Claymation Armature Building:
Claymation Character Building:
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Saturday, September 23, 2006
I fear that I have learned to screen my friends from my life like a real life version of Tivo. If so, it's a skill I need to shed.
We shelter ourselves from sensory bombardment. As soon as something is familiar and common, it's subconsciously logged for exclusion. It blocks out rain splatters. Forget the hum of the microwave. When you lose a sense, the other senses become more accurate. Your shelter from bombardment and your ability to gain input are both diminished.
Unfamiliar communication tools overwhelm our sensory protection. When radio came out, you could crank the volume. Instead, people gathered around the set. While Pop could sit in the dining room and listen to his wife ramble from the kitchen, he'd pull a chair up to the radio. When TV came out, people became glued to the TV sets-- they advertise fridges; you buy fridges; they run good TV at the dinner hour and you buy TV dinners so you don't waste time making real food.
Computers come out and people get sucked into video. Linux aficionados tinker with the operating systems (how about use your computer?). When email came into vogue, you would perch in front of the computer looking for the next email (why not phone the person?). Instant messenger came out and suddenly you're like Washo the Chimp hitting the treat button for gratification. What if you could amplify the annoyance of instant messenger by 10 fold or 1000 fold? Then you'd have LiveJournal.
I hate LiveJournal because it pretends to be a means of communication with people but it's not-- no more than a $50 bill is money. That cash is legal tender-- a surrogate for the real article. When your friends want to meet up, you have to get your pants on. You have to drive somewhere to meet them. You have to sit through their inane conversations for the nuggets. While one friend is giving you a swell anecdote, another friend is giving someone else a moment not to be repeated. You can't pause. You can't save those moments to your favorites list. LiveJournal is spam: pinkish processed protein that is a mockery of genuine meat. Life is all about the bumpy unprocessed bits that sit off to the side of the real deal.
If I hate LiveJournal, why don't I hate Blogger? LiveJournal acts like a discussion; Blogger acts like a publishing tool. They're both tools of alienation, but while Blogger invites comments and participation, LiveJournal tugs at your leash. LiveJournal pretends to be a forum tool, but it isn't it's a shadow of a discussion forum. Instead of making mail-to-forum work, it forces people log in contribute and (try to) get on with their lives.
LiveJournal processes and distills people. Their annoying mannerisms; talking to you naked and aroused; typing to you while their own child cries in the background; rushing to type to you while their own friends are left cold. We think all of the input available is all that there is of a person. We fill in the blanks with what we can. That's why we dream of whole people and not your last memory. LiveJournal, IM, email: they're giving you 2% of the person. The other 98% of missing mass is being filled in. At the end of the day you form up your whole impression based on almost nothing. This is how Internet romances take root: a man screams at women, hires prostitutes, kicks cats and fantasizes about blowing up a score of people. He leaves those traits off of his resume and posts to LJ about his love of sonnets and the torments of the creative process. You think you're basking in the glow of Shakespeare. Are you cuddling up to Manson?
Maybe people are anticipating this missing mass of personality. Once they're tuned into online life, they treat everyone else like a post. The problem is: you can't pause real people. You can't put a real person onto an ignore list. When someone can't be filed for later reading, its grating like a Windows error. Live with it: Life Happens AFK.
LiveJournal gives me the chance to interact with people who I wouldn't give the time of day to. Because this is a new medium, we aren't well equipped to shield it out. You've learned to play radio in the background. You've learned to mute the TV. You know how to turn off Outlook. Crap like LiveJournal is coming through an unfiltered avenue-- a combo move of communication. Meanwhile, while you're caught in Sauron's gaze of LiveJournal, the real world happens. You can't be annoyed by 20 minutes of unpaused discussion with a real person, but you'll dash to read the comments of people who hide behind pseudonyms and wax on about sidewalk gum. If you try to subsist on a diet of distilled people you'll find that the real world has given up on you. You lose your stomach for the genuine article. Some of them have moved on. Some of them have passed on.
You ever notice that there's a flood of crap on the Internet, but your brain holds about the right amount of information for you to get by? Given the chance, your brain is an ideal filter and storehouse. But it's made for interaction with the real world. When you give it a diet of distilled information, you're giving your brain digital McDonalds.
Here's what the people at Wikipedia have to say about typhoid (which for the balance of the weekend I will be calling, Osama bin Squirts):
Typhoid fever (or enteric fever) is an illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. Common worldwide, it is transmitted by ingestion of food or water contaminated with feces from an infected person. The bacteria then multiply in the blood stream of the infected person and are absorbed into the digestive tract and eliminated with the waste.
After infection, symptoms include:
- a high fever from 39 °C to 40 °C (103 °F to 104 °F) that rises slowly
- bradycardia (slow heart rate)
- myalgia (muscle pain), not to be confused with the more severe muscle pain in Dengue fever, known as "Breakbone fever."
- lack of appetite
- stomach pains
- in some cases, a rash of flat, rose-colored spots called "rose spots"
- in some cases, loss of hair resulting from the prolonged high fever
- extreme symptoms such as intestinal perforation or hemorrhage, delusions and confusion are also possible.
Diagnosis is made by blood, bone marrow or stool cultures and with the Widal test (demonstration of salmonella antibodies against antigens O-somatic and H-flagellar). In epidemics and less wealthy countries, after excluding malaria, dysentery or pneumonia, a therapeutic trial with chloramphenicol is generally undertaken while awaiting the results of Widal test and blood cultures.
Typhoid fever can be fatal. Antibiotics, such as ampicillin, chloramphenicol, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and ciprofloxacin, have been commonly used to treat typhoid fever in developed countries. Prompt treatment of the disease with antibiotics reduces the case-fatality rate to approximately 1%. Usage of Ofloxacin along with Lactobacillus acidophilus is also recommended.
When untreated, typhoid fever persists for three weeks to a month. Death occurs in between 10% and 30% of untreated cases. Vaccines for typhoid fever are available and are advised for persons traveling in regions where the disease is common (especially Asia, Africa and Latin America). Typhim Vi is an intramuscular killed-bacteria vaccination and Vivotif is an oral live bacteria vaccination, both of which protect against typhoid fever. Neither vaccine is 100% effective against typhoid fever and neither protects against unrelated typhus.
Resistance to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and streptomycin is now common, and these agents have not been used as first line treatment now for almost 20 years. Typhoid that is resistant to these agents is known as multidrug-resistant typhoid (MDR typhoid).
Ciprofloxacin resistance is an increasing problem, especially in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Many centres are therefore moving away from using ciprofloxacin as first line for treating suspected typhoid originating in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand or Vietnam. For these patients, the recommended first line treatment is ceftriaxone.
There is a separate problem with laboratory testing for reduced susceptibility to ciprofloxacin: current recommendations are that isolates should be tested simultaneously against ciprofloxacin (CIP) and against nalidixic acid (NAL), and that isolates that are sensitive to both CIP and NAL should be reported as "sensitive to ciprofloxacin", but that isolates testing sensitive to CIP but not to NAL should be reported as "reduced sensitivity to ciprofloxacin". However, an analysis of 271 isolates showed that around 18% of isolates with a reduced susceptibility to ciprofloxacin (MIC 0.125–1.0 mg/l) would not be picked up by this method. It not certain how this problem can be solved, because most laboratories around the world (including the West) are dependent on disc testing and cannot test for MICs.
While flying insects feeding on feces may occasionally transfer the bacteria to food being prepared for consumption, the disease is most commonly transmitted through poor hygiene habits and public sanitation conditions. Public education campaigns encouraging people to wash their hands after toileting and before handling food are an important component in controlling spread of the disease.
A person may become an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid fever, suffering no symptoms, but capable of infecting others. According to the Centers for Disease Control approximately 5% of people who contract typhoid continue to carry the disease after they recover.
The most notorious carrier of typhoid fever, but by no means the most destructive, was Mary Mallon, also known as Typhoid Mary. In 1907 she became the first American carrier to be identified and traced. She was a cook in New York at the beginning of the 20th Century. Some believe she was the source of infection for several hundred people. She is closely associated with fifty cases and five deaths. Public health authorities told Mary to give up working as a cook or have her gall bladder removed. Mary quit her job, but returned later under a false name. She was detained and quarantined after another typhoid outbreak. She died of a stroke after 26 years in quarantine.
It is thought that cystic fibrosis may have risen to its present levels (1 in 1600 in UK) due to the heterozygous advantage that it confers against typhoid fever. The CFTR protein is present in both the lungs and the intestinal epithelium, and the mutant cystic fibrosis form of the CFTR protein prevents entry of the typhoid bacterium into the body through the intestinal epithelium.
- 430 - 426 B.C, a devastating plague, which some believe to have been typhoid fever, killed one third of the population of Athens, including their leader Pericles. The balance of power shifted from Athens to Sparta, ending the Golden Age of Pericles that had marked Athenian dominance in the ancient world. Ancient historian Thucydides also contracted the disease, but survived to write about the plague. His writings are the primary source on this outbreak. The cause of the plague has long been disputed, with modern academics and medical scientists considering epidemic typhus the most likely cause. However, a study in 2006 by Manolis Papagrigorakis of the University of Athens detected DNA sequences similar to those of the bacterium responsible for typhoid fever. Other scientists have disputed the findings, citing serious methodologic flaws in the dental pulp-derived DNA study. In addition, as the disease is most commonly transmitted through poor hygiene habits and public sanitation conditions, it is an unlikely cause of a widespread plague, emerging in Africa and moving into the Greek city states, as reported by Thucydides.
- 1860-1900 Chicago typhoid fever mortality rate averaged 65 per 100,000 population a year. The worst year was 1891, when the typhoid death rate was 174 per 100,000 persons.
Origin and Spread
Famous typhoid victims
Other famous people who have succumbed to the disease include:
- Alexander the Great
- Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria
- William the Conqueror
- Franz Schubert
- Margaret Breckenridge, highest-ranking Army nurse under Ulysses S. Grant
- Evangelista Torricelli
- Benjamin Harrison's wife Caroline
- Robert E. Lee's daughter Annie
- Mary Henrietta Kingsley
- Herbert Hoover's father and mother
- Mark Hanna
- William McKinley's daughter Katherine
- Wilbur Wright
- Will Rogers' mother
- Leland Stanford, Jr.
- William T. Sherman's father
- Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, British prince consort, Queen Victoria's husband
- Ann Rutledge, alleged fiancée of Abraham Lincoln
- William Wallace Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln
- Tad Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln
(man: don't go for dinner at the Lincoln log cabin)
- Stephen A. Douglas
- Louis Pasteur's daughters Cecile and Jeanne
- John Adams's wife Abigail Adams
- K.B. Hedgewar, founder of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh
- Stonewall Jackson's mother, father, and daughter
- John Buford
- Charles Darwin's daughter Annie
- Joseph Lucas
- Ignacio Zaragoza
Friday, September 22, 2006
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Poor William Shatner.
There’s talent and there’s celebrity. Talent is a subjective call: one man’s ham is another man’s Hamlet. Celebrity largely amounts to staying in the cross hairs of media. What happens if your notoriety has inertia? You did a show 40 years ago and it’s still popular. Then you’re a superstar, a superstar who has to either keep dancing or live like us schmoes. Even if your new work is good—even better than that stuff from the 1960s—you get rear-ended by the dump truck that keeps rolling. To personify this phenomenon: William Shatner.
The icon of pop-culture outshines the man, William Shatner. There's a split between the public persona and the person. Do you want to shoot the breeze with Bill? Well that’s all swell, but who the Hell are you? Because Captain Kirk was beamed into our living room on a frequent basis, it seems like he’s a part of the family— on par with the brother-in-law we see a couple a times a year—heck, Bill is there for us all of the time. Do our relatives listen? Well, they listen a little more often than Bill does, I guess. But they don’t fight Klingons and Khan Noonan Singh, so I think grappling trumps dialogue.
We are hardwired to see real looking things as real. When the first filmed train pulled into station on the silver screen, the audience shrieked with horror. Some of them were scared of the grainy over-wound black and white locomotive. We are not well equipped to handle media. Captain Kirk’s adventures are a performance caught on film 40 years ago. It ceased to be real an instant after the film was exposed. But when we see it, we experience it and our brain has an easy job of suspending disbelief.
This week, we were able to attend the CAEAA Awards for animation and video game excellence. I was ready to blow off the event when my contact said; “You’re going to give up an evening with Capt. Kirk?” It’s equivalent to saying, “You’re going drop you’re daughter in the volcano?”
At the awards show: there was media, some of the nominees and there was William Shatner. A slough of major media was there to cover the event. They were there for Bill. How do I know? We were all trained on the red carpet. Shatner walked by. The camera crews came to life. I looked to my wife and said, “That was William Shatner.” I looked back and the huge band of media over my shoulder evaporated. I swear, the image should have included tumbleweeds.
The attendees milled about the pre-show reception. The reporters stood ready to spring on Shatner and get an interview on every topic: Capt. Kirk, Star Trek, Matt Damon as Capt. Kirk, etc. (well, not, et cetera—that’s all that mattered to them). When Shatner showed up, a more portable reporter grabbed him. The bumblebees began their dance. Every reporter glommed onto him. They asked about every topic possible (translation: Star Trek). It was these moments that showed off the real William Shatner. I was one of these bumblebees hovering nearby. I heard interview questions. They were all the same. They were about that show from the 1960s. Shatner took the question and made a brief attempt to get away from the topic. When he knew he was trapped, he answered the question with an amazing aplomb. Then, he did the same with the same question from a different reporter.
William Shatner lives in the shadow of perpetual jet-lag. He works long hours on a top-20 TV show. He has a horse stable in Kentucky. He does events like this award show. He does voice work. He did an album. On top of al this, the man is almost 75 years old. Under the pressure cooker of crowds, the nuclear glare of the lights and inane questions, he holds his own.
In an era where Lindsey Lohan can party until she gets canned; and Paris whizzes through late night LA liquored up; Shatner shows you how it should be done. Were I in his shoes, I would do my show; play with my horses; and keep a low profile. He can’t keep a low profile. He’s…. Captain Kirk! The inertia of his celebrity will never let him live that down, so he rides the wave. Maybe this is all because of the 1970s. Hollywood makes a blood sport of using actors to fill a niche, then tossing them like so much set-design. After three years of having his shirt torn and puckering up to alien go-go girls, Hollywood tossed the Montreal kid from The Brothers Karamazov. When stars get to this point they either spiral into self-destruction; or they retreat to huckster used cars and play dinner theatres. Shatner seemed like he was on a path to Hamlet to the tinkle of dinner cutlery.
But something happened. Since the inception of TV, TV viewership has been fragmenting. While production costs climb, incomes flatten. Producers could never re-coup their per episode costs. They take a loss on the first run and hope to make a profit in reruns. Star Trek was a cash cow. What was a ratings dud in prime time became a darling of syndication. The crew of the Enterprise became recognizable worldwide. After Star Wars erupted in 1977, every studio wanted their own piece of this big sci-fi pie: Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers came out on the heels of Lucas’ smash hit. Paramount dusted off Star Trek. To bring back Star Trek, they had to bring back Shatner and his crew. A Hollywood has-been was re-ignited.
The best things that can happen to an actor is to become famous. The worst thing to happen is to lose all that. What I saw behind Shatner’s diplomacy and grace was a glimmer of gratefulness. I am grateful for his comeback; that he’s decided to ride the wave these long years; and continue to entertain us.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
If you want a visceral and honest account of the "award" "show", follow this link. For me, I'm not going to wax negative. I ate 14 oz. of lox; that smoked excelllence mutes my annoyances with the process.
I will say this, however: I would love to find out how some people can weasel cash out of the Province of BC. Not to stem the gush of cash-- but to put my bucket under the outflow. Some of the reviewers of the event has used the terms "circle jerk" and "sham" (with accuracy I might add). The Province chipped in a huge amount of cash to book a room; fly in William Shatner (Check his website for his list of appearances. This event doesn't appear); have an open bar before the event and an open bar after the event. It was enough to make even Marie Antoinette blush. We sucked down $100 of goodies as did 100 or more people. I think the welfare rolls haven't shortened-- the cheques are just delivered to the better parts of town.
If you want my take on William Shatner and his lifetime brush with fame, click here. If want to see you mine and Cheryl's take via Trekmovie, click here.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Friday, September 08, 2006
Do you know where Sean Macleod works? Do you know where he is living?
If you don't you're in my boat right now. That needs to change. This criminal kidnapped a 6-yr old girl out of her bedroom and molested her. Now he's coming to our neighborhood. He's coming to your daughter's bedroom. Criminals learn from prison. Has he learned that a missing child may never get pinned on him but a rape victim could testify? Are you willing to roll the dice that isn't going to attack your children? I'm not.
If you know where he is living; or where he is working, leave a comment. I will verify it and approve the post, so that everyone can know where this dangerous criminal is lurking. Of course, if he chooses to leave the Capital Region (or Vancouver Island), he's out of our hair. By the same token, if he goes back in prison, that would be fine. If he decided that his life was not worth living, I would not argue the point.
More on what this criminal, molester and child rapist did: click here
A Glimpse Of Our Possible Future I
President George W. Bush.....Will Ferrell
Voice of Don Pardo: America, Election Day fast approaches, and with the Presidential Race still too close to call, "Saturday Night Live" would like to present "A Glimpse of our Possible Future".
[ open on Scenario I ]
Announcer: And now a Message From the President of the United States: George W. Bush.
[ open on the Oval Office - beer cans on desk, socks hung on the lamp, a barbecue grill burning on his desk ]
Voice of Advisor: Mr. President, get out there!
President George W. Bush: [ from under his desk ] No! No, you can't make me! You're gonna yell at me again!
Voice of Advisor: Mr. President!
President George W. Bush: [ peeks out from under his desk ] No! I don't want to go out, it's too hard!
Voice of Advisor: You're on, Sir!
President George W. Bush: Awww.. [ jumps up and takes his seat ] Hey, America! So, how we all doing out there, huh? Yeah, not so good. I broke the Hoover Dam.. we had that war thing happen. But I mean, who ever heard of a Civil War, anyway? What is that? [ grabs a pair of binoculars, unscrews the lens, then pours alcohol from it into his mouth ] I have missed you, ol' buddy! [ pours it into his barbecue grill ] Whoo! I think we can agree, Americans, that these have been a difficult first two years of my presidency..
Voice of Advisor: You've been President for two weeks!
President George W. Bush: Really? Oh, man! I told you, this is hard! Okay, listen.. I'm just gonna get this Address thing over with. As we assess the State of the American Union today, we have reason to hope, because.. [ takes out a map which shows California and Florida as islands, Texas in Communist Mexico, and the Great Lakes on fire ] Holy crap! When did all this happen?! Wow.. the Great Lakes are on fire - even I know that's not good. [ laughs ] Okay, America, we got a lot of problems. I ain't gonna lie to you. But with the help of Vice-President Dick Cheney..
Voice of Advisor: You killed him in a hunting accident!
George W. Bush: Okay, fine! Not a problem. 'Cause I've been working hard, I got a plan that's gonna solve all of it - from the deficit, to foreign relations, to that hole in the sun. Two words, America: Ostrich Meat.
Voice of Advisor: [ disgusted ] Oh, come on! [ exits Oval Office ]
President George W. Bush: No, no, wait, wait! Hear me out. You see, everyone gets an ostrich.. and then you eat the ostrich, then you raise the ostrich.. that way, no more ostriches! We are trying to get rid of all the ostriches, right? Anyone? [ ball of fire erupts outside ] Aw, screw! That big tit building is on fire again - damn! Alright, sorry, folks.. I gotta take care of this.. [ stands up ] Come on, Blue! Here, boy! [ an ostrich ambles forward ] You all go on ahwad without me. And, in the meantime, "Live, from New York, it's Saturday Night!"
Thursday, September 07, 2006
A police spokesman said:
"The officers observed that Hilton exhibited the symptoms of intoxication. A field sobriety test was conducted at scene, and the officers determined she was driving under the influence.”
Hilton was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor DUI and released. Elliot Mintz, a spokesman for Hilton, said police detected a 0.08 blood-alcohol level, the minimum to warrant an arrest. Mintz says she was driving home from a charity event where she had just one margarita (what, a 64ouncer). Hilton says the real reason she was driving erratically was because she had been "working" for almost 24 hours straight and hadn’t had anything to eat all day. This is why prostitutes have pimps: to care for them. When your skeeze has been up for 24hrs, you get her into the back of your Lincoln and go through drivethru. Toss her a quarter-pounder and say, "Yeah... I treat my bitches right..."
Hilton was released just 90 minutes after being arrested when her sister Nikki, Nikkis boyfriend Kevin Connolly and Mintz arrived to pick her up. And thank god too. I was worried to death that Paris might actually have to live like the rest of us for one day, in a world where the rules applied to her.
Paris Hilton had to take a breathalyzer. When she was asked to blow, she replied, "line up, boys."
* Sorry, Paris Hilton brings out my skanky side: like rioting brings out looting
Monday, September 04, 2006
That search got me to this site, called, "Minor Consideration" about child actors and exploitation. A few links down the TOC is a link to an article called, "The "Rape" of Dakota Fanning." I thought that's the next creepy destination: a piece on the shooting of the movie, "Hound Dog"  going too far. Ew. That's all I have to say. Ew. Why does Hollywood like to walk the fine line of pedophilia? It feels like its the tip of a creepy iceberg. So do they truck out Brooke Shields on a platter on film then the producers cull the dives of LA for 11 year old prostitutes because that's what gets them going.
Oh, and if you think fondly of Gary Coleman: thing again. Remember, Gary Coleman is Gary Coleman... but Gary Cole will always be one of The Men.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Saturday, September 02, 2006
If you like the paranormal enough but are still able to scoff at it, you may like this site full of tongue-in-cheek news about zombies, vampires and the paranormal goings on around the world. Kind of X-Files light.
Oh and if you want the "official story" about William G. Harding: here it is. Oddly enough, the press referred to Harding as "Gee" in all of the newspapers. This led to calling George W. Bush, "Dubya" Also, the "Gee" stuck from its inception in the 1920s and by present day, "Gee" has come to mean, "man in charge" "leader" and "president" (hence, "What up G?"). That's why FBI agents were also known as G-Men-- they were Warren G. Harding's men. And you here you thought Harding was a foot note in US History. How history could have played out if it weren't for a vampire attack on the highest office in America.