Now truth be told, #22 could lay me any time I'm single. Ooooh, Stahl, baby!
But long-term, there might not be enough substance there, it's hard to tell ...
Likewise, I like the art deco elegance of the the Chrysler, but that's up there with old school jazz, pretty dresses, pretty cars, and hardboiled detectives in good hats -- it only works as a dream (until you next need birth control, the internet, or medicine, say -- or token human rights for women). We'd have a dream of a time, but in the end, we wouldn't work out. Much as I appreciate the elegance, some of my sensibilities might just be too modern ...
I saw the most amazing thing,
and I don't know what to call it.
Most people will immediately think of Cirque du Soleil when they see the – themed – daring feats, the clowns, the diva singing an operatic rendition of Splish Splash to it all. But CdS it ain't. On a smaller, more intimate stage, Soap stealthily inserts sexy without ever being sleazy – no small feat–, and an aesthetic that moves from straight to lesbian and gay to bi so fluidly that it almost makes you wonder why we have these distinctions in the first place. But it's not just the sexy – Cirque also never had people celebrate smoking on stage, or an angry choreography of acrobatics done in and on a full tub to the music of Tool. The pacing is flawless, from fun to funny, from breathtaking to sexy to tongue-in-cheek, and it's impossible to pick a favorite, with almost every act a winner. A must-see that no video can do justice. Get the front-row experience if you can, but prepare to get wet.
This of course is from Vicious Lips, a movie so obscure that I had to write my own synopsis and (1st) comment. It's the sound of the '80s in one long hairotica music video. In a trashy scifi setting. Honestly, who cares at that point about it having no plot? : ) And yes, I'd still really, really like to be able to buy the soundtrack!
OK, the title isn't all that clear, I'll grant you that. Is she talking about Yes Minister? you might be wondering, or did she mean Cracker? Very good guesses indeed; I see I'm writing for an audience with refined tastes. But no. I found in today's mail series 1 (all 22 episodes, 6 DVDs) of PicketFences, a show that often made me laugh, sometimes made me cry, and often made me think. I can't think of higher praise.
Way back in the seventies, before I was born, when the world was young and dinosaurs walked the earth, a Steely Dan promo for radio DJs came with a tacky t-shirt. It was pink. Which was useless given most DJs were men. And it only had the words "Steely Dan t-shirt" printed on it. It was, however, incredibly, -credibly rare, so it became a sought-after collector's item.
Steely Dan themselves commented on that in another song, Show Business Kids: "They got the house on the corner, with rug inside; they got the booze they need, all that money can buy; they got the shapely body, they got the Steely Dan t-shirt" — casting the shirt as the ultimate empty status symbol.
This is how I remember the story. I'm making a special point out of not looking it up to check, because it's a legend, guys, drift is practically a requirement! That said, the Steely Dan site usually makes for a good read. And so do the Steely Dan dictionary and possibly the interpretations site.
Anyway, I always wanted one, because it was so … HHOS or something. Not taking itself seriously to just the right degree.
Radial menus, affectionately called pie menus, are like mouse gestures with cheat sheets. They're good-looking, and for menus that never change, they're incredibly fast, thanks to Fitts' law and muscle memory — you just shove the mouse in the general direction, rather than having to hit an entry only one text-line high, like you do in a traditional ("linear") menu.
This makes pie-menus extremely suitable for browser navigation, and consequently, there are several implementations for Firefox and Mozilla; RadialContext and easyGestures. To keep the number of slices down in each pie so they're easy to hit, both solutions work with multiple pies — easyGestures lets you switch to the "next" menu by mouse-button, while RadialContext's menus are connected — each pie-menu has one or more slices that lead to other pies. This is beautifully thought out, but may leave the beginner bewildered as the menu keeps changing on him if he moves the mouse wrong, leaving him disoriented.
easyGestures is practically safe from these mis-invocations. But since one or many of the pies can have a magic top slice that opens another arc of extra slices, with the ability to freely combine any of the main pies that has a magic slice with any of the three extras, there certainly is potential for confusion there, as well. Add to that the fact that you get extra context-menus for hyperlinks, images, text-fields and text-selections, not to mention that sometimes something is both, for instance an image that is also a hyperlink, and you can easily confuse the living daylights out of yourself.
On top of that, this very powerful tool is organized not so much by logical grouping, like RadialContext is, but by efficiency, you get a menu very confusing to the beginner.
Fortunately, it can be configured relatively freely. Below the fold, we shall try to create a compromise that features a more mnemonic layout, but is still fast, curling up your navigation bar like a kitten so we may turn off the old one, gaining screen estate and speed both.
Did you notice how speech things are always cat content? With LiONS for speech output (TTS, text-to-speech), and sphinx and SpeechLion for speech input (speech recognition)? Couldn't forego that, could I. So let's see how to use speech I/O with linux, with all free components, how to avoid some common pitfalls that are not in the manual, and how to get desktop control, look at where emacs, KDE, beryl, and others come in, the works. It's not for the squeamish though, so here's the linux speech how-to (aka, the parts that aren't in the manual)!