Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Out of the water and back again

September 19, 2020

In the 9/21 issue of the New Yorker, this Lila Ash cartoon “Evolution of Man”:


(#1) New Yorker description of the cartoon: The evolution of man from a fish to a human throwing their phone in the water, and swimming in to retrieve it.

Yet another variation on the Ascent of Man theme; there have been so many of these on this blog that there’s a Page cataloguing them, here.

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Reading faces

March 28, 2020

(There will be mansex, talked about in blunt language and with racy (though not actually X-rated) images; not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

From The Economist‘s 2/20/20 issue on-line, in the Science and Technology section, “Do not rely on facial expressions for how people are feeling: A smile does not always mean someone is happy” (in print on 2/22, as “Face blind: Facial expressions are not usually a reliable guide to how people feel”):


(#1) Michael Haddad illustration for the piece; interpret this!

(I have a long-standing interest in facial expressions in two contexts: during mansex, and in cruising for sex beween men. In both, I’ve noted how difficult it is to interpret the emotional content of facial expressions — whether as emotional state of the source or as emotional state perceived by an audience. Meanwhile, the expression itself just is; it’s a gesture, and that’s all. It’s just stuff, as I’m fond of saying.)

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Tall Tree TeleSwissies

July 15, 2019

Swissies are everywhere (AMZ posting of 5/19/17, “Marco, Marco, Marco”). Even in Palo Alto, Tall Tree City, where the Swiss flag flies proudly — Einer für alle, alle für einenUn pour tous, tous pour unUno per tutti, tutti per uno; In per tuts, tuts per in — a mere five blocks from the Swiss Mammoth Center on Ramona Street:


(#1) The Swissies are coming, the Swissies are coming! 675 Forest Ave. in Palo Alto, the long arm of Swiss telecom in Santa Clara County

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Easter egg quotations

April 13, 2019

[The body of this posting vanished from WordPress on 4/23/19. Below is a summary of its content, without most of the original bells and whistles; when I finished the 4/13/19 posting, I deleted the files of background material for it, and I no longer have the heart to reconstruct it all. (By some software freak, the comments from the original posting were preserved.)

If you’re looking for my posting about Louis Flint Ceci and Magrittean disavowals, that’s “A Ceci disavowal” at:

https://arnoldzwicky.org/2019/04/24/a-ceci-disavowal/ ]

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Revisiting 20: X Places

November 1, 2018

The Scenes From a Multiverse of 10/9, entitled #NOTALLPLACES:

A riff on Michael Schur’s sitcom The Good Place, with Kristen Bell (as Eleanor, apparently sent wrongly to the place after her deathGood Plae modality is harsh.) and Ted Danson (as Michael, the designer of the place). Also a comment on social media (Twitter vs. Facebook).  And of course on the nature of reality and our perceptions of it.

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A reading

October 31, 2018

Posted on Facebook, this Peter Steiner cartoon from 2016:


(#1) From a 1/28/16 posting on Steiner’s blog

The humor turns on an ambiguity of the verb read, and also on a specialization of the derived nominal reading to a very culture-specific event.

(Then some words on the artist, who now has a Page on this blog.)

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Three exercises in cartoon understanding

October 24, 2018

In this morning’s comics feed: a Zippy with the slogan “Kindness, Acceptance, Inclusion”; a Bizarro with a Discomfort Control mechanism; and a Rhymes With Orange about the facial recognition of a Mr. Banner. The first two can be understood at some level even if you don’t get the cultural references involved (though they’re much more entertaining if you do), but the third is probably just incomprehensible if you don’t recognize Mr. Banner.

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Briefly noted 9/27/18: a remarkable name

September 27, 2018

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation periodically revises the format for its on-line statements, including after visit summaries to its physicians and labs. As far as I can tell, every such software upgrade arrives with bugs, sometimes spectacular ones; this is, after, the way of software the world over.

So it was with recent after visit summaries, in which my name at the top was given as

Dr. Zwicky M. Zwicky

I have an idea about how this might have come about. Probably not verifable, since it involves decisions by two different people, neither of whom could easily be identified.

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A pixelated morning

June 23, 2018

This morning’s name: the verb pixelate. Based on the noun pixel, with at least three senses, in NOAD:

verb pixelate (also pixellate or pixilate): [with object] [a] divide (an image) into pixels, typically for display or storage in a digital format. [b] (be pixelated) (of an image on a computer screen or other display) be enlarged so far that the viewer sees the individual pixels that form the image, the enlargement having reached the point at which no further detail can be resolved. [c] display an image of (someone or something) on television as a small number of large pixels, typically in order to disguise someone’s identity.

It’s sense c that I’m especially interested in here. That, and the ambiguity of

/ˈpɪksəletəd/

between pixelated, the PST/PSP of this V, and a very different Adj pixilated.

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mailman lady

May 8, 2018

The One Big Happy from 4/11, with Ruthie addressing her mail carrier:

(#1)

Referring to mail carriers. And a snowclonelet composite X lady (one of several; this one is associated with kid talk).

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