These kids are clearly up to no good.

Simon Stålenhag:

"Since the 1950s, the government has been running a huge particle collider and research facility a couple of miles outside of Stockholm. The facility is located underground and features a lot of experimental technology. All through the '50s, '60s, and '70s, everything goes splendidly, but just like with the Swedish welfare state during that time, the system starts to erode. And bad things follow. The images on my website chronicle the lives of the people of that world and how they are affected by the downfall of that behemoth science project. We don't know yet how it will end." And while those hulking black structures look ominous, Stalenhag says his world is too busy crumbling to be a threat to its people: "These people live in a society once motivated by a proud technological optimism."
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Capacitor: Okeanos

I finally got around to seeing Capacitor's latest show, Okeanos, and it's fantastic. Go see it before it's gone. This is their last weekend!

Thursday and Saturday:

'Tis the season for creativity and joy! Are you getting some dancing in? Capacitor sure will be!

We're wrapped up all shiny and bright in costume and are ready for a stellar performance of Okeanos this Thursday, December 26th at 8pm. Come out and dance with us!

Tickets.

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Same.

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The Marvel Universe Is Way Better When Ghost Rider Is a Hamster

(That much is true. The rest, not so much.)

For everyone who worried that Disney's buyout of Marvel Entertainment would lead to all of the characters being turned into funny animal versions of their usual superheroic selves, your worst fears have come true.

Previously, previously.

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Scenes from LA's growing magician problem.

12-19-12, LOS ANGELES:

New graffiti was found at LA's George Carlin High School today marking a new height in the occult graffiti epidemic that plagues the city. Said LA Police Commissioner Crowley, "They say the chalk washes away but that's not the problem here. The issue is that these sigils are made by amateur occultists who don't always know what they're doing. They mean to mark their ethereal turf but several of these alignments are capable of awakening Samael."

Samael, last seen slaughtering the first born sons of Egypt, could not be reached for comment. We at FIMJU wanted more expert testimony however so we invited the mummified head of Necromancer John Dee from its tomb in England for an interview. Said the archetypical wizard, "Where am I? Why hast thou awakened me? Oh how I long to return to the sweet embrace of death, for my every moment awake is an eternity of pain!"

Troubling words indeed.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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"It was tricky but I finally managed to fap to this."

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Forgot your password?

8 volumes, hardcover, 21 x 27 cm, ca. 800 pages each.

In summer 2012 the social network LinkedIn.com got hacked and lost its whole user database. A few months later parts of the decrypted password list surfaced on the Internet. These eight volumes contain 4.7 million LinkedIn clear text user passwords printed in alphabetical order. Visitors are invited to look up their own password.

Previously, previously.

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NYC expands smoking ban to include e-cigarettes

I'd just like to point out that New York has banned something before San Francisco. Truly my city is losing its edge.

She said allowing the devices in places where cigarettes are now banned also could "renormalize" smoking and undermine the public perception that the habit is now acceptable only outdoors or in private.

"We don't want a step backward with that," she said.

Manufacturers say the vapor they emit is harmless, and most scientists agree that regular smokers who switch to e-cigarettes are lowering their health risk substantially. [...]

The devices, though, aren't heavily regulated. And experts say consumers can't yet be sure whether they are safe either for users or people exposed to second-hand vapor puffs.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Implementing "Play higher rated songs more often" in iTunes 11

I think I've found a solution. It's not perfect, but it's pretty close to the old behavior.

My goal:

  • Play recently-added songs most often;
  • Also include a selection of older songs;
  • Play higher rated songs of each set more often;
  • Only play un-checked or un-rated songs if they are recent.

I used to be able to accomplish this with 2 playlists. Now I need 11.

To make ratings mean anything, you need one playlist for each rating level, weighted accordingly. I gave 1 through 5 stars the weights of 12%, 16%, 20%, 24% and 28% respectively. I pulled that out of my butt, but it seems sensible. So if you wanted to end up with 250 songs, weighted, you'd need playlists of 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 songs, respectively. Likewise, 750 songs is 90, 120, 150, 180 and 210.

Create playlists like so:

  1. File / New / Smart Playlist: "Shufflable"
    (This one is for the settings common to all sub-playlists.)

    • Kind • is • MPEG audio file
    • Media Kind • is not • Podcast
    • Last Played • not in the last • 7 • days
    • Last Skipped • not in the last • 14 • days
    • Playlist • is not • "Bored with"       ← or whatever
    • Match unchecked items
    • Live updating

  2. File / New Folder / "75% Recent, 25% Library"

  3. Make the five "25% Library, 250 tracks" sub-playlists inside that folder:

    1. File / New Smart Playlist / Library 30 ★
      • Playlist • is • Shufflable
      • Rating • is • ★
      • Limit to • 30 • items • selected by • random
      • Match only checked items
      • Live updating

    2. File / New Smart Playlist / Library 40 ★★
      • Playlist • is • Shufflable
      • Rating • is • ★★
      • Limit to • 40 • items • selected by • random
      • Match only checked items
      • Live updating

    3. File / New Smart Playlist / Library 50 ★★★
      • Playlist • is • Shufflable
      • Rating • is • ★★★
      • Limit to • 50 • items • selected by • random
      • Match only checked items
      • Live updating

    4. File / New Smart Playlist / Library 60 ★★★★
      • Playlist • is • Shufflable
      • Rating • is • ★★★★
      • Limit to • 60 • items • selected by • random
      • Match only checked items
      • Live updating

    5. File / New Smart Playlist / Library 70 ★★★★★
      • Playlist • is • Shufflable
      • Rating • is • ★★★★★
      • Limit to • 70 • items • selected by • random
      • Match only checked items
      • Live updating

  4. Make the five "75% Recent, 750 tracks" sub-playlists inside the same folder:

    1. File / New Smart Playlist / Recent 90 ★
      • Playlist • is • Shufflable
      • Rating • is less than • ★★     ← include both ★ and ☆
      • Limit to • 90 • items • selected by • most recently added
      • Match unchecked items         ← include un-checked
      • Live updating

    2. File / New Smart Playlist / Recent 120 ★★
      • Playlist • is • Shufflable
      • Rating • is • ★★
      • Limit to • 120 • items • selected by • most recently added
      • Match only checked items
      • Live updating

    3. File / New Smart Playlist / Recent 150 ★★★
      • Playlist • is • Shufflable
      • Rating • is • ★★★
      • Limit to • 150 • items • selected by • most recently added
      • Match only checked items
      • Live updating

    4. File / New Smart Playlist / Recent 180 ★★★★
      • Playlist • is • Shufflable
      • Rating • is • ★★★★
      • Limit to • 180 • items • selected by • most recently added
      • Match only checked items
      • Live updating

    5. File / New Smart Playlist / Recent 210 ★★★★★
      • Playlist • is • Shufflable
      • Rating • is • ★★★★★
      • Limit to • 210 • items • selected by • most recently added
      • Match only checked items
      • Live updating

That's a stupid amount of work, right? Well, you can save yourself some effort with strategic use of "Duplicate Playlist". It would be nice if I could just export an XML file of the playlist rules for you folks to import, but that doesn't work (it exports the current set of tracks instead). And you can't create smart playlists from Applescript either.

And after all that, if you set "Up Next" in the iTunes Mini-Player to the playlist-folder "75% Recent, 25% Library" (by clicking on the magic shuffle dingus), you should have reasonable things happen.


Update: Now here's how it fails.

  • Let's say you haven't bought music in a while, or haven't rated too many things with five stars lately. That "Recent 210 ★★★★★" playlist might have a couple hundred tracks in it that aren't really very "recent". You might choose to also limit that playlist (and the other "recent" playlists) to "Date added • in the last • 12 months" to keep only recent-ish highly-rated tracks in it -- but now the carefully-chosen ratios will be out of whack, and your recent five-star songs might actually end up being played less often than your more-numerous recent three-star songs.
  • Often, even though the Mini-Player is set to shuffle from the "75% Recent 25% Library" playlist folder, it will play six or ten songs in a row by the same band! All of these tracks are present in the playlist, but with a thousand tracks in the playlist it's statistically impossible for this to happen as often as it does if they were truly being chosen randomly. I have no idea what it's doing. The queued tracks are in non-alphabetical order. The chosen column for sorting in the sub-playlists doesn't seem to affect it, but it's hard to test. It's as if iTunes went out of its way to do the stupidest possible thing.

This is all bullshit, and it sucks.


Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Not drinking will make you sick.

Cheers!

The heavy drinkers showed greatly diminished vaccine responses compared with the control group of monkeys who drank the sugar water. But the more surprising finding: the moderate-drinking monkeys displayed enhanced responses to the vaccine compared to the control group. Moderate drinking bolstered their bodies' immune systems.

"It seems that some of the benefits that we know of from moderate drinking might be related in some way to our immune system being boosted by that alcohol consumption," said Kathy Grant, Ph.D., senior author on the paper, a professor of behavioral neuroscience at OHSU and a senior scientist at the ONPRC.

Previously, previously.

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