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Dispatches from the Lyrael World


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Interested in the real and synthetic environments and the precarious line between them.

Poignant Photoessay - Time With an Aged Father
Topic: Relationships 3:01 pm EDT, Sep  5, 2008

Very spare and moving visual journal of time spent with the author's Alzheimer's affected elderly father.

Poignant Photoessay - Time With an Aged Father

Spontanous Fantasia
Topic: Arts 10:10 pm EDT, Mar 17, 2008

"J.Walt's Spontaneous Fantasia is a new performing art form which utilizes high-tech interactive 3D animation techniques developed for video games, simulation, and virtual reality. Animation artist J.Walt Adamczyk has designed and programmed works of computer animation in which he draws fantastic, ethereal imagery with musical accompaniment live before an audience. The art form combines elements of painting, music, dance, animation, video art, sculpture, and architecture.

“It's great to be exploring new possibilities with this form,” says J.Walt. “With my compositions, I get to incorporate so much that interests me: the joys of gestural drawing, of music, of three-dimensional forms, movement, and of exploring ways of using computer technology.” J.Walt adds that each of his compositions involves improvisation. “All of the pieces have a certain structure and a certain theme, but each piece allows me room to be expressive and try new things. Every time, the show is different.”

J.Walt will perform his live animated illustrations of music by Bach, Satie, Chopin, and Saint-Saens, played by pianist Karenn Chutjian and cellist Abby Scoville. J.Walt will also perform his spiritual Nocturnes and his other-worldly journey to an alternate world Autocosm: Gardens of Thuban."

I had heard baout this in the past, had no idea he performs it 5 miles from my home every weekend!

Spontanous Fantasia

A Visit to the Creation Museum, 11/10/07 - a photoset on Flickr
Topic: Society 12:56 pm EST, Nov 16, 2007

Well worth the time to see the photo comments and the essay.

Apparently God is an Average Student

Hey, it's not me. Look at this report card! It's all "Cs"! Sure, he could probably do better if he applied himself, but then why should he? When you're already omnipotent and all-knowing, you don't exactly have to make the extra effort, now, do you? That said, I'm personally holding out for an Eternal Plan that's all As. It's not too much to ask for some quality work from one's creator.

A Thorny Problem

Follow the "logic" here.

International Brotherhood of Ark Builders, Local 122 Takes its Contractually Provided 15-Minute Break

Yes, they know Noah's in a rush. But it's in the contract.
Don't worry. God dealt with them. Yes, He was the world's first union-buster.

The Names of the Two Biggest Rock Bands in the Immediate Post-Flood Era

I have all their albums.

A Visit to the Creation Museum, 11/10/07 - a photoset on Flickr

BLEVE's (boiling liquid expanding vapour explosion) & PEPCON Video
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:04 pm EDT, Oct 31, 2007


BLEVE's (boiling liquid expanding vapour explosion) & PEPCON Video

A Beloved Professor Delivers The Lecture of a Lifetime
Topic: Society 6:57 pm EDT, Sep 28, 2007

"Brick walls are there for a reason. They let us prove how badly we want things."

A Beloved Professor Delivers The Lecture of a Lifetime

Little People Random Street Art
Topic: Arts 6:35 pm EDT, Jul 16, 2007

These "litte people" remind me a lot of Fairie Doors

Little People Random Street Art

RiffTrax - Mystery Science Theater 3000 - TV - New York Times
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:57 pm EDT, May  6, 2007

WHEN �Mystery Science Theater 3000� was canceled after 11 seasons in 1999, 146 distraught fans bought a full-page advertisement in Daily Variety urging another network to continue the show. But the series was not revived, and today devotees cannot even tune in to reruns because its premise � a host and his two robot pals mock B movies � required securing those movies� broadcast rights, which expired after the show�s demise.

RiffTrax - Mystery Science Theater 3000 - TV - New York Times

Scott Adams: Fuel
Topic: Society 5:22 pm EDT, Apr 26, 2007

Imagine you could make fuel out of poor people. The only downside is that the poor people have to be converted to a combustible liquid in the process. Imagine that although there are many alternatives to using poor people as fuel, those alternatives cost way more. In fact, the alternatives are so much more expensive, widespread use would impact your standard of living by about twenty percent.

Obviously using humans for fuel would be wrong and you wouldn’t do it. But I’m not done confusing your moral compass.

Now let’s say the people who are used as fuel are volunteers, of a sort. For every twenty people who volunteer to become SUV fuel, only one will be randomly selected. The other nineteen get a host of benefits including pensions and paid educations. Let’s say human fuel is so economical that one human converted to fuel pays for the benefits to the other nineteen. And the one poor person fuels an entire town’s energy needs for a year.

In this scenario, you’d be powering your car with liquefied poor people, but your conscience would be cleared by the knowledge they all volunteered. It’s a free country. They took the chance of being one of the nineteen lucky ones, but it didn’t work out. Some volunteered because they thought it was their best chance for upward mobility. Some thought it was their patriotic duty. But it was their decision. No one forced them.

Let’s say the politicians argue that in the long run, this policy of using poor people for fuel will save lives. The thinking is that we’ll eventually develop other fuel sources, but for now we need the strong economy to pay for health care and a strong national defense against terrorists and whatnot. All of the volunteers are hailed as heroes.

Under those conditions would you use poor people to fuel your car?

Bonus question: Are you already doing something close to that?

Be all that you can be.


Scott Adams: Fuel

Is It Better to Buy or Rent?
Topic: Economics 6:57 pm EDT, Apr 12, 2007

This is a handy tool, and it's one you aren't likely to find on a lender's web site.

From the accompanying article:

By the Realtors’ way of thinking, it’s always a good time to buy. Homeownership, they argue, is a way to achieve the American dream, save on taxes and earn a solid investment return all at the same time.

That’s how it has worked out for much of the last 15 years. But in a stark reversal, it’s now clear that people who chose renting over buying in the last two years made the right move. In much of the country, including large parts of the Northeast, California, Florida and the Southwest, recent home buyers have faced higher monthly costs than renters and have lost money on their investment in the meantime. It’s almost as if they have thrown money away, an insult once reserved for renters.

Most striking, perhaps, is the fact that prices may not yet have fallen far enough for buying to look better than renting today, except for people who plan to stay in a home for many years.

Got ot check this out, maybe will feel better about renting. No way I can own here in California.

Is It Better to Buy or Rent?

Real Estate Roller Coaster
Topic: Business 2:18 am EDT, Apr  5, 2007

House prices in the U.S. from 1890 until 2005, plotted as a roller coaster that you ride from a first person perspective. Here is the data source. Hold on to your hats.

Excellent data visualization. Very visceral. I wish they showed the dates more frequently.

Real Estate Roller Coaster

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