potpourri: June 2005 Archives


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For a brief spell tonight, the weather finally broke. For the past week or so, and I can testify to this based on first-hand experience, the temperature failed to dip below the low 80s, even at, say, 2 in the morning. For the past week or so, I've managed to get to sleep only on the combination of sheer exhaustion, the heavy rotation of ice packs from freezer to pillows, and what I've come to recognize as fan chill (where the temperature doesn't really drop, but the sheer number of fans convinces your lizard brain that it's cooler than it actually is).

Tonight, however, rain glorious rain! And it dropped as low as 71, according to weather.com. It's still warmer than I like when it comes to sleep, but I'll take it.

Also a couple of miscellaneous links that have refused to disconnect from one another: From the Department of Words that I Wish I'd Made Up, I'll refer you to Bill Tozier's discussion of crackpots, and particularly for "psychoceramics," which is the term for the study of crackpots. There's a psychoceramics mailing list, and a LJ community, but it was the first time I'd seen the word itself. Genius. Now if someone would just write a spot-on Asimov parody (Confoundation?) substituting psychoceramics for psychohistory.

Anyhow, I thought it was quite a hoot, and I appreciate the sentiment behind Bill's psychoceramica:

I think we should pay attention to and catalog kooks and crackpots and religious fanatics for the same reason we pay attention to people with genetic diseases that result in biochemical anomalies. Because by looking at the exceptions and cataloging them, we will learn far more about the underlying “wild type” cognointellectual framework of science and thought. By seeing what’s broken, and the consequences thereof, we can gather data with which we might piece together the normal complex dynamics of learning, discourse, and thought.

Now, lest you think there's no place for kooks and crackpots in the world, I would refer you to a link I picked up from Cool Hunting for a Dutch design studio called OOOMS. At OOOMS, you will find such products as Hairhats, made 100% from human hair, or Hollow Land earthenware, which reproduces exactly a hole from "somewhere in the Netherlands." By far, though, my fave is the Anti-Gravity machine, which looks a little like a rolling trebuchet, and which, once attached, allows you to "get the feeling of walking on the moon."

Genius. The Quicktime demo made me want it even more.

That is all. Except for the fact that I'll probably dream tonight of building my own rebellious cabinet.

Late night television

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"It's time that y'all had the chance to find out what it's like being Bobby Brown," or something moronic like that. Apparently, I jinxed Bravo last week, so that they felt obliged to announce, as part of their summer lineup, the new reality show called "Being Bobby Brown." There are so many bad jokes buried in there that I don't even know where to begin.

On the plus side, though, I got home just in time tonight to flip over to the Daily Show and see Jon Stewart interview Steven Johnson, which brings to a grand total now of 1 the number of people I've ever met personally who have appeared on the Daily Show. The trick for us bookish folk is that Jon has a rhythm to his banter that can make a body appear stilted. I was pleased to see, though, that Steven managed the interview well. Serious without being too serious, ya know?



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This page is a archive of entries in the potpourri category from June 2005.

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