Monthly Archives: August 2004

Out of Context Awards: August 2004

I’ve had more human contact this August than last month, but I still had trouble finding quotes. I guess I wasn’t in a quote-finding mode. I think there may have been some candidates, but they’ve long since disappeared from the remembering part of my mind.

There isn’t even a real quote for you today! It’s just a snippet of instant messaging conversation:

schizo killer: I kind of like mild fruit scents, but then I again, I also liked the smell of that stuff they used to preserve dead cats.

Chops LM: I like the smell of skunks and stink bombs.

Chops LM: Also chocolate.

There isn’t even a real context:

Chops LM: You know what’s weird? Today I read in Psychology Today that the factor that affected whether women were attracted to men most, second to a nice personality, was scent. And that people’s scents are determinded by their immune system genes, and people are atttracted to people that smell different from them, so their kids will have a wider range of immunities. People who get pregnant by someone who smells similar to them have a higher likelihood of having a miscarriage.

Chops LM: and When people are on the pill, their body thinks it’s pregnant, so they’re attracted to people with similar smells to them, and scientists think that’s so they’ll stay with their family, because that’s the safe thing to do when you’re pregnant. So women who are on the pill, and then marry a guy and then get off the pill start not liking their smell. And one of the most common reasons that therapists hear for women wanting to end relationships is because they “can’t stand his smell.” Isn’t that weird?

schizo killer: woah

schizo killer: yes

Chops LM: I feel the need to tell everyone that. It’s hecka weird. And it is supposed to work the same way for guys, minus the pregnancy part, but just to a smaller degree.

That was just the text that came before that snippet.

I guess that’s it for today, unless something randomly comes up, or something randomly jogs my memory.

09/01/04 – EDIT:

Random flash of inspiration! Actually, this was prompted by the comments.

“They’re on the same wacko wavelength.” – Wenschel

My cousin uttered this quote when commenting on her brother’s ability to instantly improvise in-jokes along with my sister.

Trombone Major

Continued sometime when I get back today, that is.

For now, I’ll entertain you with this:

Teveral Symes: i have a proposition

schizo killer: hm?

Teveral Symes: rename the drum major to the trombone major

schizo killer: haha

schizo killer: Yes

Teveral Symes: its much more fitting

Teveral Symes: why is it a drum major anyway

Teveral Symes: what makes the drum so major

Teveral Symes: you dont play drums

Teveral Symes: i dont play drums


schizo killer: AMEN, BRUTHA!

schizo killer: HALLELUJA

schizo killer: Okay, from now on, I’m trombone major

08/30/04 – EDIT: Changed the title of this post because I didn’t actually get around to “****** Policy, Continued!” And yeah, if you’re wondering about the beginning of the post, that’s what it is referring to.

Lessons from a Parachute Part 2

continued from Part 1

Later, we discover through another test that the strings are inadequate: they broke during testing. Someone comes up with the idea to use caution tape instead. The group sets off to rebuild the parachute and finish the poster. We split up to do so. I ditch the poster to let the girls bond over it.

All the guys are up in the lounge, rebuilding the parachute. Yeah, right. Cutting caution tape and tying it to a section of a grocery bag and army man is not a 11 person job. One guy rebuilds the parachute. The rest of us are watching TV and/or playing cards.

The next morning, the group reconvenes to work on the presentation of the parachute. The poster is not enough. Eventually, the presentation develops into a news broadcast format beginning with a reference to the downed original army man. My contribution? Yes, I did contribute — I felt guilty about the poster. I didn’t get to write it. I wrote the second draft. Minor edits. Note that I said second draft, not final draft.

Anyway, the presentation is a hit. Everyone else’s is boring. Some kid had a CAD presentation. For a glider. One that didn’t work too well, at that. Another group dressed in togas and gave themselves Greek names. Wow. And that relates to their project, how? Don’t look to me for the answer, I think I was asleep or zoned out during that part. Granted, it’s hard to make that kind of thing entertaining, but hey, my group succeeded.

Our parachute puts on an even better performance. After watching the parachutes do not so well, and the gliders dive-bomb, I was wondering how well ours would do. We send our representative up, he drops it. It falls rather lacklusterly. Then, about half-way down, a gust of wind picks it up. The parachute flies over everyone’s heads and off into the sky. Over the farm area. With my non 20-20 vision, it goes out of sight.

Controversy strikes. Were we disqualified because our guy let the parachute go before the judges said they were ready? Even if they decided docked us 30 seconds, we still outperformed the others by far. But a disqualification, that would set us back…

One hope was a redeeming second flight to seal the deal. The second flight was less awe-inspiring. However, we still did better than 99% of the groups. Another group also had a parachute a gust of wind picked up, but it didn’t even come close to the height ours went.

Awards are later presented, and our group triumphs over the controversy. It was too obvious that we won for them to disqualify us. We didn’t win for best presentation because I guess they wanted more groups to share the prizes. Whatever. Just a piece of paper.

At the time, it felt great to defeat everyone, but in retrospect, what was my contribution? Let’s see, I made some minor edits to the presentation. I started a mural on the chalkboard, but didn’t draw a thing on the poster. Hm…

Hey, I came up with the idea to split us up into committees! That was a good idea… even though other groups also split into groups…

So, what was my one unique contribution to this project? The word “committee.” Speaks volumes about me, doesn’t it?

I think it means, I’m not cut out to be an engineer. (Well, that wasn’t the only thing that convinced me, but I’ll save that junk for later.) I don’t want to help design and build something where I only contribute one tiny piece… or one tiny piece junked before the final design is created. Even winning so greatly didn’t inspire me to be an engineer. In fact, they weren’t even going to allow parachutes for the next session of engineering camp. Still, no go for being an engineer.

I noticed that I touched the parachute maybe once. I’d rather be in a position where I could tell people what to do, like, split up into “committees.”

That’s what I learned about myself, anyway, but what do you care? What can you learn from the parachute thing? If there’s too many people doing one project, shirk from most of the work, and then proceed in taking the credit.

Oh, that’s not a very good life lesson. But hey, what can I say? You got the cynic’s point of view. There is no uplifting lesson in here.

More Parachuting Tomorrow

Because of the first day of school, I feel really really jaded right now. And dead. So, I’ll continue my narrative tomorrow. However, I will not leave you completely empty-handed!

Euh… you can read this from last year, Elegy for Summer. It’s a long poem.

Check out Lloyd’s first item from Wednesday’s entry. The other day, I was looking for Tom the Dancing Bug, visited Salon, and came across the Olympic coverage. Lo and behold, when I later visit Lloyd’s weblog, I found out that I had already read one of the linked articles. I suggest you read them.

By the way, when I was over, Salon was playing their TV spot for their day pass. It was a good commercial. See if you can find it.

One more thing!

Moreau has introduced a policy, I affectionately call the Digital Moreau Copyright Act — an allusion to the DMCA that’s causing so much real trouble right now. This policy is that if Moreau is mentioned on any weblog or IM chat, etcetera, it becomes Moreau’s business. I guess they don’t want potentially damning gossip to come up, but the way it was presented was an awful like bullying. The web is free. Free to communicate information.

Anyway, to make a statement, from now on, any future reference to Moreau will be censored. Say hello to ******. I suggest you pass along this meme, fellow ****** students, to show your protest as well.

EDIT: What I meant about gossip was that they don’t want it to hurt other students at ******. There’s another incident I should reference, regarding rumor, but not regarding weblogs… but I’ll talk about it the day after tomorrow because I want to finish my parachute story.

Lessons from a Parachute Part 1

I’ve been sometimes referring to a “summer class” I took this, well, summer. Really, I should be referring to it as engineering camp. I mean, that’s what it was, basically. The program itself was more, but the class I chose… engineering camp.

That clarified, what did I do in engineering camp? (Besides participating in the duct taping of someone to the wall, that is.) The full inglorious story is something I could not tell well without boring you, and boring myself — something more suited for list form. However, I don’t want to write a list today. Thus, I’m sectioning off this story, writing one little tale about engineering camp.

To make us easier to manage, they split us up into groups, headed by a TA, or “team adviser,” who was sometimes accompanied by an “ATA.” It helped keep track of us during field trips, off-campus, or even just walking across campus.

There was also one more purpose of the group. Each team’s goal was to build something that stayed in the air for about 12 seconds, the same time as the Wright brother’s first famous flight. Suffice it to say, however, our flight did not need to be sustained or controlled. Just 12 seconds. Our materials were severely limited, and the “flier” had to hold a little army guy. Luckily, the army guy couldn’t have weighed more than two pennies, or even more than one.

The simplest solution was the one my group picked: a parachute. We used a bag, cut it into a rectangle, tied string to the four corners, tied the string to the army man, weighted the army man with some pennies, and we were done.

Well, except for the matter of testing. Our parachute was successful. Too successful, in fact. The wind caught it, and it got stuck on the roof. Efforts to free the army man were wildly unsuccessful, and mildly entertaining, at least to me. I didn’t help get it down; I just sat back and laughed at the vain efforts.

Later, it was remarked that this was “true” engineering. All of us coming together and trying to solve this problem.

Yeah… Throwing a rubber ball covered in duct tape that someone found in the janitor’s closet is engineering? Linking together junk in the dumpster to form something that obviously would never come close to reaching the necessary five stories is engineering? Completely ignoring one girl’s suggestions is all of us coming together?

Call me a cynic, but while you’re at it, you’ll also have to call me right.

We get back, and so, with ignoring of this one person, everyone else suddenly realizes that 15 people in a group is unwieldy for building a simple parachute. I don’t want to brag, but I knew this wasn’t a 15-person job a long time ago.

I come up with the suggestion of splitting up into two committees. One to work on the actual parachute, one to work on the poster. (Another requirement was a presentation of the flier, including a poster.) Someone else suggests a third committee: a string committee. Yes, a five-person committee for the strings connecting the parachute to the army guy. A five-person committee. Four pieces of string.

Whatever. I argued against it, but I didn’t really do any work on the parachute, anyway, and I was outnumbered. I joined the poster committee. If you know me, then you might know that I am no artist, at least, in terms of drawing. Why did I join poster committee? Two reaons. One, I hadn’t done much work on the parachute in the first place. Two, I’ll be frank, it was to avoid work.

Avoiding work wasn’t all selfish. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do anything in the other two committees. Even split up, the job just was unwieldy for 15 people. At least with poster, I could try to do something, right? Meh, ends up, I didn’t do any work on the poster, anyway.

to be continued…

Clear Blue Water Is a Bad Comic

I take back everything bad I said about Opus. I’ve decided that Opus is a good comic, and I like the artwork. My initial reaction can be explained, however. When Opus was put on the front page, other comics had to make room. And, instead of dumping another comic, someone came up with the brilliant idea to shrink the comics! You know how you have one comic running vertical along the side, and then the other comics are shrunk to fill the space to the side of it? (Well, you should.) Two of those non-vertical comics were shoved side by side. Yes, the already reduced comics, reduced to an even smaller size. You can hardly read the text. Of course, the first victim was Monty, one of the few comics, print or otherwise, that actually makes me laugh out loud, and one not lacking in text. Luckily, that changed in subsequent weeks.

If you think that’s a travesty, look at what the San Jose Mercury News did now! The bastards shrunk Opus! Yes, arguably the best artwork in the funny pages today has been shrunk. And what do they promote to the top of the front page of the comics section… Clear Blue Water. Let me put this plainly: Clear Blue Water is a bad comic. The artwork… you can’t even call it artwork.

This comic is even worse than, dare I say it, Garfield, which, incidentally, is on the front page as well. Five of six panels were exactly the same, except for the text. We all know how repetitive Garfield is. Yes, I’m saying Clear Blue Water is worse than Garfield. Where the hell did Ms. Montague-Reyes learn how to draw?

Dump Clear Blue Water. Make Opus half-page again. I seriously should write to the Mercury News.

China Ahead Again at Olympics

Not in overall medal count, but in gold medals. Right now, it’s about 7:00 PM PDT… China has 22 golds, and the US 21 golds. However, the US still leads in the overall medal count with 57; China has 46. Russia is lagging behind China with 36 medals overall. If China stays in second place… well, I wonder how much it could improve in 2008.

Lloyd wrote more about the Olympics on the 19th, so go check it out. (And while you’re at it… the pictures in the beginning of the entry are marvelous.)

It will be interesting to see the final medal counts.

Pascal’s Laundry

At one time, I was complaining to Lindsay (and a few other people) online about how I hate folding laundry. It really is quite a bother. When I get my own home, I’m living out of the dryer. However, as she remarked, the clothes get all wrinkly if you leave them in there.

I don’t remember exactly, but if my memory serves me right: My appropriate rebuttal was that wrinkly clothes never hurt anyone, unless space aliens suddenly came and killed everyone who had wrinkly clothes.

A bit later, she calmed my fears, properly noting that if space aliens came and killed everyone wearing neat-pressed clothes, I would be safe.

You know what this reminds me of? Pascal’s Wager.

Think about it. Since we know nothing of these space aliens, it’s just as likely that they’ll come and kill either group of people… Or, to set up the religious analogy some more, let’s say the aliens send them to be tortured on a spaceship named “Hell.” Which way can you wager? It’s impossible to know. Just as it’s impossible to wage correctly in Pascal’s Wager.

Wait a second, you might think, “All the religions don’t set up such a mutually exclusive situation.”

However, if we know nothing of God, which Pascal’s Wager posits, it’s just as likely that God will send us to Hell for believing in him, as it is that God will send us to Hell for not believing in him.

When it comes down to that, it’s best not to worry about what the space aliens think, and do what you like best. Wrinkly clothes, or ironed clothes. As for me, I’ll keep my clothes slightly wrinkly, and keep on not believing in a god.

Give to everyone who begs from you, except the guy on the street corner

When I was in Washington, DC, participating in the summer class abbreviated as NSLC, I decided to give my spare change to a man who asked for money as I was coming out of a building.

One of my group members saw this, and, as we were leaving the area, remarked, “You know, you’re not supposed to do that.”

Although, as many of you know, I’m an atheist, I replied, “That’s not what Jesus would have done.”

I have no idea if the girl was Christian, but I’m sure a great number of Christians believe the same thing: These people don’t deserve the money, or they need to get a job, or they’re not really homeless, or whatever other rationalization they think in their middle-class minds.

Yet, Jesus did say, “Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you” (Matthew 5.42). And yeah, it’s not easy. It’s not easy to “go also the second mile,” when someone forces you to go the first.

Too many people are simply Diet Christians — driving to church on Sunday and thinking that qualifies them as a Good Person ™.

Hypocrites. The lot of them.

As for me, I’ll keep giving my spare change (yeah, even when it’s my own hard-earned money). What good does it do me? Will it really add up to a noticeable amount eventually? I doubt it. And even if they are “fake” homeless, the money will still do them more good than it’s currently doing me, jingling in my pocket.

But… I guess I’m a hypocrite too. I hardly ever have change in my pocket to give in the first place. That’s okay, though, I’m just an evil atheist.

Moreover, I’ll only give to anyone on the street who directly asks me, unless s/he is playing really good music.

And… I’m a bit partial to the message of Carnegie’s Gospel of Wealth. Yet, I don’t think a bit of spare change now and then hurts anyone. To quote from the Bible again, “Yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table” (Matthew 15.27). The full extent of the Gospel of Wealth, however, is another discussion for another time. (Sorry to be such a tease.)

Mystery Solved, Now What Will Create Balance?

I figured out who it was! The mystery IMer, that is. Earlier, Kayla had told me that 510 was our area code. That’s why I didn’t give up the hunt for the person. Could it be coincidence? I doubted it. And, if it’s my area code, I might actually know the person.

I asked random people, “Do you know who this screen name belongs to?” My efforts were fruitless.

Enter Jason, once again. He says it sounds like someone who used to go to our school named Ryan Mendoza. That made sense. He was kind of big. The “doza” fit, and so did the area code.

Enter flash of genius. I remembered that Kevin hung out with Ryan, at least at one time.

IM Kevin. Does he know who the mystery person is?

Success! I have no idea why Ryan IMed me, but I figured out who he was, and that’s all that matters.

Mystery solved.

Now, what will come along now to balance things out?

A Tale of Mystery and Cosmic Balance

I present you with a tale of mystery and cosmic balance:

The other night, or so, I was talking to Jason about greatness. Jason remarked that greatness requires a degree of specialization, or effort in one particular thing. That specialization comes at the expense of being lesser in other categories. He said he didn’t want the sacrifice. Or, I’ll paraphrase his more poetic terms: Life is like a buffet. If you pig out on sushi, you might miss the steak.

He believes in balance. (By the way, I’m more the opposite, which I’ll discuss in some later entry.) Yin and yang. Something has to give to make way for something else, or something like that.

Later in the evening, I’m talking online to Jenny (who, according to Stevie, is supposedly my “soul mate”). Amidst conversation of airports and airplanes, and the popcorn lady (you know, the one who answers when you dial popcorn), she says that her friend Kayla requests that I go to her livejournal to vote for something. So, I say okay. Jenny mentions that I may know Kayla. The other day, Kayla was looking at her buddy list and asked who my screen name belonged to. It had gotten on her buddy list, and she didn’t know who it was. The name sounded slightly familiar, but I didn’t know the person. A friend of a friend, perhaps?

We moved on in conversation… Suddenly, I remembered an incident a few years back. A person had IMed me out of the blue, asking who I was because the name was on her buddy list and she didn’t know how it got there. We had tried figuring out how we could’ve known each other, but to no avail.

After IMing Kayla, I deduced that it was most likely her. And, it was suggested that Stevie had put my screen name on her buddy list. It was a friend of a friend, I suppose, then. One mystery in my life, solved.

I was feeling good at that point, solving a mystery and all. Was tonight my lucky night? Could I solve another mystery?

I tried this entry on Jenny. Of course, no such luck, despite her claims to the contrary.

As I’m re-reading that old entry, an IM window pops up on my screen. This is pretty late at night, past midnight, who could be IMing me? The text is black on white. Times New Roman. Very default.

I know some people who use default text, but this screen name was unfamiliar. “This is ryan,” he says.

“Ryan… last name?” I query.

He says nevermind and goodbye.

Who the hell is this guy and how does he have the gall to do this?

I go on a tiny tirade about how he has bad timing. I just solved this mystery, and now, he IMs me, and I don’t know who he is.

I ask if he knows me — my name is Shawn.

He says “ya,” but I’m not sure if he was referring to my tiny tirade or the name thing. Whatever the case, he leaves. And I’m left with this mystery. Who was he?

Then, I’m reminded of another conversation I had with someone. Jason. Cosmic balance. One mystery solved, only to be instantly replaced with another.

EDIT: I hate to add something to this because the ending is so great, but if anybody knows who “bigdoza510” is, you would solve my mystery.

Olympics Comforted

I have been comforted by Lloyd’s reasoning in the comment for yesterday’s entry. You (any reader) must forgive my uninitiated Olympic mind and my irrational fear of communism. However, I was definitely not comforted by Jason’s comment, haha. (He’s the first commenter in that entry.)

I was also thinking about the models (the one based on economics), and it does account for bumps like the US team losing to Puerto Rico (which isn’t even a country for crying out loud). So, um, go USA.

In any case, China still put a man in space, and I still feel they are on the rise, looking beyond the 2008 Olympics.

Olympics: US Not Looking Too Good

To tell you the truth, I don’t really like watching the Olympics. It’s kinda boring. But hey, I fence, and I get way bored watching fencing.

This article piqued my interest, however: Only Three Golds – U.S. Misfires in Early Days in Athens.

It wasn’t just my patriotic outrage, it was the first sentence: “Told to avoid inflaming anti-American sentiment, U.S. athletes may have toned down the bravado too much in the early days of the Athens Games.”

Ain’t that interesting? Is this true? Or is an excuse? Either way, it disgusts me. Lose to make the rest of the world happy? Intimidation is part of the game, my friends. Even if you don’t think intimidation is all that great, can I appeal to your patriotism? Shouldn’t we try out best?

Something else to ponder: “China lead the medals table with 10 golds.”

So, they put a man in space. They’re in the lead for the medal count. Will they win? If not, they’re going to do a damn good job. Then, they’re hosting the 2008 Olympics. Being the host country naturally means you put more money into sports in order to look good, which will most likely translate to more medals. Could we be looking at China doing the best in 2008?

China is a nation on the rise. And China is not a democracy. That’s why I’m worried.

It’s all symbolic so far… and I know this is a cheap dig… but who hosted the 1936 Olympics? The Nazis.

It reminds me of a comment Lloyd left a while back [I’ll find the entry later]. The 20th century belonged to America. Will the 21st belong to the Chinese?

List of Favorite Movies Part 2

Okay, I’m not going to list all the movies I like; that would take too long. Instead, I’m going to come up with a ranking system.

  1. crap
  2. bad
  3. slush (AKA OK)
  4. well done
  5. godly

Shall I explain?

  1. Crap refers to horribly bad movies. I hate them. That’s how bad they are.
  2. Bad means the movie was bad. For example: It could be a fun action flick, but the plot just hurt my logic-senses too much. Example: That one with Vin Diesel that I don’t want to name because it might attract comment spammers.
  3. Most movies fit in the slush pile. They’re just OK. I don’t particularly like them, but they’re not bad — it’s just that they’re forgettable. Comedy movies tend to go here. Example: Johnny English.
  4. Well done is a movie that is a step up from slush. I like it. The plot and characters mesh well. The cinematography is great. The action is well choreographed. Stuff like that. Examples: Finding Nemo is a well done movie. Lord of the Rings… well done movies.
  5. Godly movies are the ones I love. There’s just something epic about the quality. Example: Kill Bill. The music, the directing, the plot, the ending… all memorable.

As for the Top Ten from yesterday, I forgot to add Indiana Jones. And, I’d probably dump the Disney movies, but I don’t know for what.

I Suck at ARC

Rare is the day when I post twice in one day, but this is a very important announcement: I have not played ARC in years. They just turned on name registration not too long ago. So, I decided to play this online game wherein you fly a spaceship around a 2d board and shoot each other. I played, and I was everybody’s bitch. I ate a grenade for crying out loud. I was getting whipped by people who were critical and smoking. It was pathetic. I am pathetic. And now, I’m depressed.

Will I be turned away by this? I don’t know. I think I might play tomorrow, but next time, I’ll be prepared to suck so much.

List of Favorite Movies

Lists are fun ways to fill up space.

After watching Kill Bill vol. 2 for the second time, I’ve decided that Kill Bill is now my favorite movie. So, here’s my definitive Top 10 List, in order:

  1. Kill Bill
  2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  3. Star Wars
  4. Citizen Kane
  5. The Lord of the Rings
  6. There’s Something About Mary
  7. Beauty and the Beast
  8. Spiderman
  9. The Lion King
  10. Big Fish

Actually, this isn’t the definitive list. It gets murky after number 4. I also have to tell you that my movie repertoire is very limited, and I have a bad memory. In fact, I had a tough time thinking up ten. These were just the first 10 movies I thought up that I thought were pretty good. Oh yeah, and in case you couldn’t figure this out: I lumped together the sequels.

Here is a more definitive list. This time it’s of movies I love… not just like… love.

  1. Kill Bill
  2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  3. Star Wars

Yup, that’s it.

I limited myself to 10 for the favorite movies list. I’m going to see if I can list all the movies I like tomorrow. I’ll also see if I have a different top 10 list.

Weirdest Comment Spam

This is definitely the weirdest comment spam I’ve ever gotten:

Your Co-worker Could Be a Space Alien, Say Experts
		...Here's How You Can Tell
Many Americans work side by side with space aliens who look human -- but you
can spot these visitors by looking for certain tip-offs, say experts. They
listed 10 signs to watch for:
    (3) Bizarre sense of humor.  Space aliens who don't understand
	earthly humor may laugh during a company training film or tell
	jokes that no one understands, said Steiger.
    (6) Misuses everyday items.  "A space alien may use correction
	fluid to paint its nails," said Steiger.
    (8) Secretive about personal life-style and home.  "An alien won't
	discuss details or talk about what it does at night or on weekends."
   (10) Displays a change of mood or physical reaction when near certain
	high-tech hardware.  "An alien may experience a mood change when
	a microwave oven is turned on," said Steiger.
The experts pointed out that a co-worker would have to display most if not
all of these traits before you can positively identify him as a space alien.
		-- National Enquirer, Michael Cassels, August, 1984.

	[I thought everybody laughed at company training films.  Ed.]

It ends with a link for “tramadol.”

Who the hell thought this up? What is going on inside these spammer’s minds!

Spammers… grr… one of these days…

To Not Pull a Grover Cleveland

I guess I should warn you that I’m going to Las Vegas today. I don’t know how often I’ll write in this weblog whilst I’m gone. But never fear… I will be back again.

Let’s revisit the Grover Cleveland scenario…

That was fun thinking back in history, but it seems as if people have shorter attention spans. In four years, will people even remember who Bush is? Here we are, getting news up to date to the second, in this day and age. I think this constant barrage not only shortens our attention span, but overloads our minds. Even if all my reasoning is wrong, the American people still have a notoriously short attention span, and I am seriously doubting that there is even a tiny tiny remote chance Bush will run in ’08 if he loses this time around.

Plus, there’s this issue of rebranding that I found via kausfiles.

So, I’ll reiterate, it was a fun exercise of the mind, but that was all.

Twice I Felt Renewed

I was on vacation for how long? Most of the summer, really. I was only back for one day between Washington state and Washington, DC. So, renewal is important.

The first time was when I got my back revitalized at the Discovery Store. They had this product called the Back Revitalizer, and let me tell you, you should buy it. Works like a charm.

And I guess hanging out with slightly different people exacerbated the revitalization. I liked my group at NSLC (the summer class thingy I took in DC) a lot, but we just weren’t clicking at that time. It was refreshing hanging around and talking with people who were more like those I knew at home. Click.

The second time was when I washed my hands in the river. I was at some river gorge in New Hampshire or Vermont — I don’t remember the name of the place. In any case, there is hardly any nature in the suburbia that makes up most of the Bay Area, which made that place a treat.

The whole trip was exhausting, and there’s something about nature that just renews you. It’s like instant meditation. Just being surrounded by all the trees and water brings your mind to peace. I particularly like the water. It’s constantly running, constantly being refreshed. The water you’re touching will never be at that same place again. The water just runs downstream. I let my troubles run downstream as well, off to who knows where.

One dip in that stream of constant refreshment, left me refreshed… even though I merely put my hands in there.

[I finished fixing all the links in my weblog, ones that go from one entry to another. At least, I hope I finished. I wouldn’t put it passed me to have forgotten a link, but I don’t feel like checking right now, so I’m done.]

Testing Meme Propagation In Blogspace: Add Your Blog!

This posting is a community experiment that tests how a meme, represented by this blog posting, spreads across blogspace, physical space and time. It will help to show how ideas travel across blogs in space and time and how blogs are connected. It may also help to show which blogs are most influential in the propagation of memes. The dataset from this experiment will be public, and can be located via Google (or Technorati) by doing a search for the GUID for this meme (below).

The original posting for this experiment is located at: Minding the Planet (Permalink: — results and commentary will appear there in the future.

Please join the test by adding your blog (see instructions, below) and inviting your friends to participate — the more the better. The data from this test will be public and open; others may use it to visualize and study the connectedness of blogspace and the propagation of memes across blogs.

The GUID for this experiment is: as098398298250swg9e98929872525389t9987898tq98wteqtgaq62010920352598gawst (this GUID enables anyone to easily search Google (or Technorati) for all blogs that participate in this experiment). Anyone is free to analyze the data of this experiment. Please publicize your analysis of the data, and/or any comments by adding comments onto the original post (see URL above). (Note: it would be interesting to see a geographic map or a temporal animation, as well as a social network map of the propagation of this meme.)


To add your blog to this experiment, copy this entire posting to your blog, and then answer the questions below, substituting your own information, below, where appropriate. Other than answering the questions below, please do not alter the information, layout or format of this post in order to preserve the integrity of the data in this experiment (this will make it easier for searchers and automated bots to find and analyze the results later).

REQUIRED FIELDS (Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers)

(1) I found this experiment at URL:

(2) I found it via “Newsreader Software” or “Browsing the Web” or “Searching the Web” or “An E-Mail Message”: Browsing the Web

(3) I posted this experiment at URL:

(4) I posted this on date (day, month, year): 02/08/04

(5) I posted this at time (24 hour time): 12:00:09

(6) My posting location is (city, state, country): Union City, California, USA

OPTIONAL SURVEY FIELDS (Replace the answers below with your own answers):

(7) My blog is hosted by:

(8) My age is: 17

(9) My gender is: Male

(10) My occupation is: Student

(11) I use the following RSS/Atom reader software: N/A

(12) I use the following software to post to my blog: MovableType

(13) I have been blogging since (day, month, year): 10/03/03

(14) My web browser is: Opera 7.53

(15) My operating system is: Windows 2000

Wow, I Really Don’t Know People

I know I said the other day that I don’t know online people that well, but I didn’t I know it was this bad:

I learned (from someone who will remain anonymous) that Stevie has played Minesweeper successfully without knowing what the numbers are for.

Personally, I’m appalled. It’s as if I was best friends with Hitler, and then I learn from someone else that he’s been killing a whole bunch of people.

Okay, maybe it’s not that bad. But really, how can people play without knowing what the numbers mean? How do they win? It boggles the mind!

I can understand not knowing how to play. Not everyone is cut out to be a Minesweeper King. But then, how do you keep on going, keep on playing, even to the point of completing the board, without ever trying to hit F1 or otherwise access help?

I can even understand hating Minesweeper. The best game in existence is just too much for some people. But that, I don’t understand.

You think you know a person…

[On a side note, I was fixing up links within this weblog today (from one entry to another), and I’m done with July 2003 through January 2004.]

08/02/04 – UPDATE: Oh my goodness! I thought I was just jesting, but then my best friend, Hitler, just told me that he’s been killing a whole bunch of people!

And yeah, Stevie, I do suck.

By the way, Stevie told me that she plays the game very easily without bothering with the numbers. I think she works on a higher level, and doesn’t even need the numbers. Note to self…

No, but really, recognizing numbers and then processing the information takes time. Pattern recognition does improve gameplay.