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Adoring old synths as I do (albeit, sadly, from afar), my eye was naturally caught by mention of the Cynthia Macintosh, a Mac mini mind melded with a suitably designed LCD panel and software. It doesn't exist yet, however, but when it does, I'm going to have to find a way of playing around with one.. wonder if there's such a thing as a cheap 15" touchscreen LCD? (Or a panel to overlay on an existing display) Making a tablet out of an old PowerBook could be a fun little project.

From the gallows humor department: Volkswagen's "Car for almost all occasions" TV ad. (2.6MB QuickTime)

If you had a paid account when the colo's lights went out, wander along thisaway to claim a fortnight's extension by way of salve for the soul unjournaled. Speaking of which.. as found by sockscatt, one of the first in probably many tribute images. ^_^

ysengrin pointed out some fascinating work over at Cornell, where a polystyrene-like polymer's been produced, based on the oxide of limonene (the primary oil found in citrus peel) and carbon dioxide. As the article notes, virtually every polymer currently in existence has a petroleum origin.

Who knew Bill Gates had such desire to be a teen heartthrob in 1983? (BTW, if you noticed, those links make use of a public distributed caching system. Just add .nyud.net:8090 as shown, and providing a copy's in the system before any slashdotting occurs, the link's safe from being overloaded.

Not the greatest photos ever taken, but still, these few scenes from a fish & vegetable market in Chalous, Iran, are a tiny glimpse into another culture.

Beer for the day has to be Titanic Brewery's Titanic Stout, a heavy stout along the lines of Sierra Nevada's - well, maybe it's more like North Coast Brewing's Old Rasputin's Imperial Stout, but considerably less sweet. More like a naked Young's Double Chocolate - all the flavor, but markedly drier.

I thought I'd offer the opening and closing sequences (11.1 and 10.6MB MPEG-4) of Paranoia Agent, as a musical indication of its nature. It's an intensely character-driven series, peeling away layers of people's personalities they'd far sooner keep reserved for themselves.

(Tucked away to conceal the links from spiders)

"People you think are normal.."
The whole 'LiveJournal a victim of a power outage' bit would probably be a lot more amusing if my place of business hadn't gone through a five hour one today. Second in three months, even.

After being ready for one through two weeks of wind and storms, we get one on a day with clear skies and warm temperatures, because of a major transformer failure.

What is with the California grid, anyway?
Oof! A transformer deciding to dally with rapid oxidation would have an impact, yes. ^_^ Hopefully the knock-on effects weren't too bad.. that seems to be all too common a problem - there was one large blackout in London in 2003, where a single fault (near Wimbledon?) wound up knocking out the supply to large parts of the city.

Though for cascading, few events beat that wonderful outage all along the Pacific coastline in August 1996.. ye gods. I was being given a tour of San Francisco by a friend at the time, and inevitably, many traffic signals were down, with scattered blocks retaining power. (Actually quite encouraging to see how sensible drivers were being.. I was mildly surprised)

Oh, the LJ outage - you've probably seen the report by now, but it appears to come down to some individual deciding it'd be fun to press the emergency power off switch, then reset it to make it appear as if it hadn't been activated. The "what does this big red button do?" syndrome strikes again..