Thursday, March 31, 2011

21 (even more crazy) steps in overcoming masturbation

The other day I tackled a Mormon site entitled "Steps In Overcoming Masturbation". I started out with the first 8, a list called "A Guide To Self-Control", it can be found here for those who missed it. Today I shall taunt the even longer of the two lists on the site. This one is simply known as "Suggestions".

1. Pray daily, ask for the gifts of the Spirit, that which will strengthen you against temptation. Pray fervently and out lout when the temptations are the strongest.

Didn't they, in an off-handed sort of way, admit that prayer is rather worthless for this at the end of the last list? Or were they just hoping no one would notice that and are back to trying to get people to talk to themselves.

2. Follow a program of vigorous daily exercise. The exercises reduce emotional tension and depression and are absolutely basic to the solution of this problem. Double your physical activity when you feel stress increasing.

Yes, run and don't stop. Pump those muscles until this natural urge goes away. Seeing all those other hot and sweaty bodies at the gym will just melt away all those desires.

3. When the temptation to masturbate is strong, yell STOP to those thoughts as loudly as you can in your mind and then recite a prechosen Scripture or sing an inspirational hymn. It is important to turn your thoughts away from the selfish need to indulge.

For even greater effect, yell "stop" out loud for all to hear. Then not only will you work to suppress your desire to masturbate but you will convince everyone around you that you have escaped from a mental ward and will be at no risk of ever having sex.

4. Set goals of abstinence, begin with a day, then a week, month, year and finally commit to never doing it again. Until you commit yourself to _never again_ you will always be open to temptation.

Because when you tell yourself you will never do it again it is guaranteed to happen, just like eating, breathing and every other natural process.

5. Change in behavior and attitude is most easily achieved through a changed self-image. Spend time every day imagining yourself strong and in control, easily overcoming tempting situations.

Even better, imagine yourself as a eunuch. For better results, grab a pair of scissors and live the dream.

6. Begin to work daily on a self-improvement program. Relate this plan to improving your Church service, to improving your relationships with your family, God and others. Strive to enhance your strengths and talents.

Because all of this will be so much easier to accomplish when you are so sexually repressed that seeing a little extra skin on your preferred sex causes you to need to change your Mormon brand underwear.

7. Be outgoing and friendly. Force yourself to be with others and learn to enjoy working and talking to them. Use principles of developing friendships found in books such as How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

The years of repression and Mormon upbringing will guarantee you are a friendless freak who have absolutely no social skills and must learn to try and manipulate others into liking you through a book. These people really have such poor self images, no wonder they want to try to stop masturbating, not even they want to touch themselves.

8. Be aware of situations that depress you or that cause you to feel lonely, bored, frustrated or discouraged. These emotional states can trigger the desire to masturbate as a way of escape. Plan in advance to counter these low periods through various activities, such as reading a book, visiting a friend, doing something athletic, etc

So unless you are on a high dose of Valium, be prepared to feel emotions that might make you want to masturbate. All other times you show even the slightest change in emotion you are at risk. Remember, the Stepford Wives are your role model.

9. Make a pocket calendar for a month on a small card. Carry it with you, but show it to no one. If you have a lapse of self control, color the day black. Your goal will be to have no black days. The calendar becomes a strong visual reminder of self control and should be looked at when you are tempted to add another black day. Keep your calendar up until you have at least three clear months.

After those three months? Masturbation party! Go till you collapse from exhaustion and dehydration. Let it be your own personal incentive.

10. A careful study will indicate you have had the problem at certain times and under certain conditions. Try and recall, in detail, what your particular times and conditions were. Now that you understand how it happens, plan to break the pattern through counter activities.

What exactly would be the counter activity to trying to get to sleep, probably the number one time masturbation occurs. Are these people supposed to keep themselves up for so long they eventually collapse? I would suggest dangerous amounts of stimulants but as I stated in the last post, Mormonism is against anything even remotely similar to fun...

11. In the field of psychotherapy there is a very effective technique called aversion therapy. When we associate or think of something very distasteful with something which has been pleasurable, but undesirable, the distasteful thought and feeling will begin to cancel out that which was pleasurable. If you associate something very distasteful with your loss of self-control it will help you to stop the act. For example, if you are tempted to masturbate, think of having to bathe in a tub of worms, and eating several of them as you do the act.

Great, now they are taking tips from A Clockwork Orange, that couldn't possibly backfire...

12. During your toileting and shower activities leave the bathroom door or shower curtain partly open, to discourage being alone in total privacy. Take cool brief showers.

Why just have the desire to masturbate when you can add in a fetish for being caught in the act?

13. Arise immediately in the mornings. Do not lie in bed awake, no matter what time of day it is. Get up and do something. Start each day with an enthusiastic activity.

Feeling ill? Have a muscular disorder? Too bad you pansy, get up and do something! Otherwise you might want to touch yourself you filthy, lazy sinner. I don't care if you are in horrible pain or an death's doorstep, do something constructive!

14. Keep your bladder empty. Refrain from drinking large amounts of fluids before retiring.

As these people stated in the last list, they have a horrible fear that going to the restroom will insight people to masturbate. I'm not exactly sure which fetishes they have but relieving myself has never made me want to rub one out. Are they afraid of being awake more then necessary? Do they think if their followers are sufficiently dehydrated they will be too weak to masturbate? Are they just morons?

15. Reduce the amount of spices and condiments in your food. Eat as lightly as possible at night.

Damn it, I shouldn't have put so much ketchup on that burger, now all I can think of is how much I want to ravage myself.

16. Wear pajamas that are difficult to open, yet loose and not binding.

All I can imagine is an Official Mormon Onesie.

17. Avoid people, situations, pictures or reading materials that might create sexual excitement.

When you are this sexually repressed is there anything that wouldn't get you rearing to go? Maybe there is where the 'hot for Jesus' thing comes from.

18. It is sometimes helpful to have a physical object to use in overcoming this problem. A Book of Mormon, firmly held in hand, even in bed at night has proven helpful in extreme cases.

So this is why they always carry that book around with them, it is to keep them from masturbating furiously at a moments notice. Well that is one more reason not to invite a missionary into my house.

19. In very severe cases it may be necessary to tie a hand to the bed frame with a tie in order that the habit of masturbating in a semi-sleep condition can be broken. This can also be accomplished by wearing several layers of clothing which would be difficult to remove while half asleep.

This is also a great way to become ambidextrous or develop a bondage fetish. Why do so many of these rules result in the development of fetishes? Is this the reason behind so many sex scandals amongst Conservatives?

20. Set up a reward system for your successes. It does not have to be a big reward. A quarter in a receptacle each time you overcome or reach a goal. Spend it on something which delights you and will be a continuing reminder of your progress.

Considering these people are trying to overcome their masturbation fixation, telling them to buy something that delights them might be counterproductive. Perhaps this explains why Utah is number 1 in online porn subscriptions.

21. Do not let yourself return to any past habit or attitude patterns which were part of your problem. Satan never gives up. Be calmly and confidently on guard. Keep a positive mental attitude. You can win this fight! The joy and strength you will feel when you do will give your whole life a radiant and spiritual glow of satisfaction and fulfillment.

Yes, it is the great satan who wants you to touch yourself. According to these people it was their god who created them and all their functions yet satan gets blamed when things go wrong. And I have to ask, a radiant glow? I thought that was how you looked after great sex, not trying to repress it away.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Malacosteus niger, the Black Dragonfish

Malacosteus niger is a member of a group of deep water fish known as Dragonfish or Loose-jaws. More commonly known as the Black Dragonfish, this denizen of the deep has stumbled upon an evolutionary cheat code. It has stealth vision.

Most organisms in the deep oceans can only see blue to green light. The reason for this is due to the light absorbing traits of water. By the time any water gets down to where this critter lives (915 to 1,830 m or 3,000 to 6,000 ft), all the red, yellow, orange, and other colors have been absorbed. This is why most bioluminescence is blueish. But the Black Dragonfish is a non-conformist and is not willing to settle with just blue. Instead the Dragonfish relies on a pair of photophores under its eyes that emit red light. With only it and a handful of other species being able to see such wavelengths of light, the Dragonfish can effectively use its photophores as targeting sensors. The red light will shine on its prey and the morsel won't even know that it has been sighted.

To emit red light, the Dragonfish has modified one of its many blue photophores. Using pigments and filters, the light is eventually modified until it is emitted at the proper wavelength of 705 nm, the far red. While this is certainly an interesting adaptation, it is nothing compared to how it actually sees the red light it emits.

Some organisms, such as the closely related genus Aristostomias, just have an extra photoreceptor pigment. But such a simple adaptation that would have been too easy for Malacosteus niger. Instead it makes its own photoreceptor. One of the many things eaten by Dragonfish are copepods. Copepods, in turn, often feed on photosynthetic bacteria. This gives the Dragonfish just the right materials to start fashioning itself spy lenses. Some of the chlorophyll from the bacteria makes its way to the eye where it settles on a photoreceptor. Here, it can absorb the rare red light and transfer the signal to the photoreceptor cells.

This was such a brilliant idea that the idea is now being experimented upon for human use. In experiments involving rabbits and mice, after being given eye-drops with the chlorophyll derivative chlorin e6, the rodents were able to see twice as well in the dark. In timer perhaps such an enhancement may be available to people.

The Bioluminescence Webpage
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Liquefaction - Emerge

A few years ago I stumbled upon the group Liquefaction. Formed and produced entirely by the immensely talented Kindel, her project quickly became a personal favorite of mine. Unfortunately it does not seem as if Liquefaction still exists, but I can have my hopes. She had stated that one of her biggest influences had been Pink Floyd and it is quite easy to tell in her music.

Information has always been scarce about this project which I find to be a shame as there is real talent here. On the album this came from (also entitled Emerge), she did a wonderful cover of Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear The Reaper. I was not able to find a video of the song, but perhaps I can have one made. But until then, enjoy Emerge:

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8 (crazy) steps in overcoming masturbation

It has been a while since I've found a list worth giving a good mocking. However I found the perfect one today. Found via a Mormon site, it is entitled "Steps In Overcoming Masturbation". This once again proves that the Mormon Church is against anything even remotely enjoyable. There is actually quite a lot of things worth taunting on this link, but I shall start off with just the first list of eight. Perhaps later I shall tackle the other list included (which I have now completed). This first list is entitled "A Guide to Self-Control", this should be fun.

1. Never touch the intimate parts of your body except during normal toilet processes. Avoid being alone as much as possible. Find good company and stay in this good company.

Yes, never be alone, because we all know that if you don't have others around you to tell you what to do you might start thinking for yourself. Next thing you know you will be touching yourself and then on to wild orgies (if you are lucky at least).

2. If you are associated with other persons having this same problem, you must break off their friendship. Never associate with other people having the same weakness. Don't suppose that two of you will quit together, you never will. You must get away from people of that kind. Just to be in their presence will keep your problem foremost in your mind. The problem must be taken out of your mind for that is where it really exists. Your mind must be on other and more wholesome things.

Well they just effectively reduced these people's circle of friends to zero. After all, everyone knows that one person who keeps inviting us along with them to masturbate and it is so hard to tell them no. We don't want to hurt their feelings after all.

3. When you bathe, do not admire yourself in a mirror. Never stay in the bath more than five or six minutes -- just long enough to bathe and dry and dress and then get out of the bathroom into a room where you will have some member of your family present.

If you get turned on by yourself you are either dead sexy or so bloody repressed that you will take any nudity you can get. Though now I'm scared, 5-6 minute baths? How exactly can someone get properly clean in that amount of time? Are they hoping the build up of grime will eventually become a deterrent to those of their preferred sex? After having just enough time to rinse the first layer of filth off of them, these people in their apparently sexually aroused state must then go and spend time with their families...I thought incest was frowned upon by the LDS Church.

4. When in bed, if that is where you have your problem for the most part, dress yourself for the night so securely that you cannot easily touch your vital parts, and so that it would be difficult and time consuming for you to remove those clothes. By the time you started to remove protective clothing you would have sufficiently controlled your thinking that the temptation would leave you.

I was not aware that straight-jackets and chastity belts were considered normal pieces of sleep ware for Mormons.

5. If the temptation seems overpowering while you are in bed, get out of bed and go into the kitchen and fix yourself a snack, even if it is in the middle of the night, and even if you are not hungry, and despite your fears of gaining weight. The purpose behind this suggestion is that you get your mind on something else. You are the subject of your thoughts, so to speak

Or you will develop a food fetish and imagine someone licking that chocolate off your...oh...I'm not helping am I?

6. Never read pornographic material. Never read about your problem. Keep it out of mind. Remember -- "First a thought, then an act." The thought pattern must be changed. You must not allow this problem to remain in your mind. When you accomplish that, you soon will be free of the act.

Yes, just repress those natural urges away and they will never develop into some dangerous fixation. The more in denial you are the safer for society you are!

7. Put wholesome thoughts into your mind at all times. Read good books -- Church books -- Scriptures -- Sermons of the Brethren. Make a daily habit of reading at least one chapter of Scripture, preferably from one of the four Gospels in the New Testament, or the Book of Mormon. The four Gospels -- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John -- above anything else in the Bible can be helpful because of their uplifting qualities.

Remember, anything other than church books are evil and will lead you to that demonic thing known as knowledge. As for reading 'wholesome' things in the bible, lets hope they don't find the Song Of Solomon.

8. Pray. But when you pray, don't pray about this problem, for that will tend to keep it in your mind more than ever. Pray for faith, pray for understanding of the Scriptures, pray for the Missionaries, the General Authorities, your friends, your families, but keep the problem out of your mind by not mentioning it ever -- not in conversation with others, not in your prayers. keep it out of your mind!

Wait, did they just say that praying for aid in their issues won't do a damn thing? Did they really just admit, in an off-handed sort of way, that prayer is utter bullshit?

Well with such a well thought out list of tactics, I'm sure masturbation will become a thing of the past in the Mormon Church any day now...
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Abortion regulation--Women cannot make decisions on their own

A recent law passed in South Dakota is yet more evidence that Republicans see women as second class and incapable of making informed decisions on their own. This law, signed into effect by Governor Dennis Daugaard, would require any woman in the state who wishes to have an abortion to be required to undergo a three day waiting period where they must attend anti-abortion counseling.

Representative Roger Hunt, who has been one of the primary supports of the bill, stated that:

"Women need to just be reminded of the fact there is a natural, legal relationship between them and their child"

There should be no question about what is meant by this statement. He truly believes that women cannot make such decisions on their own and must have someone to 'guide' them. Does he and the others in support of this law really believe that women are nothing more than emotional reactionaries who must be guided and tempered by wiser men like god intended...wait...

This law is made worse by the fact that there is only one clinic in the entire state that offers abortions. With so much of the population being spread out over a wide distance, the ability to take off work for the required 72 hours before the abortion would be more than many would be able to do. So not only does this law treat woman as uneducated reactionaries but it also puts more stress on the working class.

Thankfully both Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are seeking legal action against the law.

Found via the Infidel
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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Quantum Pendants

Ah, another case of newage. This time it is the Dalimara Quantum Pendants. This 'amazing' bit of jewelery is well...I'm not exactly sure...I'll just let them describe their product to begin with.

Quantum Science Scalar Energy Pendant is a wearable handmade jewelry made from special Japanese volcanic lava containing over 70 Natural Cosmic Energy Minerals, manufactured in our ISO Certified factory in Asia processed under extreme temperature before it is coagulated to form bio-ceramics under low temperature treatment & structurally bonded together at a molecular level. Our Quantum Pendant has the highest negative ions count in the market making it the most effective & fast action results. We combine the mixture of deep-sea volcanic rocks and surface volcanic lava rocks only found in Japan. These two elements when combined emits more scalar energy than any Quantum Pendant in the market guaranteed. This Quantum Pendant emits scalar energy including the essential K40 resonance that promotes positive flow of energy & helps to maintain energy balance. You can get the same energy level 2500 negative ions by going to water falls or caves. 2500 negative ions can only emit scalar energy that can penetrate up to 2" deep in our body. where as 3000-4500 negative ions can go as far as 4" & energizes water & food faster. Scalar energy is a natural good energy & doesn't have any side effect. It potentially harmonize your body's life-force by absorbing heat energy and transforming it into bio-energy which helps your body's metabolic functions achieve holistic wellness. Wear it on a chain or carry it in your pocket. The scalar energy from the Quantum Pendant works outwardly and within the body. Outwardly scalar energy enhances the body’s bio-field. Inwardly it works to facilitate cell permeability and thereby enhances the many physiological functions of the cells in the body. You can also use the Quantum Pendant to energize drinking water, food (raw or cooked), personal beauty applications (lotions, moisturizers, hair grower etc..), it prolong shelf life of flower, fresh fruits and vegetables, energizes your pets or aquarium fish(es) and many more....

Quantum Pendant conserves its natural cosmic energy through its highly permeable and synergetic properties. Quantum Pendant or sometimes called as Scalar Pendant, Energy Pendant, Chi Pendant or Bio Pendant has high resonant properties which release natural cosmic energy "SCALAR ENERGY" bearing wavelengths measuring 4u – 12u, correlating with the human body’s wavelength of 9.8u – 10u(BioElectric Field) at a temperature of 36 -37 degree Celsius, with permeation strength of 13cm to 15cm.

Astonishing, it does...I have no idea. I have a firm grasp of quantum mechanics and this makes parts of my brain reel at the technobabble. Cosmic energy, scalar energy, bio-ceramics...I really don't know where to begin. It is as if they took as many woo terms as they could and crammed them together.

I should probably address scalar energy as that one at least sounds like it could be a real term. But it is not, it is a term that essentially means 'free-energy'. Sometimes added with Zero Point Energy, which has been adopted by the woo from a once considered idea in physics that is now understood to be caused by the activity of the quantum foam, virtual particles and such. However the term, just like many concepts that are poorly understood by laymen, has been turned into the idea of free energy from the universe.

It gets worse, believe it or not, they go on to describe its 'benefits':

Quantum Pendant with Scalar Energy Benefits to our Body

Strengthens the body's biofied preventing electro-magnetic waves (EMF) arising from mobile phones from effecting one's health
Reduces inflammation
Enhances energy level for endurance and speed
Improves the exercise recovery rate
Reduces jet lag on long flights and shorten recovery time after landing
Reduces motion sickness
Promotes unclumping of cells
Enhances fluid and energy circulation
Enhances immune and endocrine systems
Has the ability to destroy viruses and bacteria
Facilitates delivery of nutrients to cells and detoxification of toxins
Enhances cellular permeability
Assist and strengthen your resilience and resistance to the effects of stress

It is snake oil in jewelry form. If you have actually taken the time to read through the site, as I unfortunately did, you will probably have as big a headache and a confused look upon your face as I now do.

The makers of this...thing, have a special going on, buy 4 and get 1 free! Because why should you settle for only one item that does absolutely nothing when you can have five of them.
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Support mounting to ban shark finning.

Being someone who grew up wanting to be a marine biologist, this is a subject that has always enraged me. While only recently getting the attention it deserves, shark finning has been one of the most destructive of practices effecting the oceans.

For those who have not heard of this, shark finning is the process of shark fishing purely for their fins. Often the captured sharks are brought aboard, their fins are cut off and the bodies (many times still alive) are thrown back into the waters as waste. These sharks either bleed to death or drown (as most species of sharks caught must remain motile to respire). This is all done because of its demand for the traditional Chinese 'delicacy' Shark Fin Soup.

It is estimated that 73 million sharks are finned annually. However the total number of sharks harvested for their fins in total may reach up to 100 million. This has lead to a wide variety of species of sharks to be listed as threatened or endangered with many more species out there that should be listed but aren't for either lack of data or pressure from fishing groups. In the past 15 years alone, the North Atlantic shark population has dropped by 50%.

As any ecologist knows, destroy the predators and you destroy the ecosystem. Without sharks, the entire ocean biome will collapse. With whole oceanic ecosystems verging on collapse as it is from this and other fishing practices, something must be done now.

Thankfully there has been growing awareness of the situation. Groups like Shark Savers and Stop Shark Finning have been working tirelessly to end this pointless and brutal practice. Currently in the US a bill to ban the trade of shark fins is being considered in California. If this bill passes, it would join Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Guam in banning the practice in the US.

There have been some who say that to ban something that is inherently Chinese is a form of racism. To these people I have little but disdain. To claim that the destruction of the Earth is fine as long as it is in the name of tradition is so utterly wrong as to be almost not worth discussing. Anyone who cannot see this is either being deceitful or is blatantly moronic.

With more people starting to understand and take interest in sharks, it is my hope that perhaps this vile practice may be laid to rest. Seen by future generations as nothing more than a disgusting piece of human history.
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Hugo Chavez is slightly misinformed about Mars...

Hugo Chavez has been known to be a bit of a nut case. Every so often he comes out and says something that makes the sane members of our species utter a collective "WTF?". This time he may have outdone himself with the crazy. During a speech for World Water Day he stated:

"I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet."


...What? Did he stumble across a copy of Percivil Lowell's Mars and Its Canals and think "There couldn't possibly have been any credible research done on Mars since the 18th century"?

Or perhaps he is just another one of those morons who think science is just about taking wild guesses at things and passing it off as knowledge. Whatever the reason, this quote of his deserves to be kept for posterity, just so people will know what kind of moron he really is.
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

The stupidity, why won't it end...

I was just going to place yet another reply to an idiot commenter on my post about the morons of the world who seem to believe Japan deserved the disaster it is facing. That the estimated death toll of 18,000 is somehow justified. I knew there were many members of my species who are so vile that to call them human seems fundamentally wrong, but having it shown for what it is over and over is just tiring.

I log on today and find a plethora of repeat posts, so after cleaning things up a bit I was going to write a proper response, but I found I had more to say then should be left in the comments. Now maybe the repeats were all caused by an error, as there have been times when I've tired to put in a post and it appeared to disconnect, but actually went through, leaving me to post it again. However I generally don't leave four or five of each then type up another comment and do the very same damn thing. The second comment is labeled Anonymous, but so were the first three of the first post. Combine this with a nearly identical concept, mass repetition and the fact that they were all posted together (about once a minute) and I have to assume it is the same person.

The first comment by this person was at least a turn away from all the Pearl Harbor and WWII 'reasons':

Mitchell Jefferson said...

I think the whole thing is kind of sad but that the whalers, which we know are mostly Japanese, deserved it. Save the Whales!!! And the Japanese who aren't whalers!!! at least the kids...

While I am fully against whaling as there is absolutely no reason to do this anymore (of course I'm also against mass fishing, shark fishing, drag line catch and a host of other ways to destroy the oceans), this comment seems a bit odd. I'm not sure if this person is trying to say the disaster happened because of whaling or just that whalers deserved it and if it happens to off a few thousand other people, so be it.

But the next comment is even worse and shows a kind of mentality which I utterly loath:

I don't think it's just Japan. the entire Human race needs to be destroyed for what we've done to the Earth. Deforestation, whaling, killing animals for fur, abusing animals for labor or food (don't get me wrong, it's natural for humans to eat meat so I do). We should stop saying "poor Japan" and start saying "yay! Now not as many whales will be needlessly killed!"

Ah, the ever popular "destroy mankind" trope.

First and for most, to those who believe the human race needs to be eliminated, either off yourself or shut up. If you are not willing to set the example by reducing the species load by one (and only yourself for the crazies who apparently read my blog), then all you are doing is bitching pointlessly and are as much of the problem as anyone else, if not more so as you are not doing a damn thing to actually try and solve the problems facing our species. Hell, I doubt such people can even explain to me the reasons for such issues and the possible solutions as well as what is hindering any advancement. They are just ignorant whiners who think being pointlessly cynical does anything at all. So please, if you believe this, take one for the team, if nothing else then it will give the rest of us the peace and quiet we need to actually get to work and accomplish fixing these problems.
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

That is so gay...

I cannot count the times I have heard this phrase uttered and each times it grates on my nerves. It is yet another sign of the blatant homophobia our society seems to relish. Yes, things have been slowly getting better for the LGBT community, but the use of the word 'gay' to mean something that is bad is still horrendously pervasive.

Whenever I hear 'gay' uttered in a negative connotation I immediately lose some respect for that person. I associate it with mindless homophobia and pathetically juvenile behavior. I find it even more tragic when people who do not seem outwardly homophobic still use it. As it either means they realize their homophobia is wrong and are trying to hide it or they truly believe there is nothing wrong with those with other sexual orientations but have never actually thought through the implications of using the phrase.

Many people have recently attempted to claim that the term no longer means what it used to or that it is a duel use word. These arguments are both ill thought out and idiotic attempts to keep their precious insult. The Youtuber Zinnia Jones (ZJemptv) has an excellent refutation of these arguments. She not only points out why such views are wrong but also uses the arguments of such apologists against them, something I do love to hear.

In the comments many people brought up the fact that words such as 'lame', 'dumb' and 'idiot' used to refer only to people with various disabilities, but are now only archaically connected to them. It seems many people are swayed by this argument, but it too has its major flaws. I pointed this out in a comment but I would like to elaborate on it here.

One thing these people are not taking into consideration is the fact that when such words began to be co-opted for their now common use, the people that they original were used to describe were seen as sub-human at best. There was no voice for the disabled and it was not uncommon for them to be abandoned to wards where they were experimented upon, left to die and treated like curiosities to be used. Eventually the terms did lose their original meanings, but only after the derogatory meaning became the more common and after disabled people were recognized as individuals deserving of equal treatment. Had this shift in ethics not occurred, then such terms would still be duel use words. If we take this lesson and apply it to the word 'gay' as a derogative, then anyone who uses the a fore mentioned argument must also think that actual gay people are also sub-human and do not deserve the respect others are shown.

If this is in fact the case than users of this term should be granted the same 'respect' by society at large. Amongst thoughtful and intelligent people the negative is already thought of something used only by drunk frat members and 13 year olds who want to try and act tough. Neither of these groups are renowned for their innate intelligence. It is my hope that the negative use of the word 'gay' will fad away, something to be seen by future generations as a stupidity left over from a more bigoted era. And the more people who openly oppose its use and call out those who do so, the more likely that this future will occur.
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Sacculina carcini

Succulina carcini starts life as a harmless little critter who lives a care-free life exploring the busy world of the planktonic drifts. Its larvae look like something H. R. Geiger would have created if he went through a cute phase.

Who’s an adorable little Cthulian horror?

But just like any spawn of an Elder-God, there comes a time when they just want to settle down. So the females search for the perfect home to eventually raise their own brood of Lovecraftian abominations. But not any home will do, no, the females are very picky about where they make settle. In this case it is an unsuspecting crab.

Hello mister crab! Doesn’t he look happy?

It is now that Succulina swims underneath our happy little crab there and using a needle on the rear of its body injects a cluster of cells into the crab and simply discards with the remaining 90% of its body. As if this were not disturbing enough, the protoplasmic blob that is left over begins growing tendrils throughout the body, including the brain and around the eye stalks. It uses these nightmarish appendages to leach nutrients from our once happy crab. Eventually a cancerous blob begins to grow on the underside of our once care-free crab. Known as the externa, this is the egg sack of our once terrifying yet oddly cute free-swimming friend.

Holy Hell! What did you do to Mister Crab?!

But the cancerous abomination and internal leech tentacles are not the worst part. Yes, it really can get worse. Remember when I said they grow all the way to the brain? Well there is a very specific reason for this. This is because it needs to take over the mind of its unwitting host. It stops the crab from molting (as this would cause it to shed the externa) and just grow and grow. It changes its habits so all it does is eat and carefully groom the cancer pouring out of its carapace like it is its own egg sack. It doesn’t even matter if it was a female crab that was infected either. Sacculina will just change the hormone levels of a male crab so that its underside grows wider like a female (all the better for the externa to grow). It also effectively sterilizes the crab so that it never has any interest in any other crab. It just eats and grooms the progeny of The Blob. When the eggs are finally ready to hatch, Sacculina takes further control of the crab, forcing it to walk into shallow water and shake open the externa so that all the little larvae may swim free in a horrifying imitation of the crab’s own ritual of releasing its eggs. This completes Sacculina’s life cycle with thousands of tiny larvae off to find crabs of their own to infect. And just to make matters just a tiny bit worse, Sacculina is actually just a specialized form of barnacle. Try looking at those ubiquitous shore side critters again.

Zimmer, Carl. Parasite Rex
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Phlyctenactis tuberculosa, the Wandering or Swimming anemone

Phlyctenactis tuberculosa is a common yet unique anemone that goes by many names The most common being the wandering anemone or swimming anemone. They are also known as brain anemones, beach ball anemones, baked beans anemones, or Thenaria. Native to waters off of Australia and New Zealand, often growing to a size of 15 cm, making this New Zealand's largest anemone species.

Phlyctenactis tuberculosa is primarily nocturnal, being found attached to rocks or kelp during the day. To protect themselves, they are covered in vesicles which are filled with nematocysts (stinging cells). The arrangement of these vesicles give the wandering anemone a distinct appearance that is hard to miss.
Not only do these vesicles give this anemone a distinct beauty, they also come in a wide range of colors.

They get their namesake by the fact that they are able to detach and use their tentacles to crawl from location to location. They are often seen at night moving to a more favorable feeding area and have fascinated divers for years. It is not hard to see why as the chance to see a normally sedentary creature deciding that it needs new scenery is quite the novel experience. They are also able to move about in a less active fashion by simply releasing from their hold and letting the current or tidal surge move them along.

They feed primarily at night where they prey upon drifting particles, small invertebrates and even the occasional small fish.

Closed Anemone Photo
Open Anemone Photo
Scuba Equipment USA - Marine Species Gallery
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Radiation chart

With all the talk about the radiation from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant, it can be easy to get lost in all the hype. Yes, the situation is bad, but like any event that requires understanding of scientific subjects, the truth has been overshadowed by the musings of the uninformed.

To make matters worse, we are dealing with a term that generally scares people to begin with, radiation. Years of bad horror movies involving mutant insects, doomsday scenario films as well as images from actual radiation victims has put society on edge whenever the term is used. To make matters worse, radiation has been detected in certain food products, such as milk and spinach. Though the actual health risk is minimal, as stated by Japan's State Secretary of Health Minister Yoko Komiyama:

"Can you imagine eating 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of spinach every day for one year?"

While the radiation levels are above limits, the amounts are hardly dangerous. Just when dealing with radiation, countries are rightly cautious, both for the sake of society and due to the innate fear radiation causes.

To further put things in perspective, Randall Munroe of XKCD has put together a chart to show what the actual radiation levels are in comparison to other events and what we experience in our day to day lives. I have included a small except here:

To clarify, the measurement for radiation absorbed by the human body is measured with the Sievert (Sv). The image shows amounts in millisieverts. It takes around a whole Sievert over a year for potential damage to accrue. For more information on this and radiation in general, Ethan Siegel, the theoretical astrophysicist over at Starts With A Bang has much more information.
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oklahoma values cells over individuals.

Once again proving how idiotic members of my state government are, the Oklahoma house passed a bill that would ban embryonic stem cell research. The bill passed 86-8. House Bill 1442 would make it a misdemeanor to conduct research on embryonic stem cells.

The bill’s author, Republican Representative George Faught, stated that:

“We value life here in Oklahoma, while we in no way dispute the fact that the ability to treat or heal suffering persons is a great good, we also recognize that not all methods of achieving a desired good are morally or legally justifiable."

For anyone with even a hint of understanding of embryonic stem cell research it is obvious that Representative Faught's statement is ludicrous. Such research is done on cells that would be either kept on ice indefinitely or would be destroyed. How exactly is this a crime? If so, would destroying such stem cells be a crime as well? What is one to do with all the left-overs? What about all the pregnancies that are aborted naturally? Wait, I forget, that was Utah's idea.

Another Republican, Representative Mike Reynolds stated that:

“We want to defend unborn children at every opportunity.”

As usual, they only care about cells, but once they are independent beings than they are on their own. When such research has already led to amazing advances in medical science and promises much more to come, how can anyone ethically oppose such research? How can anyone think that non-differentiated cells have priority over those who would be saved by harmless experimentation?

Of course the answer comes from these people's outdated and error filled holy book. Or does it?

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Outside forces take action in Libya, Gadhafi still insane.

After a surprisingly short deliberation, Western forces with the backing of the Arab League, have begun an assault against Gadhafi's forces in Libya. While it has taken far too long for such an intervention, it is finally occurring with the backing of multiple countries.

Canada, one of the more open supporters of the Libyan Freedom Fighters, began sending forces to enforce a no-fly zone before Prime Minister Stephen Harper reached the international summit. This way forces would be in position to strike the moment the go ahead was given. The Canadian Prime Minister stated:

"One either believes in freedom or one just says one believes in freedom. The Libyan people have shown by their sacrifice that they believe in it. Assisting them is a moral obligation upon those of us who profess this great ideal."

This statement perfectly sums up why action is necessary against Gadhafi's regime. His view is backed up by multiple countries from around the world. While support is not unanimous, it is rare for it ever to be.

Gadhafi, in his typical crazy nature, has his own take on the defense of civilians and the will of the people. He called the international outcry and show of force:

"Simply a colonial crusader aggression that may ignite another large-scale crusader war."

He furthers his crazy by stating:

"Involvement of international forces will subject the Mediterranean and North African region to danger and put civilians at risk." it is ok that he slaughters 'his' people, but if anyone dares step in then they are 'putting civilians at risk'? Well what should one expect from someone so bloody insane that his rantings were described perfectly in this cartoon by twitter user @Ghadeer1991

With French forces making the first air strikes quickly followed by bombardment by joint US and UK naval forces, this madman is guaranteed to be stopped. One can only hope that the bloodshed will be minimal, but unfortunately, with such a crazed dictator, that is far from certain.
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bill O'Reilly meme

Found at Memebase, this was shown to me by the amazing Misa Akane (you know, if she keeps linking me such great things, I'm going to run out of adjectives to describe her).  This pretty much sums up O'Reilly's entire argument for his petty deity.  It is rather sad when the taunting meme could be mistaken for something he really said...
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Calvin and Hobbes "The Raccoon Story"

I have often found it interesting how often in scientific literature the comic Calvin and Hobbes is referenced. I've encountered it two times just today, once on a science blog and another in a book on the cognitive science of language. I mentioned this to a friend who I was surprised was not familiar with Bill Watterson's masterpiece of a comic. What makes Calvin and Hobbes so great, and so quotable, is the combination of humor, brilliant social, artistic and philosophical commentary, emotion and having a staying power beyond any other serial. Unlike most, Watterson never had a target audience. A child can pick it up and find so much to relate to, especially those children who found themselves to be just as 'alone' as Calvin was. While at the same time an adult can read it and find intelligent humor and philosophical depth that no other serial could match. And for both the child and the adult, there were many moments that drew on emotion so well it was hard to keep it all in.

My favorite example of this emotional depth has to be "The Raccoon Story". I remember reading this as a child and knowing exactly how Calvin felt. I would often do everything I could to save animals of all forms, I have felt a connection with them that has stayed with me throughout my life. It is one of the reasons I have such a passion for biology and science in general. Something that I also shared with the character Calvin. Even as I read this comic just a few minutes ago and I found it difficult not to shed some tears. Both for Calvin's sadness and his turning it into a reason to love life. Where some artists may turn to a deity in such a situation, Watterson instead relied on Calvin's intelligence, logic and deep friendship with his trusty tiger to see him through.

© Universal Press Syndicate

Thank you Bill Watterson, you have touched more lives than you can know.

For more Calvin and Hobbes greats see Progressive Boinks and the serial archive at  Or you could always just buy them all.
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11 year old girl blamed for being gang raped in Texas

There are times when I read something and I am simply left seething in rage. When I have to remind myself that things like vigilante justice are wrong and, based on its very nature, will always get out of control. And this is coming from someone who disdains violence.

Last November in Cleveland, Texas an 11 year old girl was gang raped. Currently there have been 18 arrests. The girl was offered a ride and was then taken to an abandoned trailer where she was assaulted by the accused rapists, age 17-26. They took photos and recorded the event on their phones and began distributing it. Eventually copies made it to the girl's school where a student brought it to the attention of a teacher who approached authorities.

The event has brought out the sexist undertones of parts of the community where people began siding with the rapists stating that the girl was dressed indecently.

"She dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s."

So are these disgusting people trying to say that had she been 20 then being raped by nearly twenty men would be perfectly fine? While many, including some family members of the accused rapists are speaking out against the crime and the misogyny that has been unveiled because of it, still many cling to their horrid beliefs.

The event, and the reprehensible view that many in the town have taken has been brought to national attention after Florida state Representative Kathleen Passidomo, while speaking in favor of a House bill to mandate school dress codes stated:

"There was an article about an 11 year old girl who was gang raped in Texas by 18 young men because she was dressed like a 21-year-old prostitute, and her parents let her attend school like that. And I think it’s incumbent upon us to create some areas where students can be safe in school and show up in proper attire so what happened in Texas doesn’t happen to our students."

This is vile. I am familiar with people blaming the victim before but it is still something that makes me so angry that I cannot believe such people should be allowed in office, around children or even in society as a whole. It shows an utter lack of empathy that borders on sociopathy. This girl has had her childhood ruined by the callous acts of these men and now she is being blamed for it? And for what? Not covering herself up properly? How is this any different then in fundamentalist Islamic countries that require a woman to cover herself lest she 'tempt' men to rape her?

New York Times
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Project Pitchfork - Timekiller

Timekiller has been one of my favorite songs for years. It was released on Project Pitchfork's 2001 album Daimonion. The lyrics for this song have often been stuck in my head for longer then should be healthy, yet I tend not to mind in the least. For those who are curious as to the source of the band's name, they got it by picking two words out of a dictionary at random.

The video fits the song perfectly. With Peter Spilles playing the part of a writer who, through obsession, begins to lose his mind. There have been many times that I have been able to relate to his character. Unknown amounts of time passing as I feel just driven to write. Realizing how much time has slipped by only when that damn day star alerts me to the fact that I should have attempted sleep hours ago.

Sometimes the writing seems to just sap the sanity out, yet I don't mind. As this slightly crazed state seems to increase my ability to create. Getting caught up and lost in the words, yet never losing their meaning. Whatever sanity I might lose goes right into each paragraph.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

'Japan deserved it', even more idiocy

A few days ago I had written a post about various Facebook users who believe that Japan deserved the devastation it received from the earthquake and subsequent tsunami because of their role in the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

Recently, on that post, I got an anonymous comment. It showcased the kind of bigotry, xenophobia and pure idiocy so well I couldn't let it rot away in the obscurity of the comments. I had to show it in all its terrifying glory. Please note that I will not be responsible for any damage to your computer in the resulting rage such stupid may put you in.

Anonymous said...

It's not just pearl harbour but also the millions of people the Japanese killed during world war 2, like the 10 million people killed in the nanking massacre in just a day. Or all the people they tortured with inhumane ways like burning, drink drowning, poison etc. for the sake of torturing them and nothing more. The Japanese totally don't deserve this because they deserve something far worse. I hope this tsunami is just the beginning.

I'll give you a moment to stop yelling at your monitor... Done? The level of idiocy is staggering. How can someone have this kind of hatred for a people for the actions of their predecessors? Obviously this individual did not think this line of reasoning through as if it were accurate then no human on the planet would deserve anything but death and torment. We all share some connection to those who, in the past, did reprehensible things. Is this some sort of modern incarnation of the idea of Original Sin? That the sins of one generation pass on to the next? Possibly used as an excuse for ones racism and xenophobia?

I responded to this disturbed individual with this:

I want to believe you are Poe, but you are most likely a disgusting example of my species. According to your 'logic' then we should apply the same concept to religion. Think of all the people slaughtered throughout history by any religious group. If crimes are carried to future generations then so must those of every one else.

Granted I am not twisted enough to believe this for a moment. The crimes that have been committed were done by the individuals, not the group. Those individuals have mostly died. To think people who had no hand in the events deserve death just as much shows a kind of thinking that scares me.

It scares me because it shows the inability to discern between individuals (especially when they are not known personally). It scares me because it shows the kind of nationalism and xenophobia that leads to senseless wars and hatred. It scares me because there are people who will think you have a point.

Whoever you are (as you did not even have the spine to log in to post your comment), know that above all else, above being a sniveling, hateful and ignorant person, you are pathetic. If I didn't find you so disdainful, I might have pity on you. But you chose to be a disdainful moron, so I can only look upon you with disgust.

With such vile humans existing around me, it is sometimes difficult to maintain the desire to help them or hope that our species is capable of more. Ironically, it is the way the Japanese people have came together to aid one another, without the kind of rhetoric or blame that has occurred when any disaster has happened in my country, that helps to keep these feelings strong despite such hatred that I have encountered.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Divine Madness

The Divine Madness is a band I don't believe has the capacity to make a bad song. I came across them when they released their first album, Secrets, which was actually a two disk album. Now, far to often when a two disk album is released, the second disk is filler (or a remix album). However that was not the case with Secrets, both disks are full albums that feel distinct, yet connected. The first being Paradiso, the second being Inferno.

Their names for the disks of Secrets were selected perfectly. Paradiso has a much more melodic sound with a kind of hidden hope. The lyrics have an almost fallen feel to them. As if sang by someone who has dreamed of the world only to discover that reality often has other things in store. This hidden hope can be overlooked as simply sad lyrics, but that is not always the case. It is a hope that is simply tempered, yet is often shinning just behind the surface. It very much has the feel of an innocent awakening to the world. The song Haunted (one of my personal favorites) beautifully demonstrates this sense of hidden hope. Many I have shown this track to seem to think it is a depressing track, but if you really listen, you will find it to be anything but. There is no certain future, so we must never forget to cherish what we have now. To not put off for later when that later is never guaranteed.

If Inferno was from the standpoint of an innocent beginning to see the realities of the world, then Inferno is about that same indidvual years later after coming to terms with the world. Instead of wondering if all she knows is all there will be in life, she discovers passion in another. The emotion is from a much more developed view point. The naivety is replaced with a self certainty as well as getting lost in the rapture existence and love can offer.

In 2008 they released their second album Neverworld. This album, while still excellent, does not have the same flowing feel as Secrets. It is much more a 'traditional' album compared to their previous release which felt much more like an individual artistic venture. This is not to say Neverworld comes up lacking, far from it. Instead it shows a more diversified sound to it. When the album was being made, Victoria Maze stated that she wanted it to show the other members various talents as she felt that they were not as readily displayed in the first album. In a way, she is right. She is very much the center of attention in Secrets with the rest of the band working in such tight unison that the individual skills are overshadowed by the skill of the whole. While this is certainly a strength, it also can limit the musical direction. But with Neverworld, the individual strengths of every member is seen throughout the album while still showing a cohesive unity that is far too rare today.

The Divine Madness was founded by Victoria Maze who is also the singer and songwriter for the group. Spok handles the bands mixing and programming, Julian Primeaux is on guitar, Taylor Guarisco on bass, Will Henderson on keyboards, and finally Danny Devillier on drums.

But as always, words can only describe music so well. To truly appreciate it, one must hear it. To start off with I have The Divine Madness' first video for the song Closer off of the Paradiso disk of Secrets. The band's slogan is "Alice left Wonderland and started a band", and this video follows that theme perfectly.

---More below the fold---

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Monday, March 14, 2011

War and Peace

One of my favorite art styles is surreal. So often they are able to convey complex ideas in rather unique and intricate ways. It is the abstract describing the abstract. Where in more 'traditional' art, a piece might be the artists impression of an event, a person or a scene. But in surrealism, the artists is left to describe a complex concept or idea. This requires an imagination and mode of thinking that I tend to find far more intriguing than other genres. This is not to say that I dislike these other forms of artistic expression, it is only to say that if I were offered the choice between a landscape and a surrealist piece, there would be no debate which one I would choose.

A while back I was browsing Deviant Art and came across a piece that immediately struck me. Entitled War and Peace it describes wonderfully what it is titled. The artist, Jin, who goes by the pseudonym DreamlessXPassion on Deviant Art, graciously has allowed me to post her art and write about it here.

In this piece, the personification of war is represented by skeletal and malnourished boy. He has been bonded to weapons from all eras of human history, the industries that drive them as well as the pollution and waste that is bound to follow such endeavors. The very world surrounding him feels his destructive touch, withering and decaying much like the boy has.

He looms over a tiny figure, a young and seemingly carefree girl. The innocence of youth being peace in its purest form. But her youth makes her weak, despite her idealism, she must be watched over, lest she end with the same fate as the boy. The boy who one might speculate, was once much like the girl before he was slowly deformed by the ravages of his namesake.

War reaches down to the young Peace, holding out the gift of a small flower. This simple gift solidifies War's delusion that his existence is necessary, that he is there to protect the innocent before him. Perhaps he sees within her his own past, what he has since lost and can never retrieve. Perhaps it is his view that he is her guardian that is the only thing keeping him from utter despair or madness. Or perhaps his smile holds something more sinister. Perhaps that madness came long ago and through placation of the naive Peace he is left to ravage the world at his whim.
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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chapter 2

And now for chapter 2 of my bizarre thing.

Chapter 2

Voice: “So our intrepid adventurer headed east. Not knowing where the road would take him, only knowing that the world depended on his success.”

Sanrin: “You know I can still hear you.”

Voice: “Yes, but I had to fill everyone else in.”

Sanrin: “Who else are you talking about?”

Voice: “You know, the audience.”

Sanrin: “Audience?”

Voice: “Yes, audience, is that such a hard idea to grasp. You didn’t think that you are on this journey for your own entertainment, did you?”

Sanrin: “I thought it was to save the world.”

Voice: “Well that too, but that’s only secondary.”

Sanrin: “How is saving the world secondary? If this audience is so important, can I talk with them? Perhaps one of them would be of a bit more help then the current company.”

Voice: “Of course not, you are no where near omnipotent enough to break the fourth wall.”

Sanrin: “Is this another one of those times I should just accept your word as truth no matter how absurd it sounds?”

Voice: “You are a fast learner.”

Sanrin: “So why aren’t any of the other people freaking out about a voice from the sky?”

Voice: “They are used to it by now.”

Sanrin: “Then why did I just hear you for the first time earlier today?”

Voice: “Er…oh look!”

Sanrin: “Don’t change the subject, I want to know *oof*”

Voice: “Told you to look out.”

Sanrin: “I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying attention there. I didn’t mean to run into you.”

Elnar: “That’s alright, I wasn’t paying attention either.”

Sanrin: “Guess we will both have to make sure to do so in the future then, bye.”

Elnar: “Yeah…hey, want to see my sword!”

Sanrin: *Whispers to self* “Please don’t let that be some kind of innuendo…” “Eh, that’s alright.”

Elnar: “It’s really sharp and I can cut stuff with it!”

Sanrin: “That’s great…but I need to be…”

Elnar: “And what’s best about it is it’s all shiny!”

Sanrin: “Something tells me that you having that sword is about as sound an idea as a narcoleptic skydiver.”

Elnar: “nar-no-meptic? ...So hey, I’m Elnar!”

Sanrin: “Yes, I know, I can see it right there.”

Elnar: “Oh right, I forget about that thing. I try not to look at it too much, all those letters confuse me.”

Sanrin: “Why am I not surprised...”

Elnar: “So where are you going? I’m off to save the world!”

Sanrin: “You are off to save the world?”

Elnar: “Yeah, I found this sword stuck in a rock, and I know whenever a sword is in a rock, it means that only one person can pull it out and that person is supposed to save the world or something!”

Sanrin: “You pulled a sword out of a rock, and that makes you believe that you are the world’s savior?”

Elnar: “Of course, what else could it mean?”

Sanrin: “Oh, I don’t know, maybe that the sword was on display?”

Elnar: “Who would put a sword on display; you can’t use it to cut stuff then.”

Sanrin: “Ok…I’m going to back away slowly now, good luck with that saving the world thing.”

Voice: “Come on Sanrin, you need to find companions for your journey, and you two just happen to both be on quests to save the world, take him with you!”

Elnar: “You are going to save the world too! We can team up and I can go cut stuff…and…and…oh look a sparkly!”

Sanrin: “Have I told you today how much I truly hate you?”

Voice: “*snicker* yes, but at least it will keep things interesting.”

Sanrin: “Suddenly I’m starting to wonder if the end of the world is such a bad thing.”

Elnar: “Who are you talking to?”

Sanrin: “Oh nobody, just a voice with no origin who seems to take pleasure in seeing me suffer.”

Elnar: “Hello voice, do you like my sword?”

Voice: “Hi. Yes, it’s very shiny.”

Elnar: “That’s what I keep telling people, but they don’t listen to me.”

Sanrin: “I wonder why.”

Elnar: “So where is your sword?”

Sanrin: “I don’t have one, though I do seem to have just gained some magical abilities. Why exactly would you want to use a sword in this day and age anyway, why not a gun?”

Elnar: “Pff, it’s pretty hard to cut stuff with a gun.”

Sanrin: “I see…so what about the problem of getting shot before you get close enough to use the sword?”

Elnar: “Why would they shoot me before I get a chance to use my sword, that’s not very nice.”

Sanrin: “Of course it’s not very nice; the point of shooting someone is to kill them.”

Elnar: “Well yeah, so is the sword that is why it’s so sharp.”

Sanrin: “But…eh…well at least I know I won’t have to worry about him bothering me for all that long.”

Elnar: “So where are we going?”

Sanrin: “Seems east, right voice?”

Voice: “That’s what I said when the chapter started, didn’t I?”

Sanrin: “I suppose so, although I have no idea why there are chapters in this world.”

Voice: “It breaks the story down into sectional parts for the audience.”

Sanrin: “There you go with your talk about “story” and the “audience”.

Elnar: “Don’t you know about the audience Sanrin?”

Sanrin: “Great the autistic cavalier understands it all.”

Voice: “Now be nice to our new friend Sanrin.”

Sanrin: “It isn’t like he understands any of the words that have more then two syllables.”

Elnar: “So when do we leave, I can’t wait to try this thing out!”

Sanrin: “Wait, you mean to tell me that you haven’t actually used that sword before?”

Elnar: “No, this is my first sword, nobody would let me get close to them, or the axes, or the spears, or the toothpicks.”

Sanrin: “Great, as if things weren’t bad enough as it was. Well I suppose he would make a nice shield for me. As for when we are leaving, I suppose now would be as good a time as any. Do you need to pick up any supplies Elnar?”

Elnar: “Nope, I’m ready to go!”

Voice: “Well he certainly is the enthusiastic one.”

Sanrin: “I blame you for all of this.”
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Chapter 1

I wrote this thing a long time ago. It was an odd spoof on the RPG genre as well as anything else I felt like at the moment. I have never finished it, only getting up to chapter 8, though their length is short and hardly count as chapters to begin with. Those who have read it over the years have always liked it despite my own worries. Now that I have a blog I have decided to put a few up now and then and see what people think. It is a bit cliche at times, but that is intentional. I hope a few of you enjoy this at least.

Chapter 1

Spooky omnipotent voice: “In an alternative variation of your own universe, there lies the world of Tarn. Here, man has learned to harness both the powers of technology and magic. Through these combined disciplines, humanity has created a delicate balance with itself and the world around it. A balance that has began to teeter over the past few…”

Sanrin: “Gah! Who the hell is that?!”

Spooky omnipotent voice: “Hey, I was trying to narrate here! And isn’t it obvious, I’m a spooky omnipotent voice.”

Sanrin: “Oh, so you are. Wait, why are we talking like this?”

Spooky omnipotent voice: “Talking like what?”

Sanrin: “You know, talking in turn with our names written out, like some sort of script.”

Spooky omnipotent voice: “It is the script of the universe! You mortals are all just actors on a stage for the entertainment of those above!”

Sanrin: “That doesn’t exactly answer my question, and can you knock off the ‘spooky omnipotent’ thing, it’s kind of creepy.”

Spooky omnipotent voice: “Of course it’s creepy; I wouldn’t be much of a spooky omnipotent voice if it wasn’t.”

Sanrin: “Could you either just knock it off, or go find some other person to annoy.”

Spooky omnipotent voice: “Do you really think it wise to taunt a mysterious voice from above?”

Sanrin: “Well you are the first disembodied voice I have ever heard. Speaking of which, I do believe it is time I found a good psychologist…”

Voice: “There is that better?”

Sanrin: “Much, thank you.”

Voice: *Sniff* “I’m going to miss the spooky omnipotence.”

Sanrin: “…Anyway…back to my earlier question about our speech.”

Voice: “Ah yes, the grand script of the universe.”

Sanrin: “Why do I get the feeling that I’m not going to get a better answer then that?”

Voice: “I wouldn’t be much of a spooky omnipotent voice if I explained everything to everyone I spoke down to. Not that I’m spooky or omnipotent sounding anymore *cough*prick*cough*”

Sanrin: “I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that last part. But why are you speaking to me anyway?”

Voice: “Because you are one of the primary characters in this tale. Do you think I would be wasting my time on you if you didn’t have some sort of destiny waiting to unfurl?”

Sanrin: “Wait, what tale?”

Voice: “The one I was starting to explain, that is until I was so rudely interrupted.”

Sanrin: “Alright then, go on, I might as well know what the hell is going on.”

Voice: “I don’t want to. Maybe if you hadn’t barged into my monologue, but not now.”

Sanrin: “Of all the disembodied voices, I get the pissy child.”

Voice: “I would rethink that phrase if I were you.”

Sanrin: “Why? How do I know you aren’t just some sort of hallucination, maybe I ate something that was bad.”

Voice: “See that pizzeria across the street?”

Sanrin: “Yes, what about it?”

*massive fireball and explosion*

Sanrin: “Note to self: no more upsetting disembodied voices.”

Voice: “*Giggling* that never gets old.”

Sanrin: “But why in the nine hells did you choose to blow up that pizzeria to prove you weren’t just a hallucination, you could have just given me a slightly more subtle sign.”

Voice: “Don’t flatter yourself, I could have been more subtle about it, but that place had it coming. They guarantee delivery in forty-five minutes or less, and it’s been at least forty-eight.”

Sanrin: “But you are a voice originating from nowhere, how would they have delivered it to you in the first place?!”

Voice: “I actually hadn’t thought of that before. But now that I think about it I realize the depth of my actions.”

Sanrin: “That they have consequences, even if you are a higher being then us?”

Voice: “No, I realized how funny they can be.”

Sanrin: “That is not very reassuring.”

Voice: “It’s not like anyone important got blown into very small, crunchy bits. Well…except for that one guy who was supposed to save this world.”

Sanrin: “Please tell me I heard that wrong.”

Voice: “No…wow…I really do need to pay more attention to what I’m blowing up. But you have to admit, it looked really neat.”

Sanrin: “Ok Sanrin, calm down. You just learned that the world is doomed and that the powers that be are pyromaniac assholes.”

Voice: “I am not a pyromaniac, I just like things that go boom; and I never said the world is doomed, even if the person that is supposed to save it has been turned into a crispy critter.”

Sanrin: “Ok, scratch that, the world isn’t doomed, it’s just screwed; and the powers that be aren’t pyromaniacs, they are just assholes.”

Voice: “Remember my mentioning earlier about not taunting voices from above? Well think of that crater across the street as your motivator.”

Sanrin: “Does it really matter? You just destroyed the world’s savior or something. I might as well go out by telling off the voice that doomed us all.”

Voice: “He wasn’t a savior, though he did make a damn good calzone, and like I said, your world isn’t doomed, more like…inconvenienced.”

Sanrin: “I fail to see how oblivion is simply inconvenient.”

Voice: “Have you ever tried to open a can of tuna without a corporeal form, I would call that damn inconvenient.”

Sanrin: “Hold on a sec, you are an omnipotent being right?”

Voice: “Yes, and you wouldn’t have to ask if I still had that as part of my name.”

Sanrin: “Anyway…that means you can just stop the world from its inconvenient doom.”

Voice: “Sorry no can do.”

Sanrin: “And why not?”

Voice: “I’m a neutral being. I do not interfere with you petty mortals.”

Sanrin: “It sure seemed like you were interfering when you were vaporizing the world’s only hope of not being blown up itself!”

Voice: “Heh, kind of ironic isn’t it? Besides, he wasn’t vaporized, more like turned into small bite sized bits.”

Sanrin: “That is so much better. I’m sure he is thankful for you courtesy…”

Voice: “Oh, I wasn’t being courteous, just the explosion needed to vaporize him would have killed you to.”

Sanrin: “Why exactly do you care if I’m alive or not?”

Voice: “I am a better entity then that. I know full well you don’t explode those you are having a conversation with, unless they get rude of course, hint hint. As far as your statement about my interference, they didn’t follow through with their own guarantee; it’s not my fault that they couldn’t make the delivery.”

Sanrin: “The guarantee grants you a free pizza, not their permission to wipe them from existence!”

Voice: “Well if they couldn’t get me the first pizza, what makes you think they could have gotten me the second one?”

Sanrin: “I give up. I might as well accept my own fate.”

Voice: “Good idea, embrace that fate!”

Sanrin: “Thank you for your condolences.”

Voice: “Not your doomy fate, your other one; your fate to rid the world of telemarketers! Wait. Sorry, wrong fate. I meant your fate to save this world!”

Sanrin: “But didn’t you just incinerate the person whose fate it was to save the world?”

Voice: “Yes I did, but then the next person who had the capability to save the world gained that fate.”

Sanrin: “Does that mean you will end up killing me in some sort of horrible manner as well?”

Voice: “I hardly see how being blown apart is all that horrible; and no, at least I don’t think so.”

Sanrin: “Thank you for the reassurance.”

Voice: “Any time, after all, I’m starting to like you; would be a shame to make you all dead and the like.”

Sanrin: “Wonderful, I’ve piqued the intrigue of the hypocritical, explosion happy voice from no where.”

Voice: “You should be grateful; the last person who I took an interest in became ruler of the Eastern Territories.”

Sanrin: “Wasn’t that king assassinated not long after he came to power?”

Voice: “When you look at it that way, I guess it seems like a bad thing.”

Sanrin: “Of course it’s a bad thing, he died!”

Voice: “Isn’t that a thing you people do a lot anyway?”

Sanrin: “But not that soon. Had you not got interested in him, he might still be alive.”

Voice: “Had I not found him interesting, he would have died along with the rest of the crew when the vessel he was on sank.”

Sanrin: “Well…maybe it was a good thing then.”

Voice: “Of course it was, I am omnipotent. Now if you apologize, I just might tell you more about your fate.”

Sanrin: “I’m sorry for questioning your plans…but you are still a jerk.”

Voice: “Good enough, but to explain your fate, I must go back into “spooky omnipotent” mode.”

Sanrin: *sigh* “alright.”

Voice: “Joy! I do love that voice so.”

Spooky omnipotent voice: “You will travel throughout the lands, gaining strength, power, and able bodied warriors to aid you in your quest to stop the ruler of the North, Harfan, from unleashing the great destroyer upon this world!”

*Lightning flashes*

Sanrin: “Was the lightning really necessary?”

Voice: “Of course, what is a spooky omnipotent voice without lightning at key points?”

Sanrin: “Right, so you are telling me I’m supposed to wander around aimlessly until me and a bunch of other random people are strong enough to keep an emperor from unleashing some destroyer upon the world, and thus dooming humanity?”

Voice: “Pretty much, but mine sounded better.”

Sanrin: “So how exactly am I supposed to amass an army large enough to take on this kind of power?”

Voice: “Who said anything about an army?”

Sanrin: “I’m supposed to be taking on an emperor; they generally have a lot of power.”

Voice: “Yes, but everyone knows that that a ragtag group of adventurers is an evil overlord’s worst enemy.”

Sanrin: “…That doesn’t make any sense at all.”

Voice: “And a voice from nowhere commanding you to stop the world from ending does?”

Sanrin: “Touché. Could you at least tell me what direction I need to head in to begin my aimless wandering?”

Voice: “If I told you were to go, it wouldn’t be aimless now would it?”

Sanrin: “Fine, I’ll just start walking east then.”

Voice: “Oh, I almost forgot!”

Sanrin: “I am already afraid for my very existence.”

Voice: “It’s nothing bad, it’s a gift. May it aid you in your quest.”

Sanrin: “So how do I receive this” *horrible screams of pain*

Voice: “Oh yeah, getting it might just be the most excruciating pain you will ever experience, but that’s just a slight side effect.”

Sanrin: *whimper* “what…was…that?”

Voice: “That was me endowing you with the greatest magical energies any human has ever known. Kind of makes it worth the pain, huh?”

Sanrin: *groan* “It may be vast power, but I still hate you.”

Voice: “Your welcome, ungrateful peon.”

Sanrin: “So what exactly is this power?”

Voice: “Try it out yourself, concentrate on an object and try and destroy it.”

Sanrin: “Ok, here it goes…”

*A Fireball arches from his hand racing towards its target…*Poof**

Sanrin: “Poof? That’s it, it just blew up a small bush, how it that vast amounts of power?”

Voice: “Well its not like I was going to give you the power to blow up random buildings right away, you have to develop your powers over your journey.”

Sanrin: “Of course not, you wouldn’t want the competition.”

Voice: “Quiet you. Now, let your journey start. I will check in on you from time to time.”

Sanrin: “I’ll go walking in that direction then…I guess?”

*obvious silence*

Sanrin: “Thank you, I did not need to be told it was an obvious silence. This communication system is so screwed up. But at least he is gone…yay?”

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Game Music Remixes 2

I had stated in my earlier post Game Music Remixes that I hoped to be able to continue sharing some of my favorite remixes from various games. Since I am a self-admitted music whore it was not hard for me to follow through and find more great music to force upon my readers.

I hope for those of you who were previously unfamiliar with this art and took the time to read my previous post as well as listen to the remixes I posted that you have gained a sense of the talent of these musicians. Perhaps some of you even went looking for remixes of some of your own favorite games, both new and old. As I stated in my previous post, OCRemix is the largest and greatest site for remixers, both those learning and the professional. This time around I have used videos instead of DivShare as the load times on the tracks was horrendous. I have also gone back and replaced the DivShare players from the original post with videos as well so if they did not work for you before, the new videos should.

To start off with I would like to share something a bit different. The source material is from the underwater levels of the original Super Mario Bros. When I first heard this version, done by Brentalfloss, I was left with both a smile and just a bit emotional. It is a blues rendition with wonderfully fitting lyrics. He even put together a video to go along with it. If you wish to download the track as well as some more information, here is a link to the OCRemix page. So please enjoy The 2-2 Blues:

Next I would like to offer a beautiful and powerful orchestral track set to the various themes from the SNES classic Secret of Mana. This game, and its sequel Seiken Densetsu 3 (which was sadly never released in the states, although there is a great English ROM crack available) are considered the best Action-RPGs on the SNES console, and for good reason. This piece, entitled The Things We Didn't Know by Vampire Hunter Dan lives up to the greatness of the source material and weaves together something that is simply stunning.

While I know I did a remix from Super Metroid for the first of the remixes on my previous article, I soon after came across this remix done by Big Giant Circles that immediately grabbed me. It is a remix of the tracks Opening ~ Destruction of the Space Colony and Theme of Samus Aran - Galactic Warrior entitled The Bounty Of A Brain and is an energetic Electro and Industiral piece that just makes me want to put in the old cartilage and kick some Space Pirate ass.

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Facebook users who think Japan deserved it

In the wake of the worst earthquake in Japan since the country officially began taking records over 140 years ago and the subsequent tsunami that has left a death toll of over 1,000 with more certainly to come due to the devastation, some Facebook users have decided that the havoc that Japan has received is justified. Why would anyone believe such a vile thing? How could anyone think such devastation and massive loss of life would be deserved?

The answer sadly comes from my own country. An increasing number of users are claiming that the damage endured to innocent people is some sort of divine retribution against the people of Japan for the attack on Pearl Harbor. Take that in for a minute, people who have only heard about this event in history class and through a bad movie believe that so much death is somehow justified because of an event that took place 70 years ago.

This is disgusting. These people are vile and some of the worst examples of stupidity, nationalism and even theism. Theism because so many are invoking their god as the source of these events. As for some reason, god only loves America. This was brought to my attention by a link provided by Pharyngula. The link provides a collage of various posts by Facebook users who are espousing this vile and baseless claim. As P.Z. Myers stated, "Don't click on this compilation of facebook entries unless you're one of those cynical people who already has low expectation of the worst of Americans."

While I do not know any of these people and hope I never do, I would like to offer what apologies I can to the Japanese people on behalf of these disgusting examples of failed sentience.
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