Another Dark Little Corner

moon phases

Started this before change to "New Blogger", as backup in case of trouble with digiphoto blog "In a Small Dark Room", or rants & links blog "Hello Cruel World" . Useful - at one stage Dark Room was there, but like the astrophysical Dark Matter, we could't see it ... better now, but kept Just In Case.

Your ABC

Click here to find out why.

There is nothing. There is no God and no universe, there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. And I am that thought. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that same Thought.
Mark Twain (letter to Joseph Twichell after his wife's death)
[me, on a bad day]

Absolute Write Paypal donation button:
Absolute Write is one of the leading sites for information on writing and publishing, especially the scam versions thereof. It has a broad, deep online community with an enormous message base going back years. Now it needs help. See the details and discussion here
Preditors and Editors
Everything you wanted to know about literary agents
On the getting of agents
Writer Beware
Miss Snark
Writer's Net

(and my Wish List)

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
The Reality of Running Away from Stuff
By Idris Hsi, Mar 12, 2002
In The Time Machine , .. our heroes
free-climbed up a 100 foot cliff and then raced to safety up a mountain to
escape a large explosion. In The Mummy Returns
, a hero actually outruns the sunlight
streaming over the horizon (really just outrunning the rotation of the
earth). Just how unbelievable are these feats of speed?
Here's a chart showing maximum speeds for some of the more common Hollywood
hazards measured against the fastest speeds that an Olympic level human can
deliver (all in meters/second).
Ben & Jerry's Dublin Mudslide: Irish Cream Liqueur Ice Cream with Chocolate,
Chocolate Cookies and a Coffee Fudge Swirl
(They had me until they mentioned the coffee. I seem to have a dislike of
coffee flavour in things like yoghurt & ice-cream & biscuits.)
Why not help your words do exactly what they want? What better way to let
your boss know your true feelings than by resigning with the help of Lizzie
Borden? How else would you confess ardent feelings of corporate takeover
than through the script of Jesse James? And everyone will know you mean
business when Jack the Ripper writes your cover letters.
KillerFonts offers you all that and more. Not only can you enlist the most
notorious psychopaths to your aid, but also the weighty words of Important
People. Who could ignore a speech written by Abraham Lincoln, a poem by
Edgar Allan Poe, or orders by Genghis Khan?
All Killer Fonts? are available in TrueType or PostScript, for Mac or PC,
are 100% post-consumer content, and were never tested on animals.
_____________________________ some pictures you may enjoy hate mail collection of a
cartoonist and his merchandise and his theory about Dr Seuss


For reasons passing understanding, I've always found screenwriter Joe
Eszterhas to be a fascinating figure. This, despite the facts that in any
interview of his I've ever read he comes off as a complete boor, and that
with the exception of Jagged Edge -- which came out almost twenty years ago
-- I have never liked any of the movies that resulted from his scripts. Not
even Basic Instinct, which is the most poorly-constructed mystery-thriller
I've ever seen. (Caveat: I have not seen Showgirls.)

I guess that ultimately I just find something fascinating, almost morbidly
so, about a guy who not only produces crap but is proud to produce crap, and
gets paid huge money to keep right on producing crap.

So I checked his memoir out of the library last week. It's called Hollywood
and I've just finished the first chapter. My reaction?

Wow, what an ass.

There's really nothing I can directly quote to illustrate what I mean; it's
more the overall tone that's amazing in its ass-ness. It's the tone of a guy
who is supremely confident that what he does is of great worth, and of
contempt for those who have not managed to achieve what he's achieved ...
Cones, Curves, Shells, Towers: He Made Paper Jump to Life
ANTA CRUZ, California. - On the mantel of a quiet suburban home here stands
a curious object resembling a small set of organ pipes nestled into a neat,
white case. At first glance it does not seem possible that such a complex,
curving form could have been folded from a single sheet of paper, and yet it
The construction is one of an astonishing collection of paper objects folded
by Dr. David Huffman, a former professor of computer science at the
University of California, Santa Cruz, and a pioneer in computational
origami, an emerging field with an improbable name but surprisingly
practical applications.
Dr. Huffman died in 1999, but on a recent afternoon his daughter Elise
Huffman showed a visitor a sampling of her father's enigmatic models. In
contrast to traditional origami, where all folds are straight, Dr. Huffman
developed structures based around curved folds, many calling to mind
seedpods and seashells. It is as if paper has been imbued with life.
In another innovative approach, Dr. Huffman explored structures composed of
repeating three-dimensional units - chains of cubes and rhomboids, and
complex tessellations of triangular, pentagonal and star-shaped blocks. From
the outside, one model appears to be just a rolled-up sheet of paper, but
looking down the tube reveals a miniature spiral staircase. All this has
been achieved with no cuts or glue, the one classic origami rule that Dr.
Huffman seemed inclined to obey.
In a Slate review entitled Unfairenheit 9/11
, Christopher Hitchens makes it clear that
he doesn't like Michael Moore or Moore's new documentary:
To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to
promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as
a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never
again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile
crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise
in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is
also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a
demonstration of "dissenting" bravery.
It's obvious that this paragraph is not part of a positive review. [I think
that's another example of understatement-MCP] I got a similar impression of
Fahrenheit 9/11 from a journalist acquaintance, who saw it last weekend, and
said "I hate Bush, but the movie was so unfair that it made me want to
defend him". However, my concern here is not with the politics of Moore's
documentary, but with the semantics of the first two sentences of Hitchens'
paragraph quoted above ...
Slightly related to the "running-away" section:
leading to ...
Erik: Other things I have learned: if iron was molten last night, and it's
pooled beneath the sands, it's still too hot to touch this morning.
And the melted sand forms obsidian-like stuff with razor-sharp edges. I
think your hands got cut up worse than mine did, though.
... Amazing how well sand and glass insulates, isn't it?
Q: What do you get when you light 400 pounds of thermite?
... (recipe for thermite included) ...
Backwards (and I've made the same mistake.) Fe2O3, Ferric Oxide, is red
rust. In dense form, it's hematite. FeO is Ferrous Oxide. Fe3O4 is Ferrous
Ferric Oxide, or Magnetite, or black rust -- and is the form of Iron Oxide
on magnetic media.
Rustoleum and the like work by converting Fe2O3 to Fe3O4 by various means.
Also -- if you burn 300lbs of steel wool, you'll have more than 300lbs of
Iron Oxide (it'll pick up the oxygen from the air)
What you want for thermite is Fe2O3, which reacts with aluminium thusly...
Fe2O3 + (2) Al --> Al2O3 + (2)Fe + heat
...and we are *not* kidding about heat -- 684kJ per mole of iron reacted ...

... the Al powder is easer to get than that -- just check a really good
paint store. If that does not work, try a theatrical supply house. I love
your approach for the iron oxide though.
The only problem is that what you really want for thermite is called coarse
aluminium powder, but the fine stuff or flake will work just fine.
Of course they may look at you funny when you want 50 kilos ...
[re bottle rockets & dry ice bombs] It works best with a liquid to hasten
the sublimation, but never use something like, oh, PEPSI, as an idiot at the
machine shop I worked in did. The gas in the soda came right out of solution
and the bottle blew up in his hands.
He lost all the skin on his fingers, but this was the same guy who decided,
after breaking his neck (he said the worst part was the waves, coming and
going, while he couldn't move) that he was healed enough to remove the brace
while he slept (shades of Joseph Merrick) and awoke to a recurrence of his
paralysis. Sheesh!
...Jonathan Vos Post
... The difference between a smart person doing dumb things and a dumb
person doing dumb things is that the dumb person makes the same mistake over
and over (until maimed, dead, jailed, whatever) while the smart person will
get to make new mistakes.
I never make exactly the same mistake twice. I am very creative, and have
managed to make many ingeniously different variation on the same mistake,
cross-overs between different mistakes, mutations, of old mistakes, and
whole trees of evolutionary radiation mistakes.
If I were any smarter, I would be able to solve the new and bizarre problems
that I get myself into. If I were any less smart, I never would have been
able to get in trouble those ways. So I am exactly the wrong level of
intelligence ... But, geez, the stuff we could buy that even school chem
labs have trouble getting now...

(Just remember that the words most often repeated to emergency room doctors
was, "Hey, everyone, watch this!" before said trip became necessary.)


<$BlogCommentDeleteIcon$> (0) comments
Post a Comment