Thursday, July 24, 2008

I know of only one duty, and that is to love.

"Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken."
- Albert Camus

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Vroom vroom

Somebody buy me this bike. I've wanted a bike since I started driving, but my parents would have none of that. "One idiot makes a mistake out there, not even you, and its over" they would say. And they were right. But seeing as now im a grown ass man and ill be in harms way anyway in less than a year overseas what better time than now to own one? The K1200R is by no means a beginners bike, but I'm not in a beginners bike mood. Give me something that cries to be pushed, in turn pushing myself. I also love the look of a naked bike like this or the Suzuki SV650. With no fairing, you get a glimpse of the belly of the beast. And with 163 ponies, it is the worlds most powerful production naked bike. Now, if only I could find a means to finance one without a ridiculous interest rate knowing my credit. Someday.

Or maybe this little baby. Buell XB12Ss

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

“He was a great patriot, a humanitarian, a loyal friend - provided, of course, that he really is dead.” - Voltaire

I'll be honest, I've had this article bookmarked for a short time now. Not because I was waiting to post it or thinking of something to write. But because I wanted to keep it to myself. Then I remembered this is the internet and how my mom always taught me to share. I also believe deeply that if you have never pondered outlandish themes such as faking ones own death at least once in your life, for lack of a better word, you suck. I've presented said problem among others to people, and they look at me like I'm crazy. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Those who know how to think need no teachers.” It's not the subject of faking your death, it's using your brain. Enjoy and good luck.
Your debts are piling up; the job's getting on your nerves, and maybe your partner doesn't look as hot as he or she once did. It's that John Darwin canoe moment – when you think the unthinkable and wonder if life would be better if you ended it all for the old you and started over with a shiny new one. Not a real death, of course. But a phoney – staging, perhaps, your own personal Mary Celeste, with canoe or dinghy abandoned on the briny, or, like ex-minister John Stonehouse and television's immortal Reggie Perrin, a neat little pile of clothes left on the beach with their owner nowhere to be seen. Many are tempted, and a good few, like Mr Darwin of Seaton Carew and Panama fame, succumb. Faking death and having a second bite at life's cherry is a difficult area in which to give guidance, since we never, by definition, get to hear of the successful, only the failures. But their errors and weaknesses can be our instruction manual.

It can be done. An uplifting tale of success to buoy you all up at the outset. In 1975, New Zealander Ivan Manson, aged 44, with a wife and four children, never returned from a fishing trip. His boat was found, but he wasn't. Police were sceptical. No inquest was held. We might never have been any the wiser had not two cars collided in Queensland, Australia, 20 years later. One of the bodies was identified from fingerprints as Ivan Manson. He had lived as a pillar of the local bowls club in the town of Caboolture ever since his fishing trip. Let his example be your lodestar.

Think twice about using another body: The days when you could stick a corpse of the right gender and approximate height in a car, crash it, soak it with fuel, set it alight, and trust the charred remains will be mistaken for you are – for better or worse – gone. Dental records, DNA and the high price of petrol have put paid to that. No longer is anyone likely to imitate Captain Henry Cecil Dudgeon D'Arcy of the Frontier Light Horse, who, having been awarded the VC in the Zulu wars, turned to drink. Later, a body wearing his clothes was found in a cave and, this being the pathology of a century ago, presumed to be his. Only many decades later was it learnt that D'Arcy had found a dead man lying in the snow, changed clothes with him, and gone to Natal, and lived out the rest of his life under an assumed name. He was once recognised in 1925, but swore his discoverer to the secret, which the man kept until D'Arcy died.
Faking it: How to do a Reggie and get away with it

The Dragon In My Garage

An interesting parable about science, faith and skepticism by my bro Carl Sagan.
The Dragon In My Garage
Carl Sagan

"A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage"
Suppose (I'm following a group therapy approach by the psychologist Richard Franklin) I seriously make such an assertion to you. Surely you'd want to check it out, see for yourself. There have been innumerable stories of dragons over the centuries, but no real evidence. What an opportunity!

"Show me," you say. I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle--but no dragon.

"Where's the dragon?" you ask.

"Oh, she's right here," I reply, waving vaguely. "I neglected to mention that she's an invisible dragon."

You propose spreading flour on the floor of the garage to capture the dragon's footprints.

"Good idea," I say, "but this dragon floates in the air."

Then you'll use an infrared sensor to detect the invisible fire.

"Good idea, but the invisible fire is also heatless."

You'll spray-paint the dragon and make her visible.

"Good idea, but she's an incorporeal dragon and the paint won't stick."

And so on. I counter every physical test you propose with a special explanation of why it won't work.

Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I'm asking you to do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so.

The only thing you've really learned from my insistence that there's a dragon in my garage is that something funny is going on inside my head. You'd wonder, if no physical tests apply, what convinced me. The possibility that it was a dream or a hallucination would certainly enter your mind. But then, why am I taking it so seriously? Maybe I need help. At the least, maybe I've seriously underestimated human fallibility.

Imagine that, despite none of the tests being successful, you wish to be scrupulously open-minded. So you don't outright reject the notion that there's a fire-breathing dragon in my garage. You merely put it on hold. Present evidence is strongly against it, but if a new body of data emerge you're prepared to examine it and see if it convinces you. Surely it's unfair of me to be offended at not being believed; or to criticize you for being stodgy and unimaginative-- merely because you rendered the Scottish verdict of "not proved."

Imagine that things had gone otherwise. The dragon is invisible, all right, but footprints are being made in the flour as you watch. Your infrared detector reads off-scale. The spray paint reveals a jagged crest bobbing in the air before you. No matter how skeptical you might have been about the existence of dragons--to say nothing about invisible ones--you must now acknowledge that there's something here, and that in a preliminary way it's consistent with an invisible, fire-breathing dragon.

Now another scenario: Suppose it's not just me. Suppose that several people of your acquaintance, including people who you're pretty sure don't know each other, all tell you that they have dragons in their garages--but in every case the evidence is maddeningly elusive. All of us admit we're disturbed at being gripped by so odd a conviction so ill-supported by the physical evidence. None of us is a lunatic. We speculate about what it would mean if invisible dragons were really hiding out in garages all over the world, with us humans just catching on. I'd rather it not be true, I tell you. But maybe all those ancient European and Chinese myths about dragons weren't myths at all.

Gratifyingly, some dragon-size footprints in the flour are now reported. But they're never made when a skeptic is looking. An alternative explanation presents itself. On close examination it seems clear that the footprints could have been faked. Another dragon enthusiast shows up with a burnt finger and attributes it to a rare physical manifestation of the dragon's fiery breath. But again, other possibilities exist. We understand that there are other ways to burn fingers besides the breath of invisible dragons. Such "evidence"--no matter how important the dragon advocates consider it--is far from compelling. Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm President Charley

Plot summary: Ummm, I'm not really sure.

Monday, July 21, 2008


While we are on the subject of The Dark Knight and super heroes I guess i should mention the upcoming film "Watchmen". I first heard about the graphic novel almost a year ago working at the Alamo Drafthouse from some of the guys I worked with. I guess it's time to pick up a copy and read it before the film is released. Also is that new smashing pumpkins or whatever solo project that bald headed dude is in now?
Watchmen is set in 1985, in an alternate history United States where costumed adventurers are real and the country is edging closer to a nuclear war with the Soviet Union (the Doomsday Clock is at five minutes to midnight). It tells the story of a group of past and present superheroes and the events surrounding the mysterious murder of one of their own. Watchmen depicts superheroes as real people who must confront ethical and personal issues, who struggle with neuroses and failings, and who—with one notable exception—lack anything recognizable as super powers. Watchmen's deconstruction of the conventional superhero archetype, combined with its innovative adaptation of cinematic techniques and heavy use of symbolism, multi-layered dialogue, and metafiction, has influenced both comics and film.

Someone get batman a lozenge

If you haven't seen the Dark Knight yet, please do so. It's one of the best movies I've seen in a LONG time. Christian Bale is turning out to be a bad ass actor. I've never been into the Terminator movies, but I'll go to see T4 just because he's in it. He's such a dream boat.

Magazine Scan 2
Magazine Scan 3

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

1, 2, 3, 4... Penguins that were by the door


Even without dialog, it's quite moving. And that subway is pretty cool.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I am Batman

On the eve of the eve of the midnight release of The Dark Knight, I wonder, how dark will it be? Christian Bale has played some pretty dark characters; The Machinist, American Psycho. And we all know how into his character Heath Ledger got (too much sadly). Here's hoping it blows me away, which a new movie hasn't done in awhile. Oh, WALL-E was cute though.

DIY: Stealth Bomber Crash

You may remember the story of the B-2 stealth bomber that crashed in Guam awhile ago, well they finally released some sick photos of it and the above illustration that looks oddly similar to an inflight safety manual... anyway, check out the pics and details. B-2 Crash Pics

Friday, July 11, 2008

There goes the neighborhood

If you were remotely thinking of seeking economic refuge in another country, now would be a good time to do so.
Alarmed by the growing financial stress at the nation’s two largest mortgage finance companies, senior Bush administration officials are considering a plan to have the government take over one or both of the companies and place them in a conservatorship if their problems worsen, people briefed about the plan said on Thursday.

The companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have been hit hard by the mortgage foreclosure crisis. Their shares are plummeting and their borrowing costs are rising as investors worry that the companies will suffer losses far larger than the $11 billion they have already lost in recent months. Now, as housing prices decline further and foreclosures grow, the markets are worried that Fannie and Freddie themselves may default on their debt.

Under a conservatorship, the shares of Fannie and Freddie would be worth little or nothing,
and any losses on mortgages they own or guarantee — which could be staggering — would be paid by taxpayers.

Let me repeat that incase you missed it.
"any losses on mortgages they own or guarantee — which could be staggering — would be paid by taxpayers." The money you and I earn daily, working for ourselves, to better our lives would be taxed even more to bail out 2 companies that we're so drunk with the need to make more and more money. Don't be surprised if it happens, and don't be surprised if General Motors, and many airline companies are next.

U.S. Weighs Takeover of Two Mortgage Giants

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"We've been aware there's some very serious vampire activity in this town for some time"

The 80’s were a decade of decadence, with everything being bigger, crazier, and more over the top. It was the beginning of the age of insanity, and yet somehow, out of the midst of all of the big crazy hair and drug use and Reaganomics, a few gems that could withstand the test of time were born. Even if the hair and clothes change, some things just stay perfect. With that we present…12 Awesome 80's Movies That Are Perfect

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ahmadinewhatshisface speaks out

I figured the above picture would clear up any confusion as to who Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is incase you are 90+ years old and still listen to only the radio to receive your news.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that he sees no possibility of a war between his country and the United States or Israel.

He also predicted Israel would collapse without Iranian action. "I assure you that there won't be any war in the future," Ahmadinejad told a news conference during a visit to Malaysia for a summit of developing Muslim nations.

The Israelis "are a complex political group, but you should know this regime will be eventually destroyed and there is no need of any measure by Iranian people," he said when asked to comment on whether he has called for the destruction of Israel.
Ahmadinejad's comments came a day after Iran's Revolutionary Guards said the country would retaliate against any military strike by targeting Tel Aviv and U.S. warships in the Gulf.

Iranian officials have been issuing a mix of conciliatory and bellicose statements in recent weeks about the possibility of a clash with the U.S. and Israel.

Ahmadinejad has in the past called for Israel's elimination. But his exact remarks have been disputed. Some translators say he called for Israel to be "wiped off the map," but others say that would be better translated as "vanish from the pages of time" — implying Israel would disappear on its own rather than be destroyed.
Ahmadinejad: No War With US, Israel

Faux News sheds the light on the hate filled, unpatriotic Michelle Obama

If this compilation of Fox News clips doesn't make you a little upset, there is something seriously wrong with you.

Monday, July 7, 2008

N 51°46’10.7“ E 10°40’32.5“

"Lay off me im starving!"

Its been about ~16 weeks now since i've been been able to sit on a comfy couch, watch what I want on tv, eat what I want when I want, and use a computer at my leisure. It's also been that long since i've seen my girlfriend and my family so don't expect much out of me for the next few weeks while I enjoy myself. You think you have an idea of how much you love someone, then you leave them for a few months only able to communicate via written letters. If I was able to decrypt my orders correctly I'll be in the 1st Cav stationed at Ft. Hood about 50 mins north of Austin in Killeen. I don't know what Battalion I'm in or when i'll be deployed but I'm glad I'm not in Korea or Ft. Drum in upstate NY; although Alaska would have been cool. I have some time before I have to report there and will probably be driving up to Philly to see friends and my mom + sister. That is if getting my expired out of state license doesn't take 3 weeks.

Diablo III

Many have been waiting for it for the past 8 years since the release of Diablo 2, and its finally arrived. Actually it's only been announced, but still how exciting right? Blizzard currently has the triple threat of WoW: Wrath of the Litch King, Starcraft II and now Diablo III on deck waiting to be released to the blood thirsty masses and fanboys. Obviously not all going to be released at once, with Wrath of the Litch King due out by the end of this year (I believe, its been awhile since i've been on a computer) and Starcraft II soon to follow with my projection of a Q4 '09 release of Diablo III Blizzard will have many nerds, pimple faced teens and middle aged men satisfied for the following couple years.

While I may not purchase Starcraft II as soon as its out, you can guarantee EB Games will have my name down for a copy of Diablo III months before its on the shelves. Check out the site for your self, the gameplay video is quite impressive. It looks like they wont be straying far from the already working equation of hack + slash = hours of fun, with quite a bit of improvements and added goodies thrown into the mix. Needless to say expect my life to be consumed come release.

Diablo III