Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Choose Your Overlord

I saw this blog on Design You Trust that deals exclusively with two of my favorite subjects: Robots & Monkeys!

Specifically, the focus is on which of these types of beings will end up being in control of the human race. Will our future resemble "Planet of the Apes" or "Terminator"?

As described in the Intro:
"Now, I realize that this is age old argument: monkeys or robots; robots or monkeys. Who will eventually dominate us? I really don’t have the answer, but with this question in mind, I have created this site to keep a running tally of the successes and failures on both sides."

Unfortunately, unlike The Matrix there is no real choice... because the actual horrible reality we may face will be cybernetic Robot-Monkey Hybrids!

Man is already using his unholy powers of reality-manipulation to create the precursor of unstoppable robo-chimps...

NY Times:
"Monkeys Control a Robot Arm With Their Thoughts"

Believe me,
he's plotting his revenge against our entire species.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I think I saw this addictive game on called "Guess-the-Google".

It takes a favorite internet activity of mine - searching Google Images - & reverses the process.

You are given a grid of pictures & must guess the keyword that gives all the Google Image results shown.

I could keep playing this over & over just trying to get a high score.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Natural Terror

Great White sharks top my list of the most fearsome creatures.

Crazy people who dive with these monsters to show their "docile" side don't ease the horror caused by seeing one. I've always loved the ocean and boats, but the idea of a huge fish with razor teeth is enough to prevent me from feeling completely at ease.

This past Sunday I was watching 2 shows that centered around sharks. "Science of Survival" was about staying alive at sea on a life raft. Of course, sharks were a problem that was addressed. It was hosted by Les Stroud. His other show, "Survivorman", is another one of my favorites. Although Bear Grylls is wackier & more animated on "Man vs. Wild", I don't think he's as informative.

The other show was what I think was another episode of "I Shouldn't be Alive" & told the nightmarish story of a shipwreck where the crew were stranded on a rubber dinghy w/ no supplies whatsoever. A couple of the guys drank seawater out of desperation & went crazy. They jumped into shark-infested water & the survivors explained how they felt the frenzy of sharks striking the victim right underneath their raft! That thought alone is horrifying, but they had a reenactment showing the whole scene & the bottom of the boat violently bouncing under the survivors. It almost made me want to never go on a raft again.

As I went looking for cool pictures of Great Whites online after watching these shows, I found a doozy. This has to be one of the absolute scariest pictures I've ever seen... The fact that you can barely make out the creature rising from the deep to attack makes it all the more terrifying.

Here's the link to the Flickr set I saw it in:

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Election Multiverse

The idea of a multiverse - multiple, or even infinite, parallel universes existing simultaneously - has been pondered & discussed alot in physics, philosophy, and science-fiction.

Just the problem of free-will vs. destiny could fill volumes by itself. However, for all practical purposes, we can say almost anything the mind can imagine is possible. I started thinking about all the possibilities that could exist for even a single situation, like the outcome of the US Presidential election. Most people think "Oh, well it's easy, you fool, either a Democrat or a Republican will win!"

I'd say there are way crazier things that could happen that are neither choice A nor B. Sure, they might not seem possible, but alot of things don't seem possible... until they happen.

I'm channeling the multiverse and listing some of the myriad possibilities that currently exist for January 20th 2009. It has the potential to be one of the most significant days in history, regardless of the situation.

In order of the situation that I'd personally most like to see first:
  1. The true progressive, Dennis Kucinich unbelievably wins through write-in votes, shocking the nation and the entire human race. However, he leads America into a Golden Age of reason, compassion, innovation, and prosperity. His smart & lovely wife, Elizabeth, is his Vice-President.
  2. Barack Obama wins the election, & turns the established bureaucracy upside down like a modern-day Akhenaten. His VP is Dennis Kucinich. America is saved from oblivion.
  3. Obama wins with John Edwards as his running mate & they lead the way in cleaning up The War Monkey's enormous mess.
  4. Obama wins, with any other Democrat as his VP- including Hillary. America is returned to a course of sanity & fiscal responsibility.
  5. Hillary is nominated and wins the election. She chooses any of the qualified Dems for VP & takes the country in a positive direction.
  6. By the end of the summer, the technology exists to jack everyone into a virtual hive mind. As a result, there is no need for a governing body of any sort - all decisions are made through the Borg-like collective consciousness.
  7. Either Obama or Hillary wins & chooses a Republican running mate. It might be strategically smart to pick someone competent from the other side of the aisle, like Chuck Hagel or another conservative who isn't a ideologue or a pandering hypocrite. I would personally not be thrilled about this possibility, though.
  8. Ron Paul leads his 'Ron Paul Revolution' into the GOP convention & takes it over! He wins the election, and his first act in office is to immediately abolish the Federal Reserve.
  9. Ralph Wiggum wins as a write-in candidate after a media campaign by Fox.
  10. Kids who are too young to remember the 2000 election see the "new guy" Ralph Nader enter the race & forget all about Obama. John McCain wins, thanks to another Nader run. America continues it's descent into oblivion.
  11. Obama is the nominee, but large numbers of white Americans would rather see their way of life crumble under a regressive Republican plutocracy than vote for an intelligent Harvard Law graduate with a multicultural background. John McCain wins. America continues it's descent into oblivion.
  12. A dimensional portal opens and predatory alien entities flood our world, rendering governments useless. The election never takes place & mankind is scattered about the globe like cockroaches.
  13. There is a violent shift of Earth's magnetic poles due to uncontrollable cosmic forces. Civilization is wiped out from the catastrophic effects & only a small number of people survive. Al Gore is one of them, and finally becomes President of New Earth.
  14. "Skynet" comes online & the nations and military forces of humans are subjugated by autonomous Robot Armies. "Asimo" is declared the first robot President.
  15. Bush & Cheney simply can't leave office without risking exposure to massive war crimes & fraud on the American people. So, they refuse to leave office, citing "Executive Privilege". The Democrats complain a little bit, while the citizens grumble & shake their fists before going back to their deteriorating lives. The United States is changed into The United Empire of America.
  16. The Bush Inc. War Profiteering industry finds any loss of business unacceptable. A "terrorist attack" by "Iranian agents" causes George W. Bush to immediately declare nuclear war on Iran, wiping out bases and innocent civilians in cities. Before the election, a state of martial law is put in effect & Bush declares himself President-for-Life. Democrats, anti-war, and other liberal vermin are labeled "terrorist sympathizers" and placed into contracted Halliburton work camps. Dick Cheney's sick fantasy has come true & the rest of the world's nightmare begins.
  17. I wake up to (what I think is) Inauguration Day. I'm filthy, tired, & feel absolutely miserable... To my horror, it was all a dream. The year is really 1840 & I realize I'm actually a child who works in coal mines. I don't know or care whose President at the time because my life sucks so bad.
  18. Because of the massive amount of debt we can't pay, China announces that the US is now part of the People's Republic. World War III commences & our elections are suspended due to the crisis.
  19. Anne Coulter becomes the first "female" President by some strange electoral anomaly that turns out to be the direct influence of Satan. He appears, in a horrifying physical form, to act as her Vice-President.
  20. Bill Gates completely buys out the Electoral College, Congress, & Supreme Court with a billion dollars. He crowns himself "Supreme Technocrat" and mandates Windows Vista operating system on every single computer in the nation. Apple Computers are outlawed & I kill myself out of sheer desperation.

Wow, that was oddly cathartic.

Of course, I've only listed 20 of the infinite possibilites for this particular situation. I'm sure the universe will serve up a scenario that is probably different than all of these somehow. Since I am not really in the mood to challenge the entire universe right now, I'll stick with this list for now & see what "Reality" has to offer.

Hopefully, it's something that resembles one of my top choices,

...but I'm not holding my breath.

click to enlarge

(If you look close,
I'm in the green universe.)

aka "The Monkeybuddhasphere™"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Esoteric Star Wars

Besides being a fan of Star Wars movies since I was a kid, I've accumulated a ridiculous amount of movie trivia throughout my life. As I got older, though, I've also become more interested in the historical & philosophical roots behind these space-age myths that use classic themes. Reading Joseph Campbell or reading about ancient mythology has given me an even greater appreciation for these movies I used to watch for the monsters & spaceships when I was little.

Looking into the deep roots behind these stories and analyzing their meaning concerning the human condition never becomes dull for an inquisitive mind. The purpose of any mythological narrative is to cause a person to consider the external & internal forces that define our existence. The hope is that by recognizing what motivates and defines us, we can be a more positive influence in the world.

When I come across essays or websites discussing the philosophy of the Star Wars movies, I eat it up. The ability to be understood on so many different levels is what makes the saga so great for people of all ages & backgrounds.

Esoteric Star Wars Blog
(The archive of older essays is at the bottom of the page)

Star Wars Origins:
Joseph Campbell and the Hero's Journey

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Nuttin' But Stringz

I was watching TV with some other people & something caught our eye. On WYBE (the public tv channel) there was a music festival & these 2 street-looking dudes playing violins to hip-hop beats.

It looked kind of wacky, but being a lover of all music except country, I kept it on for a second out of curiosity. After a few minutes, we were like "Wow!" They were really good & the music was a unique fusion of classical & hip-hop sounds. Alot of great art is simply the act of synthesizing existing elements or ideas into a novel, unique form. Their music is a great example of that creative process.

The musicians are brothers - Tourie & Damien Escobar. Their website and Myspace page have music & video examples. Their performance was pretty tight & the sound took me by surprise. Check it out...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Neatorama Link

Neatorama is one of my favorite sites to browse every day. I'm sometimes inspired to post about things related to what I see there. A few weeks ago I posted about optical album art w/ hidden messages, so I emailed Alex from Neatorama, figuring his other readers would find it just as interesting as I did.

He was nice enough to link directly to the post & my website. I usually have about 80 people visit my site a day. This blog has been for my own amusement & mental release more than anything, so the fact that anyone was reading it at all is pretty cool to me.

Today, however, thanks to the apparent legion of Neatorama readers, I've had over 50,000 visitors view the post he linked to. That's more than double the total number of visitors to The Monkey Buddha since I started recording my thoughts here, 3 years ago. If I had that many readers every day I would probably write material that was completely outrageous & mind blowing - instead of my currently just mildly crazy & semi-enlightening posts.
: )

If anyone who visited that post actually ends up coming back & reading this, I guess I'd suggest
• perusing the links down the right side of the page,
• typing random topics into the search box at the very top,
• or clicking the categories at the end of each post.

I have three years worth of "Monkey Buddhism" that can be explored.

The only other thing I would have to mention to new visitors to this site would be to check out the award-winning strategy board game I created - "Da Vinci's Challenge". It is the yin to chess's yang & in my humble opinion it is one of the greatest games ever created. It's one of the rare creations that has the potential to survive the ages.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Daily Zen - Breathing

My homepage is set to

I was dealing with allergies on top of a cold this weekend, so this quote inspired me as my own breathing ability had gone to hell.

"Now and again, it is necessary to seclude yourself
among deep mountains and hidden valleys
to restore your link to the source of life.
Breathe out and let yourself soar to the ends of the universe;
breathe in and bring the cosmos back inside.
Next, breathe up all the fecundity and vibrancy of the earth.
Finally, blend the breath of heaven and the breath of earth
with that of your own, becoming the Breath of Life itself."

- Morihei Ueshiba


No, "Spooky" is not a description of the above picture I came across online - it is the name of the Halloween clown persona of "Willace", a Florida-based clown. This multi-tasking entertainer has a half dozen characters. I definitely have to give him credit for his diversity. Be sure to go to the "Fun & Games Page" to see the super-accurate drawing of Willace next to the Word Find.

The description of the Spooky character reads:

"Spooky Does Halloween Parties, Children's Haunted houses.
He Face Paints Halloween Themes &
Does Halloween Theme Balloon Art.

Spooky Will Come to Visit your Children
with a Trick or treat bag with his supplies
to make your child's Halloween Happy & Safe."

The reassuring note after this description is a valiant attempt to separate himself from the legions of diabolical trauma-inducing clowns out there:

(Note: Spooky will not accept any jobs
that require scaring people!!
We do not like to leave mental Scars)

Like many people, I have a conflicting dual outlook on clowns.
• On one hand, it is nice that people want to entertain and make other people laugh. Trying to bring joy to the world is truly a noble effort.
• On the other hand, despite all attempts at keeping an open mind, the typical adult will find that picture kind of creepy. (Sorry Spooky.)

Unfortunately, John Wayne Gacy did for clowns what Hitler did for the square mustache.

There was just no way I couldn't post about this versatile clown/hobo/santa/comic doctor, especially after seeing the "Willace the Clown" thong on his Cafepress shop.

I simply can't imagine the special girl who would want "Willace" in her intimate area...

Go Willace!!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Collection of Fantasy Landscapes

Randomly scouring Google for interesting imagery (as I am prone to do), a cool landscape picture led me to a page w/ a collection of other thumbnails.

The images are a varied mix of styles & themes. They are all pretty captivating, though.

The page is actually a demo for software of some sort that collects and displays image files in a grid. I don't really care all that much about the technical aspects of the page. I just like the pretty pictures...

After my last post, the scenes featuring Mayan architecture especially caught my eye.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Mayan Media

Photo I took of
The Temple of Kukulkan

(and my Dad)

Like Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, the new Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull movie features the mysterious culture of the ancient Mayan civilization.

Unlike Apocalypto, the Indiana Jones movie will probably be less historically accurate & more about the mystic aspects of the culture. This is a characteristic of all the Indy movies, but especially obvious, given the subject matter of the crystal skull.

I have a general fascination with ancient history, and the Mayan people are one group that I've spent alot of time learning about in past years. Although we tend to treat cultures, nations, & empires as entities that have an actual beginning and end, reality is much more fluid than such human mental constructs. Large-scale societies don't really die out - people just continue living under new circumstances. It has been argued that aspects of the entities such as the Roman, Babylonian, and British Empires still exist today.

Case in point, when I was in Riviera Maya, Mexico, there were plenty of people who claim Mayan heritage. Unfortunately they have been regarded as second-class citizens like many indigenous groups. The Mayan people never disappeared, they still exist & are thriving, due in part to continually growing interest in their culture.

Also aiding the survival of their way of life is the widespread use of new media to preserve & transmit the perspectives of mankind's many ethnic groups. The Information Age is giving all people a voice, including people like the Mayans and Tibetans, whose voices would have been oppressed or silenced in previous ages.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Iron Man 2: Leaked Sequel Photo!!!

I haven't seen Iron Man yet, although the movie & video game look pretty awesome. This is a rare case where the movie actually makes the comic book character look cooler, thanks to current computer-generated visual effects.

Anyway, I think I've somehow stumbled upon an actual production photo for the Iron Man 2 sequel - despite the first one just being released. It is an exciting glimpse of a new major character from the Marvel Universe who was bound to be introduced.

Behold, the mighty....