This is a great video campaign for YouTube's Video Volunteers Program by Amnesty International:

The Power of Words

And here is a little something in honor of the season:

I also want one of these suits:

How friggin cool is that?!

And, in closing the Old Year to make way for the New Year, I thought I would share a few things about 100 years ago so that you could compare with life today (and possibly thank your lucky stars that you live in 2009).

  • Average life expectancy: 47
  • 14% of all homes had a bathtub; 8% had a telephone.
  • There were only 144 miles of paved roads and 8,000 cars to drive on them
  • The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30 people
  • Italian writer Marinetti published Futurist Manifesto in Paris
  • The average wage was 22 cents an hour
  • Louis Bleriot of France made the first ever flight across the English Channel
  • The Wright Brothers delivered the 1st military airplane to the US army, and then formed a million-dollar corporation to manufacture airplanes
  • Over 95% of all births took place at home (yikes!)
  • The North Pole was reached by Robert Peary and Matthew Henson
  • The first hot-air balloon honeymoon was taken by Roger Burham and Eleanor Waring
  • Only 6% of Americans had graduated high school
  • Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet
  • And here's what a car looked like:
A 1909 Ford Model R

We've clearly come a long way in a hundred years. So, where are we going to go in the next 100 years? I suppose that's up to us, isn't it?

That's all for today.



That's right. And you know what? There wasn't even any product placement... I was almost disappointed...

But seriously, the movie was actually really good as well as really well-made. I mean, of course it would be; it's by James Cameron and it's got Sigourney Motherfucking-Badass-Alien-Slaughtering Weaver in it (aka 20th C. Fox pulled no punches).

It had a plot. It had a good premise. It took the 3D experience to a whole new realm of clarity, precision, and artistry. And it had me hooked. Rotten Tomatoes certainly likes it!

Plus, the CGI creatures are kind of hot, and not to mention mostly naked the whole time. Those damn naked savages... It turned me on. :OThe girl on the right wants to know if this hunky young fellow has seen Avatar yet? It's all the rage these days.

On a more somber note, the film explored a lot of intense and controversial themes at a time when the American public needs to see it the most. It made a good parallel to the experience anthropologists have, learning a new culture, way of life, and perspective; and, more often than not--unfortunately--trying to defend that way of life from an increasingly encroaching outside world. However, this is what real anthropology looks like:

Clearly, hiking books and pookah shells are totally last season in Ooga Booga Village.

And this is what it looks like on a different planet with a gazillion-dollar budget and very pretty people who make entirely too much money for what they do:

I give it 4/5 stars. That's like one and two-thirds thumbs up!


Baby Steps, Baby Steps

For today (and maybe the week because of the holidays...):

Mexico City Legalizes Gay Marriage!
(via Pharyngula)

The Cannabis Clusterfuck, or, Why the hell do I still live in Missouri?

You know what, though? We're gettin' closer all the time :D

How Everything Goes to Hell During a Zombie Apocalypse
I'll bet you Lori Beth Denberg didn't teach you any of this.

Also, I'm on the cover of PKP Forum (national honor fraternity Phi Kappa Phi's periodical publication). I'm covered in sweat and dirt, wearing only a wife-beater and camo cargos, standing next to four sticky, grungy, dusty lady-friends of mine. The reason I am on this cover? The girl on the left, my friend Jen, won a study abroad award for PKP. But I am still on the cover, you know? I'm kind of proud of it, even if I wasn't the one who won the award...

<--- clearly, I get around.

I hope you have a happy-whatever-you-choose-to-celebrate-at-this-time-of-year, and try not to strangle any immediate relations.


Here's Johnny!

I return! I'm sorry I've kept you waiting for so long (life happens), but I'm back like a boomerang and it's all going to be much better from now on, I promise.

I have a few things on my mind these days, namely: I got an A in 4 classes and a B+ in one. *smiles arrogantly* However, some of those As are actually A minuses... which doesn't really bother me except that for 3 years I never had to worry about it, and now as a senior in my bachelor's program I have to deal with this new +/- shit tearing my GPA to pieces (I waved goodbye to it sometime after London, I think). It's just that they dropped it onto all of us rather than integrating it as each new generation of college-bound hopeful-cum-bicycle target freshman joined the ranks of America's educated, and largely jobless, young adulthood. It just seems fairer to me I guess somehow, but I suppose teachers would have to give two different groups of people in each class two different groups of grades and that would just be terribly tedious and foul. Ah well. I digress.

Pues, I have a few things for you on my hit list since I've been gone, darling, and I wanted to share them with you:

The Road

Showing at The Moxie, downtown Springfield. Based on the Pulitzer-prize winning book by author Cormac McCarthy.

Need I say more?

Best one I've seen in a while.
Dragonslayer (1981)

Ah, but better still! (☆☆☆☆☆)
The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra

Spacious Thoughts
N.A.S.A. Project ft. Tom Waits and Kool Keith

In fact, Boing Boing is just a wonderful place in general.

I won't provide free advertising pictures for the rest of them, but I will provide you with a list (you lucky little bastard, you):

Music You Should Be Aware Of:
Video Games I Am Currently Enjoying Very Much:
Movies You Should Have Already Seen:
  • Ghostbusters, Hook, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the animated one, duh)
  • The Black Cauldron, The Sword in the Stone, and Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Excellent Reads:
  • Bill Bryson: Lost Continent
  • David Sedaris: When You Are Engulfed in Flames
  • Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman: Good Omens: the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
  • Don Miguel Ruiz: Los Cuatro Acuerdos: Un libro de la sabiduria tolteca
  • T. S. White: The Once and Future King
  • C. S. Lewis: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (my personal favorite of the Chronicles of Narnia)
I think that's quite enough for today, don't you?



Here's something that caught my attention:

How very touching, and refreshing. The world is already becoming a better place.

And this is just plain hilarious:

The Galactic Empire Joins the Catholic Empire

I do believe that's all for today.


That Quintessential Human Quality

For the first time in a long time I really have hope for the human race.

I believe that the world is going to be a better place because of my generation. I think we're really going to make an effort. And I think we're going to have a great fucking time while we do it.

We may not be able to accomplish all of our dreams, but we're sure as hell going to try, and I bet we get some amazing things done on the way.

It's kind of refreshing to have an optimistic day, no?



Obama Hosts Gay Pride Reception, Vows to Overturn 'Unjust' Laws

Hooray! I just hope he puts his money where is mouth is...

But. It's a start. And it's about damn time.


None, really.

Dude, sometimes people have mega baggage that they bring with them. The trick is, you have to know if that baggage will fit nicely next to yours in the overhead luggage receptacle.

And that's the way I look at life.

_________ check

Today is one of those days where you don't want to wake up, to stop dreaming. It's one of those days where all you can think about walking around outside is that the day should go ahead and become nighttime because it's so dreary. It's the kind of day where all you can think about is sleep.

But, I was doing some thinking in my Cultural Anthropology class and here's what I came up with:

Everyone perceives reality in their own perspective, which of course means that they are not only no longer objective, but also have a different reality than that of the "actual" reality. Right?

Wrong. Since everyone perceives reality differently, there is no "actual" reality. It doesn't exist, because everyone (thankfully) has their own opinion, their own version of the story. In writing they call it a point of view.

All this just reinforces a point that keeps becoming clearer as a I get older:

It's all relative.



P.S. In the absence of "actual" reality, there is no such thing as inherent truth, either. But that's another litany for another time.

Homosexuality via Culture

It's true that no culture is homogeneous. That is to say, no culture is so entirely encompassing and complete that every single individual strictly adheres to it without difference of opinion, thought, or action. This exists at the group level as well; for example: Jewish Americans have their own very distinctive, and yet are still very much an integral part of the larger American culture.

This brings me to my main point: homosexuality (what else?). Although homosexuality obviously has no known evolutionary significance, and serves almost no purpose in the scope of survival mechanisms, what then is its function in the context of culture? It is interesting to me, personally, how homosexuality is viewed by different cultural groups. Some societies consider it an abomination (like our very own, not so very long ago), some societies have adapted to their culture pretty fluidly, and some even openly encourage homosexuality (*cough* Ancient Greeks *cough*). There are records of homosexuality in nearly every culture, during every time period of human existence. This isn't a new phenomenon; however, it has entered into a new dimension.

Although I am not sure if I even view homosexuality as a cultural dissonance (I guess it depends on the culture, eh?), I do know this: the challenge we face today, as a global society, and especially here in America, is how to efficiently and effectively incorporate this rapidly expanding sub-culture into our own. Maybe we should take a look at some of those that readily embraced homosexuality as a normal part of the natural world (yes, even some animals have homosexual relationships).

Maybe someone should investigate the cultural significance and functionality of homosexuality. What larger scope of vision did these cultures have that allowed them to view homosexuality as not only commonplace but as completely harmonious with their culture? Does homosexuality run as a parallel to the rest of culture or is it a part of it? Like I said before, no culture is homogeneous. And it may very well be that it is this cultural heterogeneity that has allowed us to thrive as the dominant species on the planet.

That's all for today.


I've gone over to the dark side

I now understand why falling in love is one of the scariest and most beautiful parts of the human experience.

It's like jumping off a cliff. It's like that second before the car crash when time stops and everything you've ever known is about to hit you right in the face before you even have time to react. Love isn't like some slowly blossoming delicate flower; love is the moment before the fucking thunderclap when the whole earth stops to hold its breath before the sky tears apart completely.

I'll never forget what this feels like.

**side note: I just realized the fantastically dirty parallel of a volcanic eruption being used to describe love. A volcanic love eruption. *smirk*



Via Glitter and Doom


Well I guess I should confess that I am starting to get old. All the latest music fads all passed me by and left me cold. All the kids are talking slang I won't pretend to understand. All my friends are getting married. Mortgages and pension plans. And it's obvious my angry adolescent days are done. And I'm happy and I'm settled in the person I've become. But that doesn't mean I'm settled up and sitting out the game- Time may change a lot. But some things they stay the same.

Maturity's a wrapped-up package deal or so it seems. Ditching teenage fantasy means ditching all your dreams. All your friends and peers and family solemnly tell you you will have to grow up. Be and adult. Be bored and unfulfilled. But no one's yet explained to me exactly what's so great about slaving 50 years away on something that you hate. About meekly shuffling down the path of mediocrity. Well if that's your road then take it but it's not the road for me.

And if all you ever do with your life is photosynthesize, then you'll deserve every hour of your sleepless nights that you waste wondering when you're going to die.

Now I'll play, and you sing- The perfect way for the evening to begin. I won't sit down, and I won't shut up, and most of all I won't "grow up".