Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Should we always tell the truth?

Why lie? Here are some things to think about, in the realm of telling lies, or opting for the truth.

I've never quite known the answer to that. I do detest being lied to. Then again I've been in situations where it would be oh so nice to lie about something and move on. But, don't I lose...something, by doing that?

People tend to tell "little white social lies" (sounds poetic, doesn't it? Its not), in order to avoid offending or hurting others. People tell lies to avoid uncomfortable social situations, too.

Here is a way to think about getting out of these situations and what it means about you, in whether or not you do tell a lie. For myself, I never tell lies. OK, sometimes. I have been known to. However they are few and far between. Really, I greatly dislike it. In fact, I feel that if I have to tell someone a lie, typically they have governed the situation to where I've done everything I can to tell them the truth.

If someone, a "menacing person", asks me for $50, depending on that situation, but going with the understood intent harassment, theft or violence, say they mean to rob me, then they have initially broken the social contract with me of their not being menacing and not breaking the law. Once you are put in a situation like that, you are in a situation where, they are pushing you into a lie. You have no obligation to be honest with them. On the other hand....

I still find it distasteful and would avoid lying if at all possible. I see two situations, one where someone is begging you to lie to them (you may have to read between the lines on that one), and one where someone puts you in a position where you have no social or legal obligation to lie; as I just mentioned. If someone is robbing me, or assaulting me, I have no obligation to be honest with them, or to remain passive for that matter.

Once you breach the point of violence, as in protecting oneself, lies are the least of your worries. Still, I try to be as honest as the situation allows or warrants.
If they say, "You got fifty bucks?" I might answer, "That, is none of your business." Or, "How is that any of your business." You have to clarify (for them, for you).

You have to push them into either being more or less menacing. This prancing around with someone is just stupid, I won't even go to the point of saying its cowardly. They more "cowardly" you actually are, the move you should push the envelop back at them. In the end, they are either going to attack you, or not. If not, we're done, bring it to a close. If so, be on guard, let's dance, bring it on. Either way, these situations should be accelerated to a close. You're only going to humiliate yourself in prolonging it by trying to avoid a pummeling. In my experience, humor works well, honesty also very well.

Do I tell them what it is that I don't really want to tell them? No, of course not. But that doesn't mean I have to lie to them, either. I believe that telling a lie is a very immediate way to "dumb yourself down". In order to always tell the truth and not be brutal about it, one has to be somewhat intelligent. You have to "Think" your way around situations.

You might ask, what about "sins of omission"? Isn't leaving something out, lying? To that I would argue a resounding, No! If you don't want to tell someone something, avoid directly dealing with it. This changes of course, the closer the the relationship is to you, so "sins of omission" with a spouse, is far closer to a lie, than to a stranger, coworker, or anyone else outside of your family.

The second stage is to talk around it and the third stage obviously is to lie. But if you handle it correctly, if you do lie, it will be only because someone wants to be lied to. That's how it should be. Its their choice, not yours. And that's what lets you off easy!

When I have a situation where I want to avoid something, I talk around it. If someone is smart enough, they will see this; then I have to shift into saying exactly what I want to say, without saying it. This typically leaves people in a position to think the best and you are off the hook. But, if they are intelligent enough that they see the options and possibilities you are leaving open, and typically these types are a little paranoid if they push things this far, then you simply have to lie. Or simply tell the Truth.

For myself, I always opt for telling the Truth; if possible and with few exceptions. If someone is pushing you, its obvious they DO NOT WANT THE TRUTH. That means they actually know the Truth but do not want to be confronted with it. As an ethical person, you need to make a decision as to what is best for them (and at that point, not you), because honestly, they just put that ball in your court, gave you control and are asking in their own way, for you not to confront them with reality. Its weak victimology, but there it is.

In the end, be intelligent. Always try hard to tell the truth.

Rubicon - AMC Channels newest show

I started watching Rubicon recently. AMC channel's new spy show.

I knew I'd like it before I saw it. Anything that has any thought given to such precursors as "Three days of the Condor", is on the right track in my book.

I've been waiting for a show like this for a long time. No bombs, few guns going off, no explosions, more cerebral. An intelligent if sometimes plodding, show. Its an anachronism in these times of ADD, MTV, excessive camera cuts, action, action, action. There's little time given to allow for a thought in TV shows. Little in the way of a show asking for your participation, your consideration in the moment.

We need more shows like this. We need shows to direct us back toward a format of thought, or patience, of seeing a camera angle and not a camera shot. We need to build our minds back to be able to have patience, to maintain a thought, to multitask within a thought, not by having many dissociated thoughts.

And Rubicon, is a good step toward that. Also, its entertaining. At least it is for me.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Jabberwocky - by Lewis Carroll on my Birthday

Today, is my birthday. I wish you all a wonderful day on this day of my celebrating having entered this Universe to experience this Life.

I thought I would share something that makes me smile, always has, and reminds me of the fun and magic of what one's birthday should bring into your life for that day each year; and as a reminder to pay attention and enjoy being alive. I've had a rough couple of years and even more so recently on a most personal basis. But, things are looking good and hope runs as always through the veins of us all.

Think now not here so much of the Jabberwock; think rather of the fantastical imagination involved in its creation and the fabulous awe of such stories that take us to other worlds such as these.

This feeling can be alive in our daily lives, if we let it, work for it, create it for ourselves and others. So, I here and now remind myself and others, of that magic that is our hidden surreal desires, hopes, pleasures, fantasies and that which we can all have within the confines of our own minds and lives.


`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

---
Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll (from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872) From
Jabberwocky.com

Friday, August 27, 2010

Just how many people are there?

There are, so many people in the world, that I simply cannot fathom it.

I know, intellectually, there are a LOT of people. I know its an ethnocentric mental limitation kind of thing on my part, but still, there it is.

Whenever I think of how my life goes, all the people I'm involved with on a daily basis; all the people I see on the street; all the people I see on TV, on the news; when I think of all those people having lives just like I do and just as complicated, or more so; well, it just boggles the mind. Doesn't it?

I notice this even more when I'm on on a plane, flying over an area I've never been to before. Or, when I'm on the ferry, headed into Seattle or back. Even more so, when I see the cruise ships are docked, mostly going to Alaska. Because, then are people on the ferry who are quite international. People who live just as mundane a life as I do, only on the far side of the planet. Swedes, Germans, French, Asians, Russians, who ever.

I find it, amazing. Don't you?

There's all these people who all have emotional lives. Intellectual lives. Spiritual lives (OK, some more than others, but that, on all points).

And what is the point of my bringing this up here? I don't know, really. I just think, we tend not to think of it that way very much. We are all so busy with our own lives, until a 9/11 happens in our town; or there is an economic failing that grossly affects us; or some mayhem befalls us, the levy breaks, the earthquake hits, a tsunami strikes our shores; then we relate with these people from other parts of the world that we typically only see on the news, walking around, looking distraught, staring vacantly... and so on.

The world, is a big place. And its getting smaller. I think, if more people would realize that, we'd have better neighbors. I know its not so much, you, or me, perhaps, but those in charge; in charge of the government, or, perhaps more so, the corporations. Maybe if we'd treat them better, think more of them when we are taking what we want, maybe not take so much, maybe have some more consideration for those we've raped, robbed and pillaged over the decades, and then, maybe, they would feel less inclined to kill us.

Relax. Its just a thought....

The Great Prophet Zarquan

The Great Prophet Zarquan was a character in book two of one of my (if not the one) favorite humorist, the late, author Douglas Adams' five book trilogy, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", specifically in "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe". HHGTTG is about Ford Prefect, a reporter for the Guide, who meets and befriends a Human, Arthur Dent, and they travel the galaxy after the Earth is destroyed for a hyperspace bypass, just as Arthur's home is destroyed just before they leave Earth, for a freeway bypass.

The books:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Life, the Universe and Everything
So Long, and Thanks for the Fish
Young Zaphod Plays It Safe

Zarquan appeared finally, having promised to some day return, just moments before the end of the Universe, to party with his followers at the Restaurant at the end of the Universe. What a guy!

For your education and edification, explicatives you can use in reference to, The Great Prophet Zarquan:

Holy Zarquan's Singing Fish! (Ford Prefect)

Zark you!

Zark off!

What the zark?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The most important innovation in 150 years is...what?

Toilets. I've had to use an out house before. I've had to dig a hole in the mountains, sit over a log, all kinds of things like that through my life. But to have a situation where on a daily basis, every day, day after day, you have to deal with where to go to the toilet, where you have to walk far from home to find a place where someone else hasn't gone before you, or you have to do it in a river where it is fouled to a point beyond belief, I've not had, nor do I want, that experience.

This all comes up because I was watching Vanguard, a series of documentaries on the Current cable channel. A documentary on the "World's Toilet Crisis". Interesting, sad, disgusting, funny, awkward, totally relevant, ultimately, important.

Adam Yamaguchi takes us on a tour of India and Indonesia with a look at how 55% of the world rids themselves of Human waste. People are living in incredible situations around the world and its mostly being ignored, mostly because there is no money to take care of it, but also because its not important, if those in charge don't have to live in it. Its an important subject and so is the Vanguard series of documentaries.

Check them out, you will find them educational, entertaining, and well worth the watch.

Brian Clemens Interview - The Avengers (1962-68)

When I was a kid, I loved a show called, The Avengers. A British spy show with John Steed (John Macnee and the inimitable and beautiful Mrs. Emma Peel (Diana Rigg, her name allegedly stood for "M" appeal, or male appeal). That show was on in 1961 with Honor Blackman, who went on to James Bond, Goldfinger film fame as "Pussy Galore". The 1961 season no longer exists, but Netflix has the other seasons up through 1969 and later two other versions of the series which includes a movie that disappointed.

Also when I was a kid, I used to read sci fi by Brian Clemens. I never made the connection until I was an adult and realized that he was the true creator and actually gave it the appeal he gained once he took total control in 1965 and Diana joined the cast.

Here, I am offering an interesting interview with Mr. Clemens about his years on the program and sharing a little of the history of the show and the early '60s years of the BBC. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Christopher Hitchens Goes After Rabbi Harold Kushner re: Circumcision

I was watching Christopher Hitchens in a video (see link below) where he goes after Rabbi Harold Kushner about circumcision. I had not given it this kind of thought prior to seeing this, and I think its relevant for people to at least consider what he has to say. Then you decide.

I think this is relevant in perhaps several ways. Most of it is in his point near the end of the video about how religion at times, can make people do things that are morally reprehensible. Although, I would rather argue, ethically reprehensible; as to me, morality seems to have more to do with religious doctrine than philosophical considerations. But I'm not going to argue semantics here. Well, OK, I will, just for a moment.

From Wikipedia:

"Morality (from the Latin moralities "manner, character, proper behavior") is a sense of behavioral conduct that differentiates intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and bad (or wrong). A moral code is a system of morality (for example, according to a particular philosophy, religion, culture, etc.) and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code. Immorality is the active opposition to morality, while amorality is a passive indifference toward morality."

I've originally leaned toward Aristotelian Ethics. Again, Wikipedia:

"Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) posited an ethical system that may be termed "self-realizationism." In Aristotle's view, when a person acts in accordance with his nature and realizes his full potential, he will do good and be content."

Now, I'm not going to argue types of Ethics because major branches of ethics include (a lot):

* Meta-ethics, about the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions and how their truth-values (if any) may be determined;
* Normative ethics, about the practical means of determining a moral course of action;
* Applied ethics, about how moral outcomes can be achieved in specific situations;
* Moral psychology, about how moral capacity or moral agency develops and what its nature is; and
* Descriptive ethics, about what moral values people actually abide by.

Too much. But I wanted to exhibit Hitchens' view that I thought relevant and decisive. As to his viewpoint in the video, you can argue forever about how much "good" religion has done in the world. His point here really is quite different. It is about how religion CAN make people do things that are unfathomable. If you take religion out of the equation and just look at a situation from the perspective of what if just any normal person was doing it. It really puts it in perspective.

Check out the video for yourself, make up your own mind:


Christopher Hitchens Goes After Rabbi Harold Kushner re: Circumcision

American Werewolf in London to be remade

"An American Werewolf in London" to be remade

"Ah shite, this news really hurts for most horror fans I'm sure, the original is the first horror I ever watched so I am not looking forward to this remake. I guess it was only a matter of time until it happened, the Wesintein Company is in talks with a writer Fernley Phillips, best known for scripting Jim Carrey's horrid The Number 23, to give a modern spin to "An American Werewolf in London". Our own sources tell us that Bob and Harvey Weinstein are really looking to depart from John Landis' 1981 horror comedy that told the story of two American tourists in England who are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists."

From Rich Goellnitz We love horror movies on Facebook

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Facebook - can it make you lose a law suit? Privacy today

I was listening to the NPR show, Science Friday today (May 21st, 2010).

It was a little spooky. Lawyers looking at your Facebook page? Don't go to court and say, I don't own a gun, I don't drink and I haven't hit my wife when you have Facebook photos of you with a gun and a tattoo (this man had to show his tattoo in court proving it was him in the photo on Facebook), and you show yourself smoking illegal drugs (one case discussed) or bragging about doing something you claim in court you didn't do. Basically, these people are just stupid.

For the most of us, its not a big deal. But it IS important to realize, that you have more exposure in these ways than you may think. A potential employer may check out your page and it could cost you a job; your current employer could do the same and suddenly you could be out of a job.

So I would advise you to take a listen to this show and simply use common sense. Use privacy options on Facebook, only show family, or friends most things. But even then, due to some of these applications your friends/family use, you may be exposed in ways you don't realize.

Another thing you can do, is to have two Facebook pages, using two separate email accounts. Let one wide open if you desire. But make the other one, private only to family and close friends. Its a little more work but if you think about it, you really do have a different orientation for family and acquaintances. Just remember to be careful about your public profile.

Think about it, do famous people put their address, phone numbers, etc., online for any one to use? No. And you should realize that you don't have to actually put out an address or phone number, for someone to find you. Or, your social security number, which is really scary. After all, Identity Theft has NOT gone away. It doesn't take that much innocuous information, for someone to track down your social security number and abuse it to the point of you having ongoing and continuously serious legal or financial issues.

So, hang out, have fun, but be careful and use your mind.

Guests were:

Rich Mogull
Analyst and CEO, Securosis
Writer, TidBITS
Phoenix, Arizona

Michael Zimmer
Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies
Associate, Center for Information Policy Research
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Kevin Underhill
Author, "Lowering The Bar" blog
Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon
San Francisco, California

Science Friday about "Online Privacy"

Also, consider any online social site as a possibility for issues to crop up, like Twitter where 8 were arrested for Tweets. Take a look at thirteen tweets, overshares, "jokes," and opinionated tweets have gotten people arrested.

10 Truths about being a "Real Woman"

Once many years ago, I moved into a house that local people later told me had belonged to a family with only one son. They said he was a diminutive boy of very fine and rather handsome features, and he kept to himself unless pressed. At which point you would see an energy and a dark gleam in his eyes.

Eventually it became quite obvious he was gay.

After I moved a loose board, during a remodel of the bedrooms, I found some journals hidden in a wall in the back of a closet, in what must have been his room. There were womens' clothes still in the closet, tasteful but evocative outfits that would only fit a petite person. Of the journals, one with the "10 Truths" in it was signed "Rikardo Simmonds".

But others I found were signed things like "Richard Simmon", "Dick Cinnemaon", and yet other names, but all were in the same intricate flared handwriting..I recently ran across it among my things. I don't know why I kept it. I just didn't know what to do with it; and so I offer it to you here, for your amusement, or derision.

10 Truths about being a "Real Woman"
by Rikardo Simmonds

1. Every pound a female puts on her frame beyond her upper limit of being HWP (Height Weight Proportionate), puts her one step further from being a woman and one step closer to being a man. At least in a man's eyes. And no, he'll never admit it.

2. Weighing over 100 lbs indicates you have "Amazon" in your blood and are not one for a long term relationship. If its because you have a "large frame" or are "big boned" you are going to have a more difficult time; deal with it.

3. There is a "best ratio" for a man's weight to a woman's and should be approximately 2:1 (take or leave ten pounds). If you're heavier, find a bigger guy.

4. All men are aware of redheads. This can be both a good and a bad thing, depending on the woman and what she is currently looking for.

5. A woman needs a man she can "push against" in order to constantly feel her limits and her power (and his). If there is nothing there for her to do this against, he will not last long with her or she will eventually come to despise him for reasons he (and she) cannot fathom because he is such a "nice Guy". However, if he is not compassionate about how he gives her something to push against, he will also not last long, or will be badmouthed about, to any one who will listen to her; although, she may never, in the end, leave him.

6. It is more passionate to be with a man who is an occasional "ass" than to be with a "nice guy" who never is.

7. Men are attracted to their opposite. No man likes to be around a woman who is too much like him. Most strongly heterosexual men find that concept abhorrent or "gay".

8. A woman should avoid gay men in romantic situations. If she simply doesn't want to be in an intimate relationship, then she should find a hobby.

9. There IS such thing as being "too skinny". Not enough meat on the bones is just as bad as too much, just not quite as gross. Having enough meat to hide muscle striations, smooth out rough spots and give "shape" to a figure, is always desirable. "Round" is good; "bulbous" is not.

10. Calling one self a "BBW" (Big Beautiful Woman) of wants and therefore avoid being called a slut. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, after all, as my mother always says.

[This last one was written in obviously at a much later date, the hand writing was more uniform and controlled]

11 Polyandry or Polyamory, is just another term for "can't make a commitment" and/or, "I'll do whatever I please". It is a female term that takes the place of "bachelor" for a woman in doing whatever romantically, she wants and therefore avoids being called a slut. As my mother used to say, "What's good for the goose is good for the gander", after all.

Note: Rumor has it, from among those in the neighborhood that knew them (and would talk about it), that the family had moved because the son eventually killed himself. He was, after all, patently insane. His death was a fact. Their motivation for leaving, was not.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Religious Murder, Governmental Murder

Here, is what I think. I'm sick to death of hearing how people treat people, in state sponsored, God sponsored, religious, secular ways. When, if ever, is murder good? When it is used against those who are murderers. Especially, when used to stop them.

The entire World, needs to just stand up today, right now, and say,

"Hey! You! Yeah, you! You bastard! Stop killing your own people! NO! We... will... no... longer... put... up... with... IT!"

Where is the country (and I always thought it would be Israel, but nope) that is always the first to stand up, no matter what, or who is involved and scream at the top of their lungs at another power, governmental or religious or whatever, and say:

"STOP THEM! SOMEONE, STOP WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE! ITS WRONG!"

Governments that kill their people directly? NO! No more!

Governments that starve their people or kill them by indirect means? They should be in direct violation of World Law, and stopped. Screw sanctions. STOP THEM! NOW! We don't even have to go in with soldiers. Just bomb the crap out of their favorite stuff. NO, not their people's favorite stuff. No, not the people, but their palaces, their government buildings so that anyone that supports that government dies right along with them. Piss their own people off too, to the point of that government being utterly and completely ineffective. Destroy physically if possible but politically especially, those in charge.

Make THEIR lives as miserable as their citizenry.

Religions that advocate murder? And I don't care HOW they rationalize it or what they call it, they should be stopped. NOW. World Law says, NO! Religious leaders, executed on the spot. Their supporters? Executed on the spot. Stone a woman for adultery, or for showing her face in public, or for anything that requires her death? Then, Death to the proponents.

The crowd taking part in it? Executed. Zero tolerance. Any crowd, any religion that advocates or carries out murder in the name of God? Executed. Send them to their God. We don't need no Stinkin' God who advocates murder or lets their people think they could, or do, advocate it. Because any God that allows that to happen, doesn't deserve the even the paper that their religion's rules and laws and fables are written upon.

If we just say no, if we start killing those who kill others, soon there won't be anymore of these groups around and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. And I don't want to hear any nonsense about then, aren't we as bad as them? No, we're not. We're stopping it. Wipe this nonsense out, and we stop dong it. Then we don't have it anymore. What is worse, our putting up with it, on the theory that its none of our business? Or our doing something about it by ending it with all means possible and yes, most definitely, with Extreme Prejudice.

Because, this is the only and proper form of Prejudice.

If you want to argue against this, then you need to come up with an alternative.

And I don't mean some namby pamby touchy feely response, concept, or ideal. That does NOT help the cartoonist who is murdered for a damn cartoon; it doesn't help the guy who had an independent thought and spoke it aloud; it doesn't help the poor citizen being slowly starved by the insidious, delusional North Korean government who is eating a plenty, who has entertainment, an easy cushy life while citizens starve to support their megalomania; it certainly doesn't help the woman who is laying in the dirt, her clothes sticking to her broken and bloody frame while more rocks are being hurled at her until she dies; lying there for, to her, forever, and in great agony, all the while, wondering what?

Wondering, why her God forsakes her because she spoke back, didn't hide her beautiful face, had an affair? Wondering why she did what she did what and how she is now dying knowing (thinking) she deserves this? Ridiculous, don't you think? Well, if not, you should. You should think its ridiculous, you should think, use your mind, you should speak up against this.

Don't be afraid, not of foolish, narrow minded, fantasy entrenched Muslims, not of any religions, not of any governments, because they might cause some uncomfortable issues. We need a Gort, the robot from The Day the Earth Stood Still, who refuses to put up with a violent civilization on pain of total destruction. Maybe, that is the way to go.

I'm usually against, "zero tolerance" rules, as they tend to lead to stupid actions enforced by the stupid and ignorant and cowardly. Sending a child home because he has a half inch plastic toy gun, Oh My God, use your head people, there is a point at which something is wrong and the rule should be enforced, and a point at which its stupid and harmless, albeit, undesirable. There is, in that realm, too much of people being afraid of getting yelled at. We need to get yelled at more than we do. There will always be the ignorant, the stupid, and its up to educators and the intelligent and educated to lead the way over that of the bullies, the ignorant and the down right stupid.

But, that's another topic.

This form of thought where people think they are justified in killing someone, for the stupidest of things, needs to be stopped, squashed, killed, murdered, nipped in its judicial, clerical, self-important, audacious, over-blown bud. The death flower of ridiculous authority sponsored murder, needs to be exterminated with the poison it deserves and has dealt out upon this Earth for far long enough.

Turnabout's fair play.

2 new "Mad Max" movies on the way

Some rather surprising news to report. They are saying that George Miller doesn't have one new Mad Max movie coming but two. Apparently they will shoot the two films back to back which surprises me quite a bit considering that Mad Max is not exactly a huge franchise or a sure fire money maker like say TRANSFORMERS is. The films star Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. Mel Gibson reportedly passed on doing the film but there is strong rumors that he will have a cameo. Patrick Stewart is also rumored to star which would be pretty kick ass. The first film we know will be shot in 3D so here is assuming if they are shooting together that both will be in 3D

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weekend Wise Words

"Flatter me, and I may not believe you.
Criticize me, and I may not like you.
Ignore me, and I may not forgive you.
Encourage me, and I may not forget you."
-- William Arthur Ward

Have a nice weekend!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ron Galella, Paparazzo and proud of it

'Smash This Camera': Galella On His Iconic Shots. From the NRP article from August 11, 2010:

"Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sued him. Marlon Brando broke his jaw. To the celebrities he hunted down, paparazzo Ron Galella was the enemy. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sued him. Marlon Brando broke his jaw. The documentary, "Smash His Camera" chronicles Galella's career as "the Godfather of the U.S. paparazzi culture."

I found this audio article interesting and recommend listening to it. I enjoyed hearing it for three reasons. One is that Paparazzi have always fascinated and terrified me, much like clowns do some people; and its always been interesting to me to hear their rationalizations for doing what they do. Two, Galella has indeed taken some of the most iconic shots in our history over the course of his career.

Three, would be simply that I used to live next door to Jackie Kennedy Onassis in Manhattan in the '70s. She had a corner house on a street where I lived next door in an apartment building. In fact, in an apartment that eventually, Anthony Quinn bought for his family, along with that entire floor, making it into his condo. I have the newspaper article about it the elevator operator lady sent some time after moving back home from NY. It was a nice neighborhood, across the street from Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

But, that's all about me.

Its interesting to hear someone talk about how public figures have no rights when in public because they are, by definition, public figures. They argue that anyone has the right to abuse their image, their actions, by sharing them indiscriminately, with the world, and for money in the most mercenary of ways. Its also interesting how they rationalize, that he wouldn't ever take shots of these people in their homes or their private areas of their lives, but only in the public areas. Well, that's something I suppose. But its also why celebs move places like the South of France (Johnny Depp), where no one cares who they are and where they can be treated like just ordinary people. And who wouldn't want that? OK, maybe some, but they stay in Hollywood most the time, don't they.

Its interesting to note, that the term, Paparazzi, is rumored to be Italian for "cockroach".

Wikipedia claims:

"In his book Word and Phrase Origins, Robert Hendrickson writes that Fellini took the name from an Italian dialect that describes a particularly annoying noise, that of a buzzing mosquito. This version of the word's origin has been strongly contested."

However, according to the, Online Etymology Dictionary:

"1961, from It. Paparazzo (pl. paparazzi) surname of the freelance photographer in Federico Fellini's 1959 film "La Dolce Vita." The name itself is of no special significance; it is said to be a common one in Calabria, and Fellini is said to have borrowed it from a travel book, "By the Ionian Sea," in which occurs the name of hotel owner Coriolano Paparazzo."

Regardless of their name, they are invaders of famous people's privacy, which they claim they have no legal claim to. Sad. Justifying your career choice and lifestyle by draining a person's dignity into the mainstream media to satisfy the public's morbid fascination with a person's actions and personality.

I guess you can see my orientation here, how I feel about this culture of photographers. Also, why I've always said, "Between fame and fortune, I'll take the fortune."

Every time.

"Hey, Ayatollah, leave us kids alone" A New Pink Floyd Song Rendition

Brothers Sepp and Sohl make up the Canadian duo Blurred Vision, avoiding using their last names for obvious reasons and ties to Iran, have updated Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" for the purpose that it was always meant for, as a protest against incorrect use of authority. And now, youth in Iran are downloading, passing along to one another and its become a rallying cry for freedom, both political and intellectual. This song has given strength to millions the world over regarding their being under foot of oppressive parents, and governments.

Much in line with his and the band Pink Floyd's Humanitarian efforts over the years, bassist Roger Waters, who penned the song originally in 1979, has given this good blessings on their use of his song. So, they are free to push ahead on a very cool adventure.

When NPR's Guy Raz asked if the duo would ever perform the song with Pink Floyd — in Iran, the brothers said they'd be happy to, if it became politically feasible. In fact, they say Iran can be thought of as a birthplace of rock and roll.

I think that's stretching it a bit. But I appreciate where they are coming from, and I certainly bow to the elements of R&R that is owed to this ancient culture, of those who would "roam the ancient lands, and drink wine, and speak poetry and sing, surrounded by women."

Here's to them. And here's to hoping no one tries to kill Sepp and Sohl for only doing what governments should do, care about their people and give them the freedom to be happy and live full rich lives as they decide is appropriate. The world needs these kinds of inspiring anthems.

You go, Kids!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Abusive Satanic cults. Only in Germany, right? Best to hope so.

Ever see, Rosemary's Baby? Cult takes over husband, he helps his innocent wife to become impregnated by Satan, she bears, I suppose, the AntiChrist? Think all that is Baush prattle? Well, perhaps the supernatural elements, but people being evil has never been far fetched.

It would see that in Germany, there is a strong sect of delusional Satanic inspired criminals who have raised their daughters into a ridiculous cult with prostitution, murder, sacrifices, etc., etc., etc. Sad and predictable.

A woman named Laura, who was born into such a world in the Muenster region in western Germany, has come out and told her story. She tells of trying to be seen by the public as normal, while secretly living a life of cult pressured abuse, all supported by her criminally abusive parents. These are the kinds of things that can be hard to prove. Are they unbelievably criminal? Is their daughter, insane? No one ever wants to get involved in these things without hard proof. And one might suspect, they are very careful not to leave any laying around.

Alfons Strodt, capitular in the Catholic Diocese of Osnabrueck, has helped ex cult members. "In the beginning, I had to process all of this alone," he said. "People would tell me to stop making up such stories.

"I'm grateful that our bishop and the vicar-general now believe me and realize that it is an issue that can no longer be kept under wraps," he said. "Now, the victims can get some of the help they need."

For a more complete account of this story, see the Deutsche Welle, August, Friday the 13th, 2010 article

Showtime's new show, The Big C

I just watched, "The Big C", pilot. It was on just after my favorite show, Weeds.

I read a review of "C" today on NPR by David Bianculli is TV critic for TVWorthWatching.com, that was really quite negative, though it had good things to say about Laura Linney, who has the lead playing Cathy.

So, I expected little from the show. Which actually, is always the best way to watch something for the first time, don't you think? David Bianculli's review had said that the show as like a bad cartoon. Or something like that. And maybe it is kind of like a cartoon, but I don't think it would work in that vein, like a Family Guy, or a Simpsons. I needs the live actors to pull it off. Anyway, I think most of what the reviewer said was valid. But I realized, that didn't make it a show I wouldn't enjoy watching.

Still....

I think that any show that has any thing to do with someone breaking with their humdrum, doldrums of a reality, and starts LIVING, starts to enjoy Life, starts to breathe the fresh air once again, is worthy of note. Because, we need more of this kind of thing. Weeds is a lot like that, but for a different reason. Nancy, in Weeds, always seems to be reacting to something. But, C is about someone doing exactly what we need to do more of, change our lives because we suddenly wake up and realize what we are letting slip by. Our Life.

Like Cathy's homeless brother in C, telling her near the end of the pilot: "You're getting your "weird" back on, sis."

And that's exactly what more of us need to do in our own lives.

Live.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Breast Implant superbugs from South Asia?

Thinking about shaping up that part of you that has always felt to you like its a little under the weather? Want bigger breasts, ladies? Or a fully posterior? A more perfect nose? How would you feel about those new breasts dropping off, or that nose, or that new butt, or simply dropping dead all together?

Researchers have found a new superbug living in these areas specially enhanced by plastic surgeries performed in South Asia. Plastic surgery patients have carried a new class of superbugs resistant to almost all antibiotics from South Asia to Britain and they could spread worldwide, researchers reported Wednesday.

"Many hospital infections that were already difficult to treat have become even more impervious to drugs thanks to a recently discovered gene that can jump across different species of bacteria.

This so-called NDM-1 gene was first identified last year by Cardiff University's Timothy Walsh in two types of bacteria -- Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli -- in a Swedish patient admitted to hospital in India. Worryingly, the new NDM-1 bacteria are resistant even to carbapenems, a group of antibiotics often reserved as a last resort for emergency treatment for multi-drug resistant bugs."

"Checking hospital patients with suspect symptoms, they found 44 cases -- 1.5 percent of those screened -- in Chennai, and 26 (eight percent) in Haryana, both in India. They likewise found the superbug in Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well 37 cases in Britain, where several patients had recently traveled to India or Pakistan for cosmetic surgery."

"India also provides cosmetic surgery for other Europeans and Americans, and it is likely that NDM-1 will spread worldwide," said the study, published in the British medical journal The Lancet.

So, it looks like if you're going to get that surgery, pay up, rather than getting the cheaper version from Asia, just get it from home. Unless you live in India of course.

AFP article on Yahoo News

Siskel and Ebert's "At the Movies" final bow

This past weekend was the final show for what was originally a local show, a radio show and eventually a nationally syndicated TV show where these two critics review and appraisal was highly sought after.

This all started in 1975, years before I ever knew about them. I didn't discover them until the '80s and came to love their rivalry and friendship. Until Siskel died. Others have taken over the show since then but because of the internet mostly I would presume, they are really a kind of anachronism now.

About critics. Many people misunderstand what a critic is, or what function they server for us, the viewing public. You do not look for a critic that agrees with your point of view; because that is hard if not impossible, to do. What you want is a critic that is consistent in their view, who will let you know, what you are getting into by seeing a certain film. In having the two of them, you got an even better view.

I got to know, after a while, that even if they both hated a film, I might like it, or if one did for his reason, and the other didn't, for his, I would hate it. Or whatever combination is possible, I could make a decision. They weren't always right but in general, they were. Right, in the way that even if they were wrong, I could make an informed decision on what to do with my free time and money that night. The point is, to be able to know if you will want to pay your hard earned money, more importantly, to spend your valuable free time, to see this film or that film, or not. I have at times, not gone to see a film I wanted to see, went to see a film I hadn't considered and in the end, been pleased I did. All because of these critics' valued opinions.

I hadn't watched the show for a while, but then watched it one day, years ago. It was the same show. But something seemed odd about Siskel. I told people about it. It was like he was drunk, or on drugs. I assumed Ebert was going to be pissed off, thinking, how unprofessional, what with is being so critical of everything (I always agreed more with Siskel's film appraisals).

But that's not what I saw Ebert do. He was, in his one shot, looking at Siskel with a kind of affection, or love, for his partner who was having difficulty speaking. I think of it now and it brings emotions forward in a most uncomfortable and satiating way. I later learned that was one of, if not the, last appearances of Siskel on their show, because he was dying and then passed on, to be seen by his public no more.

It is the passing of yet another era now that their show is no longer being aired. It is a sign of the times, it is a perhaps progressive move into the future, but it is also a sad, melancholy thing to behold. They will, by some of us, be missed. Because even though we have not watched the show in sometime, even though neither of them were on the show anymore, it was comforting, in some way, in knowing they were still out there, their legacy being carried on in some way. But that time has passed, and they will be missed.

I was touched and pleased to hear Siskel's voice once again on the NPR Fresh Air archived interview from 1998.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

UFO in Washington today, scrambles 2 F-15s

The Associated Press Related SEATTLE —
"Emergency agencies across Western Washington are getting calls from numerous people who heard and felt a double boom about 1:50 p.m. Tuesday."

A touch spooky today....

Both my kids today, called me. They said, "did you hear those two explosions?"

I said, "No."

They were a little nervous. So I looked into it. I knew President Obama was in Seattle for Senator Patty Murry's election campaign, I thought maybe a celebration, fly overs, sonic booms? Or maybe, something bad? My son was near the nuclear sub base at Bangor. He said Jets were flying over head in a search pattern. That made me suspect sonic boom even more than when I first heard there were two loud sounding explosions.

Trust me, almost always, anything juicy like this, will turn out to be nothing. It used to be that way anyway, until, 9/11. As it turns out, just as I was telling people, its probably just some wayward pilot who didn't hear about the restriction and sure enough, just a pilot coming back from Lake Chelan in a float plane, heading to a plane harbor on Lake Washington.

First on line with an update: The Oregonian, a newspaper out of Portland indicating there were many region wide reports. Finally, KOMO TV 4 online came up with a report that there was an invasion of FAA restricted air space. Initially, a UFO:

"F-15 fighter jets scrambled from Portland to deal with an unknown aircraft that had entered restricted air space over Western Washington caused two sonic booms that were heard across a wide swath of the region, the FAA reported Tuesday."

Nothing unusual really. When you restrict airspace, this frequently happens. But since 9/11, they are not screwing around anymore. This is not any longer, your daddy's emergency alert:

"A spokesman with the Oregon Air National Guard said two F-15s from their 142nd Fighter Wing were scrambled on a "real world mission" from their base at Portland International Airport but could not elaborate on what the mission entailed."

When they break the sound barrier to get somewhere and bring on this kind of notoriety in the media, they are NOT screwing around. These fliers were on the way to a real threat and taking it as an a priori that they would take care of business.

Well, one good thing about it, that I told my kids of, was that once you hear a sonic boom, you can usually tell the next time what you're hearing. Although, the last big earth quake we had around here, started unusually with a boom reminiscent of, but I even then I had realized wasn't, what sounded like a jet breaking the sound barrier. With this one there were reports of curtains blowing in people's windows, not usually an earth quake kind of behavior.

Anyway, even though the jets arrived after the plane hand landed, Thanks guys (or girls, or a mixture therein)! And have a beer, on me.

KOMO News release

Why conditional love works, or not

When you are in a relationship, with people, friends, lovers, kids, family, you have two choices in how to interact with your affections: conditional, or unconditional love.

Conditional love leaves room for excess, with children specifically, to abuse the relationship and get away with possibly horrible, horrible things. Unconditional love gives one a lot more leeway in handling relationships. But, have room for screwing it up. Some women like to use conditional love by withholding sex from their lover. Just about all therapists agree, this is a bad thing for a relationship and usually ends poorly. Men traditionally have used power or money in the same way with women.

Right?

Well, these are adults. They should be able to figure it out. Read a book, see a therapist, talk to your friends (and be honest). But for children, they have no chance of control and are fully in our care. If you give love to your child, regardless of what is going on, then why can't they just take, take, take and have no regard for what is right or wrong? Love is a powerful thing after all. If they do something wrong, and you show them love, won't they think that they can just get away with what they did and do it again and again? But if you pull your love from them, isn't it extremely affective and won't they crave the love even more feeling obligated to always follow your desires? They will do anything at that point, to gain that love back. Right?

Dr. Jim Taylor says conditional love is good. But you can use, and many, many people do, the wrong kind of conditional love. Dr. Taylor is internationally recognized for his work in the psychology of performance in business, parenting, and sport and has extensive credentials, available on his website.

He mentions "outcome love" and "dangling-carrot love". Outcome love is when your child, as example, fails in a task and you react very negatively, pulling your love and even doing things that exemplify it, saying you don't love them, breaking their things, etc. Children tend to react poorly to this. With dangling-carrot love, its perhaps best to quote Dr. Taylor here:

"One of the obstacles to children's success and happiness occurs when parents use their love to threaten and control them. Love becomes a weapon when parents make their love conditional on their children's success or failure, what I call, "outcome love".

"Another painful and destructive form of conditional love is "dangling-carrot" love, in which love is promised by parents and held seemingly within reach, but is never truly attainable.

"If you are a parent who communicates dangling-carrot love, you would show it by never being completely satisfied with how your children perform. For example, your child brings home a test in which he earned a score of 94 and you ask, "why did you miss three questions?" Or, your daughter receives a standing ovation for her dance performance, but the first thing you say is that she missed three steps in her choreography. In both examples, your children succeeded by most anyone's standards, yet their achievements were still not completely worthy of your love. Why do parents use this destructive kind of love? Probably in the mistaken belief that if parents give complete and unlimited approval of their children’s achievements, they will never achieve up to their fullest abilities."

Having seen these types first hand in the history of individuals I've been in relationships with, I've seen how very destructive it can be to a child; for the rest of their life, and on into their children's lives.

Dr. Taylor goes on:

"Instead of outcome or dangling-carrot love, you should use "value love", in which love is conditional on your children's adopting essential values and acting in socially appropriate and ethical ways. Value love nurtures the development of positive values and moral behavior, fosters healthy growth, and encourages achievement and happiness."

"Finally, children raised with outcome and dangling-carrot love internalize their parents’ style of love and use it as the basis for loving themselves. In other words, they come to only love themselves when they live up to the now-internalized expectations and they hate themselves when they fail to do so. Children raised with value love, by contrast, ingrain that healthy style of love and are able to love themselves independent of the successes or failures they experience in their lives."

Dr. Taylor may have a point in his contentions. But it worries me. I suspect that unconditional love may be more affective overall. Why? Because most of us have to live our lives and simply aren't smart enough to use conditional love correctly or in all instances and the child will suffer for it. In using unconditional love, but, still using corrective and more importantly, educational methods, I believe that people in general will simply have a far better result.

In this way, you love your child always, but when they are wrong, you correct them: "I love you, but you did not do this right." Or, "what you did was wrong and we shouldn't do those kinds of things. I love you, and I want you to be the best person you can be."

To ever pull your love, for any reason, is destructive. If you use conditional love, you give to them, a polarizing effect. Life really is a series of grayness, seldom with a black and white, right and wrong reality. Too many people believe there is, for the most part you find this in religious types. But that view is lazy and uneducated.

Too many times in a situation involving a good and bad person, both are actually doing things for what they believe to be a good reason, and they appear bad to the other because their view is that they are the good individual in this situation. I've infrequently, found myself realizing later that I was actually the bad one in a situation but had been too close to things to see that at the time. But, in hindsight I later realized I might have done things differently.

In teaching a child that there is only right and wrong, it simplifies life for them. This is good, for a while. Much like allowing them to believing "magic" gives them an ability to see the "magic" in life all around us. Much like a swat on the butt is good to teach them things that could save their life (getting burned by fire, running into a busy street, etc.). It is something you do when the child has yet the capability for communicating.

Before a child understands words, if they reach for a flame on the stove, you show them "No" by having them reach for the flame, slap their hand and say "No!", about a half second after. This way, they understand the movement, feel a negative affect in the action, and hear a word they will hear again and again over the years, that is associated with avoidance behavior. It takes a partial moment for them to conceive the word "no", for it to hit the brain the same time as the slight pain in the hand. This has the double effect of now pairing a word that can be used later and being associated with a "stop-action" response.

Once a child can understand, especially when they can appropriately and verbally respond, parents should no longer use pain but words, in managing their behavior. Many parents make the mistake to continue beyond that time. They spank young children, then continue to do so long after its effective.

First, spanking is typically too much response to bad behaviors; second, using a spanking after the child can communicate is innately offensive to the child and even they do not know why that is so. Also, a spanking can hit its point of usefulness quickly. They child may believe they deserve it, but how much? One swat? Two? Three? At what point is it useful and then, counter-productive? This can lead to confusion and eventually, other negative emotions such as bitterness, anger and eventually, hatred. Then, you really have a problem.

To sum up, love is very effective in relationships. Give it some thought, don't misuse it. And if you are confused by all this, then look into it, educate yourself and work out how to use it appropriately. Like anything else, and certainly, anything I ever talk about in these blogs, don't take my word for it, but figure it out for yourself.

Dating site profile photo dont's

Here are some obvious and oft abused dating profile photo don'ts for the ladies (oh, and the guys too; only, um, different).

These have all been seen a million times, so here goes....

1) Don't put yourself in a picture with your best, and typically better looking, younger, or slimmer friend....

2)...even if (or perhaps especially if) that best friend is...a guy. Or a brother, or a cousin, or, well you get the idea.

3) Do not post a photo of you with your ex-. No, ex fiancée, nor ex boyfriend, or husband, or even just guy friend. Especially, if you're hanging all over them, kissing them, or even just staring deeply into their eyes.

4) Do not show a picture of your dog.

5) Do not show a picture of your cat! Or your rat, your gerbil, or whatever.

6) Do not do the aforementioned, especially if you aren't showing a picture of yourself, and Do NOT....

7)...put your pet as your Main photo!

8) Don't put up a picture of yourself with a bunch of your girlfriends. Guys are going to assume you aren't the hottest one in the picture. And if they
don't, they should. And if they don't, then you will most likely have to get around to telling them you aren't the hot one.

9) Don't put up a picture of yourself with a bunch of your family all surrounding you. On the other hand, if you're looking to turn a guy off, then go for it; you're on the right track.

10) Don't put up a picture of you with your sister, daughter, or niece (or all three) along with you, especially if they are the younger, cuter, slimmer or more intelligent looking one (see 1 above). Its guaranteed that guys will decide you are the one in the picture that is either the older, less attractive or bigger one; all that depending upon being whatever the opposite is of what your intentions are (and you can probably bet money on it).

11) Do not show you, in the middle of all your friends at a bar; how in the hell
are they supposed to know which one is you?

12) Remember that whatever you post in a photo, people new to you, do not know you. So if your intention is to draw people in to you, and considering that
they don't know that was the only time you ever got on a table and danced half
naked; well, how are they supposed to know that?

13) Finally, do NOT use a photo of you in a wedding gown! No, a bridesmaid's gown doesn't make it either, Baaabyyyy!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Armenian Genocide

Maybe you have heard about the "Armenian Genocide" that happened in Greece in 1915?

Hitchens
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzpGrC6rm-g&feature=related
60 Minutes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7M4gg0bExKg&feature=related
Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide

I don't have a feeling about this one way or another. Some claim it never happened, some claim it did. I do feel if it happened, and I get the feeling it did, that this was a horrible thing. What I do think, is that this is an issue in that country, that has involved the entire world to at least some degree. There is only one way to deal with that kind of thing. End it. Obviously, it can't be ended as Greece has tried to end it. So, they need to do something different.

Much like with the Slave trade in Early America, one needs to embrace one's past and deal with it, then put it behind you. Not, to try to ignore it or claim that it never happened. How childish is that?

What it comes down to is, Is it history? Is it YOUR history (Greece?). Because if so, then you will just have to "man up" (some claim, "woman up" is a more intense and relevant phrase and maybe so, but either way....), admit it, get it over with, be done with it.

Or, we can just slug along forever with this controversy continuing with bad feelings all around.

Your choice.

Master Chef - Gordon Ramsey does it again?

I watched Master Chef the other night. I had missed episode one. But in my opinion, Chef Gordon Ramsey has hit another golden nail on the head.

He must have asked himself: "What is missing, what haven't we done yet, oh yes, America, the little people, we've actually missed bringing the conman folk into the limelight. We need to give THEM a chance at fame and fortune. Yes! That's IT! Its a natural! I know it!"

And I think, he was right.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Christopher Hitchens being waterboarded

I think Christopher Hitchens is a breath of fresh air in a world consumed with Religion and confused thought (not to confuse the two, I refer to them here only as separate elements). I think Hitchens is a clear, precise and logical thinker. We need more of that around the world.

However, his professing the stupidity of religious thought, as magical thinking, etc., has given him a great following of religious people who either hate him, or pray for him, but at least expect him to most likely, one day expire and burn in Hell for all eternity.

In that vein, if you are one of those who really do not like him and wouldn't mind vicariously watching him go through a miserable experience, I offer you this:

The Water-boarding of Christopher Hitchens.

Now that you have that in your mind, I'm not sure if you can empathize the miserable, horrible experience of this form of "benign" (?) torture. A form of torture the US has historically denounced for American citizens and in recent times has indicated as an acceptable form of torture for us to engage in.

Anyone who has ever had the experience of nearly drowning, would appreciate how horrible this tactic is, but you would also have to accept that this is even worse, because of how they go about it and having an absorbent towel placed on your face.

I agree we should take somewhat extraordinary measures in tracking down terrorists. But we at least need to understand what that means and therefore, be and feel responsible. Is ignorance an excuse?

Planets Align for the Perseid Meteor Shower

If you've never seen a meteor shower, you should check this out, because its too much fun, not to mention, if you have kids, they love it. Of course, you'd have to get them up to see it.

"The planets will hang together in the western sky until 10 pm or so. When they leave, following the sun below the horizon, you should stay, because that is when the Perseid meteor shower begins. From 10 pm until dawn, meteors will flit across the starry sky in a display that's even more exciting than a planetary get-together."

From NASA on Perseid Meteor Shower

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Are Mothers a wonderful thing?

So you think mother's are a wonderful thing, do you?

Obviously, you've not met my Mom. A lot of people like to say that. But, for few of them is it true.

With my mom, it is, indeed, the truth. To quote Kathy Griffin, "I think my mother gave me a mental illness an hour ago."

Yes, she was wonderful in having me (she was pregnant like five times and got married after each time except the first, but only because she lost it). So, yeah, I'm glad she didn't abort me or end up aborting me, be it by choice or accident or act of her very confused God.

Then there were the early years, yeah, she was pretty cool, a fun mom (psycho, but fun). Actually what I thought then was fun I realize now was her being a bit insane. I didn't see her inconsistencies, I thought she was just like me, turn on a dime and do something for no apparent reason.

Later years? Yeah, she stood up for me. Like the time I blew up my Jr High. No one got hurt, and I was trying to be careful. When I told her on the phone when I got home, like the Vice Principle told me to do, she laughed.

She used to drive my older brother and sister around, their band members and all their equipment. She hosted band practice every Thursday night 7:30PM to 10PM (curfew). Everyone in the neighborhood used to sit on their front steps and listen in the summer time. There were always hot teen girls hanging around on band night and others times, I was about 12. The band was The Barons, but there were two other bands in town named that, so they had my sister join them (my brother was 19, my sister 14, she played the organ). So they added her name to the band's name and off they went.

They even one the battle of the bands at Ft. Lewis Army Base. They rented an old church in Lacey, near Olympia, the state capital. Weekend I'd watch a little tiny b/w TV and sell drinks and stuff from a closet with a French door. But we didn't have a license so the city told us to stop, that funded the rental and the gas money so we had to stop. But it was cool while it lasted and it was all there was for teens to do in Lacey back then on a weekend night.

But then the down side. Not to mention her four divorces. The obvious trouble with her husbands, both during and after marriage. The degree of vitriol she held for her last husband, whom she married like five times total for some reason. He always seemed to hate me. Except when he liked having me around. Which wasn't often. They continued to live together until one summer, in 2002, when they had the week from hell.

Long story short, they now live opposite sides of the US. My sister moved to Dallas twenty-five years ago. I asked her husband one day a few years after they moved, jokingly, "So, did you guys move far enough from Mom?" His answer: "there is no where far enough. The moon is too close."

My Grandmother. My Mom's Mom. She told me once, that she often wondered, did someone swap her daughter out in the delivery room? I could believe it. My Aunt, my mom's older sister, and my Grandmother were far more similar than my Mom and they ever were. So what happened?

A few deaths in the family, misusing drugs, not achieving her fantasized potential, things like that probably; possibly, some mental illness on top of it all, and a lifetime of ADD probably too.

So, what's the point of all this? Bad things happen in life. We don't all reach our potential, "potential". Life can be difficult. The Buddhists say, life is suffering, its all about how to make it through. Sometimes life really isn't worth living. So, what do we do about it? We survive. We continue on. We do our best. We enjoy the little things.

So, pay attention. Notice the positive things; dwell on the good, not the bad. Sometimes, smile, even though you don't want to. Because, its a fact, if you smile on the inside, you smile on the outside. And if you smile on the outside, it makes you smile (at least a little bit) on the inside. See? If you have bad times, you focus on them, so don't focus on them. Focus on the little good you can fine, lower your expectations, in order to make it through. But always strive, work toward a better life.

Think! Make REASONABLE plans to better your life, achievable plans. Be good to people, it acts like a magnet, and good will come back to you. That's not farfetched, or New Age thinking, its rational, reality. Smack someone every time you walk by, they will fear and hate you, flinch when you approach; but smile, say nice things, help someone, and they will be far more predisposed to feel and be that way toward you. Do it on a larger scale, and well, you can see the perspective.

Above all, hang in there, survive, and smile.

I have a defective brain. However....

I have a defective brain.

I've nearly always known about it. Growing up, I never matched up to the other kids. I couldn't fathom math; oh sure, addition, subtraction, multiplication, but division started confusing me early. But when we hit fractions, fractional division, I lost it.

It was about 5th grade I started to realize, I really don't think like other kids. My grades showed it too. But it also showed what I was good at: reading, comprehension, writing. Comprehension, took a while. Once I got into college, I started being told by many people, that I had a talent for writing; that my writings were well drawn, or entertaining. I didn't believe them at first. But when I started hearing it from my Instructors and Professors, I started to believe.

All thought K-12, especially High School, I thought about being a writer. But I couldn't, there were too many mechanics to it, too many rules and I was never very good at rules, or boundaries. I was always over-reaching, over extending, trying to see what was over the next hill. So I knew I could never be a writer. I knew I could probably not be a lot of things, like a brain surgeon, or a physicist. But writer, was going to be out of the question, too.

When got to a university, something I never thought would happen. If I compared my brain to that of my old main Professor at Western Washington University's Psychology Department, Dr. Rod Rees, I saw similarities. But, when I think of him, or my old instructor in the Theater department, Perry Mills, it humbles me.

Dr. Rees I believe, had brain functions and mental processes more like mine, but way down the road from me. He was a great guiding light to me; and my girlfriend at the time, as we were a special couple in the Psychology Department from what I heard (I'd love to know how Dr. Rees' caring nurturing of us, has directed her life since those days). Dr. Rees was part of a "think tank" at Brown University in the '60s. When the student body representatives were looking to affect change, they went to Dr. Rees' team and said, "Here's the situation, what do we do?" Rees and his team analyzed the data, and came back with, "Take over the University, shut it down, take over the administration building." And the rest is history.

Perry Mills, was my guide through the Theatrical realm after I decided to also acquire a minor in Creative Writing, in screenwriting as it turned out, along with fiction and play writing.

Perry has a command of language and historical information unsurpassed in anyone I have ever met; he could see how things tie together and deliver it in an entertaining or at times, in an overwhelming way. Presented in his grand booming voice with his gregarious, animated and overplayed mannerisms, he could whittle you to the quick, or humble you with a word; but he was always a joy to be around. Women loved him, even though sometimes women wanted to hate him. But they simply couldn't, even through his slightly (strike that, somewhat) chauvinist tendencies.

I asked a secretary at the PAC at WWU after he walked away having cheerily ranted about some male / female dichotomy, "How does he get away with that? I could never get away with saying some of the things he says." She was laughing, as was another woman behind the counter that she worked with. She thought about it and said: "How can you not let him get away with it? He's Perry. You want to hate him sometimes, but you just can't."

Nice. I wish I could have gleamed that technique off of him, but he is unique. Part of the issue was, he was usually right and he had a brain the size of a small planet.

The only man I've seen who comes close to him in a long time, is Christopher Hitchens. I hadn't realized it but I think that is wherein lay my fascination with him; in that, to me, he feels quite familiar. I feel that in some way, I understand him.

Now, I had realized as a child that I couldn't think as others do. But, I learned to hide it, to work around it. Since I knew I couldn't conjure up facts like others could; that I could not draw down from the air, esoteric permutations in algebraic notation, or dated facts from history, I wanted to give up. See, I have trouble with recall, but not, with recognition. I cannot call at will previously learned, studied, information. Not immediately, not in the time it takes for test taking in a classroom. Sometimes I can, but I do better on other kinds of testing. I can however, build massive concepts from scratch, at a whim, build something impressive from nothing.

I was horrible at math. It was a strange relationship, I love geometry, but I was really bad at it. On the other hand, I could spin words and concepts, at will; I could build constructs of metaphor and logic with a fair amount of ease. I began to notice that I could do things most others in my classes couldn't do; though I couldn't do most of what was required of us.

And I realized, I had something few had. I knew I could make that work, but how?

And so, in the end, I have always tried to do what I can in life, to work with how my brain works. I realized I'm not great at recalling things quickly, but I'm very good at recognizing them and creating something from nothing. It has always been easy for me to turn a phrase, or conjure a joke; especially when my life depended on it. One has to find what one can do well in life, and profit from it. And not simply bow to the will of the masses, authority, the majority, or the populace.

Remember the maxim: "As the size of a mob increases proportionally, the intellect of it decreases exponentially." Or something like that. You see, I'm not that great at recalling things like that. But I love the internet. Its my extra brain. Use it well, Grasshopper.

So, if you're creative, create. Don't be forced into what "they" want, what "they" expect, or want to expect of you. Schools are mostly designed to kick out a cookie cutter version of people, rather than take the time, or have the time, or the money, to develop people that are good for the world.

Be yourself. Its good to learn to work with the system, but you have to be true to yourself, too. Otherwise, you are fated to always be in the shadow of the current Zeitgeist of your community, your nation, or the world; something that is not good for you, or the rest.

But remember too, that society by its nature, is designed to crave, to build, raise, push to the front or the top, leaders, people to follow, to worship. And then, once they have what the so much desire, the tear them down, destroy them, kill them.

Its just what we do.

I do have a defective brain. However....

...we actually all have defective brains.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Got a cold? Schvatsky. What is it?

Schvotsky. What is it?

It is an old country remedy for a cold:

Boil whiskey with bacon bits in it, lemon slices, honey and cayenne.
Blend to desired strength, spicier the better.
NO WATER! :)
Drink.

You sweat, you numb out, you drink as many as required.

Your illness begins to not bother you so much.

First time I had it I was sick with a flu or cold or something at 11.

My had grandfather stopped by and told my mom, his daughter, "make him schvotsky!" (shhhh vot ski)

I'm not sure of the spelling, I've never found it referenced anywhere and Grandpa is dead these past many years. What a great loss to the local diesel engineering industry.

If he said it, my mom did was she was told. I knew as a child, that this was a great thing. See, that's how I got my pellet gun. He had said, "What do you want
for your birthday, today?"

I said, (looking tentatively at my mom and her face showing a don't do it look):

"I want a BB gun"

We went to the store, I got a gun. My mom tried to argue once on that trip.
He said something to her and that was the end of it. I never heard about it again from her. (Ah, Life is good. "NO, you'll put your eye out." "But Grandpa, Mom!")
Anyway, at the time I was feeling miserable.

After they gave me the schvotsky, I felt like, Oh God, I felt GREATTTTTTT!!!!
My first real alcohol experience. And....

I LOVED my GrandFather!!!! I mean, I did feel so much better and it cleared up my breathing a bit too.

Wow, the old country really knows some fixatives!

He was Romanian, or Bulgarian or something (my Grandmother was Czech or Slavic or something, and my own dad was Irish...which I lean to, go figure).

The only other recipe I've found like this was Chinese:

Garlic, ginger, cayenne, lemon, honey

Ginger. Huh. Interesting. I might try incorporating that.

Be well!

The Outer Limits Feature being written

'SAW' WRITERS DOING 'THE OUTER LIMITS' FEATURE

FEAST and SAW writers Marcus Dunstron and Patrick Melton have been tapped to write a feature film for MGM based on the Anthology series.

Hailed as “the best program of its type to ever run on network TV” by acclaimed author Stephen King, this sci-fi fantasy original series ignited the imagination of viewers with the help of such distinguished guest star appearances by Academy Award WinnerĂ’ Robert Duvall (Tender Mercies), Adam West (“Batman”), Eddie Albert (“Green Acres”) and Star Trek alumni William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and James Doohan.The 1960s debut of the macabre series broke new ground by blurring the line between fact and fiction with dark introspective storylines. Fans became hooked as the series continued to challenge the human mind by making the unbelievable seem like a terrifying reality. As television’s longest running science-fiction anthology, “The Outer Limits” has garnered several awards, including four Cable Ace Awards, two Gemini Awards and two Saturn Awards.

From Rich Goellnitz We love horror movies on Facebook

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

North Korea says its ready for dialog and war. How about War?

Pyongyang says that in response to the US and South Korea military exercises, spawned because of the North having sunk a ship of the South, that they are ready for dialog or War. I'm starting to think, we should remove the government of North Korea. Why?

Because, they are deluded, far beyond 99% of all other governments in a way that is severely damaging to their people, they are a threat to the local region, the are becoming a threat to the international regions, and it is just wrong to allow a government like that to exist. If we are willing to take out a Saddam Hussein, if we are willing to try to help work out the problems in Afghanistan, North Korea would seem a viable option too.

We don't, we won't, try to help a country if they are not in a state where we can do some good; they would need a viable governmental structure to allow setting up a reasonable alternate State to run things. We made that mistake in Somalia and don't plan to do it again any time soon.

What gets me so annoyed, is seeing countries where the government is far beyond the pale on treating its people poorly. When people are dying in a country of starvation, when they are being killed systematically by their own government, THEN is the time for not just the United States to step in, but the entire world.

If you ask me, Israel should be leading this charge for the world. As much as they have complained (and for good reason) about the Holocaust, and all their pandering about "never forget, never forget", it seems to me, they have forgotten plenty too quickly. Perhaps they don't have the resources financially, but they should have the moral resources because of their own past experiences, subjugation and constant attempted annihilation, throughout history.

I've never understood, having grown up hearing about their historical plight year after year, why they aren't the moral center of the world. Yet I hear things about their issues with the Palestinians on a constant basis that makes me wonder, what in the hell they are thinking about. OK, I don't want to get into a big diatribe on Israel, I never do, nobody does, but that's another matter.

My point is, someone, should be leading this charge and I'd like to know why it should be the US? But, I don't care. Someone, should start doing something about the bully governments in the world. Should we invade Iran? No, I really don't think so, they have a viable country, screwed up as it is. These church and state countries, need to grow up, wise up, and put an end to this.

But North Korea, is a different kind of animal. Where Iran walks a kind of line, North Korea stepped over that line a long, long time ago. I don't really think we should go to full out war with them, but some action should be taken to destabilize this paranoid regime until the fall and their people can start to live actual lives in a fairly free and open society. Something that should be a right, the world over by this time.

Where do we get a pay off in all our cavorting around the world blowing things up? In the future. We need to calm this world down, to systematically eliminate the leaders and governments that are keeping their own people, and thereby, all peoples, down from growing into a vast economy of good living.

Case in point: the Niger River yearly oil spills need to be ended. These spills are said to be, by Amnesty International, to be the size of an Exxon Valdez oil spill, every year, for the past fifty years! With no clean up yet. The $600 million dollars that region has gotten from the oil companies deal of 40%/60% in favor of the Niger government, with those proceeds having never made it back to the region affected by the oil production by those foreign companies, has all or mostly gone into the pockets (that is, most likely, Swiss bank accounts) of those charged with the protection of their own people.

I will never understand how you can be put in charge of protecting a country full of people, men, women, aged, children, handicapped, and then take advantage of them. Those government officials should be called to task by the World Court and held accountable. The people who have died from this catastrophe, from this outrage, should be tallied, and murder charges brought forth on those Government officials.

But then, even they, are not to find their special place in a Christian's Hell, like the government of North Korea.

For real, best movie Interview on YouTube, EVER!

OMG I love this promo for

The Expendables!

I don't normally make blogs this short but this pretty much makes it worth it.
Have fun and Thanks to Stallone and the others for this. Here's hoping the movie lives up to its hype:

"If testosterone could mate with an explosion, this movie would be its offspring." -IGN

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bob Satiacum Puyallup tribal leader, convicted felon

I ripped this off completely, from Wikipedia:

---
"Robert (Bob) Satiacum (1929– March 25, 1991) was Puyallup tribal leader, convicted felon, and an advocate of native treaty fishing rights in the United States. He was convicted of attempted murder and other charges in 1982, but fled to Canada to avoid a prison term. He was later convicted of child molestation in Canada in 1989.

"Satiacum was a 1947 graduate of Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Washington, where he was a star athlete. He first came to the public attention in 1954, when he was arrested for illegally fishing in the Puyallup River in Tacoma, Washington. Satiacum was convicted, but the Washington State Supreme Court overturned the conviction. This led to years of legal wranglings over the issue, as well as to "fish-ins" by Satiacum and his cadre of celebrity supporters (most notably Marlon Brando, who was arrested with him on March 2, 1964).

"This ultimately culminated in the historic Boldt Decision, which held that treaties signed with native tribes and the federal government in the 1850s entitled the tribes to fifty percent of the total fish harvest.

"Satiacum was prominent the 1970 action at Seattle's Fort Lawton that resulted in the creation of United Indians of All Tribes and ultimately of the Daybreak Star Cultural Center.

"In the 1980s, Satiacum ran afoul of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) for allegedly selling cigarettes illegally. He was convicted, but fled to Canada before he could be sent to prison. Satiacum was re-arrested in Canada but in 1987, he became the first U.S. citizen to be granted refugee status in Canada. This decision was later reversed by the Federal Court of Canada.

"He died in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1991, following his arrest on a warrant."
---

I met Bob Satiacum in 1981. I spoke with him. I shook his hand.

I was fresh from the service. I was dating a very attractive girl who introduced me to her friends from school who she had known most her life. I became a part of that group.

Enjoy watching, Lie To Me, on Fox? Check this out....

When I heard Fox was putting on a TV show with the excellent and cool actors Tim Roth and Kelli Williams, and it was about what its about, I was very pleased to hear the news and looked forward to it starting. I haven't been disappointed.

Some have complained about the accuracy being off the mark sometimes, but hey, its a TV SHOW. When they say, that the face of a character is doing something, its up to that actor (and yes, the director) to display that affect, but look, its on a schedule, and a budget so if they actor doesn't display the facial expression perfectly, give them a break.

I found this show so fascinating for several reasons. One, I had once been on a path to a career in the espionage field and two, I worked for someone in this area of facial affect recognition. Allow me to explain....

Back in the late 1980s, my now ex-wife got a job working at the University of Washington. I was already working there for MCIS. The Psychology Department was looking for artist types. Its funny because she would never listen to me about computers. At the time, I was trying to learn all I could to get a better job, which did happen.

My argument to her had been that one day everyone will need to know how to run a computer. Her argument was, she was an artist, who doesn't care about computers. We had been raising our 3 year old son about then, and needed money. So she found a job ad that was interesting, and she tried out for it and got hired.

It was Dr. John Gottman's lab. He'd put out ads for someone, as it turned out, to run one of his computer labs. Ironically, the artist who would never need to understand how to use a computer got that job managing people who were using computers. I had to laugh.

A Doctor there, needed artist types because of their innate ability to deconstruct the face in their mind, quickly and accurately. Dr. Gottman had come up with the Specific Affect Coding System (SPAFF), based upon Dr. Paul Ekman's Facial Affect Coding System (FACS, now, Facial Action Coding System).

This was all very fascinating. Ekman had people out training Judges, Attorneys, Law Enforcement, CIA, etc. Basically, we heard, you could use this to practically read someone's mind. It was amazing to watch and I don't know why it didn't occur to me sooner to create a TV show around this. Even though I didn't, I'm glad someone else did.

Dr. Gottman is still out there doing his work and has a web page about his work at The Gottman Relationship Institute.
brief paper

They would take couples who were having trouble in their relationship, bring them in, interview them, wire them up, face them to one another in a small room, with remote video cameras, then have them talk about things that will be most informative in their relationship situation. Later, these video tapes would be coded for time and facial expressions using proprietary software for later analysis. It was all very fascinating.

I was pleased to have helped them at the lab in setting up, actually, fine tuning their PC computers environments. I don't think Dr. Gottman ever even knew I had done that work as I was volunteering my time, and doing it to help my wife at the time, run her lab more easily. This all lead to our becoming friendly with Dr. Gottman and his assistant, the very cool Stephanie. We had dinner with her and her oceanographer husband once and it was a very pleasant evening. I remember a party at Dr. Gottman and his wife's house that was also a very memorable occasion.

All this lead to our getting involved with the BBC and a documentary they shot on the lab and the work they were doing. It aired in Great Britain on the caveat from us, that it never be shown in the US. It hasn't. What was funny, was back then, the media in the UK tore us apart for a variety of things such as being "emotional exhibitionists", my favorite.

Now, what with all these "reality shows", it makes me laugh. But back then, it was a little difficult to deal with, when all we were doing was trying to help a good group of people doing very good research.

The documentary involved a film crew following my wife and I around for an entire week. It started on Sunday, then on Tuesday, we went into the lab for a three day stay. We were the first couple to do this in their new "apartment lab". That was the point. The Doctor in Charge (DOC), wanted to have a semi controlled situation. I had a University Psychology degree (Awareness and Reasoning Division, Phenomenology), my wife ran one of his computer labs. He knew us, trusted us, felt we were intelligent and stable (well, I was anyway).

So we agreed to do it. Plus, we were told the BBC would pay us. They tried to get us $2,000 but in the end, we got $1,000, a lot of money to us then. Did this compromise us in anyway? Being friends of the lab and being paid for it? I do not believe so, not at all. To be fair, the DOC told us too, to just be ourselves and not worry about him or his research. Be honest. What a guy!

We had to wear some blue vests, with electronics in them, testing our heart rate, breathing, etc. We were monitored at nearly all times, there were two one way mirrors, and many video cameras near the ceiling. We were given some tasks to perform, like build a tower out of some art supplies. How did we interact? What would we do? What did it mean?

We were in the lab all the next day, then part of the following day. The film crew were all very nice, and got some pick up shots at times, and their interviews with all of us, then on Friday, they headed back to the UK.

Once, we got a bit stressed out and needed some time off, so the DOC let us walk off under a nearby bridge to get some quiet time. My wife, cried a little, we talked, then headed back after about 45 minutes. It was funny that they film crew wanted to follow us getting away from the film crew but the DOC had to be stern say, "No, don't you get it, they need to get away from YOU." Once we came back it went smoothly through the rest of the week. We did get some privacy in the bathroom and after 8pm we shut it down and had the rest of the night off until the next morning when it started all over again.

In the end, Dr. Gottman got some good press out of it which helped his funding. And he has done very well over the years passed, although we have lost touch.

There is only one thing that I could mention here of interest.

About a year or so later, I split up with my wife. Why we split up, is really not of interest here. The point is, at the end of the documentary, Dr. Gottman was asked how we did; how was our marriage, would we make it or break it. In the years since, I have watched this documentary and when I get to the end, where the BBC producer asked the question, its interesting in hindsight to notice his reaction. Think, Lie to Me.

The first time I saw it, we were still married. The last time I watched it, was with my son, who was three when it was shot, and 19 when we watched it together. It was his idea to watch it, he wanted to know what happened. I refused to let him watch it all his life. There were things in it a kid really didn't need to hear, honest comments from his mother, myself, others.

So, while we watched it a few years ago (he's 22 now), I carefully watched Dr. Gottman's face. His comments were, that we had a good sense of humor and that counts for a lot in a marriage or relationship, that we had our problems like anyone, but he thought in the end, we'd make it.

But that's not what happened. So, was is his research faulty?

No. when I now look into his eyes, I can see exactly what he was thinking. And he realized at that moment, that because she was his employee, because we were friends, he couldn't say what he truly believed. You see, I think he knew right then and there, that we weren't going to make it. But how, could he say it. Because then, would he contribute to it happening? He would have to see us again that next time and on a regular basis.

So, how could he answer honestly. That doesn't make him a bad person or researcher, it makes him what he has always been since I've known him, a very good Human being. A kind and caring person. I believe he wanted to answer honestly, but let's face it, how many out there are a Dr. Lightman from Lie To Me? I'm not, though I admire his tenacity and sociopathic tendencies; but then, I can't be that way either.

As an interesting anecdote, several years later, I received a call from my now ex wife. She was excited and said she had just talked to a producer for the night time TV news show, 20/20. They wanted to possibly have us on their show as a follow-up program to Dr. Gottman's BBC documentary, more so because he had ended the documentary saying we'd make it, but it was obvious that we hadn't. So, it seemed apparent to me that they wanted to ask the quetion that this begged: did this mean his research was faulty?

She said she had spoken to the woman from 20/20 for fifteen minutes and now she wanted to talk to me. Would I consider a phone call? She sounded excited at the prospect of a trip to New York as she'd never been. I had grown up going to the east coast to visit family during the summer times. I was excited at the prospect but not as much as she was.

Anyway, I said, sure, sounds good. We hung up. I waited for maybe ten minutes, wondering what was to come, and the phone rang. It was the producer from 20/20. We talked. In the course of our conversation, I came to realize my ex had done what she always did so well, shaded the truth, made herself look good, etc., etc., etc.

Being I have a degree in Psychology, I understand clearly the need for truth in research, so I told the brutal truth. I told her my ex will do that and I won't. If they want me on the program I would go, but I would only tell the truth and I wouldn't make Dr. Gottman look bad as I didn't think he in any way deserved it. As for this comments on our marriage, I explained what happened. This was about fifteen minutes into our talk and my phone notified me I was getting a call. I begged to be excused for a moment, saying that it was probably my ex. The producer said she understood, I put her on hold.

My ex sounded excited, and said, "Well, what did she say?" I said we were still talking and that I'd call her back when we were done. She said, "Oh". Disappointed.
I got back to the producer. She seemed truly fascinated by what I had to say and we laughed from time to time. I said if you put my ex and I on camera and she lies, I will tell the truth and it may not be the show you are looking for. She thought that was interesting and I realized I may be killing myself a free trip to NYC. I love NYC and hadn't been there for a long time. Then my phone notified me I was getting a call. I took it. It was my ex.

I told her I was still talking. She sounded very disappointed, she even said, what is so interesting that you are still talking? I said I don't know, I'm just answering questions, but again, I would call her back when I was done. I went back to the producer. We talked for a little while longer when the phone again notified me my ex was impatient. I told her I'm still on the phone with the producer, and I'll call you when we're done. It was a short call and she was now pretty annoyed. I went back to the producer.

Overall, we were on the phone for forty-five minutes, long distance to New York City. It was nice talking to NY again. She asked me, what did I think, is it going to happen? I said, I don't think so, but who knows? Maybe.

It never came to be. I never heard another thing about it. Dr. Gottman has done well all these years since, so I'm happy to guess that it didn't adversely affect his career or research.

If you find this kind of research interesting, or if you just like Tim Roth, you really should watch, Lie To Me. Its just too much fun, and if you want to know how accurate, or even try to figure out how this all works, tune into Dr. Ekman's web site after the show. Have fun!

Dr. Paul Ekman

Friday, August 6, 2010

King Tut's chariot needs vehicle ID Number in New York?

Have you ever had to deal with some stupid city official, be it a cop, a teller at the DMZ, or some ridiculous city administrative assistant that you were trying to get help from, but all they would do is spew nonsensical process, rules and laws at you without any consideration for either you as a person, or reality as an occurrence?

This has to be the stupidest news of this very new Month:

"One of the most exciting finds at the glittering King Tut exhibit is a simple wooden chariot. Even 3,000 years ago there was no gold leaf. The chariot's charm is it appears to have been driven by the young king. It did hit a bump on the road when it arrived in New York. When traffic officials discovered the truck carrying the chariot classified it as a vehicle, they demanded a vehicle identification number. Problem solved though by the time it was unveiled yesterday." -- NPR

Oh my God, ha ha, you have to be kidding me! People are laughing at this? This really isn't very funny. Once they realized that this was a museum piece, that should have ended it. Even if that didn't put an end to it, once someone said this was the chariot of King Tut, that should have ended it.

It actually seems to me that really, really, someone should be fired over this, over wasting valuable city funding, on wasting even a second extra on such a completely stupid issue. Who, in the world, really, would worry about a 3,000 year old vehicle needing registration?

This is simply the worst of Bureaucracy. Or maybe I should just think...only in New York?

For more detail on this antique including some info on the New York foolishness:
A chariot’s long road from ancient Egypt to Times Square from HoumaToday.com