Monthly Archives: December 2008

God of the Rats

This is work on one of the book illustrations, which I’ve just started on and will finish over the next few week. The rats give periodic sacrifices to a rat snake that has become their colony’s “god”, and in exchange, the rate snake protects them from other predators.

The Hive Mind

Yesterday BoingBoing posted an amazing video of an ant colony that was filled with concrete and then excavated showing its structure, including “air conditioning” systems, garbage dumps, fungal farms, and more. The video also includes some interesting commentary on the “superorganism” — that is, is an ant colony a single organism with some sort of a “hive mind”, or are they “merely” individuals working eerily in sync? Does the boundary of the body have to be the boundary of the mind?

When I “accidentally” smoked DMT years ago — I say accidentally because I literally didn’t know that a massive hit of it was caked inside my marijuana pipe* — all of reality shattered and fell away and I found myself experiencing a global hive mind… whisps of glowing energy interconnected all living things and it was impossible to tell where I and my thoughts ended and where those of my neighbors began. I’m sure that this is largely the psychedelic speaking, but as with all psychedelic experiences, there’s plenty of truth to it as well, and watching this video makes me wonder — even if the ants have emergent behavior and a single collective mind, does an individual ant know it? Does one of my own neurons know that it is part of a conscious mind? Why would humans be any more aware of the global hive mind that we may well be a part of?

My faith in a gaia-like entity is what my forehead tattoo represents by the way.

* Just to be clear, I’m drug free for about two years now, and happy to be such.

And… repeat

I think for the next little while the after-school activity request is going to stay “skating”, which is good by me because it’s fun and good exercise for both of us. Tomorrow morning I have a first-thing appointment to get some sort of heart tests/monitoring, so she’s asked to come along for that so she can see my heartbeat and such… which has the added benefit of being next to Whole Foods (we’ll actually park in their lot) so we’ll have a special treat of getting her sushi for lunch!

Thanks everyone who picked up that set of paintings I posted. It’s nice to know they’ll be in homes where they’re appreciated. It was a really enjoyable series to work on.

And now… Survivor (and UFC) finale week begins! Woo woo!

Speaking of Spaghetti

Inspired by blogs like “Alinea at Home“, I’m going to be starting up a new food blog called “Bad Cook, Good Meal” where I’ll be cooking and blogging about some of the best recipes from the best cookbooks I can find. I know the basics of cooking, but I’m far from experienced, and I have a limited kitchen… So I hope that the blog will be not only enjoyable, but also useful for those looking to get into cooking (it will include illustrated and commented recipes, as well as my and Nefarious’s reviews of the dishes).

Oh, and continuing on the previous entry, in other good news, I got Monster Jam (as in monster trucks) tickets today for the three of us in January. Caitlin and I have been before, but this will be Nefarious’s first time, and we’re all totally looking forward to it.

The Canadian Winter Passtime

We spent an hour and a half skating after school today down at the Natrel rink, and then went out for hot chocolates and came home to a delicious spaghetti dinner… I work very hard to make sure that as much as possible, Nefarious is able to look at any day in her life with Caitlin and I and see joy in it. Ongoing elements of the divorce still induce far too much stress and pain, so I think it’s especially important to have a home that’s stable, consistent, and full of learning, love, and fun. I think that sometimes people forget that parenting is like being an anti-terror defender — you have to be right every time, and the unfair reality is that you can do the right thing a thousand times, but when you do the wrong thing once, that’s what you’ll be judged for and that’s what will form a childhood memory. I try to parent with a lot of reflection on my own childhood (which was pretty good), and I’m very happy with how I’ve done in the last few years.