The Ultimate Skydive


(YouTube Link)

This guy will soon surpass Kittinger as the one who jumped from the highest altitude. I like his attitude.




Well, that was me landing after my first ever skydive.  IAF1, Instructor Assisted Freefall.  Like tandem, but I was in control…until the landing.  I need to see what that’s like before I try it.  The freefall from 14,000 feet was amazing, indescribable Zen.  120 mph straight down, then the deafening wind is vanquished when I deploy my chute, and play all the way down.  Highly recommended for those who’ve ever contemplated it.

And then, Wow, a surprise.  I saw the oddly named The Chronicles of Riddick at last, after avoiding it for years.  I was sure it would suck, but I was wrong.  If you keep an open mind and just disappear into that Universe, forgiving gaping scientific plot holes is a rewarding exercise in receiving a pretty cool little story.

Here Comes The Sun

Here Comes The Sun

Bad Religion

Praise FSM!

Praise FSM!

Re-Engineering Fundamentalism is one of the most intriguing things I’ve ever read, particularly for the intelligent discussion that follows on this Boing Boing post by guest blogger Paul Spinrad.  Paul is a special kind of Christian, one who is looking for a new, human, forward-thinking faith to take over the dying throne of Old-Myth style religion.  Some highlights:


*much of human experience consists of irrational or pre-rational emotions and yearnings that can be constructively channeled in religious/mythological frameworks. The key is constructing frameworks that are risilient enough to provide security but flexible enough to adapt to a ceaselessly changing universe.

*As the Tibetan Book of the Dead makes clear, any gods or demons you see are fabrications of your own mind; once you realize this, you will be liberated from them.

*Religion is NOT either Literally True or Useless. Instead, it tells us about our own deepest fears, hopes, and aspirations, and gives us a means for working through our irrational problems and making sense of them. As long as religion is introverted and subjective, it can be immensely useful.

* Even Christianity is subconsciously steeped in the dichotomy, with death-and-resurrection at its mythological core. The universe is bigger than your personal self, which dies and changes forms, but guess what? You’re still a part of it all, you magnificent bag of goo, you.

Soul Carrier

Soul Carrier





Don’t Believe Everything You Read (Really)


Man did I get a wake up call this week.  I feel at once a gullible fool, and an enlightened being.

For 3+ years, I’ve been a huge fan, and regular reader of Snopes.  The Mikkelsons immediately struck me as kindred spirits with their fact-driven writing, with the most flairey bits penned by Barbara.  David’s pieces tend to be more hard fact, yet wonderful as well.  I have had a habit lately of sending my e-mail contacts links to snopes articles that responsibly refute their irresponsible fwd: fwd. 

It’s with this kind of thinking that I came across this article on Mental Floss that made me remember something I had read on Snopes long ago.  The article is about Mr. Ed, and while the Mental Floss post stated the horse was indeed a horse (of course), a commenter jogged my memory of Snopes dealing with the fact that Mr. Ed was actually a zebra.  Checking the link, it was confirmed.  But here’s where it gets interesting.

Click This To See The Mr. Ed Post

After reading that, click on the icon at the bottom that says “More Information About This Page”

and you’ll get this awesome explanation.

I really felt those warning bells go off, right up until the black/white vs color comparisons of how a zebra looks on tv showed the same picture of the Palomino.  Gotcha!  It’s a great message from a very intregal part of the new world, and they’re only two people.  Two very awesome people.  David and Barbara, Kudos, and Snope On!

Dont worry, Honey. The stripes are invisible in TV land!

Don't worry, Honey. The stripes are invisible in TV land!

Coen Crashes The Catwalk


How awesome is this? Sasha Baron Coen is continuing his art of insinuating himself into self-absorbed zombies, infiltrating their territory in sheep’s clothing, in a similarly rigged movie as Borat. This one’s called Bruno, with a similarly long and language-challenged subtitle. I know that sounds like I don’t like Borat, but I do. I like the fact that Sasha fucks around with people’s programmed states of being, and this is a shining example of his comedic wheel.

AFI Does Top Tens


I used to have all kinds of top ten lists of movies, by genre, by musical score types, and by decades. AFI has released their “10 Top 10”, and I for one am mostly pleased with the results. The genres are Animation, Romantic Comedy, Western, Sports, Mystery, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Gangster, Courtroom Drama, and Epic.

One semantic point. “Fantasy” to me conjures up Lord of the Rings, sure (it was #2), but also things like Legend and Dragonslayer. To AFI, though, the definition is anything not scientifically possible. e.g. Groundhog Day or Big. (Wizard of Oz was #1 btw.)

I was thrilled to agree with the #1 pick for Sci-Fi, 2001: A Space Odyssey, just ahead of Star Wars. Ditto with the top 5 for Courtroom Drama, Gods I love that Boo Radley. Ditto for the top 5 Epics, especially Lawrence at #1. Loved the fact that Godfather and Godfather 2 were separately included in the awesome top 5 of Gangster flicks.

As for romantic comedy, I still haven’t seen Annie Hall. Not because I don’t like Allen, I do! It’s a kind of personal protest against the movie for winning Best Picture that year, when seriously- Star Wars should have won.

It was their choices in Western that really didn’t match my tastes. They got some of my favs in there, but they were way out of order. Like I have The Wild Bunch at #1, and they had it at #6. I hate The Searchers, which they pegged as numero uno. Elitist crap.

But the most perfect list on the show was definitely Mystery.

10. The Usual Suspects
9. Dial M For Murder
8. Blue Velvet
7. North By Northwest
6. The Maltese Facoln
5. The Third Man
4. Laura
3. Rear Window
2. Chinatown
1. Vertigo

Check the link for excerpts from the interviews of all kinds of participants in this crazy film world.

Current Obsessions


Battlestar Galactica

Christopher Moore


Esther Short Park

Bert and Ernie Mashups