sixth sense = 2nd sight = in-sight
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RectAnimals Are Coming

I heard about this long before you did, as you will remind me later when they're famous.
~ scott @ 1:41 PM [link]
GoGoGadget Liberation!

The Robo Freedom Movement gathers momentum.
~ scott @ 1:29 PM [link]
A Friday

I'm not really sure what Today's Playlist is about - sort of upbeat, sort of a latest and greatest heavy rotation kind of thing, some songs I've actually bought from the iTMS, and which I dearly hope will thus appear in the list once it's uploaded. (19 out of 26 - our best results yet!)

I was going to do some more carping about this iMix thing, but decided to let it go. Well, ok - one carp: surely shared playlists are destined to become a web fixture, right along with blogs, IM and porn. Apple knows this, and they know the game is on like a neckbone; the competition in selling music downloads has barely even begun. Are they really going to fumble this incredible lead by being cheap on "sticky" features? What about small member profile pages (a'la Blogger), music message boards and groups, special discounts by listening category, skinnable interfaces, and so on? Is the lack of these things a sign of stubborness, ignorance or neglect? Should I even bother to hope that they have something much cooler than what I can imagine in the works, instead of these? Let's see... I'm trying to remember if they ever had a huge lead with a great technology and let it slip through their fingers before - nope, don't think so! Yay.

Also, this is the company that claims to give us what we expect from digital technology, rather than the lowest common denominator shoveled at us from other quarters. And the appeal has long been (in theory) to make it work right the first time right out of the box, to preserve the integrity of the user experience... would it really have been that hard to make this iMix thing a "wow that's great" moment instead of a farting dissapointment?
~ scott @ 8:28 AM [link]
The Moral Minority

To God, or not to God - that seems to be the question. I get a little tired of the atheist = immorality argument, particularly dressed up in the bland post-9/11 nationalist fervor. Uhrm, separation of church and state, anyone?

The one that really galls me is the No Atheists in a Foxhole gambit; to wit, "Those people think they've got it all figured out until something bad happens to them, but then they've got God on speed dial!" But really folks, do they? I've never been in a foxhole, at least not that I can recall, but would reverting back to culturally imposed norms be as simple as that? Isn't it more likely that these are the people who casually rejected religion and its trappings without much thought in the first place?

I think the worst case, anywhere along the whole belief spectrum, is where people meekly accept what they're told at face value, out of fear or laziness or a disinclination to think for themselves. In the end, with all the spare capacity of our supersized brains, what's more worthy of thinking about than this?

Related listening: Today's Playlist*

* This playlist thing isn't working out quite like I'd hoped. I was going on blind faith (har!) that the iTunes store had most of the music I was selecting, but sadly, no. And this reshuffle thing it's doing makes absolutely no sense whatsoever - what jackhole decided that track order was an optional feature for sharing and archiving playlists? C'mon Apple... I've come to expect better.

~ scott @ 8:47 AM [link]
Yay For Netflix!

My favorite DVD by mail Co. just opened a distribution center in Indianapolis, which means I now have a turnaround time of 2-3 days. This is swell on a number of levels, including quantity and more-instant gratification. Back in the day (a day in late 2001, that is), I used to wait for them to go all the way to San Jose, CA and back -- and yes, now that horrendously crappy song will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Then it was somewhere near Kansas City, I think, then St. Louis, and now just a blessed hour away. Next up: Greencastle!
~ scott @ 1:46 PM [link]
Ah, politics... the new sports

(... until the new NFL season starts, of course, when everyone will cease caring.)

OK, I'm just pasting here from another blog (things fall apart), but wow:

"Moore's condemnation of President Bush's actions regarding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the documentary 'Fahrenheit 9/11' had a weekend haul of $5 million to lift its total to $103.35 million since opening in late June.

The previous best domestic gross for a feature-length documentary was $21.6 million for Moore's Academy Award-winning 'Bowling for Columbine.' That film took nine months to hit that level, while 'Fahrenheit 9/11' did more business, $23.9 million, in just its first weekend. "

Something tells me this isn't the same phenomenon as with the Mel Gibson Jesus movie, where vanloads of churchfolk were going en masse... or is the ACLU/Greenpeace/Whole Foods flotilla sponsoring movie night these days?

Hell, why do I even pretend to pretend to understand this stuff?
~ scott @ 10:07 AM [link]
F8cked 4 L1fe!

Topic: Spam

Once again, I've completely underestimated the impossibility of screening myself from the SpamMonster. A Google search for my email address returns results for pages on my site that I've removed it from, but that haven't been reindexed; and my CLAYART posts, going back to 2001. Searches for my other addresses (shh... they're secret, or so I thought) return similar results. Crap, crap, crap.

But wait, there's more: simply by writing about the phenomenon, and linking to the search, I'm helping sustain the thing's unholy half-life. Scoob, we're doomed.
~ scott @ 1:13 PM [link]
Dream #35

I had The Home Invasion dream last night, one of my recurring Greatest Hits. You know, it's the one where you're sitting alone, wishing you had a good weapon, knowing that THEY are coming for you and there's no escape. Quite restful! The strange part is that I wasn't at our house, but at my grandparent's, and they haven't lived there for a few years now. How did my melon assemble those disparate pieces into one dream? Why?

Possible pre-sleep contributors: m&m's at 10:30pm, and this Steven Johnson book I'm reading about the workings of the human brain.
~ scott @ 12:15 PM [link]
So Much For Living In the Past

A nerdish impulse drove me to search Google News for "INXS", following my last post, and miracle of miracles, it came up with this: INXS meets Survivor in global star search.

To wit:
"In the long term it could be the best thing that's ever happened to them or it could be the kiss of death, it's one of those things you won't find out till you get there. But if Bono died, would U2 go out and go on a reality TV show?' "

Good lord.
~ scott @ 4:20 PM [link]
INXS? No, Actually InNeedOf...

A quick perusal of my iTunes library has revealed a shocking discovery: I have not a single old album by INXS! [link only works if you've got iTunes, dude.]

And then it dawns on me:

INXS was my favorite band for a long time (yes, I admit it), but that was circa 1986, the glory years of the humble yet serviceable cassette tape. I didn't buy my first CD until 1990, the summer after my freshman year of college, by which time I had stopped, for a while, admitting that I loved this particular brand of Aussie rock. Hence, my only copies of old INXS albums are sitting in a closet at home in a 20-year old laminated-plywood tape case. By now I bet they sound like noise "made by angry, retarded gnomes."*

Which leaves me in a bit of a quandry. Since ripping from a mangy analog source is entirely out of the question, do I succumb to the clever, evil plan of the RIAA and buy them - again - as digital files? Or buy the CD's used (for less, no doubt) and rip them into my collection? Or, do I sneak back to Kazaa one last time and sdlkvj jalf*F*)AV&*EDEdg09vs88()78sdfvvll sdv/.,. kyfgh. ..record expunged..

* Here I humbly quote the majestic IzzlePfaff!, by way of imitation=flattery.
~ scott @ 2:29 PM [link]
Fonts Be Gone!

[Geek Alert! What follows will be of no interest to a normal human.]

So I've finally eradicated every last stinking <font> tag from my clay site. Hurray!... and there was much rejoicing. Nothing but lean, clean text surrounded by <p> tags and some wholesome <divs>, all linked back to a single CSS stylesheet just like god intended.

Stage 0 of the redesign complete. Next step: actually creating the new design. Ug.
~ scott @ 8:40 AM [link]
I'm (not) Famous!

To summarize a recent Google search, here are a few of the places my St. Earth site is referenced in good ol' cyberspace:

1. PMI Online - Website Reviews, Jan/Feb 2004 - for NCECA

2. A dragon site

3. Something called the International Ceramic Directory

4. A massive list of CLAYART members' sites at

5. The Open Directory Project

6. Under the keyword "generously" (based on the description created by #5 above) at a lame engine called Nebula Search

7. A European directory called CBEL

8. A Tripod site with one of the most bizarre menu schemes I've ever laid eyes upon

9. Another fantastically long links page by a guy named Russel Fouts

10. The DWodp (something open directory project), which includes a screenshot of each featured page - nice!

11. A site from the Netherlands called Kellysearch, where I'm listed as some sort of materials supplier, I think (my Dutch is rusty). Aha - perhaps this is why I keep getting international spam asking if I can fill an order for 500 rice bowls or whatever! I like how I'm listed as being in the "Verenigde Staten"

12. A profile on Vasefinder site

13. And, last but not least, a bunch of posts to the CLAYART discussion list.
~ scott @ 11:31 AM [link]
Dreams #32-34

More nighttime weirdness to report, including several that I remembered in the shower, but now seem to be blocking out:

~ I went to teach my class next semester without an ounce of prep or even a syllabus. And somehow, it was Ceramics II, which I've never taught
~ Something involving a creepy old woman and a gun

And from the night before last:
~ My jr. high crush, one Miss Marty Ann Fields, somehow disappeared/was abducted from the ladies' room of a big airport/station/shopping mall; I and a group of friends (perhaps from that same era) were anxiously searching everywhere for her

It occurs to me that it's pretty convenient to blame noteworthy dreams on anxiety or stress, such as being in house-hunting hell, but what about all the other times? And what about good dreams - are they a product of excessive relaxation or peacefullness?

Can anyone recommend a good book about this stuff, preferably in an imaginative, pop-psychology vein... something that won't give me weird dreams?
~ scott @ 8:55 AM [link]