Thursday, February 28, 2008

Brahma Breath: The Cyclical Universe

Both the religious dogma of the biblical Genesis & the scientific dogma of the singular Big Bang always seemed equally absurd to me, in the sense that the entire universe supposedly began at a certain 'discernible' point.

I always struggled with what existed before, which had to be- nothing! Then, the question is how everything came from- nothing! There is really no adequate explanation that our monkey grunts can properly convey. We can say "God did it." or "There was the singularity" but these are just phrases that help us box up The Unimaginable in a comfortably managed package. We try to intellectually deal with the infinite nature of the universe... as long as it's confined inside definite, finite parameters!

The human mind, trying to imagine the state of reality before the beginning of the universe, is easily overwhelmed by this incomprehensible and eternal mystery.

I am definitely of the school of Giordano Bruno who accepted that, as far as human perception is concerned, the infinite worlds inhabiting infinite space. Outside of human perception, however, I am not qualified to speculate - being that I'm only human.

What I find endlessly interesting is the continuing correlation between modern scientific interpretations of the cosmos with ancient metaphysical concepts. I read this Wired interview with physicist Neil Turok in which he makes the following case:

"...the Big Bang represents just one stage
in an infinitely repeated cycle
of universal expansion and contraction.
Turok theorizes that neither time
nor the universe has a beginning or end. "

The further explanation he gave, no matter how scientific, is really just weaving a story around this central concept. Ultimately, Mr. Turok makes yet another excellent point when he says "I feel that the main role for these scenarios of the early universe is to stimulate our thinking. I don't necessarily believe any of them."

Reading these theories about the cyclical nature of reality reminded me of the Hindu idea of the cosmos as going infinite cycle of inward & outward "breaths" that are quite literally the fractal fluctuations of an infinitely complex reality:

Carl Sagan on Hindu Cosmology:

"It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, no doubt, by accident, to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the age of the earth or the sun and about half of the time since the big bang. And there are much longer time scales still.

There is the deep and the appealing notion that the universe is but the dream of the god who after a 100 Brahma years… dissolves himself into a dreamless sleep… and the universe dissolves with him… until after another Brahma century… he starts… recomposes himself and begins again the dream… the great cosmic lotus dream."

Cosmic Simulations

A while ago I ran across The Millenium Simulation project that uses supercomputers to process 3D visualizations of the large scale universe. The structure & distribution of galaxies and dark matter can be explored using this model that also has great aesthetic value. Because the link above uses a movie format I can't view, I could only appreciate the still pictures. linked to a website for a DVD called Galaxy Dynamics.
The menu has very cool Quicktime animations of cosmic processes enhanced with trippy soundtracks. It's the closest thing to having your own rave-powered spaceship.

Nokia Morph

E-paper & ultrathin displays are going to be the source of all kinds of amazing applications. I'm looking forward to the day when I can design motion graphics for e-packaging & other surfaces that will use this emerging technology.

I saw this awesome concept called Nokia Morph on a couple different websites. It is a glimpse into the exciting & innovative creations that are just around the corner. Everything is cool about this - the styling of it, the translucent green, the interface visualizations... it's like the iPhone of the future.

There is really no reason why this device can't exist right now. It's only the misuse and waste of our collective resources and potential that prevents the realization of such inventions.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Meaning of Life

Having now finished my third decade in this amazing world, I have spent alot of time observing and contemplating the human experience.

It seems about time that I recorded the ultimate consequence of years of accumulating knowledge and Crazy Wisdom:
The Meaning and Purpose of Existence.

I have contained all the transcendent truths and esoteric revelations that I have discovered over the course of a lifetime within the action of a single click....

The link below will truly set you free.

The link ain't broke, this is not a joke
One day soon, we all must croak
Click all night, and click all day
What is 'Meaning' anyway?

Unlocking the Holographic Universe

I've always been interested in holograms and their relationship to the nature of our universe. Reality and our integrated human minds experiencing & existing within it have been shown to possess holographic qualities that are still barely understood.

I've noticed a few articles on the progression of holographic display & data storage technologies. I really think that we're getting to the point that almost anything the human mind can visualize can be either represented virtually or actually created in the physical world. Holograms, like fractals, are one of those topics that make less 'sense' the more you really try to understand them.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Surprise! Cable News Sucks

Besides getting real-time poll numbers for the current races, Presidential Primary coverage on the cable news networks is almost unwatchable. It's like there is a deliberate plan to keep all discussion of actual issues and their possible solutions completely out of the picture. Wait... Nah, can't be!

Instead of critical examination of the obstacles our country faces and the answers needed to overcome them, the hours are filled with insane jibber-jabber about:

• who's getting the vote of old/young/white/black/latino/male/female/rural/urban/blah/blah/blah

• why the above groups are voting as the completely uniform hive minds that they apparently are,

• what provocative verbal barbs are being slung, and what the response is, etc.

• which campaign has the most money and who's donating,

The only truly useful information that comes out of these shows are the poll numbers and when the next debate is, so maybe you can get some time to hear what the candidate say what they actually stand for

The complete irony of hearing the army of "experts" saying that Barack Obama has lacked substance (before tonight's speech, anyway) is off the charts. You could have CNN, MSNBC, & Fox News running simultaneously, and you will hear nothing but horserace talk.

I'd support Hillary if she was the nominee, but I think Obama would be a great President & a positive force that would be a healthy dose of sanity and insight after the Bush/Cheney Dark Ages. Hell, I even think John McCain would be a better, more competent leader than The War Monkey. Unfortunately, McCain represents a political party in Washington that, for all its talk of righteousness, has proven to be completely bankrupt of moral integrity. I think Obama/McCain debates would be a fascinating dynamic, whereas I see him and Hillary having a much less interesting interaction. Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know.

All I know is Presidential Paintball kicks ass:

Presidential Paintball Game
Description: Hillary, Obama, Giuliani & more play paintball for the USA Presidency!Instructions:Use…
More Games

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monkey Poo Fight Game

I'll try pretty much any monkey-themed game,
but there is something extra special about using monkey poo to hit another chimp.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Profound Valentine Cards

In honor of the most romantic of holidays,
I wanted to post some of my favorite Valentine Cards
that would make any woman's heart flutter:

Click to see larger image

Ralph Wiggum's classic
card to Lisa Simpson:

what appears to be
a young Don Magic Juan:

Evolution of Company Logo Designs

Continuing on the logo theme, I saw this interesting article about the development process that went into different logos for the world's largest tech companies. I eat this stuff up. Thank you Neatorama.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What is Your Logo IQ?

I consider myself pretty well-versed in commercial branding, which includes various elements such as logos, mascots, taglines, etc..

This quiz put my knowledge to the test:

I scored a 95%, which makes me a "Logo Expert".
Can't argue.

The only one I missed was #6.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Does Voting Even Matter?

The cynically realistic part of me says "Probably not."

There are a few reasons why:

First, electronic votes can't be verified by the voter, there is no vote-by-vote paper trail for backup, and the software used is not open-source. Therefore, the process itself is entirely suspect.

Second, (and perhaps because of reason #1) it's possible that the whole thing is rigged by players on the stage and powers behind the scenes. There are billions of dollars at stake & I just can't imagine everything's on the up & up. David Schuster on Countdown was talking about the so-called Super Delegates, mostly non-elected party officials who make up 40% of the primary vote. The election system is made with safeguards to prevent the plebian mob from picking the 'wrong' candidate.

So... why bother?...
I think my own selfish motivation is simply so I can argue politics & policy with people and not have it thrown back in my face that I don't vote. My vote seems like a grain of sand on a beach, pretty insignificant. But it makes me feel like a responsible citizen, so it serves some function I guess.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Tuesday Afterthoughts

Even though the Super Bowl was a good game, the contest that really interests me is the Presidential Primary Race. Instead of the football, though, our countries top politicians get to throw around platitudes and promises.

Anybody who knows me or has read this blog knows my disdain for Bush, Inc. - so voting for any of his band of lackeys on the GOP side who will continue his mindless policies is simply out of the question.

I've been thinking about who I was going to pick for the Dems in their Primary. My first choice would have been John Edwards, but then he left the race... I think Hillary & Obama are both articulate, competent people with alot of life experience and intelligence. Especially after the chaos-causing ignoramus we've been dealing w/ for the past 8 years, either of these candidates are like an oasis of sanity. If they both end up on the final ballot as Prez & VP, in either order, they will crush the Republican ticket.

At first, I was trying to rationalize all of the practical advantages to a Clinton presidency, despite the contempt for her created by right-wing ideologues. However, after watching Barack in the debates and giving speeches on CSPAN & the internet, I changed my mind completely. My individual vote doesn't make any real difference, so I decided not to try to calculate my vote like there was some grand strategy that would unfold as a result. I voted for who I liked the best & Obama ended up winning me over. I think having a woman President would be a great change for this country. The more I hear Obama, though, the more I am really inspired by his ideas & outlook. He's really got alot of momentum behind him in a short amout of time.

So, when I went into the booth, I pressed the lit button next to Barack Obama's name on the mysterious black box. Of course, because our voting system is a scandal in itself, I have no idea whether or not my vote was actually tallied. I could just assume that the little burst of electricity zipping through the circuits added up to some digital tally somewhere. Whatever.

If Hillary Clinton ends up winning the nomination, I'll be fine with that, too. I just think that along with her great advantages, her and ol' Bill also bring along an awful lot of baggage and disadvantages. Ultimately, if it boils down to it, I would prefer relative sanity under a Clinton than more unfettered insanity under a member of the Bush Cabal.

The majority of Dirty Jerseyans went with Clinton. After seeing both candidates giving their speeches Tuesday night, though, I was even more comfortable w/ my decision. Hillary might be a charismatic person, but it doesn't shine through as clearly as in Barack. Although the mantras of "Hope" & "Change" are starting to be mocked as overused generalities, they are still very powerful motivators. This is especially true when delivered with confidence and authenticity.

As much as I like looking at Scarlett Johansson singing over an Obama speech, his words speak fine for themselves:

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Usborne Books of the Future & the Unknown

I've seen & other sites linking to a The Pointless Museum's collection of scans from imaginative illustrated books. The Book of the Future is getting the attention & it is definitely an amazing book.

The other book he scanned, Usborne World of the Unknown: UFO's brings back childhood memories for me. I used to check out as many books as I possibly could at each trip to the public library when my mom would take me & my siblings back in the day. I know I checked out this UFO book and similar ones about ghosts & strange creatures several times each. These books were really influential in the development of my fluid world outlook. They illustrated how much is out there that we have not even begun to understand.

I was amazed by the fantastic presentations, like this:

...& my young mind could endlessly ponder the implications of such strange possibilities: -Destroy the Web!

This is a pretty cool website I saw on Posthuman Blues that allows you to apply different destructive graphic simulations to any web page! This is such an awesome idea.

The ability to go to Sean Hannity's web page & drop a nuke on Ann Coulter's obnoxious head is truly priceless.

Monkey Peeing in it's Mouth

What can I say about this clip?...

Monkeys, besides being our closest genetic relatives, are just plain amusing. Maybe it's because they are so similar to us that their antics seem so crazy.

This video my friend showed me is one of the most disgusting (& also one of the funniest) things I've ever seen. As the little girl so rightly exclaims in the video: "Eeeeeww! Grooooss!!!!"