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Monday, January 28, 2008
VHS, MTV OMG
by Robin Hilton
My head is sloshing with a thick glop of sentimentality.
This past weekend I was visiting my brother who still lives in the small town where we grew up. It's always a bit of a nostalgia trip going home again, but on this visit he produced an old VHS tape with a video we'd made when we were in high school in the early 1980s. It was just a bunch of dumb kids goofing off, but it made me a little dizzy seeing all the mullets and how young we were.
Then this morning I come in to work and Bob drops me a link for this remarkable and hilarious video of a 1983 MTV broadcast. It's three hours long, complete with commercials from the time. The news updates are particularly priceless, like "Loverboy tour dates announced."
I wonder if this resonates at all with anyone under the age of say, 25.
The video was too big to upload - so here's a link to the original piece and the video!
Top Ten Signs You're a Fundamentalist Christian
10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
9 - You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs -- though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.
2 - You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
1 - You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history - but still call yourself a Christian.
The EvilBible.com website
The original page of the top ten list
Sunday, January 27, 2008
A link to other Adicolor commercials
And here's some videos that were done to some of the tracks from Ken Nordine's album, Colors.
Now I do know that we get a lot of stuff through our email, but this one certainly is an eye opener!!
Obama mentioned his church during his appearance with Oprah. It's the Trinity Church of Christ.
I found this interesting. Obama's church: Please read and go to this church's website and read what is written there. It is very alarming, Barack Obama is a member of this church and is running for President of the U.S.
If you look at the first page of their website, you will learn that this congregation has a non-negotiable commitment to Africa. No where is AMERICA even mentioned. Notice too, what color you will need to be if you should want to join Obama's church... B-L-A-C-K!!!
Doesn't look like his choice of religion has improved much over his (former?) Muslim upbringing. Are you aware that Obama's middle name is Mohammed?
Strip away his nice looks, the big smile and smooth talk and what do you get? Certainly a racist, as plainly defined by the stated position of his church! And possibly a covert worshiper of the Muslim faith, even today.
This guy desires to rule over America while his loyalty is totally vested in a Black Africa! I cannot believe this has not been all over the TV and newspapers. This is why it is so important to pass this message along to all of our family and friends.
To think that Obama has even the slightest chance in the run for the presidency, is really scary.
Click on the link below: This is the web page for the church Barack Obama belongs to: www.tucc.org/about.htm
Well, I did check out this website of this so-called "racist" church.
Here is their 10-point vision:
The Pastor as well as the membership of Trinity United Church of Christ is committed to a 10-point Vision:
1. A congregation committed to ADORATION.
2. A congregation preaching SALVATION.
3. A congregation actively seeking RECONCILIATION.
4. A congregation with a non-negotiable COMMITMENT TO AFRICA.
5. A congregation committed to BIBLICAL EDUCATION.
6. A congregation committed to CULTURAL EDUCATION.
7. A congregation committed to the HISTORICAL EDUCATION OF AFRICAN PEOPLE IN DIASPORA.
8. A congregation committed to LIBERATION.
9. A congregation committed to RESTORATION.
10. A congregation working towards ECONOMIC PARITY.
They didn't number these points, but I did to make them easier to discuss.
First off, I don't think too many people are going to complain about half of these points. The only ones I can see them having trouble with is points 3, 7, 8, 9, and 10.
Well, I personally don't have a problem with blacks being proud of where they come from and their heritage. Actually I'm upset my African ex-wife doesn't tell my daughter more of her African heritage.
And I don't see why African Americans shouldn't have economic parity with European Americans.
And as for this church supposedly being racist, let me quote from the website this email sent us to...
These are from Dr Wrights talking points. I made some the wording bold and italicized to stress it.
• To have a church whose theological perspective starts from the vantage point of Black liberation theology being its center, is not to say that African or African American people are superior to any one else.
• African-centered thought, unlike Eurocentrism, does not assume superiority and look at everyone else as being inferior.
• There is more than one center from which to view the world. In the words of Dr. Janice Hale, “Difference does not mean deficience.” It is from this vantage point that Black liberation theology speaks.I don't agree with these points 100% - I think Afro-centrism like Euro-centrism can be racist. But it's obvious that Dr Wright doesn't want them taken in a racist way.
This church strikes me as black PRIDE group, but not as a black SUPREMACIST group.
But what really offended me this claptrap - more than the accusation of racism - is the accusation that Obama might really be a Christian, but a Muslim spy.
I'm sorry, folks, but I find converters tend to be more loyal and believe in a religion more strongly than other folks. Just look at born-agains!
And I was really offended by the comment - Doesn't look like his choice of religion has improved much over his (former?) Muslim upbringing.
Excuse me, but what is wrong with being a Muslim? I even wrote this question to the co-worker that sent me this. She didn't have anything to say about that question!
And what the hell does someone's middle name have to do with anything? One - Why is it wrong to be named Mohammed? And two, Barack didn't get to pick his middle name anyway! And three, his middle isn't even Mohammed - it's Hussein!
And these people are calling Barack and his church racist?
Okay, I'm done ranting.
Deep breaths. In. Out. In. Out. I'm better now.
Snopes.com's take on this email
Ernest T Spoon's take on this email - in full disclosure, I must say that I forwarded this email to him, because I knew that he would be upset by it even more than I was and would write on it.
Newsweek's report on emails about Obama
Trinity United Church of Christ website
Dr. Wright’s talking points for Trinity United Church of Christ its Web site and the Black Value System (in response to Erik Rush’s comments (2.28.07) on the Hannity and Colmes show)
- the video clip is below
My daughter, a while back, was talking about how her and her classmates learned of the dog breed known as the shih tzu.
Of course, they had a blast with that. Apparently, making the usual jokes of stepping in a shih tzu and what-not.
So I told my daughter, "It's a good thing that you guys didn't hear about the breed, fukka tu."
My daughter looks at me really shocked and surprised. "Is there really a breed like that?!"
Not being able to keep a straight face, I told her no and waved her off.
But this reminded me of a time when she was much younger. We were driving on the interstate and we saw some cows.
"Look, Daddy, cows!" shouted my daughter in excitement.
"Oh yeah, I see them," I answered in mock excitement.
"Are those real cows?"
"Oh, no. The real cows died years ago and have been replaced by robot cows."
With some confusion, my daughter went, "Ohhh."
But my then wife happened to be in the car and she called me on it. She might not have known that much about America, but she wasn't about to accept robot cows!
So I had to admit to my daughter that the cows were real.
When I told some co-workers about these two incidents, one of them said, "She's not your daughter! She's your prey!"
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Ever since I started, I've always felt guilty after Dr Martin Luther King Jr Day rolls around.
I feel like I should say something, but I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said better.
The problem is I feel I owe him - AND all the others like him - who fought to make black people more accepted and welcomed into American society. Admittedly, they still aren't as accepted as they should be, but it's a lot farther than it was in the '50's.
I'm a white - or European-American. So MLK's and his fellow civil rights fighters' legacy doesn't affect me as much as others.
But it does - and did - affect me in some profound ways. One, because I was married to a black woman for 11 years. And two, because my daughter is obviously a mixed race child.
(My ex's and my break up did not have to do with our races - we were just a mismatched couple.)
But because of people like MLK, my ex and I lived a pretty normal life. No crosses on our lawns. Most neighbors readily accepting us and finding us and our daughter a perfectly normal addition to the neighborhood.
I remember talking with a bus driver, an older lady, whose uncle married a black woman who he met in the army. They apparently went out a lot in uniform, because people seemed to accept a white male soldier taking a black female soldier out and about, but not a white male civilian going out with a black female civilian.
And everybody always seems to love our daughter. (Apparently where we've failed as a couple, we've succeeded as parents!) They tell us how our daughter is such a good child and good influence. I don't think that many white folks would say that about a mixed race child in the '50's - at least, not an outgoing and talkative black child.
And my daughter is readily accepted by the kids, mostly white, at her school. And she was readily put in the gifted and talented program. - I have to wonder if they would have done that in the '50's, or even the '60's and '70's.
And because of people like MLK, my daughter can be angry at Obama and Hillary for running for president, because she wanted to be the first black president and the first female president! Because of people like MLK, my daughter can dream of being president some day. (She has since decided that she doesn't want to be president - too much responsibility.)
And I guess that pretty much is why I feel I should write about MLK and his like. Because he's helped me out when I was married to a black and made the life of my daughter a lot easier than it could have been.
So wherever you are, MLK, thanks!
But I don't care. They're funny. So I'm printing them. Besides - having an English degree, how could I not appreciate them and reprint them? :) - OlderMusicGeek
WARNING: There's a mild swear word at the end - for those of you who don't appreciate that.
1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
8. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.
9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.
14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.
17. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
These are words from the dictionary altered it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.
1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it. (I've been on both sides of this :) - OMG)
6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.
8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
9. Karmageddon (n): its like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer. (This one is my favorite :) - OMG)
10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.
12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
13. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
14. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.
15. Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
Bring Back the Busy Signal
posted by Ira Flatow on Thursday, July 12. 2007
Not too long after 9/11 , I did away with “call-waiting.” My priorities changed. I no longer felt the urgency to interrupt a perfectly good conversation with “can I put you on hold for a minute while I get this?” I could devote my total attention to the call at hand and not have to feel pressured. It made life simpler:
At first, I thought I’d have to apologize. But the very first caller applauded my decision. Instead of anger, the excited voice on the other end expressed amazement.
“You have a busy signal,” she said. “When I called and tried to get through I didn’t get your voice mail box, or a recorded message telling me to leave a message, to take a hike. I got that beep-beep-beep of a busy-signal, I hadn’t heard in years. No one has a busy-signal any more, except YOU!”
I sort of knew that when I brought back my busy signal, I’d have a lot of explaining to do. so I was ready.
“That’s right,” I said. “I disconnected my call waiting and went retro. Back to the good old days of the busy-signal.”
If you think about it, the busy-signal makes a definitive statement. It says “yes, I am here, and I am busy,” It doesn’t say “maybe I’m here, screening calls to avoid you.” It’s an honest message, refreshingly honest in this political double-talk era. The busy signal is not pretentious; it doesn’t command attention. It just does it’s job and does it well.
And much to my surprise the busy signal keeps your party interested and prepared. By attesting to the fact that you are there, literally, in your office, the busy signal reassures the caller to “just be patient, try again.” There is no ambiguity. Callers, as this one did, will sit and wait patiently knowing that there is a live body on the other end, waiting to respond. And if they really want to talk to you, they do call back.
Voice mail is a tool for deception. “Gee, I must have missed your voice mail. It never works in my office.” The busy signal takes away temptation; no need to make up a story about pushing the wrong button that “whoops” erased the caller you’re trying to avoid. And no more hating yourself for hanging up on a good call to take one that tried to enlist your vote.
The busy signal is the kind of simple technology we would have to invent if it had never existed. “Wouldn’t it be great if some genius found an automatic way of telling people I’m busy, that I can’t talk now? What a great device that would be.”
So let’s bring back the simple busy signal. It never really went away; it’s just been in storage for a few years while we went on a crazy, heads-in-the-sand binge. But our sanity is finally coming back. And it should be, too.
A link to the original piece on the Science Friday blog
A link to the Science Friday blog
A link to the Science Friday website
Saturday, January 19, 2008
you might know that i'm always sort of on the look out for new products that make absolutely no sense to me.
January 18, 2008
you might know that i'm always sort of on the look out for new products that make absolutely no sense to me.
('nuts and gum-together at last' as featured on the simpsons, for example).
years ago i found a flavored bottled water for pets. oh, that was a good one.
they had 'crispy beef flavored water' for dogs.
and 'tangy fish flavored water' for cats.
i'm not making this up. really. i even bought some just so people would believe me that such things existed.
well, today someone sent me a link to 'chelada'.
'what is chelada?' i hear you asking?
and 'is it disgusting?' i hear as your potential follow-up question.
well, here are the answers:
a-chelada is a new product from the anheuser-busch corporation. it combines budweiser beer with clam juice and tomato juice. in a can. for convenience and portability.
b-is it disgusting? well, i haven't tried it, but really, how could beer and clam juice and tomato juice in a can not be disgusting? i mean, how could it not be ipecac-like in it's ability to immediately cause the consumer to start vomiting uncontrollably?
maybe i'm mistaken. maybe people love it and swear by it and find it to be refreshing and tasty.
here's the scene: it's august 10th and it's very hot outside. you've just come back from a long and healthy bike ride and you're hot and sweaty and boy do you want something refreshing to slake your thirst.
'honey! i'm back from my bike ride and boy am i thirsty!'
'welcome back honey, would you like a room temperature can of beer mixed with clam juice?'
'boy would i!!'
i personally see the target market for chelada(clam flavored tomato beer)as being senior citizens who smoke those dark brown 'more' cigarettes and are on their 3rd bypass operation and need oxygen tanks to walk to their car and who've given up and life and want to ingest things that will fill them with a feeling of self-loathing and despair. but i could be wrong.
maybe the clam flavored tomato beer market is younger and more vibrant, sort of like the people who watch the bam margera show and drink mountain dew and listen to rape rock and punch waiters?
here's the ad campaign:
4 guys in a contemporary suv, nu-metal music playing. the 4 guys are drinking chelada clam flavored tomato beer and high-fiving while throwing their empty cans at homeless people and baby deer and bunnies.
voice over: 'extreme! when all you wanna do is party, go with chelada!'
commercial ends as the 4 chelada drinking guys chase a nun down a dark alley, high-fiving all the way.
maybe they're going for the youth market? a jaded youth market, tired of being catered to in unimaginably varied ways, hungry for something new. and what's newer than clam flavored tomato beer(in a 'lite' version for our fitness conscious consumers)?
it makes me wonder what's up next in the anheuser-busch new-product pipeline.
'partita': mexican rose wine in a can, flavored with real 'south of the border' lizard blood.
'G-filte': sweet passover wine, flavored with whitefish and guarana, for a 100% kosher-kick.
'coro': deep fried beer, filtered through grade-b beef, with 2 tablespoons of lard in every can.
it's a fantastic time to be alive.
...what the hell? I love you and the flavor combination does sound intriguing enough that you might try it. So, I crack the can and sniff (because that is a trait common amongst males in my family), in order to determine whether the substance has gone bad. Despite the "Born On" date, I still don't trust it. So, I take a whiff and am greeted with a sort of odd combination of water, beer sweat squeezed from a bartop cocktail napkin, and loneliness. Yup! That's Budweiser.
But, I'm not drinking this crap without first seeing it. I bust out one of the pint glasses I stole and fill it. Words cannot describe the horror .
Things that are wrong with this picture:
1. I am holding the glass up to the light, but you cannot see through it.
2. The fluid holds little resemblance to either of the base fluids it is made of.
Oh my Christ, what have I gotten myself into? I mean, I love you. I really do. But this seems a bit far. Like Santa leaving coal in your stocking only to beat you senseless with it.
Wary of my prey, I engaged it in a stare-down. It must know I am stronger and, thus, the victor in this battle:
Due almost entirely to my incredible sideburns, the Chelada backed down and I raised the glass, firing off a short prayer to my colon hoping my sudden faith would halt it evulsing my entire GI tract. Bottoms up? And...
Seconds pass in an eternity of silence...
Nothing. It just tastes like Budweiser, which is kind of a let down. I smell the drink again, wait, then take another sip assuming some critical mass need accumulate before catalyzing a chain reaction of "flavor bursts." Sadly, nothing it me. I put the pint down on the counter, dejected, and pick up the can to see if I needed to shake it or add my own clams or something.
And then it hits me.
Loved one, the evil of the Chelada is perhaps the most evil kind of evil. It is subtle. It sneaks up on you. You sip it and encounter almost nothing yet as I sit here writing, I can still taste the horrid combination of tomatoes, clams, and hops. The aftertaste of this vile substance is probably one of the most veiled evil things I have known and I can't get it to go away. I've brushed my teeth twice already and every time I burp (which has been several times) it comes right back.
So, please, don't imbibe this foul drink. I did it because I loved you enough to find out. To find out if this was the attack on humanity I suspected. It is. It is that and so much more.
The original site of Moby's piece
A link to Moby's blog
A link to Moby's website
The complete piece on Matt, the AntiGenius trying chelada
A link to antigenius.net/blog
Today's quote from Wordsmith (A Word a Day) is one that should get the attention of every thinking person:
other sets of people are human. -Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963)
How many of the political issues of the day would become altogether more tractable if all sides would take a moment to remember that the other "set of people" are human? Hello!? Immigrants are people. The homeless and the uninsured are humans. Iranians aren't some alien species; they're people, too. Anyone proposing to ostracize, demonize, incarcerate, torture, bomb or otherwise harm another set of people needs to be reminded that the people in question aren't abstractions; they're people. They have parents, children, husbands and wives, wants and needs just like the rest.
One of the former volunteers on our Peace Corps mass emailing said that maybe they should read Horton Hears a Who by Dr Suess. But this actually brings to my mind the commencement speech Dr Suess gave to Lake Forest College in 1977.
the Art of Eating Popovers
My uncle ordered popovers
from the restaurant’s bill of fare.
And, when they were served,
he regarded them
with a penetrating stare…
Then he spoke great Words of Wisdom
as he sat there on that chair:
“To eat these things,”
said my uncle,
“you must exercise great care.
You may swallow down what’s solid…
you must spit out the air!”
as you partake of the world’s bill of fare,
that’s darned good advice to follow.
Do a lot of spitting out the hot air.
And be careful what you swallow.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Got a bulletin on MySpace from a comedienne who lives in California but is originally from my home state. She talked about a couple of shows that she's doing in California - but with me living in the midwest, doesn't mean much to me.
But she also listed her 5 favorite things that day.
Top Five Favorites Today:
-The Game Cranium.
-Clayton's Chiny Chin Chin.
-When my bed's made.
-Riding my bike.
Ugh, riding her bike - she's definitely become a Californian if riding her bike is a favorite thing in January!
But the game Cranium has always looked fun to me although I've never played it.
And I LOVE banana bread. Keep threatening to try to make it - even though I can't cook. - A roommate in college said that I wasn't a picky eater... because I ate my own cooking. -
And I like when my bed is made too. :) - Although I almost never make it until I go to bed.
I think she is referring my her boyfriend's chiseled chin in "Clayton's chiny chin chin", although I have to wonder how he feels about part of his face being referred to as a "chiny chin chin".
To make sure "Clayton's chiny chin chin" wasn't a restaurant or something, I did a google search. Nothing was there, but there was this rather humorous result -
Obviously Brandon's view: October 2007
But at any rate, Mr. Clayton:the author, really progressed from the initial ... slimy substance in his beard has saturated the hairs on his chiny chin chin. ...collie26.blogspot.com/2007_10_01_archive.html - 90k - Cached - Similar pages
I suppose Clayton also might refer to her cat. Maybe it likes having its chin scratched?
After I got this comedienne's list of her Top Five Favorites Today, I, of course, had to send my own list...
my 5 fave things today
1. 30 gig mp3 player
2. books on cds
3. no overtime for the past couple of weeks - but it wont be my fave thing if it keeps up - i need the money
4. my picked up apartment
5. my cat learning she will get wet if she keeps meowing for food when she knows my daughter feeds her when she gets here
What can I say? I love my music. I am The OlderMUSICGeek after all. :)
And ever since my daughter was born, I never seem to have time to read like I used to - so audio books are a godsend. And books on cds are even better than books on tape cus I can download them unto my mp3 player!
I have been working 50 hours a week for months on end. So this lower workload is a gift from the god - if there is one :) -
Picked up apartment? What can I say? My daughter and I are NOT known for our neatness. :)
And finally, I love our cat of one year. But if she hadn't learned to quit meowing - especially after the vet had us put her on a diet when she was too fat to clean her own butt - she might not have lasted a year!
I also added my 3 least fave things today - with a little commentary...
Don't you miss (my midwestern state)!
I HATE midwest winters!
I lived in Africa for 6 1/2 years and I missed many things from home. But ONE thing that I did NOT miss was our winters! Ugh! I hate them!
I will never understand why the any settlers stuck around here after the first winter! They didn't even have heat in their homes. Heck, I don't understand why any of the Native Americans stuck around!
But one thing that I should have added to my list of my least favorite things is an invitation on MySpace to be the friend of a woman whose picture is a professional shot of her in a swimsuit and whose description of herself on her page tells you where to go to see naked pictures of her! Ugh!
I'm done ranting for now. :) You can about your business.
Comedienne from My Home State's website
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
This is from the English newspaper, The Guardian. - Why are the Europeans always ahead of us on trends? - I found this article through my home page from NetVibes. - OlderMusicGeek
Robot rights - a poser for the 21st century
James Randerson, science correspondent
The Guardian,Wednesday January 16 2008
The fight against discrimination based on race, gender, class and sexuality may not yet be won, but experts in artificial intelligence are warning that this century societies will have to tackle a new prejudice - against individuals with brains made of silicon.
Even the most enthusiastic promoters of robot rights admit that it is likely to be mid-century before humanity has to grant legal rights to our creations, but they say we should start considering the problems now.
Dr Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at the University of Oxford, said that even though present-day robots are not cognitively very impressive they should not be written off. "I don't think you should ever say never, especially with regard to technology. There's no good reason whatever for being confident that robots will not reach human-level intelligence and indeed pass human-level intelligence."
At a conference yesterday in London organised by the Centre for Bioethics and Public Policy, he predicted a time when robots become so intelligent they will need to be granted equivalent rights to humans. "If it has the same experience and the same capabilities we shouldn't treat it any differently if it is made of silicon rather than carbon." Those rights might include owning property and a bank account and the right not to be turned off.
But Professor Noel Sharkey, a robotics expert at the University of Sheffield, doubts that robots will ever achieve that sort of intelligence. "I can't deny that this is possible, but as a scientist there's absolutely no evidence for it."
A link to the article in The Guardian
Monday, January 14, 2008
Light This City, Monstro, Prevail in the Hail of Gunfire
Thunder in the Valley, Vampire Hands, Wolves in the Attic
Oh My God, Baby Teeth
Helmer, It's Over, An Afternoon Snatching
Dynamite Walls, Silent Anvy, The Critical Hour, Funks G
Common Diseases of Swine, Grinwire, Morbid Harvest, Red Ascention
Shipwreck, The Dig Angees, Nuclear Radio
Blown Soul Engine, Maxx Menagerie, MindAsylum
Separation of Self, World Under, Deified, The Cassandra Disease
Gunship 666, Six Past Hell, Primed Ignition
Dear Future, An Afternoon Snatching, City Hall, Skyrockets and Knives
Oh Possum, Deep Sleep Waltzing, Capgun Coup, Bear Country, Talkin Mountains
Stone Sour, Dirty Little Rabbits, Facecage, On a Pale Horse
Otter, Who's Your Daddy
Reproduction Board, Naked Station
All Capitals, The Doldroms
Red Moon Harvest, MindAsylum, Fatal Fall
The Bleeder Project, Amidst the Shadows
American Catastrophe, Awful Purdies
Motogrind, Grinwire, ...and God Blessed Ignorance, The Blood of Your Loved
Mankind is Obsolete, The God Project
Little Man, The Wild Animals, Ticklish
Caspar and the Cookies, Poison Control Center, Wolves in the Attic, Bradley Unit
Taciturn, Wreckage of the Modern City, Skin of Earth, By the Beard of Zeus
Slaughterhouse 6, Moving to Pluto, An Afternoon Snatching, Hardcore Crayons
The Dharma Burns, 3 Lbs of Love, Tree of a Man
A Dream Too Late, Jet Lag Gemini, 2 Sweet, Goodbye Vienna
Maxx Menagerie, Grinwire, Smoking Blindfolded, Common Disease of Swine
Radio Moscow, Old Panther, Ski Bunny Suicide
Sunday, January 13, 2008
December 13, 2007
Scenes From My Kitchen
A boy stands at the counter eating directly from a canister. His father enters.
Boy: "This crunchy cinnamon is DELICIOUS!"
Father: "That's Sugar in the Raw."
(They're baby teeth. At least this set is supposed to fall out.)
CULTURE/SOCIETY: Garbologists: US Consumers Should be Ashamed of Lack of Waste Production Over 2007 Holidays
Garbologists: US Consumers Should be Ashamed of Lack of Waste Production Over 2007 Holidays
Covering nearly three acres of land, the mountain of garbage trucked into the Fresh Kills landfill in Queens, New York the day after Christmas this year consisted of an estimated 35,000 tons of refuse - a pittance of filth relative to the usual prodigious holiday waste production of the area it serves.
Pensively contemplating the unopened packaging of a Leo Tolstoy bobblehead figure lying amidst the fly-ridden skeleton of a half-eaten turkey carcass at the base of a two hundred foot tall pile of junk, Fresh Kills Chief Operator Michael Lewis lamented, "We're usually good for 40,000 tons everyday for at least a week past Christmas, but not this year. Not even close."
Lowered hauls of trash were the norm across the nation as consumers in the United States barely produced 30 million tons of waste this holiday season, a harbinger of economic hardship for everyone if the trend continues, garbologists claim.
"Waste production is a barometer of health for a consumer based economy, but drops such as we're seeing this year can also indicate a lack of patriotism when other economic vital signs fail to absolve consumers for not going out and purchasing vast amounts of products regardless of whether they need them or not," remarked garbologist Grant Simon, "Americans who are most to blame - the ones who make their own presents and decorations, impose spending limits for gift buying, and conduct Secret Santa methods of gift distribution even amongst their own families should be ashamed of themselves."
Not limited to a disappointing haul in discarded cell phones, coffee mugs, perfectly functional DVD players, television sets, fruitcake and non-voice activated electronics, sanitation officials report that reduced levels of solid human waste flowing through their treatment facilities indicate Americans consumed less food this holiday season as well.
Noted economist Philip Buchanon: "You can see a lot looking into a toilet, and what's floating in America's collective bowl is certainly a sad, sorry disappointment."
A link to the original piece
Friday, January 11, 2008
QUESTION: Recently my girlfriend of two years has been talking on the phone late at night, going out more and acting strange. I started to suspect that maybe she's cheating on me. A few nights ago, she said she was going out. I know this sounds bad, but I decided to follow her. Sure enough, she met with a guy I had never seen at a nice restaurant. It looked intimate to me. When they left, I was going to follow them further, but ran out of gas. I think they probably went back to his place or to a hotel. I guess what I was wondering was, do you ever think the price of gas is going to go down?
SARAH: Oftentimes, back in my stalking days, I would lament the price of gas and my tendency to procrastinate filling my tank when it got down there. The dinging noise was really annoying. Since then, I've decided to accept that gas is expensive and just fill the tank when I need it. It is a pride-swallowing siege but now I'm able to stalk more efficiently. On another note, you should dump your girlfriend as she is cheating on you with somebody who willingly spends his money on gas, nice dinners and hotel rooms.
A link to the article
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
1967 vs. 2007
Scenario: Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.
1967 - Vice principal comes over to look at Jack's shotgun. He goes to his own car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2007 - School goes into lock-down, and FBI is called. Jack is hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.
This is, of course, so silly. What kind of idiot thinks a kid would use a gun on other kids in school. Everybody knows that could never really happen.
And even if it did, nobody would blame the principal for letting a kid have a gun at the school!
And people are traumatized, who cares. Let them fail classes or be too frazzled to teach properly!
These are the same kind of idiots who want us to spend money reinforcing buildings because they actually think someone would fly an airplane into them!
Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.
1967 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends.
2007 - Police called. SWAT team arrives. Johnny and Mark are arrested and charged with assault. Both are expelled even though Johnny started it.
Yeah, let kids fight. We know that's the best way to solve our problems. Especially since kids carry knives and guns now.
And Mark was probably perfectly innocent anyway. Like when kids fight in a family. We know ONLY ONE is COMPLETELY at fault!
Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.
1967 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He returns to class, sits still, and does not disrupt class again.
2007 - Jeffrey is diagnosed with A.D.D. and given huge doses of Ritalin. Be comes a zombie. School gets extra money from State because Jeffrey has a learning disability.
Once again, we all know violence is the only way to solve a problem!
And we know all kids on Ritalin are zombies and never do better in class.
Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1967 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2007 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is placed in foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist convinces Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself, and their dad goes to prison. Billy's Mom has affair with psychologist.
Like I said, violence is of course the answer. It's better for a kid to grow up with a parent who beats the crap out of him than with foster parents. Everybody knows that!
And all that abuse is just made up anyway! It never really happens. And when one kids, we know that the others are almost never abused. The abuser just concentrates on one.
Scenario: Mark has a headache and brings some aspirin to school.
1967 - Mark takes aspirin in lunchroom and headache goes away.
2007 - Police called. Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. Car is searched for drugs and weapons.
These idiots who thinks kids would use a gun on other students also think that kids would bring drugs in aspirin bottles and share them with other kids. Where do they get this crazy stuff?
Scenario: Pedro fails English in high school.
1967 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
2007 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given a diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.
Well, of course, all the foreigners who have come American never learned English here. That's why we all speak Lakota and Apache and Hopi.
Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a fire ant hill.
1967 - Ants die.
2007 - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Homeland Security, and FBI called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates parents; siblings are removed from home; computers are confiscated. Johnny's dad goes on Terror Watch List and is never allowed to fly again.
I love having kids blow things up. Nothing like losing a few fingers to learn a lesson!
Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher who hugs him to comfort him.
1967 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2007 - Teacher is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces three years in state prison. Johnny undergoes five years of therapy.
Once again, these same fools who think kids would shoot at other kids and give other kids drugs – think that a teacher could do something sexual towards a student. When have we ever heard of anything like that happening?
AND PEOPLE WONDER WHY THIS COUNTRY IS SUCH A MESS ... DUHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Exactly duh! Don't people know that running from guns, getting beaten up by bullies and parents, getting addicted to drugs, and sexually abused builds character! Sheesh!
Monday, January 07, 2008
Human Trafficking: Slavery of the Modern Era
Tell Me More, January 7, 2008 · Although owning slaves has long been outlawed in the U.S., modern-day slavery, or human trafficking, still exists globally. The U.S. State Department estimates that thousands are exploited for sex and labor and trafficked into the states each year. Mark Lagon of the U.S. State Department explains.
A link to hear the story
iAbolish - the American Anti-Slavery Group
Wikipedia on modern slavery
BBC piece on slavery today
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Hotel Maids Challenge the Placebo Effect
by Alix Spiegel
Morning Edition, January 3, 2008
In a recent study, Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer decided to look at whether our perception of how much exercise we are getting has any effect on how our bodies actually look.
As any casual observer of the hospitality industry knows, hotel maids spend the majority of their days lugging heavy equipment around endless hallways. Basically, almost every moment of their working lives is spent engaged in some kind of physical activity.
But Langer found that most of these women don't see themselves as physically active. She did a survey and found that 67 percent reported they didn't exercise. More than one-third of those reported they didn't get any exercise at all.
Langer says, despite the fact all of the women in her study far exceeded the U.S. surgeon general's recommendation for daily exercise, the bodies of the women did not seem to benefit from their activity.
She and her team measured the maids' body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, blood pressure, weight and body mass index. They found that all of these indicators matched the maids' perceived amount of exercise, rather than their actual amount of exercise.
So Langer set about changing perceptions.
She divided 84 maids into two groups. With one group, researchers carefully went through each of the tasks they did each day, explaining how many calories those tasks burned. They were informed that the activity already met the surgeon general's definition of an active lifestyle.
The other group was given no information at all.
One month later, Langer and her team returned to take physical measurements of the women and were surprised by what they found. In the group that had been educated, there was a decrease in their systolic blood pressure, weight, and waist-to-hip ratio — and a 10 percent drop in blood pressure.
One possible explanation is that the process of learning about the amount of exercise they were already getting somehow changed the maids' behavior. But Langer says that her team surveyed both the women and their managers and found no indication that the maids had altered their routines in any way.
Essentially, what Langer is talking about is a placebo effect. She says that if you believe you are exercising, your body may respond as if it is. It's the same as if you believe you are getting medication when you are actually getting a sugar pill — your body can sometimes respond as if a placebo is actually working.
Placebo Effect Limited?
But Martin Binks, director of behavioral health at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in North Carolina, says, "There's a very high likelihood that [the maids] behaved differently after they received that information, and they were being more active and eating more healthfully. And that resulted in their improvements in health."
But Binks has a more substantive criticism.
"Generally what placebos work on is subjective types of findings," he says.
In other words, a placebo can help change something like your perception of pain or perhaps your sense of whether you feel depressed, but it can't do something objective like shrink a tumor or cut three pounds off your waistline.
Or can it?
Howard Brody, the director of the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch and the author of the book, The Placebo Response, has spent years looking at this issue. He says that a number of relatively new studies challenge the old assumption that the placebo effect alters only subjective perception.
For example, Brody notes one study where researchers gave asthmatic patients a drug that actually makes asthma worse. When they gave the drug to the patients, they told them that it relieves asthma.
"A significant number of those patients said that my asthma got better when you gave them the drug," Brody says, "and they measured better when you measured the lung findings."
Alink to the complete article
Friday, January 04, 2008
- I actually have some Christmas posts that I didn't get up. But there's always next year! -
Anyway, this one is from the weekly supplement our local newspaper puts out for 20- and 30-somethings - which I in my mid-40's still read to see what's going on around town. - OlderMusicGeek
I've given up on human reasoning
by sarah dose staff writer
The older I get, the more I realize I don't care what other people think anymore.
I hear you groaning, but this is not an "I love myself" column focusing on how I'm an indvidual now and I don't care about what people think of my clothes or my hair.
This goes much deeper.
Recently I came to the conclusion that I really don't care how people use reason and logic. If they choose to be wrong, that is their own problem. It is much easier and less stressful to let people be wrong than to argue my way into frustration.
Lost? Let me back up a tad.
Remember a long time ago? Way back in college, all bright-eyed and idealistic? Chances are, you loved getting into healthy debates with your friends. Even strangers.
Your opinion was right, and you reveled in getting people to see your side of things. You loved hearing the words, "You're right. I never thought of it that way."
I remember those days, too. It was important for me to point out my incredible logic and to make people see the other side of things.
(Maybe that's why I ended up a journalist and got this column.)
Fast forward to the present. If you're like me, you've been out of college almost 10 years and have already given up on people. Because people don't listen.
The other night, at my part-time job, I was talking to an older gentleman about a car accident he had been involved in a year ago.
According to him, he was wearing a seatbelt and it was the reason he broke his neck. Despite the physical injuries he suffered, this 72-year-old guy he got around pretty good. A sore knee and a neck he couldn't fully move were his biggest problems now.
Instead of being thankful for his life, this guy was pissed off he'd had his seatbelt on.
I pointed out that he could have been thrown from his car, that the seatbelt may have prevented him from having a serious head injury.
This guy would hear none of it. After 10 minutes of hearing the same story repeatedly, I gave up. I simply did not care what he thought anymore and any energy I spent arguing with him was wasted.
Ten years ago, I might have argued with him into the wee hours of the night. I might have used the magical Internets to prove my point.
Now? I simply have decided that most people don't know what's best for them and therefore do not deserve to hear my expert (and right) opinion.
I've given up on humans' ability to reason. And I don't care what you have to say about it.
Okay, I like dry fruit. I think trail mix - a mix of nuts and dry fruit is a delicious, healthy snack. I could eat a ton of the stuff.
Except for one part. I just have trouble with this.
Is it just me? Or do other people feel that bananas shouldn't crunch?
Thursday, January 03, 2008
barack obama. first off, he has the single worst name anyone could ever have in the history of politics ever ever ever. barack(rhymes with iraq) hussein(like the guy who tried to kill gw's daddy) obama(one consonant away from bush family pal osama bin laden).
personally i see his terrible name as being kind of a plus, as it really couldn't be worse unless his name was satan hitler babyeater.
he's the least experienced of the candidates but he's also really smart and principled and telegenic. he seems like he would be fun at a barbecue but he'd also be good if you needed help doing your taxes and he'd definitely be nice to you if your goldfish died. ironically i think he's the democrats best chance to win. ironic, as he's:
c-possessed of the worst name in the history of politics
but gw was a coke addict with 2 dui's and a history of running companies into the ground(not to mention a last name that is colorfully and colloquially used to describe ladies baby making parts). so who knows? barack obama seems like the dem's best choice.
plus it would be awesome to have an african-american president. the rest of the world wouldn't be able to hate us as much, which would be nice.
and i hope that dennis kucinich runs every 4 years, because, not to sound shallow, it's great to have a healthy vegan with a beautiful wife running for president.
Last weekend I saw something at Larry's Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest. The occasion was our 15th anniversary and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife Julie. What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse-sized taser. The effects of the taser were supposed to be short lived, with no long-term adverse affect on your assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to safety....
WAY TOO COOL! Long story short, I bought the device and brought it home.
I loaded two triple-a batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button. Nothing! I was disappointed. I learned, however, that if I pushed the button AND pressed it against a metal surface at the same time; I'd get the blue arch of electricity darting back and forth between the
Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Julie what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave.
Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn't be all that bad with only two triple-A batteries, right?! !??
There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently (trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh & blood moving target.
I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) and thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat. But, if I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised. Am I wrong???
So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, and taser in another.
The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of
water. Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries. All the while I'm looking at this little device measuring about 5' long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference; pretty cute really and (loaded with two itsy, bitsy triple-A batteries) thinking to myself, 'no possible way!'
What happened next is almost beyond description, but I'll do my best... I'm sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side as to say, 'don't do it master,' reasoning that a one- second burst from such a tiny little ole thing couldn't hurt all that bad. I decided
to give myself a one-second burst just for heck of it. I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button... and??
HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION!!!??
I'm pretty sure Jessie Ventura ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again.
I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs.
The cat was standing over me making meowing sounds I had never heard before, licking my face, undoubtedly thinking to herself, 'Do it again, stupid, do it again!'
Note: If you ever feel compelled to 'mug' yourself with a taser, one note of caution: there is no such thing as a one-second burst when you zap yourself!
You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor.
A three-second burst would be considered conservative??
SON-OF-A-... That hurt like **% !!! A minute or so later (I can't be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and surveyed the landscape. My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace. How did they get
up there??? My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching. My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88 lbs. I'm still looking for my testicles! I'm offering a significant reward for their safe return!! Still in shock!!
P. S. My wife loved the gift, and now regularly threatens me with it!
'If you think Education is difficult, try being stupid.'
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Favorite Local Music Acts
- The Hollowmen (the best band EVER to come out of my state) on The Secret History website
- The Hollowmen (the best band EVER to come out of my state) on The Underground Archives and Network website
- Head Candy (80s local alternative rock)
- The Vandon Arms (local Celtic punk) official website
- The Vandom Arms (local Celtic punk) on MySpace
- The Vandon Arms (celtic punk) on YouTube
- North Of Grand (local pop punk/hard rock) official website
- North Of Grand (local pop punk/hard rock) on MySpace
- North Of Grand (local pop punk/hard rock) on YouTube
- Look Out Loretta (local pop punk/hard rock)
- Slaughterhouse 6 (local ska/alternative)
- Gumbohead (midwestern Cajun/Zydeco band)
- Gumbohead (cajun/zydeco) on YouTube
- Pumptown (local pop/rock) official website
- Pumptown (local pop/rock) on MySpace
- Pumptown (local pop/rock) on YouTube
- Old Scratch Revival Singers (local punk folk/alternative)
- Old Scratch Revival Singers (local punk folk/alternative) on YouTube
- Buick McSnake (local alternative)
- Buick McSnake (local alternative) on YouTube
Favorite Internet Sites
My Internet Sites
My Blog List
Cassini Spacecraft Re-Establishes Contact After 'Dive' Between Saturn And Its Rings - The Cassini probe has orbited Saturn for 13 years. This is the first time it entered the gap between the planet and its rings.55 minutes ago
Cassini Spacecraft Re-Establishes Contact After 'Dive' Between Saturn And Its Rings - The Cassini probe has orbited Saturn for 13 years. This is the first time it entered the gap between the planet and its rings.55 minutes ago
We're never leaving Afghanistan because it's too good for business - If the Wikileaks disclosure of classified documents concerning the mangled mess that is Afghanistan changes any of the granite-minds of centrist Democrats ...6 years ago