phoenix’s access to that much power and kept her as a team member. Many have said that having such a powerful team member renders the other X-Men obsolete and I completely disagree. Having a cosmically-powered Phoenix is one thing but the Phoenix before the whole eating star incident had limits.

Next time, I’ll try to formulate Grant Morrison’s ingenious way of getting rid of both Phoenix and Jean Grey (that bastard!).

Filed under: curios, hmmm, random

Let’s Try It Again

I’m going to try again. For me, maintaining a blog seems to follow a pattern. I started with a collaborative blog that seemed to die after a few weeks. My next attempt was a personal finance blog, that lasted a few months and then died (I think it’s still out there). My latest attempt is this blog and after the trip to Europe I sort of let it die. Today, while walking around the National Mall and re-reading Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style, I started thinking about how I want to do creative things. I have all this cool software and how-to books but I don’t really create. I want to create. I can appreciate beautiful things but I want to do more than just appreciate.

At some point in my walk I started thinking about writing and this blog. If you can’t even update a simple blog on a routine basis how will you improve your writing? Determined, I walked to Caribou Coffee. Here I am.

Let’s try this again.

Filed under: hmmm

Using the “PC Hammer”

There’s no better way to weasel out of a discussion than saying “You’re just being PC!” People hide their ugly and stupid beliefs by saying “That’s just PC man, fuck that!”

No, I do not mean that you have to sanitize your language but own up when you say something. This idiot, Josh Homme, frontman of Queens of the Stone Age, just launched the word “faggot” like there was no tomorrow.He’s rightfully getting a lot of flack for it. But instead of penning a nice mea culpa, he sends out an ugly statement that a 12 year old might pen. He wrote:

By that logic… I also told that young whipper snapper I’d have anal sex with him… how can I possibly reconcile these opposing viewpoints? I called him a pussy too. Does it mean I hate our one worlds’ collective vagina? I never have been nor intend to be politically correct. That’s your cross to bear. To me, that PC world would suck more shit than the porta-potty truck at Glastonbury. Homophobic? I’m in Queens of the Stone Age for crissake… You say, “So. Your band name doesn’t prove anything.” Maybe not. But it’s a helluv a lot more definitive than the logic of some watchdog… (sorry canine-American, canine-European, canine-African, canine-Australian & canine-Asian) moralist, keeping score from pure perfectionville?

You see what he was trying to do? Deflate a real argument about using such powerful words that reflect such pure hatred. No one wants to stifle his verbal diarrhea, keep doing it idiot, I’m just not buying any more of your music.

Would Mr. Homme have used the n-word when insulting the guy who threw that shoe?

Filed under: hmmm, random

The Trip

Arrive in Barcelona.

Head to Toulouse.

Head to Biarritz.

Head to San Sebastian (Donostia).

Head to Deba and Bilbao (small stops).

Return to Barcelona.

Filed under: hmmm, images

Hoarding Books

I feel like I’m hoarding books, I’m lusting after books. I’ve recently been inundated by books, although surprisingly, they’re all non-fiction. Here’s a listing of what’s in my queue:

All 4 of Tufte’s books, I’m going in order, I’m now on Visual Explanations. They really are beautiful books and I’m learning a thing or two.

My old statistics book (thanks mom and dad!). I have fond memories of this book, I want to relearn some stats and this is just the ticket. This itch to re-familiarize with stats is blatantly related to the Tufte books.

Letter by Letter by Laurent Pflughaupt, should reach my hands this Monday or Tuesday. It seems like it will be an interesting read.

The Elements of Typographic Style, should also reach my hands this Monday or Tuesday.

Filed under: hmmm, random

Insure versus Ensure

This is from the New Yorker:

Via Andrea.

Filed under: curios, hmmm, random

Platypuses are Weird

Yesterday’s issue of Nature has a piece on the platypus genome. It’s interesting to compare the reporting in Nature, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. I found the Post article thoroughly enjoyable and not at all lacking in substance.

Yet in its wackiness, Wilson said, the platypus genome offers an unprecedented glimpse of how evolution made its first stabs at producing mammals. It tells the tale of how early mammals learned to nurse their young; how they matched poisonous snakes at their venomous game; and how they struggled to build a system of fertilization and gestation that would eventually, through relatives that took a different tack, give rise to the first humans.

The Times article was too short and the sense of wonder/weirdness was missing.

An international scientific team, which announced the first decoding of the platypus genome on Wednesday, said the findings provided “many clues to the function and evolution of all mammalian genomes,” including that of humans, and should “inspire rapid advances in other investigations of mammalian biology and evolution.”

The Nature article is of course good but I still prefer the wonder and style of the Post article.

Filed under: curios, hmmm, images, random, wtf

Unedited Notes from Tufte’s May 5, 2008 Class

  1. Content-driven selection of evidence
  2. Organization chart – look at the linking lines, give meaning to the linking lines
  3. Detail helps your credibility
  4. Strive for an intense amount of detail but allow for an overview
  5. Simplicity in design and complexity in content
  6. Bump up resolution of meetings
  7. Read this! Handouts! High resolution data dump
  8. Be much less pitchy while making a presentation
  9. Efficiency of design, look to maps for inspiration
  10. What can be erased? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: hmmm

Presenting Data and Information, Edward Tufte

I’ll follow up with my thoughts on Professor Tufte’s one-day course tonight or tomorrow.

Filed under: curios, hmmm

Apollyon

And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
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