Monday, March 31, 2008

Old Man and Me

I finished "The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway last night during our flight to Florida. This was my first time reading the novella (Remember Zionsvillians, I came to honors English late) and I must admit, I enjoyed it a great deal more than Hemingway's dull "The Sun Also Rises."

First, I love the novella short form. "The Old Man in the Sea" is just the perfect length to keep me interested before reading ADD strikes. Second, it's wonderfully focused, a virtue sadly lacking in the aforementioned "The Sun Also Rises." Third, I love Hemingway's sparse prose. I see my own style of writing reflected in Hemingway's superior rhythms. And fourth, I was inspired by "The Old Man in the Sea" because I think I detected weak spots in the prose. Detecting weak spots is just a step from correcting them and this gave me a boost of confidence in my own writing skills.

Too bad Greg had to send me a few of his most recent short stories. Superbly crafted, Greg. I am jealous!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Natura Non Facit Saltum

I can remember hauling a copy of The Origin of Species around high school, determined to get through that densely packed book. I had some success and managed to complete about a third of the material. But like a lot of my reading, only the smallest and most personally interesting pockets stuck with me.

Later, in college, my reading comprehension skills progressed, thanks in large part to the realization that the study of English literature should not be approached as a kind of mathematics (I know, so obvious! but that's fodder for some later post.)

Anyway, I took at least 3 courses that required re-reading Darwin (his personal letters are particularly interesting) and developed a real appreciation for his prose. Despite his predilection for drawn-out sentences and sometimes poor syntax, the simplicity of Darwin's arguments and his ability to admit ignorance where appropriate continue to inspire. A selection from the final chapter in The Origin of Species:

We can to a certain extent understand how it is that there is so much beauty throughout nature; for this may be largely attributed to the agency of selection. That beauty, according to our sense of it, is not universal, must be admitted by every one who will look at some venomous snakes, at some fishes, and at certain hideous bats with a distorted resemblance to the human face. Sexual selection has given the most brilliant colours, elegant patterns, and other ornaments to the males, and sometimes to both sexes of many birds, butterflies, and other animals. With birds it has often rendered the voice of the male musical to the female, as well as to our ears. Flowers and fruit have been rendered conspicuous by brilliant colours in contrast with the green foliage, in order that the flowers may be readily seen, visited and fertilised by insects, and the seeds disseminated by birds. How it comes that certain colours, sounds, and forms should give pleasure to man and the lower animals,- that is, that is, how the sense of beauty in its simplest form was first acquired,- we do not know any more than how certain odours and flavours were first rendered agreeable.

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection

Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring Break 2008

I admit, I feel more than a little guilty for taking a vacation from being a bum. But, what can I say? Why knock a good thing?

I leave for Memphis TN this morning, and then arrive in Fort Myers FL on Monday. Until next time!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"The Rainbow Has a Little More Red Today"

One of the dogs I sit for has recently passed away. Originally, I wanted to write something. After all, I only knew this pup Red for a few weeks and he and his insulin shots managed to help me get over my fears about injections. I was amazed at how willing and cooperative he was when I administered the shots, and how he seemed so appreciative of my attention.

But I simply can't compete with this touching tribute from his owners over on winecanine. Please make sure you give this beautiful piece a read:

"The Rainbow Has a Little More Red Today"

Featured Doodle -- Butt-Fish

Isn't he cute?


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

That'll Do, Pig

A couple of days ago, we dug up our old VHS of "BABE" and watched it together. Now I remember why we went to the theater 3 times to see this movie. Utterly charming, funny, moving and smart. The writing is excellent, the cinematography and direction superb, and even the performances are noteworthy.

Oh yes, the music is also stirring! If this movie has somehow escaped your attention, it is in your best interest to rectify this problem immediately. That's not exactly a threat, but . . . I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!!!

The film's uplifting ending can be found on youtube, but to avoid spoiling its emotional impact, I thought I'd just include this review from Siskel and Ebert:

Monday, March 24, 2008

Miracles are REAL

Billions of lives saved? Lost limbs miraculously regrown? Poison magically transformed into drinking water? These miracles are all REAL. And they are brought to us from the men and women of science. Please, never forget that.

Amazing water purifier:

Stem cells regenerate finger tip:

Norman Borlaug saves a billion lives:

Featured Doodle -- Yeek Ha!


As I recall it, Mike "commissioned" this doodle of a monkey riding a hippo while we sat and listened to our COM professor drone on. Mike even helped out!

"(pipe, tophat and saddle added by mike)"


Ah, The Good Ol' Days

Xanga has finally added an archive for posts. Head on over to my old blog to do a little online archeology and reminisce about those young, heady years we shared together.

For future reference, the link under my portfolio section titled "Old Blog" now takes you directly to the archive.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Eostre!

Friday, March 21, 2008

St. Louis!

I am here:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Depth Deception Gets Fatter

Ahh, that's a little less claustrophobic! I'll be adjusting the dimensions of my blog(s) over the next few days.


Featured Doodle -- Stream of Consciousness REVEALED!

Here's the doodle:


Where do these images come from? Now you can trace my stream of consciousness with this handy schematic (The X-drawing represents the start of a new idea):


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

David Hume Beats Darwin to the Punch?

If we survey a ship, what an exalted idea must we form of the ingenuity of the carpenter who framed so complicated, useful, and beautiful a machine? And what surprise must we feel, when we find him a stupid mechanic, who imitated others, and copied an art, which, through a long succession of ages, after multiplied trials, mistakes, corrections, deliberations, and controversies, had been gradually improving? Many worlds might have been botched and bungled, throughout an eternity, ere this system was struck out; much labour lost; many fruitless trials made; and a slow, but continued improvement carried on during infinite ages in the art of world-making.

Wow. I need to read some Hume.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A More Perfect Union

Monday, March 17, 2008

Best of Depth Deception 2003-2007

So it occurred to me, I have some pretty bad "Depth Deception" comics and my archive might give the wrong impression (or right, depending on who you ask) that I'm a humorless hack. To combat this problem, I decided to make a permanent post and slideshow of some of my favorite comics. If I've forgotten any comics that you think are worth adding, let me know!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Featured Doodle - Tieing Shoes


I think it has a certain Tim Burton-esque quality.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

INCREDIBLE PAIN my lower right jaw. I must have developed that rare condition called "dry socket," which only occurs in 5-10% of cases.

Screw you cosmic justice! I was extra careful in every way! This is bullshit.

Goddamn this crap hurts. I look and feel like a mess.

... but otherwise, things are okay.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Prepare to Have Your Mind Blown

This new video is already starting to circulate the internets. Even though it gets a little too New-Agey for me at times, it still nearly brought me to tears. Watch as a neuroanatomist recalls her harrowing personal experience with a stroke:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Attack of the Gnomes

Who is making these creepy Duende videos?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

Too busy? I hope not. Let me know if the blog is becoming displeasingly cluttered. I've tried to keep the top half of my side bar simple, while relegating my newest widgets and such to the bottom half.

Which reminds me. If anyone can offer me help with an ornery issue, I'll gladly take it. See, I'd like to get the vertical length of my blog's gray sidebar to always equal the length of my posts. So far I've been unable to solve this blank white eyesore at the bottom of my page. Anyone know a bit of magic HTML to help this problem go away? Uncle Brian, I'm looking at you!


* Google integration

I know, you probably have a google search built right into your browser, but just in case you're feeling too lazy to scroll all the way to the top of the page, please take advantage of my google side bar (at least try it out - I've even customized it with a Depth Deception image!) I've also added Google ads to the bottom of my site.

* Feedburner Email Subscription

That's right! Now you can subscribe to my website by clicking the icon on the top right shoulder and receive email updates of all my latest blog posts!

* Entrecard Integration

This widget and free service helps drive blog traffic through a network of online e-business cards, or entrecards, which advertise your content. It's actually like an online metagame in which you rack up credits by "dropping" your card and 'selling' ad-space. You can then use those credits to 'pay' for advertising on other blogs.

* Technorati Integration

I actually don't know much about this service, but it has been recommended by a lot of bloggers. I think it works something like a replacement for browser bookmarks. So sign-up and make me a favorite!

Featured Doodle - Bob-bomb Comic

I drew this cute little Bob-bomb comic on the back of a psychology worksheet way back in high school.


Come to think of it, I did a lot of doodling in my psyche classes, both in high school and college. My teachers always seemed less than intelligent and the workload was generally a breeze (though admittedly, I never took any advanced courses). Still, I wonder if my experiences say something about the less-than-complete, speculative nature of psychology as a whole.

Anyway, I love Bob-bomb.

Photobucket is a Scam

And I'm a sucker. Click here to vote on my poem "Perfect Man" and maybe I'll win something! Please? Thank you! I'll edit it now on the fly because it needs it:

Perfect Man

Pray not to Perfect Man,
Who found some fish and bread,
Who made men drunk,
And once raised the dead.
He kept his feet dry,
And fell into phony sacrifice,
Then floated back to Paradise.

Pray not at all, never.
Instead exalt the man
Who preached of love,
And facing Annihilation,
Preached his love loud,
Then suffered raw pain
And died.
Never shall he exist again.

The Wisdom Teeth are Out!

And I'm floating on liquid pain killers! Actually, they make me sleepy.

So far, aside from bleeding all day and occasional shocks of pain, the whole affair has been a breeze (knock on wood). I've got my fingers crossed that no complications will develop.

Sedation was great. One moment I'm nervous as all hell, the next moment I'm being wheeled out to the car, teeth removed. There is magic in this world. True and unadulterated magic.

We call it science.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Featured Doodle - Robutt


If I recall correctly, this quick drawing was inspired either by Mike B. or Dr. Zoidberg's pronunciation of "Robot."


Monday, March 10, 2008

Blind Faith (Literally)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At least 50 people in Kottayam district have reportedly lost their vision after gazing at the sun looking for an image of Virgin Mary.

Though alarmed health authorities have installed a signboard to counter the rumour that a solar image of Virgin Mary appeared to the believers, curious onlookers, including foreign travellers, have been thronging the venue of the ‘miracle’...


Featured Comic - Where's Toto?


Depth Deception

I've found some more comics! I think I intended to fix them up and colorize them. But now I'm lazy, so you'll get them as they are.

Smash Brawlin'

I took my brother and a couple of his friends to the Smash Bros brawl tournament at Gamestop Saturday night. I lost in the first round, but I'm slightly consoled by the fact that the guy who beat me went on to win the entire tournament.

Sam, on the other hand, was the final contestant and ranked #2 all-around.

If only I had beaten that douchebag (and he really was a douchebag) the final game might have been between myself and my brother!

It was still a lot of fun, even though Sam just about blew a gasket over his loss. The much coveted trophy was nearly his!

The moral of the story is: I finally have Super Smash Bros. Brawl in my possession. And it rocks.

Anyone want to exchange friend codes?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Featured Doodle - Man With Hooks for Hands


I'm posting this first because it's almost more of an inside joke. Do my fellow Bostonites remember this drawing? It still makes me laugh.

While at BU, my friends and I created this character: Man with Hooks for Hands and Feet. We imagined he would probably live a terrible existence. He couldn't go anywhere that wasn't "Rope Accessible."

But it might not be all bad. He'll always have his trusty bed comforter to keep him warm!


Updates Galore

I've been adding to and adjusting my blog. Please allow me to highlight a few things.

* RSS subscription button (upper right hand side).

Mike B. this should be big for you. Now you can subscribe to this blog and receive email updates instead of going through the hassle of clicking links and memorizing urls.

* integration

I've added digg buttons to every main entry as well as a Digg Popular Stories widget to my sidebar.

* Blog Rush

I've signed up with a free service to help connect my blogs with other blogs and to drive traffic. Check out the widget beneath Digg Popular stories for (hopefully) interesting or relevant blog entries.

* New Bloggers in Blog Roll

Check out Lauren Smith's awesome blog Ineffable Lou, PZ Myers's Pharyngula, and one of my dog sitting patron's WineCanine.

* New Spacey background

I like it. You should too.

* Doodles link

This is a project I've wanted to undertake for a long time, but I was inspired by Lou's work. I plan to rummage through my old high school and college notebooks then upload some choice doodles. I'll feature them periodically on this site, but if you just can't wait, check out my portfolio section and keep your browsers refreshed here: Depth Deception Doodles

Friday, March 7, 2008

None the Wiser

Well, I had a good 3 or 4 months of freedom from debilitating pain in my mouth. It seems I'm due for a good bit of earthly suffering. Damn it.

Next Tuesday, I'll be having my deeply impacted wisdom teeth removed, an action spurred on by a terrible pain in my leftmost gums. I'm not sure if the tooth is infected or simply on the move, but now all my wisdom teeth must go!

I am just about terrified. Surgery scares me. Worst of all, I CAN'T SWALLOW PILLS. I've tried and tried, even recently, but it can't be done. How will I cope with the pain?

Next week is going to SUCK.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Apparently, the Vatican plans to erect a statue in honor of Galileo. That's all well and good, but they're planning to put the statue near the cell where he was held during his heresy trial.

Is the Catholic Church joking? Are they trying to honor the man or are they trying to set an example? "Hey kids, just look what happened to Galileo when he tried to challenge the Church!"

"Here, on 17 February 1600, the philosopher Giordano Bruno was burnt alive by the Roman Inquisition because his ideas were deemed dangerous. In 1887 Ettore Ferrari dedicated a monument to him on the exact spot of his death: he stands defiantly facing the Vatican, reinterpreted in the first days of a reunited Italy as a martyr to freedom of speech." - wiki

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

New Song -- A Peculiar Day

Check out my music page for my latest song, "A Peculiar Day," set to some amusing pictures of Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

A Peculiar Day

I've also added a higher-quality, streaming version of the song just below the youtube video. It's still not the best quality, but the difference is quite noticeable.

I had a few goals with this song. 1) keep it simple. I wanted to write something 3 or 4 musicians could play easily. 2) keep it varied. I wanted to introduce a lot of different musical ideas while resisting the urge to 'copy and paste' 3) see how long I could go. I had originally intended to write a very long piece, but as is often the case, musical ADHD set in. I was aiming for 6 minutes of music, but I couldn't pull it off. And why should I? I generally hate long tracks. They're too much of an investment. And how varied can I get with only 3 instruments before it just sounds discordant and unnecessary?

Excuses, excuses.

Nevertheless, I think everything turned out just fine, thank you. :P

Monday, March 3, 2008

Guitar Zero


Two days ago, I was perusing Good Will and found 2 Guitar Hero III wii editions priced $50 each! These things retail for $90 dollars, the controllers are alone $80, and the set is difficult to find brand new. I was mad not to buy them. If I was an avid ebay or craig's list user, I could have made a cool $100 profit easy. Alas.

Reasons for not buying:

* Not an avid ebay or craig's list user
* Already own Guitar Hero III for xbox360
* Saving money for Super Smash Bros Brawl next week
* Didn't want to spoil some needy kid's treasure -- notice this reason is at the bottom of the pile :(

But if by some stroke of dumb luck, those sets are still at Good Will, I'd urge any local Zionsville wii owners to go take advantage of this awesome deal!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

So, As You May Have Noticed...

I've been pretty into as of late. I've added a digg popular stories widget on the lower right hand side of my blog. I've also added digg buttons to every entry.

According to Google Analytics, I've managed to just about double my readership! (which actually isn't that impressive...)

Interested in adding digg functionality to your blog? I found this site very helpful.

I'm considering some changes to the blog's appearance. I love how the entries pop out of the space background, but I don't like how the image repeats. Any suggestions on a new, equally stunning background?

I'm also not all that happy with my header. "Objects in blog may be closer than they appear" sounds like it's trying to be profound --but isn't. The bending line optical illusion also needs changing. I like it, but it's not a very good representation of depth deception. Suggestions? Anyone?

What do you think of the new header? I like it!

Amazing Optical Illusion

What's so unusual about this hallway?

No, no, step to your left please.

You're doing it wrong! Try again!

Pretty cool, huh? There's more here.