Mon-May 29 2006
"You are sitting in front of a computer that would have filled a skyscraper had it been built in 1956. You have terabytes of the world's accumulated wisdom at your fingertips via Google. You have a college education in your pocket. Einstein, Feynman, Gödel, Jung, the Wachowski Brothers, Turing, Fermi, Crick and Watson have all blazed an intellectual trail for you to follow. With all this going for you, your major contribution to society so far consists of a message board post theorizing that the castaways on Lost might be in Purgatory.
About 400 years ago, before the discovery of electricity and only 150 years after the invention of the printing press, a barely literate German cobbler came up with the idea that God was a binary, fractal, self-replicating algorithm and that the universe was a genetic matrix resulting from the existential tension created by His desire for self-knowledge.
Clearly, someone's been slacking off.
It all started one day around 1610; a young German shoemaker was looking at a pewter dish when a dazzling ray of reflected sunlight unexpectedly turned out to be a message from God. "
Via The Lost Index
Thu-May 25 2006
Lost / Episode #223-"Live Together, Die Alone"
I'm still digesting the 2-hour finale, but until I watch it again here are
Who's hanging from a cliff?
- Hurley (maybe)
- Sun & Jin (still out on the boat)
- And almost forgotten in all the excitement, Sayid at the new hatch
About that four-toed foot of a statue-check out
discovery of a reference to a similar statue in the
Thomas Love Peacock
. The mention of an orang-utan clinched it for me.
Wed-May 24 2006
Sun-May 21 2006
"Everyone wants an imaginary unicorn friend that they can call forth to smite their enemies.
Avenging Unicorn Play Set
The Avenging Unicorn Play Set has everything you need to use the power of the unicorn to rid your life of irritations. Put the posable hard vinyl unicorn on a flat surface and then impale one of three soft vinyl figures included (businessman/boss, new age lady and mime).
Also includes four interchangeable horns (classic spiral, chrome, glow and pearlescent). "
Via robot wisdom weblog
Sat-May 20 2006
""I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment and civil liberties," Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) remarked at yesterday's Hayden confirmation hearings, "but you have no civil liberties if you are dead." This comes via Dave Weigel and nicely encapsulates at least three different pieces of horribly misguided rightingery.
First off is the sheer cowardice of it. Sure, liberal democracy is nice, but not if someone might get hurt. One might think that strong supporters of civil liberties would be willing to countenance the idea that it might be worth bearing some level of risk in order to preserve them.
Second is just this dogmatic post-9/11 insistence on acting as if human history began suddenly in 1997 or something. The United States was able to face down such threats as the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany without indefinite detentions, widespread use of torture as an interrogative technique, or all-pervasive surveillance. But a smallish group of terrorists who can't even surface publicly abroad for fear they'll be swiftly killed by the mightiest military on earth? Time to break out the document shredder and do away with that pesky constitution.
Last, there's the unargued assumption that civil rights and the rule of law are some kind of near-intolerable impediment to national security. But if you look around the world over the past hundred years or so, I think you'll see that the record of democracy is pretty strong. You don't see authoritarian regimes using their superior ability to operate in secret and conduct surveillance to run roughshod over more fastidious countries. You see liberalism prospering -- both in the sense that the core liberal countries have grown richer-and-richer and in the sense that liberal democracy has consistently spread out from its original homeland since people like it better. You see governments that can operate in total secrecy falling prey to crippling corruption. You see powers of surveillance used not to defend countries from external threats, but to defend rulers from domestic political opponents."
Lifted Wholesale from Talking Points Memo
Thu-May 18 2006
Lost / Episode #222-"Three Minutes"
- Nitpick-The faux-hillbilly Others have yurts, not teepees.
- Mr Eko isn't bothered by big puddles of blood.
- I loved Eko's dog/hell story. Never ask him a question if you have a
- He's a great guy, but who in the hell would want Hurley along on a military raid, nimble or not? Especially if your reason for not taking more people is the fear of noise.
- How did Mr. Friendly know that Jack, Locke, and Sawyer were right behind
Michael? Oh yea, the Swan is bugged.
- Charlie's taken the number drug.
- Michael puking: What does he need to do, write "I shot them" on his forehead?
- It looks as if there were only 3 men and Alex with Mr Friendly, if the group that walked Michael back to the hillbilly camp is all there was.
- Oh, and I guess it's no surprise that the girl who helped Claire escape is Alex.
- How did the Other's know the name Rousseau gave her child?
- The Hillbilly Other's clothes are all a little too similar in color and cut.
- If they're living in yurts and eating dried fish what are they doing with fresh baggies and syringes?
- Vincent: the dog that wants to play with heroin.
- Why all the questions about Walt? It sounds as if the Others weren't involved in bringing him (or the other Losties) to the island.
- Why can't the Other's get Henry back?
- They make Walt take tests. And Ms Klugh threatens to put him "back in the room".
- The Others want just 4 people: Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Kate. Why?
- How do the Other's know Sawyer's real name?
- New Lost Experience ARG website:
LetYourCompassGuideYou.com - sponsered by Jeep.
- Obi Wan Locke is off on another walkabout. I expect a dramatic reappearance next week.
- God bless suspicious Sayid.
- There's a boat. That's all I got.
- Did you tape/tivo next week's promo clip? Of course you did. Watch it again in slow-mo. It's chock full of tantalizing tidbits, like that giant pile of what looked like bottles. I can hardly wait.
It's Good To Have A Hobby
"The statue is composed of over 2000 seperate pieces being hollow with the exception of the feet. The head, thighs, calves, and every member of the anatomy was carved separately and the whole put together. The joints were perfectly made, dovetailed, and glued together-no metal nails, only wooden pegs or pins beings used to fasten where necessary. After putting all the members together and finishing as for as the woodwork was concerned, he painted and lacquered the statue to give it the flesh and blood appareance; The hairs which adorn the figure belong to himself. He used clippings of his head and ears and each and every hair is bored for and put in one by one. The body hairs were actually pulled from his own body and put in exectly the same position as they occupied on himself. The eyes were also made by the artist and are the wonder of the oculist and optical precision."
The Self-Portrait of Hananuma Masakichi
Tue-May 16 2006
What I Did This Weekend
Friday I took the plunge and shelled out for Reason from Propellerhead
, a computer music program. Reason models a rack of synths, samplers,
drum machines, and audio gear tied to a sequencer. The sequencer could use some work, but
the virtual hardware side is amazing. Your rack is infinitely changeable, limited only by the capabilities of your computer. Plus you can "flip" your virtual rack around and play with the cables that route audio and control messages from one piece of gear to another. The program is very well written: I ran a mixer, 3 samplers, a synth, 3 distortion boxes and assorted reverbs and barely made the CPU usage meter blink.
I tried to update the software on the Kanotix Linux
side of my computer and
screwed the pooch. For some reason known only to mad Germans the dhclient program echoes rejected packets to the terminal window that is also home to the GUI for the update. Result: I can't see what I'm choosing. I managed to cripple the default display manager, which means when
the computer rebooted I got no graphics, only text terminals. 11pm on a Sunday night, and suddenly I'm like Locke in the Swan hatch, without even a fake Henry Gale or Mama Cass records for entertainment. Thankfully the update program made backups of the configuration files it changed so I was able to get my baby back up and running today.
Sat-May 13 2006
"The Pentagon has secretly shipped tens of thousands of small arms from Bosnia to Iraq in the past two years, using a web of private companies, at least one of which is a noted arms smuggler blacklisted by Washington and the UN.
Small arms shipped from Bosnia to Iraq 'go missing' as Pentagon uses dealers
According to a report by Amnesty International, which investigated the sales, the US government arranged for the delivery of at least 200,000 Kalashnikov machine guns from Bosnia to Iraq in 2004-05. But though the weaponry was said to be for arming the fledgling Iraqi military, there is no evidence of the guns reaching their recipient."
Fri-May 12 2006
Lost / Game Tools
So you want to get involved in the Lost Experience
but you don't know steganography from
a stegosaurus and you think rot-13 is that blue stuff growing in your refrigerator. Fear not, here are some
Tips on Alternate Reality Games and Useful Online ARG Tools
Thu-May 11 2006
Lost / Episode #221-"?"
If you haven't seen this episode, this whole post is one big
- So Eko was a priest in Australia. Did he go through seminary or did he con his way into the Church? The resurrected girl at the airport said that Eko's brother Yemi had said that even though Eko was pretending he was still a good person.
- Just so you know, that is not how you head butt someone. A proper headbutt is your head against their face. You might get away with head against temple, if you hit it just right and you want to kill the other person.
- If everybody on Lost got head-butted because they were "being difficult" there would be a lot of sore heads.
- Locke: "It's not my hatch". Not what he said two weeks ago.
- Eko has Locke's number regarding prophetic dreams.
- Eko stepped on a Virgin Mary-that's got to be bad luck.
- Was Locke's plane dream in "Deus Ex Machina" meant to lead him to another hatch, not the plane?
- I like how Jack used Libby's pain to get the location of Sawyer's stash. It was cold, but smart. But now Kate has power over the guns. I also like how Sawyer didn't hesitate to get the heroin. He may kill tree frogs, but he'll give up his guns to keep Libby from suffering.
- I really liked Locke's dream. Everybody thought that Eki's big fall would occur in a dream, but it was a neat twist to have it happen when Locke dreams he is Eko. And could there be any clearer bit of twin symbolism? Hey, Locke backwards is almost Ekco.
- The father of the girl who came back to life was Claire's psychic. He admitted that he is a fraud.
Interesting dialogue from Claire's flashbacks in Episode# #110, "Raised by Another"
- CLAIRE: I knew this was going to happen.
THOMAS: I told you so -- terrific. Now I get all your daddy abandonment crap, huh?
- CLAIRE: So you're giving me 6000 dollars to give my baby to a couple of strangers in Los Angeles?
MALKIN (fake psychic): 12,000. The other 6 when you arrive in Los Angeles. And they're not strangers, Claire. They're good people.
These suggest Claire is Christian Shepard's daughter and that
Malkin was in contact with the Others.
- Eko and Locke find the Pearl Hatch. The notation on the blast door for "?": "Designation Uncertain? Purpose Unknown? Relation to D.I.H.G. Unknown. Nil Actum Reputa Si Quid Superest Agendum (Consider nothing done if anything remains to be done)
- Eko sees evidence of a hatch from atop a cliff. I think this is how Jack and Sayid will see something offshore in the finale.
- Why was a circle marked with salted earth above the Pearl hatch?
- Why did Locke send his sketch off in the tube?
- I KNEW THE HATCH WAS BUGGED. But is it only wired for video? Why leave out sound if you are observing a social experiment? Is the Pearl an experiment to see if people will fill out notebooks?
- I hope somebody goes through those papers Eko took someday.
- I wonder if the logs say anything about the Micheals computer chats or the late button pushing.
- Dr. Marvin Candle gives his name as Mark Wickman, and both his arms work. Either the Pearl video was made before the Swan film, or Marvin has a double, or his arm was healed. He says that the Swan inhabitants will "struggle to complete their tasks" But the Swan film only gives them a single task.
- I think I heard Candle/Wickman say :"At the end of your eight hour shift proceed to the Apollo (paulo?) ferry which will take you back to the barracks (garble garble)". Was/is there a ferry to another island?
- Eko believes in pushing the button. His dreams are prophetic, and they tell him to help Locke
- Next weeks promo: The Others are at the camp Micheal described, appearing to live like he said. I think this is a con. This would mean that they are just setting the Losties up for an ambush, not tricking them into attacking a third party. This leaves open one of my big questions: Why don't the Others take any direct action? Why all the sneaking around?
Oh, and one more time: I KNEW THE HATCH WAS BUGGED!
Lost / Valenzetti
Wikipedia entry for Enzo Valenzetti
is curiously full of "facts". Since I learned of this from an official ABC site, this might be legit.
Via Inside The Experience
Lost / Pre-"?" musings
- For the remainder of the season I'm going to try to refrain from posting any spoilers. First: there seem to be tons of them already available online, and I don't feel like joining the chorus. Second: The next three episodes promise to answer a lot of questions, and I
simply don't want to spoil them.
- I'm still thinking about what to post about The Lost Experience ARG. It certainly doesn't lack for coverage. I guess I'm waiting for something more important to be revealed, or clues to something important. I mean, so Alvar Hanso has been missing. Gee, I wonder where he could be? Perhaps on a mysterious island, where he is known only as "Him"?
- I liked "Two for the Road", but I feel we weren't really given Ana-Lucia's motive for wanting to Kill O'Henry. I can imagine a couple of plausible reasons, but they weren't provided during the show. And once she realized she couldn't kill O'Henry, why did she give the gun to Micheal?
- Lost makes a big deal over the ideas of Faith and Reason. I for one must confess that I just don't get it. Just what are the Losties supposed to have faith in? Faith in the island? The island has a hostile smoke monster that skins people and mysterious Others who kidnap and kill. Faith
in the hatch? Maybe pushing the button does save the world, but the hatch was made by people, not a higher power. And don't
get me started on Reason. The Losties are almost constantly irrational and unreasoning. No one seems to give the puzzles presented to them more than the most cursory examination or thought.
Wed-May 10 2006
Lost / Fansites
So you've been hunting the web for clues to Lost
you've come across some fantastic site that seems to tie the Island to the Illuminati, Buckaroo Banzai, and Sufi dancing.
Before you get all excited check out these links to see if
you're having your leg pulled by a fansite:
LOST Experience: List of Related and Non-Related Sites
Sun-May 07 2006
Wondering why the CIA director suddenly resigned? So suddenly that no successor had been
lined up for such an important post? Porter Goss's official statement
doesn't mention a reason, not even the classic "to spend more time with my family".
Talking Points Memo
has a number of articles that point to Goss soon being
publicly caught up in a growing scandal growing out of the Duke Cunningham corruption case.
"...we don't know definitively yet that Porter Goss resigned over the Wilkes-Cunningham Hookergate story. But on the assumption that that is the case, let me give you a bit of background on what we've been following in recent weeks.
The hookers in Hookergate are, of course, the sizzle. But there's a bigger story. It stems directly from the Randy "Duke" Cunningham bribery scandal, which many had figured was over. But it's not. You may have noticed that while Duke Cunningham is already in jail and Mitchell Wade has already pled guilty to multiple charges, Brent Wilkes has never been touched. Wilkes is the ur-briber at the heart of the Cunningham scandal, you can see pretty clearly by reading the other indictments and plea agreements. Wade was Wilkes' protege.
Now, on the surface one might surmise that the prosecutors are just taking their time, putting together their best case.
I hear different.
Wilkes has deep ties into the CIA. The focal point of those ties is to Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the man Porter Goss appointed to the #3 position at CIA when he took over the Agency last year. Remember, Wilkes' scam was getting corrupt contracts deep in the 'black' world of intelligence and defense appropriations, where there's little or no oversight. Foggo was in the contracting and procurement field at the CIA. So you can see how he and Wilkes, who have been friends since high school, had plenty to talk about.
The CIA wasn't the only place Wilkes and his protege Wade plied their corrupt trade. There were also in the mix contracting on the Bush Pentagon's extra-constitutional spying operations. And I am told that senior appointees at the DOD knew about their corruption but overlooked it.
Now, since the Cunningham scandal got under, and particularly of late, there's been a big tug of war between federal law enforcement and the CIA over whether to really go after Wilkes. Probably a little more specificity is in order there, folks at CIA in the orbit of Foggo and presumably Goss.
Now, how does Goss know Foggo?
That's how we get into the other part of this story -- those 'hospitality suites', that moveable feast of food, poker and love, Brent Wilkes ran in Washington for maybe fifteen years. We hear that's how Goss got to be friends with Foggo, whom he later promoted to executive director of the CIA, the number 3 post at the Agency.
Now, last week, Goss denied he had attended any of Wilkes' parties, in answer to a question from TPMmuckraker. Foggo admitted attending the parties but claimed he'd never seen the hookers.
Now, corrupt contractors saucing up Agency officials and members of Congress to get contracts and free money. Hospitality suites where the saucing takes place. Hookers in the mix. It's going on for more than a decade, various members of the key committees in the mix. Goss, former member of one of those committees, appoints one of the key players in all this mess as the number three guy at CIA? The feds leaning hard on the limo company owner who probably knows all the details and already has a long rap sheet and can't afford another conviction?
There's a lot going on here, a lot we don't know, what's connected and what's coincidence. But this is the backstory. And why this story is likely to turn out to be a very big deal."
A mashup of Homer Simpson and Chewbacca is only one product of the zany world of
Homemade Simpsons Action Figures
Sat-May 06 2006
Lost / Probing the Foundation
FTP and SSH are enabled at thehansofoundation.org. No word on valid
usernames or passwords yet.
The email address "hugh.mcintyreAT_SYMBOLthehansofoundation.org" is live.
"alvar.hanso" and "persephone" are invalid.
Lost / Second Season DVD
Amazon doesn't list a date yet, but according to MoviesOnline.Ca:
"Lost: The Complete Second Season (The Extended Experience) will be available to own when it hits store shelves October 3, 2006."
Fri-May 05 2006
Lost / Clue Compendiums
Hanso Foundation/Worldwide Wellness Program/Code Text
Numbers spell "Missing Organs"
The Coconut Internet
Via The C.D.P.
Lost / Holes In Michael's Story
Will anyone ask him what happened to the AK-47 he left with?
And what was he running from?
Thu-May 04 2006
Lost /Episode #220-"Two For The Road"
Spoilers after the break
- O'Henry to Ana-Lucia: "You killed two of us, Good People who were leaving you
alone. You're the killer, Ana-Lucia." This line leapt out at me. How can O'Henry
believe this? The first person AL killed was part of group that attacked the Tailies as they
slept and was dragging people off into the jungle. Even if O'Henry believes that they had
a good reason to abduct people he can't think that they were "leaving them alone". Maybe O'Henry has been lied to.
- Ana-Lucia uses a mirror to check her head wound. Other people have noticed how often
mirrors appear in this show. Mirrors, Twins, Dopplegangers....
- O'Henry to Locke: "You're one of the Good Ones John...I was coming for you" Maybe O'Henry was supposed to con Locke into betraying the Losties, but when Locke's leg got
crushed that plan went south. Plan B: Michael
- Christian Shepard (Jack's Dad) has a daughter in Sydney. Could the woman he argued with
be Claire's Mother? Is Claire Jack's half-sister?
- This week's Dharma-brand product placement: Bottled Water
- If Rose and Bernhard have Dharma brand wine then we can rule out them being Mormons.
- Jeez, maybe if Jack wasn't so snarky to Locke the two of them might actually think about
what's going on.
- Radio in car: 99.9 (station) 5:29 (time)
- Jack's dad opened the car door into Sawyer
- Come on Kate, you've got problems with Michael's story-don't keep it to yourself.
- Oh Oh, Jack and Locke are on the same page. I like that a lot better than passive-aggressive squabbling.
- Dude-stop calling Libby "dude"
- Sawyer's reading Gary Troup's "Bad Twin"
- They sure made us wait for the fake Hanso Commercial. Phone Number: 1 877 HANSORG /
1 877 4267674
- Whoooboy, there goes Ana-Lucia and Libby. When Michael goes bad, he goes real bad.
I guess this is the "horrific situation" that they have to deal with next episode. Michael
is going to have powder burns around his self-inflicted wound-I wonder if Jack will notice
and suspect that something is wrong? And what happened to O'Henry? He's got nowhere to go.
- Why did Michael have to free O'Henry, assuming that's what happened?
- The TailSection has set pictures of the Other's camp that Michael described so we know that it really exists. My
totally unsupported theory is that the freshly laundered, operating room-equipped, Mr. Friendly
Others are not living at this camp. I think the Campies are either another, previous
group of castaways or the remains of the Dharma Initiative. The real bad guys are the usurping
Hanso Foundation and they want something the Campies have, like Walt or a working XBox. Place
Wed-May 03 2006
Lost / UK "Experience"
"A collection of all the UK lost experience (so far it seems to be named lost the untold) letting you know what jack and the rest of them are upto. screenshots and clues will be collated, all you need for the UK lost experience, and as long as the web is helpful, the rest of the world to. Welcome to the lost arg"
Interesting stuff here-like Locke's "TravelChums" account
I think some of his material is from the UK Channel 4 website. I went to the "Lost Untold"
section but I didn't find anywhere to login.
Lost / Experience Treasure Hunt
The summer break "Lost Experience" has started early.
The Hanso Foundation is back
packed full of lovely confusing details.
I'm posting the password for the "Newsletter" in the comments.
The TailSection has mp3s from the British Lost Experience phone number
The Hanso Foundation
has an RSS feed (link to feed, not webpage)
Mon-May 01 2006