Wednesday, June 22, 2011

nervous as a kitten

heh, feeling nervous as a kitten at a bulldog convention.  have been emailing with a professor at Tufts about going there to continue my work in computational consciousness, and it always makes me a little giddy to consult with high-powered profs.  like asking someone out on a date (which i've almost never done).

now i just have to get the nerve up to jump back into the academic thing (and pay for it).  ugh.  oh well, i'm not doing anything else . . . .

Monday, June 13, 2011

chicken soup and the gods

i've spent the last couple of hours making chicken soup from a chicken carcass, and i've maybe begun to understand why some people act so proudly of their chicken (or turkey) soup.

being a god involves (among other things) taking inert matter—dirt or dust, for all intents & purposes—and making a living being from it:  a bird, for instance.

making soup, on the other hand, involves taking a cooked (and therefore deceased) bird and slowly & carefully pulling it apart, bit by bit, until all that's left is . . . well, not quite just dirt or dust, but nasty enough that the soup-maker is ready to toss the lot into the trash with no hesitation.  and while pulling the bird carcass apart (and learning more than anyone ever really wanted to know about all the little meaty bits & connective tissues & miscellaneous bony bits), the soup-maker has "created" a pot of delicious (if you like that sort of thing) homemade chicken (or turkey or whatever) soup.

so of course they're going to feel somewhat god-like in the process and be proud of their creation (and expect anyone else who happens to partake of it to give proper thanks).

making soup has given me a little sympathy for the gods, who (understandably) want some praise for their creations, after all the messy work they did.

so have a little sympathy for the soup-makers and for the gods.

and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

pessimism briefly in the lead

surprise, surprise:  the WHO finally got the cojones to admit that placing a microwave transceiver — a cell phone, for instance — next to your brain for ten years might well give you brain cancer.  (as if the years of anecdotes from neurosurgeons about finding cancers right near the cell user's ear of choice weren't enough.)

and sadly, it's probably not the Gen X crowd most at risk; it's kids growing up with cell phones glued to their ears.  so they and we will finally switch to using wired ear-pieces and keep the carcinogenic phone in a less sensitive spot (and not near our crotches, i'd hope), climb back into the automobiles robbing us of cardiovascular health, and drive to our jobs sitting in front of computer screens.

at least the toxic CRT screen is mostly a thing of the past.  be thankful for small advances.  :-)