Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Personal Demographix



Did you ever wonder about your target audience? i mean, who the heck is going to pay attention to anything you have to say? it's not going to be your wife! it's not going to be your kids! lord knows it's not going to be your boss! maybe it's some strangers out there in the world and the only way you're going to find them is by fishing the internet. you might try putting up some video out there on the youtube and see if anybody out THERE pays attention, but even if they do, you might never know who they are. some of them might put a comment on the page and some of them might give you a star or maybe two, but just because they do that, does that mean they're your target audience or just some people who happen to see a thing? hard to know!

i'm gonna guess the answer is probly NO. Might as well throw a bottle in the ocean with a note inside it saying CALL ME IF YOU WANT TO and forget to leave a number. That's why I recommend this little application I found on the internet called Personal Demographix, that's demographix with an X to show you it's high tech and all. And no spaces in that website name. Nowadays you got to have no spaces no matter how long the words are. And you think that people are just gonna know how to spell, but anyway ...

Now this Personal Demographix is easy, so easy even I could do it if I wanted to. All you have to do is answer a few simple questions and right away you get your Target Audience Descriptor. The questions are based on the latest scientific know-how, so it's all stuff like when and where you were born and whether you're a man or a woman and from that they can figure out the kind of person you are and the kind of people who are likely to be interested in you. Like I said, it's all very technical and I don't claim to know how it works but it doesn't cost hardly nothing, just a nominal fee for the text message that they're gonna send to your cellphone.

So I did all this and now I know my Personal Demographix so all that's left for me to do is figure out what to do with that information, because, I mean, it's not like you can just go out and round up every fat balding New Yorker between the ages of forty-two and fifty-nine! So you might want to also hook up with the handy reference manual they provide at an additional nominal fee. I haven't done that yet because I'm all out of nominals so I'd better get back to work, but i wanna say good luck to you, and to your target audience. bye

Voices in the Head

Voices in the head never tell you to eat your peas, now, do they? Oh no, it's always got to be something dramatic. When was the last time a prophet told you that you were going to miss that traffic light over there? It's never the little things.

(extract from 'time eighteen')

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

El Sueño del Curandero

This morning I had a dream that I had special healing powers but was reluctant to use them. A young woman was dying. She was very frail and had only a few days left to live. I hesitated, but then for some reason I decided to save her. This involved a series of oils and incense and ritual chants and annointings, much as I experienced one time long ago in South America. I knew I would save her, there was no doubt of that, but I also knew I didn't want to. I soon discovered why. Once she recovered, she felt compelled to be near me at all times. She quickly became a pest, a perfectly healthy kind of zombie. She could not leave me alone. She wanted to stop but couldn't and she came to resent me as much as I resented her.

Perennial Mixed Bag

Science and technology will both save and destroy us - the race is on to see which wins first. This today on slashdot, a windmill that creates water from the air. Something like this could transform any desert into oasis. Every house could generate its own water supply. These amazing things that people come up with are only rivalled by their unintended consequences!

Industry Standards

a "standard" is something people have a lot of meetings about but otherwise ignore
The attacks came as millions of Shiites in Iraq commemorated Ashoura, marching in processions and beating themselves bloody in a frenzied show of grief over the 7th-century death of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and one of the most revered Shiite saints.

My first reaction was, what the heck?, but on second thought it occurred to me that if cultures developed at the same rate and time in history, we could easily see processions of Christians behaving the same way today (oh, wait, we can. check out Easter in the Phillipines), but also, a hundred years or so ago, public hangings were quite common in England, and any range of atrocities have been common practice in every culture at one point or another. Examples are easy to find. We sit around in judgment of others' behaviors saying 'look how primitive' barely reflecting on facts that are in the news even today, such as American men arrested for lynchings committed in the 1960's. The weird story yesterday about some wacky sect in Najaf sounded a lot like David Koresh and Waco. Moralists condemn 'the veil' while denying women here the right to basic health care. History is far from linear. Simple developments, such as equality of all before the law, take centuries to become established as basic principles, and even then, equality isn't even equal.

Monday, January 29, 2007

PDtad

Brand new product offering: get your own Personal Demographic (tm). Just answer a few simple questions and your own customized Target Audience Description (tm) will be winging its way to your cellphone for a nominal fee. Fun for the whole family! A perfect gift idea for that special someone! Instantaneous results guaranteed!

Sorry

the thedailywtf: fan mail from some flounder? Nope, it's the only trace left by a contractor ...

Me and Big Mouth

parenting. sheesh

we went to a kid birthday party and there were lots of parents with kids of various ages (0-6 mostly), so i thought this one couple was cool and seemed to have a sense of humor and i made a joke about how a couple i know once declared most emphatically "we are not juice people" (stupid me, i thought this was funny in a soylent green sort of way) and this other couple took offense and replied that they were not juice people either and continued on to lecture me all about the dangers of juice ...

new blogging category: me and big mouth

Just Plain Creepy

In a precedent-setting decision, an Israeli court has ruled that a dead soldier's family can have his sperm impregnated into the body of a woman he never met.

(The family's reasoning was 'the guy always wanted to start a family, so what the fuck')

Again, Not News

For the second time in 4 days, and the third time in 7 weeks, the oldest person in the world has died, and the major media have insisted on putting this "story" at the top of the headlines. I am considering putting together a formal organization to stop the madness! Maybe I'll call it, People Against All the News That Isn't.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Assertion of the Day

Spanking IS domestic violence

Pet Peeve of the Day

Toilets with fancy flush mechanisms you cannot figure out

Gravitational Stench

No one knows what causes gravity. What if it's a smell? That would explain the lingerability of dead skunk odor!

Local Globalization

"With 36 percent of its residents born abroad, the San Jose area has supplanted Los Angeles for having the second-most international population in the country. Miami remains No. 1. The immigrant impact is particularly strong in the arena of science and engineering: 55 percent of valley workers in those occupations are foreign-born."

These figures seem high, but it's not surprising to anyone who lives or works in high tech around here. There are a lot of good jobs here - the housing market is insane, yes, but why is that no obstacle for people from all around the world but apparently is for Americans? Companies aren't in love with hiring people from overseas - the paperwork is a drag - but are there really just not enough citizens who are qualified and want these jobs? It's curious.

The Range

It seems that my little boy has already sampled the entire range of science fiction plots by watching a few months worth of Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go, which is really classical mythology with a few technological twists.

One thing of note on that show are the "formless minions" ("mindless forms obeying only the will of their skeleton king. what they lack in intelligence they make up for in brute force" - in other words, the typical crowd)

Despite the fact that the bad guy is always threatening to "destroy you all" for no particular reason, what he really wants is "to rule". He never seems to notice the contradiction that after destroying all there is nothing left to rule.

We get the Gothic music, the dark laughter, the teamwork that saves the day, loyalty, fear and the myth of destiny. It's always the same show, really.

And at root, a similar message as in Rashomon - is there anything good in humanity?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Not The News



Good evening and welcome to Not The News, where we report the most recent versions of perpetual stories that in no way constitute actual journalism.

Today, in a regular feature, the oldest person in the world passed away. You can almost bet your life that, if you hear the oldest person in the world is in the news, he or she has probably just died.

Earlier today, a postcard was delivered that had been lost in the mail for quite some time, typically between forty-seven and sixty-two years. The postcard contained information concerning a war, a separation, and a hope to see someone again soon.

In a related non-story, somone returned some books had been borrowed from alibrary a long time ago. The fine was not as much as you might have expected.

A wallet was returned today with its contents intact. Wallets are in fact returned daily, even in wartorn countries, where this would be some of the good news that is woefully under-reported. It would be, if it actually were news, but it's not.

Coming up, revealing information about a popular personality is said to be completely without foundation.

Later tonight, the middle class will be squeezed, violent offenders will repeat, kids today, sheesh, and, of course, the weather.

This Is ... Not The News ...

Generals

Since when did we start granting respect to generals just because. Used to be that generals had to win something like, oh, say, a battle. But no, we are supposed to trust one general after another whether they ever did anything or not.

Also, have you noticed that America is losing a war and everyone else gets blamed except the generals, who happen to be the ones who are actually in charge, who are actually doing the losing? Not that they ever had a chance in this case, but still.

Generals used to take responsibility for their failures. Not in this America.

Boy Were We Wrong About (fill in the blank)!

On any given day you can go to slashdot.org to see what we were wrong about now. Today it's Saturn's atmosphere and what killed off the dinosaurs ...

Friday, January 26, 2007

VonBarking-Hen

Recently I've fielded some inquiries into the nature and history of the VonBarking-Hen method, recently exposed by "The Tedious Time Traveler". The following is a discussion of the method as destined to appear one day in Wikipedia

The VonBarking-Hen method is not easily explained, but it's origins at least are certain. On May 13, 2117, Evelyn VonBarking-Hen was watering her garden when she sensed the presence of a jagged vertical tear in the air before her. At first she thought it might be incipient epilepsy, but fortunately, trained as she was in forensics and crime scene investigation, she realized it was a physical manifestation of a dimensional anomaly. She cautiously placed her hand into the seam and noted that the hand, now on the other side, was free of the dirt and mud with which it had been previously covered, and which still covered the other hand. She withdrew the hand, and the dirt re-appeared. She was able to repeat the experiment several times, with both hands, and took careful note of the objects surrounding the hand on the other side, and came to the conclusion that the space over there was actually the same space but in a different time.

VonBarking-Hen had to wait a considerable period before the anomaly reoccurred, several years in fact. When it did, she did not hesitate but jumped whole-heartedly into the rip. She emerged on the other side, still in her front yard, but in a time before her house had actually been hers. The residents of the house at that time were not amused and threatened her with a shotgun if she did not immediately get off their property. VonBarking-Hen was glad to oblige and quickly dove back into her own time.

The VonBarking-Hen method is known to work through a variety of senses; not just sight, but for some people smell, taste and hearing seem to work just as well. Also, travelers using this method invariably get soaking wet, although none claim to have felt any water. There is no certainty of anything with VonBarking-Hen. One may go anywhere, anytime, and literally becomes someone else, someone who already exists in that time and place. Travel is also quite limited. No one is known to have spent more than a few hours in transit, after which they are either returned, in some shape or form, to their own time, or else they are annihilated.

The VonBarking-Hen method is explored more fully, though not by name, in a quasi-fictionalized book called 'Time Zone' featuring Garrett Ronson, a former student and later a colleague of VonBarkin-Hen at the New York Entropic Institute. In the novel, certain characters find they become hopelessly addicted to the method, while others completely lose their identities and are forced to travel perpetually in time, hoping one day to re-encounter themselves, or at least a place and time where they can stop. It is said that VonBarking-Hen herself disapproved of this account, and claimed it bore no relation to the experience as she knew it.

Bel-Ami

From Bel-Ami by deMauppasant: "While one is climbing the ladder, one sees the top and feels hopeful; but when one has reached that summit, one sees the descent and the end which is death. It is slow work ascending, but one descends rapidly."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Dream of the Black Spider

This morning I had a dream about a huge hairy black spider (think Tarantula-size). He did not have a name, but he was very active as a backup for both my son and I. Whatever we were doing together - playing a board game, building bionicles, or playing soccer - if one of us needed to take a break (to go to the bathroom, get a snack, answer the phone), the black spider would fill in quite competently. He was really quite a versatile spider.

Hostile Work Environment(s)

Many Bay Area residents will involuntarily hear a certain obnoxious radio jingle when they read these words - "Lexus of Serramonte". Now they will also think of its sexual harrassment case where, among other things, a female salesperson had her skirt pulled down in front of a customer. Not that I would ever buy a Lexus, but if I did, it wouldn't be from there ...

On a related matter, I've more than once had the experience of witnessing an executive yelling at an employee right out in the open, in the middle of the cube farm, very loudly, very rudely bullying the poor victim, calling them names even (stupid, incompetent, idiot, moron, etc ...) - this is another form of a hostile work environment, and I've felt, each time, like I should do something, like get up and go over there and say, as calmly as possible, this really isn't a good idea, and if you're going to yell at someone, you should probably do it in private. I've never done it yet. Now that I'm getting more gray hairs, though, I think that maybe someday I will.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dangers of YouTube

Those of us who occasionally post videos online should take heed from this example - a high school teacher who posted a video of his "butt-print" art who was fired from his job, because "teachers are supposed to lead by example", and, apparently, are not supposed to live a creative life.

People Against Cause and Effect

At the quasi-annual membership meeting of P.A.C.E., the quorum discussed the liquidity of happenstance. For example, the quagmire.

Computers are cause and effect machines. People are not. In a computer an unintended effect is called a bug. In people it is called human nature.

Who can untangle the webs? No one. And yet, there is no shortage of "systems", of simplistic reductionisms, of "schools of thought".

We at P.A.C.E. are of the opinion that most explanations are not.

There are no general tendencies that can be applied to any specific situation.

There are no specific cases that can be generally applied.

One thing does not lead to the next. For example,

This Is Not News

Again, what do you know, the world's oldest person died. If you happen to be the world's oldest person, this is what you do, but it is not news, just like someone getting a postcard that got lost in the mail. It's not news. Stop it already, ok?

Anonymous Not

Three times this week I've seen "anonymous" comments where at the end of the comment, the commenter signed his or her name. It's either some sort of post-post-modernist irony, some people unclear on the concept, or else just a reflection of poorly designed software ...

Aggregation

a google cache page for someone who found their way to this blog while googling for the phrase "valcyte helped me get my life back cfs".

There is nothing in that aggregation that would suggest anything in this blog, really. the words "me" and "get" and "my" and "life" and "back" do appear, all together on one page, but never connected to each other in any sentence or combined in any way. "CFS" is only on that page as a label for some notes I've entered on the subject. The other words are all words that might appear anywhere at anytime. "CFS" must be the key to the matter.

The web is a tangled one for sure.

And no doubt google gives priority to pages it owns, such as blogger content. This is one of the more subtle aspects of the internet. You think you are "searching the world wide web", but there are priorities, and no doubt there are wholesale exclusions.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Metaphors to Vote By

We like Bill Richardson. He's like a gummy bear. A Cinammon Bear. A Teddy Graham. Which led to our other metaphors
Hillary Clinton - a brussel sprout
Barack Obama - one of those tasty cream-filled wafers
Christopher Dodd - a cabbage
Joe Biden - a collapsed souffle
Sam Brownback - some stale inedibility, like a zweiback
George Bush - a steaming pile of crap
Rudy Giuliani - a stale cup of weak coffee from a diner pot that's been sitting there since seven in the morning and now it's 1 a.m.
John McCain - an open sore, a herpes virus come to life
Nancy Pelosi - tomato juice
Dick Cheney - an improvised explosive device

Dream A Little Dream

If success is your goal, remember that although you may love success, success will not love you back.

The One Man Theory of History

Smart of the actual Iranian leaders to manipulate the One Man Theory of History so well. First they put Ahmadinejad out there to catch all the lightning, then they pull him back. All the attacks on this man will go to ground, and the power behind the image is left untouched. It's almost like they're playing with a kitten, tossing a ball of wool out there and pulling it along. The U.S. always falls for this game, just like a kitten, because they're so enamored with the One Man Theory - it's practically the fundamental myth their civilization (along with 'God gave Man dominion over all things')

Monday, January 22, 2007

Too Much and Not Enough

I had a problem at work, driving me crazy for several days. The more I looked at it, the more impossible it was that what I was seeing was actually occurring. Nothing I tried worked. In fact, everything I tried made it worse. It turned out, though, that I simply hadn't made the right mistake yet. I hadn't made enough mistakes. Today I finally made the right mistake, the one that led me to the solution.

In other news, keep pounding your head against a brick wall and eventually one of them will break.

Obama Isn't Black!

A couple of weeks ago there was a controversy when one of the right-wing talking heads referred to Obama as a "Halfrican" - now from the other side, salon.com joins in with an article about how Obama isn't black. So I guess there is no chance at all he could be The First Black President, since he isn't even black.

How confusing. His middle name is Hussein but he isn't even a Muslim, or is he? He's tall and lanky and a lawyer from Illinois, but he isn't actually the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln, or is he? His ears stick out so he may be an elf, but is he?

I guess he will only be considered "black" once some sportscaster refers to him as "athletic" rather than "smart"! Already we've heard the "my, but he speaks well" bit.

This just in. Obama's wife is really black. But what about their kids? Goodness gracious, what's a voter to think?

I guess he could still become The First Not-Really-Black President!

Fiddling White Rome Melts

Nice of the KSFO Nutsies to talk of global warming as an "Al Gore money-making scheme" all morning, while reports are the Alps are melting away. Hope they're not skiiers over there at dumbass radio

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bill Richardson

I mentioned yesterday that Bill Richardson does not own billrichardson.com, and I got a lot of google hits for 'bill richardson', so I would like to take the opportunity to say here that, in my humble opinion, he really seems to be a good man who would make a fine president, so, check him out.

There's a BillRichardson2006.com, but no BillRichardson2008.com yet. You'd think they might want to get around to that since he announced his candidacy already :}

Edification

Who needs a college education when you can get all the profound, insightful quotes you'll ever need from a disposable Starbucks coffee cup?

Sticks and Stones

Just like that, "the surge" has turned into "reinforcements". No one could be against "reinforcements", could they? Now, if they were to call them "death squads", that might make it seem a little different.

NostraThomas predicts - this whole "surge" or whatever you want to call it is all about Moqtada al-Sadr. The idiots still think it's about one "bad guy" or another, and that somehow, someday, they can get "all the bad guys".

Betsy says they think they're just giving it "one last college try", trying to march down the field and get a game-winning field goal as time runs out ... metaphors to cover the realities of slaughter and destruction.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Viewage in Perspective

'Funniest Super Funny Videos' passed the 10,000 views mark today (primarily on Google Video). By comparison, 'Webcam Strip' passed the 1.5 million views mark.

War and Magical Thinking

My wife noticed that Senator Brownbackwards, in announcing his presidential candidacy, seemed to indicate that if all Americans were in support of Bush's war in Rraq, then america would be winning that war. This is a kind of magical thinking. Wars are not won or lost by wishing them so.

She also thought it kind of creepy that he has five children. I'm not sure where the creepiness begins here. After four? After three? And does it grow exponentially or logarithmically or is it merely additive? Is it like the Richter scale? Is 6 children twice as creepy as 5, or 10 times as creepy?

Conversation - The State of the Art

Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, in their declaration videos, said that they are "starting a conversation". Guess it's one of those new-fangled 21st century "conversations", where they post a video and you watch it.

Neither one seemed especially inspired. They both presented the usual laundry list of problems, Obama a bit more forcefully, Hillary a bit more tediously. They mentioned health care, climate change, energy independence, pensions, and Iraq (oddly, Hillary talks of the need for a "right" end to that war, whatever that means. are we going to stay there until we get it "right"?).

Hell, I'd vote for either one. Or both, but I can only hope they will get around to saying something with substance someday, such as - we're doubling the gas efficiency standards now, or, we're replacing gasoline with corn oil, now, or, we're opening up medicare to everyone, now, or, we're getting the fuck out of Iraq, now, and no permanent bases.

Then there's Bill Richardson, announcing tomorrow, who doesn't even own billrichardson.com - oops.

Questions for Hillary

Hillary announced for president today with a video chat - she says, among other things, that "we've got to hold up our end of the bargain" (the bargain = the american dream). but, if we're holding up our end, who's holding up the other end?

she also says "we all have to be part of the solution", but if we all are, who are "we" going to blame everything on?

She says' "You know after six years of George Bush, it is time to renew the promise of America" - what is it? a library card? time to renew? musn't be late, oh no ...

Oh and what she didn't say - BILL CLINTON

Wake Up Call

mom



mom!



MOM!!




my hair hurts

Come Again?

Misunderstandings of the week

- it's cold outside! that means there's no such thing as "global warming". (what to do? change the term to "climate change"?)

- a vaccine for the STD virus that causes cervical cancer is offensive to christians (whose pure holy daughters would never ever have sex ...)

- evangelicals come out against 'global warming' because it is messing with God's Creation. (whatever it takes)

- if it can't happen, it will (this is a law of software development)

CFS

a good description of life with CFS by carlitos:

"What defines CFS are the symptoms, the most obvious one is fatigue. Basically you feel jet-lagged most of the time. Is like having a hangover without the fun of having gone out the previous night. There are other symptoms like nausea, joint pain, muscle pain, ... There's no known cure. Is like living in someone else body, that from now on is going to be yours. I cannot always think as clearly, and basically I have to relearn how to live life with my new body. It is a little bit like having mononucleosis that never goes. You feel very fatigued, very drained. And no matter how much you sleep, you're still going to feel tired."

It can go into remission, as it has done with me. It's worrying, though, that it can return at any time.

Idiocracy

movie review - 'Idiocracy' by Mike Judge ('Office Space', 'Beavis and Butthead') is quite the satire on current American trends. The premise is that evolution now favors the stupid, and in 500 years America will be so dumbed down it's hysterical. Luke Wilson is the accidental time traveler who wakes up to find he is the smartest man in the world, although he was an average joe in his own time. There are so many funny little bits in this movie, even if on the whole it really goes nowhere. It's misanthropy is only matched by its misogyny (for no good reason, all of the women are whores, while the men, all incredibly stupid, at least have a variety of occupations. it would have been easy and made no difference to mix up the characters' genders randomly in this film).

Some highlights. (spoiler alert)
- Gatorade has basically bought most of the government, and had it replace water as a public utility, leading to a drought and dust bowl.
- Costco is so huge (they got lost on aisle 16,703) that it even has a law school.
- Ad slogans are alarmingly simple. For example, "Carl's Junior. Fuck You".
- The skyscrapers are clumsily held together with rope.
- The garbage just piled up into mountains until 'the great garbage avalanche' sent it tumbling into the cities.
- The president is basically a pimp with an entourage. Justice is carried out in the form of a monster-truck-ultimate-fighting-challenge show.
- Starbucks is a chain of whorehouses.
- The most popular TV show is called 'Ow, my balls!'

sound familiar?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Headline of the Day

"The End Is Nearer, Say Atomic Scientists"

I guess you do have to be a rocket scientist to say such things these days! But, I suppose it's true that we're not getting any closer to the beginning ...

Presidential Forecast 2008

Democrats - interesting, exciting, historical
Republicans - fucked

La Honda Landslide

Living around the corner from a massive, active landslide is always "interesting" (as some would say), especially when three of your close neighbors are geologists who work for the U.S. Geological Survey. These guys have made this one of the most intently studied landslides around - and have posted another detailed report here . It makes for interesting reading, but as usual, pictures tell a thousand words (or plot points as the case may be)

don't have any real great pictures, but the one below sort of shows how the road on the left and the road in the upper right are now some 100 feet apart. used to be the same road:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Broccoli Blue

click to enlarge and see the whole thing nicely:



A story from this month's Broccoli Blue, a San Francisco-based kid's magazine:

Leo (a story in Turkish, by Delma Soult and Mehmet Tepedelenlioglu)(english version)

Leo was the king of the jungle, but he didn't like ordering animals around.

He would rather spend the day playing.

But all of the animals afraid, and wouldn't play with him ...

So the jungle fairy took pity on him ...

and made him into a little lion toy.

Soon after a little boy found him and started playing with him. Leo became the happiest lion in the world.

The Return of Epstein-Barr

In 1984 I got sick. Quite sick. I lost all energy, all my joints ached, I had constant headaches and was unable to concentrate or remember anything for long. It was like the flu without a fever. And it did not go away. I was pretty much like that day after day for more than a dozen years. Just to get through the day seemed impossible almost every day. I had to learn how to drag myself through life as if I was carrying a heavy weight because I had no options. A Canadian friend with the same condition returned to Canada where she could get disability, but there was nothing like that for me,. In 1984, it had no name. In 1985, they began calling it 'Epstein-Barr' virus. In Britain they called in M.. for Myalgic Encephalitis. Over the years I saw several doctors and tried a variety of ineffective treatments. By 1987 or so they started calling it 'Chronic Fatigue Syndrome', as they came to believe that Epstein-Barr had nothing to do with it. Many doctors refused to believe that people like me were really sick. Time magazine called it 'The Yuppie Flu' - thanks for that one, Time. I remember reading somewhere that the only real hope for people with this illness was that sometimes, after many many years, it might go away on its own. That seemed like a bitter hope, but then, beginning around 1996, it did start going away on its own for me, and by 2000 it was pretty much gone. Now I only get the symptoms in conjunction with other illnesses, like a bad cold, or when I'm very stressed. I know that whatever it is is still in there, but it seems my body has adapted to it.

Today, in the news, I read about the return of the Epstein-Barr connection. Doctors at Stanford University have found a connection between Epstein-Barr and Human Herpes Virus 6 - apparently these viruses often occur together in chronic fatigue sufferers. A new treatment -'valganciclovir' - has 'cured' 21 of the 25 patients it's been tried on. One interesting fact is that all of the people who were cured initially got much worse for several weeks, so it seems there is not a placebo effect at work.

This could be the biggest breakthrough yet. So interesting that it comes back to the original guess - Epstein-Barr - which had been so thoroughly discounted for the past 20 years

Obama For President

yay

Monday, January 15, 2007

Human Herpes Virus-6

Possibly the infectious agent that causes CFS along with Epstein-Barr:

"HHV-6A infection is believed to occur later in childhood or during adulthood and may occur without symptoms"

"Transmission of this virus is believed to occur as a result of exposure to saliva. Most primary infections are asymptomatic. Thereafter, the virus remains dormant in the body. HHV-6 reactivation in adulthood can result in illness."

"Infection in adults is rare but infection may have different consequences, including hepatitis, mononucleosis-like illness, atypical polyclonal lympho-proliferation and post viral ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’. Like other herpesviruses, HHV-6 can enter a latent phase that may be reactivated following immunosuppression. Complications may occur, particularly when there is co-infection with another virus."

Audible Fonts

I would like to develop fonts that convey the appropriate sound quality - for example, a romantic font - when you read it, you hear the voice of Barry White.

Good Guy Mind

I've got 3 5-year old boys over here playing right now - narrative: this guy was a bad guy but then they put a good guy mind into his head so now he is a good guy and the worst nightmare is not the worst nightmare anymore. (capiche?)

JuxtaPosition

what i am trying to achieve with the 'epikles' videos (and what i am very far from achieving) is a good juxtaposition of form and content, like my clint-eastwood-like cowboy spewing high-tech office jargon. i have definitely failed at this much more often than even come close. most recently, adrenaline girl was an especially bad attempt. i don't really know what i was trying to do with that one. maybe it would help to start with a clear idea in the first place! often i'm just winging it, given a half an hour to produce something.

i have a collection of content ('the futile epikles') and i'm trying to match these bits up with interesting narrators. sometimes the failures are more interesting than successes, and on review, after doing a dozen or so over the past few months, most of them have been outright failures, which means i should either just stop doing it, or get to work on 'the born loser'!

Miss Whatever

ok, let me get this straight, miss nevada, miss new jersey, miss america, etc ... they want you to be hot, but not a hottie. they want to see you on TV but not in videos. they want you to be fuckable but never get pregnant. they want you to smile all the time but not actually have a good time. if you do any of 'those' things they take away your crown.

can we get just rid of this stupid beauty pageant shit already? it's so fucking stupid.

Makings of a Cult Classic

My Funniest Super Funny video has the makings of an extremely minor cult classic - now with more than 6,000 views in 2 weeks on Google video, MySpace and YouTube, including more than 1000 just yesterday. I mean, ok, it's a little bit funny, but come on. It's not that funny. i have a feeling that most of the viewers are more than a little disappointed :>}

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Multi-Purpose Blog '07

I have decided to dedicate this blog to a perpetual discussion about whether or not Harrison Ford should be permitted to make another Indiana Jones movie.

I may digress occasionally to comment on the most favorable impoverished nation from which to adopt a child.

At regular intervals, I will also make known my opinion on the proper ingredients of an authentic paella.

It's possible I may draw an analogy between the current U.S. position in the Middle East and the ahistorical event of Chinese militarily intervention in Europe during the Protestant Reformation.

I might also produce a statement on the absurdity of a Javascript application that assigns the value of 2 to the variable 'Support Level 3', while also assigning the value of 3 to the variable 'Support Level 2'.

I am not currently expecting to post photographs of naked people in this blog.

I refuse the right to reserve service for anyone.

I would have cast Gandalf differently. I would have selected Peter Falk.

In children's cartoons, the evil-doers are always saying, in a deep voice, "I will destroy you all". It is the opinion of the management of this blog that such an attitude is not very productive.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Adrenaline Girl

From the annals of The Futile Epikles, Pigeon Weather Productions Presents:

Adrenaline Girl

Friday, January 12, 2007

Zombies and Ghosts

The Bone has probably cornered the market on Wittgenstein and Zombies:

One quality of zombies that has always puzzled me is their ceaseless determination to kill living people. This is never satisfactorily explained. They might just as well return to hunt for mushrooms. Same thing with ghosts and haunting. Do they never get bored with that? If I was a ghost, or a zombie for that matter, I might want to travel more, see the world, sample some fine cuisine, go back to school for an advanced degreee ...

Of course, I'm the kind of guy who, presented the opportunity to travel in time, would worry about the climate, and what to pack.

Augmentation

Condi Rice says it's not an escalation, it's an augmentation. I thought that was something you did with breasts! I guess "troop support" has a new meaning - though many would prefer a strategy of "lift and separate".

Shock Jocks Shocked

A day for Bay Area blogging history - A small blog has taken on 3 right-wing shock jocks here at KSFO (Melanie Morgan, Brian Sussman, and Lee Rodgers) who've long tended to say some pretty outrageous things on the air (just this moment they compared left-wing bloggers to Al-Qaeda terrorists, because a blogger can hide behind an alias and a terrorist can wear a mask, in an analogy worthy of Himmler - I mean, conservative bloggers use aliases too). The jocks now have a problem. The blogger - Spocko - sent audio clips of some of their statements to the radio station's advertisers and asked them if they were aware of what they were sponsoring. At least one sponsor pulled their money from the show. Now the jocks are spitting mad and on the defensive. Spocko's not calling for a boycott, or for anyone to get fired; he's just asking the sponsors if they're comfortable with what they're paying for. Seems fair. These radio personalities professional talkers and can reasonably be held accountable for what they say - after all, their words are what they're being paid for.

4 am

When the phone rings at 4 am, you only have one thought; someone died, but no, it's just another drunken loser, calling for "Jill", who has been handing out my phone number to a parade of drunken losers since 1987. Of course, the frequency and number of calls have gotten fewer and fewer over time, as "Jill" has also gotten older and probably has fewer occasions to hand out her phony number. I imagine that one day I will get a final call about Jill. She'll be old and senile and having wandered away from the nursing home will give my number, one last time, to the rescuers who find her.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Nopaka: A Love Story



Newly restored from the original, with unpreviously deleted scenes, titles, and audio

Nopaka

the story of a love forbidden by the laws of nature .

In a world where nothing is what it seems
three hearts
eighteen limbs
one dream

  • Scorpion Robot, a creature whose only power is the ability to change his location.
  • Brutaka, a Bionicle Titan who can change the position of his limbs.
  • Tohru Honda, internationally renowned Anime School Girl who has the power to alter her facial expressions a bit.

Can true love overcome such limitations and find a way? Stay tuned ... Nopaka ... the movie ... is coming soon.

Pet Peeve # 2743B

There have been a slew of these stories lately in the press - wallet returned after 62 years, library book returned after 47 years, postcard delivered after 57 years. know what? this is not news! just stop it, will you?

Headline of the Day

From Slashdot: "CNN reports that NASA may have found life on Mars via the Viking space probes in 1976-77, but failed to recognize it and killed it by accident"

typical hooman

also, typical blogging, filtering data available from elsewhere, just because i found it interesting and/or amusing ...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Stages in Friendship

at 2 yrs old - the kid notices another kid. yay!
at 3 yrs old - the kids play side-by-side - yippee!
at 4 yrs old - the kids play at each other's houses - whoo hoo!
at 5 yrs old - do you really want your kid playing with that kid?

BlogAnalysis

"If you can't cope with high degrees of irrelevance, blogs won't be your cup of tea." From this very interesting article of blog analysis by Geert Lovink brought to my attention by a reader's words

"blogs are the outsourced, privatized test beds, or rather unit tests of the big media." - if it makes it there, it can make it anywhere?

"There is a quest for truth in blogging. But it is a truth with a question mark. Truth has become an amateur project, not an absolute value, sanctioned by higher authorities. In lieu of a common definition, we could say that cynicism is the unpleasant way of performing the truth."

"As Baudrillard states: 'All of our values are simulated. What is freedom? We have a choice between buying one car or buying another car?' And to follow Baudrillard, we could say that blogs are a gift to humankind that no one needs.

"As a micro-heroic, Nietzschean act of the pajama people, blogging grows out of a nihilism of strength, not out of the weakness of pessimism. Instead of time and again presenting blog entries as self-promotion, we should interpret them as decadent artifacts that remotely dismantle the mighty and seductive power of the broadcast media." (woah, did you get that?)

"Foucault scholars would say something similar, namely that blogs are "technologies of the self". But what if the "self" has run out of batteries? With Dominic Pettman we could say that blogging is a relentless pursuit in the age of exhaustion. Blogs explore what happens once you've smashed the illusion that there is a "persona" behind the avalanche of similar lifestyle choices and pop identities within online social networks.

"What individual blog owners proudly see as a great post is, seen from the larger picture of the Internet, with its one billion users, an ever shifting collection of buzzword clouds, consisting of trillions of clicks and micro opinions. The more we know about this meta level, through sophisticated software tools, the more depressed one can get about the overall direction."

the more depressed ... as i was recently disheartened to find a post from one of the "most popular feeds" that was merely a review for a new chain of cheeseburger franchises; this made me see blogs as stalking horses, as exploratory tentacles or antennae of capitalism, a filtering mechanism - we add our little bits so that somewhere, somehow, some product will be consumed.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Hours Per Day

"Kids today" are "exposed" to 7.5 hours of "media" per day - I suppose that's bad. On the other hand, my great-grandfather was exposed to at least 7.5 hours of cows per day. Probably worse.

Love Match

Get your cellphone handy people to dial the number now showing on the bottom of your screen for a super sensational love match that is simply out of this world. Enter your species, genera, class and gender and within eons your intergalactic love match will be winging its way (possibly literally) to your door. At intergalactic love match dot com we stop at nothing, absolutely nothing, to bring you the most results guaranteed of any interstellar matchmaking service. What would you expect to pay for such a completely unbelievable phenomenon? Twelve hundred seventeen dollars? Twelve hundred sixteen? No. Today and today only we are offering this satisfaction-guaranteed absolutely-no-money-back opportunity for only twelve hundred fifteen dollars and ninety nine cents. Results can be expected in a matter of hours depending on your planet's rotational aspect. (Not responsible for linguistic complications, cross-species reproducibility or other potential hazards typically associated with interplanetary engagements). What are you waiting for? Call today!

From your cellphone to the universe. It's all out there (way the fuck out there)

Blog Too, Oh

After reading a post on someone's (rather famous) blog presenting their opinion on the quality of the hamburgers at a new burger chain (hey, good burger!), and after having been out of the blog loop for a couple of weeks due to the holidays, the whole blog thing is seeming pretty pasty to me right now (including my own).

I came across a quote recently from Elias Canetti - "a neat trick, throwing something into the world without being pulled in with it" - I like that sentiment, but Web 2.0 seems to be exactly the opposite - so much of it are just attempts to throw oneself into the world, where the self is the 'thing' being offered. They are "defining their space", they are "staking a claim". I guess this is what happens with every Gold Rush. There are only a certain number of spots to be occupied. Better get your own and work it til it's dry.

It just kills me that once you've "made it", people actually pay attention to your pronouncements on cheeseburgers, and the cheeseburger people will probably pay you to eat them. What the fuck!

This is why they invented the wheel?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Souls and Mates

Lots of people have been led to this blog in search of their soulmate - well, not exactly. They've googled the 'soulmate calculator' and wound up here. It's an obvious scam that promises to deliver the actual first name of your soulmate to your cellphone as a text message - and later some undisclosed amount will show up on your phone bill. It comes in the form a popup advertisement which I've only seen on MySpace so far.

Anyone who thinks they can enter their first name and sun sign and get the actual name of their alleged soulmate deserves to pay the amount charged.

On the other hand, it may cause someone to seek out a person of that name and who knows - anyone can be anyone's soulmate, so it could happen.

When I first moved to San Francisco (25 years ago this month), everywhere I went I saw "Tom + Michelle" on walls, on sidewalks, in the subway ... I almost thought I was bound to hook up with a Michelle at some point. Was the city itself talking to me?

And then, one day I was walking in the financial district, conducting another fruitless job search. I turned a corner, and there, standing in front of me, was me. This guy looked so exactly like me I really thought I was looking at a mirror. I stopped, startled, and then realized he was pan-handling.

I told the city to shut the fuck up already.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Manakin Action

I once wrote a very bad novel with the title 'Manakin Action' (don't ask), but it had nothing to do with this story, about a poor soul who may be sentenced to life in prison because he keeps breaking into stores to make off with mannequin females for nefarious purposes.