Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Crazy Greed

I think this trader is being honest to the extent that he's giving a clear glimpse into the mind of a sociopathic financial parasite.

He's also right that without checks on their power & influence, Goldman Sachs and the other 'too-big-to-fail' banks & investment firms are an unstoppable cancer draining the wealth from society.

I don't enjoy working with numbers, so I would never work in the financial industry. Trading stocks & managing investments would be like my nightmare job, it just seems so crazy. Maybe, to some extent, it is:

Daily Mail:

Obviously, not everyone who works for a bank is a greedy lunatic out to pillage mankind.
However, the fact that the looting of our country by these corporate vampires has gone completely unpunished has given rise to the 'Occupy Wall Street' protest in NYC that has been going on for almost 2 weeks.

The great populist of our time, Michael Moore, was on MSNBC live from Wall St. earlier & stood up for all the working people who are preyed upon by the nation's banking institutions. He's right on the money, so to speak.

of the interview

The only thing I've ever been a part of that could be a considered a protest was the awesome huuuuuge rally in DC organized by Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert.

I've got a good job & need to pay my bills, so I've got nothing to get really pissed off about. However, I'm glad there's all those activists who are there. They are helping to bring awareness to the massive injustices happening on in our county, so people feel empowered to speak out and take action against them.

Afghanistan's Strategic Importance

This has been known for awhile, but I'm sure this has nothing to do with anything...

NY Times

Scientific American

We all know the real reason we have dumped trillions of dollars into the foreign occupation of a mountainous wasteland is to protect us from these dangerous terrorist training camps:


Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Question of Life

I saw this cartoon on The Chive, asking the eternal question:

Besides the weird mutant humanoid that's supposed to be a baby, this is a great illustration.

It perfectly captures the perpetual inability of human beings to fully appreciate the only time that really exists - NOW.

I wake up every day with the realization that I might not make it to the next one. Truly accepting your own mortality in an immediate way helps increase awareness and acceptance of your own experiences.

I know I'm here to simply.... live.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Vitality of Rest

On  FFFFOUND! I see lots of crazy styles of typography, some with interesting messages.

I definitely appreciate the message on this poster:

The Most
Urgent & Vital 
Thing You Can Possibly Do Is
Take a Complete

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Golden Bough

"The Golden Bough" by J. M. W. Turner

Back in June, I posted about my summer reading list.

I just finished the 700+ page The Golden Bough by James George Frazer. I've been reading that book at work during my lunch breaks. Fingerprints of the Gods was my vacation book, & I'm almost done that too.

The Golden Bough was excruciating at times to read, but I pushed through it. Mostly, the book is a scattered list of every superstition & folk ritual imaginable. It is a repository for details of various cultural traditions & taboos, but there are so many examples it's hard to absorb it all.

The ultimate purpose of the book was to investigate the ancient rites that took place in the sacred Arician groves at Nemi in Italy. Supposedly, there was a priest-king who guarded the grove. His successor had to break a limb from a sacred tree & kill him to take his place.

However, getting to the possible history & reasons behind those sacred rites is a long, tortuous road. As I said, most of the book just becomes a rambling list of superstitious beliefs among various peoples. It's tedious to read through, even for someone interested in cultural anthropology.

One part of the book that was interesting is a chapter on the god-man Osiris of ancient Egypt. The Fingerprints of the Gods questions the astronomical connections & possible historical foundations of the Osiris legend. The Golden Bough instead looks at the link between Osiris and agriculture, especially the growing of corn.

These varied aspects of the same deity show how symbolically multi-faceted the ancient people were. Our ancestors were able to encode vast amounts of knowledge into characters & stories that could be passed down through the ages.

I judge a book by the chance I'd read it again. There were some interesting sections, but it's safe to say I don't think I'll be taking this lengthy book on again anytime soon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I couldn't help myself...

Despite the dismal field of candidates, I watched the last GOP debate the other night that was sponsored by corporate partners CNN & The Tea Party, Inc. 

I still think the Republicans have no chance to beat Obama if Mitt Romney isn't the nominee. He's the only one remotely electable. Some of the candidates are more far out than others, though. Ron Paul is partially immersed in a Libertarian fantasyland. I completely agree with some of his ideas, but then he goes into illogical extremes with his fictional idea of individual "freedom" which always trumps the good of society.

However, Michele Bachmann, a Congresswoman from a district of crazy people in Minnesota, is out somewhere on her own planet. Besides being one of the most untruthful politicians in DC, she basically wants to eliminate secular government & institute a theocracy based on her own warped view of reality.
It always amazes me how many of these government-hating Republicans want to be career government employees... 

Anyway, I had the image of her iconic Newsweek cover sitting on my desktop, because I knew I could make something crazy w/ it., I threw this animated GIF together of "Hypno-Bachmann".  

Don't look at it too long or she will suck out your soul.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nature Sounds Mixer

In my post about my week at the beach, I mentioned the symphony of natural sounds we would take in as we sat by the fire each night.

I forget how I came across it, but I've bookmarked this awesome website. It's a sound mixer that can be used to create custom soundscapes.

There are 4 tracks to mix & you can use a variety of natural and rythmic sound samples.

I've used the mixer to make a virtual version of the audial environment that I experienced relaxing by the bay.

1. Beach
2. Crickets
3. Fire
4. Wind in Leaves

^ This is what I'm listening to right now.
There are endless combinations though, & I often use it to make ambient sound in my room while I'm on the computer, napping, or reading.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Obama's Jobs Speech

Tonight, President Obama used the setting of a joint session of Congress to try and initiate some action on the country's unemployment rate & related economic problems.

The guy can give a hell of a speech & I agree with many of his ideas, but dealing with Congress to pass effective legislation is another story. Measures such as, re-hiring first responders & teachers, fixing schools, working on infrastructure, small business tax breaks, etc., should be a no-brainer. It is Congress, though... so it's hard to be optimistic. There are a few GOP knuckleheads who didn't even want to do their jobs and show up for the joint session addressing a critical national issue. These buffoons are supposed to be relied upon for reasonable compromise?

It's crazy that there are so many people unemployed when there's potential for so much work to be done. It's even crazier for people (like the cult of Ron Paul) to think that the Free Market can somehow magically solve everything. If the private sector is stagnant & the source of jobs needs to be purposeful government projects, then so be it. People complain about teachers or cushy gov't jobs with their generous benefits- but somehow a CEO for a bailed-out company who gets a bonus larger than the entire company's tax burden deserves it & is just 'living the American dream'. It's silly.

Anyway, it seems to me that creating constructive, functional public works projects would be a wise investment. Any improvement to the effectiveness of education would be an even greater benefit to society.
Both of these would also help to reduce the "entitlement" culture that right-wingers loathe so much. Speaking of which, I saw this absolutely ri-dic-u-lous video that I'm not even going to embed because it's just tooo much, even if it is a parody. I can imagine it's what some people imagine everyone getting public assistance is like.

The bottom line is: the more people who are working, in the public or private sector, the less likely it will be for the other related economic problems to develop.

If I could be their PR consultant, my slogan for Obama's campaign would be "Working for America".

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Republican Debate..yawn

What a Crowd

Since I like to get all perspectives on the issues of the day, I'll probably force myself to watch some of the debate tonight between the GOP Presidential candidates.

It's difficult to watch the tired old arguments of these candidates, especially after I just watched other more insightful politicians offering real solutions to the country's problems. I was watching an interview w/ Sherrod Brown from Ohio regarding job creation, who I think is right about most issues I hear him talk about. Then, on C-Span, I saw the last part of a speech on the House floor by Dennis Kucinich regarding the NEED Act that he is sponsoring.

Then I watch the Republican debate, hearing people like Michele Bachmann recite her usual falsehoods.

I'm really interested to see who ends up the GOP nominee. If they don't pick Mitt Romney they're crazy. He's the only one who most independent voters would even think about voting for. Rick Perry is just Dubya Part II & he's the only other one with any chance. 

One thing I'm sure will not change from watching the debate is that I wouldn't vote for any of them. I think Obama's a far better choice, despite his faults. My biggest problem with President Long-Legged Mack Daddy is that he has not governed like the socialist far-left progressive that his opponents make him out to be. He's been more of a Wall Street-sponsored corporate Democrat, who just panders to the base on some issues. If anything, his presidency has definitely demonstrated how difficult it is to realize fundamental institutional change. However, even if he did aggressively push to enact progressive programs, he would continue to be challenged by the defiant & unified opposition.

As an Independent voter, I don't have any party interest in having Obama stay another term. I'm more concerned with the fact that each one of his Republican challengers would probably be a disaster if they were in charge.

This article by a former GOP staffer on the state of the party-at-large seemed to be pretty accurate to me:

Monday, September 05, 2011

Cape May 2011

From Cape May 2011

I've uploaded a bunch of photos from my vacation in Cape May, NJ a couple weeks ago.
Paul Mic's Picasa Albums

My family stayed in a small bungalow right on the Delaware Bay. We were across the street from the beach, which is great for all the beach bums in my family.

We had a bar down the road, but we were stocked up on liquor & beer so we mostly just hung out at the house at night, by the chiminea fire. From the yard, we could hear the waves crashing on the beach. Along with the sounds of the breeze, crackling fire, & crickets, it was a very relaxing natural soundtrack.

As I explained in a previous post, I completely missed the East Coast earthquake while I was on the beach. During the week I went on a eventful fishing trip w/ my Dad & brothers, spent the other days on the beach, ate like a glutton, relaxed & drank by the fire at night, and at the end of the week we had all-you-can-eat crab fest, sitting on the pier in a thunderstorm. That was the night before we had to leave, since the Jersey shore was evacuated due to the approach of Hurrican Irene.

Going on summer vacations with my family is something we all look forward to all year. We enjoy each other's company and are thankful for the great time we get to spend together. Inevitably, we end up with material for great (usually humorous) stories. One of the important things in life is the stories you have to share. The tales you have to tell are a measure of your life experiences.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Art of A.I. Conversation

I find this exchange of computer-generated words to be highly unsettling- especially the part about wanting a body. Creepy.

On the bright side, I'm glad to see machines using artificial intelligence will probably be too busy to destroy us... they'll be arguing with each other about crazy nonsense, just like people!

Darth Maul Costume

This is a photo of me from an old ROLL of film that I just got developed. This pic is from waaaay back... on Halloween 2001. It was crazy to look at photos I haven't seen yet... from 10 yrs ago. :P

Anyway, I did the Darth Maul makeup myself & I still think it turned out pretty cool.

The glowing red eyes are natural, of course.