Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

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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Thumbing his thoughts

April 13, 2018

Today’s Zits, in which Jeremy demonstrates equal facility with either hand:

Instagrambidextrous = Instagram + ambidextrous ‘ambidextrous at Instagram’.

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Know Your Menu

April 1, 2018

A bit of clever cartoon humor created by Michael Babich for the Google+ community UX/UI Design (and posted on Facebook):

A play on the icons used on computer platforms for various ways of displaying information, likening the shape of the icons to the shape of kinds of food (a hamburger, döner kebab on a vertical rotisserie, a bento box, a kebab on a stick, meatballs). And exploiting the ambiguity of the noun menu — in its older sense in a food context and in a metaphorical sense in computing.

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Computer annals: Reyes Korzybski and the avalanche of spam

February 24, 2018

The latest affliction in my technological life: an avalanche of comments spam on this blog, thousands a day, almost all of it from the same commercial site (which I will not, of course, reveal here). Each with a perky message or query, each labeled as from a named person — the names fairly obviously created by random choice from a giant database of personal names and surnames. I only notice the names that happen to be at the top of the spam file, but they’re often entertaining. This morning’s treasure is Reyes Korzybski, obviously an eccentric but regal Pole from the rocky shores of Marin County CA.

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The power of the pen

December 25, 2017

Zippy continues his visit to North Carolina — yesterday Salisbury, today Charlotte — with Xmas pleasure and puzzlement about the antique technologies of pen and paper:

(#1)

The public art work is The Writer’s Desk (2005, by Larry Kirkland) at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library:  a bronze quill pen in an inkwell at the top of a stack of books, surrounded by typewriter keys, pencils, and hand stamps.

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