Thursday, December 15, 2005
Yes, the actor that portrayed Chewie recently became an American citizen. His wife, a Texan (is that really in America?) seduced him to the wonders of the MOST BUTT-KICKIN' NATION OF LIKE ALL TIME!!! Since the actor (Peter Mayhew) is quite boring--kinda awkward, sinewy, and generally in need of a stylist--the press latched onto his more limb-ripping-capable alter ego.
But what if Chewbacca was real? What kind of job would he get here? In fact, what would other Star Wars characters do here in America? Would their lives be improved?
Chewbacca - Chewie would be the Jared of Rogaine. While not glamorous, it's a profitable way to exploit his hirsute nature. Step down: While being chased by Imperial Troops for smuggling is certainly dangerous, the inevitability of dying-on-the-inside-as-a-corporate-spokesperson is moreso.
Anakin Skywalker - Clearly would be come the next Great White Rapper. While his performance skills need a definite boost, he's got enough angst to go to 9 mile. Step up: the darkside of rapping is becoming lighter by the minute. Plus, an iced-out lightsaber would be cool.
Darth Vader - While technically Anakin, I'm separating them for the purpose of paying homage to James Earl Jones. This Dark Lord of the Sith would make a terrific fast food drive-through cashier (link with video). "Would you like to galacti-size that? (breathing noises)". Step down: MOST fast-food chains frown upon employees force-choking customers when they don't bus their own plastic trays.
Luke Skywalker - The next Gilbert Gottfried. "But I wanted to go to Tashi Station to pick up some power converters!!!" Whiney-ness personified. Step undecided: getting off of his farm on Tattoine alone would be an improvement, unless he moved to the midwest. That's right, I said it.
Princess Leia - Would immediately be pushed as the next-big-thing. Young, attractive, and has a powerful message--she'd be taught how to sing, go on tour, cut a record deal, and appear numerous times on TRL. When her hairstyle goes out of vogue she crashes hard and spends the rest of her life in a drug-addled personal hell of regret and remorse. Step down: Preferable to be tortured by Grand Moff Tarkin than end up dating Nick Carter.
Han Solo - He's destined to become a world-famous archeologist who travels the world and fights the evil Nazis while saving things that belong in museums. Step even: He still rakes in the ladies and has plenty of adventure and excitement. Of rcourse, there's a small chance he enters the LA police force as a homicide detective, in which case it'd be the second worst step down I ever saw as a movie.
Yoda - Our little green, grammatically-challenged friend would work down at the docks, unloading big cargo tankers with his mind. Definite step up from the Dagobah swamps. Also, working with mafia-tied foremen would be better than having to teach young boys how to center their minds.
Obi-Wan Kenobi - Ever the gentle soul, Obi-Wan will become a marriage counsellor. After years of solving people's problems with the wisdom of the Jedi, he will realize there is one thing missing in his life--love. Of course that love involves a young Padawan and a fetish for the rat-tail hairdon't. Step down: since his brand of passion is illegal in most states (except one or two).
Jar Jar Binks - As he eventually does in the movies, Jar Jar would become elected to the U.S. Senate. Step down: Hanging out with the likes of Pat Roberts is definitely worse than Natalie Portman.
Darth Maul - A man(?) in love with his makeup, Maul will take the logical step and go straight into the clown industry. Sadly, he'll slice more kids in half with his lightsaber than he'll make happy with his bantha-balloon animals...because that's who he is. Step down for obvious reasons.
R2D2 - R2D2 would be repurposed to refridgerate and distribute the newest Pepsi product at a heavy metal summer music festival. Step down: Having to smell the stench of a thousand sweaty kids is worse than getting zapped by blaster fire. On second thought, since R2 can't smell, it probably doesn't matter. Step even.
C3Po - Starbucks barista. The megacorp will soon begin replacing workers with robots. His encyclopedic knowledge of languages will help him understand the nuanced language of the caffeine addict and remember the exact ingredients and names of the umpteen million things on the menu. Step up: Threepio was never one for adventure and excitement. He's human-cyborg relations for chrissakes!
Senator Palpatine - He'd see the current state of affairs in politics and realize he doesn't have the potential for such corruption and skullduggery. Turning a complete 180, he'd become a high school science teacher, wowing the kids with the magic of electricity. Step up: the children are our future.
Jabba the Hutt - The great Hutt would be best suited as a car salesman, particularly for the Yukon Denali. His mafia background and slimy attitude would be perfect for the job. Secondarily, a giant SUV would be the only thing he'd be able to get around in. Step down: no Big Tent Sale Event will ever rival having Princess Leia dance for you whenever you want (and in a gold bikini nonetheless).
Boba Fett - On his way into the country, Boba would be flagged and detained by the Department of Homeland Security. Those guys don't mess around. Step down.
9 steps down, 4 steps up, 2 even/undecided. America is no friend to the galaxy far far away! I could go further, but that should be good enough to cover for the more casual Star Wars fan.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
I saw this t-shirt on someone today. Not a better way to put it.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Four million three-hundred twenty-one thousand. If you subtract around twenty-three thousand from that you have signed your own death warrant.
Or so the Death Dealers of Domino Day (see post) would have us believe.
On the fateful day in question only about 200,000 dominoes were left standing. The great wave had nearly made its way around the stadium. But from the crowd one lone figure rose against Goliath. With a small beak and high metabolism, our David lashed out in desparation and felled (only a few parts of) the Philistine's army (still a moral victory).
Lest you think I'm obsessed with white pock-marks on black plastic...this is a song of woeful mourning. Spokesman Jeroen van Waardenberg (who has entirely too many vowels in his name) said organizers made a "split-second" decision to shoot down the bird. "That bird was flying around and knocking over a lot of dominoes. More than 100 people from 12 countries had worked for more than a month setting them up," he said.
Geert the bird. Shot at a ripe young age after inadvertantly stumbling his way into a massive endeavor beyond his comprehension. What course of action could you have as a bird but to go completely psycho and start knocking down everything in sight?
Hearing the depressing news of another domino-related "statistic", I immediately held a seance. Geert chirped to me the great mysteries of life as revealed to him post-avicide. As the small and feathered apparition floated towards me--it spaketh.
Here it is the truth as revealed to me.
BIG BIRD IS NOT A BIRD AT ALL. HE IS A SERIES OF DWARVES STANDING UPONST EACHOTHER INSIDE A COSTUME MADE IN CHINA.
ALL UNKNOWN MEATS TASTE LIKE CHICKEN BECAUSE THE DUCKS HAVE ADVANCED BEYOND YOUR COMPREHENSION IN THE FIELDS OF GENETICS AND CHEMISTRY.
ALL WOODPECKERS ENJOY HEAVY METAL MUSIC.
SEAGULLS AND PIGEONS TARGET YOU NOT BECAUSE IT GIVES THEM SOME SADISTIC SATISFACTION, BUT BECAUSE THEIR EXCREMENT MAKES YOUR HAIR HEALTHIER. PANTENE PRO-V IS MADE MOSTLY OF WASTE COLLECTED OFF OF OLD STATUES IN LONDON.
ON THE GROUND, BIRDS CAN RUN FASTER THAN CHEETAHS. WE JUST CHOOSE NOT TO.
THE PENGUIN HAS BEEN SHUNNED BY THE BIRD SPECIES BECAUSE IT ALWAYS DRESSES FUNNY.
ONE OF THE GREAT CONTINGENCIES OF THE MASTER DEFENSE PLAN OF THE KINGDOM OF BIRDS IS: IF DOMINO ORGANIZERS ARE GOING TO START CARRYING GUNS, WE ARE TO ARM OUR CLAWS/TALONS WITH DOG POO. IT ISN'T GOOD FOR YOUR HAIR AND IT IS INFINITELY MORE PRECISE.
Immediately after the seance ended, I drove to the store and bought an umbrella-hat. I suggest you do the same. They are coming with fire in their eyes and burning vengeance in their heart. Oh yes, they are coming.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
There's something primal about the feeling. You see something fragile and complicated, and you want it to break or fail. Its like rubbernecking on the highway at the scene of a wreck. Or staring at a mole on someone's face.
I think that desire is two pronged like a snake's tongue. First, simply beholding something complicated working gives you the same nervous energy that drives people to theaters to watch horror movies. You know, or you think you know, that disaster is imminent. It's exciting, like waiting for Teen Extra #3 to get surprised and stabbed in a totally expected manner. If you've ever seen a cake making competition, you've felt the same thing when they transfer it to the judging table.
Second, there's an aspect of anticipating someone who has infinitely more patience (and probably more skill/dedication) than us be taken down a notch. They've put a lot on the line for a few seconds of glory, and we subconsciously want them to fail. It makes us feel good about ourselves.
What the HECK am I talking about? Chain Reactions.
People usually get their first joy with planned demolition in the form of Mousetrap. Roll something, move something, yada yada yada regular board game until...that magic moment. The RELEASE OF THE TRAP! Never before has someone been so happy to be caught. High fives all around! (watch the video in that last link)
The second wondrous encounter is with ye olde dominoes. Domino Rally was pretty popular back in the day, but its like an appetizer to the main course. 3, 992, 397 little fellas came together to form a perfect symphony. Wouldn't you hate to be THAT guy who accidentally knocked it over? I'm sure they'd get blackballed from the Domino Topplers Club.
But I bring to you the dessert....the climax of chain reactions. First, a 30 minute movie (clip is shorter) of a fantastical nature named "The Way Things Go". From a trash bag to a scooting ladder to a metallic tetherball, the kinetic energy just flows on down the line. Pretty darn amazing if you ask me.
And the marketing driven (pun intended) Honda commercial entitled "Cog" (smaller, crisper version). All parts from 2 hand-built prototypes (except the floor, walls, and final car). 606 takes in one week. 6 million dollar campaign. All supercool, and not a frame computer altered. You may ask yourself: "Self, how dem tires roll up hill like that?" Well country boy, there is a weight in each tire and when the tire is knocked, the weight is displaced and in an attempt to rebalance itself, the tire rolls up the slope. Its like magic (not Magic)!
This monumentous setup reminds me of the time I spent as a kid watching my dad build model ships. I always admired the patience and planning and tenderness it required. Good qualities missing of late in this caaaraaazy world.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Friday, November 04, 2005
"Every sperm is sacred. Every sperm is great. If a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate." So sayeth Monty Python, and His word be Law.
Luckily not everyone follows the law THAT closely, except apparently the Duggar family. This prolific couple has put even the peskiest intergalactic pest to shame. There might be hornier things in Arizona, but definitely nothing can hold a candle to the total package this family has to offer.
16 kids. SIXTEEN. One mom. A dad named Jim Bob. A site named www.jimbob.info (and a "new" site as well--one family with two websites?!)
Oh, could it get better? Yes. The kids all have "J" names.
Joshua, 17; John David, 15; Janna, 15; Jill, 14; Jessa, 12; Jinger, 11; Joseph, 10; Josiah, 9; Joy-Anna, 8; Jeremiah, 6; Jedidiah, 6; Jason, 5; James(link with sound) 4; Justin, 2; Jackson Levi, 1; and now Johannah.
I'm sure Jehosophat is next. A Jill but no Jack. A Jinger (!) but no Jennifer?
There are so many questions associated with this whole thing. So instead of going absolutely crazy retelling their magnificently strange story or pre-answering FAQs about the logistics of the whole thing, I'll just let you check out their websites.
Instead, I made a top ten list of things an 18-person family can do.
10. Shop at Sam's Club or else hold a weekly UFC to cut down on food costs!
9. Sink Rhode Island with their combined weight.
8. Make a more impressive one of these.
7. Win a human iditarod
6. Double----er 18-tuple date with the Partridge Family AND the Brady Bunch.
5. Create their own government, including three whole branches!
4. Have their own team dance competition
3. Maybe....just maybe...eat more than Takeru Kobayashi.
2. Dress up as almost all of Madonna's "image reincarnations" for Halloween.
1. Have their own Ultimate Team.
Fine, I have to say it. They are secretly grooming a clone army to take over the Republic.
Grab your lightsabers.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Rome has again fallen. Elmer Dresslar Jr. is dead. While I understand the overwhelming desire to rend your clothes and pull out your hair and wail at anger at the cruel world...please try to contain your grief.
The voice of the Jolly Green Giant is no more. Now we are doomed to a future of unrealistic imitations of the once-great vocalization. The ginormous spirit of one man has long filled the ginormous body of a great vegetable automaton. What indeed is this greater thing he has become? Let's take a closer look at the JGG.
Theory One: The Guardian Golem
Who shall protect our children from supersizement? One theory posits that the Giant is indeed a magical construct of an ancient religion...an animated being given life to protect those within the Green Valley from the woes of the outside world. Born from a frantic and xenophobic sentiment into the life of an eternal bodyguard, a golem of sorts, the JGG is as powerful as the vegetables he protects.
But what would vegetables possibly have to worry about? The Big Fella is bound to a geographical location, patrolling the borders for dangerous foes. Yet on his beat, this chloro-cop fights a much greater psychological battle for the good health of children everywhere.
The forests to the east hold the ever-encroaching and increasingly-daring Keebler Elves. They use the skins of the baby sprouts as the secret ingredients of their cookies and wear their peas as leguminous lavalieres. Even Gregor Mendel, with his wicked brand of social darwinism, would shudder at their savagery.
But in the hierarchy of menaces, one stands ahead of the rest. Shrouded in a cape of cocoa, sucking the very life out of children everywhere and replacing it with a sugar...Count Chocula. Bram Stoker's real secret inspiration now unveiled. Let's just say that Vlad the Impaler was Strawberry Shortcake compared to him.
His fight versus the Avatars of Sugar has inspired countless of children to forsake their candy bars to consume broccoli and turnip greens. He, while soulless and empty inside, provides a heroic template for humanity and vegetablekind--tirelessly defending his realm with really big fists.
Theory Two: The Terrible Green Tyrant
The second theory has been gaining steam of late, although not as well-supported as the first (but highly popular among the 4-14 year old demographic). It contends that the JGG is indeed a cruel and unusual despot. He rules with an Iron Green Thumb over the rest of the vegetables. He is all-seeing, all-knowing, and all-powerful when compared with the pea-ons under him. His sadistic empire runs on the power of his subjects. He has the ears of Corn spies everywhere.
The will to live has left all vegetables under his gaze. They have become bland and kinda grody tasting sometimes. Before his reign (BJGG) they were thriving and tasty, cauliflower tasted like Oreos. Carrot Juice was more popular than soda. But then the darkness came. A monster in mind and body came from a land far away and smashed his gavel down upon the Green Valley. His demanding cries of "Ho, Ho, Ho" are not "jolly" until the feminine companionship he requests by it arrive at his side.
Theory Three: The Jolly Green Misunderstood Mutant
A final theory puts the Giant in the place many have been before: a misunderstood mutant misappropriated for marketing mayhem. Next time you see him, notice the slight decrescendo in his "Ho, Ho, Ho!", notice the forced smile, and notice the deep voice. They all mask the pain of a child star.
A sort of reverse Webster, the JGG is really a 2 year old boy with a giant green body. Ripped from his normal life by overeager parents looking to exploit their child for profit, he is unable to understand his fame and is destined for a future of disappointment. He began growing at an astronomical rate at age 1 when his dog brought him back a bone it had found in an old toxic waste dump. Since then he started his TV career as a stunt double (until he accidentally smashed a helicopter) and a love-interest (cross-dressed of course) until he landed the Green Valley gig. He's currently confined to a celluloid cell, contractually chained to his character and condemned to continual type-casting. One day he'll break free and seek treatment, trading his unreal "jolliness" for real, vivid human emotions he has long repressed.
What kind of voice was Dresslar Jr? Who is the Jolly Green Giant? Decide for yourself.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
“ ’45 Bald Eagle ”
Silver wings soar in space--
A lonely flight revealed
By a quick shadow overhead.
We're lifted gently up
As if coaxed by the same
Spectral winds that push
Clouds over earth.
Heavens and ground and water appear
To become one beneath this bird--
As a city feels a new sun.
Well I slapped on my galoshes and went wading through some of my old poetry today. Here's another one I wrote on the same day as "Fence" (reproduced below). If you need to, take a close look at the picture.
You'll penetrate what I think when I spit out these chinks
In my armor, shedding my sword for words in this war,
Sharp broken stabs of syllables, parables, fables, filthy and able--
Molotov cocktails of justice between us, just us,
I respond to your cash lust with love lust--
Pushed thus by people pushing me down in their hearts
Heathen thoughts of turning my cheek to their thoughts
But I listen to learn while waiting my turn to return
Hatred with respect, having inspected my neck for nooses
Of my mind, maddened malice cinched over time,
Bitter from your crimes in our shared time.
Stuck with you in this age, feeling burning, dire, deadly rage--
Dealing dilemmas of martin or malcolm and guns or gandhi
Of church and state vs. my state of being, just living and seeing
Sights unwanted by those in my city, shut eyes replace pity.
No one knows that brothers exist on the other side of the fence,
Since we make it ourselves--hell, I've bought carpenter's nails,
Spent nights on my knees hammering myself in a jail.
But my cell has grown cold so I sold it for parts
To be a part of worlds outside with the wild,
Worthy truth as my bride and love as my child.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Expect chapters II (Nuts and Bolts-Robots are Screwed) and III (Clowns - Not Smiling Anymore) to be published soon. They are further musings on the mighty career of the average buccaneer.
Friday, October 21, 2005
An island with slightly more people on it, England, was host to one of the most famous scientific frauds in history. It is a story that has always captured my imagination. A laborer happens upon an old bone in a gravel pit...takes it to his local archeologist (every town needs a local archeologist) and the world takes note. Further excavations took place, despite the ominous warnings of the curse of the mummy! (Just kidding about the mummy part). More bones were found...a human like head with an apelike jaw? Must be our ancestor! Or, as discovered 40 years later, it must be a human head with an orangutan's jaw and teeth which had been chemically altered to look authentic and ancient.
This "earliest Englishman", the great hope of proving mankind sprung from its apeish beginnings in the glorious land of England, became the great embarassment of the UK scientific community. Charles Dawson, the local archaeologist, never had quite the same luck with the geek groupies that he did during those four decadent decades. Various people have been named as possible suspects in this whodunit, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself(who incidentally resembles like Prez Teddy!)
Ah youthful scientific vigor! Oh nationalistic hubris! You two are so cute together. If you love yourself some good scientific mysteries, check out more on the Piltdown Man here and here. Cheers to science!! (that last link is a good one!)
Thursday, October 20, 2005
SotG is short for one of the cornerstones of the Sport-I-Play, ultimate frisbee. Spirit of the Game is a part of the rules, and those unfamiliar with it can read about it here. I've had a long and storied past with some of the worst spirited teams ever assembled. UNCW and ECU were constant opponents for Duke. One particulary exciting game involved about 5 of the UNCW coach's friends atop a scissor lift they moved from endzone to endzone so they could occasionally toss empty beer cans at our team before a pull. At least they had the astuteness to drink all the beer. Blatant cheating, fouling, and trying-everything-they-could-get-away-with was standard practice. They've got a terrible reputation for "Carolina-Style" ultimate and that reputation is deserved.
One acronym down! One to go. UNCAT is the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Sorry I don't have something furrier or cuddlier to talk about. Now, I could go through the various articles, but pretty much UNCAT was where the nations came together and declared that hurting people (physically or mentally) in order to extract ( I hate that euphamism) information is wrong. This is also covered pretty well in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Both of these things are solidified realizations of an application of a more basic human understanding: the golden rule.
Back to the bloodthirsty buccaneer's Veto. One of the President's most fantastic powers is that of the veto. The American system of "checks and balances" so wisely put into place by those crazy founding fathers would be severely weakened if the executive branch didn't have it. But now is not the time for arguing about how messed up the checks and balances are becoming.
Now is the time for asking why the President is going to use his veto power for the FIRST time on a defense spending bill that provides funding for troops in Iraq because there is a provision in it to forbid torture by US troops. The measure passed the senate 90-9. A quick look at the Senate shows that this is an overwhelming bi-partisan effort. Remarkable, yet hardly suprising considering the national embarrassment of Abu Ghraib as well as allegations surrounding Guantanamo Bay. Seems only right to correct something that makes us look evil in the eyes of the rest of the world...not to mention something that makes the highlight reel of the latest terrorist training video.
A quick search for Abu Ghraib to hotlink a site to the above mention found pictures much worse (but still censored for decency) than those shown to the vast majority of the American Public.
The veto of the amendment which includes the bit about forbidding cruel and inhumane punishment would mean a veto of the whole $440 billion spending package, leaving troops on the frontlines in Iraq and Afghanistan without enough funding as early as November. Further risking our soldiers' lives so you can keep cruel torture around? *$&^$#@*(# !
I can't even begin to express how ridiculous I think this is...but it's for damn sure that the President and his administration are completely against the SotG of humanity. He seems undeterred about the use of torture and unembarrased about Abu Ghraib. If he "knows the heart" of Harriet Miers and wants to hire her, then he should look at the heart of the world and fire himself. Bloodthirsty buccaneer indeed.
From a post-election press conference, Nov 4, 2004.
Question: Do you feel more free, sir?
The President: Oh, in terms of feeling free, well, I don't think you'll let me be too free. There's accountability and there are constraints on the presidency, as there should be in any system. I feel -- I feel it is necessary to move an agenda that I told the American people I would move. Something refreshing about coming off an election, even more refreshing since we all got some sleep last night, but there's -- you go out and you make your case, and you tell the people this is what I intend to do. And after hundreds of speeches and three debates and interviews and the whole process, where you keep basically saying the same thing over and over again, that when you win, there is a feeling that the people have spoken and embraced your point of view, and that's what I intend to tell the Congress, that I made it clear what I intend to do as the President, now let's work to -- and the people made it clear what they wanted, now let's work together.
And it's one of the wonderful -- it's like earning capital. You asked, do I feel free. Let me put it to you this way: I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
At any rate, I've got a backlog of topics and stories I'd like to relate to you. Epic epiphanies and ribald reasonings. But this troubadour has been beset by a curse. A dangerous warlock has decended from his ivory tower deep in the rainforest Seatl to best me in mortal combat. A lonely minstrel facing off against the most powerful magicks this land has to offer? I didn't stand a chance against the Wireless Network Setup Wizard.
All morning I'm the Pied Piper. I've been leading my mouse all over the damned place---the swamps of Your Network Places, the steep precipice of Windows Update, the dungeon of TCP/IP, and even the far-off shores of Random Internet Articles. But this Pied Piper is feeling more and more like St. Patrick. Ssssnakess in my sssyssstem! This Wizard is supposed to help me, to make things happy in Hobbiton. Yet vex me he doth. All I want to do is share files amongst computers and be able to print wirelessly. Is that too much to ask?!
As the madness creeps into my mind and thoughts of Gatesassination tickle my fancy, I am reminded of a piece of my name's history. Ned Ludd. He would stand for no such thing! He would fight the forces of evil with tooth and nail! He would find the quickest spatial melding of keyboard and monitor!
In my heart I know the digital revolution is just as powerful as the industrial one. We'll never be able to divorce ourselves of technology...but it sure is cathartic to imagine your computer blowing up every once and a while.
(Edited: Geez, one step ahead of CNN. Here's an article on the frontpage today!)
Thursday, October 13, 2005
You can find it online (it'll also be linked under my links). There's a short but painless registration process. It's worth it. His observations, subject matter, etc etc...damn good. Think I'm not a good judge of it? He won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for commentary.
I bring you the ceramic knife. Not much glitz and glamor, but its edge can be sharpened to one micron width. Your hair is 100 microns wide. Pretty much the only thing sharper is a diamond, and they are 4eva! Now Ginsu tackles some things that ceramic knives cannot, so don't be so quick to write off your favorite infomercial.
OK wait, maybe I was wrong about the tenderness of today's ceramics:
How much ceramics info can you get? CeramicsToday might help. A "West Coast Funk" section? Looking to be a ceramicist? You might need a healthy dose of the Ceramics databases. "No thanks Ned, I really just want to spin a mug for my mom for mother's day." Fine. Don't be fascinated about the sharpest cutting tool ever forged by mankind. See if I care.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Different teachers impart knowledge upon their students in different ways. Yoda showed his "motion in the ocean" by raising Luke's X-Wing from the depths of a murky swamp. Paulie made Rocky chase after a chicken. Ducard basically beats the padooky out of Bruce Wayne.
But all of that pales in comparison to the subliminal instruction of Donald Rumsfeld. You and I and anyone that has ever seen him give a speech or answer questions from a special commission literally know thousands of martial arts styles. Focus your chi for a second and see if you feel a special something inside you. What am I talking about? Well, you can check it out at Poe News. They have documented every frame of this secret teaching style. By inserting different "positions" or "stances" in his broadcasted speeches, we have each (subconsciously) become his apprentice over the years.
When asked about the end goal of Sensei Rumsfeld's instruction, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said, "9/11 changed the course of our country's destiny. Ordinary citizens must now be on high alert when it comes to a growing threat to our way of life. Emper....I mean Secretary Rumsfeld has partnered with the Department of Homeland Security to teach America self-defense. Using the same techniques that our brave men and women in special operations overseas use will better allow citizens young and old to fight terrorism on our terms." I'm a little skeptical that there might be more going on here. History (and by that I mean film) has been littered with malicious uses of such a system of training. Such famous thespians as Matt Damon, Frank Sinatra, Ben Stiller, and up-and-comer Summer Glau have warned us of a danger that might be all too real. At once, we might all be "activated" by a phrase during a State of the Union address (well, those that watch it...so the threat might not be that bad!). Alls I'm sayin' is watch out Prime Minister of Malaysia!
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Youth of the Moon
We shall set our souls in line
And mine them with the moonbeams
That stream down to touch us--
And take silver strings of thought,
(From that dark-circled sender)
Leaving homespun silk for human hearts
And love’s crumbling quilt.
We imagine worlds where
Suns act like moons,
Light and soft, but without burning.
Our worlds slowly turn
Towards celestial Heavens
And towards the laden Hearts
Of our celestial brethren.
The moon shades us all,
(Pale mouth of the sky)
Shouting louder than stillness
And stifling the chilled night.
With our souls strong-willed,
We pour our passion together
Like spilt moonbeams--
For poets to touch and weave with.
22 October 2000
Welcome to the world that is the logical extension of historical events set in motion by the Grand Challenge. What happens in Nevada stays in Nevada, excepting the Pentagon-sponsored race across the Mojave desert early this month. Thousands of nerds-who-will-never-have-bachelor-parties-in-Las-Vegas gathered at the 132-mile course to wind up their toy cars and let em go. A Volkswagon...yes...a Volkswagon crossed first. Some humvees finished out the top spots, getting Arnold Shwarzenegger pumped up.
The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA, which we really know stands for Dastardly Assisted Robot Produced Annihilation) gave $2M dollars to the fastest vehicle to cover the race in less than 10 hours. Taxpayer funded.
According to the AP: The so-called Grand Challenge race is part of the Pentagon's effort to cut the risk of casualties by fulfilling a congressional mandate to have a third of all military ground vehicles unmanned by 2015. If that isn't setting us up for T1-T3, then I promise to do something kinda gross. The vehicles were equipped with the latest sensors, lasers, cameras and radar that feed information to several onboard computers.
So in several years, when we are all huddled amidst the rubble of our burning cities while fending off wave after wave of relentless robot warriors using a dwindling supply of ammunition, look to me with your desparate eyes and I will simply respond with a hungered, dehydrated and equally desparate tone: "I told you so". That's a long sentence.
Bonus fun: Terminator 2 Fact -- Given Arnold Shwatzenegger's $15 million salary and his total of 700 words of dialog, that translates to $21,429 per word. "Hasta la vista, baby" cost $85,716.
Monday, October 10, 2005
There are sooo many good parts of this site. Just look around for a bit. You won't be disappointed. Unless of course you hate words and stuff. I find that obscure words with complex meanings make great fuel for poetry. The Phrontistery is a great online resource, but if you want something you can manhandle with your dirty paws, get this book: They Have a Word For It, by Howard Rheingold.
There's a craze hitting the dextrous fingers of today's youth. Its nickname is "leetspeak", an e.e.cummingsesque butchering of the English language that includes numerical substitutions for letters and abbreviating abbreviations for the sake of brevity. Emoticons beware... !337$p3@k is here to make you :_( .
It flourishes in the online gaming community, of which I have absolutely no experience whatsoever, I promise. Out of all of the phrases, one stands out in my mind and my soul as the most annoying damn one. "pwn". An intentional mispelling of own...its used to say something or someone is better or more skilled than its "pwnd" object. Other exciting ones are w00t and n00b. For the peddlers of leet, nothing shows their happiness more than an exclamation of "w00t"! When they level up, find that special sword that matches their armor, or shoot someone with a Springfield 1903 Model Sniper Rifle. Nothing angers them more when some "n00b" either A) has no idea "how to play the game" or B) kills them repeatedly with rudimentary tactics such as running into a room with guns blazing.
That mom and pop software company has put together a little guide for the uninformed. Wikipedia (one of my favorite new resources), has an expanded entry on other commonly used acronyms. Three of my most often used ones are AFK Bio BRB (away from keyboard, going to take a biological [bathroom] break--be right back), gtg wife debuff (got to go, wife is about to take an axe to the computer in a justified Luddite rage), and BRB DWO POS! (be right back, dogs wildin' out, piece of stuff!). If you want to fully immerse yourself in it, check out Wiki's list of internet slang or list of computing and IT abbreviations.
I wouldn't dare give you this knowledge without the tools to fight against it if you so desired. The sworn enemy of all young leetspeakers is the ESRB. You can rally behind them if so inclined...or find out exactly what little Johnny got for Christmas. GTA: San Andreas doesn't stand for Geological Teaching Assistant: San Andreas. On a more personal level you can translate leetspeak back into normal speech to "protect your kids" using this tool. They've got a list as well.
I think the whole thing is kinda funny. Not that I would know, but I hear that some people get upset when being called "n00b" or being told they have been "pwnd". Don't they realize that once they, the gods of the fast-twitch hand muscles and incredible hand-eye coordination, once started as a lowly neophyte?
Sunday, October 09, 2005
- The Jiggle in the Jungle
- The Bombastic Battle of Boobs and Brains
- The Ditsy Dervish vs. the Nepotistic Naysayer
- The Trim Spa Terror vs. the Lower Court Error
I'm not exactly sure what to say other than Anna Nicole Smith, famous philosopher, has argued her way to the Supreme Court. Oh yes, the Supreme Court (aforementioned in this blog) has agreed to see her case. It reeks of tawdy details, of near-pedophilia. It also reeks of a women who barely has an ounce of intelligence in her brain. Most excitingly, it reeks of $474 million dollars (Only in America!). She's standing before the highest court in the land? The executives at Court TV must be celebrating...
Man what memories come back from this little gem of a PC game. No online play, no flashy graphics. Just good, ol'-fashioned Geek Vs. Geek destruction. For those lucky enough to play Star Control II, I salute you. A two-player game where you and your buddy shared the same keyboard (imagine that!) for some fierce bird's-eye-view ship battles. I guess there is some sort of statute of limitations on some games before their code gets released. There are now several fansites dedicated to the game and free downloads. Classicgaming.com also features it.
I just wanted to reminisce on the youthful nights of trash-talking one of my groomsmen, Robert Kingsley...mouths full of Chewy Chips Ahoy and the exotic Clearly Canadian drinking water. R.K. finally landed the perfect job for himself at Pandemic Studios doing A.I. for a serious military action/strategy game. Pretty Sweet.
StarCon II, amongst many others (Goldeneye, Mario Kart 64, Doom, Halo, Killer Instinct, Call of Duty), formed my love of the world of epic electron competition. I undoubtedly came out on top 98% of the time, but much fun was had by all. While I am sure that this will give many of those that read my blog some good ammunition for their next anti-dork volley, it behooves them to look inward at what they dork out over. Everyone has an inner geek. Everyone...
Friday, October 07, 2005
Metaphorically speaking, Terry McAulay. Unfamiliar name? Metaphorically speaking, Tom Brady. Still unfamiliar? Well Terry was the head ref at the last superbowl. Tom was the QB that won it with a winning and kinda creepy smile. What am I talking about? In the Superbowl, (even the first few where they didn't wear helmets, routinely gouged out the eyes of the competition, and actually played with a small, petrified pig instead of a football) you would never think to switch Terry out for Tom or Tom out for Terry. Even though they are involved in different aspects of the same game. First off, Terry probably throws like a girl and would break several vertebrae if he got sacked. Tom doesn't go anywhere without his linemen--having that many on the field would give an unfair boost to the defense.
While this particular metaphor was used for humor's sake...you wouldn't find the Center and the Running Back switching positions for a whole game...or the linesman and the head ref. So why the junk would you have a non-judge become one of the 9 most important judges in the whole world? Once again, I don't understand why someone who lacks experience gets nominated.
And I'm not the only one. This case seems particularly bad. History tells us that many nominees have never been judges. Why? With no proven track record on constitutional interpretation, is it possible to be a good candidate? And now both sides of the political fence are saying the same thing...that poor Miers' resume is kaput.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
I want to welcome former Congressman Dick Gephardt, who is a board member of the National Endowment for Democracy.
It's good to see you, Dick.
Classic, and always funny.
And I appreciate Chris Cox, who's the chairman of the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission and a board member for the National Endowment for Democracy, for being here as well.
And I want to thank all the other board members.
Here's where the speechwriter should be fired. The main, serious part of the speech hasn't hit yet. They miss on this golden opportunity finish off the setup with "It's good to see you, Cox". Woulda made the speech. Instead he continues on about "war justification" and "staying the course". Oh well.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Once again, you all must understand that I'm not some crazed radical. I'm unlikely to be on the tail end of police pepper spray at a WTO protest. I'll probably not handcuff myself to a building about to be knocked down for a Walmart. It's pretty small odds that I'll jump the paparazzi line to spraypaint DEATH on the side of Snoop Dogg's chincilla fur at the next MTV Music Awards.
That having been said, everyone can learn something from RAtM. Not only is it great, cathartic music, but it really has a conscious. Up next: Michelle Wie.
I am enormously proud to be an American. I would say that the things that our corporate-controlled government has done at best are shameful and at worst genocidal-but there's an incredible and a permanent culture of resistance in this country that I'm very proud to be a part of. It's not the tradition of slave-owningfounding fathers, it's the tradition of the Frederick Douglasses, the Underground Railroads, the Chief Josephs, the Joe Hills, and the Huey P. Newtons. There's so much to be proud of when you're American that's hidden from you. The incredible courage and bravery of the union organizers in the late 1800's and early 1900's-that's amazing. People of get tricked into going overseas and fighting Uncle Sam's Wall Street wars, but these are people who knew what they were fighting for here at home. I think that that's so much more courageous and brave. - Tom Morello
Here are my experiences as a music buyer and a few reasons why I think DRM is idiotic.
- Back in the day, when there was Blockbuster Music, record stores allowed you to listen to CDs in the store before you bought them. While this was undoubtedly a pain in the ass for the tattoo-laden, overtly pierced employees who already looked uncomfortable in their blue collared embroidered polo shirt uniforms....it sure made making the right purchase easy. I'm ok with spending a dollar or two more per CD if I can make sure I listen to it first. I'm not ok with hearing a really great single that the record company puts all its money in to produce and market and then finding out $15 later that the rest of the CD is either EXACTLY the same or COMPLETELY different. I hate to "single" artists out, but there's been a long line of one hit wonders throughout history. Now I use the complex mix of Amazon.com reviews/previews and iTunes before I buy anything. Sometimes artist sites might even have a couple songs free for the listening. This doesn't have much to do with DRM, but the conversation reminded me of it.
- Further back in the day I endeavored to squeeze the marrow out of life by pseudonymic exploitation of the BMG Music Club. 12 for the price of 1? Signing up your friends gives you more free CDs? Meet Edward A Coker, Ned A Coker, and Belle Coker. That's 45 cds for the price of one. Piracy and exploitation have been around forever. Just because the MP3 format is much easier than bootleg taping doesn't mean its newfangled.
- When the skies part and the clouds retreat to their dark corners of the earth...when what was once the darkest night of ignorance is alit with a glorious shaft of light that can pierce even the most sinful soul...when cheetah and antelope embrace in tenderness and the fraternity of beastkind... That is how the world aligned when I entered college and gathered the three mystical pieces of the Holy Trinity of Music Appreciation: Napster, a High Speed Internet Connection, and a CD Burner. 1997-1998, R.I.P. You were fast, free, and wonderful to me. I certainly wouldn't be this into music if it weren't for Napster.
- More on the big N. Napster was wonderful and it really got me hooked to the music scene. Not only was I able to find a bunch of obscure bands that I'd never have found otherwise by cross-searching someone's collection- many of those songs lead me to investigate artists and get into the ones I previously hadn't....leading me to purchase their CDs at the store. I got into Air, Hooverphonic, Blackalicious, and countless others this way. The mix of Napster, burning my dormmates favorite CDs, and scanning the Duke Network really helped to broaden my horizons and force myself outside the Smashing Pumpkins/Weezer bubble I had put myself in. MP3, in my case, lead me to spend more money on CDs than I would without it, especially since record stores were starting to revoke the "free listen" policy
- I believe musicians should get credit for their work. If another band covers their song or remixes it, they need permission and to pay a commission. Putting a limit on the amount of times a person copies the CD that they purchased is just plain stupid though. Might as well make the CD self-destruct after X amount of listens. If I purchased it, why can I not copy it for my own perusal or backup purposes?
- The Darwin Awards: this year's metaphorical winner- DRM. Sony BMG and soon-to-be EMI have painted themselves into an evolutionary corner by only allowing their CDs to be played on Windows Media compatible software and devices. Arise from the gene pool DRM! Read a freakin' electronics magazine! Look around you at the gym. There's one little white plastic and metal imp everywhere, and it isn't WM compatible. It's iRidiculous not to have their CDs work with Apple. Its clearly at the front of the music industry. Hide behind rocks in bland-enviro-blending clothing? No thanks, let's stand in lines and wear easily-targetable red!
- And yes, Sony BMG has offered help to those fans that ask. Those wondering? For iTunes: rip the CD into a Windows Media file, burn the tracks onto a blank CD (without copy protection) and then rip that CD back into iTunes. So basically, they are creating a big pain in the butt for consumers who didn't even know they would encounter this unwarranted problem AND they aren't really protecting artists because they are releasing info on how to bypass the bad security to any that ask.
Sure its easy to think the record companies are greedy greedy mcgreedums. Sure they HAVE been screwing over artists for years just like gallery owners screw over painters and sculptors. But this seems like something just plain silly to me.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Thursday, September 29, 2005
The post title is to illuminate one of the lesser known roles of the Chief Justice. Other duties include presiding presidential impeachment hearings in the Senate. Conspiracy Theorist Bonus Round: Will President Bush do something really really really bad (worse than what he's already done) and have an impeachment trial?
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Here's a picture of it attacking some bait. Some squid bait! Oh yeah, these touchy feely mothers are cannabalistic too. What more could you ask of from an elusive and murky killer of the ocean depths? Attachable arms...its Stretch Armstrong AND Mr. Potato Head in one. While it rassled with its bait an arm got stuck. So it just jetisoned the 18' thang. Much to the scientists delight, the arm was still functioning and attached when they reeled in the rope. Creepy!
Anyways, Architeuthis, we are glad you are alive! Hip hip hooooooray! (another two post day!)
..-. / ..- / -.-. / -.- / .. / -. / --. / .. / -.. / .. / --- / - / ... / !
Sure it might not be as catchy as a Kanye West beat, but its got soul.
I speak of course firstly of Zell Miller(video link). He's crazy. I'll leave it at that.
Equally crazy, it seems, is Sonny Purdue. Recently he declared two snow days for all schools to help protect against possible fuel shortages caused by Hurricane Rita. Think of the fuel it saves! Oh...they are going to make up the school days? Maybe by then everyone will have traded in their hummers and all school buses will be running on natural gas.
Reasons why this is dumb mcdummyums.
- the aforementioned fuel will be used later anyways
- the fuel supply is running fine into Georgia anyways, as Rita didn't have the worst-feared impact
- thousands of families had to scramble for childcare for their kids over the weekend and spend unecessary money on it
- fuel prices come before education? The Daily Show is right - its a perfect example of the new ECLB initiative. Every Child Left Behind
- it gives us further incentive to remember other dumb school closings, like 1-2 inches of snow that have melted by the time the actual declared "snow day" rolls around
- kids not in school are using a whole heck of a lot more gas than the buses would driving places or having their parents drive them places
- teenagers do things, or other things, or even other things (I hope not this) while not in school or under the supervision of adults who can't get off work
So next time you look at this image...
think about your Georgia state motto - well, the last word of it I 'spose. Yes, its debatable whether these school buses could have been used to evacuate people in New Orleans (logistics of drivers, clear roadways, getting people to the buses, how many actually work, and possibility of commandeering them from the private company that owns them). However, its not debatable whether the Georgia school buses could be used. And they should have.
Links provided in this post were for humor's sake. I'm serious about the topic...but as you know, I always maintain a small kernel of rascaltude.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Janus - dalmation mix. The new recruit - a crazy loose cannon on the police force. 1yr +
Pass this on to yer family and friends....even enemies if you are into fighting hate with love.
The olde mother, as she is wont to do, has forwarded me another e-mail for my perusal. This one caught my eye however...The National Do Not Call List. Apparently cell phone numbers are going to be released to telemarketers in about a month, and we'll be charged with costs just like any other cell call. While I don't have any problem with individual telemarketers--the companies that hire them are evil entities fit to be exterminated. So please login here to register your phones. For your enjoyment here's a typical conversation. I'm in blue.
Uh yes, is Mr.....Cocker there?
Yes, this is him.
Hello Ed Cocker, this is Thomas from Pigeon Forge Travel. Have you ever been to Pigeon Forge before?
Yes, I've driven through there a couple of times, but I'm probably never going to go back there.
Great! So you've seen our town. Well we have several packages for weekend getaways we'd love to offer you.
I just said I'd never go....well anyways I'm busy for the forseeable future playing ultimate frisbee all weekend long.
...... ....... How about the last weekend in October? The leaves are beautiful here. Have you ever been to Dollywood?
That weekend is nationals, sorry. I've never been to Dollywood and I don't want to go. Have a nice day!
Did you know that Pidgeon Forge has hiking, several great restaur....
Hey, I've told you several reasons I am not coming to Pidgeon Forge OR Dollywood. If you don't listen to me, I'm not listening to you. G'day.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Anyways, two of my favorite poems (the first is my favorite). You will notice a similar theme to the rest of my blog. Cheat-link if you need to. The images should be enough. More poems to come in the future.
SEPTEMBER 1, 1939 - W.H. Auden
I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.
Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.
Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.
Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
And the international wrong.
Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.
The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.
From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
'I will be true to the wife,
I'll concentrate more on my work,
'And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the dead,
Who can speak for the dumb?
All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.
Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.
The Second Coming - W. B. Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?