14 February 2010


Moved to a real site: sacredheartofodin.org.

13 February 2010


Moth trails.


Bats can fly drunk! Now we only have to incorporate Bat and Torn DNA.

O, India!

An Indian version of Europe's "The Final Countdown".

I Doubt The Authenticity of This (But What is "Authenticity" Anyway?)

Werner Herzog Reads Mike Mulligan And His Steam Shovel, and Curious George...a brilliant and not genuine deconstruction of childrens' books subtexts.

A Bad (?) Man...

Consider the lobbyist, the bail bondsman, the compromised scientist. I would like to be the devil's avocado here and put myself in the shoes of these people (who I may otherwise be more than ready to pounce upon).

Surely these types of people don't think of themselves as "bad people," but it's hard to say what else they might be. Openly advocating for the interests of an entire--and pretty much reprehensible--industry (e.g. strip mining) in exchange for money must sound like a filthy proposition to nearly all ethical human beings, yet people do it. Working in a CIA black prison sounds like an improper thing to do to most of us, but others feel completely justified in doing so.

It seems that there is either some sort of radical division in morality between certain sub-populations of the American populous or that, through some sort of mental/logical/ethical gymnastics, some people are able to justify and come to terms with what they do (when what they do is, by many commonly accepted standards, wrong).

Traditionally, we talk about ethics and people in two ways, each quite unlike the other. When we know someone, when we like him or her, we say, "Billy did a bad thing." When that other person is a stranger, we usually say, "He/she is a bad person." These are two completely different things.

Yet what/who is a person other than the sum of their actions?

What do we say of the head of a bail bondsmen group who, on the one hand, (legally) bribes elected representatives to legislate against the interests of the vast majority of American citizens but, on the other hand, (hypothetically) may donate to charity or volunteer for local organizations? Is this person good or bad?

Neither way of talking about the ethical quality of a person is entirely accurate or useful. I have no answers.

10 February 2010

A Lesson in Local Absurdist History


Back in the late 70's, some local absurdists ran for student government at UW-Madison and won.
They made outrageous campaign promises. For instance, they promised to convert the entire student government budget, all $70,000 of it, into pennies and allow the students to dig into it with pails and shovels. (Thus, the name of their party.) They promised to order all campus clocks to run backwards so classes would be over before they could begin. They said they would put dormitories on wheels and roll them to different parts of the campus each morning to provide students with a new perspective. They pledged to flood Camp Randall Stadium and wage mock naval battles. And finally, they said they would buy the Statue of Liberty and move it to Lake Mendota.


As soon as Mallon and Varjian were in power, they began implementing their plan of absurdity. They threw campus-wide toga parties, and bought toys to occupy students during the boredom of registration. But their masterpiece was their fulfillment of their campaign promise to move the Statue of Liberty to Lake Mendota.

The statue appeared on Lake Mendota in February of 1979. Varjian claimed the statue had been flown in by helicopter, but that the cable holding it had snapped causing Lady Liberty to crash through the ice until only the top of her head and her arm remained above water. In actuality, the statue had been constructed in a woodworking shop out of chicken wire, papier-mâché, and plywood and then moved out onto the ice.

But then, of course, people had to be real downers:
...its presence infuriated the critics of the Pail and Shovel Party (of which there were many). It was not the statue itself that people objected to, but rather the cost of it — $4500 that had come out of student funds. The student newspaper, the Daily Cardinal, became the outlet for Pail and Shovel’s critics. They accused Mallon and Varjian of being nothing more than “professional clowns” who had hijacked the student government and were proceeding to make a mockery of it, and, more seriously, they accused the two of illegal use of student funds.

In response to this criticism, Varjian noted that the total cost of the statue had only been ten cents per student, and he offered to refund this amount to any student who so desired. Sixty students staged a rally to demand their dimes. Varjian obligingly wrote each of them a check for ten cents.

The Daily Cardinal was not satisfied. It continued to denounce the statue for three weeks until March 2, when unknown arsonists torched Lady Liberty in the middle of the night, burning her to the ground. Mysteriously, the Daily Cardinal had a photographer on hand to record the burning, though it denied any involvement in the deed.
What the fuck?!

02 February 2010

Tooth Hearing Aid

New hearing aid sends sound waves through teeth, bone.

Virgin Birth

Probably the only case where a blow job got somebody pregnant.

Only the Megalomaniacal Get an Ear Anymore

An irony of trying to accurately express a statement of fact or a strong thesis: inserting caveats or qualifiers viz one's bona fides or degree of certitude, in theory, improves overall quality of communication yet, in practice, only serves to make one's auditor wary and skeptical.

(Almost ) the Deadliest Game

This cartoon (src) reminds me of something Dakota once said. She basically said that human beings have no natural predator but nevertheless desire to be hunted--that is, to be needed, wanted; hence the Zombie and the Vampire and the Devil and so on. I thought this made a good deal of sense. David Foster Wallace once wrote about Dostoevsky:
FMD seems like the first fiction writer to understand how deeply some people love their own suffering, how they use it and depend on it.

The lion yawns unhunted on the wide-open savanna.

01 February 2010

"Which First Baptist Was That Again"

From a random blog:

I am asking for your prayers for a precious friend that has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her name is Krista and she is the wife of our Youth Pastor at First Baptist.

Q: If God is omniscient, why do we need to need to use names?
Q: Would it really clear things up that much for a non-omniscient God to add her church and marital status?

Prayer is confusing to me. More on that after some research.

Take Your Law Off My Feet

Shoes suck.

Barefooters unite!