Alice in Wonderland turns 142

I have little SMS alerts sent to my cellphone every day with famous events that happened on that day in history. Today I got one that included “Lewis Carroll published ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland'” (1865). Carroll is one of my favorite authors and I love this story, so I thought I’d hop over to Wikipedia and see what the entry for Alice in Winderland was like. Well I noticed righ away that the publish date they have is listed as June 4th, 1885, not November 26th as my SMS message was telling me.

Well I did a quick little Google search and found this page, which had this information:

It was on this day in 1862 that mathematician Charles Lutdwidge Dodgson sent a handwritten manuscript called Alice’s Adventures Under Ground as a present to Alice Liddell, the ten-year-old daughter of a colleague. Dodgson had improvised the story about a girl who falls down a rabbit hole during a boating trip on the Thames with her family. In 1865, Dodgson published the story at his own expense, titling it Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and using the pen name Lewis Carroll.

So there you have it. Why am I posting all of this? No reason really, other than it made me think of one of his other famous poems, The Walrus and the Carpenter.

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright–
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done–
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
“To come and spoil the fun!”

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead–
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
“If this were only cleared away,”
They said, “it would be grand!”

“If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

“O Oysters, come and walk with us!”
The Walrus did beseech.
“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.”

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head–
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat–
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn’t any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more–
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

“But wait a bit,” the Oysters cried,
“Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!”
“No hurry!” said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed–
Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.”

“But not on us!” the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
“After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!”
“The night is fine,” the Walrus said.
“Do you admire the view?

“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf–
I’ve had to ask you twice!”

“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“The butter’s spread too thick!”

“I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.

I love this poem, and I don’t even like poetry. And Happy Birthday to Alice.

Stuffed. (and Gameboy DS)

My boss (Matthew) was super cool and invited me out to his wife’s aunt’s place for Thanksgiving since I have no family within easy traveling distance. It was awesome, Turkey, Salmon, all kinds of awesome desserts (I even scored some Tiramisu leftovers which will be gone before the sun rises I think).

He also happened to be wandering through a Best Buy the other day right after the new GameboyNintendo DS things were released. And they had some in stock. So of course he had to buy one. I was playing some Metroid and some Mario 64 on the train (slightly different, but the same levels from the N64 version) and I have to say it is a pretty awesome thing. I think I may have to buy one. I haven’t bought a portable game device since the original Gameboy came out, and I’m not really a huge video game player these days.

The most exciting part I think is the wireless multiplayer things. I Imagine we’ll start seeing people riding around on subway cars playing quick multiplayer games during their daily commute (Matthew thinks the subways will be the new gaming hubs, and we’ll see kids riding and riding all day just playing video games).

I do have a couple small requests though:

  1. Give me the ability to invert the controls for metroid and other 3rd person shooters. I’m used to pushing my mouse forward to look down, and if I can’t have the same controls on the DS, I probably won’t play the game.
  2. Someone needs to develop little thumb covers for using your thumb on the touch screen. The included strap with the plastic bump gets loose too fast and isn’t very comfortable. A little glove finger with a plastic bump on it would be perfect (although it would look really stupid, but you have to make sacrifices sometimes in the name of good video games).

Edison Woods at Joe’s pub

On November 30th, Edison Woods will be playing at Joe’s Pub. I recently stumbled across this band while reading through The Morning News and have been listening to The Sevien Principles of Leave No Trace over and over for weeks. So you can bet I’ll be checking out this show.

Looks like you can buy tickets here (search for ‘edison woods’ since their website is retarded and doesn’t seem to allow direct links), and they also have a little description of the band, which I’ll steal and post:

Edison Woods is a band of villains with a soft spot for love songs. To see them feels a bit like stumbling upon a strange lost film. Telling their tales with strings and piano, baritone sax and guitars, this eight piece group includes the vocals of Julia Frodahl and members of Antony & The Johnsons. “Edison Woods brings a unique mix of earthy lo-fi songs and cinematic landscapes…One can hear the lushness of Goldfrapp, the textural subtleties of The Dirty Three, the eerie qualities of Julee Cruise, and in Julia’s voice the humble ponderings of Cat Power’s Chan Marshall.” – CD Baby

Now I just have to find someone to go with me…

24 in 48

I’m participating in a little group moblogging project for the next two days thought up by Lia Bulaong. Otherwise known as ‘find stuff to take pictures of a couple times an hour.’ It’s harder than it sounds. After most of a day at work, I’m finding myself running out of interesting things to take pictures of (how many times can you take pictures of your office/co-workers in a day?)

But still it’s a cool idea and I’m having fun finding distractions between my huge piles of work this week[end].

this is a group moblog event, sharing the lives of 24 people over 48 hours in new york city.

UPDATE: Here’s my pics so far.

UPDATE: It all finished up last night at midnight, so now it’s fun to go and compare pics of what people were doing. Take for instance each person’s first picture of themselves(?) on Friday morning: Ranjit, Karen, Lia, Dennis, Miranda, Kiri, Ann, Witold, Clay. I’ve never met any of these people, so it was kind of odd watching their lives. I guess it was like reality TV but one frame at a time. And with little or no narration or dialog (other than the pictures themselves, of course).

XM Radio Online update

In developing the XM Radio Online player, we came across a pretty big issue that made it impossible to use the windows media player in Firefox and Safari. Well, we are also developing the same player for Windows Media Center edition and came across the same problem.

So after finally finding a workaround, we realized very quickly that it was also a fix for the Firefox/Safari issues we were having.

So, starting today, you can listen to XM Radio Online using Firefox or Safari on your mac. Go sign up for the free 3 day trial and check it out.