Knowing is Half the Prattle.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Drawing of the Week (Pastel Portrait)

Another one
from the archives. I haven't been drawing much recently and I wanted to keep the posting going.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I have to get a job at DARPA

DARPA seeks innovative proposals to develop technology to create insect-cyborgs, possibly enabled by intimately integrating microsystems within insects, during their early stages of metamorphoses. LINK

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Old Internet Posts Never Die (They just get sent to the back of the search results)

Every once in a while I Google myself (I know you all you do too). Anyway, every so often something comes up that I had thought has long since been sent to the garbage collector. Here's one I just found. I don't even remember writing it but I'd probably write the exact same thing again and I know I've had this conversation with other people since. This was some newsgroup where people were talking about playing musical instruments left handedly rather than right handedly. I posted this in January 1995 so this post is 11 over years old and still floating around the internet.


Musical Instruments (Was Re: Lefties in a right-handed world)
27 From: Evan Rappaport - view profile
Date: Wed, Jan 4 1995 2:15 pm
Email: (Evan Rappaport)
Groups: alt.lefthanders
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Roger Crice ( wrote:

: In article ,
: Paul Watson wrote:
: >
: >Follow-up to the person who person who observed that
: >musical instruments are generally slanted toward
: >righties. There are a few instruments that lend
: >themselves to being at least somewhat ambidextrous
: >[stuff about guitars...]

Actually I think that this conversation is fairly ridiculous.
I don't believe that musical instruments should be altered to favor right or left handed musicians, and in fact I believe that most musical instruments don't favor either hand. It generally comes down to a matter of perception. For instance while I was learning to play the clarinet as a left handed child, my first instinct was to place my left hand over my right on the instrument. While most of the right handed students did the reverse. Obviously the left hand on top position is the correct position. Does this mean that right handed clarinet players are not as good as they might be simply because the instrument is not in an intuitively natural playing position for them? I think not. No hand position inherently gives and advantage to either hand. After all, playing and instrument is not an intuitively natural act in and of itself. Learning an instrument is a matter of practice, and practice involves the discipline of learning the proper hand position. When you learn to play an instrument your perception of handedness changes and you learn to develop whatever is necessary. There is no need for left and right handed instruments left and right handedness is not like a handicapping injury there is no need for special equipment. I have been playing guitar for about 9 years now, and yes I play it right handedly. This was actually a conscious decision. At first I played it for a few months by tuning the entire thing to a chord and laying it across my lap (like a Dobro) in left handed position.This was what I perceived as the most natural position. Then I decided to learn to play it properly. Trying to learn guitar from a book in left hand position (particularly since all the charts are for right handers), and even trying to find a left handed guitar were out of the question. This was more trouble than it was worth. So I decided to learn it right handedly. I had the same trouble that I would have had if I was learning it for the left hand. You still have to develop strength and dexterity that you normally would not develop. Actually if there was any difference it may have favored my left hand since in right handed guitar the left hand does most of the work. Don't change the tool because you don't know how to use it, learn how to use it right.

O.K. now I'll see a gigabyte of hate mail saying what about Jimi Hendrix or any of the other left handed musicians. Good musicians would still be good musicians regardless of which hand they learned to play their instrument. If Jimi Hendrix learned to play guitar right handedly he probably would have still made the same music. Music comes from your head not your hands.

Just my 10 cents worth.
For any of you who sat and read this entire post you probably have better things to do than listen to me spout off.

Evan Rappaport
(no I don't have one of those big
irritating tags attached to my name)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Drawing of the Week (Behind every videogame, there is a kernel of truth.)

started as a hand drawing study that eventually got "out of hand" (yuk yuk ugh). It begs the question.... What does the government really know about Pac Man?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Mountain Eeeewwww.

So I just tried the new "Diet Mountain Dew" a couple of days ago. They were giving out the stuff in Times Square and to prove that that it was just as EXTREME as regular Mountain Dew they had a little artificial snow mountain set up in the middle of the street. Snow boarders were having some sort of arbitrarily judged competition. On a scale of Moxie to Thai Iced Tea here's how it rates.

In other words, it rates about a Crystal Light. Not nauseating but not on my on my shopping list either.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Drawing of the Week (Ugly Mug)

Still nothing "post worthy" yet, so here's another old drawing. I think this guy is English and he just came out of a pub after a few pints. Looks to me like Elephant and Castle lost the rugby match against Cockfosters 10 to naught.

Things You Learn From Children's Books #3 (The Big Hungry Bear)

Synopsis: The book is actually called "The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear". The narrator of the book (who isn't mentioned by name) sees a little mouse picking a strawberry and procedes to scare the crap out of him by telling him that a big hungry bear is coming to eat it and there is no place where it can be kept safe. The subtext is that there really is no hungry bear but the mouse doesn't know that.


  • (the bear will find the strawberry) No matter where it is hidden or who is guarding it or how it is disguised.
Climax: The only way to save the strawberry is to cut it in half and share half with me (the narrator).

Lesson: Grifting works!

Things You Learn From Children's Books #2 (The Carrot Seed)

Synopsis:A little boy plants a carrot seed and everyone he knows tells him that nothing is going to grow.


  • His mother said, "I'm afraid it won't come up."
Climax: A carrot comes up just as the little boy had known it would.

Lesson: Never listen to anyone. Your gut feeling is always right. Even your parents don't know what they're talking about.

Things You Learn From Children's Books #1 (Guess How Much I Love You)

Synopsis:Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare compete to show who loves the other more by comparing their love to progressively larger and larger things.


  • Little nut brown hare: "I love you as high as I can hop"
  • Big Nutbrown Hare: "I love you as much as I can hop" (and Big Nutbrown Hare jumps higher.)
Climax: Little Nutbrown Hare says "I love you right up to the moon" and then falls asleep. Big Nutbrown Hare then whispers "I love you right up to the moon and back".

Lesson: You can never win against your parents.

cracked manhole cover

Sometimesthe most inconspicuous things provoke the most questions. It may be hard to see from this picture.

  1. What could have been on this manhole cover to not only crack it clean through, but also crack the sidewalk clean through and leave both with a 10 degree bend?
  2. Who was the guy who put that weight there?
  3. Did this guy say anything to anyone or just ignored the fact that he broke the street?
My guesses. Construction worker, crane, never said a word, never even thought twice about it.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Drawing of the Week (The Last Pawn Standing)

OK, so I drew this a couple of weeks ago, but the stuff I have done since hasn't been "post worthy" so this is it for now.

A man who likes people of color.

Once in a while I stumble across some odd thing on flickr. This guy takes diversity to the limit. BTW, it also like he has a really small penis. Coincidence? Genital Retraction Syndrome? You decide.