The Inception


Just like in the Inception, I have a totem. Every morning when I wake up, I reach under my pillow and grab my totem: a .45 Magnum handgun. I fire it 6 times into the ceiling. The above neighbors don’t like it and my wife prefers the alarm clock for waking, but if broken plaster falls in my face I know it’s real.

Nerd connectivity

Rands talking software engineering, but also describing a typical D&D session:

Have you ever sat in a meeting full of engineers? What’s the game? The game is “Who can say the funniest and/or snarkiest thing and get the biggest laugh?” and to play you need to kick the relevancy engine into high gear. You need to hear everything being said, parse it, compare it to everything you know, and then find the most relevant connection possible. In nanoseconds.

NFL & Helmets

Last weekend there was a spate of viscous helmet driven hits in the NFL, which has led to a huge debate on the safety of players, concussion, and punishment for the defenders making the hits.

What I’ve never really understood with the NFL is why they wear rock hard helmets in the first place. Other than for show - and there’s no denying it is an awesome sight to see the two sides lined up in full body armour - they are the cause of much of damage being talked about. Helmets protect players from other helmets. Take the helmet out of the equation, and isn’t the game instantly much safer?

The Wikipedia history of the helmet doesn’t really explain why it went from a leather cap to a hard weapon-like shell. The various Australian Rugby codes and the AFL are just as lethal in terms of body contact, but they protect the head very carefully by game law and hefty punishment for infringers. 

As one writer to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King asked:

“In the violent game of rugby, players are not allowed to hit an opponent above the shoulders during a tackle. The price for violating this rule: ejection and the violator’s team plays one man down. The NFL would be significantly less dangerous if it adopted this rule and consequence.”

Exactly. Strangely King seems to think it’s not a rule that would get implemented:

I doubt this will ever come to be, but it is really an interesting concept, particularly playing one man down the way it’s done in some other sports. I know how big a factor it is on the World Cup stage.

He likes the yellow/red card idea, but not the basic and more effective “No tackling above the shoulders.” Strange.


Keith Richards’s autobiography Life is released next week, and The Guardian has 20 essential facts pulled from the words of wisdom therein:

  1. An affair that, by the way, he is, like, totally over. The book contains one particularly magnanimous section in which he directly addresses his estranged band mate, explaining: “But, you know, while you were doing that, I was knocking Marianne (Faithfull), man. While you were missing it, I was kissing it.”

Scrobble your vinyl

I’m not just listening to All The Cool Music, I’m listening to it on vinyl:

Even better, because lists the source of each scrobble, friends who view your profile on the site will know that you listened to the song on vinyl - the music format most likely to enhance one’s online reputation as a Serious Music Person.