Monday, October 30, 2006

Sometime Today

Whoever is the sixth visitor from now will be number 6969 on my Sitemeter. This lucky number should bring that person much good fortune in the near future. ;-)

Congratulations to a visitor in Shelby, NC, who at 6:44:39 pm 10-30-06 became visitor number 6969 while searching for pictures of Bratz dolls. However, this visitor probably has no idea of this great fortune because she (probably a she looking for doll pics and not a he, but I could be wrong) only viewed the November 2005 archive and not the main page. Oh well, this oversight won't change their good luck. ;-)

It Changes

The first one I got said, "If God had a name it would be Rae Ann." I wish I could make that one come up every time. Refresh page for a new fact. Actually, this thing is amusing me so much that I'm going to put in somewhere on the header or sidebar.


Factorizer

Consolation Prizes

You know on game shows they used to have "consolation prizes" for the contestants who didn't win the big prize. I'm not sure they still do that because I don't watch game shows anymore.

This idea is similar to the theme in movies and TV shows of the guy or girl who is the "best friend" of the lead character. Usually in these stories that "best friend" would really like to be the romantic interest, and it always looks to the audience as well that he/she should be, but for whatever stupid reasons the lead character doesn't recognize their blessing with such a person and chases after someone else only to come running to the best friend when things don't work out so well and they need some "consolation." (wow, that was a long, run-on sentence, but I'm not changing it).

Well, lately in many senses, I've been feeling like a consolation prize, and I'm kind of tired of it.

So if I have to be a consolation prize then here you go:

A Vicious Momma Consolation Prize

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Trouble With Men: Not Even Folly

I first read Lubos Motl use "Not Even Folly". This is my silly twisting of the titles of two recent anti-science books for my own purposes. I like to do that sometimes. ;-)

A while back my good friend came over and we got to complaining about our husbands, but they should rest assured that we don't usually talk about them. Life isn't all about them, you know. She's a little younger than I am, and I see her going through very similar experiences I had at that age. Well, the experiences are similar in theme, not necessarily in details, in that I recognize the emotions and thoughts she's having. She seems to appreciate my empathy and acceptance of things that she worries are wrong or questionable. I like to reassure her that what she's going through isn't abnormal (why do we worry so much about abnormality?) and that she will get through it. (Lately it seems I've become everyone's surrogate mother. Not that I'm complaining, well, maybe I am a little. But, you know, I'm more than just a mother.)

So anyway, we both had been having kind of shitty times for similar reasons: husbands being asses. Why is it that as soon as you think you're making progress with a man he gets some weird mental tic or something? Both of us had been enjoying some times of equilibrium in our marriages until these men had to go and be emotionally abusive and neglectful. WTF? Can't you men control that kind of thing? How long does it take for a man to finally figure out that women aren't men and don't want to be treated like men? (Well, my friend and I don't.) I know that it takes a lot of energy to properly deal with a woman, but we do make it worth it. If they didn't really want to invest energy into maintaining our relationships then they shouldn't have promised that they would.

My experiences (and those of my female friends) over the years have given me plenty evidence that men are kind of dumb. Now, I know men can find things to complain about with women, but this is my blog and my post and I'm a dictator here, so please refrain from bringing up some petty crap about something women might not be good at. That's just a defense mechanism men use that is another clue about how dumb they can be. Men can't really distract us from the point we're making about how dumb it is to neglect or take us for granted by talking about how we don't know how to change the oil in the car or some other stupid little task. What I'm talking about is how to make a relationship work well for both sides.

I guess if you wanted to extend that oil change analogy then men should be the ones who keep the relationship working smoothly by keeping the "lubricant" (and that's not meant as some kind of sexual innuendo, well, I guess it could be ;-)) clean and fresh. The lubricant in this case is the care and concern and other emotional expressions that keep a woman's mental machinery working well. Yeah, I think I like that comparison because it really is true. Men who complain that their wives don't properly maintain their vehicles (which is a man's job in the first place) are usually the very same ones who don't keep their wives' mental/emotional machinery maintained.

Sometimes on Sundays I'll scan the religious channels to see if there is an interesting sermon. I don't like going to church, but sometimes I do like to listen to a thoughtful, intelligent sermon. One day I heard a sermon about the subject of marriage and the roles of each spouse. I can't remember who was speaking, but he said something that really stuck with me. He said that when he sees a woman who looks haggard and worn out he knows it's because her husband hasn't been doing his job of taking care of her. He went on to describe how the job of the husband is to provide for his wife and family. And by "provide" he explained that it means more than just bringing home a paycheck. Women are the "vessel" that will become too worn, cracked, or even broken if not properly cared for.

Ever since hearing that sermon when I see a woman who could be cruelly described as "letting herself go" (we've all heard that comment, "boy, look at her, she's really let herself go"- meaning that she doesn't look good at all) I wonder what kind of man she is married to and how he hasn't done his job as a husband. To extend the car metaphor even further, when we see a "ragged out" car we can usually be sure it's because it wasn't properly maintained or was even kind of abused. So when you see a "ragged out" woman don't automatically assume that she has "let herself go" because what you are seeing is the result of many years of not getting the mental/emotional maintenance she needed. Have a little compassion for someone who has struggled to take care of herself while putting everyone else's needs above her own (much like surrogate mothers).

Okay, so what's my point? Well, it's that the trouble with men is they don't usually put enough time and energy into maintaining their most important relationships. Women aren't like banks that you put deposits into for later. We really are more like cars that use the deposits and need them to be replenished regularly in order to function well. And that is not even folly and today's Sunday Sermonett. ;-)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Seven Long Songs (and one short one)

In a fit of cleaning and organizing I found a mix CD I made in 2002. As is always true with hindsight I see now that it was a "sign-post" of the time because it was made at the beginning of my deepest slide into that Darkest of Darkness. Of course, at the time I didn't realize I was creating an emotional "diary" (and in some sense a precognitive one) with my choice of songs. I was just making a CD of songs I liked that fit the criteria of "long" (over 7 minutes). And while recording the disk the arrangement of songs was random, but now even that seems to tell a story. My choices were also limited by what music was already available in my collection. Back then I didn't trust the file-sharing sites, not because of any legality issues, but because I don't think that most people just give things away for "free." There are some songs like Bohemian Rhapsody that probably would have been included if I'd had them, but maybe not since it doesn't fit the 'over 7 minute requirement'.

Here are the Seven Long Songs (and one short one):

1. "Stranglehold" by Ted Nugent, 8 minutes 27 seconds

This song is pure Devil music, a real invitation to Hell and a sure way to demonic summoning. Powerful stuff. Wagneresque comes to mind.

The road I cruise is a bitch now baby
But no, you can't turn me around


2. "Coma" by Guns 'n' Roses, 10 minutes 15 seconds

This song is an operatic masterpiece that describes the descent into Hell and the thoughts and feelings of desperation and helplessness when one is in that Pit of Darkness. Not for the weak of heart and mind.

Addendum: I meant to explain that the music aspect of this song is more appealing than the lyrics and that in the operatic sense the music is as expressive, if not more so, than the lyrics. Or in other words, you can get the meaning/mood of the song without knowing the words. I didn't mean for it to appear that by including the entire lyrics that I was emphasizing that over the music.

Hey you caught me in a coma
And I don't think I wanna
Ever come back to this world again
Kinda like it in a coma
'Cause no one's ever gonna
Oh, make me come back to this world again
Now I feel as if I'm floating away
I can't feel all the pressure
And I like it this way
But my body's callin'
My body's callin'
Won't ya come back to this...world again
Suspended deep in a sea of black
I've got the light at the end
I've got the bones on the mast
Well I've gone sailin', I've gone sailin'
I could leave so easily
While friends are calling back to me
I said they're
They're leaving it all up to me
When all I needed was clarity
And someone to tell me
What the fuck is going on
Goddamn it!

Slippin' farther an farther away
It's a miracle how long we can stay
In a world our minds created
In a world that's full of shit

Help me
Help me
Help me
Help me
Bastard

Please understand me
I'm climbin' through the wreckage
Of all my twisted dreams
But this cheap investigation just can't
stifle all my screams
And I'm waitin' at the crossroads
Waiting for you
Waiting for you
Where are you?

No one's gonna bother me anymore
No one's gonna mess with my head no more
I can't understand what all the fightin's for
But it's so nice here down off the shore
I wish you could see this
'Cause there's nothing to see
It's peaceful here and it's fine with me
Not like the world where I used to live
I never really wanted to live

(Zap him again
Zap the son of a bitch again)

Ya live your life like it's a coma
So won't you tell me why we'd wanna
With all the reasons you give it's
It's kinda hard to believe
But who am I to tell you that I've seen
any reason why you should stay
Maybe we'd be better off without you anyway

You got a one way ticket
On your last chance ride
Gotta one way ticket
To your suicide
Gotta one way ticket
An there's no way out alive
An all this crass communication
That has left you in the cold
Isn't much for consolation
When you feel so weak and old
But if home is where the heart is
Then there's stories to be told
No you don't need a doctor
No one else can heal your soul

Got your mind in submission
Got your life on the line
But nobody pulled the trigger
They just stepped aside
They be down by the water
While you watch 'em waving goodbye
They be callin' in the morning
They be hangin' on the phone
They be waiting for an answer
When you know nobody's home
And when the bell's stopped ringing
It was nobody's fault but your own
There were always ample warnings
There were always subtle signs
And you would have seen it comin'
But we gave you too much time
And when you said that no one's listening
Why'd your best friend drop a dime
Sometimes we get so tired of waiting
For a way to spend our time
An it's so easy to be social
It's so easy to be cool
Yeah it's easy to be hungry
When you ain't got shit to lose
And I wish that I could help you
With what you hope to find
But I'm still out here waiting
Watching reruns of my life
When you reach the point of breaking
Know it's gonna take some time
To heal the broken memories
That another man would need
Just to survive


3. "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin, 8 minutes

Most people love to hate this song because it's been overplayed through the years, but if you actually listen, it's timeless. What does it mean? To me it's about the price of life that we always pay and always will pay.

Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?

And yes, I think my stairway does lie on the whispering wind...


4. "The End" by the Doors, 11 minutes 42 seconds

I like the kind of Middle Eastern sound of this song's music. The lyrics are sad and intense. And painful.

Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane


5. "Tuesday's Gone" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, 7 minutes 32 seconds

This is such a great Southern song, and I can easily imagine jumping a train and "ridin' my blues away" and letting them be "gone with the wind." Well, ridin' in a convertible pretty much has the same effect (corvette therapy).


Train roll on many miles from my home,
See, I'm ridin' my blues away.
Tuesday, you see, she had to be free,
But somehow I've got to carry on, lord-ah.

Tuesday's gone with the wind.
Tuesday's gone with the wind.
Tuesday's gone with the wind.
My baby's gone with the wind.
Train roll on, oh, lord
Because my baby's gone
I'm ridin' blues, babe
Tryin' to ride my blues


6. "Life's Been Good" (live version) by the Eagles, 9 minutes 36 seconds

I always got a kick out of this song when I was a kid. It was funny and the music was fun and kind of quirky. I like this live version because of the slight but humorous lyric changes. When we look back from far enough even the hardest times don't seem that bad.

Lucky I'm sane after all I've been through
(Everybody sing) I'm cool (He's cool)
I can't complain but sometimes I still do
Life's been good to me so far


7. "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin, 8 minutes 32 seconds

My ultimate favorite Zeppelin song. The sounds caress my ears... let me take you there...

Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream
I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been
To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed

Talk and song from tongues of lilting grace, whose sounds caress my ear
But not a word I heard could I relate, the story was quite clear
Oh, oh.

Oh, I been flying... mama, there ain't no denyin'
I've been flying, ain't no denyin', no denyin'

All I see turns to brown, as the sun burns the ground
And my eyes fill with sand, as I scan this wasted land
Trying to find, trying to find where I belong.

Oh, pilot of the storm who leaves no trace, like thoughts inside a dream
Heed the path that led me to that place, yellow desert stream
My Shangri-La beneath the summer moon, I will return again
Sure as the dust that floats high in June, when movin' through Kashmir.

Oh, father of the four winds, fill my sails, across the sea of years
With no provision but an open face, along the straits of fear
Ohh.

When I'm on, when I'm on my way, yeah
When I see, when I see the way, you stay-yeah

Ooh, yeah-yeah, ooh, yeah-yeah, when I'm down...
Ooh, yeah-yeah, ooh, yeah-yeah, well I'm down, so down
Ooh, my baby, oooh, my baby, let me take you there

Let me take you there. Let me take you there


8. "I Miss You" by Incubus, 2 minutes 48 seconds

This is a cute, more upbeat song. And it's short. And I really like it.

To know that you feel the same as I do
Is a threefold utopian dream


And no journey is complete without a threefold utopian dream. ;-)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Field Trips

Last week was busy. On Wednesday my six year old's kindergarten class went to The Fruit and Berry (and Pumpkin) Patch where we got a hayless hayride to the pumpkin field to pick our own pumpkins. Then we went through their corn maze. Oh yeah, actually, before we picked our pumpkins we stopped to feed some goats and a dog that thinks it's a goat because it was 'raised' by them. It poured the rain the whole time, and we got soaked. And I mean totally drenched and dripping wet. I didn't take an umbrella because I knew it would be more trouble than it was worth. It got a little chilly, but other than that we didn't mind it. The rain did stop in time for our picnic lunch. After that we each got to pick an apple and got a sample of the best apple cider I've ever tasted.

On Friday my daughter's second grade class went to a play based on the Junie B. Jones books. It was fun, and the kids were all so well-behaved. After the play we had a picnic lunch at a park. The weather was very pretty and sunny, but cold.

This week is Fall Break so the kids are home all week. (Oh joy.) I'm tempted to pack them all up and hit the road for our own little field trip. But they have their big Halloween party planned for this coming Saturday and probably need to be here to get everything ready for it. The main attraction of the party is the Haunted Woods where they will have lots of spooky, cool, and even scary things set up along a trail. It's kind of a big production for them. They do a really good job with it too. I think we should put a sign up by the road and charge people admission for it. ;-)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Assortment of Quotes

A nation under a well regulated government, should permit none to remain uninstructed. It is monarchical and aristocratical government only that requires ignorance for its support.

Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1792

That is the single greatest argument for the support of public education that you'll ever find.


It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf.

Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, December 19, 1776

The cunning of the radical fox is as murderous as the defensive wolf.


I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.

Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, December 19, 1776

'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, and it seems all the minds in government have shrunk to nothing.

The Meaning of Life

People say I'm crazy doing what I'm doing
Well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin
When I say that I'm o.k. well they look at me kind of strange
Surely you're not happy now you no longer play the game

People say I'm lazy dreaming my life away
Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me
When I tell them that I'm doing fine watching shadows on the wall
Don't you miss the big time boy you're no longer on the ball

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go

Ah, people asking questions lost in confusion
Well I tell them there's no problem, only solutions
Well they shake their heads and they look at me as if I've lost my mind
I tell them there's no hurry
I'm just sitting here doing time

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go
I just had to let it go
I just had to let it go

"Watching the Wheels" by John Lennon


And what lovely wheels they are with many intricate and colorful gears. Last night the sky was very purply blue, or indigo. Recently most nights it's more greenish, but last night it was much closer to the violent (silly me) violet part of the spectrum than the green. Indigo is the color of the third eye chakra which 'governs' knowledge and intuition.

The dictionary defines life as

1 a: the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body b: a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate beings -- compare VITALISM 1 c: an organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction
2 a: the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual b: one or more aspects of the process of living
3: BIOGRAPHY
4: spiritual existence transcending physical death
5 a: the period from birth to death b: a specific phase of earthly existence c: the period from an event until death d: a sentence of imprisonment for the remainder of a convict's life
6: a way or manner of living
7: LIVELIHOOD
8: a vital or living being; specifically: PERSON
9: an animating and shaping force or principle
10: SPIRIT, ANIMATION
11: the form or pattern of something existing in reality
12: the period of duration, usefulness, or popularity of something
13: the period of existence (as of a subatomic particle) -- compare HALF-LIFE
14: a property (as resilience or elasticity) of an inanimate substance or object resembling the animate quality of a living being
15: living beings (as of a particular kind or environment)
16 a: human activities b: animate activity and movement c: the activities of a given sphere, area, or time
17: one providing interest and vigor
18: an opportunity for continued viability
19 capitalized Christian Science: GOD 1b
20: something resembling animate life


Well, all that's rather extensive and comprehensive, but it still doesn't tell us exactly what is life. Yesterday, I thought of the simplest way to say it:

Life is the process by which energy is turned to matter repeatedly. Every living thing does this. Every living being also converts matter to energy, but that doesn't seem as remarkable. If you click the NASA link above you'll read that even though particle accelerators have created very tiny bits of matter the energy needed to do that is immense and that the matter quickly changes back to energy. How is it a tiny virus can take a relatively low amount of energy and create more matter (multiply)?

From what I understand gravity is still one of the biggest mysteries of science. And I don't understand gravity enough to connect it to some other mysteries, but could it be the 'engine' of life or something like that?

Well, it seems I've gotten away from my spinning wheels. And I'm afraid I've lost my point. Maybe I was going to suggest that Gravity is God? ;-)


(And that is this Sunday's incomplete Sermonette.)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

So sexy it hurts...

I'm a model you know what I mean
And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah on the catwalk on the catwalk yeah
I do my little turn on the catwalk

"I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred


Model stumbles all over the catwalk.

Well, I just can't resist this one. If the stupid girls would actually eat they might have the strength to carry a watering can full of water more than a few steps without collapsing. And on top of that, would someone please teach these girls the proper way to walk? Every two year old knows that if you walk pigeon-toed and crossing your feet in front of each other it is going to make you fall. Duh!! And what about the other girl who just walks on by without even offering to help the other girl get up? These are not the "models" of ideal women. They are largely the ideals of gay men who don't especially like real women anyway. I hate the fashion industry. It's such a sham. And who in their right mind would want to look like these clowns anyway?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Personalities of Wealth

A fascinating article in Forbes looks into the minds of 14 of America's wealthiest men. They were asked twenty questions. Below I've answered them just for the hell of it. Feel free to answer them in a comment or otherwise. As for the fourteen about half of them said that they pray in some way or other. And seven said that the idea and execution were equally important, while three said the idea and four said the execution. If you're at all interested in the habits and values of successful people you should peruse the article. Here are the 20 questions:


1. What do you eat for breakfast?

I used to eat breakfast every day, but now I usually just drink coffee until lunchtime. I know it's not the healthiest thing, but it's a habit that I'm not very motivated to change.

2. What was your nickname in high school?

Rae, though I never really thought of it as a nickname.

3. What was your first job?

Summer I was 17, worked for "Kelly Services" (a "temp" agency) doing 'clerical' work (filing, etc.), first assignment was being paid $7.00/hour stuffing envelopes for IBM (this was during its heyday)

4. How often do you exercise?

Not enough. (even if you count sex, lol)

5. Who was your mentor?

The few people who might qualify as "mentor" probably wouldn't want to claim me as their "student". This isn't an insult to them at all... I'm just not worthy.

6. How many hours a day do you read?

I have no idea, probably half of it in some way.

7. What motivates you?

The need to know.

8. What is more important: the idea or the execution?

An idea isn't much use if it can't be executed or isn't shared. I'm not a good "doer" though. I like to come up with ideas for other people to test. ;-)

9. Worst day of your life?

when mom died

10. Do you pray?

yes

11. What was your biggest mistake?

Not sure because I've learned something from all of my mistakes, but I think that all of them happened because I didn't listen to my "gut" feelings.

12. Worst business idea you ever heard? (Did it succeed?)

That time they changed Coke was pretty stupid, and no, it obviously didn't succeed. Anytime an established, popular thing is "updated" there is a huge risk that often isn't worth the effort. New ideas are great, but they have to be practical and logical.

13. What can’t you live without?

Love and my children.

14. What is your favorite way to relax?

Soaking in a hot bath.

15. What is the best part about being the boss?

Being in control I guess. I don't know because I'm not the boss (yet). ;-)

16. What is “success” to you?

To be admired by my family and friends and to feel happy/peaceful with myself.

17. What is the best investment advice you ever heard?

Not exactly "investment" advice, but when I was spending my first ever paycheck (for the IBM envelope stuffing) the saleswoman at the department store told me, "Never settle for a man who can't do for you what you can do for yourself." Actually, that probably is good investment advice.

18. Is there any reason to get an MBA?

Not for me, but maybe for someone else, I might rather go for an MFA (and the "F" doesn't stand for "f*cker", lol)

19. If you could be anything else, what would it be?

A World Dictator or other similar thing. ;-)

20. What is your advice to young entrepreneurs?

Be willing to work more than play, but if you are doing what you love that won't be a problem.

Re-Declaration of Independence

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.



The rest of the document lists the "long train of abuses and usurpations" of the King of England upon the Colonies. Please click that link and read it for yourself. I'd like for each and every American and especially each U.S. Congressperson to read that list and compare it to the current political environment. Unfortunately, there are striking similarities, but fortunately they are still fairly limited. However, in the foreseeable future it is possible that the trend of Congressional Power over the Will of the People will increase. And in that event, I must say that We the People still have Every Right "to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hahahaha

I am 78% Evil Genius.
Evil to the Bone!
I am pure evil. I lie awake at night devising schemes of world domination, and I will not rest until all living souls bend to my will.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Magical Vines and Adjacent Universes, part 2

This article is from yesterday but I just read it tonight.

It says that another step toward "quantum computing" has been taken by some guys who have "teleported" information from light to matter.

Quantum entanglement involves entwining two or more particles without physical contact.

Although teleportation is associated with the science-fiction series Star Trek, no one is likely to be beamed anywhere soon.

But the achievement of Polzik's team, in collaboration with the theorist Ignacio Cirac of the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany, marks an advancement in the field of quantum information and computers, which could transmit and process information in a way that was impossible before.

"It is really about teleporting information from one site to another site. Quantum information is different from classical information in the sense that it cannot be measured. It has much higher information capacity and it cannot be eavesdropped on. The transmission of quantum information can be made unconditionally secure," said Polzik whose research is reported in the journal Nature.

Quantum computing requires manipulation of information contained in the quantum states, which include physical properties such as energy, motion and magnetic field, of the atoms.

"Creating entanglement is a very important step but there are two more steps at least to perform teleportation. We have succeeded in making all three steps -- that is entanglement, quantum measurement and quantum feedback," he added.



I don't know if that is an accurate description of what was done, but it sounds good. And a lot like Magical Vines and Adjacent Universes (eventually).



Don't be in such a hurry to get to that Other Universe. It's not time. It's not 'ready' yet.

Please Don't Go

(I love you)

Babe, I love you so
I want you to know
That I'm going to miss your love
The minute you walk out that door

So please don't go
Don't go
Don't go away
Please don't go
Don't go
I'm begging you to stay

If you leave
At least in my lifetime
I've had one dream come true
I was blessed to be loved
By someone as wonderful as you

So please don't go
Don't go
Don't go away
Please don't go
Don't go
I'm begging you to stay
Hey, hey, hey

Yeah

Babe, I love you so
I, I want you to know
That I'm going to miss your love
The minute you walk out that door
So please don't go
Don't go
Don't go away
Hey, hey, hey

I need your love
I'm down on my knees
Beggin' please, please, please
Don't go
Don't you hear me baby
Don't leave me now
Oh, no, no, no, no
Please don't go
I want you to know
That I, I, I, love you so
Don't leave me baby
Please don't go

~KC and the Sunshine Band

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Magical Vines and Adjacent Universes

The Vine
by Robert Herrick
(1591-1674)

I dreamed this mortal part of mine
Was Metamorphoz'd to a Vine;
Which crawling one and every way,
Enthrall'd my dainty Lucia.
Me thought, her long small legs & thighs
I with my Tendrils did surprize;
Her Belly, Buttocks, and her Waste
By my soft Nerv'lits were embrac'd:
About her head I writhing hung,
And with rich clusters (hid among
The leaves) her temples I behung:
So that my Lucia seem'd to me
Young Bacchus ravished by his tree.
My curles about her neck did craule,
And armes and hands they did enthrall:
So that she could not freely stir,
(All parts there made one prisoner.)
But when I crept with leaves to hide
Those parts, which maids keep unespy'd,
Such fleeting pleasures there I took,
That with the fancie I awook;
And found (Ah me!) this flesh of mine
More like a Stock then like a Vine.
That's one of my all-time favorite poems. It's almost pornographic. ;-)



A birdhouse gourd vine has 'magically' grown over one of my butterfly bushes. I grew gourds a few years ago but not since (intentionally), so the kids must have broken one in the yard and spilled the seeds. And actually, these 'accidental' ones are growing even better than the intentionally grown ones. There are two large gourds already and many small ones growing and many more blooms to come. It blooms at night with these big 'veiny' but delicate white flowers. They don't smell good, but they kind of glow in the moonlight. There is one starting to open in the photo.

It is a single plant that has branched out to cover the butterfly bush and weigh it down. (I don't think it will break.) It's amazing how those tendrils 'know' to grasp onto whatever they touch and wind themselves around it. (That brings to mind images of dna replicating.) There is a primal sensuality about tendrils and vines, as Herrick's "dream" also suggests. And to the overimaginative it could appear to be some kind of rudimentary intelligence that a plant responds to touch and has developed a way to exploit that ability.

This year I've been blessed with many volunteer plants, but this gourd vine is the most surprising and perhaps symbolic. Maybe Nature wants me to make more birdhouses and rattles? Yeah, that's probably it - to make up for the ones I didn't finish last time. Nature always manages to get her way. ;-)

So, why rattles? Well, it's a shamanic thing. Many, probably most, shamans use drums and rattles to "call the spirits" and enter trance states and assorted other things. I'm intimidated by drums. I'm not ready to make that much noise. ;-) And I find myself more receptive to a rattle's sound. But I rarely ever shake a rattle because I don't want the kids to wonder what Momma's doing or to think I'm even that much weirder.

Maybe Nature wants me to make rattles and to actually use them? Great, I can hear it now, "knock-knock-knock Momma? What are you doing?" I think I'll keep one in the kitchen to chase away the "evil spirits" that make my lights go off and on by themselves sometimes. Yes, that really does happen, but I'm assured by the resident electrician that it's not "supernatural" though he hasn't fixed the problem yet. ;-) The rattle will be more fun anyway.

What do magical vines have to do with adjacent universes? Last night when I started this I knew where that was going, but today I'm afraid I can only guess. Maybe I was thinking about the surprises of life and how we handle them. When I found the vine growing on my butterfly bush I could have pulled it out to save the bush from any potential damage. But that seemed too rigid and boring. I like to let things grow and to see what happens. I can imagine that if we ever 'find' an adjacent universe and can actually see into it we should be prepared for surprises and possibly even disappointments. What if we find that our counterpart in the other universe doesn't fit our ideal image? Do we reject it or say, "oh, I made a mistake"? Or do we look closer and try to see if the differences are only a reflection of some kind of 'quantum' variations? I don't know. It's not really up to me anyway.

Besides, even if we do wake to find that our magical vine is really 'just' a stock there are lot things that stocks are good for. ;-)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sometimes "Why" Isn't Enough

To the families who have lost children in the school shootings of the last week, I send my deepest sympathy. It's beyond me why a man who is angry at the world would go into a school and shoot little girls, specifically little girls. What kind of coward targets little girls? The pain these families are feeling is just unimaginable. Losing a child is a parent's worst nightmare. It breaks my heart to think about the lost dreams and hopes of these parents and children. And really, there is no 'reason' that could ever justify it, or even explain it.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Subscribe to this blog

I've recently added buttons on the sidebar that allow readers to subscribe and get new posts without having to actually visit the blog. I've discovered how incredibly convenient it is to subscribe to my favorite blogs and be able to read their updates all in one place without having to 'skip around the internet'. It's very efficient and organized! One button says "Sign Up- bloglines" and the other is the speaker-looking thing which is for Feedburner. Either one works fine, but Feedburner gives you more "reader" options. Don't be afraid of this new stuff! It's good. Now I just have to get me a stinking Ipod. Am I the only person in the US without one already?

Sick Bastards

First off, if this is an invasion of "privacy" then TOO FUCKING BAD!

Someone with the IP 24-217-68-184.dhcp.stls.mo.charter.com has been looking for "pics of kids tied up." Sick, sick, sick.

And in the wake of the Foley situation there is a new swell of irrational men trying to justify his behavior, just like when Epstein (or what's his name?) was in trouble for similar behavior. Well, that's just plain stupid.

In case CIP decides to delete my "abusive" comments I'll share the exchange here:

Foley is defintely a hypocritical politician that deserves to be fired for unethical behaviour and harassment ... but a "pervert child molestor"? How old was the page? 16. What's the age of consent in DC? 16. Did anything physical take place between the two individuals? No. Unfortunately, the merest rumour of the most marginally underage sex drives some people apoplectic, just as the merest hint of a terrorist threat drives some people to support the suspension of habeas corpus.
Ijon Tichy | 09.30.06 - 4:50 pm | #

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Ijon Tichy, you must not be a parent. The page's parents didn't want the issue to be pursued. That doesn't justify not telling the rest of Congress exactly, but if it were your child in this situation you would probably not want to be the cause of a big stink and end up in the spotlight (even 'anonymously'). Have you ever talked with a kid who has been molested? Even one who was molested at the age of 15 or 16? Before you go justifying things due to an arbitrary age of consent you should try to imagine how a young person might feel powerless in this situation. It might *look* like he was an active participate or whatever, but deep down inside I think he was probably too scared to put a stop to it. This is the power of the molester. The pedophile uses the child's fear and powerlessness to manipulate and control. Foley is a sick bastard and I hope he commits suicide.
Rae Ann | Homepage | 10.01.06 - 12:03 pm | #

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Rae Ann, your post is a perfect example of rationality going out the door at the merest rumour of pedophilia. For sending harassing emails to a 16 year old male page, you "hope he commits suicide"? Why don't you help him out and put a bullet into his head? No need to pussyfoot around with vain hopes; after all, "what about the children!!??"

Rae Ann, I take it you were never a 16 year old male? If this had happened to me at that age, I would have told all my friends, we would have laughed ourselves silly about it. That's assuming my friends were at home, and not out getting drunk, smoking weed, or rolling in the hay with Mary-Sue. I would have told my supervisor and my parents, too, because a 16 year old is smart enough to recognise unethical behaviour.

Unless the page had led an extremely sheltered and mollycoddled life (now that would be child abuse), words like "child", "scared", "molested", and "powerless" simply do not belong in this discussion. They are political words intended to incite us to irrational hatred. Keep your pitchfork at home.
Ijon Tichy | 10.01.06 - 9:27 pm | #

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Tichy, obviously, you are just as sick as Foley if you think that all 16 year old males are as degenerate as you (and supposedly your friends) were at that age. No, I've never been a 16 year old male that I can recall, but I've known plenty of them and your characterization of them is just as ill-defined and way-off as your confusion about my garden tool of choice. It's a hoe, not a pitch fork.

I suppose you're one of those idiots who thinks it would be way cool to have sex with a hot teacher like those who were molesting their male students? Well, unfortunately for you, the only teachers who would really want you would be the old, fat, ugly ones because the pretty predators don't want the 'willing' (because there is no 'challenge' or 'power' it that, those are not "political words"). You'll never understand the psychology behind sexual predators. I hope you don't have children. But if you do you'll probably get a good dose of Karma which will teach you how wrong you are. My pity to your children in that case.

It's men like you who have no moral center who are responsible for the atmosphere that encourages corrupt behavior. Yeah, I had sex at 16... with another teenager, not an adult. Any adult over the age of 21 who can't find another *adult* to have sex with is just a pathetic piece of shit.

Pedophilia IS IRRATIONAL. Dumbass. There is no RATIONAL justification for having sex or wanting to have sex with children. Man, you just make a mother really SICK. And I'm sure you enjoy that, don't you? Asswipe.



And in reply to "extremely sheltered and mollycoddled life (now that would be child abuse)"? Exactly HOW is THAT any more RATIONAL than anything I've said???

Tichy should line up with Foley for that bullet to the head... ;-)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Targeted Advertising

I was doing some reading about Foley to find out if he was married or what. I didn't know that it was rumored that he's gay until I found this article, "Is He Gay?" It is from 2003. I wonder if he was chasing underage boys back then too? Anyway, I'm not devoting any more space to that. What really struck me about this webpage was one of the rotating ads on the sidebar. Really, you've got to see it. I don't know how to copy or link to that kind of thing so just click it and look.

It's an ad for a resort in Costa Rica. When I first saw it I was somehow entranced (really, I watched it for way too long, lol) by it's strange selection of images: a full-frontal picture of a monkey eating something off a big Budda head followed by a picture of a shirtless, gay-looking guy sitting in what looks like a fancy bar and then two typical landscape pictures. Okay, the monkey nuts in Budda's face is just plain freaky. It's not even subliminal. Is that something that appeals to gay men? Or is that just an unfortunate choice of images? And then that half naked guy in a bar with chandeliers? If that's not gay then I don't know what is.

Well, my curiosity gets the best of me sometimes so I had to check out this resort's website to see if it was just for gay men. I half expected to find something pretty wild, but the resort's website is 'normal'. (Actually, the place looks really cool and has a bar in a cave.) I wonder how they ended up with a gay-targeted ad? I wonder how it's working for them?

I certainly intend no offense to gay men or women. I'm just noticing the advertising on the website.

I've had a "mild" migraine all day (woke up with it). I think it's because I saw an ad for a migraine prescription in a magazine last night. Maybe there is some kind of "migraine trigger" in those ads because every time I see one I end up with one. It's almost as if seeing the ad 'reminds' me that I haven't had a headache in a while so it's time to have one now. Well, it would probably increase their sales if they had ads that prompted migraines. Someone should find out if there is a relationship between seeing the ads and getting headaches. It could be a real effect like the "white coat hypertension". ;-)

Dear Dr. Freud,

I have an answer for your never answered question about what a woman wants. It seems that scientific discoveries and developments since your death offer a little enlightenment about the questions of your day. I don't pretend to be able to explain these things well enough for you or anyone else to understand fully, but I'll try anyway. For lack of a better way of organizing myself I'll start with a list:

1. A Woman Wants Supersymmetry which has to do with particle physics and is sort of self-explanatory by its name. I can't explain it exactly, but I kind of understand it (something about these tiny, little particles wanting to even themselves and each other out by partnering). I like it. I think that it is the state that we all (the whole Universe) would like to attain. We all want our 'superpartner'. (Maybe this is the state of Completion or Heaven or Nirvana at which we are no longer having to make adjustments and stuff?) And really, isn't that what Life is all about? Getting as close to balanced as you can. A woman wants a balanced relationship with a man. She doesn't want to feel like she's doing all of the work. She wants to feel necessary and wanted, and dare I say it, equal in importance and not just an accessory. (Though I wonder if there is ever "perfect" balance would it result in stagnation? Maybe there must be some imbalance required to maintain movement/energy? But that's probably a topic for another time, and I don't want to argue with myself right now.)

2. A Woman Does Not Want the Anthropic (man-centered) Principle which deals with why the Universe (or at least what we know of it) is perfectly suited for our existence. I can't pretend to understand that much about this one either, but I've decided that I don't think it's really necessary or worthwhile to put too much effort into exploring because it's a 'dead end.' It is a dead end because we are an expression (extension) of the Universe. The Universe is not an expression (extension) of us. If the Universe was truly an expression/extension of us (Life) then I think we'd not be asking this question at all. If it was an expression/extension of our consciousness or whatever then we'd understand it much, much better. If it was an expression of us then we'd be much better at altering it. Sure, "I think, therefore I am." But that doesn't mean, "I think, therefore you are." Likewise, a woman does not want the man to be the center of the Universe. A woman wants to be right there with him, partnered. (There is room for two at the center.)

Semi-seriously, doesn't the Anthropic Principle seem like a dog chasing its tail (or a man looking in the mirror)?

So, Dr. Freud, I hope that brings something new to your quest to understand women. My apologies to your physicist colleagues for abusing their terms and ideas. I hope that you can see that women don't envy your penis. We don't feel "incomplete" because we don't have one attached to us. But we do feel incomplete when we aren't in a balanced and harmonious relationship with a man because men and women are meant to be complementary and partnered. Men shouldn't envy women for the ability to 'create' life, and women shouldn't envy men for having the ability to 'support and increase' life. Your "toy models" of women are just far too simple and incomplete in light of modern knowledge. It's unfortunate that still to this day there are conflicts, power struggles, illusions, and delusions about our "other halves."

Anyway, rest in peace.

Sincerely,

Rae Ann

PS I thought you might be interested to know that this Anthropic Principle is the latest 'new wave' (popular) philosophy that has infiltrated many fields of study, particularly psychology and physics. And subsequently, the areas of spirituality and "self-help". Hmm, I guess there wasn't such a thing as "self help" back in your day. Nowadays, there is a glut of disposable books written by "experts" of various qualifications and credentials who tell other people how to live their lives. Anyway, I suspect that this Anthropic stuff is just a philosophical "fad" much like communism that will eventually be shown to be a dead end. But, then, what do I know? I'm just a woman, and a housewife at that! ;-)

Destiny


Not that this is a reflection of my own underwear collection. But I've always thought those old-fashioned bloomers are cute.

I've always been a "global warming" skeptic, even way back when they first started talking about it. My mom read Al Gore's 1992 book and told me about it, but it just didn't make sense to me that there is a global environmental disaster created by man. I didn't really know why it didn't make sense though. It just didn't. But over the years I've learned more about things and have also learned that I'm not the only skeptic. And the other skeptics I've met are pretty smart ;-) which helped me 'out of the closet' of SGWS (Silent Global Warming Skepticism), which I suspect is fairly common. However, I do accept that our climate is changing because change is expected given the history of our planet. The Earth's climate has always changed and evolved and Life right there with it.

I've been studying the satellite images of the Earth that NASA shares on their websites. I've read their interpretations of the data. And I've also made my own conclusions.

In looking at all the satellite images it's clear that temperature and life are positively correlated. Lubos Motl explains that the Southern Hemisphere isn't warming in the same way as the Northern Hemisphere. The Northern Hemisphere has a greater concentration/distribution of life than the Southern Hemisphere, so that makes sense.

So, what am I saying anyway? I've got a terrible headache today. I think I was saying that it is our destiny to live on a changing planet and to either adapt to it or not. There is no other alternative. We cannot stop Destiny. It will happen if it wants to no matter how hard we might try to stop it. We don't have that much influence on Destiny or Evolution or Climate Change. We are part of the whole. We and all of our 'waste' products are part of the whole. The Global Warming advocates that say we are 'ruining' the planet are just stuck in some Anthropic delusions of grandeur. If humans are supposed to go extinct it will happen whether we choke on our own waste or whether the planet belches a supervolcano or whether a comet or asteroid collides with the planet. No, that's not 'scientific' exactly, but it's the truth. ;-)

Sometimes Life and Destiny don't turn out the way we imagined they would. We find things of value in the least likely of places, and sometimes we recognize those 'diamonds in the rough' and sometimes we don't because we often overlook or reject things that don't match our preset expectations. It's human nature to sometimes be disappointed by the appearance of things and to sometimes misinterpret appearances. But if we dig a little deeper and focus less on the superficial we will find that the answers are there.


(this isn't exactly a complete presentation of my thoughts about global warming, etc. but I'm just trying to get rid of some mental odds and ends)