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Rue nigh.


     “Failure. Is that right? Has my life just been one big failure? I mean, maybe I never quite lived up to my early promise as a math genius but that’s because I was waiting. For the alien to collect his eye and change my life.” -Eugene

Here’s the recording of last night’s (2020-11-06) KNYO Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show, ready to re-enjoy. (Left-click for instant-play. Right-click to download.) And thanks to Hank Sims of Lost Coast Outpost here’s a page with the latest show and also other ones going back a little bit.

I think you’ll like this particular show. It hangs together in a way that they don’t always. You know what they say about hanging together. Also there’s an Alex Bosworth story you haven’t heard before. You like that. Here, look, it’s an airplane, open your mouth.

Besides all that, here are some links to worthwhile items that I set aside for you while gathering the show together, found mostly thanks to the fine websites listed to your immediate right:

Pinball explained and shown in slow motion. (Via BoingBoing.) I’ve skipped you ahead to the interesting parts. All you really need to know is, electrical j-box knockout slugs don’t work, because a clever magnet pulls them out of the coin path, to be collected inside the bottom of the machine. (Coins ignore a magnet. Try it and see.) My stepbrother Craig, who took his own life with a pistol forty years ago, could win free games on any pinball table and play until the arcade closed, on a single coin, which in those pre-magnet-trick days /could/ be a slug. He was a real-life pinball wizard. Just a cute, skinny, Irish-looking kid with freckles across his button nose, and phenomenal hand-eye coordination for sports as well as pinball. He’d be 65 now and probably king of the world. Alcohol was involved. And why isn’t there a slogan for that? /Don’t drink and kill yourself./ Hmm. /Don’t self-medicate for suicide by the thing that makes you depressed in the first place./ No. /Guns, as stupid an idea as drinking./ Okay, enough. Anyway, pinball games, how they work:

This is kind of like a pinball game. Here’s a man playing piano for tips out on the street in Barcelona, and a kinetic riot develops around and past him –nothing to do with him, just right place, right time– with explosions and danger and police vehicles and bemused remarks and everything; he’s in the eye of the storm just calmly playing the piano, and his little audience appreciates it. Which person in the video do you identify with, and why?

At the same time, this is also me. (Besides the person I chose from the previous one.) I’m the dog /and/ the person. I startle and/or gaslight my own damn self.

To everything. There is a season.

Careening around L.A. like an afreet frantically searching for his master’s lost magical object. (via NagOnTheLake)


Photographic art.

How to clean your taxidermy. No need to put it off any longer. Come on, it’s time.

What could have been.

What always happens.

The common threat.

The paleofantastic trombone squid. Trombone is French for paper clip, and you can easily see why.

One, and two, and kick, kick. That’s it.

Donald Trump’s tax-salaried spiritual adviser hears the sound of victory. She hears the sound of victory. She hears the sound of striking the ground. Akka bakka furundiga frakka suh-kakka ba-blakka fluhcogh gagoch. The heavenly angels are coming from Africa. The angels are coming from South America… (You might have to click the sound on.)

And an artificial intelligence analyzes paintings, describes them and comments elliptically on them. Example: “A large sculpture hangs on the ground with a spray painted on walls or imagine there is a pile of metal sculpture with several birds on it. I once observed two birds having sex on top of a roof covered in tile.” The machine gets all that from seeing an amorphous blue, brown and pink smudge. It’s goofy and impressive and, just like that, there go another few thousand jobs to automation. Next, wine and food columns, financial advice, landscaping, property management. Then cable tech support. Then Skynet.

Why no airlock? There’s a pretty good reason.

Zappa documentary. I’m in!

Gregory Alan Isakov – Time Will Tell.

Lilies of the pond. (via NagOnTheLake)

Conservatives outraged.

Infinity mirror guitar. For the short of attention span, skip ahead to 6 or 8 minutes in.

I’d like to play that. I don’t think it’s a real thing, but why isn’t it? People would buy that. It seems like it would be trivial for a game writer to make this as an app for a phone or tablet, and it could have as many colors as you choose. Go ahead, make a million dollars and then cut me a check for whatever you think is fair for setting you on that path.

Beautiful dreamlike drone flight.

Huygens spacecraft landing on Titan.

Bad-dream-like zoetropic sculpture.

Cyriak Harris says, “So, I had a heart attack the other day. It was horrible. Don’t ever have a heart attack. If you want to know what one feels like, imagine an elephant standing on your chest until the pain spreads up through your jaws like you have toothache in all your teeth at the same time.” (Here are samples of some of Cyriak’s queasily fascinating animation work, each one like a dream you might have when you’re sick and have a fever, just before the fever breaks. Click to choose.)


How we get modern bowling balls.

Black Safari. (Full film, 67 min.)

I love it when she takes them off and the cat instantly goes, “Oh, okay, then.”


“You haven’t got any improvement in these 3 years. What a pity, you come for death.” I like the leaping and spinning in the air. And Michelle Yeoh. She’s a Vulcan doll. She can really do that stuff, too. She does all her own stunts, like Tom Cruise, Summer Glau, Buster Keaton, Keanu Reeves, a handful of others. And like them she’s been badly injured several times.

All the way from Medina of Marakesh to the Tapioca Highlands, including a forbidden (cursed) view of sacred Uluru from above, where you are committing unconscionable racism by even looking at /pixels/ of it.

I’m not sure why this is so funny to me, but it might be that that kind of electric heater is the crappiest kind of all; it basically has to heat all the air in the room before you feel warm. The kind they should send are the cheaper, easier to make kind that shine warmth directly at you. But at least they’re /doing something/, and they’re young, attractive, talented, happy and having fun. I’m not criticizing them; I envy them.

Here, electric heaters from a hundred years ago. Beautiful functional art. And you can make toast on them. They look like art deco microphones and steampunk spaceship ray guns. I have an eighty-plus-year-old G.E. Focalypse parabolic heater, that worked great the whole time I had it probably fourth- or fifth- or twelvth-hand, and only last year it corroded to the point of not being able to repair it. It wasn’t just that they made things better in those days, it was that things were simple, not much to go wrong in them. The gas kitchen stove I just installed in my employer’s rental unit /has a computer in it/. So if the electricity goes off in a storm you can’t even cook hot chocolate on it by lighting it with a match. On the plus side, you can’t pull a Sylvia Plath, have a bad day and deliberately gas yourself to death. Unless the computer properly lights the oven and feels that it’s lit, the gas can’t stay on more than a brief puff. You’ll have to find some other way to off yourself. And, regarding electric heaters, from a physics standpoint, a plug-in electric heater is the most efficient machine possible. All waste heat of operation, including any ticking or buzzing sound it might make, is heat that you want anyway.

Journalism. “News reporting is a young man’s job, for the reporter must have stamina and endurance to withstand the strain of long and strenuous hours of work. He must have the courage and perseverance to /get the story/ in spite of obstacles.” And, “If you don’t like to write, you won’t be happy in journalism.” It’s good that they tell you all that right up front. You don’t want to find it out later, when you’re poised to /blow the lid off this lousy town/ and it’s just too much trouble, your muscles are string beans and noodles and you can barely lift your arms to place your indolent fingers over the write-o-matic keyboard and push down a few times. Underdogs and ordinary Joes and Josephines are counting on you. Crooked City Hall mob bosses are getting away with arson and murder, and pawn shop horse-track blacklight massage fortune-teller jukebox drug den slime is boiling up out of the sewers like a Boy Scout Jamboree science hall vinegar and baking soda volcano, oh, just shove over, I’ll do it.



Art. (via DarkRoastedBlend)

This is the way everyone should quit.

This sounds like a neat teevee show. The hero is a brave librarian, doing what librarians do when Earth has been invaded from the stars.

Not too long ago now-President Biden said, “A lot of Black people are behind an 8-ball.”

The girl in the front row is really into it.

About hydrodynamic bearings.

This man seems to have unlimited money to buy and try out musical instruments and equipment, in this case to his exact specifications. He’s a very good guitar player, and this is an interesting guitar with a startling feature. If you just want to hear what it sounds like, skip ahead to 8:30.

Gorgeous flying.

Rerun: this train. (via TYWKIWDBI)

“You’re like a big dirty raccoon, David.”

What’s inside.

Racist zombies. (via TYWKIWDBI)

A dramatic gas station in Volgograd seen from miles away. (via TYWKIWDBI) Every gas station in the world is capable of this furious beauty. There are /500,000/ gas stations in the world. That this one fulfilled its artistic promise is an esthetically valid point of view.

And, “That is what we have been told we are. It’s an extremely crude and limited conception of one’s self.” –Alan Watts.

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