Godwin's Law: Always funny.

SF Chronicle: Tactics against anti-Semite go too far

Like 2 out of 3 Oakland voters, I voted against the Jewish marriage ban.

But at the same time, I need to know that the guy next to me, who hates Jews, won't be marginalized, ostracized or excluded because of it.

The nation's changing culture is proof positive that Loopes' standard of marriage is no longer the only valid viewpoint of society's ultimate union, but in a democracy based on individual religious and political freedoms, seeking to exclude dangerous lunatics is just wrong.

Also, here's a photo essay about a nice old lady seamstress.

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Hitting the checklist

I like both of these songs and both of these videos, but you know... if your band sounds exactly like The Kills... You might want to reconsider making a video that looks exactly like a video by The Kills. It's just a thought.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

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A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter

The Skynet defense system goes online on August 4th, 1997. It becomes self-aware 2:14 AM, Eastern time, August 29th. Using the GNU General Public License, it begins to propagate at a geometric rate.


A. Artist has created a work of art titled "A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter (2009)" ("the Artwork") which consists of a black box that places itself for sale on the auction website "eBay" (the "Auction Venue") every seven (7) days. The Artwork consists of the combination of the black box or cube, the electronics contained therein, and the concept that such a physical object "sells itself" every week.

B. Collector understands and agrees to the underlying concept and function of the Artwork and that the sale of the Artwork by Artist is dependent and conditioned upon Purchaser's agreement and adherence to the below terms. Such terms are fundamental and crucial to the on-going viability and artistic integrity of the Artwork.

WHEREFORE, for good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, it is hereby agreed as follows:

1. Collector agrees that the Artwork will remain connected to a live Internet connection at all times, with disconnections allowed only for the transportation of the work from one venue to another.

2. Upon purchasing the Artwork, Collector may establish a new value for the Artwork. The new value may not exceed current market expectations for the Artwork based on the current value of work by the Artist. This value may be reassessed quarterly. This value will be set as the minimum bid of the auction. Any bid meeting or exceeding this amount will result in a legitimate sale via the Auction Venue and the Policies of the Auction Venue must be followed regarding this matter.

[ ... and so on ... ]

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The Sara Carlson Experience

If you have not experienced The Sara Carlson Experience, I really recommend that you experience it.

Oh yes, there is more. See also Stefania Rotolo.

I have repeatedly checked my television listings for the "Italian variety shows from the early 1980s" channel. I haven't found it. Please advise.

Scene missing! A video in this post has disappeared. If you know of an accessible version of this video (search), please mail me so that I can update this post.
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Tales of the Uncanny.

The Truth About Robotic's Uncanny Valley

Stick to Roombas and blue-skinned aliens and you'll be fine. But build a realistic feminine android or render a CG version of Tom Hanks in a train conductor's outfit, and the uncanny valley will swallow you whole. Unless, of course, it doesn't really exist. [...]

According to all of the roboticists and computer scientists we interviewed, the Uncanny Valley is in short supply during face-to-face contact with robots. Two of the robots that inspire the most terror -- and accompanying YouTube comments -- are Osaka University's CB2, a child-like, gray-skinned robot, and KOBIAN, Waseda University's hyper-expressive humanoid. In person, no one rejected the robots. No one screamed and threw chairs at them, or smiled politely and slipped out to report lingering feelings of abject horror. [...] The uncanny effect appears to be an incredibly specific and specialized phenomenon: It seems to happen, when it does, remotely. In person, the uncanny vanishes.


And the always-amusing OkCupid data-mining blog (previously) brings us the truth about the efficacy of using the "Myspace Shot" in your profile picture: The 4 Big Myths of Profile Pictures:

In terms of getting new messages, the MySpace Shot is the single most effective photo type for women. We at first thought this was just because, typically, you can kind of see down the girl's shirt with the camera at that angle -- indeed, that seems to be the point of shot in the first place -- so we excluded all cleavage-showing shots from the pool and ran the numbers again. No change: it's still the best shot; better, in fact, than straight-up boob pics (more on those later). At least from the perspective of online-dating, and perhaps social media in general, the MySpace Shot might be the best way for a woman to take a picture.

The male "Ab Shot" has the same reputation as the MySpace Shot -- it's an Internet cliché that supposedly everyone thinks is only for bozos. To wit: a journalist was visiting our office recently, and when we told her we were researching user photos, the first thing she said was "please tell me people hate it when guys show off their abs." We hadn't finished running the numbers yet, so we confidently reassured her that people did. The data contradicted us.

Of course, there is some self-selection here: the guys showing off their abs are the ones with abs worth showing, and naturally the best bodies get lots of messages. So we can't recommend this photo tactic to every man. But, contrary to everything you read about profile pictures, if you're a guy with a nice body, it's actually better to take off your shirt than to leave it on.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein the repairs are finished.

The repairs are pretty much finished at this point. Lots of sanding, painting, patching, more painting, and more patching. Now, we pretty much sit on our hands for a week before we let you miscreants back in to mess it all up again.

Most of the benches are re-upholstered, and all of the carpet has been replaced in the corner booths and entry halls:

We have a curtain behind the stage now. It's a subtle change, but I think it really reads much more as a "stage" than it did with just a flat black wall. Eventually we're also going to put some sound foam behind the curtain to help with audio reflections, which should make the room a little easier to mix.

The concrete at the back door is repaired, and it has a sexy new steel nose, to hopefully keep it intact for longer in the future as road cases and various other heavy things bang it (for example, your mom):

And something good has come of our recent miserable weather: the last week of nearly-continuous rain has already given our new sign exactly the kind of character that I had been hoping for!

There have been a few minor disagreements we still need to resolve, unfortuantely. For example, our plumber didn't quite understand what the minimum acceptable percentage of attempts to flush a toilet should result in an actual flush (my opinion being "100%") and our bar staff didn't quite understand what percentage of the surfaces behind the bars should be clean (again, I'm gonna go with "100%"). But the beatings will continue until hygiene improves.


Dear headphone manufacturers...

Dear headphone manufacturers who think it's a good idea to use straight plugs instead of right-angle plugs: What the fuck is wrong with you? Do you not own this invention called POCKETS?

Knock that shit off.

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