Tuesday, June 24, 2008
honor dead people strikes me as meaningless. And arbitrary. Because, if
you'll notice, only certain people get this special treatment. It's highly
selective. Therefore I've decided that someday, when the time comes that
every single person in the world who dies receives a moment of silence, I
will begin paying attention. Until then, count me out. It's ridiculous.
Here's what I mean.
Let's say you live in Cleveland, and you decide to go to the Browns game.
There you are in the football stadium, with a hot dog and a beer, ready to
enjoy action, and a somber-sounding public-address announcer interrupts the
festivities, intoning darkly:
"And now, ladies and gentlemen, we ask that you remove your hats and join
us in observing a moment of silence for the forty-three unattractive,
mentally retarded, overweight Bolivian dance instructors who lost their lives
this morning in a roller coaster accident at an amusement park near La Paz.
Apparently, they all stood up on a sharp turn and went flying off,
willy-nilly, into the cool, crisp, morning La Paz air. And, being heavier
than air, crashed through the roof of the funhouse, landing on several
clowns, killing them all and crushing their red noses beyond recognition."
Snickering is heard in the crowd. The American announcer continues:
"And, ladies and gentlemen, lest you think this amusing, lest you think
this a time for laughter, I ask you please-please- to put yourself in the
place of the bereaved Bolivian who may be seated near you this afternoon. Try
reversing places. Imagine yourself visiting Bolivia and taking in a soccer
game. Imagine yourself seated in the stadium with a burrito and a cerveza,
ready to enjoy the action, and a somber-sounding, Spanish public-address
announcer interrupts the festivities, intoning darkly:
" 'Senors y senoritas, we ask that you remove your sombreros and join us
in observing un momento de silencio for the forty-three mentally retarded,
overweigh, unattractive American meat inspectors who lost their lives this
morning in a Ferris Wheel accident at at carnival near Ashtabula, Ohio.'
The Spanish announcer continues:
" 'Apparently, the huge wheel flew out of control, spinning madly,
flinging the poor meat inspectors off, willy-nilly, into the hot, humid,
Midwester air. And, being heavier than air, they crashed through the roof of
the carnival freak show, crushing the dog-faced boy, and destroying many of
"And let's say, as you sit there in La Paz listening to this, you find
yourself seated next to some Bolivian smart-ass who's giggling and poking his
friend in the ribs. May I suggest you'd be highly pissed at this lack of
respect for Americans? And, might I add, rightly so."
The American announcer continues his plea:
"And so, ladies and gentlemen, considering the many grieving Bolivians who
may be seated among you today, and trying to keep in check that normal human
impulse to laugh heartily when another person dies, let us try again-really
hard this time- to observe a moment of silence for the forty-three
unattractive, mentally retarded, overweight Bolivian dance instructors who
went flying, willy-nilly, off the roller coaster in La Paz. Not to mention
the poor, unsuspecting clowns who at the time were innocently filling their
You can see the problem either announcer would face; the fans would simply
not be able to get into it. But I understand that; I can empathize with the
fans. Because, frankly, I don't know what to do during a moment of silence,
either. Do you? What are you supposed to do? What do they expect? Do they
want us to pray? They don't say that. If you want me to pray, they should
ask. I'll pray, but at least have the courtesy to make the formal request.
But no. They offer no guidance, no instruction at all. I honestly don't
know what to do. Sometimes I resort to evil thoughts: I wish my seatmates ill
fortune in days to come; I fantasize about standing naked in front of the
Lincoln Memorial and becoming sexually aroused; I picture thousands of
penguins being hacked to death by boatloads of graduate students. More often
though, I wind up bored silly, searching for something to occupy my thoughts.
One time I inventoried the pimples on the neck of the man in front of me,
hoping to find one with a hair growing through it, so I could quietly pluck
it out during the confusion of halftime. On a happier occasion, I once found
myself staring at the huge but perfectly formed breasts of the woman to my
left, her fleshy mounds rising and falling softly in the late October sun.
And my thoughts turned tenderly romantic:
"Holy shit! Look at the fuckin' knobs on her! Great fuckin' knobs! I think
I'm gonna go to the refreshment stand, buy myself a weenie and hide it in my
pants. Then during halftime, I'm gonna whip out the weenie and force her to
watch while I eat the bun and stuff the weenie up my.... naaah! She's
probably one of those uptight chicks who'd think I'm weird. She doesn't know
the problem is I'm shy."
Those are my thoughts, and I can't help it. During a moment of silence my
imagination runs away with me. I don't know what to do. And why is it silence
they're looking for? What good is silence? The ones being remembered are
already dead, they're not going to wake up now. Why not a moment of
screaming? Wouldn't that be more appropriate for dead people? Wouldn't you
like to hear 60,000 fans screaming, "Aaaaaiiiiiieeeeeaaagghh!!" It sure would
put me in the mood for football.
And one more criticism. Why honor only the dead? Why this favoritism? Why
not the injured, as well? There are always more injured than there are dead
in any decent tragedy. What about them? And what about those who aren't dead
or injured, but are simply "treated and released"? How about, if not silence,
at least a moment of muffled conversation for those who were treated and
released? It's an honorable condition. Personally, I've always wanted to be
treated and released. Usually, I'm treated and detained. Perhaps it's for the
A diversified multicultural postmodern deconstructionist, Politically
anatomically and ecologically incorrect.
I've been uplinked and downloaded. I've been inputted and outsourced. I
know the upside of downsizing. I know the downside of upgrading.
I'm a high tech lowlife. A cutting edge state-of-the-art bicoastal
multitasker, And I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond.
I'm new wave but I'm old school, And my inner child is outward bound.
I'm a hot wired heat seeking warm hearted cool customer, Voice activated
I interface from a database, And my database is in cyberspace, So I'm
interactive, I'm hyperactive, And from time-to-time, I'm radioactive.
Behind the eight ball, Ahead of the curve, Riding the wave, Dodging a
bullet, Pushing the envelope.
I'm on point, On task, On message, And off drugs. I got no need for coke
and speed, I got no urge to binge and purge.
I'm in the moment, On the edge, Over the top, But under the radar.
A high concept, Low profile, Medium range ballistic missionary. A
street-wise smart bomb. A top gun bottom feeder.
I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps, I run victory
I'm a totally ongoing bigfoot slam dunk rainmaker with a proactive
outreach. A raging workaholic. A working ragaholic. Out of rehab, And in
I got a personal trainer, A personal shopper, A personal assistant, And a
You can't shut me up, You can't dumb me down. 'Cause I'm tireless, And I'm
wireless. I'm an alpha male on beta blockers.
I'm a non-believer and an over-achiever. Laid back but fashion forward.
Up front, Down home, Low rent, High maintenance.
Super size, Long lasting, High definition, Fast acting, Oven ready, And
built to last.
I'm a hands on, Foot loose, Knee jerk, Head case.
Prematurely post traumatic, And I have a love child who sends me hate
But I'm feeling, I'm caring, I'm healing, I'm sharing. A supportive
bonding nurturing primary care giver.
My output is down, But my income is up. I take a short position on the
long bond, And my revenue stream has its own cash flow.
I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds, I watch trash sports.
I'm gender specific, Capital intensive, User friendly, And lactose
I like rough sex. I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the f word in
my email, And the software on my hard drive is hard core, no soft porn.
I bought a microwave at a mini mall. I bought a mini van in a mega store.
I eat fast food in the slow lane.
I'm toll free, Bite sized, Ready to wear, And I come in all sizes.
A fully equipped, Factory authorized, Hospital tested, Clinically proven,
Scientifically formulated medical miracle.
I've been pre-washed, Pre-cooked, Pre-heated, Pre-screened, Pre-approved,
Pre-packaged, Post-dated, Freeze-dried, Double-wrapped, Vacuum-packed, And I
have an unlimited broadband capacity.
I'm a rude dude, But I'm the real deal. Lean and mean. Cocked, locked and
ready to rock. Rough tough and hard to bluff.
I take it slow. I go with the flow. I ride with the tide. I got glide in
Drivin' and movin', Sailin' and spinnin', Jivin' and groovin', Wailin' and
I don't snooze, So I don't lose. I keep the pedal to the metal, And the
rubber on the road.
I party hearty, And lunch time is crunch time.
I'm hanging in, There ain't no doubt. And I'm hanging tough, Over and out.
-George Carlin, Life Is Worth Losing, Beacon Theater, HBO
Monday, June 23, 2008
George Carlin's Views on Aging
we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging
that you think in fractions.
'How old are you?' 'I'm four and a half!' You're never thirty-six and a half.
You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key
You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next
number, or even a few ahead.
'How old are you?' 'I'm gonna be 16!' You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna
be 16! And then the greatest day of your life . . You become 21. Even the
words sound like a ceremony . YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!
But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad
milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a
sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?
You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes,
it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are
But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!
So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.
You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day
thing; you HIT Wednesday!
You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you
TURN 4:30 ; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you
start going backwards; 'I Was JUST 92.'
Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid
again. 'I'm 100 and a half!'
May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!
HOW TO STAY YOUNG
1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let
the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay 'them.'
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever.
Never let the brain idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the
devil's name is Alzheimer's.
4. Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with
us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love , whether it's family, pets,
keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve
it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county;
to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER :
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,but by the moments that
take our breath away.
George Carlin dead at 71
"You can't be afraid of words that speak the truth. I don't like words that
hide the truth. I don't like words that conceal reality. I don't like
euphemisms or euphemistic language. And American english is loaded with
euphemisms. Because Americans have a lot of trouble dealing with reality.
Americans have trouble facing the truth, so they invent a kind of a soft
language to protect themselves from it. And it gets worse with every
generation. For some reason it just keeps getting worse.
I'll give you an example of that. There's a condition in combat. Most people
know about it. It's when a fighting person's nervous system has been stressed
to it's absolute peak and maximum, can't take any more input. The nervous
system has either snapped or is about to snap. In the first world war that
condition was called shell shock. Simple, honest, direct language. Two
syllables. Shell shock. Almost sounds like the guns themselves. That was 70
years ago. Then a whole generation went by. And the second world war came
along and the very same combat condition was called battle fatigue. Four
syllables now. Takes a little longer to say. Doesn't seem to be as hard to
say. Fatigue is a nicer word than shock. Shell shock...battle fatigue.
Then we had the war in Korea in 1950. Madison Avenue was riding high by that
time. And the very same combat condition was called Operational Exhaustion.
Hey we're up to 8 syllables now! And the humanity has been squeezed
completely out of the phrase now. It's totally sterile now. Operational
Exhaustion: sounds like something that might happen to your car. Then of
course came the war in Vietnam, which has only been over for about 16 or 17
years. And thanks to the lies and deceit surrounding that war, I guess it's
no surprise that the very same condition was called Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder. Still 8 syllables, but we've added a hyphen. And the pain is
completely buried under jargon. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I bet you, if we'd still been calling it shell shock, some of those Vietnam
veterans might have gotten the attention they needed at the time. I bet you
But it didn't happen. And one of the reasons is because we were using that
soft language, that language that takes out the life out of life. And it is a
function of time it does keep getting worse.
Give you another example. Sometime during my life toilet paper became bathroom
tissue. I wasn't notified of this. No one asked me if I agreed with it. It
just happened. Toilet paper became bathroom tissue. Sneakers became running
shoes. False teeth became dental appliances. Medicine became medication.
Information became directory assistance. The dump became the land fill. Car
crashes became automobile accidents. Partly cloudy became partly sunny.
Motels became motor lodges. House trailers became mobile homes. Used cars
became previously owned transportation. Room service became guest room
dining. Constipation became occasional irregularity.
When I was a little kid if I got sick they wanted me to go to a hospital and
see the doctor. Now they want me to go to a health maintenance organization.
Or a wellness center to consult a health care delivery professional. Poor
people used to live in slums. Now the economically disadvantaged occupy
sub-standard housing in the inner cities. And they're broke! They're broke.
They don't have a negative cash flow position. They're f--kin' broke! Because
a lot of them were fired. You know, fired. Management wanted to curtail
redundancies in the human resources area. So many people are no longer viable
members of the work force.
Smug, greedy well-fed white people have invented a language to conceal their
sins. It's as simple as that. The CIA doesn't kill people anymore, they
neutralize people, or they depopulate the area. The government doesn't lie,
it engages in disinformation. The pentagon actually measures radiation in
something they call sunshine units. Israeli murderers are called commandos.
Arab commandos are called terrorists. Contra killers are called freedom
fighters. Well if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire
what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part of it to us, do
And some of this stuff is just silly. We know that. Like when the airlines
tell us to pre-board. What the hell is pre-board? What does that mean? To get
on before you get on?
They say they're going to pre-board those passengers in need of special
assistance ...cripples! Simple honest direct language. There's no shame
attached to the word cripple I can find in any dictionary. In fact it's a
word used in Bible translations. "Jesus healed the cripples." Doesn't take
seven words to describe that condition. But we don't have cripples in this
country anymore. We have the physically challenged. Is that a grotesque
enough evasion for you? How about differently-abled? I've heard them called
that. Differently-abled! You can't even call these people handicapped
anymore. They say: "We're not handicapped, we're handy capable!" These poor
people have been bullsh-tted by the system into believing that if you change
the name of the condition somehow you'll change the condition. Well hey
cousin ... doesn't happen!
We have no more deaf people in this country. Hearing impaired. No more blind
people. Partially sighted or visually impaired. No more stupid people,
everyone has a learning disorder. Or he's minimally exceptional. How would
you like to told that about your child? 'He's minimally exceptional.'
Psychologists have actually started calling ugly people those with severe
appearance deficits. It's getting so bad that any day now I expect to hear a
rape victim referred to as an unwilling sperm recipient!
And we have no more old people in this country. No more old people. We shipped
them all away and we brought in these senior citizens. Isn't that a typically
American twentieth century phrase? Bloodless. Lifeless. No pulse in one of
them. A senior citizen. But I've accepted that one. I've come to terms with
it. I know it's here to stay. We'll never get rid of it. But the one I do
resist, the one I keep resisting, is when they look at an old guy and
say, "Look at him Dan, he's ninety years young." Imagine the fear of aging
that reveals. To not even be able to use the word old to describe someone. To
have to use an antonym.
And fear of aging is natural. It's universal, isn't it? We all have that. No
one wants to get old. No one wants to die. But we do. So we con ourselves. I
started conning myself when I got in my forties. I'd look in the mirror and
say, "Well...I guess I'm getting ...older." Older sounds a little better than
old, doesn't it? Sounds like it might even last a little longer. I'm getting
old. And it's okay. Because thanks to our fear of death in this country I
won't have to die. I'll pass away. Or I'll expire, like a magazine
subscription. If it happens in the hospital they'll call it a terminal
episode. The insurance company will refer to it as negative patient care
outcome. And if it's the result of malpractice they'll say it was a
I'm telling ya, some of this language makes me want to vomit. Well, maybe not
vomit ...makes me want to engage in an involuntary personal protein spill."
Saturday, June 21, 2008
The answer to pollution and energy
What makes it even more of an attractive solution, is we can return to all the
landfill sites and feed the landfill through the plasma furnaces, extracting
useful energy and raw materials, from the landfill. And leaving nice lakes
full of yummy fish.
The Days claimed net production from each ton of municipal solid waste:
112 pounds of hydrogen
55 gallons of biodiesel
a little electricity
926 pounds of oxygen
We can reverse the entrophy represented by the landfill.
Friday, June 20, 2008
In 1960, a local bus company bought the line and with a colossal lack of
imagination promptly closed it down, oblivious to the howls of the local
Private narrow minded greed, trumps the public good, time and time again.
What a tourist magnet it could have been been, especially if they would have
run steam engines on it.
The tiny island of Britain changed the world, one big element of that change,
was railways. The amazing thing about a railway is, it extends the supply
line for its materials, with which it builds itself, it becomes a self
Stalagmites and stalactites
stalactites, from Dr Iain Stewart, In his excellent geology program 'Journey
from the centre of the earth'.
'tites go down and 'mites go up, I always did wonder lol.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Bottom up, top down.
Top down, has the end of the process closer to the beginning. More like 'the
end justifies the means'.
Monday, June 16, 2008
biggest problems for the type of driver I was - was navigation.
Driving up the road with 38 ton under your bum, whilst trying to read an A to
Z, in a strange city, is not my idea of fun.
When the government in its infinite wisdom, decided that I qualified for a
motability car, one of my first purchases as a car user, was a satnav - an
awesome piece of kit.
A satnav comes with a problem.
Everyone wants to borrow it.
I find it hard to say no to friends.
So I want to say to the world GET YOUR OWN BLOODY SATNAV, but my manners are far too nice.
Basically this has been written as an email.
If this works ok then I will use this all the time 'coz I am very familiar,
You could either program 'top down' or 'bottom up'
I have found this way of looking at things quite useful.
So what is the difference?
This entails writing separate modules, to cope with various inputs and outputs first. Then joining the separate modules together, sort of ad hock. Like starting to write a novel as a stream of consciousness and having no clear idea of where the novel might end.
Once all the modules are written they are joined together in an giant endless loop. Also necessary is a way of exiting the loop.
The giant loop is written first. This means the routines are named before they are written, this is called structured programming.
Both methods have their advantages and their disadvantages.
Top down is tidier and quicker to write, but a lot less powerful and you have to keep reinventing the wheel.
Bottom up, tends to write tighter routines, nature tends to program like this via evolution.
The point it makes is, science is bottom up and religion is top down
Many people eschew any big picture thinking, because they say you cannot test a big picture. Personally I love the big picture. To some people - everything is just details.
Philosophy is an attempt to disentangle the big picture. Philosophers specialize in generalization.
Unix is written bottom up
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
He has taken up the pastime of swinging on the wooden parrot, that is suspended next to his perch. Today he climbed up the rope that the perch is suspended from. He has done this before, but only because I bribed him to do it, with a palm nut. To see him climb the rope in terms of wanting to play with his environment was great.
Another thing he has done to today, much more annoying than the other things, is to attempt to take a bath in his water dish and splashing water everywhere. This he does on average about once a week.
I have tried to get him to share the shower with me, but he won't.
I will sort some photos out when I can locate my camera lead.