Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Hegemony asserts
Have a shower
People starve
Go to work
Guns sell
Eat pizza
Viruses infect
Watch primetime
Injustice occurs
Brush teeth
Remove responsibility
Sweet dreams

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

William Butler Yeats

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Happy Easter!!!

Apparently this is my 'poor taste Easter post.' I chose to use the above picture to get a laugh from all you sickos out there (and a recoil + nervous laugh from everyone else).

Low humour aside, it is important to remember the significance and beauty of what Easter represents. Over two thousand years ago, there was a very special rabbit, named Jebus, which hopped around and spread the messages of peace and love. Many thought a talking rabbit was a strange trick of the gods, and in a way they were right. A small sect realized that Jebus was actually the offspring of a larger more powerful rabbit, and a human female. While that might seem implausible, ask any 'cultured' woman about 'The Rabbit' and she will dispel your doubts.

Anyway, this small sect valued the teachings of Jebus, mainly a lot of "Eat vegatables, don't kill things (like small animals) and hop to others as you would have them hop to you.” Sadly, some didn't like The Rabbit's teachings (and turds), so they decided to persecute and crucify the poor little bunny. Some say this event was foreshadowed when they had bunny ka-bob at what became Jebus' last supper. Of course he was mildly repulsed, but... it tasted good, so what the heck, eh? Anyway, with Bunny Jebus dead, his little carcass was easily carried to a small hole, flung inside, and a medium sized rock placed on top. The rock was of such magnitude (about the size of a soccer ball), that there was no way BJ could have gotten out (if he were still alive, hypothetically). Then a miracle occurred! 3 days after being flung into the hole, the rock was removed and there was no body! Some say that Bunny Jebus actually ascended up to heaven (lots of lettuce and everyone does the bunny-hop). Other, more cynical types think a fox turned over the rock and dragged the corpse away, stripped the fur and ate him. Those skeptics were told they were stupid, killed if possible and the race of the 'reasoned' didn't make a strong come back for about 1800 years. The legend of Bunny Jebus grew and grew. People wrote books about him, told of his wise teachings. His very name brings joy to so many. Ask most what happens when someone utters the name "BJ." I would think at least half of those you ask will mention the great pleasure that comes to mind.

The point of this whole story is that a rabbit that lived 2000 years ago died and came back as a being of chocolate that bred with a histrionic chicken that has an attachment disorder so we have to hide eggs or she will destroy them.

Happy Easter. :)

Friday, March 25, 2005


If everyone's a casualty
Then take your time there ain't no trouble
If the weather's fine and we're fealing crazy
There's always drinks and dancing in the rubble
I'm spinning and you're spinning
The world's spinning and we're laughing
And I'm charming, the devil's charming
And we're ruined but we're still building
And I'm selling and you're counting
The world's stopping but we keep going
And we're ruthless and we're cunning
And I'm heir to it all
And I'm heir to it all
I'm heir to it all

-Matthew Good

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Not the only route to Bliss

Good God! What has happened to rational thought in America? Not that there was that much to being with, but this takes the proverbial cake. I've often been disdainful of postmodernistic theory and moral relativism, not only because it is illogical, but also because its practitioner's lives are necessarily inconsistent with their theories. "Words don't mean anything, now let's talk about that."

The notion of removing 'facts' from the intellectual world is so asinine, so obviously crippling, that its very existence seems to imply that it has already happened. What's next, the courtroom? Then again, considering how litigious the States is, it wouldn't be surprising to remove the little evidence they currently utilize and make all judicious decisions based on sophistic discourse.

I will admit that I could understand how such a bill might be useful in specific situations, but if something is wrong, it is wrong. I don't necessarily mean Wrong, I just mean not in accordance with current total acquired knowledge of the world. It would seem that the empiricism that everyone lives and breathes has lost its rational partner; the result is intellectual detritus that threatens the sanctity of the human rights that have emerged from humanity's quest for knowledge, as well as the quest itself.

Apparently, some Americans have a goal of intensifying their already existent autocatalytic cycle of ignorance.

(unrelated but interesting)

I'm for Dictatorship (if I'm the one dictating)

"Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No-one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all other forms that have been tried."
-Winston Churchill (to the House of Commons, 11th November 1947)

Monday, March 21, 2005


Non sunt in celi
quia fuccant uuiuys of heli

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Slow it down

I love seeing things in slow motion. Love it! My friend Chris came across a page which has numerous videos of various things in slo-mo. I recommend "water drop, close-up, in reverse" and "grape dropped on mouse trap," but they are all pretty cool. My only complaint is that I wish some of the clips were longer, capturing the full phenomenon. Lastly, look at the clock once in a while to get an idea of how fast these things are actually happening.

I just checked "water balloon thrown at face" and it is hilarious and interesting. Well, what are you waiting for? Go watch!


Yeargh, the rumours be true! I have heard tell of fair maidens in this land of "Out." I got me mate and we ventured forth into the great unknown, having a only a metal steed and our meager wits, seeking this land of "Out." The expedition was not without its dangers, but our determinism was rewarded. Not only were there many maidens, the fairness of which be easily debated, but there be great music and ale (yeargh, I mean the liquid blue). I, heretofore, will say to any man, woman or oddly mature child, 'Tis worth it to go "Out."' As for how often be up to you my curious reader, I suggest more than a fortnight but less than a blue moon.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Oh Bucky...

The following is an excerpt (quoted when possible) by Lee Smolin, in Curious Minds, speaking about an event in his childhood.

"Buckminster Fuller, the great visionary architect and inventor of the geodesic dome, who was then in his seventies, would be speaking at a downtown conference." My father suggested I ask Buckminster Fuller to speak at my high school. He actually said yes! "We picked Fuller up and on the drive to the school he showed us that he wore three watches, one set for the time zone he was in yesterday, one for the current day, and one for the time zone he would be in tomorrow. After he was introduced to the assembled high school, Fuller went backstage, got a folding chair, placed it downstage center, put a microphone in each breast pocket, took out his hearing aids, sat down, closed his eyes, and spoke for seven hours."

The absurdity of that presentation made me laugh out loud.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Intentions are not enough

Last night I was watching The National and a story was done examining the aid being given to those affected by the tsunami. Sadly, there are so many aid organizations that unnecessary issues are being created by foreigners and making the act of helping problematical. So many aid organizations are there (~200) and many want to give food to people who need it. Seems good, but because of the number, there is competition for the resources which results in a bidding war and prices being driven up. Wtf!

There also seems to be issues with the utilization of donated money. They actually can't spend it all. Some groups are saying do not donate anymore to tsunami relief. Hmmm... Countries where people are still in need, one would think you could just hire more staff and build a house faster or whatever, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Sigh...

Lastly, though some cities are completely saturated with people are resources, if you go two hours out, there are very few or no groups helping at all. The charities either they don't know about it, don't feel it is a safe, or it is away from news cameras. Publicity = more donations.

I understand that a charity has be a business,
but charity shouldn't be Business.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


(I mainly used the DSM-IV, but also checked some web pages. Here and here)

I recently gave a presentation in which I briefly introduced the topic of Schizophrenia. As I was relatively ignorant before I did some research, I thought I’d share what I learned in case others are in the same place.

Schizophrenia, coined by Bleuler in 1911, literally means ‘splitting of the mind.’ It is largely because of this etymology that the disease is quite misunderstood. Those suffering from Schizophrenia do not have a split personality, nor do they have a dissociative identity disorder. Rather, the term was meant to convey a ‘split’ between the subjective feeling experienced and accompanying thoughts.

As there is no known cause of Schizophrenia, the condition is diagnosed by observing a constellation of symptoms/behaviours that occur for a certain amount of time. The characteristic symptoms span a range of cognitive and emotional dysfunctions. Examples are the areas of perception, inferential thinking, language and communication, affect, behavioural monitoring, fluency and production of thought and speech… and attention.

The symptoms can be divided into two main categories: positive and negative. For the clinically uninitiated like myself, that does not mean good and bad, but an excess or distortion of normal cognitive function and a diminution or loss of normal cognitive functioning, respectively.

Positive symptoms usually consist of delusions, hallucinations and disorganized speech. Negative symptoms usually consist of a restriction in range of emotions (affective flattening), fluency and productivity of speech (alogia), and goal-directed behaviour (avolition).

Diagnostic Criteria
• Characteristic Symptoms (such as those mentioned above, demonstrate 2 for about 1-month)
• Social/Occupational dysfunction (the level of functioning in social, professional or personal functioning is below normal for that individual)
• Duration (There must be continuous signs for at least 6 months)
• Mood Disorder exclusion (making sure it isn’t something else)
• Substance/general exclusion (making sure it isn’t something else)
• Pervasive developmental disorder (making sure it isn’t something else)

Some general facts:
• Prevalence among adults is usually 0.5-1.5%, worldwide.
• Median age of onset is mid-late 20s, but usually develops around late teens to mid 30s. Men onset earlier than woman (18-25 vs. 25-mid30s)
• The later the age of onset, the better the outcome for an individual.
There exists great variability in the course of the disease across suffers. Some may show exacerbations and remissions, others will be chronic.
• Those with Schizophrenia will often have a shorter life expectancy because 10% will successfully commit suicide and at least 20 percent will make an attempt. Additionally, those with Schizophrenia often have substance abuse problems, with over 80% having Nicotine Dependence.

Schizophrenia Subtypes

I just thought I would mention that there are subtypes. (The names indicate the type)
• Catatonic Type
• Disorganized Type
• Paranoid Type
• Undifferentiated Type
• Residual Type

There were two main things that became prominent in my mind while researching Schizophrenia.

(1) Are things in the world continuous or discrete?
Ever since Plato we in the Western world have suffered with the idea of ‘the essential object.’ He proposed that things have an ‘essence:’ a particular quality that defines the object. I think that divisions of reality into discrete variables is very useful as a communicative technique but does little to accurately represent what is important in the world. It leads to silly philosophical questions such as “Would you still be you if your hair was different?” “Are you really you if someone has replace your heart with another’s even if you don’t know about it?” See also any of the Twin Earth stuff.

The notion of what is and what is not a particular medical condition is especially relevant if there is not particular cause. Is it still Schizophrenia if the suffer has only had it for 5 months instead of 6? What about if they show 90 percent of the symptoms but not enough for a full diagnosis? Some think classifiation by subtype should be discontinued in favour of examining the degree of positive and negative symptoms. These are the issues that medial health professionals deal with (and if they aren’t, they should be). Is it a mood disorder with Schizophrenic tendencies or a Schizoaffective disorder that is confounded by medication?

I don’t want to give the impression that designations and classifications don’t matter, because there are actual differences in disorders and those differences are important for treatment. It is just something to keep in mind when making judgments. I chose the word assessments instead of diagnosis, because while the latter connotes the medical field the former allows the average person to be included. The notion of continua is a very important one and is worth your consideration. Making things black and white is a easy (lazy) method of interpreting the world, but you’ll likely find that things won't make as much sense if you don’t adopt the idea of shades of grey.

(2) Beliefs and Reality
In the main diagnostic manual of the medical and psychiatric profession, it made a point to urge caution in the diagnosis of Schizophrenia regarding cultural differences. Basically, one culture’s religious practices are another culture’s delusions. I laughed out loud. I don’t think we should discriminate… call them all delusions. The fact that it is in a manual makes the utter illogicality of some religious practices palpable. I’ll probably write more on this topic another time, but people are generally very inconsistent. Humans live and breathe empiricism, but then deny its power beauty when examining a ‘cognitive plane.’ I have my own ideas, but I want to hear people's thoughts. Why are you so afraid?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

To Ponder:

Be careful what you believe because it's true

Monday, March 14, 2005

The drawing of a drawing that draws itself?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Keep religion out of public life?

Salman Rusdie expresses his thoughts about keeping religion out of public life in today's Toronto Star. You can read the whole article here.

"I never thought of myself as a writer about religion until a religion came after me. Religion was a part of my subject, of course — for a novelist from the Indian subcontinent, how could it not have been? But in my opinion I also had many other, larger, tastier fish to fry.

Nevertheless, when the attack came, I had to confront what was confronting me and to decide what I wanted to stand up for in the face of what so vociferously, repressively and violently stood against me.

Now, 16 years later, religion is coming after us all and, even though most of us probably feel, as I once did, that we have other, more important concerns, we are all going to have to confront the challenge.

If we fail, this particular fish may end up frying us."

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Never Again... Again

Please watch. Contrast can be effective.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Space/time brain processing

This is a little article my mom sent me from the Toronto Star.

Preposition Proposition
The preposition “at,” like many others of its grammatical ilk, can mean different things in different sentences. “I will meet you at the store” has a spatial context, while “I will meet you at 7 p.m.” has a temporal one. Scientists have now discovered that the same word is processed in different parts of the brain to take into account these contextual differences. Scientists tested victims of brain injury and discovered that some could understand a preposition in one context but not the other.

Cool. If you are a materialist, this would actually be entirely consistent with your world view. Yet, it is easy to forget the implications at every level. I can't help but be amused by "Scientists..." Like they are some sneaky bunch of people doing experiments in unknown locations.
Lastly, if you imagine being exposed to this sort of thing numerous times in numerous areas, the materialistic world view makes more and more sense.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Science is cool

1) Rotating face illusion, follow the link, takes 15 seconds

2) Ever heard of mirror neurons? Nova has a great segment evailable on
the web ( click on
'watch segment'). While this is a presentation made for lay people (and
thusly may have some unwarrented extrapolations, I highly recommend it)

God's Choice would be your choice

My last post about the Pope received the comment "Cause people have free will = God won't interfere with people killing people."

I plan to do a longer post on issues related to this but for now I'll just say that the notion that God can be omnipotent AND that people have free will is incoherent. A human could not have 'independent choice' if another being is 'all powerful.'

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Big Hat

Why would the Popemobile need bullet-proof glass? Why would he need any security personnel at all?

(Don't say a demon or something, because God is supposedly all powerful)

Friday, March 04, 2005

The kid in you?

"The conventional wisdom might have it backward. Rather than childhood experiences causing us to be who we are, who we are causes our childhood experiences."
-Steven Pinker, in Curious Minds, page 84.

[While I may not fully agree, all too often the contribution of genetics is overlooked and environmental factors given unrealistic sway. This quotation is to remind that 'nurture' is what releases (and influences) one's 'nature.']

Foxy Black

This is an excerpt from the ranty Lewis Black, on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, discussing the topic of how conservatives are concerned about the increased amount of homosexuality on TV; explicitly referring to the recent Simpsons episode that outed Patty as a lesbian.

"All I can say is that Fox has a pretty good system they’ve cooked up. 10 million people watch the show on the network, Fox, then, 5 million different people tune in to Fox news to get outraged by it! I just hope that those good, God-fearing people at Fox continue to battle those morally bankrupt people at Fox!"

Thursday, March 03, 2005


Came across some cool vids:
Here's some guy who's knees are probably going to be shot.
Here's some guy who has obviously practiced skateboarding, just a bit.
I do admire excellence.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

I have joke...

Found this on One Million Monkeys:

Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to change a light bulb?

A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its condition is improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are illusional spin from the liberal media. Illuminating rooms is hard work. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effort. Why do you hate freedom?

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Follow me here…

The other day I was thinking (rare, I know) and I thought to myself:

If “God created man in his own image,” (Genesis 1:27) and it is known that the greatness of God is vast and incredible, almost beyond human comprehension… then wouldn’t God be swinging some massive pipe?

Think about it! Makes sense, right?