Buckminster Skeeter: Wanna buy a watch?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Naming our new dog

At one point my wife agreed that if she picked the breed/dog I could pick the name. She has since renigged on the verbal agreement we had. These were the choices I gave her:

1) The Total Package - call him Package for short
2) Kermit
3) C. Thomas Howell
4) Windex
5) Waylon
6) David Allen Coe
7) Corpsegrinder
8) Bill
9) Terence
10) Cup 'o Joe
11) Mettalidog
12) Al Gore
13) Levee
14) Quad paw
15) Fomenko
16) Hall but not Oates
17) Chernobyl
18) Frank
19) Noose
20) Bird Slayer

I don't know why she couldn't come to terms with any of these.

I think I will call him Package regardless.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Top 5 favorite metal shows ever

This is a follow-up to the In Flames Review

In no particular order

* Nevermore - Mercyful Fate - 2000ish
* Testament - Vio-Lence - 1988ish
* Slayer - Mastodon - 2004
* In Flames - Trivium - Devildriver- 2006
* Forbidden - Death Angel - 1990ish

Review of In Flames show - another post for my metal friends

I saw In Flames, Devildriver, and Trivium last night at the Norva.

Vastly different from the Nile show. The Norva was almost filled to capacity - about 1400 people or so - a good 10 times that of the Nile show. The sound was phenomenal again - apparently the Norva invested huge into a state-of-the-art sound sytem for large club venues and it is paying off. I have never heard metal played with such clarity at high volumes. Usually it sounds like loud static pulsating with the drum kicks, but not at the Norva.

Devildriver was excellent live - damn excellent - they put on a killer show, moved about the stage like pros, and their playing was tight. Their singer reminds me of a Heavy Metal David Lee Roth for some reason - not in looks but in the way he works the stage and audience. At one point they whipped up a circle pit about 40 ft in diameter. It was huge. They guys on the outside were sprinting to keep up with the rotation. Their music was good to. They had a really cool song and they played it 10 times. By the 4th time I was sort of tired of it but by the 7th it grew on me again. I'm not all that familiar with their work so I didn't recognize much - except for 1 or 2 songs I downloaded.

Trivium - also excellent live. I had never heard of these guys before last night. They're on Roadrunner records (so is Devildriver). Trivium was a perfect mix of 80's thrash, Metal Core, Death Metal, Rock, and Crossover (80's). You get a little of everything with them. I plan on acquiring their album immediately. I just hope it's as good as they came across live. If it is they could become one of my new favorites. The playing was precise, the showmanship was excellent, and the crowd was into them.

In Flames - Professionals. These guy's set was perfect. Maybe the best sound I've ever heard live (except Ander's was a little low in the mix - but that's usually not a terrible thing). After 15+ years of touring these guys have it down pat. Anders wore a short sleeved button up with a tie - and it seemed to work for him. They opened with a blistering rendition of Pinball Map. I remember these songs: Scorn, Colony, Clayman, System, Trigger, F(r)iend, the Quite Place, Leeches, Take this Life, and Scream. They played 2 off of Jester Race too but I can't remember which ones.

Random show notes:
* The old school pit is back. Plenty of circle pits with little fist banging. As the devildriver singer said "no fist banging, kick boxing bullshit - if that's your style- it's my pit - get the fuck out"
* When 800 people start doing the bounce up and down thing it takes approximately 17 seconds for them to get in unison. Yes, I timed it - 3 times. Trivium was big on the bouncing thing for 1 particular song for some reason - they promoted the circle pit most of the time though.
* There were older people there than me.
* Someone had their 7 (approx) year old boy there - kudos.
* In Flames has a rodie they call 'the Buddha'. The crowd recognized him and gave him a lot of cheers and hand horns. He's huge as you could imagine. They even cheered the monumental plumbers butt he proudly displayed.
* Anders said the new album was so good we should buy 2 and he should know because he has 10. I like a little humor from my metal bands.

Next is Every Time I Die in March. Or maybe Black Dahlia Murder - haven't decided on that one.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Your mind has a mind of it's own





This is a still image. Your brain is making you perceive that it is moving. What else is your brain falsifying?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Little Known History II

"Woodrow Wilson was nominated for President at the 1912 Democratic Convention and campaigned on a program called the New Freedom, which stressed individualism and states' rights. In the 3 way election he received only 42 percent of the popular vote but an overwhelming electoral vote.
Wilson passed through Congress three major pieces of legislation. The first was a lower tariff, the Underwood Act; attached to the measure was a graduated Federal income tax. The passage of the Federal Reserve Act provided the Nation with the more elastic money supply it badly needed. In 1914 antitrust legislation established a Federal Trade Commission to prohibit unfair business practices."

What the history books don't tell you about is the Great Pencil scandal. Wilson was heavily studied in law but possessed a near-demonic flair for economics and wealth. In 1908 he invested heavily as a silent partner in a company that would produce lead pencils. At the time pencil making was flourishing as new machinery for processing the graphite was evolving. Wilson's company, Standard Pencil, was the only pencil making factory to mix the graphite and clay to create a degree of 2H on the pencil hardness scale. Their sales soared and their profits rose while the competition struggled to maintain it's marketshare.

The only company capable of reproducing Standard's process was the National Pencil Company in Atlanta, GA. The proprietor of NPC was Leo Frank, a somewhat feminine man, married, with a child. National was nearing competition of a superior 2H pencil process that would cut deeply into Standard's profits. With the power of the presidency behind him Wilsons devised a scheme to gain control of National Pencil. In 1913 a young girl, working in the factory, was brutally raped and murdered. A slew of factory employees were detained, questioned, and held as suspects. Days later Frank was arrested for her murder. There was no real evidence submitted by the prosecutors yet the jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to hang. The governor, John Slaton, commuted the sentence. Within a day a crowd of unknown people stormed Frank's house and lynched him in his livingroom. These unknown people were later said to be 'concerned citizens' of the city.

With Frank's death Wilson made a move to buy out the company and gain control of the factory.
He began an industrial coup of the pencil industry that would last 12 presidencies. Upon leaving office Wilson handed control of the company to newly inaugurated Warren G. Harding, who handed it to Coolidge, and so on.

In 1979 Jimmy Carter's rule of the pencil empire took a dramatic leap. He backed a company that manufactured test scoring machines which ran test card through a graphite sensor. These machines were the first of their kind and Carter quickly moved to mandate their use in all government testing centers. The testing machines were designed to only read a graphite-clay ratio equaling 2H on the hardness scale (or a #2). The machine and pencils sales soared and the presidency was bringing in more money than ever. Reagan's era served to squash the quickly advancing Baltic pencil proliferation, the only rival to American pencil production.

George Bush brought a new commodity to the office - oil. He quickly sold off the pencil empire to Saudi Arabia and established oil as the presidential currency.

With plans to run for office in 2008, Hillary Clinton will seek to discontinue the presidential oil business. In it's place will be pharmaceuticals.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Dog War of 2005-2006

We have 4 cats (was 5, one had to get whacked) and decided to get a dog. I like dogs. My wife likes dogs. So we start by saying 'What kind of dog do we want?'. I like big dogs: Mastiffs, Hounds, and Shepherds - but only if I get them very young. I have a slight fear of large dogs for some reason. Maybe it's because it could kill me if it really wanted to. I can hold my own in a bar fight, consider myself reasonably 'tough' but a 100 pound animal with teeth could probably rip my throat out - or worse. Maybe I was attacked as a child - I don't think so. I had a large boxer as a child - loved him, rolled all over him, he was great. We had to neutralize him because he bit a couple of passers by in our neighborhood.

My wife does not want a large dog. She has extensive veterinary experience and informs me daily that large dogs have large problems. Expensive stuff at the vet - arthritis, hip surgeries, predisposition to many diseases, and lots and lots of dog food. So I see her point. But I'd love to have a 150 mastiff follow me around like I'm the chief of the local tribe.

We almost settled on a Bassett hound. I like hounds - they got character, just look in that face. It's a hound and yet it's small. But somehow that idea fell by the wayside.
So we start negotiating again. She wanted a medium sized dog. Not a yappy lap dog. Something that can be energetic at times - no balls-out hyper dog. I agreed.

So we start looking at several dog pounds. In every one I see 10 dogs that would suffice. She doesn't like them for various reasons. We go to the pet store. Neither of us like pet stores. They get the majority of their puppies from puppy mills which are basically assembly lines of caged dogs being overbred and mistreated.But above that they ask far too much for an animal. Australian Shepherd puppy - $2,700. That's right - two thousand seven hundred American dollars. Insanity. I'd buy a used car, motorcycle, boat, flat screen TV, kayak, 2 guitars, ski trip, Vegas trip, or a lot of Jell-o for $2,700 before I leave the mall with a puppy. Even from the local "breeders" I could get a nice one for about $500-$800. But I won't.

My wife is found of 'rescues'. There is a rescue association for just about every pure breed out there. These people find pure bred dogs in shelters, pounds, or many times someone will contact them and give them their dog directly. To me it seams a little unfair to the muts left at the pound. Do they have any less right to life or need of acceptance than the pure breeds? Apparently so. So she (note: 'she') decided the best family pet would be an English Setter. They are nice sized, extremely intelligent, and very family friendly. I concede. My ideas of Coon Hound, Irish Wolfhound, Scottish Deerhound, Portuguese Water Dog, English Mastiff, Bloodhound, and Great Dane were all dismissed. But that's ok. Since I work all day and travel occasionally she will spend 10 times more time with it than me. It should be her dog in a sense.

So we contact the English Setter Rescue people. We fill out an application. They tell us someone will contact us for a home inspection. Weeks go by. We call again - their local 'inspector' is missing. Ok. They send another one. She shows up with her English Setter, which was a fantastic dog, and inspects our home. Fenced yard, plenty of running room, pool to jump in, etc... I told me wife I was going to get some mounted hides of some sort to hang all over our shed just to screw with the lady - this idea was also dismissed. Sometimes she doesn't appreciate good humor. We pass the inspection and get a few more emails. We pick out a dog and contact the foster parent - these dogs are placed all over the country with short term homes, like foster kids. She talk to my wife and we agree on a time to make the pick up. The total cost should be a few hundred bucks at most.

So by next weekend we should have a new addition to the household. His name is currently Levi. I plan on changing this as I will not have a Jew in my house. Just kidding, of course. I love Jews and their rye bread.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Large numbers

I never had a good grasp on, and could not name, large numbers. I finally figured it out with the help of some informative websites.

The 'old' English terms were taken from a French guy back in the 1400's. We Americans came up with our own version (of course) and the British have migrated towards using it also. The difference was the British version used the formula of 10 (to the power of 6n) - n being the next step (number). Americans use 10 (to the power of 3+3n). So Americans have a name for each addition of a ',000' . The British 'trillion' is equal to American 'quintillion'. Their 'billion' is our 'trillion'. Their term for our 'billion' is a 'milliard' - which is not in line with their 10 (to the power of 6n) scheme - but they had to name it something, it's a common amount in our economys. Bill Gates would be a milliardaire, I guess.

Here's an easy way to remember the large number names (American form):
BASE UNIT = "illion" = ',000'
We tack on 'mi'(one set of '000' plus the original '000') to this base unit to describe the first unit 1,000,000.
Then we use the 'old faithful' scientific prefixes bi (2 sets of '000'+ '000'), tri (3 sets ....)etc.
The progression looks like this: mi, bi, tri, quad, quint, sext, sept, oct, non, dec.
Once you get to the 11th you start tacking on the same prefixes while leaving the 'dec' on there: undec, bidec, tredec, quatterodec, quindec, sexdec, septendec, octodec, novemdec, vigindec (10 to the 63rd power).

For some reason there seems to be a switch from one language prefix derivitive to another. Seems like it would have made sense just to keep using the same prefixes - tridec instead of tredec; quadec instead of quatterodec; etc.

I like to write them out to get a good feel for it.

million - 1,000,000
billion - 1,000,000,000
trillion - 1,000,000,000,000
quadrillion - 1,000,000,000,000,000
quintillion - 1,000,000,000,000,000,000
sextillion - 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
septillion - 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
octillion - 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
nonillion - 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
decillion - 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
undecillion - 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

On a different note:
Of interest is the fact that mathematicians have always been trying to 'compute' the largets known prime number. There are supercomputers hard at work right now trying to compute such a value. Seems strange. Why do we want to know the largest prime number? Their is obviously no end to numbers so why keep trying to find the next one?? The number has something to do with Pi. i'm not sure how it works out but I'll research it so I don't stay up at night pondering Pi. By the way - there is a really bizarre movie called 'Pi' that I recommend - it's very very odd, but cool - at least in Bucky's world.
There is a download you can put on your computer (not too large) created by the great Internet Mercenne Prime Search : http://www.mersenne.org/prime.htm: - use it as a screensaver - this program computes large prime numbers - oddly enough 9 record prime numbers have been computed with this program. Maybe I'll find the big one. There is a $100,000 for computing/identifying the first 10,000,000 digit prime number. The current record is 9,152,052 digits long - see it here: http://www.arsfoodcourt.com/43.txt

IPv6

Every time a computerized network device of any kind (computer, phone , PDA, Ipod, Car, etc...) connects to the internet it is assigned an Internet Protocol address (IP address)- it's that '443.445.678.912' looking number that you can find if you know where to look. This address allows it to be recognized by host machines and provides the capability to browse through the web. Every day more and more devices are being designed to connect to the web. The problem is that the current Internet Protocol version 4(IPv4) was designed in the 1970's and has a capacity to assign 4.3 billion unique IP address. This probably seemed like a sufficient amount in the '70's when only a couple of thousand computers world wide were on-line. By the best estimate -there will be maximum capacity by 2008 - meaning there is no more room to connect to the web.
The new plan is to adopt Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) which will allow up to 340 undecillion IP address. That's 240 trillion, trillion, trillion. What an incomprehensible number!?!?! Our military is strongly backing this move since almost everything they have and are designing is intended to be constantly on-line. Many other countries are already underway with re-programming to adopt IPv6. It's going to be a huge deal in the next 2 years - you'll start hearing about it on the news. It is estimated to cost over $25 billion dollars (in the next 25 years) in the U.S. alone.
Most likely you and I will never actually have to do anything other than download a Microsoft update or buy a new computer with the new version programmed. But it's interesting to see how fast the net has expanded. Perhaps when I'm old they'll need Version 7 because all the 340 undecillion IP addresses are not enough.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Olympics

I'm a fan of the Olympics, both winter and summer games. The winter olympics are more fun for me to watch because I love to ski. I can actually appreciate the skill involved in most of the ski/snowboard events. The luge and skeleton - who doesn't think it'd be fun as shit to do 80mph on a 2ft x 4ft 'sled' shooting down a frozen half pipe. Bobsledding is cool. Curling seems boring at first but I warmed up to it. It'd be cool to make it to the Olympics and possibly win a Gold Medal as the 'brush guy'. He walks in front of the stone brushing the ice to help the stone speed up or turn. What an amazing talent. Hockey is ok but the Ruskies or Canadians usually whip everyone. Figure skating should be banned as it is not a 'sport' in my opinion. It's a dance on ice - extremely difficult, sure - but not a sport. The various ski jumping events are way cool. I've always been impressed by the balls it would take to launch yourself 50-70 ft in the air while you twist, tuck, turn, and spin on skiis. Or the big ski jump where they look like they're flying on skiis. So cool. So ballsy.

While watching the Men's Downhill yesterday something occured to me that is very perplexing. The course starts at 8,812 ft. above sealevel, has a vertical drop of 2,624 ft, and covers a distance of 2.05 miles. There were 50 or so racers varying in height, weight, ski brand, line (the path they ski), and form. They take into account snow condition, ice, grade, angles, jumps, flags, wind, and sun. Yet 50 different racers finished this course within 10 seconds of each other. The top 5 looked like this: 1:48.80; 1:49.52; 1:49.82; 1:49.88; 1:49.93. To me it would make sense if they were racing at the same time but they go individually. I can't help but wonder how they have such mind-bogglingly close times. Is there a human limit for such a thing? Is there something in the physics which limit the time it takes for a human to travel 2 miles downhill on skiis. Some of them made mistakes (the commentators point this out) and yet they still finish in line with another skiier who apparently skiis flawlessly. I can't seem to grasp how this works out. Some olympic records have stood for decades and yet they are only 1/100ths of seconds better than others. People spend their entire careers trying to find a way to get that extra .01 second. Amazing. I'm happy when I leave the slope with no broken bones.

Of course this is true for all sports where the competitors race individually. When racing the other competitors at the same time they run in packs, try to get in front of each other, draft, or what-have-you. Makes sense how they'd finish so close. Wathc some of the events which do not require points from judges on form, style, or technique. These are always based on opinion and taste.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bucky Stickers

I recently purchased some 'bumper sticker' specialty paper for ink jet printers. I needed to make a Steelers and Bama logo for my Volvo - which turned out nicely.
I decided to make a few unique bumper stickers. Below are some ideas I'm kicking around - all are original to Bucky to the best of my knowledge.

* Flatulence on Board
* I Break for Prostitutes
* John Lennon is Dead - Get Over It!
* If guns are outlawed, outlaws will stab more people
* I Hate Bumper Stickers
* My Child Graduated Before I Did
* Honk if you are an Undercover Cop
* When in Doubt, Turn Right
* Due to my laziness I ask that you presume I shot you a bird
* Midgets are People too
* Washington/Adams '89
* Support Our Troops - Donate a Limb
* Save the Cockroach
* Get Closer so I can get a Clean Shot
* Wake me when I get there
* Bumpersticker
* Warning: This Car may Spontaneously Combust when Towed
* Follow me to Where I Dumped the Body
* Gas $25.00, Oil Change $30.00, Tires $100,
bribing the State Inspector to 'pass' my car: priceless
* Abandoned Vehicle
* Pro-Chife
* If I want to hear your music I'll steal your car
* Stop reading bumper stickers and pay attention to the road
* FR8UN1FO
* The South rose again but Nobody noticed
* I Think therefore I Confuse Myself
* No Soliciting
* Pass Me, I'm not Impressed
* How Much Money did you blow on that Piece of Shit?
* What exactly is a 'soft shoulder'?
* Union Delegate in Trunk
* No Hablo espanol, esta USA
* Official Clown Car
* Bob Sagat fan club
* I saw you pick your nose

Friday, February 10, 2006

Review of Nile show

I've always had an immense respect for hard working musicians. Metal musicians especially. Metal has such a miniscule fan base - fiercely loyal - yet miniscule. I once saw Exhumed, who are among the top of their gore-metal genre, play to a crowd of no more than 20 people. And they played their hearts out. Last night was better but no sellout crowd. For some reason it makes me a little uncomfortable to see a low turnout at a show. I almost feel like we've disappointed the band. These guys do this for a living - maybe almost 0 money, tour their asses off, sell about 50,000 total copies of an album, and play to tiny crowds. Year after year. They got heart!

The bill read Nile, Hypocrisy, Decapitated, Soilent Green, and 3 other bands I can't recall. The venue, the Norva, is a converted old church of some sort with high ceilings. The sound has been excellent both times I've been there (Slayer was the other). There were perhaps 150 people there - tops.I showed up a little late and came in to find a semi-generic band on stage. I think they were called Catastrophe, maybe, I'm not sure. They were ok, nothing great. You can always tell which bands have the clout on the tour because they come equipped with roadies and lots of gear. This band I walked in on were carting their own shit off stage with the help of a few Norva tech people. Hypocrisy carried a crew of what seemed like 6 tech's to set their stage. The guy doing the mic check, instead of using the old faithfully "Check, 1,2, Check" used "Ham Smuggler, Ham Smuggler, Ham Smuggler" - I'm not quite sure what that means but I like it.
Hypocrisy is fantastic live. I'm not a huge fan of their recorded stuff - it seems like run-of-the-mill Gothenberg metal. But live they are tight, lively, and sound excellent. I don't know a single song or album by them but I enjoyed their set. Their drummer also had this elaborate Midi/Computer set up near his kit. He was responsible for all the ambient effects and sounds. Which there were a lot of.

Nile takes the stage. With the departure of the bassist last year, Dallas took center stage. He's one of my favorite metal character - tall and thin with a drastically receding hairline and long stringy back - I believe it's the 'skullet'. Nile is an amazingly technical band who play flawlessly live. I would put their talent and musicianship up against most performing artists of any kind. Their music is so freakin complex that I don't really enjoy it as background music. I have to be alone, with headphones, concentrating to fully appreciate their genius. AS stated - they pulled this off flawlessly live too. Which, for a death metal band, is a rarity. They began the show with The Blessed Dead - a blistering entrance. I took the opportunity to yell "Chapter of obeisance before breathing life into the inert one in the presence of the crescent shaped horns". It was classic - I got all kinds of looks from people - I couldn't tell if they didn't know there was a song titled that (not real fans) or if they just found it odd for someone to yell out the whole thing. So I did it again a little later. Lashed to the Slave Stick and sarcophagus were my two favorites of the evening. Here's a very odd thing. After playing sarcophagus - maybe their 8th song - Dallas put down his guitar, approached the mic and said "So you wanna spit at the band, huh? I guess the fuckin' show is over!". He walks off stage and the band follows. Everyone is stunned. What the fuck just happened? I didn't see any spit - apparently no one else did either. Everyone was silent for about 20 seconds until a chant of "Nile" started up. Eventually the band came back on stage. Then it got a little wierder. Some guy up front yells "Get back on stage and play some music" or something like that. Dallas and the other guitarist (who is the founder and brainchild behind the whole band) had words with him. I heard the other guy say "Why don't you come up here and play, Fuckwad!" They exchanged pleasantries for about 30 seconds, Dallas took his shirt off (which must have had spit on it), then they started up with Sacrifice unto Sebek. They played a few more then left the stage - still looking pissed. Odd.
Nile amazes me. I watched very closely - the way they played. I maybe have never seen anyone play a guitar quite like that. Blistering speed and precision. These guys hit more notes in one song than most bands do in a career - no shit.
Of note - the replacement bassist did a great job. Even took over the vocal parts of the previous guy.
The other guitar player is very short a fat as a cow. You'd never know it looking at the albums or mag pics but he's one fat fucker.

Random show notes:

* Someone yelled out "Freebird" - and it wasn't me. I was pleased.
* Best concert T-Shirt - Soilent Green - front read 'Soilent Green (logo) Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort'; back read 'YOU LOOT, WE SHOOT'
* I saw some good old metal shirts - some mercyful Fate, Testament (new Order), old Maiden.
* I witnessed 0 fights in the pit/crowd. Not bad. Last 'dance' bar I went to years back there was probably 10 in one night. Who's got the aggression issues?

next show is In Flames in 2 weeks. I may go. I've seen them many times. But they do put on a great show.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Conspiracy Theories

I'm inclined to believe everything I read - for a time - maybe 10 seconds, maybe 10 years. But it is my nature to eventually convince myself to not believe things, to question everything, to disprove 'facts', or just outright refuse to acknowledge something's legitimacy. I don't know why I'm so doubtful.
But getting back to believing everything: First let's talk about what I read - usually history, biographies, science, textbooks, and some ( very little) fiction. I just started this trend a few years ago when I got sick of reading the same old paper back pop fiction crap that floods the bookstores. Every now and then I'll pick up a classic: Melville, Hemingway, Dickens, etc... But usually I prefer something that will educate me in some form or fashion. The last 4 books I've read are Montsegur and the Mystery of the Cathars, The Templar Treasure at Gisors, Fingerprints of the Gods, and Comparative World Religion. I'm currently working on History: Fiction or Science, VOL 1.
Here's a little snapshot of this book. It is written by Anatoly Fomenko, a world reknown Russian mathematician - member of Russian Academy of Science, professor at Moscow University, highly regarded scientist. He began his work in this area (explanation coming) over 30 years ago. Fomenko uses mathematics to create detailed statistical analysis of historical records, writings, and astronomical dating. His theory is basically this: A few 16th century religious 'historians' actually created the historical timeline of civilization as we know it. Before this time there was no disciplined study of history only random records and writings from various regions. Of these 'historians' in the 16th century Scaliger was the main culprit. He and his cohorts assembled a bogus timeline, edited manuscripts, and set the path for all future historians. This particular part of the theory is not Fomenko's brainchild. Many renkown scientist ove the years have question the legitimacy of our written historical timelines and ancient dates. Sir Isaac Newton is probably the most well known of these guys. You rarely read about that in your 9th grade history book. Newton was convinced that the dating system in place for 'ancient' Egypt was completely bogus. He spent much of his latter life perusing the truth, employing scientific methods of research to correctly date 'ancient' events.
So after the ground work is laid as to how history was 'bogified' Fomenko launches into detailed astronomical evidence and statistical analysis. Upon reaching these chapters my reading became very slow. In fact I had to re-read some of them multiple times to understand the statistics. I recall a quote by Mark Twain (or somebody who left a lot of quotes) that goes like this: "There are 3 kinds of Lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.". I know from the business world that you can prove anything with the right statistics so I take all Fomenko's with a grain of salt. His statistics prove that some historical events were duplicated in our timeline: Example: A dynasty of German Kings exactly reflects a dynasty of English Kings from the same epoch. The events of the Old Testament accurately reflect events of 14th century Constantinople. Etc... The mathematics and usage of graphs is overwhelming in this book.

The end result looks something like this (just some tidbits):
Jesus Christ lived in about 1050AD (what we call AD anyway). He was most likely from the Black sea area. The New Testament was written before the Old Testament - both were written sometime around 1200-1400 AD. I don't think he's specifically targeting Judaism or Christianity - it just works out that way. It's a well known fact that the vast majority, if not all, of written records were transcribed by religious groups, scribes, and monks. 'Ancient' Egypt, Greece and Rome were not very ancient - those dynasties probably occurred in the early middle ages, somewhat concurrently. Much of the history of Western Asia and Europe as we know it is falsified. There is little or no written record of human civilization before about 500AD.
I'm almost finished with the 600 + page Chronology 1. There are 8 volumes scheduled for release - the 2nd is already out.
The publisher has put up a 10,000 reward for anyone who can 'statistically' prove Fomenko's theory to be false. You cannot use archeological methods for two reasons: First archeology is based on our accepted historical timeline, which if it were false, would immediately falsify any date you assigned to your findings. Second Fomenko spends a good bit of time showing how Carbon-14 dating, dendrochronological dating and a few other popular methods can give false results. He's not the first to point this out.

So the end result is this: I love a good conspiracy theory. I don't believe his theory yet because I cannot fully appreciate the statistics. But I'm open to believe anything if your argument is good enough.

But what if it were true? What would that say about mankind? Where were we before 500 AD? Why would a religious sect falsify the entire history of Western civilization? That may be obvious... To make theat religion more believable and powerful.

Why would a mathematician spend 30 years of his life pursuing this? Surely not to sell a few books in the 21st century. Rarely does any scientist gain real fame or fortune with conspiracy theories. Graham wrote Fingerprints of the Gods (aformentioned) where he claims wthere was an entire race/civilization of highly advanced people before our recorded history which were wiped out by an 'event'. Call them Atlantians or whatever - his book was 592 pages that never convinced me of his theory. Not nearly the caliber of research as Fomenko.

I recommend History: Fiction or Science, Chronology 1.
True or not, it is fascinating stuff.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Get to know Bucky

Some things I have recently learned about myself.

1) I know virtually nothing about 'Pop Culture'. I receive Rollingstone Magazine for some reason - I don't know why. I never signed up for it, I never requested it. It just shows up every week or so. Just for the hell of it I keep it in the downstairs shitter for BM reading material. I can flip through 100 or so pages and not recognize a single musician, artist, or otherwise famous person. Am I old now. Did I cross a line a few years ago that excluded me from being a part of the 'hip' scene? I must have. Now that I think about it the only era that I had a decent knowledge of Pop culture was the 80's. I knew all the pop musicians even if I thought most of them sucked. It occurred to me that maybe you have to be a teenager to know all that stuff - but I know several adults who throw around these pop names all the time. On TV some broad will be interviewed and I say "who's that". My wife says "You know.. She's married to so and so and sings that song blah blah." I do not know. Even after reading the Rolling Stone I still don't know.
2) I like fruit but don't enjoy eating it. Eating fresh fruit usually requires work - it's a chore. You gotta peel this, skin that, take the seeds out, cut it, de-stem it, etc... Fruit cocktail is great though. No work involved - except for my wife who does all the cutting etc.. An apple or pear is ok. No prep involved. But you gotta get up and throw it away immediately. You can't place it on a table - it gets juices and such everywhere.
3) When faced with the decision to watch Dancing With the Stars or re-organize my sock drawer I will always choose the latter.
4) Skin tags have started appearing on my body. On the eyelids, under an arm. They are strange little things aren't they. Very out of place, unwanted, skin crashers. I read on WebMD (a great website - you no longer need a doctor. Visit this site and cure yourself) that a doctor would simply cut them off. No big procedure or anything. So the other day I took some fingernail clippers, lined up a nice one on my eyelid and SNIP. Didn't even hurt that bad - well, not for long anyway. Self diagnosis and treatment. Try it!
5) I always lean to the left when I fart while seated. Has there been a study on this choice?
6) I have only recently noticed the difference between diagnosis and prognosis.
7) When I see someone driving a large truck I automatically assume they are a redneck. Not sure why - really - I know a lot of people who drive big trucks who are not rednecks. Yet I cannot help but make that automatic assumption. Whatever happened to gun racks? Used to be you rarely saw a Ford F150 without one. Have they been outlawed. The axe handle in the gun rack is one of my personal favorite Auto Accessories.
8) I get very irritated and anxious when watching someone use a computer or surf the net when they are not as proficient at it as myself. Especially when I have to talk someone through something on the phone - this happens all the time - family members call me weekly - somehow I became the computer expert in the family. "Bucky, how do I attach a picture to an email?". "Do you see your email?" "YES" "Do you see a paper clip icon?" "YES" "click it". "OK, now what" "Do you see a 'browse' icon" BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH.
9) I enjoy giving donations for charities but always assume that someone is going to steal that money before the orphans or disabled people get it.
10) Living around Dr. Metal all those years has me addicted to making lists of things. I list everything now. If not on paper, in my mind. 'Nice touchdown catch' - hmmm what are my top 10 favorite touchdown catches..... Dr. Metal and I used to have a list, on large poster board, that was taped to the wall in our living room. Anytime we saw a commercial that offended us or we just plain didn't like we wrote down the company name on the board - they would not be receiving our business - ever. I have stuck to that all these years. My wife bought me some jeans from the GAP a few weeks ago. NO WAY - take 'em back - I will not endorse that brand, period.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

To Be A Scourge, Part III

I got to thinking about leaving my car in his choice parking spot. First off, my office is located near a not-so-good neighborhood. Not that anyone would want to steal my bucket, but I don't want to show up to work to find my Volvo sans wheels.My better idea was to leave the spot open to make sure he had access - thereby assuring the placement of my target. The spot is nice and shady - under a sprawling tree of some sort (I suck at plant identification). I ventured to the roof one day and found that the spot was in range but ran into a glitch. The tree cover made it hard to get a good open shot - doable, but hard. Also bird poop is not very fling-able. It's far too runny. I tried a couple of test runs with a plastic spoon managing only to splatter my sleeve when I let loose the catapult. My dry cleaner will find a new challenge this week. I considered bringing a few choice cat turds from the litter box at home. Problem is they're hardened and grainy with litter within minutes of deposit. Not to mention the fact that I'd have to tote around cat shit during my morning commute. Not a good idea.I got a cup of coffee, sat on the bench facing the parking lot pondering.... Scheming. EUREKA!!!!! The next day I put my plan in motion.
I went to the Wild Bird store and purchased 2 corn cob looking things that were covered thick with bird seed. I tied the ends together so they looked kind of like numchucks with a long string. After work, when the lot was cleared, I walked over to the tree and started tossing. The goal was to get the Bucky Bird Bait (cute, isn't it) positioned on a thick branch directly over the parking spot. Since the tree is relatively low I nailed it in about 6 throws. Perfect placement. The following day he parked there. I was so excited!!! By the time I checked in the late afternoon (3:00ish) there was only a few droppings on his hood. Nice, but not the deluge I was hoping for. The Bucky Bird Bait was totally consumed by the next morning.

I think I'm on to something here. I will have to go back to the Wild Bird store and re-think my bait selection. It can be done. It will be done.

The Position of the Federation Address

I spent a couple of hours watching the speech the other night. I enjoy stuff like that - great rhetoric, empty promises, and grand posturing. Don't get me wrong, I call myself a Republican. But I'm bright enough to know they're all full of excrement regardless of party. But nevertheless I do love some politics. Here's some stuff I just love about the SOTU address.

* Seeing the parties sit in their assigned location. Republicans on the Left, Democrats on the Right - Such great irony. They must have little cheat-sheets that tell them when their side is supposed to stand up and clap. "War is going grrrrreat!" - Republicans stand and clap. "You killed my Social Security Reform" - Democrats cheer. There's always a few people who go against the grain and stand up and clap while the remainder of their party sits and scowls. I like these against-the-grain-goers. Just once I'd love to hear someone yell "FreeBird" or "Fuckin' A, Dubya!". Come on - live a little, you puppets.
* The designations within the parties- no one can just be a Republican or Democrat anymore. They're Right Wing, Conservative, Moderate Conservative, Compassionate Conservative, Fiscal Conservative, Left Wing, Far Left Wing, Moderate Democrat, Liberal Democrat... So forth and so on. I think I will adopt this line of thinking and label myself a Fiscally Prudent Compassionate Asshole.That will look great on a resume.
* The camera work was fantastic. Bush says the words "African American" - quick, find some black folks in the crowd and zoom in. Talk about the soldiers - pan over to the widow or the uniformed general. They make that stuff way to obvious. He says the words "Health Care" - show Hillary's disgruntled facial contortions. Mention vodka and Ted Kennedy darts to the open bar. Mention oil and you here a little thump under Chaneys table.
* The effort it must take to memorize a speech that long is admirable. Did you notice? Bush glanced down at his notes very rarely. That's a shit load of words to remember. There are songs I've sung along to for 15 years and I still can't get the lyrics right. If I were on the speech writing staff I'd have to work in a few surprise bullet points to see if he's paying attention. "This year over 5 million baby boomers will reach retirement age. Gimme a blow job.... oops"
* The commentators said some of the Congress folks get there hours early to claim a set by the runway where he walks down. Why? I didn't see any high fives, no butt pats, no spit flying, no horn shaped hand gestures with a tongue sticking out going "You Rock Dubya!". Seems kinda childish for these grown up politicians to line up like it's their life's dream to touch the Pres on the shoulder as he passes. I'd like to see someone slip a humorous note on his back.
* The commentating afterwards was fantastic too. Flip to Fox News Channel and hear all the pro-Republicans say he did a great job. Really silenced a lot of his critics with that strong speech. He really gained a lot of poll numbers with that one. Go to CNN and join the Left guys as they scoff at his meager attempt to make light the terrible plight of our country. See how he avoided any real agenda or offered any solutions to their problems. Everyone's got an opinion and it all depends on which channel you decide to watch to determine which one you will conform to. Here's a Bucky tip for you - watch them all, disregard 90% of what they say, question their 'statistics', and then flip over to ESPN to catch Sports Center.
* The Democratic Party Response. I like the idea of having the other party get 20 minutes of TV time to say "BULLSHIT". Doesn't matter which party (or which president for that matter), it's just fair play methinks. The problem with this year is the guy they picked - Kaine, our Virginia Governor. I don't know much about him but I do know this - That schmo has been our governor for 18 days. That's right - a little over two weeks. And yet he is suddenly qualified to be the 'voice' of the Democrat Party in our country. WHY? I guess the easy answer is that Dean, Kerry, DeLay, Clinton, Kennedy, and the rest of them have done so much to embarrass their party that putting them in front of the camera is to say "this is the best we have to offer".

I'm looking forward to the next big address or speech. We don't often get a chance to see so many assholes in one room.