Sonnet: Against Entropy

August 30, 2012

Seen on Tor.com during Poetry Month: Sonnet: Against Entropy, by John Ford.

Electrons find their paths in subtle ways,
A massless eddy in a trail of smoke;
The names of lovers, light of other days
Perhaps you will not miss them. That’s the joke.

Be sure to read the comments on the post too — the origin of the sonnet is pretty cool all by itself.

This is my favorite of the poems posted during Poetry Month, but there are a few other good ones too:

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Land of Lisp

September 5, 2011

Seen via Planet Emacsen: the Land of Lisp.

It’s a Lisp book that is, in its own way, even crazier than the dearly-departed _why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby. Check out this sample of the comic on their homepage:

http://travelogue.betacantrips.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/comic_20x_10.png

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Batman Villains

February 6, 2011

Seen on Tor.com: famous Batman villains, reimagined.

http://travelogue.betacantrips.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/5349185631_a75e680bbe.jpg

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The Mountain Goats and Kaki King – Thank You Mario, But Our Princess Is In Another Castle

January 2, 2011

The title for this page on Buzzfeed is "If the Mountain Goats scored Super Mario". I was expecting some fan tribute thing. I didn’t expect this to be awesome, but it was.

It’s sung from the perspective of Toad, who is at best a non-character.

Lyrics: Thank You Mario, But Our Princess Is In Another Castle on SongMeanings.

Stereogum has an mp3 download of Thank You Mario, But Our Princess Is In Another Castle by The Mountain Goats and Kaki King.

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Sam Shapiro — Saving Ghandiah

April 30, 2010

I just learned of the passing, last summer, of Sam Shapiro, half of the dynamic duo behind Force Monkeys. His family has been erecting memorials: samshapiro.org and Saving Ghandiah (Ghandaiah being his best-known handle). Here is some of his writing:

WITHOUT PERSONAL EXPRESSION, WE BECOME STATISTICS. WE ARE NO LONGER PEOPLE, BUT INSTEAD MACHINES, BODIES MOVING ABOUT AND FUNCTIONING ONLY TO ASSURE OUR BASIC SURVIVAL.

WITHOUT PERSONAL EXPRESSION, WE LOSE PART OF OUR HUMANITY, AND WE LOSE PART OF WHAT MAKES US SENTIENT.

FOR THIS REASON, WITHOUT PERSONAL EXPRESSION, NOTHING ELSE IS POSSIBLE. AS AUTOMATONS WE WOULD LOSE OUR HAPPINESS. AS AUTOMATONS WE WOULD SHED ALL VARIETY AND BLUR TO A SINGLE SHADE OF MONOTONOUS GRAY.

PEOPLE CHERISH THEIR DIFFERENCES, AND YET, SIMOLTANEOUSLY [SIC], TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM. WE OFTEN DISCARD THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS AS INSIGNIFICANT MERELY BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT OUR OWN.

IF PEOPLE REALIZED THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF EXPRESSION, THEN PERHAPS CONFLICT WOULD NOT BE SO COMMON.

A lot of his art is really stunning. Here is one that I’m fond of. Look at the eyes in particular.

http://travelogue.betacantrips.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/wpid-dsc00011-copy1.jpg

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Openhatch, the open source involvement engine

February 27, 2010

One of the neat things I saw at PyCon was a project called OpenHatch, which (among other features) indexes bugs and makes them easy to find according to your skillset and experience level. For example, lots of projects tag bugs as "easy" or "beginner" to promote newbie involvement and ramp-up; openhatch makes it easy to get involved with a project you can contribute to.

I think there’s still some work to be done — bugs about "you need a better logo" or "help, our docs are crap" don’t quite fit into this workflow. Still, good effort.

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Hottest Heads of State

January 22, 2010

Thanks Mike for bringing this to my attention: Hottest Heads of State list. Top of the list?

http://travelogue.betacantrips.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/wpid-ukraine-tymoshenk.gif

Yulia Tymoshenko Prime Minister of Ukraine

Obama is #15. Putin in a wifebeater is #24. There are 217 heads of state listed.

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“I Like to Fight in the Nude”

January 9, 2010

Via Peter Swimm: a fascinating interview with the creator of Kobe Bryant Deathmatch Fiction.

A quote from the Kobe Bryant fanfic in question:

We chose to have our fight to the death in an abandoned factory in China. I flew over in my private jet and made sure I preserved my vital combat energies by abstaining from totally consensual intercourse with my perfect-10 stewardesses.

Instead, I reminisced about other NBA superstars who I have killed in action: Mel Turpin, Joe Barry Carroll, Benoit Benjamin, Stanley Roberts, Arvydas Sabonis, Mike Giminski, Bill Wennington and Edward Martini, who is not technically in the NBA or a superstar but a male nurse I mowed down in an unsolved hit-and-run homicide.

It’s fairly short (five minutes of reading?) so you might want to go read the whole thing (then again, maybe not). Lots of fascinating thoughts in the interview on the nature of fanfic and "serious literature". Also be sure to check out the Dirk Nowitzki fanfic, linked from the article.

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The littlest YouTube Sensation – Salon.com

January 7, 2010

Via Suzanne, an article about Lukeywes1234, a meme that had completely passed me by. Some of these videos are quite fabulous.

People were posting mashups of his videos and tributes to the kid. It was all classic, random YouTube idiocy. And then YouTube did something inexplicable: They yanked down Lukeywes1234′s channel.

Now if there’s one thing you should know about nerds, it’s that they don’t take too kindly to anyone smothering their self-expression. Lukeywes instantly passed from mere blip of the week into Internet legend. The tributes became more hyperbolic and Wagnerian.

Each meme illuminates something about 4chan. This one, like the crusade against the Church of Scientology, seems more and more like revenge memeing.

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The Gentle Seduction, by Marc Stiegler

January 5, 2010

Seen on JWZ: a short story described as "The Rapture of the Nerds from the perspective of a non-nerd", The Gentle Seduction.

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