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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Darwin's LiveJournal:

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Monday, May 10th, 2004
1:30 am
sigh.. my skateboard.
I update my livejournal whenever I do something stupid.

Tonight, I brought my skateboard with us to the GWAR show. I didn't ride it, I just wanted to have something to defend myself and the person I was with. The security told me I couldn't check it with coat check, that I had to leave it with the other skateboards up front.

In retrospect, this was really stupid, because how would the security guy know if some other guy tried to take my skateboard?

Apparently someone did. What an asshole. I hope he tries to ride it, it will break his fucking leg.

=darwin

Current Mood: angry
Friday, September 19th, 2003
2:30 am
what's cooler than being cool?
Q: What hurts more than falling off your skateboard onto your forearm bones?

A: Doing it twice in one night.

I finally figured out, at the end of it, that what was wrong with my skating tonight is actually lack of sleep. I'm tired. Duh.

=babo darwin
Thursday, September 18th, 2003
6:23 am
I'm funny.
So today I called up the IRS, because I had this way overdue tax notice that said they'd garnish my celery if I didn't send them money right away, in.. June.

I sure was worried!

Fortunately, I already sent them a check for it.. in June.

=darwin
Saturday, September 6th, 2003
5:30 am
stupid rob does stupid stuff at 5am
So I am a daredevil, right? Risking life and limb for excitement, living with honorable pain or something.

Today at 5am I came home from a nice night out. I went to move the scooter, noticed it was on the center stand. Put my skateboard on the floorboard of the scooter, tried to get it off the center stand. Succeeded too well, dropped the scooter on its side. Didn't mess up any of the body panels though, because the handle of the bike landed.. on my skateboard.

No damage was sustained by either skateboard or scooter, but I _did_ manage to bang the hell out my kneecap! Nothing serious of course, just OW. Go me.

5am! Extreme living! Mountain Dew!

=darwin
Sunday, August 31st, 2003
1:19 pm
stupidity #12 & 35
#12) On Thursday, just before the last :code, I rushed home, dropped off my stuff and.. locked myself out of the house.

#35) Thursday morning, I made myself a smoothie with a big ol' bag of frozen fruit. Friday night, I open up the fridge and find.. a big ol' bag of unfrozen caveman fruit.

=darwin
Monday, August 25th, 2003
8:25 pm
Oh, the Humanity.
I just brought some stuff down to the garage. As I go to close the door, I wonder why it's all the way open..

I pull the handle and the door falls over on my head.

Duh.

=darwin
Thursday, August 14th, 2003
3:45 am
the greatest danger could be your stupidity
In which I fall over, again.

I was on my way to work today, so I went to pick up my car at my parking spot, which has a combination lock on the gate. I used the right combination, but didn't realize that you have to push it in before it pops out. So, I went back to my house and checked the combination (it was right, 3 digits = easy). However, as I'm skating back, I try to ollie up a driveway rim (you know, driveways aren't all flush) and miss (because I have a bag on) and fall off my skateboard. Why do I have a bag on? Oh, because I'm carrying my CAR STEREO in it. Of course, my subconscious mind knows this, so I just land (I wasn't going that fast..) and roll, protecting the stereo the whole time. It was fine, not a scratch or a ding.

There must be some occupation that this skill is good for, but I can't imagine what. Cat Juggling?

=darwin
3:40 am
computers are smrt
Putty is a win32 SSH client.

login as:
Sent username ""


Why in the hell would _anyone_ want to log in as user ""?

=darwin
Sunday, May 4th, 2003
1:27 am
Iron Giants
So I just watched the New York Iron Chef.. a Rock Crab battle between Iron Chef Japanese Morimoto and Bobby Flay (!). Here are some weird impressions, in no particular order:
  • commentary gave the impression that Iron Chef is not as popular in Japan as in the USA.
  • commentary focused on how different the American taste and crowd dynamic is from the Japanese.
  • Bobby Flay, due to cheap Food Network mock up of Kitchen Stadium, both cuts and electrocutes himself while cooking.
  • During all the moments where the Japanese crowd is cheering respectfully, the American crowd was.. heckling.
  • At the end of the battle, Bobby Flay has his assistant boost him onto the cutting board of his cooking area. They interview him and he says some rude crap, doesn't acknowledge his respect for Morimoto or anything. Then they interview Morimoto and he seems very upset! He says "this man (Bobby Flay) is not a chef! He stood on a cutting board! Knives and cutting boards are sacred objects to chefs!"
  • American actress judge was someone I'd never heard of. Very stupid.
  • The Zagats (from the Guide) were among the judges, and, as the only judges with gourmet eating experience, rated Bobby Flay's food far lower than Morimoto's.
  • Morimoto kicked Bobby's ass. 19s across the board versus 15-18 for Bobby.
  • Fuck Bobby Flay.
=darwinx0r
Thursday, February 27th, 2003
12:38 pm
Encounters With People In The Street #0002
Encounters With People In The Street #0002

Encounters With People In The Street
A Comic-Tragedy in infinite parts.

Part #0002

Scene: Corner of Howard and 4th streets, San Francisco, in front of "Jollibee" restaurant.

[Our intrepid hero DARWIN enters from across Howard, obeying the little green man on his long-board skateboard. As he crosses the path of other pedestrians, he jumps off his skateboard, narrowly avoiding a burly looking hispanic gentleman and his blaring boom-box carrying friend.]

DARWIN : Hey, sorry, man!

BURLY HISPANIC GENTLEMAN: Hey man, don't be sorry be yourself!

DARWIN : [confused] Wow, hey, thanks.. didn't mean to get in your way.

BURLY HISPANIC GENTLEMAN: Hey you were doing your thing and enjoying yourself, it's no problem at all! [offers hand]

DARWIN: [accepts hand, shakes] Cool man, see ya later!

[BHG exits stage Howard. DARWIN exits stage 4th Street.]

========================
Thursday, October 24th, 2002
2:40 pm
Encounters With People In The Street #0001

Encounters With People In The Street


A Comic-Tragedy in infinite parts.

Part #0001

Scene: A Muni Station (Montgomery), in the common area between BART and Muni. A swarm of people are commuting to and fro.

[Our intrepid hero DARWIN enters from stage down-the-escalator, moves through the turnstile and notices a disheveled papasmurf homeless guy lighting a cigarette]

DARWIN : Hey man, you can't smoke in here.

DISHEVELED PAPASMURF HOMELESS GUY: Why don't you mind your own fucking business!

DARWIN : Ok, but don't be surprised when you get hassled by the police, DICK!

[DSPHG exits stage Montgomery. DARWIN exits stage Market.]

========================
Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
10:22 am
note to fucking universe
The next time some fucking assholes kill a bunch of people, and someone calls us at 6am to tell us..

A YEAR TO THE DAY LATER, PLEASE DON'T MAKE THE PHONE RING TWO TIMES AT SIX AM. ALTHOUGH LOGIC WOULD INDICATE ITS NOT THE TWIN TOWERS BEING BLOWN TO SHIT, IT MAKES IT VERY FUCKING HARD TO GET BACK TO SLEEP.

Fucking universe..

=darwinx0r
Wednesday, July 31st, 2002
8:58 pm
Fuck a Boston Tea Party


The Burning of the HMS Gaspee

The people from my neighborhood (Pawtuxet Village) in FUCKING RHODE ISLAND burned the shit out of a British tax ship a year and a half before those pansies up in Boston dumped some tea in the harbor like wussies. There's a big parade every year where they celebrate this revolutionary act, and they burn a replica of the Gaspee afterwards. There's a great page at http://www.gaspee.org with lots of scholarly information about it.

Here's a brief summary :


HMS Gaspee and her hated commander, Lt. William Dudingston, were sent by King George III to Rhode Island waters in March of 1772 to enforce the Stamp Act and prevent smuggling. They made no friends amongst the colonists in harassing shipping and delaying, often unjustly, ships that had properly passed custom inspection in Newport.

The latter was the case on June 9, 1772, when the packet sloop Hannah left Newport for Providence. When the Gaspee gave chase, Hannah's Captain Lindsey deliberately lured her across the shallows off Namquid Point (now Gaspee Point) and left the British ship hard aground on a sandbar, unable to move until the flood tide of the following day.

Upon arrival in Providence, Captain Lindsey reported the event to John Brown, one of the most prominent and respected merchants in Rhode Island, who sent out a town crier inviting all interested parties to meet at Sabin's Tavern to plan the Gaspee's destruction. Under the leadership of Abraham Whipple, the small band of patriots rowed eight longboats with muffled oars to the stranded ship.

Lt. Dudingston and his crew were taken prisoner and removed to Pawtuxet Village.

Near daylight on June 10th, the Rhode Islanders set fire to the Gaspee, burning her to the waterline whereupon her powder magazine exploded. Efforts of the Crown to learn the names of the culprits were unsuccessful, although a sizable reward had been offered. Public sentiment was in accord with the venture; this spirit of unity soon spread to the other colonies with the formation of the Committees of Correspondence to prevent further threats. It was but a short step from here to the First Continental Congress and eventually the Declaration of Independence.


Fuck a Boston Tea Party. Wussies.

=darwinx0rrrrhodeislandBITCCCH
Monday, April 22nd, 2002
11:55 am
uh so I read a few things
So I read a few things lately and started integrating an understanding of the reality of competition (economic, military, personal, biological). This morning I took davey to a strip mall. It contained : Rite-Aid, Firestone Tires, Albertsons Supermarket, Starbucks, Subway. It also contained three times as many 1 or 2 unit-sized strip mall stores which appeared to be community-owned. Laundromat, P.O. Box place, Donut Shop, Chinese Food, Mexican Food, Liquor Store, Italian Food, Pizza Place, Hair Salon, Video Store and a few more. I was sitting in front of the donut shop reading about the Liberian civil war in an old Harper's and while there were guns and torture and politics and all of those bad things involved, it seemed to be mostly infowar/genewar. Modernization (even via colonialization/assimilation) gives people more destructive potential, and there are few non-human opponents. It's natural that companies/people/governments will try to swallow each other, and these are hardwired instincts. While the will to dominate/organize creates plenty of disgusting things (monoculture/strip malls/globalization/war), it also creates everything else. I have a tendency to prioritize the things that I find aesthetically/morally/logically appealing, but they derive from one source. In the chaotic and interconnected modern world, all organisms are being tested by unprecedented environmental conditions. There are orders of magnitude more people, and the lives they live differ vastly as a result of different tech levels/organization/environments. While these sorts of stresses have existed before, the information represented as the collective human genome has never faced it with as much power to shape its environment. Unfortunately, this power neccessarily creates winners and losers, and the losers appear to be non-human species, with the vast body of humanity only barely staying afloat. Whoever can exert themselves most effectively within their constraints (as the ability to constrain increases) will be the cream skimmed off the top of this planet. Guns, advertising, terror, government, whatever works. The rest of it will slowly subside, leaving a crumbling infrastructure inhabited by the most rugged clans. Barring unforseen rescue by technology, I can't imagine things becoming much more pleasant for those of us in the first world than they are now. I suppose this makes me a pessemist, but I don't really feel too bad about it. I'm going to continue living my life the way that I want to, and hope that it never becomes the nightmare that it is for so many people/places/things.

I'm also reading a book about evolution/genetics, and I highly recommend this book about City Planning/Suburban Sprawl. Also, this book about simpsons and philosophy has lead me to some interesting (to me) thoughts.

-darwin
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2002
4:51 am
continuity
I know this isn't particularly deep, but unlike some people I am not trying to be deep all the time.

I like pissing while drinking water simultaneously. I enjoy that it seems like one continuous action.

I do not, however, eat while I shit.

-darwin
Friday, March 15th, 2002
3:47 am
"Panic Room"
Just a moment to share my thought on the new film Panic Room. I happened to get a pass to an advance screening of it, and the US release date is March 29th (2 weeks from now). Many people (including myself) liked Fight Club and will probably go see Panic Room in part because it's directed by the same guy.

I have to recommend against paying money to see this movie.

For those of you who don't know, the basic plot :

A mother and daughter move into a house that was owned by a reclusive multi-millionaire. The house comes with a "panic room", a safe room adjacent to the master bedroom which is intended to keep the person safe in case of home invasion. Of course, shortly after moving in, there is just such a home invasion.

The fundamental problem with this film is that it isn't plausible. In order for a dramatic situation to be suspenseful, the audience has to be able to imagine that actual events would unfold as they unfold in the film. This is not the case with "Panic Room," and neither nice cinematography or solid performances from two of the five leads can save it.

Example :

The mother and daughter are in the panic room. They're unable to call the police because they haven't hooked up the extra phone line, but the bad guys can't get in because the room is encased in steel and concrete. The bad guys try to think of a way to put pressure on the people inside, and knock holes in the wall. Luckily for them, the ventilation duct for the room is easily accessible behind a thin layer of drywall. The bad guys make use of this to pump propane gas into the room, causing a crisis.

This crisis is only exciting if one can imagine a world in which a paranoid millionaire pays tens of thousands of dollars to construct a steel and concrete safe room, wire cameras to it, stock it with supplies, etc. etc., and then ALLOW UNRESTRICTED ACCESS TO THE AIR HE WILL BE BREATHING.

There's a long list of similar no-brainer plot holes that you could drive a Budget truck (from Pittsburgh) through. There's lots of bells and whistles and the script/direction keeps the movie going, but the real excitement of a thriller like this lies in imagining "what would I do in this situation?" However, you could never be in this situation, because this movie is not set in the real world that you and I share. The movie even makes hip self-aware nods to some of the most obvious plot holes, but referencing them without explaining them only serves to make them more glaring.

I give it a thumbs down. I don't have a problem suspending disbelief, but I do have a problem suspending rational thought.

-darwin
Monday, March 11th, 2002
9:48 am
empathy vs. callousness
empathy (mp-th) n.
Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives.

---

callous (kls) adj.
Emotionally hardened; unfeeling: a callous indifference to the suffering of others

---

I have occasionally been accused of being a callous person.

Over the last few years, I have developed an understanding that sometimes very bad things happen to people. I used to have the conceit that being smart enough or kind enough or sincere enough would protect me from the hard realities of life. I now know that life can be brutal, unrelenting, and (worst of all) arbitrary. "The best lack all convictions, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity." All we can do is stand with those who we love and trust and cultivate our empathy, our resolve, and our quiet strength. It may not be good enough, but it is all that seperates us from base animality.

-darwin
human being
Tuesday, February 26th, 2002
1:04 am
HUMAN BEINGS CAN MAKE RATIONAL DECISIONS!
Dear Hetero- or Bi-Sexual Human Female,

Before you give up that booty, please try to consider the factors you are evaluating to determine with which male to copulate! Perhaps this article from Scientific American will help you gain perspective. Nice guys everywhere (who are sick of assholes getting all the booty) will thank you!

--- quote ---
Whether a female chooses her mate from among a dozen dancing grouse or between a pair of crimson fish, she generally selects the most conspicuous contender. Empirical evidence indicates that females commonly prefer male traits that most strongly stimulate their senses.
...
In some cases, females may favor mating with a male that is loud or brightly colored simply because he is easy to locate.
--- end quote ---

I've seen an awful lot of this in my experience of human social circles, and I am a firm believer that there are more important criteria than what a person APPEARS TO BE AT FIRST GLANCE! Please, use the frontal lobe that evolution gave you! Override your basest instincts! Talk to a nice, plain, nerdy looking guy today!

-darwin
Sunday, February 24th, 2002
6:49 am
Sleep Phase Syndrome
The Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome, which occurs most often in elderly individuals, is described in the following section entitled Circadian Rhythms and Aging. In Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS), which usually occurs in adults, the circadian system is shifted to a position markedly later than normal (Figure 10). The sleep propensity rhythm shifts with it so that the patient with DSPS cannot fall asleep before 3 or 4 a.m., and they cannot wake up before noon without extraordinary effort. An apparent defect in the circadian entrainment mechanism prevents normal corrective shifts to earlier hours while allowing stable entrainment to the 24 hour cycle. This locks patients into a kind of permanent "jet-lag" and their functioning in a normal diurnal world is difficult.

...

Shift-work syndrome is not really a disease, in that most patients who complain of this problem probably possess perfectly normal circadian timing systems. Instead, the root of this problem lies with the pressures of modern society which have dictated that an increasing percentage of the work force must work nights either full time or as part of a rotating shift schedule. Night work presents obvious problems for the circadian clock, given that the available zeitgeber signals continue to enforce a daytime orientation. Many shiftworkers do not adapt, and the conflict between their work schedule and circadian orientation produces insomnia during the day when they try to sleep and excessive sleepiness at night when they are trying to work. Over time the resultant chronic sleep deprivation produces general stress and a host of secondary medical disorders. Research on the importance of light to entrainment of human circadian clocks may well help resolve this problem.

Entrainment failure is the persistence of a "free-running" sleep-wake rhythm despite the presence of adequate zeitgeber signals in the environment. This produces a complaint of cyclical insomnia in which patients report that they sleep fine when the circadian system is in synchrony with the external world. But as the clock drifts out of phase it prevents sleep during normal nocturnal hours, resulting in insomnia lasting for several days until the clock drifts back into a normal orientation and the cycle starts all over again. As might be predicted, entrainment failure is much more common among the blind than among those with normal eyesight. Cases have been reported in sighted individuals; the mechanism of zeitgeber insensitivity in this population is not known.




Anyone who knows me knows that the above description fits me to a t. I need to fix this. It is no longer an option to live with it. It's worse for me than other things I do which I obsess over. Woops!

useful link :
An interesting and comprehensive syllabus on various sleep-related topics.

-darwin
Saturday, February 23rd, 2002
12:53 am
Man Walked on The Moon.
I like the Internet, because it makes it pretty easy to debunk urban legends.

The specific page that prompted this entry is : this debunking of the urban legend that the Apollo moon landing was a hoax.

They came in peace for all mankind.

-darwin
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