Filament Friday 01/31/2014

His office chair slowly rocks back and forth as he folds his arms over his head and stares at the ceiling.  Frustrated, he blows his breath up and over his forehead, blowing the bangs that haven’t been found there for over a decade.

What to write, what to write…

Ideas swirl and burst into tiny drops of lost inspiration and myriad topics ram into each other as his brain tries to grab something relevant, like a claw machine trying to grab a competent Russian driver.

Ugh. That was just awful…

Suddenly a light comes on, reminding him of his father’s cruel attempts to wake him in the morning to prepare for school, flipping the switch up and down, commands to arise bellowing from his lungs. He remembers words of wisdom he saw once, written by brilliant clowns of literary mirth.

Nobody reads the intros anyway…


  • Here is the very first thing I wrote for last week’s Filaments:

    The Wizards just CAN’T get over the .500 mark, …

    The more things change…

  • Meanwhile, John Wall, for the first time, is an NBA All-Star. He’s also been invited to participate in the Slam Dunk Contest and Skills Contest, both of which I think he would be great in (not sure how creative Wall’s dunks can get – he seems like more of a power dunker to me – but he can definitely get up high enough).
  • The Superbowl is, of course, this weekend. I’m going to root for a good game and try not to eat too much, but if you’d asked me a few years ago I would definitely have rooted against Peyton Manning. Now, I’m not sure sure. As much time and energy as I’ve invested in not liking him, the guy is really funny.
  • Really funny.
  • Really, really funny.
  • His little brother is, too.
  • Canal Street Chronicles recaps the playoff performance of the Saints’ rookie class.
  • Other than that, not much is going on for the black and gold until the offseason officially starts. I’ll let WhoDatDish supply the pertinent links to what news there is.
  • This weeks Zen Pencil is excellent, with a quote from the Dalai Lama supplying the meaning, if not the inspiration, for this installment.
  • For the Cubs this time of year is all about prospects and all the outlets seem to agree that the boys in blue pinstripes have some good ones. Keith Law over at ESPN.com is excellent, but for subscribers only, so here are some reactions to his rankings that came out this week.
  • World Series Dreaming tries to parse all of the pixels.
  • I’m linking to this preview of the 2014 Minor League Prospectus coming out in February to highlight the name Sahadev Sharma, who, along with John Arguello over at Cubs Den, are at the top of my list for smart, reasonable Cubs commentary.
  • Speaking of Cubs Den, their offseason positional previews continue with the catchers.
  • I can’t believe I’ve never linked to OpenCulture.com, but if you’re looking to expand your horizons or just cram stuff into your gray matter this is a site you should bookmark (Is that still a thing? Do people still bookmark things?). Just to give you a taste here are the next two things I’m diving into: Richard Feynman’s Caltech lectures on Physics and Walter Kaufmann’s Classic Lectures on Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Sartre. I make no claim that I will be able to comprehend any of of it, but I’ll sure as hell try.
  • Someone crowdsourced a shot-for-shot remake of Star Wars and it is amazing. It’s probably rated PG.
  • One of the reasons I started Filament Friday’s is because I spend a lot of time online (“curse of the profession” is my go-to excuse) and I come across a lot of stuff that I either want to share or save for later. Sometimes, I luck across things that bring me real joy, like one of my new favorite artists, Alex Ries, AKA Abiogenisis. I found him while reading this article on alien intelligence and I, like several of the commenters, was kind of struck by the illustration at the top. After finding links to Mr. Ries’ work in that comments section I was hooked. This is the kind of stuff I dreamed of doing in high school – everything from scientific illustration to incredibly rendered vintage war equipment to the most fantastically conceived exobiology. Oh, the exobiology! I am mesmerized by the Birrin, a race of intelligent hexapods that are so well thought out and such a refreshing, smart take on an extraterrestrial culture. I want books, movies, wikis, documentaries, mockumentaries and a space boat ticket to the world of Chri-Irah. More, please.

    Baby Birrin by Abiogenisis on deviantART
  • As long as we’re hanging out near the astronomy sectino of io9.com, here is some speculation on what alien civilizations might look like and a cool piece of history concerning the meeting of two rather large brains.
  • Roger Ebert was one of my favorites, starting from when I was a little kid scanning the TV Guide for the next scheduled showing of At the Movies. And when the man hated a movie, it made for some of his best writing.
  • Some guys in England made a real-life, street legal Little Tikes car and it’s totally badical. Though the safety testing looks a little sketchy…
  • I don’t know about you, but I am going to grow 100lbs of potatoes this summer.
  • Hyperbole is, literally, the most amazing, horrible thing ever, now you can kill it screaming with fire.
  • AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…
  • I like healthy, intelligent women, and I cannot lie.
  • A Jeopardy player used some very interesting tactics this week.
  • I’m using the Song of the Week to honor the great one that we lost this week. R.I.P. Pete Seeger.
Dylan Steele

About Dylan Steele

A Louisiana native, Dylan Steele now lives in Halethorpe, Maryland. A web developer by day, he is also an occasional musician, frequent dog walker and sometimes hoopster. And now he blogs, too.
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