Results tagged “metamanda” from kwc blog

kwc.org now on MovableType 3.3

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I've upgraded kwc.org to use MovableType 3.3 (this is a prelude to upgrade movabletypo). MT 3.3 adds two new major features in my opinion: built-in tagging and widgets. The latter should make it a lot easier for MovableTypers to maintain their blogs, as widgets allow you to update sidepanel content without having to edit your templates, which is a major pain of old MT. I haven't given that a try yet, though -- I've been busy trying to tag my old entries. So far I've tagged 100 entries. Only 2200 left to go...

This is all a prelude to a major kwc.org site redesign. I'm jealous that meta finally found the time. Mine will be more oriented towards finally bringing kwc.org into the MovableType 3.x world, as my templates were designed with the entirely different MT 2.x-isms that require many hacks to get them to do all the customized behaviors like books covers and selective ads that I like.

Gender swapping, easily

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Here's a fun little tool to occupy your bored time: regender. It swaps male and female terms in a Web page. Sometimes the effect is barely noticeable, but in the case of Wikipedia's Masculinism and Feminism entries it's A Whole New World. Other pages I found interesting: * horizonline's review/quotes from Baudolino * honeyfield's entry on womens' rights to abortion * meta's entry on Kids, Girls, and Communication tech * Bush's speech announcing John Roberts, or Bush addressing the National Boy Scout Jamboree (via danah boyd)

misdirection

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I came across an Ann Coulter quote while being entertained by Ze Frank's response to Dennis Prager. Prager took the example of a college student yelling anal sex references at Coulter as an example of the Left's Hitler Youth. More on that, but first, the Coulter quote:

"When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors."

parakkum pointed out this fits well with meta's On Bullshit post as it is about "shifting the focus of discussion in manipulative ways."

This is the second time I've run across Coulter's quote, but this is the first time I realized how that I reacted to it as Coulter intended (incorrectly). Coulter wants you to be so disgusted with her talk of liberals being traitors and her advocacy of killing liberals that you miss the central premise of her quote: John Walker is a liberal.

Yes, John Walker is an assault-weapon-totin', fundamentalist, anti-feminism liberal, and (getting back to Prager), the Hitler Youth were a bunch of anti-war, pro gay, free-speech hooligans.

Meet the Feebles

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More fun with the Yahoo! Japan avatar tool as well as some previous avatars to round out the set.

me (forgot this the first time around):
kwc

redchilipepper:
rcp

d (who claims this is far too girly):
devon

honeyfields in work mode and winter mode (she is now using the avatar tool to choose future haircuts):
honeyfields honeyfields

parakkum (with the only semi-anglo face available):
parakkum

metamanda (oldie but goodie):
meta

Kenji and Justin did their own:
kenji justin

Stat scrapin'

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This post and this post are examples of why its always worth surfing through your Web server stats.

Tattoo showdown

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It's a showdown between the large Thai-themed back tattoos. Vote now, vote early, vote late, vote often!

07-12-04.tattoo.jpg

vs.

07-12-04.tattoo3.jpg

For the istuffers

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bp and meta had a project where they were going to build a button next to your computer that you could press that would order a pizza for your (credit for the idea goes to jeffb). I believe one of the more difficult chains in the process was actually ordering pizza. This might help, though it will only get you Dominoes:
Pizza Party - Command Line Pizza ordering program
(via kottke)

Blue Monday Wednesday

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Here I thought I was going to be all clever. After I posted the teaser photos of meta's new do, I was going to wait until Monday, and then post full photos under the oh-so-clever title, "Blue Monday." Triple entendre, super bonus cleverness score, and I would be so proud of myself.

Life would not allow me that bit of blogging triumph, however. Alas, I'm afraid I lack skills of planning, and instead I write this pathetically rueful entry about my failed wit, and I now post the full photos in shame. Enjoy, as I now turn the focus of this entry back upon it's subject, meta's hair:

04-28-04.blue-wednesday-1.jpg 04-28-04.blue-wednesday-2.jpg Open 24 Hours sign offered as blue reference point

Movie: Musa

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MusaIMDB users think that Musa is fantastic, but personally I thought this movie sucks. It's probably also fair to say that parakkum, honeyfields, and meta all thought it sucked as well. I picked this up in Chinatown with the help of rcp (who complained about not wanting to have to watch a movie with Chinese subtitles :) ) and I expected big things from a $60M war epic -- Hero was good, right?

Musa is a Korean war epic that takes place in China, where the band of Korean warriors struggle the make it safely back home. Along the way it manages to become a protect-the-princess flick, and then after that a confused mish-mash of other epics, like Seven Samurai. There's also probably more blood and dismemberings in this film than Kill Bill Vol. 1.

Instead of defining itself as an epic with its own character, Musa instead felt like a bunch of other epic movies edited together with Asian actors substituted in. The flow of the story is disruptive, the characters inconsistent, and suspension of disbelief becomes difficult when the character motivations are so thin.

As I mentioned at the start, though, apparently other people liked this movie, so if you want to borrow it from me, feel free; I don't think I'll be watching it again soon ;).

Harry Potter

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harry with broom
I spotted this statue about the same time another woman did. That woman proceeded to pose next to the statue and have her family snap pictures with her grabbing Harry's... broom... It was either meta or rcp that noted that children were present.

Protest sign chique

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meta and I stopped by the Iraq War anniversary protests today (sadly, San Francisco didn't get a mention in many of the news reports). There were probably a couple thousand people in Dolores Park, but nowhere near the one million estimated in Rome.

Political commentary aside, this was a good opportunity to observe cleverness in sign-making, so I snapped several photos that I may post on Monday. We were too lazy to march with the crowd to the Civic Center, where the actual rally was to take place, so we had to make do with the creativity that could be observed close by.

My favorite sign by far was a man holding a sign that said, "I COULD USE A DATE -- BRING THE TROOPS HOME." That's like the Scrabble triple word score of sign making.

My second favorite was the seemingly ironic, "I HATE CROWDS." The irony was ruined when we saw the back of the sign, which said something like "So get Bush out of office so I can go home." I would have preferred the sign in pure ironic form, but this was a antiwar protest.

meta enjoyed the grammer-dorky, "WHO'S BEEN TERRORIZING WHOm," ('m' squeezed in as an afterthought).

There was also one hot dog vendor showing great business skills. Most likely in preparation for the protest, he had his menu printed up with the header "Dogs of Mass Destruction," with renamed menu items "Nuke Dogs" and "Scud Dogs." This was a smart recognition of his clientele, though meta pointed out that he would do even better had he added tofu dogs to the menu.

Of the pure anti-Bush signs, some slogans I liked were:
* "Re-Defeat Bush"
* "IMPEACH THE DIM SON"
* "I am the worstest president in American history"

Book: Foucault's Pendulum

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I finished this book a long time ago, and I've been meaning to write this entry for quite awhile. However, just like reading this book, I've taken my time saving up the willpower to write this entry. When I first picked this book up, I couldn't stand the first chapter, and it took a good three or four tries before I finally got enough momentum to vault through the book. Perhaps it's appropriate that I've waited until after I read The Golden Ratio, as both books share the same theme of the ability to hallucinate hidden messages in nearly anything.

I'll save the spoilers for the extended section -- this part of the entry should be safe.

Before this book, I had no idea what a Templar was. Maybe I'm a cretin. I had gone twenty-three years without noticing their presence, watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in complete innocence. Now they're everywhere. Just the other day I was walking through Amoeba Music, and there they were, sitting at the front of the CD rack, Templars. It seems like every book I've picked up since Foucault's Pendulum has a Templar connection: Seville Communion, 1602, The Magdelena, and The Golden Ratio (Rosicrucians). I hear The Da Vinci Code revolves around them, and that friggin' book is at the counter of every bookstore I visit. Kavalier and Clay has Jewish tradition/kabbala, Superman, and World War II Europe in common with the Foucault's Pendulum, so there's got to be a Templar hiding in their somewhere. Argh! This book has turned me into a lunatic.

With that bit of paranoia out of the way, let me say that Foucault's Pendulum is both a great and a terrible book. There are certain passages that are absolutely brilliant, and then there's the crushing weight of the overly ambitious plot. I would compare the structure to a book like Godel Escher Bach, though I use the comparison lightly because I think GEB is an awesome book that I liked thoroughly, whereas I only like Foucault's Pendulum intermittenly. To make the isomorphism:

Achilles, Tortoise <=> Casaubon, Belbo Crab <=> Diotallevi Hofstader's dialogues <=> Conversations between Causaubon, Belbo, and Diotallevi.

I don't mean the comparison between Achilles, Tortoise, and Crab and Casaubon, Belbo, and Diotallevi directly as personalities, as much I want to point out that, just as Hofstader saves the really clever bits for the dialogues, so, too, does Eco save the clever bits for his dialogues between his three main characters. And just as the chapters inbetween the dialogues in GEB can be fatiguing, so is the rest of the text in Foucault's Pendulum. In the case of GEB, the fatigue comes from the large amounts of intellectual ground Hofstader is covering, which is a good thing, because you're reading the book to learn. In Eco's case, the fatigue comes from overly frequent intellectual references and drawn-out storyarcs that try to unite everything under the Sun, from Templars to Rosicrucians to kabbala to love stories to World War II Italy to book publishing to philosophy to science to math to politics. Whereas Hoftsader succeeds in his attempt to bring math, music, art, and AI together, Eco's connections fail to coalesce.

Case in point, while I was reading this book, meta would ask me how it was going, and each time I would say, "oh, it looks like the plot is starting now, so I think the story's about to pick up." I said this at page 100, page 200, page 300... Just when you think that Eco's put his dominoes into place, he starts a new line that tries to extend the puzzle further, and eventually you feel that Eco is losing sight of the overall picture. This book takes soooo long to get going... (spoiler cut)

Kona Shores

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honeyfields, meta, and I stumbled upon Kona Shores, which sells Lappert's Ice Cream in the Haight. The store is only three months old, but honeyfields knows the owner from a store he used to own in North Berkeley. I haven't had Lappert's since I was in Maui for meta's marathon, and the Kona Shores owner mixed me up a nice combination of Maui Mango ice cream, strawberries, and mandarin oranges on a cold slab that was pretty yummy. I liked it better than the ice cream I got at Cold Stone Creamery, which was a little too heavy for my tastes. So if you've had a hankering for Hawaiian ice cream and haven't found any in San Francisco, or you want free wireless Internet access, you can check it out (at the corner of Masonic and Haight).

Photo of the day

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photo

meta says I like take blurry photos. Also, whenever she takes a photo of a mundane texture, like a stretch of dirt, she calls the photo "ken-like." These accusations are 100% true. Todays photo postings should only reinforce that belief. This photo was taken at the dimly, but red, lit Make-Out Room in San Francisco while we were listening to some bands play.

Ditto

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Hmmm, metamanda says:

Goonley and I are going to try to googlebomb CShell with the phrase "pervy man fancier".
whatever could she be trying?

DC

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photo

photo

Ugly sweaters

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photo photo

Season Four Complete

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Season Four of the Buffy marathon is officially complete, bringing to total to forty-four episodes. Amanda's now picking and choosing among Season One and Two episodes as she's already seen them all.

06-29-03.buffy-marathon-clockwork-1.jpg

More photos summarizing today's action in the extended section.

Season Three Complete

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Latest marathon update: Amanda has finished Season Three! That means she has twenty-two episodes under the belt.

06-28-03.buffy-marathon-03.jpg

More photos summarizing today's festivities are in the extended entry.

Marathon Day 1 Over

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Day 1 of the Buffy Marathon is over. Amanda has to go to bed so she can do her Team-in-Training run tomorrow morning (she claims this is all for this other type of marathon she's doing in September). So how did she do? It looks to me like she's possessed by the demon:

06-28-03.buffy-marathon-3-2.jpg (straight from the camera, no photoshop)

Marathon Update

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Just finished "Band Camp." Giles and Buffy's mom, oh yeah.
06-28-03.buffy-marathon-3-1.jpg

Marathon Update

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Season Four has been delivered to Amanda, but Season Three is still giving her a run for her money. She's done five episodes in four hours, which seems like pretty good progress. Here are some photo updates:
06-27-03.buffy-marathon-2-1.jpg 06-27-03.buffy-marathon-2-2.jpg

So it begins...

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Amanda's Buffy marathon is afoot:

06-27-03.buffy-marathon-2.jpg 06-27-03.buffy-marathon-1.jpg

Buffy Marathon

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Support the Buffy Marathon! (yes, I take credit for this sadistic idea). Also, I'd like to point out that Season I + II + III + IV = 77 episodes, not 45. That's approximately 55-60 hours of Buffiness.

Tahoe/Kirkwood

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Went to Kirkwood with meta and Rich. There was great morning snow, 18" of fresh powder. The afternoon was a hurricane with 44-50mph winds. We were the 3rd to last up Cornice before the lift was closed at 2pm. Hottub with scotch in the snow was interesting. There would have been wine as well, but we forgot the corkscrew.

Day 7 of my snowboarding experience
- day 1-2: ASD trip
- day 3: Kirkwood trip w/ meta, Matt, bp and Brinda
- day 4: Day 2 of Jed trip (post concussion)
- day 5-6: opening weekend at Kirkwood

Puzzle: The Game: Buffyphilia

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Original puzzle:
BUFFYPHILIA

Buffyphilia solved (well, almost):
"HUNDRED SEAPORT BLVD REDWOOD CITY"
One word unsolved: "TEN EFFS" or "STEFFEN"
(the 'S' should have been an 'I', giving FIFTEEN)

Description of puzzle: seven pages of screen captures of Buffy and Gilmore Girl episodes. On each page the screen captures are arranged in a cross. The first page serves as a link to each of the other pages. On the other pages, it is noticeable that the sizes of the images don't line up perfectly, this turns out to be the key to the puzzle (it turns out that the names of the episodes is not meaningful). The other key to the puzzle is to ignore Gilmore Girl episodes. The baseline dimension of the images is 240x180. The encoded character is determined by the offset from that size, so 241x180 = A, as does 240x181.

X - Gilmore Girls episode, ignore

Index 0: establishes baseline for character decoding
240 180
240 180
240 180
240 180
240 180
240 180

Index 1
BLVD (If you include Gilmore Girls, you get BEDEVIL, clever)
244 180 D
240 182 B
240 202 V
252 180 L
X 240 185 E
X 245 180 E
X 249 180 I

Index 2
FIFTEEN (originally decoded wrong as TEN EFFS/STEFFEN)
240 185 E
240 186 F
240 186 F
240 185 E
260 180 T
254 180 N
249 180 S (This should be an 'I')

Index 3
CITY
240 183 C
240 200 T
249 180 I
265 180 Y
x 248 180 H
x 240 199 S
x 258 180 R

Index 4
HUNDRED
254 180 N
240 185 E
240 184 D
240 188 H
261 180 U
258 180 R
244 180 D

Index 5
SEAPORT
260 180 T
240 181 A
240 185 E
240 196 P
258 180 R
255 180 O
259 180 S

Index 6
REDWOOD
258 180 R
240 195 O
240 195 O
240 184 D
263 180 W
244 180 D
245 180 E

The Game: Letter

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We received the letter clue from the game. The one was pretty easy. The clue is encoded in the -ly adverbs, which stand out because they seem very out of place. The extracted adverbs are:


unilaterally
rapidly
literally
presently
lately
uniquely
slyly
pragmatically
healthfully
outrageously
deliberately
rapidly
obviously
magnanimously
accordingly

Which gives the clue: "url plus phodroma"
- fobik.org/phodroma

PDF of letter

Plain text of letter is in the extended entry.