Time Heals All Wounds.. And Then Kills the Patient
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Thu Aug 5 10:43:54 2004
Rise of the new Nutjobs

Advertisement -- Our product uses patented proprietary technologies to do XYZ -- Joe Random thinks, "Cool! Exclusive" -- I think, "Jerks!"

Last night, I had a dream of getting, dirt cheap, large quantities of spares of my current cellphone on Amazon. I do wonder why I like my ancient cell phone so much... it's just so comforting. I probably should avoid the temptation to, when this one dies, getting another of the exact same model though -- there are some features I'd like in a newer phone (more message memory, the ability to make lower-case letters when text messaging, tone ringer, and nice sync with computer).. Hmm.. maybe not though -- I have learned how to navigate this one pretty quickly. It's all a matter of what's out there when this one starts to get flakey..

Yesterday's BIRC seminar was interesting -- we covered localization of different kinds of object memory/semantics in one session, autism in the other. I love all the opportunities open to me to learn in this job. I still am bothered at my inability to stay awake for long meetings -- no matter what the topic is or how interesting it is, after about an hour without a break, I start to nod off, and at around 2 hours, I start to involuntarily free-associate and eventually have thoughts that don't make much sense, to the extent that explaining them would be difficult, like building origami in a black hole, or perhaps taking deep-sea fishes out of their extreme pressure environment and having them not explode. Even thinking about those thoughts, remembering them from yesterday, feels weird. They're not "sick" or anything like that, they just employ logic paths that .. well, are pseudo-logic paths, sometimes giving impressions of motion instead of even bearing a resemblance to normal ways of thinking. Anyhow, while it's interesting to experience such a thing, I'd like to find a way to avoid doing so in important and useful meetings/seminars. It seems rude, but perhaps I'll just get up and take a brief walk outside the room when I start to get that way. Readers, do any of you experience the same thing, and how do you handle it?

I have a vague impression, but no concrete memories, of passing up on splurging on things I don't need. I'm not sure if it's really fair to be happy for not wastefully spending money when I don't even know if it's anything more than an impression, but I am, nontheless, happy.

"I want to be a conservative, but the conservatives are fscking crazy" -- Unknown

Hmm. Orkut has a lot of kooks. It reflects society well. Lately, the Islamic kooks have been attempting to compete with the Christian kooks in idiocy. They're pretty well-matched. The Judaist kooks are more consistant, focusing their kookiness on the magicness of the Hebrew language (e.g. that it's the original one true language from which all other languages derive, or that letters and words in Hebrew have special meaning) and other "we're special" kind of fluff. Of course, the Muslims and Christians do that stuff too, and despite the racist undertones in the latter, the first two are generally more kooky, irritating, and dangerous. Anyhow, here's the content of this Islamic spew, sent to the Atheists community I'm a part of on Orkut.

The science of astronomy states that the speed of planet Mars has been decreasing in its course toward the eastern direction in the few past weeks to the level we notice the "waver" between the east and the west.. and on Wednesday the 30th of July the planet movement stopped going toward the eastern direction..

Then in the months of August and September... Mars changed its course in the opposite direction to the West- and that until the end of September.. which means the sun will rise now from the west on Mars!!

And this weird phenomena of the opposite movement called "Retrograde Motion" Most scientist state that all the planets will go through the same once at least and our planet Earth is one of them. Planet Earth will move in the opposite direction some day and the sun will rise from the west!!

This might occur soon and we are unaware!

The rise of the sun from the west is mentioned in the hadith and this is the major sign of the day of judgment, most if not All, the minor signs have occured. Wake up.

Our beloved messenger Mohamed (Peace Be Upon Him) said: "One of the signs of the hour..the sun will rise from the west, where no longer tauba (forgiveness) will be granted" !!

And the strange thing..most of our Shariah scholars mentioned that the rise of the sun from the west occurs only once.. on that day..the sun will rise from the west.. then again from the east..and continues until Allah wishes.. and this is similar to what is happening to Mars.. it stops, then it changes its course of direction for a short period of time..then returns to way once it was.

My response:

It's interesting, but also inaccurate. Learn some astronomy -- retrograde motion is actually just motion relative to earth, and stems from the earlier earth-centric view of the solar system. The phonomena actually just has to do with the relative speeds of orbit around the sun between the planets, when one planet overtakes the other. It does NOT predict that the sun shall ever rise from the west. This link may be helpful:


Na klar, I wouldn't've had a very good idea what he's talking about before I took a philosophy of science class some time ago here at CMU -- learning pre-heliocentric astronomy wasn't covered in my education :)

My labeling of my mp3s is finally done and good. Apart from some vivaldi CD rips I got which never had names I knew, the collection is all named, mostly with the right and consistant author and album names, and I now have music all the time, without needing to worry so much about battery. Hurrah!

So, here's what I've been thinking about recently...