I am Beast.
I am taking an economics class and now I realize what is wrong with economists. They see the world through goggles that delete the human factor to our decisions. Their worldview disregards the personal side to any economic choice. For instance, (this is according to my class) an ordinary economist would always argue in favor of unrestricted free trade regardless of the short term consequences. The decision to lift tariffs or other barriers to trade is made by political figures inside of a government institution. However, while in theory free trade helps everybody in reality it is political suicide. The politicians responsible and the industries threatened by such a change are not faceless drones.
Similar decisions happen on smaller scales inside municipal governments. A majority (93%) of economists say Rent Control should be ended. Rent control, a simple way to provide some affordable housing options, does have problems. However, the current trend in providing affordable housing is to take the land of the speculative market and put it in the hands of the community (not the government). This unusual arrangement is known as a Community Land Trust and it is quickly gaining momentum as the only way to provide real, sustainable affordable housing. Economists are blind to the fact that humans make choices. Developers can never be given a serious incentive to build low-cost housing (that won't bankrupt the local government). So the solution to satisfying all needs in the housing market works entirely around the entrapments of our market system. Now, while rent control is flawed compared to this system, it is a temporary fix that has benefited some low-income folks. It's flaw is precisely what the Community Land Trust avoids: the speculative market. Low rent apartments have much higher demand and are more sought after. Land and housing are not merely goods or parcels. To treat either as a mere commodity to be traded neglects the fact that people and land are inseparable.
Okay enough ranting.
Paper Clips. Good images of wired paper clips through the years. My favorite is the Banjo Clip.
Stephen Hawking Interactive action figure provides hours of fun for your lunatic-fringe nephew who collects hard-to-find television related toys.
This is awesome. I haven't had a chance to look at all the pictures but so far it sounds like one of the greatest achievements in mapping history.
Defective Yeti reviews the bad reviews of The Perfect Score.
Here, there, everywhere. We have to call it something, don't we? Who's got an idea? Let's call it Toponymy.
I am Beast.
Although I've played some bad games on the computer and other platforms in my day I've never encountered anything as terrible as Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing. Warning: you are about to read one of the most scathing reviews in the history of criticism. Here is a sample:
"Rigs is a game so astoundingly bad that it manages to transcend nearly every boundary put forth by some of gaming's absolute worst of the worst and easily makes it into that dubiously extraordinary category of being one of the most atrocious games ever published."
Does life imitate art or vice versa? Well, in this case art imitates art. Law & Order: Artistic Intent is quite possibly the greatest and most interesting collection of art I have ever witnessed on my computer. Favories include: An Adventure to Color and Lennie Grabs a Dog.
My Department got a new webpage. Reload it to see all the professors. Gill Chin Lim, Ellen Bassett and Rex LaMore are all professors I've had over the last year. Herb Norman is my advisor.
Oh, and Red and Blue just won't do. Mapping American politics.
Posted by Nick Helmholdt at 12:48 AM
-- I really felt the need to write something. Don't dare to extract any meaning from it. --
I’ll finish it today, thought Casey Voorheis. Her straight brown hair was in a pony tail to prevent any potential snags. She thought about her project hourly when she was away. The sculpted lines of her latest creation even pleased her critical eye.
“You are talented, you just can’t see it for yourself! Casey! Quit apologizing so much. If I didn’t know better I’d think you were a Japanese schoolgirl who couldn’t keep up with me.”
He said the last part with a click of his tongue.
The whispers floated around the outside of the retrofitted hangar alongside a cool blue fog. The 1/8 th inch ventilation slits poured the colored light into the dusky atmosphere.
I know something is missing. It isn’t finished and the deadline is almost here. Incomplete meant a savage failure for Casey.
Martin was critical, too. He gazed from a nearby hilltop with military-grade binoculars. He had known Casey his entire life. Jealousy and admiration coupled with false compliments and unrealistic expectations. Martin lived in Casey’s wake of awe and support. Nothing would change the past; he could not join the crowd below. The polished, cold steel fit onto his eye’s orbits.
Although her instinct told her something was unfinished, Casey suddenly realized it could not be resolved. Not here. Two trees and three stumps carved out a fortress for children. Downhill from this natural enclave rested the skeleton of a tractor, rusted and shattered, its skin and function stripped for years.
In a different time Martin and Casey stumbled on the relic. “What do you think it is?” asked Martin, bewildered by the strangeness of its presence. He found himself admiring some quality of rebellion in the physics-defying balancing act of rusting steel.
The flock of impatient journalists and spectators was becoming irritated. Casey opened the doors to the hangar and realized the true magnitude of her crisis.
Posted by Nick Helmholdt at 12:28 AM
I can see them from my window. That means I'm in East Lansing.
I love this website. Not Fooling Anybody is a collection of fast-food chain remodels that went badly. All [with a few notable exceptions] are gems. I might go hunting for a few of these conversions myself. Master Donut is my favorite.
Apparently I can't photoshop an image anymore. Nor can I view photoshopped images or participate in photoshop contests. However, I still have Adobe® Photoshop® on my computer.
I have a class coming up so I won't have time to check the site out. This pretty much sums up my winter break from 11:00 AM to Noon on weekdays.
Posted by Nick Helmholdt at 6:29 PM
you guessed it, the first day of the spring semester. Five, count 'em five, new classes, one returning professor and on-campus job all this season on The Resident. Contestants compete for adequate housing and nourishment while avoiding the pitfalls of dormitory life. New challenges every Friday, Saturday and Monday. Tune in this week to see residents challenge the overpowering might of Spartan football's linebacker, Mike Labinjo in dodgeball.
Usually I despise Quizilla. Inept quizmakers molding stupid, unfunny quizzes sickens me. But, I thought the idea of a 7-deadly-sin quiz was quite creative. Bravo. I got Wrath. See all the results here.
"These 9 drawings were done by an artist under the influence of LSD -- part of a test conducted by the US government during it's dalliance with psychotomimetic drugs in the late 1950's. The artist was given a dose of LSD 25 and free access to an activity box full of crayons and pencils. His subject is the medico that jabbed him." -- See them all, here.
This is great. Seriously, "...the accompanying text: 234 pages of beautifully formed, yet completely unintelligible script." That is the Voynich manuscript. Simply spectacular.
Although the middle section is a bit obtuse you ought to read the first and last sections of this interesting article on psychosis. "Our idea of what psychosis consists of has been inherited from psychiatrists. Because of their role as medics for mental distress, they have traditionally suffered from a sample bias. A person is only likely to show up in front of a psychiatrist if they are either distressed or causing distress to others. A person who has wild and extensive hallucinations is unlikely to ever be a psychiatric patient if they are never troubled and can continue their lives successfully."
Limecat is not pleased.
Posted by Nick Helmholdt at 2:11 AM