Thursday, April 24, 2008


Quick note: no blogging for awhile. Sliced finger open with very sharp knife. Typing is a bit excruciating in the meanwhile. Back when this heals.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Edward Lorenz, RIP

Life, with it's many strange attractors, has come to a conclusion for one Edward Lorenz, one of the pioneers of chaos theory.

Somewhere, a butterfly is sadly flappings it wings.

Unstructured Suntory

If you have even a passing familiarity with the Final Fantasy games, I think you'll get a kick out of this tie-in commercial for a line of Final Fantasy themed "Suntory" drinks.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Iron Man Trailer to be Made Into Movie

I LOL'ed.

Unstructured Kool-Aid

Dane Cook on the not-so-cool aspects of the Kool-Aid man.

Oh yeah.

(NSFW language)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Trapped in an Elevator

ElevatorIf ever you feel that you're having a bad day, consider the plight of Nicholas White.

White was working late and decided to take a smoke break. After he finished his break, he got back into one of the elevators in the building and pressed the button for the 43rd floor. He would remain trapped in that elevator for the next 41 hours unable to escape and with precious little to occupy his mind.

I've been reading a book called The Black Swan whose major thesis is that a certain category of rare event can have a disproportional impact. White's case seems to be one such "black swan". Getting trapped in an elevator for nearly two solid days was something that was impossible to anticipate but the impact on his life was enormous. Traumatized by the event, he essentially quit his job, engaged in an ill-advised attempt to litigate for damages (which yielded only a pittance) and has been mainly unemployed for nearly fifteen years since then.

Of course, one could argue that he should have shaken the experience off, or that another person may have been able to cope better, or that the choices he made, after the event, were unwise, but the fact remains that if he had called in sick that day, or if the elevator had been maintained better, or if security had been more observant about monitoring the security cameras in the elevators, or if he had simply taken a different elevator, the course of his life would have been profoundly different than what it was.

It is a paradox that we all face. A prudent person tries to plan for the future but the very essence of the future is that it is unpredictable and that a single event can render any amount of planning moot.

The New Yorker has the full story of Wright's experience (in addition to lots of ancillary information about elevator technology and safety) as well as a compelling time lapse video of Wright's actual ordeal.

Elevator image courtesy of Flickr user annia316 ღ

Monday, April 14, 2008

Unstructured Picture of the Interval

Klansmen for Tolerance

It is best to mock that which we abhor.

Attribution unknown

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Unstructured Glossographia


The Shakers were an odd religious group by even the standards of most of the utopian movements of the 19th century (and believe me, there were quite a lot of odd ducks in that group). They are most well known for their absolute prohibition on sexual intercourse, which is even more remarkable given the longevity of the group which managed to last well over a century via the acquisition of new converts (indeed, you can still find the occasional neo-Shaker).

Beyond the celibacy edict, however, the Shakers had other interesting and unusual traits. Above is an example of Shaker glossographia, which is the written version of glossolalia (aka "speaking in tongues") which should be familiar to anyone whose had any exposure to Pentecostalism (which is, arguably, the last and most successful of the Protestant Utopian movements).

Ubuweb Ethnopoetics has a good collection of Shaker glossographics. While I, of course, don't believe that there's anything genuinely divine in their compositions, I find it interesting to contemplate the ecstatic states of mind that led to their creation.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Zombie Strippers


I suspect that, much like Snakes on a Plane, the title of Zombie Strippers really does say everything that you need to know in order to make an informed choice about whether or not this movie is right for you.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Pants Strike Back

PantsAs a follow-up to the Blade Runner pants post, here's a list of great science fiction titles that I've "pantsed" up.

20,000 Leagues Under the Pants
2001: A Pants Odyssey
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Pants
A Deepness in the Pants
A Fire Upon the Pants
A Wrinkle in Pants
Brave New Pants
Childhood's Pants
Do Androids Dream of Electric Pants?
Ender's Pants
Foundation and Pants
Have Pants, Will Travel
Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Pants
I, Pants
Journey to the Center of the Pants
Lucifer's Pants
Make Pants! Make Pants!
More than Pants
Pants for Algernon
Pants for Leibowitz
Pants of the Galaxy
Pants on Zanzibar
Pants Out of Joint
Pants Plus
Rendezvous With Pants
Ring Around the Pants
Speaker for the Pants
Starship Pants
Stranger in Strange Pants
The Demolished Pants
The Door into Pants
The Forever Pants
The Invisible Pants
The Left Pants-leg of Darkness
The Lost Pants
The Man in the High Pants
The Pants Are a Harsh Mistress
The Pants Dysfunction
The Pants in God's Eye
The Pants Look Up
The Pants My Destination
The Pants of God
The Pants of Paradise
The Pants of Steel
The Pants Themselves
The Shadow of the Pants
The Stainless Steel Pants
The Three Pants of Palmer Eldritch
The War of the Pants
Time Enough for Pants
To Your Scattered Pants Go
Use of Pants

Fantasy Bonus:

Lord of the Pants
The Fellowship of the Pants
The Two Pants
The Return of the Pants

Creative Commons Pants image courtesy of "yatta".

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Unstructured Clocks

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Nothing says "I am a major corporate enterprise" like having a wall full of clocks set to different international times.

Now, thanks to the internet, you can get that very same feeling from the comfort of your own home. I would suggest chomping on a cigar and yelling at your subordinates to complete the effect.*

* If you don't have any handy subordinates, pets and/or children may be substituted. It is not recommend that you use spouses or significant others, however.

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