Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pandora Internet Radio

Okay, so I'm bored to tears with nothing to do, but I need to stay up late to switch to night shift for tomorrow night. What do I do?

Well, first I rate about a thousand things on Bored, remember? That kills a couple of hours, especially after I look through the Alliance-Union books by C. J. Cherryh, and realize how many of them I already own.

And how many more of them I WANT.

Ahem, excuse me.

Next, I go to Netflix and tool around for a few minutes. That kills like fifteen minutes.

Then I cruise over to my friend Ranson's blog, Hobocentrism, to see if he'd written anything lately. He hadn't, the weenie. However, I saw the link to his Pandora internet radio station and clicked through to it. It's full of his eclectic mix of interests. By the way, Ranson, you completely stole the term Musical Whiplash from me. I'm mildly ticked by that one, bud.

Anywho, Ranson had pimped Pandora to me previously, and I thought it was a neat idea, even if I don't have a lot of use for it at home (my computer went kaput recently, and I'm in the midst of re-rating the 6000+ songs I had backed up, after all) and my workplace monitors our intertubes usage closely enough to discourage long-term streaming of media (alas, no marathon of Chad Vader at work).

Like I said, I have hours to kill before I can go to bed, and Aradia is snoozing like nobody's business, so I can't do any heavy housework. And since she's not feeling well (poor woman got ill after visiting her parents for Christmas ... she wears herself out on these trips and it hits her hard sometimes), I don't want to play any Rock Band (even if I did go gold on X-Box Live just to play with some friends in Richmond, Va) and run the risk of waking her with my, ahem, monkey banging.

So I take the time to put together a couple of stations on Pandora and put a little linky-thing over there in the sidebar. So, there are a couple of my Pandora stations. Enjoy.

Or, you know, whatever.


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Friday, December 19, 2008

An Unoriginal Thought (imported from Waiting on Seven)

This phrase came out in a discussion the other day, and I just like they phrasing. It's not an original idea, of course.

"The human mind is better at finding patterns than the world is at giving them to us."

See, nothing new here. Move along.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Time Travel and Death (imported from Waiting on Seven)

One of my lab partners asked me this question the other day:

"Assume we could travel through time, and not change the past in doing so. So, if I could do that and go back to see a lost loved one, where does that leave death?"

Now, he's just suffered a serious personal loss, although not necessarily an earth-shattering one, so this question didn't exactly surprise me. But being the monist, materialistic atheist that I am, I took a very ... mechanical view of the question. My response went something like this:

"Well, your life is just the span of time you have, from the time you're born until you die. The same could be said for the ovens we use here in the lab. They work until they don't. When they break irreparably, they're broken. Nothing mysterious about that. Death is the same thing. It's the moment when the machine that is our body stops working. Death is a moment, not a state of being.

You also should think about this. There are only so many moments in time you can go back to in order to see someone who's passed away in your present. If you do it often enough, you're going to use up all those moments a second time and you come right back to the moment of death. Conceivably, you might have to experience the loss of the moment of death more than once."

He seemed to ponder that for a bit, and then my other lab partner jumped into the conversation. I don't want to put words in her mouth, mostly because I'm hoping she'll actually join this blog and start writing for it herself, but she spoke about the emotional side of what death actually is. Although she never actually said this (I think), this is the lesson I took from what she said:

You have an emotional attachment to a living being. That being can change, and so can your feelings toward it. Once death occurs, you have an emotional attachment to a memory of that person and for the most part, that memory doesn't change. If you could go back in time, that wouldn't be the case. It would violate the way we deal with the world.

I'm not sure I agree with all that, but then, I'm not sure that's really what she was getting at, either. I can, however, say with some surety that she views not in a mechanistic way, but in a very emotional one. Which is good, since death is such a huge part of everyone's life eventually. When my first partner asked me his question, I immediately started pondering the "deep ponderables" of the question. The "How" of the question, so to speak. But there is definitely an emotional aspect to that question that I completely missed. I'm glad she was there to call it to our attention.

This was in no way the first of my "Waiting On Seven" discussions, but it's the one that sparked the idea for this blog. Check back for the next one. It should be just as interesting.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

New Voltaire Video!


I know, it's not the best video I've ever seen, but it's his first full-length video ever. And considering he's put out several albums already, that's actually kind of strange. And being the multi-talented Renaissance man that Voltaire is, he directed it himself, thus the simplicity. I really hope this puts him more in the mainstream spotlight, though. He really deserves it.

Plus, all the actors in the thing are actual Gothic Lolita fans of his, recruited off Myspace, not professionals.

Lastly, I just really like this song. Hell, I really like this whole album.


"Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul..." -- Mark Twain


Fire does not wait for the sun to be hot,

Nor the wind for the moon, to be cool.

-- the Zenrin Kushu