Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   like gathering roadkill
Tuesday, August 15 2006
Using the BitTorrent search engine at, I managed to get MP3 archives of nearly all the episodes of This American Life, my favorite non-news (timeless) talk show. I used the BitTornado client, which seems to work better and more reliably than the original BitTorrent client, at least given my computer interface style. I've known about BitTorrent for a long time, but I'd never gotten it to work before, perhaps because of my impatience. Back in the days of Napster, file downloads always seemed to begin the moment you selected a file from the search results. This was also true of KaZaA. By the time I started using Gnutella clients, I noticed the decentralized network took awhile to initiate downloads, and so I got in the habit of assigning downloads and then forgetting about them for a couple days. Otherwise these were watched pots that would never boil. BitTorrent is a lot slower than even the Gnutella network, but slow and steady does work eventually. It only took me about a week to download eight separate This American Life torrents, which added up to 1.9 gigabytes of data. Now I can queue up a bunch of episodes and have them run one after the other for hours as I work on my garage project. It's wonderful. Today I was mostly dealing with odd bits and pieces of the project, such as correcting the half-assed construction in the southwest corner of the garage, and This American Life was the non-stop soundtrack. I'd thought I'd heard all of the episodes in streaming form, but there was plenty of treasure here that I'd never heard before. And this was just from the year 1998.

In other news, our friend Dina in Isræl (who occasionally writes for the New York Times) had been fretting about her husband Gilad, who had been sent to the northern front during the recent war in Lebanon. Diplomacy brought that war to an abrupt pause on Monday and Gilad came back home. He was tired, sweaty, dirty, and carrying an enormous machine gun when he arrived. Hearing Gretchen tell me about it secondhand made it all seem like some terrible nightmare that it was possible to awaken from. It's hard to picture Gilad as a soldier at all, let alone a weary one returning from the front.

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