relevant heART science


Scientific Chick provided the six-image heart X-ray used to create this digital rendering.  Thank you, Julie.

This is where I was AT thirty years ago

If one can have a favorite song for almost one's whole life . . . this is mine.


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Words You Remember

Never work for someone who’ll pay you to stay home and cut fish.

          Said my 1984 mentor Master Sergeant Karp.  One reason I remembered these words was his name.  Another, his mutilation of the fish or cut bait adage, which I knew—after ten weeks of hating real Infantry shit on the Korean DMZ together—was intentional.  He always strove for subtle-funny and probably thought cut bait hit the ear too close to its intended target.  But, irony was the biggest reason I remember his words.  MSG Karp—in his 27th year of service—was advising that if I reenlisted, I should retire as soon as pension-eligible.

          I’d matured enough by the age of 25 to realize I was at one of life’s fulcrum points.  Get out, and return to hometown-Indiana to a disdainful wife, financially worse-off than the day I enlisted...or re-up for the MP Corps and get some income, training, and a divorce.

          I picked the serially-monogamous military life, and (following his advice) stopped fishing on the day they offered to pay me to sit home and masturbate.

Get on.  Stop bothering us.  Goddamn little shit!

          I was six.  Second grade.  Recess.  Running away from a horde of three girls who were making screeching giggle noises after me with a threat of kisses.  Out of breath, fearing seven-year old classmate cooties as seriously as I’d ever feared anything, I sought refuge near the playground monitors.  My teacher, Mrs Creane, and my teacher from the previous year, Mrs Devlin, were standing in a patch of morning sun, near the center of the cracked pavement, smoking cigarettes.  I plead for them to intercede on my behalf.  Mrs Devil said the words.  Mrs Crayon chuckled and waived me away.

          To be fair, she said the third sentence in a lower tone than the louder first two and she wasn’t looking at me when she said it.  To my adult sensibility, this does differ from staring and saying, stop bothering us you goddamn little shit.  That nuance was completely lost on the little tadpole running away from kisses.  Instead, a revered teacher was the first person to cuss me out, and I was shattered to tears.  The gigglers caught up to me as I walked into the shade of the building, failed to get their desired reaction, and left me alone.  At six (Santa, Easter bunny, and the Tooth Fairy now in jeopardy) I came to the harsh realization that adults were no longer sacrosanct.

Cheese.  Regular cheese.  Yellow.  You know, American.

          The words of a good friend of mine—Mike—were said to a Sydney, Australia, Hard Rock Café waitress, in response to her, ‘what kind would you like on that?’  His reply came after a brief pause and confused scowl.  She listed four or five choices and ended with... “there’s no such thing as American cheese.”  His incredulous, “of course there is.”  Caused me to interject, “He’ll have cheddar,” and then explain to my becoming-less-Xenophobic friend about the reality of flavored oil, known in his world as processed cheese food.

It’s kæ-mul, not car-mal.  Carmal’s a girl’s name...bloody American!

          Same vacation down under.  Said by a middle-aged woman standing in line behind me in an ice cream shop.  Her haughty, I’m an expert, what’s-the-world-coming-to mix of humor and disdain (specific to people with a Queen on their money) was barked at me after I asked the clerk for some caramel sauce.

          She was probably not an all-the-time cunt.  I suspect certain Australians in that tourist-laden northeast coastal city of Cairns—who pronounce their city’s name just like the rest of the world pronounces the film-festival-famous Mediterranean French city of Cannes (except the French of course, who don't pronounce the S)—have a mispronunciation sore spot.  I could've been the eighteenth dumb-feckin-shatter that day to flagrantly pronounce a silent R, forcing otherwise quiet Sheila to snap. 

          Now I live in Oregon.  When I hear people say Or-a-gone instead of Or-a-gun (which is the locally preferred way), I never get even the slightest impulse to point out their verbal faux pas.  Would I have that same insight if I was never corrected by a cunt from Cairns?

          The impetus of this post was Mary Whitsell at Resident Alien's post: Words You Remember.  Although there are times I hear things I never forget, there are other times I read things which cause me to write.  Thanks Mary.

2011's rainy days - 6 games, 7 books, 7 films


Games:  Stacking, I Am Alive, LA Noire, Portal 2, From Dust, Agent
Books:  Dark Command, Judging Eye, Wise Mans Fear, Ancestor, Terminal State, The Weight, Best European Fiction 2011
Films:  Rango, I Am Number Four, Adjustment Bureau, Battle: Los Angeles, Sucker Punch, Cowboys vs Aliens, Green Lantern

How does one plan for the inevitable need to while away at least 500 indoor hours of the coming year, on those days when the battleship-grey weather shiver-whispers:  Even a barely functioning moron would never golf or hike with his cat on a day like today....By spending about $500, that's how.

How Many Chicken-Little Wridiots Crying Wolf Does It Take?


          I watch Discovery Channel.  So, I was one of the many-millions who learned (a few years ago) that scientists had discovered the Earth routinely has a magnetic pole reversal.  Sorry, I don't remember off-hand how often they reversed in the days of dinosaurs-past, but I do recall a geologist explaining about ancient lavarocks being flow-born and the iron inside them aligning when they cooled with the then-strongest pole (which may not have been a pole at the time).  The geologist went on to relate that the earth's current magnetic reversal was long-overdue by a few thousand years.

          Which is very similar to what a vulcanologist said on the History Channel (also a few years ago).  He was explaining about the caldera under Yellowstone National Park.  According to his calculations, it erupts pretty regularly and is also overdue by thousands of years.

          We the contemplative, the superstitious, the nearly hairless, bipedal, opposable thumbed apes...oh how we love to hear about all things imminent.  Anything.  Even if it isn't cataclysmic; if it's huge and impending, we can't get enough of it.

          Of course, everyone has already heard their fill of all the ologists-of-one-stripe-or-another regarding global warming.  It may be world-wide.  It may even qualify as a cataclysm.  But global warming is only going to result in a slow and gradual rising of temperatures and sea levels.  We're already bored with the eventual centuries-long creep of Venice, California and (hopefully) Los Angeles turning into Venice, Italy...we need to hear about imminent disaster!

          Why?

          Because we're all aware of our own mortality.  We're reminded of it daily (hourly?).  So, the notion that life might-possibly come to an end for all the douchebag-lickers on the planet—instead of just non-d-lickin me—that's supremely comforting in a everyone-else-is-an-idiot-and-they-don't-deserve-what-I-don't-have kinda way. 

          With all the reports of birds dropping out of the mid-western skies, a die-off of bats in the north, the frogs are disappearing all over the world, honey Bees, ditto...all over the United States.  So goes the coral reefs.  So goes.  So goes.  Just click any organism death and you'll learn an ologist's sad description of something else which is guaranteed to be gone by tomorrow or the next day.

          Why hasn't anyone put all these deaths together into one big scheme?

          Oh they have.  It's 2012 (in 2013 they'll say, 'hey we added the calendars together wrong, so now it's...').  It's global warming.  It's the magnetic reversal.  But, we all know chickenlittle is full of big-bunky-bullshit.  There isn't one single terrible cause.  Well...except...humans.  And most of us refuse to claim ownership of that cloak of shame because once we accept responsibility, then what...fix it?  Fucqdat...we say.  (Our usual name for things which aren't our monkey to pet.)

          Could the die-offs be just a matter of nature doing it's thing?  Could the only difference between the current deaths and the gazillion-trillions which have happened throughout history be:  today we have a full bowl of ologists paying very close attention with mini-visual technology, data-crunching with powerful hand-held technology, and incessantly reporting with world wide technology?  Oh hell, THAT certainly won't get much coverage.

          Today's fauxpocalypse-du jour is the alleged one-final-blow and collective bigboy cum overall-reason for last year's storms in England, this year's Australian cyclones, and America's most recent superstorm blizzard.  And they're going to get more powerful and more frequent, says Terrance Aym (a chicken little-esque, internet-equivalent-of-a-National-Enquirer-writer-idiot, or wridiot...who gets his kicks crying wolf).  My first hint that he drew his conclusions from a tool-bag of lies?  He tailored this story for his audience, pointing only at storms in English-speaking countries, many of which were much less damaging than those occurring during the same time-frame in non-English-reading countries.

          Aym is a blatant and intentional distorter of facts.  Couched comfortably in the solid science of others, Aym decries the unavoidable and ever-worsening future superstorms which he claims are, and will be, caused by the measurable shift in the magnetic north pole combined with the complete cessation of the earth's wobble.  Written by a crowded-theater-fire!-shouter, Terrance Aym's article is nothing more than the fabricated blathering of a smooth-talker with a penchant for driving custom-made bandwagons that he cobbles together (from raw materials provided by others) and then gets others to jump on.  What a giggle the fictionalizers-of-non-fiction—like Terrance Aym—must get when someone foolishly references them as an authority.

          The truth is broken and twisted in all of Aym's "articles".  In this one (which he hot-linked to dead-ends and pay-sites in order to dissuade fact-checkers) the truth is simple:  The earth's magnetic pole is shifting as it has for billions of years, and its slight wobble—only measured for a century—paused for a brief period in the middle of the last decade.  Neither of these geologic occurrences are anomalies.  And, neither have any effect on the earth's climate or weather.

          However...pumping carbon into the air (as we've done, are doing, and will continue to do) is definitely changing the weather.  A fact Terrance Aym doesn't write about.  It's not imminent enough.  Not cataclysmic.  And not the fauxpocalypse he loves to predict.        

          Read any of Terrance Aym's short stories posing as non-fiction articles, and you'll quickly know who he is.  He's the greasy bottle-dude on the corner with the cardboard sign, ripped vocal chords, and brain stuck on its rambling-confusion channel.  He's a hack-writer mixing the paranoia of others with his own brand of deceit and conspiracy.  No different than a fabricator of computer viruses, Aym uses legitimate information to plant his insidious data onto Squire, which he hopes will worm into your brain, your conversations, and your beliefs.  When Glen Beck looks up 'whackjob' in the dictionary—he reads about Terrance Aym.

Not Many Best Films - 2010

          On Groundhog Day I received this comment-question in a film-related article I posted near the end of 2009:
Hey there :)

What was the best and worst film of last year in your oppinion?
For me it might have to be:
Very best: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Worst: A Nightmare on Elm Street


Thanks a lot :) <3
          Well...hey back in your brain-addled and anonymous direction.

          Your unfamiliarity with spealcheque, date/time stamps, and your emoticon abuse/misuse (colon end-paren less than three is...happy dick-n-balls) causes me to assume you're a 4th grader playing on mummy's computer and bored with Myspace?  But, here's the thing, (I thought for a long three seconds to come up with an analogy you could relate to) when it comes to film opponion I'm like Eric Cartman when someone starts Come Sail Away.

          Consequently...even though last year was a dreadful year in American film...I will finish what you've begun:  2010 started with me keeping track of every film I watched, but I quit that foolishness in April because I'd yet to see one newly-released American-film worth recommending.

          My favorite-best film of last year was the amazing mystery-thriller Mother, which was released in the US in 2010 (so, technically, it qualifies as a last-year film even though it was released in South Korea in 2009).

          The vast majority of 2010 films were average-to-unmemorable dreck.  I didn't see either of the movies you mentioned, anonymous-commenter, so I can't provide you with my oppioidin on them.  I can, however, explain why I chose not to see them.

          I'll probably watch the first-half of the last Potter film, just before I watch the second-half...maybe sometime this year.  Stephen King fleeced his avid-reader's with six mini-books released monthly in the mid 90's, which I realize was before you were born, Anon-commenter, but—nonetheless—they (The Green Mile series) were an early example of a financially-successful-yet-scummy way to make more money than would otherwise be possible.  I felt almost the same way when Quentin Tarantino released Kill Bill in two parts (wouldn't a four-hour film with an intermission have been fantastic?)

          As for the remake of Nightmare:  I doubt you're aware of too very many things that occurred before your mom was born, Anon, but that movie was originally released in 1984 (to make it easier:  that's just after the Vietnam War and just before Nine-Eleven).  When your grandparents watched the first Freddy Kruger slasher flick on their parent's Betamax, they definitely were scared but, also, they were aware it was not a very good film.  So...it should not come as a surprise that the re-brand re-remake turned out bad.  (This is not to say every re-branded re-made film is like re-heating decade-old noodles; this year's True Grit was definitely worth seeing.)

          There were so many worst films of 2010.  So very many.  I successfully avoided watching most of them by paying attention to their metric and choosing to only see those films with a score higher than 60.  This is not a very good way of deciding, because...

          I posit that the worst film of 2010 was: 127 Hours.   It was a let down.  Mediocre.  It became suckage because I enjoy films by Danny Boyle and my hopes were so high.  Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later, Millions, Trainspotting...how could the director of such good-to-greatness make something so empty and flat?  127 Hours was shit because it had the potential to be fantastic but really was average-to-forgettable.  I'm amazed so many people like it (its metric is in the low-80's ferfucksake).  I'm very surprised it was nominated for awards.  It will win some because it has little competition; it's one of the best turds in the 2010 septic tank.  In my pinionop, a much better film (and best trapped-man performance of 2010) is Buried with Ryan Reynolds.  But, because Buried was filmed by a almost unknown Spanish director, in Spain, it gets less attention (even though it's in English).  ...way, come sail away with me...