Category Archives: Uncategorized


New York City


This is why I love this city: it is straight out of a William Gibson novel.


Brooklyn – 1976


Cassini Mission

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

-Carl Sagan


Silly Molecules

An excellent little website devoted to listing all of the silly molecule names.

Diabolic Acid, Penguinone (because it’s chemical structure looks like a penguin. really) and of course, Furfuryl Furfurate.


Royal Navy Field Gun Competition 1997

Brilliant, bizarre, and strangely compelling. I really want to go watch this live.




NYC kills the 1 day MTA Fun Pass

If you live in New York City, people visit you. It’s not you, it’s the city, but hey, I’ll take it. Inevitably the question of the subway arises: How do I get from where you live to where I want to go? In the past, the answer was simple. Just buy the $4 one day funpass, and well, don’t worry about it. Just hop on the subway, and go! NYC is a daunting enough place for tourists, the funpass, introduced in 1999, helped make NYC a little bit friendlier and easier to navigate. I’ve personally walked a few random tourists through buying one.


Now it’s gone.


It’s a real shame, and I think it’s a bad move on the MTA’s part. I understand why they did it: the $4 fun pass would have been $20 cheaper for your average commuter than the increasingly dear monthly pass. ( Which at $104 a month makes a vespa seem very attractive)

Unlimited transportation within the City is, I believe, a tremendously freeing thing. The monthly pass means that I can stop off anywhere, at any time, en route to work or coming home without racking up another $2.50 in fees. It means I can peruse shops at leisure, pickup something from the farmers market, or go out to eat without worrying how much it’s going to cost me just to get there and get home. The same is true for tourists: unlimited subway passes turn the city into their playground. How many tourists now are going to hop off the subway in soho on their way to Times Square when it will cost them an extra $2.50?

I’d wager that the loss of the funpass, while probably earning the MTA a little bit of money in the short run, will be a huge net loss for the City as a whole. Especially for small businesses in areas that don’t traditionally get alot of tourist traffic, the tax on wanderlust will hurt. Less tangible, though perhaps even more damaging, is the effect on the world’s image of NYC. The magic of travel is the road less travelled, the serendipitous cafe, the joy of discovery. The fun pass gave tourists the excuse to indulge in an adventure. It’s loss means that the City is a less magical place. It’s glitter will fade, and that for more and more visitors, Bubba Gump’s in Times Square, The Empire State Building, and Ground Zero will be their New York.

Whatever benefit the MTA gets from killing the funpass, it’s not worth it.


Art Of Matt Moore

Via the always excellent Datachurch


Warm Signal

Beautiful abstract animation from Silke Sieler


Astounding pictures of the japanese earthquake

Via Boing Boing


Life, the Universe, and Everything.

The double rainbow guy was on to something….


Voice is worthless

I completely agree with Gigaom on this: Telephony in and of itself will become worthless in the near future. It’s just going to be another protocol sent over the internet. The sooner cellular carriers realize they are wireless ISPs, the better it will be for everyone.


The CRM114 discriminator

“… Now, in order to prevent the enemy from issuing fake or confusing orders, the CRM114 Discriminator is designed not to receive at all… That is, not unless the message is preceded by the proper three­letter code group.“

–George C. Scott, playing the role of General Buck Turgidson, in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove

One of my favorite stories about Dr. Strangelove is that apparently, Kubrick asked George C. Scott to do several takes of each scene, and specifically in one of takes, to be completely over the top, totally outrageous. Kubrick almost exclusively used the over the top takes in the final edit of the film.

What that story has to do with the automated machine learning library CRM114, other than the obvious link to Dr. Strangelove I don’t know, however, CRM114 is fricken amazing. In the words of the its creator Bill Yerazunis CRM114 is like “grep was bitten by some radio active spider”.

Essentially, if you have some stream of documents, data, bits or whatever and you’d like to automatically classify it into categories, CRM114 is your new bicycle. CRM114 learns, and it learns fast, how to accurately categorized your stream of data, with accuracies of up to 99.9% (with a little bit of love). It’s a swiss army knife of machine learning.


The Post Scarcity Toolkit

The GVCS is a collection of 40 machines needed to “create a small civilization with modern-day comforts…like a life-size Lego set”.

via Kottke


Yeah I did it.