Monthly Archives: June 2007

the two-stupid-question IQ test

a study released a few days ago shows that eldest children have the highest IQs in families, statistically speaking. i’m not interested in writing about that article or the study or IQ as a function of birth order. no, what i want to write about today is an NPR rebuttal to that story in which a reporter went around, found some eldest children, and did an impromptu IQ test.

this was a very tongue-in-cheek interview, but it still bugged me what the reporter did (or rather, how he did it). he asked two questions whose goal was supposedly to determine how smart someone was. the questions?

  1. what is the square root of π?
  2. what are the six types of quarks?

bueller? anyone?

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woken furies

Woken Furies

the third novel in Richard K. Morgan’s takeshi kovacs trilogy did not disappoint. kovacs (aka micky serendipity in this installment) is back in true form: ruthless, disaffected, unhappy, and yet strangely sympathetic.
spoilers to follow….i mean it.

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our one-year anniversary

Elaine and Ryan get married

one year ago today, elaine and i got married. i’d marry her again, and a hundred times more. it’s hard to believe it’s been a year. i suspect, when we’re old and gray, we’ll look back and say something similar. i look forward to that day and all the days in between.

Elaine and her guns

how could you not with guns and a spirit like hers?

ryan and his dad

Richard McCormack and Ryan McCormack ca. 1975

the photo above was taken around the end of 1974 when i was just about 8 years old. my dad had asked a friend of his to take some photos of us, and then to render them as mixed media artwork (which he did, with pencil and washes of vibrant orange and yellow that only the 70s could have produced). one of those pictures still hangs on my dad’s wall today, along with some of the crude pen and ink drawings i did as a child.

Richard McCormack and Ryan McCormack - June 17, 2006

thirty-odd years pass, and then the photo above is taken, one year ago today, on my wedding day – father and son, standing together on a day of immeasurable happiness after four decades riding the rolloercoaster of life. i would never have survived that ride, and enjoyed it the way i have, were it not for him.

thank you, Dad, for 40 years of standing by my side.

walk the line

Walk the Line
i didn’t know much about Johnny Cash before seeing Walk the Line. i was familiar with some of his more famous songs (e.g., Ring of Fire), and had heard a great interview Cash did with terry gross on fresh air a few years before he died. oh yeah, and that he covered a nine inch nails song on his last album. that was about all i knew. pretty sad, given his status and importance as a country singer and music icon of the 20th century. i wanted to see the film to fill in the gaps, and it did a great job.

in a nutshell, i’d say the man in black walked a line, and spent a fair amount of time on the wrong side of it, consumed by addiction and self-destructive behavior. it makes for an interesting story, given the historical import and the impact the characters had on music, and the film told it well. joaquin phoenix and reese witherspoon both turned in fantastic performances, and created a believable depiction of a complex drama between two talented performers. the story wasn’t totally unexpected, and the film didn’t break any moviemaking ground, but it was very entertaining and completely evoked the time period in which it was set. definitely recommended if you have any interest in the man or his music.

marc andreesen’s top 10 science fiction novelists of the 00s

marc andreesen of Netscape fame has started a blog. while you might expect it to contain thoughts about the internet and tech industry (which it does), it’s also a bit more personal. a recent entry lists his top 10 science fiction novelists of the 00s. i thought a few of my readers might be interested in his list; i certainly was, since it seems he and i share similar taste in sci fi.

year zero

Year Zero

Nine Inch Nails (aka Trent Reznor) have released their latest album: Year Zero.

the nutshell review? there isn’t one. it’s a distressing, thought-inspiring, sprawling, frustrating, visionary effort put forth by one of the great innovators in electronic music. it’s an attempt to merge art and political statement using digital tools and trickery. it’s an alternate reality game. it’s a brilliant "concept album," but it’s not an album in the LP-sense of the word – it’s an aggregate of ideas and media and information whose combination reveals an unsettling and dystopian vision for modern society, all wrapped in an aurally compelling package.

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blog upgrade

ladies and gentlemen, your captain has turned on the fasten seat belt sign. the software for this blog has just been updated, and we’re expecting some turbulence. please let the captain know if you hit any particularly rough pockets of air. we thank you for your patience and for occasionally flying with docrpm.