Amazing Savants

Even though no one posted that they watch the videos (thanks!) I’m posting these anyway. So screw you!

We’ll start out easy. This one is only 5 minutes and it will blow your mind.

Derek is a musical genius. There are 5 parts to this story, each about 10 minutes. If you start, you won’t stop. It’s astounding.

Daniel Tammet has an amazing brain. He can learn languages to fluency in a week, do insane math. He can recite Pi to 22,500 decimal places. It’s another 5 part series with each part being around 10 minutes.

I almost hesitate to post this one, but it’s a great story too. I hesitate because this is the story that inspired the movie Rain Man. Why does that make me hesitate? Because every one of these stories is worth your time, not just the one that’s the least fearful because of its familiarity.

Don’t watch the first one of each and say “oh that looked interesting, but I need to go watch that movie that looks like it’s going to suck but I’m going to watch it anyway” or “I would have watched those, but I had to listen to another song with the word ‘baby’ in it” or whatever lame excuse you’ll come up with. Watch them all. You’ll be glad you did.

This and That

I finally got Jose Gonzalez’ new album and it’s mostly great. I was lucky enough to find a couple of completely kickass videos of my two favorite songs on youtube. I embed them here for your pleasure.

Man, I wish I could have Jose come to my house for a personal show! I haven’t been playing as much lately, so my playing/learning The Nest tonight has my right-hand fingers quite sore. I need to get back into it.

I picked up I’m a Lebowski, You’re a Lebowski (the book from the LebowskiFest guys) recently and it’s really a funny and informative companion to the movie.

Another post, another cool TED talk. This time on the intelligence of crows. Who knew?

A tip: Just as seeing someone wearing a visor at a party (male or female) should be your cue to leave; reading or hearing the phrase “quiet desperation” should be your cue to stop reading/watching. Perhaps you never thought of that, but that’s what I’m here for. Sam Rowe: Lifecoach.

More Must-See Videos

If you don’t know Errol Morris, go rent or buy all of the documentaries he’s directed (feel free to skip his non-docs!). I haven’t seen his new film, Standard Operating Procedure but I’m excited to do so. The film is about the events surrounding the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse. I came across a rather lengthy, but oh-so-worth-it online video of Mr Morris at a New Yorker festival discussing the film (linked from this larger piece with other videos at the New Yorker.) Even this film about the film showed me that I’d completely misunderstood the photos and the photographers. I’d bought completely into the coverup. It’s really amazing that the government is so good at twisting things.

On a lighter note, I recently posted about TED. If you missed the post or meant to get back to it later, GET BACK TO IT. They’re all AMAZING. Be sure to add this one to your list. Holy shit, how does he do that? It’s a short video, go watch it!

So we’ll do a disturbing video and then a light video and now another really disturbing video. You may have seen this video on YouTube. I personally find it to be incredibly bizarre and even emotionally scaring. And also, this is a video starring Garfield and Odie. It will destroy you. Please don’t watch it. It’s called 04/25/1979. I warned you. It’s 1.5 minutes.

So now that I’ve destroyed you, I’ll bring you back to life with my current and fairly long standing favorite YouTube video of all. I love this video so much. It’s three minutes thirty-five seconds. I promise that watching this video will improve your day.

If you have time to watch some shitty trailer for some shitty sci-fi film that “looks terrible, but I’ll probably see it anyway” then you have time to watch at least the last three of these videos. Go do it!

Next time on Must-See Videos, I’ll be posting some crazy-amazing videos about savants. Your life now has purpose.

So yea… new blog

I finally switched away from my home-grown blog software. It lived for over 5 years, I’m proud to say. Nothing about it was failing, I just got tired of extending it and if you’re not growing you’re dying.

My plan is to migrate the old stuff that wasn’t just crap filler over to this blog if I can pre-date entries. I guess I should have tested that before I went “production.” Being the curmudgeon that I am, I have plenty to complain about in the WordPress department, but I’ll spare you. I’m trying new things and I guess that’s what matters.

Speaking of new things, I’ve started using Ubuntu on my new work machine and my new personal laptop. It’s a painful switch away from Debian and I’m not sure how long it’ll last. Quite sadly my main reason for switching is font rendering quality. That’s right. I have two machines that actually have stuff like Evolution installed because I like how fonts look in Ubuntu and I can’t get them to look that nice in Debian.

While I’m going crazy with new things, I’m also trying new window managers. I tried E17 the other day and remembered why I quit using E back in the E14 days. Just not for me. I also tried KDE4 which is very very much not for me.

I am using Compiz-fusion on both my laptop and work desktop. I doubt very much it’ll last though because it’s very slow (for some reason it makes Google Reader insanely slow on my work machine which is 4cpu/8G, with a real graphics card: an nVidia Corporation Quadro FX 1700 so no excuses) and doesn’t have my precious ctrl-; which I map to a middle-click style paste.

For you non X11 users out there, prior to stupid window environments like GNOME and KDE, X11 used a simple text-buffer for selections. All you had to do was select text and it was automatically copied into the copy buffer; middle click pastes. No pesky keystrokes just for copy and paste. G&K added their own copy buffer that allows for the more windows/mac style copy and paste (meaning more than just text.) I never ever ever use that though, so it’s just a nuisance for me. It’s especially awful because the paste keyboard shortcut differs from application to application and I spend a ton of time in terminals.

So a long time ago I tricked some lisp-er in #sawfish into writing me a universal paste that the windowmanager itself handled and it worked mostly great. Great enough that I’m going to probably go back to sawfish on both machines because the eye-candy just isn’t worth having to use a mouse.

As if that weren’t enough new, I’ve been writing some comics about work and my life. It’s entirely probable that you had to be there and it’s just not funny to anyone else. I’ve also been co-writing some comics with my friend Ed Kelly. And if you act now, I’ll double your order!

Oh and did I mention that I’ve got a couple of youtube videos up? They aren’t great, so please be kind.