Saturday, December 10, 2005

"I was raped by a doctor, which is a bittersweet experience for a Jewish girl"

Irony Maiden - How Sarah Silverman is raping American comedy. By Sam Anderson:
"She handles the complex algorithms of taboo—who's allowed to joke about what, to whom, using what terminology—with instant precision: 'Everybody blames the Jews for killing Christ, and then the Jews try to pass it off on the Romans. I'm one of the few people that believe it was the blacks.' (The joke exposes not the ancient perfidy of any particular race but the absurdity of blaming entire races for anything.) Her best jokes are thought experiments in the internal logic of political correctness: 'I want to get an abortion, but my boyfriend and I are having trouble conceiving.' A Playboy interviewer, probing for something salacious, once asked Silverman if she had a nickname for her vagina. She answered 'Faggot'—a throwaway joke that manages to kink sexual identity into such an ingenious pretzel it could fuel a doctoral dissertation.

...Through her stand-up, however, Silverman has become an important member of a guerrilla vanguard in the culture wars that we might call the "meta-bigots"—other members include the South Park kids, Sacha Baron Cohen's "Ali G", and the now-AWOL Dave Chappelle. The meta-bigots work at social problems indirectly; instead of discussing race, rape, abortion, incest, or mass starvation, they parody our discussions of them. They manipulate stereotypes about stereotypes. It's a dangerous game: If you're humorless, distracted, or even just inordinately history-conscious, meta-bigotry can look suspiciously like actual bigotry.

...Silverman has a gift for inspiring absurdly instructive public controversy. Her most notorious fiasco occurred in 2001, when she told a joke on Late Night With Conan O'Brien that unapologetically hinged on the word "chink." This summer, she got into trouble in a venue that was supposed to be trouble-proof: The Aristocrats, a documentary that challenged 100 comedians to offend its audience as ingeniously as possible. While most of the comics went straight for the "piss-shit-suck-fuck" paradigm, which very quickly became about as offensive as a newborn koala, Silverman turned the old-school joke against an iconic old-schooler. She implied, via an emotionally supercharged soliloquy full of loaded pauses, that she had been sexually abused by the 79-year-old show-business institution Joe Franklin. At the end, she looked straight into the camera and said, dead seriously, "Joe Franklin raped me"—an anti-punch line that completely paralyzed the theater I was at. Instead of laughing, we were all stuck trying to decide whether this was some new species of joke or just plain old slander. When Franklin threatened to sue soon after the movie was released ("I didn't like the nature of that wisecrack"), it made the joke strangely better. Silverman was the only comic in the film who met the challenge of the joke: She pushed it too far."

Goddamn Funny Mutherfucker Dies


Comedian Richard Pryor dies at 65 - Yahoo! News:
"He eventually grew unhappy with the 'white bread' humor those shows sought and revamped his act with inspiration from the hustlers, pimps and other characters he had encountered at his grandmother's brothel. The result was a routine he later called 'profane and profound.'

'People can't always handle it, but I knew that if you tell the truth it's going to be funny,' Pryor said in his memoir."

Racist Word Association Interview [SNL]

Interviewer.....Chevy Chase
Mr. Wilson.....Richard Pryor

Interviewer: Alright, Mr. Wilson, you've done just fine on the Rorshact.. your papers are in good order.. your file's fine.. no difficulties with your motor skills.. And I think you're probably ready for this job. We've got one more psychological test we always do here. It's just a Word Association. I'll throw you out a few words - anything that comes to your mind, just throw back at me, okay? It's kind of an arbitrary thing. Like, if I say "dog", you'd say..?

Mr. Wilson: "Tree".

Interviewer: "Tree". [ nods head, prepares the test papers ] "Dog".

Mr. Wilson: "Tree".

Interviewer: "Fast".

Mr. Wilson: "Slow".

Interviewer: "Rain".

Mr. Wilson: "Snow".

Interviewer: "White".

Mr. Wilson: "Black".

Interviewer: "Bean".

Mr. Wilson: "Pod".

Interviewer: [ casually ] "Negro".

Mr. Wilson: "Whitey".

Interviewer: "Tarbaby".

Mr. Wilson: [ silent, sure he didn't hear what he thinks he heard ] What'd you say?

Interviewer: [ repeating ] "Tarbaby".

Mr. Wilson: "Ofay".

Interviewer: "Colored".

Mr. Wilson: "Redneck".

Interviewer: "Junglebunny".

Mr. Wilson: [ starting to get angry ] "Peckerwood!"

Interviewer: "Burrhead".

Mr. Wilson: [ defensive ] "Cracker!"

Interviewer: [ aggressive ] "Spearchucker".

Mr. Wilson: "White trash!"

Interviewer: "Jungle Bunny!"

Mr. Wilson: [ upset ] "Honky!"

Interviewer: "Spade!

Mr. Wilson: [ really upset ] "Honky Honky!"

Interviewer: [ relentless ] "Nigger!"

Mr. Wilson: [ immediate ] "Dead honky!" [ face starts to flinch ]

Interviewer: [ quickly wraps the interview up ] Okay, Mr. Wilson, I think you're qualified for this job. How about a starting salary of $5,000?

Mr. Wilson: Your momma!

Interviewer: [ fumbling ] Uh.. $7,500 a year?

Mr. Wilson: Your grandmomma!

Interviewer: [ desperate ] $15,000, Mr. Wilson. You'll be the highest paid janitor in America. Just, don't.. don't hurt me, please..

Mr. Wilson: Okay.

Interviewer: [ relieved ] Okay.

Mr. Wilson: You want me to start now?

Interviewer: Oh, no, no.. that's alright. I'll clean all this up. Take a couple of weeks off, you look tired.

Friday, December 09, 2005

UNC and the NIH; Animal abuse > Features > UNC-Chapel Hill - PETA Goes Back To School:
"The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released its formal report, which details serious violations of federal law that were documented in the animal laboratories of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) during an 11-month PETA undercover investigation in 2003."

Role playing, personas, fiction-suits, etc... "'You' are a plurality"

Alchemical Braindamage:
"I'm going to ask you to think about roles for a second. I'm sure you've probably recognized, or had it pointed to you, that while you think of yourself as a coherent entity, you in fact play a number of different roles, in a number of different contexts, and they may be radically different. Even contradictory.

You probably know this already, but you probably don't think about it very much. Part of the reason is we tend to have one or two core roles that we think of as us, and the rest are deliberate 'acting', to fit into a certain situation.

What I mean is, when you're with your parents, that probably is still 'you', just a you that maybe you don't identify with very much anymore, but you slip into when you're with your folks because you have so much practice with that role. It's no more or less 'real' than the persona you assume with your significant other, or your best friends. They may all be very different, but you recognize them all as authentic or true reflections of you as a person, whereas in work or school or public places, there is more of an impetus to present a contrived or forced appearance that is so antithetical to your usual set of references that it's impossible to lose your self-consciousness in those contexts. You always are aware of acting. You're always holding an aspect of yourself outside the experience.

...if you were to participate in the theatre for instance, that creates a context where you can theoretically lose yourself in a role that has nothing whatsoever to do with your inner compass, and not feel threatened. You adopt another identity, sometimes profoundly, and then you drop it.

So then, isn't it possible to transplant that focus, that ability to adopt different persona, and bring it into everyday life? To craft a new identity, and inhabit it fully?

And why exactly would we want to do that you might ask? Well, regardless of how different your various personal roles might be, they share certain common traits, and more importantly, a common range of experience. If you think of joy on a scale for instance, you may have a bunch of roles that go to 5 or 6 on the joy scale, and one that goes to ten occasionally, but none of them go past ten. That 1-10 scale itself is one of those core principles, one of those unifying modalities like we discussed last time, that your roles cluster around. You can push against that ceiling really hard, and you may well get to a new place from time to time, but all that does is establish a new ceiling to bang up against. That ceiling is a reference point for all your various personality roles.

So what happens if you want to totally step outside of that old scale. What if you don't want to bust your ass to reach 11, you want 20 or 30 or 100 instead? How the hell do you do that, with no roles of your own that use a completely different range of experience?

The short answer is you steal them. Some cultures call this possession, in ritual magick this is known as invocation.

Now, ancient practitioners understood this concept, but to conceptualize entirely different orders of experience and understanding they felt the need to attribute them to autonomous complexes of energy and intentionality, ie; spirits, demons, gods whathaveyou. You needn't bother with that unless you want to. It will probably help, but there can be side effects. More on that another time.

...The reason this works is that you already have a whole bunch of different scales for experience in your head, but you divide them into two types: ones that are possible for you, and ones that are not. In order to keep your internal continuity you sort experiences and sensations you have no persona structure to support into the category of 'other' and save them for fantasy, fiction and entertainment.

...To adopt a whole new view of the world requires letting go of your prior investment, at least temporarily, in what you think you already see and know about the world.

It's tempting to think of ego or self as some kind of object or indwelling essence that needs to be dropped or exorcised, but it's nothing of the sort. We go into tailspins of confusion and dismay when we think of what might happen if we lost our egos. So lets be clear about what it is, and then we can start making it work for us. First off, ego is not a thing. It is a process. It is the process of referencing one's self through thoughts, speech and behavior. The problem with this is that you don't have a self. So it would be better to say that ego is the whole complex of mental programs chasing it's own tail in the effort to affirm the existence of a non existent thing, ie; this hypothetical 'self'. All the problems arise from trying to make a dynamic process into a static object.

'You' are a plurality, a complex of interchangeable modules. The only thing holding you back is the ignorant assertion of a core identity. Treat that core identity as what it is: a stepping stone. A set of markers for your next reconstruction. It'll always be there if you want to play with it again.

To the extent the self can be considered an object at all, it is a designed object, and you are the designer."

The best slaves are convinced they're free.

The Best Kept Slaves » The Anthropik Network:
"When I try to talk to people I know about many of the issues facing the world they often use counter-examples to debunk my claim. These examples are uniformly limited to people in the middle and upper classes of Western Civilization.

When I claim that Paleolithic people had a life expectancy in the 60s and older, they reply that the life expectancy is 70 now.

When I claim that people were healthier in the Paleolithic, they reply that they can go to the hospital when they get sick.

When I claim equality, I either hear that we are equal in the United States (a reply to that will require a second article) or an evidence-deficient claim that tribes and bands were hierarchal.

When I claim lower levels of stress and a higher quality of life, the most common reply is a reassertion of Hobbes claim, without even the fallacy-driven argument that he was kind enough to supply us with.

I could, and often do, refute each point made with studies, argument, and example, but what I will instead do is point out that these counter-points are only relevant in a Western-centric view of the world. For the vast majority of modern societies these counter claims are simply not valid.

The CIA World Factbook has data on every country in the world and accumulative data on the world. But, while Western Countries have a relatively high life expectancy, when you take into account places like Swaziland, with a life expectancy of 33, the world as a whole is well below average, even by modern standards. And this data is based on estimates, and may not be wholly inclusive of all people in a country. For instance, many poorer places lack the resources, and the Western World lacks the motivation, to collect detailed data in rural areas of China, African Countries, North Korea, and the like.

Hospital care is rare in most of the world, especially the kind that one can expect in Western Countries. But disease, cancer, and parasites are far"

I do so miss a regular dose of Angel. Thank god for DVD's...

MEANWHILE Interviews... Buffy Post Mortem:
"The point of Angel was always that the fight never ends. He'll always fight. It's an eternity of fighting. You can't ever win but the fight is worth fighting. "

If Batman were real...
"BATMAN: [thinking] 'If this is about the Joker again -- I swear...'

BATMAN sails through COMMISIONER GORDON’S open window and stands, cape encompassing body like a robe, eyes glowing as a huge looming shadow dancing on the walls of the office. He turns and faces the Commisioner.

BATMAN: 'Don’t even fucking say it. This is SO the fucking Joker again, isn’t it?'

COMMISSIONER GORDON: [embarrassed, looking at feet] 'Well...'

BATMAN: [tossing hands in the air] 'My FUCKING Christ, I knew it! You RETARD! how hard is it to keep this nut locked up? My God, do you even bother locking the doors? Here, watch—'

He crosses to front door of office, slams door loudly, makes big show of locking it.

'That’s how you lock a fucking door! [clutching temples] My Jesus, I don’t believe this shit. In the fucking rain on a Sunday, no less. The Rams are playing the Vikings as we speak. You know that, right? You’re aware that, if I had a choice, I would RATHER stay at home watching the Rams play the Vikings, instead of RUNNING AFTER A LUNATIC IN MY FUCKING UNDERWEAR, YOU FUCKING... IMBRED... RETARD?'

...BATMAN: [getting up and pacing] "Honestly, sometimes I think you morons think this is funny or something, me chasing after this reject week after week after week. Do you have any idea how much a suit like this chafes in the rain? Oh, and by the way, he’s psychotic, you know that, yeah? I go to nab the guy last week, at the—"

COMMISSIONER GORDON: "—abandoned carnival—"

BATMAN: "—abandoned carnival, thank you, THERE’S a shock, by the way — I’m a detective, you know, I deserve better than this. The fucking Hardy Boys get tougher cases than this. Anyway — I’m at the abandoned carnival, and naturally this mental-head’s made me chase him through all sorts of fucked shit — big pools of liquid Smylex gas, this big gang of guys dressed like fetish clowns, that was weird — and I finally get to him, right, and he starts telling me jokes. Jokes! I mean, what the fuck? Did he think I’d laugh? Ten seconds ago he’s pitching clown knives out of his cane at my fucking forehead, and now it’s evening at the improv and I’m supposed to be all appreciative and clapping."

GORDON: "That’s pretty odd, yeah."

BATMAN: "Oh, did you think so? That’s funny, I don’t remember seeing you there. No, for some reason I only see you AFTER I arrest these lunatics, isn’t that funny? Yeah, that’s odd. Anyway…" [big sigh] "Fuckity fuck fuck FUCK. Okay, I’m off to the abandoned amusement park for the ten millionth time. This should be interesting. I hope he’s wearing pants this time. Shit, remember last June? I couldn’t even cuff him I was so grossed out."

GORDON: "Mmmm."

BATMAN: "Fuck. Okay, I’m going. Fuck."

Batman’s cape swirls, enveloping all light in the room as he moves, spectre-like to the window frame, leaping out of it, becoming invisible in the rain and low-flying clouds.

BATMAN: "Fuck." "

Sound advice
"When soliciting hookers, always remember to be fantastic in bed, so they will less likely to rip you off."

I don't care how dumb it sounds, I want to see it.

Hollywood Cranks Out Another Winner - Defamer:
"IN Speed, Keanu Reeves had to keep driving a booby-trapped bus at 50 mph at least or it would explode. In Crank, Jason Statham is a hitman who’s been shot up with a Chinese poison that will kill him if his adrenaline level drops. Amy Smart (above), who plays his girlfriend, told the Chicago Sun Times: “What Jason must do to keep his adrenaline up is insane. He has to hammer nails into his legs, snort coke and have crazy sex in public.”"

The Batman Begins interpretation of politics

d r i f t g l a s s: Moonbatman Begins.:
"You may or may not have seen “Batman Begins”. I have. I liked it, and Liam Neeson quibbles aside, it works as an origin myth, action movie and superhero flick.

And if one were inclined in that direction, one could also see it as a Lost Liberal Parable for the 21st Century.

Thomas Wayne, who “nearly bankrupted Wayne Enterprises fighting poverty during the Depression” as the only-dimly-remembered Good Liberal Father (or perhaps even a genuine Compassionate Conservative, a species long gone extinct in our dark lands.)

A city that has lost faith in its own vision of itself.

A government where good men still exist, but corruption has so riddled its bones that even if the wanted to clean it up, “in a town this dirty, who's there left to rat to?” When the President and all of his Men are rotting this nation from the head down, that sentiment could not be more apropos.

A child left orphaned by murdered Liberal Father, lost and insane with rage at a world beset on all sides by bad guys, who control everything and who killed his ideals.

A villain whose WMD is Fear, and whose seductive ideology is familiar to every Neocon, bigot, Fundy and witch-hunting pimp, and every other mutant strain of Reality Rejectionist, Cheney Regime Dead Ender, and self-hating, closeted GOP Sodomite.

It’s sold to children under without a warning label or an NC-17 rating at GOP Media outlet stores everywhere the trade name of theological or cultural imperative. It is pumped into our groundwater like fucktard fluoride by Regnery Press, the AFA the Murdoch Empire and a hundred others.

Stripped of its pink BoBo icing, its nothing but a brutal philosophy that demands a holocaust. A civilization-purifying auto da fe. The same, shopworn drivel that every closet-fascist keeps on the bedside table for inspirational, pre-dozing-post-wanking reading after he’s done jerking off to the Turner Diaries and Photoshopped Ann Coulter porn."

Why the South sucks sometimes...

Boing Boing: 19th c. book: Geography for Dixie Children:
"A geography textbook for 'Dixie Children,' printed in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1863. Here's a snip from the accompanying lesson plan:

Q. Which race is most civilized.
A. The Caucasian.

Q. Which are the most ferocious and savage?
A. The Indian, Mongolian, Maylay and African.

Q. Is the African savage in this country?
A. No; they are docile and religious here.

Q. How are they in Africa where they first come from?
A. They are very ignorant, cruel and wretched[.]

Paul Jones of the University of North Carolina says,

The textbook Dixie Children was printed to provide "education" during the Civil War. UNC holds a lot of material from that period. People who read it are outraged. They should be. These texts are evidence of what the war was all about and of the thinking of the Confederate elite.

At a time when a church school in Cary (just beside Raleigh where the 1863 book was published) is teaching from a pamphlet titled "Southern Slavery: As It Was" which tells us that "slavery was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence", we need to blunt force of historical evidence to impell us to face the sad facts.

See this on the Cary school: Link. The authors have tried to hide their book but Amazon's "search inside" feature lets you know what's in it.

Imagine all the people living life in peace...


Thornton's Guerilla_Blog: 8 December 1980. . . .:
"'I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It's just that the translations have gone wrong.' - John Lennon "

This cracks me up...

Half of the comic book world would freak.

It'd almost be worth it just to see it happen.

Fresh Intelligence : Radar Online:
"Did director Bryan Singer’s penchant for casting with the lensman in his pants influence his choice of Brandon Routh to play the Man of Steel in Superman Returns? Ever since the unknown 26-year-old actor—whose career highlights consist of a season on One Life to Live and an episode of Will & Grace —landed the part over Warner Brothers’ reported favorite Jim Caviezel, fanboy bloggers have been wondering whether the famously beefcake-friendly filmmaker’s decision had more to do with his libido than his director’s eye.

Of course, if Singer cast an object of his desire in a role, it wouldn’t be the first time. According to Alex Burton, the unknown who played Pyro in Singer’s first X-Men blockbuster, he was given the part after a hot-tub session with the director at a Hollywood party. “Bryan created that role especially for me,” says Burton, who went on to act in exactly zero films post-X-Men.

(Singer, it seems, has a thing for water. Following the filming of Apt Pupil, a number of young male extras on the movie filed lawsuits claiming that they had been bullied into stripping naked for a shower scene and that Singer had held private screenings of the wet ‘n’ wild footage at his home. The suits never reached court.)

...Further driving chatter on online message boards is the out director’s track record of putting together gay-friendly productions. Kevin Spacey, who has long ducked questions about his sexuality, was the centerpiece of Singer’s breakout film The Usual Suspects (he also appears in Superman Returns, as Lex Luthor), and the director’s two X-Men movies—about teen superheroes fighting for acceptance (and starring Hugh Jackman, Alan Cumming and Sir Ian McKellan)—were widely interpreted as allegories for coming out of the closet. In fact, one particularly out-there bit of gossip making the rounds is that Singer cast Routh specifically because he wanted a closeted actor who could “come out” as a political statement-cum-publicity-stunt in the run-up to the movie’s June ‘06 premiere."

I totally need to get one of these for Sandy...

Blowfly by Ena Macana:
"Blowfly - December 2 2005

Many sleepers experience that after they turn off the alarm clock they go on sleeping. One thing that sometimes wakes you up at night and prevents you from sleeping is the mosquito or blowfly when flying around your room. You can't and don't want to fall asleep again until you've caught it. These produces adrenalin and requires movements. The alarm clock blowfly works like a 'blowfly' that at the desire time it escapes from a cage in your room. It starts moving and producing sound around you - to turn it off you should catch it and put it back in the cage. "

See, this could'a got me playing video games as a youth...

Video game unlocks orgasm secrets:
"Heather Kelley, a designer with Ubisoft, wants to help women take a 'magical pet adventure'' to their 'happy place.''

The prototype teaches how to reach orgasm by simulating the affect of pleasurable sensation on the cartoon. Players tickle, touch, tap, and stroke Lapis using the touch screen of the Nintendo DS, a hand-held video game device. They can also talk, sing and blow on the bunny's fur using the device's built-in microphone.

The more they stimulate the bunny, the happier he becomes until eventually he begins flying through the air. But Lapis is also an unpredictable creature who needs a variety of sensations. Sometimes, no amount of stimulation is going to work.

'Sex is a perfectly natural part of the human experience and there has to be a way to handle it meaningfully and tastefully in games,'' said Kelley, who took first prize for the prototype at the Montreal International Games Summit last month.

Kelley, 36, has helped design blockbuster titles ranging from Splinter Cell to Thief, and serves as chair of the 'Women in game development'' committee of the International Game Developers Association.

Her game, downloadable for free at, offers 'a stealthy primer'' on female sexuality, and is meant primarily as a conversation piece to stimulate debate around the prevalence of sex in video games today, she said."

Trust beats fear to a pulp; demands he say "uncle".

NIMH: Trust-Building Hormone Short-Circuits Fear In Humans:
"A brain chemical recently found to boost trust appears to work by reducing activity and weakening connections in fear-processing circuitry, a brain imaging study at the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has discovered. Scans of the hormone oxytocin's effect on human brain function reveal that it quells the brain's fear hub, the amygdala, and its brainstem relay stations in response to fearful stimuli. The work at NIMH and a collaborating site in Germany suggests new approaches to treating diseases thought to involve amygdala dysfunction and social fear, such as social phobia, autism, and possibly schizophrenia, report Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, M.D., Ph.D., NIMH Genes Cognition and Psychosis Program, and colleagues, in the December 7, 2005 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience."

Mike Wallace kicking some ass...

At 87, Wallace still tells it like it is - The Boston Globe:
"Q. President George W. Bush has declined to be interviewed by you. What would you ask him if you had the chance?

A. What in the world prepared you to be the commander in chief of the largest superpower in the world? In your background, Mr. President, you apparently were incurious. You didn't want to travel. You knew very little about the military. . . . The governor of Texas doesn't have the kind of power that some governors have. . . . Why do you think they nominated you? . . . Do you think that has anything to do with the fact that the country is so [expletive] up?"

The McCollum Memo: The Smoking Gun of Pearl Harbor

The McCollum Memo: The Smoking Gun of Pearl Harbor:
"On October 7, 1940, Lieutenant Commander Arthur McCollum of the Office of Naval Intelligence submitted a memo to Navy Captains Walter Anderson and Dudley Knox (whose endorsement is included in the following scans). Captains Anderson and Knox were two of President Roosevelt's most trusted military advisors.

The memo, scanned below, detailed an 8 step plan to provoke Japan into attacking the United States. President Roosevelt, over the course of 1941, implemented all 8 of the recommendations contained in the McCollum memo. Following the eighth provocation, Japan attacked. The public was told that it was a complete surprise, an 'intelligence failure', and America entered World War Two."

Worshippers Of The Peacock God

How cool is this? Not the oppressing part... the worshipping Lucifer part.

Sorry, the "forgiven" Lucifer part.

Worshippers Of The Peacock God:
"The Yezidi Kurds are a pre-Islamic religion found in Iraq, Armenia and surrounding areas.

...They worship a “peacock god” known as Melek Taus, also known as Lucifer. To them Lucifer fell, but then was forgiven by God. Unfortunately, they are often oppressed by Muslims and called devil worshippers.

Sports humor that's actually funny...

Eagles football practice was delayed nearly two hours today after a player reported finding an unknown white powdery substance on the practice field. Head Coach Andy Reid immediately suspended practice while police and federal investigators were called to investigate.

After a complete analysis, FBI forensic experts determined that the white substance unknown to the players was the goal line.

Practice was resumed after special agents decided the team was unlikely to encounter the substance again.

Overheard in the Office: The Voice of the Cubicle - 9AM Tread Lightly Today

Overheard in the Office: The Voice of the Cubicle - 9AM Tread Lightly Today:
"9AM Tread Lightly Today

Co-worker on phone: 'What am I working on?' I'm working on not killing anyone. What're you working on?

640 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY"

"You see this fist? This is my moral authority. And don’t you forget it."

Harold Pinter – Nobel Lecture - Art, Truth and Politics:
"In 1958 I wrote the following:

‘There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.’

I believe that these assertions still make sense and do still apply to the exploration of reality through art. So as a writer I stand by them but as a citizen I cannot. As a citizen I must ask: What is true? What is false?

...The United States supported and in many cases engendered every right wing military dictatorship in the world after the end of the Second World War. I refer to Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, and, of course, Chile. The horror the United States inflicted upon Chile in 1973 can never be purged and can never be forgiven.

Hundreds of thousands of deaths took place throughout these countries. Did they take place? And are they in all cases attributable to US foreign policy? The answer is yes they did take place and they are attributable to American foreign policy. But you wouldn’t know it.

It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

...I know that President Bush has many extremely competent speech writers but I would like to volunteer for the job myself. I propose the following short address which he can make on television to the nation. I see him grave, hair carefully combed, serious, winning, sincere, often beguiling, sometimes employing a wry smile, curiously attractive, a man’s man.

‘God is good. God is great. God is good. My God is good. Bin Laden’s God is bad. His is a bad God. Saddam’s God was bad, except he didn’t have one. He was a barbarian. We are not barbarians. We don’t chop people’s heads off. We believe in freedom. So does God. I am not a barbarian. I am the democratically elected leader of a freedom-loving democracy. We are a compassionate society. We give compassionate electrocution and compassionate lethal injection. We are a great nation. I am not a dictator. He is. I am not a barbarian. He is. And he is. They all are. I possess moral authority. You see this fist? This is my moral authority. And don’t you forget it.’ —Harold Pinter, Nobel Lecture"

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I love this joke.

Emo Phillips:
"I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said “Stop! don’t do it!”

“Why shouldn’t I?” he said.

I said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!”

He said, “Like what?”

I said, “Well…are you religious or atheist?”

He said, “Religious.”

I said, “Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?”

He said, “Christian.”

I said, “Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?”

He said, “Protestant.”

I said, “Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”

He said, “Baptist!”

I said, “Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?”

He said, “Baptist Church of God!”

I said, “Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?”

He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God!”

I said, “Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?”

He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915!”

I said, “Die, heretic scum!” and pushed him off."

Hey kids, look! It's "the OBVIOUS". Sadly, many don't understand the obvious.

AVN :: Articles - News Analysis: Advocates Show Colors at Decency Hearing:
"'What has made America great is, it's a free country, and when you are a First Amendment person, you must allow into the marketplace that which you find to be meretricious, untidy, unwholesome and sometimes just plain stupid, but that's the price you pay for democracy,' Valenti rightly argued. 'A democracy is quite messy. If you want to have a pristine television show, you go to Burma or you go to North Korea, and you'll find yourself in a pristine world where nothing that the government doesn't want on the air is on the air. That's the price you pay, Brent, for a democracy.'"

We laugh because it's funny... we laugh because it's true.

Kung Fu Monkey: Obama-rama:
"The 'Don't You Dare Kill Obama' t-shirts are being designed as we speak. And no, I'm not kidding"

Rock, meet Hard Place.

There will be no pleasing the Asians [that one large homogeneous pan-Asian group, of course], I assure you.

'Geisha' Filmmakers Defend Casting - Yahoo! News:
"The makers of 'Memoirs of a Geisha' expected to be lauded for creating the first big-budget Hollywood movie with Asian actors in every leading role. Instead, they find themselves defending casting decisions that have inflamed historical tensions between Japan and China.

For months, the Internet has been filled with vitriolic debate over cultural insensitivity, and Zhang has been denounced in China for her starring role. The arguments boil down to this: A movie about Japanese culture should have a Japanese actress in the lead.

The filmmakers, however, thought that would be shortsighted and discriminatory. Producers Douglas Wick ("Gladiator") and Lucy Fisher, and director
Rob Marshall ("Chicago"), say the casting was an exhaustive, meticulous process that considered acting ability, star power and physical traits.

"Some Japanese actresses didn't even want to audition, because they couldn't speak English and were too afraid to try to take it on," Fisher said.

...The debate is somewhat perplexing considering that actors have been playing characters of different nationalities throughout the history of film.

"When you saw 'Zorba the Greek,' and you saw Anthony Quinn play Zorba, was that odd to you because he was Irish and Mexican?" Marshall said. 'Or when you saw 'Dr. Zhivago,' and you saw Omar Sharif, who's Egyptian-born, play a Russian, was that something that threw you?"

Gong said she chooses roles based on substance, not race.

"As actors, we seek roles that challenge and inspire us," she said in a statement to The Associated Press."

Prediction = HUGE

Reuters Business Channel |
"NEW YORK, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co. (KO.N: Quote, Profile, Research), the world's No. 1 soft drink company, on Wednesday said it will launch a coffee-infused soft drink called Coca-Cola Blak in various markets around the world in 2006."

Ah, sweet, sweet blasphemy, I love you so...

Erotic moments from Bible... - Yahoo! News:
"BERLIN (Reuters) - A German Protestant youth group has put together a 2006 calendar with 12 staged photos depicting erotic scenes from the Bible, including a bare-breasted Delilah cutting Samson's hair and a nude Eve offering an apple.

'There's a whole range of biblical scriptures simply bursting with eroticism,' said Stefan Wiest, the 32-year-old photographer who took the titillating pictures."

"About time" says Rob's Inner Geek.

Toon Zone - Your Source for Toon News!:
"Warner Brothers Home Video has officially announced both Justice League and Batman Beyond box sets for a March 21st release. Both sets will contain each shows entire first season. Full details and cover art is below. "

See, I can never find a Buddhist Monk with pot when I need one...

All Headline News - Buddhist Monk Arrested For Growing Marijuana - December 8, 2005:
Tokyo, Japan (AHN) - Police arrested a Buddhist monk Wednesday for growing marijuana near the Eikoji shrine in Japan.

Michimaru Obara, 48, is suspected of growing approximately 5.3 pounds of marijuana, according to a police official who declined to be named, citing policy.

The official says the monk is also suspected of selling at least 1.7 ounces of the drug to an office worker near Tokyo, reports The Associated Press.

Obara was arrested last month for drug possession, after police found marijuana at his home. He admitted growing the plant for personal use, but denies selling his stash.

Convicted drug users in Japan face up to life in prison."

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Which famous philosopher do you most agree with?

Turns out I think like Nietzsche.

Which means I'll probably die mad of a syphilitic infection.

Which famous philosopher do you most agree with? (it's a Philosophy selector.

Bible work I can support.

Trading bibles for porn in San Antonio - The Situation with Tucker Carlson -
"A group of atheists at the University of Texas in San Antonio is trying to tempt college kids into trading their Bibles for pornography.

It's part of a program called Smut for Smut sponsored by the student organization called Atheist Agenda. "

Bit that triggered that earlier introspection...

Peak Energy: Peak Oil And The Philosophers Stone:
"The more I observe peak oil the more it becomes clear that for most (if not all) people the peak oil meme acts as like the 'Philosopher's Stone' from Harry Potter, so they envisage the post peak future as something they would like to see happen anyway.

Kunstler has a deep seating loathing of suburban sprawl and modernity in general it would seem, so he sees peak oil as resulting in a semi-collapse that returns us to a future that resembles small town america of 150 years ago (plus wasted large cities and pirates ravaging the coasts of course).

He isn't alone in seeing what he wants to see of course - the Viridian camp sees a shiny green future awaiting us in the post oil world, old school oil guys like T Boone Pickens see a exploration and drilling bonanza, energy industry investors like Matt Simmons and Henry Groppe see soaring energy prices, gold bugs see rampart inflation and soaring gold prices, ferals and hippies see a return to living closer to nature, socialists see the revivial of marxism, conspiracy theorists see government/elite conspiracies and the rise of the new world order, primitivists see the collapse of industrial civilisation and human dieoff, libertarians see an opportunity for the market to bring new energy sources and technoloies to us, fascists see an opportunity for a return to authoritarianism and some of the uglier approaches to population control used by their ilk in the past, economists see suuply and demand issues being resolved by energy prices, military-industrial complex members see the need to militarily dominate the energy rich regions of the planet, end-times Christian fundamentalists see another symptom of the impending rapture and survivalists see an opportunity to say 'I told you so' and finally get to use the skills and tools they've spent their lives practicing for."

Overheard in the Office: The Voice of the Cubicle - 3PM Smoke Break

Overheard in the Office: The Voice of the Cubicle - 3PM Smoke Break:
"3PM Smoke Break

Cow-orker #1: I'm going to have to take a lot of time to help my wife out when the baby comes. Are we allowed any paternity leave?
Co-worker #2: The father gets 3 days. I don't know what you get.

1 Bay Avenue
Montclair, New Jersey"

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I am a Cosmic Schmuck - Peak Oil, Catholicism and Guilt

Had one of those "Wow, it's so obvious in everybody else, why didn't I see it when it was me" moments. Been fascinated by Peak Oil for about the last year, maybe year and a half, since I first learned about it. The concept of the world slowly running out of fossil fuels, descending into chaos and violence as civilization collapsed around them... the imagery just stuck in my head and I came back to it fairly regularly. Weirdly apocalyptic Mad Max scenarios running rampant through the imagination. Now, I certainly hadn't started stockpiling canned goods and automatic weapons, but the idea of civilization's structural collapse and the ensuing drama stayed scarily in the back of my mind. At times there was this visceral sense of 'something bad is coming'.

I was reading something else today, vaguely related to Peak Oil, when the author observed that how people interpret Peak Oil and its possible outcomes relies on how those people are conditioned to think and the perspective they enter with.

Well, duh, right?

And the thing is, that for the last several years I've been reading so much about how pre-conditioned mindsets and 'reality tunnels' condition our responses to damn near every situation, almost every occurence, but this thing had slipped by me. Like you never see the plank in your own eye whilst [you like that don't you? "whilst", indeed] complaining about the toothpick in another's, I had never connected the dots between this odd sense of foreboding I had when thinking about Peak Oil with the ideas I was raised with.

Now, I lay a lot at the doorstep of the Catholic Church. My parochial school and religious upbringing experiences probably rank up there with my parent's relationship and divorce as 'key' events of my growing up. How those things shaped me, for good or ill, conditioning my behaviors both conscious and unconscious that, to some extent, still affect and influence me.

So here's the point. Catholicism's overall thrust, Christianity's emphasis, in my life were themes of guilt, sin and punishment. You know, I envy those who can come out of that Christian headspace with nothing but the 'positive' aspects of forgiveness, love, humanity, etc, etc. But I'll always have the impression of a God [capital G, of course] sitting high above, cataloging your sins and preparing for the day you're punished. And you can be damned sure you're gonna be punished good and hard. And his representatives on earth, the message they emphasize is the fact that all those folks who don't play by our rules, well you're welcome to join them and burn in a fiery hell of anguish, torment and suffering.

Because God loves all his children, of course.

How I'm not more fucked up is a miracle. [Praise Jesus!]

So anyways, Peak Oil to the Collapse... Dog eat dog and man versus man in survival of the fittest!

My head went that way, because in hindsight, it's just so damn Biblical! Peak Oil, the collapse, the horrible, terrible chaos that we'd be forced to endure and suffer through... see, it was only us getting what we deserve, because we hadn't thought it through. We hadn't used our resources wisely.

See, society was going to collapse because of our sins.

And we deserved that punishment.

It's just so twisted, innit?

And the more twisted bit is that I didn't even realize the "why" of why I was thinking that way.

I've been deep into the concepts of "winner scripts" vs "loser scripts", optimism vs pessimism, the importance of choosing your perspective, etc, etc...

But still at times don't realize how deeply ingrained a lot of this stuff is and how it still fucks with my head.

So therefore, this bears repeating:

"The Cosmic Schmuck law holds that [1] the more often you suspect you may be thinking or acting like a Cosmic Schmuck, the less of a Cosmic Schmuck you will become, year by year, and [2] if you never suspect you might think or act like a Cosmic Schmuck, you will remain a Cosmic Schmuck for life." - Robert Anton Wilson

Oops, our bad. Don't be mad, kay?

German sues CIA in abduction case - Yahoo! News:
"A German man sued former
CIA Director George Tenet and other U.S. spy agency officials for alleged wrongful imprisonment and torture on Tuesday in a rare legal challenge to the secret transfer of terrorism suspects to foreign countries for interrogation."

Rally the troops - Beyond Belief Media has formally declared war on Christmas

This is actually pretty clever, at least from a media standpoint, what with the constant trumpeting of the non-issue on O'Reilly and Fox...

The documentary was actually pretty good too.

"Los Angeles, December 5, 2005 -- Beyond Belief Media has formally declared war on Christmas, the December 25 holiday in which Christians celebrate the birth of the mythical figure Jesus Christ, the company announced today.

“Christian conservatives complain nonstop about the ‘War on Christmas,’ but there really isn’t any such war,” said Beyond Belief Media president Brian Flemming , a former fundamentalist Christian who is now an atheist activist. “So we have decided to wage one, to demonstrate what it would look like if Jesus’ birthday were truly attacked.”

As its opening salvo, Beyond Belief Media has purchased advertisements this week in the New York Times , USA Today and the New Yorker magazine. The company’s 300-member volunteer “street team” is also descending on Christmas-themed public events with random “guerilla giveaways” of Beyond Belief’s acclaimed DVD THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE .

“No Christmas pageant or Nativity display is safe from our troops,” said Flemming. “Wherever the mythical figure Jesus is celebrated as if he were real, we will be there with an information barrage. We will undercut the idea that there is any point at all to celebrating the ‘birth’ of a character in a fairy tale.”"

I hate winter.

Yesterday there were snow flurries.


Nothing stuck, but c'mon... snow? I hate winter. Wake me when it's spring.

[I swear to god we're going somewhere warm next. Maybe even tropical.]

"I don't even know you and I hate you." - Fell #3, Warren Ellis

Wow. It's another remarkable coincidence and nothing more.

"The terror loosed in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, was created by criminals and murderers directed by and paid for by the federal government. This is the only conclusion that can be reached by a calm analysis of the facts.*

The case of Sgt. Terry Yeakey is only one of a myriad of dramatic stories that could be told—stories just waiting for Hollywood, but out of bounds for public consumption.

...Yeakey, an African-American hero if there ever was one, was a giant of a man with a heart as big as the rest of him. As the first cop on the Murrah building scene following the explosions, he became a crusader for truth.
There is a memorable news photo of his 6-foot, 3-inch, nearly 300-pound frame sprinting down NW 5th Street toward the building on one of the many rescue missions he performed that ugly day. He worked for 48
hours without sleep.

After numerous private investigators produced evidence of multiple explosions, unexploded bombs being hauled away by the authorities, and the incapability of an ammonium nitrate fuel oil bomb to cause the kind of
devastation seen in downtown Oklahoma City, a giant government cover-up became obvious.

But Yeakey knew it long before the rest of us. Only a couple of hours into the rescue, Yeakey became painfully aware of something disturbing. Did he
somehow figure out that the building had been blown from the inside and that the news reports were fabrications?

Did he overhear a strange conversation from some of the many Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) agents who were on the scene sooner than they should have been?

Whatever it was, Yeakey was upset. He called his wife that morning crying, “It’s not true. It’s not what they are saying. It didn’t happen that way.”

...The official report said “suicide.” ... According to the report, while still inside his Ford Probe that he had parked on a lonely country road, Yeakey slashed himself 11 times on both forearms before cutting his throat twice near the jugular vein. Then, apparently seeking an even more private place to die, he crawled 8,000 feet through rough terrain and climbed a fence before shooting himself in the head with a small caliber revolver, which he apparently took with him to the hereafter."

My god is better than your god. Or at least has a plausibilty quotient of .9

The Do-It-Yourself Deity:
"Plausibility Quotient = 0.9

The metaphysical engineers have determined that your conception of God has a plausibility quotient (PQ) of 0.9. A PQ of 1.0 means that as far as the metaphysical engineers can determine your conception of God is internally consistent and consistent with the universe that we live in. A PQ of 0.0 means that it is neither internally consistent nor consistent with our universe. More than likely, your PQ score will be somewhere between these two figures. But remember that this is your PQ score as determined by the metaphysical engineers. The editors of TPM have no control over their deliberations, so don't blame us!"

Of course I chose the following qualities for my god:

Omnibenevolent (all-loving)

Omniscient (all-knowing)

The Creator (of all that exists)

A Personal God (a being with whom one can have a personal relationship)

"...leprechaun with a crossbow", indeed.

Banterist - Playboy. In Braille.:
"When I discovered Playboy in Braille years ago, it was in a box in an abandoned building. I found myself in a state of disbelief. The kind you feel when you're being chased by a leprechaun with a crossbow."

Surely a coincidence, of course...

"In the aftermath of the 'bombing' the name Mike Loudenslager holds particular significance in the hearts of many families in and around Oklahoma City. And this is so, because of the forewarning he gave to a number of those who had children in the Murrah Building's day-care center. In the weeks preceding the bombing, G.S.A. employee, Michael Loudenslager, 48, became increasingly aware that large amounts of ordnance and explosives were in the building and strongly urged (along with the operator of the day-care center) a number of parents to take their children out of the Murrah Building.

This situation arose after other employees became concerned with an increased amount of ordnance (missiles) being brought into the building by the B.A.T.F. and D.E.A. As a result of this concern, a grievance was filed with G.S.A. by the building's security director. The result was, the man who'd complained lost his job there. Then, after the operator of the day-care center (the security director's wife) notified the fire marshals after some remodeling had been done (as her license required her to do), the fire marshals were denied access to do their inspection by federal agents and told to leave! And the day-care operator lost her contract.

...Shortly after the bombing, Michael Loudenslager was actively helping in the rescue and recovery effort. A large number of those at the bomb-site either saw or talked with him. During the course of the early rescue efforts, however, Mike Loudenslager was seen and heard in a very "heated" confrontation with someone (there). Much of his anger stemmed from the fact he felt the B.A.T.F. was in large part responsible not only for the bombing, but for the death and inury to those inside, including all the children.

To the absolute astonishment of a large number of police officers and rescue workers, it was later reported that G.S.A. employee Mike Loudenslager's body had been found inside the Murrah Building the following Sunday, still at his desk, a victim of the 9:02 A.M. bombing! This, mind you, after he'd already been seen alive and well by numerous rescue workers at the bomb-site AFTER the bombing! He is also officially listed as one of the 168 bombing fatalities."

The Dilbert Blog: Well-Informed Super Geniuses

I agree.

Of course that only means that I'm reinforcing my own moronic opinions.

Vicious cycle, that.

The Dilbert Blog: Well-Informed Super Geniuses:
"My point, if I can remember it, is that it’s dangerous to inform morons about what their fellow morons are thinking. It only reinforces their opinions. And the one thing worse than a moron with an opinion is lots of them."

Earth pissed at tall building. Vows revenge.

Guardian Unlimited | Science | Skyscraper that may cause earthquakes:
"Taipei 101 is thought to have triggered two recent earthquakes because of the stress that it exerts on the ground beneath it."

Wired 13.12: To Boldly Go Where No Fan Has Gone Before

"And it will star Walter Koenig, the actor who played navigator Pavel Chekov in the original series and seven of the 10 films."

Finishing up that 5-year mission... as only obsessed geeks can. Taking "fan films" to a whole 'nother level. Or at least a Batman-Predator Sandy Collara "Dead End" level.

Wired 13.12: To Boldly Go Where No Fan Has Gone Before:
"The original Star Trek set out on a five-year mission that network execs cut short in 1969. Now a new confederation of amateur Kirk worshippers and studio renegades is repairing the space-time continuum and finishing the job.

...This spring they will release episode three, titled "To Serve All My Days." Like the first two episodes of New Voyages, it will be downloadable for free at You'll also be able to snag bonus features, outtakes, and commentaries. You can burn it all to a disc and put it on the shelf between your Star Trek the Original Series - The Complete Third Season boxed set and your Star Trek: The Motion Picture director's edition DVD.

...They aren't satirizing or remixing Star Trek. They're resurrecting it.

...Each New Voyages episode is produced with the help of a growing network of Star Trek professionals. The makeup supervisor for the new episode, for example, is Kevin Haney, who worked on one of the many Trek TV series spun off from the original (and won an Oscar for makeup in Driving Miss Daisy). The script is by D. C. Fontana, a story editor for the original Star Trek series and author of some of its most beloved episodes. (Who can forget the one where Kirk steers the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone, near Romulan territory? Or the one that introduces Spock's parents?) And it will star Walter Koenig, the actor who played navigator Pavel Chekov in the original series and seven of the 10 films.

The fact that Trek pros are taking part in this fan project is something new in the world of filmmaking, the cinematic equivalent of semi-pro ball...

The pros have become fans of their amateur counterparts. Manny Coto, formerly an executive producer for UPN's Enterprise and now an executive producer of 24, says of the latest New Voyages production, "I'll be downloading it." And earlier this year at a science fiction convention in Pasadena, California, Cawley positioned himself behind the table where William Shatner was signing autographs, hoping to get a picture with the Enterprise's original captain. As he stood there, astonished at how close he was to his childhood - OK, adulthood - hero, a voice behind him yelled, "Hey, Kirk!"

"I turned, and so did Bill," Cawley says. Their two heads rotated together to see a couple of staff writers for UPN's Enterprise. "And with God as my witness," says Cawley, raising his right hand into the air, "they said, 'Not you, Bill. We're talking to him.'""

I never really liked zoos...

Jails for animals I always thought. Odd to find out that I was kinda right. Intuition is brilliant. Zoos makes animals crazy.

Phenomena - Home - Editorial:
"I don’t know if you’re aware that in the science of zoological park care, in the analysis of captive animals, there’s a specific behaviour called stereotype behaviour and you can look at this if you go to a zoo and see that polar bear that walks back and forth. That’s stereotypical behaviour. That’s a form of mental illness that we are giving to captive animals "

Cryptozoology is awesomely cool - Loren Coleman interview

Via Phenomena: The Loren Coleman Interview in Full
Some might dispute it, even Loren Coleman might dispute it, but there is very little argument that Loren is not only the leading cryptozoologist in the world today and has been for some considerable time, but that he will also turn out to be the leading cryptozoologist of all time.

...If you go out to the Pacific North west, 80% of the land surface from northern California through Oregon and Washington State and southern British Columbia are covered with trees. You have another vast rain forest out there that really hides a lot. That’s one point.

The second point is about the creature we’re talking about. We know there are only 350 to 500 mountain gorillas in the mountains of east Africa. That’s a viable breeding population. If you look at that same type area in North America, then I envision this being from the Pacific Northwest across the hardwood forest-covered northern border of the United States and the southern border of Canada, in that unexplored area, we’re talking about 2,000 to 4,000 Bigfoot who are almost as highly evolved as humans, even though we never want to give them credit for being as too highly evolved. They are an intelligent creature that has avoided man, that has pulled deeper and deeper into the wilderness areas, have been decimated in their population and yet have ways of communicating with high pitched whistles and valley to valley vocalisations that seem to keep them somewhat connected.

...The late Grover Krantz got upset with me when my The Field Guide To Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide came out because he was in the small school of Bigfoot investigators who feel that the only way that we’re going to get mainstream scientists to pay attention to us is by having a united front and that there’s only one Bigfoot throughout the world. But what I see is a classic Bigfoot that is bipedal all the time in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), which is very different from the Abominable Snowman/Yeti of the Himalayas, which is much more a rock ape, or the Orang Pendek of Sumatra that is a smaller, reddish, more orangutan-like creature. Then there’s the Wild Man or the Yeren of China, and the Yowie of Australia. These are more than local names. They really are reflective of the diversity that shows there are different, higher primates out there and different species waiting to be discovered.

It wasn’t until within the last decade that anthropologists and palaeontologists in Africa accepted that there were 6 different hominids living at the same time one million years ago. Grover Krantz existed in the old school that one species evolved into another and evolved into yet another. This school held that Man was at the top of this pyramid and that the only existing hominid without hair on earth is Human, and the other hominoid with hair on it is Bigfoot. I think the evidence of tracks where there is a hallux, a big toe out to the side, which is so much different from the classic Bigfoot footprints from the PNW that I can’t ignore that evidence that there’s something different in different parts of the world.

...I know that it took over 60 years to prove that the giant pandas existed and those were well funded expeditions, by museums and zoos. And I know that it took about many years for the first mountain gorilla to be shot and about 50 years for the first mountain gorilla to be captured alive. So Human Beings today and the MTV generation have no patience. We’re just at the beginning of the search for Bigfoot, if you see 1958 as the beginning of searching for it. We’re not even up to the fiftieth anniversary yet, so I think people have no patience and as Heuvelmans said, you have to have patience and passion to be a cryptozoologist and I certainly have that. I don’t necessarily get frustrated because Bigfoot hasn’t been discovered.

I think if you look at the Flores people, that finally there’s remarkable sub fossil evidence, a mere 12,000 years ago, of little people, littler than pygmies, half the size of pygmies really, existed in Indonesia which could in fact relate to the Orang Pendek or some of those little people stories we hear from all over, from Oceania and south east Asia. So, to me finding the Flores people, the “Hobbits,” is a cryptozoological discovery that we should be celebrating, and many of us have been celebrating that. It is almost as fantastic as finding a Bigfoot in our back yard.

...Encroachment on habitat is decimating all kinds of animals from mountain lions to Sasquatch. I think what Europeans did to Native Americans is probably quite reflective of what Native Americans, as they tell in their own folklore and legends, did to Bigfoot. There’s 435 different First Nations or Native American/Canadian/Alaskan tribes in America. Most of them have some kind of creation tales or different folklore about creatures like Bigfoot and in many of those, they talk about how they, that tribe, killed out the previous people that were there and those people were the Bigfoot or the Sasquatch. So yes, I very definitely think that the decimation, more often than not, has been at the hands of Humans, whether bringing in new diseases, encroaching on the habitat or actually killing them outright.

Love hurts? So does a wounded marriage - Yahoo! News

At least Sandy and I will be able to blame each other when our health goes bad. And if there's nothing else I've learned from marriage, it's that nothing else is quite so important as apportioning blame.

Love hurts? So does a wounded marriage - Yahoo! News:
"There is even more proof that an unhappy marriage is bad for your health, researchers reported on Monday.

The stress that comes from discord appears to slow the initial production of a blood protein that is key to healing wounds, the report from Ohio State University said.

"Couples who demonstrated consistently higher levels of hostile behaviors ... healed at 60 percent of the rate of low-hostile couples," said the report published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry."

More truth. You're welcome.

Suburban Guerrilla » To Sir, With Love:
"“You can only clean up your side of the street.” Meaning, no matter how egregious the action on the other side of the street, you still have to clean up your own and it’s not very productive to point out someone else’s huge piles of steaming dung. Well, since my friend was an admirable human being, I paid attention.

This is a lot more difficult than it sounds – and also a lot easier. Because once you let go of your need to blame someone else, and you accept the responsibility for your own crap, life gets simpler. “Oh, that’s really not my problem,” you tell yourself. And you feel lighter for it, because it’s easy to see the benefits of cleaning up your own act."

Treehugger: The Loon: Solar-Powered DIY Pontoon Boat

I want one.

Treehugger: The Loon: Solar-Powered DIY Pontoon Boat:
"Six-day boating cruise along Ontario's scenic Trent-Severn Waterway: 'Cost of fuel for the 100-mile cruise? Zero. Amount of air and water pollution? Zero. Number of stares from other boaters? Countless.' Monte Gisborne is a mechanical engineer who built The Loon, a solar-powered pontoon boat. 'A guy with a 45-foot powerboat said his fuel costs were $5 a mile. I can do 10 miles a day for free with the sun [and 30 to 40 miles with batteries],' Gisborne said."

For Sandy and Cindi

Guardian Unlimited | Ricky Gervais | Guardian Ricky Gervais:
"Exclusively available online from Guardian Unlimited
A half-hour of all-new drivel from Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington. You can listen whenever and wherever you want as these weekly shows are offered as handy iPod-friendly digital files for up to four weeks after they're first posted."

New Scientist Breaking News - Mystery mammal discovered in Borneo’s forests

New Scientist Breaking News - Mystery mammal discovered in Borneo’s forests:
"A mysterious red furry creature, captured on film in the dense forests of Borneo, could be a new species of carnivore.

The mammal, which is slightly larger than a domestic cat, has dark red fur and a long, bushy tail. It was snapped twice at night by a camera trap set up by researchers from the conservation group WWF.

Its general shape – with a possibly pointed snout, small ears, and large powerful hind legs – suggests it is a meat-eater. It has some similarities with martens or civets and could belong to these groups, or it may belong to an entirely new group, says WWF." - New mutants, director recharge 'X3'

I think Kelsey Grammar looks damn cool actually... - New mutants, director recharge 'X3':
"The mutants are back. Now they just need the humans to return, too."

The teaser trailer [embed]:

Large file/direct download:

Monday, December 05, 2005

Treehugger: miniHome: The Green Prefab Modern Trailer

See, I think this is awesome. Probably something to do with my small town southern roots... but still. Very cool.

Treehugger: miniHome: The Green Prefab Modern Trailer:
"For those who wonder why Treehugger likes modern prefab so much, here is the answer. We think people can live with less and don't need so much space. We think prefabrication generates less waste and more opportunities for greener construction methods and technologies. We think traditional land development restricts peoples choices and costs too much money. We think the miniHome is just about the best answer to the question that we have seen anywhere. Ever."

Interview with Dr. Gabriel Cousens, raw foods pioneer and founder of the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center

Interview with Dr. Gabriel Cousens, raw foods pioneer and founder of the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center:
"Why is it worth the effort to pursue a raw foods lifestyle?

Cousens: That's a very good question. The bottom line is: Because it feels good. We don't know how long we're going to live, but if we're going to live, we should be in a totally healthy place. I've been on live foods since 1983. It's a very long time, and I'm in my sixty-third year, and the result of that is I'm more flexible than I was when I was captain of an undefeated football team at Amherst College, in the National Football Hall of Fame, and I'm stronger. I could do 70 push-ups then, and on my sixtieth birthday I could do 601.

...Mike: When people say organic foods look expensive, they need to do all the math – the 10-year equations, not this week's equation.

Cousens: That's kind of really the point. There's a picture in my book, Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine, and it contrasts two sets of children who are in Mexico – some are living in the mountaintop and some are living in the valley, everything else is the same. The kids in the valley couldn't even draw a picture. They had more pesticides because of the way pesticides are going downhill; they're not going uphill. They had lower reflexes, poor memories, poor social interaction and poor gross motor function. Literally, the kids in the mountaintop could draw pictures, you know, whereas the five and six year olds in the valley could barely squiggle, so that's the difference. That's the price people are paying to poison their kids for a few bucks, and it isn't a long-running question much more. In fact, I think it was the Philippines but I'm not sure, that they stopped doing pesticides and herbicides on the rice because the medical costs of treating the workers from the poisoning was greater than any profit they would make from the yield, so it's bigger mathematics.

...It starts with the individual. It starts with an individual eating a healthy way, living a healthy way and thinking healthy thoughts. Then, as the mind gets clear, being able to create what I'm calling the global brain. The global brain already exists. We can fill it with TV, fear, misery, cruelty and greed, or we can fill it with love, sharing and compassion. I believe that the more we fill it with love, sharing, compassion and peace, in time, everybody will get it, and it doesn't take that many people, you know, maybe one percent of the population."

"Until you see the underlying game rules, the game is playing you, not the other way around. "

I love his "Alchemy for the Braindamaged" stuff... makes me feel less strange.

Alchemical Braindamage:
"Okay. For the sake of argument we're going to presume that you can and will do everything you set out to do. That you can and will accomplish all of your goals, even if it takes you the rest of your life. With me so far?

No? Why is that? Are you secretly thinking that there's just no way you'll ever do all this stuff, and you're hoping maybe just thinking about it is gonna make you feel better?

Fuck that shit. If you aren't willing to believe that yes, you will indeed accomplish everything you set out to do, then you're the happy owner of what we call a loser script. You've failed before you even started. Do not pass go. Do not collect two hundred dollars, unless it's your welfare checque.

But I digress. That is simply our opening proposition. We'll assume you are instead winner- scripted, and proud of it. Like Chris Walken you are the man ( or woman ) with the plan.

But really, so what? You're gonna get everything you want. Who cares?

I know you do, but why? It's just content. It's just a game. The world's largest stack of monopoly money is still monopoly money. And you may be sliced bread in your chosen game, but have you ever stopped to consider the nature of the game itself?

...For a second or two, ignore the content. Ignore the specifics, the colors inside the lines, and consider the lines. What are the parameters that constrain the content? How are you any different than all the other talking monkeys who quest for an abstract sense of emotional fulfillment every day? Probably only in the contours of your game. The size of the field, the rules and expectations. The limit conditions.

You could spend a million lifetimes shuffling around content inside the frame of whatever your current parameters happen to be. Is that satisfactory? Maybe it is. There's always going to be some set of game rules, short of disengaging from them entirely. That's an exotic option, but it's doable. But generally speaking, most people wouldn't do that even if they had the ability, which they usually don't.

For as long as you're attatched to anything resembling an outcome, you're going to have to accept the fact that your life is a game. You can immerse yourself in the content and try to forget it's only a game, like most people do, or you can take some faltering steps toward personal authenticity and existential commitment, and recognize it for what it is, and choose the parameters accordingly.

...Until you see the underlying game rules, the game is playing you, not the other way around.

...And again, let me stress, this is not some kind of high horse conspiracy rant. The rules I'm talking about are in your head. Every human has them, is born with them, and usually dies never even recognizing them. The only difference is how we apply them.

There are plenty of these archetypal modalities of consciousness, but we'll start with four. Most cultures identify these with the elements, but for our purposes we'll treat them the way the hermetics do: as your magickal weapons. The Wand, the Cup, the Sword, and the Coin.

The Wand represents the will. Your ability to engage an object of focus and hold it, manifest it, apply your intent and sustain it. It represents dynamic, active force. When you use the wand you are the actor. You are the center of the drama. You make the rules, and everything that you find is yours to play with. The wand allows you to enter a new game and make it your own, or even create a new game altogether.

Conversely, the Cup is acceptance. The ability to disengage from a set of foci. To rest in the role of being acted upon, to play a part in someone else's game. To let go of a context that you don't like anymore. To step back, and out, collapse the game. To let things come to you and accept them as they are. The passive principle.

The Sword is analysis. To divide things into their component parts. To scale down. To magnify a corner of the picture and make that your whole world. To break anything you see into pieces that you can handle easily. Chop it up and see how it works.

And opposite that is the Coin, also known as the pentacle or the disc. In each case we have an enclosed circle, a perimeter drawn. The root meaning of the word reality is 'a small coin'. The coin is synthesis. To place two different things in the same sphere and examine how they work together. To scale up your focus and take in a bigger picture. To rub out your old boundary and draw a bigger one.

...Now if these sound really abstract, it's because each of you already uses them all, but in utterly idiosyncratic ways. One of you may have a strong wand and treat the world like your playground, another might be happy just to rule the roost at home. Some of you may habitually take the sword to everything in your life, analyzing it into it's smallest details, others may accept everything uncritically until it's time to place bets on football. Some may have a very small pentacle; many americans couldn't find canada on a map, for instance, nor do they care to. Others feel comfy speculating on the nature of collapsed neutron stars in a distant galaxy and how it might impact on their lives.

You see? There's so much room for variation there. Theoretically we all deal with the same shared cultural content, but the way we contexualise it, the way we place a frame around the stuff to deal with it, what we choose to engage or disengage with, what acts on us, or what we act upon, makes all the difference.

...Homework: You've been off the hook for a while now, so we've got a hard one, in four parts. Time to dust off your list of delusi- I mean goals.

The Wand: this is the easiest because the act of setting goals in the first place is a function of the wand, as is much of what we've done so far. But take the time to see if anything on your list could benefit from more specificity. What exactly do you want and how exactly do you want it? None of this wishy washy crap. Quit buffering the fear of failure and just announce yourself. The universe responds to courage. And while you're at it change any wimpy wording: no more I want, I hope, I'll wait, I'd like.... fuck that. I WILL. Make it so.

The Cup: Now take a deep breath. Do you really need all this stuff? It's all just content anyway, right? Some people only really do one thing for their whole lives. It's castles made of sand in the end. Look at your goals and decide if you'll really care one way or another in a few years. Quit trying to bang your life, your friends and yourself into some arbitrary shape. What really enriches your mind and your soul, and what's just distractions? Drop at least one thing you want altogether and replace it with helping some one you love with something they want.

The Sword: What don't you understand? What's too big to get your head around? Your life is built on billions of tiny interactions and processes that you know NOTHING about. Why are you trusting someone else to fix something you won't even look at? Why are you worried about politics when you can't manage your relationships? Why are you worried about relationships when you can't manage your health? Why are worried about your health when you can't manage your own thoughts? Why are you worried about anything, actually? A taoist sage said once that worry is preposterous: we don't know enough to worry about anything. So since you're gonna worry anyway, you better get on that understanding thing, but quick.

What on your list could benefit from being broken down into something smaller? Take anything that's too big right now and break it into steps. Make the first step your new goal."

Ah yes... feels like some truth.

Phenomena - Home - Editorial:
"...a carefully crafted fiction will 'overpower virtually any facts'."

So let it be written...

Thornton's Guerilla_Blog: Imagine. . .:
"I don't have much else to say at the moment. Except that maybe everything else I have written here has been true. But only as seen from a point in time. Just like everything else, including our own being. And it's all ok to say, and think through. And that life does not have to be a constant struggle."

Science Knows All

Phenomena - Home - Editorial:
"In his book The Damned, the great researcher of anomalous phenomena Charles Fort writes of the curious and sometimes acrobatic ends to which early modern science was prepared to go in order to explain the existence of meteorites. During an era in which it was generally inconceivable that material found on earth could have its origin elsewhere, the fact of the meteorite — seemingly proof positive of extraterrestrial input — had to be laboriously reframed by responsible scientists as a freakish accident: lightning striking a particular earthly metal under precisely the right conditions, that sort of thing.

Of course, evidence only exists in relation to the paradigm that makes it visible; over time enough maverick voices, combining empirical evidence with the theoretical frameworks in which to make it intelligible, produce a shift in scientific convention that lets the fact of the meteorite come to count as reality instead of speculation or outright invention."

"Everyone who watches advertising is persuaded by it"

Except me of course. Far too sophisticated for that sort of thing.

[Those of you unable to distinguish sarcasm, move along, nothing for you to see here.]

The Gullibility Factor test at
"Everyone who watches advertising is persuaded by it, but no one thinks they are. Consumers believe they are rational decision makers when, in fact, they act on emotional associations embedded in their minds by clever advertising. That's because television advertising is designed to bypass the rational mind and install positive associations with brands, companies and products that later translate into measurable, consistent behavior modification in consumers. This system of influence works very well. If television advertising didn't work, advertisers would have stopped using it long ago. "

I'm better than most people, and this webpage I found at random confirms it.

The quiz itself is a little obvious, but the explanations and answers to the questions are interesting reading.

The Gullibility Factor test at
""In this simple, anonymous test, you can assess your own Gullibility Factor (GF) score. Simply answer TRUE or FALSE to the following questions, click SUBMIT, and your score will be instantly calculated and displayed along with an explanation and the correct answers."

You are a :

Free Thinker
Welcome to the top 5%. You're a true free thinker and a person who is well informed about the reality in which you live. Although you may have been easily manipulated earlier in life, you eventually gained lucidity and developed a healthy sense of skepticism that you now automatically apply to your observations and experiences. You are endlessly curious about human behavior and the nature of the universe, and you have one or more lifestyle habits that most people would consider odd or unusual. You are not only of very high intelligence, you are also extremely creative in one or more areas (music, art, software development, inventing, etc.)

If you were in The Matrix, you would have taken the red pill, completed the combat training, and started fighting (and beating) agents from day one.

Your architects: You have cast off reality distortions taught to you by your parents, schooling, corporate advertising and government propaganda. You create your own beliefs based on what serves you best, without much regard for what the rest of the crowd is doing. You are guided by your own internal code of ethics (which may or may not agree with politically-correct ethical codes) rather than any pre-set system of ethics (such as from any one religion)."

Bad Information on Wikipedia - Pop Occulture

Bad Information on Wikipedia - Pop Occulture:
"...Instead of getting all grumpy and contacting a lawyer, he could have simply logged onto Wikipedia (hell, you don’t even need to sign in or create an account if you don’t want to) and actually made the appropriate corrections himself! Thereby saving everybody the headache of hearing him have to bellyache about the whole thing.

Every article I’ve read which has been critical of Wikipedia always takes this same angle: of the beleagured scientist, author or intellectual who comes out of his ivory tower every ten years to use the internet, and discovers - Lo! There’s a factual error in Wikipedia! And then before you know it, they’ve convened a fucking press conference to denounce the technology. When instead, they could have done what the rest of us who actually make sites like Wikipedia work routinely do: they could have fixed it and made it better!

In a nutshell, the weaknesses of this type of technology (or approach to technology) is precisely the same as it’s strength. It’s just a matter of what you’re ready to focus on and do about it."

Constitutional principle - Cops have the right to shoot any fleeing suspect.

Oy vey.

"I'm often quite sympathetic to cops who end up shooting suspects who turn out to not be a threat. Not regularly being in the business of facing down armed criminals I'm not going to substitute my judgment for theirs about when they perceive a threat in any given situation. That isn't to say there aren't trigger happy cops or situations where they've gone too far, but I'm certainly one to give them the benefit of the doubt.

However understanding that occasionally a bad shooting is going to happen is something entirely different from endorsing as a matter of constitutional principle that cops have the right to shoot any fleeing suspect.

Alito. What a fucking piece of work."