Thursday, December 31, 2009

The First Decade of 'The Future' is Now Past!

The title above shows how seriously I regard the concept of 'time.'

Although it's fun to celebrate the passage of time w/ various holidays & milestones, it's good to keep in mind that it's mostly arbitrary. Humans compartmentalize information, so defining cycles of time has been a historic necessity.

The measurements based on natural cyclic activity, like a day & the year, have a basis in physical reality. The Western world's higher measures of time, like a decade & a century, are completely conceptual- defined by numbers in the mind of man alone.

The 1st decade of the 21st century has (unfortunately) been defined to much of the world by the living disaster whom the US Supreme Court selected as President in 2000. Although probably meaningless in a cosmic sense, for us mortals on Earth this has been the decade of George. W. Bush.

This past decade since I graduated college has been fun & positive overall for me personally. However, the shadow of evil that was 'Bush/Cheney Inc.' was a constant threat of The Apocalypse that I could have done without. To their only credit, I do appreciate the insights the horrific conduct of their right-wing cabal gave me into my own moral perspectives.

Although obviously a little bit dramatic, Time Magazine has captured the mood with their retrospective:

The '00s: Goodbye (at Last)
to the Decade from Hell

I am under no impression that this coming decade, or the future in general, will be free of the ignorance, brutality, and insanity that has defined Homo Sapiens since we were first genetically engineered by the Anunnaki. :)

What I am optimistic about is the fact that mankind as a whole seems to be exponentially increasing both it's scientific knowledge and it's global awareness, to offset the knuckle-draggers among us. The universe is a dance of balancing forces, & as man's progressive nature grows, the extremity of man's regressive elements will grow, as well.

The physical world will always consist of both happiness & suffering, no matter what year it is. What we as individuals should concern ourselves with is simply being a positive, or at least neutralizing, force in our particular experiences from moment to moment.

Now, it's time to party...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Merryment

I was helping Santa & his 'helper' loosen up while he stopped over in Philly, the night before Christmas Eve:

This Christmas was alot of fun. My generation, which is already an army of cousins, is now expanding the family with their own children. It's another wave of life, full of new experiences.

My little nephew is a source of constant entertainment & brought alot of excitement to Christmas. After dinner, he was devouring an Italian pizzelle cookie and lost a huge piece of it on his forehead. He started feeling around looking for it, much to our amusement:

I also played a joke on my sister that was pretty good. She has been asking my parents to get her a Roomba robot vacuum for years. Therefore, I decided to be a total jerk & make a fake box w/ realistic graphics for a "Broomba".

Inside the box, there was just a dustpan & brush w/ the 'iRobot' logo on it. She opened it & was really excited before realizing it was a joke. My Mom felt bad about the idea of fooling her like that, though, & ended up getting her a real one anyway.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Time!

Well, the Holiday Season is upon us. I'll be too busy to post anything till later this weekend- so I'll leave off with this daytime trash TV imagining on the Immaculate Conception:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winter Blizzard 09

My backyard looking like a frozen Dagobah.

The East Coast got hit with a big storm this weekend. When you get to be older, the snow is just a huge pain in the ass.

Around 2 feet of snow got dumped on S. Jersey this weekend. On Saturday afternoon, I was out shoveling the 8-10 inches that had fallen in my driveway... figuring it would be less to do if any more came down.

However, the next day at least another foot of snow had fallen & the snowplows created a 3ft+ wall along the highway in front of my place. I started kind of late & realized I'd have to dig in 'turbo' mode to get most of it done while it was light out.

Some of my friends drove by while I was shoveling by the road, but there was no place to pull in. They just took a minute to laugh & claim that I wouldn't be able to clear the chest-high plowed snowbank by myself.

It's safe to say it was the most snow that I've shoveled in along time, but I cleared the driveway by the time it got dark.

Here's an album of photos showing the unusual amount of snow:

Photos: Winter Blizzard 09

I took this picture Saturday while it was snowing- before I cleared the area the 1st time:

Sunday I came out to find everything I already cleared... covered back up & MORE:

Santa NO!

After Christmas shopping for my family tonight I'm beginning to get in the holiday spirit..

There was a link to this site on Neatorama of a random collection of crazy, bizarre, & disgraceful Christmas images.

I would not recommend it if you are sensitive about The Spirit of Christmas™ or human decency in general.

Santa, NO!

Of course, the twisted Santa & elf from the classic "A Christmas Story" were in there.

This is actually one of the most normal-looking Santas on the website:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Droopy Dog on "The DC"

I was going to embed this clip in my last post, but it wasn't online yet. It was classic Jon Stewart mockery. The health care montage & Joe Lieberman bit had me laughing.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Big Issues

I often hear people complain that "society is going downhill."

People have probably been saying that since the first societies were formed. In reality people are as brutal, selfish & ignorant as they've always been, but the problems societies face today are more complex than in the past. On the upside, our collective capacity to solve problems is greater than ever.

There is no doubt that the number and scale of problems facing mankind seem huge. The constant info stream available to every person with the most basic network connection has compounded everyone's awareness of the entire globe.

Another effect of The Web is that a multitude of voices are now able to weigh in on any given subject. This is neither good nor bad, but it's a complex phenomenon that's clearly affecting the existing perceptions and power structures around the world.
Unfortunately, despite public outcry the for-profit insurance companies & the various financial swindlers sucking the lifeblood out of people have shown that they won't be swatted away by our pesky "democracy" anytime soon. Not while they're so firmly attached to their Congressional hosts.

There are answers to these big problems, but they require vision & action even more bold than President Hopey-Change w/ his "liberal" Democratic Congress could ever muster. It can be infuriating for informed citizens to see a cumbersomely ineffective system of bought-off bureaucrats only nominally fixing the crushing problems we face.

To illustrate the chain of causality that has to be intelligently addressed on any big issue, here's an example:
As far as health care is concerned, I should be able to visit a doctor or hospital & get any health care I need without any concern for payment whatsoever, no less needing an insurance company to pay for it. The existing system is legally-sanctioned racket, since in a truly enlightened society health care should be the most basic right of any human- citizen or not.

How would such a socialist utopia exist? The only feasible model is through taxes. How else is any functioning government supposed to be funded? The current problem is the particular system of taxation. People's personal income & owned property should not be taxed, but I say tax away on sales of luxury items & non-essential items. That is also how you get a piece of any illicit money out there that wouldn't be gained through income tax. I was just watching a news segment with 2 economists proposing a flat consumption tax in place of the current tax structure. The tax code is one of the things that any President w/ balls would scrap and reboot.

I prefer to think in generalities on these questions of social policy, since there are millions of people out there who could work out details. This is where Obama has come up short so far. He hasn't really brought down the hammer in a forceful way & said:

"This is how it's gonna be,
& here's what we're gonna do.

Do you love America
or not?!"

Even though they were blatantly wrong on the issues, that is one attribute that Bush, Inc. used to its advantage - the ability to be unyielding S.O.B.'s! By not calling out the very integrity of all Congresscritters who block his agenda, Obama's allowed room for antics like those of America's Droopiest Senator, Joe Lieberman aka Senator Palpatine.

Of course, when considering the important issues, it's also important to realize it is all fleeting & crazy anyway. That's where watching The Daily Show & Colbert Report can give me a laugh and the proper perspective.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Stephen Colbert: Afghandyland

Last week Stephen Colbert had a funny segment featuring the ridiculous Dept. of Defense graphic titled "Afghanistan Stability" that I had just posted about.

He also introduced a mock game "Afghandyland" that is as much of a disaster as the real thing.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pantone Color of 2010: Turquoise

Continuing on a design theme, the art geek in me was glad to see one of my favorite colors named as Pantone Color of the Year-

I prefer "cool" colors & particularly aqua/turquoise hues because they remind me of water & the sea while also lending themselves to futuristic color schemes combined w/ chrome or metallics.

Pantone is definitely a useful color-matching system that I use often at work, but I'm so bad with numbers that I only know a few specific swatch numbers.

My top 3 colors would be
1. Black
2. Turquoise
3. Olive Green

Metallics are always cool too, but they are kind of separate.

Afganistan" Stability" Graphic

I saw this chart on Talking Points Memo & it's a mind-boggling representation of the craziness of just 1 of our military endeavors, the occupation in Afghanistan.

Feel Better Now?

No! I feel like my head's spinning! As a designer who prefers simplicity & clarity, this chart is like tying my eyeballs in a knot. Bless the poor team from PA Consulting that had to come up with this madness.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


The message hasn't been lost... but the world can nevertheless be a real hellhole.
We could use more insanely idealistic hippies with a powerful mind & voice these days:

There's been alot of new 'Beatlemania' recently w/ the release of Beatles Rock Band & their remastered albums.

I'm usually really bad w/ dates, & time in general, but I've always remembered Dec. 8th for being Jim Morrison's birthday & the dayt John Lennon being killed. Maybe they're easy for me because it's also my brother's birthday, but the anniversary of John Lennon's death hasn't stopped affecting people around the world.

Thanks to my Dad, I've always been a fan of The Beatles & Lennon in particular. His sarcastic but creative insight made him one of my personal idols. It's a shame he couldn't live on to futher inspire the world, but such is life & death. His light shone bright while it lasted.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Happy in Paraguay

My cousin Adam sent me this video that's an ample dose of crazy:

The user has other videos including another NSFW one that is ridiculous.

I suppose this is what the Internet was created for...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Obama's Job: "Jobs!!!"

Today's news was the first of a series of Obama's "job summits." The other night I read this article on Reality Sandwich on how to re-make America into the #1 productive force in the world. It was pragmatic but w/ idealism & insight:

The key to productivity is to fund people's ideas to create the technologies that are used in new products & services, especially green technology. There are so many ideas being formed right now that have the potential to make significant impacts on human life...

Here are some of my favorite American tech breakthroughs:

It's funny how dualistic people are in their approach to political issues. Current economic arguments seem to be reduced to 'capitalism vs. communism' or 'socialism vs. fascism' when none of these concepts are even real! In fact, like all name calling, it is simply a distraction from intellectual discussion of the problems & possible solutions for any given issue.

The infinite intertwining of government & economics is too messy to be described in one reductionist label. It's ALL just people interacting, which always results in craziness.

What I do know is that any human institutions, like people themselves, are inherently neither good nor bad. Those subjective characteristics arise from circumstances in the ongoing process of life.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Vajra Sky over Tibet

Last nite I was watching a documentary about Tibetan culture that was a mesmerizing look at their deeply creative & spiritual culture.

Tibet is one the places that has fascinated me since I was in school. The general Buddhist philosophy has helped shaped my adult perspective & the unique nature of Tibet has always peaked my curiosity. It is one of those places that has a feeling of magic for me. Perhaps it's because my doppleganger lived there...

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

More War- Because We Must!

After watching Obama's speech tonight, I was not inspired by the ideas & general strategy he outlined for the occupation of Afghanistan & security situation in Pakistan. In his defense, it has to be a maddening task to be responsible for trying to plug these countless gaping holes in the ship of state. He can't avoid the realization that the lives & deaths of millions are directly affected.

The US's global military operations are pretty overwhelming & their destructive power is something I would not want to be responsible for. Obama's aggressive tone, especially toward Pakistan, was one of my few concerns during his campaign, so he is being consistent in that respect.

The cynic in me thinks we're over there mostly to feed our addiction to controlling resources - especially fossil fuels & poppies. The idea that we went in there to get terrorists is questionable because the alleged hijackers were mostly from Saudi Arabia & living in other places.

Well, things are what they are... so, now it's up to Obama to solve the problem the War Monkey started.

I think the lunacy of War, inc. is best summed up by these two completely awesome hippie chicks with my favorite anti-war slogan ever:

Billion Year Technology Gap?

This was a cool article that's kind of hard to get your head around:

'Billion' is a term that's thrown around casually in the modern financial world, but it's still a ridiculous number to conceptualize.

Therefore, to even consider the idea that any technological civilization could endure for a billion years is crazy, but I guess anything's possible. Would a line of beings lasting that long evolve into pure light consciousness?...
We could have no way of sensing them if they were some sort of weird multi-dimensional entities.

What if planet Earth has been a experimental planetary wildlife refuge constantly being observed by 'visitors' from other worlds- in whatever form they might exist? If that's the case, I can understand why it would be kept secret, because alot of people would go out of their minds.