A hangover. (1 of several)

quiet, innit?

some bad craziness here last night. lotsa brown liquors mixed with that gin & shit pizza, i think. nobody but moaning a bit when they shift in someone's bed or nest. not always their own. dusts're sifting slow across the morning-forming light in three south windows today, settling unseen into the scuffed varnish of our pine planks. somebody left a kellygreen beanbag under the a/c unit, & a coupla butts thoughtfully ground into the baseboard. kitchenwise, i think we oughta call a hazmat unit. the screendoor ain't latched. a draft carries the sweetbitter smell of warmsticky beer residues like fermented honeysuckle. the couch is askew--from that coffee table, ashdusted, that carries scraps from what i figure must be drug use, though nothing identifiable--just bits. i'll turn off the stereo monitor, brew that oolong, take to the porch, draw up my knees, pull my pad out and click a tip of lead onto my pencil. the house is as if mine.


bactine, anyone? with regard to a sunburn

page two, from the absurdism desk...

Dear Madam or Sir,

Please be advised that your so-called inquiry
has been processed by our Bookkeeping Dept.

In accordance with company policy, the contents
of any and all correspondence are the property,
with all appurtenances and rights thereunto
entitled, of our Company's attorneys.

Further parcels bearing your address will be
ignored until such time as you turn the sun
back on.

Respectfully, etc.
Mrs. Col. Sir Winfred Abbotnary Conesill


Hah! Or, Why I Stopped Hating Mildly Sensible Conservatives

This letter says it all. Bonus war reportage. Bonus woman scornage. Finally, link to some patriotic family fun. Really.



A leftist might often have to come to the conclusion that what she thought true and certain in the past has been successfully challenged. Many of us woul dlike to believe that, except for the dangling or non-dangly parts in our crotchs, there are no fundamental differences between men and women. I believe recently the president of a prominent American university was forced out of his job for suggesting the possibility of differences in brain development or function (or so I suppose one could interpret it, dark suspicions aside) between men and women that might explain the disparity of proportion of female scholars in certain fields as compared to their frequency in the general population. But it isn't really surprising to find that sex differences in gene expression might conribute to such a disparity.

But let's be clear: this issue should and must be separated from the social forces that have far more to do with actual differences in (1) intellectual interest (2) intellectual aptitude (3) intellectual training (4) professional conduct/attitudes between the sexes. That we might find biological reasons to found some differences that can't be papered over by corrective education (however ominously you'd like to take that phrase to be, bear with me here) should not bother us. Just as there are cultural spectrums of behavior that a pluralist society (not, that is, a color- or culture-"blind" one) accepts, it should not be a problem to allow within such a society the existance and acceptance of a spectrum of sex and gender roles. Whether or not they are sociohistorical or biological. (fizhburn claims I have bought his argument that the nature/nurture distinction is merely a conventional fiction, but I am not so sure I finally agree with the conclusion that such forces are sui generis.) Why should we be bothered by it?

The most obvious reason is, simply, that, as every good feminist knows (?), such differences will be viewed through a cultural, and specifically semi-Calvinist patriarchal, lens. Which is to say such differences, one fears, will be exploited as justifications for the continuation of the white man's supremacy. But should we then attack anyone who proposes that such differences are real (and irrepressable)? No. We need to attack misuse and misunderstanding of real and potentially valuable differences. Why not look at such differences of, say, mental capacity (whatever that turns out to be, if there even is any; remember, far more women are graduating college than men these days) are in fact useful for thei potential contributions to the understanding of complex physical, social, and philosophical issues? Let us not be so smug as to suggest that lefty politics gives us exclusive access to the plausible and implausible. If we want to come up with longstanding (permanent?) truths, we needs must listen to what science discovers about us--how we take it is the real issue.


better then snakes o.a. plane

...cuz that be a worn 'n weary trend, friend. check out an alligator punching his way thru a mountain!!1!leventy

cuo bonum? 2 south asian sort of love stories.


St Elmo's Fire

What would happen if you lit a toothpick on fire and then microwaved it? Maybe, tiny plasma explosions? (Via Digg.)


More sexual (politics)

Another entry in this ongoing series. Mark Perkel (Per-kel) offers us sex praxis practice in his somewhat informative and partially helpful guide for nerds. Excerpt:
We humans are strange creatures. As we evolved and as our minds developed we started to become aware of the act of doing sex. Humans are the only creatures on the planet which has the ability to decide not to reproduce. And this ability to decide to not reproduce only applies to a small percentage of the population. In reality, for the vast majority of people, sex really isn't optional. You have to do it, and you really don't have the choice not to. And that applies to both men and women. You have to have it; she has to have it. I don't see why people don't just accept that and realize that sex is something people need to do together and just do it.

But sex has become in the eyes of society as something that's immoral. Logically, if sex is immoral then life itself is immoral. However, I'm a nerd so what makes sense to me probably isn't going to change anyone's mind. I think the problem is that humans are to self important. We like to think of ourselves as being above the average beast. However, when we fuck we become one with the beasts. Just listen to the noises we make. I'm grunting, she's screaming, or faces look like we're in pain, we're naked, it's very undignified. Not the kind of think we want society to picture us doing. We are humans after all, not creatures!

Well, not me. I'm just another male beast. I'm only the third generation in my family to walk upright. I am your typical male. I'm just one of three billion men on this planet who wants to get laid. I'm not what some might call, "highly evolved". We humans are just a chemical pattern that exists on a speck of dust in the universe and exists for but an instant in time. We just aren't that important. Men are just another species of male beast looking for women to fuck.

Therefore, it's OK to fuck and enjoy it. And it's important to realize that it's OK and to make your partner feel like it's OK. Women have to understand that it's OK for a man to just want to fuck. And men have to understand that women want it too and they need to be able to trust you, and if they open up to you sexually that you won't turn weird on them and make them regret it.


Frustration due to madness

F U C K .


words to be softly rehearsed to oneself in a closet

spoon lunchbox scrunchy tapful burgle cam'ra skink apt moil sparge cuneiform rowrbazzle tipple wonky Llorca jahnnycakes phazer antidisestablishmentarianization forget that last one frowardly gigahertz beans Marple cholo phylactery emerge rasp-berry hottentot dingo cumin throttle-bored fractal runcible. cassowary.


no, to the left

Elephants, giraffes, hyraxes all in oil,
seventeen stroke techniques repeating an image you swore
was prophylaxis psychodelica, Ms. Brown.

Was Escher's carp fillet for the smokehouse too?
One wanton afternoon the repetitious representation
coiled steelroped into vidience backgrounds.

Absurd, neither surreal nor real and un
abstract, a play; only lines, colored shadow
and ridges. Strokes one through eighteen.

Number thirteen was missing. Ms. Brown
you said, "Do you spy the shadows there?"
But never... Act and omission my reply.

An easel with an unbound window, wrist held back
under no wood palatte at all, left fingers
knife-ready, before which Bob Ross hesitates.


Ye Olde Penn Station - Now With Pictures!

Still, 43 years later, a too sad fact the grand dame of train culture was destroyed to make way for a version of the Garden makes me despair of the aesthetic "sensibilities" of certain Americans. Ah well...



Summer: Good Times

Check this video of a jar of liquid nitrogen and a watermelon. Hijinks ensue.


short thought

pumping ventricles: green persimmon.
flogged lungs: cinnamon and betel.
our sublunar subluminary journey
diminishes by each cork, by cork.
wipe away green cheeses and sweet
corked persimmon wine from cinnamon
lips. it dialates your ventricles,
this moon-bright betel. kiss me.


In your interest


Blow that up!

When them aliens attack, will the human "race" be ready for space combat? hells no. What do think it's going to be like? Last Starfighter?

Dig an excerpt:
Please note that the amount of beam power deposited on the target is still BP, the intensity just measures how tightly it is focused. Also note that a laser cannon might have lens/mirror which is larger than strictly required for the desired spot size, due to the fact that otherwise the mirror would melt. The larger the mirror, the more surface area to dilute the beam across, and the less the thermal stress on the mirror.

Example: The good ship Collateral Damage becomes aware of an incoming hostile missile. Collateral Damage has a laser cannon with a ten meter radius mirror operating on a mid-infrared wavelength of 2700 nanometers (0.0000027 meters). The divergence angle is (1.22 * 0.0000027) / 10 = 0.00000033 radians or 0.000019 degrees.

The laser cannon has an aperture power of 20 megawatts, and the missile is at a range of four megameters (4,000,000 meters). The beam brightness at the missile is 20 / (π * (4,000,000 * tan(0.000019/2))2) = 15 MW/m2 or 1.5 kW/cm2.

If the missile has a "hardness" of 10 kilojoules/cm2, the laser will have to dwell on the same spot on the missile for 10/1.5 = 6.6 seconds in order to kill it.

Figured another way, at four megameters the laser will have a spot size of 0.66 meters in radius, which has an area of 1.36 square meters. The missile's skin has a hardness of 10 kilojoules/cm2 so 13,600 kilojoules will be required to burn a hole of 0.66 meters radius. 20 megawatts for 6.9 seconds is 13,600 kilojoules. 6.9 seconds is close enough for government work to 6.6 seconds.
This ain't no Independence day shit, neither. You think this is some Independence Day shit? Noes.


Stop-motion destruction

Flikr slideshow of water baloons mid-explosion! & some other things. Think about being a kid and throwing some water baloons, and then realize "Hey, I don't have to be a kid to have fun." Dammit. So get out in that heat and cool off with a good dousing of nostalgia.


But what is 'real'?

Last night, I am happy to report, I had to defend my position on abstract entities. At least, to explai it. Thinking about it, I have been attracted to ontological parsimony, along the lines of Quine. But recently I've moved to a more conservative approach. That is, I am now allowing abstract entities to exist. Numbers, for example, sets (which can be used to define numbers but which may or may not be different from them), probably concepts. In what way are such nonphysical entities real? Or, to ask it another way, the question is what would it mean for something nonphysical to exist? This is no so intelligible as it seems at first. (Isn't it wonderful that we can turn our ordinary understandings of things into serious philosophical problems?) We imagine them floating in a void, so to speak. Or we try to ignore the question. Neither of these methods of addressing the question is acceptable, though the first for trivial reasons and the second for shameful ones.

Suppose there are souls and they are nonphysical. That would mean they have no properties physical objects have. It would not make sense to ask, "Where is my soul?"–one needs to ask, "What properties can a soul have, given my substance dualism?" Suppose instead that there are numbers, and they are nonphysical. Then it would not make sense to ask where they are or their color, or whatever. (Do we have notions of nonphysical properties? Yes: logical relations, e.g., or set membership.) The problem will be to explain how we physical things access these nonphysical "abstract" entities. We are now switching to a different topic, but one derived from the original question. And the answer, it seems to me, is somewhere in McDowell's rather startling claim that physical entities have conceptual content.

Ask yourself this, then: since abstracta aren't anyplace, what does it mean to say there are some? Almost everybody accepts that existence isn't predicable, but it seems like we do it anyway, when we get into ontology. Putting that aside, there is still the question how we can understand the existence of something with no place in space-time. We must always, I think, if we envision them, think of abstracta wrong: we think of them as having the physical property of location. We misunderstand them, in other terminology. How... quaint.

Happy Bastille Day!

Viva la revolucion... 's demise. Go capitalismization.


worst supergroup evar.

My t-shirt has a theme song! I've had the shirt since the week it came out. S.L.J. wears one in the cameo he does in this vid. Be trendy here. Much thanks to J-Ro.


The Next LvL

So I recently obtained a new laptop. Those of you who know me IRL have probably noticed a distinct vampirish tint to my skin, as almost everywhere I slump around to has wireless provided or is near enough that I can leach some bandwidth to feed my interweb addiction. And now, without further ado, my new favorite ste to distance myself from nubs who see the "mac guy vs. windows buy" commercials than think ha ha, that's great--macs are so kewl.

Mac Geekery. I love you, geeks. I sal-oot you.

[p.s. Posts to cover 30th June to 10th July '06 forthcoming. --f.]
[Update: no longer forthcoming due to certain parties' laziness. --f.]


R.I.P. Syd Barrett

he didn't know the dangers of permatripping.
not bad for a recluse.1946-2006ce.