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This post, clickbaitingly called Know If a Font Sucks actually has some fascinating tidbits about compensating for our eyes tricking us.

Hat tip to Janet Jia-Ee Chui.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)

This post, clickbaitingly called Know If a Font Sucks actually has some fascinating tidbits about compensating for our eyes tricking us.

Hat tip to Janet Jia-Ee Chui.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)

I thought I’d go over some of the things I’ve discovered or loved in the last year, in no particular order.

  1. Johnny B. Truant’s essay, The universe doesn’t give a flying fuck about you. It’s an interesting head trip: by making everything you could possibly do look small, it help reduces fear for the consequences of what you do. Interesting NLP technique there.

    If you want to be awesome in this life, do awesome things.

  2. Bats hangin’ out on a tree. bats-on-tree-edited-sm
  3. Milford. Northern Wales and an amazing workshop. 03-wales-sm

  4. My whirlwind round-the-world tour featuring a visit with friends in New Zealand, more friends in Australia, even more friends in South Africa, and a play with an actor I like in London. 10-table-mountain-sm

  5. Overwerk. Especially when used in the Air Tahiti Nui video.

  6. Tim Grahl and his tips on book and author marketing.

  7. Tiffany Reisz. Bookalicious Pam listed The Siren as one of her favorite novels of the past year. On her recommendation, I inhaled the first four books between Christmas and New Year’s. I think her new book, The Saint, is even better.

  8. James Mickens’s “The Slow Winter” is one of the few short stories ever where Rick and I have quoted random lines to each other. Most frequently, “This does not lead to rising property values in Tokyo!”

  9. Hard-hat behind-the-scenes tour of the newly-opened part of SFO’s Terminal 3. That was pretty sweet, especially the ability to go onto the roof and watch the planes land.

  10. The number of people who search my site for the mongoose joke. (two today!)

  11. All the fun I’ve been having with Society6, Redbubble, and Zazzle. Thanks, everyone.

Here’s a Dihydrogen Monoxide Containment Shield shower curtain.


And, you know, related stuff….. (same link set as above)







Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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Interior turbine photos. Dude.

Air Tahiti Nui released the jawdropping behind-the-scenes footage of its operations to celebrate its 15th anniversary. It was created by Matthieu Courtois, a 32-year-old technical engineer from Tahiti who has been working for the airline since 2007, with the help of pilot Ludovic Allain.

More in this story from Kate Schneider — including the awesome video. (Sorry, Ooyala video is annoying to embed….)

Isn’t the ending of that video amazing?

Soundtrack tune is Daybreak by Overwerk. Which I bought immediately.

Guess where we’re going next month?

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

In Bruges

Oct. 9th, 2012 11:10 am
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When we were in Bruges, I heard what I thought was a pipe organ and headed for the campanile.

No pipe organ, just some awesome buskers. Enjoy. Sorry about the length of the clip — it had already started before I got there, and I was running out of space on my phone.

I think my single biggest regret of the entire trip is not picking up one of their albums.

Toccata & Fugue, Bruges from Deirdre Saoirse Moen on Vimeo.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)

Great music (I recommend headphones), and if you have the bandwidth, do it high def and full screen.

Link to BoingBoing notes.

Only place I could definitively identify from this video without slowing it down was the Sea of Cortez, with Baja California closer to the center.

Sea of Cortez from teh ISS

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)
So I don't talk much about other people's applications; I think, given my position, it's rude. I'm going to break that for a reason.

A bunch of my coworkers were Angry Birds fans, then I became one. I bought the iPhone games and the iPad games and even the desktop game.

The iPhone/iPad culture is pretty straightforward: free = one expects it to be ad supported; paid = one expects it to be ad free. I don't like being the product, so I'll pay for what I use (unless I'm using a free version to see what the thing is like).

Then an update came out -- if you failed on a level more than once in a row (as people will tend to do when trying to increase a level's score), a Bing ad popped up.

A whole bunch of us complained. A bunch of people down-rated the game for that (I didn't; I rarely rate apps).

The next update was worse: bailing on a level brought up a whole bunch of Rovio's own ads. Spare me.

In less than an hour, something that had been a cool source of enjoyment became so annoying that I not only wrote more than one angry missive (Rovio replied), but I uninstalled all their applications.

Despite that, I still felt compelled to delete all five copies of their games from my computer. They listened about one of my two complaints, but without both addressed, I wasn't going to play any more. Angry Birds had stopped being cool for me. The promised update hasn't appeared yet, but given the app store queue, that may not be their fault. When it does, I'll see if both issues are addressed and how I feel about it at that time. I'd have to start over at the beginning; I've jetted all my Game Center history.

You know what's cool? Robot Wants Kitty.
deirdre: (Default)
Great article about Natalie Portman's geek cred. Pity if failed to mention her Erdős–Bacon number. I know at least one person on my f-list has an Erdős number, but if there's more of you out there, I don't know that.

Article also covers other extraordinary women actor/scientists, including Hedy Lamarr, Danica McKellar, and Mayim Bialik.
deirdre: (Default)
Wow, I know so many of you this year. Congratulations to all.
deirdre: (Default)
Now I've seen people do great calligraphy on YouTube before, but I've never seen someone start this far back in the process and do such traditional forms.

Donald Jackson, scribe to the House of Lords and Queen Elizabeth II:

Random Bits

Feb. 9th, 2011 01:16 am
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1. Mom points out that given that we (among other people) have possible Neanderthal genes, one should no longer use it as an ethnic slur.

2. I was jonesing for ice cream tonight and found a container in the fridge, homemade by a friend. As some of his stuff has Splenda (which will give me a migraine), I tasted just a teeny bit.

Bacon ice cream.

Who knew?

3. Did I mention I had fun at the Science museum Thursday night?


I saw no cuttlefish. Sniff.

4. Been working on the book. I need a revision metric, and I have none, especially for spaghetti writing like this.

5. Just heard about another "I survived Scientology" book, only this one's marketed as fiction. Hawaii, surfing, guy named Leif. Sign me up! Written by a guy who's already a successful regional indie filmmaker, btw.

6. Tonight, for the first time, Tanner jumped up on the couch uninvited. We're finally seeing her open up. She sat with me until I started sneezing. (I'm allergic to cats but I do love them.)

7. Our plums are blooming.

Plum Blossoms
deirdre: (Default)
[ profile] wtf_nature is a community that has, well, a lot of WTF? And it's all horribly real.

Today's entry was about 10 Creepy Plants that Shouldn't Exist.
deirdre: (Default)
Intro two paragraphs from NY Times article found here.

"Vladimir Nabokov may be known to most people as the author of classic novels like “Lolita” and “Pale Fire.” But even as he was writing those books, Nabokov had a parallel existence as a self-taught expert on butterflies.

He was the curator of lepidoptera at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, and collected the insects across the United States. He published detailed descriptions of hundreds of species. And in a speculative moment in 1945, he came up with a sweeping hypothesis for the evolution of the butterflies he studied, a group known as the Polyommatus blues. He envisioned them coming to the New World from Asia over millions of years in a series of waves."

Apparently, they finally figured out he was right.


Jan. 22nd, 2011 04:26 am
deirdre: (Default)
Skateistan is a project to bring skateboarding to Afghanistan, and there is a forthcoming movie about the project.

"We build ramps, not bombs."

Can't wait to see it. Love the idea of teaching kids in Afghanistan that both boys and girls get to ride skateboards. They are also teaching the handicapped to skate.

deirdre: (Default)
Yesterday, I was not as lucky as some of my friends; I had to wait until today for FedEx to grace my office with its presence.

Interoffice mail at a large company is interesting; it can take a while. Hours, even. By 3 p.m., I had my phone, and that's when FedEx promised it, so it doesn't really matter that some of that time was spent trundling three buildings across campus.

The text is incredibly sharp. I feel like I got a new pair of glasses! I've attached two screenshots, but realize you're not seeing them actual size; they are much sharper than this because the pixels are smaller in real life.

deirdre: (Default)
So I recalibrated the weeks, then did a walk I'd measured. I was trying to take longer strides, so the sensor was off. I recalibrated it, but I must have mis-selected as I'd actually walked 1.15 miles but it recorded 1.14. :(

About that yesterday: I was simply slammed. Routine gyn appt early in the day I slept in for and was late, then work, then Rick and I went up to the Fillmore to see OK Go. By the time we got back, it was 1:30 a.m. (much much later than I expected given an 8 p.m. concert start time, but I wasn't expecting two backup bands). Stayed up until 3:30 a.m.

Got some writing done in the morning on Weds, but not as much as I'd hoped. So, all around it was a failure as a day except the concert was fabulous. The OK Go part was, anyway.

They have something cool I've never seen a band do before: at the end of their concert, you can buy an OK Go-logo flash drive with the concert on it, and you can buy them for about a month afterward. Cool idea.

I'll leave you with their set-opening song, Invincible.

OK Go - Invincible from OK Go on Vimeo.

Now, off to more writing....
deirdre: (Default)
FlashForward will be returning from its winter hiatus on Thursday, and I'd like to lobby any of you to see episodes you haven't already seen.

It's not often there's shows about physicists, even ones based on a novel. I've read the book and it's different, but in this case, it's different in a way that works on television.

If you don't have time to ramp up, I'd recommend two episodes, the first and the last before hiatus (No More Good Days, and A561984, respectively). The latter has some really great TV scenes.

Essentially, the entire planet blacked out for two minutes, seventeen seconds -- and people who were alive in that future saw their future.

Hilarity ensues.
deirdre: (Default)
The band OK Go, along with Syyn Labs, constructed this marvelous Rube Goldberg machine for their newest music video. Quite a challenge.

Love this band, bought this album too.


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