Saturday, June 28, 2003

Cremaster? I 'ardly knew 'er!

Saw Cremaster 4 and 5 last night (thanks to Chad!). I'm glad I went...I'd like to see the other ones. It was pretty fascinating, though the fact I was half asleep and a bit tipsy by the midnight showing undoubtedly helped. Both were beautiful and engrossing, though a little long, especially 5, which I dozed through a bit. Also strange was that 5 was filmed in part in Budapest, including shots of the bridges, the Citadel, and there is a whole scene that occurs in the spa I went to. I'm not sure I really understood it...I decided that 4 was about birth and 5 about death, but I guess it's not that simple.

In other news, saw Blondie in Government Center. The new stuff is a bit strange, the old stuff was fun. I'm up to 8 friends, 40,762 people. Also found a great pub.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Peanuts Acting Like Women?

Although this is one possible origin of the phrase peanut gal-lery (other recent bad puns - what do you call a storm during knighting ceremony? a knightingale! what does a knight ride on? a knightmare! what do you call a knight's shadow? knightshade!), it turns out to not be the actual one. Somebody wrote me asking if I knew where the phrase came from since I used it in the title of my paper (further proof that people are far too generous in ascribing expertise to people who make web pages). I looked it up. First Google result informed me:

Peanut Gallery is American slang dating to 1888 referring to the balcony section of a theater--presumably from hoi polloi eating peanuts in the cheap seats. The term was popularized in the 1950s by the television show Howdy Doody, in which the host Buffalo Bob would call the child audience the peanut gallery. In doing so, Buffalo Bob was combining two different slang traditions.

Peanut is also slang for something small or inconsequential. This use dates to the 1930s. By 1942, the word was being used to mean a small or inconsequential person, or a child. This is the origin of name of Charles Schulz's comic strip, and Howdy Doody got mileage out of both senses of the term.

In other news, I now have 5 friends and 1 testimonial. I'm connected to 26,846 people. How exciting!

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Yawn (part 2)

My suitcase finally showed up at 2:10 am. Yuck. But yesterday I stumbled home after Guster and drinks at the 21st Amendment and woke up early enough to go to the gym this morning. Yay me.

Happy birthday to Ayshe.

I am now a denizen of Friendster, though so far I have only 2 friends.

Monday, June 23, 2003


Why am I still awake when I only slept 5 hours on the plane, you might ask? Well, maybe because United left my bag at LAX, and I'm still waiting for it show up. Whee! It was a great trip, though. Caught up on the latest gossip, played some basketball, watched lots of movies, went to an awesome wedding. Far too much to ever hope to recount.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003


Yesterday, the subject of the deceased Acrophobia again came up. Here's the best explanation of its fate I could find:

Bezerk got bought by, they got bought by, and uproar got bought by Vivendi/Universal. Now, Vivendi is getting rid of all the stuff that's really fun but isn't as profitable as they with it could be.

Someone really needs to find a way to bring it back. Chris thinks Yahoo! should just write an Acro clone, or that Richard should. This clone looks promising, but I have yet to try it out.

On a related note, I was trying to think of things to do tonight, and I remembered Esports Arena. Even though they weren't open when I was last here, they're already bankrupt. It was a really interesting idea, but for some reason public gaming just doesn't seem to catch on here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Dam, that was a good trip

In San Diego, after surviving Vegas. Also went to the Hoover Dam, where many puns were made. Highlights include the lounging by the pool at the Tropicana, playing the $3 blackjack tables with a fun dealer at Boardwalk at 3 a.m. on a Sunday, an audience member asking Lance Burton to kill his wife, the cool (and patriotic!) fountains at the Bellagio, the incredible brunch at the MGM, the refreshingly decent music at the Hard Rock....and some other things that are better off staying in Vegas.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Bloggy, with low visibility

Went to Dave's Thursday night meeting. The idea of providing New Hampshireites with blogs is awesome, I think it could have a real impact if done right. However, I was unable to convince Dave of the value of trackback. Maybe it doesn't work as well as it should, but I continue to believe it is important. Blogs should be like a conversation, damnit, otherwise they're just ineffectual spouting off.

In all the excitement, forgot to mention I saw Mitch Kapor talk at MIT about Chandler. It was a little disappointing, really, not much I couldn't have found out from reading the site, and the room was very poorly ventilated.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Why Richard Stenlund Should Go To Vegas

I was reading this article about Vegas and getting all excited for my trip. And then I started reading about a MMORPG addict who complains "I think people are generally false. Even sitting here with you, we are putting on a front. But in A. O. you can really let your true character out. If I want to be a pervert, I am able to do that in A. O. and be a pervert right off the bat." And I thought, if this guy is sick of being in this small town in the middle of the country, he should go to, say, Vegas. And lo and behold I get to the end of the article and he is moving there. Creepy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Name dropping

Survived my second night of hitting the Jupiter Weblog Conference after-party scene. I've met all sorts of interesting people, like Steve and Scott. Also put a lot of names to faces, like Dave and Doc. It's always strange when people you know of online turn out to be more than pixels.

Friday, June 6, 2003

More random stuff

Finished reading the cool Wired spaces issue...including this interesting take by Rem Koolhaas on the Libeskind design, which I kind of like.

Instead of the two towers - the sublime - the city will live with five towers, wounded by a single scything movement of the architect, surrounding two black holes. New York will be marked by a massive representation of hurt that projects only the overbearing self-pity of the powerful. Instead of the confident beginning of the next chapter, it captures the stumped fundamentalism of the superpower. Call it closure.

(Meta note: I typed this in instead of copying and pasting. It felt good. When I saw Billy Collins give a reading, he pointed out that copying a poem out longhand was one good way of making it your own.)

Unrelatedly, I found an easy way to make a hand puppet. Take a sealed envelope (particularly one featuring this week's unappealing Chase bank credit card offer) and tear one side off. Remove contents. Insert hand. Voila. Hours of fun.

Fun with Citeseer

Here's an neat discovery - my paper is the only result when you check citeseer for blogs, like so. And there are only a handful of results for weblogs. Don't try searching for blog, you get a bunch of weird math stuff.

Thursday, June 5, 2003

Blues, Blogs

Had dinner with Mike, who has started a blog. Most recently he talked about the types of blogs. I think mine is still a little schizophrenic.

One thing I did want to do was link to this story in Wired which had a chart showing a bunch of blue logos in color space, including the last three places I've spent my time: Yale, NEC, and IBM. Unfortunately, the graphic isn't online. Damn you, Wired! I wonder if I'm destined to only go places with blue logos.

Tuesday, June 3, 2003


I saw this link to remixed propaganda on a klog apart. I'm a huge fan of this style of art for some reason. Which is why I ordered a propaganda poster calendar from Poland. There's a web page that has some of the images somewhere, but I can't find it at the moment. Also, I have to agree with some of the posters' sentiments.

Sunday, June 1, 2003

Another weekend, another beer belly

Hmm, where did the weekend go? Bar-hopping in Cambridge on Friday, including yet another conversation about jdate (if only i were jewish!). Bought Travel Scrabble and played on the T with M....I highly recommend it! You can stop mid game and store everything quite handily since the pieces snap into place.

Also ran into the catalog of guttural moans in comics, which reminded me that I thought a catalog of male and female bathroom signs (given the funky ones you find in Europe) would be fun. I Googled around for one, to no avail...though I did find this comparison of male and female bathroom graffiti. I didn't even know women's bathrooms had graffiti! Mysterious.