Archive for December, 2006

This just in from the Electric Monkey Pants Intergalactic News Network (EMPINN):

Washington insiders say that today’s execution of former Iraqi dictactor Saddam Hussein was moved forward by neo-conservatives eager to punish the traitorous hippies for the alleged assassination of former President Gerald Ford.

Our sources indicate that the neocons, led by Dick Cheney, believe that a covert hippy assassination squad was responsible for the untimely death of Cheney’s old boss, Gerald Ford. The prevailing theory is that a Greenpeace-trained eco-terrorist squad was responsible for the hit, citing Ford’s love of meat as the main beef.

EMPINN correspondants report that most people on “the street” believe that a poisoned carton of applesauce was smuggled into the Ford residence and deployed remotely, via “secret hippy-powers.”

A call to Hippy Headquarters in San Francisco reached the “main dude” of the Hippy Network who responded to the allegations forcefully, stating, “What?! Uh… man, that’s fucked up. No way, dude; these people are on acid. Fuck them, dude.”

Now insiders are indicating that the hanging of Saddam Hussein was, in part, a retaliation for the hippy hit on Ford. An anonymously dressed source maintains “it was payback for the Ford hit. Since, you know, hippies are in league with Saddam the Cheneyites figured that killing Saddam would sap them of their powers.”

The vice president’s office refused to comment, saying, “Dick doesn’t have time to respond to every little rumor that his office leaks out. Besides, he’s in a meeting with the Prince of Darkness and can’t be interrupted.”

This has been an Electric Monkey Pants Intergalactic News Network special report.

Thorium to solve world's energy crisis? seems to think so:

According to a news release this past week Professor Egil Lillestol has been trying to convince Norway that a nuclear reactor based on thorium would be a viable solution to the worlds growing energy demands without the environmental impact of coal, or the hazards of traditional nuclear energy. Is he onto something? Read on to see the gory details.

From the article:

  • There is no danger of a melt-down like the Chernobyl reactor
  • It produces minimal radioactive waste
  • It can burn Plutonium waste from traditional nuclear reactors with additional energy output
  • It is not suitable for the production of weapon grade materials
  • The energy contained in one kilogram of Thorium equals that of four thousand tons of coal
  • The global Thorium reserves could cover the world’s energy needs for thousands of years

That sounds pretty fucking sweet. And maybe a little bit too good to be true. What’s the catch? Well, I suppose that it’s still nuclear power, so the dangers inherent in that are still a factor, but we’ve gotten a bit better at managing it recently. We haven’t had a Chernobyl or a 3-Mile Island in, what, two decades? That’s pretty good… I guess.

But how realistic is this plan? And who stands to gain/lose from it?

Check out the Gender Genie.

Feed it a big chunk of text from your blog or whatever, and the Gender Genie should be able to identify you as a male or female, using keyword analysis. Pretty whack idea, but it correctly identified me as male. It looks really simple, too. Apparently, using the word “with” a lot pegs you as female and using “around” a lot means you’re male. Who knew?

I’ve been arguing over at Slashdot that Milgram’s Obedience Experiment was not really unethical and that we should have everybody subjected to that experiment once when they are young so that they understand the consequences of blindly following authority figures’ orders. A new study explores the same ground as Milgram in a new virtual-reality study based on similar parameters.

I suggest that the institution of a Kobayashi Maru-style test for young adults would be greatly beneficial to society as a whole. It would show kids, viscerally, that there are serious consequences to blindly following authority; a valuable lesson. Based on Milgram’s results we can conclude that around 60% of the takers would fail it by shocking the person to death. That it is a test/fake does little to calm the strormy state of the soul after such a failure. And it shouldn’t. The idea of taking responsibility for your actions is the root of our democracy…. or what’s left of it. And I suppose that’s the reason why we will never see this initiation ritual instituted; the values of our forefathers have long since been lost to the savage mockery of time and trickery.

Some people would oppose this idea with every fiber of their being because they rely on the stupidity, gullibility, and weakness of the human race to make up the bulk of their followers. That’s all the more reason to implement it.

So what do ya think? Should we give everybody the ol’ Milgram?

“Won’t Get Fooled Again” by the Who just started playing on my stereo. I shit you not.

James Brown and Gerald Ford dead!

A soul-funk singer and the former president of the United States have both kicked the bucket in the last few days. I don’t think anybody really cares about Ford. Everybody knows that he couldn’t sing or dance for shit. The real tragedy is James Brown’s untimely passing.

Here’s a clip of him back in the day. Sex Machine!!

Merry Mithras’ Day

We’re all familiar with the story of Mithras, right? He was born of a virgin on December 25th and lay in a manger where he was attended by shepherds who brought gifts. He took a last supper with his followers, died, and then rose to heaven. He was worshiped on Sunday and was often depicted with a halo around his head. You know this guy, right?

Mithraism precedes Christianity by as much as 1,400 years. Much of the myth of Christianity appears to have been grafted onto Mithraism in order to make it more palatable to the Roman Empire at large, which had adopted Mithraism as one of many state religions. Roman Emperor Constantine was a follower of Mithras before he added Christianity to the list of religions he ascribed to. It was Constantine who moved worship day of Christianity to Sunday (previously it was Saturday, springing from Christianity’s Jewish roots) and declared that Jesus’ real, official, because-I-said-so birthday was December 25th. Constantine decided this in 313 AD without any evidence. It was just more convenient to stick it on Mithras’ Day, which as already an important holiday in Rome because it corresponded to important days in Sol Invictus and Saturnalia. December 25th is important to pagans because it was clear that the sun was returning by then, after months of the days growing colder and shorter. By December 25th, court astrologers could assure the Emperor that yes, the sun had decided to return. The head priest of Mithras was called papa or pope.

So when you’re celebrating Christmas this holiday, don’t forget to sacrifice a bull for Mithras. After all, he is the true origin of many of the rituals that Christians celebrate every year. Jesus, it’s worth noting, venerated Saturday as his holy day. Jesus was probably born in February or September and he was not born of a virgin. But in order to compete in the crowded marketplace of faith in 300 AD you pretty much had to be born of a virgin. Oh, and Jesus was probably not very keen on the Romans since they had conquered his people and forced them to worship strange gods (like Mithras). In fact, the whole point of becoming a messiah was so he could throw off the yoke of Roman oppression. Something to think about for all the Roman Catholics out there.

He liked to draw pictures of his home too — a long single-storey, white house standing in a bay. But it sent shivers down his mum’s spine — because Cameron said it was somewhere they had never been, 160 miles away from where they lived.

This is pretty cool. And eerie.

Be sure to check out the whole BBC documentary on the story as well. It’s about 45 minutes long, but it’s pretty damn good. I found it a bit hard to pick up on the accents at times, though.

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Happy Solstice! That makes today the first day of winter, and the shortest day of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere. Basically, we get like 3 minutes of daylight. Okay, it’s more like 7 hours, but it’s still not very much.

Here I am in Minnesota on December 21st. I look out the window this morning and what do I see? Snow falling gently on the trees? Uh… nope. No, I looked out the window and saw raindrops falling on my porch. It’s fucking raining as I type this!!

I’ve lived in and around Minnesota for most of my life and I’ve never seen anything like this. Last night I went for a walk and it was almost 40 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Un-fucking-believeable. When I was a kid we would get fuckloads of snow. It would snow all the time. We hardly ever had a brown Christmas. Usually, a white Thanksgiving was far more likely. But these last couple of years have been really weird. I mean, we had 50 degree weather for several days straight in February a few years ago. Normally, it’s probably closer to 10 or 20 degrees. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

It wasn’t so long ago that I was looking into ways to send myself into hibernation mode. I would love to be able to fall asleep in November and wake up some time in late March. That would be just fine with me (although I think I would have to get up to piss a couple times).

Now it turns out that bears in Spain aren’t even bothering to hibernate any more. The weather just doesn’t get that cold. The autumn was so warm in the Netherlands that many flowering plants could still be found in bloom in December.

This is beyond freak seasonal anomalies. This has been going on for years, and it’s getting worse. Our climate is experiencing fundamental changes; it’s being altered somehow, and the changes appear to be accelerating. I don’t think we can afford to listen to the climate change skeptics anymore. If they’re right, we will have wasted a few bucks. If they’re wrong we may have doomed our civilization. Which is the prudent choice?

Don’t ask me the lead the movement, though. I’m lovin’ this shit. Man, it could be a hundred degrees all winter and that would be fine with me; I fucking hate the cold!! And I curse the foul 23.5 degree tilt of the earth’s axis that gives us the seasons! Still, maybe we should, I dunno, cut back on the CO2 emissions until we figure out if the planet finally heating up is a good thing.

Book 7: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Yeah, I just revealed the title of the new (and last!) Harry Potter book. I hope you weren’t planning on discovering the secret for yourself. I must admit that I used the hints on this page to speed up the process.

I can’t wait for book 7. I may be in my late 20s but Harry Potter books rock. And J.K. Rowling is hot. There, I said it. Geeky chicks are just hot.

I don’t think there’s a release date yet, but I’ve heard summer of 2007 mentioned. It’s gonna rule!

Princess Fake-eye: The Dashing Dame of Ancient Iran

The Discovery Channel News is writing about a 4,800 year old woman found buried with an artificial eye composed of tar and animal fat, with carefully etched capillaries that may have looked quite realistic:

Sayyed-Sajadi added that whoever made the eye likely used a fine golden wire, thinner than half a millimeter, to draw “even the most delicate eye capillaries.”

Parallel lines were also drawn around the pupil to form a diamond shape.

Two holes at the sides helped hold it in place in the woman’s eye socket. Sayyed-Sajadi said remaining eyelid tissues are still evident on the eyeball, as are markings that suggest the woman developed an abscess in her eyelid due to frequent contact with the object.

The eyeball was found with the skeletal remains of its wearer in an early cemetery. The researchers believe the woman was between 25 and 30 years old when she died.

She was so young when she died. I wonder if she was a princess, to have such wealth and power that you can have a custom-made fake eye constructed for you. It’s quite fascinating to hear what skill the craftsmen had even back then, to make something so close to what we have now.

It makes me wonder about our past… our real past, I mean, not just the picture we can construct from what little is left of it. The difference between our knowledge of the distant past and the actual reality of how it played out, is the difference between Pluto and the sun.

Have you ever really thought about what really may have happened? About how many of our stories about great events and noble leaders are nothing more than fairy tales, pleasant fantasies to grease the gears of power.

I suppose we may never know the truth. But I fear it will become all too clear soon. The sands of time are running low and the pages of history are being written as I write this, but for good or ill I cannot know; I just have a feeling that we’re about to witness something big. Or maybe we won’t witness it because it will happen behind the scenes, but we will still feel it affects as clearly and as potently as any previous event. Change is the one thing we can count on.

Well, one thing’s for sure: time will make us all into skeletons like Princess Fake-eye.

The Golden State Fence Company, which built part of the border fence that is used to keep illegal immigrants out of the US, has been fined almost $5 million for hiring illegal workers. Two executives may face jail time.

Could this be any more ironic?

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I feel better

after that last post.


Satisfying, like a monster dump in the morning. Yup. Good times.