found distractions

amuse us, o muse.
(a repost feed of my microblog at http://namakajiri.net/stream) at namakajiri.net
Jul 24 '14
L’œuvre d’art, l’œuvre littéraire étaient à ses yeux une fin absolue; elle portait en soi sa raison d’être, celle de son créateur, et peut-être même—il ne le disait pas, mais je le soupçonnais d’en être persuadé—celle de l’univers entier.

(The work of art, the work of literature was, to his eyes, an absolute end [in itself]; it carried in itself its own reason of being, [and also] that of its creator, and perhaps indeed – never did he say this, but I suspect that he was convinced of it – that of the entire universe.)

—Simone de Beauvoir, Mémoires d’une jeune fille rangée

(Source: namakajiri.net)

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Jul 24 '14

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Jul 24 '14
creativity in videogames happens in the margins

creativity in videogames happens in the margins

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Jul 23 '14

Argument by kanji: 静かさ、閑かさ

Bashō: 閑さや岩にしみ入蝉の声 shizukasa ya iwa ni shimi-iru semi no koe stillness: the cry of cicadas seep into the rocks Is there any meaning to the fact that Bashō wrote shizukasa “tranquility, quietude, repose” with the character 閑 rather than the (possibly) more common 静 ? Let’s look at a typical “argument by kanji” explanation. There’s…

Argument by kanji: 静かさ、閑かさ was originally published on The Nanbanjin Nikki

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Jul 22 '14
When cell suspensions we have fluorochromed are analyzed,
We find the variance of fluorescence minimized,
And mean fluorescence maximized, at equilibrium,
Though heterogeneous populations have confused us some.

tion”>Fluorescent dyes for differential counts by flow cytometry: does histochemistry tell us much more than cell geometry? A bonafide, serious cytometry/histochemistry paper written in proper rhyme & meter, and sung by the author at the Symposium on Automation and Cytochemistry in 1977. More sample verses:

When cell suspensions we have fluorochromed are analyzed,
We find the variance of fluorescence minimized,
And mean fluorescence maximized, at equilibrium,
Though heterogeneous populations have confused us some.

or:

They soon found on red acridine fluorescence served to tell
If cytoplasmic granules could be found within a cell,
And Adams and Kamentsky, using stronger laser light,
Were able to identify three kinds of leukocyte. (1)

The entire thing is like this :))

(Source: namakajiri.net)

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Jul 22 '14
Il bâilla : il avait fini sa journée, il en avait fini avec sa jeunesse. Déjà des morales éprouvée lui proposaient discrètement leurs services : il y avait l’épicurisme désabusé, l’indulgence souriante, la résignation, l’esprit de sérieux, le stoïcisme, tout ce qui permet de déguster minute par minute, en connaisseur, une vie ratée.

(He yawned: He had finished the day, and he had also finished with his youth. Various tried-and-true moralities had already discreetly offered him their services: disillusioned epicureanism, smiling tolerance, resignation, the spirit of sobriety, stoicism, anything which would permit him to savor, one minute at a time, like a connoisseur, a life of failure.)

—Sartre, L’âge de raison

(Source: namakajiri.net)

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Jul 21 '14
It’s easy to identify an ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata) because no other northeastern damselfly has all-black wings. This is a male, and he’s guarding a territory and looking for mates. If a female comes by, she’ll signal her opinion of him using her wings: spread wings mean “Nope” and a wing flip means “Hey, hot stuff”

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Jul 19 '14

Roy Andrew Miller, an unsung hero (villain) of academic dissing

R.A. Miller is better known for The Japanese Language, an indisputable classic of the field, and for his work on the Altaic hypothesis. However, I’ve never seen anyone draw attention to his academic reviews, the style and rhetoric of which I find to be highly entertaining (probably because I’m not the one being reviewed…). Consider…

Roy Andrew Miller, an unsung hero (villain) of academic dissing was originally published on The Nanbanjin Nikki

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Jul 18 '14
The higher owners scored in Openness, the less anxious and tense were their cats¹ […] owner emotionality significantly affects how cats relate to their environment […] owners high in Neuroticism turn to their cats mainly as emotional social supporters and hence, thereby, may offer a less secure base for the cat than the owners high in Openness, who consider their cats companions for play rather than social supporters. Hence, cats of open owners as compared to Neuroticistic owners may develop into somewhat more secure and less anxious individuals.

—Kotrschal et al, Human and cat personalities: building the bond from both sides. in: Turner et al, The Domestic Cat: The Biology of its Behavior. Another correlation was that “neurotic”-type owners often held their cats, with the result that they get used to it. “Open”-type don’t typically initiate holding, but they do initiate mutual play.

1) rs = –0.363, α = 0.022; see article for details.

(Source: namakajiri.net)

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Jul 18 '14
Because screenplay format developed in the typewriter era and has become loosely codified on the basis of that heritage, the writer has to do things similar to how they were done on a typewriter. […] Courier is now the standard, and that is not likely to change. […] its use in a standard screenplay format allows a fairly accurate estimate of the time that one page will equal out to on screen.

the time that one page will equal out to on screen.

Apparently people who evaluate scripts are used to estimating and comparing body text written in Courier 10 pitch (= 10 characters per inch = 12pt size). You could perhaps get away with using another 10-pitch slab-serif monospaced type, but it’s probably better to stick to the Courier-like, to avoid causing feelings of unfamiliarity… There’s even a free, modern Courier designed for this purpose.

(Source: namakajiri.net)

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Jul 17 '14

I love people who reinvent music.

(Source: namakajiri.net)

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Jul 16 '14
Felis margarita, the only feline who lives in true deserts:
(more images and more)

Felis margarita, the only feline who lives in true deserts:

(more images and more)

(Source: namakajiri.net)

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Jul 15 '14
An interesting, and now classical, observation made decades ago was the prominence of purring in some cats during delivery, up until contractions began, and then again following the contractions (Cooper, 1944). Another set of observations revealed that if a person in the family was present during delivery, crying by the mother was reduced and she purred instead (Moelk, 1979). A recent and intriguing perspective on purring that relates to the birth process is that the vibrational frequency of purring is 25 Hz, which is the frequency applied to the surface area by physical therapists on humans to promote wound healing, relieve pain and help in the repair of tendons and muscles (von Muggenthaler & Wright 2003). It is postulated that the same effects on muscles and bones can occur in cats during purring. The purring of mothers while giving birth and afterwards likely helps her to recover from the trauma, while at the same time helping the kittens grow stronger bones. The same process might apply to purring seen while cats are lying around after going all out in the chase for a dinner, coming back with sore muscles and stretched tendons; purring is healing. More on purring in this light is discussed elsewhere (Hart & Hart, 2013).
— Hart & Hart, in: Turner & Bateson, The Domestic Cat: The Biology of its Behaviour. It should be noted that this hypothesis is untested (in cats).

(Source: namakajiri.net)

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Jul 15 '14

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Jul 13 '14

Scene: Sherlock has just identified the mutilated body of Irene Adler, someone he deeply admired. He’s at the morgue with his brother, Mycroft Holmes.

Sherlock: Look at them. They all care so much. Do you ever wonder if there’s something wrong with us?
Mycroft: All lives end. All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage, Sherlock.

Sherlock [frowning at Irene’s cigarette]: This is low tar.
Mycroft: Well… you barely knew her.

(Source: namakajiri.net)

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