Friday, July 27, 2012

3584 More things to share

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

If two people always agree on everything, then one of them is superfluous.


Kites!  I didn't know you could do stuff like this with kites!


iQuad performing at the Southern Oregon Kite Festival at Port of Brookings Harbor 7-21-12.

In the comments, JPurvis explains:
"For those who are scratching their heads, the kites that they are flying in the video are quad line kites known as Revolution Kites aka(Rev's). They are flown with 4 lines that are connected to 2 handles. The flyer can control the speed and direction of the kite by using the handles to change the pitch of the kite itself. The lines don't get tangled because they are braided really smooth and slide against each other without causing too much friction."
...and the operators are careful to unwrap after maneuvers that wrap them.
And then of course there are those commenters, the future saviors of the planet, who are yelling "Fake!  You can see the strings!"  Several of them.  Sigh.  Very depressing.  Never never never read YouTube comments.   Lose all hope ye who tread there.


This,, is an audio file of police deconstructing the 911 call from George Zimmerman, step by step, with Zimmerman.  Very interesting.


I have a very long to-do list.  Yesterday I "wasted" a few hours watching a South Korean movie on YouTube, and I'm not at all sorry I did.  It all started with a chance mention of the Korean island of Silmido and some kind of secret mission there.

From the Wikipedia entry on Silmido:
Silmido became historically significant when it was used as the training ground (January 21, 1968 to August 23, 1971) for Unit 684, a South Korean group meant to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Il-sung in revenge for The Blue House Raid assassination attempt against Park Chung-hee. Traces of the training facilities can still be seen. Under circumstances that have still not been fully brought to light, the members of the group mutinied and went to Seoul in 1971, where they were killed or committed suicide.
This led me to the NY Times article on the incident and the movie, and then I found the complete movie on YouTube, with subtitles.

Of course, I couldn't not watch it.

Unit 648, composed of "expendable" men drawn from prisons and the streets endured horrific and often sadistic training to become just about the best and tightest fighting force in Korea..  South Korea has still not admitted much of anything, but a few trainers and guards survived to tell the tale.  The movie starts and ends with the basic facts, but the details of the men's relationships and motives and what happened on the island had to be invented.

The movie says the men mutinied because they found out they were to be killed because they were dangerous and knew too much - a political and social liability.  The official story is that they figured they would be kept on the island indefinitely and it was more like a prison break.  My opinion is that if they mutinied because of despair, they would have dispersed and gone into hiding when they reached the mainland.  Instead, they attacked the government.

The movie is ... I don't know what to say.  It's awful and wonderful.  Technically it's a masterpiece.  A word of advice, though - when you see the fire with the irons in it, and the trainer is speaking of torture, skip ahead about a minute.  I don't know if that scene was that bad, but I didn't stick around to find out.

I don't know why I'd never heard of this before.

Here it is.  It's 2 hours, but you don't have to watch it all at once.  I watched it in 20-minute pieces over the day. Larger screen is better.  If you don't have time now, bookmark it on YouTube.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

3583 Sharing

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jay, during our very wet trip to England in 1995:
"The reason the Brits never had a space program is that they've never seen the sky."


This little French film is amazing.  Don't worry about the length.  The last third is credits.  I found it on Roba's blog, "And Far Away" (link over there on the right).  To quote Roba, "This French short film, Le Miroir (The Mirror) manages to tug at the heart strings. Directed by Ramon and Pedro, it takes you through the entire life of a boy in that bathroom mirror."



Anybody looking for a way to make some money? Take a look at this woman's stuff on Etsy:

The shoes at the link were featured on You supply a pair of shoes, and for a mere $2850.00 she'll cover them (badly, sloppily, look at the photos) with duct tape for you. (If the link to the shoes is dead, her shop is at

I wandered around her shop, and she has some very, um, interesting, um, stuff for pipe dream prices.  On the other hand, may as well try.  You can always drop the price if nothing sells.

I wonder if she ever actually sells anything? On the other hand, there are people who will find her work truly interesting, and will pay for a unique piece of art. It's probably a small niche, but then again, there are people who will happily plant 30 pink flamingos in their yard.

But really, I figure she should at least learn to sew....

Speaking of sewing, I had mentioned a simple little dress that Nugget wore one day.  I figured I could easily copy it.  The (blurry) photos below are of my learning piece.  I found out that the armholes needed to be a little deeper than my tracing showed (I had to deepen them by hand), and it could be a bit shorter.  Also, I need a sewing machine that does buttonholes.  (Until I get a one-o'-them I'm going back to bound buttonholes.  They're easier and they always look good.)

It's reversible to pink seersucker.  The next version will not be reversible (makes it unnecessarily complicated), and will have embroidery or appliques.

Monday, July 23, 2012

3582 Priorities

Monday, July 23, 2012

Reality is merely a consensus.


Um, let's see. 

12 dead from shooting in movie theater in Colorado.  Remaining 59 injured likely to survive.  24-hour news coverage.  Flags all over US go to half-mast.

13 dead in truck accident in Texas.  Remaining 10 injured not likely to live.  Brief stories on news.  Everyone shrugs and makes comments about clown cars.  No mention of flags.

I don't understand.

By the way, there are places in the world where things like the theater shootings happen every day.  Many more places where they happen weekly.  We have no concept.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

3581 Fireflies

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Guidelines for politics, in the workplace or government:
Sow in secret; reap when everyone’s looking.


There something odd going on with the fireflies (lightning bugs) tonight.

Normally, they flash and then the light quickly dies down, usually within three seconds   Tonight they are flashing, and then the flash dies down very slowly, like someone is turning down a dimmer switch.  It's taking like six seconds or more to go dark.  (Count it off - it's actually a long time.)  Sometimes they flash again before the previous flash is even half gone.  I've never seen that before.

It's about 77 degrees F out there, so I doubt that it's due to heat.

3580 The flock

Sunday, July 22, 2012

When your hand is in the tiger's mouth, you have to pet the head.


Becs asked for a photo of the flamingos.  There are only a few standing here at the new house, and those few were arranged by a 15-month old toddler, so no photos yet.  But here is the flock from 2008, at the old house, in an unmowed section of the side yard.  There are 30 of them.