Friday, June 27, 2014

Cheap Privacy In A Box!

Herr D made this for me on --Hairy Deewon.
I've been looking at the notion that the NSA reads/listens in on every communication that contains certain words. I realize that maybe national security is a complicated thing, but I've taken a bit of parenting duty before--how hard is it to substitute words? I might consider myself advanced as a being, but it was REALLY EASY to say "mixing gear" for "Advanced Chemistry Set" and "non-food" for "chew toy." (Don't worry; I made sure they understood how to keep them separate.) I do understand, also, that people who love destruction and can't understand that America could be more easily manipulated than destroyed couldn't POSSIBLY be very smart--but do we actually think they wouldn't use code words? There are so many products on the web that are advertised as better than they are by clever word use--how could anyone not know that's done?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Parrot Committed Mutiny, Again

Herr D developed this on for a specific contest.
I think it tells a pretty good story without any explanation at all.
Have you noticed that perhaps people in charge sometimes seem like maybe they shouldn't be allowed to breathe on their own because they'd likely mess that up too? Maybe like levels of authority should be completely reversed once in a while? This might be obvious, but when people revolt against the system, it's because the system's pretty revolting.

This nation was the first to develop such a guarantee that all future revolutions would be bloodless if people just kept the revolutionary process going. A worthy accomplishment. How is it though, that Americans blame their leaders for the economy? This being a capitalistic society, isn't the economy caused by what the businesses do? I mean really, the government bailout cleaned up a mess caused by businesses, right?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Play Me A New Nebula, Sam

Herr D,, all rights reserved. 
One of the things Herr D asked me about on realizing my -uh- immigration status, was whether I believed in angels. Apparently there's some theological sticking point over how separate servitors / apparatuses / appendages are from the creator in question. I told him it didn't really matter to me whether supernatural delegation takes place or not, just so the work gets done. I'm still not sure whether he appreciates that point of view . . .

This question is for all the atheists and agnostics out there. Does the idea of angels make the existence of a supreme being more or less believable-sounding? I am really not sure what I would answer . . .

Anyhow, Herr D etched this concept first on a plate, which the salesperson told him couldn't be engraved or etched. He explained to me that an angel-themed composition should have an impossible history behind it. I must say: I agree.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Help Wanted: Someone To Become A Famous Engineer

Yikes. I picked out a graphic, and couldn't get permission to use it. I'm not sure why--no explanation was given. It provided stats on types of pollutants, including syringes, balloons, six-pack plastic joiners, and various debris from seafood-harvesting objects. I'm not going to name names, because it's a great cause and doesn't need to sound small for any reason, even association with a potential misunderstanding. Suffice to say it was a good graphic, and I'm sorry I don't have another one in time to publish this. The message is still the same.

I am a little confused about why syringes would be that commonly lost on beaches. The rest of it I can sort of understand. I know people eat fish, drink beer, and float balloons . One of those times is coming up again July 4rth.

It's my understanding that if the ocean dies, life on planet Earth dies. That does follow from the virtual models I've looked at, histories I've read, and my good old common sense. (When you ruin a dominant part of the ecology, you ruin it all.) The lives you save could be yours and mine.


It's coming. I blogged recently about a certain renewable resource. It could easily be combined with trash collection. Does anybody out there know an engineer who could sketch me a model, eco-friendly, trash-snagging-but-ignorable-by-marine-life, light enough to fit in a pickup truck, sturdy enough to hang/float from a pier and take 2000-Newton waves? I'm guessing that at only 50% efficiency, such a device could last three months before needing some new bolts and collect up to a dozen pounds of scrap plastic in the same amount of time.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Reform School--It Needs It

Credit and source shown within picture.
As upset as I was yesterday about 10,000 years going by and humanity behaving the same way, I looked up some instances of education reform failing. Obviously many people have tried to help along the way. The net contains examples of failed education reform that date back quite a ways.

I DO  have to wonder if anyone has made a comprehensive study of what's been tried so as to start doing something else? I didn't find anything like that. Just lots of complaints that the same stuff is done over and over again with people calling the old ideas by new names.

Is it horrible that some kids don't go to college? Humanity isn't so advanced that all menial jobs are done by robots or trained animals. Isn't it a waste to send someone to college if they're going to do menial jobs for their life? A trade school or vocational school can teach them what they want to know. More importantly, if all kids go to college, won't that mean the menial occupations will suffer? They're important too.

The alumni of four different colleges that I asked about quality instruction all looked at me like I was insane. Herr D in particular told me that he knew very few people who worked for his college that could really teach at all. He said they present the material, test the students on whether they learned it and answer questions and provide help only if asked. Well--huh.

Presenting the material could be done on videotape once and remastered and updated when necessary just like textbooks. Tests can be done by proctors. Grading can be done by subject matter experts. Help can be provided by tutors. What did you need the professors FOR exactly? Herr D said he needed them to drive up his tuition. I'm pretty sure he was being sarcastic. I am confused by the whole thing. It looks like institutes of higher learning are just institutes of higher cost learning. I mean, wouldn't it be better if everyone learned a career cluster surrounding their proven aptitudes with minimum classwork involved?

Becoming a well-rounded student can happen while a student is too young to work. There can't be a growing number of learning disabled students if the education methods aren't so artificially narrowed. --I mean that is correct, isn't it? The reason that we have learning disabled students that can LEARN BY DOING and not learn in a classroom is that the majority seems to have been punked. People actually seem to believe that classroom learning is the "best way." Learning doesn't have a best way! Individuals have preferred learning methods, sure, but those are individual.

I mean--is this not obvious? Tuition is too expensive. Student loans are too expensive. So . . . don't go? When you get there, you'll just have to learn the material on your own as best you can to pass a test written by somebody who works professionally impersonating an instructional film. Why not learn the material on your own while working full time in related industries? If a company wants a truly determined, truly worthwhile employee, and is smart enough to know what that is, why wouldn't they want someone who could learn without the broken-down crutch known as college?

Why are colleges still in use anyway? Haven't they been around long enough? Over half a millennium? Time for an advancement, people.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bony Fingers, Former Slaves, Obamacare, And Other Disappointments

I gotta say. I'm disappointed.

I remembered something from a religious text, went and found it, and I'm afraid I remembered it correctly. I had dearly hoped that Watterson was wrong when he drew his tiger saying, "Live and DON'T learn, that's us." I'm afraid he was right too. COME ON, guys. You don't have forever. You've got to learn so you can survive. Otherwise all the people and things like me giving you advice will all be wasted. And, worse, your extinction event will become inevitable.

Comparison source double-checked. Relevant as statistically preferred. Historical precis interpreted correctly. Your neural link has apparent accuracy.

Thank you, Shelob. So. I was reading about all this dissatisfaction with Obamacare when I saw a disturbing parallel to Exodus. LET ME BE PERFECTLY CLEAR HERE. I'm not comparing Obamacare or any part of the insurance industry to slavery and freedom. I AM COMPARING THE WAY PEOPLE ACT IN SITUATIONS FROM THE BIBLE TO NOW. I'm ALSO not comparing God or any other deity to Obama or any other president. Most of you are apparently too smart to worship your leaders anymore. I'm not even talking about what so many people dwell on so much. "The race issue?" Obama is just another president. He's every bit as inspiring and disappointing as all the others no matter how fast he runs!

Details like that are a lot less important than bones. That's right. I said BONES. One of the biggest problems I see here is that nobody has tentacles. Tentacles can point at oneself just as easy as at others. With those bones, most humans just keep pointing at each other. It might be as much laziness as anything else. Take for example Exodus Chapters 14-17 in the New American Bible copyright 1970. (I point out the edition so that no one will be startled by slight differences in wording. Most of my readership appear to be Catholic, Protestant, or live in countries where the Bible is taught as literature, and a young Bible salesman was kind enough to give me a copy for free.)

He was on his way home from church.

This is Sunday? . . . Oops . . . Well, I hope no one is offended that I'm not taking a full day of rest. Okay--Chapter 17, verse 3, in medias res, "--the people grumbled against Moses, saying, 'Why did you ever make us leave Egypt--' "

There are those rigid, bony fingers pointing. To sum up most of those four chapters, Moses helped by God had delivered them from Egypt, parted the Red Sea so they could walk across, drowned the chasing soldiers ready to kill them by restoring the Red Sea, purified some dirty water for them to drink by throwing some wood in it, and got free food FALLING FROM THE DESERT SKY. And every time, the people just grumbled some more with each new setback. Some of these former slaves actually seem to remember a time when they had 'fleshpots and bread.' So, apparently they stuffed themselves at the local equivalent of a strip joint every day?

O ye of selective memory and bony fingers?

Well, I've spoken firsthand to a lot of people in the medical profession. Herr D comes from a family with a lot of medical people in it, too. One common thread is there. In recent medical history, everyone was terribly dissatisfied with the insurance system in place.  THE MAJORITY DID NOT LIKE THE WAY IT WAS. So then the majority elects a scapegoat president to go change things for the better--

. . . and they're grumbling again. Hey--Obamacare ISN'T a miracle. It's what the majority asked for. Change is rough. When something is so badly done that leaders don't dare change it until they can get someone ELSE to do it, they get out blameless, right? And no one remembers how long the stagnation and cowardice lasted. They focus on pointing those bony fingers at their new aspiring leader instead of using them to help carry the manna to the sick or help DIG A NEW WELL. The Obamacare grumbling and squabbling and bony finger-pointing is happening now. The Israelites idealizing their former slavery and bony finger-pointing at Moses happened what, ten thousand years ago? Talk about your slow learning curve. Humanity is doomed.

Slavery not necessarily correct term. Israelites may have been low-paid second-class citizens without freedom to leave.

Like the old Soviet Union? Eek. What a huge mistake. [three of five eyes roll sarcastically, gill equivalent of sigh]

No graphic today? No non-rhetorical question?

NO. If people don't like it, let them put grumblings in the comments! At least then I'd know people look at more than one of my posts. I have the notion that humans learn better through repetition. Must be a vertebrate thing.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Solution To All Societal Ills

Herr D made this on I
must say the neon sign looks like it was
difficult to make.--Hairy Deewon               
Most people who imagine dinosaurs taking over the Earth picture lots of gore. Realistically speaking, though, that would mean that in 70 million years they never developed another survival skill. Humans have intelligence, to a degree, which is really just a species survival skill. If humans were to live THAT long, they'd become more dangerous without their intelligence, and their intelligence might atrophy in favor of viciousness. Herr D assures me that there is evidence of this tendency in the shaping of corporate law.

What survival skill do you imagine developing and why? Poison quills? Exoskeletons? Facultative diapausal capacity?

Quills is archaism. Audience may not know what it means. "Quills are organic breakaway 'darts,' usually barbed and sometimes containing irritants or toxins, especially in marine species."

Oh, thanks, Shelob! Yeah. Where did you quote that from?

Unerased wikipedia article. No author or screen name listed.

Ah. Besides the question today, it's 'soapbox' time. Giving credit where credit is due is not being magnanimous or scholarly. It's basic ethics. Humanity has one chance, in my opinion, of staying worthwhile as a species. That chance is avoiding complete moral backsliding.

 Faddy issues make little difference in the long run. Law will never catch up to the pathetic perversions possible to the criminal mind. Churches will never convert everyone. Governments will always have ideological differences with each other and their dissatisfied minorities.

The key to true advancement of the human species is early moral training.

Herr D was kind enough to share a wonderful example: all it takes to kill a human being is a mosquito infected with malaria, doctors and nurses have to go to special schools and become good at their jobs to heal those people. So--destruction requires something as pathetic as a stupid bug. Keeping people alive requires hard work, brains, skills, and minor heroism.

"Bad guys, pathetic. Good guys, impressive." --Herr D

Tell that to every kid so they understand it by age 4? Maybe crime will go down. Good luck, parents.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Say Hello To My Little Friends

Herr D on assures me
that Mauser really WAS a gun company,
though they didn't do anything THIS COOL.
Firing living mice at elephants as a weapon of mass distraction is just funny and cool. What kind of non-lethal weapon would you guys like to see? If you comment here, I'll try to convince Herr D to design it. I should say that he declined designing one that massages invertebrates with vibrations through saline, but maybe you guys could come up with something a little more graphic.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"Use This Product To Improve Your Looks"

Herr D, hm3--he assures me that this is ugly.-HD
I confessed in a chatroom that I disguise myself regularly. Apparently that was a big mistake. Seventeen people jumped in to reprimand me for not being myself or encourage me to 'be brave' about being myself. I signed out and had Shelob backtrace some of the screen names. Shelob? Were my suspicions correct?

Uncertain which findings qualify.

Uh . . . just list the ones having to do with physical appearance.

182 shoe purchases, 35 transactions with clothing merchants, 11 with cosmetics--

HEY! STOP! I only wanted the month of June.

June 1, 2014, 0001 until June 16, 2014, 1159.

For just those seventeen people?

9. 8 were not easily traced.

Okay . . . well, that IS a lot of shoes and clothes for nine people in half a month, unless I'm wrong about that. Was there plastic surgery? Diet pills?

Four instances of plastic surgery since 2010, January 1, 0001. Diet pill purchases harder to track. Self-help books hard to track also.

Yeah, that's not as hypocritical as I was guessing.--I've been working on the concept that people more often 'preach unto others as they should be preached to themselves' on the internet. Maybe I was wrong.
--Okay THAT's the question today, instead of what I was planning. AM I WRONG ABOUT THAT?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

First Issue?

Herr D, hm3, "The Oldest Comic Strip In The World."
Honestly, my favorite part is that if you blow it up and
look REALLY close, the depicted water jar has the hint
of another comic strip on it.--Hairy Deewon                       
I just found out that Sunday was Father's Day. From the picture above, I can conclude that my favorite digital artist's opinion of parenthood is that it's an ageless and endless source of sympathy humor.

Okay. So--imagine for a moment that I'm from a--different species. Our species doesn't parent, but is advanced in many ways beyond yours. What are the odds that a moderately suggestible hyperintelligent alien became enthused about parenting by watching humans instead of just being a species-specific example of social maladjustment?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Swimsuit Safety

Herr D, hm3. I must say, creative!
I wonder how many people feel comfortable wearing something so attention-getting and skimpy at the same time? Modesty is definitely not a bad thing, just something I don't necessarily understand. I've read that burkas, high collars, and loose-fit clothes, and other such garments are to prevent sin--

--Which is pointless. If you understand various religions' definition of human nature, sin is unpreventable by others. That's just not going to work. Today's question is: why do otherwise wise organizations enforce such pointless decisions?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Just Don't Drink The Kool-Aid

Herr D, He says that this one
picture should be owned by absolutely no one.
I agree! --Hairy Deewon                                        
Religions argue an awfully lot, considering they're supposed to be about peace. I'm happy to say that I have -uh- every reason to believe that at least some extraterrestrials are spiritual as Terrans.

How many of you think that first contact will cause problems for the faithful? I've read the Bible minus the 'begats' and portions of the Torah and Koran and some minor documents Buddhism and Hinduism. Of those, liberal interpretations of all of them COULD be taken to include extraterrestrial life. From a more pragmatic point of view, no holy text seems to guarantee that life on other planets doesn't exist. On top of that, can the clergy guarantee it's any of humanity's business?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Litter By Litter

"Misunderstanding In Maternity" was made by
Herr D on All rights reserved.
Live births, I have been assured, are painful. I have also been assured that low birth weight, prematurity, and multiple births per pregnancy are becoming more common. Humanity is on its way to having litters. Most people are aware that having litters helps a species survive. What most people don't know is that developing litter capacity is usually a sign of species pressure. Species pressure is a term I have encountered that describes various phenomena and forces that can cause extinction. This can include emotional factors like the 'self-fulfilling prophecy' on a mass scale.

How do you picture the human extinction event? In theory it should happen someday. I can say that an alien invasion is extremely unlikely, since there is no strategic value in Earth's location. I'm thinking humanity will develop an industrial process with unforeseen results and trash the Earth too quickly to recover and move.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Herr D designed this on He
says it's not a political cartoon but a satirical
cartoon. I didn't see the goat's legs, but okay.
I happened on a chat room where a debate about the spirit vs. the letter of the law was going on. I saw a lot of cagey arguments about bias and implementation and relative importance. What I didn't see was an analysis of how each side is formed.

According to Jungian psychology and certain other philosophies, there is a universal notion of fairness and justice that transcends human consciousness and remains an ideal to be striven for. That sounds like a fancy way to say 'fair is fair.' Put bluntly, the ideal is supposedly understood by but not created by everybody.

Then there is the letter of the law. Herr D assures me that five people together can't agree on where to go for lunch, yet well over a fifty people are involved directly in passing every law. That being a multiple of ten, it qualifies as an order of magnitude.

With an order of magnitude of chaos higher than the inability to make a simple and quick decision, obviously laws are never going to be universal and are unlikely to be extremely well written and cover more than a small majority of cases that come up. That doesn't even cover complexity or cost.


Oh, right, Shelob. Um--yeah, I was beginning to sound preachy, wasn't I?  Um . . . imagine for a moment that I'm an alien that comes from a place so advanced that the need for law is considered primitive. That is to say, governments are regarded as quaint artifacts within the culture mainly to preserve history. They don't have to actually govern any more. What do you think I'd find would be the most offensive law?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Rottentothuh Corp.

Herr D, hm3, titled 'Miskatronic.' Herr D has written a fair amount
about Lab J's gaffes. For a federal contractor, they are apparently
kind of cavalier about safety. I'm glad he doesn't work for any of
those federal agencies anymore. Easier to contact him now.--HD
Have any of you noticed that it's really difficult to make things that have no overly convenient downside? Businesses, charities, and inventors have all made that complaint in recent history. The fact of the matter is very simple. Destruction is easier than creation, chaos is easier than order, and mosquitoes can kill with malaria easier than hospitals can cure it . . .

What was the last bad surprise you had about things being badly misused? I'm either cynical enough or forgetful enough that I don't remember the last time that happened.

Monday, June 9, 2014

One Glower Photo

Herr D,"Memories aren't always
treasure to everyone." I must agree!Hairy Deewon
Have you ever had pictures surface that you didn't like? I have a surprising lack of images of myself that have survived. None that I regret, and not by my own design. I think that's uncommon? What do you think?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Eating One's Hat Is Better Than Eating One's Words

Herr D on hm3. He recreated it well.
"I am pleased to report my concern for this young female was groundless. Far from being suicidal, putting edibles on your head among hungry, erratic, and predatorial company in her circumstance is just a form of celebration in her culture. The pyrotechnics were more dangerous by far. Blowing things up in the sky and burning models of important cultural icons can get a bit loud as well.

. . . even loud by her standard. I managed to hear her inform a large male nearby that she had a headache and that he should focus on the explosives for his own safety."

Herr D did wonderfully at paraphrasing what I happened to see on a trip to the south. What do you do when you see something that merits concern? I withdrew,  perhaps when I shouldn't, thinking that the female's confidence might not be arrogance. I could have been wrong . . .

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Herr D made these on These
things called 'castanets' aren't nearly as ominous
as they sounded. He explained them to me.--HD
She's kinda cute. I understand those noisemakers used to be fairly common before ipods. What's your favorite low-tech object?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Getting By With Something

Herr D designed this restaurant lobby and situation
on I think the faces and bodies of
the people were unaltered from Hebert's originals.     

This one cracked me up. Team of heroes, no backstory that I'm aware of, going out for a family meal. The poor waiter getting to meet floating 'Grampa Gray' as his first impression. I'm guessing that Gramps' booties are an illusion to get around the rule about shoes in restaurants.

My favorite 'allowance' that I've seen in real life was at the movies. The ticket seller asked me if I was a student. I said "of life," and she let me in at student discount rate. What's your favorite allowance?

Monday, June 2, 2014

No, My Sun Was Green, Honest!

Herr D made this on He said
 this is approximately how he envisions First
 Contact to go officially.                                           
I think of this picture every time I see a Geico or Allstate advertisement. Herr D assures me there is a historical precedent. Apparently when cars were still new, there was a certain state that only had two cars in it. They ran into each other.

I do realize we're speaking of several orders of magnitude of difference in probability, but similar events DO repeat themselves throughout history. People tend to make mistakes based on their learning. Since people tend to learn from their ancestors, they tend to make ancestor-style mistakes. The only way to get around that tendency would be to learn from other sentient races or to travel to the future to learn from your descendants instead.

No time travel discussion.

Oh, don't worry, Shelob. They think I'm speaking hypothetically. So, have any of you had one of those moments being a hero and prevented an accident? I have. I climbed into a moving vehicle and stopped it. No one was right in its path--but that just meant it was less scary.