Saturday, March 19, 2011

Buenos Aires seems like a magical place.

Some folks here in Liberia got notice of their next posting last week, and by chance I came across this poster this AM.  Off-off-off Broadway, apparently.

How do you see the glass?

"Great Tits Also Have Age-Related Defects."

Preach, Brother George [Carlin] - Preach.

Click to embiggen.

That's true, actually.

Charles Darwin was pimp.

Matt's got it all figured out.

Toughest. Job. Ever.

A Jesus I could get behind.

"Happiness Engineering."

Back to this - like exercise and good nutrition - after I recuperate from my travels over the weekend.  Because I need this as much as anybody I know.

Scott Adams Blog: Happiness Engineering 03/17/2011:
"...The self-help gurus will tell you it's important to have an ongoing positive dialog with yourself. Lots of books have been written on this topic. All I will add is that you might be completely unaware of how negative you are. Many people make the mistake of incorporating negativity in their humor and thinking the outcome is a net positive. That takes the form of reflexively commenting on what's wrong with, well, everything. I used to be that guy. It was a habit I picked up from my mother. I thought I was being funny. An ex did me the favor of pointing out that I was actually just being an asshole. All the time.

Luckily, this is one of the easiest habits you can ever break. Now I make it a practice to think or say something positive immediately after I let slip a negative comment. Saying positive things puts your mind into a positive state. And when you become that guy, you attract positive relationships and positive outcomes."

Yahweh's totally bangin' Asherah.

God's Wife Edited Out of the Bible -- Almost : Discovery News:
"God had a wife, Asherah, whom the Book of Kings suggests was worshiped alongside Yahweh in his temple in Israel, according to an Oxford scholar.

In 1967, Raphael Patai was the first historian to mention that the ancient Israelites worshiped both Yahweh and Asherah. The theory has gained new prominence due to the research of Francesca Stavrakopoulou, who began her work at Oxford and is now a senior lecturer in the department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter.

Information presented in Stavrakopoulou's books, lectures and journal papers has become the basis of a three-part documentary series, now airing in Europe, where she discusses the Yahweh-Asherah connection..."
More on Asherah here.

"A chest full of soul worms is bad enough. It's worse when they come with a hand that won't let go." - Muktuk Wolfsbreath, Hard Boiled Shaman

Muktuk Wolfsbreath, Hard Boiled Shaman is all kinds of awesome.

What Shamans Know.

Muktuk Wolfsbreath, Hard Boiled Shaman - Page 7:
"The membrane between safety and comfort and terror and chaos is alarmingly thin and permeable. Shamans know this..."

Doug Stanhope - "I have a difficult time in social situations. It’s agony, forcing conversations. Give me five or six beers, though, and I’m way less fearful."

It's always good when you hear you're not alone.

Doug Stanhope: 'I'm a generous, good-hearted, overly polite citizen' - The controversial comic claims that, despite his reputation for heavy drinking and caustic comedy, he’s a decent American guy | The List:
"‘I can’t remember the last time when I did a set sober,’ Stanhope confesses, as a microwave pings somewhere nearby. He adds Baileys to his warmed-through coffee, and carries on. ‘I’m not out till 4 in the morning doing ecstasy after shows anymore. I can’t do that and be funny the next night. But onstage, I’m always drinking.’ So his exaggerated, boozy persona isn’t just for show then? ‘Oh no, unfortunately it’s a necessity. I have a difficult time in social situations. It’s agony, forcing conversations. Give me five or six beers, though, and I’m way less fearful.’

This fearlessness definitely shows in his comedy. Gang-rape, 9/11, suicide, paedophilia – all are fair game to Stanhope. In fact, Fun With Pedophiles: The Best of Baiting, a book he wrote in 2006, should illustrate where he stands on political correctness. ‘There is no such thing as laughing at something you shouldn’t,’ Stanhope wrote recently in an article for a Scottish newspaper, in defence of Ricky Gervais’ feather-ruffling Golden Globes speech. ‘You should laugh everywhere you can find even the slightest glimmer of humour. Life is a series of heartache, tragedy and injustice, punctuated by a few cocktails and that one trip to Reno. The more you can laugh at the ugliest parts, the better off you are.’"

Boom - "...all forms of religious fundamentalism are wrong."

Worth reading in full at the link.

"...development of advanced technology is very much dependent upon a society's ability to abandon traditional views based on superstition and baseless speculation, and embrace a more realistic outlook based on straightforward, dispassionate observation of the real world.

On September 11th 2001 a group of religious fundamentalists used jet airplanes to destroy two of the world's largest skyscrapers. For the past ten years we’ve wondered and speculated about why they did this. Some people have talked about the various elements of economic repression wielded by Big Oil and the anger this creates. I don’t doubt that this has a lot to do with what happened. But I’d like to put forth my own speculation, which I think gets more at the heart of the matter.

The very existence of jet airplanes and skyscrapers stands as undeniable proof that the worldview these religious fundamentalists held dear is utterly wrong. In fact the existence of these things is proof that all forms of religious fundamentalism are wrong. It is tangible proof that neither the Qu’ran, nor the Bible, nor even the Buddhist sutras are literally true...

The construction of a jet airliner or a skyscraper takes a very sophisticated understanding of scientific theories that stand opposed to fundamentalist beliefs. Only a society that has abandoned such fundamentalist ideas can produce jets and skyscrapers. The proof that scientific humanism is true is right in front of you. The computer you're using couldn't possibly exist if it were not...

For a very long time I embraced the idea that societies around the world are held back by the unfair material and economic resources of the West, that if only they had these advantages they'd be able to stand on their own. I do not believe that any group of human beings are in any way fundamentally more or less intelligent than any other.

But recently I've begun to suspect that the thing that holds many societies back more than any other is their inability to abandon their cherished ideas about the world..."

"The history of peace sign/V-sign in Japan."

Having just come back from the Land of the Rising Sun and given that I do this reflexively now, worth delving into one of history's great mysteries.

Origin of the peace-ies: The history of peace sign/V-sign in Japan:
"How the gesture got so big in Japan remains a bit unclear. It has been variously attributed to post-war GIs in Japan, peaceniks Yoko Ono and John Lennon, an American figure skater, a camera commercial, and 1969 Woodstock festival footage. Jun Inoue, the lead singer in the Beatles-esque group The Spiders is said to have added the V-sign spontaneously during the filming of a Konica TV commercial in 1972. He may have been influenced by seeing American or British youth making the gesture on his previous trips abroad.

Another theory is that it was American figure skater and anti-war activist Janet Lynn who won over the hearts, minds and fingers of the photographed masses. In the 1972 Sapporo Olympics, she became beloved in Japan both for her artistic performance and for staying upbeat even after she fell on the ice. The theory goes that her frequent showing of the peace sign in subsequent print and TV media coverage in Japan won imitators."

"...people from different cultures can, to a certain extent at least, inhabit different realities."

Muktuk Wolfsbreath, Hard Boiled Shaman - Page 6:
"...the takeaway, that culture defines reality and that, as a consequences, people from different cultures can, to a certain extent at least, inhabit different realities–impressed me profoundly. It completely upended the till-then self-evident truism that “in the end, we’re all the same”. The truth is, I learned in the class, is that in a lot of important ways we’re NOT. When we don’t understand that, we get into all sorts of trouble."


Don't worry, Japan's gonna be fine. [Back from Japan.]

Back from my whirlwind 10 days in Japan - which was exhaustingly awesome. Now back catching up on the Internets/procrastinating from posting/blogging the hundreds upon hundreds of photos I took.

But came across this, given the earthquake/typhoon/ongoing nuclear plant issues, that speaks as to why the Japanese simply just can't be stopped.
[The words you're groping for are, probably, "unwavering perseverance."]

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"...all the panic talk about those nuclear reactors, can I ask everybody a favor? Just PIPE DOWN WITH THAT SHIT FOR A MINUTE. OK?"

Flying out of Japan in a few hours, as scheduled - not in a nuclear power earthquake typhoon induced panic - after 10 awesomely exhausting days and availing myself of the last of the high speed Internets before returning to Liberia...

Came across this... SO MUCH this... to everybody fear mongering and panic stroking in the media and on the 'net. Honestly, WTF is wrong with you people?

HARDCORE ZEN: Saskatoon, Karma and Charlie Sheen:
"As for all the panic talk about those nuclear reactors, can I ask everybody a favor? Just PIPE DOWN WITH THAT SHIT FOR A MINUTE. OK? Because the uninformed panicky garbage you spew out over the Internets travels to people who are really, personally affected by it.

I don't care if you think the politicians over there are lying. EVERYBODY thinks the politicians over there are lying. That is not an original thought or in any way unique. No one in Japan believes anything they hear from the government. They don't need your dire predictions of disaster based on what you learned by watching the movie The China Syndrome on VHS back in 1986. There is plenty of that out there already. Trust me. Plenty. So shut up."