bizarre and funny

Why records DO all sound the same – No, it’s not you – records do all sound the same these days.

Sony BMG Sued for Software Piracy – Assets Seized – PointDev, a small software company, mandated a bailiff to raid one of Sony BMGs owned building in January this year. The raid revealed that four of the Sony BMGs owned servers contained the pirated software. This is too good to be true, but in fact, it is true. Now if it only makes a difference…

The coming financial collapse of the U.S. government: Fed papers reveal what’s in store for Americans

Botanist sues to stop CERN hurling Earth into parallel universe

Continue reading bizarre and funny

word to the word

MSWord for Mac v5.0 & two v5.1

so i was digging through the four boxes of 3½-inch floppy disks that were piled up with the rest of the boxes in the living room yesterday, and i discovered that i have not one, but two original copies of Microsoft Word for Mac version 5.1, that are still in their original, unopened, plastic wrappers, and a copy of Microsoft Word for Mac 5.0 that is in it’s original wrapper, but the wrapper is deteriorated enough that it is no longer sealed. Word 5.0 is the one that had some sort of major bug in it, and they released Word 5.1 shortly afterward. one of the Word 5.1 copies is in two packages (the way that they were sold retail), and one is all in one package (the way they were delivered to you if you had purchased Word 5.0). all three copies have never been used, and were a part of the copies of Word that i bought for the manuals when i worked at microsoft. i only found one copy of Word 5.1 on sale at ebay, and there it is touted as “one of the most efficient, basic, and streamlined word processors ever–still viable even today!” i agree with them, and if i had a computer that would run it, i would probably be using it as my word processor.

i am thinking of selling them. based on what i know, i think i should start at $75 a piece for the v5.1 copies, but i’m not sure whether i should go higher or lower for the v5.0, because of the fact that v5.0 was at exactly the same time as bill gates was saying that there were “no appreciable bugs” in microsoft software…

link dump

Watch out, you’re being watched – The unsettling thing about living in a surveillance society isn’t just that you’re being watched. It’s that you have no idea.

NSA releases new version of Linux software – let me see if i’ve got this straight: a version of one of the most secure operating systems in existence, being offered by the most paranoid geeks the government can find, right? i’m not sure whether i would trust this or not…

Sex Offender Running for Mayor in Texas – if “christians” can run, why not sex offenders? they may even be the same people.

Rules of Moopsball – the precursor to calvinball, it involves three hundred and twenty-four people, and takes three days.

Lord Arunachala – Lord Siva said: “What cannot be acquired without great pains – the true import of Vedanta (Self-realization) – can be attained by anyone who looks at (this hill) from where it is visible or even mentally thinks of it from afar.”

Does the Human Brain Possess Potential “Super Powers”?related

Researchers Play Tune Recorded Before Edison – For more than a century, since he captured the spoken words “Mary had a little lamb” on a sheet of tinfoil, Thomas Edison has been considered the father of recorded sound. But researchers say they have unearthed a recording of the human voice, made by a little-known Frenchman, that predates Edison’s invention of the phonograph by nearly two decades.

Lying for Jesus? – Richard Dawkins expounds on the recent fracas with PZ Meyers being expelled from Expelled.

Bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk – and eleven other reasons why english is my native language.

Gay Black Jewish Klansmen for Tolerance and Understanding

Continue reading link dump

moisture venting

diemo

the moisture festival opening was last night. the fremont philharmonic played a grand total of 4 tunes, and then vacated the stage, while artists with artificial music, and artists who performed with the zebra kings performed for 2 hours. this was primarily because of RB deciding that we would play the first half, and then conveniently scheduling all the artists that had artificial music for the first half, while saying that the zebra kings (which includes RB himself) would play the second half, including hacki’s performance, and godfrey daniels’ performance, both of whose music we have actually been rehearsing for the past month, unlike the zebra kings, who sound as though they haven’t played together since last year. i really think that once they actually get a professional theatre manager, instead of RB – who is a contractor and a musician on the side, but is definitely not anything like a professional anything – the moisture festival will actually be fun to play. until then, there are, by definition, going to be problems that are a direct result of having the person making the schedule one of the performers as well.

also, the program this year is a joke compared to the program that i produced last year! they actually copied my format – they used a different title font (they actually used papyrus, a “distressed” font that i find particularly annoying), but everything about the format is essentially the same. they even used some of the same ads. also, they cheaped on the printing, which means that the greyscale graphics are at a larger screen density, and coarser than they were last year, and the “colour” cover is on cheaper paper, with no UV coating, and is only colour on one side – and i’d be willing to bet that they paid at least twice as much for it than they did last year. of course they didn’t post the actual schedule in the program, and included numerous warnings that the schedule can change at a moment’s notice. in general, i say “ha ha!”

i took a whole bunch of pictures, but only three of them are worth looking at, because the rest of them were taken from the back of the theatre, with no flash, which means blurry at best. i like the picture of diemo, though. i got down on his level and snapped the photo, and then i was able to turn the camera around and show him the picture, which was really cool. he seemed to like it, too… 8)

passing time

snow! in march!

the opening night of the moisture festival is today. i’ve got to be there no later than 5:30, and we begin playing at 6:30. until then, i am waiting for UPS to deliver 1000 postcards i had printed for margot lovinger, which, according to the UPS web page, has been “out for delivery” since 4:45 this morning. the last time i remember this happening, the guy came shortly after i was forced to leave, and because of the fact that it happened on friday, i wasn’t able to actually recieve the shipment until monday. there’s a good chance that will happen again with this shipment, because i have to go help bill nelson with another one of his computer problems tomorrow morning. if it weren’t for the fact that his computer problems inevitably turn out to be much easier to solve than he makes them sound when i’m talking to him on the phone, and if it weren’t for the fact that he is enthusiastic about paying me, i would consider telling him to find another helpdesk geek.

snow? in march??

well, my UPS shipment just arrived, so i’m outta here.

grump!

okay, i’ve about had it with the “Athiest 1 – Magick 0” posts that i have been seeing around for the last couple of weeks, in regard to the athiest rationalist who challenged a “tantrik magician” to kill him on television. it’s wrong thinking from the start, and here are some of the reasons why.

by the way, with the exception of the first, all of these reasons assume a hypothetical person who is able to kill the rationalist by using “magic” powers without actually touching him in any way. whether such a person really exists or not is a subject for another discussion at some other time.

1: because of the fact that this took place on television, there’s a good chance that the station that broadcast it was legally liable if anybody died on their set, regardless of how they died. the probability is extremely high that both the rationalist and the “tantrik magician” knew this, even before accepting an appearance on the show. this was not a challenge, it was an entertainment event, and it was known ahead of time, exactly what the outcome would be.

2: the (hypothetical) person who actually has the power to kill the rationalist isn’t the person who is going to be widely known as a “tantrik magician”. such a person avoids fame, would not actively seek out the spotlight, and, when in the spotlight, would demonstrate that anyone could do the things that they do, and/or to give thanks to God (or whatever you may call it) for the abilities that are being ascribed to them. however, especially if they are widely known, such a person would also be very careful about the words that are used to describe them. any words – such as “tantrik magician” – that imply that their powers are in some way “super natural” will be avoided at all costs, and any violation of this would be swiftly and sternly dealt with.

in fact, just from knowing this much, i can tell you with absolute certainty that the “tantrik magician” failed to kill the rationalist, knowing no further information. by the way, if you haven’t already read the article, the “tantrik magician” – big suprise – failed to kill the rationalist.

3: the rationalist, in accepting a challenge from a “tantrik magician”, knew from the start that he would fail, so this wasn’t really a “challenge” at all. such people don’t know a real saint when they see one, because of their mindset that tells them that such people don’t exist. a real saint could perform any miracle, with as much documentation anybody could ask for, and such a person would find some way to prove that they didn’t actually do it.

4: the (hypothetical) person who actually has the power to kill the rationalist will not respond to challenges to “prove” their powers. such a person would consider the whole subject of responding to a challenge superficial, pointless, and actually deterimental to the actual reason why are on earth.

5: perhaps the most important point of all is that the (hypothetical) person who actually has the power to kill the rationalist will be known as a person of peace, and would never kill another conscious being for capricious reasons or to prove a point. this, if no other reason, is why all challenges like this will be met with silence from the people who could actually do it.

Continue reading grump!

woof

four punks

Happy Easter, Purim, Narouz, Eid Milad an Nabi, Small Holi and Magha Puja!

also, happy day-after-the-Punk Rock Flea Market. it was a good one. i made $85, and i actually sold a Ganesha murti, which was the goal that i set for determining whether or not to attend the next one. i still have to unload the car, but i’m still sitting around in my bathrobe at 12:00 in the afternoon, so i don’t think it’s gonna happen soon.

one of moe‘s friends spent the night last night, because it was easier than driving an extra 2 hours from her place to get to a herding trial that both she and moe were going to yesterday and today. unfortunately, that meant that her two herding dogs also spent the night, and what with our own herding dog, and the herding dog that belongs to her that moe is taking care of because she’s pregnant (lucy), that meant about a hundred dogs, most of whom spent their time trying to herd the cats, trying to stare down the cats, and/or barking with that sharp, high-pitched, irritatingly insistant bark that herding dogs have. fortunately they also had the idea of getting take-out from Naan N’ Curry – renton’s other outstanding indian restaurant (the other one being Pabla’s), so after stuffing myself with lamb jalfrazi and chicken pakoras, i retreated to the bedroom and read the sacred magic of abramelin the mage while moe did her doggie thing in the living room. moe and her friend got up at some ungodly hour this morning and went to the 2nd day of their herding trial, and, hopefully, i won’t have to deal with that many dogs again until lucy has her puppies in about a month.

link dump

It’s Time to Kick Jesus Out of Politics – Is legislative prayer really necessary?

Satellite measures pollution from east Asia to North America – In a new NASA study, researchers taking advantage of improvements in satellite sensor capabilities offer the first measurement-based estimate of the amount of pollution from East Asian forest fires, urban exhaust, and industrial production that makes its way to western North America.

Legitimate LSD – The first government-approved psychotherapy study of LSD’s therapeutic benefits in human subjects in over thirty-five years is scheduled to proceed.

The Peace Drug – Post-traumatic stress disorder had destroyed Donna Kilgore’s life. Then experimental therapy with MDMA, a psychedelic drug better known as ecstasy, showed her a way out. Was it a fluke — or the future?

Top 5 reasons why “The customer is Always Right” is wrong – Let me get this straight: The company will side with petulant, unreasonable, angry, demanding customers, instead of with me, its loyal employee? And this is meant to lead to better customer service?

here is someone who knows what i went through!!!

here is someone who knows what i went through and is able to talk about it without sounding like a raving idiot!

Dr. Jill Taylor‘s talk at 2008 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design)

a few things are different: i suffered an Arteriovenous Malformation, not a stroke, and i still have quite a bit of trouble with language, mood, and my right hand. my clot was more the size of an egg than a golf-ball, but it was on the periphery of the left hemisphere, just above my left ear, and is in a very similar place to the location of Dr. Taylor’s scar and what i can tell from the angiograms that she shows. of course, she started out as a neuroanatomist to begin with, and has a lot more language skills to describe such an event than i ever had, and i believe my AVM was higher up on the left hemisphere, which affected my language center a lot more profoundly.

i wrote to dr. jill, just to say how much i admired her talk.

oy… 8/

i’ve got to get this off my chest because it’s been really bothering me. about a week ago i posted about a lady i had seen doing psychic readings with a deck of cards that i designed, and i posted a picture that was clearly identifiable as the lady in question. however, i didn’t ask her permission before i posted it, and it very definitely was not okay with her that i had done so – don’t bother looking for the photo at my flickr gallery, because it’s not there either. i deleted it at her request. but the problem is that i may have irreparably broken any chances that i had to find out more about where she got the cards, or find out about her “psychic connection” with them, and even to get to know her and become friends with her. i did something, without thinking, which, if someone had done it to me, i might have taken exception, and that, if i had thought about it for two seconds, i probably would have done entirely differently. it’s not an excuse, but i’m not used to people paying attention to me on the web – it’s such a big place, and i’m just one person… apparently that doesn’t make any difference. in the words of the lady, i am “a dirt bag”, and at this point, i tend to agree with her, which is why i haven’t posted anything for a few days.

more terrorism!

House Democrats reject telecom amnesty, warrantless surveillance – another strike for the “terrorists”, but didn’t bush say he would veto anything that doesn’t offer retroactive immunity for telecoms? it sounds like a tiny step in the right direction, but i’m going to wait until this actually passes into law before i start rejoicing… and that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to all of the other bush screwups we’re going to have to fix… 8/

Continue reading more terrorism!

guess what?

I AM A TERRORIST!

there are almost a million terrorists in the united states AT THIS VERY MOMENT!!!

are you afraid yet?

the U.S. government’s terrorist list has, as of this posting, 927,436 terrorists, and at the rate it’s increasing, over 20,000 records per month, there will be a million U.S. citizens on the list by july!

are you afraid yet?

and people wonder why i wear a button that says “I AM A TERRORIST!” 8/

HA HA!

Ha Ha!

this is exactly why i wanted to get away from using LiveJournal!

No more Basic Accounts – this means that you can no longer sign up for a free account at LiveJournal. they apparently haven’t said whether or not the free accounts created before March 12, 2008 will be grandfathered, or if they will be automatically transferred into “plus” – i.e. “with advertising” – accounts. when i originally signed up at LJ, there was no such thing as advertising, and they assured me that there would never be advertising, and yet not only is it here, but there’s no way to not have advertising on your livejournal account.

i’m SO glad i’m not blogging there any longer! you have no idea!

HYPOCRITE!!!

if you haven’t heard, oklahoma state legislator sally kern recently made some “unfortunate” remarks about gays and terrorists:

“unfortunate” because according to what i have read since then includes the fact that, apparently, sally kern has a gay son, who she has disowned because of his sexuality:

Sally Kern Scrubs Gay Son?

when confronted by the (800,000-some and still rising) people who were offended by her comments, she said that if she had known she were being recorded, she wouldn’t have changed what she said, and she was not going to apologise for standing up for “god’s” word:

Freedom or Hate?

first, i wonder how pathetic, puny, childish minds like this ever get elected to public office, then i wonder why it is that when they make their pathetic, puny, childish opinions public like this, that there isn’t more public outcry to get them out of office… and then i remember that this is reality that we live in, and regardless of how nice it would be if we all just got along with each other and respected each other’s private lives without having to make pathetic, puny, childish statements about how “god” doesn’t approve of us, it’s simply not going to happen until we make a concerted effort to rid ourselves of the remaining pathetic, puny, childish mindset that currently plagues us as a whole.

i remember thinking that it was going to be my son’s generation that made the substantial changes that need to be made in our society in order to keep the human race from bombing ourselves into oblivion, but the older i get, the more i see that, even if my son’s generation gets a start on making those changes, it will still be a long, uphill battle to save the planet from ourselves. 8P

Continue reading HYPOCRITE!!!

whew!

yesterday was full of incense orders, appointments, and rehearsals. i got up in time to go to my 10:00 appointment with the DVR lady and her business consultant (more about this later), and discovered that i had a $35 incense order. so i put the order together and was printing out the invoice when i realised that the person to whom i am sending it lives in the UK, which means that i have to figure out extra postage, and then write to them requesting that extra postage before i ship it. as of 1:30 today (more than 24 hours after i sent the request, i still haven’t got a reply from them. i hope it doesn’t turn out that they only notice when their order doesn’t come and they file a complaint with paypal… 8/ ). in any event, the result of all this was that i left about 15 minutes late for my appointment. fortunately i was able to call and let them know, so they woudln’t decide that i wasn’t there and decide not to help me at all.

i ended up getting to my appointment about 5 minutes late, but then i ended up sitting in the lobby for about 15 minutes before someone came out and told me that the appointment was actually scheduled for 10:30, not 10:00, and that the business consultant hadn’t arrived yet. 8/

finally the business consultant arrived, and she, the DVR lady and i talked about Hybrid Elephant for about 2½ hours. she ended up saying not very much that made me feel as though they actually are going to help me, including a blanket statement, which she did clarify later on, that the DVR won’t help people who are interested in self employment. she did qualify this by saying that those people who do get help from DVR with self employment are a lot more likely to be people who fit into the “niche markets” rather than the “fringe economy”, and that, on the surface, Hybrid Elephant sounded a lot more like the latter than the former. however she did say that it has very definite “niche market” potential, and that i should endeavour to work more towards developing those things, which included print brokering and musical instrument repair – neither of which are entirely out of the question, although both could use some help that i either can’t afford, or don’t know how to give them before they become anything like sustainable business material.

i had hoped to come home and take a shower before going to my 3:00 appointment with ned, but as it was i had just about enough time to come home, slam down something to eat, throw my trombone in the car and head out again. i made it to my appointment with about 15 minutes to spare, and when it got out, there wasn’t much point in driving more than i had to, so i drove up to ballard and took a nap until it was time for my BSSB rehearsal, from which i got home at 10:00, at which point i was so tired that i fell asleep on the couch.

that being said, here are a few things that i have found interesting from the past couple of days:

Cats Help Shield Owners From Heart Attack – this makes me wonder a lot about what toxoplasma gondii has, if anything, to do with it… and i, personally, can’t imagine how toxoplasma gondii could not have anything to do with it, considering how prevalent and insidious the microbe is…

The day the wiretaps go dead is about warrantless wiretapping, and how ordinary citizens can secure their communications against such travesties of democracy, while our supposedly democratically elected leaders are going about the business from a completely different angle: House Steers Its Own Path on Wiretaps. we can only hope that they will continue to be successful, if we want to keep democracy around.

finally, we have Crazy ‘Pot Will Make You Sell Your Children’ Warning from Otherwise Sane Senator, which just goes to show how far we have yet to go… 8/

Continue reading whew!

flash from the distant past

Hybrid Elephant at the Fremont Sunday Market

i went to the fremont sunday market yesterday. i didn’t do as well as i did last week, but i still made $60, which is nothing to sneeze at.

i had this really strange experience, but first, a little back story.

when i was living in bellingham, before i moved to mount vernon (let me see, mental calculations, approximately 15 years ago – gawd, am i really that old?), i was doing graphic design work for almitra, who was trying to pull together a “new-age” business, or commune, or teaching center, or something like that. she was also my introduction to the the himalayan academy, because she had found the 500 pound sphatika lingam that ordains their temple. looking back on it, i don’t see why i worked for her as long as i did, not only because she was one of the truly crazy people that have plagued my life, but also because she didn’t actually pay me in money, but rather in tangible goods, like an african aligator-skin drum, and a Mac LCII computer (which she ended up having a good friends of mine steal back from me), but this all happened before that.

one of the things that i designed for almitra was a deck of cards called “Words of Power”. they were triangular cards with a sri yantra on the back, and various words and their “interpretations” in fancy print on the front. i don’t remember all of the words, but they were all in a very fancy typeface that was very distinctive, and there were enough individual words to make a deck of 50 – 75 cards. all almitra did was come up with a list of words, and this idea, i did all of the design work and had the cards printed at this place in mount vernon, near where i lived several years later. after the cards were printed, i gave them to almitra, keeping a couple decks myself for my portfolio, and quickly forgot about them. i remember finding them when we moved from renton to auburn, but they’re currently buried somewhere in the pile of boxes in our dining room, and have been for at least two years.

Words of Power cards

yesterday, i was at the fremont sunday market, and i had occasion to see one of the people who really appreciates fine quality incense that i have come to know. she was a vendor as well, and someone i first met last year when i went to the FSM (i can’t help but think of the Flying Spaghetti Monster when i use that abbrevation). she had a table where she was giving “readings from a real, live psycho”, and – and this is the really weird part – she was using a deck of “Words of Power” cards as her medium.

Readings with a live psycho

i was passing by, and i saw the cards, and, without saying anything, i picked one up and turned it over to make sure that they really were the same cards i designed, and then i said “i designed these cards.” she immediately responded by grabbing the card back from me and saying “no you didn’t!” she said that she had a mystical relationship with the cards, and when i came back, a little later, with my camera so that i could take a picture of her with the cards, she said “no, no!” and tried to hide them from me – she was in the middle of a reading, though, and i got a shot of her and the cards anyway.

i haven’t even thought about those cards in 15 years! and almitra is one of the many truly crazy people i have dealt with in my life. i couldn’t have possibly imagined that anyone would use something that a crazy woman came up with as a legitimate vehicle for discerning the future before i actually saw it for myself.