Simpsons and philosophy

A nice arti­cle was post­ed at BBC News that lauds The Simp­sons as the ide­al medi­um with which to prop­a­gate philo­soph­i­cal ideas:

The satir­i­cal car­toon world is essen­tial­ly a philo­soph­i­cal one because to work it needs to reflect real­i­ty accu­rate­ly by abstract­ing it, dis­till­ing it and then pre­sent­ing it back to us, illu­mi­nat­ing it more bright­ly than real­ist fic­tion can.

That’s why it is no coin­ci­dence that the most insight­ful and philo­soph­i­cal cul­tur­al prod­uct of our time is a com­ic car­toon, and why its cre­ator, Matt Groen­ing, is the true heir of Pla­to, Aris­to­tle and Kant.

Parker Posey’s monologue

Libby’s Audition

There were scenes delet­ed from the movie Wait­ing for Guff­man (which is a charm­ing movie, if you haven’t seen it) that are avail­able in the film’s DVD extras. One of these delet­ed scenes includes the char­ac­ter Lib­by’s audi­tion mono­logue, which Park­er Posey wrote and per­formed. Hilar­i­ous and delight­ful — it’s a shame they had to cut this gem from the movie. It’s one of my favorite pieces to watch.

run x11 applications from Apple’s terminal

If you use X11, here is a nice tip (here is the source of that tip): To to run X11 apps direct­ly from Apple’s, add the fol­low­ing line to your bashrc file:

[[ ‑z $DISPLAY ]] && export DISPLAY=“:0.0”

Then restart Ter­mi­nal (or type “source /etc/bashrc”) for the changes to take effect.

Note: I edit­ed my sys­tem-wide bashrc file under /etc/bashrc (for some rea­son, edit­ing my user .bashrc file did­n’t do the trick). You’ll need admin­is­tra­tive priv­i­leges to edit this file; if you do, just type “sudo pico /etc/bashrc” at the ter­mi­nal prompt, and enter your pass­word when prompt­ed. Copy and paste the line above into the file, then press ctrl‑x to save.

There is also a more cum­ber­some (but strait-for­ward) way to open X‑11 apps from the Apple ter­mi­nal: When­ev­er run­ning the app, pre­cede the appli­ca­tion name with “open-x11”. How­ev­er, this can be a pain if you open X11 apps frequently.

Tech­no­rati Tags: , ,

quicksilver mini how-to

Until recent­ly, I avoid­ed using Quick­sil­ver (the “launch­er and do almost any­thing” util­i­ty for OS X) because it seemed a bit com­pli­cat­ed to learn (i.e., it was­n’t usable for me right out of the box). But I final­ly took the time to go through a cou­ple of tuto­ri­als and dis­cov­ered that, hey, it kin­da rocks. It only took a few min­utes to get the hang of the basics, and then a while longer to learn a few cool tricks. If you want to try to it, I advise tak­ing a look at a few of the more in-depth tuto­ri­als (a few are list­ed below), but here are the basics:

Once you’ve installed Quick­sil­ver and set it up, you can invoke Quick­sil­ver at any time, in any app, by press­ing the default hotkey: ctrl+space (although you can change this in Quick­sil­ver’s pref­er­ences). Once you pull up the app, the gen­er­al method of use is the fol­low­ing: You select (by either begin­ning to type some­thing, or select­ing from a pull-down menu):

1. an item (e.g., a file, a pro­gram, a url), press [tab], then select
2. an action (e.g., open, copy to clip­board, email, move).

What actions are avail­able will depend on the type of item you select. And, some­times, there will be a third item that is the object of the select­ed action (e.g., in instances where you are mov­ing an item to anoth­er loca­tion, or if you are append­ing some piece of text to anoth­er file).

Quicksilver sample screenshot

I’ve just start­ed using it, and I know that I have only scratched the tip of the ice­burg (to mix metaphors) with respect to what I can do with Quick­sil­ver, but here are some of the basics, along with a cou­ple of nice tricks (click on a linked task to pull up a screenshot):

task type
invoke quick­sil­ver [ctrl]-[space]
launch appli­ca­tion name of application
open a file name of file -[tab]> Open
vis­it a website url address -[tab]> Open URL
wikipedia search wp -[tab]> Search For -[tab]> search string
email a con­tact in your address book1 con­tact name + [right arrow] |select email address| -[tab]> Com­pose Email
browse music in iTunes2 Browse + [right arrow]
append text to anoth­er text file3 [peri­od] text -[tab]> Append To -[tab]> text file
google search4 google -[tab]> Search For -[tab]> search string
define a word5 [peri­od] + word -[tab]> Define with

And be sure to check out some oth­er tutorials:

Dan Dick­in­son’s begin­ner tutorial
Dan Dick­in­son’s inter­me­di­ate tutorial
Nick San­til­li’s tuto­r­i­al on

1Requires the apple address book and mail mod­ule plug-in
2Requires the iTunes mod­ule plug-in
3Requires the text mani­upu­la­tion plug-in
4Requires the web search mod­ule plug-in (I think)
5Requires the dic­tio­nary mod­ule plug-in


Orig­i­nal­ly uploaded by unfren­zied­space.

This cat recent­ly adopt­ed me — she just popped in my open win­dow one day, and has believed she lives here ever since. I have named her “Doo­dle”. She’s very sweet to me, but my two oth­er cats are absolute­ly ter­ri­fied of her, and there has been more than one loud, cat-yow­ly brawl in my apart­ment upon her entrance.

She hangs out­side my door much of the day, wait­ing for me to come out­side and give her a lit­tle sug­ar. This affec­tion-hunger is so heart-wrench­ing that I don’t have the heart to just kick her out when she makes her way in through the win­dow. What am I to do, when she gives me that lit­tle face? What would you do?

speaking of mixed tapes…

As men­tioned in a pre­vi­ous post, I down­loaded the lat­est mixed tape by Mer­cedes-Benz and liked it ever so much. So, I decid­ed to see if I could find their old com­pi­la­tions (all eleven of them), and, lucky for me, found them all in one place (down­load­able as torrents).

But, if you’d like to take a look at these mix­es one song at a time, I also pub­lished them as rss feeds (also sub­scrib­able as a pod­cast). Each album feed includes all of the songs in the mix as sep­a­rate entries, along with the link to the mp3 file on my serv­er. I think my upload speed is a bit slow, but feel free to check these out.

mixed tape

mixed tape 12: Mercedes-Benz Music Compliation

Rat­ing: 5 out of 5

Genre: Nu Jazz, Hip-Hop, Elek­tron­i­ca, Latin, Nu Soul

Favorite songs

  • The Bright­ness of These Days
  • Lon­li­ness Cafe
  • The Sim­ple Recipe
Every ten weeks Mer­cedes-Benz releas­es a new mixed tape: a com­pi­la­tion of new tal­ent, avail­able free to down­load. I just down­loaded mixed tape 12: a lot of mel­low, a bit of funk, and a pinch of sexy. And…French rap: who does­n’t love that?

Tags: mp3, music, free music, nu jazz, nu soul, hip-hop, elektronika

The Bright­ness of These DaysLon­li­ness CafeThe Sim­ple Recipe5Every ten weeks Mer­cedes-Benz releas­es a new mixed tape: a com­pi­la­tion of new tal­ent, avail­able free to down­load. I just down­loaded mixed tape 12: a lot of mel­low, a bit of funk, and a pinch of sexy. And…French rap: who does­n’t love that?mp3, music, free music, nu jazz, nu soul, hip-hop, elektronika