Stare.
 
2004 Notebook: Weak XLI
 
   
gratuitous image
9 October 2004
No. 1,088 (cartoon)
I want to snazzle your snizzle.

Into a mild drizzle?

Go!

10 October 2004
Biological Chromophobia
The other day Morris told me that that we homo sapiens used to see only in black and white; the ability to see in color is a recent addition to the human feature set. Morris added that people like greyscale art because it appeals to their primitive brains.

Until now, I never suspected that my chromophobia might be dictated by biology rather than aesthetics.

11 October 2004
Stega’s Sexy Phone
I met Stega in a bar this afternoon; she spent most of the conversation explaining in great detail about how very much in love she is. She’s infatuated with her new mobile telephone. Curiously, the device’s main virtue is that it’s “sexy.” I don’t understand how a telephone can be sexy. I assume it’s an advertising phrase, but I didn’t ask Stega to clarify. (There are some thing I don’t really want to know.)

After a few pints of Newcastle Brown Ale, I took an obligatory toilet break, and that’s where I saw the condom machine. The vending machine featured a pastoral image of butterflies above an idyllic mountain stream. Why is it, I wonder, that advertisers use sex to sell everything except sex?

12 October 2004
Ghost Mountain
Emerald told me a fantastic story she learned when she was growing up in China. She said that tens of thousands of people, the “lost ones,” live in caves deep inside Ghost Mountain. They’ve lived there since they were infants, and they’ll never see daylight again.

The lost ones are the children of American soldiers stationed in China decades ago. Chinese authorities segregated the “impure bastards” (Emerald’s translation) into “relocation families” forced to live in the caves of Ghost Mountain. Chinese authorities exiled the “impure” to the Ghost Mountain caves to spare them from the embarrassment of being partly Caucasian; everyone living in the caves has the same, grey pallor. Emerald said that authorities sterilized all the lost ones, so in a few decades they’ll all be dead.

Very inscrutable indeed.

13 October 2004
My Kind of Drug
The current edition of Psychopharmacology reports that fifty percent of adults suffer from withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking coffee. The learned researchers based this conclusion on the exhaustive examination of over sixty caffeine withdrawal studies done since 1834.

Any coffee addict—that would be me—already knows that. And, as any any addict will attest, the way to avoid withdrawal is to obtain more drugs. Roland Griffiths, a scientist at Johns Hopkins University, had the sense to recognize that the problem isn’t much of a problem.

“If you don’t have a medical contra-indication and you can afford the drug and you can protect the continuity of your supply, it’s not a problem at all,” Griffiths concluded. “It’s relatively available and cheap.”

Relatively available and cheap; that’s my kind of drug!

14 October 2004
Internet Sans Puss
I met Jerred, an Internet engineer, at Daphne’s place this morning. I admitted that I really didn’t understand how the Internet worked. Jerred said he’d send me a paragraph that would explain everything if I gave him my email address, so I did.

It’s almost midnight, and I just received Jerred’s note.

    You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.
    —Albert Einstein

Aha!

15 October 2004
Failed Artists
I met the Andreas, the new curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern [sic] Art, at Diane’s party tonight.

“In my experience most curators are failed artists,” I said with a smile.

“In my experience most artists are failed artists,” Andreas replied with a smirk.

Having found common ground, we went on to have an interesting conversation.

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©2004 David Glenn Rinehart