Monday, February 28, 2005

Heroes And Villains No. 21--> Chrissie Hynde & Bruno Hauptmann



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Local Girl Makes Good (Again) & Mentions Trailer Life


It was great seeing Hillary Swank talk about life in a trailer park (Bellingham, Wash.) at the Academy Awards. While my bloodline runs about 51% hillbilly, I never actually lived in a trailer. I did, however, spend a lot of time at the Angle Lake Mobile Home Park visiting my both my Aunt and Uncle and my Grandmother in their respective single-wides.

Cage The Beast??


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The Sun today reported that Saddam Hussein will sit in a Hannibal Lecter-style cage during his trial. Are we expecting some dramatic bust-out?? Click on the title to link to the article in The Online Sun... /jack

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Heroes And Villains No. 20--> Two More Catholics--> Keelin Curran & Pope Alexander VI a/k/a Rodrigo Borgia a/k/a "The Bad Pope"



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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Heroes And Villains No. 19--> Two Americans Born in 1903--> Zora Neale Hurston & John Dillinger


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Friday, February 25, 2005

Thompson's Wake


ASPEN — Hunter S. Thompson heard the ice clinking.

'Loving' farewell to writer
Wife details family gathering with Thompson dead in chair

By Jeff Kass, © 2005, Rocky Mountain NewsFebruary 25, 2005

The literary champ was sitting in his command post kitchen chair, a piece of blank paper in his favorite typewriter, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot through the mouth hours earlier. But a small circle of family and friends gathered around with stories, as he wished, with glasses full of his favored elixir — Chivas Regal on ice.

Click on the title to link to this strange story in The Rocky Mountain News. /jack

Heroes & Villains No. 18--> Joni Mitchell and Maier Suchowljansky (a/k/a Meyer Lansky)



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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Heroes And Villains No. 17--> Erzsebet Bathory, Countess Of Transylvania (And Vampire) & Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, a/k/a Mother Theresa



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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Our Sauron



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Some Quotes On Heading To The Laughing Academy

I suppose it is much more comfortable to be mad and know it, than to be sane and have one's doubts.

~G.B. Burgin

A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.

~Emily Dickinson
The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you.

~Rita Mae Brown
A man who is "of sound mind" is one who keeps the inner madman under lock and key.

~Paul Valéry, Mauvaises pensées et autres

Heroes And Villains No. 16 --> Josef Stalin and Calamity Jane



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Bob Says The Music Is Boring (and he's at least 90% right)



From the New Music Express web edition (click on title to link):

BOB DYLAN has launched a withering attack on contemporary rock bands in the programme notes for his latest American tour.


"I know there are groups at the top of the charts that are hailed as the saviours of rock'n'roll and all that, but they are amateurs. They don't know where the music comes from," he wrote, adding, “I wouldn't even think about playing music if I was born in these times... I'd probably turn to something like mathematics. That would interest me. Architecture would interest me. Something like that."

Dylan’s latest leg of his so-called 'Never Ending Tour' opens in Seattle on March 7.

Meanwhile, Martin Scorsese's two-part Bob Dylan documentary, ’No Direction Home’, is now likely to air on BBC2 in late September.

Concentrating on Dylan’s career from his arrival in Greenwich Village until his 1966 motorcycle crash, the film will draw on previously unseen archive footage from the singer’s own personal collection, plus new interview material.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Heroes And Villains No. 15---> Gertrude Stein And Richard M. Nixon



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Heroes And Villains No. 14--> Joan d'Arc And Ivan The Terrible



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Heroes And Villains No. 13--> Nero (Nero Claudius Caesar, a/k/a Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus) And Phil Lesh



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Monday, February 21, 2005

Heroes And Villains No. 12 --> Maximilien Robespierre and Artemisia Gentileschi



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Heroes And Villains No. 11--> Gaius (Caligula) And Rachel Carson



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Selah:::::::::::Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

I don't think any of us expected him to die quietly in bed, and with his final act, Hunter S. Thompson turned a gun on himself this weekend. He hadn't grown saner over the years, and we all knew about his serious fixation on firearms. To celebrate Hunter S. Thompson, we need to look beyond his public persona, and his final act, and go straight to the texts.

From his recently published The Rum Diaries (written in 1959) to the Fear And Loathing books, the guy could write. His Hell's Angels book broke serious ground for participatory journalism. Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail '72 is the best book (and the funniest book) I've ever read on the campaign process. Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas is an extremely twisted and hilarious peek under the covers at the American Dream. His books of letters (The Proud Highway, etc.), The Curse of Lono, and other lesser known books were first rate. Even the later, crankier, and more misanthropic books still had much to recommend them; no matter what, the guy could write. He was not an objective journalist, but he was a great partisan journalist. He believed in his books. Everything else didn't count for much. I have probably learned more about writing from him than almost anyone else I've read. His journalistic background allowed him a structure that so many other people struggle to find. He found his voice early, and he stuck to it.

Buy a book or two and check him out if you haven't had the chance. /jack
---o0o---

Heroes And Villains No. 10--> Ma Barker and Elizabeth Gaskell



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Sunday, February 20, 2005

With Friends Like This Piece Of Dogs***, POTUS Doesn't Really Need Enemies Like Us

The New York Times, Drudge, and others today report on The President's betrayal by his old Christian buddy and confidante Doug Wead. I won't go into details...read the stories. Doug Wead is lower than a snake's sphincter. He secretly taped conversations he had with George W. Bush in the late nineties. The President discussed his religious views, gay tolerance, drug use, and other matters. Wead says he recorded the conversations because he viewed Mr. Bush as a historic figure. Since Wead has a new book coming out about presidential childhoods, he will benefit from the publicity, but that was not his motive in disclosing the tapes. Yeah.

Mister President, I know how much you value confidentiality. I salute you for not having this treacherous little weasel bumped off. I'm not sure I could have exhibited the same forebearance. Wead still claims friendship and affection for The President. This guy makes Linda Tripp look like a paragon of virtue. If we're going to sink POTUS, let's do it by fair means. . .Lord knows, there must be some real dirt out there!
---o0o---

Heroes And Villains No. 9-->Maria Mitchell And Idi Amin



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Saturday, February 19, 2005

Heroes And Villains No. 8--> Mother Jones and Heinrich Himmler



Click to enlarge... /jack
---o0o---

Heroes And Villains No. 7---> Two Bald Guys--> Hideki Tojo and John Glenn



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The Grey Invasion Plan



One of my favorite documents of The Grey Story (or myth, or legend) is The Krill Papers. In this section, a "Nordic" invader describes to a UFO researcher, George Andrews, how The Greys might go about conquering our planet. [1]

"Were you a culture about to invade, you would not do it with a flourish of ships showing up in the heavens and undergo risk of being fired upon. That's the type of warfare slightly less evolved beings get into. You would create intense confusion and disagreement with only inferences to your presence -- inferences which would [in turn] cause controversial disagreement.

"The Greys are insidious little fiends. They did exactly [to us] what they're doing here [to you]. You are not on the verge of an invasion. You are not in the middle of an invasion. The invasion has already taken place. It's merely in its final stages.

"What would you invade? [Here he describes the operational plan of the Greys from the beginning.] You would go to the most secret of communities within a society. In the case of the United States, you would go and infiltrate the CIA. You would take over some of them and you would take over part of the KGB.

"You would create great dissension and disagreement between factions of the public at large -- some groups saying they have seen UFOs, others saying 'No, no, this is not possible.' You would involve two major countries in an on-going idiotic philosophical disagreement so that while the Soviet Union and the United States constantly battle back and forth about who has which piece of territory or whether one invades Iran or whether one invades Afghanistan or whatever... whether one dismantles one nuclear warhead or the other dismantles another group of warheads. You would sit back and laugh if you had the capacity to laugh.

"You would present yourself indeed to some in a group who would protect you [CIA or MJ-12] thinking they had a secret more secret and more perfect knowledge of something than anyone else on this planet had, and they would covet you and you would trust their own greed and you would trust their own mass stupidity to trap them. And you'd do it on both sides.

"You'd show yourself to some of the mass populace to further involve [factions of] the government in an attempt to shut them up, to keep them even more busy quieting them and trying to 'stop more information about UFOs from getting out.' You'd have the mass populace to a state where they distrusted the government. 'Oh, why don't they believe us? Why can't they understand that these things are really happening? We're not crazy!'

"So you would have battles constantly about whether UFOs exist or don't exist. You would have the public and the government at each other's throats. You would set two major superpowers at each other's throats. And you would have set up groups like 'haves' -- the wealthy but contented -- and the 'have- nots.' You would plant the seeds of massive discontent.

"Eventually you might have some show of ships landing in the 1990s. One or two. By the time they have landed, be assured they will be in complete control. You will start doing crossbreeds and more crossbreeds, generation after generation.

"You bribe the government with a few tidbits -- a Star Wars system. You tease and tempt the Soviet Union with a laser system far finer than any of their own scientists could think of. And you always have that subtle inference -- just on the borderline of consciousness so that UFOs don't seem to believable, yet you keep it couched in secrecy and make it seem quite so insane that no one would believe them. On top of it, you would unleash forces that would want to kill them [UFO contactees] if they disclosed that the CIA is dealing with the exact same things the [contact victim] is.

"Maybe one or two hundred years from now, some of the Greys will even physically mingle and you may have some creatures walking around who are pretty much hybrids between Greys and your own race. For now, anything that walks around will look much like yourselves. It's simpler. It holds down on mass panic.

"Everyone who has experiences with them [Greys] will be at odds with the government. To add to that, we will go into a complete phase of earthquake after earthquake and upheaval after upheaval.

"The inner core of the CIA is deeply controlled by the Greys. The CIA sees interaction with the Greys as a path to greater scientific achievement.

"One reason you are seeing so many different kinds of UFOs is that other cultures are watching with extreme interest. Scientists from other cultures arrive to watch. The Greys have not only taken over the intelligence agencies, they have also taken over what those agencies call 'lunatic fringe groups.'"

[1] Excerpts from "A SITUATION REPORT ON OUR ACQUISITION OF ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY AND INTERACTION WITH ALIEN CULTURES by O.H. KRILL" There are copies of this paper all over the internet. Its provenance is, of course, murky at best. But it's a hell of a read, whether it's fact or fabulation. /jack
---o0o---

Heroes And Villains No. 6--> Jerry Garcia and Tokyo Rose (aka Ikuko Toguri)



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Friday, February 18, 2005

Heroes And Villains No. 5--> John Wilkes Booth and Emily Dickinson



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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Heroes And Villains No. 4-->Jeffrey Dahmer and Daniel Boone



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American Nuns Gone Wild!


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Twelve American nuns have been suspended after going on an alcohol and sex fuelled holiday. The women, aged between 22 and 31, slept with a total of 43 men on the two-week tear.

I wonder why all the priests never thought of road trips?

Click on the title of this entry to link to the news article.

Feed X To The Troops To Combat Shell Shock? Raves The New Group Therapy?

Click on the title to link to the news story...

American soldiers traumatised by fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are to be offered the drug ecstasy to help free them of flashbacks and recurring nightmares.

The US food and drug administration has given the go-ahead for the soldiers to be included in an experiment to see if MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy, can treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

Digital Painting --> Heroes And Villains No. 3--> Jack Kennedy and Torquemada, Or, Two Catholic Boys



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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Digital Painting --> Heroes And Villains No. 2--> Bishop Tutu and Il Duce (aka Benito Mussolini)



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Second in a series. Don't ask me why I paired these two. If I keep it up, the juxtapositions should get pretty interesting.

I guess in No. 1, people might consider LBJ a villain too. In his case, he was both, I guess. . .a hero on civil rights and social services, and a villain on The War. /jack

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Digital Painting --> Heroes And Villains No. 1--> Adolph Hitler and Lyndon Johnson



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The Hive Pulse

This is one of those "everything you know is wrong" stories. A random number generator is shaking the very foundations of rational scientific thought. Scientists are looking at predictive behavior, the very nature of time, and the notion that there may actually be a global mind (what we paranormal types think of as the hive pulse) running through all human beings.

When an event like the World Trade Center attacks, or the South Asian Tsunami occurs, the collective human consciousness affects this battery of machines that generates random numbers. The machines may reflect our joys and agonies.

"It is possible - in theory - that time may not just move forwards but backwards, too. And if time ebbs and flows like the tides in the sea, it might just be possible to foretell major world events. We would, in effect, be 'remembering' things that had taken place in our future. "

"While we may all operate as individuals, we also appear to share something far, far greater - a global consciousness."

Here is an article about the project: http://www.rednova.com/news/display/?id=126649#121

and a link to the project itself: http://noosphere.princeton.edu/

Be sure to check out the realtime EGG display. /jack
---o0o---

Monday, February 14, 2005

Buy Mary Kay LeTourneau and Vili Fualaau A Wedding Present!


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They're getting hitched up in a couple of months, and they have chosen Their Pattern. /jack
---o0o---

All Star Benefits=Bad Music

I don't watch awards shows much, but I tuned in for a minute to the Grammys last night. I dialed in just as they started the tsunami relief performance (you could download the song immediately from iTunes and CBS with the proceeds going to benefit the survivors).

It seemed promising. The song, The Beatles' All Across The Universe, featured Velvet Revolver, Stevie Wonder, Norah Jones, Bono, Alicia Keys, Alison Krauss, Tim McGraw, Steven Tyler, Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, soul great Al Green and Brian Wilson. It was execrable; aren't all these superstar benefit assemblages? They might even be able to bring in more money for the cause by promising not to play another tune. . .

flag 19



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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Ripped From The (Actual?) Headlines

More internet chestnuts, while I recover from the 'flu... /jack


Experts Say
Something went wrong in jet crash, experts says
Plane too close to ground, crash probe told

Animals
Panda mating fails; Veterinarian takes over
Squad helps dog bite victim
Enraged cow injures farmer with ax

Crime
Killer sentenced to die for second time in 10 years
Enfield couple slain; Police suspect homicide
Juvenile court to try shooting defendant
Drunk gets nine months in violin case
Stolen painting found by tree
Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers

Politics
Soviet virgin lands short of goal again
Reagan wins on budget, but more lies ahead
War dims hope for peace

Worker's Rights
Miners refuse to work after death
If strike isn't settled quickly, it may last a while
Prostitutes appeal to Pope

Saturday, February 12, 2005

List No. 13 - Horror Movie Survival Guide

This is the best of two lists that circulate endlessly on the internet. The first one I have had since 1993, when I found it on a bulletin board (aka BBS). The second one had many of the same items, and some new ones. As always with these lists, attribution if difficult, if not an outright joke...

When it appears that you have killed the monster, *never* check to see if it's really dead.

Never read a book of demon summoning aloud, even as a joke.

Do not search the basement, especially if the power has just gone out.

If your children speak to you in Latin or any other language which they do not know, or if they speak to you using a voice which is other than their own, shoot them immediately. It will save you a lot of grief in the long run. It will probably take several rounds to kill them, so be prepared.

When you have the benefit of numbers, *never* pair off or go it alone.

As a general rule, don't solve puzzles that open portals to Hell.

If appliances start operating by themselves, move out.

Do not take anything from the dead.

Don't fool with recombinant DNA technology unless you're sure you know what you are doing.

If you're running from the monster, expect to trip or fall down at least twice, more if you are of the female persuaion. Also note that, despite the fact that you are running and the monster is merely shambling along, it's still moving fast enough to catch up with you.

If your companions suddenly begin to exhibit uncharacteristic behavior such as hissing, fascination for blood, glowing eyes, increasing hairiness, and so on, get away from them as fast as possible.

If your car runs out of gas at night, do not go to the nearby deserted- looking house to phone for help.

Beware of strangers bearing tools such as chainsaws, staple guns, hedge trimmers, electric carving knives, combines, lawnmowers, butane torches, soldering irons, band saws, or any device made from deceased companions.

When something bad is chasing you, bear in mind that when you try to start your car, no matter how reliable the vehicle is normally, you'll have to crank the engine over many times before it will fire up.

People arriving to rescue you generally get ambushed by the monster, so don't rely on them as your only means of escape. In fact, expect to be surprised and delayed by encountering their flayed corpse at some point.

If you realize that the people in your town/county are having their minds taken over by some strange force, alien or otherwise: DO NOT call the police as they are A) either already taken over themselves and will turn you in or B) Will not believe you and laugh at you. Either way, you must handle the problem yourself.

If a small band of children appear to be smarter then the adults that are around them, be cautious. If they stay together in a small, secretive group, and display nothing but hostility towards their elders, authority, and the church, leave town at once. If you wish to stay, be as kind to the children as possible, but expect to die anyways because you are inferior to them.

When you land on a distant planet and find some objects that look like eggs, leave them alone.

When one of your spaceship's crew finds a hideous parasite attached to his body (as a result of disobeying the previous rule), don't let him back on the ship. The guy's dogmeat anyway.

When a hideous alien menace is hunting you (as a result of disobeying the previous two rules) never wander off alone to hunt for the ship's cat.

If you manage to lose a few body parts along the way, don't despair. Take this opportunity to replace them with weapons, such as chainsaws, harpoons, etc.

If you are a female, never show your breasts, easy women are expendable.

If you are using a gun to combat the all-comsuming evil, it is a good idea to quickly find a new means of defense, because no matter how much ammo you have, you'll run out just before you kill the monster.

If you are wounded by flesh-eating zombies, aboandon all hope, because sooner or later, no matter how many antibiotics you take, yer gonna become one of 'em.

If you're the the last main character left, and a bunch of people are hunting the monster, DON'T stand out in the open, because you will immediately be mistaken for the monster.

Don't open the closed door, especially if you hear scratching, heavy breathing, or any other strange noises from the other side.

While in a horror film, never bathe, especially when in the house alone.

In terms of weaponry and general equipment for fighting the monster, never rely on any tool more complicated than a pointed stick. Generators will inexplicably run out of power, just as the nasty space-vegetable climbs onto your jury rigged electrical grid. Just when you've got the ghoul lined up in your sights, your gun will invariably jam.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Rain In Seattle

A newcomer to Seattle arrives on a rainy day. He gets up the next day and it's raining. It rains the day after that, and the day after that. He goes out to lunch, sees a young kid, and asks out of despair "Hey kid, does it ever stop raining around here?"

The kid says, "How do I know? I'm only six."

The Gates, 25 Years Later


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After all this time, Christo finally got his gates up in Central Park. The gates are hung with a gorgeous looking saffron-colored fabric. The amazing thing to me is that Christo wanted to do this while I still lived in NYC--he first proposed it in 1979! And now, he has succeeded, putting up something like $20 million he and his partner Jeanne-Claude raised. The gates will be up two weeks. My friend Kevin lives right near the park. I will see if I can get him to pass along a first hand report. Are they as cool as they seem, or after 25 years, is it just a snoozer? /jack
---o0o---

Thursday, February 10, 2005

What Happened To Mad Scientists?

The British government Tuesday licensed the creator of Dolly the sheep to clone early-stage human embryos for a study of degenerative diseases, re-igniting a sharp debate in the United States about the future of stem cell research. (http://www.newsday.com/news/health/ny-hsclon0209,0,2485639.story?coll=ny-health-headlines)

Why have mad scientists almost disappeared from our movies now? Why indeed: because they're madly working away at their nefarious schemes right here, right now. They live! There are still a few mad scientists in film: in The Re-Animator, or in Sam Raimi's Darkman for example. On the whole, however, the mad scientists are a cliché, and they are disappearing.

Real life mad science is in full bloom in the 21st century. It's not all that different from what the mad scientists were doing in those 30s and 40's movies! Doctors can transplant organs and limbs from one body to another, and even among mammals--we harvest pig organs for spare parts now. The basic programming of life is being mastered. We cloned Dolly the sheep. She was not perfect, but they did clone her. The very code of the human genome has been cracked.

Robots of all sorts have been manufactured, and people now buy them as toys, or even pets. Nanomachines the size of molecules have been created and some of them combine biological and mechanical parts. What once was heresy is now business as usual. We won't know where all this is leading until it is too late. Maybe we're on the right path...we used to burn people at the stake for thinking the world was round. Maybe one of these cloners and modern day Victor Frankensteins is the Copernicus of our time?
---o0o---

Poem: the wrong shoes

Who is that down there?

a person less than unwanted
who met up with the wrong cobbler:
full fathom five

under roiled dark waters
someone's father lies
wearing concrete loafers

and startled eyes.
I don't think he's waving
but his hands move back and forth. ---000---

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

digital painting--> Flag No. 18: Old Glory



Click to enlarge. (c) 2005 by Jack.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

digital painting: Man With Gun



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What The F*** Mr. President??

My wife pointed out an article in the New York Times yesterday. She knew it would make me crazy.

This is like coming home and finding your 80 year old mother in a frenzied sex orgy, with bongs, kegs, and 130 decibels of Crunk pumping through the speakers.

The NY Times article claimed that POTUS not only read, but enthusiastically recommends to friends I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe. I thought Charlotte was a very very good novel (which puts me in the critical minority). It's shocking, however, that The President would be such a fan.

Charlotte contains long passages about the contemporary usage of the word f**k, scenes where religion is mocked, dozens of passages of marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy use, disquisitions on oral sex, casual sex, drinking, cheating in school, corruption in the university, long passages mocking morality, chastity, and sportsmanship, and many many gallons of beer, wine, and Vodka. The pivotal chapter of the book details the date rape of Charlotte Simmons by a fraternity rat.

I am utterly baffled as to what The President would find to love in the book, at least in light of his public persona. The article speculates it may be a hearkening back to his hard partying fraternity days at Yale.

The official list of books The President reads does not include Tom Wolfe. The White House press office will tell you his favorite books are currently His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis (a great book, by the way), Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, and, of course, The Bible.

I keep thinking someone buffaloed the New York Times and we'll read a retraction of the story tomorrow. I just can't wrap my head around this one, it's so weird.
---o0o---

Monday, February 07, 2005

List No. 12: The Speed Of Animals

Speeds are in mph [1]

Cheetah 70
Pronghorn antelope 61
Wildebeest 50
Lion 50
Thomson's gazelle 50
Quarterhorse 47.5
Elk 45
Cape hunting dog 45
Coyote 43
Gray fox 42
Hyena 40
Zebra 40
Mongolian wild ass 40
Greyhound 39.35
Whippet 35.50
Rabbit (domestic) 35
Mule deer 35
Jackal 35
Reindeer 32
Giraffe 32
White-tailed deer 30
Wart hog 30
Grizzly bear 30
Cat (domestic) 30
Human 27.89
Elephant 25
Black mamba snake 20
Six-lined race runner 18
Wild turkey 15
Squirrel 12
Pig (domestic) 11
Chicken 9
Spider (T. atrica) 1.17
Giant tortoise 0.17
Three-toed sloth 0.15
Garden snail 0.03


[1] Most of these measurements are for maximum speeds over approximate quarter-mile distances. Exceptions are the lion and elephant, whose speeds were clocked in the act of charging; the whippet, which was timed over a 200-yard course; the cheetah, timed over a 100-yard distance; the human, timed for a 15-yard segment of a 100-yard run (of 13.6 seconds); and the black mamba, six-lined race runner, spider, giant tortoise, three-toed sloth, and garden snail, which were measured over various small distances.
Source: Natural History magazine, March 1974. Copyright © The American Museum of Natural History, 1974.

Poem: Daybreak

Our spiring sun sheds tons a day
But each still dawn
Clears the rooftops again
To roost with the morning stars.

The hills tumble down
Rock by rock
And the rivers zig
Where they used to zag.

Trees
Run
Rings
Around
Themselves.

Why do we call it sunrise,
When it's just earth
Rolling over
Like a dog?
---o0o---

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Message In A Bottle


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The picture on the left went into space with one of our early interstellar craft. It explains where earth is [1], what homo sapiens looked like naked (like Barbie and Ken), and other information, like a diagram indicating the location of our sun.

Nasa's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) has been working on this "Interstellar Outreach Program" for many years [2]. The gold-plated disk above, is a bronze record containing sounds and images of life on earth. Each of the two Voyagers is equipped with a record player of sorts--with a cartridge, even--to play the disk, and recover the images.

The two circles in the bottom right side of the record show the two lowest states of a hydrogen atom. The vertical lines on the circles show the spin moment of the electron and proton. And (is this cool, or what?) the transition time from one state to the next provides the fundamental clock reference used in ALL the cover diagrams and the images to be decoded from binaries.

Carl Sagan and a team of other folks designed and selected the Voyager's messages and data. The disk includes a greeting in 55 different languages, from Aramaic to Vietnamese. The record also includes a sampler of non-human Earth sounds such as wind, rain, surf, chimps, sheep, crickets, saws, and trains. It contains photos as well, and maps, diagrams of DNA, vertebrate anatomy charts, chemical and mathematical definitions, and other visual displays. The disk includes Beethoven, a Chuck Berry tune (Johnny B, Goode), Bach and Mozart, a Navajo chant, Indian Ragas, and a Louis Armstrong recording. There are 116 binary images on the record.

No one know if the aliens who find this will be able to use it, or decode the information. Will they even have hands? Opposable thumbs? Will they even think in any path parallel to ours? Will the disk just look like gibberish to them? Their scientists--if they have science (and we assume they must)--may need to study the disk for a couple of thousand years before they make a breakthrough.

A book titled Murmurs of the Earth, writtten by Sagan and colleagues, was reissued in 1992 with a CD-ROM compilation of the Golden Record, and a description of its creation. It's out of print, but you can pick up a copy fairly cheaply.

The movie Starman portrayed the Voyager Golden Record being located by an extra-terrestial intelligence who subsequently sent one of their own race to investigate intelligent life on Earth.

Don't hold your breath that any of our cousins in other galaxies will find this and come to visit. The Voyager will not come close to another star for something like 40,000 years. But then again, when you're dealing with our alien cousins Out There, 40,000 years may just be a sneeze in the winds of time.

[1] Or, maybe by the time it is found, where earth was.
[2] We also regularly beam messages out into the void, and hopefully, to our alien cousins, through our Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico.

---o0o---

Saturday, February 05, 2005

A Flag For The New Democracy


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(C) 2005 Jack Brummet

Friday, February 04, 2005

Poem: The Book Of Revelations Is "Taps" For Turtle Island

Seven seals seven vials
seven lamps of fire
seven swift sickles
for seven angels

the last trumpet
blows reveille and taps
wake up wake up
it's time to go to sleep

over the hills
and far away
The Piper
is piping us home.
---000---


jack brummet

Favorite Websites No. 7


click to enlarge (if you can bear to)

Found photos is an interesting repository for found photographs. Many are hilarious, many are very strange, there are some interesting ones, and a few tasteless ones. Whatever the case, it's always amusing. Click on the title of this post for a link there. /jack
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Thursday, February 03, 2005

"American Idol" Trounces "The State Of The Union"


Click on the title to hook up to more info - Click image to enlarge

The U.S broadcast TV audience would rather watch contestants sing, mostly badly, than tune in to The President for an hour (followed by the Democrats annual whine fest). Idol, on one channel in one hour, whipped POTUS and The Dems despite POTUS's speech appearing on all three networks over two hours.
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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Turn A Mouse Into Soup In 30 Seconds!


Click image to enlarge

I was unable to determine how much these units cost. I don't think it would be cost-effective for whipping up your Hollandaise Sauce. /jack

Poem: Explosions

Every last cell
in the body

is replaced over
seven years time

I'm not the Jack
I was in 1998

poems and explosions
go off in my skull

as each cell fades
my brain rewires itself

and the new circuits
begin to sing

in a synapse chorus line
and I don't know


if I will wake up
in the morning

as Adolph Hitler
or Bishop Tutu

or something
in between.
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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Iraqi Terrorists Becoming Facile With Photoshop


John Adam -click photo to enlarge
click title for a link to the CNN story

The U.S. military said Tuesday that no American soldiers have been reported missing in Iraq following an internet statement that an American soldier had been taken hostage. In Baghdad, the U.S. military's press office in Baghdad said "no units have reported anyone missing."

The posting, on a militant-sympathetic Web site included a photo of what they said was an American soldier in desert fatigues sitting on the floor with his hands tied behind his back. The figure with the gun to his head was in fact a "G.I. Joe"-style doll, made by Dragon Models USA.

The militants claimed to be holding other American soldiers (or possibly, a case of G.I. Joes). "Our mujahedeen heroes of Iraq's Jihadi Battalion were able to capture American military man John Adam after killing a number of his comrades and capturing the rest," said the statement, signed by the "Mujahedeen Brigades."
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Do Not Pull The Trigger. . .



click image to enlarge - from an air rifle instruction booklet printed in China