Isqua Istari

The Wise Wizards

Manic Laughter

Posted in Articles,Podcasts by Ziggy Thursday May 29, 2014 at 21:20

So, what’s the deal with maniac laughter? My theory is that the body is exhausted before the intellect. This is in contrast to “normal” laughter, where the mind bores of the idea before the body runs out of energy.

Nothing to Say. The Man : The Podcast

Posted in Articles,Music,Podcasts,PSCast:S0 by Ziggy Thursday May 29, 2014 at 18:45

I have Nothing to Say. And boy do I say it.

Transcript below:

Well, last time I did a really long rant about cars and driving, and how we should all drive differently and how people should die on the roads! If you haven’t listened to it… I mean, and you’ve got a bunch of time, aah, go ahead and listen to it. I’ll try to keep it a little shorter today!

Today I have run out of things to talk about so this is the last… This is going to be the last podcast! It’s, uh, it’s all over! It’s been a good run, but, ahh, now it’s done! (more…)

Driving Improvements, Nagoya Podcast

Posted in Articles,Music,Podcasts,PSCast:S0 by Ziggy Wednesday May 28, 2014 at 06:32

So, this is a topic that’s been on my mind for a while. Like, probably since I was about five years old. The way our roads are regulated is silly and wasteful. Fortunately, you’ve got me to point out how we can improve things… In a rambling sort of way. Download here: Driving Improvements or listen below.

In case there’s no time, let me sum up:

  1. Improve how we think about transport. Less focus on safety, more focus on efficiency.
  2. Improve traffic lights. Give them more sensors, allow them to telegraph their internal state (about to change green, as well as about to change red), and improve the incentives for keeping the programming updated.
  3. Improve traffic laws to penalize causing delays instead of penalizing “unsafe” behavior such as speeding. Stop pulling people over for superficial infractions (as this only causes delays). Train people to drive in packs.
  4. Improve driver skill by giving special privileges and status to drivers who exhibit fast and efficient driving (instead of penalizing them, as is the current practice), and encourage others to follow their example.

Full transcript below: (more…)

Floods and English, Nagoya Podcast

Posted in Articles,Music,Podcasts by Ziggy Monday May 26, 2014 at 20:21

More Nagoya Podcast goodness for you all!


Transcript below:

[Marginally Musical Intro]

Also there’s a lot of, I don’t know if this is a result of the area I’m in right now, but Nagoya is on a flood plain, or a river delta of some kind… it’s pretty flat, is what I’m saying. And the Infrastructure around here has a lot of… well I guess it’s not “infra” if you can see it but… There’s a lot of flood channels, these very large, kind of like the Los Angeles, what is it called? The aqueduct? Or whatever they call it. The sides are 45 degree angles and they’ve got a flat bottom… Carry water! So, there’s all these channels, but they’ve got a lot of growth in them! Like trees! And Bushes! And grasses, of all kinds! (more…)

Podcast from Nagoya

Posted in Articles,Music,Podcasts,PSCast:S0 by Ziggy Monday May 26, 2014 at 07:23

Get the podcast here:

Transcript below:

[Marginally Musical Intro]

Hey there folks, it’s the Paul Spooner Podcast, from the car. That’s right! I’m driving right now, back from work, in Nagoya Japan.

There’s a truck merging in front of me; You know the trucks here are very interesting. So in Japan trucks are cute! And by “cute” I mean “small and round.” The cars are smaller, generally, than American cars, and I think probably this has to do with the fact that (more…)

Personal Computer Programming History

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Tuesday May 13, 2014 at 22:36

My Dad introduced me to programming when I was pretty small, maybe seven or eight? He’s not much of a teacher (Sorry Dad, but it’s true!) so “introduced” involved tossing me a Delphi starter box and letting me use his work computer after hours. I didn’t get very far, but managed to make my first few horrible blunders, such as copy-paste and edit instead of using function calls and loops. My best friend was re-writing the example games in BASIC, and another was making interactive Mandlebrot Set explorers, so my skills felt pretty weak-sauce by comparison. I’ve never been very competitive, preferring to excel in areas others aren’t pursuing. My attention turned from programming to 3D graphics, and it would be years until I picked it up again. (more…)

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