scott_sanford: (Sanford)
So I had nothing much to do this Friday and, in retrospect, spent it in the most stereotypically Portland manner I could without a visit to Voodoo Doughnuts. Around noon I listened to Science Friday on NPR. (There are radio stations other than NPR or KBOO, right?) Then, after one of my housemates ranted about environmental issues, I escaped the house and went to the Bagdad Theater to catch the latest X-Men movie in matinee. Afterward I grabbed a snack at the aggressively decorative and alternative Roxy downtown, to tide me over through a presentation at Powell's about queer and counterculture themes in superhero comics - this being Portland, the room was full of nerds who actually wanted to chat about that for two hours.

My whole day has been a sequence of landmarks and Portlandia skits.
scott_sanford: (Sanford)
When I showed up for the first day of GameStorm I discovered that the prereg desk didn't have a badge waiting for me. This wasn't what I was hoping or expecting to hear; granted it's been a year since the last one but I was still about 90% sure I'd invested in a membership on Sunday afternoon. I didn't have enough cash for an at-the-door membership in my wallet right that instant but it left me considering my options with my wallet in hand, which led to me picking through the scrap paper accumulated there, and my faint hope was realized. I still had my receipt! Not only had I gotten a membership last year but I still had the proof on me! (Along with several other small and worn receipts.) I called this to the attention of the registration staff and correcting the problem went amazingly quickly and smoothly after that.

The moral appears to be to not clean out your wallet...
scott_sanford: (Daria proofreads)
...that using the phrase "lying libtards at Snopes" with a straight face tells your readers all they need to know about your own accuracy.
scott_sanford: (Daria proofreads)
This was just one of several regenerations of the Doctor who attended in 2013.

</bird>

Oct. 1st, 2013 09:59 pm
scott_sanford: (Daria proofreads)
I was out walking the other day on an ordinary suburban street and I heard a soft quiet thump from just behind me. Puzzled, I looked back - nothing had been there a moment ago. Once I thought to look down all was explained; there was a small bird in the grass, on its back with its legs sticking up in an overly dramatic way. As I watch it twitched several times, getting less energetic over time. The situation was pretty obvious.

This shouldn't be too surprising, given the number of birds and their short average lifespan - but we rarely see it happen right in front of us.
scott_sanford: (Daria proofreads)


Really, it's just another day in Portland. Doesn't this stuff happen in all cities?

Brave

Oct. 15th, 2012 04:16 am
scott_sanford: (Default)
After a convention committee meeting Sunday I stopped at the Bagdad on the way home and saw the movie Brave. It's a good parable about why the song is Scotland the Brave. Not Scotland the Wise, Scotland the Smart, Scotland the Reasonable, or Scotland the 'I Planned Ahead.' Brave.
scott_sanford: (Default)
I'm not a professional historian, but the subject came up in conversation at work and I'd like to make two points.

* The Great Depression did not cause the American Civil War.
* The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor did not occur during the Eisenhower presidency.

More jems as they appear...
scott_sanford: (Default)
So I noticed that today is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, which I hope has been pointed out by many people in the media - I only knew because I read up on it, but it's the sort of thing which could pad out a news broadcast or newspaper article. And most of us are aware that Cinco de Mayo is a bigger deal in the US than in most parts of Mexico.

But the US has a neighbor to the north, too; why don't we have a Canadian holiday? This may bear pondering.
scott_sanford: (Default)
While waiting for the bus today (in the rain) I watched some fellows try to extract a large four-wheel drive SUV which had gotten stuck in a mud puddle. Okay, it was a big puddle...but still, come on. This isn't even out in the middle of nowhere, but in a suburban part of a major city. Someone had hooked a tow strap to a little four wheel ATV, but the thing just didn't have the weight to extract a full size Dodge Ram, although it spun its wheels mightily. Eventually somebody found another excessively large SUV and extracted the first one.
scott_sanford: (Default)
While googling I stumbled upon [livejournal.com profile] thessalian; I knew this name due to reading Daria fanfic...and she'd just posted some commentary about Charles Stross's blog, where I often contribute. Cool.

My original quest was to see if anyone had written anything clever linking the cartoon Daria to the Sandman character Thessaly; for no reason I can see this has yet to happen...
scott_sanford: (Default)
Found here, I really can't find anything bad to say about this. The participants are clearly well read on the source material, the scripting seems decent, and the effects are as good as can be expected from the production budget (of nothing). Some directors would have arranged the piece differently, but then some movies are made by people who have reached puberty. I'd like to see Hollywood show this much interest; we've already seen movies made with technical skill but no love for the story or the craft.
scott_sanford: (Default)
MJ, we have lived a few houses apart for several years now. I've petted you frequently, and you've rubbed up against me enough that a second cat could be knitted from the fur you've shed onto my pants. It's always nice to see you and I'm happy to stop to pet you, particularly when - as today - you sit on the porch meowing for attention.

But once the petting has started and you're purring, it is not necessary to suddenly leap up into the air as if you have never seen a human before, nor to run in blind panic into the bushes. This only confuses the humans around you.
scott_sanford: (Default)
Okay, so the Meow Chorus is just silly. But it is funny.
scott_sanford: (Default)
A while back I noted here that a company called Neuroware (in Japan, naturally) had come out with brainwave controlled cat ears. Now I discover that an American hobbyist has made his own. Apparently there's a real demand for this, at least among some people. I am aware that I know some of these people.

Among other things, this tells me that some SF authors have been much too conservative about what people will get up to as soon as easy cybernetics and/or genetic modifications become available. Once we have a technology, we'll play with it.
scott_sanford: (Default)
I was getting on the MAX (local light rail system) downtown early this evening, boarding at Pioneer Courthouse Square where there was some kind of Native American music and dance thing happening, along with various other folks including a few attendees still in garb. A few stops later a fellow in a nice shirt, tie, and slacks was waiting for the MAX; when the door opened he grabbed his skateboard and hopped on. Someone made a comment on the tie & skateboard combination and I agreed, "That's Portland for you." It turned out the couple behind me were visiting from Pittsburgh, and apparently skateboarding office workers and leather-fringed Indians are not common sights there.

Some days my city makes me smile.
scott_sanford: (Default)
I've been using the classic Bic four-color pens for longer than I care to think about, but while one goes with me everywhere I go I don't lose them as fast as I once did. So today for the first time in a year or two I actually had to buy one. It wasn't until I actually opened the package that I saw the only design change I can remember in twenty years: the little round ball at the butt end had been modified into a fat ring, allowing a string or lanyard ring to be added. I've not tried adding anything yet, but this strikes me as a useful improvement.
scott_sanford: (Default)
Okay, so a friend finds a link to this article, talking about a particular kind of basin found in Egypt, ancient limestone basins clearly manufactured for a specific purpose. Okay, reasonable enough. But the author seems to think these are made of artificial limestone, for levitating...something. And so we get stuff like this:

The high-resonance form of hydrogen is called protium, being the lightest hydrogen isotope, known for its powerful rejuvenative effects, in stark contrast to the cellular aging induced by heavy water. The levitation of water by solar-driven infrasound resonance allows separation of lighter protium water molecules from the heavier isotopes of deuterium and tritium (above).

Wait, what? Rejuvination? Infrasound? Levitation of water? Solar power? (And deuteurium and tritium are only 0.015% of all hydrogen anyway.) I didn't even include the stuff about pizoelectricity. Frankly, I'm lost. I'm pretty sure the author is trying to say something, and he's got a better command of English than the Time Cube guy, but I don't follow the argument and I'm going to quietly sneak out of the room while nobody is looking.

It has some pretty pictures of ruins, though.
scott_sanford: (Default)


If it's not clear - and why should it be? - those are telephone and data lines serving the local neighborhood. I'm glad I don't need to maintain it.
scott_sanford: (Default)
A friend of mine pointed out that in Japan you can now buy cat ears. No, not just costume pieces (nor real cat's ears, yuck), but robotic brainwave-reading ears.

Apparently the headband electronics picks up something it can interpret and moves the ears in response. The company, Neurowear claims this is just the first in a line of, um, something. Their website also has this lovely quote:

"People think that our body has limitation, however just imagine if we have organs that doesn’t exist, moreover we can control that new body?"

Is this not the prelude to SF-nal body upgrades?

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