22 October 2009

Prominent Aeronautical Disasters in History

I threw this together this morning, thinking t-shirt or poster. I was inspired by the latest adventures of Der Untergang:

That YouTube embed has apparently been removed due to bogus DMCA takedowns.  I had enough advance notice to have pulled a copy off the web and am re-posting it here, where it's less likely to be noticed by law-abusing copy-grumps:

For more information about the removal of Hitler parodies, due to bogus DMCA takedown notices, you might still find a YouTube video here (which, having downloaded,  I'll re-post later, if I notice the link's gone dead).

Here's another video that hints at some of what's stupidest about copyright law, as it stands:

And here's a more scholarly explanation of how to cite fair use, in opposition to such takedowns:

16 October 2009

News from the East

Mom visited a museum exhibit about Princess Diana, in Philadelphia recently. Among the artifacts was a room full of condolence books from around the world. She was excited to report that one of them lay open to a condolence signed, "Love, Damon and Debbie". I had a hunch that, although there may well be plenty of "Damon and Debbie" couples in the world, it might possibly be related to the British soap opera characters of the same names.
I think it was pulling up the Wikipedia page for Damon and Debbie, that inspired me to google my name. I came up with this Chinese language article about the sign shop. I could recognize other names mentioned in the story, which indicated that this was either written by or copied from someone who had actually spoken to me about sign making. I used Google's convenient translation tool (which popped up alongside the search results), to generate this, entitled The Charm of the Traditional Identification:

07 October 2009



frakfrakfrakfrakfrakfrakfrakfrakfrakfrakfrakfrakfrakfrakfrak, batch-horse COUNT!


Those words, sanitized for my parents' sensitivities, comprised a few of my early thoughts, some spoken aloud, others not, as this morning, for the first time ever, after having biked in SF since '91, and less than a month after getting my first new bike since '93, I plowed into a car door, swinging open in my path.

A quick survey of joints and bones suggests nothing's broken. I've got a nasty laceration in my right ring finger 2nd knuckle (assuming knuckles are counted starting from the tip... oh yeah, I guess it's the 2nd either way. Okay, I'm a little shaken up), but I can't see any bone peeking out in there. So, I cleaned it up and put on a butterfly closure, a Band-Aid, and a splint for good measure (prob'ly unnecessary, but it'll elicit sympathy and maybe generate awareness of checking your goddamn side view mirror, even tho' she says she did; plus, I get to complain about how hard it is to type, and I'm always scouring for misbegotten reasons to complain).

My right bar end got twisted around, but everything else seems normal on the bike. I'll try to drop it off at the Basement today, and get it checked out, since I haven't even had my introductory tune-up yet.

So, in short: lots of initial shock, but fairly minor injuries all around. I didn't even manage to leave a decent scratch on her door. But, man--for those first few "fraks", I thought for sure I'd broken my hand.

Oh yeah: this happened just after turning east on Mission, from S. Van Ness, exactly where last month, the front cog of my old bike spat a few teeth into the street--leading to my finally splurging on a new bike, after all these years. Something good may ultimately come of this dooring incident, too, but just the same, I think I'll avoid that intersection from now on.