March 30, 2008

The first time you do something, you’re a scientist. The second time, you’re an engineer. The third time, you’re just a technician. I’m want to be a scientist.

– Clifford Stoll

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March 28, 2008

What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.

— Bob Dylan

This quote reminds me of something I realized while rewatching Good Will Hunting: you don’t need a course to learn something you’re interested in. You don’t need a college education to become an expert at something.

School is just a convenient carrot-and-stick method that leads to knowledge acquisition.

Someday, I’ll grow up and figure out how to do it without the $40,000 a year incentive.

Anti-Emo Riots Break Out Across Mexico

Riot police have taken to the streets of several cities in Mexico to … defend emo kids?

A series of attacks on dyed-hair, eye-makeup-wearing emo kids began in early March when several hundred people went on an emo-beating rampage in Querétaro, a town of 1.5 million about 160 miles north of Mexico City.

The next week, shaggy-haired emo teenagers were harassed again by punks and rockabillys in the capital, prompting police protection and a segment on the TV news. Most recently, a Mexican newspaper reported that metal heads and gangsters have warned Tijuana’s emo kids to stay away from the town’s fair next month.

But the so-called emos are organizing, too. Last week, they demonstrated against the violence, pictured above, and Wednesday some met with police in Mexico City.

– From Wired

You just can’t make some things up.

So sad. The things our generation organizes about. Removing ‘is’ from Facebook’s status. The right to be emo.

May the universe help us all!

[Moritz]
God, I dreamed there was an angel
Who could hear me through the wall
As I cried out-like, in Latin
“This is so not life at all
Help me out-out-of this nightmare”
Then I heard her silver call-
She said: “Just give it time, kid
I come to one and all”

She said: “Give me that hand, please
And the itch you can’t control
Let me teach you how to handle
All the sadness in your soul
Oh, we’ll work that silver magic
Then we’ll aim it at the wall”
She said: “Love may make you blind kid-
But I wouldn’t mind at all”

[All]
It’s the bitch of living
(Bitch, just a bitch)
With nothing but your hand
(Just a bitch, yeah)
Just the bitch of living
As someone you can’t stand

[Georg]
See, each night, it’s like fantastic-
Tossing, turning, without rest
‘Cause my days at the piano
With my teacher and her breasts;
And the music’s like the one thing
I can even get at all
And those breasts!
I mean, God, please
Just let those apples fall

[All]
It’s the bitch of living
(ah, ah, ah)
With nothing going on
(Nothing going on)
Just the bitch of living
Asking: what went wrong?

Do they think we want this?
Oh- who knows?

[Ernst]
See, there’s showering in gym class…

[Hanschen]
Bobby Maler, he’s the best
Looks so nasty in those khakis

[Ernst]
God, my whole life’s like some test

[Otto]
Then there’s Marianna Wheelan
As if she’d return my call

[Hanschen]
It’s like just kiss some ass, man
Then you can screw ’em all

[All]
Alllllllll

[Melchior]
It’s the bitch of living

[All]
It’s the bitch of living

[Melchior]
And living in your head

[All]
In your head
It’s the bitch

[Melchior]
Of living
And sensing God is dead

[All]
It’s the bitch of living

[Melchior]
You watch me-
Just watch me-

[All]
And trying to get ahead

[Melchior]
I’m calling you one day

[All]
It’s the bitch of living
Just getting out of bed

[Melchior]
All will know

[All]
It’s the bitch of living
Living, Living

[Melchior]
All will know

[All]
And getting what you get
It’s the bitch of living

[Melchior]
And knowing this is it

[All]
God, is this it?
This can’t be it
Oh God, what a bitch!

Sky God by Stuart Davis

March 28, 2008

Sky God. This one’s real. My God is revealed when I bend and kneel. I can’t tell you how good that feels.

No more asking questions. I better count my blessings. If I’ve learned one lesson. Why ask Why?

Give it to the Sky God. My head feels fuzzy and it’s all because He’s
doing what He doesn’t ’till it’s what it wasn’t.

You better take a look now at the one true book now. Read it, open hearted Till the clouds are parted.

All the drugs I used to do. All the sex I used to have were only shadows on my path.
Now my heart has been redeemed and my spirit is remade and the world will feel His
righteous wrath and anger. Cuz the end is near. The end is here.

Sky God.

Happy 7500 Day!

March 28, 2008

I don’t remember in what book I read this (it was one by either mathematician or a physicist… or maybe a neuroscientist), but the guy talked about celebrating his 10000 day (you know, like a birthday, but counting in round-days instead of round-years). That got me thinking, so I calculated out when my 7500 day would be, and it turned out to be today!

This is random, sure. And weird. But it does make you think. 7500 days doesn’t look like much, but apparently it’s 20 years, 6 months, and 13 days worth of time. That’s a lot of time. Damn.

And it just happens to turn out to be the day after my Mom’s B-day. What are the odds of that? No, don’t really calculate the odds!

Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well on this, a special day for 0.006% of the worlds population.

Namaste!

PS – The next one (10,000) isn’t until January 31st, 2015. Man, I’ll be 27 then. Crazy stuff!

Not that I expect you to remember. :P

I just finished watching a video given by Craig Venter at TED this February. You can watch it here. It’s well worth the time, in terms of both scientific coolness and peace of mind.

Basically, Dr. Venter explains the process by which he and his lab have been able to synthesize working genomes and implant them into bacteria. Then you have true bioengineering.

Dr. Venter goes on to describe the possibilities in terms of alternative energy / the CO2 crisis. Basically, you could have a bacteria that grabs CO2 directly out of the air and turns it into octane (ie gasoline). Most of all, these bacteria are efficient [apparently much more so than plants]. And all they need is the CO2 and light.

Right there you solve one of the most pressing issues of our time. And this sort of thing isn’t coming in decades… it’s coming in years.

Leave it to the engineers to save our butts once again. I guess someone has to do it!

March 16, 2008

Most of the scientific community considers Shulgin at best a curiosity and at worst a menace. Now, however, near the end of his career, his faith in the potential of psychedelics has at least a chance at vindication. A little more than a month ago, the Food and Drug Administration approved a Harvard Medical School study looking at whether MDMA can alleviate the fear and anxiety of terminal cancer patients. And next month will mark a year since Michael Mithoefer, a psychiatrist in Charleston, S.C., started his study of Ecstasy-assisted therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. At the same time, with somewhat less attention, studies at the Harbor-U.C.L.A. Medical Center and the University of Arizona, Tucson, have focused on the therapeutic potential of psilocybin (the active ingredient in ”magic mushrooms”).

– From Dr. Ecstasy by Drake Bennett

Shulgin wrote the book PiHKL. A fascinating book. If you’re up for throwing away everything you’ve ever known about ‘drugs.’

March 14, 2008

Your Highness, I have no need of this hypothesis.

– Pierre-Simon Laplace, to Napoleon, explaining why his works on celestial mechanics made no mention of God

Weird thought: in the past, novelists / poets / painters / scientists / philosophers were the ‘move stars’ of their day. Maybe that’s why we turn to our movie stars (actors, in this case) for guidance. In the past, we could get real, in depth answers to the big questions, the big issues, whatever. Because, let’s face it, being an author makes you think much more than being an actor. Not that actors don’t think. They just seem much less… self-aware.

But we still go to them (the actors). They’ve become the celebrities of our day. Which fits. Fits with our narcissism and hedonism and other self-indulgences. It fits so amazingly well. But did one cause the other? Who knows.