On anxiety

I’m sitting on the porch at home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Our six black cats laze around in the yard. Birds are chirping, the sky is turquoise, and I can see the sapphire ocean through my neighbor’s palm trees.

The cats seem skinny. One is eating a lizard it caught. We really should feed them more than table scraps. I’ll pick up a giant bag of Meow Mix at Costco and then everything will be OK. Will the cats run off to join our neighbors if they’re not fed enough? What happens when they eat all the lizards?

I stand up. I’ve suddenly realized my ultimate destiny. I’m going to overthink and whittle away every idea and experience I ever have. I am a Nimitz-class nuclear battleship and anxiety is my uranium core.

If I’m going to chew the inside of my cheeks for eternity like some Promethean snack, why not think about something bigger than 6 black cats. Like I don’t know, work on climate change or run for president or something?

This was about a year ago, and I look back on the experience with a feeling of relief, purpose, and perspective. Are you lucky enough to have 6 black cats in your life?

(wonderful photo of one of the cats thanks to Shova Ale Magar)

It’s just green paint

Tito Klondor here, alien visitor from Planet Targus 9 with a report on city infrastructure in San Francisco. My interests are in roads, telephone poles, and skyscrapers.

My job is looking over the fence at a construction site and asking what keeps a new skyscraper from falling over? Where is the cable that brings Internet into this building? How do all the yellow lines in the road get made?

I often wonder if the humans are aware how simple their infrastructure really is.

For the past week, a construction crew has been building a new bike lane on 7th Street. Now on Targus 9 of course, if you asked me how a Targan bike lane gets made I could show you the fancy machine that comes in and paints a really wide lane, and spits out symbols and plastic barriers as it rolls.

On Earth it turns out it’s just a guy with a bucket of green paint and a roller…and green-ed shoes.

And the “biker” symbol? It’s made with a giant 8 foot long metal stencil they drag out and spray paint.

(I neglected to take a photo of the stencil, but you can see the chalk line at the bottom where they position the stencil, and a spot to the lower right where they over sprayed.)

Over and out.

Your Marketing is Shit

Check out this awesome sign.

You’ve seen those signs that say “Don’t let your dog shit in my yard”? People have little manicured lawns, and for some reason they do not want dog cookies around. Every sign I’ve seen is ineffective or even insulting. Here are a few of the worse offenders — and surprisingly a great one I saw! I’ve always got my eye out for good marketing… Read the rest of this entry

Quora Challenge

Over the next 30 days I’ll answer an answer on Quora every day. My friend Matt Inouye did it and so can I!

Posted January 24th

Day 1: How many base pairs of DNA can I synthesize for 1 dollar?
Day 2: What is DNA Synthesis?
Day 3: 
What is it like to join an iGEM Team?

Day 4: How do you create a maker/hacker space?

Day 5: What are some best practices developing for hackerspaces
Day 6: What is the best approach for building a home DIYbio lab for a newbie?
Day 7: How do pianos, synthesizers, controllers, and electric keyboards compare?
Day 8: Dale Chihuly: Does Dale Chihuly teach classes or workshops? (Jan 31)
Day 9: Guitars: What’s a good starter guitar for a beginner? (Feb 1)
Day 10: BASIS (device): How does BASIS detect heart rate without a chest strap?
Day 11: BASIS (device): What are odds that BASIS (mybasis.com) is a vaporware? Why it can be one and why not?
Day 12: What are tips for improving my ability to sightread music on the piano?

Day 13: Acoustic Guitar: How do I play music which I can hear in my head on the guitar?

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