1. Blind Guardian - 5 October 2016

    16 December 2016

    Historically, it's rare that Blind Guardian goes on tour in the United States, so whenever they come to the States we scramble to get tickets because they put on a hell of a show. Around the house we jokingly call them elven thrash metal because their lyrics are steeped in the works of Moorcock and Tolkien, with influences from many different myth cycles, such as Arthurian legend. To be blunt, their show was face-meltingly good. They played some classic crowd singalongs like The Bard's Song and Valhalla during the show and brought the house down in so doing.

    Unfortunately, when …

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  2. A thought on memorization and memory techniques.

    14 December 2016

    In many memorization techniques it is often taught that you should make use of overly vivid, even absurd imagery to make sure that bits of information stick in whatever organizational technique you might use, be it a ladder of pegs or something as elaborate as the method of loci. Sometimes you have to work to make something stick, and sometimes the absurd makes itself known spontaneously.

    Have you ever pondered why there are so many things that you simply can't unsee on the Internet?

    Stop and think about all the things that you wish you'd never seen over the years …

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  3. Shaun King: Recording from a Corporate Meeting about the Dakota Access Pipeline

    14 December 2016

    Supposedly, the man speaking is Matthew Ramsey, COO of Energy Transfer Partners.

    The interesting bit is around the 6:30 mark.

    Just in case, I've put up a local mirror of the recording.

    The thread talking about it starts here.

    Remember to pick this the hell apart and run every last detail to ground.

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  4. The 2016 election was not rigged.

    12 December 2016

    There, I said it.

    I don't think that votes were messed with, I don't think that any (horribly insecure) voting machines were tampered with, and while jerrymandering is totally a thing I don't think it had anything to do with the election. I think that appealing to people's most deeply held beliefs, the ones that few are willing to talk about openly had everything to do with it.

    Donald Trump is everything that USians want to be, deep down inside. Let's be honest: Whether or not Donald Trump is really as rich as he says doesn't matter. What matters is …

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  5. Vice Reine, Night Club, and Beautiful Machines at the DNA Lounge.

    05 December 2016

    In October of this year, I once again made my pilgrimage to the DNA Lounge to spend the night dancing at Turbo Drive, the club's monthly (sort of) synthwave dance party. A sucker for the old-school synths as always, I dressed up in my finest to see Vice Reine, Night Club, and the Beautiful Machines perform live. I especially wanted to attend because that particular night celebrated the release of Night Club's first full album, entitled Requiem for Romance (listen to it!) This was one of the few nights where Turbo Drive was held on the main dancefloor of the …

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  6. Real life seems like Shadowrun - so why can't I throw fragging fireballs?!

    02 December 2016

    From time to time I sit down with my gaming buddies, and we both lament and observe how well reading and playing cyberpunk games has prepared us for life in the twenty-first century. I don't think that many people expected real life to track quite so closely with many a cyberpunk world penned by the masters, from William Gibson to Neal Stephenson to Bruce Sterling. Strangely enough, many of the lifestyle strategies depicted in these stories have helped keep our own lives (and those of our families) stable and, for the most part nice to live as human history has …

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  7. When using Lastpass with Google Chrome, occasionally it'll automatically log you out.

    01 December 2016

    Sometimes, very occasionally, when using the Lastpass plugin with Google Chrome, you may find that Lastpass will start acting wonky. Specifically, if you've had Chrome running for a couple of days, you will notice that Lastpass has logged you out, even if you're in an Incognito Window. When clicking on the browser plugin's icon, you will be able to log into it as usual; multifactor authentication will similiarly work as expected. If you wait a few seconds, the plugin's icon will go dark again. If you're quick and drop into "My Vault," you'll see that screen for a second or …

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  8. VNV Nation in concert, 25 October 2016.

    01 December 2016

    In October of this year VNV Nation visited California as part of their Compendium tour, in which they celebrated their twenty year anniversary by performing a five hour set without an opening band that covered their entire corpus of work, comprised of twelve albums (one of which is orchestral in nature, having been recorded with the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg). I didn't even try to keep track of their setlist because of how long the concert was. I do, however, recall that they played Perpetual, and there wasn't a dry eye in the place. I still get choked up thinking about …

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  9. Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.

    29 November 2016

    It seems there is no end to the number of quotes through history that go something like this: "Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it." It's been variously attributed to Edmund Burke, Sara Shepard, Santayana... this is not to say that there is no truth to it. Far from it.

    I haven't said much about the election of 2016, in part because my personal life has been upside down and inside out for weeks now, in part due to work, and in part due to the fact that there is so much fucked up stuff going …

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  10. Charles Stross book signing - 31 July 2016

    28 November 2016

    This summer Charles Stross went on a book signing tour for his latest novel, the latest book of the Laundry Files series called The Nightmare Stacks. In July his book tour brought him to the Bay Area of California, and a famous bookstore which I strongly suggest that every visitor to San Francisco spend some time at called Borderlands Books. Of course, being a fan of Stross in general and the Laundry Files in particular, I packed up a couple of books that I wanted to get autographed and headed for downtown.

    Here are the pictures I took while Stross …

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