Racing Towards Insanity

In “That Which Does Not Kill Me Makes Me Stranger“, we find a cyclist who goes insane every time he races:

The craziness is methodical, however, and Robic and his crew know its pattern by heart. Around Day 2 of a typical weeklong race, his speech goes staccato. By Day 3, he is belligerent and sometimes paranoid. His short-term memory vanishes, and he weeps uncontrollably. The last days are marked by hallucinations: bears, wolves and aliens prowl the roadside; asphalt cracks rearrange themselves into coded messages. Occasionally, Robic leaps from his bike to square off with shadowy figures that turn out to be mailboxes. In a 2004 race, he turned to see himself pursued by a howling band of black-bearded men on horseback.

(via @colinmeloy)

Overton Window

The Overton window is a concept in political theory, named after its originator, Joe Overton, former vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. It describes a “window” in the range of public reactions to ideas in public discourse, in a spectrum of all possible options on an issue.

Overton described a method for moving that window, thereby including previously excluded ideas, while excluding previously acceptable ideas. The technique relies on people promoting ideas even less acceptable than the previous “outer fringe” ideas. That makes those old fringe ideas look less extreme, and thereby acceptable. The idea is that priming the public with fringe ideas intended to be and remain unacceptable, will make the real target ideas seem more acceptable by comparison.


Wakaresaseya (literally “breaker-uppers”) is the nomenclature or slang for Japanese businesses that specialize in drawing an individual into an affair. Though most often used to gather evidence of infidelity for use in a divorce case, it may also be used for purposes ranging from bringing shame to someone or securing a resignation of an employee. Employees of these companies pose as strangers who happen to meet the target, and then become involved in an affair. In 2005, there were around twelve such companies in Japan, but has grown since with companies offering services through the internet.

(via WikiPedia)

Those Crazy Dancin’ iPod Silhouettes

I’ve just learned a fascinating bit of trivia about those ubiquitous iPod commercials… apparently one guy does a lot of the dancing, even if the figures don’t necessarily look like him. All of the tall, skinny dancers with a particularly rubbery dancing style are David Elsewhere, possibly with someone else’s head superimposed on his body.

ABC News did a little story about him:

I had never actually seen the original Kollaboration video, but I highly recommend watching the full thing. My mind has been blown a full six years later. It’s kind of amazing that this guy has built a career of sorts out of a YouTube video.


A couple of things. First, “here’s a gallery of photos from the trip”:

As for my stories about the trip… soon, soon, I promise. I’m still recuperating from all of it. I’ve got a nice detailed travologue in my head coming to a blog near you very soon. In the meantime, “one of my lovely hosts has some more pictures and a bit of a recap”: on her site.



(Be careful, that last one might give you nightmares.)

Not So Bad, But Not So Good

fal·low (făl’ō)


1. Plowed but left unseeded during a growing season: fallow farmland.
*2. Characterized by inactivity: a fallow gold market.*


1. Land left unseeded during a growing season.
2. The act of plowing land and leaving it unseeded.
3. The condition or period of being unseeded.

tr.v., -lowed, -low·ing, -lows.

1. To plow (land) without seeding it afterward.
2. To plow and till (land), especially to eradicate or reduce weeds.

I should also mention “the electric sheep screen-saver”:


Who wouldn’t want a screen-saver that looked like that?

wait, so… is this supposed to make me buy more perishables?

Tonight I had the rather odd experience of going to HEB and hearing “Lost in the Supermarket” by The Clash over the in-store speakers. If you’re not familiar with the song, here’s a pertinent lyrical sample:

bq{font-style: italic;}.. I’m all lost in the supermarket
I can no longer shop happily
I came in here for that special offer
A guaranteed personality

uqusnrae dcnae

Aoccdrnig to rsareech at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm.Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

check out “the scramblizer”:

aw, what the hell is that clown doing?

so here i was, trying to nudge google into coughing up some more information about the “matriarch/patriarch/craftsman/clown” set of archetypes that i sort of touched on last week – i was made curious by this because i was looking in the webstats, and someone else out there was searching for this, and i wondered if there was more information about it.

so i punched in “matriarch archetype” and “craftsman archetype” and finally “clown archetype”, and what does it come up with, but this: (and how could i resist, in my horror?)

in the interest of combating any unfortunate trauma you may now be having due to that little image up there, i offer the following:

more scientology

thanks to a visitor who found this page on google, i’ve been given an interesting link detailing “beck’s history with scientology”: scary stuff.

*EDIT:* I just checked, for curiosity’s sake, and i’m on the fifth page of the google search results because of my entry. not bad, considering i’m just writing whatever i want.


# Entertainment Weekly named The Grey Album as “Album of the Year” (“More…”:,6115,1009259_4_0_,00.html)
# I downloaded a cool doohickey called “Konfabulator”: for my Mac. Mark says it’s “so two years ago,” but I’m hooked.
# I’ve seen a ridiculous number of movies in theatres recently:
** Closer – 4/5 : Natalie Portman really is a good actress
** Kinsey – 5/5 : It’s amazing to think how differently people viewed sex just 50 years ago…
** Life Aquatic – 3/5 : I liked it, and yet it was my least favorite Wes Anderson movie.
** Lemony Snicket – 4/5 : Jim Carrey is both wild and a good actor in this movie, although he never grates or spends too much time onscreen.
# Oh, I forgot! What do you get when you cross The Beatles with the Beastie Boys? “The Beastles”:

Structured Procrastination

Good article, found on “John Perry’s website”:

bq. “Procrastinators often follow exactly the wrong tack. They try to minimize their commitments, assuming that if they have only a few things to do, they will quit procrastinating and get them done. But this goes contrary to the basic nature of the procrastinator and destroys his most important source of motivation. The few tasks on his list will be by definition the most important, and the only way to avoid doing them will be to do nothing. This is a way to become a couch potato, not an effective human being.”

Churchill’s Parrot

From “The Mirror”:—-THE-NAZIS–SAYS-CHURCHILL-S-PARROT-name_page.html

SHE WAS at Winston Churchill’s side during Britain’s darkest hour. And now Charlie the parrot is 104 years old…and still cursing the Nazis.

Her favourite sayings were “F*** Hitler” and “F*** the Nazis”. And even today, 39 years after the great man’s death, she can still be coaxed into repeating them with that unmistakable Churchillian inflection.

Many an admiral or peer of the realm was shocked by the tirade from the bird’s cage during crisis meetings with the PM.

But it always brought a smile to the war leader’s face.

Churchill bought Charlie – giving him a boy’s name despite the fact she was female – in 1937.

She took pride of place in a bizarre menagerie of pets including lambs, pigs, cattle, swans and, at one point, a leopard.

He immediately began to teach her to swear – particularly in company – and she is keeping up the tradition today.

The blue and gold macaw is believed to be Britain’s oldest bird.

The title was previously thought to belong to 80-year-old Cokky the cockatoo.

But it can be proved Charlie is at least 104 and was born in the 19th century.

Peter Oram bought her for his pet shop after Churchill died in 1965. But he was forced to move her into his home after she kept swearing at children.

For the last 12 years, she has lived at Mr Oram’s garden centre in Reigate, Surrey.

Centre worker Sylvia Martin said: “If truth be told, Charlie is looking a little scruffy but she is very popular with the public. We are all very attached to her.”

James Humes, an expert on the late PM, said: “Churchill may no longer be with us but that spirit and those words of defiance and resolve continue.”

Fun With Wireless

So, purely by accident, I have run accross someone’s wireless network. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me until now to look for such a thing, but I have found it, and with a little help from and, i managed to figure out that my unwitting benefactor has Road Runner, so I did a little research, and… wa-la! I’m currently briskly downloading the newsgroup listing. This is especially nice because my roommate is currently downloading Sims 2 on Shareaza and is pretty successfully hosing our connection and giving me something like an alloted 3k/sec. Solution? Piggyback on someone else’s connection! Hooray!

I’m pretty proud of myself today. Besides the wireless, I was pretty productive. I wrote four pages of script for daniel, longhand (which is the most i’ve written in… four months?) and i also managed to figure out some pretty nifty stuff for my project for work (i know it doesn’t look like much, but look a little bit closer at the image in the center. it was generated by an asp script. i was proud of myself when i figured that out.) Working from home is soooo nice, by the way. It feels like I have so much more time. I think it also helps that I don’t have to worry about the hideous drive home anymore. Those 25 miles really take it out of me.

Anyways, I’m going to go browse someone else’s roadrunner connection. Toodles!

Sleepless Night

After I got home from work, I fell asleep until midnight. Accordingly, I have been awake ever since. To fill up my time, I watched the first three episodes of Nip/Tuck, which was fucking great. I really enjoy watching television shows on DVD, especially the really good ones. If you find yourself a well-made TV show on DVD, it’s like watching the coolest, most involving movie, simply because you have so much time to get caught up in the characters and the evolving plotlines…