What I love about andy’s

What I love about andy’s site is that he’s finally showing off his amazing expertise at research. Over the past year or two, if I ever had an obscure question that I sent him, within minutes I’d have a dozen links to resources, sometimes going back to ten-year old usenet posts.

Today he uncovered crazy while looking at Steve Martin’s official site. I once worked with a guy that arc’d before everyones eyes like this. It started with a little fan site about a tv show, then focused on one cast member. His shrine to her grew, and the pinnacle was a story he wrote about finding her home and sitting outside of it. He left for another job, but that one entry always gave me the creeps.

Running MetaFilter has meant I’ve had a few chances to see crazy develop before my eyes, and it’s rarely a fun experience for anyone involved.

Cory’s short sci-fi piece at

Cory’s short sci-fi piece at Salon is a great read. Cory has a knack for writing geek-centric fantasy fiction. I can tell he’s keenly aware that somewhere in the deepest reaches of every geek’s mind, the thought is there’s no problem that can’t be solved, given the right code. Cancer? AIDS? Starvation? Heart Disease? No problem, if you would just get out of my way and let start hacking up a shell. Geeks seem to be heroes in Cory’s work as well. They solve death, disease, and destruction with just the right combination of assembly code and pocket-sized gadgetry. Liberation of the world’s ills through hacked palms running linux and wireless. Tales from Nerdvana.

It reminds me a lot of my own personal body hacking as of late and struck close to home.

In the past 4-6 weeks I’ve been watching my calorie intake like a tech lead scans every line of underling-contributed code. I’ve been building up a tolerance for the dull pain of hunger, as I keep my daily intake low, and to balance things out and make sure I’m healthier, I started running again. In a way, I’ve been treating my body as a computer system, toying with the APIs available to me, and as a result, I’ve lost about ten pounds (still have 20 more to go, which I’m hoping to do by year’s end).

Of course, once you start hacking your body a bit, you are keenly aware of going overboard. I’ve always figured most hollywood actors, many star athletes, and people with long-term eating disorders had simply raised the act of controlling, extending, and suppressing body function to an art form. At some point, with enough control, your body becomes a machine that can be told what to do, when to do it, and what not to do. It doesn’t seem healthy in the medical or psychological sense, but it seems like a fact of life for those willing to push themselves to that point.

I usually go out of

I usually go out of my way to support artists I like, and in that definition of “artists” I include chefs. We’ve got a copy of Ming Tsai‘s book, I tried to buy a copy of Alton Brown‘s book (store was out), and when I saw “Chef Morimoto Meals” at Trader Joes the other day, I grabbed one off the shelf. While I can’t find any info on them online, Mishima is the company behind these vacuum packed, ready to heat/eat products that grace the Iron Chef’s name. I got the asian spicy sauce meal and ate it over steamed rice.

It’s got the Iron Chef’s picture on it, so I was expecting to taste a wonderfully light and airy flavor, a delightful fusion of east and west, a healthy dish that makes one feel like they could eat it all day… <hand over mouth>tee hee, tee hee

But it just tasted like below-average Ma Pao Tofu takeout with some ketchup added. Oh well.

Ever since someone pointed it

Ever since someone pointed it out to me, I’ve been a steady user of iTunes’ streaming radio stations. My favorites are found under the Public and Jazz categories. Under Public, there’s KCRW, my favorite Southern California NPR station, but I must admit, unless NPR is playing music or I am doing nothing at my computer, I can’t work and listen to talk, so I only listen to KCRW sporadically. My favorite station in the entire iTunes listings is the KAOS stream from Evergreen State College. Any time of day I check in, they’re playing something I’ve never heard but it’s almost always good, and tends towards what you’d expect, college rock. I’m really impressed with the playlists at JazzRadio out of Berlin. Always top notch; classics mixed with new stuff and with few interruptions. An added plus is hearing station identification and what was just played in German, which to me sounds a lot like “blah, ind dah, zie Charles Mingus, blah, der blah und, blah Herbie Hancock, und, blah der, blah.”

I was happy to see none of the stations I follow have gone away due to preliminary CARP findings. I guess as long they stay away from RIAA/ASCAP/BMI artists, the stations will survive, though I’m surprised to see colleges still supporting online streams.

The weblog book I helped

The weblog book I helped write is finally on the shelves. I haven’t even gotten my own copy yet, though I’ve thumbed through one. It’s weird to finally hold something physical that’s been a word document for so long, and it looked a lot better in actual print, all layed out instead of marked up with Word’s special classes.