Monday, April 26, 2010

Open Tabs 4: The Revenge

Managed to accumulate a bunch more open tabs lately. Some interesting stuff this time around!

* TWIFComp. Interactive fiction in 140 characters or less (not including whitespace) I thought this one was kind of dumb, actually, but after some poking around, it looks as though people with more poetry in their souls than I have (or at least more brevity) have come up with some interesting things.

* A duet for the ages. I will not apologize for sharing this link.

* AutoDesk Sketchbook Mobile. I’ve tried a couple drawing programs for the iPod Touch and mostly found them atrocious. This one intrigues me, but I keep going back and forth over whether I’d use it often enough to be worth the price.

* Paying taxes with art. For the past fifty years or so, Mexican artists of the painterly persuasion have been able to pay their taxes with art! In the process, the Mexican government has amassed a remarkable collection. This intrigues me -- what if Joss Whedon got to pay his taxes this way? (H/T Marginal Revolution)

* Article on statistical significance. I have not yet fully digested this one. On the one hand, I agree that many scientists have a poor grasp of statistics. Human beings in general do poorly with the subject. I have complained for a long time, too, that medical studies I’ve read often have very small and too-heterogeneous sample sizes. I’m not entirely sure what Siegfried’s conclusions are here, thanks mostly to his somewhat aggressive wording. I think that this is best viewed as an argument for earlier and more comprehensive education in statistics. (H/T and further discussion, MR)

* Scotch as a form of vicarious travel. Fun little post about various whiskies, touring Scotland by way of its liquids. Posting it here so I don’t lose it. Summary:
Scotch is an acquired taste, but can be as fun to drink and parse as wine, if you’re so inclined. To me, it’s like a drinking in a sense of place, and since that place is Scotland, you know I dig it. It’s about downing the distilled essence of a landscape, tasting the waters and grains and peats of a far-away land; about turning Scotland into smoke and fluid and taking it in through your nose and mouth.

(H/T Chuck Wendig)

* Jay Lake eats a Double Down. I have to admit, this “sandwich” has become something of an odd obsession for me. Basically, it is a couple pieces of bacon and cheese sandwiched between two pieces of fried chicken. Here, Mr. Lake eats one so that the rest of us don’t have to (want to?). It effectively demonstrates the difference between “good” and “awesome”. (H/T John Scalzi)

* Jane McGonigal’s TED talk on games as art. Prompted Ebert’s most recent ill-informed spew on the subject, which I have no interest in linking to. Interesting talk, though not the best I’ve seen -- honestly, I get a little tired of the “protests too much” aspect of the “games as art” argument. This is pretty much going to be one that will only be won when the people who didn’t grow up playing video games have all died of old age. Until then, lots of handwringing and frustration.

* Installing Linux on a dead badger. I could probably explain this one, but I won’t.

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