"Don’t make me Ang Lee. You wouldn’t like me when I’m Ang Lee."

Although I came up with that line independently, it seems that I’ve been beaten to the punch. Dang.


The world gets a little more Gibsonesque

The Voodoo Magick Box

A friend of mine told me about his experiences with the Voodoo Magick Box this weekend. Apparently, it’s some kind of device that provides a “high” electronically. You spread some contact paste on your earlobes, then place the machine’s clips on them, turn the machine on and enjoy the buzz.

Photo: Voodoo Magick Box.

The Voodoo Magick Box. And yes, you can choose one of six authentic voodoo sign decals!

According to the web site, the Voodoo Magick Box can:

  • Be a non-addictive narcotic substitute
  • Provide relaxation and relief from stress
  • Relieve depression and anxiety
  • Improve memory and concentration
  • Enhance sexual performance
  • Fight insomnia

That last one is interesting, as it sounds like something straight out of William Gibson’s Fragments of a Hologram Rose. In that short story, a character named Parker can’t sleep without the aid of an “inducer”.

Here’s the site’s description of the “high” provided by the Voodoo Magick Box:

Almost immediately you will experience a strong feeling of inebriation, as if you had just slammed back a few martinis. The feelings of intoxication will be coupled with a sense of pleasant relaxation. During use some people will notice a subjective change in their body weight. You might feel heavier at first and then lighter, or you may simply feel lighter initially. You will also begin to notice psychedelic flashes of light in your peripheral vision. A relaxed state remains and a profound sense of alertness is achieved.

It sounds intriguing, but think about it for a moment: you’re running current through your head. Naturally, the FAQ insists that it’s safe.

Of course, the site implies that all the hot chicks are doing it, and hot chick trumps brain damage any day!

Photo: Voodoo Magick Box and spokesmodel.

Another satisfied customer. C’mon, has a hot chick ever lied to you?

Savant for a day

The New York Times has an article covering a machine with a similar theme. Apparently, a device called a “transcranial magnetic stimulator” — yet another box with wires running to your head — can cause people to “suddenly exhibit savant intelligence — those isolated pockets of geniuslike mental ability that most often appear in autistic people”.



Okay, as a way of atoning for linking to a bad bum pic in the last posting, I present to you Ms. Avril Lavigne at the MuchMusic Video Awards. Slightly edited.

Photo: Slightly altered photo of Avril Lavigne at the MuchMusic Video Awards.

The original photo, for your own Photshopping pleasure, is here.

Mondo thanks to Craig Calef for the pointer to the original photo!



This came to me from one Timothy Dewey Dewey. It is republished here with his permission:

Dear King of Kings,

I have weild the evil synth axe of the Roland ax-1 and sold myself to the demons of hades (kinda like how Arthas sold he’s people out when he took the blade of frostmourne out even though he didn’t really need it.). My skin has grown a greyish color due to the evil powers of the axe! (or from the fact I live in my mother’s basement). I knew I had power within my hands but then I realized something, I have no idea how to play a keyboard or a Midi-controller for that matter. Ive been to your site for ages and ages (which is about 10 mins or so, I really dont remember because my mother was yelling at me to dust the cat and milk the pigs) and discovered that even though you are now a follower of the light, you once followed the wicked ways of the keytar. Clearly after reading one paragraph of your site, I am ready to call you my sensi and wish if you could offer me guidance of playing a keytar with links of how to play one and advice from your own experience, or if you cant offer me any of those, just send me a link to the goatse instead. I’m sorry but I have to log off now because my computer (which is made of wood and uses the Jeff-k version 40 system) is about to go offline due to the chickens that power it by running are dead.

Ta Ta.

Thanks, Timothy, and get well soon!

Absolutely not-recommended-at-all reading

What is the “goatse” that he refers to near the end of the email? It’s the infamous site, home of a picture that first became famous through Slashdot.

You really don’t want to see it.

But your curiosity is now piqued.

It is not safe for work. In fact, it’s not safe for anything, really. You life will be no poorer for your not having seen it.

The subject matter of the photo is vile. The human anus was never meant for such things.

Please note that you have been warned.

Here it is.

Aren’t you sorry you clicked that link?


In case you hadn’t noticed, today is "Clear out my backlog agressively day"

Hence the mad flurry of postings. Enjoy!


I’m so confused

My experience with Artifical Intelligence is limited to a single third-year course at Crazy Go Nuts University where we did classic AI programming in Nial, a pretty nice programming language designed by my first-year computer science prof, really relaxed dude and lord god king of arrays, Michael Jenkins. Perhaps it’s why I cannot comprehend AI-Wheel, some kind of AI application:

Photo: Screenshot of 'AI-Wheel' in action. What action, I'm not sure.

A screenshot of AI-Wheel. Someone please explain it to me!!!

Speaking as a user interface programmer with a modicum of tact, I’ll simply say that the user interface “has room for improvement”.

I am, of course, assuming that the “AI” in AI-Wheel means “Artificial Intelligence” and not “Acutely Incomprehensible”.

If someone could please tell me what this software is for, I’d appreciate it.


As a matter of fact, ma’am, some of us *do* give a damn about the accordion

It took me a while to post this, but I thought I’d save it for National Accordion Awareness Month, which is drawing to a close. Big thanks to Stacy “less art” Wong for sending this snippet from the America 24/7 photography project my way!

Photo: Luella Barber Wygant, playing the accordion for her dog Mitzi.

Luella Barber Wygant, 81, of Millcreek, Pa., plays the accordion for her dog Mitzi. “If I couldn’t play music, I might as well be dead,” said Wygant, who has been playing the accordion since she was four years old. She plays seven instruments and taught her husband how to play the bass viola. “Young people don’t give a damn about the accordion. All they care about is guitars and drums,” said Wygant whose favorite song is “I’m In The Mood For Love.”

I give a damn, ma’am. And so do a number of kids who were at the Om Festival last weekend.