Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dick Cheney Feeds on my Nightmares

Mr. "Go F*ck Yourself", Dick Cheney, appeared amid the stench of sulfer & brimstone on my TV tonight with Larry King. Watching Cheney lie and snarl on the screen before I go to bed is like being visited at midnight by Mephistopheles himself as you curl in terror inside a candle-lit pentagram.

For the record:
This guy is the man for being the only human being on record having the balls to stand up to The Dark One.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Graphic Humor with GOP Elephant

While doing an image search on Google, I came across this collection of great takes on the stupid Republican elephant icon. (For the record. the Democrat's donkey is just as stupid.)

I love seeing design work that is way too clever for me to accomplish. It gives me something to aspire to.

The blog I saw it on is Lian Chang's Commentary, which is my kind of eclectic mix.

Oh crap, I just clicked through & realized there are actually 100 of these wonderful GOP logos by illustrator Thomas Fuchs:

Swarm Behavior

Human Swarm & Ant Swarm

I can sit on my back step for an hour just watching ants and other bugs crawl across the vast mini-landscape. Their ability to explore & survive as a collective intelligence is one of the wonders of life. Humans are just as immersed in their own 'hive minds' whether they be political rallies, evangelical mega-churches, or the Internet.

The idea of a collective mind has also spawned alot of fictional examples; Matrix Sentinels, The Borg, Buggers, Aliens, Geonosians, and probably many others that I'm not aware of.

This National Geographic article tries to tackle the mystifying complexity of life operating in networks-

Here are some examples of mindless hive behavior, except it's in the human species...

Bill Kristol: "Why Bush Will Be a Winner"

"Neocons on a Cruise: What Conservatives Say
When They Think We Aren't Listening"

Friday, July 27, 2007

Cupboard with Morphing Surface

This is the very beginning of a future in which all sorts of surfaces will be covered in motion graphics or morphing designs. I think electronic paper & film will eventually be the common technology in the world of ever-changing appearances.

In what could be considered a primitive precursor, this piece of furniture by Front Design seems to use a mechanical array of panels to simulate the appearance of large shifting pixels:

Origin of Punctuation Symbols

I am always interested in the history behind mundane, yet universal pieces of our culture.
There is nothing more mundane & universal than punctuation, but their origins are more diverse
than we would think.

This background on the basics of our language symbols is from the supremely entertaining "Uncle John's Bathroom Reader":

Friday, July 20, 2007

Man vs. Wild

There are not many TV shows I watch religiously... The Daily Show, Colbert Report, The Simpsons, South Park, and a couple others.

I like the programming on the Discovery channel, but there is one show that I have become a big fan of - "Man vs. Wild". It is basically a show where a former British special forces soldier is dropped of in some extreme location & has to survive to find civilization. I had no idea that the host's name is Bear Grylls, but it just makes him that much more awesome.

Hmmm, am I in the mood for elephant dung, or my own urine?.....

Real Candidates: Dennis Kucinich & Ron Paul

As an Independent voter, I make no judgments about a candidate based on party affiliation. The only thing that matters to me is what they are saying, how qualified I think they are, & the greatest of all analytical tools - my own intuition.

I think the Democrats have intelligent, competent people in their lineup. Unfortunately, much of the rhetoric I hear from the 'front runners' about war & solutions to serious problems is just that, rhetoric that doesn't address the root causes. On the Republican side, I couldn't tell you too much about their rhetoric (besides "9/11" & "more torturing brown people")... it is so overwhelmingly insane and idiotic it makes my ears bleed if I listen for too long. Personally, I hope the Republican party gets their asses handed to them in the next elections, because they have become a frighteningly corrupt & inept group whose purpose has apparently been twisted into creating a fascist theocracy.

There is one person in each party that I consider mostly clear-sighted and correct in their positions. Although they are underdogs in this game of millionaires and media creations, the fact that their message is being heard and supported is a great thing.

Democrat - Dennis Kucinich

Republican - Ron PaulI'll give just one example each that shows the level of candor & insight these candidates have compared to the rest of the pack:

Dennis Kucinich:
"Impeaching Cheney First Step to Restoring the Rule of Law"

Ron Paul:
"U.S. In 'Great Danger' Of Staged Gulf Of Tonkin Style Provocation"

Of course, the corporate media and the influence peddlers will continue to vigorously resist promoting these 'far-shots'. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to live on a sane planet...

Luckily there is the wonderful world of Youtube, where you can hear their positions for yourself.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Joseph Longo's Plasma Incinerator

After I had posted about the possible energy revolution that's coming, I remembered a technology I read in Popular Science during my lunch break. As I read the article, I was blown away by the simplicity of the concept and the functionality of the design.

The invention is an incinerator that uses super-hot plasma to basically burn everything except nuclear waste down to individual molecules. I don't care how much it costs, there should be local and federal initiatives to mass produce these machines. This is the best investment any government can make.

"A Startech machine that costs roughly $250 million could handle 2,000 tons of waste daily, approximately what a city of a million people amasses in that time span...

..a $250-million converter could pay for itself in about 10 years, and that’s without factoring in the money made from selling the excess electricity and syngas. After that break-even point, it’s pure profit."

The article is great, and all the benefits of this device are just mind-blowing. The above example is just one of many reasons for investing in this technology.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Zero Point Energy & Wireless Electricity

The technology that is coming our way with most potential to change our society is super-efficient forms of energy production & transmission.

Obviously, so many of our domestic and international problems come from the archaic use of combustion energies and their necessary fuels. The wars in the Middle East should be called the 'Petroleum Wars', because the main benefactors are the companies pumping the oil we're taking, plus the weapons companies & military contractors who profit with almost no oversight.

Why are we still in Iraq? The overwhelming reason is that interests who can influence the policy are making money. If we truly interested in stabilizing the region, we would give up our grip on the situation and have serious summits with all parties, even countries that our government tells us are supposed to be our enemies. However, that would mean giving up the continuing revenues for the previously mentioned industries. As George Orwell said, "War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed class think they are going to profit from it."

The end of not just dependence on foreign oil, but the end of our oil dependence altogether, would be a situation as revolutionary as the emergence of the Internet. I believe almost anything that humans can imagine can be willed into existence eventually. For my senior design class, I envisioned & a portable computer that ran off wireless electricity after studying the father of A/C electricity, Nikola Tesla. I am convinced in the feasibility of technologies as wireless electricity, fusion power, and even harnessing so-called "Zero Point Energy."One day we will figure out how to draw energy right from the infinite quantum field that permeates everything. It's only a matter of time, vision, and effort.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Our Bodies are Ecosystems

I've posted before about the bacteria and organisms living throughout our bodies, but it never stops amazing me how the body is mostly a vessel for an entire universe of living organisms.

90% of our mass supposedly consists of living microbes, viruses affect our DNA, and we cannot live without organisms like stomach bacteria. The idea of an independent 'self' is ultimately just that - an idea. Each person is really a system of symbiotic beings in constant interaction, on many different scales.

The amount of integration and effect that microscopic life has with us makes George Lucas's idea of Midichlorians not quite as stupid as I first thought...

Mmmmpph! Antibacterial soap... useless, it is!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It's Still Real to Me Dammit!!!

I saw a clip of this video on a VH1 show & watched it repeatedly on Youtube. It's one of those things that makes you laugh your ass off and shake your head in shame at the same time. (In other words, it's awesome.)

Then, I saw this segment from Jimmy Kimmel showing the whole video & it's so great I just had to post it.
As Jimmy says, "I could watch that 100 times in a row..."

There are only four words left to say:
"Captain Redneck Dick Murdoch"

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

'The Cube' by Jim Henson

click for Youtube video

Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, made this surreal look at the reality of the human experience. This is from a TV show in 1969, before he went on to produce iconic puppet characters such as these two.

'The Cube' is like a cross between The Twilight Zone, The Matrix, Waking Life, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, Vanilla Sky, and any other film that warps your mind and then snaps it into oblivion.

For being almost 40 years old & almost an hour long, it's still a really engaging concept. Once I started it, I couldn't stop watching.

Google Video: "The Cube"

"This philosophical teleplay covers many themes such as, the nature of reality, individual versus scientific perception, self-reference, man's relation to others and society, insanity, social projections, and race relations. It originally aired on NBC's weekly anthology television show NBC Experiment in Television February 23, 1969. The production was produced and directed by Jim Henson, and was one of several experiments with the live-action film medium which he conducted in the 1960s"

Yoda House for Humans

I saw this house on boingboing.com & think it's pretty wild. Truly a home fit for a 900 year-old Jedi master! It would be awesome to have either a house that's organic like this or modern yet 'green'.

This home would probably do in a pinch, though:

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Altruistic Apes

This painting depicts the Buddha while living in the deep forest,
where no people were around who could support him by offering food.
The monkey then gave the Buddha some honey.

It shouldn't be a surprise that life with complex cognitive and social structures could exhibit behavior similar to ours. The more people observe other creatures, the more we realize the depth of life's processes.

Monkeys and other simian are the closest forms of life to ourselves, therefore many of their social processes are similar to ours. Altruism, or the idea of compassion, has been considered a uniquely human trait. However, it should be expected to be seen in living things that form social networks and produce the cognitive feedback that we call emotion.
Monkey Buddhism is alive and well among our fellow primates -

Science News:
"Ape Aid: Chimps Share Altruistic Capacity with People"

PLoS Biology:
"Spontaneous Altruism by Chimpanzees and Young Children"

Of course, just like people, sentient creatures are also prone to what we consider negative characteristics such as violence and aggression. Just as there is a Monkey Buddha, there must be a Monkey Devil to explain this madness -

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Japan Builds New Bullet Train

Count this under the many things that America should be spending it's money and manpower on:

"Japan's Type N700 Bullet Train
Almost Half as Fast as an Airplane"

These type of infrastructure & public works should be government projects that employ citizens and benefit citizens. This train goes up to 185 miles per hour, has free internet, and would be a wonderful thing to have going my way between Philly, Atlantic City, & NY.

Bong Hits for Jesus - The Game

I heard something about the recent Supreme Court ruling about a kid who was suspended from school for having a sign during a field trip that said "Bong Hits for Jesus".

In our land of mere mortals, free speech obviously doesn't really mean free. It's a great ideal, but impossible as long as we are still communicating through simian grunts and our egos can be disturbed. The only language that even should be questionable among adults is that which is intended to direct physical danger to a person or property.

I have no problem with warning labels or specified viewing hours for objectionable material. Schools and their administrators need to keep some kind of order. This court decision is not really all that outrageous, because under our country's draconian drug laws, the flower Cannabis has been considered a dangerous drug since the 30's. Therefore, (if you want to be considered a dork) you could argue that the principal is obligated to punish a student who, at a school function, is promoting illegal drug use. Personally, I think it's ridiculous & funny, but I also don't think it's completely defensible behavior.

Free speech or obscene language... brilliant satire or offensive pro-drug slur?
You'll never know... without "Bong Hits for Jesus: The Game":

In the words of Jon Stewart...
"And now, your moment of Zen":
Guardian UK: "Jesus 'Healed Using Cannabis'"