The past week has been the week from hell, and the week ain’t over yet. On a positive note, I am not dead yet. On another positive note, I made another mouse trailer .
Alas, the world has lost another saint. Chuck Jones, animator extraordinaire, responsible for Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, and the rest of that gang, passed away on Friday at the age of 89. Chuck made me laugh when there was little to laugh at, from the age of four up until… Hell, he still makes me laugh.
Last May we lost Douglas Adams. We are losing our jesters, the ones who point out the nakedness of our emperors. We have beadles, sycophants, and village idiots beyond number, but the jester is an endangered species. I take solace in knowing that our current village idiot, the one who is happily groin-kicking the rest of the world, is pissing off enough intelligent people that a new crop of jesters will undoubtedly arise, just in time to make us laugh through the next world war.
On Thursday/Friday I pulled my first 24-hour work shift. Thursday 7:00 am to 5:30 pm, then back at 9:00 pm to 12:00 noon on Friday. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but I don’t want to do that again, any time soon.
Today I took advantage of a gift certificate and went to the local bookstore for my weekly fix. I picked up a couple of collections of Roger Zelazny’s short stories, and a copy of Eugene Onegin, by Alexander Pushkin .
This particular edition was translated by Douglas Hofstadter. As I was checking out, the clerk froze for a moment, then spun Eugene Onegin around and said “Why this edition of this book?” I mentioned my recent Hofstadter spree, and the clerk — who spoke with a very slight accent which might have been French — said he had helped with the translation, and had worked with Hofstadter on one of his other books, Le Ton Beau De Marot : In Praise of the Music of Language.
So now I am only one degree of separation from Hofstadter. Well, one degree and about ten thousand IQ points…
If you look to the right you will see a link to a page where I have collected all of the book references which I post on this site. I expect to have reviews up soon.
I heard an interesting statistic today: historically, more people die on February 14 than on any other day. Apparently this is a trend which has been going on for some time across the entire world. Maybe, if I feel motivated, I will look up some statistics.
It took a few days, but I have added destructive capabilities to my tank. You can find it here . Once again, arrow keys move the thing, mouse controls aiming and firing. It weighs in at a whopping 4k.
I have not forgotten about my artificial evolution experiments; they have, of necessity, been set aside in favor of learning more about Flash. Work has been taking up a lot of my time, too.
A word about the current sidebar: Is it a construct known as a Magic Square. It reads the same in all four directions. It is an interesting pattern puzzle to come up with other phrases which work as a magic square, while making sense, linguistically and grammatically. Numerical magic squares contain number grids which, when added together in rows or columns, always result in the same number. If I feel motivated I may post a couple in a few days.
I’m just not feeling very motivated right now.
Happy freakin’ Valentines Day.
Just to prove that Flash is great for making 80’s style arcade games, here is a little thing I whipped up in about an hour this evening. Use the arrow keys to move, and the mouse to aim. If the arrow keys don’t do anything, click on the window to bring it into focus. I will add destructive ability when I figure out how to attach a #%*)%*#%# click event to the root level of a Flash movie.
I have another link to add to the Big Brains section of the links page: Math World. This is an amazing mathematical resource, with close to a thousand interactive Java applet examples created using the Mathematica engine, created by Stephen Wolfram , whose brain is staggeringly huge.
And on a lighter note, I recently came across the Tao of Programming . It is meant to be a satire site, I suppose, but reading through it, a lot of this (surprisingly apt) re-interpretation of the Tao Te Ching rang true for me. Your day will be better for the experience.
Flash is sucking my time away faster than prime time television. No time to read, no time for fun stuff. Not that Flash isn’t fun.
In other news, I have been listening to a great German band called Corvus Corax. Medieval music with bagpipes, with a distinct dark-ages feel, coupled with an overtone of punk. Good angry programming music. The problem is, the CDs appear to be nigh impossible to get here in the US. This is not really a problem as long as Audio Galaxy is around, but they are good enough that I want to have their music on CD. Original CD. Not burned copies.