Monthly Archives: February 2005

Clips from Trading Spouses

Thanks to apprentice taiko drummer Techknight for capturing these for me:

Two files are posted; the first is the one you see stills from above, and the second is a somewhat uncomfortable dinner clip — tsclip1.wmv and tsclip2.wmv — both are about four meg Windows Media files. As I understand it the conclusion to this episode airs next Monday, but I'm not inside their domestic broadcast range and they seem to play older episodes down here in Mexico, so I may be mistaken.

PS. Say hello!

I am fueled by BME mirth

Just finished buffering a bit over 3,000 new images for new updates and sent out the memberships and coupons for them… I'm now only six days behind. Tomorrow I'll try and half that number again, and then be fully caught up by Thursday. As soon as the new drive is in (I'm not sure why it didn't happen today), I'll do some nice hefty updates as well, although I'm going to let a little bit of a buffer creep up so that I can keep updating from Africa even if my connectivity or time is strained.

I'm kind of tired so I'm not going to write in detail but I'll mention a few links I've bookmarked in the last few days. ExxonMobil, yet another company making huge profit from war, just posted their income numbers for 2004, listing a whopping $25 billion in net (not gross) profits. Along those lines, a new Pentagon Strike video just got posted (much better than the one that was making the rounds last year) — watch it, have a beer, then another, and ask yourself this question:

Could (and would) a company that makes $25 billion annually — to say nothing of a consortium of such companies — that has deep and high-level government ties commit such an act?

Follow that up with 22 more beer and you might feel better.

Treehugger is reporting on a remarkably ugly but extremely efficient British four-seater car that gets 100mpg and can do 144kph, currently fighting to retain its funding… and how do they get this mileage? They just use a slightly smaller engine, and build the car so it's a little lighter. However, because it's not using any “new and revolutionary” technologies, the government isn't interested. I'm reminded of various RQ Riley projects, and of course the California Commuter kit car which in 1980 was cruising at over 155mpg at highway speeds. Doug Malewicki, the inventor (also known for Robosaurus), is currently working on a car that can drive all the way across the US on a single 25 gallon tank of gas.

Taking extreme efficient travel technology to new heights though is this proposal to sail to Mars on a microwave laser beam — with a total trip time of about a month, and using only a 100m (very small) solar sail. It's not using “traditional” solar sail technology — they're actually using the sail as fuel. I need off this planet, strap me on — I hear Mars is a peaceful place! Well, at least ExxonMobil probably won't kill anyone over this one, since I imagine one of their corporate possessions manufactures the paint.

Anyway, like I said, I'm pretty wiped out, but I just wanted to thank spineshank for the picture above… Light-hearted stuff like that really makes me happy, and glad that this is what I spend my time on.

Have I mentioned I hate academia?

I've been chatting with one of the authors that's scheduled to speak at the Body Modification Conference; he's presenting an academic paper on suspension. I don't think he has bad intentions, but reading over his current draft paper I cringed the whole way through as it was almost exclusively half-truths, misinterpretations, and bizarrely inaccurate claims and assumptions about both modern and pre-modern ritual. Why is it that the longer a person stays in school, the less able they are to write accurately about real life? I'm beginning to think that all academic writers do well is quote each other in some sort of strange “let's add a bunch of letters after our names” circle jerk.

That said, it just makes me want to sponsor volatile or coldcell or another one of those rare academics who actually do get it, but to be honest, given what a deceitful, self-congratulatory, self-indulgent, and simply inaccurate piece of crap last year's event was, I'm not sure I'd want to do anything to help it.

“Suspension is all about the full release massage you get afterwards.”

Other than that I'd like to share this excerpt from a letter I got from a friend. I thought those of you coming to visit might find it interesting and/or useful advice:

The ferry to Mazatlan was wonderful. You two must do it sometime. 120 bucks for a cabin with two bunks, shower, john, fan. Nice resturant on the ship. I smoked pot with some Mexican kids on deck and watched a super sunset over the Sea of Corez while listening to Ranchero songs. In the morning I saw two whales and then the wonderful coastline of Mazatlan.

If you go, once in the port take a pulmonia to La Siesta in old town on Olas Altas. I recommend room 312, but anything on that side and floor is great. If you stay a week ask for a weekly rate. Old town is great, kinda a cross between New Orleans and Key West. Good resturants, the veggie one is called Ambrosia and it's quite good with a long ass menu, located near the Machado. Visit the market downtown and take a short trip to Stone Island (Isla de la Piedra) take a 4 peso bus or negotiate with a pulmonia driver for 20 pesos or so. Just for the hell of it and to see how the other half lives take the Sablo Centro bus to the Golden Zone for breakfeast some morning: Playa Mazatlan Hotel is nice on the beach, good fresh fruit plate.

Anyway, expect another article to be posted later today (a potentially inflamatory wrap up to the long dormant Shapeshift series), and other than that I'm continuing to chug through images and getting that all caught up. I'm only about one week behind, but that's farther than I like.

Finally, BME's drive upgrade may happen today so the main site may experience some downtime. IAM will be largely unaffected though, although things like the mail gateway and renewing accounts might be offline.