Language, language

If you view the Constitution of the United States in the National Archives Catalog, you’ll see a curious notice on a background of light blue. You’ll see it also if you look at the Declaration of Independence or the Bill of Rights.

Yeah, this warning about language probably appears on every single National Archives Catalog page, not just these three. The website crew can’t possibly think the Constitution itself contains “potentially harmful content.” Right?

Virtual noisemakers

Possibly of interest to those who make music with their computers or might want to do so: IK Multimedia is currently running a “group buy” of much of their software. If you purchase one of the eligible items, after you install and authorize it you can then download at least eleven thirteen more software packages of equal or lesser price for free. I stretched my budget a bit to participate, but it will be a while before I know the new toys well enough to discuss. The “MODO” Bass, at least, I’m pretty sure I’ll use.

I got curious about the music software I most frequently use and noticed something odd. IK Multimedia is an Italian company. Applied Acoustic Systems is Canadian. Arturia is French, as is Modartt. Native Instruments and u-he are both German. My digital audio workstation is Logic, an Apple product, but Logic originally was developed by the German company C-Lab/Emagic, from whom I initially purchased it over twenty years ago. There are a lot of other music software developers, and it’s possible that there are some significant makers from the USA that I’ve overlooked. However, the synths and samplers I usually load in my DAW are all from foreign lands.

Exploring the boundary between horror and humor

There are two ways I can maintain my sanity in this silly century.

1. Book a one-way trip to the nearest planet capable of supporting intelligent life.

2. Post some funny pictures.

There are no starships due this week at the regional spaceport, so option two it is.

Continue reading “Exploring the boundary between horror and humor”

Thistles, plums and limestone

Cirsium undulatum

I recently visited a nearby “nature center.” It’s no substitute for the botanical garden in Wichita, but it’s not a waste of time, either. Its focus is on plants native to Kansas, and there are a number of trails there that I will explore on future visits.

I did find some color there, and a plum.

Lobelia siphilitica
Cassia fasciculata, or Chamaecrista fasciculata. Or Cassia chamaecrista.

Continue reading “Thistles, plums and limestone”

Further iterations

Xaos

I recently checked to see if there are any new fractal generators since I last played with them. Apparently not, at least for Macs not running the latest OS. Ultra Fractal is still the most capable. It’s pricey, but it does give you a month’s free trial. Xaos works well also, and it’s free.

Fractal Domains and Fraqtive have not been updated since I last used them over five years ago. It’s possible to make pretty, complicated pictures with them, but it’s a struggle, and to my eyes the results from the other two applications look better. Both are free now, so check them out if you’re curious.

Ultra Fractal
Fractal Domains
Fraqtive

For all of these, right-click and open in a new window to see every little detail.

Continue reading “Further iterations”

Miscellany

Illustration from The Traditional Catholic Weeb.

***

Clarissa:

I’m writing this because I think it’s time for everybody to figure out their hard limit in the creeping totalitarianism we are experiencing. I’ve thought about mine, I have figured out what it is, and it’s very calming to know it. I highly recommend thinking about where you stop accommodating the totalitarians. What is off limits? We are all different, and everybody will put their boundary in a different place. That’s OK as long as we all find the boundary.

***

Morgan Freeberg:

When we know something is *not* so, there’s no need to censor it. There’s no need to censor phlogiston theory. There’s no need to censor “That wrestling match was totally legitimate.” There’s no need to censor “The moon is made of cheese.” The need for censorship exists when the message is provably true, or open to question with an outright refutation being impossible.

Joseph Moore:

History is full of Richard Richs.

***

The Z-Man:

The thing is, Alex Jones claiming the vaccine will alter your DNA is no nuttier than much of what is in the mass media. In fact, a ridiculous claim is far less harmful than the plausible, but inaccurate claim. Few people will think the vaccine will turn you into Big Foot, but most people will believe we need to make kids wear masks. Far more people have been harmed by official lies than by goofballs on the internet.

***

J Greely:

There are two kinds of people who say, “don’t tell your parents what we did today”: child molesters and woke teachers.

Okay, maybe that’s just one kind of person.

Notes on fairy tales from a Chesterton conference:

Some modern renditions of Cinderella replace the “…and they lived happily ever after” for things like, “…and they lived and had their ups and downs, sometimes angry with each other, sometimes sad, and sometimes happy.” But this destroys the point of the tale, which is that Cinderella and her prince (in Grimm’s German literally, “the king’s son”) are an image of Christ and us, and that the “happily ever after” is Heaven. In an effort to make it more realistic they unwittingly make it less realistic since Heaven is, in fact, happiness ever after.

***

Welcome to the new dark age:

The history of the computer is the destruction and replacement of record making and keeping systems by newer ones that are not backward compatible. Computers destroy history. Future historians (if any survive, 2525) will label our current era as a dark age, because there will be no records of what happened.

***

Bonus: a B. Kliban record cover from 1977.

Paging Dr. Boli

Where has the Celebrated Magazine gone?

Update from Dr. Boli:

Please Stand By
[Illustration: Enemy hackers storming the walls]
…while we fight off an army of malicious hackers. Enemy agents are well aware that the key to disrupting the economy of our fair land is the control of Dr. Boli’s Celebrated Pub­lishing Empire. They have been foiled, of course, but it may take a few days to restore normal service.

Update II: The magazine is back at last, and on a new server.

Continue reading “Paging Dr. Boli”

Joyous multiples

It’s been a while since I last ran a poll. Let’s see if I can remember how to set one up.

(For the significance of “joy multiplier,” see here.)

Hurry up and wait

Moving to a less urban area does have drawbacks. E.g., active railroad crossings. This train blocked my route for a half-hour earlier today. I would guess that it was traveling between five and ten miles per hour, say seven-and-a-half mph, so I watched roughly three and a half miles of train.