Monthly Archives: July 2012
Did I ever tell you about my Close Personal Friend™ R. C. Murphy? She writes horror stories and puts them on her blog, and she’s imaginative and talented and wonderfully twisted. She’s very good at her art.
And now she’s made this.
I present to you R. C. Murphy’s first published print novel, Be Ours Forever.
I am so proud to know her right now.
Every evening my email is graced with a digest of all the Manboobz posts of the day, amongst other blogs. I don’t usually actually read any of them until the next morning, which is why it wasn’t until a few hours ago that I learned about Meowbify.
I clearly need to use more graphics in my blogging, if only so I can watch myself through that from time to time.
Meowbify simply replaces all graphics on a website with pictures of kitties, most (all?) of them animated gifs. As an added bonus, all of the links of a meowbified site are themselves meowbified! It’s viral cat madness!
I don’t have much else to say about this, so here’s the meowbified version of Wikipedia’s entry on regular polygons.
Oh internet, you magical place, you! There’s a social media “create your own ad” contest being held by Shell. In their own words:
Today, we want to take the Arctic Ready message offline, directly to the drivers who benefit from Shell’s performance fuels. That’s why we’re launching a new campaign (deadline this Thursday!), from which the best ads will be printed and posted in strategic locations worldwide. With your help, we at Shell can tell the world how pumped we are about Arctic energy, and take the Arctic Ready message to Arctic-enthused drivers everywhere.
It’s simple enough, you choose an arctic-themed picture, type your message, and it’s done. This being the internet, it’s being trolled like crazy, and it’s hilarious!
So far Shell is being pretty good sports about it, at least on Twitter. I hope they can maintain that attitude, it’d be a shame for all that to disappear in a flash of corporate indignity. Here’s the link!
That bible verse mentioned in my last post got me thinking about this. I was about 12 when I decided to read the Bible. I don’t recall who’d been talking about it, but they said things like “answers to all of life’s questions” and I had a thirst for knowledge, especially rare or secret knowledge. So I found a copy, I think a King James version, though my memory fails me here, and sat down to read it.
I didn’t make it all the way through. It was disappointing from the very first page, I recall thinking “It’s just another creation myth”, and it never got any better. If anything it got more and more boring as it left the imaginative fairy-tales behind and got into history and ancient politics and rules. I recall being amazed by how much space Leviticus devoted to the nakedness you weren’t supposed to see. As I worked through the Old Testament I skimmed more and more, thinking maybe when I got to the new part it would get better. I don’t think I got any farther than the genealogy in Matthew before I gave up.
I didn’t find any answers, certainly not to questions I’d been asking. I didn’t find any secret wisdom or mysterious knowledge. The lesson I took from the Old Testament was much more prosaic and a little bit cynical: An awful lot of people believe in this. Read the rest of this entry
Ok, that title’s a little over the top. But not as much as you’d think. Via Alethian Worldview we have this tale of a pastor named Michael Salman in Phoenix, Arizona who’s been ordered to stop holding bible study meetings in his home, and may face jail time for ignoring this order.
Well, I’ve read the Examiner article that describes this as religious persecution, and I’ve read the fact sheet that the city of Phoenix published about this case. After consideration, I think the “Martyr Envy” tag on the AW post sums this up nicely. Seriously, it sounds like all the guy has to do is rent out a space for his “bible studies” and all his troubles disappear. Read the rest of this entry
Running a little late on my search terms post this month, but I do have the proper list. I’ve been getting a feedback loop on certain topics. Every time they’re included in a search term list that I post, they become more likely to turn up in someone’s search. Been trying to work out a way to exclude the search term posts from indexing, which is taking longer than I expected. In the meantime I’m just going to skip terms that I’ve seen over and over.
As usual, searches are in bold while my commentary is italic. Read the rest of this entry
I had two separate dreams where my dog was hit by a car this morning, so it’s more of a relief than usual that I woke up to find something cool.
The Digital Cuttlefish is an anonymous rhymesmith, and probably my favorite person that I know nothing about. Seriously, I know Cuttlefish teaches at a university, and I’m pretty sure lives in the eastern half of the United States, to the north. I think xe is male, but that’s little more than a guess based on universities still being mostly a boy’s club and my own biases. That’s about it.
Anyway, Cuttlefish had some time to kill and created a car sticker out of his logo, posting a picture of it with a joke that this product was clearly missing from EvolveFISH.com‘s inventory. Then this happened.
I love the internet.
Since Cuttlefish wants to be anonymous, obviously the more people who buy these and put them on their cars, the better, so here’s the link!
Wound up looking at cell phone plans today for reasons too boring to mention, and I saw that my carrier (T Mobile, whom I’ve been very happy with for the most part) offers a new plan that’s similar to mine, but generally better and only slightly more expensive. I was actually starting to do the math to decide if I wanted to change to it when I read the footnote which informed me that this plan was “New activations only.”
It’s things like that that make me feel you should get one free hit on marketing people before it’s considered assault. Daily.
I understand the desire to bring in new blood, (well, new money) but it really does feel like a slight to those of us who’ve been with them for a while. Oh well, I guess we’re all pretty used to corporate douchbaggery by now.
Yeah, I was just venting. Look, I’m way behind on my post count here, so any excuse to get something written is good enough for me right now!
I think I first encountered the concept of ley lines in one of the role-playing games by Palladium Books, though I couldn’t tell you whether it was Beyond the Supernatural or RIFTS. It’s now a fairly common plot device in fiction, especially urban fantasy or paranormal investigator stories set more or less in the present day. Ley lines appear in The Dresden Files, which was what inspired me to look them up this afternoon.
The basic concept is lines of mystical energy that crisscross the globe. Sometimes they are like magnetic lines of force, strong places in a more or less static field, other times they flow like rivers or arc like electrical currents. In RIFTS they have been supercharged so that they visibly glow, but in every other case I can think of they aren’t easily detected, at least not by regular people.
If you’d asked me to guess, I’d have probably thought the idea emerged during the spiritualism fad in the late 19th century. I would have been very wrong, the term “ley line” was coined in 1921 by an amateur archaeologist named Alfred Watkins. Watkins noticed that many ancient British sites such as Stonehenge lined up with landmarks in the local geography. He speculated that prehistoric people built them that way to make navigation easy. Sort of like sight-based rhumb lines for people walking overland without maps.
You’ll notice that’s nothing like the lines in fiction that I mentioned above. Not even a little.
The idea of ley lines as spiritually significant is less than ten years older than I am, it apparently came about in 1969 when a writer named John Michell combined Watkins’ lines with feng shui. It’s about a hundred years newer than I expected.
So that’s something I learned today, ley lines aren’t an old idea. Now you know, too!
Been quiet lately. I’d love to offer wonderful excuses, but I’m not going to. I loaded up a saved draft of a very large post I was working on, and found that only a tiny part of it had been saved, consigning hours of work to digital oblivion. Maybe I’ll try to rewrite it later, but for now just thinking about it puts me in a foul mood.
In less grumpy news, while I was out walking I found a rattle on the sidewalk. I wonder how it came to be there, what its story is.
Here’s an interesting thing a friend pointed me to, California Senate Bill 1476. The short of it is that this bill would allow for a child to have more than two legally recognized parents.
Here’s a link to a summarized text of the bill, where you can also find a link to the latest version of the complete bill.
The implications of this are pretty interesting. At first I was thinking of things like “who can make medical decisions if a kid’s legal parents are married, but not to each other?”, but on reflection I kinda figure that has to be already addressed somewhere, or maybe the non-parents can act as a legal proxy for their spouses. Reading the bill and the article linked above it looks like it’s mostly intended to allow judges more leeway in cases where parenthood is being contested. So, a judge could give parental rights & responsibilities to spouses without stripping any away from biological parents, for example.
It sounds like a good idea to me. So naturally, people are opposing it on religious terms. Read the rest of this entry
Happy Canada Day!
So, I subscribe to the poem-a-day email list from Poets.org. I’m not really a big fan of poetry, the few that I like I really, really like, but most of them don’t do much for me. Today’s daily poem is allegedly in honor of Canada, and probably the worst poem I’ve seen since I first subscribed to that email list.
It’s hilariously bad, I found myself feeling a lot of sympathy for Canada.
This is the poem that appeared in my email this morning, feel free to tell me if there’s some context or knowledge I’m lacking that makes it seem worse than it is.
Birth of Canada as a Nation, July First, 1867
by James McIntyre
Hail Britannia’s noblest daughter,
Who is surrounded by the water
Of many a lake and broad sea,
Land of beaver and of maple tree.
Her lofty brow is wreathed with smiles,
For from the far Atlantic isles
In pomp have come their delegates,
All seeking to unite their fates.
With Canada great northern queen,
And now throughout the land is seen,
High festival and stately dance,
Triumphant nuptials to advance.
And soon shall Red River valley
And distant Vancouver rally,
To form this Empire gigantic
From Pacific to Atlantic.