Mike Beversluis

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

metro life 2

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Kingston

Postcard from Kingston-town:


Our family once owned a coffee shop in the building on the lower left corner, where I worked for a year between high school and college.

Ford Iosis

Ford needs to build this, right now. Lose the gullwing doors, and this needs to be a no-3.0, no-Homers club: 4.6's only.

Nude! Nude! Nude!


There was a guy in an art class I took once who, every time we had this nude model, would draw giant boobs and a vagina. The roundtable class critiques were hilariously circumspect.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

These boots are made for walking

I am seriously into these new boots:

They are currently on closeout over at Zappos. Pay attention to their sizing advice, but I'm a ten and a half and the 44 fit well. Also, they're of European origin, so the leather didn't rub itself against barbwire fences while it was still walking around.

Update: of it's own volition, that is.

metro life

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SLM

This is a profile of the phase response of one of my, I mean, {cough} the government's SLM's (Spatial Light Modulator):

Meaningless gibberish?

Here's one possible interpretation, working from a gender/class/sexuality perspective: "My life would be simpler if those stripes were straight, but they're not."

Memory sketch 2


Looking out the window at nothing.

Monday, August 29, 2005

60% off of If You Have to Ask, You Cannot Afford it does not make sense

I need a rug for my appartment, one that is at least 5'5" tall, I mean, long, and so I was thrilled to see that there was a 60% off sale at a department store over in their rug section. After looking around, I spotted one I liked, and found that it was actually real persian,, and hand knotted to boot. I'm not sure 8-year old Ahmed really enjoyed working 12 hours a day for two weeks, his eyesite slowly deterioriating from the strain while his nimble fingers run with blurred speed through the warp and weeve of a 12th century loom to make it, but that said, he did a pretty good job.

It was about 5 by 7 feet, and though a little small, I liked the pattern. Actually, I really liked the pattern, and I discretely checked the tag: $13.658.00. I liked the pattern, not, married-liked the pattern. And this was about midpack for the rugs this size. They had ballroom sized rugs of the same origin hanging elsewhere.

In retrospect it's obvious that Persian hand knotted rugs have a certain cache, but I was off by about an order of magnitude.

Second, it may have not been subject to the sale, or that may have been the sale price - really, it doesn't matter. That is alot to spend for a rug - there are men wearing considerably cheaper pieces around on their bald pates.

Third, if you can afford such a rug, why would it be on sale? Shit, at that income bracket you are burning money during the summer in your giant, 30 foot wide fireplace from Al Pachino's office in the Devil's Advocate, you know, just to make sure your air-conditioner has something to do.

Fourth, why would someone like that go shopping for such rugs at the mall?

Just to be clear, we're all talking about Donald Trump, right?

In any case, this sort of purchase - like excutive class call girls, and I mean, really, really classy call girls - involves a certain exotic aspect which means that much of the satisfaction comes from the purchasing process as much as the rug itself. This should be done in a apointment only gallery, not next to the Cingular phone wagon. This does not compute.

PNC bank

Does anyone know why Laura Bush is hawking checking accounts? And what's up with that microphone? Is she still telling jokes about George masturbating a bull? Really, it's a poster, so what need is there to amplify her voice? And why am I being so pendantic about an advertisement? They're nonsensical on purpose, ie, buy Axe deodorant and models will gang tackle you in the supermarket. (HOT!) That already happens to me, and I just use the generic brand (This results in hand-models instead of regular models, and sometimes men, but whatever.)

Also, I was at Cheeseburger Cheeseburger the other day and some guy drove by on a Segway - I was going to make fun of him, HAW HAW, but then I saw that it had a PNC bank sign board on the front and that he was just trying to get people to sign up - I can empathize cause everyone's had to work shitty summer jobs and I'm not about to pile on him for his. He did look like Justin Timberlake, though, and who should have to suffer like that?

Clips from the morning paper


I am so easily amused it's retarded, or I am, or both.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Apple IIe


A few years back, the flesh and blood gave me this watercolor of hers for my birthday. Which I guess makes up for not getting the full genetic golden ticket (Curse you milk man dan) - I wish I had a little more of her sense of color. My watercolors always end up as atmospheric study in taupe, five, ie, don't quit your day job, Beversluis!

It runs in the family

Something my sister Sarah put up on the fridge.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Car consumer, know thyself

Dodge Charger - targeted advertising, indeed.

dog gone

Friday, August 26, 2005

[UFV] Murderball

Premise: on or around Sept 2nd I will go to see "The Aristocrats", a movie about the dirtiest joke that was ever told. Brace in for the review.

Murderball, by Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro (2005)

Nice documentary about a *violent* sport for quadruplegic people: murderball, which is played on special "reinforced" wheelchairs and a great deal of agonism.
The movie directors make an effort to give the viewers a complete picture of the life of the athletes. The message is clear: life in conditions of physical discomfort is a life that is *whole*.

Fairly well shot, it follows the US national team and the american trainer of the *canadian* team (there is a story of hurt pride behind this) through some international competitions - and explores the life of some of the protagonists; there is some suspence as well: will the canadians beat the US team and will be their american trainer able to demonstrate that he had been unjustly excluded from the US team?

It is a movie that is not close to the most common experience, though it has as well a more general theme to offer: sport as a way to socialize and as light-hearted fun; I leave to you the comparison with the "seriousness" perceived in sports in other context.

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nanowarriors

Roller skates & bandanas are optional:

So are Pat Benetar references. I like the way a Bic blue ballpoint pen doodles, and I really like the way the line weight looks after scanning.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The real reason I haven't been able to maintain the excercise regiment I would like to:


It hurts.

Found on Stan Makowski's web page.

memory sketch


So it turns out that scanning in doodles is a lot easier than blah blah blahing.

"HEAVY-METAL NUCLEAR POWER"

By leaps and bounds, that's been the best seminar title this year. Is your curiosity peeked? Read on:
Could an unconventional coolant enable reactors to burn radioactive waste while producing electric power? An overview of the collaborative research on lead-cooled reactors between Idaho National Laboratory and MIT over the past five years will explore this concept.

But what I want to know is if there is any chance that Stonehenge will make an appearence, and if so, whether it will be in danger of being trampled by a dwarf. Also, this week's runner up seminar title: "On the Ignition of Fuel Beds by Firebrands."

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Near-field coupled butterfly antenna

I build near-field microscopes, and on the vanishingly small chance that you are curious, this is what the business end of one of them looks like. This is an SEM image of a side view of a metal coated optical fiber tip - light is coupled into the other end and travels down a glass fiber which has been coated on the outside with gold. That's the bumpy surface you see.

To make one of these tips, the end of the glass fiber is etched in truly nasty acids (HF) until it forms a pencil tip, and then this is overcoated with 500 nm of gold. The gold is there to confine the light inside the glass taper. The end of this is then sliced off using a focused ion beam milling machine to form a tiny aperture at the end of the tip, which serves as the illumination source in this type of microscope.

To make things even fancier, and for no other reason, I then grew a butterfly antenna on top of this aperture - this is two little tips that you see coming off the front of the tip. They are situated on top of the aperture, and in theory, the light should be greatly concentrated in the space in between the two probes. It didn't work in practice, and I'm not quite sure why, except that 99% of the things I try don't work. So that was two months of work for nothing. See my motto below for a generalization of this principle.

Apple


---------------------------------------------
DAY
=
ixnay on the octorday.
Update: octorday --> Dr. Octagon.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

More sketches



Here is a schematic drawing I made of a near-field microscope. The proposal didn't get funded, so up it goes:

Monday, August 22, 2005

Show them my motto

Act like a pro and you will be one

Espresso barrista code of conduct.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Up with pants

To be seen, walking around in shorts when not explicitly exercising or playing sports, or not to be [seen] (wearing shorts, that is), that is the question! Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outraged dorks, I'm going to go with "no" on this one.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

If I had been posting once a day, then this post would mark year one, but I haven't been doing so, so it doesn't.


Rather, here are screen shots of Alfred Hitchcock's cameos, or at least those in his own movies. I wonder if he ever appeared in someone else's film?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Theory of Moral Sentiments

So, I'm a nerd, and I've been reading Adam Smith. And not like, Wealth of Nations, but rather, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Five pages into reading it and something struck me:

As we have no immediate experinece of what other men feel, we can form no idea of the manner in which they are afflected, but by conceiving what we ourselves should feel in the like situation. Though our brother is upon the rack, as long as we ourselvers are at our ease, our senses will nver inform us of what he suffers....

...When we see a stroke aimed, and just ready to fall upon the leg or arm of another person, we naturally shrink and draw back our own leg or our own arm; and when it does fall, we feel it in some measure, and are hurt by it as well as the sufferer. The mob, when they are gazing at a dancer on the slack rope, naturally writhe and twist and balance their own bodies as they see him do, and they feel that they themselves must do if in his situation. Persons of delicate fibres and a weak consitution of body complain, that in looking on the sores and ulcers which are exposed by beggars in the streets, they are apt to feel an itching or uneasy sensation in the corresponding part of their own bodies. ... Men of the most robust make, observe that in looking upon sore eyes they often feel a very sensible soreness in their own..

Get the feeling that life in the16th century was harsh? Like, Alexander Pope harsh? Today, much of the world still lives like this, but not here. Yet the complaining and unhappiness continues.

One of my central assumptions about human nature is that humans cannot be happy. Beyond a threshold level, you can provide them with whatever external environment you like, and they will turn the unhappiness gain up until they return to a fixed un/happiness level. See for instance, Lotto winners. In Abraham Licoln's words, "People are about as happy as they make their minds up to be." Ultimately, this limits the utility of government.

However, this is an upper bound on happiness, and so morality still makes a large difference in our lives. We may not feel better off, but who would really want to trade places? Even with someone from 50 or 100 years ago. Set aside romanticism, and ponder the unmitigated ease with which we navigate our work and traffic in our daily essentials. I think this is the reason Smith wrote his book on this subject in the first place.

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TCM and Peter Bogdonavich

Peter Bogdanovich's Movie of the Week is an excellent movie guide. I mention it because TCM showed Night of the Hunter and The Bad and the Beautiful, both of which I saw for the first time in Rochester, NY, during a film series based on that book. Rochester doesn't have a whole lot going for it, but by far one of the best things is the Dryden Movie Theater, which is attached to the former mansion of George Eastman. The mansion has been turned into a photography museum, which is pretty good in its own right, but next door is a large film archive, with three underground stories of nearly every film ever made, starting with the earliest 19th centruy films.

Anyway, every night they show a film from this collection, and when I moved there in 1999, they started on Bogdanovich's Movies of the Week. Big surprise, they showed one once a week. I didn't go to all of them, but the ones I did I almost always enjoyed, including Night of the Hunter and The Bad and the Beautiful.


Night of the Hunter is a great thriller, with Robert Mitchum as a serial killer Reverend with LOVE and HATE tattooed on his fingers and who goes from town to town, marying widows and then chucking them in rivers. It was directed by Charles Laughten, whom Mitchum later called the best director of his career. And speaking of Laughten, thumbs-up to Hobson's Choice.

Anyway, if you haven't seen Night of the Hunter, it has some truely impressive dream-like visuals as two children are floating down a star-lit river trying to escape their murderous step-father. It also features a pretty, if haunting, soundtrack. One song later served as an inspiration for a track of Fantomas speed-metal improvisation.

The Bold and the Beautiful is also pretty good, which you might suspect given its five oscars. Kirk Douglas chews up the scenery as a Hollywood mogul on the rise, which in this case, is good.

smell the roses

Page2 on Felix.

ha ha cookies

Saturday, August 13, 2005

link link link, and, uh, link.

Pointer via Dr Frank, Anatacia bt#'s, with, as he points out, extra-hillarious comments (hypothetical note to commentors - stop proving people's points for them by existing).

Traditionalism vs modernism, aka, the comfy chair strikes back (no one was suspecting), by Ginny on Chicago Boyz.

Also via Chicago Boyz, comes this link to a post arguing that, awful as it was, dropping nuclear bombs on Japan to end WW2 was the right thing to do because of the extensive defensive preparations they had made to draw out the war and develop leverage for surrender negotiations. Often times there are choices between bad and worse, and when they are made, the revisionists pretend there were consequence free choices.

For the curious, Charles Krauthammer seems to be responding to Christopher Hitchens, or vice versa or something. I can't be bothered with chronology. Also, somewhat inappropriately, Kraut,uh,Hammer just struck me as an ammusing name (ignore Beversluis for the moment, please). Yo, you set the Bavarians up and he knocks them down! Somewhere there should be an Yanksmasher or Frogpounder for parity purposes. (Britkicker?) (Etc)

Also, Drawn! is pretty good, but if you need me to point you towards Instapundit links, you're what? Old? Normal?

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Car crash

Here's a news report from that car crash I mentioned the other day. Apparently, the guy is alive and in stable condition, which if you take a look at the car, is pretty amazing. Most people are going around 65-75 mph where he crashed.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Real life imitates imatated real life

You know those satires where the effete high brows are forced to visit the alien landscape of their middle class neighbores?

Anthropology professor at Cornell lives with the imates for a year. (h/t Ghost of a Flea)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Not a pole, but rather, an interactive new media experience, which is totally characteristic of the explosive growth of blogging

Don't pretend you're not here:

1) Better TV?
a) Modern Marvels.
b) Rockford Files.
c) Test Kitchen America.
d) The Wire.

2) Better Music (might be a relative term)?
a) Stone Roses.
b) Pixies.
c) Gary Numan.
d) G'n'R.

3) Better Movie?
a) Empire Strikes Back.
b) Grosse Pointe Blank.
c) Sunset Boulevard.
d) Henry V.

3b) Preferred director's body of work?
a) Tarantino.
b) Anderson.
c) Fincher.
d) Renoir.

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Monday, August 01, 2005

More enumerated blog items

  1. I watched "He Who Gets Slapped," and it broke my heart. Lon Chaney kicked ass. Also, it was the first film produced when MGM was formed.
  2. I drove past a horrible car wreck this morning, and very soon after it had happened. It was just before the express lanes merged into the local lanes on 270, and from my very limited view, it looked like a car had run into the back of a parked utility truck. The car was destroyed, with most of the passenger space crumpled inwards. Only a few cars were stopped behind it, so it looked like it had just happened. It turns out that the entire highway was later shut down as a helicoptor landed. I hope the driver is alive, but I doubt it.
  3. Something about something less important.

board

Does anyone know where to get one of those smoked grey dry boards, with the white pen to write on? I totally need one for my office.

John's imitation of Mike's "Andy Warhol" style

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