Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Batman on Broken Arrows

Why do I find it so disturbing that Adam West is narrating a show on TechTV about nuclear bombs and bomb mishaps?

Well, he is, and it does.
Check it out, a fan movie set in the Matrix universe, called The Fanimatrix.

The pictures look ok for a no budget film, and I like the minimal site design, but I don't have the connection speeds to download a 140 mb movie.

Makes me want to get out and make a movie.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

I read a bit

I'm up to an even 70 books on my Read List and i'm calling it a year. That was part of the reason that I started the list, I wanted to see how many 'books' I read in an average year. I think this last year was pretty average.

I started my tally in early October last year, but I put on books that I'd read in the previous couple of weeks. I only included one graphic novel on the list, though I've read probably 100+ this year of those. I think that 100+ easily equals one 'real' book.

I remember back in a summer reading program at the library when I was about 9 or 10 there was a reading competition. You were supposed to read as many books as you could during the summer and keep track of their titles, and then at the end of the summer the ones who read the most would get prizes.

I tallied up the impressive sum of somewhere around fifteen books in the two-or-so months we were allowed. Mind you, these were real books, of the Roald Dahl (BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach) variety, no Hardy Boys or anything like that.

Did I win?


Some girl read about 155 books. The books she read were from the children's section of the library. I remember being quite angry and sullen about the whole experience and saying something along the lines of page count needing to be taken into account, or perhaps number of words read.

And people wonder why I was such an angry teenager.
Preview for NYX

Josh Middleton is a scary-damn good artist. I notice that in the title page preview he is listed before the writer of the book, Joe Quesada.

I won't even hold it against the book that Joe is writing it the thing is so pretty.

So, so pretty.
Now I know how many issues of New X-Men I have left to buy

From ComicBookResources.com

Grant talks about his run on the X-Men and about future plans for DC. I especially like this quote:

"Continuity' is trying not to screw too much with people's memories of things they once read...

...My advice is just to white out the offending dialogue in your comics with correcting fluid and then, using a fine-nibbed lettering pen, write in your own, more pleasing and continuity-appropriate version of the character's words. It will make your comic collection more individual, more continuity-conscious and much more creative and it will also allow you to edit and collaborate with your favorite writers."

But, Grant, that would ruin their value. What kindof grade from CGC would I get then? I view this as a hobby that can make me money, like beanine babies. Does anyone want to buy some beanie babies? Please?

I have pogs as well.
Charles Foster Kane, Batman?

Is mark Millar full of it? Is this a hoax? He says that he has access to materials from an upcoming biography of the fat man himself and that Orson Wells spent eight months in pre-production for a Bat Man Film in 1946.

From the column:

The real treat for me was the casting notes and confirmation letters from the actors themselves such as George Raft signing up for Two-Face (after Bogart turned it down), James Cagney as The Riddler, Basil Rathbone as The Joker and Welles' former lover Marlene Dietrich as a very exotic Catwoman with the same salubrious past Miller gave the character forty years later in "Batman: Year One." Robin was completely absent from the picture, but the casting of Batman himself was the main reason the picture stalled and was consigned to the history books. Welles wanted to cast himself in the roles of both Batman and Bruce Wayne, but the studio wanted to go with a more traditional leading man like Gregory Peck. Peck agreed and was reportedly even shot in a makeshift costume for the part during a break between filming "The Yearling" and the classic "Duel in the Sun." Welles, however, was incensed at the decision. Despite being friends with Peck, he felt that this casting would completely compromise his vision and was especially angry at the studio's suggestion that he should replace Rathbone as The Joker if he really a part in the picture. The talks ended abruptly, Welles pulled out pf the whole deal and threw himself completely into "The Lady From Shanghai" and the "MacBeth" cinematic feature he had also been preparing for some time.

Much like Harry at AICN I anxiously await the biography which Millar says will contain the entire treatment for the proposed film as well as production design drrawings beyond the one with his column.

It's sad that something like this never got made. I think it would have completely redefined how the public viewed the comic medium. Perhaps we would have something more in line with Japan where there are comics for everyone and there is no social stigma attached to reading them.
Are You Hiding Something?

The Patriot Act must die.

U.S. Uses Terror Law to Pursue Crimes From Drugs to Swindling

You know what would make things easier and completely cut crime out for the most part? A tyrannical despot leader with supreme power and a cadre of secret police.

It has worked before. All we need is for the government to just declare marshal law, and susped the constitution. Then they can make up all new rules and just do whatever they want. Wouldn't it be nice (cue Brian Wilson music).

I'm not in favor of crime, but I'm not in favor of government officials being able to watch anything I do just because they think I might have commited a crime, will commit a crime, or just because they're dang 'ol curious.

I'm sure this will get me on a watch list if I'm not already.
Belated Birthday

Eat your Quaker Oats or he'll kill you.

Yesterday was Wilford Brimley's birthday. Hooray. Let all rejoice for yea he is with us and walks among us.
The Greatest Food on Earth

I don't normally do product endorsements here, I leave that to everything else in your environment, but I have to tell you about my new favorite food.

Little Debbie Splashberry Cereal Bars

Basically they are Rice-Crispie Squares with Fruity Pebbles instead of Rice Crispies. Finally I can have my dream of eating Fruity Pebbles without either the bowl or the milk.

Thank you modern science and engineering, thank you.
Holy Crap! The formula for how much poop to what you eat

Faeces weight = Wf(1 + Hf) + Wb (1 + Hb) + Wm(1 + Hm)

where Wf, Wb and Wm are respectively the dry weights of fibre remaining after fermentation in the colon, bacteria present in the faeces and osmotically active metabolites and other substances in the colon which could reduce the amount of free water absorbed, and Hf, Hb and Hm denote their respective water-holding capacities.

You know, 19-280 grams per day per Briton is a big margin.

How a Touch Lamp Works

I found this very interesting. I also know how you make a touch lamp not work. My sister discovered that if you turn one on and off constantly, just keep poking and poking and poking, eventually you blow the oscillator or the circuit and it no longer works unless your dad takes it apart and puts in a regular switch in the base.
Farmer Spreads Human Waste on Fields as Fertilizer

I seem to recall that this was the problem in my neighborhood. We lived out in the country very close to what must be the worlds largest seller of septic tanks. There is a giant field of Septic Tanks across the street from the school that I grew up beside.

The owner of the septic tank emporium lived and probably still lives in a giant square house behind the school property. Supposedly he used human waste as fertilizer on his land and tainted the water table in the area. I believe that I remember that he denied doing it.

Before that the water from our well and the well from the school were very pury, so pure in fact that when a travelling water purifier salesman did a test on our water he told my parents that they didn't need the filter.

Though for some reason the water suddenly went crappy and we had to be put on city water.

I understand those people's plight.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Drudge's Politics and the Candidates

The Drudge Report has now begun operation discredit Wesley Clark. I think it was yesterday that the whole page except for one story was devoted to Clark bashing. He's pushing hard with the 'Clark supported Bush before, why not now' angle.

Talking Points Memo has a good breakdown of the earlier story that was harped on on drudge, about Clark wanting to be a Republican.

It looks to me that the Republican strategy is to discredit the Democrats and push them all into the Loonysphere. Look at dem crazy-stupid Democrats.

Right now it seems that Clark and Dean are the frontrunners for the Democratic nod, and since I've seen the most effort lately focused on them, it seems that the Republicans see them as such.

I think that they want to face Dean out of the two and are tailoring their approach to discredit Clark more right now. He's popular, and they want to cut that as quickly as possible.

"In the long run, Dean's momentum will prove real and Clark's will be seen as bogus. Dean has amassed a base of grassroots (or cyber-roots) support by tapping into two groups - gays and peaceniks. His message spread among them not as a result of top-down advertising but by the new Internet style of viral, horizontal marketing. Gays and their supporters and anti-war zealots spread the word among themselves that Dean was their man. "

That's from an opinion column by Dick Morris at the NY Post, that was on Drudge's main page this week. I was unaware that we bloggers were all Gays and Peaceniks. I know that's not what he's saying, but... I would consider my self a peacenik more than a warnick though.

"But then Bill Clinton picked up the Clark banner and had his staff rally around his fellow Arkansan. Why? Hillary and Bill support confusion, chaos and consternation as their preferred strategy for Democrats in 2004. Determined that nobody but they capture the White House - or even the Democratic Party - the Clintons are opposed to anyone who gains momentum.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Britain pursued a policy of opposing any European nation that got too powerful, always amassing a coalition behind the weaker states to maintain the balance of power. This is precisely the Clinton posture in this election year"

Damn, that Bill Clinton is a genius. Oh, I forgot, it's Billary Clinton the Lesbian Feminazi. This is just an example of the approach of throw a bash at the Clinton's whenever you get the chance. Those Clinton's just want to implement some type of political dynasty where every member of the family will be president one day. I bet they're grooming Chelsea right now.

Wait, that sounds familiar. Southern family of politicians, everyone in politics, two presidents and possibly more from the same family. That's right baby, they're trying to be like the Adams's. Bill is John and Hillary is John Quincy.

Dammit, political dynasties are only for the Republicans.

Now onto my impressions of the candidates:


Lieberman: He's what kept me from voting for Gore. I don't like a censor, and I think that he's mostly a Conservative in Liberal clothing (but then all politicians now days seem to be Republicrats of one stripe or another)

Clark: So far is the strongest contender for me. He's a solidier who's publicly against war, a peacenik like me's dream candidate. He's also has Michael Moore's support, which means he's golden with me. Now if he could just court the British Comic Writer Vote (even though they don't get one, except Alan Moore).

Kerry: Eh. He's lost presidential primaries before.

Dean: He's pretty sure he's smarter than you or me. He isn't really afraid to show it. It could be that my first exposure to him was him telling Wolf Blitzer that his audience wouldn't know who he was talking about. I don't like being told that I won't understand something. It's like when I was in third grade and the librarian at the school told me I couldn't check out a book on Robin Hood because I wouldn't understand it. Then she made me read the first page out loud to her and still wouldn't let me check it out. Damn you librarian Howard Dean, I just want to read about Robin Hood.

The Ugly Guy: The republicans tell me he wants to ban mind control devices in space. I think that is a noble goal. But he is ugly and he cannot lead a nation of such pretty, pretty people.

That South Carolinian: Not going to win. He has an accent. You can win a national election if you are from the south and don't have an accent. Jimmy Carter was a fluke.

I know there are some more, but none of them have made enough of an impression on me (i.e. I haven't seen them on television yet, or read about them on Fark or Drudge yet).

Possible Dems

Hillary Clinton: I don't think she'll run next year, but she will in 2008 if we all aren't dead or Muslim by then.

Maximus the Pug: Tommy assures me that Maximus will have the necessary paperwork ready to at least be on the ballot in TN, but I'm not so sure. From all accounts he seems an unreliable dog.

The Terminator: If he loses the Governator election in California, I think that the Terminator's next option should be to run for Presidentanator. Even though he wasn't born in the US, I think that a quick trip through time to change the Constitution in it's original form would not be out of the question.

Andre the Giant: I think he could win. He has the same problem as the Terminator with not being born in the US, but that's not really a problem. Also he's dead. Imagine the terror we would strike around the world with a 7' 6" zombie frenchman leading us, though. Also, he'd probably go Republican.

Speaking of Republicans,

Republican Candidates

Bubba W: He's slipping in the polls, and that damn liberal controlled media is having the audacity to question him. The War On Terror (TWAT) isn't quite working out how they planned (or didn't plan), and his whole administration is looking like WCW right around the end of it's existance (Just imagine W is Scott Steiner, hard to understand, prone to nonsense talk, likes to wear chainmail hoods, and you get the image of it). Everything seems rushed and only half thought out. It's as if they just want to get through to the next Pay Per View War and then they'll figure out where to go from there. So what if some plot lines are left dangling, all you have to do is just keep repeating what you want heard over and over again until it sticks.

Other Candidates

Nader: I haven't heard much from Nader this year. I would imagine that he's running again, but I don't think I'll vote for him. The FU vote is one thing, but I think it's time for some new administration, and some other fella needs as many votes as he can get, what with all the fraud in election offices and everything, and the Bush team has had almost four years to install people in election offices around the country this time, not just in Florida.

See, I can talk politics too.

Look at that dog.
Critics are full of crap

A Mighty Wind is good. Don't let them tell you any different. I especially like that the entirety of the television special is on the DVD as it would have appeared on television.

Fred Willard is a comedic genius, "Wha Happen?"

The Three Wiesman Adult Bookstore, now that's good comedy.

And remember that people in North Dakota are smarter because it's colder up there.

Thursday, September 25, 2003


In case you were wondering I saw Kiss/Aerosmith (and Saliva) at AmSouth Ampitheatre, or as I like to call it Starwood, on Monday. I'll have a bit more about it up later, but here for your edification (and to prove what a dork I am) is the set list for the show.

Saliva: They opened and played about five songs including that Click Click Click song and one that was a Toby Keith style Don't Mess With God's America type song. They were on for 35 minutes.


Detroit Rock City
Shout It Out Loud
Rock and Roll
Lick it Up
Fire House
I Like It Loud
I Want You (Rock and Roll Over)
Gene Solo/God of Thunder
100,000 Years
Paul Stanley Medly Stairway to Heaven/Angie/Amazing Grace
Black Diamond

--Encore Break--
Love Gun
Rock and Roll All Nite


Mama Kin
Same Old Song and Dance
Love In An Elevator
What it Takes
Stop Messin Around (Joe Perry)
from the new album
Love My Girl? also new
Baby Please Don't Go
Dream On
Back In the Saddle Again
Let The Music Do The Talking
Walk This Way
Tom Hamilton Solo
Sweet Emotion
Toys In the Attic

There you go ladies.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Fun with fusion: Freshman's nuclear fusion reactor has USU physics faculty in awe

OK, so the guy builds a fusion reactor out of spare parts, big deal. The real story is the project that beat him in the rankings of the Physics competition, pulling the first award of $3,000 called "Is Eating Blueberry Pie Bad for You?" That's a damn physics project.

I can answer that question: No. Blueberry pie is soooo good for you. Where's my $3,000 intel? Here I am sitting on this perfectly good orbiting laser platform that I just need funding to complete. $3,000 would go nicely towards completing my death ray.

Now if I could just get a hang of rocket physics so that I won't accidentaly blow myself up when I try to launch it and myself into a high Earth orbit from whence I will rain fire and death down apon the Earth Old Testament Style.

The results of the competition are here.

Thanks to Gunny for pointing this one out to me.
Strong Quake Rocks Tokyo, Some Injuries

I bring this up because Tommy had a link to this story about a self-taught Japanese astronomer who predicted an earthquake in Tokyo for this week, though he did say that it would happen on Tuesday or Wednesday and that it would be a 7 or greater.

I think that he gets points for being pretty close.

Tommy's story about the earthquake drills when we were in elementary school got me to thinking about them as well.

What I remember (though I'm probably wrong) is that they went much like the tornado, fire and killer bee swarm drills in that we all were lined up and filed out into the hallway (the so called "precious" students were led into the upper grade-boys restroom's shower, the so called "strongest room structurally in the building") then we were made to crouch in the yoga child's pose with a book over the back of our necks and heads while imploring God not to kill us, or at the very least to kill the person next to us, but not us.

During this the teachers would walk behind us up and down the hallway, occasionaly smacking one of us in the back with a yardstick for "cutting up."

Granted I think my memories of that time are a little suspect.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Starring Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman, Dir. by Len Wiseman

I've been seeing alot of negative reviews on Ain't It Cool and elsewhere for this film, and I have to say that I disagree with Harry at AICN that this is a ..soulless cinematic turd...".

It is the story of Vampires and Werewolves who have been warring for over a thousand years and it all comes to a head over the Lycans (werewolves) mysterious plans for a human named Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman). A Death-Dealer (a Lycan-hunting vampire, not the Frank Frazetta character), Selene (Beckinsale) tries to protect Corvin from both sides who seem to want him.

The plot isn't really that complicated if you pay attention, and players of White Wolf's Vampire and Werewolf RPG's will especially enjoy the fact that the story could easily be set in that universe (especially the talk of Abominations, which are characters right out of the game. Has anyone from White Wolf seen this film?). I disagree with reviews that say the plot is hard to follow. I think there are alot of people out there who just lack the proper disposition to sit and pay attention.

The action is fluid and easy to follow, with lots of trenchcoated vamps and lycans shooting at each other, and missing most of the time A-Team style. I understand Harry's criticism that there isn't enough vampire type action, not even one hunt of a human, but haven't we seen that before in films enough? This movie is more intent on the action between the vamps and Lycans and doesn't really concern itself with the human population of the unnamed European city that it takes place in. The werewolves get big and hairy and rip things up, and the vampires use guns to shoot them.

Contrast this film with one like The Breed, starring Adrian Paul, which tries for much the same Vampires in Leather with guns shooting John Woo style, and you see just how good the action in this film is. I would have liked to have seen a little more realism from Beckinsale in the gun firing department, but I will forgive that minor negative in her otherwise quite satisfactory performance.

The only glaring bad spot in the entire film for me was Shane Brolly who played Kraven, the current prince of this particular group of vampires. He's whiny and seems to only have two facial expressions, pissed and more pissed. If he is supposed to be a few hundred-year-old Knight, then he shouldn't have the horrible delivery that he has. I'm not expecting him to talk like Gary Oldman in Dracula, but I do expect him to at least sound like he recieved SOME culture in the past 600-700 years. He was either miscast, or just a bad actor, I'm not sure which.

All in all a good vampire/werewolf shoot-em-up. Not a Horror film, but not meant to be.
MP3's Are Not the Devil

Author Orson Scott Card says pretty much what my opinion on the file-swapping/music biz is.

The record companies swear that it's making a serious inroad on sales, and they can prove it. How? By showing that their sales are way down in the past few years.

It couldn't possibly be because (a) most of us have already replaced all our old vinyl and cassettes, so all that windfall money is no longer flowing in, or (b) because the record companies have made some really lousy decisions as they tried to guess what we consumers would want to buy.

It couldn't possibly be that they've targeted all their marketing at precisely the market segment -- high school and college students -- who are most likely to be sharing MP3s over the internet.

Maybe if they started marketing more music that people my age would enjoy, they'd find that, lo and behold, there are customers who prefer to buy music the legal way!

Also, they fail to take into account that we are in a slow econonmy, and the fact that the market that they have created is one where everything is the same as everything else. What if every book out there had to follow the exact same formula, with the same style and tone, with only minor variations to avoid lawsuit? Then it would be the same as the music industry.
The one where I solve the RIAA's problems...

Today on TechTv, they aired what I think was a debate between record industry spokesmen and file-swappers, moderated by Leo Laporte. I didn't get to see more than a few seconds of it at the end where a guy from EMI was saying that there won't be any good music if everyone invovled isn't getting paid.

I think that it is arguable that there is not alot of good music coming out of the major labels right now anyway, I agree with his point, but I think that the way that the RIAA has gone about trying to shop illegal file-swapping is wrong (i.e. suing twelve-year-old girls).

I think that the problem with the music industry lies in the fact that it is not recognizing the need for a shift in emphasis on what it is the labels do.

Right now they seem intent on the fact that they are a CD manufacturing company. Much in the same way that Xerox is not in the copy business, they are in the toner business.

Was there this type of an insistence on keeping the 8-Track format that there is on the pre-packaged CD? It's a bit like Sony's determination to make the mini-disc popular. The record companies are missing out on an opportunity to shape a new way of distributing music.

I-tunes and the other pay-download services are fine and good, but if you are a Ramones fan do you really want to pay a dollar for each and every minute-and-a-half long song?

The real thing that the RIAA is afraid of is that the musicians will discover that, with modern technology, not only can they record and produce their own music without a studio, but they can distribute it worldwide by themselves as well. But that's neither here nor there.

What the labels need to do is re-think the way that they distribute and take advantage of the technology at hand.

How, you ask?

Come with me into the rosy world I like to call THE FUTURE. In the Future there are robots, but there are also lots and lots of places to download and burn music. Not just from a person's home computer, that is not a place that the company's can fully control, but from access points in malls and stores.

Imagine if you will a music store where there is no stock, only listening stations where the shopper can listen to excerpts from every song in every label's catalog. There are artist and album listings from all times and genres that are available. A listener can choose either a pre-generated album (i.e. Beatles Abbey Road) or compile one of only the songs that they want. Then they can have the CD burned on demand, complete with on-demand liner notes and jewel cases.

The only stock that the store need carry is blank CD's.

I would imagine that Wal-Mart, Target and K-Mart would love this idea as it would completely eliminate theft of CD's.

The labels could then have by the minute sales figures for every song and album in their catalogues.

This would also allow people with no access to the internet to use the digital technology to record their CD's. It would also cut into the used CD market, unless they wanted to start selling mixed CD's.

You pipe the music to these terminals using the same type of direct access phone-lines that ATM's use to access your bank account info.

The supreme upside of these terminals is that with newer technology you could add DVD or other capabilities to them, and they would get smaller and smaller, allowing for easier placement in, say, a library or restaurant.

Think about it and get back to me record industry.

Oh, and by the way, I am now insituting a boycott on all major label albums. I will no longer purchase any new CD's from labels that are a part of the RIAA. I realize that this type of boycott hurts the artists as well, but they should learn that they can distribute their own product just as effectively as a record label, who will only be able to give you a deal if you are pretty enough.

I've been under this boycott for about a month now, and the only break that I made from it was to purchase Johnny Cash's American Recordings, since I have not seen it used anywere. That was the only special circumstance, from now on only used CD's. RIAA you get no more money from me. None.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Dream Buffet

Yesterday was a dream buffet at the KFC...Squash, Okra and Brownies. It was quite possibly the best meal and one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.

Just thought you should know.

Squash AND Okra. Not one or the other, but both AT THE SAME TIME. Wrap your mind around that one.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Sound Waves as Spiritual Catalysts

Forgive me if I ramble a bit. If you're wanting something witty you better skip this one, I'm thinking out loud.

I just finished a book called Breaking Open the Head by Daniel Pinchbeck, and in this book he talks about a variety of psychedelic substances to bring about visions and mystical experiences. Two of these chemicals are DMT and DPT.

Of the two DMT is a naturally occuring chemical found in many common plants, and also according to at least one study the cerebrospinal fluid bathing the human brain. DMT when ingested is usually harmless as it is broken down by chemicals in our bodies known as MAOs. When DMT is ingested by shamens and other religious seekers it is most often in combination with other plants and substances that contain inhibitors for these MAOs so that the drug can have its effect. When taken by itself DMT is most commonly smoked or injected to bypass the MAOs. DMT is a very potent drug, much like LSD in that it is effective in the microgram range. According to Pinchbeck a lifetime supply of DMT would be smaller than a bar of soap.

DPT is apparantly not a naturally occuring chemical, though it is quite similar molecularly to DMT and other compounds found in the body.

Music and sound are used traditionally in ritual ceremonies as a way to entice spirits, or to guide the seeker on their quest after ingesting the drugs. Many of the drugs used throughout the world contain DMT, or Psilocybin (one of the active compounds in the so-called magic mushrooms). In various shamantic cultures in the world during ceremonies there are often visions of gods or goddesses who do various things to the persons body, such as taking it apart and putting it back together, or adding things such as metals inside the persons body.

Sidetracking now I should explain one of the main teachings of all of the psychedelic researchers, that of the importance of set, setting and dose when using these chemicals.

Set: This is the mindset of the person taking the drugs. If you are experiencing anxiety or fears, those will manifest themselves in the experience. Likewise if the person is mellow and serene they will most often have a mellow trip. Feelings of paranoia will also be amplified.

Setting: This is the physical setting of the person taking the drug. If you are in a hospital, then the trip will most often involve something along the lines of doctors or medicine, perhaps surgery. If the setting is one of an eastern temple, then there that will set the tone for the trip. If you are in a forest you'll get forest based imagery.

Dose: This is the actual dosage of the drug. The higher the dose the different the trip. Sometimes you might get stronger visions from the drug at a higher dose, sometimes it might just make you throw up alot, or it might cause psychosis.

Set, Setting and Dose are all equally important. It should come as no surprise that when soldiers were given LSD they experienced military related trips, and when CIA agents took it they had paranoid James Bond style experiences.

This is also similar to the idea in Magickal practices where there are rituals involved. The aim of Magickal ritual is to bring about the same types of visions that the drug user experiences, but most often without the drugs. Ways of bringing about the visions traditional involve such things as dancing, chanting, fasting or some form of self flagellation. The idea is to bring the body to a breaking point where the conscious mind is supressed and the spirit is free to move into the collective. Magickal and religious rituals are designed as a sensory overload so that the mind is shut down and overwhelmed. The Catholic church is the most prominent example of this in the west, with the grand architecture, incense, chanting and uncomfotable pews. Mass, specifically with the giving of the sacrament was meant to cause feelings of communion with God. Often times it would bring about visions in the people involved.

Part of the reason that most of the practices don't have the same effect on modern people as they did in times fast is the sensory overload that we experience in our daily lives. Is mass in a cathedral going to have the same effect on us as a movie in the theater, or a concert?

Which brings me to the study that has been quoted on various pages, such as here. This is not really news, though it is pretty much the first time the mainstream press has looked at such studies. Warren Ellis's Global Frequency comic had an issue devoted to just such a phenomena. I also remember a story on the television show Sightings about a doctor who was using sound and sensory depravation to bring about UFO abduction and NDE type experiences.

What do DMT, sound waves and Magick have to do with one another you ask?

Could it be that in the human brain there are certain chemicals released in a tiny amount under certain conditions that bring about these types of experiences. If the DMT or DMT like chemical were produced inside the brain, it would only need to happen in the smallest micrograms of doses since it would immediately bipass the MAO inhibitors and work directly on the brain.

Could it be that hauntings, alien abductions and mystical experiences are all metaphorical projections on the same experience catalyzed by the release of these types of chemicals in the brain, brought about by conditions in the environment, such as Ultra-Low Frequency sound, or other phenomena. The ingestion of these drugs brings about stronger reactions most of the time.

Could this be a type of chemical that is released when the brain feels that it is going to die or experience tremendous trauma to ease itself? Religious seekers will often bring themselves to the brink of physical death for a vision, and likewise the NDE phenomena could be accounted for in this way.

Just thinking outloud, perhaps more on this later.
Johnny's Gone, One More Round, Johnny's Gone...

I figured he wasn't too much longer for the world when June died, every picture of him from then on only showed a man that was more and more just a shell of himself.

Then this week there was news of him being released from the hospital and I had a feeling that it would be pretty soon.

The Man in Black is one of those transcendant figures that defies simple genre stamping or being forced into a niche. People from punk rockers and hard rockers to the most country of country liked Johnny's music. He may not have had a great range or voice, but much like Sinatra you always got the impression that he was sincere in what he was singing, be it a ballad about Ira Hayes or just a song about a boy named sue.

The sad part about his career is that only recently was he getting the outside of country music acclaim that he had deserved for years. His Hurt video was up for the MTV video of the year and should have won. His American recordings were some of the best in his career and the albums were getting better and better.

I am sad to see him go.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Man Passes $200 at Food Lion

The bogus bill -- the U.S. Mint does not print a $200 bill -- bore the image of President Bush on the front and had the White House on the back. It also included signs on the front lawn of the White House with slogans such as "We like broccoli" and "USA deserves a tax cut," Roanoke Rapids police said.

...Food Lion said normal policy is not to accept bills over $100.

Speaking as a former Food Lion Customer Service Manager, I can honestly say that we would take bills up to $150 but no higher. One time one of the other managers almost took a $136 bill, but luckily he couldn't make the change, so they wrote a check.

Friday, September 05, 2003

The Church of La Parka

I'm not sure I'm ready to worship him as a deity just yet, but you have to respect any god willing to hit someone over the head with a metal folding chair.

You'll never see Osiris or Lugh doing that, now will you?

I always kinda suspected it was Dusty Rhodes or Dusty's favorite luchadore El Dandy under that mask. I have to imagine that if it was discoverd that it was Dusty Rhodes who was god that the world as we know it would crumble. Really it's amazing that it doesn't crumble just with him on it.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Which Family Feud Host Are You?, my first quiz at Quizilla. Take it now. Now I say.
Enemy thy name is Bob...

I have an enemy and his name is Bob. I have no problem with most Bobs, I have found most of them to be pleasant and not altogether foul smelling, but there is one Bob in particular that has seen fit to displease me.

Picture this...It's Whammy Wednesday on the Game Show network. Press Your Luck being my favorite 80s game show, I'm there for the long haul. There's nothing I like watching more than three eager contestants try to thwart the nefarious Whammy, pressing their luck for the big bucks.

This Whammy Wednesday began as any other, but quite quickly I began having misgivings about one of the contestants. Bob sat on the left and was the poster child for 80s America, young, fresh-faced and most likely a Republican. His hair bounced as he cheered and clapped with each success.

Clap-clap-bounce-bounce-Woohoo-Yeah! That's Bob, bouncy and clapping.

He wasn't that annoying in the beginning, no more so than the other two contestants, large glasses lady, and the other person who I don't remember.

All I remember is Bob and the clapping and the bouncing and the Woohoo-Yeah!

Bob won in the first game, and the host looked as dismayed as I was.

The thing about Whammy Wednesday is that they show back to back to back to back episodes of Press Your Luck. I don't have to tell you how exciting that is, I'm sure. Just imagine your favorite viewing pleasure stretched before you in a lengthy vista. Now imagine that lengthy vista has a great big ol' flopping clapping ass in the corner.


Then Bob went on to win the second game. That means I had now spent an hour with Bob. By this time I was watching in the hopes that Bob would lose.

Bob would not lose.

Damn Bob.


Angrier and angrier I became as Bob won more and more. Bob wins a full-length men's fur coat. Now Bob can be Young-Republican-Pimp Bob. Bob wins a trip, Bob wins some more money. Bob wins lots of money.

No one can stop Bob and his winning ways. The Whammies try. I root for the Whammies. The other contestants try, but they are all too stupid or slow, or dull witted.


Damn you Bob. I hope you spent all the money on drugs, or just pissed it all away. You sullied my beautiful Whammy Wednesday.

You are my enemy.

Bob the enemy.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Wilford Brimley Battle



Eat your Quaker Oats or he'll kill you. You have been warned.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Car Problems

Ok, so today on the way home the truck felt a little off. I can't explain it better than that, just off. So later when I'm getting ready to go pay my electric bill (due today), I get in and it won't start. I let it crank for a few seconds and it doesn't start. Usually it starts right up.

I try it again. No go.

I try it a third time for about 20 seconds and it begrudgingly starts up. I sit there and let it idle for a minute or two and it seems fine, nothing out of the ordinary. I cut it off and go around and do the one thing that I for sure know how to do under the hood, I check the oil.

It's pretty low, but within acceptable levels, and it isn't sludge black or anything, but looks like oil should.

I get back in and try it again after it has been sitting for a couple of minutes. It takes a few seconds (ten or so) but starts up.

By this time I'm resonably concerned, so I decide to send the payment in. First I can't find a pen to write a check, then as I've sealed up the envelope I read the "make sure your account number is printed on the check" bit on the back flap. Of course I forgot, so I have to open the envelope and correct the problem. Of course the thing won't seal back now, so I go hunting for tape.

You would think in the mass of crap that I have I could find a roll of scotch tape somewhere, I mean, I still have wrapping paper from Christmas two years ago.

No tape though. None in the kitchen or living room or bathroom either.

I end up using two strips of masking tape to seal the envelope, so the electric department or the postal service will now probably open it themselves because it looks suspicious.

All this and Side Pocket, the pool game for the NES, really, really pisses me off. Really.

I'm just hoping that if the Truck is deciding to have a major problem soon that it can wait until next thursday or so, so that I will have at least a little money to fix it.

Why is that vehicle problems always happen in between paychecks or on the paycheck that goes largely to bills?
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