Effigies are Voodoo

We all still believe in the old time religions - voodoo, animism, new ageism. At least in some small ways - like symbolism, or betting strategies. We matured as a species in a whirlpool of mystery, tragedy, and sudden death. Why not believe in something "better"?

That's all foolish, of course, but convincing yourself of something can often make it real. Belief - in whatever - becomes real enough. Through repetition. 


I like where these Seniors are coming from - BAN THE SANTA TODAY!!!!

As a humorous counterpoint to the moronic teabaggers/fundies this great country is infested with, we obviously have many smart, funny people too. My favorite group of people, of course, are the nerds. This past weekend the loathsome bottom feeders of the Westboro Baptist Church - you know them, of course:
Charming, right? Anyways, these losers - "Christians!" usually protest soldier's funerals and other fun stuff like that. But for some reason, they chose to protest the recent ComicCon. Bad choice, hypocrites! A wonderful counter protest was organized, which featured scenes like this:
 Mockery is a powerful tool in the never ending fight against stupid, banal, evil.

Fish in a barrel

Unfortunately, these kinds of photos are a dime a dozen - America is filled with these idiots (actually, they probably represent about 20% of the population, but they're loud, ignorant, and have the backing of Newscorp - so that's all we're gonna hear about). Do you think the lady on the left even knows what Acorn was? How about that phrase "Social justice is tyranny" - a direct Glenn Beck line, spouted by all good Christians, natch.

If you've ever wondered, for example, how the NAZI's could rise to power and infect a "normal" country with their genocidal madness, look no further than these idiots - they'd love a Dictator to tell them what to do. Provided he's a Republican of course. Or The Palin.

Ultimately, this is all very sad, because there's probably a 98% correlation between these people, and the benefits these people would receive by NOT backing the Repuglicans. Unfortunately, they seem highly motivated to doom not only their own interests, but most everyone else's, as long as the Plutocrats get their fat cut. They'd never be able to articulate this, of course, but it's the truth.

Fear most often trumps logic.


Fully Inculcated

As anyone who's ever tried to control a group of other people knows, your best bet is to start young - PROOF: The history of religion.

So glad to see the Young Teabagging Brigades are on the front lines. You show 'em, well informed parents!

Momma's L'il Dahlin'

Someone's gonna be wicked happy when they see this picture.

Also, I would bet 1,000 Space Credits that this little girl is from the South. I actually have no idea if she is or not, but I think I've developed an ability to guess where some people are from based on looks alone. Some Southerners look like... southerners. And I don't mean their clothes or Skoal hats, but their faces, their hairstyles -- in this pic, I think it's a combination of the hair and face which tells me "southerner".

I didn't quite believe in this ability at first - since, people move around all the time! We all watch the same tv and thus are generally influenced by the same pop culture; how would you even explain a physical "type" for any part of America, since the country is mostly a hodegpodge of immigrants?

Great questions! I don't know how to fully explain it. But! Without a doubt for myself anymore, I do think there are some physical characteristics particular to each region of the country - the South for example  - and these characteristics can be identified by sight, in some cases. Also fer example, I can spot a "real" Mainer a mile away, just by their face.

Do you feel like you could ID a person based only on their looks? For instance, someone from Minnesota?


Little did anyone know that Susie had just taken out a large insurance policy....



From the Top

And a 1, and a 2.... "We're gonna SIIIING! We're gonna DAAAAANCE!" "We're gonna take our big CHAAAANCE!"

The Other White Meat (in suit form)

Yep. You've been asking, and now we have the answer: a bacon tuxedo. Not entirely clear if this is actual bacon (seems unlikely) or just a bacon pattern. Either way, I think we can all agree that this guy is stylin'!


Coulda been a Klingon

He's got the face for it! 

This is a real profile picture, by they way, from years back. Ask yourself what kind of guy would willingly put this picture of himself online? A Moran, that's who. But he's got guns, so, cool!

Again, the internet can be a scary place. I've been building up a tolerance for years, coupled with inoculations and brutal cognitive therapy. That said, I KNOW there are things, images, lurking out there beyond horror, beyond disgust. I steel myself for that moment - since I remember back, way back when, in the dawn of the Internet and my dial up modem would talk to the Great Modem in the Sky, and bring forth shocking pictures, shocking words, shocking behavior. I spent much of my first three years on the internet in a state of perpetual shock. You don't have to go through the same!

Be careful out there, and take nothing personally.

Internet Public Service Announcement

The internet is a scary, mysterious place. In order to avoid many of its dangers, I find it helpful to think that everyone on the internet looks like this gentleman above. Even me! Perhaps this is me?!

Until we are all video calling and blogging and talking via holograms, it's a practical precaution, as I think the mind wants to create a picture in your head that often - almost always? - will not match the reality.

Also, this guy's really fat.


Freaks of Yore

Some more perspective! This gentleman used to tour with the Barnum and Bailey circus in the early 1900's - as the Fat Man. He was reported to be the fattest man in the world at the time, but who could know?

Point being, while he is fat, he doesn't really look that fat anymore - you'd see a guy this fat (and fatter) at the Wal-Mart right now. 

Funny how times change, yes? For a more dramatic example of this change, watch a sporting event  - and specifically the crowd - from any year prior to 1988 or so. I'll spoil it for you: Everyone's thin.

What happened in the past 20 years to make so many people so very fat? 

All Kinds

This fine looking gentleman was arrested attempting to kill someone in his Windstar. Sad. Obviously, he's got self-identity issues - as we all do, I suspect, since none of us are actually real, it only makes sense this would be a common psychological condition.

But horns? C'mon man. Stick with the weird piercings and tats.

Kids! Don't get horns. Or at least think about what you'll look like at age 65 with some floppy horns hanging over your wrinkled forehead.


A Maul is Born

Every baby is beautiful, as THEY say.

It's not a coincidence

I've long been obsessed with the spiral, for no other reason than its ubiquity. It truly is everywhere. Here, above, in the form of a galaxy, and a hurricane.

Here's a spiral you may not have considered before:
The good old double helix of DNA - a double helix being two 3D spirals, intertwined. DNA is, ultimately, the building block of life, and in fact, life could be defined as "DNA replicating itself".

This process of replication - a miracle - happens when the double helix unwinds itself, with one strand heading off to the new cell, where it is rebuilt into the same double helix by proteins. Thus, one cell becomes two, two become 4, and this how we grow.

It only recently occurred to me that the spiral is not only emergent in all life, indeed, most systems, but is the very basis of life. 

When something keeps repeating itself, over and over in all manner of situations, there's something to it. Clearly, the spiral is a default form in our reality. Perhaps the default? I'll think about it more.

Why a spiral? I have an answer! Because, as I've said before, everything is falling.

Symbols everywhere

From a certain point of view, everything is a symbol. Since nothing you see is actually as it is, but rather a representation of something else. But perhaps that's too much - an example! Every letter in this sentence is a symbol, right? Nothing here means anything OTHER than what you've been taught it means. If you didn't read English, or the latin alphabet, this would all be pure gibberish. 

Another example: I KNOW matter is essentially (99%) empty space. It's nothing. And yet, a hammer - made of matter - hitting my thumb will hurt. Two separate realities, operating simultaneously (and that's the just the start).

So, for a Monday lesson: Accept that everything is symbolic of something else, and you take meaning from it - whatever it is, whatever the time - as needed at that time; another time, a different meaning.

So, as far as this goes: I like spirals. The best symbol!


Tip of my tongue

Isn't life grand?


Just in case the last one was too obscure.

"Start the reactor" - added to both the Band Name Database and the relational Album Name Database. It's good.

Start. The. Reactor.

Yeah. Baby seems to like it, for now. Doubt that lasts long, however.

Also, too: This might be my best transition yet!

DIY Fusion

This is a pic of actual fusion occurring from a Do-It-Yourself fusion project. I highly recommend you check out Famulus' blog, here.

This is very inspiring to me, personally. But it's far bigger than that - if we ever efficiently harness fusion energy, it will literally revolutionize our world in short order. It would rank as one of the biggest inventions in human history, up there with Fire, the Wheel, etc. It's that big a deal, since essentially, if we can cross this fusion threshold, we will have unlimited power forever, with no downside. It would allow us to move completely from fossil fuels, for example. And so much more. I can't think of anything going on that has more potential than fusion research.

So you're clear, we've been able to produce fusion for a long time. The catch so far as been twofold: 1. It takes more energy to create fusion than it produces, defeating the purpose, and 2. We cannot sustain the reaction for long enough periods of time.

It is a difficult nut to crack, and I wish more effort was being put forth. But there are a lot of people working on it, and all it will take is one of them to make the breakthrough. It might be this guy.


Another helping of perspective

Think your problems are big? I tell you - you don't know what big is! Look at this chart (click for big!), from 1 through 6. Each group starts with the last member of the previous group. Beginning with group 3 is interesting to me, however - see our Sun there in the middle, much smaller than the blue giant Sirius? Then look at group 4, and look how small Sirius is compared to the next sized star, Pollux. And that's just the start! By the end, we get to stars that are hundreds of times bigger than our massive star - even this scale is frankly beyond comprehension.

To end, it's extremely cool to realize that every element on this Earth heavier than Iron, such as Gold, was entirely created in stars from group 4 and on, when they die and go supernovae. It is the ultimate act of destruction that in fact seeds the universe with all the heavier elements, which we are made of. There's a moral there!

I'm sailing on sunshine

Lookee here at an actual picture of a solar sail in action. The Japanese launched their IKAROS ship back in May, and its now successfully using the force of the solar wind to make its way to Venus (it also has an ion engine, and this combo - ion engines with solar sails - could prove remarkably effective for longer range space travel).

Solar sails work exactly like wind sails work here on Earth, except of course using photons instead of wind to derive thrust. Once unfurled, they use almost no power to operate, and thus you see their benefit - you don't have to bring much fuel.

The force of the solar wind is truly minuscule, but it's also cumulative, such that while you are only receiving a very small amount of push on the sail, it just gets faster and faster since there is no friction to slow it down. Thus, after a relatively short period of time, the solar sail begins to really pick up speed. If it were allowed to continue, it would just get faster and faster.

Here's an image of how the solar sail works:

Of course, the solar wind does not look like this, but rather, as with most diagrams, is a sphere of energy expanding in all directions, with some directions receiving more force based on activity on the sun.

This is all very promising. Since America is pretty much dropping out of the space game (except for the military, of course), I guess we'll have to rely on the Japanese, Chinese, and Indians to advance the ball further. Go Team!


A drone by any other name

Here's a possible replacement to the soon to be retired Space Shuttle, the X-37. It's a drone, like most planes/ships will soon be. The launch plane above is a neat concept with great potential - Burt Rutan's SpaceShipTwo. Basically, it flies wicked high with a small rocket attached in the middle, then drops the rocket, which zooms away into space. Much cheaper/easier/faster than a conventional chemical rocket.

So, a mixed bag. The SpaceShipTwo concept could be awesome, and really open up space to mass travel. On the other hand, drones. Ya can't trust 'em!

He pulls a knife, you pull a gun

Sadly, I believe warfare and violence in general has been the main factor in mankind's ever increasing technological prowess. You can look back across history at the most basic invention, and most of them will have some utility in war, or in simple killing. The wheel was quickly adapted for use in war, and provided a deadly advantage to whomever used it. Our old friend iron was first used to kill, and only later to build. On and on.

Say hello to a new robotic drone - a stealth bomber drone that can fly for thousands and thousands of miles and stay in the air for days. It could take off from California, bomb someone in Pakistan, and return home in the evening, all directed by some guy at a monitor sitting in a comfy chair in Nevada, who also goes home at the end of the day.

I follow advancements in robotics pretty closely, and what is happening in the fields of battle is remarkable. Frightening, I suppose, but so inevitable, why bother being afraid? What's coming is coming and the only thing that would stop it is the complete upheaval of our world. Which is unlikely.

Consider! In the invasion of Iraq in 2003, not a single robotic element was used. No drones, no bots, nothing. Just a few years later, thousands of drones were in action. Today, tens of thousands of drones missions have been undertaken. The drones are coming off the assembly lines as fast as they can be made.

This will change the face of war soon enough - we've already seen the first development: Given the complete technological superiority of American in regards the military, it makes absolutely no sense to engage America in conventional warfare; rather, the only way to fight America is via asymmetrical war - terrorism, in other words.

Not a new phenomena, but the terrorists are evolving too. And robotic weapons will not stay solely on the American side for long.

The future always happens this way, I think: The Brave New World is already here, all around us. It just takes something to make you aware of it.

When the Terminators first appear (and they're very close), I will note it well.


The Graduation Boys

It's gonna be the best summer ever!

Where does it end?

News from the Kid Front: Didya know they've got graduation ceremonies for kids at every level of school, including preschool? Cute as heck, sure, but... c'mon! What's next: Birth Graduation? A diploma for being conceived?

This strikes me as "Everyone gets a Trophy" mentality. But then, I am a curmudgeon and am highly suspicious of how teenagers are dressing these days.....

Levels of Reality

Since I graduated from the prestigious Harvard Training Academy - AS YOU CAN SEE! - I feel I have obtained the proper WISDOM, you see, to opine on this, our reality. Our should I say, realities. I propose that we - living beings - exist in all these realities, however, our operational awareness of them differs from person to person. True WISDOM, then, would be the complete understanding and reconciliation of these different realities. As it is normally, there's no necessary correlation from one reality to another - what might be true in one could be false in another, and vice versa. They're independent in this regard.

Now, I've thought about this for many minutes now, so I'm sure it's correct. However, there might be some small chance I could change this in the future. But what do I care? I've got a diploma!

In order:
1. Societal reality - living in the world. These realities are location and era specific. The societal reality of Medina, Saudi Arabia, for example, is not the same as Seattle. All religion, government, etc, fits into this realm, and it dominates our attention.
2. Familial reality - a family is a society in microcosm, with less options for moving. 
3. Personal reality - what goes on in your head. Could be completely delusional, and in fact, it's always subjective. 

These are the big three. Most of us, and most of our day to day lives, are completely dominated by these levels, and in fact it would be easy enough to stop here and analyze the heck out these, since progress could be made. However, that's not my goal. Documentation only. So:

4. Chemical reality - hormones and other chemical triggers in the body. We might be completely unaware of this reality, but its certainly affecting us.
5. Biological reality - The actual biology that makes up living systems.
6. Physical reality - the atoms which make up the structures in our bodies and the rules governing their interactions.
7. Quantum reality - The underlying quantum nature of everything

And that's as far back as I go, for now. I strongly suspect science will peel back yet another layer - another reality - and I'll add that at the bottom.

To wit: One can analyze any given object, topic, concern, by using each of these levels. For instance, ask yourself what a mountain is at the the physical level. Each level has its own truths, and each level can appear to subvert the others. 

Most importantly, one can see how the bottom 4 levels can be viewed as fairly straightforward scientific concepts, whereas the top 3 are all subjective, hurly-burly creations of humans/humanity.

Point being: We spend most of our time in the top 3 levels, swimming in various delusions, and most likely completely unaware of the underlying levels that actually hold more objective truths.

Illusions all, however, even the quantum.


On The Origin of Life

Since you yourself have admitted it is impossible to scientifically prove the origin of life, then the obvious conclusion is that, as we have been taught by our ancestors since the beginning of time, God created the World, the Universe, and Life, as written in the Good Book. To argue otherwise is to stubbornly cling to secular notions of nihilism and lies.

I must repeat that it is not impossible, just exceedingly unlikely due to the variety of ways life could have begun on Earth, and the enormous passage of time since that event. Just because one cannot find a needle in a haystack, my good friend, does not mean there is no needle.

I have discussed the various ways amino acids might join together and create complex proteins which in turn could create cellular-like structures that form membranes, and how DNA could arise from RNA, which in turn was created by the same complex protien structures. Given a multitude of environments, the right ingredients, and enough time, chance itself through the notion of mutation could have spawned a cell that was able to self-replicate, and thus become "alive". 

And do not discount the very real possibility that life in fact came from elsewhere in our solar system - Mars, for example - and seeded the early earth with basic life through asteroid exchange, which is a theory known as "Panspermia". I do believe in the next decade or 2 we will discover evidence of life or actual life outside of Earth, which greatly lends credence to this theory.

Blasphemy I say! Rubbish! 

To that I would ask: What is the greater blasphemy? To accept and participate in the very real efforts of science to understand our Universe or to deny actual evidence and believe in a myth, a set of stories, created by Man - of all creatures!? To deny our very nature is what I would call "blasphemy", if I were to even resort to such religiously loaded insults.

LAST WORD! w00f!


Yes Cooldog Can

As I might have remarked a few times before, the intertubes sure are swell. Watching l'il memes grow wings and fly across cyberspace is just a sight to behold. Strange, obscure notions blossom out of thin tcp-ip and often swiftly return back into the digital void. A select few spread worldwide and mayhaps even become legends, in time.

So, to explain this one: There once was a real picture of this dog above leaning on his dog house. Cut the dog out of that template and then insert him into other backgrounds via Photoshop or other photo editing software. That's it! Funny, huh?

It never is when you explain it. So, I often don't even try figuring these things out - absurdity for absurdity's sake is funny enough.


It wasn't me, man, I swear - didn't you see that other buck - the 12 pointer! - running away from here?! I was just walking by and don't know nothing man. Damn! Get me my court appointed doe lawyer. I want my phone call.

In Simpler Times....

I really would like one of these, now (not back when, of course). That said, I freely admit it's because I'm a huge nerd, and Dr. Jack drove a version of this on Lost, and it looked so cool, I thought maybe some of that coolness MIGHT rub off on me.

But that's a pipe dream, plus, I'm not looking for a long term project, which the Harverster would no doubt be.

But also, too: Simpler times. Looks pretty nice and nostalgic, doesn't it? And for some, that might be true. But was it simpler times for a black man? A lesbian? Chinese math student? I highly doubt it.

Which is an important point to try and remember as we descend further into madness: History is inevitably trending in a progressive fashion - just 75 years ago or so, women couldn't vote. Now we have Sarah Palin - see how progress has happened?

We're in the last throes of an old order, and the new one is gaining its feet; the transition will no doubt be painful, but aren't they usually?

Unreliability of perceptions

There was a time, some 10-20 years ago, when I would have thought this car was ugly as sin. Now, however, I find it strikingly beautiful. What changed?

Me. The times. Everything. 

The lesson: Never hold your own opinions as concrete.


Imperial Blues

Unless we fundamentally change the course of our country, it seems pretty clear America has entered the phase of "Imperial Decadence" that happens to all Empires once they lose sight of their original founding. Safe to say America has long since lost that vision (it happened in chunks last century), and it's obvious to see were in a form of decadent delusion - Lindsay Freakin' Lohan/Lebron James is the leading news today. Sad. Real issues are never addressed, it's just more Bread n' Circuses.

Which is fun enough - I've got my fiddle well tuned and I know how to play during a fire.

Perhaps the only thing that might save us is "minorities" in America asserting themselves over the great hordes of stupid, greedy, fat white people. The demographics are going to turn very soon, but Old White Men are firmly lodged in every corner of power - it will take time to get them out.

We're seeing this change now - the media is about to go under, notions of citizenship are under fire, violence is on the horizon as dead enders feel the heat. The only question is will the forces of the Status Quo (Repugs, MSM, many Dems, Wall Street, K Street, etc) be successful in squashing these changes, or will they succumb relatively peaceful to a new order?

We'll find out whether you want to or not. Fun times!



Mating Rituals cont.

Feeling like a shell of yourself, Trooper? Failing at the nearly unwinnable dating game?

Forget all the fussing and fighting and laser blasts. Get that special Lady Stormtrooper friend a nice pair of boots:
Who could resist?

Mating Rituals of the Northern Stormtrooper

As you can see, with the arrival of warmer weather, the Northern Stormtrooper will shed portions of his/her armor in preparation for their annual mating. A male Stromtrooper will go to extreme lengths during this time - and is quite dangerous because of this - to impress and thus copulate with any nearby female Stormtrooper - who number only 1 to every 100 male Stormtrooper. Thus, extreme competition with attendant extreme behavior.

But it's all for the best, since this is how baby Stormtroopers are made!


Dancin' for Money

This Trooper clearly has the skillz to pay the billz.... which will no doubt be mostly composed of credit card statements for expensive Trooper armor and accessories.

H/t Skramley