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30 September 2010

 
Exoskeleton for disabled people.

Exoskeleton for old farmers.


 
In the spirit of late, lamented NetDisaster, comes Kick Ass, a game that explodes webpages.

video


 
My gmail account was hacked -
DON'T CLICK ANY LINKS SENT FROM MY ACCOUNT.
(The hackers sent out a *bad* link to my contact list.)

They deleted this blog, too, but Google Jebus restored it five minutes ago.

I had, a few months ago, a notice from Google that someone in China had tried hacking into my gmail account, but it failed that time.

Suggested as appropriate by Salazar:

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29 September 2010

 
To all the UK Lindens on this, the closing day of the Brighton office: thank you for everything - best wishes for the future.


 
Oh, well.


 
this morning

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27 September 2010

 

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26 September 2010

 


Pointed out by Roxie on SCmkII.

Related:
Google Blacklist

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Jaded

The only part of this article that made me pay attention for all of .07656 seconds was "tight-fitting muscle shirts and cycling shorts." I found that phrase almost as compelling as "nut dust from first class," for some reason - although it may not amuse me for as long. What's the other one I like... oh, yes, "revived by an electric nut-grind." Well, when I compare it to the latter two phrases "tight-fitting muscle shirts and cycling shorts" isn't as daringly bizarre, but still, it made me notice since cycling shorts are the spawn of teh debbil and muscle shirts... (what are they - sleeveless T-shirts?) I'm sure indicate severe intellectual deficits in the wearers.

tight-fitting muscle shirts and cycling shorts = male slutwear?

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From the ceaseless internet winnowing of Candide comes this link: Better Book Titles.



25 September 2010

 
Turmoil

They keep throwing this in our faces: ‘well, it hasn’t been proven. We don’t know if it’s safe yet. We don’t know what the long-term effects are,’” says Andrew Katz, 51, a financial adviser in Ottawa who emceed a patient demonstration on Parliament Hill on Monday from his wheelchair. “Well, we know what the long-term effects are. We’re going to wind up in a wheelchair and we’re going to deteriorate and potentially (die). We know that. That’s a given. That’s a fact, so all of this ‘we need to look after you and that’s why we’re not going to help you’, it doesn’t make sense to me.

Updated to add: The point is, really, that it's an angioplasy to correct the drastic narrowing of certain veins (if that condition is present). It isn't experimental brain surgery or unknown voodoo, and it isn't done for no reason. They may dispute that it's a cure for m.s., but I'm not sure how they can dispute the vascular improvements.

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24 September 2010

 
The starlight skin for the V2.2 Beta has an inventory button - which I heard about right after I made a fake one by undocking/minimising and locating the inventory bar on my button bar, too :-D



23 September 2010

 
Avatars United, which was a Swedish (I think) website for avatars, in the same vein as Facebook, was purchased by LL when they were under M's rule. Now LL is discontinuing AU, which isn't surprising, really.


 
House Team Wins, Water Restored
(I hope this isn't tempting fate to write this.)

Me (on phone to landlord): What's going on?
Landlord (defeated-sounding): I will call someone else.
Me: Keep me updated.

Landlord (5 min later): I have a call in to X asking him to call me back.

Landlord (10 min later): He will be at the house first thing in the morning.

9 am - big van with company name painted on the side pulls in (Jess always says, "WHY can't we have a proper van with a company name on it show up with workmen who can fix the problems, not an assortment of miscellaneous unbranded incompetents??" [paraphrased])

9:30 - knock, knock - Your water is back on!
Me: I LOVE YOU!
Man: lol
Me: What was it?
Man: A broken wire.



22 September 2010

 
Evil Reveals Itself

"Tens of thousands of Texas children will be directly affected by the 11th-hour decision of a number of major health insurance companies to stop selling child-only policies rather than comply with the new federal law that requires they cover youngsters with pre-existing conditions.

'What we're seeing is what we've thought all along: Health insurance companies are really only about the bottom line,' said Robert Sanborn, president of Children at Risk, a nonprofit children's advocacy organization based in Houston. 'They pretend to care about families and children, but when it comes down to it, they're happy to kick children to the side.'"

For all of you who say, "Well, we knew that," consider this: the world should not be this way, and by cynically accepting it as though it's a natural law you enable these corporations to treat human populations as an exploitable resource existing for their benefit only.

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It's a bit like a war zone here at the moment since the energy running from Jess to our landlord to the 91 year old man to the houseboy and swirling around the downstairs dude and J's boyfriend and me is quite static-y with agitation.


 
Osprey's face on a doll's body at Extropia.



21 September 2010

 

No Water 2, the sequel

As near as I can figure it goes like this:
This is wrong so I shall try to get it down correctly this time.

Summit Lake, notwithstanding jetskis, planes, boats, swimmers, and the occasional parasailor or windsurfer, is a Drinking Water Lake, although it is never tested and undoubtedly Things are leaking into the lake.

My water begins in the lake, is pumped into the house, and plops out of the taps wagging its tail eager to be ingested, along with whatever happens along for the ride.

There are stringent unenforced regulations about what you can spray and so forth, within X distance of the lake.

Blackberries grow out of control down by the lake.

Mr Landlord hires Man A, who wanders into Jessica's garden while she's sitting outside in her pajamas one morning drinking coffee. He explains that he's going to liberally spray an incredibly toxic herbicide on the edge of the lake in order to kill the blackberries. Jessica (an environmentalist): Dude, that's against the law. You'll be hit with a lawsuit, plus OUR WATER COMES FROM THE LAKE and you might kill someone.

Exit Man A.

*Lights come up and audience is encouraged to buy popcorn and drinks as I'm not sure exactly what transpires but the next thing I hear is that...*

Jessica's houseboy (whom I've never met, but who is some kind of cleaning fetishist availing himself of J's dominatrix services apparently) is going to remove the blackberries with old fashioned work involving digging and whatnot.

On Sunday the water pump burns up.

Ever on the ball, my landlord hires a 91 year old man (who built this house, but who is a VERY old, deaf, stooped, wizened little man now) who replaces the pump today.

Midday-ish: Water! Yay! It's brown! It's... pooh! *lets it run* It's... brown! *lets it run* It's stinky!

I hear someone shouting irately at someone else but don't try to listen.

Tiff rings: "I want to come over since my week is weird and I might not get another chance."
Me: "OK, I need to take a shower because I didn't like the thought of being in a confined space with the smell, but I will."

I showered, things were a bit more spluttery than expected. Cleaning the kitchen I noticed grit in the sink after running the stinky water.

My landlord rings just now and asks me to turn off electricity to the pump (don't ask me why he rang me just now as I don't know).

THIS IS WHERE IT NEEDS CORRECTION:

On one side we have my landlord (not here, very ill, bad track record for house maintenance) and the 91 year old man (can hardly see/hear).
On the other side we have Jessica (environmentalist), houseboy (SCUBA diver/handyman), new tenant (journeyman carpenter), and me (god-like observer - well, not really).

According to my landlord, the pump burned out on Sunday, then on Tuesday after the 91 year old man replaced the pump (I think) the houseboy, for unknown reasons involving a desire to clean the pipe, CUT the pipe that leads out into the lake. The pump was struggling to pump nothing or perhaps pump from the muddy lake edge and consequently the water was brown, stinky, and spluttery.

According to the other side, 91 y.o.m. arrived 90 minutes later than specified in the company of a young man who admitted he is a neighbour and is A) frightened by driving with a man who can't see/hear, and B) possesses no knowledge of the problem at hand. [He is appalled (one supposes) and doesn't return the next time 91 y.o.m. comes.] 91 y.o.m. works for a short time. The pump was replaced but was not working when the 91 y.o.m. left with the house still waterless. Houseboy and new tenant, both of whom are handy (and this is a fairly simple thing, after all), decided to troubleshoot with the goal of fixing the issue. The water pipe leading into the lake, which should be inspected by SCUBA divers every 1-3 years hasn't been checked in many moons. The pipe is too fragile to be checked in the
normal way (SCUBA diver loops a cord around it and follows the pipe out to its end), but might well be clogged, so the two men cut the pipe, knowing that mending the cut is a 20-minute job with a connector and some epoxy glue or whatever. In their poking around they see clearly that the pump has the wrong connector, that the right connector will cost $5 and will fix the water problem. They somehow get things going enough so that we have brown, stinky, spluttery water for a certain amount of time.

91 y.o.m. turns up (I think this is how it went) and is livid, saying the pump was fine but cutting the pipe has caused it to not work; he behaves "inappropriately" to Jessica, shouts at the two men, calls my landlord and tells him we need [ANOTHER?] new pump. The two men say NO WE DON'T - we need a $5 piece of pvc pipe.

My landlord, having an oil-and-water relationship with Jess, after receiving detailed emails, and phonecalls from both sides gives a one-sentence command: back off and let the 91 y.o.m. finish the job without interference.

Today the 91 y.o.m. turns up at 10:30 or so without the equipment he needs, apparently. Houseboy is backing out of the situation. Jess is seething with anger. I am considering rereading Dante's Inferno as it is a guidebook to this territory.

I still have no water,
Maybe one day I'll have what I consider to be my normal water situation.


 
Osprey's face on a doll's body, at Omega Point.


 
The water is brown and stinky.
The water pump has been replaced and the water is finally on for the first time since Sunday at around 6 or 7.



20 September 2010

 
Frankenfish

The FDA is assessing it according to guidelines for the safety of veterinary drugs, not human food consumption.
Most of the reports they are using to assess it come from the company making it.
The plan is to raise them in Panama where the company will not feel compelled to raise them in the way they say they will (including keeping them from entering the wild).
The FDA has a bad record when it comes to imported fish.
5% of them are fertile, and that adds up.
The FDA has never required the labeling of genetically modified foodstuffs.


 


OK Go new

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19 September 2010

 

Snapshot
Originally uploaded by Vivian Oblivion

Flying around Alpha Point with Enj (Lucy was there too but crashed or left).



 
APB is closing - that's the game with the great avatar customisation :((



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For years S has been using a drug her doctor gave her for chronic runny nose; she lately developed dysgeusia (burning tongue, impaired taste). The pharmacist preparing the dysgeusia medication told her it might be related to medication 1, as it's a known side effect, and that users are meant to rinse their mouths after using it, which she hadn't known.

Great. Wonder what the side effects are for medication 2.


 

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18 September 2010

 

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The strange-face-in-the-mirror-illusion sounds scary to me ===:O



17 September 2010

 


Visually interesting, but not much beyond that - but hey, airships! Jude Law is a kind of Dan Dare-esque hero, and Gwyneth Paltrow is the reporter who will do anything for a story.

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16 September 2010

 
Brutal Knitting


 

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I couldn't connect for a while and I though JLI was dead :((( Was it just me or did something happen?

Not at all! We did have to reboot the server last week, and you might have caught us then. Sorry for the trouble :) - if you have trouble getting in again, drop us an email.

Update: Looking back at my FF History I see it was all summer - so perhaps it was just me. And it wasn't that I couldn't log in, the entire webside was gone, which was why I didn't email.

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15 September 2010

 


This slow but oh, so thorough Korean thriller is gripping in its plot and in the focused intensity of its lead actress. I think it will stick with me for a long time.

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September 19 - International Talk Like A Pirate Day

I need to dig out my old official Linden pirate translator from back when SL was silly and fun :-D

Actually I was really trying to remember when gorilla suit day is. Anyone know?


 
Just BECAUSE - here's our 2007 TSMGO show video archive in four parts:

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4

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I Hate Shopping
I've never been very good at knowing how large-small I am, something I'm very aware of. I remember once Missy looking at a self portrait of me in front of my studio door and saying, "You painted yourself a LOT heavier than you are," which I can see now if I look at the painting and the source material (Polaroid - I was very skinny).

I was surprised-ish that, whilst dragging out my snake shirt, I happened upon a linen blouse my pater and his wife brought me back from Venice years ago (never worn) and a top handwoven by a good friend (worn a few times) and they both fit fine. I'd've thought them both much too small. I must be smaller than I think, which would explain why my jeans fall off even the day I buy them.

I also found a shirt I bought at Maggie Murphy's time After Time, a retro fifties-esque mustard button shirt with a longitudinal woven stripe on one side. I still like it so if I can get someone to do up the buttons I'll wear it. If you are a hundred years old and you have saved all the really interesting clothes from 20 years or so ago, and if your taste hasn't changed, it's like having the product of shopping wirthout having to actually go shopping, which I hate. w00t!


 

The New Beaumont Sea
Originally uploaded by Wildstar Beaumont

The New Beaumont Sea

Wildstar Beaumont's lovely picture.



 
Voluminous handmade silk snake shirt I wrote about ages ago but just got myself decked out in a minute ago. I'm a snake in Chinese whatsit. A er... I dunno, water snake? *looks at the lake* Yes, must be a water snake :-D

You can tell how old it is because it was made by this textile artist around this time:

From a prehistoric Seattle Times article:

She doesn't believe in ghosts and she's never been to a seance, but when the chance to design costumes for the movie "Ghost'' appeared, Barbary Stenderu believed in herself enough to say yes.

Stenderu, a local textile and clothing designer with a shop near the Pike Place Market, designed some of the clothing Whoopi Goldberg wears in "Ghost'' and the cloth that covers the seance table in the movie.

In the film, playing at several area theaters, Goldberg plays a charlatan psychic who discovers her powers are authentic when she starts communicating with "ghost'' Patrick Swayze.

Stenderu, who usually designs one-of-a-kind fabrics and clothing, was asked to design a jacket and blouse plus 30 yards of fabric for the seance tablecloth, draperies and pillows in Goldberg's apartment.

"I had never done two pieces that were exactly alike before,'' she says. ". . . I had to make several exact duplicates of each one so there would be spares in case some were damaged."

Update: Perhaps Barbary Stendaru is Darbury Stendaru - would seem strange that two such similarly named women are Seattle textile artists making one-of-a-kind painted clothing. If not, maybe they are sisters. DS made a MtG card of Medusa - Coils of the Medusa - more snakes, more collectable cards.

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Massive Fish Kill in Louisiana

"Plaquemines Parish officials have asked state wildlife officials to investigate what they said is a massive fish kill at Bayou Chaland on the west side of the Mississippi River late Friday.

Photographs the parish distributed of the area shows an enormous amount of dead fish floating atop the water.

The fish kill was reported to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries and the cause has not yet been determined, the parish said. The fish were found in an area that has been impacted by the oil from the BP oil spill, the parish said."



14 September 2010

 
25 March 2010

Me makes jira issue: Uninstalling 2.0 took out everything associated with the current official viewer.
Me: I had a couple of crashes and it didn't seem to recover so I decided to uninstall/reinstall it.
I was surprised to see that it took out everything to do with Second Life's official viewer, like all my chatlogs and settings.
I haz a sad.

26 March 2010
Dessie Linden: We need to be sure that installation issues are carefully and completely documented for residents. The default behavior of the Official Viewer 2 installer will be to install OVER Viewer 1.23. Because doing so will hose 1.23, we need to clearly document that residents should select a different install location than the one in which their 1.23 viewer is installed.

14 Sept 2010
Rand Linden: I believe this should be covered in Viewer Help or the KB, so reassigning to Jeremy.

Me: I believe it was beta at the time. I don't think a beta viewer should EVER default to wiping out the official viewer.


 
5 Minutes Ago
weird pic, but then, every pic of me is.

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Mesh
LL has blogged about mesh again, keeping us aware of their commitment to collada meshes in the near future (by the end of 2010 Philip said). It's an exciting development that is sure to have major repercussions. Unlike the addition of sculpties, there won't be such a huge downside to meshes so there will be a greater impact on the economy, however there may be a correspondingly huge but gradual positive impact on fps. Although I'm grateful for sculpties (couldn't've made my waffle arena without them!) they are frustrating at times to make and render slowly or badly for many people. I'm excited about being able to create directly to mesh.
I wonder:
  • Will someone make something like Prim Oven that can take a linkset and turn it into a mesh?
  • How much already-made mesh from places like 3D Warehouse will tumble into SL and clog up the works?
This will mean a new age of avatars - we have always had every kind of avatar but made by sliders and added prims. Now an avatar can be one mesh and formed exactly as the (single) creator wishes - but we'll have to see exactly how much less individual user input affects things. You won't be able to just, oh, move the ears back anymore. How will clothing fit? I am not sure how it will be, but I think it's good to change and grow. My ancient idea for content was to "flush" after X amount of time - well, LL is doing that with it's XST revolution, and with mesh. I can't complain.



13 September 2010

 
Switcheroo photography project by way of Laughing Squid who found it at Evil Mad Scientist.


 
I've always loved this dance sequence from Swing Fever, Kay Kyser and his Orchestra with Marilyn Maxwell performing One Girl and Two Boys, dancers - Jean Veloz, Don Gallagher, Lenny Smith...




...and here Jean is in 2007 :-D

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12 September 2010

 
Not robots, but my models today were nice anyway :-D

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Massively has the first installment of a tale of revenge from EVE - quite riveting. EVE is built for just such doings.


 
Mind Hacks points out "Anthropologist Wade Davis’s wonderfully vivid description of the effects of Amazonian hallucinogenic plants from page 216 of fantastic book, One River:

In the case of yagé, some twenty one admixtures have been identified to date. Two of these are of particular interest. Psychotria viridis is a shrub in the coffee family. Chagopranga is Diplopterys cabrerana, a forest liana closely related to yagé. Unlike yagé, both of these plants contain tryptamines, powerful psychoactive compounds that when smoked or snuffed induce a very rapid, intense intoxication of short duration marked by astonishing visual imagery.

The sensation is rather like being shot out of a barrel lined with baroque paintings and landing on a sea of electricity."



 
[2010/09/11 13:21] Mamoru Junkers: bring back "the show must go on"
[2010/09/11 13:26] Osprey Therian: :-D
[2010/09/11 13:26] Mamoru Junkers: <3

[2010/09/11 13:28] Osprey Therian: There'as a lot of theatre in SL now, not like when we started.
[2010/09/11 13:29] Mamoru Junkers: yeah but its not you .
[2010/09/11 13:29] Osprey Therian: <3
[2010/09/11 13:29] Mamoru Junkers: sorry feeling retro
[2010/09/11 13:29] Osprey Therian: I feel all warm and fuzzy inside :-D

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I got married onstage, but nothing like this :-D



10 September 2010

 

The Babars


 

Today
My net has been beyond sucky for the past couple of weeks, but I wasn't motivated to fix it as I was beyond sucky myself, so it just seemed to fit. However today (prodded by Jess) I stirred my stumps and updated the router firmware (I thought it was passworded with a p/w I didn't have but finally tried admin/null and success!), and I swear my cordless phone base interferes too, so that's moved. Seems quite peppy now.

E-News
My tiny sister E, who is what, 43? has been invited to participate in the 2011 Special Olympics in Athens :-D All expenses paid, too. w00t! Power-lifting! I've been ringing her phone and leaving messages but she has not rung me back. Both Lucia and my sister D rang me though because E told them I was at death's door.

I was shocked this morning to see that the Royal Mail is to be privatised ===:O That's horribly wrong. I was always a devoted letter-writer until I couldn't write anymore. Perhaps there's not much left if you take out bills and ads - :(

I've been wearing my headset for a couple of weeks - well, I haz two, one I bought and one that Enjah gave me. The one I bought is very solid and has volume/mute on an in-line control which is nice, but it hurts my *jaw* - strange. Enjah's has no volume gizmo but it's lighter, smaller, and so far doesn't hurt as much (or maybe won't at all once my jaw is calmer). Like my mum and Mummy Barbara I have outer ear sensitivity so I wasn't sure I could use headsets at all, but I think I can do it. Putting 'em on one handed is weird, however.

Nearly finished rereading the Bernal Diaz Chronicles, which is slow but I just read a page or two when I sit at the counter in the kitchen, with a screwdriver or a spoon holding the pages down. It's such an amazing document - if you haven't read it and you like eyewitness accounts of things, try it. One thing I don't remember thinking about 20+ years ago (because I'm such a godless infidel) is that the Spaniards believed the Aztec gods existed, they just believed them to be devils. It's hard for me to grasp that, for some reason.

My closest nearby internet-but-never-met buddy Flummel is going to visit in a few weeks, the visit precipitated by the sudden revelation that her son's girlfriend is the niece of my wonderful friend SJ, which Flummel discovered when she went to Missy's and saw a painting of mine on the wall.
(Warning: reenactment for dramatic effect only.)
Flummel: ZOMG THAT WAS PAINTED BY OS
Missy: YEZ EYE HAZ KNOWN HER FOREVAH!!!
Flummel: SQUEEE!!!
Missy has been awesomely kind to me. There's talk that she might come too.

Tiff came over today and brought paella. She's wanting me to move closer to her as she'll be giving up her job when her grandson hits Montessori, and has looked at a place or two that sounded nice but are even more unaffordable for me than here. If I'm going to bother to move I need to actually try to live without going into the red by hundreds every month, which is how it is now, but which isn't sustainable.


 

Now with Virtual STDs!

X-rated Utherverse virtual world is in discussions with developers of the Emerald Viewer for Second Life, the company announced.



 
RIP Hamlet

"I’m joining the Blue Mars team because after working in virtual worlds for over seven years, I’m now convinced that Blue Mars has the best strategy for bringing 3D immersive worlds to a mass market."



09 September 2010

 

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Enjah's new film is set during wartime, as a disagreement between two buddies leads to trouble.


 

The return to Sound Techniques studio (in 1974) raised Drake's spirits; his mother later recalled, "We were so absolutely thrilled to think that Nick was happy because there hadn't been any happiness in Nick's life for years."



08 September 2010

 
Human Age

Today at 2:24 am [Purchases/Sales] Wolftever bought a(n) Copper ingot off you at the market of Yolkshire for the price of 45 crown(s).
Today at 2:00 am [Various] Your Monkey Dr Earnest Worthing has just had babies with the Monkey of thespoon.
Today at 12:41 am [Purchases/Sales] Smerk bought a(n) Manure off you at the market of Bellyburg for the price of 12 crown(s).



07 September 2010

 

Untitled from VJ Peter Rand on Vimeo.

Double Rainbow audio is superimposed onto a gallery walkthrough of works by Donald Judd

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"good questions! gertrude stein would be proud of you. so what is it that most people generally do with their time that is any better? i don't really see the difference. LT"

For most of my life - that is until I was somewhere in my early thirties - I had lots of animals and consequently knew a lot of farmers as I bought oats and hay and straw and so one. They were often quite interesting people, and it occured to me at the time that they had what people in more modern ways of life don't: riding around on their tractors, doing chores they'd done a thousand times before, secure in their knowledge of their surroundings, and for the most part at peace, these farmers had time to think and formulate ideas. They had time to THINK.

There is much good that comes about because we structure some of our time, but if life is too structured it's sterile. This must be a city/suburb invention: cut off from loose natural structure, time-and-rule-based rigidity is the human attempt to allay fears, which leads to subdivision of life into smaller and smaller segments. I don't know what "most people" do or even are, but I can't help but think adding more and more structure and training people to obey the rules is not good. On the other hand it fits in with my "everything is becoming One and I'm wrong to complain about it" idea.

The answer to your question is:
Think unstructured thoughts.
Tell stories to children.
Talk.
Dream.
Exist for the moment in the human body, enjoying the feeling of the sun's warmth, the smell of the trees, the sounds of insects.
Poke mud with a stick.
Walk nowhere.
Cry.
Wash floors.
Forget things, remember things, look closely at whatever ugly thing is nearby and think about it.
Spend four hours doing nothing.
Explore.
Watch birds.
et cetera


 
Over at SCmkII

Rose Karuna is encouraging people to point this out to anyone at the federal level of the USA government. She wrote to John McCain:

"Dear Senator McCain,

Are you aware of the death of inmate Marcia Powell? Powell, 48, died May 20, 2009, after being kept in a human cage in Goodyear's Perryville Prison for at least four hours in the blazing Arizona sun.

This, despite a prison policy limiting such outside confinement to a maximum of two hours. The county medical examiner found the cause of death to be due to complications from heat exposure. Her core body temperature upon examination was 108 degrees Fahrenheit. She suffered burns and blisters all over her body.

Witnesses say she was repeatedly denied water by corrections officers, though the c.o.'s deny this. The weather the day she collapsed from the heat (May 19 -- she died in the early morning hours of May 20) arched just above a 107 degree high.

The reason that I'm sending you this is because the Maricopa County Attorney's Office has chosen not to prosecute. I think it is truly terrifying that someone could do this to another human being in the US without any reprocussions.

I just thought, since you abhor torture that you would want to know.

Kindest Regards,"

Jen added, "What bothers me most about this woman's story is that she was a mental patient turned out onto the street, and left to her own devices wound up a prostitute, and then dead. Odds are she was in need of meds and counselling, and instead she got tossed into a roaster by untrained prison staff who were not equipped to deal with her issues."


 

Snowstorm
Originally uploaded by Katharine Berry

Kitty crossed with Snowstorm



 
Stray Thoughts

For some reason it popped into my head just now that Ruskin would feel quite at home with the current waxing/shaving obsession. Creating a climate that would satisfy Ruskin seems sort of wrong somehow.


 
Game designer gives up his life to save his family.


 
Emeraldgate is featured on the BBC Outriders podcast for 7 Sept 2010 *notices that Hamlet is a contributor* Ah, that makes sense, then.

Also their podcast description has a mistake :(



06 September 2010

 
Putting the Pieces Together

I'm thinking about games. The specific pieces I'm reconciling are:
  1. My feeling about certain pointless game-like activities that I wrote about HERE. I said in part, "Humans like to do things that make them feel as though they are accomplishing something. Note the "feel as though" well, as we don't need actually to accomplish anything, just to feel that we do. That's an exploitable trait, as it turns out - and exploitable in a big way.

    FaceBook is absolutely chock full of pointless dig-a-hole-then-fill-it-in applications that - wait! DO have a point. All those micropayments add up to big bucks for the app developers. It's an uneven trade that I find rather sinister - coopting billions of hours of real human energy to create a programmer's robot army, in a way. Yes, it's the person's choice, but I'm not interested in one person, but in the way this plays out in general.

    To be addictive the dig-a-hole-then-fill-it-in ungame* has to have a "moving up" scenario, be time-based, involve sharing and gifts, and have rewards for line-toeing. To get to the point where people will voluntarily invest small amounts of money, the app has to be formed in such a way that they will invest hours of their time, a precious commodity that should be used elsewhere. Better to plant a real seed, read to your child, or if you are at work, do your job.

    A dig-a-hole-then-fill-it-in app can become too obviously addictive, at which point the host may cut it off at the roots. My friend Con was so involved in one (Farmville?) that one day she was contemplating rushing home because her apricots needed harvesting or something - and decided instead to stop playing entirely.

    I'm wondering what effect this energy siphoning-off will have on the world. There's the slight chance the applications offer in play form the aggregation of far-flung individuals, the effect of which, once realised and used for real purposes, may be key to the resolution of my no-them-only-us theory. Dunno."
  2. The idea of the "game layer" that Seth Priebatsch talks about in the post below this one, which can harness human activity for useful as well as pointless activities.
  3. The old saw that billionaires regard money as a way to keep score. (My pater used to say that anyone could be rich if they wanted to devote all their time and energy to the accumulation of money, which of course he didn't, being entirely obsessed with quite different things.)
Society has been set up as a game that only some people play; that is, only some people are obsessed with money and the accumulation of money "points" purely for its own sake and to the exclusion of ideals is a negative force in society ("Love of money is the root of all evil."). That game and its ability for pwnage by those unconcerned by the greater good is why human society is all lopsided.

The little problem, I suppose, is to identify something that works for the greater good (in a small way) and build a gameframework around it. Examples in the Game Layer presentation are games to help people take their pills or to motivate children to learn (my only experience with education was in the Native American community at a school that is unique in the world; children were both neglected and spoiled and education had no consistent value in the society, so I always wondered if it would just be more productive to pay the children to go to school and learn hah).

Update: You know, this is very sinister in the way it not only trains people to follow the rules but gives them to believe that having a million rules and being happy about it is normal - but then I'm more than a hundred years old. This must be the way to the Singularity.

This is sort of freeform play versus rules, in a way. I don't follow anything, and am resplendent in my isolation, however even *I* have noticed there are apps making your personal list of things to do into a game with levels and rewards. Does EVERYTHING need to be organised into a game? Are people *that* in need of the comfort a rules structure brings? I come from a far-off time and I feel I am watching humanity coalesce into One, which is likely a good thing given especially how I've always felt we crave oneness/togetherness/relief from isolation, but still odd to me.


 

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05 September 2010

 


This is hard to listen to because of his boring voice + less than sparkling audio quality, but it's interesting if you have m.s.

*tries hard to make her neurologist help her*

It's been a long haul for me since I had only intermittent insurance and no interest/belief in the drugs anyway and have had to hang tough on my beliefs for twenty years. When I first became ill I recognised that although the inclination is to hate the failing body parts, it's better to love the gimpy parts at least as much as the parts that work. I felt like using pharmaceuticals to suppress the immune system was wrong, and that drugs were just poisoning the body, and I wouldn't do that. I felt strongly that I wouldn't support Big Pharma, which benefits from the desperation and fear m.s. sufferers generally have.

Time is running out, and I don't know if I'll be able to get this simple treatment which might help a great deal, but at the very least I feel I'm vindicated for my stubborn adherence to my own vision of the truth. Let me tell you, it hasn't been easy holding out against the force of society and medicine. I feel strong, actually.

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Canary Islands
I loved the books of Benito Pérez Galdós, and once long (long, long) ago when SWMNBMIMB took me to a flamenco evening, it turned out someone or other there (er husband of a Spanish government employee perhaps?) was from the Canary Islands, so I was thrilled, and so was he that someone had brought up that author (Him: I am from the Canary Islands. Me: ZOMG Benito Pérez Galdós!!! Him: Yes!!!). Although it's been eons since I read those books I think about them fairly often.

About the only other memory I have with the CI was something about driving through Cali with my brother and talking at length to a man at a restaurant who was from the CI. He was with a young woman who didn't say a word, and who seemed very mildly retarded to me. Wife or daughter, I can't remember.



04 September 2010

 
If at first you don't succeed...

Nothing came of the first matchmaking experiment, so I wrote another letter:

Dear Mrs Poofbear,
My monkey Dr Earnest Worthing has requested I write to you as he is smitten by the attractive and witty Bananas.
Might they perhaps meet for a drink later?
Yours - Ostherian Smith

Update: A certain lower-case-loving Mr. thespoon from the Kingdom of the Wolves of Asgard has brought his fair monkette companion jevelin over as she is pursuing Dr Worthing in earnest. Upon analysis and consultation I cancelled the proposal to Mrs poofbear and Bananas, as jevelin is most attractive and her arrival presents a superior opportunity (according to DEW, who should know).



03 September 2010

 


Candide pointed this out :-D

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02 September 2010

 
I felt fairly well restored yesterday evening, but today I'm headachey, queasy, and have lots of stabby pains.

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It flipped over to autumn last week - funny how the change is distinct.

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An Example of How Helping New People is Time-Consuming
And this was an easy one.
(Note: these items have nothing to do with me (as in, I don't sell them).

New Person in need of help:
Hello, i purshased the leg warmers, which i cannot ear them, the description sais "DO NOT WEAR THEM Need to be alliend to your legs and linked together if you do not know hot to link your leg warmers please send me an im and i will walk you threw it enjoy" what the heck that means? i mean i already tryed to contact but i am still waittting confused. What alliend means? someone help me

Me:

Go to a place where you can build, like a sandbox.

Detach your legs.

Find them in Inventory.

Check that they are Modify and Copy.

Put the left leg on the ground.

Put the left legwarmer on the ground.

Move them around until the legwarmer is in the correct place.

Put the right leg on the ground.

Put the right legwarmer on the ground.

Move them around until the legwarmer is in the correct place.

Then look at them and make sure they look good as a pair.

----

Select the left legwarmer.

Hold down Shift.

Select the left leg as well.

Control - L will link them.

Name it "L leg and legwarmer" or something unique.

Take the left leg/legwarmer into Inventory.

----------

Select the right legwarmer.

Hold down Shift.

Select the right leg as well.

Control - L will link them.

Name it "R leg and legwarmer" or something unique.

Take the right leg/legwarmer into Inventory.

----

Find "leg and legwarmer" in your Inventory.

Wear them.

New Person:
oh my, thank you very much!!! it worked ^^ -walks around with my awesome leg warmers- XDDDD i am so happy



01 September 2010

 
Lulz from the Emerald Collapse*

"I don't know what Soft's particular expertise is, but it makes sense to me that some engineers would, in their pursuit of cool features, forget about security. It is the sort of thing that would be caught in a design review or status report, by some OTHER person."

"His expertise is security."

*Particularly the encoding of paths into a jpeg.


 
There's a Snowstorm fix pending for particles not timing out when UI suppressed! Yay!

 

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I want to ask for thoughts about improving the world -- what do people need? How can things be organised?