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WTF…?

110126 Grand Piano on sandbar in Biscayne Bay, Miami, FloridaGrand mystery as piano appears on sandbarBy Josh Levs, CNN
January 26, 2011

Call it the latest piano bar, a large-scale mystery, or a whole new set of Florida Keys.

In Miami’s Biscayne Bay, a grand piano has appeared — perched on the highest point of a sandbar.

“We don’t know how the piano got out there, we don’t know who’s responsible for putting the piano out there and at this point it’s clearly a mystery,” said Jorge Pino of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

And for now, it’s staying put. Authorities told CNN they have no plans to remove it.

“What will probably happen is that the piano will just disintegrate because of the salt water and the salt air,” said Pino, adding that it will not harm the wildlife.

The finding has struck a chord with residents and tourists, inspiring some to board their boats and check it out. But if they’re planning to perform a concerto, their hopes will likely fall flat.

“This piano’s so banged up you can’t even bang out any tunes on it,” reported Andre Hepkins of CNN affiliate WSVN, as he stood on the sandbar attempting to tickle the ivories.

The Miami Herald first alerted Pino to the mysterious piano last week, Pino told CNN.

As word spread, theories took off. Was it a publicity stunt? A music video gone bad? A frustrated musician? A jilted lover trashing an ex’s instrument?

A Miami New Times blog offered explanations such as “The Little Mermaid was not a work of fiction” and “the powers that be are trying new tricks to get your attention about the end of the world.”

Pino has his own ideas. “The person who did this obviously did it as a prank in my opinion,” he said, “and they are getting exactly what they wanted to get, which is the notoriety of knowing that their story went viral.”

It is illegal to dump things into those waters, Pino said. “If you’re caught doing it, you can be arrested.”

But for now, the Department of Environmental Resources Management has not begun an investigation, spokesman Luis Espinoza told CNN. “We’re keeping an eye on it, looking into how it might have gotten there,” he said, adding that an official investigation is “possible.”

In November 2008 a piano was mysteriously discovered in Harwich, Massachusetts, by a woman who was walking a trail in the middle of the woods. That piano — an upright, not a grand — perplexed authorities. A CNN call Wednesday to Harwich police to find out if that mystery was ever solved was not immediately returned.

Biscayne Bay is home to commerce and tourism. The National Park Service describes it as “a shallow estuary, a place where freshwater from the land mixes with salt water from the sea and life abounds. It serves as a nursery where infant and juvenile marine life reside.”

Pino said the piano was found on the sandbar well out into the water, less than half a mile from the shore. “It’s amazing that somebody would go thru the trouble” of hauling “a 650 pound piece of equipment” out that far — even one that’s “not in good shape,” he said.

Still, Pino said, “there’s a lot worse things in the water.”

“We know of a car… that somebody years ago dumped into the water, and the vehicle stayed there. And, as it turns out, the vehicle is quite the habitat for lobster now.”

Pino added, “There’s odd things in the water all the time — shopping carts and tires and all kinds of stuff that people just decide to dump out there.”

Frank Zappa Day!

Spirit of Frank Zappa returns to Baltimore
The rocker’s exploits are rooted in L.A., but a twist of fate sends a special statue to his hometown.

By Richard Simon
September 20, 2010

Reporting from Baltimore — You’re, like, totally not going to believe this but Baltimore declared Sunday ” Frank Zappa Day,” dedicating a bust in his honor.

Grody to the max.

Seventeen years after the rocker’s death in Los Angeles, Zappa drew a large, fittingly eclectic crowd to a ceremony in the city where he was born.

“It’s about time he got the recognition he deserves,” said Greg Stinson, 50, accompanied by his 16-year-old son Matthew, also a Zappa fan.

The festivities included a concert by Zappa’s son Dweezil and his band, Zappa Plays Zappa; a library exhibit, “Zappa’s Baltimore: Rebels and Iconoclasts in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave”; and a temporary name for the street in front of the library, “Frank Zappa Way.”

“The spirit of Frank Zappa is alive and well in Baltimore,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.

The bronze bust of the mustachioed Zappa — one of rock’s great iconoclasts — was donated by Zappa fans from Lithuania, which has had its own Zappa sculpture in the capital, Vilnius, since 1995. Although Zappa never visited the Baltic country, he was admired there for his advocacy of free expression as well as for his music.

Zappa’s widow, Gail, attended the ceremony, along with Dweezil and two other children, Ahmet and Diva. A group of Lithuanians flew to Baltimore for the event.

Among those in attendance was the chief judge of the Baltimore City Circuit Court. John N. Prevas, 63, a Zappa fan since 1966, called the bust “a wonderful symbol of Baltimore’s cultural heritage and the fact that Frank was such a paradoxical icon for freedom.”

“We’re glad that he was born here, and even though he didn’t spend much time here after the age of 10, we’ve always felt he was one of us,” he added.

Zappa, who died of prostate cancer in 1993 at age 52, spent much of his life in Southern California, where he and his family moved when he was 10. Zappa’s L.A. exploits include getting thrown out of the Antelope Valley High School marching band in Lancaster after he was caught smoking in uniform, and recording with his then-teenage daughter, Moon Unit, the 1982 hit “Valley Girl,” a riff on San Fernando Valley culture.

The Zappa bust might have ended up in Los Angeles — if not for a cultural attache at the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius who happened to be from Baltimore. He suggested the city when the Lithuanian Zappa fans offered to donate the statue.

“I thought in L.A., it would kind of get lost,” said Carlos Aranaga, who was the cultural attache.

“Baltimore is the kind of the city that resonates with Zappa’s work,” he added, citing another iconoclastic Baltimorean, journalist and social critic H.L. Mencken.

The ceremony came 25 years after Zappa appeared at a Senate hearing to rail against censorship of rock lyrics and calls for an album rating system.

Though Zappa left Baltimore long ago, relatives there turned out for the dedication.

“I was a teenager the last time I saw him,” said cousin James A. Colimore Jr., 66, who came with his four adult children, who never met Zappa.

Colimore recalled “Frankie” visiting Baltimore and spending the summer at “Aunt Mary’s house” two doors away when Zappa was 16 and Colimore 14. “He came to Baltimore by train from California with” a stack of records that he played frequently, he said.

“He was cool back then,” Colimore said, recalling Zappa wearing shorts, a T-shirt and sandals when the East Coast was wearing jeans and high-top tennis shoes. He also recalled Zappa writing esoteric classical music on blank sheets of music paper with a quill pen.

Zappa has a street named after him in Berlin as well as an asteroid, Zappafrank, that orbits between Mars and Jupiter. He is also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as “rock and roll’s sharpest musical mind and most astute social critic.”

Asked what her husband might have said about getting his own sculpture, Gail Zappa responded: “Frank might have said, ‘Preposterous.’ ”

mac os 10 doesn’t recognise an .mpeg file? weird…

QuestionCopyright.org | A Clearinghouse For New Ideas About Copyright – it’s about time someone started taking note of the fact that the copyright system is totally screwed. the next question is whether or not they’re going to be able to do anything about it.

Bombing Iran – here’s a good idea… let’s not… 8/

American Christianity is not well, and there’s evidence to indicate that its condition is more critical than most realize – lets hope more people realise it before the rest of ’em drive us into armageddon, ‘eh?

Meat-Based Diet Made Us Smarter – i was a vegetarian during my “hard-core hippie” years, but i grew out of it about 20 years ago, because i realise that God is perfect. also, i figure that if i am in a situation where it’s either eat meat or perish (which is not too unlikely in these “last days”), there is more likelyhood that i will be able to survive… and that’s not to mention the taste: there’s nothing vegetable that can beat the taste of bacon… or lamb… perhaps this is the reason behind all of that rationalisation.

Mitch Miller dies – i’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again: too many cool people from my generation have been dying recently. once again (and with a great deal of futility) i say, STOP IT!

How BP Gulf disaster may have triggered a ‘world-killing’ event – more debate as the world burns…

Does circumcision cause psychological damage? – if you have to ask, you’re not male…

Future Crimes Can Be Predicted Perfectly – i’d roll my eyes and say “yeah, right…” except that it’s from the 100% totally reliable FOX News…

We don’t have to get sick as we get older – yep…

Continue reading mac os 10 doesn’t recognise an .mpeg file? weird…

by the way…

one of my articles was published on American Dream Or Bust a while ago, and i just got around to checking it out.

some doofus named bill commented in such a way as to make him look like a complete, raving loony, or a “christian” racist, or, possibly, a combination of the two. i tore him a new asshole (scroll down past the database error messages to read the comments).

i find it really disturbing that people like bill are in control of what happens in the world – not bill specifically, of course, but people like him. we are never going to change the fucked-up situation the world is in until people like bill are marginalised to the point where nobody pays attention to them any longer.

ښالاماندر

Humans will be extinct in 100 years – a wonderful way to start out the post, but i’d tend to treat anything said by the guy who helped wipe out smallpox with a great deal of respect. you can argue about it all you like, but this is a guy who knows what it’s like to become extinct, and if he says humans are on the way there, i’d tend to believe him.

Scientists discover riding a bike is incredibly hard – in spite of the fact that the formula they came up with sounds pretty interesting (inertial forces + gyroscopic forces + the effects of gravity and centrifugal forces = the leaning of the body and the torque applied to the handlebars), given all the things that are going wrong with the world currently, there have got to be better things for “scientists” to be working on, don’t you think?

6-Year-Old Northeast Ohio Girl on ‘No Fly’ List – more idiocy on the part of home clownland security. all their antics sure make me feel a whole lot safer… 8/

and, speaking of feeling safer, Police tasered an 86-year-old disabled grandma in her bed and stepped on her oxygen hose until she couldn’t breathe – wow… just… wow.

no further comment necessary… 😐

Apple collecting, sharing iPhone users’ precise locations
Apple now collecting, sharing precise location of iPhone users – yet another reason why i’m no longer a mac fanatic… i’ll use a mac, but i’m NOT getting an iphone, and i’m probably not going to get a smart phone at all… 8/

Opt Out of Behavioral Advertising – Opting out of a network does not mean you will no longer receive online advertising. It does mean that the network from which you opted out will no longer deliver ads tailored to your Web preferences and usage patterns… but it’s a start, and if you’re as paranoid about network privacy as i am, you’ll understand the necessity for such a thing.

about every two weeks or so i get a call from a person who is looking for an “incense” called “K2”, or “Spice” – Toxicologist Warning to Parents: Look for Signs of K2 – ‘Fake Marijuana’ and After Indianola teen’s suicide, Iowa officials set sights on banning K2 – i find it really sad that people have apparently resorted to poisoning themselves, because it’s the only legal alternative, rather than getting legitimately high from something that is illegal, but has never killed anyone. from The 420 Times, “If you’re a kid and you’re thinking of trying K2 because it’s still legal to buy in your state, you’d be better off running the risk of buying real, illegal marijuana. Even if you get caught, you won’t die from inhaling a toxic substance or experience “hallucinations, severe agitation, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, vomiting and, in some cases, tremors and seizures,” like you do from K2. You’ll just be another statistic in The War on Drugs.”

Continue reading ښالاماندر

Toxoplasma Modified Humans – i’m glad to see that people who actually know what they’re talking about are looking into this, because i have been suspicious of Toxoplasma gondii for number of years, and this guy seems to be talking about the same stuff that i’ve been wondering about for a long time. the big question is: is ‘the meaning of life’ merely to accelerate the reproductive cycle of a parasitic protozoa? disturbingly, it also sounds suspiciously like the scientologists’ story about microscopic aliens controlling our behaviour…

Can we arrest him now? – i guess the phrase about “liberty and justice for all” was only for some people… 😐

Continue reading

announcing the end of “christianity” as you know it

US team creates first ’synthetic life’ – along with that important step that came on my birthday, eight years ago, when scientists fabricated an entirely viable polio virus, we’ve taken another important step in clarifying the fact that “christianity” is wrong.

wrong, wrong, wrong, WRONG, WRONG!!!

i wonder how long it will be until the “christians” take notice?

Continue reading announcing the end of “christianity” as you know it

US drug war has met none of its goals – good ol’ gil’s working his way up the totem pole, and he’s still saying exactly the same thing he was saying ten years ago… i’d wonder about why nobody has taken any notice, but it would be a futile gesture. :/

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Indian gentleman makes ass of Professor P.Z. Meyers

some of this story suffers from being written by a person (or people) whose native language is not english, but still, there’s enough scientific and journalistic integrity to make me severely wonder what ol’ P.Z. would make of it:

ETA: apparently he would do it differently… oh well, i guess i couldn’t have expected a lot more.

Miracle man survives without food for 70 years

Ahmedabad, Apr 26: Survival of a Hindu ascetic, claimed to be not taking food or water and not passing stool or urine for over 70 years, has baffled the medical fraternity and now defence experts are studying about the miracle man to emulate the practice for soldiers1.

Experts of Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), in collaboration with the doctors of the city-based Sterling Hospital, have launched an observational study of the 81-year-old Prahladbhai Jani alias ‘Mataji’2, who is living in a cave in the temple town of Ambaji in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district.

The round the clock study from April 22 to May 7 will cover all aspects of physiology and biochemistry. The saint is kept in isolation at a special ward in the hospital and even mediapersons were kept out of bounds.

Talking to mediapersons at the hospital, Dr Sudhir Shah, a neurologist, and Dr Ila Wazgan of DIPAS said the main aim of the project is to study how a human being can survive without consuming food or water and not passing stool or urine for so long.

Dr Shah, who had conducted a similar study on the saint in 2003, said ‘There are incidents of prolonged fastings in our country. But they have been taking some water. In the case of Jani, he is not taking any food or water. What is medically more important and baffling is the fact that he is not passing stool or urine’.

The saint has informed the doctors that he has rare ‘Kundalini’ power (serpentine energy), a Yogic feat.3

Explaining the rationale behind the study, Dr Wazgan said ”If we can find out the reason or unveil the mystery behind Mr Jani’s survival without food and water, the study may help in working out strategies in managing calamaty-struck people, soldiers deployed at extremely hostile terrains like high altitude mountains and places with the scarcity of water and food”.

Considering the interest taken by DIPAS, some new parameters have been added to the study, Dr Shah said.

An interesting fact ascertained by doctors is that Mr Jani’s brain is as efficient as that of a 25-year old young man though he is aged 81. There are no signs of aging. Even today he can climb a seven storey building without any exhaustion, said Dr Shah.

The saint has shown evidences of formation of urine, which seems to be reabsorbed from his bladder wall. However, at present the medicos do not have any scientific explanation for the same but help of senior scientists and medical personnel of the country is being taken for the same.

A series of investigations are being carried out on Mr Jani according to a pre-determined protocol and additional tests are carried out as per suggestions of the team.

”If everything is ok with Jani, the study on his condition will continue for ten or 15 days. The defence wing wants to understand what is the structure of Mr Jani’s body, what is special about it, because of which he can survive normally. Whether the same can be replicated in other’s body, is the main question. If the answer is yes, it could be useful for soldiers and astrologers’4, added Dr Wazgan.

As per the details provided by Mr Jani’s followers, at the age of seven years, he left home in search of spiritual unfoldment. At the age of eleven years he was blessed by a goddess. He claims that since that blessing, he has gained his sustenance from nectar that filters down through a hole in his palate5, and has not passed urine or stools since then.

Mr Jani had explained to his followers, ”I get the elixir of life from the hole in my palate, which enables me to go without food and water”. Almost daily Mr Jani enters a state of Samadhi characterised by extreme bliss and enormous light and strength. He says that he has never experienced medical problems. He says that he did not speak for a period of forty-five years.

A Video of Prahladbhai Jani is also available, for those of you who might be skeptical.


1: the problem is that for soldiers to actually achieve the state that Mr. Jani has achieved, they would have to give up being soldiers.

2: the name “mataji” means “respected mother”… ?

3: Obsolete A specialised skill or profession. trust Indian journalists to use obsolete English…

4: “and astrologers“… ??

5: i learned about this while i was going through the preparation for my 2nd Kriya initiation, but i didn’t give it much thought at the time…

snep

Regarding "christianity" and the Virginia Governor’s reason for declaring Confederate History Month

7,500 Online Shoppers Unknowingly Sold Their Souls – this is what happens when users fail to read the TOC. i find it interesting and educational to realise that in the commercial world there are two significant industries that refer to their customers as “users”: computer software manufacturers, and drug dealers. perhaps this is one of the reasons why.

Dead man elected mayor of Tennessee town – why is it that all i can think of is that line from the Tom Waits song What’s he Building?, “I heard he has an ex-wife in someplace called ‘Mayor’s Income, Tennessee’.”

finally, i have read in two different blogs about the croatian girl who fell into a coma, and when she awoke, she could no longer speak croatian, her native language, but she could speak fluent german, a language that she was just beginning to learn when she fell into a coma. i find this an interesting paralell to my opera, which sprung to life in all of its complex glory when i lost what passes for normal consciousness as a result of my injury. stories like this have far reaching implications that involve just about every part of my life, and is one of the primary reasons why, in spite of the fact that i agree with him more often than not, i still think that p.z. meyers and his ilk are sadly mistaken when they conclusively state that “god” doesn’t exist. it may not be the old man with the beard that oversees all from his abode in the clouds, but Something that doesn’t exist wouldn’t be able to cause miracles like that.

Continue reading snep

bleep

the past three days have been spent going through just my inventory of incense with the price gun labeler, individually pricing all of my incense. i plan on doing the same thing for the murtis as well, but they will only take a couple of hours. now i won’t have to fumble with a huge sheaf of papers when someone asks me how much something is, and i will charge the correct price for the things for which i can’t find the prices.

i got the flyers that i had printed for Edgewood Tire & Complete Auto Repair today. that’s another easy $200. i also got the paint pens that i’ve been waiting on, so either tomorrow or sunday i’m going to start working on Ganesha The Car Version 2.

moe and i are going to start the “cook once a month” thing again… tomorrow, i think. i was really happy with cooking once a month for the few months we tried it last year, but about october or so we didn’t do it, and are only just resuming the practice. for those of you who don’t know, it involves planning ahead to have a dozen or so recipes that you’ll make, buying a whole bunch of groceries, and spending an entire day doing nothing but cooking, packaging and freezing individual meal-sized portions for the entire month. it is a massively cheap way to do it, because you can buy a lot of the groceries at costco (we ended up spending about $300 a month, and that was with a couple of times going out to fancy restaurants), and it has the added benefit of freeing up time every other day of the following month that would have been used cooking for that day. quiche is among my favourites. and lentil soup. and now that we’ve got a medium sized freezer with new hinges (!!), we’ve even got a place to keep it all instead of having to limit how much we make because we only had a tiny freezer. 8)

Why I won’t buy an iPad (and think you shouldn’t, either) – enough said. Cory Doctorow is God!

Continue reading bleep

i like that word ‘kleep’… it’s sort of like ‘telp’…

so the US copyright lobby is petitioning to put indonesia on the list of potential software pirates, because of the fact that its government supports open source software… if you don’t have your copy of linux and wordpress now, better get it soon, in case the US government decides that open source equals piracy.

i broke down and bought a price gun marker$125 for a little gadget that prints two lines of numbers on a price tag, and is designed to be used at inhuman speeds. presumably it will work, but i won’t be able to find out until after the weekend, because my mother-in-law is visiting for the weekend and her bedroom is also where i store the incense.

i’m playing for the “Vicars & Tarts” party at the palladium tomorrow (yes, we are taking my mother-in-law with us, which should be amusing). i am playing with a whole bunch of musicians i have played with before in various other configurations, but we have never played in this particular configuration, and there’s one guy, colin, who i’ve never played with before. it’s going to be colin on trombone, me on e-flat tuba and greg on b-flat tuba (two tubas! 8) ), roslyn on clarinet, joseph on saxophone, stuart on guitar and a drummer who stuart says i have met before, but i don’t remember who he is.

Continue reading i like that word ‘kleep’… it’s sort of like ‘telp’…

linque dump Ⅴ, rants and others

i got a spam comment from Anonymous – Operation Titstorm this morning. while i agree with anonymous’ motivation for such action, i am not part of the australian government and not in a position where i can do much of anything except agree with their motivation for their actions. go anonymous, but please go do it somewhere where it’ll make a difference, okay? mass spamming of random blogs is a really good way to make a lot more people not want to deal with you any longer.

Google shuts down music blogs without warning – this is the same company which has recently announced a “1GB bandwidth internet connection to every home” deal that is in the works. making it even more likely that, whether you like it or not, google will have access to all of your data. the fact that google already has their hands in pretty much everything from where you’re going to be to who you’re going to be there with and everything in between, their Gmail was marketed with “never delete another email, EVER” propaganda (which nobody seems to remember these days), and they are in bed with the CIA and have a team of specialists ready to scan every bit of information the unwitting public feeds into their jaws makes their “Don’t be evil” company motto a bit of a malapropism.

People browse by search (or ReadWriteWeb faces the Facebook Login problem) – of course, the problem is confounded by the fact that people don’t seem willing to actually learn what this computer-thingy on their desks is for to begin with. a very good example of this is one of my clients, who regularly calls me because he thinks his “anti-virus software is tired” of zapping viruses on his windows machine, or the fact that he can’t type into his computer because the keyboard is unplugged and he didn’t realise it.

Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to ‘eradicate’ their beliefs – no, hate crime laws are an effort to crack down on hate crimes… if your beliefs are the direct cause of the hate crime, then you’ve got something to worry about. if not, claiming that hate crime laws are an effort to eradicate “christianity” just makes you appear to be really, REALLY stupid, regardless of where you obtained your law degree. even a fifth grader can see that constitutionally protected speech does not apply, when it is clearly written into the law to begin with… ☹

New National Security Distraction: Arabic Language Students – a white-bread american physics major from pomona college is a terrorist, according to TSA officials and the FBI, who spent several hours handcuffed, under arrest and being questioned by no fewer than seven law enforcement officials, but unable to obtain legal council, because he tried to board a plane with… wait for it… not liquids, not matches, not a bomb. arabic flash cards. TSA Supervisor: You know who did 9/11? George: Osama bin Laden. TSA Supervisor: Do you know what language he spoke? George: Arabic. — therefore, you are a terrorist, because you are learning arabic… WHO TRAINS THESE PEOPLE ANYWAY?!? it’s a wonder that i am as nice to strangers as i am… 8/

finally, Security patch results in BSOD – i think this may actually be an improvement in windowsdoesn’t operation. at least now you go directly to the BSOD, rather than thinking your computer might actually be doing what it is supposed to before you go there. this is exactly the reason i don’t use microsoft products any longer. they’re releasing internet explorer eight with the same unfixed bugs in it that i reported to them before they released IE three, and they still haven’t even made an attempt to fix them. why people think that microsoft cares about anything other than making as much money as possible while exerting as little actual work as possible is totally beyond me.

Continue reading linque dump Ⅴ, rants and others

link dump ? for a change

now that i’m finished frantically trying to put out a raging forest fire with a watering sprinkler (for the moment, anyway), i’ve got the time to post a whole bunch of things that i’ve been reading recently, that make me go everything from “hmmm” to “AARGH! *#%&!!?!”…

first up, in the “AARGH! *#%&!!?!” category, Religious Tefillin Prompts Scare On Plane – the way i see it, a 17-year-old jewish kid was putting on his tefillin (“phylacteries“, for the uninitiated) in preparation for morning prayer, while at the same time, one of the flight attendents, who thought he was a terrorist, diverted the plane, where he was met by clown homeland security and a bomb squad. there’s so many levels of stupid here… my mind boggles… 😐

continuing to boggle my mind, in more ways than one, Slime mold validates efficiency of Tokyo rail network – more evidence (as if we needed it, which apparently we do) that the creationists are wrong… in more ways than one.

which brings me to the fact the following symbol, a full colon followed by a dash::–is called “dog’s bollocks” by typographers (much in the same way that the name for the symbol that represents “the artist formerly known as ‘Prince'” is called “bruce” by typographers: they’ve got to have something brief to call it), according to the Oxford English Dictionary. the interesting part is when someone delves into The Secret History of Typography in the Oxford English Dictionary… it just goes to prove that you can read the dictionary and find vulgar, 60-year-old emoticons. the only thing remaining is to see how long it will be before the L33T kiddies figure it out and start using it themselves…

there’s a rare (she’s been spending all of her free time studying these days) post from moe, about her new birthday present – yes, another dog. we are now, once again, officially a four-dog family. and the new one is obsessed with staring at the cats, in order to try to get them to move… it’s really funny… or frustrating, depending on whether or not lucy’s been at home all day.

and finally, this evening, Man Stuck In No-Man’s Land – a story from right around here… and it’s from the onion. it’s good to see the onion doesn’t ignore the little people… 🙂

Continue reading link dump ? for a change

are you smarter than a fifth grader?

this is another "advantage" to having a google alert for the term "swastika": i got up this morning and discovered a whole bunch of new articles, which included the following honeys.

College prof: Christian crosses like swastikasStudent: ‘I felt humiliated and that my spirituality was being demeaned’ – oh, boo hoo, you’re “not allowed” to make your religious emblem in a class where my religious emblem is banned as a matter of course, regardless of what you believe it means. now, maybe, you get the idea of what it must be like to have a religious symbol discriminated against because of stupidity!!

along the same lines, there is STILL IN PURSUIT OF THE DREAM, which is the story of writer who was originally scheduled to read from her book at a public library, and was then un-invited, because some person – not associated with the library – discovered that her book contained the images of “werewolves, vampires, and the swastika”. she invokes ray bradbury’s Farenheit 451, and i would tend to agree with her. this is definitely censorship based on an image in a book, and nothing less.

especially when you consider that high school students are being taught this stuff. there really should be no reason, apart from america’s bizarre aversion to the swastika, why people should raise anywhere near as much of a fuss about it.

HOW CAN A SYMBOL BE GUILTY FOR THE ACTS OF A MADMAN?!?

but the one that really got to me, the one that makes me believe that we may actually have hope for a saner, less swastika-obsessed future, is the letter to the editor regarding an incident in which "I 卍 OBAMA" was carved into a massachusetts golf course last weekend, which was written by A SIXTH GRADER entitled Swastika predates use by Nazis. if a sixth grader has the requisite knowledge to correct a newspaper article, what does that say about the person who wrote that article? i’ll answer that, so that there will be no doubt in your mind what i am striving for here: it says that the person who wrote the article is either uneducated, or deliberately trying to pull the wool over our eyes. either way, it doesn’t say much about their integrity. we deserve better than that from our public news sources, and if it takes a sixth grader to set the record straight, then it’s time we took a closer look at who we are allowing to report our news.

the more you obsess about nazis and swastikas, the longer it will be until we disassociate nazis and swastikas! the way to get over the nazi thing is to have it be okay for people to use the 卍 symbol, and the 卐 symbol in ways that are not connected with nazis! it’s exactly the same thing your mother tells you after you skin your knee as a kid: the more you think about it, the longer it will be until it goes away. if the general world consensus is that we sould continue to think about nazis every time someone says 卐, then there are a lot of hindus, buddhists, native americans – and jews – who are going to be out a significant amount of their cultural history.

for more swastika pleasure, i invite you to peruse Sun Wheel – The Ancient Swastika and start thinking about something other than nazis for a change…

thanks.

Continue reading are you smarter than a fifth grader?

HE is a terrorist! 8)

Colton Harris-Moore, the barefoot boy bandit, outfoxes sheriffs – i know people who live on camano island (like rev. chumleigh, for example), and i know that this is entirly likely, there are a lot of hippie survivalist types living out in that area, and it is fairly close to a place where i was thinking about making a homestead and surviving off the land many, many years ago. i am in awe, although i will say that he probably wasn’t stupid enough to shoot at the cop, he’s probably going to get blamed for it, especially with all of the other “cop-killing” uproar there has been around here recently.

Continue reading HE is a terrorist! 8)

VEWPRF, xmas, hinduism…

i’m getting fed up with the VEWPRF (primarily xmas) hype early this year. fortunately now i’ve got a gadget in my car that i can plug my music player into so i don’t have to listen to the radio. when i’m not listening to my own music, i usually listen to the classical music station, but even they are playing xmas carols far too frequently. i just got a package of CDs from india, including “Om Arunachaneswaraya Namaha” and “Ganesh Gayatri Mantra”, both of which are more than an hour of chanting, which should cover the period of time that i’m suceptible to going off on local “christians” too much.

speaking of which, Rudiments of Language Discovered in Monkeys – more indisputable evidence that evolution is real and the creationists are wrong, wrong WRONG, regardless of how much they claim that they’re “inspired” by “god”… if any further evidence was needed.

i feel a little guilty for going off at “christians” since i am a believer myself, but i accept that science probably has a lot more clear idea of what is going on in the world than the 2000-year-old myths of a society that i do not feel a part of. i don’t deny that those myths may have value to some people, but my impression is that they are far more detrimental to most people who claim to live by them than they would care to admit. and, largely, i can say the same thing about the myths to which i adhere, in spite of the fact that they are, for the most part, totally the opposite of “christian” myths. the difference, i think, is that i admit that my myths are myths, and act accordingly. sure, i occasionally do odd things like wear a tilak, but i’m not “religious” about it, and i certainly don’t let it go this far

we played for the lenin lighting on friday, and it was cold, but it wasn’t anywhere near as cold as it would have been in new york. i dressed for it, and kept my mouthpiece in my pocket when we weren’t actually playng, but there were a lot of complaints that it was too cold. the emcee was pat cashman… who?

Artists’ lawsuit: major record labels are the real pirates – it’s about time, but i think that $50 million to $6 billion may not be enough to get the message across. remember, we’re talking about warner, sony and EMI… and it is only canada. let’s wait to see if it’s effective, and then try something like it in the untied states. definitely a step in the right direction, though.

Continue reading VEWPRF, xmas, hinduism…