March 31, 2007

What I Want Is A Big Red Button Marked “SHOOT”

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:56 pm

Glenn Reynolds begins to channel Edward Tufte (professor whose website is here).

I’ve written about this before (.pdf, three pages) with regard to how the military has to put up with crappy interfaces. In the military case it’s not so much “arrogant engineers” á la the Slashdot example of BMW that Reynolds discusses, but the way the system grew for how we get new stuff onto ships. My article’s conclusion:

The way new equipment is designed and built can prevent good human factors design, because it’s cutting-edge technology, different experts have different skills, and the experts don’t always get to work together. Taking the time to improve how we display and control information can help prevent disasters, show knowledge that wasn’t originally apparent, and make better use of the people who fight the ship.

Proceedings doesn’t have many articles up electronically, so you’re stuck with a fuzzy PDF. Sorry.

Speaking of Tufte, I saw this poster in the E ring last week at an interview…

Tufte map of Napoleon’s March

Snark Of The Day

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:40 pm

The first comment on this video.

Whoops, that didn’t work like the suits thought…

I Remember These Guys

Filed under: — Chap @ 4:06 am

I used to listen to the boomers talk Vietnam back in the day. This sounded like some of that conversation. I wonder how the discussion between these folks and some of the Gathering of Eagles folks would go.

The point about the Vietnam War as a touchstone is certainly germane. I’d come to a different conclusion from that premise.

(h/t Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, who’s finally back up on the blogroll now that I’ve almost fixed it completely. Every single post is misnumbered now, but at least the blog’s up…)

Oh, But They’re Moderate

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:26 am

A characterization of the Muslim Brotherhood in Foreign Affairs, emphasizing its less violent tendencies. If one thinks of the MB as similar to the IRA/Sinn Fein, maybe. The article makes good points, but the overall thesis? I ain’t buying it.

If Ten Percent Of This Is True I’m Very Impressed

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:17 am

Bobby Jindal. I keep hearing about him on the down low–people I trust who like the man a lot. The article is good–a good description of what to do when nothing is working and things are going Very Wrong.

March 30, 2007

Note To Presidential Aspirants, Particularly The One Who Mailed Me A Letter With My Rank And Title On It

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:12 am

Look, dude. I got it you want to send me a survey, which there is no way I will fill out, and ask for money, which I’m not going to send in anyway.

But when you mail this thing to me using my rank on it, it makes me wonder where you bought that mailing list. My profession is not one that gets into politics. Try to use my profession, or the community of those professionals, and you come across as skank.


Back To Black

Filed under: — Chap @ 5:54 am

Via Funky 16 Corners, a review of the latest record by Amy Winehouse.

I first heard about Winehouse on a throwaway track on her last record (here’s the, uh, “hit” from that) that got picked up by my personal music selecter Gilles Peterson. The track “Amy Amy Amy” didn’t let me know it was an earworm until too late.

Her new record is, in spots, brilliant. The whole album kind of gets tiring after a while, but I’ve been playing about four songs on that record over and over for about a week straight. Somebody finally figured out how to do Phil Spector right in the first track–just check the wave of strings that shows up only in the last two bars of the song, or the “put the horn section in the bathroom” reverb, or the generous use of baritone sax. (The singing ain’t shabby, either–here’s a version of the same track with just her and someone beating on a table, with what sounds like a guitar in a bucket. Alternatively, you can watch her battle Paul Weller over “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” or “Don’t Talk To Strangers“.) Winehouse is spending some time working her tone, shifting from insistent to tentative in a phrase, singing back back behind the beat where she can get away with it. “Me And Mr. Jones” has been stuck in my head for about too long now–she credits the Ronettes and the Specials on the record and here it makes sense–if you add in the Andrews Sisters doing “Mister Sandman” in the backup singing. Worth a listen.

There are a lot of interesting things coming out of pop music in London right now, like Winehouse and Lily Allen (try this page and click on “Knock ‘Em Out”–who else has the temerity to sample Professor Longhair?). There’s some great neo-soul coming out, too, like Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators. Looks like music’s going to get interesting again…

Seven Years For Shoving?!?

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:43 am

Something tells me I should have seen someone like Radley Balko on this story.

Which reminds me. Cory Maye is still in prison.

Politics Today In Action, Or Not

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:42 am

You know, sometimes it’s fun watching inside baseball. Especially when one doesn’t care much about any of the teams playing.

Plus it’s fun watching Rich Galen drop the mask a little and play a little less delicately than usual…

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:13 am

I can’t find the interview on line, but John Lewis Gaddis (he of this speech) was mentioned in the Boston Globe discussing grand strategy and the United States. Here’s a Washington Times op-ed about the article.

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:52 am

Yeah, this sounds like Chapel Hill to me.
(h/t Sondra K)

Putting Their Money Where Their Mouth Is

Filed under: — Chap @ 12:50 am

Gun Toting Liberal sees some righty bloggers shilling for cash on their way to blog Iraq, and asks if they can go too.

Good for them. Confederate Yankee’s passing them contact information. I’m glad GTL’s interested in going, and I agree we need many points of view actually looking at conditions on the ground outside of the palaces.

March 28, 2007

Oh, Now This Is Cool!

Filed under: — Chap @ 1:21 am

The Yankee Sailor gives us a little 바다로, 세계로* with a good shot of the newest ROKN SSK.

Those guys are aggressive and capable operators. They’ve got the infrastructure, too. The ROKN and their friends to the east are both building good boats and driving them better every year…
*(badaro, segyero, or “to the ocean, to the world”. ROKN motto, at least as I heard it at dinner or on the boat…)

March 27, 2007

I Know Which Speaker I’m Rooting For

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:43 am

One of these men speaks truth.

Filed under: — Chap @ 12:56 am

Man, this is the second time this month I’ve decided David Corn was making sense.

Bloggus Interruptus

Filed under: — Chap @ 12:50 am

Well, the good part about being on travel this time is that I’m learning things, meeting people, and discussing options.

The bad part for you the gentle reader is that I can’t talk much about it.

More later…

March 25, 2007

It’s Getting Ugly Out There

Filed under: — Chap @ 5:39 am

We know about the guy who pooped on the flag, and the pleasant chant the children said while burning us in effigy.

Chris reports that he got angry during the Gathering of Eagles.

“MURDERERS!! BABY-KILLERS!! and various hateful, expletive filled rants erupted from the advocates of peace as they slowly walked by. They referred to us as fascists, compared us to Nazis and informed us repeatedly that we were the problem for the country, not the answer. I have to say that I never thought I would hear words like this from my fellow countrymen. It angered me, and saddened me all at the same time. Our side responded to their hate-filled rants, giving as good as we got. Nothing could have prepared me for the appearance of the A.N.S.W.E.R. marchers carrying an upside-down American flag. Veterans howled and the crowd prepared to surge. Truthfully, had anyone moved to grab the flag from further desecration, I would have abdicated my responsibilities and joined the mass. The police moved in-between us and them and, of course, we allowed the rabble to exercise a foul representation of free speech. As the flag moved out of site I watched a wheelchair bound WWII Purple Heart recipient cry soundlessly. Rage welled up in me, and still we let the peace march walk by unmolested.

(h/t Willy)

I’m waiting for the next installment report from SMASH.

Filed under: — Chap @ 5:30 am

Yes, I know exactly who would want this T-shirt.

Evan Sayet’s Polemic

Filed under: — Chap @ 4:56 am

Curmudgeonly and Skeptical has a forty-five minute speech from a comic I’ve not previously heard of, speaking at the Heritage Foundation. He’s a pleasantly upset fellow who’s launching blasts at the left–which is, I’m sure, why he’s speaking at the Heritage Foundation. Some misses, some hits; it was entertaining, particularly since I spent most of yesterday in the company of folks who make me look like a progressive.

William Christenberry

Filed under: — Chap @ 12:31 am

I saw an exhibit of this man’s work today at the Smithsonian. In person, it’s pretty powerful stuff. Link goes to a small gallery of photos (although the best things I saw were sculpture or assemblages) and a short discussion from the artist.

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