you must be THIS TALL to touch the mailer

I've now reached the point where something like 80% of the spam I get is from "Norton Antivirus For Microsoft Exchange" letting me know that "A VIRUS WAS DETECTED IN A MESSAGE YOU DIDN'T ACTUALLY SEND."

Apparently if you are aware that the From: field can, and often is, forged, you are overqualified to write antivirus software.

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Robert Anton Wilson: the nutcase's nutcase

The Guns and Dope Party

28 August 2003 e.v. After refusing many pleas to run for governor, I have reconsidered and now enter the race as an unofficial write-in candidate. After all, why should I remain the ONLY nutcase in California who ain't running?

My party, the Guns and Dope Party, invites extremists of both right and left to unite behind our shared goals of:

  1. Get those pointy-headed Washington bureaucrats off our backs and off our fronts too!
  2. Guns for everybody who wants them; no guns for those who don't want them

  3. Drugs for everybody who wants them; no drugs for those who don't want them

  4. Freedom of choice, free love,free speech, free Internet and free beer

  5. California secession -- Keep the anti-gun and ant-dope fanatics on the Eastern side of the Rockies

  6. Lotsa wild parties every night by gun-toting dopers

  7. Animal protection -- Support your right to keep and arm bears

[...] First order of business on assuming office: Fire 33% of the legislature [names selected at random] and replace them with full-grown adult ostriches, whose mysterious and awesome dignity will elevate the suidean barbarity long established there.

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Current Music: C0DE

dnalounge update

DNA Lounge update about tomorrow's final C0DE, plus pictures of Gotham Road / PLAN 9 / Hypercenter and Scar Tissue / Kontinuum.
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Current Music: Cydonia -- Cactus ♬

sorry kid, Disneyland burned down.

No One Makes It To Burning Man


"No one had their shit together enough to even make it," organizers said Tuesday. "You can't start panhandling quarters for gas the week before the festival and expect to make it here in time, man."
  
Above: Boulder resident Paul Sandley, who was halfway to Burning Man when his truck "totally konked."

Preserved below for posterity, since The Onion doesn't keep complete archives:

<LJ-CUT text=" --More--(13%) ">

No One Makes It To Burning Man Festival

GERLACH, NV -- The Burning Man festival, a prominent artistic and countercultural event that draws tens of thousands of people to the Nevada desert annually, is in danger of cancellation this week because "no one had their shit together enough to even make it," organizers said Tuesday.

  
Above: The empty Burning Man festival grounds.

"Jesus Christ, this is pathetic," said event coordinator Ethan Moon as he angrily gestured toward the empty Black Rock Desert basin expanse, known as the playa. "We've been promoting this thing all year. You can't start panhandling quarters for gas the week before the festival and expect to make it here in time, man."

Moon listed some of the most common no-show excuses, among them oversleeping, forgetting to request time off work, faulty van-borrowing arrangements, a shortage of ochre body-paint, and the last-minute realization that transportation to the Burning Man festival requires money.

"As of a few weeks ago, or even a few days ago, there were 30,000 people who honestly planned on coming," Moon said. "In every case, however, there were, well, you know -- shit happened."

Although Burning Man festivals have had no-shows in the past, Moon said he's never witnessed absenteeism on this level.

"You have to figure out a way to get here, stock up on water and extra clothing for the cold nights, and make sure you have adequate shelter," Moon said. "Apparently, the advance planning it takes to arrange those three basic things was more than anyone could handle. Sorry to be on this uptight trip, but check out the playa. Not a single nude dude in a homemade papier-mâché tribal mask as far as the eye can see."

Although Burning Man is billed on its web site as a "temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and radical self-reliance," it became evident that the no-shows were more capable of the former than they were of the latter.

Los Angeles silkscreen artist Goldi Trewartha was among the tens of thousands of Burning Man devotees who stayed home this year.

"Yeah, I was supposed to go with Ari and Shel, but they couldn't score [Ecstasy] in time for the trip, and I forgot my bartering beads at my friend Marnie's place in Los Feliz," Trewartha said. "Oh, and I forgot to get a dog sitter."

Added Trewartha: "Shel made this great suit out of old stuffed-monkey pelts and duct tape, and he was going to hop up and down on this old trampoline he found. But his ex, Nikki, made him babysit [their daughter] Gaia while she headed out to Big Sur for a few days. I love Nikki, but sometimes she can be real flaky."

Chaz Bullard, a University of Vermont undergraduate and veteran mud person, had multiple excuses for his failure to attend the Burning Man festival.

"I totally spaced that August is 8, and I wrote down 9 in my sketchbook," Bullard said. "Oh, and I got evicted. Yeah, fuckin' Dyl up and ditches me, right, and I'm stuck owing $700, because he wasn't on the lease."

Bullard added that he contracted hepatitis from his ex-roommate's tacos.

  
Above: Boulder resident Paul Sandley, who was halfway to Burning Man when his truck "totally konked."

Moon said he has received apologetic phone calls from a squadron of recumbent bicyclists lost somewhere in southern Nebraska, a Kentucky artist whose pet python was too carsick to continue the journey, and a group of Germans who uncovered a fatal structural flaw in their "Freak Harnesses" art installation at the last minute.

Hippies were not the only counterculture group to miss the Burning Man festival. Portland-area Linux user and self-described cyber-conceptualist "Free" Lance Kaegle explained his absence in an instant message from his studio.

"I was organizing this boss techno-art project called 'Off The Grid,'" Kaegle wrote. "We were going to set up computer terminals in various parts of the playa and have people use them. Then we'd feed the binary data from those terminals into this fractals program that [Silver Lake, CA software designer] Ricky [Thomas-Slater] wrote. Those fractals would be sent, on the fly, to a group of exiled Buddhist monks I befriended online. The monks would transform the fractals into a temporal sand painting, the making of which we would webcast live to everyone on the playa."

Added Kaegle: "But I had to stop working on the monk thing to finish up this Pam's Country Crafts web site I'm working on. I really need the money."

While most absences were accidental, a few were not. Doug "Crazyroot" Pycroft, a former smoothie-stand employee, has a history of missing countercultural events.

"I thought about going, but then I decided I don't need some dudes pushing their rules down my throat," Pycroft said. "That's the problem with these things. If they're so nonconformist, how come you gotta obey some fascist wearing a lanyard just to use the Port-A-John? Same reason I refused to go to [The Church Of The Subgenius'] X-Day back in '98. Hell, I ditched the very first Lollapalooza one hour in."

As a cloud of sand whipped across the desolate playa, Moon could only shake his head. Although the weeklong festival traditionally culminates in the igniting of the Burning Man, a 50-foot-tall wooden structure strapped with fireworks and other incendiaries, Moon wondered aloud whether he and the handful of other staffers should even bother.

"I guess we could burn what we've built, but it would just feel anticlimactic with no one around to watch," Moon said. "You gotta look at the bigger picture here, folks. You shouldn't think of Burning Man as a burden. Burning Man is about being part of a community. Unfortunately, it's a community of people who can't get up before 1 p.m."

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I am the god of Hail Fire!

Golfball sized hail. Airplane. FIGHT!

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how to be a dumbass, by jamie zawinski, age 12

  • buy a paper shredder;
  • pay cash;
  • discover that it is worthless crap;
  • realize that the very first thing you shredded was the receipt.

Yeah, I could go back to the store and spend half an hour fighting with them over it, but I have just now discovered that I would gladly pay the price of the shredder merely to not need to have that fight with someone.

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hail to the chief

Several hundred protesters awaited Bush's arrival at a private fund-raiser. Police officers barred protesters from approaching the home of billionaire Craig McCaw, where Bush was to attend a $2,000-a-plate presidential reelection campaign fundraiser at the exclusive Hunts Point neighborhood near Seattle on August 22.
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Current Music: SMP -- Riotstarter ♬

HAL Mark 3 Prototype Battle Armor

Japan ready to market "robot suit"

Japanese companies are preparing for the commercial launch of a "robot suit" that helps aged or physically disabled people walk, get up the stairs or seat themselves to relax without a chair. Trading house Mitsui and Co. and some 30 other Tokyo firms plan to set up a joint-venture in April or May next year to market the powered suit developed by Yoshiyuki Sankai, professor and engineer at Tsukuba University. [...]

The powered suit, code-named HAL-3 (Hybrid Assistive Leg), consists of a computer and batteries in the backpack as well as four actuators attached around the knees and hip joints. The motor-powered devices guide movement of the legs as the computer calculates the user's next motion by detecting faint electric signals from the muscle, the professor said. With the equipment, the user can walk at a speed of four kilometres (2.5 miles) per hour with little physical exertion and avoid the jerky stop-go moves of ordinary robots. [...]

The new venture plans to lease or sell 10 prototypes next year, targetting hospitals and nursing-care facilities at home and abroad. A mid-term goal for the project is to sell some 100 suits a year at a price of one million yen (8,440 dollars).

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why cooperation with RMS is impossible, part 3

Jono Bacon has done a Death Metal cover of the Stallman classic. (I assume you have already experienced the 1998 Matt Loper techno remix.)
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He's a magician. She's a cop. Together, they fight crime.

Mommy, why do bad things happen to good comic books?
Rachel Weisz (The Mummy) is in talks to star opposite Keanu Reeves in Warner Brothers' upcoming Constantine, a movie based on the DC/Vertigo comic series Hellblazer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Francis Lawrence is directing Constantine, described as Dirty Harry set in the occult world. Reeves will star as John Constantine, a man who dabbles in the occult and teams with a female police officer to fight evil forces, the trade paper reported. Weisz would play Angela, an officer who becomes involved with Constantine when her twin sister dies in a mysterious suicide.

Kevin Brodbin (The Glimmer Man) wrote the original script, with a rewrite by Mark Bomback and Frank Cappello.

Lemme summarize that for you:

  • Keanu;
  • Dirty Harry with "magic";
  • Supermodel cop;
  • Twins!
  • "You killed my sister, prepare to die";
  • GLIMMER MAN!
    (In case you've forgotten: "Steven Seagal is a soft spoken, mystical, new age New York cop with a checkered past. He is transferred to Los Angeles." Actually, it sounds like the same plot.)
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