אגרגטור הזנה

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - The Grasshopper and the Ants

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ד', 10/26/2016 - 17:15

I really feel there's an entire field to be had by bringing together literature and economics. Like, does anyone else side with Scrooge during that scene where his nephew asks him to contribute to an unevaluated charity.

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Wednesday Book Reviews!

Bull’s Eye (Adams)

Of the three major books written on Gerald Bull’s life, this is probably the least good. It’s not a bad book exactly, but it’s very strange. The author was, at least in the early 90s, a reporter on international arms sales and the associated shady behavior of rogue nations. That’s fine and all, but the book ends up being nominally about Gerald Bull while having enormous tangents about the author’s area of expertise. So, you’ll get somewhat loose biographical details, followed by a remarkably in-depth discussion of particular artillery systems from the mid-80s.

The Science of Cheese (Tunick)

I bought this book thinking it’d be a nice light read on, well, the science of cheese. It’s quite good, but really more of a reference book on types of cheese and the chemistry that produces them. So, if you’re rather nerdily-inclined and want to know more about cheese, this is a great book, but I wouldn’t try to read it all in one sitting unless you happen to be a chemist.

Demon, volume 1 (Shiga)

A great little comic book! I mean, also horrifying. Like, really violent and disgusting, but underneath that a very clever story. I’m looking forward to reading the next volume.

The Invention of Science (Wootton)

A fantastic history of the idea of science. I mean, just great. I got this book looking for a sort of light read on early science. It turned out to be a very detailed history on the concept of science as a human behavior, encompassing everything from history to etymology to social science. It’s just absolutely fantastic, and it will probably defy your expectations. I’ve gotten used to books of this sort repeating the same tired sets of moments in scientific history. Wootton not only introduces all sorts of new (to me) parts of history, but he adds more nuance to parts of history you may already be familiar with.

In Milton Lumky Territory (Dick)

Another of Dick’s earlier non-scifi novels. Like the others, it’s good and has good characters, but just seems to be missing something. Honestly, part of what makes his early literary stuff hard to read is that it’s so relentlessly depressing. I don't mind sad novels, but relentlessly sad novels (Updike's Rabbit series springs to mind) always seem to me like they're a palette missing a color.

The other thing is that (perhaps because almost none of it was published), all of these literary novels by Dick hit on very similar territory, almost always concerning themselves with douchey men and crazy women, living dull pointless lives, often starting a pathetic small business of some sort.

That said, it was still a pretty good novel. Reading this early stuff is interesting, because it helps you see Dick’s trajectory toward becoming one of the best science fiction writers of all time.

Movie Folder

XKCD - ד', 10/26/2016 - 06:00
That's actually the original Japanese version of A Million Random Digits, which is much better than the American remake the book was based on.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Progress

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ג', 10/25/2016 - 16:18

Now, it's time to create a pig that can fly.

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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Dentistry

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ב', 10/24/2016 - 18:49

When will someone finally invent sour straws with pointy chips and Cap'n Crunch embedded in them?

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Almost sold out of BAHFest San Francisco tickets! Get'em while they exist!

Life Goals

XKCD - ב', 10/24/2016 - 06:00
I got to check off 'Make something called xkcd' early.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Phonemes

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - א', 10/23/2016 - 17:08

Time for me to lock in the erotic linguistics audience.

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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Terrible News

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ש', 10/22/2016 - 16:38


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We are nearly sold out of tickets for BAHFest West!

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Welcome to Heaven, Loser

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ו', 10/21/2016 - 15:48

Yeah... yeah... THAT'S why my hands are so strong.

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XKCD - ו', 10/21/2016 - 06:00
Evolutionarily speaking, mushrooms are technically a type of ghost.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Immortality

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ה', 10/20/2016 - 15:56

This method can be used on anything bad about human existence!

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Over a week left and we've sold about 75% of BAHFest tickets!

It's going to be a particularly strong lineup this year :)

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - An Important Distinction

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ד', 10/19/2016 - 16:10

Wow! I get so much more respect now that you're dead!

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Future Archaeology

XKCD - ד', 10/19/2016 - 06:00
"The only link we've found between the two documents is that a fragment of the Noah one mentions Aaron's brother Moses parting an ocean. Is that right?" "... yes. Yes, exactly."

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Time Travelers

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ג', 10/18/2016 - 16:56


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Wednesday Book Review!

Puttering About in a Small Land (Dick) This book is another of Philip K Dicks early, unpublished literary books. I think they generally get better as they go, and this one was pretty darn good. Dick has an interesting way of making his characters, which is almost hard to describe. They’re almost like characters from Elizabethan theatre at times - with dialog that’s unrealistic, but which accurately reflects real sentiments. The hardest thing about Dick’s non-scifi novels is that they’re so relentlessly bleak. I don’t mind sad books, but it’s almost like there’s a missing color from his palette. I think of his best books involving a bent sort of hope, or at least humor, which doesn’t really show up in this book.

Proving Grounds (Kirsch) This is a very very dry history of Project Plowshares. If you want to research that topic, there’s some good stuff here. But, it’s not a light read.

Why Information Grows (Hidalgo) A fun book on Hidalgo’s theory of economics and trade as manifestations of energy, entropy, and information. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Time Out of Joint (Dick) As you may have noticed, I’ve been reading through Philip K Dick in order (based on wikipedia’s Dick bibliography). I would say this book is the first really excellent science fiction novel he wrote. I wonder if it wasn’t the first really intellectually ambitious sci fi novel he wrote. It’s an early version of the science fiction trope where a man lives in a constructed reality, but the explanation for why he’s there is very clever and interesting. Highly recommended!

Eccentric Orbits (Bloom) A fantastic history of the Iridium Satellite system, and how it was saved from disaster. This book is a sort of combination of science history and business history. It’s very long and detailed, with a lot of different characters taking the stage at times, but enjoyable the whole way through.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Riemann's Quaternary Conjecture

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ב', 10/17/2016 - 16:52

Also, negative infinity plus positive infinity results in zero infinity.

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Just one premium BAHFest ticket left, geeks!

מבט אימפרסיוניסטי במולקולות פסיכואקטיביות

אני לא מומחה גדול לאספקטים הכימיים של חומרים משני תודעה, אבל השבוע הזדמן לי לעיין קצת בסכמות של מבנים מולקולרים של של חומרים פסיכואקטיבים נפוצים ומצאתי את עצמי משתאה מול התמונות הללו. מצד אחד תרשימים של מולקולות מבוססים על מוסכמות של סכימה וכתיבה שאין להן דבר או חצי דבר עם הכימיקלים עצמם או ההשפעות שלהם, ומצד שני, באופן קאונטר-אינטואיטיבי מבט בהם מותיר במתבונן חותם חזק כל כך שקשה שלא להרהר על הקשר בין המבנה הכימי למה שאנחנו יודעים על הסם וההשפעה שלו. הנה כמה הרשמים האישיים והאסוציאטיבים ביותר שלי:



הסוכר נראה כאילו תפסת אותו בדיוק בעיצומו של מחול שמח וססגוני, מחזיק לעצמו את כל ידיים וחג סביב עצמו במעגלים סוערים הנישאים על גלי הגלוקוז עד להתמוטטות המלאה. הוא כמו גלגל ענק בלונה פארק שכל התרבות שלנו רוכבת עליו.



לעומת הסוכר הססגוני, המבנה המולקולארי של ההרואין נראה כמו תאונת שרשרת. משהו שכואב להסתכל עליו. זה נראה כמו שתי צורות שונות שנמעכות זו על זו או לופתות זו את זו. אולי הוא באה להצביע על ההתמכרות שאינה מרפה מהאדם, או האדם שלא מרפה מההתמכרות. ואולי זה דווקא האדם שאוחז במכור היטב בחיבוק, ואומר לו, לא אעזוב אותך.



קפאין נראה מאוד טיפוס מאוד מסודר וקפוץ. הראש שלו נישא זקוף מעל צוואר ארוך והוא כמו מלצר עם שלוש ידיים מושטות, שעל כל אחת מהן הוא מחזיק אטומי חנקן ומימן, תמיד מוכן לפעולה.



קוקאין נראה כמו דג עם סנפיר או צוללן שתקוע לו בהישבן מוט עם ידית. הפנים שלו, הנשקפות מצידו הימנית של הציור מחוברות רק בקושי וכאילו במקרה לגופו המשייט בחלל, וההבעה על פניו אומרת הכל, או לא כלום…



לסד נראה כמו זחל שהתרומם על רגליו בכוונה זדונית. יש לו איזה עין אחת מפחידה שבוחנת אותך פקוחה לרווחה ושני מחושים מרושעים שבהם הוא עומד לתקוף אותך עם אטומי מימן ופחמן כשאתה באמצע טריפ זוועות.



דיאמטי נראה כמו יצור יעיל וחסכוני בלי הרבה איברים מיותרים. יש לו בדיוק מספיק גוף כדי שיוכל להחזיק בידו את המפתח שפותח את דלתות התודעה.



אלכוהול נראה כמו פגישת עבודה מסודרת סביב שולחן מלבני וארוך בקואופרטיב למכירת משקאות. הוא גם נראה כמו צלב עם שני זרועות שהושכב על הצד, ואולי הוא באמת הדת של החברה שלנו, על העוקם.

Spider Paleontology

XKCD - ב', 10/17/2016 - 06:00
 Birds are a small subset of dinosaurs, so the weirdness of birds is a small subset of the weirdness of dinosaurs.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - The Superhero We Need

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - א', 10/16/2016 - 16:48

Later, it turns out Patient-Man and Existential-Crisis-Man are the same person.

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Just two weeks left till BAHFest West!

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - LOOK AT ME

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ש', 10/15/2016 - 16:33


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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Anxiety

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - ו', 10/14/2016 - 16:42

Oh neat! It feeds on its own self, then grows larger

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Making Friends

XKCD - ו', 10/14/2016 - 06:00
"This seems more like a way to attract turkey vultures." "My mom always told me a turkey vulture is just a friend you haven't met yet, usually because you don't smell enough like decaying meat."
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