While SCP-1471 (see an animation regarding it if you like) is intended to express creepiness (stalking in particular), it strikes me that it is a very good analog of chronic illness. Bad decisions and/or bad luck lead to the creation of this … thing that is now going to be with you forever.
It’s just … kind of … there. Always. But because it’s always there, always with you, you pay it no mind. You don’t have to learn to not let it bother you, that just happens, because our minds adapt. (Which is not saying that we ever come to ignore it.)
Among those with it, there’s immense variation in how severely it impacts one person versus another. And even in the cases where it affects people the exact same way physiologically, there are big differences in how different people respond psychologically.
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I’ve experienced the optical illusion where the Moon appears much larger than usual during moonrise and -set countless times. But then I just happened to see the Moon while it was high in the sky while looking through the thin gap between the louvers of my window-blinds — and the Moon appeared tiny! I had no idea there was a counter-illusion like this, so it was very surprising and interesting.
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Daniel Huffman has produced some interesting maps of the US’s major river systems, done in the style of intracity rail line maps. I especially like the one of the Columbia’s system.
He talks about generating these river maps here.
Naturally, he has other interesting things to say about maps, such as a discussion on projection conformality.
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I hate in when I look up foo in the dictionary and it says “not bar”. Thanks, now I’ve gone from having to look up a word to know what it means, to having to look up another word to know what the first means, you’ve been a big help there.
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Kinko’s has changed the way you make copies at its self-service copy centers: Instead of putting coins into the copy machine, you buy a card at vending machine (with $1 increments) and the copier takes the card and deducts from the card’s value. You don’t get change from unused value left on your card, you “get” to keep the card for your next use. Yeah, like it’s going to be worth 70¢ of my time to hunt around for their stupid cash card. This is not an increase in automation: The copiers used to be self-vend already, without having to detour to buy a card. It’s just getting extra money they’re not entitled to from people not using all the money on the card and customer tracking. How about using your local non-chain copy center instead? I bet they won’t end up costing 50¢ a copy if you need only two and lost your Kinko’s card.
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Someone has done something creative with that Flash engine which is used to make all those insipid dress-up “games”.
It won’t let you really make a robot. But you can make an image of one:
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[Edit: Link down due to technical problems.]
Pictures from a backyard party I was at in PDX.
Can you find me?
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So, this guy pulls out his wallet.
I say, “Hey, that looks just like my wallet.”
He goes “Uhhh…”
I take out my wallet, and it looks just like his.
“Oh, I thought you were going to accuse me of taking your wallet.”
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A friend of mine’s girlfriend recently decided to take Eleftherios’ advice and get her name off the roles of the Catholic Church, which she hadn’t considered herself a part of in a long time. She was raised Catholic, and this was mostly a cathartic action — while most people leaving the church can just quietly stop going to services, for some people this stuff can really get to them and need purging.
She showed me the letter she wrote detailing her dispute with the ways of the church. It was well-written, harsh, and from the heart. A few of her points:
- The church resists truth-seeking, preferring dogma.
- It’s supported oppressive regimes, so long as their policies were favorable to the church.
- It’s sexist.
The first point is ubiquitous across religions. Disbelief is as much about faith as belief is — it is critical inquiry, skepticism, which is its true opposite. I think it was pretty brave of her to send her censure to the church.
In other news, I took the short ride to Venice again today. Less people around than yesterday, as it was overcast. Still some people trying to surf. I got going pretty well on the bike path and was feeling good, until I hit a tight outside turn and almost slid out. After that I rode much easier. On the way back I heard a biker was telling his partner “watch out for the sand” and felt better about it, that curve must have a rep.
On the omphaloskepsis front, I’ve been messing around with the blog’s “theme” (skin/chrome) to bring it in line with my preferences. Kudos to wordpress for making this nice with their CSS. Though they used pixel measures way too much, optimizing to a certain browser size. I’ve stomped the worst of these out.
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