Friday, February 27, 2015

Song of The Sea (movie review)

This Irish / Celtic tale, beautifully rendered I thought, was in that same ballpark as my wife's Turning the Wheel and its storytelling.  She went to Ireland with Elizabeth and Gayle to visit those kinds of places, imaginary yet real (Ireland is a real place but the proper noun is not a constant, as one might say Eire, as one might say Nippon for Japan).

The dad is sad, having lost his wife in childbirth, and she's got some problems probably stemming from lack of oxygen at birth.  She's gifted though, and warms the arts of the frozen, which is are fate in Narnia as well, whenever the Ice Queen holds sway.  This world has an old witch too.  The echoes of Spirited Away were maybe not just in my head.

The big dog is adorable.  The family dynamics are a great hook.  I saw Step Brothers recently, a gift from Lindsey, a comedy with Will Farrell and John C. Reilly, of whom I became a fan through Check It Out, and am in the mood to look at all that kid stuff again, not that it ever goes away or anything.  I've always loved cartoons. 

I wouldn't call this a comedy though, more an action adventure or, lets get real:  a fairy tale.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Tale of Two Logos

:: mosaic @ PSU ::

Way back in the 1990s, when the Internet, and the graphical web especially, were novelties, I was encouraged to discover the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) was already using the IVM (Bell's Kite) for a logo, something on which Fuller had briefly (in geological terms) held a patent.


I started leveraging this fact, only to find out later the NCTM legal team advised taking more control of the logo and rebranding as something more slippery:  an infinity symbol, more mysterious, more alluring (or whatever cosmetic concerns).  Bucky's name:  sliced out of the picture.

Fast forward to yesterday and I learn the IMU (International Mathematical Union) has a new logo.  These are top mathematicians, not just high school teachers, and they overtly mention Bucky Fuller in their video about how their logo was conceived.


Now that shows the difference in caliber, between bona fide mathematicians, not afraid to acknowledge their influences, and lawyers, afraid of losing control but not really having any in the first place.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Despicable Me (movie review)

Like the Madagascar series, with which this series has much in common, the characters are still evolving and branching out, with movies of their own.  Madagascar spawned the Penguins thereof, and the two Despicable Me films, which I saw out of order, have set the stage for Minions, not out yet as of this posting.

A similar plot element pops up frequently in movies these days, given our fear about "franken-food", GMOs etc.  The baddies are into genetic modification or transmogrification or monsterfication (monsterization) -- but then is that really a new activity?  No.  The evil genius has always been into making monsters, only reality has changed.

Gru is an interesting character, compared by some to Boris of Boris & Natasha from Rocky & Bullwinkle days.  He's extremely flamboyant in ways completely inconsistent with the usual idea of a "spy":  someone living "under cover".  He has many good qualities.  A lot of the best humor, though, comes through his minions.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Quaker Terminology

:: attenders ::

For the most part I think we use "slate" the way most people do as in "list of candidates" but we carry it over to mean "approved cast" as well.

When you get a playbill with a list of players in a show:  that's a slate, the way we use the word.

The other meaning is:  "not yet approved" as when when Nominating goes to Business Meeting with a "slate for approval" (the more mainstream usage).

So we could say "unapproved and approved slates" and be plain (clear) in our meaning.

As NPYM's technology clerk, I've been looking at npym_slate (a web page) to see if we've filled any holes still showing as empty, or if we're showing any ad hoc committees that have since been laid down.

Clint has been making changes.  This is an "approved slate" we're talking about, just sometimes the web-displayed version lags what clerks carry around in their heads.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Domestic Affairs

Perhaps as a consequence of the smartphone still having Alzheimer's, overloaded with Aviate, I managed to spend four TriMet e-tickets getting from A to B, which pissed me off, and I thumbed my irritation in the direction of the app makers.  To their credit, they refunded my Visa, and to mine, I'm still using eTickets, being a credit to my religion (one in favor of appropriate tech, including these handy GIS / navigation devices).

Speaking of Alzheimer's, did you see where Putin might have Asperger's all of a sudden?  That's not catching, like Ebola, so he's had it all along and only his nurses knew.  The martial arts training was all a way of diverting our attention from his stare or whatever open source signals are telling the Pentagon goat staring types what's really happening in Putin's brain (as opposed to his soul, which Bush checked out and briefed the Pentagon about already, presumably).

CBS is the one with the story.  I'm yukking it up on Facebook about it, but with empathy for those who suffer from this syndrome, which nowhere in the Constitution is listed as a disqualifying characteristic for a USA president.  I've always seen Ollie North as autistic, yet he'd have been at least as strong as Romney dontcha think?

Back to my kitchen:  dish washer has run amuk, leaking into the basement.

Thirsters last night:  kudos to Mrs. Beebe (PhD) for her presentation on stellar Filipina women who've not only tended our ailing (e.g. in the Holy Land) but have run banks, software companies, done everything men consider worthy.  But was leaving the Philippines a prerequisite for success?  One may always wonder, but one life is the one set of cards, and we don't get to play "as if" all that easily as when fantasizing about lives we didn't have.

I was glad to see (in her slides) more of the history in condensed form since my departure from those islands, after many formative years, in the 1970s, to attend a four year university (Princeton).  I was back briefly right before Cory Aquino's rise to power, but not since.  I still buy San Miguel sometimes, just for the mood and the memories (not that I was a huge beer drinker in high school, just we liked to hang out and enjoy one anothers' company -- what a lot of school is about, or should be, if you're lucky).

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Superbowl 2015

Yes, I'm partaking of the national secular religion today, Superbowl Sunday.  I'll link to some previous blog posts, as proof I've been around the block at least once in this cult.

I've got the pre-game on screen and feel properly endowed with comestibles and imbibables, namely cheetohs (flamey), Dr. Pepper (diet), and Torpedo IPA from Sierra Nevada.  Plus local sports bars are but blocks away.

Dr. Charles Bolton just called, the sociology professor.  I think he understands my willingness to partake in a social ritual, even though distant from football (US style).  I think back to the Mayans and the importance of ball games in this hemisphere.

US football may inherit from rugby but I think the seriousness with with civilization takes spectator sports is not confined to the North Atlantic Anglos or anything so restrictive.  Athletic events abound wherever anthropologists are willing to seek them.

Yes, I care about memes (memetics) and therefore advertising and so on, and may have something later to say about that.

So far my only story is about Patriots deflating their balls or something.  I'll no doubt be doing more homework on that, given how easy a search engine makes researching such stories.  Time was, one needed to dig in the library or find gold mines in books full of such juicy stories.

Omni-triangulating is easier now.  One to two pounds under.  Lots of other coverage out there, not saying it all ends with one story.

For those not from around here, US football, unlike soccer football, features goals high off the ground and no goalie per se.  You're allowed not only to touch the ball but to hug it like a teddy bear and make it your best friend ever.  Kicking it is allowed but in special circumstances only.  Hitting it with your head, which is supposed to be in a helmet, can only be a mistake.

Bookmark: one of yesterday's, to the Math Forum (familiar themes, pg. 119).

Hah, I liked that Katie Couric with Brian Gumble flashback commercial, for BMW's new electric model.  The Kickstart commercial was pretty rad.  Bud did another Clydesdale and puppy scenario, fun.  M&M gag was good.  Invisible woman: funny (with Matt Damon).

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Interstate Message Traffic


A common misperception even among Hawthorne District aka Asylum District cognoscenti, is that the "one flew over the cuckoo's nest" prototype, outsourced by Salem, is the seminary at the top of the street, a ways up Mt. Tabor.

Not so.  The old hospital campus no longer exits but think "food carts near Jolly Roger" on 12th to get closer.  Think Washington High School (where Pauling went), already retired from public school service in my day, and used by artists.

Anyway, I finally met a guy from there, the seminary, just here for two weeks to finish up some doctorate of divinity studies.  He's based in Texas and his family gets antsy when he travels.  I understand.  If the family might go too... I was thinking of Brazil with my daughters...  Not everyone enjoys having their cage rattled the way traveling does do.

He was already very experienced as a world traveler, doing childrens relief work.  We agreed that Austin is like a bridge city between Portland and the rest of Texas.  Everyone seems to think that.  Topology is weird.

Monday, January 12, 2015

New on Twitter: @npym_it

:: @npym_it twitter account launches ::

The first tweet is a link to the job description i.e. how the IT Committee serves NPYM Meetings and Annual Session. This is a new committee as of October, 2014.

I'm the Technology Clerk with Alberta Hill the Facilitation Clerk (when we have meetings, she clerks them).

We mostly work with development teams and interested parties on things like (a) registering and organizing for Annual Session (b) Directory Services.  We may also poll member meetings (e.g. invite them to participate in surveys) and consult with them regarding appropriate technologies for conducting their business.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Inching Closer


We may be getting closer to that Guantanamo "theme park" memorializing the USA's descent as a sovereign power under the globalizing influence of Pentagon-style capitalism aka "cowardly capitalism" based on "cost plus" defense contracts.

The mercenary industry became a boom sector, organized around the Goon Belt (WDC).  Neocons ruled.  America suffered a huge loss in respect as the rest of the world watched aghast at its wild antics.

Lots of giant corporations were never fans of the Neocons however and getting funding for such a theme park need not be a huge problem, especially if it's established as a non-profit.

The Cubans should not have to worry about coughing up the dough.  They weren't the cause of the problem and needn't pay the tab for the cleanup, which will take decades.

Monday, January 05, 2015

The Imitation Machine (movie review)

I recommend coming at this as a theater play with historical content, not as some "docu-drama" or historical re-enactment.  That way you needn't worry about "manga-fication" (cartoonification), the process whereby subtle tensions become much more in your face and melodramatic, anything but subtle.  Like with Wittgenstein and that fire poker.  He almost killed Popper right?

Like in real life a Rumsfeld might dictate some acerbic memo, a "snowflake" in Pentagon-speak, asserting his primacy in the chain of command over Condi.  In the "manga-fied" movie version, he gives her a punch across the jaw and she responds by dancing with nun-chucks on the ceiling, in slow motion, in a leather rain coat.

Taking a real example from the movie: I doubt a fist fight broke out over withholding strategic life-saving information after Enigma was cracked, or that the Really Stupid General was really so stupid as to take a crowbar to a Turing Machine named "Christopher" and almost lose the whole war single handedly for His Majesty.

I was glad to see the Soviets getting sympathetic treatment from MI-6, as Churchill was indeed worth bypassing; you can tell I'm not a huge fan, Human Smoke reader that I be.

I wasn't privy to any of this salacious storytelling or gossip around Alan i.e. Bletchley Park was no Hogwarts for me.  They didn't celebrate that history yet.  I grew up in the Cold War when such things were still secret.

Public key photography would have to wait for the power of GCHQ to wane against New Zealand's (long story, PGP-related).  I started to catch up thanks to Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon.

Great acting, by all the Turings!

For a minute there I thought Scarlett Johansson (aka "Lucy") had come back in time in her "know everything chair" to help Alan with his puzzle.  But no, Keira Knightly is actually a different person, duh.