the whole world burns

Archive for January 2007

"Is any bottle of wine worth $700?"


For my money no, but I love writing that lets me understand, even if it's only a little, this kind of passionate obsession:

It was stunning. The glass gave off the most decadent, gorgeous perfume imaginable. There was a kaleidoscopic quality to the nose, with each spin of the glass coaxing forth a new aroma. In no particular order, I smelled hazelnuts, lemons, apples, pears, marzipan, oatmeal, lanolin, petroleum, honey, flowers, toasted oak, and mint. All of these scents were perfectly delineated, yet they also somehow added up to a seamless whole. On the palate, the wine had a rich, oily texture and a Platonic balance of fruit and acidity, all backed by a steel rod of minerality. Think of your favorite painting, or favorite novel, or favorite piece of music--this was it in liquid form.

"Subjugation" is now complete


Another guilty pleasure: self-indulgent science fiction novels. This is an amateur one, so it's even more self-indulgent than usual. (I'll just say that the hero ends up with a harem of alien women and leave it at that.) That's why it's a guilty pleasure.

HTML code block syntax highlighter in JavaScript


With (admittedly primitive) language auto-detection.

Reinterpreting "A New Hope" in light of the prequels

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As we now know, the rebel Alliance was founded by Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Bail Organa. What can readily be deduced is that their first recruit, who soon became their top field agent, was R2-D2.

Naked parties in the Ivy League

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"The dynamic is completely different from a clothed party. People are so conscious of how they're coming across that conversations end up being more sophisticated. You can't talk about how hot that chick was the other night."

Freakonomics: The Gift-Card Economy


The article covers much the same ground as the James Surowiecki piece in the New Yorker a couple of weeks ago, but they get mad props for uploading copies of the original papers.

BitTyrant: experimental Azureus-based "selfish" BT client

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Selfish in that it rewards other uploaders, not evil BitComet-selfish.

"The stuff of dreams": strange substances

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Magnetic fluids, liquids that turn solid when hit, materials that get thicker when stretched...

365 Days Project is back for 2007


Hooray! (Has it really been three years?!)

Small things, links and miscellany, sparkling with light. Sam's tumblelog.