Mike Beversluis

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Your daily moment of zen

That's the 30mm gun from an A-10.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I sussed it out

I was morbidly curious to check out that magical unicorn Chinese Democracy, which as I've linked to, is easily found on youtube. It's actually not bad, say, if you liked G'n'R at all before. Not unlike Use Your Illusion.

But my big realization, which I'm bold to announce here, is that these two tracks are perfect James Bond themes. Even the song titles. That can't be coincidental.





That last one, for all purposes, is the Bee Gees.

BTW, the Las Vegas Orchestra recorded most of the Bond themes as classical rearrangements, which I must say, makes great workout music. Walking down the street listing to a Bond theme is, in a very dorky way, quite uplifting. Hey, it beats "Eye of the Tiger". Some of the recent ones are pretty good.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

for example

Obama is reversing Bush's decision on whether California et al can set their own environmental regulations:

Obama’s Order Is Likely to Tighten Auto Standards

I already commented on this before, and I maintain that an increased gas tax would be a much more efficient and direct solution than mileage and emission regulations. After all, the rise of the SUV was directly a result (unintended) of their exemption from the original CAFE standards as truck vehicles. Does anyone's grandmother not think that this will happen again?

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The picture frame matters alot


Here's something to keep in mind with the relentless news cycle about how bad everything is: It isn't that bad. Yes, things are messed up and I appreciate that this is done to advance the political agenda, but the Hooverville "crisis" talk is way out of proportion and I suspect that the unintended consequences of our remedies will be more of a problem than the problems they are intended to fix.

In fact, my rule, if it doesn't exist already, is that social planning's intended and unintended consequences are comparable, and the way to bet is that the outcome is that it won't be better than you expect. Or, to put it glibly, government is kinda like chemotherapy.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Also nifty


Here's another beautiful barn/garage. It's a shame to cover up the diagonals; they look very cool. The only way I can think to improve on this would be to build one of those round Shaker barns.

More of these barns here.

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Neat-o keen


Here is a very nice shop made to look like an old gas station.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Weather Stations and Voronoi Art


Maps from The Reference Frame, with a bit more on Voronoi Art here.

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Written in the fabric of the universe

Life needs rules. For instance, I don't ride with anyone less they're wearing their seat belts. It's one of my rules.

Anyway, via my sister, here's the very nifty 1001 rules for my unborn son.

I very much agree with #330 and #121.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

On second thought

Skip the inflatable Santa Helicopter, I want the inflatable F-16.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'd hit it 2.0



Jaguar XFR (slightly modified) goes 225 mph at that altar to speed, Bonneville. Looks like they got the boys from Top Gear to film it, too. Incidentally, that's very fast.

On a related note, here's a Porsche 911 turning a nine second quarter mile.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lo, for unto every generation a Toni Basil is born

The Ting Tings - That's Not My Name. Cheerleaders are going to wear that one out, but check it out: Mickey is not her name.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

2009 Eustace Tilley Contest


Not quite as storied as the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (Literally, Literally), here is the 2009 Eustace Tilly Contest. The above entry should win.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

I'd hit it


I always go for stylishly bland cars, so yeah, I think the new Buick Regal looks mostly great (the rear is a little awkward). It's got a new engine, which I'd rather wait for a year or two for any flaws to get tweaked, with the caveat that GM may not exist then. I've noted that I liked Buicks before, so this may constitute a worrying trend for my youthful reputation. Or is it just an encouraging trend towards my graceful aging? On a related note, I like the Lincoln MKS's looks too, but I wouldn't pay sticker for one. I suspect you don't have to. And if it came down to it, would you still take one of these over an Infiniti/Lexus?

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Winter's coming

Via Spengler, here's a plot of two demographic age groups in the US and their ratio. He really should plot them on a zero to max scale, but I think we're turning Japanese, I really think so - at least in terms of our aging boomer population. The upshot is that I am not going to retire by selling a house. And the stock markets correlate well with the total population, which will level off and start to fall in the years to come - so where would you put your 401K?

Overall the implication is grim, although I think Spengler is too pessimistic about the US - he does have a pseudonym to live up to. I think the global US advantage will be maintained, which is a very tarnished silver lining, since it implies greater global poverty. This in turn implies that we can let young people immigrate in order to restore a semblance of a traditional age-distribution, but this is saving the wealthy (US) at the expense of the poor.

The other factor is that people are just as irrationally pessimistic in a recession as they are irrationally optimistic during a boom. We are also de-escalating in Iraq, and although there may be other storms brewing, there might be a peace dividend there too.

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Why not leave a Chick track too?

[via Slashfood]

Green is the new Victorian, which isn't an original thought to me [Crichton's (in)famous essay], nor is it pejorative to say so, but does mean that the same issues and problems appear. And so, if this guy thinks he's going to advance his cause by leaving a moralizing card behind (and he better not leave it in lieu of a tip), well, he's not.

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New google?

Googleplex? The next generation of search engines could rank web pages by "talent"

How will the next generation of search engines outperform Google’s all-conquering Pagerank algorithm?

One route might be to hire Vwani Roychowdhury at the University of California, Los Angeles and his buddies who have found a fascinating new way to tackle the problem of website rankings.

Their breakthrough is to have found that the structure of the web is determined by three factors: the number of inbound links to a page, the rate at which pages are created and deleted and the likelihood that somebody visiting a page will link to it.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Evolution in progress

"The first working integrated circuit on germanium was
demonstrated by Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments in 1958."



2008: Intel Core i7 processor with 758 million transistors.

Here is a rather nice photographic series which follows the progress of Moore's Law over the years.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Oh snap

Sea Salt. Guilty, again.

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

SFX

A pretty neat list of the Top 50 movie special effects shots, with video clips and commentary.

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Scouting NY


Cool blog I stumbled upon: Scouting NY

About

I work as a film location scout in New York City. My day is basically spent combing the streets for interesting and unique locations for feature films. In my travels, I often stumble across some pretty incredible sights, most of which are ignored every day by thousands of New Yorkers in too much of a rush to pay attention.
Nifty stuff.

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Friday, January 02, 2009

Is it Memorex or Real, part a million

What's the Difference Between Artificial and Natural Flavors?

So yeah, I do not think that word means what you think it means. That said, I think that the distinction between natural and artificial is overblown.

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Coming to the next vampire movie near you


Somewhere for Marilyn Manson to crash when he's playing at the central Florida state fair.

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Thursday, January 01, 2009

You are forgiven



A bit of transcendent rock and roll.

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Trends

Epicurious Predicts Top 10 Food Trends for 2009

1. "Value" is the new "Sustainable"
These days, the economy dictates our cooking and shopping decisions: Bargains are in, no matter where they come from.

2. The Compost Pile is the new Flower Garden
Growing your own now refers to vegetables, not just herbs, and that will in turn help feed the gardener's compost pile. Live worm garnishes, however, will not make it to the house salad.

3. Peruvian is the new Thai
You thought Peruvian cuisine was all about seviche, maybe? Guess again: Peru boasts culinary influences from Spanish, Basque, African, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, French, and British immigrants. Pisco Sour, anyone?

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