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Greg Lloyd

Greg Lloyd's Public Library

May 22, 15

21 May 2014: All hail ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. In its 11 strokes, the symbol encapsulates what it’s like to be an individual on the Internet. With raised arms and a half-turned smile, it exudes the melancholia, the malaise, the acceptance, and (finally) the embrace of knowing that something’s wrong on the Internet and you can’t do anything about it.

  • As Kyle Chayka writes in a new history of the symbol at The Awl, the meaning of the “the shruggie” is always two, if not three- or four-, fold. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ represents nihilism, “bemused resignation,” and “a Zen-like tool to accept the chaos of universe.” It is Sisyphus in unicode. I use it at least 10 times a day.
May 22, 15

22 May 2015: The ‘Internet Health Test‘ by Battle for the Net is an attempt to install a sense of checks and balances for these ISPs by providing a test for Internet users to ensure their speeds aren’t being throttled or otherwise degraded.

  • While the Title II classification of ISPs as common carriers was a victory for all, there is growing concern that ISPs could go on with business as usual with clever tricks designed to skirt the rules of the classification.

     

  • While knowingly stepping outside the boundaries of the Title II classification carries the possibility of hefty fines and additional regulation by the FCC – for the most part – the average consumer would never realize throttling or degradation was even taking place.

     

May 22, 15


tl;dr — The Gallery of Concept Visualization features projects which use pictures to communicate complex and difficult ideas (not just data).

May 22, 15

“Explorable Explanations” was coined by Bret Victor in a stunning essay that mixed text with interactivity. To his readers, the article wasn't just a passive monologue, but an active dialogue.

  • “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” 
      ~ Confucius
  • In all these wide and varied examples, the reader is active.  The reader asks questions, and finds answers.  The reader proves lessons to themselves.  The reader gains an intuitive understanding of complex systems.  The reader creates hypothetical worlds.  Above all, the reader is having a conversation with the author. 

     

      This is a powerful new tool for thinking... and we've only just begun. 

     

      We hope you'll join us in exploring Explorable Explanations.

May 21, 15

19 May 2015: The Rhode Island Shakespeare Theatre offers Shakespeare in the Park with an outdoor production of "The Life and Death of King John" beginning Thursday at the Roger Williams National Memorial, 282 North Main St., Providence. The production runs Thursdays through Sundays at 8 p.m. through June 7, except for May 23 and weather permitting. Bring lawn chairs, blankets — and a picnic dinner. Call (401) 331-6118 for more information.

  • The Rhode Island Shakespeare Theatre offers Shakespeare in the Park with an outdoor production of "The Life and Death of King John" beginning Thursday at the Roger Williams National Memorial, 282 North Main St., Providence. The production runs Thursdays through Sundays at 8 p.m. through June 7, except for May 23 and weather permitting. Bring lawn chairs, blankets — and a picnic dinner. Call (401) 331-6118 for more information.
May 21, 15

Commercial and private aircraft. Free Web and mobile live flight tracking app

May 20, 15

17 Apr 2015: trailblazing burgers at New York City's worst-kept burger secret.

  • It was into this burgerscape — largely dominated by old-timey classics like P.J. Clarke's and fast food monoliths like McDonald's — that Steven Pipes decided to make his move. When he decided to open Burger Joint in a "hidden" corner of Le Parker Meridien Hotel's lobby in midtown Manhattan, his inspiration was clear. "I like burgers," he says, "and there were no good burgers in the neighborhood." He had an end-goal for his restaurant: It would be "fun" and "impactful." He had a vision for the space. He just needed the right burger.
  • They've ended up with a cheeseburger that hasn't really changed since Burger Joint first opened. (Actually, the biggest change is that customers can now order a double.) There's a five-ounce grilled beef patty. The cheeses are mild and American (but not American cheese). The vegetable toppings and the trio of available condiments — ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard — are as standard as can be. Size-wise, it's "handleable," Pipes explains. "You can be satisfied with one, but you can eat two." There's no "special sauce." If there's one point Pipes and Castillo both want to drive home with their burger, it's that simplicity is a noble goal. "You want the one thing and you want it as well as it can be done," Pipe says. There's just not a whole lot he and Castillo think burgers truly need.
  • Today, it's hard to overstate the influence Burger Joint has had on the way its home city eats. Drawing lines of people since its earliest days, Burger Joint is an inarguable trailblazer in the world of burgers: Quality-obsessed but not "gourmet." Fast (once you order), but not "fast food." Hidden, but the city's "worst-kept secret." Even in today's multidimensional burger scene, Burger Joint still keeps its place on Eater NY's list of essential burgers, having also won top honors from the site in 2013 — even though the field is now even more crowded. Burger Joint itself has expanded within New York City and outside the country. "We built this kind of on a lark," Pipes muses, "and since then the world has exploded with burgers."

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May 20, 15

19 May 2015: Hammond's Colonel is thoroughly befuddled by modern life ("Nowadays you got your International Space Station, your double-sided tape, your cargo pants — you seen these pants? That's too many pockets"), and he wonders why people seem to be eating less of his chicken these days, a self-effacing and endearing jab.

  • The campaign actually celebrates the storied founder's eccentricities, right down to the white suit he wore at all times, and the comical mandolin band he played in that was never in style, even back in the day:

  • Q.

    Do you have an interpretation

  • A.

    I do. When we find Don in that place, and this stranger relates this story of not being heard or seen or understood or appreciated, the resonance for Don was total in that moment. There was a void staring at him. We see him in an incredibly vulnerable place, surrounded by strangers, and he reaches out to the only person he can at that moment, and it’s this stranger.

  • My take is that, the next day, he wakes up in this beautiful place, and has this serene moment of understanding, and realizes who he is. And who he is, is an advertising man. And so, this thing comes to him. There’s a way to see it in a completely cynical way, and say, “Wow, that’s awful.” But I think that for Don, it represents some kind of understanding and comfort in this incredibly unquiet,
May 19, 15

18 May 2015: gave us everything we wanted. But was it good?

  • ANNA PEELE: Tom, I have something to tell you. It's over. And guess what: The show we thought was the tragedy of Don Draper and his many fatal flaws turned out to be a comedy, in the Shakespearean sense. It literally ended with a wedding, a kiss, a private jet ride, a new business, and a smile on the lips of a man who even doing a crossed-legged meditation exercise at a Psychotechnics retreat wore an oxford shirt (with the top two buttons undone, but still). And, best of all, it finished the way you said it wouldn't, with "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke."
  • TOM JUNOD: Hmmm. Well, as it turns out, what Don believes in, what Matthew Weiner believes in, what Mad Men believed in, was advertising. "Advertising equals death" has been my mantra all season—my OM. But it also equals love. Don found this out through the balding person of Leonard, who didn't just give Don a cause for compassion; he gave him a reason for being.
  • I said that the challenge that the show was going to face over its final two half-seasons was the challenge of dramatizing the effect of the consciousness-raising movement—the whole nation's inward turn—on a cast of characters stubbornly resistant to self-awareness or even self-reflection. Well, Mad Men went there, last night—directly, frontally—and I'm wondering how you think it did. We're doing this recap late, so I'm not entirely innocent of the chatter out there on Twitter and elsewhere; and I'm surprised that a consensus seems to be emerging that Don's smile during his meditation session was a cynical one—that he got the idea for the Coke commercial right there, and knew he could make hay from what he was witnessing all around him. I don't see it that way, at all, and not only because—yes, Anna—I went through my own OM'ing period in my first year of college, and was, as you might expect, completely, achingly, ridiculously sincere about sitting in my dorm room and mouthing the uni-syllable of the universe. I don't see cynicism in Don's smile because of Jon Hamm's skill at playing Don Draper. When we saw him smile during meditation, we suddenly realized that we were witnessing the first completely comfortable smile the guy has smiled since 1959, untainted by the usual bad faith and flop sweat. The point was not that he was a huckster, making calculations as he pretended to arrive at self-knowledge; the point was that he was a huckster who arrived at self-knowledge and then was willing to sell it.

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May 16, 15

Terrible experience: In 5/12/2015, 86-51 Broadway, Elmhurst store, manager Melissa seems to have the anger management issue.

  • When that I was and a little tiny boy,
     
        With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
     
    A foolish thing was but a toy,
     
        For the rain it raineth every day.
May 15, 15

14 May 2015: Diversity, accessibility, and healthy food options—how does your state add up? [ RI #1 ]

  • While many states bring their own local varieties, there are a number of other factors that make a state “food-friendly.” From pleasing the pickiest foodies to having a wide selection of product and farmer’s markets, we have analyzed several critical data sets to help determine which states rank the highest. In general, our assessment of “food-friendliness” was based on accessibility, diversity, and healthy food options.
  • 1. Rhode Island (RI)
  • Rhode Island is the food-friendly powerhouse in these fifty states - and for good reason. This pint-sized non-island is stocked with top-tier, flavorful foods - many of which are "all their own" in the same way New Orleans claims beignets and Kentucky claims fried chicken. For one: Rhode Island has "Stuffies" (baked clams stuffed with herbs, mollusc, chourico sausage, and peppers), "Donut Cake," coffee milk , Awful Awfuls, and Del's lemonade.

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May 13, 15

13 May 2015: This year, Eater is teaming up with James Beard award-winning Southern Foodways Alliance to spotlight their documentary work, premiering a short film every other week. This next piece focuses on O'Steen's, a 50 year-old seafood joint in St. Augustine, Florida. Known for its fried shrimp and spicy chowders, the restaurant attracts constant lines and regulars who have been coming for decades. And over half of the staffers are 25 year veterans of the place. Check it out.

May 13, 15

13 May 2015: Aeon magazine has just published a long piece on the current state of cosmology by Ross Andersen. One focus is on Paul Steinhardt and his claims that the popular multiverse/eternal inflation scenario doesn’t explain what it is supposed to, and is compatible with almost any experimental result. The BICEP2 fiasco, where multiverse proponents first claimed a “smoking gun” vindication from B-modes, then went on to claim that no B-modes was just as good for their theory once they disappeared, is the main topic of the article (for a previous posting about this, see here).

  • Steinhardt explains that the underlying problem is that the underlying problem is an inherently untestable paradigm, compatible with anything:
  • The theory’s weaknesses can be explained away with the same glib shrug that accompanies the retort: ‘God just made it that way.’
  • A dominant, infinitely flexible multiverse theory could make it easy not to strain for the next leap forward. It could lead to a chilling effect on new ideas in cosmology, or worse, a creative crisis. Steinhardt thinks we’re already there. ‘Andre Linde has become associated with eternal inflation because he thinks the multiverse is a good idea,’ he told me. ‘But I invented it, too, and I think it’s a horrible idea. It’s an emperor’s new clothes story. Except in that story, it’s a child who points out that the Emperor has no clothes. In this case, it’s the tailors themselves telling us that the theory is not testable. It’s Guth and Linde.’

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May 13, 15

13 May 2015: XKCD author Randall Munroe is coming out with a new book this year that explains complicated subjects in extremely simple and funny ways. Descriptively titled Thing Explainer, the book uses only the 1,000 most common English words to explain the workings and purposes of things like microwaves, data centers, cells, tectonic plates, and NASA’s Curiosity rover (seen below). The book grew out of Munroe's 2012 comic "Up Goer Five," which used these rules and a simple diagram to break down the Saturn V rocket. Thing Explainer appears to keep the same style, albeit with a bit more detail and some of Munroe's stick figures thrown in.

  • Munroe has been drawing comics for close to a decade now, but he's only recently started branching out. In 2012, he began an illustrated explainer series called What If? that answers ridiculous scientific questions with surprisingly thoughtful answers (most recently, "Which has a greater gravitational pull on me: the Sun, or spiders?"). Munroe turned that series into a book last year. As with What If? and the XKCD comics in general, Munroe's scientific background — he was once a roboticist at NASA — continues to play a big role in allowing him to take complicated subjects and turn them into a funny and understandable format. That's clearly the case with Thing Explainer as well.
  • It looks like the book will include around 60 diagrams in all. It'll be released this year on November 24th, and it's already available to preorder in a number of countries.

     
      
     

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May 13, 15

13 May 2015: Apple’s iMessage is an all-in-one messaging solution that stays with you across mobile devices and laptops—assuming they’re all made by Apple of course. Even if you rely on the service every day, you may not know about some of the features and tricks you can take advantage of, so we’re here to help put that right.

May 13, 15

15 May 2015: Hollyhock Festival of the shrines. This 1,400-year old festival features a magnificent pageant which colorfully reproduces the imperial procession that used to pay homage to these shrines in ancient days. The procession consists of the ox-drawn carriages, courtiers and court ladies clad in ancient court robes, and men holding flower-decorated umbrellas, all decorated with hollyhock leaf. If it rains, the festival will be postponed to the next day.

May 13, 15

One of my favorite films of all time is "Forbidden Planet". Recently I've begun building 3D models based on the film... the C-57D ship, The Krell lab, the vast Krell power plant, and the ventilation shaft. This is the first of the pieces to be finished. I've tried to be true to the style, materials and lighting of the set. The interior dimensions of the model are approx. 180'x60'x1300'. I built, textured and lit the model using Carrara 8 Pro, and rendered it at 4K resolution using 2.35 aspect ratio.

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