State of the Onion, and screen savers

The State of the Onion #8: Larry Wall's "State of the Onion" speeches are always really entertaining: they're nominally about the current state of Perl, but really they're about all kinds of things. The latest one was mostly about his recent health problems, but also about community, cognition, and design. This time, instead of slides, he ran screen savers and related the behavior of each to what he was talking about.

This particular screensaver fools me more often than I care to admit. The problem is that the more computers you've used, the more different kinds of crashes you've seen. And mentally, you classify them all in the "Oh, shit!" category, which is a category the brain is very efficient at processing.

On the other hand, the part of your brain that says "Hey, that's the crash screen for a different operating system, dufus!" -- that part operates at a much slower pace. The brain is chock full of shortcuts, and orthogonality be screwed. Optimizers cheat, and sometimes they get caught cheating. With this screensaver, you can catch your own brain's optimizer cheating.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein you try to control your excitement over recent developments in our plumbing and plumbing-related program activities.

Hey, it's been a while since there have been any construction photos here, hasn't it? We had some plumbing work done this week: we added a few more floor drains to the balcony and lounge bars. They had been intermittently leaking through the floor for, oh, about two years now. The idea is that you put the drains at the low point of the floor, and assuming that our original plumbers did that (a big assumption, actually) the floors must have settled shortly thereafter, so water would pool up and eventually leak through, causing a mess downstairs. We fixed this a couple times by re-coating the tiles with some kind of waterproof sealant, but that didn't last very long, so we finally bit the bullet and had some new drains installed at the current low water marks. Friday night will be their test run. Wish us luck.

Also, we added a shelf to the wall under the stairs, where the auxilliary bar goes. (In case you hadn't noticed, we have a second small bar in the main room that we roll out on especially busy nights.) The shelf behind it means it can be more fully stocked now. I imagine the shelf may also be useful at shows, when there's a merch table there instead. It folds up against the wall when not in use.

You are excited by this dramatic news, I am sure.