Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bon voyage

This will probably be my last post for a long long time now. I leave for basic training in about 3 days, and ill be there for 14 weeks. After which I will be going onto Airborne school to learn how to jump out of a perfectly sound plane. Then onto multiple prep and training courses for a total of about 2 years of training if I don't let my self give up or fall behind too much in them. To Kierstan, I love you with all my heart, I will be thinking about you every day and I'll come back to you soon. To my friends I love all of you and ill miss every one of you; don't forget about me because ill be back. To my family, thank you for everything you've done for me. De Oppresso Liber.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

This is not a drill, this is really happening

In September 2007, the Inspector General of the Justice Department reported that the Terrorist Screening Center (the FBI-administered organization that consolidates terrorist watch list information in the United States) had over 700,000 names in its database as of April 2007 - and that the list was growing by an average of over 20,000 records per month.

At that rate, our list will have a million names on it by July. If there were really that many terrorists running around, we'd all be dead.

Terrorist watch lists must be tightly focused on true terrorists who pose a genuine threat. Bloated lists are bad because they ensnare many innocent travelers as suspected terrorists, and because they waste screeners' time and divert their energies from looking for true terrorists. Small, focused watch lists are better for civil liberties and for security.

The uncontroversial contention that Osama Bin Laden and a handful of other known terrorists should not be allowed on an aircraft is being used to create a monster that goes far beyond what ordinary Americans think of when they think about a "terrorist watch list."

This is not just a problem of numbers. The numbers are merely a symptom. What's needed is fairness. If the government is going to rely on these kinds of lists, they need checks and balances to ensure that innocent people are protected.

Granted the ACLU has stated things some things in the past that are a little too far left for my personal tastes, but if you're going to have fundamentalist neo-conservatives running this country and telling us what to fear on a daily basis, we should definitely have an organization that opposes such ideology on the other end of the spectrum.
ACLU: Watch List Counter

Futt Buckers

I just got back from Philly, and I already miss everyone. I will miss my computer for a short time, and maybe my xbox, and for awhile my puppies, but I will always miss my friends. I came home to a vintage copy of Lord of the Flies that I purchased before leaving. I think I'll start collecting books, and maybe read most of them. I want to eventually have a floor to ceiling set of shelves stocked full of books nestled in the corner of my apartment or house in the future. I still have all my art history books, and literature books from high-school as well as a few poetry books from college english classes. I think they'll make a good start.

I leave for basic in 6 days.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Blue Brain

The name of the supercomputer is literal: Each of its microchips has been programmed to act just like a real neuron in a real brain. The behavior of the computer replicates, with shocking precision, the cellular events unfolding inside a mind. "This is the first model of the brain that has been built from the bottom-up," says Henry Markram, a neuroscientist at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the director of the Blue Brain project. "There are lots of models out there, but this is the only one that is totally biologically accurate. We began with the most basic facts about the brain and just worked from there."
Out of the Blue

Existing for one's own sake

When juxtaposed with my previous post 'Return to who?' I may be viewed as a hypocrite. But where is there a law that states you must hold fast to your beliefs regardless of the price? I would rather be cited as a hypocrite by others for constantly changing my beliefs, searching for truth, than stand fast in them and stagnate. Is it not better to search and never find what you are looking for than to stand still and claim how brilliant and right you are? Is it not a fact that men who do not learn from the past are doomed to rehash it? Maybe Tyler was right: "I say never be complete. I say stop being perfect. I say let's evolve and let the chips fall where they may. But that's me, I could be wrong, maybe it's a terrible tragedy." Or maybe that movie is just too overly quoted.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Taking the next week or so off while I visit my totally awesome girlfriend and my rad friends.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Dear RIAA...

Nine Inch Nails presents Ghosts I - IV, a brand new 36 track instrumental collection available right now. Almost two hours of new music composed and recorded over an intense ten week period last fall, Ghosts I - IV sprawls Nine Inch Nails across a variety of new terrain.

Trent Reznor explains, "I've been considering and wanting to make this kind of record for years, but by its very nature it wouldn't have made sense until this point. This collection of music is the result of working from a very visual perspective - dressing imagined locations and scenarios with sound and texture; a soundtrack for daydreams. I'm very pleased with the result and the ability to present it directly to you without interference. I hope you enjoy the first four volumes of Ghosts."


This music arrived unexpectedly as the result of an experiment. The rules were as follows: 10 weeks, no clear agenda, no overthinking, everything driven by impulse. Whatever happens during that time gets released as... something.

The team: Atticus Ross, Alan Moulder and myself with some help from Alessandro Cortini, Adrian Belew and Brian Viglione. Rob Sheridan collaborated with Artist in Residence (A+R) to create the accompanying visual and physical aesthetic.

We began improvising and let the music decide the direction. Eyes were closed, hands played instruments and it began. Within a matter of days it became clear we were on to something, and a lot of material began appearing. What we thought could be a five song EP became much more. I invited some friends over to join in and we all enjoyed the process of collaborating on this.

The end result is a wildly varied body of music that we're able to present to the world in ways the confines of a major record label would never have allowed - from a 100% DRM-free, high-quality download, to the most luxurious physical package we've ever created.

More volumes of Ghosts are likely to appear in the future.

- Trent Reznor, March 2, 2008

As of 11:30pm the site has been inundated with download requests, so if you're looking to download the free copy give it some time or come back.

Nine Inch Nails: Ghosts I-IV

A bit like De Niro

It's 4am and i just got home and fell up the stairs to my room. Thank god my laptop broke the fall.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Return to who?

I'm sure some people who visit this blog (thank you) wonder what the name 'Return to Her' actually stands for, or means. It is not about a girlfriend, or lyrics from a death metal band or anything personal but rather something I believe in with every cell, molecule and atom that I am composed of.

First some background. I was born into a family that forced no beliefs on me from the beginning. Who in fact embraced me to think for myself. After attending a private catholic middle school (which they thought would help educate me better) I began to be intrigued with the religion of christianity. I wanted to know about god, and live a good life as does everyone. Yet to this day I remember how fearful I felt each time I attended mass. I had no idea that if I didn't memorize the stations of the cross or genuflect at the correct moment I would go to hell. My god, why hadn't my parents told me this before? Why hadn't they made me aware that the world was only 12,000 years old and that if I stole a candy bar from the corner store with my friends I was doomed to burn in hell? But it was only a matter of time before logic reared its ugly head and I realized how ridiculous many of the things I was being taught were. I felt like a rebel, a true bad ass at the age of 13; then... high school. I went to a private catholic high school again solely because my parents felt it would better my education. As much as I hated it, if it wasn't for the alcoholic fathers and overly medicated religion teachers who were only 'born again' because of skeletons they wished to hide, I would not have been pushed into trying to educate myself on worldly things. So thank you crazy 11th grade religion teacher who made us write down on a piece of paper the one and only thing that would get us into heaven, and after exiting the room acted as St. Peter at the door allowing only those who wrote 'the belief in jesus' back inside and making the rest miss the rest of class. Fragment sentence I know, maybe my English teacher didn't do as good a job. Since high school though alongside trying to maintain an acceptable social life which was non-existent in said establishment, I have tried to come to some personal all encompassing conclusion on which to base my beliefs, morals and way of life.

And I believe I have found it. Not discovered but simply stumbled across for it's always been there, it just doesn't come with a man who was 100% god and 100% man (i mean wtf?) to point it out. What follows is a stream of consciousness so bear with me. We simply exist. There may be nothing more definite than the fact we are simply entities that are constructed of star dust, billions of years in the making. There is only here and only now, and I will not go to the past to look for shelter . I will not be frightful of the future for it has not happened and will not happen without focus and attention on the present. There is nothing more concrete or truer than one's self. And with this belief one can accomplish anything. We need not religion or looming figure looking over our shoulders to be moral beings. To believe in such things is to simply deny the power that you hold within yourself. We have been led to believe in individuality, success and power are what make a man or woman. When in trying to achieve such things we become detached from the very thing that breaths life and knowledge into us, one another. We are nothing without our fellow man. And every action we take must be in accordance with the survival and well being of one another. In doing so you in turn aid yourself. We are told the amount of wealth and affluence you gain over your nearly non existent time here makes you who you are. I am here to tell you it means nothing. The knowledge you impart on future generations means everything, including the survival and well being of those generations. I don't know if there is a 'god' or some supernatural entity that watches over us. I don't know what happens when we die? Perhaps we just cease to exist. Perhaps it doesn't even matter. When it happens I will know for sure and you can read my afterlife blog.

Which brings me back to the meaning of 'Return to Her'. Her refers to the common personification of the planet Earth. The single thing besides the sun, and ok maybe the moon that gives us life. And not just the earth, but we the people of the earth are one entity and without a return to ourselves we will not be truly happy and truly flourish. Go read a book, go watch a movie and discuss it with a friend, go online and find out how to cook or read Aristotle's
Metaphysics. Figure out things for yourself and impart your wisdom on others. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt and collect as many grains as you can to form the truth for yourself. And in the end, if there is a god and when we make it to the gates of heaven, in doing all of this would he/she not look upon us with great love in their heart? Or perhaps if we are reincarnated, would it not mean we would be one step closer to escaping the endlessly turning wheel of samsara?

Don't fuck this up America

Hillary Clinton in '08

Bill Clinton '04