sobering

Two entirely unrelated things that I encountered today, both of which will stay in my head for a fair while:

I always knew that form could trump function to the detriment of value, but, as someone with verbal chops that I will immodestly describe as “above the norm”, I found this article about the perils of glibness to be quite compelling. (I suspect there is also peril to be found in long sentences, but what’s life without a little danger?)

On CBC this morning, I heard an interview with the first person to donate part of his liver to a stranger in Canada. The most affecting part of the interview was probably the passage that begins at about 7:20 in, with this from Mr. Gosling:

What separates me from the other people that don’t do this? The same thing, I suppose, that separates me from others who do much more.

Andy and the bio-ethicist from TGH weren’t the only ones tearing up during that segment, I have to confess.

bow down before the one you serve

I fancy myself a bit of a JavaScript wiz, but this thing is humbling.

oooh, pretty

Some things that made me smile today, not including any out-of-work librarians:

  • Spacebloom: a real book about fictitious space-faring flora, including some rather attractive images and just-kooky-enough faux history. I think I may purchase the book, if Tyla consents. (The actual construction of the book looks amazing, too.)
  • Leo Villareal’s light-architecture-art projects: I dunno what it is about these, but I found them quite pleasing to mine eyes.

In other news, Sandia is building a scene from Half Life or something. (The link to the large Z machine picture is nice, but since it’s a 1.8MB image your browser may become petulant.)

a legacy of wisdom

There are no easy buckets on this court.

I’d vote Greenspan in a second, I tell ya.

honestly, now

I don’t have much to add beyond what “Hoye mentioned”:http://neon.polkaroo.net/~mhoye/blarg/archives/001736.html, but yes, “this”:http://www.canada.com/ottawa/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=f3d6dba0-21ac-4d23-a182-39c5fd8efe26 is pretty disturbing. I’m guessing that Canada’s position on next year’s “press freedom ranking”:http://www.rsf.fr/article.php3?id_article=8247 won’t be quite so high. Not that the Citizen’s/Southam’s “press-freedom record”:http://www.globaljournalist.org/archive/Magazine/FPhero-20023q.html is all that fantastic itself, but I guess this is worse.

cross-pollination

I wonder if I’d like any of “Jamie’s music”:http://www.jwz.org/gruntle/music2003.html. I bet “iTMS”:http://www.apple.com/itunes/store/ can’t help me very much with this problem, but maybe I’ll poke around tomorrow and see if they have any relevant samples.

get your charity on

The boys at “Penny Arcade”:http://www.penny-arcade.com/ make, in my opinion, some pretty decent comics, and I’ve always been a fan of Tycho’s writing. I’m not alone in my approval, of course, and they regularly terrify their advertisers the click-through rates they can provide. There’s a good reason that the advertising they run works so very well: they’ve built up a lot of credibility with their community over the last 5 years, and they play stingy with that social capital by only accepting ads for things that they think their readers will be interested in, rather than just things whose vendors want to get in front of PA’s relatively-massive audience.

This year they’ve outdone themselves, IMO, by spending some of that capital on a “toy drive”:http://www.penny-arcade.com/childsplay/ for a local children’s hospital. Just as the advertisers are blown away the success of campaigns running on the site, I think the “hospital in question”:http://www.seattlechildrens.org/ is probably reeling a little from the “incredible”:http://www.penny-arcade.com/childsplay/9.htm “quantity”:http://www.penny-arcade.com/childsplay/18.htm “of”:http://www.penny-arcade.com/childsplay/24.htm “toys”:http://www.penny-arcade.com/childsplay/12.htm. As of this writing, none of the Lego on the “wish list”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/registry/2W2ZGW4875AML/ref%3Dwl%5Fs%5F3/002-4534135-1405607 is available for purchase from Amazon, and I can’t help but think that it’s “not coincidence”:http://www.penny-arcade.com/childsplay/4.htm.

If you were thinking of getting me something for Christmas, you have your orders. They’re going to branch out and do drives for more hospitals next year, so I should lean on my friends at CHEO and Sick Kids’ and see if I can’t get them involved. I get misty whenever I think about kids in hospitals, and I’m “so far past misty”:http://www.penny-arcade.com/childsplay/letter2.htm right now that it’s not funny. Even in the way that a grown man crying is usually funny.

c’mon, it’s not like he’s behind on his dues or anything

The City of Moncton thinks that showing up drunk at work toting a loaded, sawed-off shotgun in search of the boss is a firing offence. “The city’s union disagrees.”:http://www.globeandmail.ca/servlet/story/RTGAM.20031128.wmonc1128/BNStory/Front/

visualize whirled peas

I was going to go to NYC this weekend, to visit George and hang out at the “GNOME conference”:http://www.nylxs.com/events/gnome/, relax a little, you know. Earlier this week, though, I decided that I’m not really sufficiently back to my usual self to engage in high-density travel, so I cancelled those plans. I was looking forward to seeing all those crazy folks, but I think this was the right decision. There’s always the new year, and suchlike.

Apropos nothing whatsoever, I think Madhava and Beltzner will appreciate “this visualization of election results”:http://www.style.org/mappingvotes/. Don’t you?

cuter than a basket of

What’s more fun than the Pope? The pope with a giant kitten. (Or, honestly, even a small one, on a stick.) There are more. So, “so many more”:http://nohands.bakesnake.com/.

(Via “Scattershot”:http://www.lynchwalker.com/.)

(Edit: direct links to the images didn’t work, bah.)

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