Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Roomba intelligence

If you are watching your roomba go about its vacuuming business, and you notice a piece of fluff on the floor, it will skip around the fluff as nimbly as a champion agility dog.

sonic weapon immobilized by dog-snoot

From here. Be prepared to turn down the volume.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Science podcast

Radiolab is a kind of "This American Life" about science. The topics are approached as a story. The narrators have a conversational tone and allow their curiosity to move the story along. The guests they get are tremendous (Oliver Sachs, Robert Sapolsky). The format is a little annoying: they do this arty-effects thing where they, for example, talk over each other or repeat phrases many times. Still, in total, I like this show a lot.

Quilts that I actually like

This, on the other hand (see previous post), is quite beautiful.


Sure, I'm in a bad mood. Who would be surprised about that? Here's what I had to say to the USPS store:
This is the worst interface I remember dealing with in an online store. Of course I don't remember the password I used once a year and a half ago. Most sites will send the password (or reset it and then send it) to your registered email account. I had a miserable experience with your website. If amazon sold stamps, I'd never be back here.
I figure I might as well rant while I've got the energy for it. I didn't even add, "and your logo's ugly too."

I'm going to the gym as much as possible. It's a strategy. Insufficient, but it's something.

The End of the Road

I put Mac down on Thursday, December 7th. He had abdominal bleeding from an unknown source, most likely a tumor from a different kind of cancer than he was already being treated for. It was sudden - probably developed over 12 hours. The night before, he was well, soaking up attention from AS. He was my wonderful dog, and I was lucky to have him as long as I did. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

the aesthetic of ineffable rightness

this phrase was used by Martin Kemp in the 11/30/06 edition of Nature. He's talking about the sectioned rocket engine in this picture (taken by Kemp). i love the phrase both because of the funny way that it makes wonderful sense and because it is a perfect description of a particular aesthetic that i love.