This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.                             the guys: philogynist jaime tony - the gals:raymi raspil


Michael considered fate at 13:33   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
If I believed everything people said all of the time I think that would be about as useful as believing that bananas are directly related to apples - in a brother/sister sorta way - which is to say: not at all useful in any sense of the word. Not that I can think of at this moment anyway.

So I started to give this serious thought; the idea of belief. Belief in other people. Belief in what we see every day. Belief in the sibling rivalry between Baninis and Opples. What struck me was how very unimportant it all is, or rather, how arbitrary. I stopped what I was doing and closed my eyes. I believed for two seconds that fruit had family and that there was a close relation between the tropical plantain and the temperate apple. I tried for three seconds.

Nope, couldn't do it. Two seconds was all the mindshare I could give to such a ludicrus idea but in that two seconds I wandered the streets of my town, drove down the east coast, visited Washington D.C. and then hopped a plane for London. Everything looked mostly the same. No one minded that these two species of fruit were now very much brother and sister.

I'll admit they served apple slices on the plane, but I'm not sure that really means anything. Does it?

So after those two seconds I started to look at people, straight in the eye, and consider a world in which everything they said was the plain truth. I considered their words as if they were written in stone on the wall of time, chiseled by a bipartisan bystander, an innocent and impartial alien unaccustomed to the very idea of lying.

But people will say the oddest things.

In the end I don't think I was any worse off but the world I lived in for those moments was blissfully sweet, like an apple married to a banana, a banappple; Juicy and delicious but somehow unbelievable. It was a fantasy, no doubt, but wonderful and oh so badly did I want to feel the truth of it. I wanted not to convince myself but truly believe, down to my very bone, the honesty of everyone.

Like a child.

If you've bought green bananas and want to accelerate the ripening, place them into a paper or plastic bag. Adding an apple to the bag will encourage faster ripening.

Michael considered fate at 01:55   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Finally got me some wireless innernector. Enjoy. The plants and hookah are from Santa Barbara, California. The hot looking lad in the tux doing the Steve Zissou is in York, Maine. More to come later.


Michael considered fate at 18:31   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
To all those regular viewers out there (Hi you two!) who hate this bologna "in the news" crap, sorry.. but here is one more (from Wired):
A sacked TV pilot about a large number of people who stay in touch through an underground data network has popped up on ... well, an underground data network.

The WB television network passed on the pilot for Global Frequency, a sci-fi adventure series based on the graphic novel by English scribe Warren Ellis.

But that didn't stop someone from leaking the pilot on the internet. The file eventually found its way into the BitTorrent network.

Over the last couple of weeks, enough people have downloaded and viewed the pilot online to give producers hope that TV executives might take a second look at the show.
Why am I making a fuss? Well, it's an interesting piece of news following my previous post regarding the Supreme Court's Grokster decision. In that post I mention that the Supreme Court basically told P2P software companies they're fine as long as they don't intentionally encourage people to download copyright material illegally.

Further down in the Wired article linked above I found a quote from Morpheus CEO Michael Weiss:
[he] called the leak "just another positive example" of P2P.
Whoa there buddy. Watch your mouth.

Michael considered fate at 15:32   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
A slightly closer look at Iraq, if you can stomach it:

Michael considered fate at 13:32   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
As evidence of Apple's brilliant marketing, or alternately, it's amazing luck, podcasting can now be called "popular". Why? Because Purina and Interactive Agency Arc Worldwide Make Foray into Podcasting and Mobile Marketing:
"... podcasting is a highly innovative way for us to strengthen our relationships with pet lovers," said Michael Moore, director of interactive marketing at Purina.

... Purina's downloadable podcasts will give consumers computer-based access to Purina's Animal Advice radio program. New shows will be published every other week and discuss topics such as animal training, pet surgery, behavioral theories and pet insurance.
If dog food companies are getting into the fray, this isn't just about some teenagers and an aging MTV VJ anymore; this is real media. Even Rush Limbaugh has a "Podcast Media Center". Consider the Internet Archive's offer of free (unlimited) web space, and anyone with a microphone or headset has a virtually free (see what I did there) means to an audible audience.

Sure, throwing some MP3s up on a website is absolutely nothing new. But it's the ease of use that is paving this media highway over what was once just a dirt path - the road less travelled, as it were. Technologies such as RSS allows for client software to automatically discover new content as it is publish, automatically download it, and even automatically load it to your portable digital audio device.

So simple my grandmother could handle it.. and the scariest thing is that she probably will be handling it, the second an "Internet Quilting Show" arises.

So what does this have to do with Apple? The Wikipedia entry for Podcasting outlines the origins of the term:
Possibly the first use of the term "podcasting" was as a synonym for "audioblogging" or weblog-based amateur radio in an article by Ben Hammersley in The Guardian on February 12, 2004. In September of that year, Dannie Gregoire used the term to describe the automatic download and synchronization idea that Adam Curry [the MTV VJ] had developed.
So you see that While it is derived from the word iPod it has no connection or requirement that an iPod is ever used.

The fact that Apple has, in essence, created a product that is so ubiquitous in the minds of both early-adopting technology consumers and normal non-geek wait-and-see retail buyers alike is in itself amazing. Yet it is this very mindshare, not the product itself, that has caused people like Ben Hammersley to incorporate and evolve this terminology into descriptions of other new technology. Hammersley, no doubt looking for a catchy phrase to place in his article to catch people's eye, made the obvious choice: ride the iPod wave.

The result? Everyone (and their mother) are hoping on the bandwagon and no one is stopping to consider that Apple has very little to do with the creation or development of any of this technology. Perhaps even more brilliantly, Apple is quick to realize it's good fortune and is patching the holes in it's marketing blanket:
Apple Computer made good on recent promises by Chief Executive Steve Jobs to release a new version of its iTunes music player software that supports podcasting.

Users of iTunes 4.9, which is available for free, can now subscribe to some 3,000 podcasts--essentially pre-recorded audio programs--from within the iTunes music software.

...In a speech last month, Jobs said that iTunes would eventually support podcasting, but didn't indicate that a related feature would appear in a revised version of the iPod. Apple has added a "podcasts" category to the iPod menu and allows users to bookmark specific sections of a podcast file for later reference.
Sure, there is and has been for some time various software available on the internet to aggregate podcast syndications and automatically download new "episodes" as they become available but Apple, by being the first major player to materialize these sorts of features in a commercially hardened and widely-used product, is poised to become the name associated with podcasting. The new iTunes version will help to spread and promote the phenomenon of podcasting by simply being simple; users of the software now, which includes many moms and dads, will download the new version because the program suggests it. They will discover a new area in this program called "podcasts". They will explore these new features and eventually forget there was even a time when the didn't exist. Years into the future, when technology journalists write their year-end Top-10 lists of "Best technology from ten years ago", they will laud Apple as envisionist, creator, and promoter of the media-democratizing Podcast.

From the Hindu Business Line:
...the Pew Internet and American Life Project reveals that nearly a third of the adults possessing iPod and MP3 player (half of them aged 18-28) have downloaded podcasts.

... Several radio stations, such as New York's WNYC, Boston's WGBH, Seattle's KOMO or Toronto's CBC Radio One - have already gone into the podcasting mode. Interestingly, the short segments of Internet programming being promoted by Al Gore and other prominent entrepreneurs in the US is called `Pods'.

"A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money." - Senator Everett Dirksen (1896 - 1969)
Michael considered fate at 13:07   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Continuing in their typical me me me fashion, it appears that big movie houses don't quite agree with things when tables are turned against them. Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is suing New Line Cinemas for underpaying him by as much as $100 million dollars. Their response?
"We don't agree with plaintiff's claims, and will defend ourselves vigorously." A litigator for New Line, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he is working on this lawsuit, said the money paid to Mr. Jackson so far is in line with the contract he signed.

"Peter Jackson is an incredible filmmaker who did the impossible on 'Lord of the Rings,' " this lawyer said. "But there's a certain piggishness involved here. New Line already gave him enough money to rebuild Baghdad, but it's still not enough for him."
I, for one, feel as though I've given the movie houses enough money to rebuild all of Iraq (well, me and all the movie-going public, that is). Does that mean I get to call the MPAA piggish?

Of key concern here is just more of your typical corporate swashbuckling, the subsidiary-swing as it were, aka the subdivision-salsa:
What makes Mr. Jackson's suit draw such widespread interest here, other than his clout in the industry and the amount at stake, is one specific allegation about New Line's behavior. The suit charges that the company used pre-emptive bidding (meaning a process closed to external parties) rather than open bidding for subsidiary rights to such things as "Lord of the Rings" books, DVD's and merchandise. Therefore, New Line received far less than market value for these rights, the suit says.

Most of those rights went to other companies in the New Line family or under the Time Warner corporate umbrella, like Warner Brothers International, Warner Records and Warner Books. So while the deals would not hurt Time Warner's bottom line, they would lower the overall gross revenues related to the film, which is the figure Mr. Jackson's percentage is based on.
Granted, the $200 million Jackson has puportedly already been paid off of the $1 billion New Line grossed is a pretty hefty sum and it is hard to feel sorry for him when I look at my paltry paycheck, he is nevertheless entitled to expect fair business practices from his corporate partners. When the overall gross of the trilogy is $4 billion, and Jackson contracted for 20%, that $200 million starts to look kind of small.

His lawyer suggests he was underpaid by as much as $100 million.

UPDATE - 06.28.2005 05:15 PM EST: Slashdot just posted a Q&A with Wil Wheaton (The actor who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek, TNG. his blog is at WilWheaton.Net). A question on-topic with this post was posed by a reader and Wil's response was, well.. in line with Jackson's:
Ok I've been itching to ask this to a real actor who also happens to be a geek.

You know MPAA's been suing left and right claiming downloading movies are damaging to the industry as a whole. As an actor in probably the most popular science fiction series ever, how does piracy or file sharing affect you and your bottom line?

[Do you think what] the studios say about piracy is total bull? Or is it the truth?

WW: I think it's bull. I've only had profit-sharing in one movie, and according to the studio it never made a profit *cough*bullshit*cough*.

Dr. Frankenstein, I presume?
Michael considered fate at 12:25   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
If this doesn't make you shiver with creepy spiders up your spine, I don't know what will:
US scientists have succeeded in reviving the dogs after three hours of clinical death, paving the way for trials on humans within years.

Pittsburgh's Safar Centre for Resuscitation Research has developed a technique in which subject's veins are drained of blood and filled with an ice-cold salt solution.

The animals are considered scientifically dead, as they stop breathing and have no heartbeat or brain activity.

But three hours later, their blood is replaced and the zombie dogs are brought back to life with an electric shock.
Seemingly geared towards saving lives on the battlefield you nevertheless have to question where this sort of technology will take us. Dr. Frankenstein, meet the Medical Ethics Board of Directors.


I hope the kiddies don't mind..
Michael considered fate at 18:25   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Via my friend Lisa in Japan comes a nice little letter from another friend in Costa Rica, there for the purpose of collecting monkey poo - in the name of science, of course. I do not know if this is "legal" publishing material, but what the heck, it's a great little story:
Another weekend, another few near death experiences. Not having any luck getting data as the monkeys are not eating any fruit whatsoever, we decided to take a well-deserved two day weekend, instead of the usual one. Saturday early early morning we left for a 20 km hike to a completely deserted beach called Nancite. There´s a small research station there that no one´s lived in for a while that we could stay at. Now the reason that Nancite, a pristine and gorgeous beach is deserted, is largely due to the fact that the only way you can reach it is by a, at times, sketchy trail that is 20km from where we live (itself, an hour´s drive on potholes from the nearest town). So off we went, whistling away, delighted at the prospect of a break.

The way there wasn´t terribly eventlful except that I stepped right next to a hognosed pitviper who didn´t seem very happy to see me. We saw a lot of jaguar tracks, and even found a jaguar skeleton. We happily forded every river that we came to, not so happily ascended a vegetationaless mountain at midday wherein I reached that stage of heat stroke where you stop sweating and you fall down.

Made it to the beach, was so happy to see water that i left a trail of my clothes behind me, running in in my skivvies, as i just couldn´t be bothered to put the ole baywatch suit on. we went exploring in a cave that had a beach right inside of it. paul decided to stay a bit longer. i got scared as the tide was coming in, so i climbed back up the cliff face. when i looked down he was chest-deep in water and waving. i thought he was waving happily. meanwhile, i was terrified of the incoming surf, so i screamed "you´re crazy and you´re going to die" and took off up the cliff face further. turns out he was waving for help. he made it out safely, and after a few hours of apologies for abandoning him to what he believed was almost certain death, everything was okay on the home front.

that night we went back to the beach to look for turtles, and after a few hours of wandering along the beach (after some tense moments in the adjacent mangrove swamp, where i was convinced we were being stalked by a crocodile) we found one. we quietly followed her up the beach, flashlights off, until we heard her start digging a pit, and then turned a flashlight on her as she started to lay her eggs. she laid about 60, and it took her about half an hour, before she covered them over with sand and patted the whole thing down with her back flippers. she was an olive ridley turtle, who comes to that one beach, where she was born at least 20 years ago, once a year to lay eggs before disappearing into the ocean for another year. it was incredible and worth all of the sweat getting there.

the next morning, after being completely destroyed by the sand flies that are small enough to make it through mosquito nets, we spent another blissful day in the ocean, not leaving (somewhat stupidly) until 1PM. Most of the people had left early that morning, so it was me and only five others, one of whom, Eugenia, had stepped on a rusty nail and had difficulty using her left foot. we packed all her stuff and started. the first 5 or 6 kilometers were uneventful (except for again with the heat stroke and falling down at the top of the mountain). the last 13 or so, however, were plenty fun. we had just reached the wider track that is all uphill to home when it started raining. no problem. i´d brought my little red children´s umbrella and it was a happy respite from the sun. within a few minutes however, we´d noticed that the road was not a road so much anymore as it was a river. with rapids, and trees floating down it. we also noticed that the lightning was crashing very close above us. it was at this moment that i felt as if something were biting me inside of my shoe. i stopped and took it off. the good news was that there were no animals in my shoe. the bad news was that my sock, despite being constantly washed with rain water, was covered in blood. the bottom of one of my toes appeared to have completely exploded. the skin was off and all that was left was this raw, disturbing pulp. on went the shoe, and off limped Eugenia and I, up the river that was now developing rapids. the whole thing was incredible. knee deep in water, trying not to think about all of the snakes and caiman that were being flooded out of their homes, and the possibility of lightning hitting the water that we just couldn´t escape was fairly scary, but the level of water crashing through the forests, and the speed and power of it was so amazing that we didn´t really mind.

until. we, holding hands for stability and in case one of us went under, turned a corner and saw one of the largest most powerful rivers i´ve ever seen in my life. not only that, but our companions that had gone ahead of us when we both began limping so badly, were being swept down it. elvin, a friend of ours who is an incredible forest guy, but who can´t swim, had climbed a tree on one side to see if he could cross by jumping into the next like a monkey, had had the branch break under him, and he was clinging to it as he went down and under. andrew, who is 6 foot 2, had the water to his chin and was grabbing paul as he went shooting past. their bags were on our side of the river that only a few hours before had been a baking hot piece of trail. they made it safely across after andrew ran into a bit of a tree. but now it was our turn. elvin, on the other side, clung to a tree branch, held andrew who held paul who held me who held eugenia. i managed to keep a foot hold until the middle when the power of the water completely knocked my feet out from under me and i went shooting down. luckily, i had paul´s hand and they managed to drag us all out, as we floated horizontally, close enough to the shore (which itself was waist-deep water). i didn´t think at the time that i was scared, but i must have been, as as soon as i was safely back in the waist-deep water i pulled out my umbrella and opened it again. not the actions of a rational person.

anyhoo, we´re all safe, and the 5 or so kilometers after that went without a hitch (except of course, for the bizareness of trying to walk with heavy packs through rapids). and that was that.
must run as out of time, but thank y'all again for all
the emails. keep 'em coming, they're very much

Michael considered fate at 15:40   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
As direct evidence of the general public's relatively uninformed position on computer technologies, I give you the latest Supreme Court ruling (PDF):
One who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, going beyond mere distribution with knowledge of third-party action, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties using the device, regardless of the device’s lawful uses.
While the Supreme Court acknowledged that The tension between the competing values of supporting creativity through copyright protection and promoting technological innovation by limiting infringement liability was a key factor in this case, the press has nevertheless reported this news poorly, basically making statements along the lines of:
The US Supreme Court has ruled the entertainment industry can sue developers of file sharing software.
Which makes the whole thing sound like a giant witch hunt - although the MPAA and RIAA would like to make it one, it's not. Read further and you'll get to the real truth:
In what was for many industry insiders a shock outcome, the unanimous ruling of the court held that file sharing services such as Grokster and StreamCast could be held liable if they intentionally encourage people to download copyright material illegally.
They say that industry insiders are shocked over the outcome and this is most likely because they've been holding on for dear life to the 1984 Supreme Court ruling in favour of video recorders stating that Sony could not be sued over consumers who used its video recorders to make illegal copies of movies. But this case, while similar, really focused around the conscious effort of a software developer to promote illegal use of it's software. This was not a case against the software itself. Truly, if a gun manufacturer sold a product with an advertising campaign geared towards killing your neighbours they might be held responsible for deaths caused by it's consumers. Or at least flaming-liberals would hope so. May-haps?

Thank God.

I'm a flaming-liberal with the rest of you when it comes to technological freedoms - more so because I fear how big the ball will get if it ever gets rolling at all - but let's not make this more than it is. Surely, a stepping stone, but not an out-and-out slashing of our civic liberties or freedom of speech.

Regardless, even technology-minded news outlets such as Salon have been making this out to be worse than it is by not clearly mentioning the issue of software companies intentionally fostering copyright infringement:
[the music and movie studios] argument is that the creators of those networks should be deemed responsible for what people do with them -- technically, that means they should be found guilty of "secondary liability" for the copyright infringement committed by file sharers.
However, if you need someone to point fingers at or hate on (From Reuters):
"Today's unanimous ruling is an historic victory for intellectual property in the digital age, and is good news for consumers, artists, innovation and lawful Internet businesses," said Dan Glickman, president of the Motion Picture Association of America.
I'd argue the opposite: the fact that we as a society continue to prop up out-dated ideas and policies regarding intellectual properties, trademarks, and copyrights is saddening at best and dangerously cynical at worst. This "historic victory" Glickman speaks of is exactly that: a victory for a historically dated mindset.

Michael considered fate at 12:09   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Just back from a long weekend on the CT coast, 460 trouble free (knock on wood) miles on the motorcycle, weather that even the gods could not have produced if they tried, and 20,000 leagues of scenic ocean views. Hours upon hours of lazy sailing with beer in hand, hauling along behind the boat-on-a-rope, and barbecuing swordfish, salmon, and beautifully sweet sugar and gold corn on the cob. Staying up till the orange ball of a sun peaks up over the horizon, it's rays burning across the water to blind the poor old still-visible man in the moon. Sleeping late while the flaming orb of heat powers up it's gigantic nuclear furnace to heat the afternoon like an ant beneath a magnifying glass, straight through any possibility of a hangover.

These things and more are what cause that oh-so-familiar summertime experience: beach traffic.

Luckily I left my cruising for the evening hours; as the sun was retiring for the night down below it's blanket of a horizon. Riding through miles and miles of dark highway with nothing but brake lights to guide my way like fenceposts along a country road. zzzzzoom, zzzzzzzoom. They pass by quickly and then their cousins the headlights, leaping suddenly into the rearviews, fade out into the distance - not quickly like the brakelights approached but ever-so-slowly as life fades out of an old man, seemingly taking years sometimes despite the happily painted smile of contented lived-ness on his face.

The thrum-thrum-thrum of the engine seems to produce a cyclic rhythm beneath my legs though I am old enough to know that it's all in my head like phantom notes at a heavy metal concert - those slayer guys played fast, but not that fast. I listen for the slightest variation in tone, ever nervous for a tire blow-out or a broken chain that would send me flying over the pavement, the bike flung sideways and the foot pegs sparking along lighting the road up like an independence day sparkler. The Carharts I wear, thick and heavy in the mid-day sun, seem thin and flimsy now, here in the dark, as the heavy air piles up against my thighs. I can feel the moisture on my legs, every few minutes I swipe my hand across my visor - a human windshield wiper - as heat lightening crackles silently in the distance.

This is summer in New England, with violent mood-swings in her weather like a petulant child's. The flaming heat, burning tar, torrential rains, and quiet clear nights with starlight twinkling through the atmosphere like a pretty girl at the state fair working her way through the crowd to come and say hi to you. Without this, without the humid summer air and the dewy mornings, without the afternoon thunderstorms, there would be no New England for summer is what saved this place for those people so many years ago. As stubborn and puritanical as they were they would have nevertheless moved westward soon enough had our New England not provided the stage for them on which they could perform their farmer's play.

By the time I was back to my summertime homestead I was baked to the bone, cramped, sore, and the bike was tired and panting. It was 10:15pm and I had just completed 230 miles. I puttered a circle through the backyard and pulled up on the cement slab beneath the garage's overhang. I listened for a few seconds as the engine quietly purred at idle and then shut it down. In the woods behind me, far away, peepers cried out in the dark at the inequity of it all, everyone of them trying to talk over the next one. A lone firefly made a moondance through the yard looking for a mate in the grass. *Blink* ... *Blink* ... *Blink* *Blink* ... *Blink*. As the engine cooled off tiny heat waves swam off it's fins in the dark that no one could see. The metal, cooling and shrinking, complained like a marathoner after a race, haggardly and without much sense, going *tink* .. *plink* ... *tink* . *bink* .. *ping* .... *tink*.

I crawled inside and peeled off my leathers, yanked off my helmet, and poured myself onto the couch. After some time to breath I cooked myself a bachelor's dinner of spicy sausage, muenster cheese, green peppers, and onions on whole wheat. I drank a glass of water. I drank another glass of water.

And then I went to bed because I had work in the morning.


Michael considered fate at 12:10   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
More travelling in one week than I care to think about, at least with the amount of drinking going on, but it was fun in the sun, weddings all around, and some time on the beach to boot. Should I be complaining?


Life really isn't too bad all things considered. Part of me thinks I should write it down here for archival purposes but I'm consistently and painfully aware that I don't want this blog to be any sort of diary. That's not what I'm about. At all. Since day one it's been about reaching someone. Or some people. Or a whole crowd. Whoever is interested in joining in the fun. I never meant for this place to be about me, though I suppose that's a practice in futility to some degree. I meant for this place to be about information exchange. Interesting stories. Crazy ideas. And sure, some experimental writing as well. But never about me.

In fact I loathe the idea of anything being about me and I think that perhaps that is the reason, the ultimate factor, that sent my life reeling down the path of the logical scientist instead of the path of the liberal artist.

Growing up I felt as much magnetism towards creative writing, acting, and journalism as I did towards biology, chemistry, math. Truly. Even in high school I was sneaking out dumb little publications under the administrations noses meant to undermine the "authority".

Somehow, though, there is something about the stage that is very much the opposite of the self-effacing attitude I feel that I have. Science is, in my mind, the logical opposite. The old man toils in the tower, mixing chemicals and sending his Igor about to collect snippets of this or that, never venturing into the town himself. He works many years to finally release new science to the masses: Technology! (catchall) The townspeople collect his technology in their aprons, gathering the fallout from the ground as it rains down from his dark and mysterious home up on the mount, but he does not appear. They do not chant his name. This man's name is not Bono.

This, I suppose, is an entirely arguable matter. Tomorrow I could easily be in a mood to disagree. This is perhaps the Gemini in me, those two dueling faces who turn back to back to face eachother, drawing their swords to shoot eachother. One Shakespeare's apprentice the other Newton's Igor.

And in that serendipitous way of mine I have seen a whole entire post drawn out about me, all about me, in which I clearly state at the begining that I desire not things about me, and from this post I read in me perhaps more shakespeare than I thought I'd ever see. Maybe less of science is best, or not. Either way I cannot say but for sure theres more to life and I for one must give it a shot.


Michael considered fate at 14:11   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
I love it when science is a big contradiction and political correctness defines our discoveries for us. From the LA Times on Thursday - Deep, Dark Secrets of His and Her Brains:
Men's brains, for instance, are typically bigger — but on the whole, no smarter.
Yet Virginia Commonwealth University busts out with this press release the very next day, on Friday:
People with bigger brains are smarter than their smaller-brained counterparts, according to a study conducted by a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher published in the journal “Intelligence.”


Michael considered fate at 17:27   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
bled time on thursday heading west to see a santa barbara sunset but by the time I got there it was already dark. A 17-hour trip, all told, what with a 2 hour drive to Boston, a delayed connector flight, a delayed re-booked direct-to-LAX flight, and finally another almost 2 hour drive up the coast to Santa Barbara.

Start: 10:30AM EST

End: 12:30PM PST

It hurt but I had a beer so it didn't hurt too badly. I settled into the beach with sand between my toes and some fake meat in my tum and just listened to the waves crashing into the shore. It's not that I don't appreciate the ocean I have - the Atlantic - I do, but variety is the spice of life I am told and so I agree. The Pacific is nice.

I wandered around Del Playa watching drunk college students do their drunk college student thing, I strolled down State in downtown Santa Barbara in the hot burning sun (with a char-broiled pinkness on my arms and face as my witness). I even strolled through a gallery or two and made a wedding-gift purchase. It's always nice to kill two birds with one stone.

Then I taught two suckers how to play poker by taking their money - sometimes the best way to learn is to fall down and feel the hurt - but I was quickly reminded that it was fake money and it wasn't till the next night that real green was exchanged and then, at that point, I had used up the luck I was allotted for the weekend, and I barely held on by using my wits alone. Let me tell you they certainly get lonely, my wits, without a little bit of luck behind them.

We picniced and frisbeed and generally took it fairly slow. We drank beer and wine and even some cactus, but that didn't work out the way we had planned. All most of the stuff did work, though.

And there were even irish girls. Young and straight from County Cork. Lots of them so much so that three were installed as new roommates in my friends two bedroom apartment leaving me between a rock and.. well.. three irish girls. It wasn't so bad, except for the bathroom sink flooding the apartment.

Luckily I got a few pictures this time. Nothing too exciting but enough to liven this place up. I'll throw them up when I get a chance but right now, after 17 hours of travelling down the California coast to Orange County and the John Wayne airport, of flying back up over Santa Barbara north to San Fransisco, of flying across the country on the redeye back up to Boston where I drove home to the portcity in the tumultous rain -

Start: 02:00PM PST

End: 10:00AM EST

- and finally after 8 hours of work (I'm bushed) I am heading back west - this time only to Manchester, NH - to be the airport taxi this time around. And when I'm done, and fed, I will sleep. Soundly. And then I will post pictures for you.


Michael considered fate at 23:52   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Okay, I'm going to California on someone else's dime to consider life's alternatives, delve into some new thinking, try on some cool, and I'll be back pronto, before you can say tonto.

which means tuesday.

If you're bored while I'm gone (hardly seems imaginable, since there is a wealth of archives to choose from. read 'em and maybe I won't bother to make a book through cafepress that no one will buy and you'll have to feel the tiniest bit guilty about - not that major kind of guilt but that eensy weensy kind of guilt that is jusstttt enough to ruin a really good day and bring it down to just a sorta-okay day.. Like the princess and the pea, yah know?)

Well if you're bored when I'm gone you can go read tony cause he's been linking my ass off this summer and I gotta give props to that, even if only 3 of his lazy ass readers click on the link out of thousands a day. I ain't complaining, I never click on anyone elses links either. but that's cause when I do my computer says things like:

"Firewall Blocked! Category: Shopping"


"Firewall Blocked! Category: Personals/Dating"

or, in the case of raymi who complains I don't link her when I link her all the goddamned time:

"Firewall Blocked! Category: Sicko Pervy Kiddie Pornography Ring"

Or if that doesn't do the trick for you why not go buy that book I was talking about? You can't expect me to do everything for you, now can I?


Michael considered fate at 21:16   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
drove around all down on the motorbike in the sweltering heat getting sweaty, sweaty, sweaty and too lazy to take out the liner on the jacket so getting hotter by the second like sitting on a radiator in the wintertime after a roll in the snow - wet, damp - heat broiling up underneath on the backside of your legs like the sun is upside down and the world..

is up there.

So I stopped and played hide and go seek in Home Depot by myself because if there ain't nothing in this world to love love love it's some fresh smelling arthur anderson windows naked, nekkid, pine windows with hinges and power tools and sawdust in the air with the hint of some sort of oil, not motor but tools oil oil smells like teen - no, i take that back - smells like adult supervision, like yah. um. consumerism. my house - it has no legs, it has no legs. And then one day houses have legs and you have to go to Home Depot cause it's the only place in town!

to get legs for your house.

Or fuel for your air tools wah wah wah wahhh wah-wa-wa-w-w-ww-wwwwwwwww ouch it hurts. loads. tools. sounds like consumerism. like a mcdonald's milkshake machine. it's scrumtious goodness bleeding out of your ears so much so that i saw, last night, no joke, in the classfieds, right here in my town, nothing more than a quick car ride away - wait, let me stop for more gas - ONE slightly used and not abused; One perfectly functioning; One excellent conveyor pizza oven for a mere $700.

$700 is a lot of money and it'll buy you a lot of mcdonald's milkshakes but this is no amatuer piece of equipment we are talking about. We are talking about 60 pizzas an hour the sort of speed demon you only imagined before now which made me think - obviously - duh - I NEED to have this in my home.. my home.. my throne, my own home.

which I don't have.

SO some day, like a good and honest american, when I own mortgage a house, I will buy one of these pizza ovens of the conveyor kind and once, maybe twice a year, we - the family and I - we will go into the special pizza play room reserved especially for pizza fun and we will make pizza.. ohhh will we make pizza you have NO FUCKING IDEA.

Michael considered fate at 14:12   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Okay boys and girls. It's book review time. I don't tend to bother with such things, normally, but this one is gonna be good so it's worth the read.

Envy The Rain by Jaime Boud.

This is a book about my generation. Well. Sort of. It's a book that takes place on two continents, in many countries, and takes the reader down more walks of life than a box of chocolates. This is a book about internet dating, about meeting people in the grocery store, about bicycling through amsterdam with a stranger, and about the struggle to believe in the golden dream. This is a book about one man's journey through life and it's about as colourful as that wonderous children's movie Labyrinth except our hero is a boy named Drew. I say boy because the writing is as that of a child - describing the world as it exactly looks and feels to him at the time. This is not cookie-cutter prose where tired old metaphors are poured on like so much fake maple syrup. This is the real deal. Each character is described with minute and incredible detail. Not that there is too much detail. Luckily, you will not find pages upon pages describing a single scene or a whole chapter devoted to the feelings you get after you kiss a girl. These are details at their finest - short, sweet, fleeting.. like life's little moments that make it all worthwhile.

The characters in this book are real - oh so real - but the work of fairytales nonetheless. The girls that float in and out of Drew's life are curious enigmas, the chief one being akin to David Bowie's character in the Labyrinth - evil? seductive. Challenging?.. something.

Most impressive of all? It's self-published. This is my first experience with a book produced by CafePress and I'm very impressed indeed. The cover is a nice glossy finish. The pages are of a nice stock. It's well cut. It's an amazing testament to this crazy and technologically-evolving time we live in.

Is it perfect? Of course not. There are typos. But it is impressive for a self-published book nonetheless. I've seen worse editing from big publishing houses. Truly.

The final verdict? I went to bed reading this book on Friday night and got through about 180 pages. The next morning, I finished the rest of the 298 pages before I got out of bed the next morning. It was that good. Coming from a cheap bastard, let me say that it was well worth the $20.

Michael considered fate at 14:11   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
To prove ( to no one in particular ) that I am indeed a cheap bastard, I present to you debits from my bank statement during the period of 04/18/2005 through 06/06/2005 . For those who find Julian math challenging, I think that's 50 days - or almost two months.

Note that the dates are not necessarily when the purchase was made but when it was processed

06/06/2005Big AppleGas$32.18
06/02/2005Exxon MobileGas$12.00
06/02/2005Amigo's BarBooze$41.00
06/01/2005Pat's PizzaPizza$7.69
05/31/2005Big AppleGas$5.50
05/31/2005Hannaford BrothersGroceries$14.33
05/31/2005Cafepress.comEnvy The Rain$24.00
05/24/2005Progressive.com12 Mnth Bike Ins.$329.44
05/23/2005Hannaford BrothersGroceries$11.75
05/20/2005Hannaford BrothersGroceries$7.66
05/16/2005House of PizzaPizza$11.72
05/16/2005Hannaford BrothersGroceries$16.68
05/16/20057 ElevenBooze/Chips$10.16
05/13/2005Hannaford BrothersGroceries$9.10
05/11/2005Waldo's General StoreGas$32.00
05/09/2005Shaw's MarketGroceries$20.82
05/09/2005Town OfficeBike Registration$30.09
05/06/2005House of PizzaSandwiches$11.98
05/05/2005Ri Ra Irish PubBooze$12.00
05/02/2005Hannaford BrothersGroceries$5.33
05/02/2005House of PizzaPizza$13.31
05/02/2005Exxon MobileGas$18.74
05/02/2005Exxon MobileGas$20.00
04/26/2005Sharon's BreakfastBreakfast$11.00
04/26/2005Exxon MobileGas$34.70
04/22/2005Wendy'sFast Food$5.66
04/22/2005Liberal CupBooze$8.00
04/21/2005Whole GrocerFood$14.60
04/18/2005Exxon MobileGas$22.28

That plus about $80 for a new motorcycle battery and $220.00 in "unknowns" - i.e. ATM Withdrawals most likely spent on booze. Bummer I'm paying two rents cause it makes me look like a spendaholic, eh?

The total comes to $2326 for a period of 50 days.

About $16,979.00 a year.

About $1395.00 a month.

About $312.00 a week.

About $46.00 a day.

About $2.00 an hour.

.. or 3 cents a minute.

Which pretty much means I spent about $0.50 on this post. And I spend too much on Gas.

Michael considered fate at 10:53   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
However, [Apple VP] Schiller said the company does not plan to let people run Mac OS X on other computer makers' hardware. "We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac."


Michael considered fate at 17:16   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
It's 5:16pm here in the portcity, raining again, and I haven't had a hit on this blong - I mean blog - in nearly 1.5 hours. Before that it goes back another 1.5 hours. Only 18 hits today and that includes me reading my own shit like a psychic reads tea leaves before he flushes the toilet.

Come on America. Don't I try enough for you? I try to try. I really do. Isn't that enough?

Apparently it's not. You don't know the sort of anguish I go through every day bringing you this fully-exposed look into my private private life. You have no idea. Or not.

And now for your weather update. I told you earlier we had one rainy April. May was no different. It averaged 5 degrees below normal and was wetter than your momma's panties on my last trip to your town. We had almost 6.5 inches of rain - 3 above normal - and this spring (march-may) was the third wettest on record with a total of 19.93 inches.

So far in June I've got stuck in three torrential downpours. KEEP IT COMING MOTHER NATURE. I can take it. I truly can. Bring it on, Bring it the fuck on. (Especially if it's this weekend as I'll be on the pacific side of the country - ha!).

Now ends this pointless post. Thank you.

Michael considered fate at 14:08   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
And here is so more breaking Apple news:

Intel and Apple, after many industry rumors, have jumped in bed together. The resultant (brain)child? Mac OS X running on Intel chips:
Two major transitions for Mac: 68K to PowerPC. Next Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X. Now time for third transition. Transition to Intel-based Macs... Starting next year the first Macs with Intel processors. Shipping by next WWDC. Mostly complete by 2007 WWDC. Complete by the end of 2007. Two-year transition.

Mac OS X has been leading secret double life. Every Mac project build for Intel and PowerPC and Intel. Every release of Mac OS X has been built for both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs. For the last 5 years. Mac OS X is cross-platform by design. Apple's demo is on an Intel-based system. Jobs shows all Mac OS X Tiger features are already compatible with Intel-based processors. Not done yet. Will put into the developer hands to help Apple finish it.

Leopard, next major relase of Mac OS X, due at the end of 2006, alongside Longhorn release.
Of course it has been rumored for some time that Apple has been keeping an Intel version of OS X in tandem with the advances to the PPC version we all know (and love?). The question is: why will it take two years if they already have a (semi-)working copy?

And here is a summary of various research group's analyses of computer users affected by viruses @ Mac Daily News:
16-percent of computer users are unaffected by viruses, malware because they use Apple Macs...

...more people use Macs than most people realize and, those who do use Macs, efficiently surf the Web with impunity on stable systems that aren't bogged down by unnecessary virus and malware scanners.

From the Slashdot link to this story:
...the interesting thing is the fact that the results finally provide the first set of conclusive numbers which illustrate the Macintosh's install-base. So far only "market-share" statistics are commonly published for the public and do not convey install base. (If for example 2 people are using computers and one replaces his 2x in a 3 year period and the other only does once, market-share dynamics dictate that one demographic has 75% market share while the other has only 25% -- even though install base is still 50/50.)

A 16% install-base is a big jump from the usually-reported market-share statistics which are in the single-digits. The availability of OS X on Intel processors can only be a good thing for those who enjoy the operating system because if you ask me, this was one move that will make the pretty little darwin kernel more ubiquitous than ever... and it might just save Intel in the process. (no pun intended!)

The big question is, of course, how is Apple going to handle this new hardware extension? They are, ultimately and as everyone loves to point out, a hardware company. They make the majority of their revenue on hardware. They count on hardware sales to drive their business. This is one reason they practically give away their operating system at $129 whereas Windows carries the higher price of $199 (and that for the "home edition".. home? office? aren't they the same thing now? what year does Microsoft think this is, 1992?).

So will the chips from Intel only come inside Apple boxes? Will we now be stuck with higher prices for the same old thing we have been buying in the PC market? Or are we building up to the next round in the Apple Clone Wars?

I doubt it. Prepare your checkbooks now.

Michael considered fate at 12:00   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
More meta-blogging but what the hell, I don't seem to post anything else on here lately:

@ Time Magazine:
Bloggers are all the rage, but some tipping point of self-absorption may have been reached with BLOGEBRITY, a new site toasting the blogosphere's in crowd.
The last thing I want to do is disagree here, as clearly the blogging phenomenon if far from self-effacing, but let us be honest - can we call bullshit? Beyond real celebrities and their People Magazines, the most self-absorbed crowd out there is the mass-media themselves! I don't have any warm-and-fuzzies in my tummy from blogebrity but I do have a big Fuck You for mass-media and their ostrich-with-their-heads-up-their-ASSES attitudes.

Man I love being angry in the morning.


Michael considered fate at 14:39   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

Michael considered fate at 12:11   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
You can try and tell me that it's a shame that the Expos got booted out of Montreal and sent down to play for the Yahoos in D.C. You can try and explain that it's a fall of great tradition and that if the Montreal Expos were a man they'd be a man's man but now in the District the Nationals are barely a woman's man. You can say alotta things and you know what?

I call bullshit.

Canada, my friends, is not the land of the free. Canada is not the home of the brave. And baseball is America's game.. no matter how many cheaper-faster-better pro teams the Japanese try to make.

The Expos were averaging about 9,000 attendees a game in their last year as a professional baseball team. Two of those games I attended personally at the Big-O stadium and you know I had a good time but it was nevertheless indoor baseball on astro turf. Which is another word for cement.

Baseball, my friends, was never meant to be played on cement. Tennis, maybe. Dodgeball, perhaps. But not baseball.

The Nationals, I hear, are pulling in over 30,000 people a game. Nevermind that those numbers include the President of the United States.. those numbers include 30,000 people watching live baseball.

and I hear RFK has grass.

I don't care much for teams moving from one town to another. I do think it kills a bit of the tradition behind sports. I don't think it all has to be about money. But honestly.. I don't think it is.

People are known to have a passion about these things, sports, and even waste money on them. Take Chris Peters for example. A former "Microsoft Millionaire" - a programmer who had made a bundle off his Microsoft stock options - retired from the computer industry and bought the Professional Bowlers Association with some friends as investors:
"I was not very athletic" as a child, Mr. Peters said by way of explaining his new career, "but I always loved bowling with my father."
He's working towards a profitable year in 2005, five years later, having opened up the league to women players and increased the 18- to 34-year-old viewership by 80 percent.

Even better, people are known to put their energy into philanthropic and/or social change - *gasp* - despite money:
Stephanie DeVaan cashed out of Microsoft in 1995 ... Just 34 at the time, she went on to spend several years volunteering at charitable institutions. But by 2002, she was itching to do more, so she put her wealth to work in support of abortion rights and helped to found a political action committee called Washington Women for Choice.

Another endowed a professorship in his name at Oxford University.
None of this, of course, would have happened if not for the capitalism that drove Microsoft to it's infamous position at the top of the heap.

Nor does baseball get anywhere playing games to less than ten thousand quebecois fans.

It's a shame and I'm not saying that those fans should be stripped of their team. It's a travesty and for sure it would have been nice to save the Expos.. but if you throw a party and nobody shows up, well.. how ya gonna get laid?

There is no doubt that the Expos move was financially driven. There is no doubt that the league hung them up to dry and when they did, beat them till their parched skin cracked. There is no doubt that MLB suffers from it's poor financial policies in a way that the NFL has thus far been very good at avoiding. There is no doubt that a team such as the Expos with no television contract and the rest of the league literally digging their grave for them, pushing for their elimination as a team, cannot compete year in and year out with the likes of, say, America's Team the Atlanta Braves. There is no doubt that baseball's unique exemption from antitrust laws has perhaps caused the failure to develop reasonable revenue sharing, has caused the astronomical rocketing of player salaries, has lead to player strikes ('94) and the subsequent greed (mismanagment?) of unsustainable league expansion ('98). There is no doubt that excellent scouting and rookie aquisitions by low-market teams like the Expos are quickly goobled up by richer teams (take for example the Expo's Pedro, and didn't they have Walker, too?). There is no doubt that the team owners - all but the Expos and the Twins - voted to eliminate the Expos and the Twins at the beginning of this decade, just a few years AFTER the expanded the league. There is no doubt that the Expos had a hard run of things, what with 3 ownerships, almost yearly threats to move, a player strike right when they were making a formidable World Series run, false hope of a new downtown stadium, and then last year playing a quarter of their season in the Carribbean?! Nevermind that the Big-O was a shithole.

There is no doubt that MLB is a horribly managed league.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that baseball is America's game and, by god, our NATIONAL FUCKING CAPITAL should have a goddamned baseball team.

It's just too bad it had to be the Expos.

Michael considered fate at 11:35   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
This little gladiator-esque fit of bravery and honor must be bloggereadded:

Lion Mutilates 42 Midgets in Cambodian Ring-Fight:
Tickets had been sold-out three weeks before the much anticipated fight, which took place in the city of Kâmpóng Chhnãng.

[ President of the Cambodian Midget Fighting League (CMFL) ] takes great pride in the league he helped create, as was conveyed in his recent advertising campaign for the CMFL that stated his midgets will "... take on anything; man, beast, or machine."

An African Lion (Panthera Leo) was shipped to centrally located Kâmpóng Chhnãng especially for the event, which took place last Saturday, April 30, 2005 in the city’s coliseum.

The Cambodian Government allowed the fight to take place
[ in the city’s coliseum ], under the condition that they receive a 50% commission on each ticket sold, and that no cameras would be allowed in the arena.

The fight was called in only 12 minutes, after which 28 fighters were declared dead, while the other 14 suffered severe injuries including broken bones and lost limbs, rendering them unable to fight back.


Michael considered fate at 13:06   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Awhile ago I made mention of Jeffrey Sachs:
tuesday i listened to maine public radio during my roadtrip. they broadcast a talk from the commonwealth club of california by the director of the earth institute at columbia university jeffrey sachs. i'd link the talk because it was good but it's not on the web yet. it was basically economic in nature and the main thrust was about african development aid and how little we, as a nation, devote towards that effort. about 2 billion dollars which, standing next to the 500 billion dollar military budget well.. you be the judge.
Well, that speech is now available on the web here and I highly suggest you give it a listen. If you don't have the time, you might try the much shorter but also informative interview he did on last night's Marketplace radio broadcast here:
... according to Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, the elimination of poverty is not an unrealistic goal. In a new book, Sachs claims global poverty can be eliminated in 20 years. 20 years?

Powered by Blogger

Check out heroecs, the robotics team competition website of my old supervisor's daughter. Fun stuff!
Page finished loading at: