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An iTunes Thing That Would Be Cool

If, after rating songs, I could "trade in" the stuff I rate at 2 stars or 1 star for other songs... like get "store credit" for stuff I don't like.

This would be great feedback for publishers and artists, because they'd know what I don't like. And it's a win for me because it means I can try out more music and "keep" the songs I like in my library. I don't need any money back, I'd just like to license different content and find music I enjoy!

The Juice Is Good

Recently I liberated a Jack Lalanne power juicer from my mother's clutches - she owned it for many years, and in that time it gathered a lustrous coating of dust, nearly changing its color from white to gray (shortly thereafter, she purchased a second juicer, this time in stainless steel... perhaps so the dust would be less noticeable?).

In any case, I too let the juicer languish in my kitchen. I tried one time to make a juice from a couple different ingredients, and the result was less than stellar. The last time I was visiting the parents in Connecticut though I found a copy of Elaine Lalanne's Power Juicer recipe book; I liberated this item as well and perused it for ideas about different combinations of fruits and vegetables, and proper ratios for good tasting results.

Having read through it a couple of times, I feel like I have a grasp of the fundamentals. Today I made a carrot, beet, celery, and onion juice (little spring onions) and it came out totally delish. I generated a huge amount of pulp, and I proceeded to take that, saute it in a pan with olive oil and garlic, then added a bunch of water, pepper, curry, cumin, and bay leaves and simmered it for a bit; so in additional to six cups of tasty juice, I created another ten or so cups of a spicy gazpacho for this awful heat wave. Not bad!!

A Light in Darkness

Remember how I lost all my photos in a horrible hard drive crash some months ago?

As it turns out, I have a ton of photos in my email that I never once considered. Practically every image I've ever sent as an attachment, or has been sent to me, is in my mailbox. I've been poking around with Spotlight on my Mac, and just generally searching for JPEGs, and I've already come up with a number of gem photos that I forgot existed.

It's going to take me a long time to scour all of my hard drive, but now I know there are a whole bunch of photos floating around in there that I can salvage and organize in my iPhoto; I may very well not have lost as much as I thought I did.

Writer's Block: I May Be Crazy

What does this Rorschach blot look like to you?
A pelvis.

Time Management and Priorities

After a little thought and analysis, I've decided I'm going to start allocating time to my "extracurricular activities". I made some estimations of where all my time needs to go with "life maintenance" and work and then prioritized the activities I want to spend time on.

Chinese - 1 hour every day of the week
Greek - 1 hour Monday through Friday
Art - 2 hours on Saturday
Writing - 2 hours on Sunday

It comes out to spending a little more than two hours a day on my non-work pursuits. I left myself two hours a day of "free time" to fill with whatever I want, but more than anything I just wanted to come up with a rough estimate of how much time I can afford to dedicate to other things each day.

AT&T - Stick it to me ONE MORE TIME

I'm begging for it!!!

On top of having to pay the whole cost of my iPhone upgrade, AT&T socked me for another $25 for a hidden "upgrade fee". IT'S NOT ENOUGH THAT YOU'RE NOT SUBSIDIZING IT, YOU HAVE TO TWIST MY SACK ONE MORE TIME.

Blood from a stone. Please Mr. Obama, please break up the telecom monopolies and make it stick this time? For the children? For the future of the country?
B.P.R.D. - Still good.

Hellboy - Also still good.

Astro City - Actually got an issue of this, finally! I'm really hoping they just wrap up this arc... it would be nice if there were some kind of reboot of Astro City at this point, but that may be so pomo that it eats its own head.

Planetary - LAST ISSUE IN OCTOBER FINALLY I CAN'T BELIEVE IT HAS BEEN TEN YEARS FOR 27 ISSUES

Batman and Robin - New take on old characters by Grant Morrison. Grant and Frank Quitely did amazing work with All-Star Superman, and this new Batman stuff (with Dick Grayson as bats and Batman's son as Robin) is really really awesome. The feel is exactly what Batman should feel like, but it's a new story with new character development; I love it.

Top 10 Season Two - Haven't seen this lately, must be running late again... maybe it's time to put Top Ten to bed.

Red Mass For Mars - Watchmen-like uberfuture where humanity is doomed. I think this book is about done, it never really grabbed me so now I'm just getting it to be complete with it.

Walking Dead - Still reading this zombie soap opera, it keeps pulling me back in.

Anna Mercury - Alternate worlds and a boob-laden secret agentess. New story arc, looks promising.

Viking - This is a very moody, art-centric, historical fiction piece about Vikings. I like it, but we'll see how long it lasts.

Buck Rogers - Indy take on the classic character. Could be good; we'll see what happens.

Doktor Sleepless - Bio/Hacker superhero wants to end the world. Still wearing thin.

Gravel - Warren Ellis, John Constantine with a badass military twist. This series not only excels for Warren, it's setting up its next whole story arc with this great weirdo all magician super-team. A very very cool idea, Magic X-Men. I hope it takes off - I also think it would be great if Avatar did an omnibus collection of all the Gravel stories they've ever put out (as the character starred in a number of mini-series before getting his own regular series).

Ignition City - Where pulp space heroes go to die. Still good, thanks be to Warren.

Irredeemable - Superman-level hero runs amok. This is some good stuff - deconstructing the idea of an alien super-being living in human society, much further than anyone's ever dared to go with the idea before.

No Hero - Take a drug, become a superhero via a horrific biological transformation; just read the penultimate issue, and it should all resolve nicely in the last book. I'm reminded of Black Summer, which I did like, but it also felt a little shallow like No Hero does. Both story ideas could have been expanded more, but Warren is the million armed writer of the Apocalypse, he doesn't really have enough time to write every damn thing in the universe.

Incognito - Supervillain in witness protection regains powers and becomes a "hero". From Ed Brubaker, still loving this book, hope it goes for a while or continues exploring the continuity in other series.

Writer's Block: Childish Pleasures

Name something you love but feel like you should have grown out of by now.


I don't believe in outgrowing anything I love. If I enjoy something, I don't give a shit if someone else calls it "childish". If someone insists on "giving up all childish things" they love, that person will live the rest of his or her life quite miserably.

Harry Potter and the Half-What What???

I saw an advance screening of this film tonight and have to say that I was overall disappointed, though very glad that I was invited to see it for free by my friend. I elaborate under the cut.

spoilers aheadCollapse )

Person

Given that a person lives for a finite period of time, that said person collects a finite number of memories as stored experience (due to limitations in time, resources, or capacity - let's call this amount X), that said person for any discrete period of time is defined by those memories and reacts to certain stimuli in certain ways according to what is contained in the collection of memories.

As an example: a person who has seen a particular movie will recall it and express opinions about it when prompted.

Now, a new assumption - let us remove the constraints of resources and capacity, and perhaps even relax the time constraint somewhat. Let's say that instead of X, a person can now have access to 2X worth of memories; the equivalent of two lifetimes worth of human experience. And of course we are also assuming that memories can be manufactured and installed by some means, or that forgotten memories can always be backed up and stored so that a more "complete" life's worth of memory is available.

We can say that a person gains the ability to preserve additional memories via some kind of external store, and has the ability to move memories back and forth between that external connection and the "working memory" of their brain and consciousness. The constraint that remains is that the working memory can only process a certain amount of information at any given time, because it is not made to handle the additional capacity, so memories must be moved back and forth; only the maximum amount of X can be in working memory at any given time, even though access to 2X worth of information is possible.

What amount of memories does a person need to retain in order to keep his or her person being? Is that even a valid question? With 2X available, one could conceivably replace all of the original X worth of memories with another completely different set of memories of X size. That is a completely different person. But if a person keeps 50 percent of their "original" memories, and replaces the rest of working memory with other memories, he or she will probably still be a different person; he or she will react differently when asked "Did you see this movie?" depending on whether or not the memory of the movie is in the person's working memory at that given point in time.

Is there a critical mass of particular memories that defines a person, like a personality DNA? What memories are actually important to always retain, and which could a person afford to lose?

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