Muninn went a'courtin'

Or it might be Huginn. I get those two mixed up all the time. Regardless, watch your garbage pails - you know how ravens like trash.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em

An amusing sub-category of "Funny Animal Pictures" is the topic of "Animals Smoking". It's usually monkey related, but lookee here at these bold crows. Caaaa- HACK!- aaaw!

Smoking sure looks cool, right? This l'il guy sure seems to think so - though it's possible this is an undeclared Photoshop. Judge for yourself.


Gorilla Art

This is Koko. She knows thousands of words in sign language, understands English but cannot speak it, had a kitten, lost a kitten, had a sadz.... she was born July 4, 1971, and still ticking. As you can see, she's also quite the artist. Here's a Koko original, and truly tell me you would know it was painted by a gorilla, and not some dude in a beret:

Pretty, eh?

Me and my Monkey

Everyone needs at least one person who's got their back. L'il Fido here's hooked up. Ain't it the cutest thing?!

Bulls in Crochet

Some recent, and brief, guerrilla art by Olek (one name only!). Guerrilla art is the best art, since by definition it is not co-opted. I also appreciate, from a symbolic perspective, the association of bulls and money-Mammon. Makes sense!

Just another dog in the wall

Real pic. Fido here done got his head stuck in a hole in the wall, and needed the fire department to rescue him. Which they did, and he's fine, happy story, ladaladalada!

The Lesson (there's always a lesson): Don't enter something in which you cannot get out of easily. In fact, always have an exit plan in mind when entering.


Schrodinger's Choice

You've heard of this cat, yes? The thought experiment goes like this: At the quantum level, it is impossible to both determine the location, speed, and spin of an electron, photon, and every other fundamental particle. It is as if they exist/don't exist simultaneously, and it is only until they are "observed" - that is, they interact with our world, like by colliding with something, or are measured.  Thus, in this cat in a quantum box, the fate of the cat is determined by the quantum interaction with a particle - and some kind of poison. If the particle is X, the poison is released, and the cat dies. If the particle is instead Y, the cat lives. Thus the crux of the thought experiment - if the cat's life depends on this quantum crystallization, and it is you opening the box that causes it, can you really ever say if the cat is alive or dead before you open the box? Or only until you observe the cat with your own eyes? Or something like that.

The idea being, in an extremely solipsistic way, that it's hard to say anything actually exists until we observe it - and by we, I mean our solid reality, consisting of everything you know. From a quantum mechanics perspective, the answer is: sorta?

But anyways, that's not the point here. Rather, this idea I've been toying with for months now, Schrodinger's Choice: This thought experiment imagines that you create your future reality with every choice you make/don't make, and thus, if you are choosing unwisely, you are creating literal "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenarios for yourself, and thus a cascade of bad luck, misfortune, and otherwise funked up flows.

You come to an intersection on a busy rush hour night; going straight leads you one way, into a possible shortcut but with traffic complications; the other is a longer route, but a single lane prone to slow drivers and back ups. To choose either way, in this scenario, is to write one future, and to send another into oblivion, though in fact it existed only in your mind. The choice of one creates a traffic jam in the direction you choose, and the other way frees up as Gramps finally takes the left turn. Every choice you make instantly becomes the wrong one, and the more frustrated and angry you get, the more pronounced this occurrence becomes. That's your Schrodinger's Choice, and I'll spoil the answer: There's no winning if you play, so don't play.

Take that to any game you encounter.

Also, consider this a corollary to the Constanza Strategy, which is to choose the opposite of what you want to choose, thus attempting some metaphysical jujitsu on the bad mojo that's got you all gummed up.

Also, too. Remember "The Far Side"? I had forgotten about it, now, for years. I used to love it, I mean, seriously. I had all the books and read them endlessly. I love the absurd! Since, for sooth, our entire reality is completely and utterly absurd, and it's only our monkey minds that give it any semblance of sense. Anyways, enjoy!

Beggin' for Jah

Why dontchya toss me a wee biscuit for Jah now Mon, won't ya?!

Jah-Jahhhhh, Jah-Jah-Jahhhhhh.

I heard a reggae song recently that had about three words in the whole song, since they just kept repeating "Jah". Jah seems like a cool god, as far as fictitious, made up, fairy tale gods go (all of 'em). Better music at least.

This Tube Nosed Fruit Bat finds your ideas intriguing

and wishes to subscribe to your newsletter.

Just this one, though. The rest of 'em think you're crazy.


Art of the Deal

I spent WAAAY too long today searching for this picture on the intertubes, only to fail. :( I have it at home, and thus my overzealous attempt to find it in the cyberwild. 80's kid, 80's kid olan mills, laser olan mills miami vice, etc.... My googlefu failed, and for that I feel as if I failed myself. After all, how did I first find it if not from the interweb?

But seriously, most of the time it takes me no time at all to find a good pic - I've got mountainloads already stored, and need only search my archives. Or, to the internet. But every once in awhile, one certain idea will grab me and I will search, and search, and search. And certainly, sometimes the failed search turns up something else. But still, the lesson: Know when to hold them, know when to fold them.

Also, too:

80's Sleestack. Make it stick, Google!

The last 30 years of society, explained

To be clear, it's all Reagan's fault. Well, he's the symbol of it, the guy who led the charge. But it's really of course the thousands and thousands of minions and acolytes who made it happen. But this is not a political post, but rather, cultural/fashion. Just don't forget the political background.

My thesis: It has been technology which has driven ALL major societal changes throughout the history of humanity. Fire, stone tools, metal tools, etc. What is new, recently, however, is the pace - we're on the upcurve of an exponential explosion in technology since the Industrial Revolution, but really and for my purposes, kicking in with the arrival of the computer.
The 80's are my focus here, as it is when several trends crystallized and gained strength, and now dominate nearly every aspect of American culture today. Everything 80's is pretty much in the picture above. But let me paint this picture for you - and yes, I spent about a half hour thinking about this, so I'm sure it's 100% correct.

For a long time, American society progressed and changed slowly. You could look at pics of businessmen in the 50's and and 20's and while the fashion's changed, the same air of formality, of tradition, permeated all.

Then came the first stirrings of the counterculture, inspired by jazz and blues and other African American creations, these trends first gained heavy traction in the culture with the Beats - Kerouac, Ginsberg, and all the rest. The Beats helped shaped/became the Hippies in short order, and this was a mainstream development. Again, look at the differences in clothing and behaviors from 1953 to 1963 to see what monumental changes took place at this time. And the key, parallel technology development of this time? The TV. That was the key.

The 1970's continued all of these trends, but now with a corresponding backlash from "conservatives" of every stripe - from sexism to racism to new ageism, here began our continuing war of "Punch the Hippy". It's very much still going on ("SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!" is as succinct a summary of this trend as possible). However, the larger forces of culture and technology continued to move on, with the perfect storm of the 1980's, in general.
Fashionwise, it's easy enough to see the progression from 60's hippies to 70's rhinestones and plaid to 80's day glo and pastels, and even working its way into 90's grunge and hip hop. I think we've stabilized the craziness on the fashion front since the 2000's, but maybe I'm still too close to the time period, and can't see it (Note! I realized in 1993 that fashion is idiotic by looking at pictures of myself from 1984; I vowed to try and dress in a "timeless" fashion from then on, though what is and is not timeless is of course hard to say at the time. My rule of thumb: The plainer the better. Always.)

But it's the technology that's key. Several huge developments in the 70's paved the way for quite an upheaval in American culture: Cable TV, and computers/video games, and portable music players. Each of these new technologies allowed an individual to create a shell - a world they no longer had to leave (or leave rarely). You could find out what kids in California were doing with ease now; you could hear the music that's popular in London overnight; you could play the same game you once played in an arcade (social setting) at home. And thus, the segmentation/fragmentation of culture - which again, is only continuing.

With all specializations - and that's what a segmentation of culture is to me - you have more extremes. Music can be more extreme; fashion, games, everything leads to more extremes, since you have people so focused on the particular topic, AND there's now a nearly real time feedback loop where you can build on the works of others very quickly.

The feedback loop only gets more extreme as well - the Web is the best example of this effect ever invented. And I suspect that too will only continue, as technology will soon allow our brains direct access to a web of other brains, leading no doubt to a cyborg future.

Till then, and only as an observation - I make no value judgments about any of this - we continue on these same paths built for us by poor black  jazz musicians and Jewish poets and a generation of  kids who now have it baked in their bones that the future is always more, faster, bigger, etc.

These trends all congealed around the Reagan Revolution, which led to a MASSIVE increase in the mindset of American consumer culture, leading directly to the outsourcing of most American manufacturing, and the subsequent destruction of economic fundamentals of the country. America exists today as a strip mall, supplied by China, populated by poor people deep in debt, brainwashed to believe their misery will go away if they can only get the newest flat screen tv, or whatever.

Until the dam breaks (external event), might as well enjoy the ride.


A Start Too Favre

Under the theory that the first three years of any new decade is actually part of the previous decade, culturally (Consider: 1963 was part of what we consider the 50's; 73 was the 60's; 83 was the 70's leading us to), Brett Favre is an 80's QB, as this poster from the era can attest. And it really is quite remarkable he has played so long, so continuously. Enough to hold almost every major QB record. His start tonight against the Bears on the frozen tundra of Gopher Field was inspiring, in fact. But the 80's were a long time ago, and all things comes to an end.

As my friend L.E.S.T.E.R. relates, entropy rules us all, and we, and everything we could ever know, are destined for ever greater chaos. As with all truths, accept this, realize it, and move on. Any and all facts are but operating conditions for this game of Life.


Zorg Beat 2122

The dialectic of the Internet is the same dialectic as currently employed by most human societies - it's just more EXTREME on the internet. Faster, more dynamic, more encompassing. For example, the above pic is from a thread on Something Awful forums dedicated to the topic "Magazines of the future" (I can't find the thread anymore since I got the pic a few weeks back, and the forums move fast). The concept is as such: Someone creates a thread on a given subject (whatever they want), and if it's engaging/encourages good contributions from others, it thrives for a while. If not, it dies and slinks off to nothingness - pure evolutionary environment of ideas mixed with social persuasion. If popular, talented people from around the world get to work on their respective computer interfaces, and swiftly post entries for the given topic. If well done/well marketed, these works receive attention and adulation; if not, they slink off into nothingness. Evolution! Often, someone develops a riff that others build on, adding onto, like jazz - and that, precisely, is the genius of current human society (overall; there are pockets of exceptions): We are jazz - all life is jazz, but we've taken it to Coltrane levels.

Consider: We as a species are only roughly 200,000 years old; but for the first 80-100,000 years, we existed in much a similar state as our Neanderthal cousins - same technology, same basic diets, same clothing and shelter styles, etc. Everything about us was very similar. But then, in what is now South Africa, one group developed new technology - more specialized blades; hooks for fishing; evidence of other specializations. This led them to start using the ocean for more than shellfish and the like, and the abundance therein. And this abundance allowed this group to thrive, to grow, and I'm sure others learned what they were doing, and copied them, perhaps even adding a few new twists that improved the respective technology, and so on, and on, and quite quickly, relatively speaking (10000 years), this technology spread all across Africa, into the Mediterranean, and with our ancient ancestors heading into Asia and Europe. This technology advanced quickly over short amounts of time, such that when environmental pressures of a new ice age rose, the Neanderthals lost out to the far more advanced Homo Sapiens. Us - and they were just like us, mentally, physically, etc.

We learned a trick, and this trick has served us well: Question, play, dialogue, the battle of ideas amongst people will produce stronger ideas. This is the foundation of Science, and it is Science that has allowed us to split the atom. It was the spirit of Science, in nascent form, that allowed us to develop new hunting tools and techniques, by building upon the ideas of others. It is the spirit of the Internet, natch.

Like jazz, we all have our riffs, and by merging them, adding to them, letting them build us up as we spit them out, we advance, madly, always forward, be-bopping to a future of dizzying solos with melodies mayhaps only decipherable from far, far away. Blow man, blow.

Also, too: Oolon rules.


To Each, Their Own

Alas! As a lover of all life - and I really do, love all of life, be it slithery snake, furry spider, or stealthy rat creeping around the corner - life is magic, a miracle of physics and chemistry, a walking blessing each of us participate in for such a brief, precious amount of time. Cherish it. Relish it. Life is Delish. As I say, alas - I don't like cats, perhaps of all the living things in this existence it is cats I like least. I mean, I like cats - in theory - but I am highly allergic for some reason, and they quite quickly incapacitate me, so I tend to avoid all cats. Thus, the dislike, which has really nothing to do with cats themselves, since, despite their aloofness and holier-than-thouness, seem alright as far as predatory killers go.

Anyways, another beaut of a photoshop from Something Awful. If you're never visited, you should. Photoshop is one of the greatest comedic inventions of all time - I've rarely laughed harder in the last ten years than over some random photoshop. Sad, but true - redshirt lives on the internet, and is learning about digital life.

Many people on the internet, I have learned, like cats very much. Apologies in advance!


T Minus 11:14, 11:13, 11:12...

These are scary days for the manned American space program. We are about to give up our access to space, and wait for private industry to get us back up there. Or Russians. I'm hoping for the Japanese or the Chinese since it seems without some breakthrough in technology, only a nationalistic based space race will get us into collective gear.

There's a lot of development in the private sector, and NASA will now act more like a venture capitalist/philanthropist, providing grants, funding, and for the best options, large purchases of services. And over many years I'm quite confident private space vehicles will be the norm, and far cheaper to build and fly than the current Shuttle. And I'm sure someone, someday well into the future, will make a go for an asteroid, since if one were able to capture a good size asteroid you would have more metal and other minerals than has ever been used by humanity, ever and for all of time. You'd be beyond rich. But that's well down the road.

Alas, since we seem to be motivated by greed and fear, then a good old profit motive/fear of the other doing it first will work, I'm sure, eventually. It's just a question of, how soon?

Could be years. And we - America - will be grounded on Earth. Sad state of affairs since Apollo and my childhood dreams of how freaking 2011 would be. But, we've got iPhones and iPads, so I guess it's all not so bad...

Also, and by way of apology, sorry! I'm in the final stages of the construction of my mountain Fastness, or Redoubt, if you will. New Gondolin rises! And soon shall be my abode. Till then, I remain, your's in Redshirtedness.


Ready for my close up

Say howdy-do to our Star: The Sun! This amazing picture was taken by amateur astronomer Alan Friedman - read more about how he took this picture here.

Click for big, as always. As always, of course, the closer you look at something, the weirder it becomes. I can't help but see an embryo in the above picture.

Bonus shot: Same sun, shining far away:
Our old friend Cassini caught this reflection off a methane lake on the surface of Titan - amazing, eh?

Black Hole Suns

Always in motion, remember. This here nifty .gif is a simulation of actual observed star orbits in the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, and for my money, is some of the best proof of the existence of black holes.

Black holes are tricky to confirm, since they are, black, and you cannot see them. So we must infer them - above, you can see the years progressing as the stars orbit a central point of gravity. Based on the calculations of mass and speed of these stars, this gravitational point is extremely small and and extremely dense - the stars are whipping around it exceedingly fast. And this is entirely consistent with the strongly emerging theory that all galaxies are actually organized around massive black holes - stellar black holes that no doubt joined up with other stellar black holes, again and again, until they were just so massive, they drew all the remaining gas clouds and stars around them. As this matter gets drawn in, it spins, and thus we have our galaxies.

I have a working theory that black holes are even more pivotal to our entire reality than is now understood - black holes involved in the first moments of the creation of matter some milliseconds after the Big Bang. Only a theory though.

Here's some more good proof of the existence of supermassive black holes at the center of each galaxy - check out this gamma ray bulge, yo:
These bulges of highly energetic gas are streaming out of the poles of our black hole.  They're quite large too, as you can see.

Fascinating stuff, yes? That our entire universe is organized by a phenomena that is almost completely mysterious, and seems to point to extra-dimensional realities. It's good times for Cosmology.



Alas! I've seemingly taken on a 4th job these days, and it's seriously impacting my work here - sad, since I value this blog more than the 4 jobs combined. Though, to be fair, they pay quite a bit better.

So we're going to the thematic archives for an easy pic of pretty, pretty stars - and some bioluminescent algae. Don't get jealous either - scientists are hard at work as we speak finding a way to splice these light-emitting genes into all sorts of other creatures. I would not be surprised, 25 years hence, that "Glo-Skin" is a faddish trend amongst the cyber-hipsters of tomorrow....


Always in Motion

This is an unaltered pic of the night sky, focused on the Hartley 2 comet in center. Pretty eh? 

We still use many anachronisms in our daily speech - sunrise and sunset, for example. Fact is, the sun's doing nothing of the sort, but rather our planet is spinning at approximately 26000MPH. When the Earth turns towards the sun, that's "sunrise".

So the Earth is spinning, but it's also moving, round and round the sun. But the Sun is moving too, round and round the center of the galaxy. And the Milky Way is moving too, round and round a shared gravitational center with Andromeda - and our local group of galaxies are moving round and round a shared gravitational center with another group of galaxies, and so on, forever.

Everything is in motion - including, at all times, every particle that makes you up.

All this motion means, there is no "absolute motion" - what would you judge it against? And thus, we have Einstein's relativity. Easy example: You're at the train station, and a train goes flying by. On the train, a boy is tossing a ball up and down. To you, the ball looks like it is arcing through the sky; to the boy, the ball is going straight up and down. One action, two completely different frames of motion, and thus it appears different to different observers. This is a powerful concept.

But not why I'm here. Rather, redshift (Redshirt cousin). Whether you know it or not, you're familiar with the Doppler Effect - an approaching police car with siren will sound higher pitch as it approaches you (because the sound waves are more compact, higher frequency), and then lower pitched as it pulls away, even though from the police car perspective, the sound never changed.

The same happens with light - light from a source heading towards us will appear bluer - shorter, more energetic wavelengths. Light from a source moving away from us will appear redder - longer, less energetic wavelengths. Turns out, almost everything is moving away from everything else, and thus the theory of the Big Bang (if everything's moving away from everything else right now, than it follows everything used to be closer together).

But that's also not why I'm here. Rather, witness the wonders of Spectroscopy!
 This pretty picture is the spectral analysis of visible light from the sun - you see the ever familiar rainbow, of course, but also, all those black lines. Those black lines represent elements - hydrogen, helium, lithium, carbon, etc. Thus, simply by analyzing light in this manner, you learn what the light-emitting object is composed of. Further, the location of each of these black lines is generally the same, and thus, if they appear at different locations in the spectrum, you can infer the object is moving away - thus, the actual definition of redshift is here - the chemical composition will all be shifted towards the red. 

And thus, you see how light is "scattered" as it hits our atmosphere, and encounters the gases within it - these black lines represent a "scattering" of sorts.

Finally, because of this interplay of electromagnetic wavelengths (remember, visible light is only one small piece of the overall electromagnetic spectrum) and the elements, we have the warm and welcoming world we live in today. Look!

 As you can see, only certain type of wavelengths can get through our atmosphere - and lucky for us, since if gamma rays could pass through, I doubt you'd be reading this. This is the exact same effect that causes our sky to be blue. In conclusion!


More on the "Why?"

It has long been my theory that the entirety of what makes us human can be summarized in the question "Why?". "Why?" is the root of all exploration, all curiosity, it drives us ever further into the depths of this mystery we call existence. "Why?" is the vehicle of our mental evolution, and it is that evolution which has separated us from all other life forms on this planet.

"Why?", of course, is the foundation of religion - why is the sky dark? Why is there fire? Why do some stars move in one pattern, and all the rest in another? On and on. At first, of course, our ability to answer these questions was lacking - so we came up with stories, and hence the creation of the Gods, and all the attendant dogma that has since followed (dogma being the antithesis of "Why?").

Anywho! All that for this - I should have been more thorough in my last post! Above is the sun at Winter Solstice nearer the equator - you can see the color changes in the color of the Sun as it rises and sets.

Here's a similar picture of the moon:
Cut due to incorrectness!
And here's a pic of precisely why the moon/sun on the horizon is redder on the horizon - more atmosphere to see through.

One can imagine how our ancient ancestors might have explained the appearance of a red moon: MORE BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GODS!!!

We are still very much shedding our collective consciousness of these and other ancient superstitions - thus the importance in science advocacy. 

Finally, and apropos of these dark times (the Solstice approaches!), here's the Winter Solstice from Fairbanks Alaska:
Given the angle, the sun in high latitudes will appear bigger and redder on average all winter long. No blood gods required.


Why the Sky is Blue and the Sun is Yellow

It's the same reason! Our atmosphere - blue light is scattered most easily by our atmosphere, and thus it appears blue. The remaining light trends towards the red end of the spectrum, which translates to a yellowish color for the sun. If you were to look at the sun in space, it would appear much whiter.

Additionally, as you can see above, the sun is changing color based on its position in the sky during the day - and the reason sunrises and sunsets are redder than Noon is again, the atmosphere - when rising/setting, the light has to go through more atmosphere than at noon, thus increasing the scattering, making it appear redder.

The more you know....


Arsenic All

Big news on the science front today! NASA has announced, here, the discovery of a bacteria that lives in Mono Lake, California, that uses arsenic in place of phosphorus in it's DNA and other chemical processes. Might not seem like a big deal, but it is! Consider, hitherto, every single life form found on earth - people, insects, trees, fishes, mold, Yankee Fans, and even bacteria - shares the common building blocks of life, in the form of DNA. Every living thing uses phosphorus as a key part of this building block.

Except for these guys!
They not only "eat" arsenic, but its used instead of phosphorus in their DNA. This is revolutionary, and suggests a couple of things:
1. Does this represent a second "creation of life" event on Earth? And if there were two, perhaps there's been many - actual moments when new life sprung into existence where it did not exist before.
2. If creatures on Earth can use Arsenic as a fundamental building block, then so too could a bacteria on Titan, or Mars, or anywhere. Up till now, we've only known of one way life could form - our way. Now we know of 2 ways. Perhaps there's many more ways as well. This greatly increases the possibility that there is independent life not only elsewhere in our galaxy/universe, but right here in the Solar System. Mars, the moons of Jupiter, and many moons of Saturn could all harbor various "unique" forms of life. I bet we find out sooner than later!
3. Take that, Bible. Though I have no doubt the crazed minds of the Fundies can spin this news to fit their mythology as well.

Again, this is big, big news, but probably will barely make a ripple in popular consciousness. I long thought the discovery of even microbial alien life would be enormously huge news, but now, I'm no longer sure.

Regardless, now you know. I know. Spread the word.

Finally, and gosh darn! Mono Lake looks like a beautiful alien lake to boot. It's rather poisonous to our form of life, of course, but it does make for some beautiful pics:

And slightly tangentially, look at this cool old photo I found - someone clearly did a photo series in 1901 of the local Indians around Mono Lake. Do a GIS search for Mono Lake if you want to see more:
 That's phosphorous based life, for the record.


Göbekli Tepe

Gather 'round, children, for I am about to tell you something you did not know beforehand. Maybe. I didn't know about this place until a few months ago, and I think I'm well versed on the subject. It's incredible! Here's a wiki link, and I encourage you to read it. To wit: This recently discovered temple - massive temple - is one of the oldest structures ever found. Begun in 11000BCE during the neolithic hunter-gatherer era of humanity, it is forcing a complete re-write in early human history.
 Here's the site, near Turkey's border with Syria, it's estimated that only 5% of the site has been excavated to date. It's huge! And hard to explain in many ways - so far, there's no evidence anyone lived there. No cooking, no waste piles, no apparent residences. Instead, it seems entirely devoted to seasonal worship - hunter-gatherer tribes from all around would gather there for their religious functions. Furthermore, the age of this complex predates not only cities and other religious temples, but even agriculture. In fact, a working theory is that agriculture was domesticated at this site, because of this site (there's good evidence to support it - the oldest wheat we can trace back is in this region, as is the domestication of the pig and several other animals. Furthermore, ancient Mesopotamian myths told the story of the gods and agriculture being brought to Earth at a far off mountain site - possibly, this site.).

The operating theory previously was: Hunter-Gatherers gradually grouped in bigger and bigger numbers, and through some luck, began domesticating food and animals, and that allowed more complex cities to be developed, which in turn caused more central organization to be required, which in turn led to the creation of castes, and eventually the Priestly caste, who used religion as the organizing principle.

With this discovery, all that gets tossed aside, as the temple came before the city, before the farm, before anything. Someone had to have organized this construction - it involves 50 ton pieces of stone. How would a bunch of un-affiliated hunter-gatherer tribes been able to pull that off? Maybe we'll find out with further excavation.

The artwork found throughout the site is very different than later cultures - it appears to be entirely totemic, and without any evidence of war or violence. The site was continuously used for thousands of years, but something clearly happened in the region around 6000BCE, since not only was the site completely abandoned, but very oddly, it was entirely buried under many feet of dirt. I'm sure those were interesting times!

This burial is a blessing to us, though, since it preserved much of the site. And now it's just a matter of pick-axes, muscle, and brushes, and time, till we find out more. Stay tuned!

One final picture: There are very few depictions of humans at the site, but here's one striking example found so far. You'll note the similarity to ancient "Venus" statues that our ancestors worshiped way, way, way back in our past:


More in Subtle Tortures

Never in my life did I think I would need to figure out how to segue from a Giant Space Otter - but here I am! I spent some time thinking about it, but this thing is fluid, man, and I can bend anywhich way.

Above is Lucas encased in Carbonite. This doesn't really apply to Lucas, since from what I can gather he's quite enamored of his Star Wars, but imagine, if you will, being caught in your own creation - you're an artist, a writer, a musician, whatever, working hard, beating the streets, struggling to pay the bills, etc yada.... then you make a breakthrough! One of your creations becomes successful, and if you're "lucky", hugely successful. You are completely validated, as well as rich. All your dreams come true....

Until years later, after several tours of the ComicCon, or yet another sequel, or having played the same song 10000 times and each and everytime you are expected to act like it's the first time... some might call this Hell.

Not me, of course, since there's no such thing. But it is a subtle torture, no doubt - to be cursed by the burden of the very thing you struggled to obtain. Tragic!

If only someone would free George from the Carbonite of his mind.... alas. I believe it's too late for him, son.
Also, too:


No Time Nor Rhyme

I didn't really have space ennui; I was being glib for the sake of a phrase. Frankly, I've got no time for ennui these days, nor any of its mopey variations. I've done my share of regret/guilt hairshirting in the past and I learned there's nothing to get from it, other than negatives. Learn the lesson you need to learn in order to not make the same mistake again, and move on. Leave whatever it was in the past.

For, life IS a Giant Space Otter Queen, and when she leaps out to attack you, you won't have time for "Woe's Me." There doesn't need to be a reason or a warning or even fair play - life is predictably unpredictable, and the sooner you learn this lesson, and live it, the better.

Keeping your mind flexible, prepared to adapt, and not stuck in the past (nor dreading the future) is a simple formula to success and happiness. IMO!


Space Ennui

I've been stricken with a case of space ennui, alas! There's only one cure. Vacation. See ya on the other side!

Unless of course I post remotely.