Thursday, August 27, 2009

Conspiracy Theories Pt2



Artist's concept of a catastrophic asteroid impact with the Earth.
Image courtesy of NASA

Welcome new Facebook followers!

Here's my second, and quite possibly most earth shattering theory to date:

In the 1994 movie Nostradamus, he finally comes to grip with his visions by scrying into a pool of water. On the surface of the water we are shown various events in history.

This is done by overlaying stock newsreel footage over the water (WWII, Hiroshima, Vietnam, etc).

It made me think that perhaps the real Nostradamus did exactly the same thing. He was able to look into the future, but the only thing he could pull out of it was stuff that was either broadcast or shown in theaters!!

So, all of those disaster & end-world scenarios he saw? Trailers for Deep Impact, and The Day After Tomorrow

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Conspiracy Theories Pt. 1

I had a friend who recently talked to me about his worry of Planet X
Here's more links:
yowusa
Universe Today

A more rational link
Wiki

Anyway, we started swapping conspiracy theories, and I related one of my favorites that I made up:

In Fingerprints of the Gods, Graham Hancock makes the case the when the polar caps grow too large, the extra weight of the eventually throws off all of the earth's crust & the whole crust shifts as a whole in a cataclysmic event. Then the ice, no longer at the poles, melts and the area area that now occupies the poles freezes. This is cyclical, and has already happened many times in the history of our planet (according to Hancock).

My pseudo-science counter-theory is this: a select few people on earth know about this huge impending cataclysm, and out of the kindness of their own hearts, have encouraged the accelerated use of fossil fuels & the wide scale manufacture of green house gasses to prevent the poles from building up too much ice. These people, oil tycoons, the Bush family, Saudi rulers, etc... appear on the surface to be greedy, colluding, shortsighted nimrods, but they hold their tongues and let their reputation be tarnished, lest the truth be found out and worldwide panic & rioting ensue.

This might sound far fetched, but it's the only reasonable explanation to account for their odd behavior.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Enjoy Burning Man from the Comfort of your own Home!

I got this off of a Burning Man mailing list. If anyone knows the original author, please let me konw so I can give proper credit!

The original author is unknown

* Tear down your house. Put it in a truck. Drive 10 hours in any direction. Put the house back together. Invite everyone you meet to come over and party. When they leave, follow them back to their homes, drink all their booze, and break things.
* Pay an escort of your affectional preference subset to not bathe for five days, cover themselves in glitter, dust, and sunscreen, wear a skanky neon wig, dance close naked, then say they have a lover back home at the end of the night.
* Stack all your fans in one corner of the living room. Put on your most fabulous outfit. Turn the fans on full blast. Dump a vacuum cleaner bag in front of them.
* Buy a new set of expensive camping gear. Break it.
* Only use the toilet in a house that is at least 3 blocks away. Drain all the water from the toilet. Only flush it every 3 days. Hide all the toilet paper.
* Set your house thermostat so it’s 50 degrees for the first hour of sleep and 100 degrees the rest of the night.
* Before eating any food, drop it in a sandbox and lick a battery.
* Mail $200 to the Reno casino of your choice.
* Make a list of all the things you’ll do different next year. Never look at it.
* Search alleys untill you find a couch so unbelievably tacky and nasty filthy that a state college frat house wouldn’t want it. Take a nap on the couch and sleep like you are king of the world.
* Shop at Wal-mart, Cost-Co, and Home Depot until your car is completely packed with stuff. Tell everyone that you’re going to a "Leave-No-Trace" event. Empty your car into a dumpster.
* Spend thousands of dollars and several months of your life building a deeply personal art work. Hide it in a funhouse on the edge of the city. Hire people to come by and alternate saying "I love it" and "this sucks balls". Blow it up.
* Cut, burn, electrocute, bruise, and sunburn various parts of your body. Forget how you did it. Don’t go to a doctor.
* Walk around your neighborhood and knock on doors until someone offers you cocktails and dinner.
* "Downsize" last year’s camp by adding two geodesic domes, a new sound system, art car, and 20 newbies.
* Lean back in a chair until that point where you’re just about to fall over, but you catch yourself at the last moment. Hold that position for 9 hours.
* Don’t sleep for 5 days. Take a wide variety of hallucinogenic/emotion altering drugs. Pick a fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend.
* Set up a DJ system downwind of a three alarm fire. Play a short loop of drum’n'bass until the embers are cold.
* Have a 3 a.m. soul baring conversation with a drag nun in platforms, a crocodile and Bugs Bunny. Be unable to tell if you’re hallucinating. Lust after Bugs Bunny.
* Spend a whole year rummaging through thrift stores for the perfect, most outrageous costume. Forget to pack it.
* Read "Dhalgren" by Samuel R. Delany. Read "The City Not Long After" by Pat Murphy. Cut off the bindings, throw all the pages up in the air, and shuffle them back together. Reread "The City After Dhalgren" by Samuel Murphy. Burn it. Read the ashes.
* Listen to music you hate for 168 hours straight, or until you think you are going to scream. Scream. Realize you’ll love the music for the rest of your life.
* Spend 5 months planning a "theme camp" like it’s the invasion of Normandy. Spend Monday-Wednesday building the camp. Spend Thurs-Sunday nowhere near camp because you’re sick of it or can’t find it.
* Bust your ass for a "community." See all the attention get focused on the drama queen crybaby.
* Get so drunk you can’t recognize your own house. Walk slowly around the block for 5 hours.
* Tell your boss you aren’t coming to work this week but he should "gift" you a paycheck anyway. When he refuses accuse him of not loving the "community".
* Ask your most annoying neighbor to interrupt your fun several times a day with third hand gossip about every horrible thing that’s happened in the last 24 hours. Have them wear khaki.
* Go to a museum. Find one of Salvador Dali’s more disturbing, but beautiful paintings. Climb inside it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First 100 days comparison

I remember reading somewhere years ago that George W took the most vacation days during his first 100 days in the history of the presidency. I'm not verifying that, but here is the total figure for his 8 years: 487 days at Camp David.

According to Washington post Dan Froomkin, he spent over 879 days (or partial days) at Camp David or at his ranch. I'm sure he worked from those locations, at least part of the time.

Anyway, Here's a link comparing bush's first 100 days to Obama's
Politicususa
Huffington Post

General Political Weirdness

Recently, a few things have been grabbing my attention. They seem like mycelia; a little here & there, getting ready to bloom into one cohesive conservative fungus.


May: The Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights:

Gun rider on this bill allows gun owners to bring concealed and loaded weapons into national parks and wildlife refuges as long as they are permitted by the laws of the state in which the park is located.

August: Guns at Obama Speeches
Protesters at Obama speeches carrying unconcealed weapons, such as AR-15s. One carried a sign saying "It Is Time to Water the Tree of Liberty," a reference to Thomas Jefferson's quote that "the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

I'm not a gun control 'advocate', but if a bunch of liberals tried doing the same thing at a George W. speech, they would have been arrested & removed (and probably ruffed up in jail).

Birther's Defacto Call for Revolution
From their poorly constructed, weak logic web page:
"“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775"

Elsewhere on their webpage under acceptable use, they attempt to copyright everything on their page, and by continuing to read it, you agree to abide by its terms. However, the quote I supplied from their page is in the public domain. If I had the same amount of paranoia, false bravado, misguided judgment, and time & energy as they do about discrepancies like this, I would construct an argument about how they are trying to copyright the public domain as well as limit the rights of people who seek multiple viewpoints. But I'm tired, and have a life.

Anyway, is it just me, or do you see a trend here? My suggestion: Obama, please don't go camping on a national park near birthers anytime soon! And if you do, leave the girls at home. I see a potential for a national tragedy.

Blog After my own Heart

And you know the quickest way to a man's heart is his stomach (or rib cage if you're the violent type)

Insanewiches

Example of the type of sandwich you might see there:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lotte's Memorial

Last weekend, the we went down to Portland for my aunt Lotte's memorial service. She had passed away in Georgia a couple of months ago, but most of her family lived in Oregon. Her husband Bill flew out & arranged a memorial service with the help of Lotte's daughter & my Mom. I want to thank Bill again for the memorial. It really helped the family to get together and celebrate her life.

It was great to see my cousins and other family members again.

I debated making this two separate entries, because I have a bunch of commercial links to the places I visited below on the same weekend, and don't think that gels really well with a tribute to a family member. But, I'm tired, and want to wrap up this blog entry.

So pretend the entry ends here.
=======================================================================


New entry:

We also had a few few firsts this weekend:

Ravenna had her first sleepover, and it was a success! After the memorial service, she went with my sister & her cousins back to their house, while Alyssa & I met a friend of mine at Powell's Bookstore.

We then walked down to Voodoo Donut & waited in line for one of the weirdest & most rewarding donuts I've ever experienced: Grape Ape.



I saw this artwork there, and it reminds me of something done by an artist I know but can't quite place the name. If anyone knows who did this piece, please tell me!



On the way back, we visited Jackpot Records, where I got a CD by the band Satan's Pilgrims (MySpace link) Their music is perfectly represented by their album cover! Retro goodness!



On Sunday, I played nine holes with my Dad at Springwater Golf (no webpage, but at this web listing). It was the first time I ever beat my dad at a sport in recent memory! Yea, I'm working out my issues, and smoking him on a golf course is a great way to do it! I'm not saying I played well (I only shaved 3 strokes off my game compared to the last time I played there) but does that matter when you've got gloating rights!?!?! I think not.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Why I'm not going to buy a hybrid any time soon

I was talking with a friend over an aggressive quesadilla the other night, and told him about my new job and it's long commute. I mentioned that my Honda Element gets about 19 miles to the gallon, and my wife's Ford Focus gets about 26 MPG. By driving it to work, I'll save about $250 - $300 a year.

He suggested we trade in the Focus & get a car with better mileage, like a used Scion xA, Honda Insight, or old Civic.

So, I looked into it.

I found a used Honda insight in my area for sale for about $9500, which is estimated to get 51 miles per gallon. I've driven one before, and thought it was not the safest car on the road, but I couldn't find a car with better mileage out there, so thought it would be good to test out the math on it. Presuming we could sell my wife's 2000 Focus for $4000 (a stretch), and we dicked the guy down to $9000, that would mean we'd pay $5000 to trade.

If you go to Edmonds.com's True Fuel Calculator, you can find out the how much money a vehicle will burn in gas in a year & the estimated cost. So, if gas is $2.90 a gallon, I would save about $368 a year in gas if I switched from our Focus to the Honda Insight. (presuming 7000 miles a year, as it is mostly a commuter car, and our road trip car would still be the Honda Element)

So, how long before we break even?

5000/368 = 13 1/2 years! Yikes!

Ok, what if gas goes up to $4.00 a gallon?
I'd save about 508 a year.
5000/508 = 9.8 years! This does not include any repairs needed to the car.

So if you really hate burning gas, go take a bus, bike or train. Or just walk.

If you are in the market right now for a used car, by all means, consider one that gets the best mileage possible, particularly if you drive more than we do.

If you are thinking about getting a new car, also consider how much energy & CO2 it took to make the damn thing. Here's a website with such information, but there may be better ones: Green Car Guide

But if you have a car that gets 26 MPG, and are not going more than 8000 miles a year in it, you should just keep it as absolutely as long as possible.