Won’t someone please buy this house?

It’s a couple of blocks from me; the owners are setting forth on a New Adventure, or some such business, back east, and the old house can’t very well go with them.

(Warning: Embedded noises that approximate musicality, plus the dreaded Flash Babe at the opening.)

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Or I could just click on Like

The Social Network CDThe Null Corporation is Trent Reznor’s not-really-a-label label, and its most recent release was the soundtrack (by Reznor and Atticus Ross) to David Fincher’s film The Social Network. It was available in several formats, including a freebie five-track sampler and a complete $5 download package; I went up one step to the actual physical CD ($8 plus shipping), which was released last week and which arrived Thursday afternoon. I’d already heard it, of course; NullCorp threw in a 460-MB download, which included all 19 tracks, in MP3 and in Apple Lossless.

After a second hearing — the first one left me more or less speechless, or at least typeless — I think I’ve gotten a handle on it. If you’re a Reznor fan, much of it will sound familiar; a couple of these tracks (“A Familiar Taste” and “Magnetic”) were expansions of tracks on Reznor’s earlier Ghosts I-IV set, also featuring Ross. It’s generally closer to dark ambient than to industrial, with the notable exceptions of a recasting of Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” which builds to a satisfyingly-crunchified crescendo, and the opener, “Hand Covers Bruise,” which ranks as arguably the creepiest Track One since Angelo Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks soundtrack. “Hand Covers Bruise,” in fact, is a definitive NIN-style title, as is “The Gentle Hum of Anxiety.” I haven’t decided whether I like this better than Ghosts or not, and I haven’t figured out exactly how to distinguish between Ross’ contributions and Reznor’s, but maybe that doesn’t matter.

Which leaves one question: What does it say about Facebook when a film about its creation is scored by the likes of Trent Reznor?

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A pirate looks at eleven

This is the oldest of the grandchildren: Becky’s son Nick, who turns 11 in about two and a half weeks, and who hasn’t had a picture on here in some time. (I blame his mom, at least in her presence.)

Nick Havlik 2010

Exactly what he’s been pirating, I am not at liberty to say.

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And you thought they were just poets

Sya discloses the setting of her November NaNoWriMo novel:

Well, think of the 1970s western lifestyle and its design aesthetic (or lack thereof). Now put that into space. Yep. Put on your shades cause there’s going to be sparkly uniforms, mustachioed aliens, shag-carpeted captain’s chairs, and Vogon-grade disco dancing for good measure.

Which, now that I think about it, is probably not too different from the way we’d have seen Star Trek, the Original Series, had it not been picked up until 1973 or so. By then, Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Chair, for instance, would have been deemed Old Hat and no longer usable as a stand-in for an artifact from the future.

Speaking of the future:

I suspect the future will be at the same time as banal as today and something so different that we cannot even yet imagine.

Perhaps there’s a Law of Conservation of Banality, and the quantity in the universe remains more or less constant despite our best efforts.

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Ford out of your future

News Item: As of Thursday, the arena’s name has changed to Oklahoma City Arena. The naming rights deal with Oklahoma Ford Dealers has run out. The Thunder is in discussions with others who might like an NBA arena named for them. Until a new deal is done, the arena will carry the rather generic temporary title.

Top Ten rejected names for The Arena Formerly Known As The Ford Center:

  1. Lincoln-Mercury Center
  2. Del Rancho Arena Supreme
  3. Frank Deford Center
  4. Not the Arcadia Round Barn
  5. Mick Cornett’s ShinyDome
  6. [“Hey, we gotta work Bricktown into this somewhere!”]
  7. One Hundred Decibel Place
  8. Chuck Norris Roundhouse
  9. KeyArena 2
  10. The Durantoplex

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A Swank photo

Hilary Swank won her first Academy Award for Boys Don’t Cry, in which she played a young man who’d been raised as a girl. She disappeared so deeply into this role that I remember wondering if maybe “Hilary,” which used to be a boy’s name way back when, still might be.

Um, no, not in this case:

Hilary Swank

As that guy on SNL used to say: “ACTING!”

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Fainting with damn praise

A spammer left this semi-hilarious bit of nonsense in the Akismet trap:

What a wonderful blog. I invest hours on the internet reading blogs, about tons of different subjects. I have to to begin with give kudos to whoever created your web site and second of all to you for writing what i can only describe as an post. I honestly believe there is a skill to writing articles that only several posses and to be truthful you have it. The combination of informative and quality content is definitely very rare with the big quantity of blogs on the internet.

The real gem here, of course, is “…writing what i can only describe as an post.” Because, you know, that’s what it was.

I have to assume that this was translated from Spammer to English by someone who speaks only Shyriiwook.

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A guaranteed customer base

The Wicked Witch of the Northeast plays guidance counselor:

“You are a business major and you need advice as to what recession-proof industry to go into? I’ve got two words for you … FUNERAL DIRECTOR

Why, people will be dying to use your facilities.

(Oh, come on. You knew this was coming.)

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Maybe you shouldn’t have asked

What ultimately kills “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” suggests Jenn, could be simple system overload:

Right now SLDN is still advising service members not to reveal their orientation but if they held an international coming out day and even 60% of gay service members walked into their CO’s offices and confessed to being gay it would overwhelm the DoD’s ability to deal with the issue. Same with recruiting — pack the recruiting offices with openly gay recruits and you overwhelm the services’ ability to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. It wouldn’t even take that many recruits to do so.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates seems overwhelmed already:

Gates hasn’t been sounding as though he is ready to step in. In fact, the other low that went largely unreported last week was Gates’ rushing out shortly after Judge Phillips’ decision to declare that any hasty action would be inappropriate, from a single judge and maybe from the Senate too. The Secretary insisted there was much more work and study to be done before a change in the law would be ripe. Incredibly, Gates singled out the need to study separate military housing for gays. (The Gates/Pentagon speak for this red herring was “Defense Department Buildings.”)

Separate military housing? Yeah, that will go over really well with the starve-the-Pentagon types on the Hill.

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When things get scary

You never, ever want to see a post like this, even if it’s from someone you can’t stand, which this isn’t:

One of the side effects listed on the document given to me when I got my prescription filled warned that some people try to kill themselves when they take it.

I don’t know what the prescription was — some sort of allergy medication, she said — but this is downright chilling:

I feel really, really, really bad and I am not in a good place to try and write. So I will give this medication another day or so to see if it passes. If you don’t ever hear from me again, it means the medication won.

Evidently the medication lost. Exactly 36 hours after that post came this one: “I’m Fine.”

I thank heaven for that — and for the fact that I have no known allergies. I suspect there’s a reason for that, and probably not the one you think.

(Via Dan Collins.)

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We are now in the post-preseason

You have to feel something for the beleaguered New Orleans Hornets, who had to finish up the preseason with a back-to-back on the road. Reasonably, they decided to rest Chris Paul and Emeka Okafor, and Peja Stojakovic was used sparingly. That pretty much left David West as the only Bee with extensive experience at the Frank Deford Center, and West scored seemingly at will, rolling up 24 points in 29 minutes. It didn’t help the Hornets, though, who were flattened by the Thunder, 101-86.

OKC finishes the preseason at 4-3. Still unseen: Nick Collison, who caught a bruise in training camp; major improvements at the post; whatever name is going to be pasted on the building, which the broadcast crew has been referring to as the Oklahoma City Arena.

The season opener is Wednesday, at home against the Chicago Bulls.

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Last time we checked in with Andrew Ian Dodge, he was CoTVing into New Vegas (between app crashes), his way of introducing the 396th Carnival of the Vanities, and also (I assume) Obsidian Entertainment’s Fallout: New Vegas.

Still in the Old Vegas: Local 396 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

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We are indeed blessed

Not a Zooeypalooza entry, but worth the effort, especially since the Twitterverse (and others) made a point of telling me about it.

Note: This was posted without the express written consent of Major League Baseball.

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Who could have foreseen this?

I mean, Ouija: The Movie:

While the Ouija movie could be a traditional horror picture (think pretty young things haunted by strange occurrences on a creepy sleepover), it’s actually being developed as an action-adventure in the vein of National Treasure. Michael Bay’s production company, Platinum Dunes, and several Lost writers are behind it.

Jeebus. If they can make a movie out of this, they can make a movie out of the Magic 8-Ball.

Steel yourselves for Uncle Wiggily 3-D.

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The most unexpected development I don’t even slightly expect? The entire Climate Worrier Industry recanting, admitting that they’d been had. Not gonna happen.

But this comes close. Apparently it is somehow possible to justify the Comic Sans font:

Dr [Daniel] Oppenheimer recruited 28 volunteers aged between 18 and 40 and asked them to learn, from written descriptions, about three “species” of extraterrestrial alien, each of which had seven features. This task was meant to be similar to learning about animal species in a biology lesson. It used aliens in place of actual species to be certain that the participants could not draw on prior knowledge.

Half of the volunteers were presented with the information in difficult-to-read fonts (12-point Comic Sans MS 75% greyscale and 12-point Bodoni MT 75% greyscale). The other half saw it in 16-point Arial pure-black font, which tests have shown is one of the easiest to read.

After studying the information, the subjects were turned loose for a while, and then brought back in to answer questions about the fake species. And here’s the punchline:

[T]hose reading the Arial font got the answers right 72.8% of the time, on average. Those forced to read the more difficult fonts answered correctly 86.5% of the time.

Moral of the story: you increase reading comprehension by making the reader work harder, though probably not so hard as demanding he read the material in Papyrus.

Dr Oppenheimer is a psychologist at Princeton; his research will be published in the journal Cognition.

(Via ESPN’s TrueHoop, and this is why.)

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Time on your hands

There’s a bit in the Association single “Six Man Band” about “the seventeen jewels that dictate the rules.” They weren’t worth much as actual jewelry — or were they?

Ring made from old watch body

This ring, derived from an old Baylor watch, adds just the slightest hint of steampunk to one’s hand.

Broke & Beautiful is showing off a whole array of Amazing Ring Designs, this one included. (Do take a look at the “inside-out” ring.)

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