Monday, January 30, 2006
FAFSA online doesn't accept Firefox Browser
music: Sonic Youth - 100% single, Suicidal Tendencies - S/T, The The - Dusk
colors: brown and black and blue
mood: ho hum
thoughts: I went to fill out the Financial Aid form for the government, and they support Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, and American Online browsers, but not Mozilla Firefox. Considering that Firefox is following the standard http and https conventions, why the heck do they not support it?
"We have detected that you are using a non-certified browser.
The browsers listed below have been certified for use with FAFSA on the Web. If you choose to use a browser other than the ones listed here, the site's pages may not display properly, and you may encounter problems while entering your application that Customer Service may not be able to resolve. On a quarterly basis, the Department of Education will evaluate new browser versions and certify them for use with FAFSA on the Web."
Borrowing money is fun, painful, and necessary for learning if you're not well-to-do.
Monday, January 23, 2006
music: Theme from Seinfeld
colors: blue black white
mood: just fine
thoughts: Albert Hofmann, the man who discovered LSD, just turned 100.
They had a symposium in his honor in Basel, Switzerland. Many of the people who turned up, including quite a few well-known scientists and engineers, said that LSD has helped them come up with solutions for difficult problems. Hmm.
An especially interesting quote: "During the 1950s and 1960s, LSD was found to be a promising tool for psychiatry and psychotherapy and was studied by the CIA as a potential interrogation weapon. It was criminalized after it escaped from the lab to be widely embraced by the youth culture."
Oh, the youths are doing it? And they're starting to think for themselves (see spirit of American common-sense in previous blog)? Looks like we have a problem....
Don't misunderstand, I believe it's very important that it be used in a safe and reasonably controlled manner, and find this quote from Dr. Andrew Sewell to be spot on: "Most problems with LSD occur when users take an unknown dose they don't feel comfortable with, in an uncontrolled setting, without supervision to shield them from dangerous situations."
"I think that in human evolution it has never been as necessary to have this substance LSD," said Hofmann. "It is just a tool to turn us into what we are supposed to be."
let there be liberty
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Definitions of Republic
colors: Pink and Black and White -- I'm using a pink highlighter...
I'm reading a book for a class tomorrow, called "America's God", which is about the evolution of Christianity in America from the mid 18th century up to the civil war. In it, among 500+ pages of other things, the author, Mark Noll, works to explain how the confluence of Evangelical Protestantism, republicanism, and "common-sense" reasoning came together in the early years of the United States to form a singularly new form of Christian society, entirely different from what existed in England or Continental Europe, due to its different assumption of the supreme importance of republic, rather than a connection to the divine only through kings and the clergy.
- Evangelicalism = the form of Protestantism characterized by a stress on 1) conversion, 2) the Bible as supreme religious authority, 3) activism, especially to spread the Christian message, and 4) a focus on Christ's death on the cross as the defining reality of Christian faith.
- Republicanism = a practice linking virtue with the presence of freedom and a flourishing society. also holding beliefs that vice (usually defined as luxury, indolence, and deceit in high places) promoted the corruption of government, led to tyranny, and ruined the social fabric. At the time, there were strands of both liberal and classical republicanism.
- Common sense == non-technically defined by Thomas Haskell as "the comfortable certainties of 'what everybody knows'"
Anyway, I'm getting to the section of the book where there are quotes from the founding fathers of America, trying to get at a definition of what "republic" means, in terms of this new American experiment.
- Alexander Hamilton: "The corner stone of republican government [is] the prohibition of titles of nobility."
- Thomas Jefferson: "[If Virginia could outlaw entail and primogeniture, end tax support of religion, and provide for a system of universal public education, the result would be] a system by which every fibre would be eradicated of antient or future aristocracy; and a foundation laid for a government truly republican."
- John Adams: "The true and only definition of a republic is a government in which all men, rich and poor, magistrates and subjects, officers and people, masters and servants, the first citizen and the last, are equally subject to the laws."
The author goes on to say that the American republican language returns consistently to two main themes: fear of abuses from illegitimate power, and a nearly messianic belief in the benefits of liberty.
Taking a look at American government today, it appears that not only do we not have a democracy, it exists only as a republic if the definition is stretched beyond recognition from the original design and intent. The founding fathers foresaw that today's situation could very well happen, but as far as I'm aware, they weren't really able to prescribe any measures against it except vigilance on the part of the citizenry.
Who thought I'd be studying American history here? Not me.
bringing it all back home.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
CRITICAL SPEECH from Al Gore
It's not reported in any major newspapers or on the television news, so it's up to us to spread the word, now, through word of mouth, email, and independent stories on the web. Of course, the eyes of the NSA may be watching you trying to communicate freely about this, and FISA might not even be aware of it, which is yet another reason to spread the word.
In the midst of a growing call for impeachment, the Bush Administration is grabbing for more power, including autonomous decision-making regarding declaring martial law without congressional consent, and therefore without the consent of the people.
John Locke quote: "All just power is derived from the consent of the governed."
You gotta ask yourself, "is there anything just about the power we're seeing?"
music: Ministry, Thieves.
colors: Red White Blue
thoughts: see above.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
music: some melody or other
colors: peach, black
thoughts: Good ol' Minnesota. Gotta love Minnesota.
I read a snippet about Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey in Harper's weekly review, so checked out his site. Not horrible, but not good. That site is kinda unsavory in a special way. I suppose I should also clarify the alleged ties. Looks like there's a couple pics of this guy and his wife or girlfriend standing by Jeb and selling a painting. Also some email/mail correspondences that are not answered by either George or Jeb, but some assistants from somewhere in the bureaucracy.
To look on the dark side though, this guy, although an avowed satanist and witch, is probably small potatoes on the continuum of evil that the Bush family deals with on a weekly basis.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
A Trip to the Berkeley Bowl
music: Either Ministry - Just Like You, or something else I was listening to on KALX, the finest radio in the East Bay.
colors: A certain olive/army green, and a certain brownish/beige plaid pattern.
mood: Good. Finally relaxing perhaps. I traded in my addiction to a certain EQ-like stressfest hack'n slash video-game (note to self: it actually says "hack 'n slash" right on the homepage, duh) for a much kinder and gentler video-game addiction which is more hack 'n slack. I bought it for six bucks, but it will probably cost me about a hundred hours. :| The good news is that its a pretty stimulating game with many interesting plotlines, and a huge backstory containing the video game world's creation mythos and religious hierarchies, etc, whereas Champions of Norrath can be mind-numbing at times.
thoughts: OMG, Berkeley Bowl is always a madhouse, even on Wednesday night at 8:00 pm. People just running their cards into one another, sometimes giving up on their adventure in grocery shopping, and abandoning their carts, like Michael Douglass in that spectacular movie Falling Down. At any given time, there are probably 15 abandoned shopping carts, 300 people there (all trying to plan effective routes to traverse the cart-traffic), and 50-100 people in line waiting to pay. Ask Christina, she knows. Steph knows too.
Anyway, at the store, in the frozen foods aisle, I saw a 20-something year old woman from behind, and never did see her face, but for the first time, fell in love with someone just because of the colors and textures of the clothes they had on. i'm still thinking about those colors, which are the ones that were noted up above. not only were they the most perfect, most sexy shade of army/olive green, but the pants she had on were the perfect complement to a lovely, brown hooded sweatshirt which didn't really look like a plaid pattern, but was somehow subtly so.
i'll just acknowledge that llove for what it is and move on, because lord knows it could just never work out, what with her having a seemingly wonderful partner pushing the cart behind her, and with me being married to my lovely wife and all. that, plus i feel like the moment was just perfectly captured when i saw that color/pattern combo. best to just leave it be. in fact, i should probably stop talking about it at this point. :)
Also, I got a gift certificate to a jewelry store from Steph for Xmas, so picked out a couple organic earrings, and so they'll fit better without ripping my earholes to shreds, I am currently stretching with a stainless steel talon (imagine this, but with more of a C3-PO head instead of a burning-eyed skull).
Sync with th universal vibe.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Pic of Bay Bridge
music: melvins - revolve
colors: drying pine needles
mood: all right.
thoughts: here's a picture, composited from 6 individual pics into one long one. the perspectives a bit weird, but that's to be expected, i suppose. blogspot seems to cap the file resolution, so send me an email if you'd like a higher res image.
the lovely lady in the picture is none other than my mother-in-law, who's birthday was yesterday (or today, if you count it in sleep cycles).
meld it all in.
Friday, January 6, 2006
found and figured out a stereogram program
Sorry for the Hiatus
music: parable of the light by yours truly. i've finished up a rough version of this song for a class, and have been listening to it a few times every day to find where i can bring improvements for the next version. with listening to it so much, it is kind of stuck in my head, which for once i guess is a good thing. it's in e major.
colors: green gray green
mood: oh pretty good. just got back from sf, watching sex in the city with some new ffriends through steph. i'm learning how to use my new phone, since the old one got lost. losing that phone, plus a couple other bad happenings (brakes on the car, my inner right hip, in the labral region kinda felt like it was tearing, ick, but thankfully seems to have healed) kind of shook up my alignment a bit, bbut now that i'm a few pages into the phone manual, i may learn how to communicate in style again.
thoughts: i was walking maggie the other day for a "full montecito", which means we go all the way around a fairly long block and then back home, and i noticed that there were a whole lotta conifer trees laying between the sidewalk and the street for the garbagers to take away. today on our full montecito, i saw them again, and thought about how many of these trees get killed every year to celebrate the birth of jesus. i'm sure He'd be thrilled to know that in 2005 america, there are probably on the order of 50,000,000 trees killed and thrown on the curb every year in His honor. This year, after some cajoling, i capitulated and got us a tree, albeit only about 3'6", and we set it on the table. i think i'm going to try and keep tree-buying down to about once/decade going forward, or perhaps think up a creative alternative.
oh, here's a picture of our cat, sid, which is short for siddhartha.
It may look like he's throwing dice, but really, he's just licking his paw. And it's not photoshopped, it actually was a bright bright bright sunny day here this afternoon.
Speaking of the Buddha, hey, JD thanks for the really cool postcard. I'm going to stick it up in the kitchen or the studio (next to the lenticular poodle perhaps) this weekend, and am looking online right after this to see if I can find more like that. Just found some. Here's another set of cool sidewalk art optical illusions.
surrounded by light.