30 November 2013

Membership Drive

“Like a cattle drive, but with more prodding”

Many readers are undoubtedly fed up with so much of the preachy nonsense that dominates the modern internet, sick sore and tired of blogs telling them what to do all day.  These readers want something fun.  Why can’t we have a few innocent laughs once in a while without thinking about human suffering or the rights of the impaled?

Others will point out that the present moment is no time for frivolity, and that some blog or other had better start telling people what to do fast because left to themselves they seem to have no idea.  Most energy is consumed in making things worse.

The solution to this apparent humdinger is astoundingly simple.  It seems to me that –


You don’t have a membership yet, do you?

In order to read the rest of this post, you must become a full member.  Do you hear what I am telling you?

The benefits of membership are manifold.  Forming self-organizing communities based around mutual interests in the arts and sciences is one of the top three things human beings are capable of (which).  Membership includes all the rights and responsibilities of belonging to such a community, the full shebang. 

Join today.  Be a part of something bigger, decidedly less sensible, but way more fun at parties than yourself.

Click here to initiate the initiation procedure.  If at first nothing happens, hit the refresh button and keep clicking; if you are worthy the link will appear.

Frustrated?  Pissed off?  Start a protest movement.  Cry me a river.  Click on over to the next big thing, to bigglebanger dot com, or go twiggle your twongle if that’s your thing. 

Or you could just fork over the dough and get the rest of it ab-so-lute-ly-free [Sssswipe!] for five dollars.

Get off the fence, Charlie.  Only suckers sit on the sidelines.  Get in the game.

Conclusion of pledge drive. We now resume our regularly scheduled programming.  Click "One" to begin.

18 November 2013

Also Some Travel Tips from Ishmael Denholm a.k.a. The Travelin' Guy

Hi, I'm Dennis – hahaha gotcha, my real name is Ishmael!  Using a false name is one way you can shorten your travel time but it does put you at risk of arrest these days, and that's why it's only number fifteen on my list of Top Twenty-Seven Travel Time Saving Tip Busters.  So here come de tips, which you are welcome to read for free as long as you stick around afterwards and help clean up.

Don't underpack or overpack.  Pack exactly the things you will need, not one jot more nor tittle less.  Then pack one luxury item such as a favorite model train set or an anvil.

Get to the airport several hours early.  Most airports will let you sit on the furniture free during the in-termina(b)l(e) pre-departure wait.  Some of the chairs have armrests specifically designed for relaxing and reinvigorating human arms.  A variety of foods, beverages, and other useful items are generally on sale at all hours.  If you can find a seat in one of the bars, you can have a drink and/or a meatball sandwich while you watch the game.  The health benefits of sitting around for hours bored out of your skull before flying may include reduced jet lag, who knows – so far only seven scientific publications in refereed journals contradict this assertion, and we all know that these days science, like referees, can be bought.

Related tip: there’s a chick/dude in the VIP lounge at Stacey Augmon International Airfield who if you look at her/him with raised eyebrows and say 'something' will rub your feet up against twin cedar blocks wrapped in velvet sandpaper* for twenty minutes for 75 cents.  Tell them Dennis the Travelin' Denholm sent you.**

To avoid long security lines, sneak through in your own checked bag.  Be sure to request extra cracker packets before you seal yourself in.  Once you are in the luggage hold, it should be easy enough to climb out of the suitcase and into any available seats in first class.  Think I saw a guy do this in a movie once.

If you do elect to splurge on a seat in the passenger cabin, push your way on to the plane first regardless of where your seat is, as the first one on gets the prime storage space.  Bags with my new Inflate-A-Pouch ("The inflatable pouch") on the outside easily fit inside any overhead storage bin and can then be inflated to take up all of the remaining space so that no one else tries to stuff their bloated carry-on into your overhead storage bin.

Once seated, stare straight ahead and put yourself into a wonderful dreamlike trance, where you're on a magic bus heading for Shangri-La-La Land, with live entertainment and a relaxed vibe in the place, lots of happening people and great drink specials, you can stroll around the grotto for a while, take a relaxing dip under one of seven artificial waterfalls or perhaps enjoy a shiatsu massage from Burt Bacharach.

Most people use the drink tray only for drinks and drinking, plus eating or writing, but since it is the main piece of furniture in your seat area you must make better use of it than that.  Add some shelf units and a loft to the drink tray, maybe a deck off the back or a basement if you have access to a back hoe, to increase your available square footage.  Curl up on the tray and have a nice long nap.  Enjoy a picnic and fly a kite on the south lawn.  Step out onto its balcony for a breath of fresh air and fantastic view of the skyscape.

What's the best way to avoid neck pain (he asked rhetorically)?  Ha ha ha that's my little secret – for now.  Until next time, or, as the Italian-Americans say, arrivederci suckers.

Tune in "next time" for another enlightening installment from Ishmael Denholm the Travelin' Fella, coming this fall to an internet website near you.

09 November 2013

Where We Are, and Where We’re Going

(Wait Where Were We?) 

Okay, these are the facts, we seem to have established our position fairly well: we are on a large rotating orb, circling a giant spherical nuclear reactor which is one of many such 'stars' in one arm of a spiral galaxy whose dimensions are fairly well beyond our comprehension but which itself appears to be one of many billions of galaxies in 'the universe', which is what we call 'everything' even though we do not and in all likelihood can never know the full extent of the thing.  Does the universe go on forever?  Is 'it' (insofar as it is assumed to exist as such) itself one of many billions of such 'universes', a pawn in some larger game?  We can only speculate.

All right, just wanted to establish our present circumstances for a moment before I go off on another stupid spiel, this one is about cream soda.  Oh forget it, truth is I forgot what I was gonna say but now everyone's staring at me, class started ten minutes ago, I gotta say something.  OK OK, ladies and gentleman listen up, if I could just have your attention while I say this in such a tone that it sounds like I’m giving you the secret to life itself: 

The physical nature of reality is but an illusion we imprison ourselves within because we cannot bear to contemplate our own transcendence. 

Get that?  Go ahead and read it again, let your lips move in rhythm to its magic cadence. Now I don't have a very clear idea what it means (either), but I'd like to talk about it in a vague sorta way for twenty minutes or so as if it means something profound, ineffable if ultimately ungraspable.  A man's gotta make a living after all, and this is kinda my thing.

Let's start with the physical nature of reality.  Or maybe I should say the real nature of physicality, or natural physics of the real, any way you slice it it all points to the same thing, and that is that reality is by nature natural, that the nature of reality is physical and vice versa, that physical reality is natural and nature is physically real, as long as we are true to our own nature, true to our individual, natural, physicality.

A moment please, while I sip of my Fresca, which I am drinking directly from the can.  Okay, imprisoning our illusions.  We have to put our illusions in jail before we can free them, but paradoxically, the jail itself is an illusion we imprison ourselves within, so that the jail holds the key to escape from itself.  Our true natures are locked away in the prison of our own freedom.  Only thus can our illusions be set free and the veil of illusion – or the jail of illusion – be lifted.

Once you escape the prison of temporary transcendence, you discover a completely fresh perspective on physical reality and the nature of illusion.  You see that the reality was masking the illusion and at the same time the illusion was the mask, because hiding behind that mask was the illusion of the physical reality of nature, the natural illusion of transcendence inherent in our pure natures, in the nature of our reality, which stems from and ultimately answers only to itself, or possibly to the mask, I'm getting a little confused here myself.

Now when we are free to contemplate our own transcendence we will have broken free of the prison of physical reality by unraveling the illusory nature of all things physical, and then physically transcending it.  We will reach the promised land, we will find a nice place to stay and have a wonderful couple of weeks there but we cannot stay forever, it was never meant to provide more than a temporary respite from the prison of everyday reality and anyway it's way too expensive for us, they got a lot of good stuff in the promised land but ain't none of it free.

OK maybe that’s enough for now, we'll pick it up there next week.  Don't forget to read your Jurgensen and the two papers by Dirndle et al., go over the handout and be ready to intelligently discuss what it all means for the average Jo/e in the street.