Tag Archives | Pop Culture

Ben & Jerry’s flavors we’d actually like to see


Vermont is a terrible place. In fact, it’s the only state in the Union of which nothing nice at all can be said.*

Moose attacks. Forests teeming with flesh craving, lyme disease infested vulture ticks. More extraterrestrial anal probings per anorectum capita than any place on Earth. Blizzards of bloody ice and frogs. Bed and Breakfasts. Skeleton Witches. Flannel.

To most of us, however, Vermont is only known for three things: Maple syrup (a sticky insect attractant that tastes like bark and is poured from the head of an effigy of a woman molded in glass — no thank you!), Bernie Sanders (“…there’s too many varieties of deodorant. All you need is Victory antiperspirant: Only people guilty of ThoughtCrime sweat!”) and of course, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

An ice cream so foul and perverted that they named a once wholesome fruit flavor after the epitome of all that is noisome, barefoot and dirty, Cherry Garcia.… Read the rest

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Take Me To Your… Gold… Bridge!

Random Thought: There are two kinds of people in this world; The kind that go, and the kind that don’t go. If you go; ok. If you don’t… I will.

gold bridge copy


I’m meandering half-awake through the Citizen’s Cab lot.

As I head towards the bullet-proof glass to retrieve 137’s key and medallion – and maybe throw Kojak a $5 bribe for an airport, I take note of a newish Escape – 203, sporting a newly smashed-up front end. Poor night driver. Wonder what the story is on that.

And I do not see 137. Damn.

This is not good.

I address Kojak at the window, “What happened to 203?”

Kojak, “It was wrecked last night.”

Sack, “I don’t see 137 in the lot…”

Kojak, “It’s shopped. Got wrecked yesterday.”

Huh?? That’s my regular Prius!

So, ‘ol Koj throws me 2402, a Prius spare. It’s a spare I’ve driven before, one that smells like meth, B.O.

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Electronic Frontier Foundation celebrates 25 years of defending online privacy

EFF Photos (CC BY 2.0)

EFF Photos (CC BY 2.0)

Maria Korolov via CSO Online:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the digital world’s top watchdog when it comes to privacy and free expression.

But while cops and firefighters are often ready to retire after 25 years on the job, protecting citizens, the EFF has a full agenda as it celebrates its 25th anniversary today.

The EFF was founded in 1990, when the Web still had just one webpage. Its first major case was one in which the U.S. Secret Service, hunting a stolen document, raided a company’s computers, computers that were also used to run an online bulletin board, and read and deleted those users’ messages.

The company, Steve Jackson Games, and some of the users of that bulletin board, thought that the government overstepped its warrant.

The situation inspired former Lotus president Mitch Kapor, Sun Microsystems employee John Gilmore and John Perry Barlow, cattle rancher and Greatful Dead lyricist to form the EFF and represent Steve Jackson Games and their users against the U.S.

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Google DeepDream’s Nightmare Psychedelia

The internet is abuzz with wonder and perverse glee because the Mad Scientists responsible for Google Image’s AI have released the hounds a set of tools that let the average Joe and Jane see how Google Images “sees” the world (just don’t ask it about Gorillas. Trust me).

It’s a darkly trippy thing indeed: one part Naked Lunch, a dash of Cthulhu Mythos, a hint of Hieronymus Bosch and a sprig of HR Giger for flavor. And dogs. Lots and lots of dogs.

Puts the "monster" in Flying Spaghetti Monster

Puts the “monster” in Flying Spaghetti Monster

It’s called DeepDream and reddit gives us the skinny:

Deep Learning is a new field within Machine Learning. In the past 4 years researchers have been training neural networks with a very large number of layers. Algorithms are learning how to classify images to a much greater accuracy than before: you can give them an image of a cat or a dog and they will be able to tell the difference.

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The Magical Thinking at the Core of the Confederate Flag Hysteria

Kurz & Allison

Historical prints depicting Civil War battles are among the  merchandise currently being removed by Amazon.

That’s right, I’m calling it hysteria — this zealous, self-congratulatory crusade to abolish all representations of the Confederate battle flag, from the Dukes of Hazzard reruns nixed by TV Land, to the books and historical artwork currently being removed from the Amazon catalog. The mass killing in Charleston has reaffirmed the Stars and Bars as an icon of militant white supremacy, and now society is taking a stand:

No longer will we tolerate that which reminds us of the divisions in our society. Our ongoing history of institutional racism will no longer be quite as apparent in department store inventory as it once was. We will browse eBay for iPhone cases without fear of being reminded of just how much racial bigotry is still entrenched in our culture.

We will lead a purely symbolic charge against violence and racism, even if it means empowering the very symbol that we seek to abolish.… Read the rest

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Zen Nails & Waxing


Devoted Passengers,

Your driver would like to take a “detour” this week, if you will… Many a fare has asked, so please indulge as I explain the “non” part of “non-practicing Buddhist” from my author’s tag line…

I’m rolling the streets of ‘ol San Francisco in Citizen’s Cab #137 on yet another absolutely beautiful, clear, drought-ridden day. I’m rounding the left north onto Fillmore in the Lower Haight, fareless, when I spot an older woman up the block vehemently trying the capture the attention of an empty Yellow coming down the hill. She’s waving her arms all frantically at him on the sidewalk from the wrong side of a hedge of parked cars. His top light is lit, indicating that he is ‘Available’. But, Yellow does not see.

Well, “one man gathers what another man spills”.

I zoom up the block tapping my horn to gain the lady’s attention.

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TAXI Driver: San Francisco (Time-Lapse VIDEO)

My cabbie day time-lapsed. 10 hours in 10 minutes, complete w/ original music (by moi) and narration…


The infamous Milford is working the office and throws me 744, a Camry he boasts as “new” with a 5 o’ clock medallion. I throw him a five and Milford looks disappointed and expectant. I just ignore it. Why am I gonna tip him more for this?

I head out to the lot, prep the cab, and report some bumper marks over the radio to cover my ass – then proceed to leave the lot. But before I can, The Dutchman (a mellow, eccentric, 64 year-old driver who takes pride in looking 50 and lives 2 hours away in the Santa Cruz mountains where he has local girls trained as his personal prostitutes) has me roll down my window and asks where I’m going. I ask him where he’s going, if he needs a ride.… Read the rest

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The Force Which Shapes The World


Linda and Morris Tannehill via Not Being Governed:

But a discussion of how government could be dismantled and how free men could then build a laissez-faire society out of the pieces still doesn’t answer the question, “How do we get there?” Politicians are politicians because they enjoy wielding power over others and being honored for their “high positions.” Power and plaudits are the politician’s life, and a true politician will fight to the death (your death) if he thinks it will help him hold on to them. Even the gray, faceless bureaucrats cling to their little bits of power with the desperate tenacity of a multitude of leaches, each squirming and fighting to hold and increase his area of domination. How can we successfully oppose this vast, cancerous power structure? Where can we find a force strong enough to attack, undermine, and finally destroy its power?

Some people, gazing up at the fearsome might of the American Leviathan, have decided that our only hope lies in an eventual armed revolution.

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First robot wedding: The bride wore white and the groom wore out his batteries

Scott Pakulski (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Scott Pakulski (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Lydia Willgress via Daily Mail Online:

Two robots have tied the knot in Japan in what is thought to be the first wedding of its kind in the world.

Frois, the groom, and bride Yukirin walked the aisle, wore traditional outfits and even carried out a ‘wedding kiss’ at the event in Tokyo on Saturday.

Special invitations were made, featuring a picture of the two robots inset in a heart, and the 100-strong congregation included a range of smaller robotic models.

After the ceremony the couple even managed to ‘cut a cake’ before an automated orchestra performed a song for the equivalent of their first dance.

The event was organised by Maywa Denki, which produces electronic accessories and designed the groom Frois.

Continue reading.

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Harmon’s Head: Community & The 8 Circuit Model of Consciousness

Bobby Campbell (CC BY 2.0)

Bobby Campbell (CC BY 2.0)

This is a model of the Dan Harmon created sitcom Community based on The Eight-Circuit Model of Consciousness, a metaphysiological construct developed by Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson.

It is most certainly an imperfect mapping of the show, based on an imperfect psychological model, which cherry picks certain characteristics, and ignores others, but I found that it ends up fitting far better than I expected it to, and since the show is known for its impeccable story structure, it’s interesting to find something resembling character structure as well. For the sake of simplicity this is based on the original “Greendale Seven Study Group” incarnation of the cast.

  1. Shirley Bennett – The Oral Biosurvival Circuit

This circuit is concerned with nourishment, physical safety, comfort and survival. This circuit is imprinted early in infancy. The imprint will normally last for life, unless it is re-imprinted by a powerful experience.Read the rest

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