Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tiny Wings: The End of Your Life

I am inches away from beating a Z-list cable celebrity's all-time Tiny Wings score. And it's killing me.

A spent the last hour playing the game. In that time, I must have played a score of games, more if you include all the ones I immediately restarted for missing the first jumps due to cat-jumping-on-chest, and downright being fed up. I was on the final ramp to that sweet, sweet, mysterious ninth island when the dark finally crept up on me. I was enraged. Cursing was had. Loudly. At 3 a.m.

Twenty some-odd games in 60 minutes. That's about one every three minutes, but like I said, many of them were seconds long. Do you know how long that is in bird time? Like forever. It's ridiculous to say, but I spend almost zero time touching the ground. My tiny winged bird is flying all up in that sky and I am the man. I'm topping out over 203K tonight. So far, that's beating the producer of the Z-list cable celebrity.

But I'm getting close, Kevin Pereira. You said you retired at 220K, well I'm coming for you. I'm on my tenth nest and I can taste that ninth island and the tender objective getting there will complete. I'm pretty sure before my next nest I am going to destroy you. And then I can finally sleep the sleep of a man who has nothing left to gain.

Except the latest levels of Angry Birds.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nerdy Limericks


A young physicist there was at CERN,
Whose research endeavored to learn
If the Higgs did exist,
But shaking his fist,
Exclaimed "Let's give string theory a turn!"


There once was a marine biologist
Who never had gotten the full gist
That when seahorses mate,
It's the male that "is late,"
So she gave up and said, "I'm through with this!"


One twin took a journey all through space,
Though at a relativistic pace.
Returned to his brother,
Oh how he did shudder,
At seeing his grizzled old man face.

Free Running

I once saw a man doing parkour.
What would I need to know that for?
Then on G4TV
I happened to see
It's boring to just walk on the floor.


There was a young pilot named Starbuck,
Whose lexicon could have used some luck
She kept saying "frakking"
When the word she was lacking
Was really a good old fashioned "fuck."


Since M-Day got all our powers p0wned
On the mutant messiah we honed.
Then Cable did take her
To the future to save her,
But she's probably just a Jean Grey clone.

A Cautionary Plea For Binghamton University

*What follows is my response to the "Do you have and further comments?" field to a post-graduate survey my college sent me. Since I was actually using their career services that week, I complied. Basically, it's like voting with the hope of off-setting everyone who votes against your pet policies.

I do not wish to be an alarmist. Binghamton has the choice to be either a great public school or a mediocre semi-private university, stretching its resources thinner and thinner in an attempt to beef up sports and programs for career tracks with higher yielding incomes. This constant renovation of campus facilities which only benefit a select academic group, the outright illicit purchase of athletic talent without regard for character or academic standing, the constant threat of building a law school while language and culture and arts classes are excised from the curriculum due to a "lack of interest" or funding. These are the things which are making Binghamton University less reputable among current and prospective students.

Binghamton has gone decades without a football team and that has done nothing to hinder its development of solar cell technology. Conversely, humanities departments have been relegated farther and farther from high priority with each new budget year and I find myself wondering at what point I will become ashamed to say I went to a Business School with a penchant for scandalous sportsmanship and a disregard for any profession that seeks to understand why society works instead of contributing directly to its mindless perpetuation. I also wonder at what point the Fine Arts majors will simply revolt and lynch the entire budgetary committee on the steps of the Bartle building.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Career Catch-22s

You ever get into one of those cycles where you can't seem to really get much of anything done, because everything you need to do is reliant on everything else getting finished first? This last week was my own personal Yossarian vacation.

Want a better paying job. Better job requires experience. Can't afford experience without better paying job.

Can't afford to move to a new place with more jobs unless I already have a job there that pays enough to be able to afford to move there, which I can't accept until I have a place to stay.

Can't stop hearing complaints about a job until I have money, won't get money until I sell my book, no one will accept my book as a job until I have money.

Just want to marry a rich doctor lady, but can't do that until I get plastic surgery and ab implants, but I can't afford ab implants until I have money, and I won't have money until I marry a rich doctor lady!

Man, life is hard. How did Betty Crocker do it?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Safety Tip: Glass

"Nothing at all will fly through this pane of glass, Thomas!"
"Most assuredly not, Harold!"
Needed to hang up a large picture frame today.

It was not designed to be hung immediately. Had to nail a couple of brackets to the back. Obviously, the glass should have been removed first.

Ha! Joke's on you! You thought I forgot that part and smashed the glass everywhere. Wrong! Oh, ye of little faith in my manly might. No, I remembered that without the slightest effort. Instead, I bent up all the little metal pins keeping the cardboard backing in place, then lifted the glass carefully from one end, making sure to add support underneath to prevent bowing.

Yeah, except the frame was too tight at the other end and snapped off a tiny piece of glass anyway. There goes that whole plan. And … now I have a 2'x3' pane of glass that needs to get thrown away surreptitiously because we don't have bulk trash pickup. Oh, and our garbage bags are only 20" across.

Obvious solution? Take the glass out back, stick it in a larger bag from the new office chair's empty box, grab the hammer you were going to use to affix the brackets and smash the fuck out of some giant glass.

Surprisingly hard to do on purpose, actually. Really gotta lay the glass down flat and give it a good whack in a couple places. Then you just gotta avoid shredding your hands on the jagged shards.

Totally did that too.

Scraped my hand up pretty good in the refrigerator right after, though. That little plastic cage over the door light is a bitch.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

On Robots

Honestly, I'm getting a little annoyed at our squandering of robots.

Yes, I'm really excited that we don't live in a world where I've already been killed because my advanced brain is a threat to our mighty metal overlords, but they recognized my flesh is weak and gets easily winded.

Still, Japan should have had a few nuclear powered giant robots by now. That would have solved a few recent problems pretty easily (or caused a hell of a lot more).

Robots build our appliances, but that's about all they seem to do. That and break dance. We need to get on making more humanoid autonomous robots with varied skills. Either that, or we have to work on the AI we put into our basic, everyday crap.

The other day I walked up to an automatic door and for once I actually trusted the thing to open promptly and safely. For once I didn't hesitate or give it the half-second courtesy skip so I could wak through unmolested. I trusted it to open for me before I got there.

You let me down, automatic door. In fact, you're lucky I have the reaction time of a cat in the prime of his life, hopped up on cocaine and catnip. I stopped in front of you with an inch between my face and your glass before you stalled out and eventually whirred open. If I were even the slightest bit more Jewish I would have had a noseful of glass.

You're on notice, robots. Either get with it or take over the world already. I'd probably support you anyway.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

On Spoons

I never really drank hot beverages growing up, save for some pre-made hot cocoa of course, and I only ever used the small fork and small spoon because I was a tiny child. I still almost exclusively use tea spoons and salad forks, but for a few things here or there I bust out the soup spoon. (Mixing heaping spoonfuls of Tang, anyone?)

Well the whole system got thrown out of whack when I started drinking hot tea. I even add milk and sugar/honey, so a spoon is absolutely necessary. And every time I reach into the utensil drawer for a spoon I have to remember which one to use.

"This is a Different Thing, right? So I need to use the Different Spoon? Is that how this works? No, no, I think I use the little spoon. Which is that again? The teaspoon? Damn, I really hope it's the teaspoon and not the tablespoon…."

And then I remember that I'm an idiot.

Friday, March 25, 2011

On Busting Mad Rhymes

"Ya know, I love the word 'merkin.'"
"Hahahahaha I love your brain."
"Stop jerkin' my merkin."
"…Would you jerk my gherkin? I'll promise not to wear a merkin. Or go a'lurkin'.…Actually, I'm almost done workin'."
"'Would you be interested in jerkin my gherkin?' Pssh stop jerkin' my merkin."
"I didn't really plan on 'jerkin' my gherkin' workin'. Sorry for the merkin jerkin'."

After you teach English majors about the aesthetic art of words, certain phrases just become hilarious. And after that, you will never appreciate them on as many levels as said word nerds.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

On Pokémon

A few weeks ago I noticed my brothers playing the latest Pokémon game. Black version. I find it incredible that after we minimized Gameboy game cartridges into SD cards, we blew up the size of their cases to compensate. I flipped through the booklet marveling at how walking helps your pokémon grow, how the "bad guys" are actually animal rights activists who believe it is wrong to engage in glorified cockfighting and "liberate" your pokémon by–yes–fighting you with their own pokémon. Oh yeah, and for like the fourth iteration, it's actually impossible to "Catch 'em all." Nothing like making a game that completely invalidates your own slogan. Classy.

I also noticed this little gem of bilingual, Canada-friendly logo:

Hell yeah. Pokémon Noire? I'd absolutely buy a new Gameboy to play a noir version of Pokémon. All gritty and black & white? Ash chain smoking for two hours, Brock as a seedy burlesque owner with a penchant for the waitresses who have a nasty habit of turning up dead? Misty the slinky nightclub singer? May (Mai?) as Ash's sexy but clumsy secretary (who you know he should really be with)? Pikachu's bloodstained outline on the floor?

My god, it'd be beautiful.

I was totally going to draw that myself, but it failed on so many levels so spectacularly.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

On Heightened Security

You may have noticed a redirect page in getting here today. That is because today I purchased the official domain name! The results of this are

A) A shorter, simpler domain name you can more easily remember
B) You can now mail me at the terrifically official sounding ""
C) It's harder for me to edit individual old posts now, and
D) I needed to redo my business cards yet again.
Now my cards have this cute little QR code on their backs!
So if you have a phone that does magic, this little bugger will send you straight here!
Of course, Blogger still hosts this site, and Blogger is a Google service, so I can assure you all your favorite stuff will still be here. How can I know this? Because as I set up my administrator account for something called Google Apps, I was told to input a password at least 6 characters long. I put in the short version of my default password, and got this message:

That's right.

Google is so secure, your 6-character passwords have to be eight characters long.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On Modeling Contracts

A dear friend of mine recently was offered a "modeling" gig. Perhaps "gig" is better suited towards being the word in quotation marks. The offer was real enough, and I suppose whatever the photo shoot actually consisted of constitutes modeling. It's just that the offer itself was phrased in the least legitimate manners possible.

For one thing, she was approached through text-only contact over the cam chatting site By a "woman." (Who just claimed to not have a webcam.)

Second, when they emailed her (under a fake name she gave them until she tested their veracity), they were somewhat unconvincing. Let's take a look:

Hello Angela:

A great friend and former model of mine, Sienna Baker, found you on the chat site and sees some real potential in you.  Sienna is a great judge of talent and has already helped a couple girls get some great pro work with a couple top magazines and thinks you could be very good too.

MY big concern is IF you are serious and I truly hope you are.  We are anxious to find models for various projects.  Based on what Sienna has told me you seem interested.  This is a highly competitive business and commitment is everything.  Plus we are on a major time crunch and need to make a selection within weeks for future modeling assignments over the next 12-18 months all over the world!!  That is why I think it important, if Sienna thinks you do well enough during her training sessions, we get some audition pictures of you ... specifically in lingerie and/or swimwear and other ways that show off your body and figure... so we can make some assessments of your potential.  Do not be concerned with having a "perfect" body.... we need ALL shapes and sizes for many different magazines and catalogs.

She specializes in artistic work for mags like Maxim, Allure, and has done some work with Cosmo Girl... and with Suicide Girls on occassion.  Mostly swimwear, lingerie and other sensual fashion.  The work we would want would be very much the same..   Being totally uninhibitted is the key.  Sienna does her initial interview and mentoring and training program online.  We do the audition shoots in person if you do well enough that she recommends you.  There are many BAD agencies out there that lure innocent girls in and then do things that are not polite to discuss.  Sienna never screen caps any of her training work; she is a huge advocate of models' privacy rights.  As far as our audition shoot is concerned, the one we will do in person, we will both sign a mutual release that states we can only show those pictures/videos to potential magazine clients so they can make their selects of models for various shoots.  Nothing will ever be displayed publically without your expressed written permission.

Sienna will expect a lot during her training, Angela.  More than you'd do for an actual photo shoot but she wants to open up, step outside the box but mostly she is wanting the prospect to have fun with what she does.  Just go with the flow.  Being shy will not make the cut.

I have worked with her for a long time and she is very professional and does great work.  Let her teach you and listen to her and you'll do great.

I wish you the best of luck!!

William Simmons
VP of talent Coordination
Tempting Sensations Modeling Agency
(formerly Attitude Models Ltd, UK)
Liverpool England (UK)
P.S.  We are a low-key behind-the-scenes modeling agency and, to prevent being bothered by thousands of girls that only "wish" they could model, we do NOT maintain a web site or publish any photos we do on the web.  We work strictly with the magazine and video industry.


1) This guy must be really unprofessional, what with not knowing the name of the website a worker was scouting, double-spacing after sentences randomly, using CAPSLOCK instead of italics or even–god help us–bold, and of course not bothering to spellcheck his emails.

2) They want you to train (on camera) first, then take audition photos in lingerie and/our swimsuits. To show off your shape (but then assuage you that shape isn't everything). If you do well in all this, they will book you for up to 18 months of gigs they desperately need filled.

3) The "company" specializes in magazines you've definitely heard of, despite these magazines not having anything in common when it comes to the type of women they generally shoot. Also, they do softcore porn for a well known company which prides itself on open auditions through their own site. (Don't ask how I know that.)

4) "Sensual" is a word photographers use to describe shoots when they don't want to scare off naïve models with the word "nude." "Uninhibited" is likewise the word they use when they don't want to say, "just go with it if one of us gets naked too."

5) This is followed by very improperly mentioning that there are "BAD" companies out there who do these above things to naïve young models and then promises not to do any of those things or any other things of which you could conceivably think. They go on to promise that when they actually molest you on camera, you will sign a piece of paper they claim keeps them from ever showing it to anyone other than prospective "clients." Because you are a lawyer and you will know what it says.

6) 'Listen to what Sienna says and follow direction blindly or you will not become a star.'

7) The company is based in the UK despite agenting for models in US magazines.

8) The company does not have a website or contact information. Basic Googling reveals that neither version of the company's names actually exist. They are not even mentioned online outside of references to a London gazette from 2007. Also, even more typos.

9) What kind of modeling agency doesn't want young girls applying at every opportunity? What kind of business model is that?

Now, I can hear you thinking, "Man, that crane is never going to be able to lift that whole thing!" I hear you thinking this because nearly everyone who started reading this blog bailed a long while back, but if you're still reading or skipped all of the above, I can hear you thinking something different, and that thing is, "Well, maybe that guy's just bad at writing emails. He's a VP after all, not a recruiter."

Possible, but remember that he is a faceless dude on the internet promising lofty rewards for trust and showing some skin. Now consider that a Latino music producer approached this same friend for some acting work the same week and provided links to his Facebook, email, company, YouTube account, and the name of the artist for whom he was directing the music video in which he was offering a part. He also spoke with this friend at length. Dear Will didn't do much beyond send an obvious form email (unproofed) on the word of an underling who only has one name and some still photos for credibility.

And what happens when you blow off their stickam-based training session because they're unconvincing? Do you get written off because they don't want to waste their time on spazzes and flakes? Do they send a single email informing you that they're regrettably moving on? Or even checking to see if you are okay?

No, they get angry and threaten you back into stripping for them:


I just got off the phone with Sienna.  I was VERY disappointed to learn that you never appeaed for your scheduled training appointment.
My time -- and Ms. Baker's time -- is very valuable.  Both of us have gone way beyond our normal functions to absolutely reassure you that we were seriously interested in you as a possible model and our legitimate belief you have that "it" we were looking for.  Emphasis now on the word "were"... we can NOT waste time on anyone that is as, apparently, unreliable as you have now proven yourself to be.
Unless you contact Sienna sometime within the next 24 hours with a reasonable reason why you missed your scheduled time with her we will totally remove you from any future consideration and pass along this information to the Studios' Network that you cannot be trusted as a legitimate modeling prospect.
I hope Sienna hears from you today.


That's right, more typos, more extraneous CAPSLOCK, and a huge guilt trip about how hard theyve worked to make you feel comfortable. You know, save for any form of contact more legitimate than a private message over a third-party cam site and promises of eventually sending binding contracts.

And yes, that second half is a threat, actually an ultimatum with a deadline, to blacklist a prospective, possibly hospitalized client from not only their company, but from others within the shadowy, ambiguous "Studios' Network."

This network, I assume, is William's mother's Linksys WiFi. The sultry "Tempting Sensations Modeling Agency, UK" is his room in her basement, and "Sienna" is the name he gave his polyurethane playmate, the one he keeps next to him as he goads young girls into removing most of their clothing for him on the internet, cackling maniacally as he violates both their dignity and his vow not to screencap their exploits, with the ever-crooked intent of blackmailing further seductive photography out of them with the black fruits of this initial endeavor.

Trust me, Angelas out there. I'm from the internet. I know what lurks.


Sienna has responded in the comments below! But here's the text larger and in-line with the above correspondence:

Great piece of b.s. here, Dave. It's too bad that your alleged "dear friend" actually was just one of thousands of girls try to get into the industry that turns out is a WANNABE model ... like all the tens of thousand wannabe singers that try out for American Idol. It's too bad for her that she has no commitment... and pretty pathetic for you that she had you post this fluff nonsense to defend her honor.
Oh well, if it gets you off that you came to her defense thats kool for you!!!

Also, she gave me a shout-out on facebook, though not by name, which would have been fun.

I'm not really sure why I bothered to hide her surname or picture, as she used her full name below and linked to her Facebook, which seems to reveal that she frequently engages in the unprofessional behavior of calling girls who decide not to sign up with her as "wannabes" and unfriends them, (leaving her with just 22 friends).

Her position is "freelance photographer" and her job is "Finding new model talent for my old studios." No further specifics about any company are given. She studied "In England." A quick search reveals that her profile photo is actually a thumbnail of CURRENT runway model Ali Carr, taken by photographer Rupert Tapper for agency Elite New York's Fall 2010 fashion season. In fact, here's the comparison, since I now know it's neither a photo of nor by her:

In her defense, she could have easily been freelancing in the art department that week, which would explain why she has access to the thumbnail file of another photographer's work before it went to print. Or maybe she's just showing off her success story.

She calls me a loser, attacks 'Angela,' and erroneously assumes that I must her be her boyfriend to defend her. She also says I'm posting "false shit about me," which is very interesting considering at no point did I actually comment on anything Sienna did. All correspondence was with Bill Simmons and is documented. That this is a real company and a real agent seems somewhat more plausible now, since I can't imagine a creeper sitting home alone Googling his own fictitious persona to see if anyone's seen through it or railed against him. Currently, the most reasonable explanation is that this really is just an incredibly unprofessional company.

So, for the record:
  • Sienna has a wonderful grasp of grammar and punctuation–she can properly space an ellipsis!–up until the final two words, but that's facebook speak for you.
  • This just keeps getting more and more unprofessional.
  • It's still kind of hilarious. Even if she were legitimately angry about anything previously posted, it's fairly easy to recognize this is A) a humor blog and B) doesn't particularly matter in the grand scheme of her company. I'm not flaming her wall posts and I'm certainly not going to actively seek out this company to berate them. If they didn't want people laughing to themselves about their unprofessionalism, they should strive to be more professional in the future.
This was a very interesting development for the day. Thank you, Sienna!

And it continues:

Dave, I could not resist responding this one last time to your latest post and comments about my reply. I just had to help you with some of your mistaken assumptions but dan you have soooo many!!!
First off, I am NOT an "agency" and have never worked for one. I modeled professionally in Europe when I was an exchange student and back here in the U.S. during college and after for a total of 12 years. As I tell prospects, I have done it ALL and seen it ALL so that is how I can help them get involved in the business with knowledge that an "agency" will never give them! Agents, agencies, and managers will suck you dry and take your money for their "services" and charging for portfolios and other things. If I feel a girl is truly serious I will not charge her (or him) because the studios pay me a finders fee...
Which leads to the second thing, I work with (not for) the actual photography studios...
and the third thing, yes, I do de-friend a LOT of girls!! Just like I said in my first reply, thousands of girls "wannabe" models just like all those sick-sounding wannabe singers that try out for American Idol. less than a few are truly serious and committed. My time is to valuable to waste on them so once I know they are wannabe-types. (BTW, your "dear friend Angela" is only a "wannabe LOSER" because she decided to use you to try to discredit me instead of just hanging her head and going to work quietly at the Hollister store like the rest of her kind.)
Next, although I look amazingly similar to Ali I am definitely NOT her. We all have a "twin" and I'd love to meet her sometime I guess but i usually stayed away from runway models. They always thought their va-ja-jas did not smell. Personally I was always told I looked more like a young Gwyneth Paltrow.
Last thing, Dave, YOU have actually done quite a bit to steal the dreams of some potentially VERY good prospects! They find this blog and actually think I am not for real and bail. That's sad because I truly thought a couple could have made it BIG... but that's on you now.
Please excuse any bad grammar or typos or whatever else you feel special about pointing out. I am not perfect nor do I want to be. And I am not a "pro"... we all know what girls that are "pros" actually are.
Luv and kisses, Sienna. 

I'm glad there's a dialogue going, at least. It's much more transparent.

I'll go ahead and accept that the profile photo is a "celebrity lookalike" picture, but not that it is a separate individual. It is clearly the exact same photo, pre-production. I found it via an identical image search. The fact that it's low-res implies (though does not prove) it is not widely available for distribution.

I'm also starting to wonder if Sienna is Bill Simmons, because she seems genuinely, personally affronted by my criticisms of his email comments, and that makes me sad. Why work for such a company? Why deny working for any company?

For that matter, why say I'm ruining young girls' dreams by defaming Sienna when her own comments are the only thing tying her to this blog? The only person critiqued originally was Bill Simmons at "Tempting Sensations Modeling Agency." In fact, checking my site analytics, I see only 1 6:16 viewing of two pages, with the search query being:

"william simmons vp of talent coordination tempting sensations modeling agency"

So yeah, think we're done here.

Impressionable girls trying to make it in the business: Sienna seems like a lovely girl. I encourage you to ask many questions of anyone offering you fame and fortune. Get business cards, check websites, ask your parents' opinions, look for reviews. Bill Simmons? Kind of seems to be a scumbag in his interactions, but that has little bearing on who else a freelance agent can work with. Find people who are wonderful and professional and if it is what you truly want to be doing with your life, go for it with gusto. I believe in you.

Monday, March 21, 2011

On Poor Self Promotion

Recently, I've enjoyed a subtle spike in site traffic. Perhaps "enjoyed" is somewhat misleading.

It might be more accurate to say that I have become somewhat more popular as result of a recent British crackdown on the world's largest pedophilia ring. This, as people search frantically for information and images of said horror, possibly out of morbid curiosity, ave begun searching Google Images for the term "pedophile." Charming.

And yes, little demotivator poster in the top row? Third from the right? The one made from a somewhat suggestive clip out of a Nickelodeon Nick Jr. series? Yup. You shouldn't have to guess who that link belongs to.

On the upside, that post is titled "Woody Allen's Dilemma" and was written about Miley Cyrus a few years back. An update version is actually going into my book, so hopefully some of you will pay me to read the same thing a second time. Hopefully Mr. Allen also has a sense of humor.

I've seen Bananas so I think I'm good.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

On Real Life Conversations, Part VII Apparently

"What did you see?"
"Oh? How was it?"
"Awesome!…We got to see a big black cock."
"It was curved to the left. And tiny Asian penis."
"Yeah, it's good with the big bulbous head and the curve…." [Arm gesture]
"Remember that scary movie where one poked through the wall?"
"What the fuck kind of scary movie were you watching where a big black cock goes through a wall?…And how hard does that…how does that even work?"
"No, no, not a scary movie, Scary Movie!"
"OH! I thought you meant like a horror movie, not Scary Movie! I've never seen it."
"You've never seen Scary Movie!?"
"Why not?!"
"That was really funny. It poked his ear."
What'd you guys see?"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

On A Super Moon

Tonight will be a full moon, on the eve of the moon's perigee, it's closest point to the Earth for 19 years. Apparently, science-y types call this a perigee-syzygy.

Which is why the rest of us call it "supermoon."

But I guess we're getting excited for this? I mean, the moon will look 14% bigger than usual. And then it'll be brighter. But am I going to care, really? Should I? Sure, maybe I'll look up if I happen to remember at a fortuitous moment, but what am I really going to be looking at?

"Oh, yeah, that's definitely the moon, alright. It's sure … round, and all. No, that doesn't look at all exactly like it has for the last 9.5 years because my brain isn't capable of discerning such small incremental change throughout a full apogee-perigee cycle. No, it's definitely bigger. I can tell."
This was actually the third hit for "Super Moon" on Google.
Great job, Japan.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Large Hadron Collider Is Not A Time Machine

I try to think of an iris, but every time I see this image,
I just think I'm looking into Optimus Prime's asshole.

"Scientists" have reported that the LHC at Cern in Europe could theoretically be a time machine, in that in searching for the elusive Higgs boson, particles called Higgs singlets could be created, which might have the ability to hop over one time-space dimension and freely travel either forward or backward through time, then possibly pop back into ours space-time and maybe then get detected (before we made them).

Yes, in case all of those conditional statements didn't get you, there's a slim chance that this could be a time machine, which wouldn't invalidate any important universal laws. The big thing the scientists were pushing was that since only these special Higgs singlets could travel back in time, you couldn't send a person. This is important because it means you could never go back in time and kill your own ancestor (the Grandfather Paradox), thus invalidating your own existence, preventing you from going back in time and killing your ancestor, thus letting to be born to go back in time and kill your ancestor, ad infinitum. Of course, you could still send these singlets back, and theoretically develop a simple programming language by which to send messages back in time. This, they say, would be paradox free.

Yes, because it wouldn't cause a paradox if someone sent a message back in time with specific intent of preventing an event, thus negating the desire to send that message back in time.

I'm calling Bullshit to the Future, starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

On St. Patrick's Day

Gee, Officer, I don't know how that got there!
Some people celebrate St. Patrick's Day by getting wildly drunk and debauched, regardless of what day of the week it falls on.

For the first time ever, I think I am going to be one of those people. For too long have I been "responsible" and "employed." Today, I shall take my cat to the vet, and when I get home it's going to be a non-stop drink-a-thon. I don't even have to be at work until 1 the next day. It's perfect.

So obviously all he rest of my friends had to grow up and get real jobs this year. Figures. I guess this is what it means to be a late bloomer.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Charlie Sheen Is Hiring An Intern

Last night I was informed that Charlie Sheen is hiring an intern. He's also performing a stand-up tour styled one-man show, featuring talk time, Q&A periods and excessive use of non sequiturs.

But the internship. Yes, "Team Sheen" is looking for a social media intern, presumably because Charlie Sheen cannot be trusted to type batshit crazy tweets that aren't actually so batshit crazy they scare off any of his 2.8 million Twitter followers. They received 74,000 applications for the first round.

The test? Fill out a form and tell Team Sheen why you should be their Media Intern in 75 characters or less (presumably so you can send it as a tweet).

Celebrities For Whom I Should Intern In And Why (In 75 Characters Or Less):

Charlie Sheen - "My mother was a tiger; I am of her blood. Previous job: Vatican assassin."

Jerry Seinfeld - "I'm a guy who's all about nothing."

Lorne Michaels - "There's no way I could make Saturday Night Live any worse."

George Lucas - "Star Wars already stole my childhood, why not my adulthood too?"

Dave Eggers - "I know what 'sardonic' means; I can properly use a semicolon."

Rebecca Black - "I know why it's called "Friday."

Lindsay Lohan - "I have lots of blood. For things."

The guy from Aphex Twin - … alright, there's nothing that can be said about Aphex Twin in less than four million characters, all looped and read back simultaneously.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

On Man Repairs

All men are going to agree with this statement:

There are exactly 5 ways for a man to fix something:

      That's it. Every fix ever is one or more of those..

      Today I tried a Japanese soft drink called Ramune. It's sealed with a little glass marble which you pop down into the bottle using a plastic stopper. Afterward I wanted the marble. I then spent about half an hour trying to pry off the top, cut through it and bend it awkwardly until–eventually–I gave up, placed the glass bottle daintily in a plastic bag and hit it with a hammer. Marble in 3.5 seconds. I hit all the Fix Plans other than taping the thing, but I finally found the one that worked. Certainly it was not as classy a solution as I intended, but it has its own simplistic elegance, I believe.

      Before that I "fixed" my new desk chair. Turns out it was not broken. Rather, I had not learned how to utilize its many functions properly. A few minutes and a screwdriver-used-as-a-prybar later, well, let's just say I'm now typing from that chair in a relaxed and reclined position.

      Yes, sometimes it's as simple as deconstructing how a thing works and then ensuring it functions properly. A couple years back one of my housemates returned home, went to pull her key out of the front door and somehow managed to wrench the key and the deadbolt into unnatural positions. The key we were able to bend back and remove rather easily. And be "we" I mean "I."

      What did I end up doing? Well I was an English major, so obviously I had no homework and plenty of free time. I grabbed a couple screwdrivers, a hammer and a pair of pliers and I very carefully took the thing apart one piece at a time, only removing a component after determining its proper function mechanically and geometrically. To this day I do not know how my housemate twisted and bent at a right angle a deadbolt by simply turning her key (best hypothesis: she is an amazon), but I do know I rebuilt an entire deadbolt lock mechanism in a couple hours using only pliers and a hammer.


      Monday, March 14, 2011

      On Daylight Saving Time

      When I was a kid, I hated Daylight Saving Time. I had a very simple reason: the week we moved the clocks ahead was the same week as all standardized tests in New York elementary schools. Yes, even then I knew I was a terrific test taker, but it still bothered me to lose an hour of sleep the days I had to depend on my ability to never need studying.

      In fact, I ended up writing a letter to the President of the United States, explaining my predicament and telling him that ever since the advent of alarm clocks, Daylight Saving Time really didn't affect farmers very much. In fact, since they tend to wake up before dawn regardless of the time, there never seemed to be much of a point at all. I'm fine with altering time by an hour to keep it light out later, but do we really have to pretend like it's for the benefit of food producing Ma and Pa operations?

      I got a letter back.

      It said the President was a very busy man and couldn't address my concerns at that time, but thanked me for writing.

      That is when I realized the President of the United States of America is as real as Santa Claus.

      Sunday, March 13, 2011

      On Feng Shui

      Feng Shui – The ancient Chinese art of throwing out all your shit and getting new shit. In some cases, it allows you to get nicer shit. Mostly, it just tells you you can't keep anything where it's most convenient.

      Saturday, March 12, 2011

      On A Dirty Mind

      Just saw an ad for a big local car dealership, Curry Honda. Frankly, no one around here very much likes Curry, ever since they swept in and bought out Geiss Automall, which had been around for half a century. My great-grandfather bought from Mr. Geiss. My grandparents and parents both bought from his son. Then Curry came along, bought out the name and fired most of the good mechanics and staff, replacing them with unscrupulous bastards. They are now pretty much the only game in town now, for everything from Dodge to Nissan.

      Anyway, in this commercial the figurehead of Curry Honda explains that they've one their 13th President's Award for excellence or some other such intangible quality. Here's last year's version:

      Does anyone else notice something suspicious going on with that award logo? Let's look closer:

      I know that looks like something, I just can't place it yet. I know I've seen it somewhere before, and I know I feel vaguely uncomfortable around it. Where oh where could I have seen something like this?

      What? Really? I don't think–

      Well, I guess, but–

      … Alright, brain, you win this round.

      Friday, March 11, 2011

      On Blatancy

      The other night my mom complained about how she wanted to repot a plant and couldn't find a trowel in store after store. Just a small trowel, a simple gardening trowel. She finally found one in Home Depot for all of 99¢, but that was already the fourth place she'd gone to looking for a trowel. A trowel should not be so hard to find.

      My thinking is because she kept calling it a "trowel." I just used the word "trowel" five times in the above paragraph. That's what my mom did in relating the story and do you know what I found? The word "trowel" had lost almost all of it's meaning for me. Trowel. Trowel. Trowel trowel trowel trowel. I'm almost at towel. Come on.

      Of course no one's going to carry a trowel. Why are you calling it that? It's got other, much more common names. If you asked for a little shovel, even the guy who doesn't speak English will have a shot at understand you. "¿Un shovel [digging pantomime] pequño?" Sure. But a trowel? Come on, he won't know that one. Help a guy out; pick an other name.

      Until I heard it on network television,
      I thought "calling a spade a spade" derogatory of black people.
      Please, people, let's call a spade a spade.

      *cricket chirp*

      Thursday, March 10, 2011

      Childhood Dreams By Author

      You always wanted to make something of yourself one day. You probably gave up, but when you want to pretend, you read these.


      A 19th century Irish dock worker.


      Mrs. Darcy


      Mrs. Aragorn



      Jonathan Foer

      Lawyer, accountant or doctor, depending on what their mothers wanted.

      Ayn Rand

      Railroad baron

      Stieg Larsson


      Charles Bukowski

      A writer

      Earnest Hemingway


      Hunter S. Thompson



      A professional vagrant 

      Juno Diaz

      Not Hispanic

      Douglas Adams

      A Jedi




      Anything else

      Bryan Lee O'Malley

      A video game

      Wednesday, March 9, 2011

      Precious Memories 3

      Before you get to tired of these, this will be the last rummage through my old notebook doodles for a while. I can only hope you find more happiness and interest in your classes that I did in some of mine.

      Various attempts at a mathematical/graphical expression of
      "I love you equal-to-or-more than a fat kid loves cake."
      I am not always proud of my doodles. I sometimes fly too close to the sun.
      That's when I usually make ridiculous comments next to them.

      A partial cast of Mighty Max, drawn from memory.
      Because we were discussing Virgil's Aeinid
      This you might recognize as a diagram of Dante's Hell.
      Please note the kangaroo when one exits in the Southern hemisphere.
      Apparently, this is how I thought Marxism came about.
      I have mentioned this before, I think.
      I had a couple periods when I liked splitting embarrassingly stupid words which got stuck in my head.
      I figure if anyone deciphered them, they deserved to read words like "ORGASMO" or "VAGINA."
      Anyone who played Final Fantasy VII as a kid would probably be surprised to learn "Sephiroth" is a real thing.
      Also, that it was a real thing in kabbalahistic Judaism. And looks cool. You can see a 2- and 3-D diagram, as well
      as a 2-by-2 attempt bleeding through from the opposite side. Neat.

      Gulliver's Travels was interesting and I wish my workload for any class including this one that semester
      had allowed me to actually read the book. Still, intelligent horses lead to some odd associations.
      "Big Fat Dirty (Pedophile) Uncle Walrus."
      This was from reading The Aeinid too. I don't know what that thing is on the left,
      but on the right that's Zeus boning a chick as a swan.

      Tuesday, March 8, 2011

      Precious Memories 2

      When I was taking my required American Lit (1600-1900) course back in college, the professor had an interesting division of grade weighting. There was a midterm project and then a "final" project around which you also had to construct a class discussion and an abstract. Maybe 10% of your grade actually required more work than showing up before 9 a.m.

      I, being the smart person I am, determined that if I forced myself to sign up for discussion of a book we did early in the second part of the semester, I'd have effectively the last month of class free from turning in any assignments. Here is an opening paragraph I turned in about halfway through the year, knowing my professor adored me and would let me say anything so long as I supported it with hard work and insight. It regards the first full-length motion picture "Birth of A Nation," as made by the Ku Klux Klan:

      "While I disagree with what this dead racist says, I'll defend to the death his right to say it. But not my death. I'm a coward. And perhaps not to the death. To a maiming, perhaps, or at least a serious foreseeable injury." - Professor's only comment? "Voltaire would be proud…."

      Great. What kind of work did I produce after I had ensured a 90+ average for the class?

      Here's my notes for a full week of discussion Kate Chopin's "The Awakening."
      "I have breasts AND indignation!"
      Please note the little Disney Magic Castle on the bottom left. Charming, really. That's the book's cover I doodled. With framing. The next week we spent discussing Anarchism, the results diagramed as more of a character sketch for The Real World: SLC Punk!
      Anarchy in the UK!
      The tiny Goth girl has notes which read "Actually a blond" and "Secretly has My Little Pny collection." After this things start to get a little less cogent.

      This, for example, is the entire week's worth of my notes for Jack London's "Call of the Wild."

      Yes, a dog in the snow. He is a happy dog.

      By the time we made it to "Tropic of Cancer" by Henry Miller, my interpretation of the material had devolved completely into indulging my right brain and sketching the black-and-white nude photo from the cover. To this day, it is one of the best jobs I had done in either shading or the study of hand anatomy. That its medium was pencil on lined paper deeply saddens me. (College ruled, at least.)
      Pretty sure I surreptitiously took this in class on my lap with my phone.
      Of course, it wasn't just this one class I was I was coasting through without reading any of the material all year. I had a frightening martinet of a Shakespeare teacher who was about 2 dead husbands, 40 cats and 15 years beyond her tenure to give a crap about pretty much anything.
      Text reads [from German]: "My leader! My Commander! I am
      the hurricane! I am the lightning!"
      I repeat to all you college students in the world: Many degrees are more an issue of accreditation than teaching you anything in particular.

      Monday, March 7, 2011

      On Saturday Night Live

      In the course of researching my book, I've had to do some things I'm not proud of. Most of those revolve around watching Hannah Montana. It's no surprise then, that when I forced myself to sit down and watch a complete episode of Saturday Night Live for the first time in a few years, it was because I couldn't ignore Miley Cyrus hosting last weekend.

      • They did not ignore Cyrus' tiny personal debacles.
        • They hit those points hard and early with a nice jazzy song-monologue
        • She broke fourth wall in the Bieber sketch and pointed out that salvia is perfectly legal. Good girl.
      • The Black Eyed Peas sketch was fairly accurate and all personalities were well portrayed in both attitude and appearance. This is shocking as it included Kenan Thompson in a pretty sizable roll, Thompson being the worst thing on SNL since Jimmy Fallon, assuming you don't count most of the rest of current cast members.
        • Cyrus nailed her Fergie impression. Watching her dance like that also clearly shows how much a whore she doesn't dance like in her own shows, poles or not.
      • Weekend update had decent writing, Will Forte didn't crack up at any point, Kenan Thompson was completely absent, and lasted a full 20% of the entire episode. (Normally that last part would be a Negative, but by taking up so much time it preempted worse sketches.)
      • Every other sketch, really.
      • 36 Seasons in and Lorne Michaels still hasn't figured out how to sound check the musical act such that their live performance, pumped through speakers, doesn't sound horrible when played on television.
      There's one more thing I was going to list as a Negative, but it might be a positive. Either (more likely) the quality of SNL has degraded so significantly over time that their art department is filled with 2 talentless hacks and an intern who does all the actual work, or (more narcissistically) I've become so awesome at Photoshop and advertising that, without any formal training, I am on par with professional art departments.

      Quit biting my style, SNL!
      (Or just offer me a job already, geeze.)

      Sunday, March 6, 2011

      Precious Memories 1

      Combing through my bookshelf reveled some very interesting finds this go-around. I threw out maybe an inch and a half of useless notes and a few textbooks. Well, almost useless notes. You know how some people doodle in margins? I tend to do that, except with words, pictures, cartoons, codes, original alphabets, geometric patterns, quotes, and whatever the hell I have stuck in my head that minute.

      Tonight, since I'm too lazy to scan anything, I'm going to share with you a couple random excerpts I came across.

      "I don't know how World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." - Einstein

      "Intensify forward fire. I don't want anything to get through." - Admiral Piett, Return of the Jedi, one hearing that deflector shields had been lost aboard his Super Star Destroyer, Executor. Placement: top left page of my notes.

      "INTENSIFY FORWARD FIRE POWER!" - Admiral Piett, right after his last decision did nothing to stop a damaged A-Wing from crashing directly through his viewport into the bridge of the Executor. Placement: top right of same page.

      "Pepe Le Pew's cat girlfriend = 'Penelope.'" - Directly between the above.

      "Engage in rocking behavior with your genitalia on the outside." - Apparently "rock out with your cock out" wasn't classy enough for Brit Lit class.

      "Marxism: All your base are belong to us." - Real cute drawing of Carl Marx next to that. Helped me get through Criticism discussion.

      And last but hopefully least, one rare gem I believe was original insight from yours truly:

      "I don't believe in abortion, but I believe in falling down stairs … a lot."

      Saturday, March 5, 2011

      Things Charlie Sheen Might Actually Be On

      Alright, Dean, you win.

      Things Charlie Sheen Might Actually Be On:
      • Drugs
      • Twitter, denying that he is on drugs
      • Methadone, to stop being on drugs
      • Either "The Ball" or "Top of His Game," since apparently he is constantly winning
      • Network news at least once every 48 minutes
      • Par with his brother, Emilo Estevez's character Gordon Bombay in the opening scenes of The Mighty Ducks where he gets pulled over for a DUI.
      • Top of Old Smokey, if "Old Smoky" is the name of his crack pipe.
      • A hooker/porn actress, depending on if there's a camera present
      • And off again with drugs
      • (A) horse
      • Mood stabilizers
      • -omatopoeia 
      • Tiger blood
      Charlie Sheen's father Martin Sheen once couldn't get on an
      airplane because his driver's license still reads "Martino Estevez."