Monthly Archives: October 2003

Worth reading

Lew Rockwell of the libertarian Ludwig von Mises Institute writes of Rumsfeld's recently leaked “what have we gotten ourselves into” memo,

There you have it: a typical government program. Hundreds of billions down the drain, and nothing to show for it but confusion. Imagine a private business admitting that it doesn't know if it is making profits or losses. Imagine blowing through a trillion dollars and not knowing whether you actually accomplished anything at all. That private firm would be doomed, but the warfare state just keeps chugging along.

Click here to read The National Defense Myth. If you're looking for something a little lighter, I found this article about a driver being convicted on the basis of the “black box” in his car (which almost all new cars have). Good reason to gut the computer out of your car, or buy an older car that doesn't have one.


I was asked to post some pix of the Kelmark after cleaning and before putting it away for the winter (I'll be roping today's guests into helping push). It's got a lot of trim issues, and some fit and finish type stuff, and I don't like the way the gas tanks are set up (dangerous), but on the whole it won't take a lot of work to get it up to street or even show quality.


So this morning Ryan had me run a test of some of the commercially available silkscreening software. To sum up my reviews, it's horrible. Just cheap Photoshop actions that can't actually do anything that a reasonably skilled Photoshop user couldn't do anyway. So I dusted off my old prototype screening software and took another look at it.

My software is optimized for one thing: taking full color input images, and producing multi-ink screens for extremely limited amounts of colors, in order to try and create a close representation using as few inks as possible. For example, in the image below, I chose red, white, and a pale blue, and asked it to screen the image onto a black shirt. I've included the screens, as well as the original and output images:

As you can see, some of the tones change very slightly, but on the whole it does a remarkable job. In the sample below, I've screen a different image onto an orange shirt, using white, blue, and black ink only — the software is able to cleanly integrate the shirt's tone into the image.

I have an endless stream of products I really should release commercially… This one just needs some tweaking and an interface and it would be ready to go.

The above software took an afternoon to write. Any reasonably skilled programmer could do the same (I'd never claim to be anything but a “reasonably skilled” programmer… there are certainly hundreds of people on IAM that are better) — it always amazes me what a lack of decent tools there is. I believe that it's due to the larger phenomena of how when people become engaged in a task, they lose the ability to see their goal. Because they see only their task, not their goal, they veer off course and act self-destructively.

There are some bad piercers out there…

Anyone who's worked in the industry for long (on the retail end of things) can tell you and endless stream of insane stories about stuff that competing shops have told customers. I got a kick out of this one; it's from a girl who got nipple piercings at one studio, and then when she was having problems asked another place for a “second opinion”.

I went to the place i usually get pierced at(who had also fixed my tongue ring that they had also messed up) and he told me that I had been pierced witrh fake jewelry called niobium and changed them for me to the silver.

It really takes some big balls to tell a customer that niobium is a “fake metal” or unsafe in some way… Have you ever heard a crazy story told by a piercer or a competing shop? Post it in the forum if you have.

(Original forum unavailable, sorry)*

Blue bolts from above… WOO WOO!

This is c/o Ryan and it's definitely the funniest thing ever. As you probably know, Mel Gibson is doing a movie called The Passion of Christ, a telling of Christ's crucifixion from the point of view of an extremely anti-Semitic conservative Cahtolic. Many people have decryed the film as unholy in one way or another.

Anywy, for the second time in the filming, lighting has struck — literally. This time it hit both the actor playing Jesus, and the director again… They're both unharmed, but you know they have to be wondering: “Will God pull his third punch, or will that be the KO?” (more).

OK, I'm misleading you a little. The story above is true, but I'm supposed to indicate that this is actually the funniest thing ever.