devo.jpgIf you haven’t heard, the U.S. launched spy satellite USA 193 on December 14, 2006, and they quickly lost control of it. This satellite has been losing height ever since and will soon come crashing down on your head — oops, I mean, to an uninhabited part of the earth where no one will be harmed. Yeah, the government fuckers sure have a rough time keep up with all the baaad things folks are doing. They can’t even spy properly.

Here’s a nice artist’s rendering of what the satellite’s plummeting, er, re-entry will look like.

If you want to make an attempt at keeping that 10,000 pounds of space junk from landing on you, you can track it through the auspices of Heaven’s Above. By setting up a login and entering your longitude and latitude, you can see NOW before it hits you. They’ll also show you where it’s is in reference to planet earth in real time.

baloney.GIFI just can’t get behind the whole cloned animals for food thing. It’s not the creepy sci-fi future-shock factor that bothers me; it the more-torture-for-animals factor. I read an article by Annalee Newitz, who I usually agree with on most things, and she only made a cursory mention of the fact that cloned animals tend to be less healthy than the normal kind. So, how do you think the meat industry will deal with this? Get acupuncture and massage for the critters? It’s a foregone conclusion that cloned animals will receive more injections of antibiotics, steroids, hormones, etc. — basically, whatever it takes to keep them (barely and sickly) alive until they are slaughtered.

basket.gifIf you haven’t faced it already, then it’s time to FACE IT: meat comes from violence and cruelty. I repeat: meat comes from violence and cruelty. If you’re okay with that, that’s fine. But if you’re not, consider this: cloned meat will come from even more severe violence and cruelty.

With the world going to hell in a handbasket, do you really want to add to the mayhem? If not, I urge you to protest against cloned meat. The nice folks at the Anti-Vivisection Society tell you how.

I suppose I can’t cut-n-paste the article here, ’cause that would probably be a copyright infringement, but do read this NOW:

Best Ideas of 2008 by Raymond Lesser

Unbelievably (to me, at least), there are people in the world coming up with nice, non-stupid technology, such as dental x-rays with the radiation, smog-eating cement, and solar-powered cells on aluminum-paper-thin sheets.

Brain_090407.jpgNow, I count on The Funny Times to keep me informed about the news through the filter of satire, which is the only way I can handle the news anymore. They’ve also explained, via Dave Barry, How the Brain Really Works, which was one of the most informative articles I ever read (now, oddly enough, only appearing online in Arab News.) So, but providing this level of optimism — well, they’ve really outdone themselves.

I was waiting in the car the other day for K to pick up a prescription. In the wayback of the car in front of me sat a medium-sized dog, looking quite bored. Somehow his facial expression triggered memories of my childhood dog, Chipper, who I lived in close proximity to from ages five through twenty-one.

I realized that I could still remember pretty much every inch of Chipper’s body. I could remember the his auburn fur, how it felt coarse on his back, soft on his neck, softer on his velvety ears. The smooth-yet-sandpapery feel of the pads on the bottom of his feet (which somehow smelled like Fritos, a food we never ate). His nose was black when he was young, but became taupe with age; also, white hairs crept back from his nose to his eyes as the years went by.

To gauge my progress at drawing as child, every year from first grade through my senior year in high school, I would draw a picture of Chipper. I would try to incorporate all new drawing skills I had learned in the previous year, and I would draw these from memory. In college, however, I had him model (without his consent) for a portrait, which really captured his living image. I still have all these drawing, some of the very few possessions of my childhood I still retain. They remain a small, tangible proof that I didn’t spring fully-formed from the earth.

There are so many things I can’t remember from my childhood, but feel I should. My grandmother’s voice. How my Mom looked before all her plastic surgery. How I looked as a child. I vaguely remember my body with no breasts or body hair, but it’s a hazy image. But Chipper remains as vivid as ever. When I think of him, it’s like a wormhole to the past. I can feel him, his physical presence, as if time and death have no meaning.

The other day I went to the pharmacy to get my prescription to Ativan refilled.220px_Lorazepam_3D.png I have a small prescription that I use basically as sleeping pills. Frankly, I don’t see how anyone can use them for anxiety — they just knock me out cold.

In any case, I’ve used privately owned (not chain-store) pharmacies for a few decades; I’ve been doing that “shop local” thing for a while. In case you haven’t noticed, privately owned pharmacies are a rare breed, but my experience is that the service they offer is better.

IMGP5573.JPGFor instance, the pharmacy in my new (as of last September) neighborhood will deliver your prescription to your door. Or, if you prefer, you can pick it up after hours at the sandwich shop next door, which is open until 11 pm.

So imagine my dismay when they completely fucked up my latest refill. I left the bottle there, went back about a week later, and they had never filled it. Not only that, they claim they never got it from me. I told them the bottle was there and after several minutes they admitted to finding the bottle. A few more minutes went by and they asked to see my insurance information, which they already had on file. I was getting pretty steamed, because they were completely unapologetic the whole time.

It was only a week after that, when I actually went to take a pill, that I actually read the label:
IMGP5575.JPG

You’ve probably already seen this, as supposedly four million people already have. But it’s even worth watching TWICE. Here’s a fine example of an unabashed nerd using water-tight logic to discuss the future of the planet. What’s beautiful about his argument is that you can apply it to ANYTHING. You no longer have to prove your point on moral grounds (although it often has great appeal) — you can just show the logical conclusions, and you’re done. Absolutely brilliant.

The flaw in his using this beautiful argument to save the planet is that he believes the reason the government isn’t stepping in to enforce environmental laws is because they don’t know what’s going to happen. I tell you, they already fuckin’ KNOW what’s going to happen. They just don’t give a shit.

Nuff said.

First let’s establish what we mean by feelings. I’m going to put them into two broad categories: sensations and emotions.

I bet you’ve noticed that sensations aren’t always accurate. Have you ever put your foot into a tub of too-hot water, and for a second, thought it was too cold (just for a second, followed by “Ow! Goddamit!)?

For the last year — I think I may have mentioned this — I’ve been trying to correct my craptacular posture. Not because I care about posture per se, but because I have migraines and a knot on my right shoulder the size and density of a baseball. Nope, those things don’t feel good. But no matter how much I tried to relax my neck and shoulders, the second I stopped paying attention to them, my body tries to resume the fetal position. Which is a fine position for a fetus, but not a grown person.

A few weeks ago, I started getting lessons on the Alexander Technique, which is a methodology for learning correct body mechanics. One of the main terms I’ve learned so far is proprioception, which is basically the sense of what’s happening inside your body. Here’s the thing, though — often, our proprioception is off because we’ve developed bad habits over time. So, when I was trying to relax my muscles for the last year, for all I know I was actually contracting them, or contracting other muscles, or doing some other fucked up shit.

Now, here’s something I wonder. Can we develop inaccurate assessments of our emotions, just as we have inaccurate proprioception? The reason I’m wondering is because lately I’ve been feeling kind of blue (you know, depressed), but when I think about it, there doesn’t seem to be enough, or a strong enough, reason for this. So, is the depression real, or a misinterpretation?

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