Friday, December 26, 2008


Jesus, is this for real? It raises so many questions.


--How do you make biodiesel out of human fat?

--What quantity of human fat would you need to actually fuel a car? For that matter, what quantity of fat is usually removed from procedures like liposuction?

--Did this guy like, plan this for a long time and carefully store his patients' fat for the purpose?

--In his fridge, or what? I mean, this guy would have had to walk out of his clinic with one of those little biohazard coolers full of human fat. Over and over again. (Unless he was smuggling baggies it in his pockets or something.)

--Plus, because "the vast majority of [his patients]" actually want their fat to be used for fuel, according to him... did he ask them that beforehand? "I want to power my hybrid car, do you mind?" I wouldn't mind. I mean, it's just going to waste otherwise, right?

--What kind of byproducts result from refining human fat for biodiesel? I picture some kind of gross sludge. But hey, maybe that's the case for corn biodiesel.

--What kind of byproducts result from burning "lipodiesel"? Does it smell disgusting?

--"California law forbids the use of human medical waste to power vehicles," according to the article. Is this a specific law which was already on the books, possibly as a result of some other biomedical debacle, or is it just a more particular extension of some "you can't do anything with human medical waste except burn it" law?

Speculations and insights welcome. :D

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Car tires used to be white (natural rubber) until they figured out that carbon made them last longer. I did not know that!

Creepy/awesome art by Hirotoshi Itoh. How the hell does he make those? Impressive. Stones unzipped to reveal things.

The modern pork industry is fucking disgusting and evil.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

OMG I want to go here so bad. And I can not wait to get certified for diving...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This guy is awesome and I want to visit his lab and play with his snowflake machine and make snowflakes.

gallery of his snowflakes!

More! The one above is just a few.


Haha, holy shit: Twin Musical Tesla Coils Playing Super Mario Brothers.

Also, ancient Aztec instruments. Some of them sound really freaky. Then again we have no idea how the instruments were meant to be played. But some sound like raspy animal cries.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008


The Santa one (number 5) is the worst.

Also, tracks in a hydrogen bubble chamber.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Tactile-emotion synaesthesia!

And The Body Swap Illusion. I want to do these experiments on myself so bad. It would be cool to throw a "mindfuck" party where you did this, and maybe also flavor-tripped or something.

The comments are also awesome.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Check this out:

This man is clearly a werewolf. First of all, his name is WOLFE ffs. Secondly, his damn ears, combined with the fact that his arrest is for indecent exposure, make it clear that he was apprehended while in the middle of transitioning from wolf to human. Because wolves don't wear clothes. His ears may be the last part to return to normal.

Anyway, this mugshot site generally kicks ass.

Friday, November 21, 2008

On Pratchett and fictional success

I've loved The Office (American), but this last season or two it's really gone downhill. Not enough conflict, not enough misery (especially with Jim and Pam). The happiness of real people is important, and we should care about that. And we tend to translate that onto fictional characters. We identify with them, their suffering, their happiness, and so we want them to be successful and happy. But happiness is what real people deserve. As writers, we have to resist that, because it's not interesting, not for very long. Some might think they want all the characters to find true love and self fulfillment. But they don't want that, really, because it kills the story.

A successful story either has to end at the point of triumph ("and they lived happily ever after"), or, if it keeps going, some new difficulty has to arise. This doesn't necessarily have to be the same type of difficulty as before, the undoing of whatever success has already come, but it does have to arise, and to seem urgent and compelling, rather than a comparatively superficial problem on top of overall serenity.

And this, I think, is one of the difficulties with sitcoms. A movie has a discrete end. So does a book. The author can more easily chop things off at a satisfying point. But a sitcom has a tendency to keep going and going and going for as long as there's a sufficient fanbase and sufficient money. (Of course the same thing happens with books and movies, when there's more sequel than there is compelling material.) Arcs complete themselves, the narrator's lives progress. Unless the sitcom is one of those time-frozen ones, where everything returns to the status quo at the end (like The Simpsons), it eventually becomes unrealistic to stay with the same sources of dramatic tension, and it becomes boring to keep inventing slightly different obstacles to the same outcome. Either the couple gets together, or they get over it. Or we get a Friends type clusterfuck, where the same damn people get together and break up over and over and then all get married to one another in a big circle-jerk of fan-pandering. Much preferable is, say, the series ending of Seinfeld, where all the show's main characters--unredeemable and dislikable, but always interesting--die in a plane crash.

I think the character of Vimes, in Pratchett's Discworld series, is an example of an author successfully handling the cumulative triumphs of a character, while constantly keeping problems and danger imminent, and stakes high.

In Vimes' first appearance, in the novel, Guards! Guards!, he is a misanthropic, despairing alcoholic, in an underpaid, Sisyphean, and irrelevant job as a City Watchman. Over the course of several novels, he becomes happily married to the richest woman in the city, thus becoming the richest man in Ankh-Morpork; rises in rank to the Commander of the Watch and then to Duke, expands and revolutionizes the institution of the City Watch, and gains international influence and respect.

But while you're glad for him and glad to see the progress that he and the Watch make, there's no placidity, no happily-ever-after zone where the characters are just sculling around, and we're still watching them because we've grown to like them and want to see them content. (See: Jim and Pam, season 5. Even the potential minor conflicts are usually resolved by the end of an episode!) With every one of Vimes' gains comes a challenge of greater scope, and failure always has dire consequences, for entire cities and populations as well as for Vimes personally. This is one way in which Pratchett keeps it interesting, even while the characters--and perhaps the city as a whole--continually succeed and grow in stature and comfort by the end of every book.

That is mostly to do with the plot. Equally critical to Pratchett's successful handling of this is his characters' personalities and attitudes, and the realism (or cynicism) of both the characters and the author. Vimes is still a misanthropic alcoholic (though later a dry one), and feels uneasy with material comfort and prestige. This sets up a dramatic conflict between the character and his own successes. Failure and misery? Always dramatic. Success? In Vimes' case, also a source of frisson. This is a character whose happiest moments involve skulking in the rain at 3 am and chasing an armed thief down an alley, who chafes at reward, and who can't help but stir the turd. In other words, we are, as readers, guaranteed a good time.

As for the author's cynicism--well, you don't want to simply take a look at someone's books and automatically infer things about their beliefs and worldview, but the expository voice, and the nature of events as they unfold in his books, is pretty consistent. It would also be overly simplistic to characterize Pratchett's worldview as simply "cynical," as if it just despaired of or belittled humanity. His perspective is much more nuanced, clear-eyed, understanding, and forgiving than that.

Humans are foolish, brutal, selfish, ignorant, small-minded, curious, inventive, resourceful, adaptable, insufferable, and creative. They can make gods out of the desert wind, boredom out of the majesty of the universe, and a damn mess out of anything with a proverbial DO NOT TOUCH sign. The kind of happiness you find, on Discworld, is the kind that's Good Enough. War and conflict may be on the horizon, but for now at least we have peace. Problems are forestalled, not eradicated, and we can rest at the end of a satisfying narrative, applaud the characters' successes, while well assured that something else will come along and fuck things up, and we'll be treated to another adventure.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Crime! and PIs and stuff.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

freezer lad

I should really update this more frequently, and with more poetry related stuff.

I'm doing this poem a day thing, which has been very helpful for me. Today I started out trying to write a humorous poem chronicling the origins of Freezer Lad (who apparently is some sort of dodgy superhero or superhero sidekick) and within like 2 lines it turned into something which ended up being a sort of elegy for dead relative/coming of agey thing. PLANT METAPHORS AHOY

I still have issues with line breaks. But I think they're *good* issues, or at least I'm glad I think about it, even if I don't know what to do a lot of the time.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

rainbow teeth, wtf

Before going to the dentist, I googled "rotten teeth," and found a site with a gallery of fucked up teeth pictures. The most fucked up is this:

Rainbow teeth!!!!!!!! Oh my god.

It is caused by "biliary atresia," where the draining of the bile from the liver to the small intestine is fucked up. And somehow it colors the teeth. Wikipedia did not mention rainbow teeth.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This is so cool.

Sharpie house

animal crosses and birds not birds

Freaky animal cross photoshops.

Also:[blockquote]From Neuropsychology of PTSD: Biological, Cognitive, and Clinical Perspectives, edited by Jennifer J. Vasterling and Chris R. Brewin.

McClelland [McClelland, McNaughton, and O'Reilly (1995)] describes trying to teach a computer simulation of this neocortical memory system about the properties of birds. The network performs well when it is given lots of examples of birds, and is told that all of them can fly. However, when it is presented with a penguin, a bird that cannot fly, the network experiences catastrophic interference and responds either by classifying the penguin as a nonbird or by concluding that birds cannot fly after all.
This description of "catastrophic interference" is clearly reminiscent of clinical accounts of how trauma overturns long-held assumptions and is hard to integrate with previous knowledge. In the process known as "overassimilation" (Resick & Schnicke, 1993) some traumatized people attempt to deny the reality of the event and turn it into a nontrauma, equivalent to trying to turn the penguin into a nonbird. In the process Resick and Schnicke term "overaccomodation", people let the fact of the trauma overturn everything they previously assumed to be true, equivalent to concluding that birds cannot fly. (279) [/blockquote]

from a site analyzing the character of Stephen Colbert (as he is on the Colbert Report, not the actor).

Friday, September 26, 2008

OMG this is amazing:

List of terms for gay in different languages.

I may or may not write more on this, but I am amused by the linguistic universality of [large vehicle]-[gay woman]. Like the equivalent of the English "diesel dyke," I guess, except it's like "tractor dyke" and "truck dyke." And then there's like "huge manly shoes", which apparently means "dyke" in portugese.

I'm not sure WTF is up with the word "towel" being a synonym for gay, either.

In any case, some are funny, many are inexplicable (ah, yes, a beechnut. I can see why that would mean "guy who likes guys"), and most of them are derogatory, or at best, neutral. Only a couple of "positive" ones.
I can't decide if this is quackery or brilliance:

Do cats' purrs have healing powers?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

See, I'm learning.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Apparently the juice in meat is not blood, but sarcoplasm. Cool.

I really want a steak now, but I don't know how to cook meat. I'm afraid I'd fuck it up, and that maybe I am better off just having it in restaurants. Or maybe I'm just lazy.

Also, here's a cartoon that's a not-even-really-veiled metaphor for constipation.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Enigma of Amigara Fault

Umm, okay, this was pretty fucking creepy.

This is cool too, and I'd been meaning to post about it. Only after having read the above do I realize there's a connection.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

ludicrously inaccurate CNN article about camel spiders

This article is amazingly inaccurate.

LONDON, England (CNN) -- The family of a British soldier serving in Afghanistan has been forced from their home after a poisonous [WRONG] spider [ALSO WRONG] hitched a ride back with him and apparently killed their pet dog [I REALLY DON'T SEE HOW.].

Lorraine Griffiths and her three children, aged 18, 16, and 4, moved out of their house in Colchester, southeast England, and are refusing to return until the spider [NO] is apprehended [BECAUSE THEY ARE SERIOUSLY MISINFORMED], the UK Press Association reported.

Griffiths told the East Anglian Daily Times that the spider [NO]appeared after her husband, Rodney, returned from a four-month tour of duty in Helmand province, the arid southern Afghan frontline in the fight against Taliban extremists.

"My son Ricky was in my bedroom looking for his underwear, and he went into the drawer under my bed, and something crawled across his hand," she told the paper.

She said their pet dog Cassie confronted the creature, which they identified on the Internet [SKEPTICISM ALERT]as a camel spider, but ran out whimpering when it hissed at her.

"It seems too much of a coincidence that she died at the same time that we saw the spider," she said. [Uh, exactly how much later did the dog die, if it saw the thing and "ran out whimpering"? Maybe it died of a doggie heart attack or something.]

The desert-dwelling camel spider, actually an insect [SO VERY FUCKING WRONG]rather than an arachnid [NO, IT IS IN FACT AN ARACHNID, THOUGH NOT A SPIDER], can run up to 25 kilometers (15 miles) an hour and reach 15 centimeters (6 inches) in length. Its bite is not deadly to humans [One of the few accurate statements in the article]but can kill small animals [[Well, they are predators and they have ginormous--for their size--powerful jaws, but they can't kill animals that much bigger than they are. AND THEY ARE NOT VENOMOUS THEY HAVE NO VENOM THEY ARE NOT AN INSECT ALSKDJFLKSAJFLASKJDFKLAF SO WRONG. Laziest reporter ever. Or something. I don't even know. Is there someone I can email about this?]

Monday, August 18, 2008

"Researchers have hypothesized that foot fetishism increases as a response to epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases. In one study, an increased interest in feet as sexual objects was observed during the great gonorrhea epidemic of twelfth century Europe and the syphilis epidemics of the 16th and 19th centuries in Europe. In another study, the frequency of foot-fetish depictions in pornographic literature was measured over a 30 year interval. An exponential increase was noted during the period of the current AIDS epidemic. The researchers noted that these epidemics overlapped periods of relative female emancipation. Sexual focus on female feet was hypothesized to be a reflection of a more dominant posture of the woman in sexual-social relations."


"Hair whorls on the head (parietal whorls) have been intensively studied because of the association indicated between brain development and abnormal hair whorls. (Both brain cells and skin cells are derived from an embryo's ectoderm tissue.) Abnormal hair whorls are used as a preliminary predictor of abnormal temperament in most domesticated animals, especially cows, but also in evaluating the mental status of apes and humans. A recent study found that homosexuals are more likely to have the less common counter-clockwise hair whorl phenotype than heterosexuals. Right and left handedness have also been linked to clockwise and counter-clockwise whorls, respectively."

Way fucked.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wikihow is a goldmine.

(This is the poetry as therapy school of writing)

Sunday, August 10, 2008


"Fashion's Unlikely Conservatives." Interesting take.

Also, I spent a lot of time the other night on It's about uh, tropes in television. Not really doing it justice there. But it's both insightful and really amusing, and the tropes are applicable to other media as well.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Number 16 Bus Shelter

These names rule.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Goosebumps blog. This rules.

Also, 200th post!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Great article about racism and the so-called "race card."

Scary-ass photos of childhood fear type things.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Snaphappy Fishsuit Mokiligon

This guy rules:

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico appeals court on Friday ruled against a Los Alamos man who wanted to change his name to a phrase containing a popular four-letter obscenity.

The man appealed after a state district judge in Bernalillo County refused his request to change his name to "Fuck Censorship!" [With the exclamation point? Can you do that? I so want to add an exclamation point to my name.]

Judge Nan Nash ruled that the proposed name change was "obscene, offensive and would not comport with common decency."

The man - whose current legal name is Variable - argued on appeal that it was improper government censorship to deny him the name change.

"We do not believe that the district court's action infringes on petitioner's right to free speech," a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals said in its ruling.

The man has the right to call himself whatever he wants, unless there's fraud or misrepresentation involved, the judges said.

But once he seeks court approval for a name change, the court has the authority to turn him down on several grounds, including if the name is offensive to common decency and good taste, the judges ruled.

That law was clarified in a 2004 case in the same court that apparently involved the same petitioner. In that case, an Albuquerque man whose name was Snaphappy Fishsuit Mokiligon got the go-ahead from the appeals court to change his name to Variable.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Children's drawings as photographs and sculptures.

Plus some article about a guy who does nature print things.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Stendahl syndrome

Being on computer - internet = productivity. Now to try being awake at normal hours.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

hey i just had a comforting thought: all that nonbiodegradable crap in landfills will probably eventually get subducted and then it won't matter.

of course there are still rocks around that are like a couple billion + years old, so it could take a while

maybe this should be how we dispose of waste: we can just send it down a chute right into the earth's molten... uh, not core, but whatever you call the thing the crust is floating on again.

and then we can surf the earthquake waves.

i wonder what riding a tsunami would be like. that would rule, if there was a way to get out of it before you crashed on the shore and died.
Cool. Maybe the next step could be to grow structures that didn't previously exist.

I have a problem, maybe a blessing/curse sort of thing. I think about the details, and the ramifications of those details, and so on and so forth. I can usually manage a reasonable suspension of disbelief when I'm reading someone else's work, though. Even if I have questions and might suspect plot-holes, I still manage to put it aside. When it's my own work, though, I get hung up on things.

Like, cool science fiction scenario: people can grow wings, extra arms, etc. But then I start thinking about it. In the case of wings, for instance, even if we had ginormous angel type ones, I can't really see us getting off the ground. What is the heaviest animal that can fly, after all? I'm talking both extant and extinct. I'm pretty sure that of extinct animals, there were ones that were probably heavier than extant flying creatures (hugeass birds might top off at like 40 something pounds), but of course their whole anatomy was designed to take advantage of weight distribution, aerodynamics, etc. They weren't just some mammal with wings slapped on.

And of course the musculature. How do the wings attach, how do they work? How do the muscles supply enough power without totally altering the rest of human anatomy, interfering with arm movement, etc? You can't just slap wings on a quadruped and have it work. Alas.

It would be cool if spiders developed flight.

I should look up the evolution of insect wings.

But anyway, I get all concerned w/ how the musculature would attach and how else it would affect anatomy/behavior, etc., and I'm *glad* that I think this way, but sometimes it gets in the way of just having fun silly science fiction premises.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

omg this is cool:
I want to go to Bonbon Land.

Also the mustard museum.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dissed by Matthew Prior.
Sir, I admit your general rule,
That every poet is a fool:
But you yourself may serve to show it,
That every fool is not a poet.

Reminds me a bit of the Carl Sagan quote, "But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."

Oh, also my thesis is done, and has been for almost a couple weeks. It was 115 pages. Some of that was prose though. But wait, if I had pretended otherwise and put line breaks in or something, it would have been even longer.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Johnny Squirrel's Fairy Tale Page

Johnny Squirrel's Fairy Tale Page.

This is weird and creepy and amazing. Check out the "Janitor's Life". (WTFWTFWTF)

A website last updated over 10 years ago with this Finnish guy's crude, incomprehensible, creepy MS paint drawings, "for children and other fools." I think he's a janitor, or at least janitors feature prominently, as do mice.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

H. P. Lovecraft's commonplace book

This fucking owns.

Also some art based on some of the stuff in his commonplace book. The first one, with the green beak/insect/carrot/robot/astronaut or whatever thing, is my favorite.

A couple of quotes from his commonplace book:
THE PLACE (horrible and sinister and extra-dimensional) [163]

174 Migration of Lemmings—Atlantis. [no idea but I love it]
Post your favorites :D

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Ah, spring, and the weekend. This brings out a lot of people, like hippies. I have seen some really long dreadlocks and some fairly impressive fros. This weather also brings out the evangelizers, who have set up camp on a busy corner of the sidewalk. They have signs, which at least are not as obnoxious as some I've seen, with big lists of exactly what type of people are going to hell, and are handing out leaflets.

Still, not something I want to listen to. There is occasionally the worthwhile moment, though. For instance, this particular gentleman remarked on our use of the word "hell" in casual speech, e.g. "fat as hell," "cold as hell," etc. Why, he asked, is this amongst our idioms?

Because God put it there.

Hmmmmm. Sounds pretty iron-clad to me. Wait. iron-clad. Why do we say this?

Maybe iron put it there.

Friday, April 04, 2008

I could chew Alaska.

Thinking about pica.

I want to visit that psych museum in Missouri. Perhaps that will be a road trip this summer.


and this article. "I am drooling. I could chew Alaska."

Also this. How the hell do you swallow a fork? I suppose that's something you have to work up to.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

auden article. I am doing an art project based on shield of achilles.

Sunday, March 30, 2008



I am writing this edit in March of 2009 and I still don't have a Ffffound invitation. So please actually read this post and stop asking me for an invitation!

I want a ffffound invitation. [AND DO NOT HAVE ONE TO GIVE TO YOU.]

Really, really, really bad. I love that site so much.

I am an Artist so it will be of great use to me.

Please? Anyone? Any leads? I will write you ekphrastic poetry about images of your choice. :)

Muppets and Murder

There are a great number of youtube videos of people destroying Elmo.

This one is kind of arty. It has an immolated chicken-dance elmo.

There are videos of people dousing Elmo in lighter fluid and setting him aflame, while he laughs, decapitating him with fireworks stuffed down his throat, exploding him at a shooting range (a canister of tannerite stuffed in his body), etc.

I would also like to draw your attention to this fine work:

When I saw this, I laughed until I cried.

This is not all. I present to you the story of Jesus' crucifixion, retold with Muppets:

If anyone knows the artists for these, the original sources, etc., please let me know, so I can credit them.

Also, can anyone tell me how to put shit behind a cut?

I originally had a script that did that, but it made it so that every post had a link at the end of it, instructing readers to click to see the whole post, even when that was the whole post. And that was really annoying, and I don't want that; I have some longish posts, and I'd also like to post more images. Advice?
Hmm, yes *fights the man, then returns to Pottery Barn to buy some accent rugs*

Although, yeah, that shit is pretty annoying, and I wonder how effective things like, say, glancing at someone's long-ass Costco receipt, are at deterring theft, vs., say, the store layout after the checking aisles, which seem quite enough.

Monday, March 24, 2008

According to actual studies, Coke douches are an ineffective form of contraception. You are likely not surprised at this.

However, bitter lemon (a soft drink with quinine and lemon) is a fairly effective contraceptive douche. (Look near the bottom of the page, for an excerpt of the study, and the citation.)

(Uh, obviously don't rely on this or anything. Spermacidal post-coital douching isn't going to be incredibly effective anyway, because there are already going to be thousands of sperm in your uterus by that point.)
I just printed out the 2nd draft of my thesis, which is 54 pages (including toc and crap) and all stuff that wasn't in the first. It is warm. I put it under my sweater. It feels good, like clothes fresh out of the dryer.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Flowers of bad

This looks pretty rad.


Friday, March 21, 2008

magnetic liquid sculptures, bolivia bugs

Amazing art installation: magnetic liquid. I wonder how they manipulate it.

Also bolivia bugs own and i want them. I want them the size of puppies.

Also, haha: walking table. I don't know what all these videos have in common (they are all showing up as related) but I am digging it.

Also so awesome: magical table. I could watch this forever. I want one too. I have a vague mental list of stuff I would get if I was really really rich (I assume the table is expensive).

OH MY GOD, I want this too!

Magical chair. But can you sit on it? Yes, yes you can. SOMEONE FIND OUT HOW MUCH THEY ARE. They are made out of cardboard.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I'm cataloguing stuff I've written. I seem to have a short-term memory about that--a list I compiled, a few years ago, filled w/ all these poems I've forgotten.

Oh my god I can hardly bring myself to read them. They're so bad. Or actually they're probably not that bad, I just can hardly stand reading them anyway. They make me writhe. Arrrrrgh.

I kind of want to show them to a trusted person and just get their assessment of it. So that I don't have to look at it. My eyes just want to slide off. laskjdflkasjf
Oh my god nasty.


And apparently it's as disgusting as it sounds.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Chameleons own, and not even because of the color change thing, I am not even talking about that. Their swivelly eyes and their fiddleback fern curled up tail and their 2-prong sideways feet! And their fast and sticky tongues.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Gonna do this.

Also want to do this:

and those sensory deprivation floaty tanks.


Pink google search engine for ~*~*~*~*~girls~*~*~*~*~

I wish I was fucking joking.

What the fuck is it, where people think that making something ~*~*~*~*~pink~*~*~*~*~ automatically makes it interesting and relevant to women? Maybe if we were talking about a small percentage of five-year-olds.

Note the "shopping" link up there too.

This makes me want to barf. Please tell me it's an early april fools joke.

And dear god, could they have picked a more obnoxious shade of pink, too? How can anyone even look at it?

I sent them some "feedback."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

general butt naked


General Butt Naked.

The civil war, which killed an estimated 250,000 people in this nation of 3 million, was characterized by the eating of human hearts and soccer matches played with human skulls. Drugged fighters waltzed into battle wearing women's wigs, flowing gowns and carrying dainty purses stolen from civilians.

Before he led his fighters into battle, wearing only a pair of lace-up boots
[hence the name], Blahyi said he made a human sacrifice to the devil.

The sacrifice was typically "the killing of an innocent child and plucking out the heart which was divided into pieces for us to eat," he told The Associated Press on Saturday.

god damn.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I am making a list of all the stuff I have written. A lot of it is like chunks of stuff I haven't developed yet but so far the doc is 139 lines long (one item to a line) and I have not even gotten to the stuff I wrote before the program. Yay. I just want to write and that is all.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


The symptoms of Frey's syndrome are redness and sweating on the cheek area adjacent to the ear. They can appear when the affected person eats, sees, thinks about or talks about certain kinds of food which produce strong salivation. Observing sweating in the region after eating a lemon wedge may be diagnostic.

The Bai Ze was encountered by the Yellow Emperor while he was on patrol in the east. The Bai Ze dictated to Huang Di a guide to the forms and habits of all 11,520 types of supernatural creatures in the world, and how to overcome their hauntings and attacks. The emperor had this information written down in a book called the Bai Ze Tu (白澤圖). This book no longer exists, but many fragments of it survive in other texts.

I want that book. Check out the cool picture of it.

Oh, apparently Ren and Stimpy are gay. I'm not sure if they're actually a couple, though.

poop and related accoutrements

Toilet paper was invented in 6th century AD in medieval China.

Before the invention of the perforated roll of paper we know and love, in the 1800s, "wealthy people used wool, lace or hemp for their ablutions, while less wealthy people used their hand when defecating into rivers, or cleaned themselves with various materials such as rags, wood shavings, leaves, grass, hay, stone, sand, moss, water, snow, maize husks, fruit skins, or seashells, and cob of the corn depending upon the country and weather conditions or social customs. In Ancient Rome, a sponge on a stick was commonly used, and, after usage, placed back in a bucket of saltwater."

In Japan in the 700s they used these long pieces of wood that looked like paint sticks.

Sand. That seems like it would just make it so that you had sand-covered shit lodged in your asscrack, and I don't know how much of an improvement that would be. Maybe if you used multiple handfuls of sand you could pretty much get it off.

1942: first two-ply toilet paper from St. Andrew's Paper Mill in England; toilet paper becomes softer and more pliable. For most of the rest of the twentieth century, both "hard" and "soft" paper was common. Hard was cheaper, and was shiny on one side. Sometimes it had messages like "GOVERNMENT PROPERTY", "IZAL MEDICATED" or "NOW WASH YOUR HANDS PLEASE" written on each sheet near the perforation.

December 19, 1973: comedian Johnny Carson causes a three week toilet paper shortage in the USA after a joke scares consumers into stockpiling supplies.


Toilet paper is sometimes made from recycled paper; however, large amounts of virgin tree pulp is still used.

Wiping our ass on the environment!

From the wikipedia article on "anal cleansing":

Some health faucets are metal sets attached to the bowl of the water closet, with the opening strategically pointed at the target anus.

Haha. As opposed to one of the other anuses that you weren't aiming at.

Toilets in Japan. I want to use one of the high-tech ones but I am also scared of something going wrong.

In Japanese culture, there is a tendency to separate areas into clean and unclean, and the contact between these areas is minimized. For example, the inside of the house is considered a clean area, whereas the outside of the house is considered unclean. To keep the two areas separated, shoes are taken off before entering the house so that the unclean shoes do not touch the clean area inside of the house. Historically, toilets were located outside of the house, and shoes were worn for a trip to the toilet. Nowadays, the toilet is almost always inside the home and hygienic conditions have improved significantly, but the toilet is still considered an unclean area, even though other places are much more likely to have higher bacterial contamination.

In Japan, being clean is very important, and some Japanese words for 'clean' can be used to describe beauty.

Haha: In England, there was historically much fascination with the act of going to the toilet, with royals appointing lesser mortals to assist with the removal of faeces and cleansing of the body parts using towels.

Apparently Louis XIV had bowel problems, and because, you know, L'etat c'est lui, this was a matter of public discussion and newspapers and such would publish updates.

Several non-profit organizations have launched a "Stop Flying Toilets" campaign, using a winged logo and sponsoring races with famous Kenyan marathon runners.

Though it is lower in energy than the food it came from, feces may still contain a large amount of energy, often 50% of that of the original food.[2] This means that of all food eaten, a significant amount of energy remains for the decomposers of ecosystems.

Feces are also an important as a signal. Kestrels for instance are able to detect the feces of their prey (which reflect ultraviolet), allowing them to identify areas where there are large numbers of voles, for example.

Ultraviolet shit! I wonder if most/all shit reflects ultraviolet, or if there's something in particular about vole shit.

To maintain nutrients in soil it is therefore important that feces return to the area from which they came, which is not always the case in human society where food may be transported from rural areas to urban populations and then feces disposed of into a river or sea.

Whoa, that never occurred to me, but it totally makes sense.

Shit is brown because of a combo of bile, which is yellow, and dead red blood cells!

Ok, I just thought of something. Black shit is caused by digested blood, and indicates you've got medical problems. But what if you have eaten blood, like with blood pudding, or, I don't know, vampirism?

Mirror neurons

Ok, this might help to explain something for me. Awesome.

Mirror neurons

"A mirror neuron is a premotor[1] neuron which fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another (especially conspecific) animal. Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of another animal, as though the observer were itself acting."

"For example, a mirror neuron which fires when the monkey rips a piece of paper would also fire when the monkey sees a person rip paper, or hears paper ripping (without visual cues). These properties have led researchers to believe that mirror neurons encode abstract concepts of actions like 'ripping paper', whether the action is performed by the monkey or another animal."

"It is not normally possible to study single neurons in the human brain, so scientists can not be certain that humans have mirror neurons."

By "possible" I assume they mean ethical. I was wondering how they did those experiments where they isolated the activity of one neuron.

"Mirror neurons have been linked to empathy, because certain brain regions (in particular the anterior insula and inferior frontal cortex) are active when a person experiences an emotion (disgust, happiness, pain etc) and when they see another person experience an emotion. However, these brain regions are not quite the same as the ones which mirror hand actions, and mirror neurons for emotional states or empathy have not yet been described in monkeys. More recently, Keysers and colleagues have shown that people that are more empathic according to self-report questionnaires have stronger activations both in the mirror system for hand actions and the mirror system for emotions providing more direct support to the idea that the mirror system is linked to empathy."

None of the implications mentioned had to do with body self-perception, but it seems like it's on a similar track.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oh my god best thing today:


Under "Cosmic latte" (a shade of white):

In 2001, Karl Glazebrook and Ivan Baldry determined that the color of the universe was a greenish white, but they soon corrected their analysis in "The 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey: constraints on cosmic star-formation history from the cosmic spectrum", published in 2002. In this paper, they reported that their survey of the color of all light in the universe added up to a slightly beige white. The survey included more than 200,000 galaxies, and measured the spectral range of the light from a large volume of the universe. The hexadecimal RGB value for Cosmic Latte is #FFF8E7.
What the study revealed is that the overwhelming majority of stars formed about 5 billion years ago. Because these stars would have been "brighter" in the past, the color of the universe changes over time shifting from blue to red as more blue stars change to yellow and eventually red giants.

omgggggg, this rules.
I am making lots of stuff, I rule.

Monday, March 10, 2008

random wikipedia pages

There is a page on wikipedia about Adolph Hitler's sexuality.

I wonder how many [famous person's] sexuality pages there are, actually.

I was going to make this post about more weird-sounding wikipedia pages but I couldn't find enough good ones in a short span of time. But some other random shit I found:

Lists of ambiguous human names

Mr. Floppy's Flophouse

"Mr. Floppy himself was said to be an elusive archeologist from Finland who while not excavating an inverted pyramid that is thought to house the knowledge of all mankind, was hosting late night events in the bowels of one of Oakland's most notorious districts."

"At dawn it was not uncommon for George, the owner of the property to appear in a wizard cape serving shrimp cup of noodle soups from behind his piano."

Mr. Floppy owns.



Like I said, fungi kind of freak me out and I should learn more about them.

Now I think I am going to go home and sleep.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Primate vision, experiments w/ trichromacy

Chinese vs. American visual perception habits

It would be cool, on a related note (it has probably been done, actually) to examine the different perceptions of people who read a r-l language, a l-r language, up-down or multiple directions, when it comes to scanning and analyzing stuff besides words (e.g. just the daily surroundings), and how non l-r readers envision timelines, the past and future, etc.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008



As to what I have done as a poet... I take no pride in it... but that in my century I am the only person who knows the truth in the difficult science of colours – of that, I say, I am not a little proud, and here I have a consciousness of a superiority to many.

Physics-based musical classification schemes.

I especially like the plasmaphones and the quintephones, wtf :D

Monday, March 03, 2008

snow is ALIVE

omfg, wtf

omg, apparently the presence of bacteria facilitates snow formation at higher temperatures.

way fucked!

One of the authors of the study, Prof. David Sands, postulates that forming rain or snow is part of the bacterial life cycle; "We think if (the bacteria) couldn't cause ice to form, they couldn't get back down to the ground," Sands said. "As long as it rains, the bacteria grow."

Sands suggests that changing bacterial populations may affect rainfall; for example, overgrazing during a summer could reduce the bacterial population, resulting in lower raindrop formation, although more work would need to be done to firm up this theory. Regardless, it is an interesting glimpse into the world of the snowflake.

This is totally fucked up :D

Sunday, March 02, 2008

some links

Dumping some links here.

This woman wrote a memoir about how she was raised by wolves after becoming a Holocaust orphan. Now, after the book has made millions of dollars, been translated into 18 languages, and become a feature film, it turns out it was kind of not exactly true. Who could have imagined?

That still sounds like a rad story and I totally want to read that book.

Mel's Hole.

Kelly-Hopkinsville encounter.

Frogs sealed in stone.

There we go.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Capture and Move Microscopic Objects - by the Force of Light !"

How the fuck does this work?

Wait, is light even a "force"?

I really need to learn about physics and chemistry. I feel like I have a reasonable amateur grasp of biology--on the level of evolution, ecology, etc., rather than the level of organs cells, and smaller--but I was always pretty ignorant of chemistry and physics, mostly because things I can't see and that aren't alive were less interesting to me.

Also, dude tattoos eyeball lapis lazuli blue. If you're a pussy who has some sort of problem with needles in eyeballs, you might not want to look at the pictures.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A lot of interesting and perhaps relevant (for me) articles cited here.

Fingernails on a blackboard.

Snatiation and gargalesthesia are awesome fucking words. omg.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


This is way fucked (in a good way):


Man, these are awesome and totally scary.

I'm not sure if they just have better monsters, or if the novelty makes it seem better.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

line breaks

I do not know what is up with me + lineation these days, and I should be working on my own thesis or reading someone else's rather than writing this post. Ah well. Factors that go into line breaks:

1) form (e.g. certain number of syllables or beats, end-rhyme)
2) breath/phrase/clause breaks (places one would naturally pause slightly or where there is a discrete clause. breaking across those can create greater momentum and sometimes a jarring sensation, which can be okay/desirable in some circumstances but generally not, I think)
3) making the first and last words of the line interesting and/or significant. We pay most attention to the words at the beginning and ends of lines, because of orthography, structure of English, left to right reading, etc.
4) similarly, placing more emphasis on a certain word than there might be otherwise (in unlineated writing or in a lineation that more closely followed breath or phrase breaks)
5) evoking different or multiple meanings (keeping in mind productive vs. nonproductive ambiguity, that is, ambiguity that actually enhances meaning or expands things in some useful or meaningful way, rather than just cramming in extra connotations/weirdness for the hell of it)
6) surprise or irony

So yeah. A few years ago I seemed to be more into the latter 3, especially doing the unproductive ambiguity thing. I was so all about trying to make poems and lines that made the reader feel like the back of their head was blown off (however ED phrased that exactly). Now I'm really not. That is one flashy trick out of a whole bag of them, and there are better ones. Now I feel like I'm focused more on the first two, or more than I was earlier at least. I don't want to be breaking lines just because it's "poetry" and there are line breaks. One poem recently I was like, fuck it, it will be a prose poem. I don't know, line breaks are awkward for me now.

Oh, also I forgot 7), how it looks on the page. This is an irritating one.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

helium, color

"Most of the world's helium supply comes from underground fields in the United States."

Man, it must be hard to mine a gas, wtf. And why/how is it there?

spectral line

"Many atoms emit or absorb visible light. In order to obtain a fine line spectrum, the atoms must be in a gas phase."

"All atoms absorb in the Ultraviolet (UV) region because these photons are energetic enough to excite outer electrons."

"inelastic scattering of light"

photoelectric effect


Why frequency gaps? Tetrachromats. Berlin and Kay

"In the 1969 study Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution, Brent Berlin and Paul Kay describe a pattern in naming "basic" colors (like "red" but not "red-orange" or "dark red" or "blood red", which are "shades" of red). All languages that have two "basic" color names distinguish dark/cool colors from bright/warm colors. The next colors to be distinguished are usually red and then blue or green. All languages with six "basic" colors include black, white, red, green, blue and yellow. The pattern holds up to a set of twelve: black, grey, white, pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, and azure (distinct from blue in Russian and Italian but not English)."


"The distinction between warm and cool colors has been important since at least the late 18th century but is generally not remarked in modern color science or colorimetry. The contrast, as traced by etymologies in the Oxford English Dictionary, seems related to the observed contrast in landscape light, between the "warm" colors associated with daylight or sunset and the "cool" colors associated with a gray or overcast day."

"Any color can be made to appear warm or cool by its context with other colors."

red-green color blindness

"Anomalous Trichromats are often able to readily spot camouflage clothing, netting, and paint that has been designed for individuals with color-normal vision."

Cerebral achromotopsia.

""Mr. I. could hardly bear the changed appearances of people ("like animated gray statues") any more than he could bear his own changed appearance in the mirror: he shunned social intercourse and found sexual intercourse impossible. He saw people's flesh, his wife's flesh, his own flesh, as an abhorrent gray; "flesh-colored" now appeared "rat-colored" to him. This was so even when he closed his eyes, for his preternaturally vivid ("eidetic") visual imagery was preserved but now without color, and forced on him images, forced him to "see" but see internally with the wrongness of his achromatopsia. He found foods disgusting in their grayish, dead appearance and had to close his eyes to eat. But this did not help very much, for the mental image of a tomato was as black as its appearance."

Friday, February 08, 2008

i have gone insane

I think I may have gone insane. Evidence:

i would totally wear this (maybe you know with some pants under it). i totally hate the whole SEXY EVERYTHING costume thing for women, where the most random things are sexualized (like uh, fucking PACMAN), but i mean, come on, look at this thing, this is fucking awesome.

I would totally wear this too minus the mouse ears.

dig the way they can't say the real names of shit (e.g. "polka-dot mouse") to avoid lawsuit presumably

OH MY GOD AND THE MISS MUFFET ONE, ahaha. okay i wouldn't actually wear that one, but i would be tempted too just because of the spider. there should me more clothes adorned w/ giant three-dimensional spiders.

OKAY I WOULD TOTALLY WEAR THIS TOO (just the dress and with like something opaque over my legs), have I snapped? I think I have snapped.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I have never, in my life, felt as badly about my writing as I do now.

Fuck you tropical thesis, I am going to shred you.

I'm so ridiculous. I should just channel AH forever and get it over with. I should drag feral cats from out under houses for a living. WTF.

I'd like this to pass, please. Jesus.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

note to self: persona poems from fundie perspective.

i've been having fun looking at some old intentionally-horrible poems i wrote (evidently they were convincing as genuine efforts, rather than as something self-consciously mocking bad poetry) and writing some more. This character has kind of emerged (the writer of said poems) and I think I'm going to make her a myspace page when I figure out what kind of username she'd pick.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Another inadvertent blood sacrifice to the Hopwoods.

Hopefully it will dry and look like coffee smears or something.

I feel proud of my manuscript, but now I'll be obsessively wondering whether I stuffed them in the binders wrong or something.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

look what i found

Okay, so I'm looking over my work because I have to submit the first draft of my thesis to workshop, and submit stuff to a contest, very shortly (and on the same day). A couple weeks ago I just complied all my shit and put it in alphabetical order. Just now I went through my brain and computer to find poems which I hadn't included and there were 23, which I'd totally forgotten about.

This is probably because I rule.

Okay, fine, a lot of them are basically ore at the moment. I didn't say they were all great poems. But perhaps I am unusually productive after all. It doesn't feel that way. I think of all the time I spend NOT writing.

So much work to do. I was looking at a list of the poems I submitted to the contest last year and was like, no WONDER I didn't win, I can't believe I even made it to the judges. I must have drastically improved/changed as a poet. At least, I hope that's true. I suppose it's possible that I simply have a different perspective on my previous work, just because I'm more removed from it now, and that I am making all sorts of equally clueless blunders. That I am just as bad, but my blind spot has shifted around, so to speak.

So much revision needed. And so little free time. I just want to have to do nothing but write. Caffeine is my friend.

Oh, I think a lot about titles. What will make someone pick up a book? Issues:
--Will it make someone pick up the book?
--Is it lame and potentially eyeroll-inducing?
--Is it a reference to a strong poem, and/or possibly one people might consider emblematic of the whole work? (because people are going to try to make that connection--including they're actually reading your poetry in the first place, of course)
--Is it okay to have a title which tangentally relates to your poems, or even doesn't relate to it entirely? I feel like it's cheating. Because sometimes I have way more fun coming up with titles than anything else.

Jaroslaw Kukowski

Also, this guy rules and has freaky paintings. What is it about polish surrealists? I think the l in his first name is actually the kind with the cross thru it that is pronounced like w and that I don't know the code for.

specimens in formalin + deep deep holes in mars.

Oh my god.

Disturbing/fascinating/???/kind of beautiful black and white pictures of animals preserved in formalin.

I don't know WTF a lot of them are.

Also, apparently there are these really really deep holes in Mars, so deep that the sun doesn't illuminate them. I want to spelunk on mars. Actually I just want to spelunk generally, I have not done that in a while. Are there any good caves in michigan? I don't know wtf is up with the word "spelunk," but it's a pretty good word.

YAY. Mystery. We want to find out what is in places we can't see. We want to go there.
I kind of want some of these insane tights. Too bad you can't really see what they look like in full. Also the website is sort of borked, and sends you to the wrong place occasionally. It's like a maze!

I want the red snakey ones.

Friday, February 01, 2008

So many colors

I don't think I'm going to provide context for this. But look around on the website if you want some idea of what the fuck. (May not actually be any more comprehensible after doing so.)

See also the "support the troops" one.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Drinking unsupervised milk causes agnosticism.


Apparently, American racists are using the term "Canadian" to refer to black people, so they can make bigoted remarks without people knowing WTF they are actually talking about, e.g.:
"He overcame a subversively good defence by Matt Hennessey that had some Canadians on the jury feeling sorry for the defendant and forced them to do the right thing," [wrote ADA Mark Trent in an office-wide memo]...

It is unusual that a seasoned attorney like Mr. Trent would not have wondered how a Harris County jury came to be stacked with Canadians. (There were no Canadians on the jury but there were some black members.) "The only way that there could have been Canadians on the jury, was if they were born in Canada and then became U.S. citizens, and then became citizens of the county in which the case was tried," Mr. Vinson noted.
Why Canadians?
Stefan Dollinger, a postdoctoral fellow in linguistics at University of British Columbia and director of the university's Canadian English lab, speculated that the slur reflects a sense of Canadians as the other.

"This ‘code' word, is the replacement of a no-longer tolerated label for one outsider group, with, from the U.S. view, another outsider group: Canadians. It could have been terms for Mexicans, Latinos etc. but this would have been too obvious," he said. "What's left? Right, the guys to the north."
Let's come up with a coded way of talking about racist bigots. How about "Morlocks?" Or does that actually have undesirable connotations of the whole social strata "evolving" into different species thing that H.G. Wells had going on in "The Time Traveller," which smacks unpleasantly of sociobiological determinism and ideas that various ethnicities are truly "different" on some biological level? According to Wikipedia, however, Morlocks "apparently have little or no melanin in their skin," for what that's worth.

In the movie at least, the Eloi were also like white as can be, though. Don't remember if Wells says that in the book.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Oh. I want to go to antarctica so badly. Maybe I can get funding as part of HME. I was thinking today that maybe moving to NZ would make more sense for that than Italy, sadly.

Why is ice so beautiful to me.

Did you know that water is actually blue? For a while people claimed that it was just reflecting the sky. Which when you think about it is silly, because if that were true then the ocean would be white on overcast days. Crater lake and its ridiculous melted-cobalt blue. Thick ice, like this.

Also, these guy's sculptures are cool.
The superstition of poets and obsessive compulsives and other such people who know that things signify other things, whether you want it or not.


Haha, what?

"Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything."

Of course the "surfer dude" is also a physicist himself, with a degree and everything, but "Physicist without a steady university position stuns other physicists with theory of everything" doesn't sound quite as cool. I mean, I probably wouldn't have clicked on it.

This makes me want to surf.

Who am I kidding, it just makes me want to go somewhere where the water is clear blue-green and warm as a bath.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

self-referential nature of language, "left"

Oh, so lately I've been tripping out about the self-referential/recursive nature of words (as you can see in dictionaries for instance) and how "normally" this is either not the case or is disguised by the constant context we use language is, with incessant tying back to "tangible referents." Thinking about all the possible implications of that, language's relationship to "the world," to itself, etc., to put it crudely.

My rather disappointing pocket dictionary (no etymology :( Anyone know of a pocket electronic dictionary thing which is good, has etymology, etc.? Etymology is vital) defines the word "left" as follows:

"of, relating to, or being on the side of the body in which the heart is mostly located."

Way fucked, eh? Not the way you'd normally learn or explain "left" and "right." You would do it with pointing, orientation to objects or surroundings, etc., in order to grok left vs. right. But you can't do that in a dictionary; you have to use just words. What do you do?

So they go to a universal asymmetry. (I don't think it's even true, by the way, I'm pretty sure the heart is central. It's just that we can feel our heartbeat more strongly on the left side, due to the way the valves and such are oriented. Because our heart is not symmetrical. We have a 3-chambered heart, right? And birds have 4? Is a bird heart symmetrical?)

I suppose "left" and "right" is only relevant or useful or even possible to comprehend if you are bilaterally symmetrical. How the hell would that be applicable to a creature that was radially symmetrical? They'd have different things, maybe, like central versus peripheral :P I will have to think of this in terms of SDN. So far the aliens are humanoid and bilaterally symmetrical but maybe I will shake things up.

Oh, I forget if I mentioned this, but I figured out what B does for a living, and also what his boyfriend does for a living. And in the airport a few weeks ago I figured out roughly how the sexes of the 2 main alien species work (one has 5-6 sexes, the other is a bit more complicated, or at least I've figured it out less, but they sort of swap genes like bacteria) I'll have to confirm that it actually sounds plausible.

Speaking of symmetricality again, my dad attended an autopsy (or maybe this was a live patient, I'm not sure) where the guy's organs were reversed. Like, he had everything he needed, but it was flipped. His heart would have been felt more strongly on the right side, his liver and intestines were the reverse right/left orientation as someone else's would be, etc. Evidently it would be pretty unusual for that to happen, to have a totally "normal" healthy person whose entire insides were just backwards. Cool.

I wonder if he was left or right handed :D

Some rather popular things that I dislike

This list may be updated.

--Lolcats. See below. I just find them dumb and annoying. It gets old, real fast. Also, how should it be pronounced? Not that that's really a source of my irritation, I'm just wondering.)

--Pirates. This needs to stop. Not just because it's tiresome, cheesy, and ubiquitous, but because pirates murdered, robbed, and terrorized people. I'm not saying there aren't some badass anecdotes about pirates; there are. But I just think the "Yo ho ho, what a quaint and amusing lifestyle" thing that's developed, thanks to stories, film, etc., is rather fucked up. I fully expect people to be dressing up as terrorist cell members in a few hundred years, after terrorism as we know it is not a pressing modern issue.

--Beer. I just don't like the taste; it's gross. I don't mind wine or liquor.

--The wearing-boots-over-jeans thing is beginning to grow on me, or to grow less intolerable at least. Probably because
a) I'm so accustomed to seeing it. Michigan! That Mark Twain thing about fashion.
b) I'm lazy, and this accomodates that. If you put on pants and then shoes, which is the typical order, they just sort of go up over your pants unless you pull them over again.
c) Slush may get your pants wet if you don't.

Speaking of boots, I think I need some new ones. Well, some new enduring-the-weather boots, as my number of dress boots seems to have expanded disconcertingly. I've had these since last year and they're sort of falling apart. Yesterday I noticed my socks were damp. I hope it's because my feet were sweating unbeknownst to me or something, and not because the seal on my supposedly waterproof boot is breaking.

Michigan D:

What are some rather popular things that you, the current reader of this blog, dislike?

Feline medical curiosities, pokemon syndrome

Mutant kitties.

Also, there is an important regulatory gene called "sonic hedgehog."

As well as "tiggywinkle hedgehog."

I don't know if I'll ever stop finding that amusing.
Sir: [not sure if this link will be visible to everyone]

The choice of a gene name can have unforeseen consequences in addition to infringement of trademark ("Pokémon blocks gene name" Nature 438, 897; 2005). The quirky sense of humour that researchers display in choosing a gene name often loses much in translation when people facing serious illness or disability are told that they or their child have a mutation in a gene such as Sonic hedgehog, Slug or Pokemon.

As with the acronym CATCH22 (from 'cardiac anomaly, T-cell deficit, clefting and hypocalcaemia') for chromosome 22q11.2 microdeletions, which was abandoned because of its no-win connotations (J. Burn J. Med. Genet. 36, 737–738; 1999), researchers need to be mindful when naming genes and syndromes.
LOL. Personally, I think that an amusing name would totally take some of the sting out of having an awful syndrome!

Perhaps it would be hurtful, though, when you tried explaining it to people and they snickered. Or, I mean, the diagnosis would be pretty surreal.

Doctor: (gravely) "I'm afraid you have... Pokemon syndrome."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pretty bug pictures.

"Evolution explains why lolcats control your mind"

There was a study showing that, basically, we pay more acute visual attention to images of animals than we do to images of inanimate objects.

The authors of the study conclude that the reason we do so is because our ancestors would have needed to be more aware of other living creatures--for hunting and escaping purposes--than for things that aren't alive.

Okay, that doesn't sound too implausible, but it simply doesn't follow; additional evidence would be needed to help pin down exactly what it is we're reacting to and how. I'm skeptical.

As predicted, subjects were faster and more accurate detecting changes involving animals than inanimate objects. If experience were producing this bias, then people should also be good at detecting changes involving automobiles, which as drivers and pedestrians they have been trained all their lives to monitor for sudden, life-or-death changes in trajectory. Yet subjects were much slower in detecting changes to vehicles than to more rarely experienced animal species, indicating that learning is not the source of this difference.

1) Cars don't move and change the way animals do. These would have to be still images, too, and you would see any potentially dangerous car moving, and likely pay attention to its general presence, its motion, etc., than to changes in its features. I wonder what exactly the "changes" were for the car images.
2) We are animals. We empathize more and have more interest in things like us, with faces, movement, behavior, etc. This could also explain greater interest. Studies have shown that babies show much more interest in images that vaguely resemble faces, for instance, than for other images. We're attuned to ascertain things about behavior from cues like that.

That potentially could fit into the authors' hypothesis, that the reason we're more interested is that it's important to our survival to notice shit about animals' behavior (including humans). But anyway, the argument is just not all there, and it's too bad, because there's some interesting stuff involved.

What's great about this research is that it inadvertently targeted exactly what's happening in lolcat images: the animal has been changed from being just a regular cute kitty, to being a cute kitty with special attributes created by the caption. So a lolcat is an animal image with "a single change."

I don't see how this is relevant, since people generally aren't looking at the image of the cat, then the image plus the caption. They're not reacting to a "change" in the image from a previous state.

Also, I'm not sure exactly what the images in the study were like, but I somehow doubt that the kind of "changes" to the image involved text suddenly being put over them.

It would actually be really interesting to study people's reaction to image, text, and image + text, though.

Someone do that study. With both literate and non-literate people.

Also, I find lolcats dumb and annoying. Anyone else? I'd like some solidarity here, please. Or should I say, im in ur blog, hating ur lolcats.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

some sort of twisted ads

Hahaha, holy shit.

Especially the Snoopy one.

The King James Version of the Bible was put together by a homosexual mason who had sworn oaths to Lucifer.

This is awesome. Some quotes:

Demons don't have physical bodies capable of being seen in this 3-D realm on earth and so they inhabit and possess men and women to work through them and influence them. Just the same, even in the 4-D realm demons are the most grotesque creatures you can imagine. Other than the black phantom types, none of them look the same. Many look like imps, orangatangs, ferets, ant eaters, just variations and as ugly a variation as you can imagine. The lower ranking demons resemble animals. The higher ranking ones are taller and can resemble Darth Vader, these types I refer to as the Black Phantoms.


Also, the phrase "soul-scalped" (this is part of being turned into a vampire)

Also, "The King James Version of the Bible was put together by a homosexual mason who had sworn oaths to Lucifer."

The Bible today is the modern day Garden of Eden. It contains the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Which tree are you eating from? That is why we are to pray for discernment and the guidance of His Holy Spirit when we read "His Word." Because not all of it is.

Ooh, that's a cool metaphor. And it's a meta-metaphor.

Anyway, there is plenty of great stuff here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

This site, Peta Kills, is kind of WTF.

On the one hand they're saying a lot of ludicrous stuff. On the OTHER hand, that IS an exceedingly high percentage of companion animals that PETA euthanized, (e.g. 90 percent in 2005, and there's evidence of them killing perfectly healthy, adoptable animals) and I wonder WTF their policy is and what is going on with that.

The ludicrous stuff:

Meanwhile, PETA manager Dapha Nachminovitch confirmed that, yes, PETA does kill animals. That $9,370 walk-in freezer declared on PETA's 2002 federal income tax return is indeed for storing dead animals. And PETA contracts with a Virginia Beach company to incinerate the bodies.


Any organization that euthanizes animals under any circumstances, including veterinary hospitals and most animal shelters, is going to need one of these freezers. So PETA does in fact euthanize animals. If you want to sound the alarms about that, you'll also need to criticize almost every animal shelter and Humane Society, as well as every vet office (and I really doubt that euthanasia itself is PKA's concern, see below). If you want to call them hypocrites, yes, it's terribly ironic and all, but I don't think that euthanasia need be at all incompatible with animal-welfare and animal-rights concerns.

The issue is simply the number of animals they euthanize, and their reasons for doing so. Which are, in fact, pretty damn shady-seeming. But it's not like the fact that they euthanize animals in the first place, or that they have a walk-in freezer or incinerate the bodies, is in itself anything atypical or especially macabre.

Anyway, this is an example of something I hate: sensationalism and fact-distorting in order to persuade an audience. Especially when they have perfectly legitimate points in the first place, buried under all the sensationalist crap. Same problem I have with, say, PETA itself. I was wondering if this site was maybe actually an animal-rights organization itself, but apparently not, they're just trying to slander and discredit PETA.

"PETA Kills Animals" is a project of the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the full range of choices that American consumers currently enjoy. In addition to malicious animal-rights activists, we stand up to the "food police," environmental scaremongers, neo-prohibitionists, meddling bureaucrats, and other self-anointed saints who claim to "know what's best" for you.

LOL @ "meddling bureaucrats" and "environmental scaremongers." Because the environment is just fine, and anyone who says otherwise is just a hippie trying to fuck with your all-American barbecue. :D :D :D (Wonder if they deny global warming. How dare you deny us our freedom to squander fossil fuels? Damn geophysicists, with their "facts" and their "evidence" and their "the polar ice is drastically shrinking." What are they playing at? What's their real agenda, eh?)

How exactly is saying PETA KILLS ANIMALS!!!!!!!!!! enhancing consumers' freedom of choice? Oh wait, it's not. It's simply a stab at an organization whose mission of vegetarianism is at odds with their own interests, on grounds which have nothing to do with their vegetarian stance, animal husbandry, etc.

Reminds me of those organizations supporting "smoker's freedom," whose indignant full-page ads you could find in newspapers around the time that Big Tobacco was taking it in the teeth, and which were sponsored by Philip Morris. How very libertarian. How much do you want to bet this organization gets hella funding from, say, people who sell meat?

We welcome your support. Click here to make a financial contribution. Donations to CCF are tax-deductible under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

YAY. Anyway, maybe I should use this as an example in class. :P You know, of shitty arguments.

Monday, January 14, 2008

human booze

Also, In one of my previous columns I mentioned that anything that was once alive could be made into alcohol.

Like... a person?

You know how you can have your ashes made into a diamond? Maybe someone should have their remains made into booze. Is this possible, and if so, how?

really big people

The World's Heaviest people. Obesity ain't just a modern phenomenon:
Dionysius of Heracleia was notorious for his appetite, and eventually grew so weighty that he could scarcely budge: he suffered from apnea or narcolepsy besides, prompting his doctors to prick his flesh with needles whenever he fell asleep on his throne. A contemporary poet has him declare that he aspired to end his days "on my back, lying on my many rolls of fat, scarcely uttering a word, taking labored breaths, and eating my fill," for of all the ways a man might die, an excess of luxury was the only truly happy death. Nevertheless, he lived to what was then the ripe old age of 55, earning a reputation for fairness and generosity that competed with his size as an object of astonishment.
Another person:
Already over 300 lbs when she dropped out of college, Bradford became an exercise instructor, running seven miles three times a week, but continued her steady gain in weight. At 374 lbs she underwent an intestinal bypass operation, which caused serious complications.
That sucks.
Michael Edelman (1964 - 1992) of Pomona, NY; Guinness listed him at 994 lbs, but his mother estimates that he weighed some 1200 lbs at his heaviest. He had already reached 154 lbs at age seven, and left school at ten because he could no longer fit into the desks. After that he spent most of his time in bed, or sharing massive meals with his 700-pound mom. Michael liked to start the day with four bowls of cereal, toast, waffles, cake, and a quart of soda, and end it with a whole pizza with the works for a bedtime snack. Mother and son tried every new diet that came along, "but after a few days, we'd reward ourselves with a chocolate cake. Then we'd call for a pizza and that would be it." When the two were evicted from their Wesley Hills home in 1988, Michael had to be moved by forklift. After his exposure in the press, dozens of hospitals and diet promoters vied to get him in a weight-loss program, but Michael was determined to get thin on his own. He appeared in three different tabloids in one week when he publicly vowed to lose enough weight to consummate his relationship with 420-lb Brenda Burdle, but the couple grew apart when they both gained weight instead of losing it. After the sudden death of Walter Hudson (below), with whom he had formed a long-distance friendship, Michael developed a pathological fear of eating. He rapidly lost several hundred pounds, taking nourishment only when spoon fed. At about 600 lbs, he literally starved to death.
Also way fucked:
Walter Hudson (1944? - 1991) of Hempstead, NY (born in Brooklyn, NY); 5 ft 10 in, measured at 1197 lbs (though the industrial scale broke in the process of weighing him). His chest was measured at 106 inches, his waist at 110. Hudson was discovered by the press in 1987, when he became wedged in the door of his bedroom and had to be cut free by rescue workers. An agoraphobic, he'd spent most of the past 27 years in bed. Hudson lived with his family, where his appetite was always indulged, and gave every indication that he was content with both his weight and his situation. "I just ate and enjoyed it," he said. Despite his massive size, Newsday reported that he was extraordinarily healthy: his heart, lungs, and kidneys all functioned normally, while astonished doctors noted that his cholesterol and blood-sugar levels "showed the chemistry of a healthy 21-year-old." Even so, activist-turned-nutritionist Dick Gregory managed to convince Hudson that losing weight was necessary to save his life...Hudson died in his sleep after years of intermittent starvation dieting, a few weeks after announcing wedding plans. His body was found to weigh 1125 lbs, and his massive coffin required twelve pallbearers.

Apparently not the only enormous person who was actually healthy, but who was made less so by attempts to shrink:
Man, name withheld (ca. 1939 - ca. 1986), of New York State; just under 5 ft 7 in, 1050 lbs. His death was due to complications following a massive panniculectomy ("tummy tuck") to remove fat tissue, performed at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY. His peak weight was determined by adding the weight of the tissue removed by the operation (104 lbs) to the patient's postmortem weight of 946 lbs. According to his physicians, he was healthy when he checked in, and his "past [medical] history was unremarkable except for extraordinary weight all his life."

Francis John Lang, aka Michael Walker (b. 1934) of Gibsonton, FL (born in Clinton, IA); 6 ft 2 in, believed to have reached a maximum weight of 1187 lbs. Lang had weighed only 150 lbs as a soldier in Korea. He blamed his masssive weight gain on prescription drug abuse, claiming that his narcotic of choice had the side effect of giving him an uncontrollable appetite. Though unable to walk (a handicap that kept more than one fat lady out of the side show), Lang found a unique way of capitalizing on his situation: he had a mobile home built with observation windows, and traveled the country putting himself on display at carnivals and fairs. Lying nearly nude on an oversize circular bed, he preached to the curious about the evils of drugs, using his own body as the moral lesson.

John Finnerty (b. 1952) of Amity Harbor, NY; 1012 lbs. He surfaced in the media only once, when firemen were called to take him to Brunswisk Hospital Center for treatment of bronchitis. "He was laying on a queen-size mattress, and rolls of fat just hung off both sides," said the local fire chief. "He moved like a big bowl of Jello." Finnerty was taken to the hospital on a flatbed truck, and was said to be responding well to treatment. His subsequent history is unreported.
Secret fat people.
David Ron High (1953 - 1996) of Brooklyn, NY; 5 ft 10 in, aprox. 1000 lbs. High was touted as Dick Gregory's biggest success story in 1986, when he reduced from 823 lbs to 427 lbs on a year-long fast supplemented by fruits and vegetables. (He lost three inches in height as well, shrinking from a peak of 6 ft 1 in.)
How can you lose height? Seriously, what the hell is going on there?
Ida Maitland (1898 - 1932) of Springfield, MS; 911 lbs. Mrs. Maitland reportedly had a bust measurement of 152 inches, and died while trying to pick a four-leaf clover. Guinness Superlatives labeled the story "totally unsubstantiated."
Santiago Garcia (b. 1964) of Baytown, TX; 6 ft 1 in, aprox. 900 lbs. Garcia made the papers in 1994, when he was arrested for selling forged immigration cards. After proving too big for a cell, too wide for the shower, and too heavy for the forklift that tried to load him into a prison van, Garcia was released into the care of his family.

So in conclusion, some people are just obese for no particular reason, and dieting can kill you.

Friday, January 11, 2008



Fictitious entry (rhinogradentia, Borges)

funereal violins

I should incorporate false documents into SDN and then have a website or something which will let people know which of the information in the book is legitimate.

Maybe stuff with deniable encryption or plausible deniability with TD:LP?

strange maps

Strange Maps (maybe my favorite site atm) and radical cartography.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Also, Japanese Bug Fights and PhotoTherapy

Japanese Bug Fights. Like the link says. I feel bad for the bugs, but I do like the crayfish with the barbells. I think he lost though :(

Also, PhotoTherapy (as in photographs, not light). This is really cool.

Rebirth of the Eagle

Rebirth of the Eagle.


Some highlights... oh hell, I'll just type the whole "transcript." It's all [sic].

1: The story of the eagle...
2: The eagle has the longest life-span of its' species
3: It can live up to 70 years
But to reach this age, the eagle must make a hard decision.
4: In its' 40's
Its' long and flexible talons can no longer grab prey which serves as food
5: Its' long and sharp beak becomes bent
6: Its' old-aged and heavy wings, due to their thick feathers, become stuck to its' chest and make it difficult to fly.
7: Then, the eagle is left with only two options: die or go through a painful process that lasts 150 days.
8: The process requires that the eagle fly to a mountain top and sit on its' nest.
9: There the eagle knocks its' beak against a rock until it plucks it out.
10: After plucking it out, the eagle will wait for a new beak to grow back and then it will pluck out its' talons.
11: When its' new talons grow back, the eagle starts plucking its' old-aged feathers.
12: And after five months, the eagle takes its' famous flight of rebirth and lives for
30 more years
13: Why is change needed?
Many times, in order to survive we have to start a change process.
We sometimes need to get rid of old memories, habits and other past traditions.
Only freed from past burdens, can we take advantage of the present.

It reminds me a lot of the parables you find in bestiaries, because it's incredibly inaccurate in the service of some sort of crude metaphorical point. And apparently a lot of people actually believed it was true, and deluged a raptor center with emails, wondering about it.

I'm not sure how you could actually believe any of that unless you were, say, a sheltered five year old, but I guess we can't all grow up reading Ranger Rick.

Count the inaccuracies! There is at least one in every slide, not counting the moral at the end. And not counting any of the its', which is at least consistently egregious punctuation.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

slow-motion bullet photography

Slow motion bullet photography. This is hella sweet.

I'm really stressed out now. I will watch some arrested development. I wish I could sleep like a normal person. It is after 7 am and still night-dark.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

snake swallows golf balls

Snake swallows golf balls, mistaking them for eggs.

It was really nice of the people to take him in to get operated on (this was a wild snake, not a pet). The picture is cool:

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

dres, shivs, calques

Apparently for some reason there is a Polish equivalent to Chavs.

Dangerous Beauty: The Art of the Shiv.

We are consummate toolmakers. This shiv might be my favorite.

Calques are interesting. Examples: flea market, skyscraper.