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The Public Blogging of Pomosexuality, Homotextuality, Homophobiaphilia, and Drear Theory (aka Career Theory) [aka Gay4Pay]. We also read the Corner and OpJournal so the right buttock will be punished as well. All comments subject to publication. Or dismissal. Or Both.


Your Disciplinarians: Glenda Benda (Philapa), Amber Waves (Kansaster), Polly Morpheus (Dreamsville), Tess Tosterone (D'Urbervilles)



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Agenda Bender
Saturday, January 22, 2005  

The Statue In the Stone

My Day On Titan

the murky, chilling air of Titan
a mysterious, pinkish orangey world
a flat terrain with fist-sized objects
a spongy surface, wet sand or soft clay
spidery dark lines etched on Titan's surface
they are rivers, streams and channels of liquid
it rains regularly on this far-off moon
Only it's methane rain

The liquid on Titan is methane
The liquid on earth is water
The rocks on earth are silicate
The rocks on Titan are ice blocks
And the dirt on earth is our dirt

it's almost impossible to imagine existing
in Saturn's frozen, far-off moon
but there may come a day -
a very long time from now
in about four billion years
our sun will expand
and become a red giant
the temperatures in the outer solar system will rise
long after life has become impossible on earth
temperatures will rise on Titan
the water ice will melt

for a very brief time
Titan may be a very good place,
he says,
for life

It was raining methane in my heart today. I was stranded on a frozen, far-off moon, a flat terrain with fist sized objects. They called it courtroom 703.

Say a prayer for Ronnie John Byrd, if you would. A basic one for strength, hope and peace of mind would be best. I would greatly appreciate it.

2:37 AM

Friday, January 21, 2005

Call Me False Dmitry II

My latest surpassing fancy (almost every day brings a new one) is to visit the Wikipedia Vandalism in Progress page. I find it compelling, and not a little awe inspiring. How do you keep all the freaks in check at a planetary house party?

Among the marauding Invisigoths currently pissing in the fireplace:

Vandalised Japan. Has been blocked before for vandalism...

Vandalizing List of Eagle Scouts repeatedly with angry bolded rant about how listing a killer disgraces the badge...

This editor has a long history of vandalism, and has attacked a number of pages in the last 24 hours, including Iron Curtain, William Rehnquist, Meritocracy, and has created a stupid new page today, Dubweiser, and others in the past...

Someone has vandalized the Christianity page: "THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH!" appears in the Origins section and has no context within the copy...

Just created a nonsense article called Battle of Brunete.

Has replaced the entire text of mental retardation with people's names...

repeatedly vandalized Isaac Newton...

The notorious Polish imperialist again violated the 3RR in the article on Vasili IV of Russia, and continues to vilify other articles on Russian tsars. For example, he continuously inserts Polish spellings for the Russian cities in the article on the Russian tsar False Dmtriy I.

This is an odd one. Seems to vandalise one article every couple of weeks, then slip back into lurk mode, so he or she may not have been noticed much. Most recently seen at Caelian Hill, but previously at Communism, Pensacola, Florida, 1989 and a bunch of other places ...

This one I understand. I might even be a suspect. I so want to rewrite 1989. And Caelian Hill sounds like a cool place to be most recently seen.

1:54 AM

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Cherchez the Garages of Retired Engineers In New Jersey

A reader's comment to this provocative critique of the character rendering in The Polar Express led me to a fascinating piece from the LA Weekly on the science and alchemy of digitizing 35 mm film prints. The piece is almost 6 years old and its age shows in spots, as here:

One estimate is that 8 megabytes of disk space would be needed to adequately approximate the image information -- the resolution and the color range -- on even a single frame of 35 mm motion picture film, which is still the most responsive medium we have for recording visual data. There are 144,000 frames in an average-length (100-minute) feature film. Plug those numbers into your calculator and you begin to get a feeling for the magnitude of the challenge. The potential payoff is staggering, but so are the practical, technical complications.

8MB x 144,000 was a much more terrifying proposition in 1999 than in 2005, to be sure. But some of the mysteries of 35 mm film won't be solved by the creation of ever larger storage spaces in which to dump the digital dupe:

"We don't understand all the aspects of what a film image is yet," Michael Friend points out. "We literally don't know how much resolution there is on a film. And then how does a computer read, and rewrite, and re-allocate that information?..."

...Technicians speak hopefully of establishing a "1:1 correspondence of digital pixel to film grain," but the fact is, nobody really knows exactly what a single film grain represents, or rather, how much image information it contains...

..."My overall project," Friend explains, "is to find out how to capture the characteristics of an image. The image is an object. It is a surface. It is not three-dimensional, but it's also not a language or a code. You can encode anything, but our task is a little different, a little more Faustian. It's like capturing all the atoms or molecules of that object. It is perhaps like capturing a DNA code..."

...Storing digital data on current technology presumes that the technology required to read the data will be maintained in years to come. A few years back, the original two-inch master videotapes of a pair of Fred Astaire TV specials from the 1960s were discovered festering in a musty vault. "These are the first nationally broadcast shows shot on color videotape," UCLA's Robert Rosen says, "so they were of major technological as well as aesthetic interest." Trouble was, the tapes could not be watched, because not one specimen of the requisite playback equipment survived. Luckily, a set of blueprints for the lost hardware was eventually located, in the garage of a retired engineer in New Jersey, and from these the long lost tape deck was rebuilt. We will not always be so lucky.

3:28 AM

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

No, But I Built All The Stacks

These paragraphs, from Charles Taylor's review of Nick Hornby's collected book columns, are unusually meaningful to me, but it's the parenthetical insight in the last sentence I liked the most (parenthetical thoughts tend to be my favorites--recurses, coiled again.) It bothered me too since the truth of it had never before hit me, and I have been in easy punching distance of it countless times:

...Hornby is writing about the day-to-day process of being readers as most of us practice it -- not following some neat scheme but reading without premeditation, going higgledy-piggledy from one subject to another, based on whim, recommendation, chance.

The result is less a column to read for insight into any one book (though there is that sometimes) than a column in which to recognize the habits that bind readers together, no matter the differences in what they read.

That recognition starts with the two lists that headline every Hornby column: "Books Bought" and "Books Read." Sometimes entries in the former end up on the latter that month, a few months later or not at all. Anyone who buys more books than he or she can read (i.e., any reader), and who then lets those acquisitions hang around for months or years, will look at those lists and sense a kindred spirit. (The surest way to spot a nonreader: someone who comes into your house, looks at your books and asks, "Have you read all these?")

10:23 PM

Monday, January 17, 2005

Yet Another Dream Job I Got Clued In On Too Late

The headline to this notable story is, very unfortunately, not nearly as unfortunate as I would have wished*. Goddammit:

Bishops Screen Catholic Priests on Cruises

PORT EVERGLADES, Fla. - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has started screening priests who celebrate Mass aboard cruise ships to prevent unqualified clergy from ministering to Catholic passengers.

The bishops have approved more than 650 priests to work on cruise lines in a process designed to weed out unsuitable candidates such as clergy who were suspended in the church's sex abuse scandal or those who have left the priesthood...

...Lee Breyer left the priesthood when he married a former nun in 1969, yet has been conducting Mass on cruise ships with Rent-A-Priest since 2002. He does not announce to Mass attendees that he's married.

"By mentioning it upfront, it can come across as a confrontational issue between me and the Catholic Church," Breyer told The Miami Herald.

*Update: Like say:

Cruising Priests Often Harbor Secrets

Stormy Seas Ahead for Clerical Cruisers

Bishops Plan New Oversight On Priestly Crusising

4:06 AM

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Loved (Ram)One

It's nice that Johnny Ramone has a statue over Hollywood his grave now. I might even go visit it someday. I'm not crazy about the apparent Star Wars influence in the end result though. It is vaguely appropriate, the Ramones and Star Wars are both vintage 1976-77. And it certainly can't be easy rendering Johnny's long-haired bowl cut in bronze, but Darth Vader gets enough glory without glomming onto Johnny's eternal moment.

Darth Vedder, too.

8:23 PM