Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Crumb Finishes Genesis Project

Infamous underground comic artist Robert Crumb has recently completed his reinterpretation of the Book of Genesis. Clocking in at 201 pages, the satire will likely make some waves amongst the religious right. I'm excited!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Business Card

I need a business card. Anyone want to design one for me? I'm not sure I'm in love with my own design:

Is "Artist" too pretentious? How do I advertise my drawing ability? Is "Designer" better? Am I really an editor? I'd like a job editing for writers. Does this look too amateurish? Are my font choices lame?

I'd like this on the back of the card:

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Retro Gaming Part VII: Vlog Edition

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The French Revolution

(According to My Little Brother)

My little brother Sam made this comic book about the French Revolution for his history class. Enjoy!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Writing Another Glass

Ever wonder what goes on in my head while I'm writing a song? Here's a small peek inside.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mr. Bigshot Hollywood Guy

Well, no sooner do I leave my job with Blockbuster and I'm offered a position as a production assistant on a feature length film being shot in downtown Indianapolis. (a paid job, no less!)

Details are still a little sparse. I'll be working with Adrenaline Motion Pictures for four weeks starting around April 9th. I'm excited.

You see? Open yourself to the universe, and the universe provides.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Henyrk Górecki -- Heartbreaker

I've recently discovered the melancholic music of composer Henyrk Górecki. I feel like I've heard this music before, possibly in movie trailers. I'm reminded slightly of Richard Einhorn's "Voices of Light," the accompaniment to Carl Dreyer's silent film "The Passion of Joan of Arc," but certainly Górecki's music has a unique timbre all its own.

Teh Internets Iz Mine!

I just bought my first domain name:


Friday, March 20, 2009

Underwater Volcanic Eruption Footage


Everything You'd Ever Want to Know About Cat Communication. Ever.


I have "conversations" with my cat all the time, mewing back and forth. She seems to like it. As for opening a door, however, she sits on her hind legs and rubs the door with her paws until someone opens it for her.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

After the PR disaster surrounding the rape of a Brazilian 9-year-old and the cold response of the Catholic Church, at least one Vatican prelate is starting to back track on the Church's official position. He's still peddling the bureaucratic legalism bullshit about how the excommunications were "automatic" and therefore the church can eschew responsibility. But at least this dissent is a sign that there is some room, however small, for a little humanistic rationalism within that fraternity of costumed old men.

Oh, but the honeymoon does not last very long. On a recent trip to Africa, Pope Benedict XVI told a bald-faced lie about the AIDS epidemic:
"HIV/Aids is a tragedy that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem"

To spread the dangerous and destructive lie that condom use somehow "increases the problem" is morally egregious. Honestly, it kind of makes me upset. Hasn't he read any studies on transmission of the disease or even talked to a general health physician for 5 minutes?

Thankfully, a commenter on digg.com has put the whole situation into perspective and talked down my outrage.
An idiotic statement from the leader of an increasingly irrelevant religion.

We Are So Small

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"The World Don't Spin for You" -- Ukulele Song

Performance folk artist, I am not. You'll notice I start and stop as I try to remember the lyrics to my own song. Try to ignore it. And let me know what you think!


I left home with mom and pa,
Brothers, sister too,
Lost some friends through broken ties,
Lost my lover too.

But who's to say that change is bad?
Change is what we do.
The world keeps spinnin' round and round.
It don't just spin for you.

I found God in the Lion's den,
Tearin' up the schools,
Mixing up the children's heads,
And playin' us for fools.

But who's to say that way is wrong?
We know not what we do.
The world keeps spinnin' round and round.
It don't just spin for you.


Suggestions for a final verse and changes are welcome.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Gays Aren't So Strange

Too many straight people have strange reactions to gay people, which I've never been able to understand. Many gay men are effeminate: limp wrists, flashy dress, up and down inflection, and a little bit of a lisp.

And that makes people cringe. And then they say things like, "That's so strange! Why does he have to act so weird? That's just wrong."

Most people seem to think that gender is a set-in-stone reality, even as drag queens walk past them on the street, flying in the face of their conventions, disproving their pet theories with every sashay. Those people should read up on the subject.

I've never understood or sympathized with this double standard. Why is it okay for a woman to snap her wrist, jingle her bracelets, and declare something, "Fabulous!" but if a man does it, it's considered weird, wrong and --in some strange sense-- an impossible affront to reality.

I know people like to believe in magic, but there is no magical barrier stopping people from learning and expressing behaviors. The societal barrier that does exist is entirely imaginary, propped up by bigots, misogynists, "cringers," and those who refuse to reflect on their own irrational biases. Society is just as susceptible to change and adaptation as any individual.

So the next time you see an effeminate man walking with a bounce in his step, talking expressively, and wearing flashy clothes who, by the way, may or may not be gay, stop yourself from cringing, close your eyes, and imagine your girlfriend behaving with the same mannerisms. You'll realize, "Oh, that's not so strange. I see the same thing every day! I guess I'm just usually distracted by a pair of bouncing boobs."

With a little understanding and acceptance, the world will be a better place.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sonic on the Virtual Console

I've got a hankerin' for some of that good old-fashioned, high speed platforming action that only Sonic the Hedgehog (circa 1990) can deliver. I've narrowed my potential choice down to two games, both from the sega master system and ported to sega's handheld Game Gear.


Don't be fooled! Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a completely different beast from its burlier brother on the Sega Genesis. As I recall from my brief playtime on my cousin's game gear, this Sonic 2 was frustratingly difficult, so I'm leaning toward purchasing Sonic Chaos. I also have a happy memory of being able to fly as Tails in some iteration of the series, which I've discovered is also featured in Sonic Chaos.

Here's the rub: most game reviewers prefer Sonic 2, while most of the comment droppers seem to prefer Sonic Chaos. What should I choose?

Justin, you could probably help the most.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Flossing Monkeys

While it has been known for sometime now that humans are not the only species living today that use tools, this latest case study of macaques is news to me.

[A] research team observed seven female long-tailed macaques and their offspring and monitored how often the mothers cleaned the spaces between their teeth with strands of human hair, in a colony of 250 animals near Bangkok.

The study found that the frequency of teeth-cleaning roughly doubled and became more elaborate when the infant monkeys were watching, suggesting that the females were deliberately teaching their young how to floss, he said.

So not only are these macaques using tools, but it also appears they are teaching their offspring to do the same. Is it just me, or is there something slightly disturbing about the fact that these monkeys are using human hair to floss their teeth? Soon they'll start rounding us up and harvesting our hair for their diabolical dental hygiene!

Famous human round-up scene from Planet of the Apes

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mental Relativity

I've been thinking about color perception lately. It's hard for me to even imagine being colorblind! What is that experience like?

If you suffer from a more common form of colorblindness, you won't be able to make out the symbols in the above picture. In an example like this, I've always assumed that a colorblind person must just see brownish red everywhere.

Then again, maybe he or she just sees green. Maybe gray. Then I got to wonderin'...

Color wavelengths are real and measurable. When I see a red barn, you see a red barn, and we can agree on a color because we're sensing the same wavelength. But what if I switched brains with yours and discovered that your perception of red is more like my perception of green! Because we can't swap each others sensing organs, we'll never know if our consensus about a stimulus is exacting or if we're thinking analogously.

I wonder what kind of mental relativity is at play. How different are we, really, from one another, and how can we ever know?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Holy Ghostbuster!

Even though this image is a rip off of the original meme, I realized it makes for a most excellent t-shirt.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bono: Evil Bastard?

50 Reasons Not to Believe in Evolution

I have to admit, I'm almost convinced...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Time for a Style Change?

I was thinking I need a style change. Maybe I'll bring the glasses back (I am supposed to be wearing them, after all)

Church Sides with Evil

I was really trying to just let this one go, but I can't. It's just so awful.
A 9-year-old girl who was carrying twins, and whose stepfather is suspected of raping her, underwent an abortion on Wednesday despite complaints from Brazil’s Roman Catholic Church. The stepfather has been jailed since last week, the police said. Abortion is illegal in Brazil, the country with the most Roman Catholics, but judges can make exceptions if the mother’s life is in danger or the fetus has no chance of survival. Fatima Maia, director of the public university hospital where the abortion was performed, said the pregnancy, which was in its 15th week, posed a serious risk to the girl, who weighs 80 pounds. But Marcio Miranda, a lawyer for the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife in northeastern Brazil, said the girl should have carried the twins to term and had a Caesarean section. “It’s the law of God: Do not kill,” he said in comments reported by the newspaper O Globo.


First the Church tried to intervene and force the 9-year-old to carry the pregnancy to term. Now the Church has excommunicated everyone involved, including the child's mother and doctors.

Can you imagine the mental anguish these religious leaders are inflicting on this poor little girl? "Gee mommy, I'm sorry step daddy raped me, forced an abortion to save my life, and made me get you kicked out of church!"

I mean, rarely are abortion cases as cut and dry as this one. And yet, the Catholic Church has sided with Evil. So much for the moral high ground.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Promise to Self:

All right self, it is time to level.

Every time I am scheduled to open up the store, it requires that I get up at 8 in the morning, so I go to bed at 12 am.

But every time I am scheduled to open the store, I go through a period of manic depression, which consists of panic attacks and suicidal fantasies, insomnia that does not resolve until about 5 or 6am or never, and general anxiety.

I had already promised myself I'd see a physician, but I broke that promise because I finally had a good week. However, I'm afraid the cycle is starting again.


Either I make an appointment with a physician OR I put in my two weeks notice OR both.

I am leaning towards putting in my two weeks notice. Because, goddamnit, I want to be a writer. And I thought I could take up a part-time job and write on the side. But I've found that all I do is sleep and work and relax on the two days I get off.


I have to hit writing hard. And I'm not going to stop until I come out the other end either as a person who can make a living as a writer, or as some kind of penniless substance abuser staring down the barrel of a shotgun. And while more often than not, those two things are one and the same, I will try my hardest to end as either one or the other.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"I wish I had a chance to know that Jean-Luc"

How NOT to Add Subtitles:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lucifer: Bringer of Light?

The first problem is that Lucifer is a Latin name. So how did it find its way into a Hebrew manuscript, written before there was a Roman language? To find the answer, I consulted a scholar at the library of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. What Hebrew name, I asked, was Satan given in this chapter of Isaiah, which describes the angel who fell to become the ruler of hell?

The answer was a surprise. In the original Hebrew text, the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah is not about a fallen angel, but about a fallen Babylonian king, who during his lifetime had persecuted the children of Israel. It contains no mention of Satan, either by name or reference. The Hebrew scholar could only speculate that some early Christian scribes, writing in the Latin tongue used by the Church, had decided for themselves that they wanted the story to be about a fallen angel, a creature not even mentioned in the original Hebrew text, and to whom they gave the name "Lucifer."

Why Lucifer? In Roman astronomy, Lucifer was the name given to the morning star (the star we now know by another Roman name, Venus)...

...Jerome had mistranslated the Hebraic metaphor, "Day star, son of the Dawn," as "Lucifer," and over the centuries a metamorphosis took place. Lucifer the morning star became a disobedient angel, cast out of heaven to rule eternally in hell. Theologians, writers, and poets interwove the myth with the doctrine of the Fall, and in Christian tradition Lucifer is now the same as Satan, the Devil, and --- ironically --- the Prince of Darkness.


I've started some research for a new short story, although I have to think SOMEONE has come up with this idea already and probably explored it more thoroughly and more creatively than I ever could. But if that doesn't turn out to be the case, I'm hoping to begin work on a story tentatively titled, "The Gospel of Mephistopheles" with the angle that Yahweh is, in fact, an evil God to whom Lucifer rebels against. After all, history is written by the victor --wouldn't an evil God smear, distort, and punish those who challenged him? This could be the tag line:

"The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world he wasn't already God."

It sure does explain the problem of evil and suffering. I would also borrow from the Gnostics and deify Judas as some kind of real savior having made the ultimate sacrifice by betraying Jesus -- eternal damnation. I think it's a really interesting inversion of the Bible mythos.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sita Sings the Blues

Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by e-mail. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the Indian epic Ramayana. Set to the 1920’s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw, Sita Sings the Blues earns its tagline as “The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told.