thanks for choosing god.

speaking of scams...
Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.

Q is for Dr. Tran! 3.. 2.. 1.. Dr. Tran!
11 June 2006 : 11.02
Here comes...

Dr. Tran!

'According to the archives, this was called an 'iPod'. It stores classical music from humanity's greatest composers. Play on!'
10 June 2006 : 16.13
How cool are these guys? Such a nifty, quirky sound. And nifty, quirky people. Love it! Just discovered them today, and it looks as though you can listen to all of their songs on their site.
Your Head's Too Big, in particular, sounds like something out of a Tim Burton/Danny Elfman puppet musical.

Speaking of music, a song just came on that started with the wailing of the air raid siren that was such a terrifying sound in Britain during WWII.
Wow.. how many years ago was that war? And yet the sound of that siren just cuts right through me and goes straight for the spine. There's instant tension, hairs stand on end, and heart rate increases. Amazing, isn't it? Basic, almost instinctive fear reaction, but based upon something that happened over sixty years ago.
Your head's too big
It's taking up too much room
Your head's too big
It grows like a balloon
And it just might float away

If you're unluckier than that
Someone such as myself might come along
And it just might pop
It was an just popped

Your head's too big It's taking up too much room It's filling with hot air You're making your own self swoon You're in love with yourself

Your head's so big and tall
How is it then your thoughts are small
Your head's so big and tall
You found yourself and lost us all

Your head's too big
It's taking up all the room
It's broken through the atmosphere
You're rubbing elbows with the moon

-Your Head's Too Big,

09 June 2006 : 16.16
I was listening to the radio this morning, and apparently there's something like seven single girls for every single guy in Vancouver.
Hear that ladies? I'm a valuable commodity! It's the law of supply and demand.
Please form a line to the right and have your completed application ready.

Actually, an interesting point was raised about how men in Vancouver don't make bold approaches to attract women, and how frustrating this is for the women in question. Hello? Is this surprising? After all of these years of hearing women complain about unwelcome advances, aggressive males, etc etc, you'd think that this would be a welcome situation.

Speaking of single, and therefore of not-single, I note that georgie is again failing to take into account that whole separation of church and state thing. I find it amusingly ironic that someone who can't wrap his brain around the correct pronounciation of "nuclear" should be an antidisestablishmentarian. I would love to see him try to say that.
Well I woke up today
And the world seemed a restless place
It could have been that way for me

And I wandered around
And I thought of your face
That Christmas looking back at me

I wish today was just like every other day
'Cause today has been the best day
Everything I ever dreamed

And I started to walk
Pretty soon I will run
And I'll be running back to you

'Cause I followed my star
And that's what you are
I've had a merry time with you

I wish today was just like every other day...

-Song For Ten

A somewhat large, black leather handbag, with handles to it--an ordinary handbag, in fact.
A handbag?

09 June 2006 : 12.55
So last night I lurked around Death By Chocolate for about five hours with my friend Jozi. I'm not sure whether that's some sort of record, but if it is, I want to be in the book.
Come on, how many people could possibly have lurked around Death By Chocolate with Jozi for more than five hours?
And there was talk about The Importance Of Being Earnest, which got me thinking about how much I love that show, and how long it's been since I did it. It might be time to dust off the old handbag again.

blah blah number of the beast blah blah blah. All I really want is a sandwich.
06 June 2006 : 18.06
You know, I'm surprised that there aren't more xtian groups bleating about the significance of this particular date. They make a fuss about everything else, after all.
04 Jun 2006 : 14.20
Happy rhinoceros day!
Well, every day has to be something.

Why does a mosquito's anticoagulant have to itch so severely for days afterwards? I wouldn't object quite so much to being bitten if it weren't for the ongoing irritation, but this itching is driving me mad.

Oh yes, I'm still alive. Here I am. Ta da. Woo hoo. Woo hoo hoo. 5, 6, 7, 8. Etc.
And now I will listen to Elastica, just to get that out of my head.
Huh. There were a bunch of things I was going to go on about, but by the time I'd opened this file, I'd completely forgotten what most of them were. Bugger.

I'm working mornings now. Gah.. I have to be up at 5.30. How disgusting is that? But being off at 4.30 is fabulous. I feel like the day has barely begun.
Just so you know.
On the down side, I'm now working the same shift as the manbudgie, so I get a full eight hours of him every day. Woo! It's almost enough to make me try to gnaw off my own ears so that I don't have to hear him.
Yeah, I'd like to see me try that, too.

Oh, and I missed the rodeo. I was going to go and hang out with the protesters, and maybe find a way to sabotage the cowboys (like Liquid Heet on the saddle), but I didn't realise that it happened so early in the year, and completely missed it. Bollocks. I'll have to wait until next year now.
27 May 2006 : 12.18
This is cool, but doesn't it look like something out of MASK? Remember MASK? Of course you do. Silly 80s toy, but how cool would it be to have a car that could turn into a submarine or a plane or a hamster or something?

Speaking of the 80s, for some reason I'm listening to 80s music. At the moment it's Samantha Fox with Touch Me. Oh dear. It's self-flagellation with synth-pop, essentially.

So we're just about halfway through the Year Of The Prejudiced Oyster, or whatever it is, and nothing's really changed. Let's hear it for the status quo! Woo!
meh. Actually, lots of things have changed, but nothing huge or earth-shattering or anything.

On the positive side, I went out with a dear friend the other night, which is good because I don't see her very often. This is a bad thing (the not seeing, not the seeing) because she's one of the coolest people who ever lived.
Yeah, I have such a crush. :) It must be screamingly obvious.

And tonight there's a new Doctor Who episode. The trailer looks quite scary.. I can't wait! Yay!

Would you like a jelly baby? Hm?
22 May 2006 : 3.00
It's three AM, and I'm sitting on my couch munching happily away on bacon and onion sandwiches, and watching Doctor Who, Terror Of The Zygons.

I just thought you ought to know.

20 May 2006 : 18.11
In other news, humans still suck. Look at this. Look, there's a magnificent hammerhead shark! Wow, that must be the largest hammerhead ever! Let's kill him, take his picture, and then bury his corpse somewhere. For no fucking reason other than that we're human, and looking for recognition, no matter how many innocent creatures must pay the price.
There are few things that make me actually angry, but this makes me fucking livid. They killed this animal to try to break a record! A record! What the fuck!? That was a life they stopped. A living creature who had never done them any harm, who was just going about his life and trying to survive. Who knows how old he was, or how old he might have lived to be? It's sick..
What a beautiful creature, what an amazing evolutionary development.. what a tragic waste. Look humanity, can you stop destroying everything? Please? Just for a century. Just take a century and enjoy how beautiful this world is. Stop paving and killing and polluting and burning, and let this world be the paradise that it actually is, both for yourselves and for every other form of life who shares it.

20 May 2006 : 16.51
I wonder how I'm lookin' now. Still lookin' nice. My hair's still nice, my face is still nice, my suit's.. I'm just nice period.

I'm reading Wodehouse. Haven't read him in years, and it's such a shame because he's a joy, he really is. If you haven't heard of Wodehouse himself, you've doubtless heard of Jeeves, the perfect valet who is always getting his master out of trouble.
That said, most people have probably never heard of Wodehouse these days. Reading, particularly of older works, seems largely out of favour today. This is tragic, I think. The written language is one of the great inventions of any civilisation. In terms of achievements, it's right up there with videogames and pornography. How many civilisations failed because they didn't develop writing, no matter how many video games nor how much pornography they had? I think I've made my point.
I hear people going on about this great painter and that great director, but I think that the writer is the most brilliant, and the most underappreciated, of the artists. With the language as brush and the imagination as canvas, the writer can create masterpieces that dwarf in scale and complexity the most magnificent painting or the most breathtaking film. There is, I find, more grace in a well chosen word than in the most perfect ballet, more harmony in an artfully turned phrase than in the most beautiful symphony because words fire your imagination as well as your emotions. Images and sounds can inspire, but words create those images and sounds inside your head, and that makes them so much more effective.

20 May 2006 : 16.50
Ooo, how am I lookin'? I'm lookin' really nice. My hair is nice, my face is nice, my suit's nice... I'm lookin' really nice.

20 May 2006 : 12.31
There's a nice older lady at work who serves as receptionist. I was talking to her the other day about something, I think it was my reality show Iron Chef Survivor, in which I take Vancouver's homeless and stick them on an island with no food, but several fully equipped kitchens, and we see who's left at the end of the season. Anyway, I said something, and she asked "what does your girlfriend think of that?" to which I replied "I don't have one," and she said "I find that very difficult to believe."
Isn't that a nice thing to say?
Come to think of it, I probably wasn't telling her about my reality show.

Oh, it would work, though, wouldn't it? Particularly if you tell the drug-addled homeless that heroin stays in your system for twenty-four hours, and then get half of them seriously high. There'd be a frenzy as they try to eat each other to assimilate the drug before it wears off.
And if you are concerned that the homeless will be offended reading that, don't worry. If they're homeless, they're not likely to be on the Internet, are they? What, do they have broadband to their cardboard box? Cable to their shopping cart? Not likely.

And speaking of Iron Chef, the cooking experiments continue. Last night was roast chicken, which came out very well indeed. The night before was broiled, marinated blade steak, which ended up so tender that I didn't even need a knife. A fork and a few cutting remarks were sufficient. I'm getting good at this whole cooking lark. Unfortunately, I've run out of victims on whom to test my creations.

I'm feeling pretty good about myself today. I stopped the dexedrine again, and inflated like a balloon, but I'm returning to normal today, so I'm looking much better. And today I got a couple of second looks on the SkyTrain. Ok, one of them was from a boy, but I don't take that to mean that I look gay. Rather, I take it to mean that I'm so pretty that I cross the gender gap.

Bog off, I'm entitled to my delusions. At least I don't think I'm Napoleon. Or believe in a giant pixie in the sky, or something equally ridiculous.

It is.. it is green.
18 May 2006 : 17.31
Mmm.. green tea frappuccino. You know, Starbucks is really promoting this Akeelah And The Bee thing, and it makes you think. Well, it makes me think, anyway. And what it makes me think is that it's amusingly ironic that americans have spelling bees. Not only are they just plain silly, but america is the country that took a perfectly serviceable language and simplified it, and now takes pride in being able to spell the words that they intentionally misspell. For the american readers, there's no such word as nite, or thru, and colour and neighbour contain the letter u. And don't even get me started on words like "donut"

So the new machine is finished. You care about this. No, you do. Shut up. It's fabulous. A gig of dual-channel RAM, a 250 GB SATA HDD, DVD ROM and DVD burner, Sunbeam Lightbus, Aerocool Coolwatch, black Sunbeam Transformer full tower case with five freaking fans (hence the Coolwatch), and a whack, a whack no less, of cold cathodes.

Transformer case! Woo!

64-bit goodness!
11 May 2006 : 17.04
So my family bought me a new CPU and motherboard. Finally got me an AMD 64-bit processor. Sw33t. And the motherboard is dead sexy, too. Now I get to build a new computer. My family is awesome.
Now I need new bits and pieces.. a case, etc. And a vanilla latte. Not necessarily in that order, though.
Wow, I'm up to six computers now, and more monitors than I want to think about. This stuff takes up so much space, I'd really better get going on this custom case I want to build. I had this idea ages ago of a free-standing case/desk that houses all of the computers, monitors, liquid cooling gear, powerbars, speakers etc.. It was very loosely based upon an image, forwarded to me by a friend, of a computer case from Japan which was essentially a desk. The case itself was flat, mounted on legs, and the keyboard, mouse, and monitor sat on the top. Very handy little design, and great for saving space. Right now I'm in the middle of a huge horseshoe of desks covered with computer hardware. It would be so much easier to turn that inside out and stick all of the machines and monitors on (and in) one central desk.
And because of my fondness for anachronism, I was going to do it in wrought iron and stained wood, like an antique. The trouble is, I get all enthusiastic designing the thing for a while, and then my attention wanders and I lose track of the project. And when I get back to it, the hardware that I need to incorporate has changed, and so I have to redesign a bunch of things.
Ah well. I'll get to it when I get to it.

Saw Friends With Money last night. It's essentially about the relationships between a group of friends, and over the course of the film it manages, through subtle performances and uncomfortable situations, to make you genuinely not care at all about any of the characters. It goes absolutely nowhere, and does it in such a way that you can't help but be aware of the slow, painful grind of every minute between you and the end of the film. It's like climbing a mountain for fifteen hours, where each line of dialogue is akin to the burning, screaming pain in your every muscle. It's completely meaningless drivel with pretentions of significance, and so I'd recommend that you avoid it.

07 May 2006 : 19.09
Ah, the newest episode of Doctor Who, The Girl In The Fireplace, is delightfully written. Some of the dialogue is decidedly Wilde-esque. "You haven't aged. That is very impolite of you."
Lovely! And scary, at the same time.

"Star Wars is adolescent nonsense; Close Encounters is obscurantist drivel; Star Trek can turn your brains to purée of bat guano; and the greatest science fiction series of all time is Doctor Who! And I'll take you all on, one-by-one or all in a bunch to back it up!"

-Harlan Ellison

Is it just me, or do bits of March of the Priests from The Magic Flute sound like parts of O Canada?

Speaking of music, just saw the video of Shakira's Hips Don't Lie. My, she's certainly a biped, isn't she?

Still listening to Ricky Gervais. Karl Pilkington on prostate exams:

"What I'm saying is, it's worse going in there, knowing that... I mean they've got it on the website, so you're on the bus thinking 'In 20 minutes I'm gonna have a finger up my arse'"

"Is it not something you could test on yourself? You could have a good rummage then without feeling too awkward."

05 May 2006 : 17.23
Multitasking. I'm listening to Ricky Gervais, and reading about concept cars. It's a crime that the Holden EFIJY isn't going into production. I would so buy one. Look at that. Dead sexy, isn't it? Classic design, modern technology, like the Morgan Aeromax.
Well, ok, I probably wouldn't buy it, but it would be beautiful to see something like that gliding along the road, wouldn't it?
I notice that a huge number of concept car designs look an awful lot like they were taken from, or at least inspired by, comic books. What with the bold sweeping lines and over-sized features, I mean. And some of them, like this and that, are very science fiction. Particularly inside. And it is, of course, my love of science fiction that leads me to be interested in these things. god knows I'm not a car person.

04 May 2006 : 18.11
"I could eat a knob at night"

Listening to The Ricky Gervais Show. Brilliant. Karl Pilkington is an underappreciated genius, of course. You have to hear some of the things he says to believe them. His views on space and population control and things are remarkable, and have to be heard to be believed.

I've found an archive of his show from the XFM years, too.

"We all watched 'The Elephant Man' and we were moved to tears, thinking it was a wonderful example of man's inhumanity to man, and my dad just said 'Wouldn't he make an amazing novelty rucksack?'"

Ooo! Chimpanzee that! Monkeynews, ya fff...

holy magic jew on a stick, look at the time!
01 May 2006 : 07.30
It's amazing what a difference one word makes, isn't it? If look at the clock and it's 7.30 am, and I'm awake, that sucks. However, I just looked at the clock and it's 7.30 am, and I'm still awake, and that's a totally different situation.

30 April 2006 : 04.21
Just watched School Reunion, the Doctor Who episode in which Sarah Jane Smith and K9 return. It's absolutely wonderful, though I might have shed a manly tear. In a ruggedly macho kind of way, of course.

Who am I kidding? I wept like a schoolgirl. Assuming, of course, that schoolgirls weep a lot. Which may or may not be the case. I've never been one, so I'm speculating.
It was such an emotional story, beautifully written and superbly realised, about mortality, loneliness, and the people who get left behind, who you touch on your way through life, and then years later think back and wonder where they are now. Oh, and giant bat creatures eating children and trying to remake the entire universe, but that's kind of a sub-plot.

Anthony Stewart Head is in it as Mr. Finch the Headmaster, which should please the Buffy fans, and we see more depth in Sarah Jane than we did throughout the entire time she was in the original series. Lots of other complications, too, such as with Rose's relationship with both the Doctor and Mickey. The rest of the series is going to be very interesting..

Some of the reviews I've read are a little concerned with the apparent continuity problem, as Sarah Jane says that she never found out what happened to the Doctor after he left her, but she was in The Five Doctors and met the fifth Doctor and his companions. To these people I say two things. First, in The Five Doctors she was never introduced to him as the Doctor into which her Doctor regenerated, and so for all she knew, he could have been from before her time. Time travel, remember? She was already somewhat confused by seeing the third Doctor again, even though she'd seen him regenerate years before.
And secondly, it's not important unless you're a fan of the original series, and take it seriously enough to notice continuity errors. If you are, don't get your anorak in a twist. It's not the end of the world. Ultimately, as fantastic as Doctor Who is, new series and original, it's just a TV show. It's brilliantly written and wonderfully brought to life but, well, nothing's perfect. Have to take the rough with the smooth.

One step away from being religious headgear.
30 April 2006 : 00.46
On the topic of religion, do we really need any further evidence that it's just plain ridiculous? Well, apparently some people do, and that's why the Muslims now have this, their equivalent of the sports bra. Could it be any more absurd? Not unless she was being chased by Gargamel.

29 April 2006 : 12.58
Another easter gone, and still no sign of god. Isn't the lord supposed to have returned ages ago? I mean, I'm often late to work myself, but this is getting out of hand. I'd fire him if I were in charge.
He says, being terribly late to post a comment about the whole affair himself.
Anyway, with easter comes an uprising in religious mania, and so I suppose I should offer some suitably religious quotes. Let's see:

"jesus is risen"
"Fall on your knees"
"Eat of this, for it is my body"
"jesus is coming!"

... hang on a minute...

But let us not forget the true meaning of easter. For most of us, that means indulging in a certain something that is sweet and brown and naughty.
I choose Halle Berry, but your mileage may vary.

Shakespeare. As a duck.
29 April 2006 : 5.44
Today will be a different look for me, I think. Not for any particular reason, just because. Today I wear a white undershirt and a red shirt by Vestelatino. I have questions about these things.
Why is it that when a girl wears a top like this, it's a tank, whereas when a guy wears a top like this, it's a wifebeater? This is 2006, and same-sex marriages are a part of everyday life. So the female version should be a wifebeater, too. That's only fair.
And Vestelatino.. why do we refer to Hispanic people of South America and Mexico as Latinos, or Latin-americans, etc? How much Latin is there going on down there? You never hear "Ave, ese" or any of that sort of thing.

Speaking of, erm, speaking. You know, the English language is an amazing invention. It's composed of literally millions of words, and those words can be combined in brazilians of different ways in order to express any concept imaginable. So why is it that so many songwriters feel the need to include such expressive lyrics as "yeah" and "baby"?
Come on, people! This is the same language that invented Shakespeare!
Or whatever. The important thing is that it's capable of so much, and it's so underappreciated and underutilised.

"Hold the newsreader's nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers."

29 April 2006 : 03.21
Yay! The Doctor Who episode released today is the one where Sarah Jane Smith returns, and so does K9. I love K9. Always wanted a dog just like him. Wouldn't you want a dog who could beat you at chess?

So my theatre has closed. It was a wonderful place, but the bastards who ran it mismanaged into the ground. They had no idea what they were doing, didn't really care, and didn't listen to people who did know what they were doing. So, because of them, there's no more panto, among other things. fuckers.
Anyway, I'm not going to go on about it. It's not like it would make any difference anyway.
What I wanted to talk about was an interesting phenomenon that I noticed. When the theatre was running, there were four women for whom, more than anyone else, it was a major focus in their lives. Not long after the theatre stopped producing its own shows and began to shut down, three of those women became pregnant. The fourth was my own mother, so she'd already learnt her lesson.
That says very interesting things about biological imperative and the human need for purpose in life, don't you think? They're going happily along being devoted to the theatre, and then it's gone, and the biological imperative says "You know what to do."

Ugh, a smoker just came and sat down at the desk next to mine. I think I'm going to be sick. How could anyone go through life reeking so much and be so completely unaware of it? He's probably a nice person, but I'll never get within conversation range to find out without vomiting on him.

25 April 2006 : 21.25
Why does everything run out at the same time? Suddenly I have no dishwasher detergent or toothpaste. I'm out of soap, too. I've had to substitute shampoo. It's not so bad, though. My teeth now have a full body and healthy shine.
Actually, you know, some of those marketing claims really are true. I gave my dog a bath with that volume-increasing shampoo, and it's done wonders for her coat. Now, shiny and beautiful, she looks just like a prize-winning Rottweiler. That gives you some idea of how much body the shampoo has added, since she started out as a Doberman.

I like the Spite in you!
22 April 2006 : 19.15
Which reminds me. My local cable company has introduced a voice over IP service. They're calling it Digital Phone, or DP for short.
A friend of mine who works in porn tells me that DP is the common industry abbreviation for "double penetration" during a scene with two guys and a girl. How apt, considering that the cable company has just introduced another way of screwing its customers.

There's only one candy with the hole in the middle...
22 April 2006 : 15.29
I just got a spam message, apparently from a Tanja Burnette, which contained that image over there, and the following:

Yes, apparently this ring manages, from outside no less, to hit the g-spot every time. That's quite an accomplishment. Thus, from this advertisement, we learn that "Tanja Burnette" is not actually female, because if he were he might have some idea about where the g-spot actually is.
Obviously, Tanja Burnette is a generated name, and the guy's probably really called Fred Conk or something, but what I don't understand is why he didn't take the time to do just thirty seconds of research when he was writing this message for mass distribution.
His wife/girlfriend is probably terribly frustrated by that attitude.

Honestly, why is the layout of the female body such a foreign country to most men? I mean, there's that whole mystery about where the clitoris is..
The only mystery is how they could miss it when everything points straight to it. Could it be any more prominent?
Well, yes, but that wouldn't help. I have a friend who has hers pierced, and so there's a gleaming bit of silver right there, shining like a beacon, and she says that most guys still can't find the magic button.

I'm not going to get too much into the subject because some people are really uncomfortable with it (though I've no idea why), but guys, take some time, do some research, open a book on anatomy, at the very least. Or even a web site, for christ's sake. Find out where all of the bits are, and what they all do. You spend so much time chasing women, why not learn what to do when you catch one?

I can't go out there without my armour and my helmet! I might get hurt!
22 April 2006 : 11.22

Ka mate Ka mate
Ka ora

Ka mate Ka mate
Ka ora

Tenei Te Tangata Puhuruhuru

Nana i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra

Upane Upane

Upane Kaupane

Whiti te ra
You know what the best bit of women's figure skating is? No, not the outfits, although I'll grant you that that's the obvious choice. To me, anyway, the best bit is that triumphant arrival before the routine, where they glide out onto the ice and lift their arms to the crowd proudly, almost arrogantly, as if to say "here I am. Adore me." It's such a striking pose.

And speaking of sports, I've mentioned before how I think it's funny that american football players have this image of being big tough guys, they're a sort of symbol of the strong american man type, but they wear forty pounds of armour, thickly padded trousers, and a fuck off huge helmet to protect themselves while they're out there playing, essentially, rugby. (for eight to ten seconds at a stretch before they stop to have a rest.)
Now, compare a yankee football player to these guys. Typical america, isn't it? All show, all noise and posing. Compare a football player to a real rugger, and.. well, you can't, can you? I mean, look at the limbs on those bastards. Particularly that big bugger at the end there. Muscles like Volkswagens, he has. They play a rougher game, with no protective armour, against guys who are just as big and scary and vicious as they are. So take the armour off an american football team, stick them shorts and rugby shirts, and set them up against the All Blacks. It would be fun to watch for, oh, about thirty-five seconds.

In case you're wondering, that's the New Zealand All Blacks performing their Haka, which is a Maori dance. Sort of a combination greeting and challenge. It must be bloody terrifying to be on the opposite side of the pitch and see that at the beginning of the match, don't you think?
Of course, impressive as the sight is, you'll never see an american football team do a Haka. Aside from the cultural significance, they're just not suited to performing the Haka. Some of the words have two or more syllables.

Speaking of Manly Men (TM), it'll be rodeo season soon, if it isn't already, so here's something that I don't understand: if you're in a movie theatre, and a man on the screen gets whacked in the baubles, you can hear the "oooooh..." of sympathy of many of the men in the audience. It's a well-known fact that a kick in the chicken causes paralysing pain, which is why protecting his giblets is such a high priority for the typical man.
And yet, when the rodeo comes around, big, tough, manly men think nothing of taking a fellow male mammal and wrapping a strap around his tackle, and then tightening it to the point that the pain is unbearable so that he jumps frantically around trying desperately to dislodge the iron grip on his goodies. And people watch this for entertainment. There's no sympathetic "oooooh..." from the men in the audience here. They cheer, they laugh, they want more.
I mean, wouldn't you think that there would be some sense of the unimaginable pain that the poor animal is experiencing? Some sense of horror at what is happening? A human takes a boot to the cobblers and that's bad, but a bull or a horse gets his widgets in a vice and people cheer?
People say that animals don't feel pain the way humans do. Yeah, sure looks that way.

So here's what I propose: since rodeos are all about manly men proving how manly they are, why not cut out the middle bit, and strap the cowboy instead of the innocent animal? He wants to prove how tough he is, after all. How tough do you have to be to voluntarily press your delicates?
Oh, but it's a contest, isn't it? So what we do is we have the strap on a rope, like it is for the cowboys riding the bulls and the broncos, so that when you pull, the pressure is on. Then we strap two cowboys, and give each man's rope to the other. That would be a real contest.
They want to play stupid macho games, that's fine, as long as they hurt no one but themselves.

I want to know why the SPCA and the government haven't stepped in and put a stop to this torture. It's probably protected as heritage. Bah. Maybe this year I'll go and join the protest. It won't accomplish anything, but maybe I can throw something heavy or sharp and knock the cowboy off the poor animal he's abusing. See what it takes to make the audience go "oooooh..."

15 April 2006 : 11.14
Fantastic! The first episode of the new series of Doctor Who is broadcast at 7.15 PM tonight in the UK. That's, let me see, eight hours ahead.. which means that it starts in one minute. Eeee! Excited!
I particularly can't wait for week three. K9 and Sarah Jane Smith. Wonderful!
15 April 2006 : 02.16
Speaking of religion, I had a conversation the other day. It went like this:

him: Happy easter, and god bless.
me, sympathetically: This must be a difficult time of year for you.
him: Why do you say that?
me: Well, at this time of year, jesus is supposed to return, and yet year after year he doesn't. Some people have been waiting all their lives without any trace of him. That's got to be hard on your beliefs, particularly as he's six years overdue now.
him: ...

And I thought that I might have heard, somewhere deep in his head, a quiet click as his brain switched on. Might just be wishful thinking, though.
15 April 2006 : 01.22
Some silly girl intercepted me as I was leaving he SkyTrain station the other day. I was heading toward the street, and there were two people, a girl and a boy, standing beside the main door. They couldn't have been more than seventeen. Anyway, the girl called out to me as I went past, so I turned and politely asked what she'd said, and she repeated "Is there anything you'd like me to pray for for you today?" with a pen hovering over a pad of paper.
How sad is that? These two kids should be out enjoying the things that life has to offer, not accosting passers-by with religious drivel, and depriving themselves the fun that they could have been having. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to stop and lecture her on the error of her ways, so I settled for telling her that she could pray for me to get my wish that she'd go out and have a good shag, and take some time to enjoy life, rather than wasting it in servile devotion to a fictional deity. She didn't like that, but she was too busy being pious to tell me so. What a waste.

Generally, you tend to get one of two reactions when you tell someone that their religion is nonsense. Either they explode, or they start to think about what you've said. The latter is, of course, far less common. Most religions get their tendrils into people when they're young, and every year thereafter makes it harder to break the habits of a lifetime. I can't imagine that it's easy to confront the idea that the religion upon which your entire life has been built is a pack of lies. Makes you respect that much more the people who do manage to break free of it.
The people that I don't understand are the ones who actually convert to a religion when they're old enough to know better. I suppose it comes down to the fact that some people need life to have meaning, and if they can't supply that meaning for themselves, religion comes neatly packaged and ready to fill the void. Even realising that, though, I don't understand how an intelligent person can fool herself enough to actually buy into it. Sure, maybe religion gives a sense of meaning, but how much do you have to forgive in terms of the contradictions and the sheer impossibilities of religion in order to take that supposed meaning seriously? I mean, for something to pass as the meaning of life, it must be coherent in and of itself. Look at the bible-based religions. If you have to suspend your disbelief to the extent that you can take the idea of a big bearded pixie in the sky seriously, that you can accept, particularly if you are female, blatant sexism built into the very nature of creation, that you can ignore the nonsensical and provably false claims of the central doctrine of that religion, that's a hell of a lot of suspension of disbelief. How could a rational mind possibly conclude that one must distance one's self from reality so much in order to find the meaning of that reality? If religion is true, it must slot neatly into reality in a way that nothing else possibly can, and yet most of it is at odds with reality. There is no room in reality for the claims of religion, there is nothing to support those claims, and the smallest amount of education in any field can reveal that.
Take a look at any field in the sciences, from physics to linguistics, and you can see that for yourself. Religion was created to explain the inexplicable, to explain why the sky flashes and the seasons change and why men and women are different and how life began. Now that we have science, now that we have fact, isn't it time we grew out of these faerie stories?

Quite aside from which, if you're going to join a cult, why wouldn't you join a Dionysian one? Why on Earth would life be full of wonderful things that you're not supposed to enjoy? What kind of great meaning is that?

B-B-B-Big T-T-Time. Hi. Both of you. Welcome t-t-to Big Time. Murray, you want to check these ratings? I seem to have an audience of two. Hello, and welcome to Big Time Television. Live and direct, it's Big Time Television - the station where two's company and three's an audience.
14 April 2006 : 21.42
So just because I've nothing better to do at the moment, I've been watching Max Headroom. I've managed to obtain both the UK original and the US remake. I used to watch it when it first aired, but I'd never seen the original, and it's been so long that I barely remembered the remake. The original is gritty, rough, and brilliant. It's street, it's dirty, and it's real, in a "no future" kind of way. The remake is, predictably, simplified and clumsy. The rewriting is awkward, and the characters are nowhere near as self-absorbed and horrible as they should be. They made them fluffy and/or squishy. Particularly Bryce, who is supposed to be a nasty spoilt genius child, but right down to replacing the Shakespeare-quoting street thug. There aren't even any blanks.
Typical yankees. The remake is huge budget and tiny brain. The dialogue is simplified to the point that it's hard to watch because there's no subtlety to it. They have to hit the audience over the head with every little point because they expect them to be too simple-minded to grasp the concepts. And with good reason. Even the dark, grim, colourless ambience of the original has been ruined by lots of bright, colourful lighting. It's almost unwatchable. To the point that I started typing this because it wasn't holding my attention. It seems that american audiences just aren't sophisticated enough to appreciate anything involving nuance or subtlety. And the writers they brought in were dreadful. Even through the americanisation, you can still see the difference between the original writing and the incredibly clumsy patching that the yankee writers did. For example, in both versions, Bryce tries to kill Carter when Carter breaks into his lab to watch a tape. Bryce goes to a lot of trouble to injure Carter, eventually causing him to crash into a barrier arm (which is where the Max Headroom name originates), and then laughs about his little victory. In the yankee version, however, a later scene shows him saying to Carter that "I thought they'd killed you. I'm glad they didn't." and Carter, in typical yankee hero fashion, replies "Me too, kid."
Buh? That in no way fits with the rest of the writing up to that point.
Max Headroom is one of those series that is widely acclaimed by science fiction fans everywhere, but if you've seen the yankee version, do yourself a favour and find a copy of the original. It's immeasurably better.

It's a telephone box. From the 1950s. It's a disguise.
08 April 2006 : 16.01
What am I watching here? It's a trailer for Turbo Jam, which is apparently the latest Tae Bo-type workout thing. Feh. If you want to take something like that, why not study a real martial art? When was the last time you saw a fat kung fu master?

Ok, aside from Sammo Hung. He's a pudgy bastard, but I don't think anyone dares to tell him.

In other news, I really need one of these. It's a Tardis phone flasher. The idea is that it flashes when you receive a call or text message. I don't know whether it works via bluetooth, or whether it's just sensitive to the radio signals that the phone uses, but it strikes me as a very handy thing to have, and not just because it's in the shape of a police box. I usually miss calls when I'm in my car because I don't hear the ringer over the music, and the phone is in the central console, so I don't feel the vibration. If I stick this on my dashboard, though, the beacon will let me know. Yay!
Besides, it's nifty. Not that I have have to justify it to you. Shut up. Don't judge me.
Don't you hate it when people say that? "Don't judge me." I'll bloody judge you if I want to. If you don't care what I think, what difference does it make anyway?
Quite apart from which, it's automatic. You observe, you judge. That's the way people work.

In other news, I came across a post which describes jesus as a "magic Jew on a stick."
Giggled about that for ages.

Motherfu.. I mean @!#?@!
I mean @!#?@!"

07 April 2006 : 13.37
There are many things about which I wonder. I wonder why christians are such freaking whackos, for example. But just at the moment I'm wondering how much less impressive Toccata in D Minor would have sounded had it been written for accordion. Or harpsecord. Or kazoo. Would mad scientists still insist upon playing it?

And while I'm about it, why are there no Jewish mad scientists? "Mad? What do you know from mad?"

Speaking of the wackos, if you read that article, one of the students misses an easy shot in a game of ping pong, and shouts "praise the lord!"
He clearly didn't play enough Q-Bert when he was young.
I wish that I could enroll in that freakshow of a school. Just for a couple of days. That's as long as I'd last. But think of the fun I could have!
07 April 2006 : 12.39
Public Service Announcement

For those people on the Internet who may not know, be they retarded, or not speak English as a first language, or both of them at once (see "american"), u is not a word. It is a letter. Similarly, c, y, r, b, 4, and 2 are not complete words in and of themselves. They might sound like words when you say them aloud, but they aren't. So don't use them as words. You fucking idiots.
07 April 2006 : 00.24
So, weird thing. Tonight I was at a comedy night, and a couple of the comics were discussing how I look like Russell Crowe. Personally, I don't see that at all, but I realise that I'm hardly an impartial judge, so I thought I'd put it to you, the viewing several, to be the judge. One of the pictures below is of Russell Crowe. Now, I'm not going to tell you which one. That's what you have to figure out for yourself. I know, it's stupid, but bear with me, and we can just put this whole resemblance thing to rest once and for all, ok?

I know, now that you see the pictures side by side, it's obvious which one's Russell Crowe, isn't it? I don't know how people get these ideas, I really don't.

Aren't you going to say that it's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside? Everybody else does.
06 April 2006 : 12.39
Nine days to the release of the new series! Yay! So exciting! I can't wait to see K-9 and Sarah Jane Smith and the Cybermen and.. just.. everything.

Speaking of British telly, I've recently discovered two new programmes. Hex and Hyperdrive.
Hyperdrive is a comedy show in space, featuring a crew aboard an enormous space ship three million years from Earth. Ok, no, but if you set a comedy show on a space ship, comparisons to Red Dwarf are inevitable. Hyperdrive has all kinds of things that Red Dwarf didn't have, from advanced computer effects to an apparently huge budget, but one thing that it doesn't have is "funny." You know, the thing that actually drives comedy. It lacks charm, it lacks humour, it lacks funny characters. Just setting it in space isn't enough to make it funny. I watched the pilot episode, but it was terrible. Still, I thought, you can't really judge a series on its pilot. They're usually awful. Look at ST:TNG. So I watched the second episode.
Well, I tried to watch the second episode. About halfway through I determined that my initial conclusion about the show was correct, and had to stop it. In fact, the only bit that made me so much as chuckle was one which was only funny because of Star Trek. In Star Trek, the enterprising (ah ha ha) young lieutenant announces that there are hull breaches on decks five, six, and seven, and the ship is venting atmosphere, and the captain orders them to do something involving emergency forcefields and structural integrity. In Hyperdrive, there's a hull breach and the ship is losing air, and the commander declares that "air is for girls!"
Yes, that's it. The only even smirkable moment in the first 1.5 episodes of Hyperdrive. Hardly worth the effort of typing the description, was it? But when in a room of a ship where there is a hull breach, and that room is venting atmosphere, some characters are worried that they'll be sucked out into space. Others, more correctly, are afraid of being blown out into space. Hyperdrive, however, both sucks and blows. It's just that bad.

Hex, on the other hand, is really good. The characters are fabulous, even the ones you really don't like, the effects are not too overstated, and the story is quite gripping. Comparisons to Buffy are inevitable, but that's really not fair. Buffy is fluffy fun, most of the time. Hex is way more heavy, and way more about the individual characters. It has funny moments, but they counterbalance the unpleasant moments beautifully, and the contrast makes each that much more effective.

So avoid Hyperdrive like a cliche, and see Hex immediately.

Which reminds me, a word of advice for actors: if you're in a show, and a friend comes to see it, don't ask them what they thought. If they liked it, they'll tell you. If they didn't, and you ask them, they'll either have to tell you that they didn't like it, and thereby risk upsetting you, or lie to you, and they probably don't want to do either. And if they do, they'll do it without being invited. So don't ask your friends what they thought of your show. Thank them for coming, and buy them a drink. That is all.

I need an exit!
06 April 2006 : 03.25
There are so many things about humanity, and specifically western society, that don't make any sense. For instance, and I've mentioned this before, why do we have gender-segregated washrooms? On my office floor, we have two female washrooms and one male washroom. Why? Everyone does basically the same things in there, and everyone knows what sort of equipment the other gender is sporting. So why the big secret? It's not like you ever even encounter anything gender-specific, anyway, anatomically speaking, so even the most uptight person should be ok. There are privacy screens and stalls and things, so no one sees what anyone else is doing, and yet we insist that girls use this washroom and boys use that washroom. Isn't that a little elementary school for an office full of grown adults? Not that there's any particular reason to want both sexes in the same washroom. It just seems stupid and childish to have them separated. Like you're going to get girl-germs or boy-germs by using the same washroom, or something.
Actually, I can see an advantage. Maybe the men wouldn't be quite so disgusting if they were sharing the washroom with the women. Honestly, there are perfectly functional fascilities there boys, so what's with the need to mark your territory? I'd say that they were pigs, but pigs tend to be a little more careful. They don't try to spray every available surface. Maybe if we made up a children's rhyme, that might help. "Lift the seat before you excrete. You disgusting wretch. What the hell is wrong with you?" has a nice ring to it.
Perhaps the psychological effect of sharing the place with womans, however, might be more effective in causing them to stop being such vile slobs.

You know, drawing comparisons between humans and other animals isn't a bad idea. Take the magpie. Humans have very magpie minds, don't they? They are, as a general rule, fascinated by shiny things. Shiny can mean literally shiny, like gold and gems, or gimmicky, like bells and whistles. How many people ever actually play the games or listen to the FM radio on their cel. phone after having had it for a week? How many people ever used picture-in-picture except when showing it off to their friends? But they had to have it. It's shiny. Like a good many of the features on next year's model of car, or computer, or toaster.
And knowing this little secret about human mentality has practical value. I offer the following anectodal evidence:
I used to sell cel. phones. It was shortly after I'd graduated from tech school and discovered that what I really didn't want to be was a programmer after all, so I was between directions at that point. Anyway, the Ericsson T28W had just come out. It was a dead sexy phone for the time, but quite expensive, and therefore hard to sell, even with its many advantages. I, however, managed to sell dozens of them thanks to the magpie factor.
I'd tell them that it was a world phone, so they could use it in any country that had GSM. Whatever. I'd tell them that it included Tetris. Uh huh. I'd tell them that it used a lithium polymer battery, very advanced. Ok. Then I'd suggest that they have a look at it themselves, and as I handed it over, I'd press the release button on the side that caused the keypad cover to spring open automatically, and watch their eyes light up. Shiny! Sale, every time.

And introducing the Rock Paper Scissors expansion pack. It's about bloody time.
05 April 2006 : 23.37
[ chuckle ][ snort ]

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!
Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

The Queen, ladies and gentlemen!
05 April 2006 : 02.22
Sadly, The Case Of The Strangled Nurk was rubbish. But points for trying. There aren't enough people around these days who appreciate The Goons.

So I find myself on the horns of a dilemma. I..
Now there's a thought. Why's it always the horns of a dilemma? Why's it never the buttocks of a dilemma? Why does one never find one's self on the daringly pierced genitals of a dilemma?
Anyway, for the last few weeks I've been seeing the occasional ant in my apartment. Not a big thing.. they send the occasional scout in order to determine whether I've left anything out that they can collect, and I haven't, so they don't send foraging parties. I can live with that. Unfortunately, yesterday they decided to swarm. It's that time of year.
If you're not familiar with the dating habits of carpenter ants, this is what happens: all worker and soldier ants are female, but infertile. The only fertile female is the queen, but she's fertile enough for the entire colony. And there are males, too, who lounge around the colony contributing nothing and waiting for sex to happen. Typical, really. Of course, once the mating is over with they just die. They live solely to shag.
Leading up to mating season, the colony produces new queens and new males. On the day, the new queens and the males move out of the colony through one of the entrances and gather outside. Then they swarm, meaning that they all take off, mate in the air, and scatter to find new locations in which to establish colonies. There are massive numbers of airborn ants at these times because so many of them are bound to be eaten by birds, etc.
So the other night I was stamping about my apartment when I noticed a winged ant under my heater. Feck. That meant that the ants didn't realise that my apartment wasn't outdoors (of course they didn't), and had decided that it was a convenient place to gather just before they swarmed.
Right, the last thing I need is queen ants swarming in my apartment, but I wasn't about to hurt them just because they'd chosen a bad launching point. How are they supposed to know? So I spent the best part of yesterday chasing queen ants around with liqueur glasses, catching them, separating them from the workers, and putting them into a large container to keep them from taking off. An effort hampered slightly by the workers realising what I was up to, and attacking me for stealing their queens. Carpenter ants have a hell of a bite on them, let me tell you.
Of course, it was fascinating to watch their behaviour. The new queens emerge a bit like jet liners exiting the hangar. They appear outside and just stand, waiting, while the workers rush around them cleaning this and checking that. The males are interesting, too. I only saw one or two of them, but they look virtually nothing like the females. They have small, pointy heads without the big woodworking jaws, and thin, pointy little abdomens. They look more like flies than ants, really.
Anyway, I've succeeded in collecting more queens than I can count and putting them into containment, but I couldn't capture a single male. So I have a problem. If I release the females outside, they might swarm, but without any males there won't be any point, since they need fertilised eggs in order to establish a workforce at the site of the new colony. But if I let them go inside, they'll swarm in my apartment.

02 April 2006 : 15.32
Bugger. Vancouver Opera's Don Giovanni has come and gone, and I didn't get a chance to see it.

Valkyrie needs food badly

But, dear listeners, to enjoy in its place, I've found... this! Yes, a Goon Show/Buffy The Vampire Slayer cross over fanfic thing.

"Henry: Oooh Min, we've run out of stakes. You can't get the wood you know." -The Case of the Strangled Nurk

Stop groveling!
01 April 2006 : 19.17
Popping back, for a moment, to the subject of ridiculous superstitions and medicine, a recent study performed by Harvard Medical School using 1800 patients and three christian groups has shown that.. now, let me get the wording right, because this is important.. the study has shown that prayer does bugger all for heart patients.
Patients were divided into three groups, with one group knowing that people were praying for them, and two groups being told that it was a possibility, with one of those groups being prayed for and the other not. That way there's a control group in order to consider the placibo effect.
Predictably, the prayer made no difference at all. In fact, the group of people who knew that they were being prayed for actually had a higher instance of post-surgery complications.
So either prayer does fuck all, or god is a sadistic bastard playing games with people's lives. Either way, prayer is utterly pointless.

01 April 2006 : 15.23
How does one compensate for having a small car?

Speaking of cars, I finally get to put mine back on the road. It's been seven months that I've forced myself to be carless, and god I've missed being independently mobile.

Speaking of god, why is it that biblethumpers never seem to have an answer when you ask them "If god is all-powerful, why did it take him six days to create the Earth? And why did he need a rest afterwards?"

Speaking of stupid, I was trying to have an intelligent conversation the other day. It went something like this:
me: ... and so a three dimensional universe is impossible because you must account for duration. Just as an object must occupy the spacial dimensions length, width, and depth, so it must occupy a period of time, however small. An object without duration is just as impossible as an object without depth.
her: I'm pretty!
me: [ sigh ]

Ok, maybe it wasn't quite that bad, but intelligent conversation is so hard to find, isn't it? Most people just don't want to think. It's not necessarily that they're stupid (though most people are), it's that not only are they too lazy to learn, they're too lazy to even be curious about what they don't know. They don't want to know, and so the possibility of having an intelligent conversation with most people is remote because they don't have anything intelligent about which to converse. Science, philosophy, religious debate, most of it is a lost cause because people are too lazy to think about any of it.

If you need evidence that humanity is lazy, you need only look as far as the universal remote control. Not only can people not be bothered to take the three or four steps to the television to change the channel or adjust the volume, but even going to the trouble of picking up a separate remote control for the stereo is too much of a hassle. How pathetic is that?

It's an Apple, you see.

31 March 2006 : 16.36
My mother made a comment the other day to the effect that I'm a misanthrope.

Oh bum. Does it show? And here I thought I hid it so well, too...

Speaking of mothers, everyone's getting all down on Gwyneth Paltrow because she's pregnant and dared to have a Guinness the other night.
You know, that's really not a bad thing. Yes, Guinness contains alcohol, but one pint every few days with food isn't going to be more than the mother's system can filter out, and more than the developing offspring can handle. That's why doctors prescribe (or at least used to prescribe) Guinness to pregnant mothers. It's full of iron, among other things, which is very good for a developing human. How do you think humans in the wild coped with fermented fruit? The mother filters out the alcohol, and passes the rest of the nutrients on to the developing offspring. It's only if you're a complete moron and put more alcohol into the system than the filter can handle that it becomes a problem.
And I know whereof I speak. When my mother was pregnant with me, and with my brother, she drank the doctor-recommended occasional pint of Guinness. Today, my brother and I are both strong, healthy, strapping lads. And mentally there aren't any problems, either. I joined Mensa, after all. That indicates poor judgement, but not a lack of intelligence. And my brother could, too, if he cared enough about them to bother. Fortunately, he has higher priorities than intellectual masturbation.
That all sounds self-congratulatory, but there's a point to it. The occasional pint of Guinness didn't do me any harm, nor my brother, and indeed may have had a positive effect upon our development. And while that's obviously anecdotal, it's good enough for me. :)
I suspect that the reason for changing the advice is that people have no sense of moderation. If you tell them that they can have the occasional pint of Guinness, they'll be getting obliterated every night. They won't stop at one, they won't keep to just Guinness, and they'll end up doing much more harm than good. Because people are stupid.

30 March 2006 : 19.14
Yay Pam!
Seal hunters are vicious bastards who should be shot on sight. And they ruin our international reputation, besides. Good to see people standing up and saying something about it, at last.

If you think that this is scary, you should see what some people consider a viable alternative.
29 March 2006 : 16:06
Ahem: duh.
A study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, and quoted on the BBC web site, states:

"It was found the data did not show spinal manipulation was effective for any condition - except for back pain where it is superior to sham manipulation, but not better than conventional treatments."
"The researchers said that, as spinal manipulation had been linked to mild side effects in around half of patients, such as temporary stiffness, and - much more rarely - strokes brought on by damage to the vertebral artery in the back, it was not something which should be used instead of other therapies.

So cranking your spine around has side effects? You don't say! And it's not as effective as conventional therapy? No way!
Wow, you'd almost have to be a complete blithering idiot to go to a chiropractor, wouldn't you?

If you're not familiar with the basic theory, and I use the term in the loosest possible sense, behind chiropractic "therapy," it is that all of the body's disorders, diseases, and other problems, are caused by problems with the alignment of the spine that they call "subluxations."
No, seriously. They actually believe that if you straighten the spine, the body can repair all of the other problems it might be encountering. Asthma, for example, or arrhythmia, are somehow related to the alignment of your spine.
Don't believe me? Check out the "origin & history" from the McTimoney Chiropractic Association web site. An excerpt:

"Chiropractic began in 1895 when Harvey Lillard, janitor of the Ryan Building, where Daniel David Palmer, a practitioner of 'magnetic healing' had his office. Palmer began questioning Lillard about his condition, Lillard explained that 17 years before he had been stooping when he felt something give in his back; almost immediately, he'd lost his hearing."

So the guy who came up with chiropractic "medicine" was also into such gibberish as magnet therapy? He was a specialist in the field of nonsensical medicine over a hundred years ago, and yet chiropractic "therapy" is supposed to be taken seriously?
And the best bit, that somehow the misalignment of this janitor's spine had caused his hearing to be lost.. that's hilarious. Because, you know, it makes perfect sense that the nerves between the cochlea (part of the ear) and the auditory cortex (in the brain, a few centimeters away) would take the scenic route down through the spine. That's the only way that the transmission of information between the ear and the brain could be interrupted by a misaligned vertibra.
Honestly, how gullible, and indeed ignorant of basic anatomy, do you have to be to believe this stuff?
Mind you, people believe all kinds of things. Some of the ridiculous alternative medicines (with links to the appropriate sections of Quackwatch):

Reflexologists believe that there are pathways throughout the body that can be manipulated by poking and prodding the feet. No, honestly, they think that by pressing pressure points on the feet, the flow of energy, blood, nerve impulses, and nutrients can be directed, and that somehow this can heal problems with the body. They call it a science, but it's been shown that if you go to several different reflexologists you'll get several different opinions about what needs to be poked and prodded. It should also be noted that no one has ever found any evidence at all of these pathways on which their entire business is founded.

Magnet therapists believe that weak magnetic fields somehow cause changes in the body, even though the magnetic field of an MRI, which is practically strong enough to rip the iron out of your blood, has absolutely no descernible effect. Putting a magnet on your head won't cure migraines, and sticking a magnet down your trousers won't cure impotence.

Homeopathy was developed in the late 1700s, that time of medical wisdom that gave us leeches and bleeding. Well, right away it sounds good, doesn't it? The basic principle is that by applying tiny amounts of substances that cause symptoms similar to what the patient is experiencing, this will somehow cure them.
... the hell? And people believe this?

"Naturopaths assert that diseases are the body's effort to purify itself, and that cures result from increasing the patient's 'vital force.'" (Quackwatch). Oh, right. And here I thought that most diseases were due to the micro-organisms that we can fucking see, or to genetic factors. Silly me. Of course, it's the body's "vital force" getting a bit low that causes cardiovascular disease. That cold you get every year? It's not a virus, it's your body trying to purify itself. Nevermind what you see in the microscope! It's toxins in your body that cause it. Please.

Osteopaths: dates from 1874, but is essentially the same principle as chiropractic nonesense with one important difference: osteopaths actually make use of real medicine and medical technology. However, would you trust a "physician" whose discipline is based upon the belief that "diseases are caused by mechanical interference with nerve and blood supply and are curable by manipulation of 'deranged, displaced bones, nerves, muscles -- removing all obstructions -- thereby setting the machinery of life moving'," a school of thought established by a man who, in his own autobiography, claimed that he could "shake a child and stop scarlet fever, croup, diphtheria, and cure whooping cough in three days by a wring of its neck."? Yeah, me neither.

Acupuncturists think that by poking the patient with needles they can cure various problems. Which makes no sense at all. However, studies have shown that the results are much the same whether jabbing specific acupuncture points or just poking people at random. And better still, using a fake needle which doesn't actually penetrate the skin, but looks as though it does, produces the same result as an actual acupuncture needle. So it's all fiction.

Traditional Chinese "medicine" is based primarily on concepts like chi and meridians and the same pointless rubbish on which acupuncture is founded. And the supposed health benefits are just as fictitious. Worse, the principles on which it is based often require some innocent animal to be harmed because the "doctor" needs a gall bladder, or cartilage, or some other stupid thing. These sick fucks should be deleted from society so that no more animals have to suffer for their "medicine."

Ear candling... heh.. ha.. hahahahahahahaha!
Oh.. oh wow... I don't think I'd heard of that one before. The idea, as I understand it, is that the candle is supposed to create a vacuum in the ear, thereby drawing all of the debris from the ear canal, and somehow from the sinuses, and even the brain. Honestly, that's what they think. Inasmuch as they do think. What they don't seem to realise is that a vacuum of less than a third of the kind of strength necessary to suck the wax out of your ear would rupture your tympanic membrane (ear drum), nor that there is no direct route from the ear to the sinues or the brain. And even if there were, the damage that the introduction of a vacuum would do to the brain scarcely bears thinking about.

Come on, people. Our current medical science has been developed over literally thousands of years. We've advanced biology, chemistry, genetics, and many other fields beyond the wildest imaginings of even a hundred years ago. You can see the evidence of this all around you, from the computer on which you're reading this to the increasing lifespan of each succeeding generation. In the midst of the incredible advances in medical science, why revert to superstition and witchcraft?

There isn't time or space enough to go over all of the other drivel that people believe, but have a read through to see what people can be suckered into. From "faith-healing" to "detoxification," alternative medicines are ridiculous. If they worked, medical science would adopt them. Why wouldn't they? Better ways to heal injuries, better ways to treat diseases, and better ways to make money. If you could just load someone up with magnets to cure disease, or crack their spine, this whole antibiotic-resistant superbug problem wouldn't be anything like as serious.
But the fact of the matter is that alternative "medicine" is alternative because it's worthless, except to the people who make money doing it. It's based upon gullibility, and the placibo effect, and nothing more. Unless you count greed. Its claims are contradicted by not just our knowledge of anatomy, but by common sense. If you're sick, go to a doctor, not to someone who's going to take your money and jab you with needles or poke your feet or twist your spine around. At best, they'll do absolutely nothing, and at worst, they'll introduce new problems that might be worse than the original. A bit of a stiff back is nothing compared to a stroke.

26 March 2006 : 18.16
Gah.. I can't seriously be the only person whose skin crawls at the thought of pregnancy, can I? The very idea turns my stomach violently. It's so obscenely biological, the thought of something developing inside like some grotesque parasite, feeding, moving, distending the body to make room for itself as it grows.
[ shudder ]

Anyway, what brings me to this subject is that I was talking to a friend about abortion. I know, dangerous subject, but interesting for all of that. She was saying that once a life has begun, it's not right to terminate it. My argument is that that's an unreasonable basis for making such a decision because life never begins.
Except, you know, for that once.
What I mean by that is that there isn't any point at which a life begins which was not previously present. When an organism reproduces, existing cells divide. So when a human is conceived, development is triggered in an existing ovum, but that ovum is already a living cell, formed by the division of another existing cell, which means that it's activated, but it doesn't magically come to life.
Once you've established that fact, you can trace life all the way back to the first single-celled organism which started it all. Life ends all the time, but it never actually begins.
That being the case, the question isn't whether it's right to abort a new life because there's no such thing as a new life. The single ovum develops until it becomes an independent life form, so the question is "how close can it get to being an independent life form before it's no longer ok to terminate it?"
That depends upon what we mean by independent, doesn't it? Is it ok to disconnect the life support of someone who's brain dead? They're a fully functioning human aside from the fact that they don't have a functioning brain. So what's the point of keeping them alive? Does it do them any favours? No, it's just a question of the people making the decision feeling guilty.
It's the same with abortion. The developing zygote doesn't have self-awareness, it doesn't have consciousness, it doesn't even have all of its bits fully formed, and it certainly can't survive on its own, so how is it different from the brain dead person on life support?
And yet there are still people who get all upset at the thought of terminating something which, until a little while ago, was just a single cell. They go on about its future, how it deserves a chance, etc etc.
But what they don't seem to take into account is that we're not talking about a person. We're talking about something which has the potential to be a person, but isn't one. If potential is what they're concerned about, they should be upset at the lost potential of every single ovum which goes unfertilised. They're no different, just because they haven't been activated, right? Each of them has the potential to be a person, right? Yet somehow it's ok to make the decision that this month you're not going to get pregnant. You're going to let that ovum be expelled, and die, and it will never grow up to be a person. But what's the difference, really? Ultimately, until the thing is conscious, it's not a person, and it doesn't have a future.

Getting right down to it, the difference between an unfertilised ovum and a fertilised one is that the latter has begun to divide. So what's the problem? We don't want to remove something that's dividing? But we're ok with removing cancer, which is also a cluster of cells which are dividing. So that's not it. It must be what it's developing into.

And that's where I don't see the problem. The zygote is developing into a human, sure, but, and this is the important bit, it isn't one now. It's a cluster of cells, and if you want to cancel it, it will never know because it isn't conscious. Why worry about its future when it doesn't have one? Why worry about what you will take away from it by aborting it when it is, as yet, no more an independent life form than is the single ovum? Until it develops consciousness, it's not a person, it's a thing, and it's stupid to think of it any other way.
And yet people do. Someone gets pregnant by accident, and even if she can't afford to keep it, or has no place for it in her life, she gets this idea in her head that she has to give the thing a chance. The bottom line here is that if you aren't ready to breed, you shouldn't be doing so, whether you're pregnant intentionally or unintentionally. You're concerned about the future of the cluster of cells that could potentially be a human, but what kind of future will it have if you can't look after it? It's stupid to throw away your entire life over a blob of cells just because you know what it might eventually become, regardless of what it is now.
But then, people are stupid, aren't they?

The goth girl is watching you. Isn't it eerie how her breasts follow you around the room?
26 March 2006 : 13.22
It's curious that people swear that you can feel someone watching you. Common sense tells you that it's impossible, of course. The eye is a passive receiver, which means that it is impossible for you to feel that someone is watching you, even if you were sensitive to all sorts of things that you aren't, because the watcher isn't generating anything that you could detect. And yet it's an established phenomenon, one of those things that people know you feel.
I was thinking about this while I was waiting for the SkyTrain today because I had walked past an attractive goth girl. She was facing away from me as I approached, and didn't move as I passed her on my way to the other end of the platform, and I was certain that I could feel her watching me. Which raised the question of why I was certain I could feel it.
I mean, setting aside the fact that I'm a sexy bitch, why would she be watching me? The truth is that she probably wasn't. She was looking in that direction because she probably thought, like most people, that if you stare up the track the train will arrive sooner.
Which got me thinking about the sensation of being watched. It's clearly in your head. If it weren't, it wouldn't be possible to spy on someone without their knowledge. That would make life much more difficult for people like undercover cops following suspects, or voyeurs, right? No one detects them because they have an eerie feeling of being watched, which means that actually being watched can't possibly be the trigger for the sensation. So the sensation must be entirely internal, probably caused by the person experiencing it unconsciously being aware of someone, such as by noticing them in their peripheral vision, or being aware of the habits of other people, such as looking over at the other car at a stop light. We actually see a lot more than we realise, but only focus on a bit of it, and so only that bit consciously registers.
If this is the case, it ties fairly neatly into paranoia. Just as some people's vision is more acute than others', suppose that some people's peripheral vision is more acute than others', and so they're more aware of the people around them. More sensation of being watched, which is bound to mess with anyone's head, given how frequently we're surrounded by people.
Enough of that and you'll end up being locked up with the lamp post scratchers and the Napoleons and jesus. es. jesuses. jesi.
Just idle speculation, of course. I have absolutely no real data to back it up.

Speaking of goth, it's Evanescence time. If Sarah is the goddess, Amy Lee is surely a deputy goddess. Or perhaps Vice Goddess in charge of sales.

Vell, Socrates is just zis guy, you know?
25 March 2006 : 21.59
One thing I don't understand is why people feel the need to belong. Clubs, secret societies, religions, people seem never to be happy unless they fit in as part of the group. It doesn't even seem to matter all that much which group. The Fraternal Order of masonic Highland dancers for jesus would probably be teeming with members as soon as word got around.
In movies, television, and most frighteningly, in real life, you hear people say things like "I'm a part of something greater than myself" all full of pride and nobility, as though being part of something greater than one's self somehow makes one better. How will you find happiness if you don't go out and look for it for yourself?
But what kind of life is that, living for a Higher Purpose (tm), and thereby setting your own happiness to one side?
I think it was Socrates, or perhaps Plato, or certainly one of history's great philosophers, who said "if there's anything more important than my ego around here I want it caught and shot now."

Ah, Socrates. Now there was a frood who really knew where his towel was.
25 March 2006 : 12.11
Odd. I happened to glance over my shoulder at the mirror this morning, and noticed that I have a cut down the exact centre of my back, right between my shoulder blades. It's about eight centimeters long, and perfectly straight. I had a quiet night in last night, so I'd remember if I'd done anything stupid. Obviously, there's only one explanation.
I was clearly abducted by the Amish.
Oh sure, no one suspects the Amish in cases like this. They all blame aliens, or terrorists, or their dog, but that's only because the Amish are so clever. Why do you think they're so intensely private? Why won't they let outsiders get a look inside those barns of theirs? Because they're full of scientific equipment for conducting experiments! Why else? It's obvious!
I've even thrown together a really lame Photoshop of an artist's conceptualisation of it all, just over to the left there.

At least I didn't wake up in a bath full of ice. Then I'd be worried.

Meanwhile, check out the amazingness that is the Top 10 Coolest Robots. From real Transformers to the awesome power of Mecha-Einstein, this is the future, people.
Though if the Honda Asimo is going to walk like that, he needs to have a trenchcoat and a hat pulled down low over his face.
Either that, or they should have painted him black and hooked him up with a wakka chikka soundtrack. The brutha has way too much funk to be white.
And if you flipped the front legs around on the BigDog robotic mule, you'd have the makings of a cybernetic pantomime horse. A much better application than the military, I think.
And doesn't the QRIO look rather frighteningly like the white death robot of Krikkit?

What sort of vicious, barbaric waste of a human being could harm someone like this?
24 March 2006 : 18.37
jesus, I can't believe that we still have this barbaric seal hunt in an otherwise civilised country like Canada. The government calls it a cull, and says that it's necessary in order to control the seal population.

fuck off, government. The last time I checked, humanity is the one with the population problem. So why can't I take a bat and go and beat in the skulls of the seal hunters? Hm? It would be just, and it would help to control their population, as there are clearly way too many of them. If humanity would just stay the hell out of the picture, the seal population would balance itself out. If there's a population problem it's because of human interference in the ecosystem. But the truth is that it's just an excuse to allow some people to satisfy their bloodlust by beating a harmless little creature to death.

What the hell is wrong with humanity that it has to kill every other species, whether for fun or for profit? Oh, they try to justify it by saying things like "I eat what I kill." Yes, and how much meat is thrown away at the super market when it becomes too old to sell? That poor animal was already dead. You could have bought and eaten him, and not had to kill another innocent creature. The truth is that humans just like to kill. They're savages, vicious as all fuck, whose technology has advanced well beyond their maturity, and so they use all kinds of excuses to justify giving in to their base instincts and their violent tendencies so that they can take as many innocent lives as possible for fun. Children torture helpless creatures, and then they get older and obtain weapons and go out and slaughter living beings who could never actually be a threat to them. And people have the gall to say that humanity has advanced beyond the level of the ignorant barbarian. It has fancier toys, but it's still a greviously brutal species, and should be kept on a leash at all times.

god, I wish that there were something I could do. Something that would really make a difference. Preferrably by causing the bastards who commit these atrocities to suffer in their turn., comrade. Or, for the americans,
21 March 2006 : 21.02
Scary, isn't it? How fast time passes? It's 2006, and that means that there are people in high school now for whom the Soviet Union, the U.S.S.R. is just... history. I mean, the cold war, that's one thing.. conflicts begin and end, but for an entire superpower to have disappeared, that's quite something.
And now it's taken its place along with the Roman Empire and the Maya and the Egyptians as something that, to most students, is just something in a text book. It's amazing to think that something which to some people is a major change in the shape of the world is, to others, just history with no real significance.

* For the americans, the o in "Soviet" is pronounced like "soft," rather than like "soap."

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19 March 2006 : 16.16
Isn't it funny how you meet people, bump into them somewhere, and you think you recognise them, and as you make mildly uncomfortable small talk you flip frantically through that mental database of names and faces and places trying to remember who the hell they are before you betray the fact that you don't actually have a clue by using the wrong name or making the wrong reference. That happened to me the other day. I was marching determinedly toward work, and there was a rather attractive woman outside the glass doors shaking her umbrella after taking shelter from the torrential downpour. She was one of those types you see in the business district, the sort who has young but high-powered exec written all over her, but projects this vibe that suggests that she doesn't take it seriously. Dark power suit under a fluffy pink jacket, that sort of thing. Anyway, she was shaking her umbrella, and reaching out to open the door to come inside, just as I was pushing it open, and so, of course, I held it for her. And through the glass (it was a glass door, you see) I saw this spark of recognition light up her face. Now, that's always bad because it means that immediately I have to start filtering through the database, and I have a terrible memory for faces. So as soon as the door was no longer between us, she leapt into the conversational fray with an opening volley of "Hi! How are you?" that just screamed familiarity.
Oh jesus hairy christ, I haven't a clue who you are. "Good! I'm fabulous, thank you. And how are you doing?" And for god's sake, let something slip, like where we last met, or your name, or something. Anything.
There's this whole science to narrowing down the person. I don't recognise her immediately, so she's probably not someone I've seen recently, she's apparently happy to see me, so she's probably not an ex-girlfriend, etc. etc.
And there's always the possibility, of course, that she's mistaken me for someone else, which means that if she realises it, she's going to feel really stupid. And that's just not nice.
So the conversation progressed, and carried me along in its current, and I became rather late for work as I tried like hell to figure out who I was actually talking to without giving anything away.
They say "it's a small world" because of the coincidences that we encounter every day. Acquaintences, experiences, that sort of thing. And they're right. It turns out that the high school that this woman attended was completely different from the one that I went to. Not only that, but we don't work together, and have, apparently, no mutual friends. In fact, there doesn't appear to be any point at which we could possibly have encountered each other before that day. Wow. I mean, that definitely is a coincidence, isn't it? What are the odds that we'd both bump into someone we didn't know at the same time? How many people can possibly share a coincidence like that? It really is a small world.
19 March 2006 : 12.25
I'm still trying to figure out what makes sports so enjoyable to watch, and I still have no idea. Talking to sports fans, they say it's the action, and the tension as you hope that your team will be the one to win.
So I have a better idea.
Most sports involve putting something into something else, whether it's a puck and a hoop or a golfball and a net, you pretty much have to put one into the other. So here's my idea: suppose you put a high powered but very light explosive device inside the ball/puck/whatever, with a random timer. And then build a very short range transmitter into the hoop/net/whatever. When one comes into contact with the other, the timer is reset. If they don't come into contact before the timer runs out, the ball/puck/whatever explodes and kills or maims at least one of the players.
You want tension? You want people scoring as fast as humanly possible? Guaranteed, this would produce results. You'd get to spend games betting whether your team would survive, safe in the knowledge that the athletes earn those ridiculous salaries they make.

Oh come on, like I'm the only person who's ever thought of that.

Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
18 March 2006 : 13.56
¡Hola! Listing to Cuban jazz on the Iceberg Radio world music station. Fabulous.
Mmm.. Starbuck's Vanilla Latte, McDonald's quarter-pounder combo..
and My Spoon Is Too Big.
Which reminds me.. I've lost my Rejected DVD. Really must find that. I still have the case, and the shipping order that says "Thank you for your money," but the DVD itself.. who knows?

And now, El Guapachoso by Cachao! ¡Sí señor!

17 March 2006 : 13.56
Ah, St. Patrick's Day. A day of traditions. One of the lesser-known and yet most widely observed traditions of St. Patrick's Day is that today, no matter where you are in the world, with the possible exception of Ireland itself, you will be treated to a series of incredibly, unbelievably, criminally bad attempts at an Irish accent, each apparently unconsciously attempting to be worse than the last. The most common of these appears to be something like a blend of accents from Scottish to Punjabi, with a hint of Australian, and maybe a little more than the occasional smidge of complete fecking moron. Of course, many of these attrocities involve components far less recognisable in their origins.
Yes, today it's cool to be Irish. It's almost expected for the average person to wander about saying fun Irish words like "leprechaun" and "pot o' gold" and "IRA" but, and this is important, things take a turn for the worse when you ask him to get himself on the outside of this:

Irish for 'buy me a feckin' drink!'
My favourite response, which is more common than you'd think: "It tastes like meat!"
Yes it does. Now drink it, or I'll come 'round yer house and stamp on yer toys.

The Irish say that they took the English language and turned it into poetry. Feck!


Up yer kilt!

12 March 2006 : 15.32
Och! See you Jimmie!
It's time again for CelticFest Vancouver, when Celts can be loud and proud. And drunk. That's as Celtic as wode or tartan or fighting. And I'm two, possibly three flavours of Celt, me. Me mam's half Welsh, me da's half Irish, and possibly part Scot, although there doesn't seem to be anyone around who can confirm that.

And if you think that Celts aren't cool, you've clearly never worn a kilt while riding a motorcycle. Oh, it can get very nippy up yer sporran when yer on the highway, I'll tell ye.

Speaking of kilts, I've found one in the Irish national tartan. I'm just not sure I actually like the Irish national tartan.
Oh, I know there's some debate about whether a kilt is a traditional Irish item of apparel. Some say that the word that was translated as meaning "skirt worn by a big hairy man who'll knock you flat if you call it a skirt" actually meant "shirt," but I've been doing my own research, and to them I offer the following rebuttal:

"Bollocks, mate."

I maintain that a people possessed of the genius that went into the creation of such wonders of the world as Guinness and Kilkenny certainly could have come up with the idea of a kilt, had they wanted to. The fact that they chose not to adopt a kilt as common clothing is no evidence that they didn't develop one, indeed possibly before everyone else. The important thing is the potential. The Irish could have developed a kilt, in which case it would now be traditional Irish dress. And potential is a terrible thing to waste, so let's say no more about it, hm?
Besides, why let historical accuracy interfere with the wearing of a nifty item of clothing? Particularly when the girls like it so much.

And really, what more reason do you need?

For those who are stupid, or possibly just american, that's pronounced "Kelt" and "Keltic" rather than "selt" and "seltic." I'm looking at you, Boston. Dinnae make me come doon theer an' give ye a face full o' heid!

09 March 2006 : 18.35
Take a look at the Lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?

Life On Mars is excellent. It's a British cop show. I don't even care for cop shows, and it's still excellent. If you haven't seen it, do so at once. It's not a typical cop show, and that's what makes it so good. I'm not going to tell you anything more about it, in case you watch it.

Ok, yes I am. It's about a copper from 2006 who gets smashed by a car and knocked into a coma, and wakes up in 1973. Sounds like wacky fun, yes? It's completely not. It's darkly funny, but it's the real side of Britain in the 70s, with the limited technology, the completely different social attitudes, the brutality, the grittiness, all as seen by a guy from the nice, clean, professional world of policing in 2006. He has none of the tools that he's used to (it takes three weeks to get a fingerprint match), he's up against attitudes that oppose his training (like preserving the crime scene), and he knows that he's in a coma, and every so often he can hear people outside talking to him and about him. You have to see it to appreciate it. So do so immediately.

Yes, it's for screwing the american people.
08 March 2006 : 19.15
Heh heh, Microsoft wants everyone to know that it still sucks. In a big, highly visible way.

Bum, it's been a long time since I last posted anything. But with good reason. I've been busy. I'm not busy now, and so here I am.
Exciting things.. my theatre has been reclaimed, and the new board is trying to bring back the panto. Woo! Maybe I'll be wearing horns again by xmas!
Speaking of makeup, I just found out that a friend of mine is working on Galactica. How cool is that? Maybe I can, under the guise of visiting her at work, sneak onto the set and play in a Viper..

Now, on to the more important stuff. Apparently, bushco was actually told that hurricane Katrina would overwhelm the Gulf Coast, bugger the levees, and cause enormous amounts of death, injury, and property damage. But don't take my word for it. There's a video of bush being briefed on the situation.
What is it the bush supporters call him? The greatest president america has ever had, isn't it? This is the president who did, roughly, bugger all to prepare the area for the disaster, the guy who, the day before the hurricane made landfall, doesn't ask any questions at all about the threat, and answers concerns (from his ranch, of course) with "We are fully prepared to help you, not only during the storm, but we will move in whatever resources and assets we have at our disposal after the storm to help you deal with the loss of property, and we pray for the loss of life, of course."
Well, as long as the government is praying, that's ok then. god will step in and protect the people of New Orleans from the hurricane that he fucking sent, won't he? Oh, sure, we could take steps to assure the safe evacuation of the people in the danger area, we could take steps to ensure that the levees will be reenforced, at least as much as is possible during the available time, but nah, let's pray. That will solve the problem, won't it?
Moron. But best, or perhaps worst of all, he was briefed before Katrina hit that the levees would be overwhelmed, and yet four days after it happened he said "I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees"

... the hell? No, no one anticipated the breech of the levees except the people who frigging warned you that it was going to happen!
Need more? Look at The Katrina Tapes. It's fun to watch White House Press Weasel Scott McClellan twist and turn and wriggle on the hook. Spin is a wonderful thing... when it works. In this case, it doesn't. Nice try, though, weasel.

Ever wonder why bush spends so much time on vacation on his ranch while the rest of his administration runs the government? I think I have the answer. You know when you've finished using your screwdriver, or your pliers, you put them back in the shed until the next time you need them? You take them out when they'll serve a purpose, and you put them away when they're no longer needed.
Yes, I'm saying that bush spends so much time on vacation rather than actually being the president because he's a tool.
22 February 2006 : 18.48
For the last few days I've had a purple hyacinth on my desk. The company gave flowers to the staff in recognition of.. erm.. something. I've no idea what. Anyway, I got a hyacinth. I know nothing about them, but it's pretty, and the sweet scent acts as a sort of passive defence. See, there are smokers who work in this building, on this floor, in this corner, and when they go out to smoke, they come back in and sit near me and reek for the next couple of hours. It's horrendous.. I can't even find words to describe it, but if you're a non-smoker, you probably know what I mean. Of course, what can you say? There's nothing you can say or do that will make them stop, or that will take away the foul odour that clings to them. Hell, they aren't even aware of how disgusting they smell. So I sit there, and the smokers sit and radiate vileness, and it turns my stomach, so I spend most of every day feeling sick, and fighting the urge to vomit.
The hyacinth is the perfect solution, right? It masks the evil stink of the smokers, and everyone's happy. But I got to work today to discover that one of the smokers had been complaining about the flower, saying that it affected her allergies, and management had taken it away.
From this we learn that smokers fucking suck. How unfair is that? They're allowed to sit there and foul the air with their deathly stench, but I'm not allowed to have a sweetly scented flower on my desk to counteract the effect so that I don't have to feel nauseous all day.
I mean, what am I supposed to say? "My coworkers disgust me with their reek. I need them to be removed."
Is there any possibility that that would happen? Maybe if I brought in an air freshener, or a couple of fans or something. Or a gasmask.
I wish the smokers would just hurry up and die off.

Ok, so I might not be gay, but I'm terribly cheerful.
19 February 2006 : 19.01
... in the land of the free...

Once again, america is trying to rule the world. The yankee government has decided that homosexuality is bad, and is siding with Iran... Iran, mind you, in a debate at the United Nations to "deny UN consultative status to organizations working to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people."

There are two issues here. One, america has become a theocracy. The government is run by biblethumpers who believe all that mindless drivel about god and creation and the devil. Seriously, how defective does your brain have to be for you to believe that the world was created by a big pixie in the sky? But more importantly, what kind of sick fuck would that pixie have to be to make some people gay (yes, it's primarily genetic), and thereby either damn them to hell for all eternity for being who they are, or to a life of being ashamed of themselves, and living a lie? If there were a god, he'd be a sadistic bastard for that act alone. Fortunately, it's all fiction, and you have to be a special kind of retard to actually believe it. Unfortunately, that special kind of retard seems to be in generous supply in the yankee government.

Two, america is once again trying to interfere with the way other countries and international organisations are run. Ok, so you're a religious, and therefore backward, country. Ok, you want to oppress your own gay population. No one has the right to tell you that you can't. But hang on.. what about all that ranting and raving that america did about the oppression going on in Iraq? Iran? What about the Taliban? Weren't they bad because of the religion-driven oppression of their people? Wasn't america posturing all over the place about human rights, and the need to protect them? You know, it's almost enough to make one think that america didn't actually invade Iraq for human rights violations. No, I know you can't believe it, but I'm actually having doubts about their sincerity there. I'm wondering whether human rights weren't just a convenient excuse to cover up the fact that the invasion had been blatantly unjustified. Because this is a human rights issue, and america is very obviously on the wrong side of it. And if this is the position that the yankee government is taking on the international front, what kind of future do gay rights in america have?

18 February 2006 : 19.18
So the other night I decided that I was going to take some time and actually play a game. Haven't had time for that in ages. I decided that I was going to play Armada II, a real-time strategy game, because it's fun as a short diversion. Ten minutes later, I'd annihilated all of my opponents, but the game had, for some reason, still not declared me the winner. The map was crawling with my units.. I could go anywhere, build anything, not one enemy ship survived. I could have kept building and deploying and redeploying all night, if I'd wanted, but I couldn't win because the game didn't acknowledge that I'd killed everyone who wasn't me. Eventually, I had to close the game because I was bored.
From this we learn that yes, the point is to win, not just to play the game. Games stop being fun when you can't win.

There's your affirming life lesson for today.
Oh, and god's not real, either. And neither is the easter bunny, or the.. now there's a thought. Why is there no mascot for valentine's day? Like the Valentine Vagina or something. That would be, perhaps, a little difficult to post on in-store displays, but it would be fun, you have to admit.
Though I stand by my theory that the typical heart image is a stylised vulva.

Aww, that's so sweet.
14 February 2006 : 13.08
Honk if you're not single! And then go out and spend a whole bunch of money, because no matter what you do for the rest of the year, none of it counts if you don't do something special for your significant other on this particular day.
Bollocks, I say. If you need a special day to show someone you care, you need to be more expressive. Similarly, if you need someone to make a big fuss today just because it's expected, you're far too susceptible to marketing, and/or a shallow fuck.
That is all.

13 February 2006 : 14.22
Turns out that the pest control thing was about mice. They put traps under my oven. The kind with the snappy bar thing that breaks the mouse's spine, and then holds him still, under extreme pressure, while he dies. You know, humane. So I waited for the manager and the killer to leave, and then disarmed the traps. I'm not having those disgusting things in my house.

11 February 2006 : 13.58
Damn it. There's a pest control inspection due in my apartment on Tuesday. It appears that someone else has noticed the ants, and humans are really bad at sharing.
I should explain, for anyone who doesn't know. There are ants in my apartment. Well, technically, there are ants in my apartment building, rather than my apartment, so I tend to think of them as tenants. It's a wooden building, and they're carpenter ants, so they've built a whole gallery inside the walls. It's fascinating.
Ok, so back story. Last year, around mid March, I was cooking when I noticed.. well, I say I was cooking. I hadn't yet learnt to cook, so it was more of a biochemistry experiment, really. Anyway, I was busily adding and stirring and cursing when I noticed an ant sitting on top of the back section of the stove, watching me. She was large and shiny and black, so I named her Oprah, naturally.
For those who may not know me, I'm an animal lover. And a plant lover. In fact, I just love life. And more importantly, I don't believe that any species is better or more significant than another. Sure, some are bigger than others, some are more intelligent than others, but every species has the right to exist, and for us to go around killing other species just because we find them unpleasant for one reason or another, particularly something as stupid as irrational fear, that's ridiculous. When I was young, I used to regularly get into fights with other kids because they intentionally hurt innocent creatures.
So, I didn't move my ant. She wasn't doing any harm, and I was worried that if I tried to move her I might scare her into dashing into the element, and that would be horrendous. I went about my business, and she stood there, staring, sort of disapproving, as though I were using too much paprika. I swear she had her antennae folded in disgust. Anyway, where there's one ant, there are more, and sure enough, when she left, she must have told the others how much lovely food there was just hanging about in my kitchen. The very next day there were ants all over the place.
That gives you an idea of how amazing these little people are.. they start a colony, they send out scouts to locate potential sources of food in the area. The scout returns and informs the colony that food has been found, and a foraging party is dispatched to retrieve it. And even more amazing is the structure.. I had a chance to study the ants before I did anything about them, and it was fascinating. They were in my garbage under the sink, my sugar, and my dishwasher, which gives you an idea of how thoroughly they had searched the kitchen. There was a highway between the kitchen and the entrance to their colony, with ants charging in both directions. They were, as I say, carpenter ants, so they were pretty large, making them easy to follow. Nonetheless, I donned a trenchcoat and dark glasses, just so that they wouldn't recognise me. The direct route from the kitchen to the entrance would have taken them across the middle of the living room floor, and so they had established their highway along the walls in order to avoid the open spaces where they could be intercepted, even though it was a much longer route. They were anticipating risk and going out of their way to avoid it. That's pretty intelligent behaviour, don't you think? Not only that, but when I found the entrance to their colony, it was guarded. Literally guarded. There was a soldier on each side of the hole, which you can recognise because they're frigging huge, and have camo chitin instead of the usual glossy black. And they threatened me when I got too close. What they thought they could do to me, I don't know, but they were dead serious. And each ant who arrived at the entrance had to submit to an inspection, wherein the guard would investigate the worker from front to back with her antennae before allowing her inside with her food.
Wow. Isn't that incredible? It's no wonder they're so successful. Not only did they have a careful system in place which allowed them to aquire food and get back to the colony without being hurt, but they had anticipated the possibility that someone other than ants from their colony might attempt to enter the colony. And humans dismiss them as pests, not realising astonishing they are. But if you click on the ant over there, you can find images and brief descriptions of some of the species of ant out there. Some of them are even more stunning, like the ones who go to other colonies and take larvae to raise as their own (slaver ants, they call them).
Unfortunately, one can't have ants charging all over one's house. After all, they scare the guests. And I always had to be careful where I was stepping so that I didn't accidentally crush one. And lots of other reasons. But I wasn't about to hurt them. They were just making a living, right? Fortunately, I've had experience with ants before, and I knew how to live in peace with them. It's common sense, really. They just want food. Nothing more, nothing less. So I used the sugar that they'd already found, and added a tiny bit of water to make it easy to gather, and I left it in a shallow bowl outside the entrance to their house. I also took to sealing the dishwasher when I wasn't using it (after spending an hour chasing all of the ants out), moving the garbage to a sealable container, and keeping the sugar in the refrigerator. The result was immediate. They stopped going to the kitchen and took the sugar water right in front of their door. As long as I kept it full, they didn't venture any further into the apartment. And why should they? Why do more work than you have to?
By just modifying my behaviour a tiny bit, and leaving out food as I would for a pet, I managed to live in peace with these amazing creatures without having to kill anyone. Why is that so hard for humanity as a species? Why are humans compelled to kill anything and anyone who gets in the way of their convenience, or their profit?

They talk about humane treatment of animals. Humane meaning kind, fair, decent, and obviously derived from human. But who other than a human would put a litter of kittens in a bag and throw it into a river? Who but a human would keep a dog on a chain outside for his entire life? Who other than a human would conduct experiments which have caused literally thousands of harmless creatures to suffer and die just to make a better fucking hairspray? Find me one other species which is capable of the level of cruelty that humans not only employ, but actually enjoy. Like the sick fucks who shoot cats with pellet guns or poison birds.. why aren't the scientists using these disgusting wretches for their experiments? Leave the innocent creatures alone and practice your cruelty on the bastards who deserve it.
People make the argument that animal testing for medical reasons is good, though, or at least ok. "Look at all of the lives it's saved!" they say. Yeah, human lives. It's done fuck all for rabbitkind, or the rats or chimpanzees, or anyone else. They suffer, they die because human scientists are looking for cures to human diseases. Shouldn't they be experimenting on humans when searching for solutions to human problems?
Yes, yes they should. Individuals of other species shouldn't be made to suffer because humans have this genetic problem or that disease. But there's this incredible conceit among humans that human life is too precious to risk hurting or killing a human in the search for a cure for human diseases. Hell, Penn and Teller, with whom I normally agree, have actually said that they'd strangle every chimpanzee in the world with their bare hands to save one junkie on the street with AIDS. And the worst thing is that they're not alone in that incredibly skewed sense of the value of one life over another.
Humanity believes that it's more important than all of the other species in the world. How else could torturing other species be justified? Dozens, or hundreds of other creatures have to suffer and die before they'll risk a single human even getting sick, but it's a human problem. All of the other species are innocent bystanders, and humanity has no right to involve them. We all say that it's a shame when there's a gang war or something, and some uninvolved person gets shot, but how is this any different? The other species on this planet aren't involved in human problems, and shouldn't be involved in the research to save human lives.
I know, cancer, diabetes, AIDS.. they all suck. I've had friends develop cancer and AIDS, and family and friends with diabetes, so I know whereof I speak. And yes, cures need to be found. But unless you're trying to cure those conditions in rats and rabbits and chimpanzees and everyone else, leave them the hell out of it.
Who the fuck are you, humanity, to place yourself so far above all of the other species that you believe that they should give their lives for you? Humans are no more special than voles or fruitflies or trout, and humanity, you need to get over yourself.
05 February 2006 : 18.34
Heh heh heh.. if you haven't heard Green Velvet's Preacher Man, you really need to. It's this hugely over the top preacher comparing modern life to playing children's games, like House. Obviously, I don't care for the message behind the sermon, but the guy is so much fun to listen to.

god damn my head hurts. Not that there's anything unusual in that, of course.

Oh, and here's america's leader at his best. Doesn't he just scintillate?
(1.75 wmv)

04 February 2006 : 11.49
I love technology, but god it can be annoying. Last night, my friend Erizabess brought her new notebook over to play on my network, and I had a bugger of a time getting it connected. It's a sexy little Acer widescreen with a 64 bit processor, running XP Home. I fought with it for what seemed like an hour trying to get it online. I cursed it, I cursed Microsoft, I disabled and enabled things, configured for static and dynamic IPs, Full Duplex, Half Duplex, etc etc, but no luck. I even ran the connection wizard, but it did bugger all. I couldn't so much as ping my router. My network is built using a router and a switch, since I have too many devices for just the router. I connected the notebook to the switch using its own port, and when that didn't work, I switched it to the port that the Mac had been using, so I was certain that it wasn't the networking hardware. Finally, however, in desperation, I power-cycled the switch and reset the router, and it worked.
... the hell? How does that make sense? Everything was working, connecting a new machine should be easy. I'm a network support guy for a living, with a pretty big home network of my own, so I know what I'm doing, but that's just stupid. Never had a switch get stuck like that before. Weird.
I'm still going to blame bloody microsoft, though.
Which reminds me, I haven't yet downloaded the latest version of Knoppix. Must get on that..

My office has all of the various stereotypes. There's the guy who gives everyone nicknames, the up-and-coming young management material guy, the flirty girl, the talkative older lady who doesn't realise that no one cares about her family or her latest health problem, the weird guy who talks on and on and on, and lots of others. It just occurred to me, though, that I appear to be the guy that no one knows what he actually does. People are always coming up asking whether I'm in this department or that department. How cool is that?

I'm deeply immersed in The Lost World, having downloaded it from Project Gutenberg to my PDA so that I can read it in the train. As much as I like Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes books, this is the one in which his writing really shines. He has such a wonderful turn of phrase when talking about the violent professor Challenger's succession of fugitive butlers, for example, or how Challenger's wife bars his way like an enraged chicken, or how Challenger thrusts out his aggressive chin until he is "all beard and hat-rim." I wish he'd written more in this particular style, as it's a joy to read.
So few writers these days actually play with language. They write, certainly, but they don't take time to enjoy the effect of the words themselves. That's one of the things, I think, that separates Pratchett, or Adams, or Azimov from people like Tolkien or Herbert. As much as you might admire their stories, reading Tolkien and Herbert is like swimming upstream. The writing is clumsy and awkward, and you have to fight it to get to the story. It doesn't sparkle. And that, I think, is the difference. Anyone can come up with an interesting story. A writer, though, can make even an uninteresting story into a good read.
Take this bit, for example, which is an excerpt from The Lost World in which the Conan Doyle is describing the beginning of a lecture in Victorian England on the origin of life:

Professor Murray will, I am sure, excuse me if I say that he has the common fault of most Englishmen of being inaudible. Why on earth people who have something to say which is worth hearing should not take the slight trouble to learn how to make it heard is one of the strange mysteries of modern life. Their methods are as reasonable as to try to pour some precious stuff from the spring to the reservoir through a non-conducting pipe, which could by the least effort be opened. Professor Murray made several profound remarks to his white tie and to the water-carafe upon the table, with a humorous, twinkling aside to the silver candlestick upon his right.

Followed later, when the lecture is collapsing into chaos, by

At this point Mr. Waldron whispered to the chairman, who half rose and said something severely to his water-carafe.

Don't get me wrong, story is important, obviously, and I love a good story. It's just that there's more to it than that. Most writers today seem more concerned with what the story is than with how they tell it, and I think that's a shame.

Le chat? Je suis un chat de minet. Et je danse, danse, danse, et je danse, danse, danse.
01 February 2006 : 13.04
So last night I went out for sushi with some friends. This is good. I had to meet one of my friends downtown at The Dance Centre, and while she was rushing about doing things, I was left alone in the booth with the supreme commander of the dance company. I think she was the supreme commander.. she spoke mostly French, so communication was a bit of an issue. That is to say that she speaks Canadian French, while I'm fluent only in Really Bad French. But I wanted to have a talk with her, you know, since I'm interested in dance, and there's a bit of it in my background. Well, I'm interested in dancers more than dance, but let us not be caught up in details. So, seizing this rare opportunity to have a conversation with the head of a dance company, I immediately switched to French and explained that I am a large fish with long blonde hair, and that the nafarious bus does not stop at the benevolent cheese library.

You know, it's not often that French Canadians actually ask anglophones not to speak French. I feel rather special. Hey, I'm not married.. where's my damned envelope?
29 January 2006 : 12.17
Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Or, in Cantonese, Gung Hei Fat Choy. And in England, Hei Yu Fat Git.
It's Chinese New Year. So what is this now? The Year Of The Stoat? The Year Of The Perambulating Prawn? The Year Of The Hyperbolic Trousers? I've lost track. But the streets of Vancouver, and Richmond, and probably Burnaby will be filled with lion dancing (note for the americans in the audience, that's lion, not line. Y'all.), fireworks, and other stereotypical Chinese celebrations in honour of the Year Of The Slightly-Asthmatic Badger. Yet another year that I haven't been able to get to the celebrations. Every year this happens. Incredible. I missed last year, The Emaciated Hamster or whatever it was, and I was determined to make it this year. But sadly, the new year will have to start for the Chinese without me, because I'll be at work.

The weather's warming up again.. soon it will be time for me to get the bike back on the road. The only problem is that I've lost so much weight now that my jacket doesn't fit very well. I had to get a pretty big one so that it would fit across my shoulders, but that means that the whole jacket is really quite spacious. My first apartment was smaller, I'm sure.
The pants have the same problem. When I bought them, they were perfect. Leather racing pants.. well, mostly, with lots of padding and armour and things, just the right size. Then I gained a bit of weight, and couldn't wear them any more. I just tried them on again a little while ago, and they won't stay up. The pads have all moved down to places where they don't provide the best protection, and the pants as a whole are baggy, not form-fitting as they should be. So I've worn them like once, and they're a write-off. Feck.

I can live without them, though. It's the jacket I like the most, but Joe Rocket, the bastards, have changed the design of the Blaster jacket for the Blaster 3.0, which is really lame. It looks like it was passed over when they were trying to redesign the starfleet uniform for DS9. All colourful shoulders and no pretty patterns.
Speaking of the bike, a while ago I worked in a tower on top of a mall, and to get to the mall I had to walk through the underground parking lot to one of the mall's employee entrances. The smokers used to congregate around that door, right underneath the "NO SMOKING" sign, and create a cloud of noxious fumes through which anyone wanting to pass between the mall and the tower had to walk. It was foul.. you'd open the door to the parking lot and get a face full of the most vile stench. So one day, after earlier accidentally getting a lungful of smoke on my way back to work, I took a minute before heading home, backed my bike up to the smokers, and revved up nice and high to give them a generous dose of carbon monoxide. They must like it, right? They voluntarily inhale the stuff. That was the whole reason that they were there, after all. But no, they said that I was a jerk, among other colourful things, and stormed off.
It's actually funny, you know, because when smokers and anti-smokers get into an argument, the smokers always end up using the argument that no one complains about vehicle pollution, as though that's in some way relevant. The argument, as I understand it, is this:
non-smoker: "I support the ban on smoking in public places. Smoke smells really unpleasant, and is a health-hazard, and I don't want to breathe it."
smoker: "Oh yeah?! Well what about car exhaust fumes?!! No one complains about that!!11! Should we just ban all cars as well?!!11one!"
This argument, such as it is, is enormously flawed in a number of ways. Firstly, people do complain about vehicle pollution, as my little demonstration so clearly proved. Secondly, as a society we have come to rely upon cars. Take away all of the cars and the world will come to a very sudden stop. We depend on them for a huge range of things, and so banning them is quite clearly impossible. Compare that, however, to cigarette smoking. We depend upon cigarettes for..
well, for fuck all, really. With cars, we don't have a choice. We need them, and there's no getting away from that. Cigarettes, however, are a choice. No one has to smoke. Society will not fall apart if cigarettes are banned tomorrow. Oh, the poor bastards who are addicted to this disgusting stuff might fall apart, but society would be, if anything, better off without cigarettes.
Taking the comparison further, we don't run cars in enclosed spaces where people need to breath. If someone parked one car inside his bar or restaurant, and ran it constantly while the place was full of patrons, thereby filling the air inside with carbon monoxide, how long would he last until he was shut down? And people would say that he was a moron for doing it. And yet that's exactly what smokers do. And not just carbon monoxide, either. So the smokers' argument is unbelievably weak.

Now, granted, there is dispute over whether second hand smoke causes cancer. Not a lot of dispute, it must be said, and virtually none amongst scientists, but there is dispute. Penn & Teller did a show about it in which they cited various studies, etc, in which the findings were exaggerated. However, as much as I like Penn & Teller, they are very american, which means that they seem to think that only america matters. Which is their right as american citizens, certainly, but it means that virtually all of the studies that they cited were performed by americans. I doubt very much, however, that Canada, Ireland, Australia, India, Thailand, Scotland, Wales, Vietnam, [deep breath] Sweden, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, or Norway based their decisions to ban smoking in public spaces upon studies performed by americans in america, rather than by their own scientists. Banning smoking in public places is a huge step to take, and one which is guaranteed to meet enormous resistance from the smoking populace, and so if you're a government considering such an action, you'd better be bloody sure of your facts, because you're going to have to defend them.
Common sense would seem to dictate that if cigarette smoke causes cancer, it doesn't matter whether you inhale it directly from the cigarette. You're still getting the same stuff in second hand smoke, it's just somewhat diluted. But then, that's all in how you perform the study. Suppose it takes eighty parts per hundred of cigarette smoke to cause cancer. If your test involves measuring the amount of smoke in one inhale in a room in which someone is smoking, that's one thing. If it involves constant inhales for eight hours a day, five days a week, in a room which is constantly full of smoke from dozens of cigarettes being smoked simultaneously, that's something else.
But, just for the sake of argument, suppose that second hand smoke doesn't cause cancer. Is that the only health risk? What is it that kills you when you get caught in a house fire? Is it the fire? No.. it's the smoke. It's airborn particles thrown up by burning material. The inside of your lungs is really quite damp, which means that dry particles sucked into your lungs stick to the walls, where they prevent oxygen from reaching the alveoli that transfer it to your blood. Even if second hand cigarette smoke doesn't cause cancer, it still hurts you. I went to a comedy club in Seattle a couple of years ago, and sat for a few hours in a club full of smoke, and then I spent the next few days coughing like I'd never coughed before as my lungs tried to evacuate the horrendous mass of ick that had accumulated in them. There's no way that something that has that kind of effect on you can't be bad. And that was after only two to three hours exposed to that. Imagine what it's like for the people who have to work there.
Not to mention the fact that cigarette smoke is full of toxins like arsenic, cyanide, and DDT.
And that's not even taking into account the fact that it's just disgusting. It reeks, it gets into your hair, your clothes, your breath.. it makes you smell stale and vile and just plain horrible. And it does worse things to the actual smokers.

I don't even remember how I got onto the subject. Ah, that's stream of consciousness for you.
Now for a geek moment: The Year Of The Sarcastic Lobster looks like it's going to be a good one for games. Supreme Commander, for example, looks really amazingly great, but even better, Star Wars: Empire At War. Oooh.. I want an AT-AT. My commute would take six hours, but rush hour would be so much fun!

Too bad we can't still vote Rhino.
25 January 2006 : 13.11
I've always thought that the O Canada of our national anthem should be said by a female voice in a suggestive tone. As in "Oh Canada, do that again!"
But today I feel that it should be said in a tone of disappointment. "Oh Canada. How could you?"

Even though it's a minority government, this is a dark time for Canada. You'd think that we could have learned from the mistakes of the yankees. Now we've elected our own religious psychopath to the highest office. How stupid are we?
Actually, no, you know what? That's not fair. Everyone votes the way that he or she thinks is best.
I voted Liberal. So how stupid is the rest of Canada?
The fact that it's a minority government might prevent the conservatives from pursuing the ridiculous goals that they have in mind, like military spending, pro-life or "traditional marriage" legislation, and discontinuing gun control, but I'm not confident. The alliance gave itself a makeover and we, as a country, fell for it. We're going to seriously regret that, I'm sure. After all, stephen harper and georgie w. bush have the same imaginary best friend.

Canada is liberal by nature, making us a liberal country with a conservative government. How can a conservative government adequately represent the interests of a progressive country? Fortunately, conservative governments don't fit with the general outlook of Canada as a whole, with the possible exception of Alberta, and so the conservatives probably won't last long. Still, they'll last long enough to undo a lot of the good that the Liberals have done. Starting, I'm sure, with bowing to pressure from the american government over lumber tarifs, military involvement, etc.
Now I have to be as critical of our government as I am of the yankees'. I miss Chrétien.
24 January 2006 : 17.57
Well, we're humped.

21 January 2006 : 11.58
Finally, a new index page. Dial-up users everywhere, rejoice. And then go out and get yourselves a broadband connection. What is this, 1991?

So last weekend I went to visit my parents, and was struck down by a vicious migraine the like of which I haven't seen in a long time. It was terrible. Normally when the pain gets bad enough I pass out, which I'm well aware makes me lucky. I think of it as a safety feature, and such it might indeed be, but last weekend it didn't work. jesus, you've never felt pain like that. It's impossible to adequately describe, but imagine that someone has jammed a lever into the base of your skull and is jumping on it trying to pry the top of your head off, while at the same time slowly driving flaming spikes into your eyes, and simulaneously crushing the sides of your cranium upside down in a vice covered with broken glass as all of the blood rushes to your brain. No, it's worse than that. Imagine being at a Celine Dion concert.

Speaking of music, on the Iceberg Radio cover station right now there's a version of Edwin Starr's War by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. It's interesting, but it bears about as much resemblance to the original as Tim Burton's Planet Of The Apes did.
Although that would be very cool. I want to hear War sung by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. That would be freaking awesome.
This is an excellent station. Dope's cover of You Spin Me 'Round makes me happy, and Snake River Conspiracy does a fabulous job of How Soon Is Now?.
Which in turn makes me wonder how many washrooms around North America have "For a good time call Jenny 867 5309" scribbled somewhere in them.

Anyway, where was I going with all of this? Freakily, the very day before, the Death Psychic predicted that I will die in the following manner:
After suffering with a severe headache for days, the aneurysm in your brain bursts, killing you instantly.

Ooo.. spooky. Of course, today it tells me that I'll drown after drinking too much, which is less spooky. From this we learn, or at least those of us who didn't already know, that oracles and psychics are complete and utter bollocks.
Which, incidentally, should have been the name of Penn & Teller's show on Showtime, I think. Has a nicer ring to it, I think.
If you haven't seen it, do so at once. It's brilliant. I disagree with them on a couple of points, but only a couple, and I can't fault their research or their motivation. I'll get to those when I have a bit more time, but in the interim, go and acquire this show.

Quoting from the episode about the bible:
"Take some time and put the Bible on your Summer reading list. Try to stick with it cover to cover. Not because it teaches history, we've shown you it doesn't. Read it because you see for yourself what the Bible is all about. It sure isn't great literature. If it was published as fiction, no reviewer would give it a passing grade. There are some vivid scenes and some quotable phrases but there's no plot, no structure. There's a tremendous amount of filler, and the characters are painfully one-dimensional. Whatever you do, don't read the Bible for a moral code. It advocates prejudice, cruelty, superstition, and murder. Read it because we need more atheists. And nothing will get you there faster than reading the damn Bible."

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