dinosaur or pirate ship

Tonight we play miniature golf. This has been on the beach-agenda every year, but this year’s staying-the-whole-week innovation makes it look like it’s finally going to happen. I’m pretty excited; I consider mini-golf to be an important part of the beach experience.

Still, there is a looming question that must be answered before we can take to the astroturf and do battle:

Dinosaur or Pirate Ship?

Don’t mistake zaniness for a lack of profundity. This isn’t just about which family fun center would make for the better putt-putt experience. This is about what society and human fellowship mean to you — what you hope they could mean.

Dinosaur or Pirate Ship?

Keep saying it until it’s almost a zen koan. Dinosaur or Pirate Ship? There may not be an answer, but this does not excuse you from seeking one.

Dinosaur or Pirate Ship.

UPDATE: Pirate Ship.

lost at seaside

Alright, so there haven’t been any particularly noteworthy hijinks so far. That’s okay. I feel relaxed, loaded up on vitamin D, and as if creativity is beginning to seep back into my brain. Or perhaps that’s just the sensation of the juniper deposits left by all the gin.

Either way, things are going great. My only complaint so far: deadly sea creatures.

this fish is an ASSHOLE

It’s a little hard to see, but this is a dead pufferfish. Evolution has graced him with highly effective camouflage, allowing him to trick his prey into stepping on him, then cursing.

The fact that he’s A) too small to eat me and B) dead brings the effectiveness of this hunting technique into question, but I’m sure nature will iron things out in another eon or two. In the meantime, he did manage to draw some blood:

ouch

But between my vacationmates’ sunburns and other miscellaneous ailments, I’m still doing relatively well at dealing with the beach’s terrible toll.

new header!

Cause I’m at the beach, see. So it’s, like, appropriate.

I’m sure bloggable hijinks will ensue by and by. First, we all need to drink a lot more alcohol.

life choices

I am, let’s face it, a little hungover. The City Veins show last night was a lot of fun, but the accompanying revelry has left me a little worse for wear. I’ve already consumed a number of pills of some sort and waited patiently for someone to make me some coffee, but it appears that too many of my coworkers are off doing less important things (e.g. meeting with clients) for this to happen on its own. I still feel lousy.

This leaves food as the only possible solution. But my office staples of corn muffins, yogurt and fruit are at a calculated pre-beach ebb. I would have to get up and leave the office.

But there is this:

Canadian Maple Syrup

I could do it. I could drink this recently-acquired bottle of maple syrup.

It’s really sugary — it’d probably even work.

I do really like maple syrup.

h street

Tonight! Charles, Aaron, Adam and Spencer! The Red and the Black! With The Daybreak Line! Quickly now — agree to come before my tolerance for exclamation points falters!

I really am looking forward to this. These guys have been playing together for a while now — it’ll be interesting to see the evolution from their Velvet Lounge debut to tonight. Plus, Adam says they have a bunch of new material. Even if they didn’t, the stuff from their band-creating LP sounds newly great since being rerecorded. I particularly like this one:

The City Veins – Toe The Line

I think it’s one of the best songs (and most tastefully restrained performances) I’ve ever heard from these guys in any of the various band incarnations they’ve been in. You can find more of the rerecorded album here.

Oh, and if anyone feels like joining us for dinner on H Street before the show, send me an email. Otherwise, I hope to see you at the show.

since you’ve been gone

FIRST I’ve started receiving comment spam directing me to order sausage pizza, apparently from Russia. Who am I to refuse?

comment spam

Note: this constitutes further proof that phpBB is some of the worst software in the world. It’s what got my credit card number stolen, after all.

SECOND EchoDitto had its big three year anniversary party on the Odyssey dinner cruise thingy, and it was as great a time as you would expect of an event with an open bar. Lots of photos here. But the most striking image of the night was this:

Jason Goad's EchoDitto Poster

It’s a poster by Jason Goad that Nicco commissioned to mark the occasion, and it’s fairly completely awesome.

civic pride

Philadelphia’s alt-weeklies are awash in she-males.

You only need to open up the Weekly or City Paper classifieds to find them. You might not see them at first, but they’re right in front of your nose: it’s just that there are so many of them that you might not notice. In fact, the default setting for prostitutes in these pages is ambidrogenous. Ladies of the night offering boring ol’ hetero sex are compelled to add “100% Female!” to their ads so that customers know what they’re getting.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with this sort of thing, aside from the basic illegality of prostitution. Your sex life is your own business in a properly enlightened, liberal society. Still, it seems as though the market’s interest in these strangely half-gendered individuals hints at a deeply repressed or conflicted sexuality that must be fairly widespread.

Besides which, it seems clear that the services on offer are particularly filthy. Most of the ads include a line saying there are “X reasons you should call me”, where X is a number ranging from around 7 to well over a dozen. Presumably this refers to the menu of sexual acts on offer. But my laughably naive schoolboy mind struggles to fill it out with monetizable sex acts. I can only complete the list by including services that are either deeply unwise or thoroughly implausible.

All in all, it paints a seedy picture of the city — one that must be embarrassing to its residents.

Still, it could be worse.

the problem with automating forgetfulness

Last week I used Viktor Mayer-Schönberger’s “Useful Void” proposal (PDF) as a jumping-off point to ruminate about Facebook, the work/personal divide and darknets over here. Along the way I casually dismissed Mayer-Schönberger’s proposal:

I’m sure his heart is in the right place, but this is dumb for all the same reasons that DRM is dumb. You really, really can’t control the spread or persistence of publicly available digital information. Efforts to do so are a waste of everyone’s time.

But then, much to my surprise, the man himself popped up in comments, leaving this polite note:

You seem to suggest that my proposal is similar to IP secured by DRM. It seems that you haven’t actually looked at my paper. In the paper I suggest that a DRM-like approach (as Lessig has made in Code 2.0) would be overkill. What I desire is not perfect solution, just a shift in defaults that makes users think again about the choice of forgetting.

I encourage you to read the paper – it’s a free download, including from my website, and I think addresses some of the concerns you seem to have.

In contrast your solution (cognitively accepting the fact that we are transparent and thus weigh things differently) depends on our brains ability to adapt – not something that cognitive scientists have much hope in I am afraid, espcially since biologically we are wired to forget.

Kind regards,
VMS

Well, guilty as charged — I hadn’t read his proposal. But now I have, and I’m afraid that I still arrive at much the same conclusion: I think that it probably isn’t workable, and it definitely wouldn’t be wise.

(more…)

le loup

Another solid DC band! Color me pleased. Check out their attractively-designed site here or their MySpace page here. And if you’re sad to be limited to the three songs… well, there’s practically nothing that the command line can’t solve these days…

for((i=1;i<=10;i+=1)); do
printf "%02d" $i | xargs -I {} wget http://leloupmusic.net/BIRDS/music/{}.mp3
done

Be forewarned: it's only 64kbps.