Remember this?

I am going through papers I should probably throw away (but won’t) and found this printed out email in the pile.  Made me laugh again.   The email was from March of 1997.  🙂  Yes, I’ve been carrying it around that long. And you wonder how it could take so long to unpack ….. But on a positive note, now that I’ve wrapped it into this post, I can throw it away!  CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!!!

… approximate number of the Beast.
Roman numeral of the Beast
666.0000 high-precision Beast
0.666 number of the Millibeast
/666 Beast common denominator
1010011010 binary number of the Beast
1-666-666-6666 telephone number of the Beast
66666 zip code of the Beast
666-66-6666 Social Security number of the Beast
1-900-666-6666 Live Beasts! One-on-one pacts! Call now! (Over 18, please.)
$665.95 retail price of the Beast
$769.95 price of the Beast with all accessories (replacement set)
$656.66 Walmart price of the Beast
$646.66 next week’s Walmart price of the Beast
Phillips 666 gasoline of the Beast
Route 666 highway of the Beast
666o F. oven temperature for roast Beast
666K retirement plan of the Beast
666 mg recommended daily allowance of the Beast
6.66% five-year CD interest rate of First Beast of Hell National Bank ($666 minimum deposit)
Lotus 6-6-6 spreadsheet of the Beast
Word 6.66 word processor of the Beast
666i BMW of the Beast
A166686 CPU of the Beast
DSM-666 (revised) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the Beast
668 Hades Way street address of the Beast’s next-door neighbor
ddd the Beast viewed in a mirror
999 the Beast viewed upside-down
1 the Beast viewed sideways
333 the Beast after dieting
111 the Beast as a toddler
444 quorum of the Beast
666 Flags over Texas amusement park of the Beast
“In the Year 6666” heavy-metal song of the Beast
“666 Trombones” “The Music Man” song of the Beast
Now We Are 666 A.A. Milne children’s story title of the Beast
Six and the Single Beast porn manual of the Beast
“666 Degrees of Separation” party game of connections with Kevin Bacon — uh, with the Beast

How Ideas Are Spread

New Search Method Tracks Down Influential Ideas
Princeton University (10/20/10) Chris Emery

Princeton University computer scientists have developed a method that uses computer algorithms to trace the origins and spread of ideas, which they say could make it easier to measure the influence of scholarly papers, news stories, and other information sources.

The algorithms analyze how language changes over time within a group of documents and determines which documents had the most influence.

“The point is being able to manage the explosion of information made possible by computers and the Internet,” says Princeton professor David Blei. He says the search method could eventually enable historians, political scientists, and other scholars to study how ideas originate and spread.

The Princeton method enables computers to analyze the actual text of documents, instead of focusing on citations, to see how the language changes over time. “We are also exploring the idea that you can find patterns in how language changes over time,” Blei says.


I think this is cool.  I wonder a lot where ideas come from.   William Gibson’s latest greatest offering has a lot of this sort of thinking discussed in it.  It is disguised as “cool hunting” and other types of (mostly) marketing techniques.   And art. It’s a good book.  Zero History.

I’ve loved every single one of his books so of course I have to recommend it (and him).  His characters always seem so authentic, even when they are weird as hell.  Or, maybe especially when they are weird as hell.  And somehow I identify with lots of them. (!) It’s science fiction, but not particularly futuristic.  CyberPunk, really.  Good stuff, Maynard.


Doris May Tayler was born at Kermanshah, Persia (now Iran) on this day in 1919. The family moved to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1925 to grow maize (sweet corn). She went to the Dominican Convent High School at Salisbury (now Harare) through age 14, then worked as a nursemaid and telephone operator before her first marriage.

She was involved in leftist politics, her opposition to apartheid and nuclear arms led to her being banned from both Rhodesia and South Africa. Leaving her second husband (Lessing), she decamped for London and the start of her writing career in 1949. She wrote seventeen novels, a five-volume science fiction series, four books about cats, and quite a bit more. She has received all of the European awards for writing, including the 1007 Nobel Prize in Literature.

It is terrible to destroy a person’s picture of himself in the interests of truth or some other abstraction.

There is only one real sin and that is to persuade oneself that the second best is anything but second best.

All one’s life as a young woman one is on show, a focus of attention, people notice you. You set yourself up to be noticed and admired. And then, not expecting it, you become middle-aged and anonymous. No one notices you. You achieve a wonderful freedom. It’s a positive thing. You can move about unnoticed and invisible.

Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.

As you get older, you don’t get wiser. You get irritable.

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On getting oniondated

I just heard someone in the next office (speakerphone) say, “Well, that’ll put a nutshell on it.”

Heh.  Okay, not oniondated or Type-O’d but perhaps a mixed metaphor?

I think that guy is skating on thin eggs.

Quotes of the day

A day spent without the sight or sound of beauty, the contemplation of mystery, or the search of truth or perfection is a poverty-stricken day; and a succession of such days is fatal to human life.

Adding highway lanes to deal with traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to cure obesity.

It has not been for nothing that the word has remained man’s principal toy and tool: without the meanings and values it sustains, all man’s other tools would be worthless.

The city is a fact in nature, like a cave, a run of mackerel or an ant-heap. But it is also a conscious work of art, and it holds within its communal framework many simpler and more personal forms of art. Mind takes form in the city; and in turn, urban forms condition mind.

Without fullness of experience, length of days is nothing. When fullness of life has been achieved, shortness of days is nothing. That is perhaps why the young have usually so little fear of death; they live by intensities that the elderly have forgotten.

[I think about that last one a lot, when I think about the passion I used to have for nearly everything I do.  Now … not so much.  I miss it. I don’t know if it’s old age and pain or depression or some dastardly combination of both that steals the joie de vivre.  Also, I probably spelled that last bit wrong and I don’t care.]

A man of courage never needs weapons, but he may need bail.

All from Lewis Mumford, 1895 – 1990

This is from Van’s Quotes of the Day, to wit:

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