abounding with verbosity

App Idea: Sanctus Bells

I went to a wedding this weekend, and the silence of no sanctus bells during the consecration was noticeable. Why not an app for that? There’s nothing in Google Play nor the Apple Store. Sanctus bells aren’t cheap, and they pack a loud punch. The enterprising altar boy can easily connect to the church’s PA system via Bluetooth and operate his phone’s shake event detection discretely inside his surplice sleeves.

Awesome Comics I Made

These were published way back when I had a Xanga account. I was totally on point with these. Not sure what happened to the #1.

Click to embiggen and make bigly.

Dickens on Philosophers

From Chapter 2 of Oliver Twist:

The members of this board were very sage, deep, philosophical men; and when they came to turn their attention to the workhouse, they found out at once, what ordinary folks would never have discovered—the poor people liked it! It was a regular place of public entertainment for the poorer classes; a tavern where there was nothing to pay; a public breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper all the year round; a brick and mortar elysium, where it was all play and no work. ‘Oho!’ said the board, looking very knowing; ‘we are the fellows to set this to rights; we’ll stop it all, in no time.’ So, they established the rule, that all poor people should have the alternative (for they would compel nobody, not they), of being starved by a gradual process in the house, or by a quick one out of it. With this view, they contracted with the water-works to lay on an unlimited supply of water; and with a corn-factor to supply periodically small quantities of oatmeal; and issued three meals of thin gruel a day, with an onion twice a week, and half a roll of Sundays. They made a great many other wise and humane regulations, having reference to the ladies, which it is not necessary to repeat; kindly undertook to divorce poor married people, in consequence of the great expense of a suit in Doctors’ Commons; and, instead of compelling a man to support his family, as they had theretofore done, took his family away from him, and made him a bachelor! There is no saying how many applicants for relief, under these last two heads, might have started up in all classes of society, if it had not been coupled with the workhouse; but the board were long-headed men, and had provided for this difficulty. The relief was inseparable from the workhouse and the gruel; and that frightened people.

Links of Possible Relevance, Part 22

The Great Chain of Linking, Part 2
Please welcome Graham to the world of curated link list creation on the Internet, as though there are no other places to find links such as these.

Moist Meter: Wonder Woman
The best review of Wonder Woman. Don’t watch it if you’re scared of bad words.

The Truth About Wonder Woman
Another good review, but see this comment on the video for counterpoint. From what I’ve read so far about the movie, people are saying it’s sexist because there’s tons of men getting killed in horrible situations on screen while barely any women are, which completely fails the Jay Test. Just kidding! It’s because Wonder Woman doesn’t have hairy armpits and isn’t black—two way more important issues in my book.

While I’m on this topic, Jill is always good for a laugh. The reason men become sexist in front of a grill is because naw actually I don’t need to think or care about it and why do I bother reading about the asinine things affluent people think about. That’s why.

History for Atheists – New Atheists Getting History Wrong!
A very knowledgeable friend of mine started this site. Too much good info in there to pass up.

PULP-O-MIZER: the custom pulp magazine cover generator
A dashing, daring, weird adventure in graphic design.

Ergo Proxy explained
Definitely explained.

How Grass Benefits the Environment
Lawns aren’t ideal, but they’re not the radioactive death-swamps some people make them out to be.

To Run Better, Start by Ditching Your Nikes
Running shoes will kill you if you run in them, but minimalist shoes are expensive and can be butt-ugly, like those Vibrams pictured in the article. I run in $15 DBX water shoes.

The Only Guide You Need To Setup BlogSpot Custom Domain
For those of us who are kept up at night wondering about these things. Also, here’s a good guide for setting up a custom domain for a site hosted on GitHub pages, because the official documentation sends you in annoying circles.

Living Sacrifice “Reborn” Special
Reborn turned 20 years old earlier this month. Seems like only yesterday…

Slapping Joseph Conrad’s Editor in the Neck

Because he thought having a protagonist tell the whole story, through dialogue, that should’ve just been left as narration was a good idea. And he thought it was another good idea for the protagonist-narrator speak just like Joseph Conrad writes, which is nearly impossible given for anyone, much less someone not trained in elocution, large-content memorization, and pathologically inclined to break basic social etiquette. And because he thought other in-story characters wouldn’t just get up and drown themselves in the disease-riddled Congo after he told maybe a few pages’ worth of his past and write him off as crazy and not just an oddball. And because he thought readers wouldn’t be wondering when the guy is going to shut the hell up and get back to the present and get on with the story. At least Ayn Rand had the good sense to make chapter-long speeches actual speeches and not impossibly well-constructed oral storytelling rants from a 19th/20th century seaman.

Faster Than Light

He was on edge all week from finals. Miko had sensed it, and urged him up to the hilltop on a cool weekday night on a break, away from the campus lights. He watched, weary and passive, as she assembled the telescope, her pale deft hands grasping and flicking in the light of a bright moon. The textbooks and graph paper returned their pulled at him. Miko told him to lighten up for once. She droned on excitedly about the constellated astro-arrangements, galactic formation types, and the life-cycles of nebular she was currently learning—all the intermediate-level phenomena with which he would be acquainted but not intimate. She spoke of a paradox she had read about, concerning velocities of objects passing through LaGrange points. The bones on the back of her hand raised and twitched with each twist of focus dial, and the mention of equal gravitational pulls brought him back to life. He looked up at the full celectial display and, sweeping his gaze in a full circumference across the entire span of Creation, formulated a paradox of his own.

Artwork: 君は月夜に光り輝 (“You shine on the moonlit night”) by Loundraw

Public Service Announcement: Yes, Virgin Mobile Soiled Its Drawers

Virgin Mobile towers are down. I heard that things won’t be back up for another 72 hours…so no calls or texts if you’re on their network. VM’s site doesn’t mention it at all.

Here’s a screenshot of the outages, from Down Detector. Notice the large red monstrosity over my area, Pittsburgh. Regardless, the outage looks pretty widespread:

UPDATE, 6/3/17 – 12:32 PM: I’m able to text and call now, but the outage map is getting worse.

UPDATE, 6/4/17 – 8:23 AM: Things seem back to normal on my end. Down Detector areas are mostly yellow now—I’m not sure what it’s supposed to look like when systems are nominal, though.

It’s No Wonder

With the adults, and most of the neighborhood kids, occupied with the block party outside, John fumbled with the lighter in his bedroom. He finally managed to keep it lit without burning his fingers, and ignited the cigarette that stood straight out of Victoria’s mouth. Chris looked on in amazement as she inhaled, held the breath in, and exhaled smoke out of the side of her mouth. True to her android precision, the cigarette remained level throughout.

“How does she do that?” Chris asked.

“We have, like, an advanced model, or something,” John said with a casual cadence. “We’re getting that new Adult Sociability upgrade soon, so she’ll know how to do it like a real grown-up.”

“Do you think it will damage her?”

“Hell if I know.”

There was a swell of women’s distressed voices outside; John noticed his mother’s voice in the chorus. He and Chris raced down to the curb, leaving Victoria alone in the bedroom.

A group of the block partiers gathered around a hover-vision, where a news anchor interviewed a young man sitting on an expanse of concrete, next to a parking lot yellow stripe. John couldn’t make out the dialogue, but the headline accompanying the interview read: “IBM’s Worker Protest Continues.” The young man reclined, going to sleep in the lot, and his scraggly beard began producing a strange foam.

The adults were aghast. The children who were still paying attention giggled as the parking lot man’s head began to shrivel. Victoria appeared next to John, letting out a puff puff of smoke through her nose. She was learning the art by herself.

John and Chris made a start as John’s father noticed Victoria smoking and flustered about, fussing to the boys about abusing the android. John’s mother swooped in to antagonize her husband, putting the question to him as to why he cared so much about one android when IBM worker’s children had to sleep in parking lots with foaming beards.

“Shave it.”

You don’t need to know much about the characters, or the series itself, to appreciate this little filler episode (embedding the video is disabled, hence the direct link), showcasing the evolving psychology of boredom. I don’t even mind the “dopey, good-natured male vs exasperated, dutiful female vs mischievous kid” trope.

One thing to know: Vincent is not quite human, but a Jekyl-Hyde type of character. Pino, the little girl, is a high-functioning android. The woman, Re-L, is the only actual human of the trio, and as an astute Youtube commenter pointed out, she’s the one acting the least human—at least, up until the end.

A Reign of Terror and a Guillotine

From A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court:

I rather wished I had gone some other road. This was not the sort of experience for a statesman to encounter who was planning out a peaceful revolution in his mind. For it could not help bringing up the unget-aroundable fact that, all gentle cant and philosophizing to the contrary notwithstanding, no people in the world ever did achieve their freedom by goody-goody talk and moral suasion: it being immutable law that all revolutions that will succeed must begin in blood, whatever may answer afterward. If history teaches anything, it teaches that. What this folk needed, then, was a Reign of Terror and a guillotine, and I was the wrong man for them.