Friday, September 27, 2013

Foursquare data looks pretty cool.

I found these very mesmerizing.  The swarming of some horde into the belly of a great beast and then out again.  The hive mind...  Not sure exactly, but I am fascinated.

"Foursquare has gathered a year’s worth of check-in data from all over the world and made it into these cool time-lapse maps of the activity in major cities." (via Check out the rest

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

This Garden Kills Fascists


Sadly, I can't take credit for that title, but it is awesome.  I got it here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Variations on a Theme - Indra's Net

I have been studying American Literature lately (and again I guess, since I kind of majored in English in college) and have just finished a series of lectures on Ralph Waldo Emerson...

One of the lectures was based on his essay, Circles and has a very similar premise as Indra's Net.  Read this for yourself and let me know what you think.

"THE EYE is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary picture is repeated without end. It is the highest emblem in the cipher of the world. St. Augustine described the nature of God as a circle whose centre was everywhere and its circumference nowhere. We are all our lifetime reading the copious sense of this first of forms. One moral we have already deduced in considering the circular or compensatory character of every human action. Another analogy we shall now trace, that every action admits of being outdone. Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning; that there is always another dawn risen on mid-noon, and under every deep a lower deep opens."

Thursday, September 19, 2013

something large, something small, and something else

Something rather large and mind boggling:

via (

Something rather small and mind boggling:

A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics

"Physicists have discovered a jewel-like geometric object that dramatically simplifies calculations of particle interactions and challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental components of reality..."

"...The amplituhedron looks like an intricate, multifaceted jewel in higher dimensions. Encoded in its volume are the most basic features of reality that can be calculated, “scattering amplitudes,” which represent the likelihood that a certain set of particles will turn into certain other particles upon colliding. These numbers are what particle physicists calculate and test to high precision at particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland."

Read more.

 Which kind of made me think of Inra's net

"Francis Harold Cook describes the metaphor of Indra's net from the perspective of the Huayan school in the book Hua-Yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra:
Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out infinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each "eye" of the net, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering "like" stars in the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring." (via wikipedia).

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sound Observation from a Sci-Fi Genius

‘A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve an equation, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.’~ Robert A. Heinlein

You might know Heinlein from such works as:

"Stranger in a Strange Land"
"Starship Troopers"
"The Moon is a Harsh Mistress"

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Can't Get Enough Ed Abbey

Ed Abbey is rapidly becoming my favorite philosopher.  These two clips are taken from Jack Loeffler's interview of Abbey in 1983, when he had become the old man, to which he refers in the first clip.  One would think that having dabbled in Environmental Studies at UVM, I would have been able to recite Abbey chapter and verse, but the truth is I am just now coming to him in my sedate middle age, so that perhaps when I'm in the final stages I'll have something to teach (ed. watch the video...he's rambling again).

Some of my favorite spots when he theorizes that no one is worthy of eternal life and that the desire for immortality comes from having lived a lifeless life.  I also like that he likes the world just as it is, that it is just a roiling human comedy full of strife and conflict, but that is what makes it so great...and when you're gone you're gone and that there's no use getting all sentimental about it.  Finally, I like that he says that we as humans have as much of a right to life as any other life, but that we don't have the right to exploit that right, and that we should have reverence for life in all of its forms.


1. Shakespeare's "The Seven Ages of Man" the famous poem that begins with "All the world's a stage..."
2. A somnambulist's favorite, Joyce's "Ulysses" "History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake"

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Home Roasting Coffee

My new favourite hobby is roasting my own coffee.  Delicious and awesome. 

I started off by researching easy ways to roast coffee at home and came upon this video:

I found a cheap (free actually) popper at a yard sale.

I ordered the green coffee beans from Sweet Maria's (the company that also made the video).  It cost me (after shipping) just shy of 30 dollars for 4 different varieties of coffee (one pound each).

Following the instructions in the video, each roasting session lasts about 5 to 7 minutes.    I roast the coffee the day before and then enjoy the freshly roasted coffee the next day.  I have just been amazed with the results.

Alan Moore on Satire, Magick and the Power of the Artist

A nice dose of conspiracy


Click here for the Wikipedia article on the CIA program MK ULTRA.