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New Shelton Wet/Dry is my favorite “link” weblog device. I used to do a Friday Free Day url link round-up show, back in the day. People come up to me every now and then on the street, they say “Hey mister, weren’t you doing that thing with the links thing?” And I take a look at them, sort of size them up, and I say “Yep.” And they say “Well now.” And we go our separate ways.

2023jan25.

Process X: The process of making chalk. A chalk factory in Japan that produces 600,000 pieces of chalk per year.

Process X is my favorite manufacturing video channel.

2023jan24.

The Hated One: How Kurzgesagt Cooks Propaganda For Billionaires

2023jan22.

Hello, I recently made a strips version of Cardhouse that shows all the years on one page. If you have a long website that you are trying to take a “rolling snapshot” of, I have some advice for you after struggling for two days with various rolling snapshot applications. Let’s look at some of them.

1) Firefox. Has in-line snapshot capability, but the window is limited to a length of 32767 pixels (this happens a lot as well). You can -make- the snapshot window longer, it just will not grab anything beyond that amount. Additionally, for whatever reason(s), if your website is wider than 1000 characters and you select more than 32767 pixels, it will not even take the shot. It will just die, and the next time you try to use the program it will indicate there’s an error.

2) Sharex. Seems to be well-regarded and has a lot of options offered, and a lot of what I like to call “bolted-on cruft.” I know from cruft, I have my own (non-scrolling) snapshot program. Well, the snapshot is part of the cruft. Long story. My crufty thing:

Sharex can’t handle extremely long websites (literally limiting the number of snaps to 200 or some awfully low number), and it really is a pain in the ass when it comes to just actually saving the image to the point that I believe this is because of a back-room payment from Big Services. Save it to imgur! Save it to Your Favorite Social Media Site Here! No.

3) PicPick. Another oft-mentioned one, it can’t handle long websites.

4) Screenpresso. Wouldn’t work out of the gate.

5) Movavi. Can’t handle long websites. Also records audio/video etc. I don’t understand why there can’t just be a scrolling screenshot program.

6) Awesome Firefox add-on. The privacy warnings were ridiculous ‒ “This program will see all your data everywhere” is what I took away from it which is why I went away from it.

7) Tweakshot. Couldn’t handle long website, redirected to its own website -when I started to uninstall it-.

8) Duckcapture. Requires older version of Visual C++, I wasn’t about to walk back my newer version just for a program.

9) Snagit. “Sign in for trial” no.

10) Screenshot Captor. A lot of -good- options. I wanted this one to be the one. But the memory max setting (which is a great idea) doesn’t seem to work. You set it, and it still has memory errors. It also for whatever reason does not show youtube images as it is scrolling through the web page taking snapshots, which wasn’t going to work for me.

11) Faststone Capture. Just WORKS. Click “rolling capture” icon. Click window. It scrolls through the web page at a good pace. You can stop it by hitting escape, it automatically stops at the end. Then it pops up a window with a big “SAVE” icon. Click it ... and it saves the image. Wow. Innovative. I haven’t tested it beyond 110000 pixels or so, YMMV. It does slow down a little as it trundles along. It is a 30-day-trial program.

2023jan15.

Amy Poehler & Rashida Jones Take a Lie Detector Test ‒ Vanity Fair

2023jan14.

Famous fans say farewell to the B-52’s.

Fall of 1979. Science teacher was a big nerd and also a big jock. Beefy arms. One day he comes in with a record. “This is important, you all need to listen to this.” Played the whole album.

It was very important.

2023jan13.

Heathers: The Musical (2014 Off-Broadway promotional poster)

SCRUNCHIE: THE MUSICAL

One of my friends is a big Heathers fan and I ran into a very long Japanese silkscreen version of the theatrical poster at a garage sale and it was three dollars. Cheap, fast, amazing. She probably doesn’t even notice it now two decades later, just like everything you tack up on your wall, you just sort of glaze over it. Which is why I rotate all my wall hangings 90 degrees every month. The larger paintings have automatic remote-control motor mounts. You’d think it would be the smaller ones, but this is my fictional universe, get used to it.

2023jan12.

Process X: Amazing art work on the street / Japanese manhole cover mass production process.

2023jan11.

Eating at the Largest Vending Machine Park in the World

2023jan07.

Caleb Gamman ‒ Cybergunk SERIES

2022dec29.

Gachapon selections. I have not Gachaponned lately. Here are some more Gachapon. There are a lot of Gachapon.

2022dec27.

The Gävle goat. I am recruiting everyone to PROTECT the goat:

2022dec23.

Ruunachu: What a scary place

2022dec23.

If you have not watched the UK television program Taskmaster I recommend you do so. I recently made a link to one episode’s specific well-formed task, “Find The Back Of Your Hand.” The show was created in 2015 by Alex Horne, and Greg Davies is the “Taskmaster.” They have franchised the series to at least eleven other countries and offer some as full series on their Taskmaster video channel. I have my own preferences and about 70% of the time will fast-forward through the Bring In A Themed Thing intro segment, Make A Movie/Song/etc tasks, and Draw/Sculpt/etc With Extreme Limitations tasks. Don’t care about points/who wins, I’m just sort of a lateral-thinking junkie. Also, no one needs the Eat This Quickly tasks. We had that with Fear Factor (The Show Where The Factor: Is Fear), then Amazing Race tried to horn in on that scene as well. These are thankfully rare in the original series but seem to crop up a little more in the international versions.

Some countries are obviously subtitled, about 10% of the cultural references go completely nowhere in my brain. “Ha ha, that’s exactly like a fish underneath a cracker!” Yes. What you said about the fish. But 90% of the unexplained/unfathomable references are during the “banter between tasks” segments which I also zip through half the time.

Participants in the international versions seems more willing/ready to pick apart a competitor’s performance/etc. Even if good-natured, these bits of the show have become sort of cringey to me.

Of the four countries I’ve seen, Atle Antonsen, the Taskmaster of Kongen Befaler (Taskmaster Norway), seems to embody the closest resemblance to Original Taskmaster Greg Davies. This is an important cornerstone of Taskmaster culture: the Taskmaster’s word is law, and the Taskmaster brooks no dissent. Artle is quippy but is also ready to put the hammer down when required and calls out bullshit. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Jeremy Wells, the Taskmaster for Taskmaster New Zealand. A certain contestant in NZ Series 1 would fail or cheat at every single task but then argue their way into points. “Sneeze. Fastest time wins.” [two quick fake sneezes from clown] “I’m done.” I’m only at episode four, but as far as I can tell, they’ve done this for every single task except one.

In the assistant category, David Sundin from Bäst i Test (Taskmaster Sweden) really seems to lock it in. Very strict, never cracks, keeps knowing glances to the camera very subtle. It doesn’t hurt that he has a little mini-desk attached to the Taskmaster’s regular-sized desk.

Another international thing ‒ there are people who keep saying “I’m a genius,” etc., sometimes accompanied by fist-pumping/jumping/whatever. Maybe that sort of thing is more noticeable when there are subtitles. “I’m a genius, and you’re all awful/stupid.” Literally, participants will say this. It’s odd: young people, old people, bragging hard. Sure, the show will capitalize on this and show clips of them all doing the same thing while declaring that no one else would think of something so clever. At some point I started to wonder if it was some weird time-filler stage-managing direction, but then four people came up with the brilliant idea of moving something via car and said “I’m brilliant, and no one will think of this.” So I went from stage-managing to no, people really are that basic. New Zealand also has The Most Boisterous Guy. Every time he completes a task, he stands up out of his chair with a guttural YEAH! accompanied w/arm-hand motions begging the audience for applause. If Your Personality Is Actually A Surface-Level Bit And You Do The Same Bit Every Time You Have The Camera On You, It Becomes Incredibly Annoying. It turns out I do not find yelly egotists entertaining still lo these many decades later after being exposed to too much US television/reality. Greg Davies apparently makes an appearance in episode seven of the first series, and I’m sort of half-dragging my feet to get there because it just means more Most Boisterous Guy. Update: quit NZ.

2022dec22.

Find the Back of Your Hand ‒ Series 14 ‒ Taskmaster

2022dec19.

Wonderful article about a Parisian pastel shop in, mysteriously, The Financial Times (as seen on metafilter)

2022dec18.

Billboard Magazine, July 29 1950. TeleMagnet: The machine that answers your telephone and records messages when you’re out. $299.00 COD.

2022dec17.

I just posted a link to a Polygon video about the architecture of Control, a 2019 video game. I both liked and hated this game [mild spoilers coming]. First, a warning: I don’t play a lot of PVE-intense games. I had enough problems getting past boss stages that I almost quit. I’ve seen reviews of the game crowing about how Control wasn’t difficult, these other video games are difficult. Etc. Apparently the thing to do in Control if you can’t fight a boss is to go fight some other boss, and level up your abilities. Boss #2, same as boss #1. Boss #3, even more difficult. I was about 2/3rds finished.

The skill tree for abilities and gun improvements is random. Tons of comments about how the “Grip” gun was their gun of choice but I never got good pickups for it. All my other guns, nearly maxxed out. It was bizarre. “You can’t see that I’m not getting pickups for this gun? Why do you keep giving me shitty pickups?” On top of that, the UI for the skill tree is incredibly poor. You have 24 slots, and if you don’t keep pruning the shitty pickups, they fill the slots and now you ... can’t pick up any more pickups. The game could have done this automatically for me, automatically upgrading/pruning garbage around 80% of the time, but no, I’m in a boss fight, there’s a pickup I need, and now there’s a giant-ass rectangle on the screen glowing red no more room, can’t pick this up oh you died. Just as an example: there’s a pickup for “rate of fire.” It is expressed in a random percentage. So say you have a 12% rate of fire increase pickup. You will, over the course of the game, run into about 20+ pickups for rate of fire that are less than or equal to the pickup you already have. “Look it’s random!” But you just filled up a slot with garbage. And again. And again. Multiplied by all the different types of pickups. Keep trimming, Billy boy.

There’s a lot in this game that reminds me of the same sort of problems in the Tomb Raider reboot. But again I don’t play many of these, perhaps it’s a SOP plague. Keeping the books is not entertaining. Fighting enemies is entertaining because you get to throw chairs and shoot and throw filing cabinets and shoot. Which lasts for a good long while but after you go through a section, well, there are more enemies. Clear out a place, turn around and perhaps (more randomness here) within seconds there are more enemies. It never stops. Because of the way the missions are organized, you’re constantly back-tracking into areas you’ve ... not cleared out, clearly. I just wanted a checkbox “cleared-out areas remain cleared out.” Some enemies are invisible, one of my own personal eye-rollers ("hahah let’s put the player in a small enclosed space with ole’ Inviso” #stale). Same type of enemies that level up as you level up for the most part. After awhile, it becomes ... tedious. After the novelty wears off, the fights all feel the same. “Remember when I threw that chunk of wall at your identical brother dude, right here in this same fucking spot, two minutes ago? [throws large cabinet at dude]”

The maps are dog food. F-. Higher areas cover lower ones, but there’s no way to see the lower area floorplan. Along the same lines, the UI for the gun/health stats is needlessly complex. Not as bad as GTA5. Still, I’d rather not have to back up into a higher-level menu then go back down to change the gun mod I want to swap out. Playtesting: it’s a thing. Intentional/lazy? You get another F-.

I liked the story, the janitor, really liked the chattering pyramid (hey dude I want to hang out sometime call me), probably enjoyed The Threshold Kids a little too much.

Those three bosses, I gave up but then later the same day ran across a post about an invincibility update on the options screen I hadn’t seen. Sold! I danced through the rest of the game so I could see the architecture and follow the story. More entertaining floating in the middle of the room while being shot at by eight guys: “Okay, where were those stairs to that weird corridor?” I’ll be buying the DLC when it’s on sale again.

There’s a lot more. I just grabbed some of the biggest slices.

I don’t want any sour notes about any of this. I’m not writing this to be persuaded that my experience is non-canonical/wrong/etc. This is all I have, videogames and then complaining about videogames. Thanks for thinking of me though. Also I have coffee, ice cream, and coffee ice cream. Also images/short videos of dogs, cats, and birds. Licorice, that’s another one. Sleeping, I like that. Bread. Big one, bread. Watching billionaires self-immolate. Cake, but mostly pie. Pie is way more than cake.

2022dec03.

CGP Grey: The Maddening Mess of Airport Codes!

2022dec03.

Polygon: Control taught me to love the ugliest architecture

2022dec02.