Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Picture for the Last Day of 2011

Soon it will all be over. In a few hours, 2011 will be only a memory. The disappearance of 2011 makes me think back to 2001, and all the things that happened ten years ago that seem as if they happened ten months ago.

(The end of the year is a time for reflection, unless of course you are a vampire, in which case it is never a time for reflection. And since, as I mentioned in one of my Halloween posts, from the perspective of horseshoe crabs, humans are vampires, then perhaps it is not a time for reflection for any of us.)

A year ago I posted a picture that I took on the first day of 2010. Tonight I am posting a picture that I took on the last day of 2010. It shows the Old Town waterfront in Alexandria where the Charthouse restaurant is located. Every so often I take a picture that somehow just works, and this was one of them. But my enjoyment was somehow mitigated by the spammy comment that showed up under the picture on my Flickr page, just seconds after I had uploaded the picture, from someone named Nipuntantia7, calling it "Superb.........nice click....the perfect statement for why i love to be behind the lens" and asking that I visit his Facebook gallery.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Tree

It is Christmas Eve, and thus time to mark the occasion with a crudely-drawn Christmas tree, in the tradition of previous crudely-drawn computerized seasonal art.

Christmas trees are one of the easiest things to draw on a computer, as they can be formed entirely of simple geometric shapes. I was drawing crude Christmas trees on my Mac Plus back in the early Nineties.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lizard (King) Video

When I embedded some lizard videos the other day, I found that it wasn't too hard (even though I had to edit the HTML). It got me thinking about videos in general. I don't want to turn into the guy who's constantly putting other people's videos on his blog. But there's one more video that I have to post, because it's way too awesome. It's Jimmy Fallon as Jim Morrison singing the Reading Rainbow theme.

I couldn't figure out how to embed it, but here's the link.

My only quibble is that the guitar sounds more like something from the early Beatles than the work of Robby Krieger.

I've been liking Late Night with Jimmy Fallon more and more recently. Fallon isn't as funny as Letterman was back in the Nineties, when Letterman was doing genius-level comedy, but Fallon's show is the one that I most enjoy in late night right now.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Higgs Boson

Recently, there have been many news stories discussing the fact that scientists may soon confirm the existence of a theoretical elementary particle known as the Higgs boson. The headlines of these media accounts frequently call the Higgs boson by its nickname, the "God particle", which stems from the particle's great importance in certain theories of physics.

I have to wonder how many people who see these stories think that the God particle actually has something to do with God.

It's probably the same as the number of people who think that the Theory of Relativity is a defense of moral relativism . . .

. . . which would be pretty much everyone.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lizard Videos

I am going to try to embed some videos. I had nothing to do with making them; I just like them.

The first has already gone viral. It shows a Bearded Dragon (Pogona) playing a video game. Well, really it's just trying to eat the ants depicted in the game.

The second video is one that I would like to see go viral. It shows skinks eating banana slices on a porch at Fort Story in Virginia. The source where I originally read about the video says that the skinks are Broad-headed Skinks (Plestiodon laticeps aka Eumeces laticeps). But I can't be sure, as I can't tell from the footage which of the three local Plestiodon/Eumeces skinks is actually being shown. No matter the species, though, this video is the first evidence of which I'm aware of frugivory in the skinks of eastern North America.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Long, Dark Night Without Indentation

In an earlier post, I discussed how, when I started the blog, I couldn't indent paragraphs, until, just like magic, Blogger started letting me use the tab key to indent in my posts.

And then, just like magic, at some time between September 1 and October 13, just like magic, Blogger once again stopped letting my use the tab key to indent in my posts.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

More Belated Halloween Blogging

December is beginning, so, as I noted in my last entry, it's much too late to blog about Halloween. Also, as Julian Lennon once informed us, it's much too late for goodbyes. I don't know quite how that quote applies here, but there you have it. It's much too late for things.

On Halloween night I enjoy reading a story by H. P. Lovecraft, while listening to King Crimson's classic In the Court of the Crimson King album. (By this point in my life, I am running out of H. P. Lovecraft stories that I haven't read, so I have to ration them carefully.) I find that the spooky, otherworldly strains of early King Crimson and the spooky, otherworldly words of Howard Phillips Lovecraft combine well on a night that one would want to be spooky and otherworldly.

This year, late at night, I came upon this accidental juxtaposition:

It looks as if it could be the cover of the book, but it's actually the book with the King Crimson CD on top. The CD cover art shows the 21st Century Schizoid Man, the song about whom was sampled by Kanye, in what might have been a sign of the apocalypse. (A picture inside the CD booklet depicts the Crimson King himself.)

Here is the book's real cover:

Such interesting coincidences will be harder to come by if recent reports that record companies will stop producing CDs in 2012 are true.