If I start doing posts like this on a more frequent basis I'll create a specific list for it. But this is the very first post in the category so alla youse get to see it. This is really mostly for me to record what I've done so I can recreate it later is desired/needed -- or to avoid things that didn't work so well.

After working up a few basic 8-strand kumihimo round braids in two colors, I decided to see what I could do with 12 strands and three colors. My first attempt was to take 2 pairs of each color and space them as evenly around the wheel as I could, so a pair of color X was opposite the other pair of that color, ditto for color Y, ditto for color Z. This means it takes 6 crossings to go once all the way around the wheel (the basic 8 strand pattern uses 4 crossings per cycle). The resulting spiral pattern was nice and even but more elongated than the 8-strand spiral.

In hopes of getting a tighter spiral I decided to go back to a 4-crossing-per-cycle setup, with 4 groups of 3 strands. But the first attempt didn't work at all.

4 groups of 3, experiment one: Initial pattern had colors X X and Y (in that order) at "north", Y Z and Z at "east", then continuing around with X X and Y at "south" and Y Z and Z at "west" -- each diameter had two radii of the same color. The result, however, was a mess, with the Y color threads getting pretty much lost in the shuffle. So I tried something else.

4 groups of 3, experiment two: initial pattern had colors X Y and Z (in that order) at each cardinal direction, again each diameter having two radii of the same color. This resulted in as close to a checkered effect as one is likely to get in a 3 color round braid. Not unattractive, but really doesn't help make the colors stand out. So on to the next.

4 groups of 3, experiment three: X X Y at north and east, Y Z Z at south and west. Each diameter now has two colors. I am not getting a spiral out of this, but I am getting an "offset diamond" effect which helps each color to be visible and distinct from the others. I like this pattern so I'll make a complete cord of it.
...because [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire needed to see this. The poster says about Australia: "It's like the Defcon 1 of stress for me." Check out the actual post for more (it's not locked).
Today's xkcd. Especially with the mouseover text.

(Yes, I am a math and computer geek, why do you ask?)
Check out What Your Favorite ’80s Band Says About You, by John Peck in McSweeney's Internet Tendency. Lots of amusing bits; different ones will appeal to different categories of my friends.

"Weird Al" Yankovic's new album ALpocalypse has been out for two weeks now. Here are links to this promo and that promo which are not as new but are still funny.

Silly computer fu )

I get catalogs from L. L. Bean like so many others. Near the address on the cover, the following is printed: "Visit our store at Tysons Corner Center, Virginia, or The Mall in Columbia, Maryland." Guess which Bean store I *actually* shop at most often?
Many of my friends will have seen, or at least been pointed to, this already. For the rest of you, since it's kinda cool, I'm providing the link here.

So [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire, writing as Mira Grant, has this Newsflesh trilogy. The first book, Feed, came out last year and is nominated for the 2011 Hugo Award for Best Novel. The second book, Deadline, came out last week. (Tuesday, 31 May to be precise. Actually finding a copy at B&N in Center Valley this past weekend? Not a simple task when they hadn't even put the book out on the shelves by Friday evening. Sheesh.)

The publisher, Orbit, has now put out a video trailer for the book(s), and that was a cool thing to do, and so I'm pointing you at it. Yes there are zombies involved, but no zombies are depicted in the trailer. (It's not exactly a high budget trailer -- just narration, and words, with effects -- but it's a *book* promo. Words are appropriate, IMO.)

Seanan has a few more links to related stuff in her own LJ post.
Just about 4 hours to first pitch in New York and here in the FedroSplat.

And yes, the following link is incredibly obvious, but it's still my favorite Opening Day song of all time. "Put me in coach, I'm ready to play..."
(As posted on [livejournal.com profile] tcep.)

Dear Friends of Richard:

Richard's memorial service will still take place at 1:30 p.m. this Saturday, December 18, 2010. Because of the potentially large crowd, the service has been moved from the University of Maryland Chapel to University First United Methodist Church. The church is right next to the UM campus, just across Campus Drive from the Inn and Conference Center. The address is 3621 Campus Drive, College Park, MD 20740. The church's website provides directions here.

A reception will follow at the Samuel Riggs Alumni Center on the campus of the University of Maryland. For those who know the campus, it is at the north end of lot 1, next to Byrd Stadium and across the street from the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (CSPAC). Parking in lot 1 will be free, but it may be hectic as it's move-out day for the Christmas break. If you're not familiar with the campus, this link will give you a map of the area and turn by turn directions to
CSPAC. The Riggs center doesn't have a street address, so the mapping tools have trouble finding it.

Best regards,

As posted on [livejournal.com profile] tcep. Passing on per request.

Dear Friends of Richard:

Richard's Memorial Service will be held at the University of Maryland Chapel, in the small chapel (the one that faces west, away from Route 1). The service will be December 18, 2010, starting at 1:30 p.m.

Directions to the Chapel can be found on the University's website at http://www.chapel.umd.edu/directions.php. The street address is 1101 Memorial Chapel, College Park, MD 20742.

I'm starting to lose track of all of the requests I've received to be added to this list. Please pass this information on to folks I may have missed with my apologies.

All the best,

Dutch Dunham
This afternoon I got the news that [livejournal.com profile] therevdrnye had passed away. I was still processing that when word came over the wire that Viscount Ragnarr had crossed over last night.

And tonight, Alle Psallite sang our Christmas program for the Vienna Women of the Moose.

The Show Must Go On.
Not a complete list, just the two things I remember most from this date in my lifetime:

The Bad: the 1978 People's Temple / Jonestown debacle.

The Good: the 1985 debut of Calvin and Hobbes. My grad school roommate and I had a subscription to the Washington Post, which carried the strip for its entire run, and we were fans from the very start.
I mused about this at church a while back, and it re-occurred to me this morning. A very large fraction of people I know refer to decaffeinated coffee (and sometimes to decaf tea as well) as "unleaded."

This slang usage appears to have come into being in the late 1960s or early 1970s, when unleaded gasoline entered the market as a result of anti-pollution legislation. By the time my child was born it was nearly impossible to find gasoline WITH tetraethyl lead in it. Thus, my generation is the last in the USA to have actually encountered leaded gas. My kid's generation seems to have picked up the usage... but I wonder just how we'll manage to explain the term to the babies of today once they're old enough to ask.
Originally saw this post on [livejournal.com profile] angel_vixen's LJ, which has been updated since I first saw it. Since I have friends in the Pittsburgh area who don't read her LJ, I am boosting signal to what extent I can.

The mother of a Pittsburgh friend is fleeing a violent situation, and cannot take her dog Henry with her. Henry needs a safe, loving new home as soon as possible; he is in a confirmed dangerous situation. He is a fixed, pure-blood cocker spaniel, about 9 or 10 years old, with no medical issues and his papers. Character-wise, he is slightly brainless but very lovable, and very friendly; he is accustomed to living with other animals -- especially cats -- and likes small children. All his effects (bowl, food, leash, etc.) will come with him. Currently, Henry is in Homestead, but must be relocated as soon as can be arranged. Her daughter is the point-of-contact; if you or someone you know can help, please comment here for contact information. That LJ entry is public for comments and for easier linkage.

Thank you. (I have made this entry public as well, but comments are disabled; please redirect comments to A_V's post.)
Thanks(??) to [livejournal.com profile] liadan_m who was first to point this out to me.


Usual warnings about food and drink apply: Swallow everything you are currently eating and/or drinking, put down all plates and cups and whatnot, *then* read.
97.5 (degrees Fahrenheit) at the weather station in our development that reports to wunderground.com ...
101 degrees at KIAD -- Dulles Airport, tying the record for this date (1988) ...
100 degrees at KDCA -- Reagan National Airport; the high for the day was 102, breaking the record of 99 (1991).

How hot was it in New York City yesterday? Not quite hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, as Andy Newman and hit cohorts at the NY Times City Room found out... but hot enough to cook a tuna steak!

That report alone is enough to send me running for a cold-n-frosty beverage. Maybe one of these ancient recipes being released by Dogfish Head this summer. As one commenter on the blog pointed out: "Here's to the human race, getting wasted on whatever's handy since time immemorial!"
England beat Slovenia 1-0 this morning in the FIFA World Cup. USA then beat Algeria 1-0, scoring the lone goal in injury/stoppage time. To quote [livejournal.com profile] psywildfire: "That sound you just heard was hundreds of thousands of soccer fans having a SIMULTANEOUS HEART ATTACK. Guys? Thank you for winning that game. DON'T EVER WIN A GAME LIKE THAT AGAIN!"

USA actually *won* Group B, on the second tiebreaker vs. England. (First tiebreaker is goal differential, which was a wash. Second tiebreaker is total goals scored in the 3 games of group play; USA scored 4 goals to England's 2.)

And at Wimbledon, 23rd seed John Isner is playing unseeded Nicolas Mahut. After splitting the first four sets, including each man winning one tiebreaker, the fifth set is not now in its 79th game. That is NOT A MISPRINT. I said SEVENTY-NINTH game -- all tied up at 39-39. A few minutes ago, a friend of mine tweeted "If I started watching Lord of the Rings right now, would it end before this set?" I replied "Maybe not if you watched the Extended Versions."

Someone else tweeted: "Jamie Moyer was a rookie when this match started." Moyer, for those of you who don't know, is a baseball pitcher with over 20 seasons in the major leagues. Oh, Isner just held serve to go up 40-39. I think this is the all-time record for longest match, though I can't be certain.

EDIT 24 Jun 2010: Yes, this breaks the record for longest match ever... by a factor of 150 per cent. Isner finally wins the fifth set 70-68, on the ONLY service break in the entire set. The record-smashing match lasted a total of 183 games, counting each of the third- and fourth-set tie breakers as a game although they're actually longer. Given that the average best-of-5-sets match runs about 27 to 54 games, this match was the equivalent to about 4 ordinary-length matches.

Also on Thursday, defending FIFA World Cup champs Italy failed to make the round of 16. That doesn't happen often, though it happened to France in 2002 (when the defending champs failed to score a single goal).
From time to time I've had the notion of doing an occasional net-radio show along the lines of Bomb Shelter Radio. (Many of you don't know that I worked for WCWM-FM during my undergrad days at W&M.) This hypothetical show would have pre-recorded sequences, which could be used in various order for the show's opening and closing. This post is sort of a brain dump for ideas I've had for bits to use in these sequences.

Ideas behind the cut. )

I'd love to hear any further suggestions!
At Ludus on Monday night, the conversation got injected with quotes from the title song to The Electric Company -- the classic 1970s sketch comedy version of course. *grin* Which got [livejournal.com profile] fuzzface00 and me to thinking about maybe playing the title song on Bomb Shelter Radio.

Do you know how hard it is to convince YouTube to show you a link to the ONLY full version of the title song? Yes, I said only full version. My memory was slightly faulty, as I'd thought the first season opening used the whole song. But the only episode that actually did was the *pilot* -- which was broadcast on Channel 13 in September (or maybe very early October) of 1971. (Episode 1 aired on 25 October.) I'm not sure how many stations ever aired the pilot -- but Fuzz and I both lived in the Channel 13 viewing area.

So, in case people want to know what the full original version of the song sounded (and looked) like: here it is.

A lot of the video for the opening sequence was re-used in the first season opening, but the song was re-made. Here is Rita Moreno introducing the opening and first sketch of Show #1. (EDIT 13Jul13: Damn, it's now been taken down. Here is a link to the opening credits for season 1 episode 10.) For the Season 2 opening (see an example here), the backing track of the Season 1 song was used again but remixed, and new vocals were recorded; the video of the opening was completely redone.
[livejournal.com profile] fabricdragon needs someone in or near London, England, to pick up a package at Maurice Sedwell's shop and mail it to her in the USA, as UPS rates are apparently hideous. She will reimburse.

See this post for more details; please respond to her there if you can help out, or know someone who can.
Many happy returns of the day to my birthday buddies [livejournal.com profile] siobhan1214, [livejournal.com profile] berrick_grvsn, [livejournal.com profile] ladytat, and [livejournal.com profile] caitlindancer! (And Martha Hottinger, who's 11 today.)

Hippo birdie two ewes
Hippo birdie two ewes
Hippo birdie deer ewes (youse?)
Hippo birdie two ewes!

(Band changes tunes)

(Na-na-na-na-na-naaaa-na-na) You say it's your birthday
(Na-na-na-na-na-naaaa-na-na) It's my birthday too, yeah...

After the first verse the band does an instrumental break and then shifts tunes again as the barbarian chorus charges in singing the Genghis Khan Birthday 'Dirge'... )
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