Saturday, September 12, 2009


Since September 12th has apparently been designated as Glenn Beck Paranoia Day, I thought I’d go with the general flow, although the real purpose of this post was to offer a link to the website of NARLO (National Association of Rural Landowners) which seems to be where Republican yahoo extremists play patty-cake with the dreamers of ultra-right revolution. Click here and learn what your right hand is doing. (Jerking off or reaching for your throat?)


Aunt Ayn decides the hat was an error, but will never admit it.

(Shall we make this a series?)


In tune with the slightly fascist tone of the day, here’s a reminder to all you aliens out there that you fuck with Earthmen at your peril. I had never previously seen the entire sequence of Mars Attacks cards, and I didn’t know that it ended with humans kicking Martian ass. (And not led by Tom Jones and – no – the Martians of the original bubblegum cards weren’t vulnerable to Slim Whitman.) Click here to peruse the complete Mars Attacks.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I have definite reservations about the kind of simulated electronic telekinesis as described in this story contributed by MrMR. I’m highly distrustful of allowing any third party – human or machine – access to my synaptic activity. What I think hardly matters, however, since these toys will be on sale in time for Christmas, and, to be totally honest, I can’t wait to play with one.

“Brain-control interface technology is in the midst of a big coming-out party this year as it reaches the mass market for the first time in the form of a handful of games and toys.
The ability to trigger physical actions with your mind - can now be had for a couple hundred bucks. San Jose's NeuroSky is leading the charge with a half-dozen products, while rival Emotiv of San Francisco plans to start selling a mind-control headset in time for the holidays. The basic technology, which has been around for decades, involves reading a wide spectrum of brain waves and isolating patterns to understand moods and psychological states. From there, applications can be written to help understand the brain-wave profile and turn certain mental functions like heightened attention or meditation into catalysts for real-world actions. Brain-control interface has far-reaching applications beyond entertainment, potentially transforming the way we train our attention-deprived minds to how we communicate with machines and broadcast our feelings to other people.”
(Click here for the rest)

The secret word is Neuron


In the ancient days, when my Panic In Year Zero column ran in the old LA Reader, Tom Tomorrow was always a few pages away. Now I only see him when I stumble across him on the web. (Click here for more Tom)


CLICK (We own your image.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Every day, this fine service called Delancey Place sends me a random piece of information. Today’s is reproduced here, since, when I read it, it gave me a moment of serious pause, but then I got to thinking, what’s 30 thousands years one way of another?

"In the 1960s, while studying the volcanic history of Yellowstone National Park, Bob Christiansen of the United States Geological Survey became puzzled about something: ... he couldn't find the park's volcano. By coincidence just at this time NASA decided to test some new high-altitude cameras by taking photographs of Yellowstone, copies of which some thoughtful official passed on to the park authorities on the assumption that they might make a nice blow-up for one of the visitors' centers. As soon as Christiansen saw the photos he realized why he had failed to spot the [volcano]: virtually the whole park - 2.2 million acres - was [a volcano]. The explosion had left a crater more than forty miles across - much too huge to be perceived from anywhere at ground level. At some time in the past Yellowstone must have blown up with a violence far beyond the scale of anything known to humans. Yellowstone, it turns out, is a supervolcano. It sits on top of an enormous hot spot, a reservoir of molten rock that rises from at least 125 miles down in the Earth. The heat from the hot spot is what powers all of Yellowstone's vents, geysers, hot springs, and popping mud pots. ... Imagine a pile of TNT about the size of Rhode Island and reaching eight miles into the sky, to about the height of the highest cirrus clouds, and you have some idea of what visitors to Yellowstone are shuffling around on top of. Since its first known eruption 16.5 million years ago, [the Yellowstone volcano] has blown up about a hundred times, but the most recent three eruptions are the ones that get written about. The last eruption was a thousand times greater than that of Mount St. Helens; the one before that was 280 times bigger, and the one before was ... at least twenty-five hundred times greater than St. Helens. "The Yellowstone eruption of two million years ago put out enough ash to bury New York State to a depth of sixty-seven feet or California to a depth of twenty. ... All of this was hypothetically interesting until 1973, when ... geologists did a survey and discovered that a large area of the park had developed an ominous bulge. ... The geologists realized that only one thing could cause this - a restless magma chamber. Yellowstone wasn't the site of an ancient supervolcano; it was the site of an active one. It was also at about this time that they were able to work out that the cycle of Yellowstone's eruptions averaged one massive blow every 600,000 years. The last one, interestingly enough, was 630,000 years ago. Yellowstone, it appears, is due." From A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Click here for more on Delancey Place.

The secret word is Finished


“What happens to levitation, one of the great imaginative figures of art and literature, in the transition from a religious culture to the disenchanted universe of modern science? What becomes of ecstasy, rapture, ascension, transcendence, grace wh­e­n these give way to “space oddity”: man enclosed in a tin can floating far above the world? Is the cosmonaut a prophet of the erotic future, avatar of man’­s stellar renaissance, as Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke once imagined? Or is he like Nietzsche’s madman, proclaiming as Gagarin himself was rumored to have said: “I don’t see any God up here”?

This a comes from the excellent Dangerous Minds, of which our pal Richard Metzger is a regular contributor. Click here to check it out.


Pangaea Frozdick had a tendency to leave bodies on the sidewalk.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


I am always pleased when scientific theory sneaks up from behind and confirms what science fiction has been taking for granted for years. I’m even more pleased when the science fiction is my own and the theory is of the kind outlined in this article from a recent New Scientist. (And kindly sent by Valerie.) I have played around with the idea of multiple universes for decades – in psychedelic mode (The DNA Cowboys and Necrom), in theological mode (Jim Morrison’s Adventures In The Afterlife), and in demented short-form (The Adventures Of Marilyn). Now it all proves to be not only highly rational but also on the cutting edge where math meets physics, I find myself unduly and irrationally smug.

“Nothing in the most fundamental laws of physics says that time should only move in one direction. Yet many events are irreversible – shattered eggs do not spontaneously reassemble and ice cubes do not form from pools of tepid water. A new study suggests this arrow of time is the result of quantum mechanical amnesia that erases any trace of such events.
Our sense of time is captured by the second law of thermodynamics, which says that any closed system - from particles in an isolated box to the entire universe - can only become more disordered. The measure of this disorder, known as entropy, can only increase.
In the world of large-scale objects, increasing entropy is associated with the flow of heat, which always goes from a hot object to a colder one. Change in entropy can also be described as a flow of information: the higher the entropy of a system, the less information it contains.”
(Click here for more.)

There was also a link in the body of the story to a 2007 piece on parallel universes, but that was an archive article and there’s a fee.

“If you think of yourself as unique, think again. The days when physicists could ignore the concept of parallel universes may have come to an end. If that doesn't send a shudder down your spine, think of it this way: our world is just one of many. You are just one version of many. David Deutsch at the University of Oxford and colleagues have shown that key equations of quantum mechanics arise from the mathematics of parallel universes. "This work will go down as one of the most important developments in the history of science," says Andy Albrecht, a physicist at the University of California at Davis. In one parallel universe, at least, it will - whether it does in our one remains to be seen.”

The secret word is String


In which Marilyn comments to the mirror on the wall. “I frankly don’t understand a word of this. All I know is that it happens. And it happens to me. All the time. So much so that many versions of me went into hiding.”

Click here for The Adventures Of Marilyn


"Sometimes there's just no other alternative."

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


I don’t know how anyone else felt, but I found this last week in Los Angeles verging on brutal. By Thursday I was flagging, and when the Labor Day weekend rolled around, I was more than ready to simply turn off the computer for 48 hours, go into hiding, and remain prone. Still feeling a little queasy, I have sat up and managed to reestablish communications, and will doubtless be back fighting the plutocrats by tomorrow, but, in the meantime, I must catch my breath.

The secret word is Fatigue