"If you understood everything I said, you'd be me" - Miles Davis
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
"Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government." - Lenny Bruce
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson

Utility Fog Banner

Spooky Toys
toy sears photo  toy wubba ducky

The Secret Life of Toys (Flickr Photoset)
Via we make money not art

Transcript for 11/14/05 Official LOST Podcast
This is podcast #2.

But You Can Eat It In The Dark
"Australians have been told there is no need to panic after a recent "glow-in-the-dark pork chop" scare"
Glowing meat alarms Australians
Via Follow Me Here...

Mmmmmmm, herring
Herring communicate by farting. Unfortunately, the only thing they say is "hey, pull my fin".
Via MonkeyFilter

Holy Donuts
Utility Fog Blog has passed 20000 hits. Posting a lot about a certain hit TV show (with a strong interweb presence) has almost tripled my hit-rate. Who would have guessed?

Thoughts & Observations:

*This episode was very clue-thin. I'm sure somebody else will spot something from a frame-by-frame infrared HDTV analysis, but IMO the producers need to reconsider the balance between "puzzle" and "drama".

*Note to Sayid: If you're going to shoot someone, do like Ana-Lucia: kill from a safe distance.

*Man, Ana-Lucia just makes friends wherever she goes.

*Something to consider from the last episode: The Other that Ana killed during the second attack could have been Rousseau's daughter.

*Ana's boyfriend (who presumably left her after she got shot and lost her baby) was named Danny.

*Locke was doing a crossword. The clue was "42 down - Enkidu's friend". The answer was "Gilgamesh".
Wikipedia: Enkidu
Wikipedia: Epic of Gilgamesh-very interesting

*I got a big kick out of Locke and Eko's first meeting-"Hello.....Hello". See kids, good manners are cool.

White, pink, brown, blue, purple, grey, and other, "less official" colors of noise
Via Music thing

Be Afraid
In an empty Walmart, Jethro is building his Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino
Via WFMU's Beware of the Blog

Lost/The Mother Of All Lists
The Big Lost Unanswered Questions List

Lost/Eko's Stick
mister eko's stick
"HEL...I WILL LORD E(F)...."

Via 815

Chocolate Covered Bacon
Via The J-Walk Blog

Lost/Warning Sign
lost danger sign
Warning Label Generator
Via The Generator Blog

"While forensic scientists have long claimed fingerprint evidence is infallible, the widely publicized error that landed an innocent American behind bars as a suspect in the Madrid train bombing alerted the nation to the potential flaws in the system. Now, UC Irvine criminologist Simon Cole has shown that not only do errors occur, but as many as a thousand incorrect fingerprint ?matches? could be made each year in the U.S. This is in spite of safeguards intended to prevent errors.
Wrongful convictions on the basis of faulty evidence are supposed to be prevented by four safeguards: having print identifications "verified" by additional examiners; ensuring the examiners are competent; requiring a high number of matching points in the ridges before declaring the print a match; and having independent experts examine the prints on behalf of the defendant. However, each of these safeguards failed in cases Cole studied. In fact, in four of the cases, independent experts verified the faulty matches.

Despite print examiners' zero-mistake claim, Cole points out that proficiency tests conducted since 1983 show an aggregate error rate of 0.8 percent. Though that may seem small, when multiplied by the large number of cases U.S. crime laboratories processed in 2002, it suggests there could be as many as 1,900 mistaken fingerprint matches made that year alone.

"While we don?t know how many fingerprint errors are caught in the lab and then swept under the rug - or, worse, how many have still not been caught and may have resulted in a wrongful conviction - we clearly need a full evaluation of the errors," Cole said. "The argument that fingerprints are infallible evidence is simply unacceptable.""
Study Of Faulty Fingerprints Debunks Forensic Science 'Zero Error' Claim
Via Fortean Times

It would seem Jeb Bush has gone utterly batshit:
"After more than an hour of solemn ceremony naming Rep. Marco Rubio, R-West Miami, as the 2007-08 House speaker, Gov. Jeb Bush stepped to the podium in the House chamber last week and told a short story about "unleashing Chang," his "mystical warrior" friend.

Here are Bush's words, spoken before hundreds of lawmakers and politicians:"Chang is a mystical warrior. Chang is somebody who believes in conservative principles, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism, believes in moral values that underpin a free society.

"I rely on Chang with great regularity in my public life. He has been by my side and sometimes I let him down. But Chang, this mystical warrior, has never let me down."

Bush then unsheathed a golden sword and gave it to Rubio as a gift.

"I'm going to bestow to you the sword of a great conservative warrior," he said, as the crowd roared. "
Mystical warriors are on Bush family's side, says Gov. Jeb
Via Fortean Times

Kill The Wabbit
Hidden Gags In Looney Tunes
Via Drawn! The Illustration Blog

Steve, Don't Eat It!
Silkworm Pupas
Silkworm Pupas
Via Bifurcated Rivets

I For One Welcome Our Canadian Overlords
Canadian World Domination
Via Bifurcated Rivets

No Future Slash-Dotting
Now that I've told everybody I know about the possibilty of my humble blog being swamped by Lost fans if the "black smoke" is explained as being a Utility Fog I find out that there are no nanobots.
Oh well, back to playing the Lotto and knocking over liquor stores.

Lost/Ep#207 "The Other 48 Days"
Thoughts and Observations:

*The sight of the tail-end of the plane crashing into the ocean pretty well cancels any theories about a faked crash.

*Mr. Eko in the ocean wearing a business suit puts the kabosh on the idea that he was already on the island.

*How did Godwin show up so fast after the crash, wearing shoes and ready to pretend to be a crash survivor? Did he know ahead of time?

*Why don't the Other's clothes have labels? Why do they have clothes, knives, paper, pens/pencils, but no shoes? They don't even have funky handmade sandals.

*The Others apparently shave with something. They have stubble but not a beard.

*There's been speculation about the Tailers having their own set of numbers. Here's my nominations:
3 people taken the first day
Donald died on day 5
The Other's list had 9 entries

*Why haven't the main survivors seen any chickens?

*Ana-Lucia dug the hole. I'm so glad they explained this. My friends are sick of hearing me go on about that damn hole.

*Of course Nathan had to die. He was wearing a red shirt.

*The Dharma bunker had electricity and "quarantine" written on the inside of the door.

*More Lost incuriosity: The Tailers don't try to find the source of the bunker's power.

*Goodwin:"Nathan wasn't a good person. That's why he wasn't on the list."

Lost/Bad Twin
The Tailsection offers up an official blurb for the Lost tie-in novel Bad Twin
"Paul Artisan, P.I. is a new version of an old breed -- a righter of wrongs, someone driven to get to the bottom of things. Too bad his usual cases are of the boring malpractice and fraud variety. Until now.

His new gig turns on the disappearance of one of a pair of twins, adult scions of a rich but tragedy-prone family. The missing twin -- a charismatic poster-boy for irresponsibility -- has spent his life daring people to hate him, punishing himself endlessly for his screw-ups and misdeeds. The other twin -- Artisan's client -- is dutiful and resentful in equal measure, bewildered that his "other half" could have turned out so badly, and wracked by guilt at his inability to reform him. He has a more practical reason, as well, for wanting his brother found: their crazy father, in failing health and with guilty secrets of his own, will not divide the family fortune until both siblings are accounted for.

But it isn't just a fortune that's at stake here. Truth itself is up for grabs, as the detective's discoveries seem to challenge everything we think we know about identity, and human nature, and family. As Artisan journeys across the globe to track down the bad twin, he seems to have moved into a mirror-world where friends and enemies have a way of looking very much alike. The P.I. may have his long-awaited chance to put his courage and ideals to the test, but if he doesn't get to the bottom of this case soon, it could very well cost him his life.

Troup's long-awaited Bad Twin is a suspenseful novel that touches on many powerful themes, including the consequence of vengeance, the power of redemption, and where to turn when all seems lost."

Lost/Producers Interview
Tidbits from an interview with Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse:

* "When a character dies on the island, they stay dead."

But if they died off the island they might not? I'm still holding out hope for Jack's dad being reanimated by nanotechnology.

* "Keep your eyes on Mr. Eko's stick....That stick is an important ongoing clue."

Eko was carving something into the stick.

Via Lost News: a Lost fandom newsletter

This Could Get Ugly
It occurred to me yesterday that there exists the (admittedly remote) possibilty that someone on Lost might utter the phrase "utility fog" in connection with the mobile "black smoke"- let's say, if they ever get around to explaining what the hell it is. And since this site is ranked #1 in the Google search for "utility fog" and lost I would then be in for some interesting times, traffic-wise. Accordingly, I'm thinking about adding GoogleAds. A blogger can dream, can't he?

Lost Podcast #1 Transcript

Bush's Definition Of Torture: Being Gnawed By Pandas
From the most excellent Fafblog:
"So You're STILL Being Tortured To Death In An American Military Prison!

Q. Help! I'm still being tortured to death in an American military prison! What should I do?
A. Sigh. We've been through this before. You can't be getting tortured to death because we do not torture.
Q. Whew, that's a relief! For a second there I thought I was being forced underwater until near the point of death.
A. Ha ha, that's not torture! That's what we call a "freedom dip."
Q. Can I be released from this American military prison?
A. No, because we can neither confirm nor deny that this military prison even exists. For all we know, you might not even be here!
Q. Wow, that'd be great! Any idea where I might be?
A. Not a clue! It's a mystery.
Q. Gee, I hope I'm home with my family drinking a nice big mug of cocoa.
A. You keep that up.

Q. Is this non-torture legal?
A. Absolutely. We will beat you, bash your limbs to pulp, and leave you to die of exposure, but we will do so under the law.
Q. Congress is trying to ban the cruel, degrading, and humiliating treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody. Will this non-torture be illegal then?
A. Of course not, because this non-torture is neither cruel, degrading, nor humiliating. Although we will veto any such legislation if passed by Congress. While we do not torture, we reserve the right to hypothetically torture.
Q. Is the CIA agent breaking my legs being cruel, humiliating or degrading?
A. The CIA agent breaking your legs is doing so in the most dignified and humane way possible.
Q. What about the army officer raping me with a chemical light?
A. The army officer raping you with a chemical light will later serve you a delicious meal of orange chicken and rice pilaf.
Q. Ooh! And for dessert?
A. Death by asphyxiation and a magnificent crème brulée!

Q. Why am I being not-tortured in this non-prison?
A. Because you're a dangerous terrorist and an enemy of the United States.
Q. Ah! How'd you find that out?
A. You told us, right after we started torturing you.
Q. You also got me to say I was a duck.
A. Ducks are dangerous terrorists and enemies of the United States.
Q. And to think I never knew! Who told you that?
A. Some duck we tortured.
Q. At some point between going to war and beating me to death while I'm chained to the floor in my own feces, do you think you went too far?
A. No, because this is a different kind of war.
Q. Different because the threat is more dangerous, or different because it's more complex?
A. Different because it gives us an excuse to torture people to death in American military prisons.
Q. Well, I certainly don't want to stand in the way of defending America. *RRRGGGKK* Or I wouldn't, if I still had the ability to stand.
A. It's the least any of us can ask of someone else when they're being tortured to death in an American military prison!"

Who Needs Terrorists
"The Army now admits that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard agents into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste - either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels.
These weapons of mass destruction virtually ring the country, concealed off at least 11 states - six on the East Coast, two on the Gulf Coast, California, Hawaii and Alaska. Few, if any, state officials have been informed of their existence.

The chemical agents could pose a hazard for generations. The Army has examined only a few of its 26 dump zones and none in the past 30 years.

The Army can't say exactly where all the weapons were dumped from World War II to 1970. Army records are sketchy, missing or were destroyed."
Offshore WMDs
Via MetaFilter

""National security letters," created in the 1970s for espionage and terrorism investigations, originated as narrow exceptions in consumer privacy law, enabling the FBI to review in secret the customer records of suspected foreign agents. The Patriot Act, and Bush administration guidelines for its use, transformed those letters by permitting clandestine scrutiny of U.S. residents and visitors who are not alleged to be terrorists or spies.

The FBI now issues more than 30,000 national security letters a year, according to government sources, a hundredfold increase over historic norms. The letters -- one of which can be used to sweep up the records of many people -- are extending the bureau's reach as never before into the telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of ordinary Americans.

Issued by FBI field supervisors, national security letters do not need the imprimatur of a prosecutor, grand jury or judge. They receive no review after the fact by the Justice Department or Congress. The executive branch maintains only statistics, which are incomplete and confined to classified reports. The Bush administration defeated legislation and a lawsuit to require a public accounting, and has offered no example in which the use of a national security letter helped disrupt a terrorist plot."
The FBI's Secret Scrutiny
Via MetaFilter

DRM Badness
"Sony has said it will suspend the production of music CDs with anti-piracy technology which can leave computers vulnerable to viruses.

The move came after security firms said hackers were exploiting the software to hide their creations.
In late October Sony BMG was found to be using stealth techniques to hide software that stopped some of its CDs being illegally copied.

Windows programming expert Mark Russinovich discovered that the Sony XCP copy protection system was a so-called "root-kit" that hid itself deep inside the Windows operating system.

XCP uses these techniques to install a proprietary media player that allows PC users to play music on the 20 CDs Sony BMG is protecting with this system. The CDs affected are only being sold in the US.

Soon after Mr Russinovich exposed how XCP worked security experts speculated that it would be easy to hijack the anti-piracy system to hide viruses."
Sony Stops Infecting Your Computer (for now)
Idiots...I hope they get sued so hard their heads pop

I'm Moving To Copper Mesh
On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study
Via MonkeyFilter

Lost/Hanso Foundation
The new Hanso KHR page leads to a disturbing memo sent to the Hanso Life Extension Project by the "Global Health Organization" regarding a rapidly mutating form of Meningitis in Tanzania:

memo to hanso foundation re:mutating meningcoccal disease
The password is "Copenhagen"
Password obtained from 815

Meningitis is inflammation of the membranes (meninges) covering the brain and the spinal cord. Although the most common causes are infection (bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic), chemical agents and even tumor cells may cause meningitis.

Nitpick Dept.: Sawyer's strecher had holes in the long handle-poles with cords threaded through them. How did they drill such good-looking holes quickly without tools?

Lost/Hanso Foundation
New Press Release at Hanso Foundation Site/Life Extension Project:

Hanso foundation life extension project press release
There's also a hidden link to a New Hanso Foundation Page with a Password form !
The page/project has a new acronym in the URL: "KHR". Let the speculation begin.

Update: The KHR page may be the result of hacking. The "&lt!-- LOL H4x0r3d!!1 --&gt" in the HTML source is kinda suspicious. Or maybe that's what they want you to think.......

Walt 'said' "They're coming and they're close" to Shannon and Sayid.

I like the idea that Libby is another Ethan. She was the one just ahead of Cindy. Anna-Lucia's reference to "trust issues" certainly raises the idea that the Tailers have already dealt with one masquerade.
Rumble In The Jungle/Lost-Media.com

I think there are at least TWO groups of "Others". There are the "Boat People", who are the remains of the Dharma Initiative. They could be taking the "numbers drug" to avoid the illness Desmond and Rousseau have alluded to. Desmond could be part of this group. Then there are the feral Others living in the jungle, who have caught the disease. The Boat People took Walt to keep him out of the hands of the Ferals.

I also think that when we finally see Walt in the flesh he'll be in some sort of tank, that's why he always appears soaking wet. Either that or the kid really likes taking showers.

Of course I could be totally wrong.


*I think I might have spotted Rose in the hospital hallway, hard to tell.

*NOW Michael has questions. And he has to ask the cranky control-freak with a gun, instead of the nice man he spent a couple of hours hiking with.

*I think there must be a reason the midsection survivors have not been attacked, with the exception of Ethan.

*Why does Walt always appear soaking wet, even when it isn't raining?

*I couldn't make out anything coherent from the whispering. Sawyer and Sayid have heard it without encountering the Others; the Others might not be the source of the whispers. Walt might have been trying to warn Sayid and Shannon.

*Sawyer got left behind. And he called Jin "Chewy", which made me laugh.

*After Cindy disappeared Ana-Lucia told Mr. Eco "this one's on you", so she might feel responsible for someone dying earlier.

*I'll bet good money Sayid doesn't tell anyone about seeing Walt for a good long time, if ever.

rat bike
Rat Bikes
Via Boing Boing

Last Friday night a large (about 20ft.) boat was moved into my employer's warehouse.
I stayed after work to enjoy the show and take pictures.
boat in warehouse 1
A Little To The Left...No, MY Left

boat in warehouse 2
When the forklift came into play I had visions of subpoenas.

boat in warehouse 3
Easy Does It

Made Me Laugh
anti-ribbon bimper sticker

Lost/More Twins
"In an eerie synergy, scribes for ABC's "Lost" will soon be writing a subplot about a character named Gary Troup who didn't survive the crash but left behind a manuscript he was working on.

Troup is fictional, of course, and so is his supposed novel. But ABC sister company Hyperion Books will publish the "found" manuscript, in the hope of turning a fictional product-placement into a real one.

Working with writers from the skeinskein, Hyperion has commissioned a novel by a "well-known" mystery writer -- it's not saying who -- that supposedly constitutes the book.
The "Lost" novel, titled "Bad Twin," is a P.I. procedural involving a wealthy heir's search for his nefarious brother. It will be released this spring in conjunction with skein's related episodes."
Dead Character Writes Lost Book
Via Evil Puppet Masters

Hmmmmm, Pancakes

On Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005 New York City smelled like pancakes