Monday, February 1, 2010

Cold Unfeeling Robot Heart

This is now a zombie blog. Read this instead.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Die Trying

I got a reviewer's copy of Die Trying by Bo Parfet by promising to write about it on this site, so here it goes. The book is by a man who climbed the "Seven Summits," - the seven highest mountains on each of the seven continents.

Consider the following quote from page 39. "Given the bug-infested locales in which many climbs take place, poop talk is a common means of helping the participants to bond. And in this case, as my stools gradually increased in firmness, so did the morale of our team."

Use this quotation as litmus test for whether or not this book is for you. If you find that sentiment to be well written, funny, and endearing, by all means pick up a copy of Die Trying and enjoy your inspirational tale of human achievement.

If, however, you find that particular quote to be a too gross for reading that does not provide a literary payoff and are even more offended by the syntactical inconsistencies (firm as an adjective for morale?), then I suggest looking elsewhere to fill out your end of summer reading list.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Faberge Egg

Do you ever notice how no matter what you search for on google, the right part of the screen always comes up with an ad that suggests places for you to buy that item, no matter how ridiculous?


Google search for "Faberge Egg":

The resolution on that is shittier than I'd hoped, but you'll notice on the right there is a link from fucking EBAY suggesting I "Bid on Faberge Egg now!"

Seriously Ebay? Seriously?

(Confidential to Snow White: I'm posting more, happy? Try not to get too much work done now...)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Good Idea, Bad Idea

My theory is that kids who grew up watching Animaniacs grew into adults with more awesome sense of humor. The parts of this compilation of the "Good Idea, Bad Idea" sketch are funny enough on their own, but become totally transcendent when viewed all in row.

Also not to be missed: The Mr. Skullhead Show!

"Skullhead Bonyhands has a way with dogs, doesn't he?"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Story Time

I recently heard this story from a veteran of the Vietnam War. It would probably be best not to reveal his identity, so here I'm going to call him Allen.

Allen worked as a medic towards the end of the war. Once the war was technically over, there were still 60,000 men who remained in the military finishing out their service. During this time, Allen worked with the psychiatric unit. As one can imagine, there were a lot of men who were suffering from all sorts of psyciatric problems at the close of the conflict, including hundreds at risk for suicide. Allen was one of only a handful of medics who were assigned to deal with all psychiatric issues, and he and the others were overwhelmed by the number of people seeing them who were suicide risks. There simply was not enough time or resources to treat every patient, and decisions had to be made about who should be referred to the staff psychiatrist, who needed talk therapy, and who really just needed time.

Before I go on, a few words on Valium. Valium was the psychiatric drug of choice at the time, used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and other problems. One reason it was popular with doctors is that it is almost impossible to kill yourself by ODing on it. However, the difference between the amount you have to take to become temporarily comatose is not so high. Because of this, a person trying to kill themselves by taking lots of 35mg pills would pass out before they were able to take enough to OD.

Back to the story. In order to solve their resource allocation problem, Allen and the others needed some kind of triage system to identify which of their patients were at the highest risk. The solution to this problem ended up being Valium. When a man would come in complaining of severe depression or suicidal thoughs, Allen would do his best to talk to him first, saying that things would get easier as time passed, and so on. Then, he would offer a month's worth of Valium, saying that, "Valium is an antidepressant. If you take it every morning, it is going to take some of the edge off of your day and make it easier to cope with the stress you're feeling."

He would go on, saying, "This is a very powerful drug. You have to be careful not to take the entire month's supply of pills at once. If you do, you will go asleep and never wake up."

When the patient left with the pills, Allen would then call the man's commanding officer. He would advise the officer to make sure that the soldier reported for duty as expected every morning at 8:30. If the man did not report, the officer was to send someone to the bunks to check up on him.

What Allen and the others had done was create a way to test how serious a patient was about comitting suicide. If the man just needed a drug to take the edge off and some time, the treatment he prescribed would do the trick. If the patient really was about to take his own life, Allen appeared to offer him an easy, painless way to do it. Go to sleep and never wake up. What the patients didn't know is that they would wake up. If this happened, they were referred to recieve the more serious care they needed.

Was this course of treatment ethical? I doubt any doctor would say yes. But while Allen worked this psych rotation, not one person successfully killed themself.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Covert Phone Pictures: Volume 7

I live a few blocks from the famous Greenwood Cemetery, and as it's a bona fide National Historical Landmark, I recently decided to walk over and check it out. While there, I learned a few things.

1) The place is fucking huge (but pretty!!)
2) I have a bad sense of direction.

The combination of #s 1 and 2 resulted me in getting hopelessly lost. It is not a good strategy to go into a strange, beautiful, creepy place that is literally 478 acres large and wander towards anything that looks interesting. I spent at least 40 minutes thinking that I was going to find my way out just over the next hill. However, all this wandering led to...

3) People build some weird-ass monuments to their dead selves.

Is that bear pooping out that gravestone?!?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Girls I want, according to Cake

GraphJam wouldn't post my submission, so I'm doing it myself:

Suck it, GraphJam.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Something is wrong: A photo essay

Something is amiss with the men of Hollywood. Specifically, in the hair department. The phenomenon began to develop way back in 2004, with the release of National Treasure.

Why yes, I did just come from the wind tunnel. How did you know?

Strange, but as an isolated incident, not overly troubling. Unfortunately, in 2006 the issue gained national attention with the release of The Da Vinci Code.

What the f is this, Tom? The world took note, and wanted answers. Sadly, the epidemic had not yet peaked.

I know Tom, I'm scared too.

The situation intensified in 2007 with the release of National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets.

Oh wow, it really does look worse from the back.

Somehow, this sequel made more money than its predecessor. Cage took this as a cue that his styling choices were working. From there, he took the fad to it's next logical extreme in my new favorite movie, Bangkok Dangerous. What you are about to see is so extreme I will prep you by first showing a partially obstructed shot:

And now, the big reveal...

Breathtaking. This movie holds the dubious honor of being the lowest grossing film to still open at number one. Apparently, that was enough to inspire Christian Slater to jump on board this fad for his new show, My Own Worst Enemy.

He looks conflicted about this choice. As a side note, I want to mention that I've seen this show twice, and I hope it stays on the air forever. Slater plays a guy with sort of a super split personality, where until recently the "normal" personality was totally oblivious to the "superspy" personality. As over-the-top as that sounds, it only scratches the surface of this show's bat shit insanity. Watch it and feel the crazy. I have.

In conclusion, it baffles the mind how all of these actors have made follicular achievements that cannot be found in nature. The hair has bestowed strange gifts on its benefactors, giving them unnatural levels of success in projects that appear on the surface to be career suicide (Did I mention the plot of Bangkok Dangerous?) I predict that the hair will soon seek revenge for these poor choices, J-Horror style.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kate Beaton

Kate Beaton's historical comics are amazing. Plus, Shetland ponies make me laugh-

Read it!

McCain spending freeze: Bad bananas

John McCain wants to institute an "across the board" spending freeze on the federal government if he becomes President. Here's the quote from the most recent debate:

OK, what -- what would I cut? I would have, first of all, across-the-board spending freeze, OK? Some people say that's a hatchet. That's a hatchet, and then I would get out a scalpel, OK?**

Putting aside the fact that he's made so many exceptions to this so-called freeze so far that it barely still qualifies as such, this idea would be disastrous for our ailing economy. McCain has said before that he doesn't understand much about economics, and this proves it.

Everyone's (plausible) fear right now is the United States is plummeting into a deep recession. A government spending freeze would all but guarantee this. Recession is typically defined as two consecutive quarters of of negative GDP growth, and anyone who has taken an introductory course in macroeconomics knows that GDP is a function of consumption (C), investment (I), net exports (NX), and government spending (G).

Data shows that consumption- aka consumer spending- has been falling. The investment portion is largely affected by the real estate markets, and we all know how that's been going lately. I don't know what's going on with net exports these days, but this number is typically negative as the US maintains a large trade deficit with so many countries.

Now lets review: GDP = C+I+NX+G. C and I are down. Way down. And John McCain somehow thinks that it will help our country to cut off a huge chunk of G? If that's not a recipe for negative GDP growth, aka recession, I don't know what is.

In these troubled times, many investors and concerned citizens of the world turn to the coveted "Banana Index" for guidance. I think it's safe to assume that we're approaching a Level 7 in banana confidence.
Let's not allow McCain bring us to Level 8.

**Hatchet, then a scalpel? Isn't that like cutting off your foot and THEN removing the bunion?