Thursday, December 31, 2009

The First Decade of 'The Future' is Now Past!

The title above shows how seriously I regard the concept of 'time.'

Although it's fun to celebrate the passage of time w/ various holidays & milestones, it's good to keep in mind that it's mostly arbitrary. Humans compartmentalize information, so defining cycles of time has been a historic necessity.

The measurements based on natural cyclic activity, like a day & the year, have a basis in physical reality. The Western world's higher measures of time, like a decade & a century, are completely conceptual- defined by numbers in the mind of man alone.

The 1st decade of the 21st century has (unfortunately) been defined to much of the world by the living disaster whom the US Supreme Court selected as President in 2000. Although probably meaningless in a cosmic sense, for us mortals on Earth this has been the decade of George. W. Bush.

This past decade since I graduated college has been fun & positive overall for me personally. However, the shadow of evil that was 'Bush/Cheney Inc.' was a constant threat of The Apocalypse that I could have done without. To their only credit, I do appreciate the insights the horrific conduct of their right-wing cabal gave me into my own moral perspectives.

Although obviously a little bit dramatic, Time Magazine has captured the mood with their retrospective:

The '00s: Goodbye (at Last)
to the Decade from Hell

I am under no impression that this coming decade, or the future in general, will be free of the ignorance, brutality, and insanity that has defined Homo Sapiens since we were first genetically engineered by the Anunnaki. :)

What I am optimistic about is the fact that mankind as a whole seems to be exponentially increasing both it's scientific knowledge and it's global awareness, to offset the knuckle-draggers among us. The universe is a dance of balancing forces, & as man's progressive nature grows, the extremity of man's regressive elements will grow, as well.

The physical world will always consist of both happiness & suffering, no matter what year it is. What we as individuals should concern ourselves with is simply being a positive, or at least neutralizing, force in our particular experiences from moment to moment.

Now, it's time to party...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Merryment

I was helping Santa & his 'helper' loosen up while he stopped over in Philly, the night before Christmas Eve:

This Christmas was alot of fun. My generation, which is already an army of cousins, is now expanding the family with their own children. It's another wave of life, full of new experiences.

My little nephew is a source of constant entertainment & brought alot of excitement to Christmas. After dinner, he was devouring an Italian pizzelle cookie and lost a huge piece of it on his forehead. He started feeling around looking for it, much to our amusement:

I also played a joke on my sister that was pretty good. She has been asking my parents to get her a Roomba robot vacuum for years. Therefore, I decided to be a total jerk & make a fake box w/ realistic graphics for a "Broomba".

Inside the box, there was just a dustpan & brush w/ the 'iRobot' logo on it. She opened it & was really excited before realizing it was a joke. My Mom felt bad about the idea of fooling her like that, though, & ended up getting her a real one anyway.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Time!

Well, the Holiday Season is upon us. I'll be too busy to post anything till later this weekend- so I'll leave off with this daytime trash TV imagining on the Immaculate Conception:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winter Blizzard 09

My backyard looking like a frozen Dagobah.

The East Coast got hit with a big storm this weekend. When you get to be older, the snow is just a huge pain in the ass.

Around 2 feet of snow got dumped on S. Jersey this weekend. On Saturday afternoon, I was out shoveling the 8-10 inches that had fallen in my driveway... figuring it would be less to do if any more came down.

However, the next day at least another foot of snow had fallen & the snowplows created a 3ft+ wall along the highway in front of my place. I started kind of late & realized I'd have to dig in 'turbo' mode to get most of it done while it was light out.

Some of my friends drove by while I was shoveling by the road, but there was no place to pull in. They just took a minute to laugh & claim that I wouldn't be able to clear the chest-high plowed snowbank by myself.

It's safe to say it was the most snow that I've shoveled in along time, but I cleared the driveway by the time it got dark.

Here's an album of photos showing the unusual amount of snow:

Photos: Winter Blizzard 09

I took this picture Saturday while it was snowing- before I cleared the area the 1st time:

Sunday I came out to find everything I already cleared... covered back up & MORE:

Santa NO!

After Christmas shopping for my family tonight I'm beginning to get in the holiday spirit..

There was a link to this site on Neatorama of a random collection of crazy, bizarre, & disgraceful Christmas images.

I would not recommend it if you are sensitive about The Spirit of Christmas™ or human decency in general.

Santa, NO!

Of course, the twisted Santa & elf from the classic "A Christmas Story" were in there.

This is actually one of the most normal-looking Santas on the website:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Droopy Dog on "The DC"

I was going to embed this clip in my last post, but it wasn't online yet. It was classic Jon Stewart mockery. The health care montage & Joe Lieberman bit had me laughing.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Big Issues

I often hear people complain that "society is going downhill."

People have probably been saying that since the first societies were formed. In reality people are as brutal, selfish & ignorant as they've always been, but the problems societies face today are more complex than in the past. On the upside, our collective capacity to solve problems is greater than ever.

There is no doubt that the number and scale of problems facing mankind seem huge. The constant info stream available to every person with the most basic network connection has compounded everyone's awareness of the entire globe.

Another effect of The Web is that a multitude of voices are now able to weigh in on any given subject. This is neither good nor bad, but it's a complex phenomenon that's clearly affecting the existing perceptions and power structures around the world.
Unfortunately, despite public outcry the for-profit insurance companies & the various financial swindlers sucking the lifeblood out of people have shown that they won't be swatted away by our pesky "democracy" anytime soon. Not while they're so firmly attached to their Congressional hosts.

There are answers to these big problems, but they require vision & action even more bold than President Hopey-Change w/ his "liberal" Democratic Congress could ever muster. It can be infuriating for informed citizens to see a cumbersomely ineffective system of bought-off bureaucrats only nominally fixing the crushing problems we face.

To illustrate the chain of causality that has to be intelligently addressed on any big issue, here's an example:
As far as health care is concerned, I should be able to visit a doctor or hospital & get any health care I need without any concern for payment whatsoever, no less needing an insurance company to pay for it. The existing system is legally-sanctioned racket, since in a truly enlightened society health care should be the most basic right of any human- citizen or not.

How would such a socialist utopia exist? The only feasible model is through taxes. How else is any functioning government supposed to be funded? The current problem is the particular system of taxation. People's personal income & owned property should not be taxed, but I say tax away on sales of luxury items & non-essential items. That is also how you get a piece of any illicit money out there that wouldn't be gained through income tax. I was just watching a news segment with 2 economists proposing a flat consumption tax in place of the current tax structure. The tax code is one of the things that any President w/ balls would scrap and reboot.

I prefer to think in generalities on these questions of social policy, since there are millions of people out there who could work out details. This is where Obama has come up short so far. He hasn't really brought down the hammer in a forceful way & said:

"This is how it's gonna be,
& here's what we're gonna do.

Do you love America
or not?!"

Even though they were blatantly wrong on the issues, that is one attribute that Bush, Inc. used to its advantage - the ability to be unyielding S.O.B.'s! By not calling out the very integrity of all Congresscritters who block his agenda, Obama's allowed room for antics like those of America's Droopiest Senator, Joe Lieberman aka Senator Palpatine.

Of course, when considering the important issues, it's also important to realize it is all fleeting & crazy anyway. That's where watching The Daily Show & Colbert Report can give me a laugh and the proper perspective.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Stephen Colbert: Afghandyland

Last week Stephen Colbert had a funny segment featuring the ridiculous Dept. of Defense graphic titled "Afghanistan Stability" that I had just posted about.

He also introduced a mock game "Afghandyland" that is as much of a disaster as the real thing.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pantone Color of 2010: Turquoise

Continuing on a design theme, the art geek in me was glad to see one of my favorite colors named as Pantone Color of the Year-

I prefer "cool" colors & particularly aqua/turquoise hues because they remind me of water & the sea while also lending themselves to futuristic color schemes combined w/ chrome or metallics.

Pantone is definitely a useful color-matching system that I use often at work, but I'm so bad with numbers that I only know a few specific swatch numbers.

My top 3 colors would be
1. Black
2. Turquoise
3. Olive Green

Metallics are always cool too, but they are kind of separate.

Afganistan" Stability" Graphic

I saw this chart on Talking Points Memo & it's a mind-boggling representation of the craziness of just 1 of our military endeavors, the occupation in Afghanistan.

Feel Better Now?

No! I feel like my head's spinning! As a designer who prefers simplicity & clarity, this chart is like tying my eyeballs in a knot. Bless the poor team from PA Consulting that had to come up with this madness.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


The message hasn't been lost... but the world can nevertheless be a real hellhole.
We could use more insanely idealistic hippies with a powerful mind & voice these days:

There's been alot of new 'Beatlemania' recently w/ the release of Beatles Rock Band & their remastered albums.

I'm usually really bad w/ dates, & time in general, but I've always remembered Dec. 8th for being Jim Morrison's birthday & the dayt John Lennon being killed. Maybe they're easy for me because it's also my brother's birthday, but the anniversary of John Lennon's death hasn't stopped affecting people around the world.

Thanks to my Dad, I've always been a fan of The Beatles & Lennon in particular. His sarcastic but creative insight made him one of my personal idols. It's a shame he couldn't live on to futher inspire the world, but such is life & death. His light shone bright while it lasted.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Happy in Paraguay

My cousin Adam sent me this video that's an ample dose of crazy:

The user has other videos including another NSFW one that is ridiculous.

I suppose this is what the Internet was created for...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Obama's Job: "Jobs!!!"

Today's news was the first of a series of Obama's "job summits." The other night I read this article on Reality Sandwich on how to re-make America into the #1 productive force in the world. It was pragmatic but w/ idealism & insight:

The key to productivity is to fund people's ideas to create the technologies that are used in new products & services, especially green technology. There are so many ideas being formed right now that have the potential to make significant impacts on human life...

Here are some of my favorite American tech breakthroughs:

It's funny how dualistic people are in their approach to political issues. Current economic arguments seem to be reduced to 'capitalism vs. communism' or 'socialism vs. fascism' when none of these concepts are even real! In fact, like all name calling, it is simply a distraction from intellectual discussion of the problems & possible solutions for any given issue.

The infinite intertwining of government & economics is too messy to be described in one reductionist label. It's ALL just people interacting, which always results in craziness.

What I do know is that any human institutions, like people themselves, are inherently neither good nor bad. Those subjective characteristics arise from circumstances in the ongoing process of life.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Vajra Sky over Tibet

Last nite I was watching a documentary about Tibetan culture that was a mesmerizing look at their deeply creative & spiritual culture.

Tibet is one the places that has fascinated me since I was in school. The general Buddhist philosophy has helped shaped my adult perspective & the unique nature of Tibet has always peaked my curiosity. It is one of those places that has a feeling of magic for me. Perhaps it's because my doppleganger lived there...

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

More War- Because We Must!

After watching Obama's speech tonight, I was not inspired by the ideas & general strategy he outlined for the occupation of Afghanistan & security situation in Pakistan. In his defense, it has to be a maddening task to be responsible for trying to plug these countless gaping holes in the ship of state. He can't avoid the realization that the lives & deaths of millions are directly affected.

The US's global military operations are pretty overwhelming & their destructive power is something I would not want to be responsible for. Obama's aggressive tone, especially toward Pakistan, was one of my few concerns during his campaign, so he is being consistent in that respect.

The cynic in me thinks we're over there mostly to feed our addiction to controlling resources - especially fossil fuels & poppies. The idea that we went in there to get terrorists is questionable because the alleged hijackers were mostly from Saudi Arabia & living in other places.

Well, things are what they are... so, now it's up to Obama to solve the problem the War Monkey started.

I think the lunacy of War, inc. is best summed up by these two completely awesome hippie chicks with my favorite anti-war slogan ever:

Billion Year Technology Gap?

This was a cool article that's kind of hard to get your head around:

'Billion' is a term that's thrown around casually in the modern financial world, but it's still a ridiculous number to conceptualize.

Therefore, to even consider the idea that any technological civilization could endure for a billion years is crazy, but I guess anything's possible. Would a line of beings lasting that long evolve into pure light consciousness?...
We could have no way of sensing them if they were some sort of weird multi-dimensional entities.

What if planet Earth has been a experimental planetary wildlife refuge constantly being observed by 'visitors' from other worlds- in whatever form they might exist? If that's the case, I can understand why it would be kept secret, because alot of people would go out of their minds.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Obama vs. the Robots

Besides all his other priorities, it's good to see President Obama is aware of the potential danger of a robot revolution.

"As president, I believe
that robotics can inspire young people
to pursue science and engineering.
And I also want to keep an eye on those robots
in case they try anything."
--Barack Obama,
speaking to Washington D.C. schoolkids
on Monday as part of his science education initiative.

It's too late, Mr. President!!!....

Obama Robot at Disney

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Turkey

The things that I'm most thankful for is my family, my well-being, & my career. Everything else is secondary, but I try to be grateful for every moment I get to experience life.

However, I realize there's something I'm thankful for politically, as America & President Obama all find ourselves firmly entrenched in the vast shitstorm that is reality.

Seeing the ridiculous circus following Sarah Palin's book signing/interview tour, things could always be much worse. In my expert opinion, things would have been completely bonkers by this same time if team McPain had won the election.

I had a brief, terrifying vision just now... of Sarah debating Barack in 2012 & millions of people cheering her on. Could the people of this country be so cynical & void of judgment that she could be given the reigns of the government?

The first thing she would do if elected (with God's blessing, of course) would be to nuke the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem so she can erect her own temple & become Queen of the World.

Even though I've obviously never been a fan of hers, I don't think she's actually evil or anything. Her voice just makes me want to rip my ears off.

... and of course we all have Sarah to give thanks to this holiday - for the most unsettling & wacked out turkey-related video ever:

Maybe the turkeys were better off not hearing to her nonsense.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monkey Farm Outrage!

I usually don't watch "Issues" with Jane Velez-Mitchell for the same reason I don't sit through Nancy Grace, the late Billy Mays, or Judge Judy...

...because I don't enjoy having someone I don't know yelling at me from the TV.

Also, it's depressing to hear about all the missing kids & other tragedies of the sort she covers.
To her credit, she also shined the light recently on animal testing, specifically on monkeys.

I have to admit that the sensationalistic, but appropriate headline, pulled me in:

Obviously, I appreciate monkeys of all kinds, so the idea of cruelly torturing these, or any, creatures degrades the integrity of science as a whole.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Life is Strange

I've always thought that self-perpetuating life probably exists in other places throughout this relatively infinite Universe. However, I also think that beings from other world wouldn't necessarily physically look like us at all.

Sending messages to the stars or trying to communicate would suddenly seem ridiculous if alien life appeared & floated out of a spaceship looking like the sea cucumber in the photo above. We would be in no position to expect direct communication with abstractly weird beings from another world. What if they didn't deal with sound or light at all, but communicated & navigated using subtle manipulations of gravity fields? We wouldn't even know they were sentient without evident technology.

On the other hand, it's possible that space/time traveling aliens would be able understand us- like we are deciphering communication between bees & other animals. If there are alien beings advanced enough to be visiting us, they probably see Earth like a zoo & just use their 4-dimensional technology to pop in & out of our world like people drive a jeep through a safari.

UFO's aside, It's amazing to see all the new images of life that science and new technologies are discovering on all scales. This is a set of microscopic images that I saw on io9 that is crazy:

The videos, like algae dividing, are almost surreal. These things are happening everywhere & at all times around us, but seem really strange because they exist on a scale beyond our immediate perception. Here is the full gallery from the Olympus Bioscapes contest:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Apple 'iThink' on Gizmondo

About a week ago, my Apple "iThink" computer concept was mentioned on the gadget blog Gizmondo. It was part of a feature about the future of human/machine interaction called "This Cyborg Life."

Apple iThink
(It's Not Real,
But You Know You Want It)

The author used the older graphics from before I posted "Apple 'iThink' - Upgraded." It's still cool to see people appreciate the possibilities such a concept presents.

click to enlarge

Apple "iThink" Technical Specifications

• Size:
1.5 x 1.5 x .5 inches

• Symbiosis™ Neural Interface:
Direct brain-computer link means your mind and computer are one!

• Intel Fusion™ Quantum Processing:
Uses the power of the atom to instantly compute at the speed of thought.

• Holographic Data Storage:
The iThink’s tiny internal holochip has a staggering individual capacity of over 666 Yottabytes (1000^8), for seemingly infinite augmented memory

• Intra-neural Communication:
Mentally allow or block any kind of signal you want to send or recieve instantly over the wireless iThink global network

• Perceptual Immersion:
Images, sound, & other data are projected virtually into your sensory fields by directly connecting into your brain’s activity

• Integrated GPS and Google Earth:
Receive directions and location information anywhere on the planet, and the ability to be located in case of an emergency

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stephen Colbert- Quetzalcoatl, Sarah Palin, & Norah Jones

Stephen Colbert was on a roll last night. I find him to be a consistent comic genius.

He not only threatened the fate of the world in 2012 by remaining defiant of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, but he also gave a pretty ruthless review of Sarah Palin's book.

Norah Jones gave an interview & performed too. Although I wasn't totally blown away by the song she played or her new haircut... she's a talented artist & she's still gorgeous. Also her Dad is a legend.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sound Spheres

I'm not sure why the idea that sound waves form spheres is "news", since I thought it was common sense that sound vibrations extend uniformly into 3 dimensions.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, the study of cymatics involves vibrational patterns, primarily of sound. Despite my interest in this area, I still haven't lived up to my 2009 New Years resolution to learn dolphin 'cymaglyphs'.

I'm sure the idea of visualizing these energy waves in space is something that will probably be further realized through augmented reality of some kind. Perhaps there will be something like a 3D version of the iTunes graphic visualizer:

In my browsing the links of the above story, I came to realize that there is a blog devoted to the topic called The Journal of Cymatics.

Here's some other links and a great collage of sound patterns captured as visual images- 100 Monkey Effect: Cymatics

Becoming Human

I was just watching a Nova episode on PBS about our current knowledge of human pre-history.

It's difficult to get a perspective on the countless tribes, clans, & societies throughout history, all around the globe who have contributed to the human story. I imagine overall human evolution as an amoeba-like phenomenon, feeling into the earth's environments to create paths of survival.

The fate of the Neanderthals seems to still be uncertain, but it seems likely that humans simply engulfed & destroyed the less intelligent species. Humans probably encountered the Neanderthals, thought they were inferior beasts and destroyed them. People think of Neaderthals as savage brutes, but humans have proven to be the most successful killing machines ever. Fortunately, our genetic disposition for interconnectedness is greater than our animal instincts of aggression.

Anyway, after mentally drifting through the vast epochs of humanity's unfathomable intricacy for a few minutes... I came to my senses and realized what's really important- Obama bowed to the Emperor of Japan! Why does he hate America so much!?!?!?!?!?

We have evolved... right?

"Mono Nublado"

I was browsing images on & really liked a cool image of a super-sentient simian, similar to my mascot for The Monkey Buddha.

It's a tribal baboon buddha called "Mono Nublado" which I think translates to "Cloud Monkey". The graphic is by Juan Casini from his Animal Collection.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

2012 Disaster?

One of my favorite topics to post about here is the ancient Mayan culture.

There has been alot of debate lately with the release of the movie "2012" about the validity of the interpretations that modern man is applying to the Mayan Long Count calendar & whether the end of the Long Count means disaster.

I have always said that the Mayan conception of time and the cosmos was profound, but the end of the Mayan baktun at is probably equivalent to reaching the year 2000 in the Western calendar. It most likely is just a marker for an age. Unlike the Gregorian calendar, though, the Mayan time is much more closely linked with cosmic cycles.

There is a part of me, however, that wonders if the wisdom of ancient people was somehow able to understand a cosmic cycle of destruction & creation that modern science has not yet discovered.

Recently I saw that Dave Letterman has cleared up the true nature of disaster the world faces in 2012... & it has nothing to do with the Mayan calendar:

At this point, I would be completely negligent not to bring up

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Zoomable Cell Sizes

One great thing about the computer as a learning tool is the ability to create interactive content that let's you experience ideas in a engaging way.

Information Aesthetics linked to a site by the University of Utah Genetic Science Learning Center that is a zoomable scale of microscopic entities. I thought it was a really insightful tool to experience the relative sizes of things to small to experience directly.

Water Drops in Slow Motion

I saw this video on the Cynical C Blog & it had me mesmerized.

To see such a simple process like a water drop revealing such amazing things beyond our perception shows how little we really have discovered about our world.

Here is another slo-mo video of water drop dynamics, from the Discovery show Time Warp. At one point a drop creates a wave pattern equivalent to the 'Seed of Life' geometric figure I mentioned in my last post.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quantum Informational Biophysics

This past weekend I was doing a random search for images associated with cymatics, the study of vibration patterns. It's a topic I've been curious about for awhile & for some reason I felt like looking at these amazing visual representations of sound.

One fascinating picture I came across was a pattern that can be seen to contain sacred geometric shapes like the Seal of Solomon & the Seed of Life.

Google shows the source page of a searched image, & I saw that this particular one was from an intellectually dense, but engaging essay from the blog of a chiropractor named Sara Brown

Some of it may seem New-Agey or just incomprehensible to some, but I think humanity is coming to terms with levels of reality that may not be currently recognized by the narrow 'mainstream' science. Anyway I thought it was an interesting read, but I eat up this sort of thinking:

Monday, November 09, 2009

Fun with Glenn Beck

I try to expose myself to pundits & commentators who I don't generally agree with. It's good to expose yourself to arguments from those whose viewpoint differs from yours. I'm not a Fox News fan, but I 'll watch it once in awhile to get the full spectrum of opinion out there.

However, politi-tainment maestro Glenn Beck is as tough for me to stomach as that bonehead Sean Hannity. I'm as interested in conspiracy theories & hidden history as anyone else, but Beck's trips down the rabbit hole become (for me) either goofy from his over-dramatization or absurd from their incoherence.

I think it's good to scratch the surface & try to understand the connections behind social power structures, but GB is such a pompous ass that the kernels of truth he's trying to sow get lost in a manure heap. It's why on the other end of the spectrum Keith Olbermann turns off so many who might otherwise agree with his views, an inflated ego & a noxious air of self-righteousness.

Anyway, the Top Teabagger, The Mad Hatter himself, was getting it from all sides as Jon Stewart & SNL had fun with his "special" brand of commentary.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

"iThink" Tech & The Evolution of the Mind

"I hate this place. This zoo. This prison.
This Reality- whatever you want to call it,
I can't stand it any longer.
It's the smell, if there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it.
I can taste your stink and every time I do,
I fear that I've somehow been infected by it. "
-Agent Smith "The Matrix"

I have been collecting links for awhile about emerging technologies that will inevitably enhance the phenomenon that we call "human consciousness." I think that all of the advancements I'll be listing are leading to the possibility of our minds being augmented by a future technology like my conceptual "Apple iThink."

A couple things led me to finally post what I've found so far. Recently blogger Mac Tonnies passed away unexpectedly, & he was only a few years older than me at 34. His blog Posthuman Blues was a regular read of mine that I enjoyed because of the unorthodox, mind-bending content. It was a great mix of futurism, Fortean speculations, & general weirdness.

The other factor has been my current forced week-long stint at home due to illness. Nothing makes you dream of transcending the mortal confines of the flesh than being seriously sick. I started sympathizing with Agent Smith in the scene above, except he was imagining a trip in the opposite direction- from the digital realm of light into the physical world of the human body.

The mortality & existence of man has been a source of concern since the dawn of time. The Egyptians believed we were spirits of light encased in these bodies. The Gnostics imagined Reality as a type of virtual prison that confines our luminous true selves. The Taoists believe everything is just emanations of the ever-fluctuating, infinite Tao.

Of course, our experience is limited by the sensory nature of our interaction with the world. The universe of information bombarding each of us at each moment is distilled by our physical receptors & organs including the brain. What if we could transcend these limitations? Physics teaches that as a human traveling in a spaceship speeds up and approaches the speed of light, the relative experience of time slows down. However, nothing with mass can actually reach the velocity of electromagnetic energy.

I've always wondered what would happen if the functioning of the human mind were no longer constrained by the chemical & biological processes of the neural connections in the brain. If our thoughts could somehow actually travel uninhibited at the speed of light, how would it affect our perception, & would there even be any perception left as we know it? Perhaps like an inverse, large scale Bose-Einstein condensate, our mind would expand into... everything!

So with these thoughts off my mind, I'll share some fascinating discoveries that have caught my eye- myriad doors all leading to a future in which the human experience may be much different than the limited, localized reality-tunnel that each of us currently knows.

"Mind Uploading and Mind Children"

"MIT team develops hi-fi quantum memory"

Artificial brain '10 years away'

The Future of Human Enhancement

Will We Eventually Upload Our Minds?

Brain-to-brain communication over the Internet

Multi-contact brain probe can be injected through a needle

The Psychedelic Transhumanists

Raytheon's combat simulator offers virtual action in real world

Scientists hail a thoughtful future with ‘brain-to-brain communication’

An Input/Output Device for the Brain - Made of Light, Algae, and Bacteria

Here's the Apple iThink concept I came up with:

Apple "iThink" - Upgraded

Apple "iThink" Technical Specifications

• Size:
1.5 x 1.5 x .5 inches

• Symbiosis™ Neural Interface:
Direct brain-computer link means your mind and computer are one!

• Intel Fusion™ Quantum Processing:
Uses the power of the atom to instantly compute at the speed of thought.

• Holographic Data Storage:
The iThink’s tiny internal holochip has a staggering individual capacity of over 666 Yottabytes (1000^8), for seemingly infinite augmented memory

• Intra-neural Communication:
Mentally allow or block any kind of signal you want to send or recieve instantly over the wireless iThink global network

• Perceptual Immersion:
Images, sound, & other data are projected virtually into your sensory fields by directly connecting into your brain’s activity

• Integrated GPS and Google Earth:
Receive directions and location information anywhere on the planet, and the ability to be located in case of an emergency

Monday, November 02, 2009

Halloween 09- "Luke & Yoda"

Since my last post was kind of somber & I've been miserably sick for a couple days, I'll post something that brings a smile to my face, at least.

For Halloween, my sister got my little nephew a Yoda costume & I was recruited to be Luke Skywalker.

My brother-in-law has a backpack he uses to carry the baby when they are on trips, which was perfect for the "Dagobah Training" look.

The family & neighbors all got a kick out of it. As a life-long Star Wars fan, I thought it was fun & pretty awesome.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Death, Grief, & Monkeys

Although I usually try to focus on humorous monkey stuff, existence is unfortunately not all fun & games.

I was interested in this National Geographic photo showing our 'primitive' genetic cousins trying to silently comprehend the unknown void that is Death.

Although it is impossible to completely put into words, the phenomenon of grieving loss on some level will one day be understood to exist among all social animals. As much as the death of a member of the community is a loss of another, it is also a loss of part of one's self that identified and connected with someone else.

It is a sad scene & an reminder that we are also animals made of flesh that will cease to function one day. Beyond that, it's all a bunch of speculation.

There's an article giving some background on this incident:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gigagalaxy Zoom

Nothing puts the paradox of life's simultaneous triviality & miraculousness into immediate perspective like contemplating the infinite vastness of the physical Universe.

On Neatorama I saw a link to a site I bookmarked that let's you zoom into various sections of our Milky Way galaxy. Of course, a galaxy - immense beyond human understanding - is still just a dust speck in the larger cosmos.

Gigagalaxy Zoom

Zooming into the different areas, each representing thousands of light-years, I began to think of a post I wrote about the similarity between large-scale galactic formations & the brain's neural network: "The Universal Mind."

I started imaging an unending fractal reality where 'the Universe' was actually an incomprehensibly large 'mind'... the galactic clusters forming neuron-like structures. Individual stars and planets would be nothing more than elementary particles. However once you zoom down past the level of our brain cells & atoms, perhaps whole universes are continuously contained beneath our threshold of perception. This unending progression may continue up & down the scale, ad infinitum.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Undead Dick Cheney

Halloween must be getting closer...the forces of darkness are growing!

As I caught Chris Matthews saying tonight, Dick Cheney is like Freddy Kreuger- he's a blood-thirsty monster that just keeps coming back again & trying to frighten everyone around him.

(Update: It seems that provocateur extraordinaire Florida's Rep. Alan Grayson shares my sentiment of viewing Cheney as nothing but a detestable vampire.)

On the cable news channels earlier there were clips of Cheney admonishing Obama's approach to foreign policy.

The first thing that struck me was the pure hubris of this war-mongering, oil-stealing dungeon master who has personally caused so much chaos through his brute reaction to the world.

The second thing that struck me watching montages of Bush & Cheney during their time in power was how glad I am to have those evil bastards gone from the White House. Unfortunately, Cheney at least feels the need to keep forcing his horrific scowl into the public discourse.

It was appalling to watch the group of ghoulish men such as Reich Marshall Rumsfeld & the President of Cheney's Fan Club huddle around Cheney as he accepted whatever bullshit award his fellow neo-cons were giving him.

In my head, it conjured up the image of Springfield's Republican Party on The Simpsons- which includes GOP favorites such as Rush Limbaugh, the Rich Texan (big stretch there), Mr. Burns, & Dracula...

The Abominable Art of Pageant Portraits

I've seen examples of ridiculous retouched pageant portraits being pointed out before, but my artistic pride has now compelled me to comment on this.

Following a link on BoingBoing led me to a website I saw branded on one of the photos.

Their retouching examples actually aren't bad, but I don't get this twisted technique of "enhancing" glamor portraits of kids until they look like this:

I understand the digital artist is probably just trying to appease an exploitative & tasteless white trash client who thinks this is really cute in some f*d up way, but I also find this dreadful on a number of levels.

Child pageants are grotesque enough, with South Park even ridiculing the idea. However, the idea of plasticizing your child's face into a surreal mask-like beauty portrait is just beyond my ability to appreciate.

The best part is- if you read the customer's comment for the above photo retouching, the dirtbag pageant mom from Tennessee doesn't even buy a print- but requests only the free sample even after admitting to being a total pain in the ass!!!

"Thats great. I would like the Free 8x10...I would like to just say thanks for making the changes...Sorry for all the changes. but ya'll have worked with me and are very nice and kind. I hope to receive by next weekend so I can have them for her Nationals and will let everyone know where I got hers done at:):) Thanks once again and have a nice Day:)" Candace R. - Goodlettsville, TN

Even though I think the photo work is a disgrace to Art, it's still physical labor! So to have someone be really picky, but then not even give you the business must be frustrating.

Looking for more examples of this bizarre art form, I came across this website that lets you move the cursor over the photo to see the "before" picture. Weird.

Having done alot of photo retouching for both clients & family, I can say the work that goes into it is not easy. For example, my parents' prom picture below was one of the more challenging photos I fixed up for my Mom's recent birthday slideshow. However, just because I can appreciate the time involved in such work doesn't mean I can justify the distasteful objective of the 'pageant portrait' idea.

My Parents' Prom Photo Retouched
Paul J. Micarelli & Karen
(Sheridan) Micarelli

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"The Warning" Before the "Meltdown"

The title of this post refers to a couple of excellent features from PBS regarding America's recent economic situation.

Yesterday I came home from work tired from a frantic day where I was miserable w/ a sore throat & slight fever. All I wanted to do was sleep, but I turned on the TV & ended up getting sucked into a revealing episode of Frontline. It examined the complex world of unregulated "black box" financial markets that have resembled a high-tech underground gambling den.

I've always seen Alan Greenspan as a scoundrel who was the High Prophet of Greed. He conveniently waited until he retired to publicly realize that his entire worldview of unrestrained free-market capitalism was "wrong." By then, his all-powerful deity, The Free Market, had viciously ravaged the economy of not only the entire country, but the whole world.

I also have to wonder if Obama would have surrounded himself with the likes of Larry Summers, Robert Rubin, & Tim Geithner if he had seen an exposé like this... if he didn't know about it all already.

Despite personally having a strong aversion to most things involving numbers & finance, I have occasionally commented on the state of the economy in general terms. Although the system of capitalism is an effective tool of social exchange, unregulated free-market corporatism has been proven it can be a parasitic monster. I think it's pretty obvious to the average person that the American citizens have been robbed repeatedly by financial institutions who are supposed to provide them a 'service'.

There were items in the news today that show the ideological gap between Washington, which ostensibly represents The People, vs. the bankers on Wall Street, which only represents God Money.

On the one hand you have The White House trying to grab the reigns on the ravenous capitalist beast:

On the other hand, you have the Kings of the Marketplace who want to maintain the unbalanced status quo:

"Goldman Sachs Analyst:
Income ‘Inequality’ Will Lead To
‘Prosperity And Opportunity For All’ "

Finally, on the PBS website for "The Warning" I saw a link to a feature called "Meltdown" which is a continuing look at the financial industry.

When I clicked to the page, I was pleasantly surprised to find the most recent item to be about Monkey-nomics:

Economics for Monkeys

I have this great idea for a 'Grooming-based Derivative Market'!

Monkey Business

I have been feeling pretty crappy this week & have been concentrating on serious topics in my posts - a bit of monkey humor is in order.

Seen on The Chive:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rethink Afghanistan

Awhile ago, I saw Robert Greenwald on the cable news shows promoting his film "Rethinking Afghanistan" about the complexities regarding the occupation of Afghanistan, & I finally got around to watching most it.

As our country's leadership currently debates the correct course of action, this gave me a little more insight into the different factors.

It is an incredibly messy situation with few solutions. All I know is that every time we destroy innocent life, we have lost.. because we have become the very thing we fight. That is undeniable.

The website for the film has it conveniently broken into segments:

Like the rest of his films, Greenwald is obviously approaching the situation from a progressive viewpoint. Regardless of whether we are coming at the problem of war from a 'liberal' or 'conservative' point of view, it is vital to try to understand & witness the culture we are affecting.

As Sun-Tzu declared:

"If you know the enemy
and know yourself
you need not fear

the results of a hundred battles."

One clip that caaught my attention was of Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, who has gained alot of attention for his rare mix of being a Congressional Democrat w/ balls.

I liked his humanist perspective on the fundamentals of our 'being' that are often lost in the politics and grand schemes of war.