Monthly Archives: September 2002

500 HP Beetle?

I know there are some other car nuts here, so I thought I'd share these photos I just got sent. I have a somewhat similar set up in a car I once owned, so he thought I'd find his project interesting. Basically he's squeezed a 455 Olds V8 on a Toronado transmission into the back of a VW Beetle (which I hear is an uncomfortable place). Anyway, check it out:

Big

Got the ModCon DVD all done (fully indexed/menu'd and I think over two hours long in all) and it looks great. Still chugging along on the BME update; I came across an image that I wanted to show here though because it's too blurry to include in the update (hopefully they send clearer photos). Anyway, I think that this is the largest cartilage piercing I've seen:

Scrapbook update

I'm getting so many wonderful submissions for the scrapbook. I've pushed the submissions deadline back to November, which will mean the book will be actually available in late November (whirlwind publishing). Some people are a little confused still as to what is appropriate for submissions, so I wanted to show just a few of the submissions that have come in so you can see.

All of the above — and TONS more — will be in the book. As far as text, “anything that you want to say” is what is acceptable. For example, people have submitted:

  • Excerpts from their PhD thesis
  • Poetry
  • Essays and articles
  • Short thoughts and quotes
  • Stories
  • Screen captures of moments in chat and forums
  • Source code

Honestly, anything that you feel is representative of you and/or this community is what we need. The purpose is to preserve a “snapshot” of who we are today, so that we, and others I suppose, will be able to look back in 20 years and remember.

Please send any submissions to
scraps@bmezine.com

Cavemen II and more

A few people have pointed out that a number of the points in the previous entry are really grasping at straws. Yes, I have to agree — it's one of those “many experts agree” type stories, where you could also write, “many experts disagree”. So I wanted to expand on a few things.

Homo erectus (stop giggling please) is first seen about 1.6 million years ago (all of these numbers I'm listing could be responded to with “depends on who's numbers you believe” — we really don't have even close to exact figures), with Homo antecessor appearing about 800,000 years later, and then about 100,000 years after that, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis arrives. There is still debate as to how much lineage we (Homo sapiens sapiens, who don't appear in the fossil record until about 300,000 years ago, or perhaps as recently as only 130,000 years ago) share with Neanderthals, and many scientists believe the difference between Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens sapiens is more of a racial difference than a separate species or evolutionary branch.

There is certainly little doubt that humans (as in us) and Neanderthal man lived together for upwards of 40,000 years, and considering their comparable abilities and cultures, probably communicated, traded, and had relations. We have a very small fossil record of what appears to be hybrid humans from about 25,00 years ago, but to be honest, there isn't much conclusive proof as to what happened to the Neanderthals. Personally I think it was a combination of extinction, assimilation, and interbreeding. Others believe anything from simple obsolesce to warfare to Neanderthal man leaving the planet to live with aliens.

It was originally believed that Homo sapiens sapiens was “different” from earlier hominids because of our vocal tract, allowing sophisticated speech. Problem is, Neanderthals also had complex hyoid bones and would have been equally capable of speech. Some scientists have suggested that the true distinction was the invention of ego — the concept of “I”, which is believed not to have existed prior to Homo sapiens sapiens, at least not to the same extent, and is what caused them to conquer the planet.

People underestimate “cavemen” though. We know that man conquered fire well over a million years ago, and it appears that we used mass fires as a part of our hunting techniques during that time period. Neanderthal man buried their dead, and made drums and cups and bowls out of human skulls. I think it's safe to say that the general consensus that it is actually Neanderthal man that is responsible for the cultural awareness of life and death and it is them that originated spirituality and religion (if that's a good thing).

Anyway, I'm kind of rambling. I should provide at least a link to a red hair story in its original context. Of course, if you want to get real goofy, read this (it's from a game, not science, but it's kind of fun).


Anyway, I'm burning a final copy of the BBQ DVD — I had to remaster it because I had some problem with intermixing 1.2 and 1.0 pixel aspect ratio footage so I had to scale it horizontally by 83.3% to make it look right. On the VCD stuff, there are a few artifacts from things like re-rendering 24 FPS footage onto 29.97 FPS media, but I think it's a good DVD — the entire thing is about an hour and forty-five minutes long.

We're just waiting on some screened blank media, and then I have at least four DVDs ready to go:

  • The BME BBQ DVD, containing widescreen versions of the last two BBQs, as well as webrenders of every BBQ since July 1, 2001.
  • JMEAT, containing the original JMEAT video (urethral play, meatotomy procedure, subincision), as well as a bonus of the original FRNX video (urethral play and sex through stretched piercings).
  • EREBLI III, containing, well, you know!
  • ModCon, containing procedural videos from multiple years of ModCon (I think about two hours of footage in all).

Those will probably start to become available publicly in two weeks, but that's sort of a guess. They're ready to go, it's just the duplication that's an issue now.


In the news, even though Bush had to admit that there was no such report, that he told the UN anyway that if Iraq didn't disarm, they'd be forced to attack, based on a that [known as false] report claiming there was a nuclear buildup starting. The FBI who originally claimed that they didn't know about 9/11, and then had to admit that they messed up, is now in even deeper hot water: not only did they know about the attacks, but they actually had an informant living with two of the hijackers.

Fact: The US government and big businesses in the US have profitted greatly from the attacks.
Fact: The US government KNEW about the attacks.
Fact: The US government actively stopped agents from stopping or investigating the attacks.

Scary stuff… This isn't a war on terror. This is a class war. This is a war started by the upper classes (using religious fanatics as tools and scapegoats) to smash down the middle classes who are getting too wealthy and are beginning to threaten their power structure.

Of course, if you're to believe some people (and I have to admit I'm looking forward to his new book), this is actually a race war — a race war not between black and white or anything so childish, but a race war between us humans and a reptilian alien race (ever seen “They Live”?).

Can you tell yet that I'm killing time while I wait for this DVD burn to complete?

Caveman

I've always been interested in ancient history, but there are two little tidbits I wanted to mention today. The Aborigine culture dates back to about 50,000 BC — it is literally the oldest coherent culture on the planet. I had the pleasure of talking to newaddict for some time about it before the BBQ, and he told me horror stories akin to how both Canada and the US (and Japan and practically every other nation) have abused their indigenous cultures.

I realized something scary — Western culture is at best five thousand years old, but more realistically has no more than three thousand years of history. Aborigine culture is literally ten or more times as old as we are — absolutely ancient in comparison. Problem is, probably in part because they are nomadic cultures, they have a largely oral history (most indigenous people were only “given” written language within the last hundred years). The scary realization is that if we disrupt their culture through our “gifts” of reservations, alcohol, and small pox, if we destabilize only a couple generations, we literally wipe out fifty thousand years of history.

It would all be gone.

Scary.

Anyway, I'm also reading Before Civilization (“The Radiocarbon Revolution and Prehistoric Europe”) by Colin Renfrew (not Wilson!) right now, which covers both the various sciences of dating, as well as covering the movement of peoples and technologies across Europe and the Near East. We see farming colonies and cities (well, more like large fortified villages) popping up in the Near East at about 6000 BC, and then moving up through Europe up until about 2500 BC when they reached Scotland and England.

Here's the kicker: Stonehenge and the other large stone structures in Europe date often to several thousand years prior to the arrival of homo sapiens from the southeast. Now, when Colin Renfrew wrote this book, it was widely accepted that tens of thousands of years ago homo sapiens sapiens moved into Europe and literally killed off Neanderthal man, who we believed had not moved past the paleolithic stage. (So he didn't really draw any conclusions as to who built these structures.)

Now though we know that in fact Neanderthal man was never actually wiped out, but in fact still lives primarily in Scotland and all over the world — we didn't kill them all, we interbred with them (judging by man's known history, I suspect through rape by warrior and similarly brutal methods), and those of Scottish descent as well as those who have red hair (which has been conclusively linked to Neanderthal genetics) are literally “a different breed of human” — Neanderthal man.

With that in mind, I think that the most likely explanation for the dating of these structures is that Neanderthal man achieved a far higher level of civilization than we ever imagined, and is responsible for their construction. Seriously, I get excited enough thinking about lost civilizations that constructed massive markers — I get even more excited when I realize that they were not built by humans in the sense of homo sapiens sapiens, and that the descendents of these builders still quietly walk among us!

Maybe I'm part Neanderthal too?

I think I'll put that on my next business cards:

Shannon Larratt
Neanderthal and Philanthropist