Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
May 14, 2018
Spikes are definitely hostile design elements…
Category: Linkage … Miscellany

I just learned about "hostile design" today (via BBC Trending), and I'm finding it really fascinating. On the one hand, you have design features that could be useful to some groups but harmful to others: for example, railing on benches can provide support for the elderly (or just make for relaxing armrests for anyone reclining upright) but prevent homeless people from sleeping on the benches. And then you have other features that seem designed only to prevent people from using the item in an "undesirable" fashion, like benches with awkwardly placed bars that clearly aren't intended to provide support or comfort to anyone and therefore definitely discourage horizontal repose. Hostiledesign.org has a number of photos of especially egregious examples of the latter; apparently NYC designers love putting spikes on surfaces to keep people from lying or even sitting on them. It's terrible, and yet I can't help being impressed by the diabolical ingenuity and audacity of some of these approaches. SPIKES. Victor von Doom approves.

-posted by Wes | 4:56 pm | Comments (0)
April 20, 2018
DC, It’s Been A While.
Category: Miscellany … Travels

Tonight I had a thing in DC -- and since driving to a metro station and riding the metro during rush hour aren't my favorite activities, I figured I'd head into DC several hours early and hang out for a bit. I think the last time I went into DC was before my ex broke things off and skipped town, so it felt a bit weird stepping off the metro and not seeing her leaning against a post in her sushi skirt or some stylish top hat or something. Also weird: the rows and rows of people all on their cell phones and all holding them basically the exact same way. I've seen that setup in movies and it's always struck me as artificial (though it makes for a nice visual), but holy shit people really do that.

Anyway, DC. I still enjoy the museums (today I mainly explored the African Art Museum; I don't recall ever having been there before; it was super neat and gave me things to ponder), but the bar scene... nope. Still seems to me like a bunch of kids all talking at the same time and trying to out-cool each other, which really means out-douche each other, and while that wasn't my scene even when I was 15 years younger it super-duper isn't my scene now. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 12:14 am | Comments (0)
April 5, 2018
Ratlantis!!! And stuff.
Category: Miscellany

So among the domains I own is Ratlantis (dot com)... which, unlike the others (Scary-Crayon and the site you're on right now), I've never really done anything with. I've never been inclined to give it up (it's too cool a name; it's almost as cool as Wesoteric), so I've always wanted to do something cool with it. Any suggestions?

At one point I'd envisioned a photo comic series (with underwater filters) about a few water-breathing rats and a talking human skull (which had once had flesh that the rats ate, because nothing endears a rat to a pal like consuming and digesting its face), but that just seemed kinda weird? Almost too weird. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 7:03 pm | Comments (0)
April 3, 2018
No. I do not think that.
Category: Miscellany

Quote from a woman at last night's writing group meeting, to which I did not respond because doing so in full would have completely derailed the discussion: "When I'm at the store, I always stop by the toy section. I hope y'all don't think I'm a pedophile."

But really? Is that a thing anyone would think? There's no reason to assume that an affinity for toys suggests a sexual attraction to children -- heck, most of the toy enthusiasts I know wouldn't want kids anywhere near their collections. That's not to say that a toy collector couldn't also be a pedophile (though, as far as I know, I don't know any collectors who are into kids). I'm just saying that Uncle Touchy's G.I. Joes would be off limits to guests in the naked puzzle basement.

-posted by Wes | 2:45 pm | Comments (0)
February 27, 2018
You shall look fairer…
Category: Miscellany

So I was at a bar the other night, and I considered sending a relatively attractive woman across the room a drink and/or risking what little social self-confidence I possess by approaching her and saying hello. But then I looked at her again and thought, "You shall look fairer ere I give or hazard." And I smiled smugly to myself and kept sipping my 50-cent beer.

(The significance of the quote? It's spoken by the Prince of Arragon in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice... and I'll be playing that haughty prince in an upcoming production of the play. More on that another time!)

-posted by Wes | 4:15 pm | Comments (0)
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