Russell's Blog

New. Improved. Stays crunchy in milk.

An un-shout-out

Posted by Russell on February 23, 2009 at 11:45 a.m.
As a Jew (or as some people might insist, someone of Jewish ancestry) and as an American, I'd like go on record and say that Avigdor Lieberman is a fucking piece of shit. So is his party, so his his loyalty oath, and so is everything he stands for. And I'd like to extend a big fat "Fuck You" to everyone who voted for him, and to everyone who signs his loyalty oath, and to every fellow traveler throughout history.

If you don't know who he is, imagine crossbreeding Ann Coulter, George Wallace, Sarah Palin and Joseph McCarthy, and then Bar Mitzvah the result.

First ceramics!

Posted by Russell on February 13, 2009 at 7:27 p.m.
I just got my first pieces back from glaze firing today! They turned out much better than I expected, though, honestly, I wasn't expecting much.

This is a smallish cereal bowl (about eight inches in diameter). It is, thus far, the most symmetrical piece I've made, and I'm really happy with it.

This was the first piece I threw. I haven't thrown clay since I was about eight years old, so this is the first in about twenty years! I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's actually reasonably usable and not altogether hideous.

That country in the middle

Posted by Russell on February 07, 2009 at 9:38 p.m.
After convincing Kyrgyzstan to evict us from our air base at Manas, Russia is evidently offering us transit rights to resupply our troops in Afghanistan. As I was looking at the map in the Sacramento Bee, I was reminded of what a logistical nightmare our operations in Afghanistan are. There is a reason the region has such a violet history; it has the most unfavorable political and geographical cartography on the planet.

And guess who is smack in the middle of it?

I made the map above as a friendly and non-scientific reminder about why diplomacy with Iran is so important to American interests. The outcome might not be a friendly Iran, but it would be really great if we could, you know, fly over it without getting shot at.

Kodo on tour!

Posted by Russell on February 06, 2009 at 7:40 p.m.
I went to see Kodo at the Mondavi center this Wednesday. I've been listening to Kodo since Mondo Head came out in 2001, and they just keep getting more awesome. I especially enjoyed Yoshie Sunahata's solo, which I'd not heard before.

I cannot stress this enough: Go see this show if you can.

In which I confess that I am amused by odd things

Posted by Russell on February 01, 2009 at 3:50 a.m.
I was reading Planet Gnome, and followed Pascal Terjan's post to the PyPy project, and decided to play around with it. I've been studying for midterms all day, and this looked like a mildly educational way of goofing off for half an hour.

After the initial amusement running some of my python code in a python interpreter written in python and running in another python interpreter, it occured to me that there is absolutely no way I could articulate why I think this is cool to someone who didn't already think it was cool.

Yet it is, nevertheless, kind of awesome.