UFO Disclosure on Friday November 27, 2009?

The crackpots have been clamoring lately in the tubes of the Internet that Friday, November 27, 2009 will be the day the United States government comes clean– that President Obama will announce there is not one but six (6) alien races humankind has been in contact with. Sounds far fetched? It is, but its a fine example of logical fallacy. There’s something called the Jeane Dixon Effect named for astrology and psychic Jeane Dixon who advised President Richard Nixon and First Lady Nancy Reagan. Nixon, who called her “the soothsayer,” even went as far as to prepare for a terrorist attack based on a premonition. Her numerous erroneous predictions include the Soviet Union winning the space race to the moon and the start of World War III in 1958. Psychics are easy to verify: either an event happens or it does not. Basic Karl Popper falsification. Dixon scored a win though […]

Moving Paper

The above video is presently blowing up on Twitter, sending me off looking for more stop-motion/psuedo stop-motion papercraft.  Oddly, I spent a good chunk of last night tearing up sheets of paper and moving them millimeters.  If there’s a more introverted activity than stop-motion animation, I’d like to hear of it. Mercifully, here’s a jump, with more on the other side for those with time on their hands.

First Impressions of My Second Life

It could be said I have a hard-on for obsolescence.  Maybe it’s in gratitude for the wrecked and decrepit giving us the gift of seeing enduring efficiency by contrast.  Maybe it’s a desperate grasping for something to be nostalgic about as things are birthed and flame out over and over through life’s journey.  Maybe I’m just petty and like to laugh at failure.  All these are good reasons to take a trip into Second Life. Second Life is the past’s vision of the internet’s future, back the internet was always capitalized and sometimes likened to a highway made of Al Gore’s divine gleaming seed.  Go thumb through the bits of Snow Crash that talk about the Metaverse and see if it sounds familiar.  Yeah, that was 1992.  Second Life is the fulfillment of the cyberpunk dream of ditching the flesh and having an avatar functional enough to really live a […]

CIA's Black Cloak and Dagger Initiation Ceremony

An interesting aspect of American life is the goverment disclosues all kinds of conspiracies from assanating leaders to selling nuclear weapons to Iran. There’s no need to look for secret or classfied documents to find oddities, conspiracies, and strangeness. I’d consider the CIA’s official website to share a  fairly accurate history of  the CIA, at least what “they” want us to know. A curious article on the agency’s founding: At lunch today in the White House, with only members of the Staff present, Rear Admiral Sidney Souers and I were presented [by President Truman] with black cloaks, black hats, and wooden daggers, and the President read an amusing directive to us outlining some of our duties in the Central Intelligence Agency [sic], ‘Cloak and Dagger Group of Snoopers’.” With this whimsical ceremony, President Truman christened Admiral Soeurs as the first Director of Central Intelligence. I guess that could be called ‘whimsical.’ […]

1,600 Terrorists a Day

The Washington Post reported today that the U.S. intelligence community adds 1,600 names a day to its terrorist watch list, according to the FBI.  Now a number like that is irresistible to a man with a calculator and twelve years of public programming that says math is important. So how long would it take to get everyone in the U.S. on that list?  Well, the U.S. population is presently estimated at 307,845,181 (damn, just went up by 42… 13 of them are Screamin’ Jay Hawkins‘… somehow) and let’s do it in years just to round it off nicely…  307,845,181 at 1600 a day, divided by 365 and you’ve got about 193 years until we’ve got every American on the terrorist watch list. Of course, this is some godawful math that means very, very little.  There’s already a million entries on the list, 400,000 of them estimated to be unique individuals.  […]

Raw Materials: HYPE framework for Flash

I have been shying away from Flash lately as its not supported by many mobile devices and comparable open technologies like jQuery, Raphaël, and Canvas get better each day. And I don’t know Actionscript 3.0. HYPE might make me dust off my copy of Flash. In a style similar to Processing, HYPE does the heavy lifting for Flash coding. Making this fun again. From HYPE’s site: HYPE is a creative coding framework built on top of ActionScript 3. A major goal of HYPE is to allow newcomers to Flash and ActionScript to creatively play and express themselves while they are learning how to program. To get started, the user needs only the most basic knowledge of programming – variables, conditionals, loops, and functions, for example. As the user learns more about programming they can extend HYPE and thus grow their skills, while at the same time inspiring the next generation. […]

Colossi on the Brain

For whatever reason, I’ve been stuck thinking about massive statues of the human form lately.  I think a great deal of the enduring appeal of colossal humanoid statues is some kind of innate human tendency toward idolatry.   Somewhere in these crazy primate brains there’s a fixation on the idea of directly building a god. Is this how termites feel about building their mounds?  Do honeybees approach their hives with the same fascination we feel when catching a glimpse of the 305 ft Statue of Liberty?  Maybe if it was a functional structure… One of the most compelling visions of colossi as infrastructural elements would be the nearly unwatchable 1997 movie Batman & Robin.  Waiting for the next scene to feature a sixteen story colossus holding up a winding highway overpass was all that kept me from walking out of that one. Odd that supervising art director Richard Holland doesn’t appear […]