The Euthanasia Coaster

November 20th, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Culture

euthanasia_coaster

The Euthanasia Coaster, engineer Julijonas Urbonas’s art concept for a roller coaster designed to kill its passengers.

“Euthanasia Coaster” is a hypothetic roller coaster, engineered to humanely – with elegance and euphoria – take the life of a human being. Riding the coaster’s track, the rider is subjected to a series of intensive motion elements that induce various unique experiences: from euphoria to thrill, and from tunnel vision to loss of consciousness, and, eventually, death. Thanks to the marriage of the advanced cross-disciplinary research in airspace medicine, mechanical engineering, material technologies and, of course, gravity, the fatal journey is made pleasing, elegant and meaningful. Celebrating the limits of the human body, this ‘kinetic sculpture’ is in fact the ultimate roller coaster: John Allen, former president of the famed Philadelphia Toboggan Company, once said that “the ultimate roller coaster is built when you send out twenty-four people and they all come back dead. This could be done, you know.”

Insert obligatory joke about a roller coaster to die for.

Background Noise

November 8th, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Mobile Transmissions

Working out at the gym. The fellow at the machine next to me offers a salutational head nod, which I return. Something with a loud beat is coming from his ear buds. This is impressive because I have my ear buds in, too, though I am not listening to anything yet.

I press play on Downcast. A guy who sounds like Joss Whedon starts lecturing me about the discovery of lost Assyrian cities by European archaeologists in the mid-19th century. I feel like I should bop my head to an imaginary beat.

History podcasts may not be terribly hip, but I find them relaxing, entertaining, and focusing at the same time. They are my jam. Even at the gym. (Of course, when “Shake it Off” comes on the overhead speakers, I pause the podcast for a few minutes, because I can’t help myself.)

Net Neutrality

September 10th, 2014 at 9:50 pm | Daylog

Just wrote my representative in Congress, Rep. Mike Turner, to urge him to tell the FCC that he and his constituents support Net Neutrality. If the words “wrote my Congressman” haven’t clued you to the fact that I will be mounting my e-soapbox for the few moments, then please turn back now if that’s not your kind of thing.

For those unfamiliar with Net Neutrality, well, you can google it and learn a shit ton, or go here for a quick primer. In short it’s the idea that Internet providers (Time Warner, Comcast, AT&T, etc.) must treat all content traveling over their networks equally. A straightforward enough concept, yes, but the current Chairman of the FCC proposed new rules earlier this year that could change that. The proposal included provisions that would allow Internet providers to charge extra fees to companies like Netflix or Google to buy faster service, and could also force slower service on those companies who don’t pay. This could knock out the next Google or Microsoft before they get started, if those traditionally capital-light start-ups can’t afford the extra fees. The innovation that the current Internet landscape currently fosters would be crippled if future competitors are forced into the slow lane of the infobahn.

Again, you should do your own research, but if you’re a regular user of the Internet in any form (and odds are, if you’re reading this, you are), I would suggest that you too support Net Neutrality, and may want to take a moment to contact your Congressperson or FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to let them know how you feel. The period for the public to comment on the new rules ends September 15th, so you still have time.

Like your angry grandpa, I’ve written many companies over the years to let them know my often angry but cordial opinions, and maybe try to get free stuff. I wrote Entenmann’s once a year for several years demanding they bring back their delicious chocolate devil’s food crumb topping donuts, a war I finally won. So I figure if I can summon the passion and tenacity to fight to get delicious donuts back on the market, then I can take a few minutes to help save the Internet.

Swash + Buckle

August 24th, 2014 at 9:50 pm | Daylog

For years I’ve wanted a replica of the belt buckle worn by the eponymous hero in THE PHANTOM. It’s nifty as hell, and would fit in well with my small, carefully curated collection of buckles.

belt_buckle_phantom

Reel Art sells an exact replica (pictured above), and it looks great. The problem with it being an exact replica, though, is that it is eight inches long by four inches tall, which is fucking huge — about twice the size of a normal buckle. It would look ridiculous on me in most situations, both work and public, except as part of a Phantom-themed Halloween costume.

When I have more money, I would love to commission one from a metalsmith that is about half the size of Reel Art’s, but until such time I shall just have to wait. In the meantime, a couple of weeks ago I did purchase from Etsy a new buckle that is at least similar in spirit:

belt_buckle_pirate

It’s heavy brass, with the vaguely Lovecraftian take on the typical pirate skull and crossbones etched on. Also it stands out without being garish, which makes it a fine alternative to my Cocky belt buckle. The Cocky belt buckle, which I’ve been wearing nearly everyday for five or six years with no incident, drew a bit of unwelcome attention at work a few weeks ago, so I felt it was prudent to get a new one. I was getting a little bored with the Cocky one anyway, so the timing worked out well.

One day, though: I will stride into work with the symbol of the Ghost Who Walks affixed at my waist, and all my coworkers will tremble in awe.

Waiting to Die

August 15th, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Music

Nightbeast, hands-down the best band in Dayton, has just released the video for their song “Waiting to Die,” and I can’t recommend enough that you check it out. Here, I’ll help:

“Waiting to Die” has been for a while my favorite song of theirs live, and I am pleased as punch that the studio version kicks just as much ass. In addition to crafting catchy tunes, Nightbeast’s shows are insane. They have a fantastic stage presence, and their shows are never lacking in energy. (And shirtless folks, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.)

Yes, I definitely need to see them play again soon. It’s been far, far too long.

Or Mandelbroat, as Steve Brule Would Say

August 6th, 2014 at 9:37 pm | Daylog

I’ve been sick since late last week, so I have not done well at writing here daily as I’d hoped. Quite literally my days have been go to work, come home, and collapse on the couch to watch some sort of action movie: the BOURNE trilogy, CASINO ROYALE, and SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO so far. I’m feeling better, so I hope to resume running soon, as well as other normal activities, which may still include watching action movies. (Running was put on hold due to a hacking cough that developed, and so I was afraid that if I suffered a coughing attack whilst on the treadmill, I would lose my footing, fall, and die.)

Since I really have nothing of substance to share, please enjoy this animated gif of a Mandelbrot set. It’s quite hypnotic, especially when viewed on a large screen.

Mandelbrot set

Like Swallowing Glass

August 2nd, 2014 at 12:09 am | Mobile Transmissions

It’s barely midnight, and I’m lounging on the couch like a walrus, sipping a throat-soothing tea that tastes like cinnamon and licorice had a one-night stand, and this liquid is the afterthought. It is helping my cold-ravaged throat, so my bitching is all in good fun. The new show hosted by Giorgio Tsoukalos (the Ancient Aliens guy), IN SEARCH OF ALIENS, is on in the background, and it, frankly, is terrible. And this is coming from someone who loves ANCIENT ALIENS.

I’m not sure what this is. I suppose it’s me flirting with the idea of writing on a daily basis again, at least on this site. I’ve been making grinding progress on a new short story, but the writing muscles are stiff, out of shape, so it hasn’t been easy. It has been fun, though, flexing them and seeing some weird shit come together on the page.

The goal for me, as I gradually wind my way around the idea, is to write a little bit each day. Even if it’s nothing more than a blob of text and a picture. Doesn’t hurt that I have a backlog of things I can write about. We shall see what we shall see.

‘Night, all.

Quantum Theory at its Best

April 5th, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Science/Tech

Thanks to quantum theory and the crazy bastards who try to understand it, I may not have to rely solely on the Time Travel Fund after all. The article’s title sums it up.

Scientists claim that quantum theory proves consciousness moves to another universe at death:

The theory implies that death of consciousness simply does not exist. It only exists as a thought because people identify themselves with their body. They believe that the body is going to perish, sooner or later, thinking their consciousness will disappear too. If the body generates consciousness, then consciousness dies when the body dies. But if the body receives consciousness in the same way that a cable box receives satellite signals, then of course consciousness does not end at the death of the physical vehicle. In fact, consciousness exists outside of constraints of time and space. It is able to be anywhere: in the human body and outside of it. In other words, it is non-local in the same sense that quantum objects are non-local.

Lanza also believes that multiple universes can exist simultaneously. In one universe, the body can be dead. And in another it continues to exist, absorbing consciousness which migrated into this universe. This means that a dead person while traveling through the same tunnel ends up not in hell or in heaven, but in a similar world he or she once inhabited, but this time alive. And so on, infinitely. It’s almost like a cosmic Russian doll afterlife effect.

Cooking Fail

January 20th, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Mobile Transmissions

This was an evening where nothing I tried to do culinary-wise went right at all. I was out of ingredients, milk was spoiled, bread seemed to maddeningly not cool all the way through, even at 20 minutes when it’s only supposed to take 4, and I dropped the last scoop of ice cream on the floor. So instead it was a dinner of fish patties, crackers and merlot bellavitano cheese, and Corona. I’m not mad, just annoyed.

One day I will conquer the kitchen. But not today.

Hipsters Love Beer

January 19th, 2014 at 7:11 pm | Daylog

Saw this video and Blind Bob’s immediately came to mind.

(via JWZ)