Efforts to understand, improve, or do less harm to the world around me.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016

They went down to the crossroads

In my struggle to understand the political events of the 2016 Republican convention (and everything else going on) I found this interpretation

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

White people responsible for all of civilization?

While a piece of what we understand as civilization as a whole certainly came from the Greeks, let's just say not everyone there looked like all the Irish guys from the movie 300.  I don't expect Steve King's understanding of history is much better than that.

It's amusing to think of the general lack of contributions by Europeans to the world at large during the 400 years often called the "Dark Ages", but even that is too dull a statement.  Instead, let's just note a few things civilization could have done without:
  • 100 Years War
  • Hitler
  • Destruction of the Library of Alexandria
  • European Imperialism
  • Fanta and Mentos

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Don't sign on the dotted line

I'm a big fan of this woman's work so it's important that I echo her words about talent and contracts in a new age of entertainment.

Friday, July 01, 2016

A different kind of horror movie

A few years ago I saw maybe the most disturbing horror movie that actually changed the way I watched movies.  "Funny Games" basically tried to turn the whole genre on it's head, focusing almost entirely on the plight of the victims rather than the violence of the evildoers.  I found it exceedingly difficult to watch and ultimately had to skip past large chunks of the movie.

I can't figure out how to directly link to it but a review that put it in perspective for me:
"... It is interesting to note that this film is not that bloody, with almost all of the violence occurring off-screen, the camera focusing on the witnesses reactions instead. Funnily enough, this annoyed a few reviewers on this site, which kind of proves the director's point. We are hungry for violence in our films, we want to see it all. (source)"

Recording phone calls with available tools.

So a friend of mine was at work a few months back and started running into some abusive crap with her boss.  As it was over the phone, I suggested recording it but didn't know how to make that happen quick and easy.  She wasn't super tech-savvy and didn't have much on hand so I put together something of a howto for that process.

Hopefully someone will get some use out of it.


The first thing to do is get something to attach the recording device to your phone. I recommend rubber bands but this is what I had on hand:

Essentially they are thin Velcro strips

Then just put your hands on anything that has a long, thin mic:
So essentially this:

And do your best to attach it to the phone. Wrap it around so that the tip of the recorder points at the headset:

Just get it right next to it. Your voice should be roughly the same volume as whomever you’re talking to.

It looks weird but you’re good to go. There’s a program built into every version of Windows that’ll let you record voice audio. Just type Sound into the start menu and it should pop up:

If you have problems, make sure you go through the sound tools inside Control Panel to make sure it’s not muted and is turned up as loud as possible.

[Ignore Speech Recognition.]

That should be all you need.

Even better is one of these things but you have to mess with either your phone or Bluetooth:
Still it’s crazy easy and way simpler to hold it: