My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Global Warming 'Argument'

Now that Al Gore's movie and book An Inconvenient Truth is out, I've been seeing more and more questions questioning the science of Global Warming. So I thought a little background with some references is needed for those of you naysayers and undecided.

Global warming is the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans in recent decades. ( It is mostly man-made and comes from everything from factories to cars. Every single real scientific study links global warming directly to humans. (

It's only certain political figures that don't want to change things for reasons easily guessable. That is why the whole developed world signed that Kyoto Treaty and why every single developed country is working to reduce their polluting of the air, water, and land.

See the new Gore movie; it has the backing of the scientific community AND GOVERNMENTAL POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS:

Scientific community:

Government Organizations:

NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) on why Peer-Reviewed Journals are the only real scientific studies to be believed:

The EPA's site for KIDS:

From NASA:

The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program is an important part of the U.S. Department of Energy's strategy to understand global climate change:


Seriously, have you ever noticed that people who don’t believe in the fact that humans created this problem offer no real evidence what-so-ever? That is exactly what is holding us back in taking real steps in fixing this very easily fixable problem. All people like this due is try to poke holes in something that is already rock-solid in ALL REAL SCIENTIFIC (GOVERNMENT) COMMUNITIES. Hollywood, Gore, or anyone else did not make this up. It is our own government organizations, working separately, that have all come to the same conclusion. The people who don't believe offer nothing but opinions and fake studies done by non-governmental - or none-peer reviews - organizations.

It is a real problem that can be fixed with easy measures. Who are you going to believe, the scientists or the politicians?

Entry for June 30, 2006

Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t smoke pot, but I think 311 is as to rock as a nap and a cold glass of water are to a Friday night. They’re played relentlessly on radio and every time I hear them I think to myself that I can’t be the only one completely bored by this band. They are the Hootie and the Blowfish to alternative music. But then again, maybe if I smoked pot...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

But they said it was all about morals!?!?!

There is nothing dumber in this world then a lower-middle to middle class Republican.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wired for Distraction by William Kanapaux

If it turned out that an everyday household item was capable of creating permanent changes in the brains of infants and toddlers, would you keep it or toss it? What if you felt you couldn’t live without it?

A study appearing in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics has said what many have probably suspected for some time now: that TV is essentially rewiring young brains. The flashing of images, the cutting back and forth, the commercial breaks all appear to structure the developing brain so that it looks for and expects rapid-fire patterns.

The study found that for every hour of TV that children from ages 1 to 3 watched, the odds of having attention problems later in life increased by 10 percent. About 50 percent of toddlers watch three or more hours of TV a day, meaning that they have at least a 30 percent greater chance of suffering from attention deficit disorders at age 7 than do toddlers who watch no TV.
Because the human brain continues to develop throughout the early years, the neurological changes that occur from being exposed to this barrage of stimuli are thought to be permanent. By artificial means, the child’s brain is rewired to expect a higher threshold of stimulation than a book or classroom could possibly deliver.

The problem seems to have grown over the last 10 years, as computer technology has allowed for greater manipulation of visual images.

But what about those of us who may have escaped childhood relatively unscathed, at least by today’s standards? Are we being rewired, too, at some level? Have we lost our ability to concentrate?

The changes to television haven’t occurred in a vacuum but have developed alongside other advances in personal-entertainment and communication devices, and it’s difficult to imagine that our media-saturated, gadget-oriented world hasn’t hurt our ability to concentrate and interact meaningfully with our surroundings.

Consider the computer: Computers are often held up as the antidote to television. Yes, they both involve staring into a screen, but TV is a passive form of entertainment while the computer is based on interactivity. We click, we surf, we view, we send. The user is in control of the experience.

But that experience also encourages quick bursts of attention and the search for novelty. A user might have four or more windows opened at once—clicking back and forth among them while also writing a document (say, a technology column), checking e-mails and playing a computer game for a quick distraction from the other distractions.

Unfortunately, multi-tasking doesn’t work all that well, as anyone who’s ever tried to talk on the phone while playing solitaire can attest. That’s a skill better left to computers, which can enhance their efficiency by squeezing out every possible nanosecond from their CPU when necessary.

Human brains don’t function on binary code. Bits of information and trains of thought get lost as the mind skips from one point to the next, never quite able to focus on any given one. Long-term focus gets lost in a haze of half-formed thoughts.

And that’s the kind of world we’re encouraged to live in. Even a 30-minute trip to the local lube shop for an oil change is hardly a respite. Most often a TV blares in the corner. And with any luck, one of the news channels will be playing—its ticker tape, scroll bar and other text and graphics competing with the talking heads for screen space and the viewer’s attention.

The overall effect is one of distraction and insulation from the people around us. This effect can also be seen with game consoles such as X-Box and PS2, which demand complete attention through a steady barrage of sights and sounds. Even when other people are involved, the main interaction and focus of attention is with the machine that delivers the medium.

This effect doesn’t stop with TVs and computers. MP3 players offer the user thousands of music files to choose from. A person can block out large portions of the outside world with a never-ending stream of music with no fear that reality will creep in during a change of cassette or CD. The real world simply becomes visual imagery for the sounds and rhythms delivered to the brain.

Cell phones and wireless Internet create even more opportunities to distract and insulate us from the world that surrounds us. A trip to the coffee shop becomes a caffeinated Internet session with slightly different scenery.

So where does it leave us, other than distracted and unable to concentrate?

It’s fairly clear that our minds are quite capable of grasping new technology and using it to our advantage. But has anything really changed? We are, after all, the product of billions of years’ worth of evolution. But because of our technical prowess, we’re also as close as we’ve ever been to making our planet uninhabitable.

Global problems are complex and require a high level of attention to solve. But if as a society we are trained to seek out distraction, we are far more likely to insulate ourselves with endless entertainment than we are to engage in the difficult and daunting task of solving the world’s problems.

At the same time, those who control the source of our distractions, namely the media conglomerates and the political leaders they support, will hold greater control over a populace that demands to be entertained and wants its “information” in digestible bits. This creates a situation where a large portion of the population is ripe for manipulation, whether it be for political gain, financial gain or both.

And yet this manipulation can seem all but invisible to the one on the receiving end. Take computer games, for instance. Does a person ever control the game or does the game control the person? A person can master the game, but only because that person has mastered the rules of the game, and that game has a developer who created the rules.

This is not to say that technology in itself is bad. But if it has the power to shape our brains and our lives, then it needs to be approached with a certain level of caution. We are already undergoing an evolution of sorts. In many ways, technology has primed us for change. We think, perceive and react differently than the generations who have come before us.

But the question becomes, to what end? And do we really want to send the next generation of children headlong into that world if we’re not even sure what’s in store?

It’s enough to make you want to kill your television, if you could only remember why.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Mango Steak

Mango Steak

2 8-12 oz steaks
½ cup minced onion
4 cups diced ripe mango
½ cup chopped cilantro
1½ cup diced red bell pepper
4 tablespoons French ginger
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh limejuice


1. Combine all ingredients (except steak) into a large ziplock bag.
2. Add steak to bag, remove as much air from bag as possible, and let marinade in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning the bag over at the 15 minute mark.
3. Remove steak and grill to liking (please don’t cook your steak past medium – that’s just wrong).
4. Cook marinade until it reaches 140 degrees and immediately move it to a separate serving dish.
5. Serve steak on top of ladled cooked marinade

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Fun quotes I found this week...

These seemed to have some baring on life today:

"Remember always that all of us...are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
– Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."
– President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1952

Also, I’ve been reading John Adams by David McCullough and this quote really struck me as wonderful:

"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."
– John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, 1780

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Entry for June 11, 2006

I have a theory that Rod Stewart was created in a lab by scientists who wanted something to listen to as they rode the elevator down to their labs.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk

There are three kinds of people in this world. I know you’ve heard that before. Everyone has their “three or two types of people,” or their four or five… But there are three, and the models for these types come neither from psychology nor ancient religion. They come from Columbia Studios and they are archetypally embodied in The Three Stooges.

The Stooges unwittingly – of course – left us a rich legacy of deft interpretations of the most primal human behavior patterns. Their short films, seen as a whole, form a tapestry in which the interactions of people as individuals, corporations, and nations are distilled into a microcosm, a pure essence of existential folly.

There are but a small percentage of Moes in any given population: perhaps five percent. There are even fewer Curlys. The vast bulk of humanity are Larrys (thought represented by male characters, the three also apply to women).

The Moe Personality
Moe is the active personality, and if not always dominant, always striving to be. Moe is the one who spurs the others into action. He devises plans to better their lot, but when his plans fail the other two suffer the consequences. But is Moe any less the fool because they follow his plans?

He is a natural manipulator, only partially because the others are waiting to be manipulated. He would want to manipulate them anyway, even if they weren’t so willing.

The Larry Personality
Larry is a born follower, a blank slate that only reacts (and slowly at that) to external stimuli. He never initiates action. He is Moe’s absolute tool, the truest “stooge”. When Moe’s abuse finally does make him angry he lashes out not at Moe, but at Curly. No matter how he suffers under Moe’s yoke he never really rebels. He argues, but gives up easily.

Were it not for the presence of his friends, Larry probably would live in peace – a dull, flat, mechanical person. Though clumsy, he is till the most employable of the three – for the other two are incapable following orders, although for different reasons.

The Curly Personality
Curly is the only likeable one, a truly rare human model. He is the holy man, the Divine Fool. He is as creative and active as Moe – but it is a spontaneous and joyous kind of creativity, no fool for the kind of plotting and scheming required by a Moe-dominated society. He is a free spirit, but correspondingly unable to function well in a world of Moes and Larrys. He, like Larry, is perpetually abused, but he intuitively understands what is happening to him and reacts far more angrily – if equally ineffectually. He is everyone’s favorite Stooge because he is the funniest; though his innate nobility and natural humility he constantly best Moe, but it is in an unconscious way and it is only apparent to the outside observer. Curly himself is hardly aware of his talents; his weakness is that he does not know his own strength and cannot trust his own luck.

In real life Culrys are usually branded by the Moes and Larrys around them as retarded, schizophrenic, maladjusted, OCD, or just plain stupid…. .whereas, in reality it is only Curly who understands the truth. Remaining cheerful through adversity, he wins battles not by fighting, but by “accidentally” unleashing “accidents” in which his enemies injure themselves.

Stooge Co-Existence
Alien to feelings of avarice or ambition, Curly is the opposite of Moe. Yet the two are drawn together by some inexplicable balancing force of nature. The Larry, are ever the in-betweeners, slug-like nonentities caught in the crossfire of cosmic dualities - yet remaining there by some herding instinct that makes being a casualty of the Moe vs. Curly battle preferable to life alone with other Larrys.

Only the existence of the blameless, bovine Larrys makes that of Moe or Curly possible. They are able to maintain their level of glandular brutality and senseless destruction only at the expense of an unquestioning, loyal worker drone whose income partially supports their excesses. Were he not there to diffuse Moe’s anger by becoming another recipient of his blows, Curly would have been killed long ago and Moe would have committed suicide out of loneliness.

The horror of it all is that the three types need each other to survive. Of all nature’s cycles of parasitic symbiosis, the one involving the three human types is the most nightmarish. It rages around us all the time spreading death and madness, yet when we see it on the screen we call it “comedy”.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I hate Jimmy Buffett

Having lived for a couple of years on a small Caribbean island, like the ones loosely described in many of Jimmy Buffett’s songs, I have really grown to despise his music and now see it for what it is: It’s music for wannabe tourists that reeks of coconut-burnt skin and blue socks with sandals while swaying off rhythm to phony island beats played by people who hate their guts and despise the day that they ever decided that they ever wanted American dollars. It’s music for people who have no idea what happens on an island once the cruise ship leaves – who pretend that they long for the sea and a cold beer, but arrive on floating palaces and suck down $7 cocktails. It is everything that island music is not: fake, soulless and paraded for those who will no participate and add to the rhythm. So please, don’t try to play me Jimmy Buffett songs and pretend that you know – because you have no fucking clue.