Paul Atlan

Shiny Sf-day: 📺 “The Expanse” season 3 just dropped, “Lost in space” drops tonight on Netflix, and 📚 Cat Valente’s “Space Opera” is in my Kindle. So many options.

Explaining the Peter principle to a friend, I realize there’s a generalization of Thayer’s law at work (it’s the fact that animals tend to be shaded differently from above and below to optimize camouflage): managers look very different to their managees than to their managers

Flashback to early 70’s animation: [Linea](

Ready Player One 👍 - It’s far from perfect: the online vs offline moral exploration boils down to “you can’t make out with your girlfriend if you don’t go offline”. But the original story was good and Spielberg knows how to put up a show.

This guy showed up on my building’s wall yesterday.

I feel most of my middle school students have an extremely passive attitude towards learning. I see very few with a spark of « let’s try different things » in front of a new problem.

Yes: Molly Ringwald’s brilliant essay about John Hughes is a superb exploration of what it means to love “problematic” art / Boing Boing

Nothing says welcome back to your social networking life like this early Saturday morning screen. I’ll make myself a triple espresso, then, shall I?

Cathédrale Saint Etienne - Bourges

The St Etienne cathedral in Bourges, at the cusp of Romanesque and Gothic styles: they already used flying buttresses, but still had very thick walls.

This week has been very roller-coastery; thanks to the people who’ve reached out with a kind word. Things are looking up, so✊!

Dusting off my photo blog involved a long trip down memory lane (I had to manually move most of the pictures to WP - silos, people, silos) which was actually quite therapeutic. But now I need to process.

Feeling very blue and having to contend with the mediocre unthinking assholery of petty bosses who’ve reached their Peters limit, while being reminded that none of my plans from the past two years have panned out. Only saving grace is the love of my family.

This is one of the most intricate ceiling I’ve seen. It’s the intersection of two “curly bracket” rafters (1450 or so).

Palais Jacques Cœur - Bourges


In the early 1400s, Jacques Cœur became the principal money lender to the king of France. He built this magnificent palace in his hometown, but, because he fell in love with the king’s mistress, had to flee before it was finished, ended up leading a crusade and dying on the island of Chios.
The palace is an exquisite piece at the exact junction of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The small human sculptures representing daily life that can be found in every corner of the place are amazing.


Palais Jacques Cœur.

Opening MB is a bit like dropping by your favorite hangout and renewing your connection to humanity for a while. I’ve said this before, but it’s the Callahan’s Crosstime saloon usenet group all over again. (// @donmacdonald and this)

My son turning a teenager yesterday was cause for celebration, but also some somber reflection that was hard to hide from him. How to be a father when society thinks at 48 I’m too old to get a decent job?

My son becomes a teenager tomorrow. Mixed feelings about that, even though I love the person he’s turning into.

Living in a different timezone from the majority of micro blog users is nice. I can catch up with the night owls in the morning over coffee and with the daily bloggers when I get back from work. I feel like an 18th century philosophe setting down to his correspondence.

Learning To See - Daido Moriyama Edition

A big part of “learning photography” is looking at pictures. But for people like Moriyama who’s style is instantly recognizable, I always wonder if they’ll see past the gimmick. Truth to tell, I go back and forth on him myself: is he a gimmicky hack or a genuine artist? Blown highlights and black shadows are great at masking bad pictures …

One of the reasons Charles Stross is a favorite writer of mine is the way he sees the nightmare behind current trends. This is a perfect example.