Monthly Archives: August 2004

Something to think about

If you read the story on abuse of immigrants in America below, you may also want to read this interview on how the INS routinely imprisons and tortures people inside US borders. If you are a foreigner visiting America, or even worse, a foreigner dating an American, or someone doing business with US companies, you need to be aware of these issues — most of the people in these torture prisons (200,000 people a year) have committed only the most minor of visa violations… in many cases accidentally, since the average visitor or potential emigree doesn't have an indepth knowledge of immigration law (who does but the lawyers)? It's also important to read because it illustrates in clear terms that the “evil” in the system goes right to the top and that the system will do everything it can to keep it alive, and keep it secret.

Government is not your servant, and it is most definitely not your friend.

And, when it comes right down to it, it's quite likely not even yours.

Well, democracy was a stupid idea anyway, right?

BMEZINE suspension rig

I've got a ton of programming to do today, but before my image-update morning injection of six espressos I've been playing with the software over at emachineshop. For those that haven't seen it mentioned in various blogs, it's CAD/CAM software that lets you design stuff on your home PC, and then farms it out to machine shops around the world. So basically if you can imagine it, you can have it made with minimal effort (and not a bad price either).

For example, the stainless steel suspension rig above with full chamfering and buffing, would cost me about $50 to have made in a quantity of ten. I don't have any plans to make those though before you ask — it's a blatant knockoff of the autoclavable suspension rigs designed (and as far as I know invented) by Ron Garza… But the software is really neat, if you've ever done any machining or played with CAD software (or wanted to build a robot), check it out.

I'm going to the zoo

The general trend of the second story is what makes the general trend of the first story possible.

"There is a little gulag in New York City. And it is nothing to be proud of ... The situation of the people inside the privately run immigration maximum-security jail is so hopeless that on Monday, 175 of the imprisoned men resorted to a desperate measure: They went on a hunger strike. The misfortune of these immigrants and their families is just one more opportunity for big profits for Wackenhut, the private corporation running the jail under contract with the federal government."

"More than half of Americans continue to believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or a program to develop them before the United States invaded last year. Evidence of such weapons has not been found. Half believe Iraq was either closely linked with al-Qaida before the war or was directly involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on this country."


You should design a shirt

I've been playing with the photos that Rachel took at the Montreal convention to get better practised with doing silkscreening separations with full colour photos. This isn't a real shirt, but this is what I'm talking about if you're wondering (similar to the BMEfest shirts).

I just wanted to remind everyone here (especially tattoo artists and other artists) that we're always open to shirt submissions — if you've got an idea/design, just email it to Ryan and Corrie at BMEshop or post it on your IAM page and send them the link (or post it in the BMEshop forum).

Anyway, my (partial) to-do list for today:

  • BME/extreme newsletter and update for posting today
  • Experience update for posting today
  • Purge pending BME cover images file and post today
  • Prep video interview with Bena for posting tomorrow (c/o Allen)
  • Prep articles by Samantha and The Lizardman for posting tomorrow or the next day

There's a lot more on the list than that, but that's my “must do re: BME” subset of it.

Work hard

The shirts below should be in BMEshop some time in the next few days if not later today. I quite like them as a two-color design… UPDATE: Now in stock

Let's see… Other than that Rachel and I have developed another little group of “anti-fans”. I find that so strange — while I understand that we're “microstars” (as WIRED magazine put it), it's not as if we're all that special. It just seems an odd thing to obsess over us like that. Kind of pathetic in general terms, but I suppose it's flattering in a perverse sort of way that someone would devote so much time and energy to thinking about us and — since many of their statements have no basis in reality — fantasizing about us.

Oh, and here's a scary statistic from an article I'm working on right now: 40% of university students admit to regularly plagiarizing. Maybe I'm confused because I only wanted knowledge and excellence, not a degree, in my own university studies, but given how expensive amd time-consuming it is to go to university, you'd think people would put in the effort to actually make something of it…

Here's the fucked up balance: since grading is now 60% effort (so you can literally fail every test of aptitude but still graduate with a passing grade if you “tried”), the smart but lazy students cheat, and the stupid but hardworking students are given a pass for effort. Only a tiny, tiny, percentage of extremely high performing students rise to the “real” top, and that's the goal: stratification.