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Sunday, October 5th, 2008
10:57 am - Space - the final frontier!
Here is where I work now: SpaceX

And here is what we did: video

It's orbiting the Earth at 17,000 mph right now.

current mood: accomplished
1 got owned| step right up
Sunday, September 2nd, 2007
8:23 pm
if you really want to fuck up someone's life, flip them over in a higher spatial dimension. their body would now be a mirror image of what it used to be. this would have a couple serious consequences:

1) everything would appear backwards to them, including people, locations, words, and any other images with which they were familiar.

2) they would be unable to absorb any chiral nutrients (nutrients with a "handedness"), since all sugars, amino acids, and proteins on Earth are "left-handed", and all creatures are designed to assimilate such left-handed nutrients. they would be able to drink water perfectly well, but they could not extract nutrients from any food.

so they would be very disoriented as they starved to death. not a fun way to go.

current mood: relaxed
1 got owned| step right up
Thursday, May 31st, 2007
7:35 pm - poem, muhfuckas!
i have produced a poem. don't worry, it's not some wretched emo piece of shit. it's based on the Goofus and Gallant comic series.

Goofus and Gallant,
The scoundrel and the straight-shooter,
Each receive for their birthday
A brand-new microcomputer.

Goofus doesn’t bother with
Reading the directions.
Instead, he lets his hacker friends
Set up his internet connection.

Gallant reads the manual carefully
Learns about computer infections
Makes sure to install McAfee
For anti-virus protection.

Goofus quickly learns how to
Download games and porn.
He sleeps in ‘til the afternoon,
And stays awake ‘til morn.

Eventually he shows Gallant
How to find free songs online.
Gallant now spends his days
Getting music all the time.

But then one day Gallant receives
A letter from the net police
He’s been caught breaching copyright
And that he must desist and cease

And also that he must appear
In court in approximately half a year
To face a fine of fifty grand.
“Oh dear,” says Gallant, “this wasn’t planned…”

Goofus had much more illegal stuff,
But he got away clean ‘cause he’d had enough
Of uploading files in return.
He said, “Find someone else to download from.”

He wanted all his bandwidth free
To download games and porn, you see.
But Gallant uploaded all he could,
In keeping with his childhood

In which he was taught to share with others
A lesson learned him by his mother.
Instead he is reduced to criminality,
And that’s all that needs saying on modern morality.

current mood: artistic
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Friday, December 29th, 2006
11:54 pm - interesting reading
Military-industrial complex
Vaporware
Planned obsolescence
Placebo
Pygmalion effect
Anthropic principle
Causal fallacies

current mood: calm
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Monday, December 11th, 2006
12:05 am - experimentatious passage
many and bountificient are the people of the earth. some of them are skillified or beautritious while others are cravid wasticators. worst of all are the squalious vacutopians, whose wretchical instruments of castiguity may yet prove to be the undoing of this apathient planet. fortunately, the delated and hilorous illustriants of the inviniment check them at every turn, leaving the more litish deludicates free to pursue their own hemisious overtiments. in short, we can expect more of the same equiligance in the future.

this experimentatious passage was brought to you by the letter Φ, and the number

132731137670573141003156351568881862348504150442691122689501470601238423894527143349223156840236219693607901055804867476163025014036887361933851829064236464583798723392538420256674573970067844795332498690136266712810359485967901450433622894223618768763094626998825819048957870301293376136867572022773596597601

if you can factor that number, i'll give you $100. i would expect it to take about 1877589257896133394432 times longer than the age of the universe to factor, but if you can do it faster, be my guest.

current mood: busy
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Wednesday, July 26th, 2006
6:08 pm - methane on titan
hydrocarbon deposits have been discovered on Titan, a moon of Saturn. howstuffworks.com had a discussion as to whether or not we ought to mine the hydrocarbons from Titan, apparently assuming some readers would take objection to this clearly non-conservationist approach at getting energy. however, they overlooked a simple fact, which i, having a degree in physics, illuminated for them. here was my post:


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mining hydrocarbons on a moon of Saturn should not be made illegal. There's no reason for such a law. However, there are some issues of practicality to consider.

Hauling 10 million kilograms of methane (the hydrocarbon with the highest energy density) a distance of 9 astronomical units with a constant 0.1 G of acceleration for the first half of the trip, and a constant 0.1 G of deceleration on the second half would take 27 days to complete. The maximum speed (halfway through) would be 1,149,000 meters per second. It would require a minimum of 1.32 * 10^19 Joules of energy to send the material to earth at this acceleration.

Here's the catch: The amount of potential energy contained within the 10,000,000 kilograms of methane is only 5.56 * 10^14 Joules, less than 1% of what we used to haul it. Oh dear. Looks like we need to slow down our spaceship to save energy.

Let's try quickly accelerating up to 30,000 meters per second, coasting, and decelerating back to a stop at the end to save time. Now our trip time is up to 520 days, but our energy usage (assuming 100% efficiency, which is rather optimistic) is down to only 4.5 * 10^15 Joules. Of course, we need to carry the weight of all the rocket fuel, so that adds more energy input. Then there's the production of rocket fuel to consider. Also, rockets aren't 100% efficient at converting potential energy into mechanical energy. So we need to slow down our ship even further.

Let's try accelerating up to 3,000 meters per second, coasting, then decelerating back to a stop at the end. Our trip time now expands to 14.2 years. However, our energy requirement is (with 100% efficiency and massless rocket fuel) is down to 4.5 * 10^13 Joules. Now we're only using 8% of the energy we get back from the methane. It's a really long time to wait, though. In those 14.2 years, we could harvest FAR more energy from other sources, without the huge investment in spaceship technology.

2. If we instead build a base on Saturn's moon, and use methane to power the base, we still need an oxidizing agent (like oxygen). Where do we find oxygen? Oh yeah, it's back on Earth. Darn.

In short, harvesting methane (or any hydrocarbon) from Titan is a waste of time and money. I'm sure NASA has already realized this. Have you?
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Sunday, July 23rd, 2006
4:07 pm
x is a very popular letter. so popular, in fact, that if you type any amount of "x" into Google's search engine, you will either come up with at least a hundred results, or you'll run into Google's 128-letters-per-word limit. even a search for "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" returns 142 results. i had no idea the letter was so popular. you'd think it would stop at "xxx" or maybe "xxxx", but it just goes on and on and on. a search for 128 consecutive "e"s only returns 30 results, despite being the most common letter in the English.

incredibly, i cannot find ANY single letter repeated any number of times between 1 and 128 that does not yield any Google results. who the hell is putting such strings of text into their webpages?!
4 got owned| step right up
Thursday, July 13th, 2006
10:21 pm - test your might
it's round 2 of the audiophile challenge! i have prepared five sound clips from Liquid Tension Experiment, this time using the bitrate settings i would use for my own archival (LAME - V2 quality). due to how short the files are and the complicated sounds contained therein, the average bitrates of the files are anywhere from 200 to 246 kbps. this should prove more difficult than the previous test.

here are the files. all you have to do is tell me which (A or B) is the WAV and which is the MP3 for each pair.

acid rain a
acid rain b
biaxident a
biaxident b
chewbacca a
chewbacca b
osmosis a
osmosis b
paradigm shift a
paradigm shift b
1 got owned| step right up
Thursday, July 6th, 2006
12:42 am
when i get back from the atlantic ocean on july 9th, i will create an even larger and more challenging audio test. most people were able to distinguish the MP3 from the source at V3 quality. this time i'll use 5 files and higher bitrates (V2 quality) to see if it results in files indistinguishable from the source material. stay tuned.

current mood: relaxed
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12:39 am - dream log: 2005 july 5
i dreamt i was in a food gallery with a bunch of shop on either side. i went up to one of them and found someone i knew (in the dream, but not in real life) working at a sausage shop. i ordered a sausage in a bun and ate it (which is strange, because i don't eat meat), then complimented them on the sausage. it was then i noticed a feature on the wall of the sausage shop. there was a tiny, rectangular hole maybe 1 cm tall and 0.5 cm wide. below this was a thin crack extending a foot below it. i grabbed some kind of pointed plastic device from the counter, jumped up, and stuck it into the hole in the wall. the wall slid apart, widening the crack i had seen. after it had slid apart about 2 feet, there was another face, this time in black marble. it had another hole, but this one was circular and maybe 2 millimeters across. if it was anything like the first one, it would extend about 1 foot into the wall. i decided i needed a piece of string dipped in glue to poke at the back of this hole. before i could put this plan into action, i woke up.

possible explanations:
the sausage inna bun may have come from Discworld. the secret holes in the wall remind me of another dream i had (several years back) involving a green bar of soap, a mirror, and a demon. that dream had a video game feel to it, while this had a realistic feel.

current mood: relaxed
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Thursday, June 29th, 2006
6:23 pm - can you spot the mp3?
here is a blind audio test to challenge you. i have taken two audio files from Liquid Tension Experiment and made two copies of each. one copy of each was encoded to MP3 format using LAME 3.97b using "-V3 --vbr -new" settings, resulting in average bitrates of 184 kbps for "osmosis" and 169 kbps for "paradigm shift". then i decoded the MP3 files back to WAV format (which introduces no further information loss). i reset the dates and times of all files to be identical, then gave them "a" and "b" names at random. the file sizes are identical as well, so there's no help there.

your task is to listen to each pair of files and tell me which (a or b) is the original WAV and which was encoded to MP3. here are the files:

osmosis b
osmosis a
paradigm shift a
paradigm shift b

current mood: tricksy
2 got owned| step right up
Saturday, June 17th, 2006
12:28 am - cool image
a great image i was linked to by a friend, who commented that this is "exactly where U2 belongs". i can't help but agree.



the article this image was part of can be found here.

current mood: amused
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Thursday, June 15th, 2006
8:43 pm - another rant
if you 'upgrade' to a Sponsored journal, you're a fucking sell-out and don't deserve to be allowed to post anything. you get minimal personal gain (some extra user pics and storage space) at the cost of filling your journal with advertisements. if you're willing to do that, you may as well complete your trip to the sleazy side and get an advertisement tattooed across your face. be a good person and don't sell out.

current mood: rant
2 got owned| step right up
Wednesday, June 14th, 2006
4:09 pm - fuck shit piss
stupid motherfuckers delete comments they don't like. i have never deleted a comment made in my journal, except one case where a conversation between two other people had degraded into a juvenile flame war and was making my journal look bad, and i plan to continue that.

if you have deleted a comment because it made you look foolish:

1. you are a coward and a eunuch jelly**
2. you are a self-appointed censor. hurray for groupthink, you vile retard!
3. you are denying yourself the opportunity of writing a reply that makes the original poster look foolish instead (where applicable)
4. you have low self-esteem, because you are worried about looking foolish in the eyes of your peers.
5. you are an enemy of freedom and are unpatriotic (for US citizens only)

any way you look at it, you're a rotten person for deleting comments, and far worse than the author of any comment.

**see the movie "A Clockwork Orange"

current mood: ARGH
6 got owned| step right up
Thursday, June 1st, 2006
2:12 am - same minimalist packaging, great new flavor
someone told me that purple text on a black background was hard on the eyes, so i've updated the colors (made it brighter) to cause your pupils to constrict more...and more...until your eyeballs finally explode (more on this later). ok, it's not really that bright, but it's a lot brighter than the black background i had before.

the gray symbolizes mist. you know, because mist is gray. the crimson symbolizes blood (for the obvious reason). so the journal style is basically a huge explosion of blood inside a cloud. or something like that, anyway. i thought it sounded pretty cool. if you don't like the style, i hope you die 60 years from now, but suffer horribly until that day.

current mood: bloodwrath
9 got owned| step right up
Saturday, May 20th, 2006
12:32 am - NEPTAR!


BEHOLD AND COWER IN FEAR, MORTALS! IT IS NEPTAR THE (MODERATELY) WRATHFUL! he lives on Jupiter and enjoys destroying all life, if he feels like it. he destroys all death, too. not many people can do that, you know. HE IS NOT UPSIDE-DOWN. THAT IS JUST HOW HE NORMALLY LOOKS. DO NOT MOCK NEPTAR! GRRRAGH! YOUR DEATH IS IMMINENT! (probably)

PS: this picture is to scale. that is NEPTAR's actual size relative to Jupiter.
1 got owned| step right up
Friday, May 19th, 2006
10:45 pm - computers are badass
computers offer lots of great ways to cheat at games of all sorts. here are a few categories of cheating.

1. save states
with save states, you can press a button to take a snapshot of the state of the game, then instantly revert the game to that state with the press of another button. this enables you to do several things. if you are trying something that might not work (using a rare item, for instance), save the state just before trying it. you can reload the state if it doesn't work. another possibility is manipulation of random events. if you don't get the result you want, reload the state. finally, if there's just a tough part of the game, you can get as many tries as you want without ever losing a life.
note: some games like Half Life have save states built in.

2. save state hacking
by necessity, a save stack includes a list of all the items in your inventory, or else has flags that tell the game whether or not you have an item. it also includes information like your characters' statistics, amount of money, etc. if you dig up the save state file and open it in a hexadecimal editor, you just might be able to alter the save state in a favorable way. this is not a very exciting way to cheat, though. oh, look, i have a million hit points! oh, look, the game crashed! this tends to happen if you aren't careful.

3. fast forward
with a fast forward button, you can skip through tedious dialogue, or run around in the field getting level-ups at super speed. if you are guaranteed to win the battle, why micro-manage it at normal speed? just hold down "attack" and fast-forward through it! this isn't really cheating, but it does make some things easier.

4. enlisting a computer for help
in deterministic games like Chess or Go, a fast computer with the proper algorithm is often a better player than most humans. this means you can play such a game online and simply enter your opponent's moves into your local game as your own moves. then when the computer makes a move, you make that move in the online game. it's fun to go on a rampage with the grandmaster-level Chessmaster 9000 program and beat the snot out of unsuspecting online denizens. of course, if you're feeling guilty, you can intentionally lose to even things out.

no longer will we live by the arbitrary rules of computer games! it's the age of participation, bitches!
step right up
Saturday, April 29th, 2006
11:06 am - dream log: 2006 april 29
i dreamt that someone was asking me how to play "One Song Glory" from Rent. i couldn't seem to find a guitar anywhere to demonstrate, but there was a piano nearby. i started to play the bassline, which begins on F#, i think. then i noticed that the piano did not have the range of a normal piano - it was only about 4 octaves wide. yet i found i could play a very low part and a very high melody at the same time with my hands very close to each other. there was something else strange about this piano. every single key was twice the width of a normal piano key (so the total width of the piano was as usual), and the keys were loosely covered in a sort of woven burlap sack material with a flannel pattern in it. furthermore, each key was about 1 foot long, front to back, and had a second key set within it, maybe 4 inches back. this enabled me to play the low part and high part at the same time without having to reach a long distance. however, the width of the keys also meant that i had to move my hands further to play the same riff. it was a really strange piano.

possible explanations:
i saw Rent recently. it was a rather chaotic show, but pretty good.
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Tuesday, April 25th, 2006
9:34 pm - fractals!
fractals are badass! i made these two animated GIF files by taking screenshots of a fractal explorer program looking at regions of the Mandelbrot set while adding one more iteration to the fractal for each frame. i did it first, losers! ok...somebody else probably did it before me. here are the pictures:

Fractal 1
Fractal 2
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Saturday, April 15th, 2006
10:59 am - dream log: 2006 april 15
i dreamt that two guys were planning an exploration of this jungle region. they begin their journey armed with a couple machetes and backpacks. after traveling in this jungle for a while, they cross a small river. on the other side, the terrain becomes much rockier. one guy is climbing the rocky bank, when he gives a shout. the other guy comes running. the first guy has found something embedded in a rock. it looks like a man, except half his body is normal, and the other half looks like some kind of demon lizard. needless to say, the two guys are scared by this. one guy says they should turn back, but the other guy (in typical movie fashion) wants to keep going, and convinces the other guy to follow. they continue, but the unshakable feeling that something is following them. finally, they get to the top of a ridge, and find incredibly dense trees lining the top. they're so dense that they can't see what's beyond the ridge. they travel along the ridge until they come to two wooden posts with a door between them. they open the door and step through, but they are somehow now in suburbia, and have just stepped out of the porch of an ordinary-looking house. again, one guy is freaked out by this and wants to go back, but since it looks like they've escaped the jungle, they continue down this suburban street. there are no people around, and only parked cars. then, they hear a roar from down the street. a pickup truck with HUGE black wheels (as in 6 feet in diameter) and a lizard painted on the hood revs its engine and accelerates down the street toward them. they run between some houses and try to evade the truck. after crossing several streets, they think they've lost the truck. suddenly, another vehicle (this time a 60s-70s muscle car) with HUGE wheels and a lizard paint job revs its engine and chases them. the two guys are convinced at this point that the lizard men are everywhere and are trying to kill them. however, i wake up before the plot advances any further.

possible explanations:
really not sure on this one. i do seem to remember more dreams when i'm at home, as opposed to at school apartment.

current mood: weird
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Friday, April 14th, 2006
10:21 am - dream log: 2006 april 14
i had a weird dream this morning. i dreamed i was standing near my car (a honda accord), which was parked in a near-empty lot. i was approached by three people that seemed to know me. they all climbed into the back of my car. i turned on the car and started to leave the lot. immediately, there were people all over the place, all running toward the same exit i was trying to get out of. they all seemed to be very frightened of something. i had to go very slowly to avoid running into them with the car, but we eventually made it out of the parking lot and onto the road. once on the road, my passengers directed me where to turn. we drove down the road, which was devoid of any other cars or people, until we came to a gas station. it wasn't a normal gas station, though. this one was very gothic in style, and the posts supporting the roof were probably a hundred feet tall. i asked my passengers if this station sold 'metal' fuel (metal as in the musical style). i have no idea what motivated me to ask such a question. the passengers said no, so we moved on. apparently, i only wanted to put metal gasoline in my car. as we were driving along, we came to a very wide, flat highway. all the lines on the road disappeared, and the road grew so wide that i couldn't see the edges. i was sure i was going to get lost, but my passengers directed me to look upward. i do, and see that maybe 50 feet above the car is a 'ceiling' that is parallel with the road in all directions. i am surprised, as i didn't see this before, despite it obviously extending for miles in all directions. painted on the ceiling in bright colors are sort of squiggly, flowing paths. i get the idea that i should keep my car directly underneath one of these paths, and follow it as if it was a road. i spend what seemed to be a long time following a wavy, green path. sometimes it gets very narrow, and i have trouble seeing it. sometimes it changes direction suddenly, and i have to slow down and make a sharp turn. basically, i spend all my time looking straight up out of my car's sun roof, trying to keep us below this green path. finally, we come to the end of the green path, which ends in another parking lot. my passengers get out of the car, and i hear them discussing something. i ask them what they're talking about, and they say that i have saved them from some disease that everyone was getting. we walk out of the parking lot, and i see we are in some sand dunes near an ocean. we walk down to the edge of the water, and i see it is a very peculiar ocean. the water is almost transparent, and the sand that makes up the bottom slopes down very gently for about 30 feet, then drops off sharply at a 45-degree angle. i see many sharks and other fish swimming in the water. i comment on this, and then wake up.

possible explanations:
i dunno where the parking lot or gas station scenes came from, but following the colored paths probably came from Breath of Fire III, a game which i've been playing recently. the ocean scene was likely also from Breath of Fire III, in which you can go fishing.

current mood: awake
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Monday, March 6th, 2006
1:11 am - dream log: 2006 march 05
i had a disturbing dream this morning in which i was standing next to a window, when i suddenly get hit in the stomach by a bullet which passed through the window. however, instead of bleeding normally, a clear, viscous liquid slowly oozed out of me. it was like a bag of glycerol had been punctured. there wasn't any pain, though. apparently, i didn't die from this injury. later in the dream, i was forced to shoot a cat or dog with a rifle (i don't recall why), but i didn't want to do it.

possible explanations: getting shot reminded me of the scene from The Fifth Element in which the blue opera singer gets shot. the other part reminded me of To Kill a Mockingbird.

current mood: awake
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Sunday, February 19th, 2006
2:08 pm - and then there were 1.6180339887...
checking the number of hits on Google is a time-honored strategy for finding how common a phrase is. i thought of the phrase "and then there were [number]", and wanted to find out which was the 'true' phrase.

Here are some phrases, and the number of hits they get on Google.

"and then there were none" - 933,000 hits
"and then there was one" - 92,400 hits
"and then there were two" - 84,300 hits
"...three" - 135,000 hits
"...four" - 46,300 hits
"...five" - 17,500 hits
"...six" - 17,200 hits
"...seven" - 887 hits
"...eight" - 930 hits
"...nine" - 9,160 hits
"...ten" - 793 hits
"...eleven" - 648 hits
"...twelve" - 896 hits
"...thirteen" - 119 hits
"...fourteen" - 111 hits
"...fifteen" - 66 hits
"...sixteen" - 164 hits
"...seventeen" - 21 hits
"...eighteen" - 31 hits
"...nineteen" - 23 hits
"...twenty" - 330 hits
"...twenty-one" - 2 hits
"...twenty-two" - 3 hits
"...twenty-three" - 2 hits

i could go on and on, but i think it's clear that the most popular number for this phrase is "none".

current mood: teething
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Friday, November 4th, 2005
8:22 pm - EYEBALLS!
i have often thought about how cool it would be to go back in time and introduce ideas or technology to various people or civilizations from the past. for example, you could back and play Beethoven's 5th symphony for J.S. Bach. he would probably be confused, but it would still be cool. you could bring a stereo with you and play it in a medieval court. you could take a car with you and teach people living before the industrial revolution how it worked. you could introduce Newtonian physics 100 years before Newton. you could give the ancient Greeks the hint to explore steam power (which they almost did). you could appear at a critical naval battle in history armed with a nuclear submarine, and wipe out one side. you could invent the internet before it existed. you could 'write' a bunch of famous songs before they were written and make tons of money!

does anyone else have other ideas?
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Monday, October 3rd, 2005
1:28 am - my activist side
i wish i had never been born.

sounds like a depressed teen ranting about how their life is so miserable or whatever. i know lots of you losers use livejournal to blather about your pathetic existence to anyone who cares. are you unaware of the fact that only the very small number of people who know you will actually care what you have to say (and not all of them, at that)? the vast majority of people won't give a shit, and for good reason. why should any stranger care about the latest drama playing out in your life? that kind of thing is so specific to the people involved that nobody else can or should care the least bit about it. i thought i'd offer something a bit more universal today.

(yes, i realize drama is universal, but it's only the FORM of it that's universal. person A cheated on person B, yada yada. that kind of thing ONLY has meaning to A and B, and maybe to persons C through G who know them. the fact that a stranger can relate to that generic situation does not make them any more likely to suddenly see your situation as being as important as their own).

anyway, on to the topic:

i don't actually wish i had never been born, but i wish people in general would stop having so many goddamned kids. why should i want such a thing? hmm, let me think... maybe it's because OVERPOPULATION IS THE SINGLE BIGGEST SOLVABLE PROBLEM EVER TO FACE THE WORLD. i put that in capital letters because it is important. if you consider yourself an activist, you may be worried about pollution or endangered species or wealth inequity or starvation and disease in third-world countries. if that's all you're worried about, you have a very narrow view of the world. these issues are important, but they're shit compared to to overpopulation. if someone is ill, is it better to treat the symptoms, or to fix the cause of the illness? if you chose the former, congratulations! you're a fucking idiot! the correct answer is that you fix the cause of the illness, because once you do that, the symptoms will go away.

an example: you have cancer. do you want the doctors to:
A) give you lots of morphine for the pain until you eventually die, or
B) destroy the tumor so you can recover
i'm guessing most people will choose option B. i would choose B myself, but i'd probably take some morphine as a side dish to go with the surgery.

the analogy here is that pollution, extinction of various species, inequity of wealth, starvation, and disease are ALL symptoms of overpopulation. with the technology we have today, we can easily produce enough food for the entire planet (how much longer that will be the case remains to be seen). we can cure (most) diseases, we can live in a way that doesn't destroy the habitat of other species, and we can reduce pollution, but an increasing population is counterproductive to ALL of those things, and to solving many other problems. EVERYTHING gets easier with less people around. you can chop down fewer trees to make houses. you can pollute less because energy demands aren't as high. you can keep the ratio of farmland to forest small. you can give everyone the stuff they want because there's enough of it to go around. you can get to work in 10 minutes instead of inching forward for an hour in congested traffic.

in fact, i am so sure of myself on this point that i challenge anyone and everyone to think of a single problematic issue facing the world that WOULDN'T be alleviated in some way by reducing the human population. consider yourself challenged.

needless to say, having kids is a stupid idea. "but i love children!", you say. fuck you. adopt a child. i can't think of a single reason why it would be better to have a kid made of MY genetic material as opposed to someone else's (barring any weird genetic defects, which i wouldn't want any kid to have). "but it wouldn't be the same if i raised someone else's kid!", you say. fuck you squared. the only difference would be that you'd have a little more diversity under your roof than you did before. if adoption makes you uncomfortable, you're a worthless human being and should be killed for the good of the rest of us decent folks. "but adoption would mean the rigid walls of the sacred family unit would become more permeable!", you say (though probably not quite like that). fuck you upside-down and backwards. haven't you ever heard the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child"? well, it's true, dammit! i'm not advocating that we pass children along so they have a new family every month or anything. i'm just saying kids need to be exposed to people outside their family, and that this can be better accomplished by not placing arbitrary, outdated, and ridiculous restrictions on the family unit (*COUGH* GAY MARRIAGE BILL *COUGH*).

i am not having any kids of my own, ever. i refuse to screw over everyone else (regardless of how small a way in which it is done).

if you are considering having kids, consider adoption. if you still decide to have kids of your own, you should know that you are doing the world a great disservice. i would even go so far as to say that you are committing a sin. not a religious sin, but a sort of humanistic sin. it won't look like a sin, of course. it will look like a cute baby, but in reality it's a black hole that will consume your time and $166,000 of your money. it will also consume the world's resources and will make life a little bit more miserable for everyone else on the planet, especially the people in third-world countries. of course, you won't spare yourself any of the costs by adopting, but you will spare everyone ELSE the resource drain caused by bringing more human life into the world. so don't have kids. adopt instead. it's the compassionate thing to do.
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FYI: every time a child is adopted, an angel gets its wings. every time a human is born, an angel catches on fire and explodes. but seriously, think about it.

current mood: angry
16 got owned| step right up
Monday, July 25th, 2005
10:28 am - dream log: 2005 july 25
i had two dreams, each very distinct. the first one was about this weird experiment being conducted on this guy. a group of scientists/researchers were trying to convince him he was an assassin or secret agent or something. to do this, they were using all kinds of drugs, sleep deprivation, hypnotic suggestions, and other techniques. by the end of the experiment, the guy was getting pretty fucked up. if they'd done all that shit to me, i'd be pretty fucked up, too.

the second dream was me standing on a stage. i had my black Schecter bass guitar in my hands. there were other people on stage, too, but i couldn't see or hear an audience. the people on stage seemed to want me to play some songs with them. for reasons unknown to me, we launched directly into a set featuring music from such hard rock bands as Black Sabbath, Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down, and AC/DC. there may have been a 311 song in there, too. i don't remember the details of the playing, except i know we played Rage's "Wake Up". i distinctly remember playing the pre-verse riff.

possible explanations:
no idea about the first one. the second dream may have been inspired by the movie Rock School.

current mood: awake
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Wednesday, June 29th, 2005
11:06 am - dream log: 2005 june 29
tihs dream was odd. i dreamt i was driving a bus in Japan, which was very confusing, due to the fact that it was an American bus, but the Japanese drive on the left side of the road. my former Japanese teacher was on the bus, yelling out instructions to me. i tried to comply, but i kept missing turns and getting cut off because i didn't know what i was doing. the passengers on the bus were getting mad at me. also, there were a lot of roundabout intersections (i don't think Japan actually has these), and i had no idea how to drive though them, so it took forever to get anywhere. eventually i gave up and told someone else to drive the bus.

possible explanations:
i recently had a conversation about left-right driving in various countries.

current mood: dirty
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Thursday, June 9th, 2005
1:24 pm - dream log: 2005 june 9
very strange dream last night. i dreamt i was watching a movie with some friends. it was sort of a horror/psychological thriller movie with some paranormal things going on. my point of view was alternately as one of the audience watching the movie, and as a character in the movie. as an audience member, all i did was talk about the movie with the guy next to me. in the movie, was reading in a library, quietly. all of a sudden, i realize i can levitate myself off the ground. i begin hovering in the air, and with some practice, i find i can get up to the tops of the shelves, which seem at least twenty feet off the ground (a very tall room). a girl in the library sees what i'm doing, and runs after me. i lead her on a chase around the library, flying around. it seemed that if i wanted sideways propulsion, i sacrificed some of my upward thrust, like a helicopter. cut to a nearby stairwell: a terrified man is running up the stairs, while a shiny, reddish-black tentacle is navigating the stairs after him. it seems impossibly long. he runs out of the stairwell and into the library, and the tentacle follows just a few seconds later. i see it, and get very scared, which causes me to lose my ability to fly. we start running away together, but it keeps following a few seconds behind us, never gaining, never losing ground. i notice this, and tell him to stop.

as the audience member, i have been talking to the guy next to me the entire time about the movie, saying various things that sounded strange for me to say, but that i couldn't help saying. after the movie ends (don't remember how it ends), a group of mad scientist types walks in and i find i cannot get out of my chair. i am strapped in, unable to move. the scientists move around the room, putting tapes into various machines by our chairs. a scientist puts earphones on me, and the tape begins to play. it's a recording of me, taking all the things the movie has tricked me into saying somehow, and stringing them together seamlessly. i realize, with despair, that on this tape, i am giving a confession to murder. then i wake up.

current mood: surprised
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Thursday, May 5th, 2005
6:30 pm - dream log: 2005 may 5
weird dream last night. i dreamt i was looking through my Winamp playlist, and i found a song i didn't recognize. it was called "Mark's Reasoning" or something like that. i couldn't figure out where i had gotten the song, so i started to research it online. somehow, my dream went into this post-apocalyptic scenario. there was this boy, named Fog, maybe sixteen years old, who lived in what seemed to be Ireland, except there were only remnants of modern technology, and everyone was essentially a farmer. i thought Fog was a fitting name for someone who lived in Ireland, and i decided to call the society "techno-farmers". anyway, Fog's father was some important guy in the village; one who made a lot of decisions. after a while, these people came in a submarine (or perhaps a fleet of them), and attacked "Ireland". the fight somehow came down to a standoff between the invading troops, who were in one factory, and the Irish troops, who were in the adjacent factory. both sides had several sniper rifles, and i remember going back and forth between windows in my dream, trying to sneak around, and shooting at the other side (from Fog's point of view). after several good shots, most of the enemies were dead. then a couple strong swimmers (on the Irish side) swam out with some explosives and planted them on the submarine. after it blew up, the invaders surrendered. later, and this is the scene the song featured in (don't remember the song itself), Fog was talking with a "village council" type of group. they were saying that the invaders must have come from a very distant place, but Fog thought they were from nearby. he pulled out a map, which was obviously incorrectly drawn, and, using a series of logical leaps which i don't remember in the slightest (if there were even there), proceeded to re-draw the map, and prove that the invaders came from a much nearer location. eventually, he persuaded the village council, and they raised him to some sort of important position. during this, i figured out that Mark and Fog were supposed to be the same character. after that i woke up.

possible explanations:
i had been looking for this catchy song on my Winamp playlist for some time, and i found out what it was only yesterday. it turned out to be "Girl Inform Me" by The Shins, totally unrelated to the "Mark's Reasoning" song in my dream, but it was the same kind of i-forgot-what-song-that-was thing. additionally, i watched The Postman recently, which could explain the post-apocalyptic scenario.

current mood: irish
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Sunday, May 1st, 2005
8:51 pm - dream log: 2005 may 1
weird dream today while i was taking a nap. i dreamt that my friend Mat was visiting my house, and that we had to drive somewhere. we had decided to go to Chipotle, but weren't sure what car to take. looking out at my driveway, we find a sea of old cars. there's my Civic, an even older Civic, and an assortment of beat-up Toyotas, Fords, Chevys, Nissans, Chryslers, and Mazdas. basially, one of every old, low-performance car from the 1980s. i have absolutely no idea how all these cars managed to fit in my driveway, or how they got there. my Civic is parked at the back of the pile of cars, so we decide to take that. halfway to Chipotle, i wake up.

possible explanations:
i am craving some Chipotle. dunno why there were so many old cars, though.

current mood: sick
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Wednesday, March 9th, 2005
2:28 pm - dream log: 2005 march 9
i had a rather intense dream last night. i dreamt i was at school in Springfield, and i see something out of the window. it's drifting lazily across the sky. i must have had super-vision or something, because i magnified the image, and it turns out to be an ICBM, moving impossibly slowly across the sky. it drifts past my school, and on for a few miles, before touching down and exploding. oh great, i think, as a mushroom cloud slowly rises in the distance. expecting more nuclear missiles at any time, i run down to the cafeteria to get some food. the cafeteria is packed full of people, all waiting in line to get some food. i have a plastic food container with me, and i grab some yams, corn, and broccoli, pack it into the container, and exit the building. there are buses waiting to leave the city, and i get on one of them. we set off for Columbus, but when we're maybe three miles away, i see another missile floating across the sky. it goes past us, heading for the center of Columbus, and i think, with some dismay, that a missile will probably blow up any city we try to go to. i can't imagine why they're following us in particular. just before the missile touches down, a giant bulk rises out of the city. it looks like a robotic crab a mile tall. the crab's shell absorbs the full force of the nuclear weapon, shielding the city. everyone stands looking, amazed. then i woke up.

possible explanations:
i saw Dr. Strangelove recently

current mood: awake
2 got owned| step right up
2:17 am - more spam email titles
"when narcotics are used for a long time or in large doses, they carbuncle"

last time i checked, "carbuncle" wasn't a verb. i suppose you could get a carbuncle after injecting heroin for a long time, but generally, it's not the narcotics that carbuncle, it's your skin. the body of the message was advertising Viagra, Cialis, Valium, and Ambien, and also had large quantities of nonsensical text written in a Charles Dickens style:

"now, but hell be a master-man some day, as sure as I sit in this chair. Mester Burge is in the right ont towith proletarian literature, music, drama, and entertainment generally. Here were produced rubbishy newspapersdoor than Lisbeth became uneasy at the thought that she had vexed him."

if anyone recognizes where this rubbish is from, let me know.

another spam email had the title:

"CHEAPEST DRUGS blizzard"

it's a blizzard of drugs! run for cover! there will be cocaine snow, dirty syringes flying through the air, and a deadly vortex of liquid cough suppressant!

current mood: content
4 got owned| step right up
Tuesday, January 11th, 2005
9:21 am - dream log: 2005 january 11
i dreamt i was at my dad's house, and there was a large screen displaying information about a movie. my dad was explaining how he (and the others who live there) were planning to see the movie. i suddenly realized it was a movie version of a book series i'm currently reading (A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R. R. Martin), but all the characters' names had been spelled wrong. Tyrion Lannister, for instance, was now Terion Lanister, or something like that. i wondered if the movie was trying to plagiarize the entire thing. then i woke up.

possible explanations:
hmm, let's see...i've been reading the books for the past couple weeks.

current mood: tired
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Saturday, December 4th, 2004
1:45 pm - dream log: 2004 december 4
weird dream last night. there were two sides fighting each other, one which was mainly human, and the other that was a Tolkien-esque mix of bizarre creatures. the setting looked like a ship deck, except it was extremely long, like maybe a mile. it was made entirely out of wooden planks, but they were all slimy with algae, and the entire mile-long deck was covered in about three inches of water, making it very slippery and hard to fight. the deck was about 50 feet wide, and there was a cabin around every 200 feet along the deck. the cabin filled the full width of the deck, and was several stories high, so something human-sized would have to go into the cabin and out the other side. this allowed for defensible choke points. on the human side were various heroes and magicians, who looked like Count Fenrir from Dune. they were dressed in slinky black cloaks with high collars, and could use telekinesis or throw fireballs and other magic weapons. they reminded me very much of the Aes Sedai in the Wheel of Time books. anyway, the humans on this long ship were trying to hurry this old woman down the length of the ship/boardwalk, while the creatures were trying to capture here. somehow, i knew there was a secret passage at the end of the ship/boardwalk which would allow the old woman to escape. basically, the humans were outnumbered and being overrun, and were making a hasty retreat. this was difficult due to the water- and algae-covered deck. finally, the creatures sent this giant troll (think Lord of the Rings) down the deck. the soldiers and magicians were fighting it, but it wouldn't die. finally, the old woman the humans were protecting reached the last cabin, which contained the secret passage. she disappeared into it, but the human soldiers continued to guard the door. the giant troll was brought down just before it reached the last cabin. mr. maneri, my high school music teacher, appeared to be the leader of the side with the trolls, and he emerged to tell me that he had to get the old woman. i told him she didn't want to be taken, and had a right to privacy. he looked thoughtful, and decided to give up the chase. i found this rather ironic, because hundreds had died on both sides, yet he was so easily dissuaded from his pursuit just by talking. while i was thinking about this, i woke up.

possible explanations:
seemed to be a mix of Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time, Dune, and something out of Donkey Kong Country.

current mood: epic
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Sunday, November 21st, 2004
1:47 pm - dream log: 2004 november 21
last night i dreamt i had to buy cymbals for my drumset. i went shopping at a shitty trinket store with Max and Juliana, and ended up buying a set of incredibly shitty cymbals. when i got home, i couldn't believe how bad they were, and i had no idea how they had talked me into buying them. i thought i must have gotten ripped off, so i looked around for the receipt. i found it in my pocket, and it said i had paid only ten dollars for the cymbals. i then called up John to give me some advice for cymbals, since he might actually know what he's talking about, and i thought about claiming that drum throne that Columbus Percussion promised me. then i woke up.

possible explanations:
no clue, except that Columbus Percussion really did promise me a drum throne, and i have no cymbals.

current mood: presidential
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2:50 am - ocd for everyone!
i think everyone must have some obsessive/compulsive behaviors these days. here are mine:

1. i attempt to synchronize the length of my stride with the length of the pieces of sidewalk i'm walking on, two steps per block at 1/4 and 3/4 along the length of the block.
2. if walls make angles intersecting the floor, i sometimes envision lines running along the floor extending from the lines the walls make. i attempt to not step on these lines.
3. i like even numbers and balance. if something happens on the left, i make it happen on the right an equal number of times.
4. i like to tap on things and make fancy polyrhythms, if there is a good surface to tap on.
5. i click "refresh" (or F5) on my computer much more often than i need to.

so, what obsessive/compulsive behaviors do YOU have?

current mood: compulsive
2 got owned| step right up
Friday, October 29th, 2004
1:37 pm - my favorite songs - episode 03
Symphony X - Out of the Ashes

this song fucking rocks! what's not to like? it has shredding guitars, ridiculous keyboard solos, epic double kick drum, and soaring choir parts (which may all be the same singer, but who cares?). right from the start, this song hits hard and fast with crunching guitars and harpsichord, leading into an excellent guitar line over a indistinct time signature. then it changes keys and the first verse begins. at the end of the verse, the singer says, "mother will you help me find a reason to go on", and the choir backs him up with "on" drawn out over several epic chords, leading directly into the chorus: "out of the ashes of my youth i rise a man (and through the eyes) and through the eyes of truth i finally understand. crazy solos by guitar and keyboard follow the second chorus. everything is very crisp and precise without and there's never so much going on at once that it sounds muddy. however, the free-floating time signatures in some parts make it hard to follow or play along with. this song definitely gets your adrenaline flowing and is fun to sing along with.

current mood: metal
1 got owned| step right up
1:12 pm - dream log: 2004 october 29
bizarre dream. i dreamt i was relaxing on the beach, possibly in florida. i was looking out across the beach, when i see a kid no more than seven years old running across the beach, holding the leash of what appeared to be a velociraptor. the velociraptor had trimmed claws and its teeth (which seemed to be extraordinarily long) were covered with what looked like aluminum foil and jewelry. i gathered that this was supposed to render the thing harmless. i watched the velociraptor for a while and it seemed to be behaving like a well-trained dog. i found this rather improbable. then i began looking out across the water. a cruise ship was coming from my right, just past the outermost buoys. impossibly, there was a large space in the middle of the ship, and a giant velociraptor, maybe 20 feet tall, was standing in the middle of this space. it seemed to be behaving properly as well, and had the foil and jewelry all over its teeth. it gradually began looking less and less like a velociraptor, and more and more like a giant kangaroo. after watching the ship for about a minute, the giant kangaroo suddenly jumped in the air, spun around clockwise, and hit the captain of the ship with its tail, likely killing him instantly. the ship veered to the left, increasing speed, plowed across the beach, and crashed into a hotel, already on fire. i ran to the scene of the emergency, thinking that nobody would possibly believe what had happened unless the raptor/kangaroo creature was there. sure enough, it had completely disappeared by the time i arrived. then i woke up.

possible explanations:
i have no idea.

current mood: weird
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Monday, October 18th, 2004
1:09 pm - dream log: 2004 october 18
i dreamt that i met a girl in a supermarket, and that it was all part of this Dream Theater story on an album that doesn't exist. it had vague similarities with the albums Scenes from a Memory and Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, two of my favorite albums, but at the same time, it was completely different. this girl seemed to live in a mansion/castle, but she would disappear all the time and no one could find her. i got the feeling she was a ghost or something. she had lots of servants, and a seemingly perfect life, yet was still unhappy. it all seemed very tragic, like most Dream Theater albums. i could hear music playing through most of the dream, but i can't remember how any of it went. i don't think it was music from any real Dream Theater album. the song it most reminded me of was About to Crash, from the Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence album. the rest is 'lost in the haze of a dream', as Nicholas would say.

possible explanations:
i love Dream Theater. their music is truly sweet, and they have a way of weaving an excellent story with simple, clear lyrics. did i mention that all the musicians are bloody virtuosos?
2 got owned| step right up
Saturday, October 9th, 2004
9:42 pm - hilarity
this spam email was recently sent to me with the title "it is known, that dogs eat horses".


"What are Soft tabs that everyone is talking about?
A Soft Tab is an oral lozenge, mint in flavor, containing pure
Tadalafil Citrate that is placed under your tongue and dissolved.

Easy and imperceptible to take.
Take just a candy and become ready for 36 hours of love.

• This is most modern and safe way not to cover with shame
• Only 15 minutes to wait
• FDA Approved"


this email offers several amusing revelations. dogs eat horses! the drug is imperceptible to take! a "candy" is a unit of measurement! a single pill will ready you for 36 hours of love! unlikely though it may seem, this drug is actually FDA-approved!
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Tuesday, October 5th, 2004
3:38 pm - dream log: 2004 october 5
last night i had a strange dream that i only remember glimpses of. there were several vampires in the dream, many of whom lived underwater. i think they were fighting a war against each other.

possible explanations:
i remember too little of this dream to explain it.

current mood: clean
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Friday, September 24th, 2004
6:12 pm - dream log: 24 september
weird dream during a nap this afternoon. i dreamt i was looking at plans for a base in the jungle. the base was very similar to those found in the Jurassic Park novels, lots of armored bunkers and connection tunnels. i was looking specifically at two supply routes into/out of the base. one of them was uphill exiting the base, and the other was downhill exiting the base. i was very interested in how steep each road was, for some reason. later, i was inside one of the buildings, and a female co-worker told me that the amateur could use the building as a heart, the intermediate as a brain or liver, and the most highly skilled could use it as a lung in an emergency situation. i had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. later still, i was trying to decide on the best way to feed the tyrannosaurus, as we indeed seemed to be part of the Jurassic Park world. i had three options. the first was to leave a goat on a tether in the tyrannosaur's enclosure, like in the movie. the second option was to fly the goat in by helicopter and drop it (a few hundred feet!) right next to the tyrannosaurus. the third option was to allow the tyrannosaurus to approach the bunker i was in, then release the goat and activate the fences again so it had to eat it right there where we could watch. i settled on the third option, and somehow (don't ask me how) decided it would be a good idea to exit the bunker and watch from a closer distance. the tyrannosaurus was just approaching, and i was musing about using the building as a lung (to achieve the highest skill level), when i woke up.

possible explanations:
nothing i was doing recently could account for this weird shit.

current mood: confused
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Sunday, August 15th, 2004
12:02 pm - dream log: 2004 august 15
strange dream last night. i dreamt there was a man who was killed by some kind of demon vampire creature, and he was cast into hell. upon arriving there, he bargained with the devil and was granted a sort of second life, as another demon vampire whatsit. he could travel from hell into the real world via these portals leading to some dark area on earth. that is, he couldn't travel to earth in broad daylight, he could only appear in the shadows or at night. to open a portal back to hell, he had to kill someone on earth and say some kind of incantation. he seemed to be on a quest to get revenge on someone, too. as is typical of my dreams, the whole thing had a video game feel.

possible explanations:
the dreams bears some resemblance to the Legacy of Kain video game series, but looked much more gruesome.

current mood: mellow
2 got owned| step right up
Monday, July 26th, 2004
2:58 pm - my favorite songs - episode 02
The Grateful Dead - Terrapin Station

at over 16 minutes long, this song is fairly epic. it has several excellent hooks, nice harmonies, and a wide assortment of instruments and nifty synth sounds. it changes keys and time signatures all over the place, but always in a subtle, smooth way. the ride cymbal has an excellent sound that gives the song a cool, relaxed feel. the lyrics are somewhat cryptic, but they have the feel of fine poetry. it seems to be a moment at a train station, but with all kinds of metaphors about story-telling mixed in. at no point does the song get boring or repetitive (though motifs are repeated), but the smoothness could make it hard for some people to be attentive.

my favorite part is at 6:11 where he sings, "in the shadow of the moon".

current mood: sick
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Saturday, July 24th, 2004
1:10 pm - happiness is a warm gun
48 percent of firearm deaths are suicides. 47 percent are homicides. 4 percent are accidents. the remaining 1 percent are undetermined. this means that if you add up the individual probabilities that every other person in the world will shoot you, the probability is still smaller than the probability you, as a gun-owner, will shoot yourself.

current mood: awake
2 got owned| step right up
Wednesday, July 21st, 2004
12:03 am - physics humor
this chatroom gem is too funny not to post:

[dsgasdas] OBJECTS THAT ARE FLYING NEED AN ENGINE TO FGLY
[dsgasdas] AND WHEN YOU PUSH SOMETHING IT GETS MAD
* Sanctum pushes a button
[lithiumdeuteride] words of wisdom if i've ever heard them
* Sanctum apologizes
[lithiumdeuteride] push the floor, it pushes back
[dsgasdas] no it gets mad
[dsgasdas] and fucking suckerpunches you
[Chemical_angel] say ... anyone know if Severed Heads ever played live? I'm trying to settle an argument
[lithiumdeuteride] newton's laws prove the floor hates all people
[Sullen] crazy your birthday is the night I'm seeing the cure
* Sanctum waits for the rest of newton's laws
[dsgasdas] i wonder if newton spent like 2 hours pushing on a floor
[dsgasdas] NOT PUSHING BACK YET
[dsgasdas] 2 AM
[dsgasdas] PUSHING BACK A BIT NOW

current mood: laughing
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Monday, July 19th, 2004
7:36 am - dream log: 2004 july 19
this was the weirdest dream i've had in a while.

Jaco Pastorius (the famous bass player) was out recruiting people for something similar to the team in The Matrix. he was training them, then taking them to his base so they could become part of his team. he kept asking all his recruits riddles to see if they were smart enough. Jaco had all kinds of powers and stuff, sort of like Neo from The Matrix. he recruited this one kid who was good at something (can't remember what), and they got into an elevator (in the virtual world). the elevator goes to the top floor. Jaco connects to a small terminal inside the elevator, bypassing security measures. the elevator goes up another floor that isn't listed, then begins moving sideways. finally it opens into a room. a secretary sort of like Moneypenny from the James Bond movies greets Jaco and takes him over to 'the chief' for a briefing about his next mission. then the dream gets kind of blurry, and shifts to a scene of a no-holds-barred wrestling arena with a somewhat demonic theme. Jaco is in the ring, fighting this guy who is made of bones. not wearing a suit of bones, but a real skeleton, and not a human one, either. he looked like a demon skeleton, basically. Jaco has used some Matrix-esque trick and has the skeleton guy by the neck, and is still looking perfectly serene (also Matrix-esque), and i got the feeling he could have snapped the guy's head off at any time. then the dream shifts to a shot of some Trinity-ish woman lying on the ground, exhausted. Jaco is standing over her, worriedly. she grins and says, "i dodged a bullet". then my alarm woke me up. need i mention that Jaco and his crew were wearing black all of the time?

possible explanations:
your guess is as good as mine.

current mood: tired
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Monday, July 12th, 2004
11:00 pm - the nine-fold path to getting the best gas mileage from your car (updated)
1. drive a car with a small engine and a manual transmission. unless you want to be constantly shifting your automatic into neutral, you won't have any control over anything. and if you're constantly shifting, you might as well have a manual.

2. never bring the car to a complete stop if you can possibly help it. if this means you must brake to a slow speed very far before a red light, do so. there is a chance it will turn green before you reach it, and the other cars will be moving by the time you reach the light.

3. if you are coming up to a light you could make a right on red at, scan the traffic coming from the left to see if you need to brake at all. if you are prepared and aware, you can scan the road for oncoming traffic well in advance, and if you're lucky, you can get away with minimal braking and simply make a right on red without ever coming to a stop (this is illegal).

4. accelerate gently, and shift to a higher gear early. keep your engine RPM below 1/3 of the redline RPM. this means shift to the next-highest gear when you reach 1/3 the redline RPM.

5. anticipate places you will be forced to stop at, such as a light just turning yellow ahead of you, and shift into neutral as early as possible and coast.

6. round the corner in the most efficient way; the largest circular arc you can make. if you can swing out into an empty right lane to make a wider left turn while losing less speed, do so. this is only advised at night when it is easy to tell which streets nobody is driving on (and is illegal).

7. if there is a long downhill section, coast the entire way in neutral. if this takes you above the speed limit, make a judgment call. the more kinetic energy you have at the bottom of the hill (the less you brake), the further beyond the bottom of the hill you can continue to coast before dipping below the speed limit again. then again, if you will be going 55 in a 35 zone at the bottom of the hill, it's probably wise to brake.

8. if you are on the highway, and are about to run out of gas, there is a point of maximum gas mileage for most cars. it is in the highest gear, going 50 mph. in most manual cars, this would be 5th gear going 50 mph. going any faster or slower decreases your gas mileage. of course, everyone will be passing you at 75 mph, but if you're really about to run out of gas, you have a better chance of getting to your destination going 50 mph.

9. don't leave your car idling anywhere. it is always more efficient to turn it off every time you leave. modern cars have an electric starter motor that will start the engine for you, using barely any gasoline. even if you are only gone from the car for 3 minutes, you will use less gas if you turn it off for those 3 minutes.

situation:

a light ahead is red, and you don't know how long it has been red for. what should you do to get the best gas mileage?

answer: you should estimate how much immediate braking to do achieve the best balance between A) the minimum speed the car drops to, and B) the time it takes you to reach the light. you want to have your minimum speed stay as high as possible, yet you also want to maximize the time it takes to reach the light. the best way to achieve this, i have found, is to immediately brake to 8-15 mph, then coast the rest of the way. if the light doesn't turn green in time, you will brake the rest of the way to a stop, but you will have lost nothing because you'd have had to come to a complete stop anyway. coasting to a light 300 feet away at an average speed of 10 mph will take about 20 seconds, giving you a fairly good chance of getting there when it turns green, depending on the light. if it does turn green before you get there, get as close to the rear-most car as you dare, then begin accelerating from the light in 2nd gear. you will have saved an amount of energy equal to how much energy is required to accelerate the car from 0 to 10 mph (a small amount, but every little bit helps), AND you will have dumped less energy into your brakes (coming to a complete stop dumps all the kinetic energy into the brakes, but you didn't come to a complete stop if this plan worked). the brakes are thus spared a small burden they would otherwise bear.

situation:

you are on a two-lane road (one lane each direction) at night time. there is absolutely no one else on the road in sight. ahead, you must make a 90-degree right turn, but a telephone pole leaves no room to cut the corner. there is nobody coming in either direction at the intersection ahead. what should you do to get the best gas mileage?

answer: you should swing out into the left lane (assuming no oncoming traffic and/or cops) and take the turn at a higher speed than would otherwise be possible, going from left lane, through the center of the intersection, and ending in the right lane of the perpendicular road. this doesn't mean you should accelerate hard through the turn, but taking this path allows you to brake less, thus exiting the turn with a higher speed, yet not having used the gas pedal during the turn at all.

situation:

you are in stop-and-go traffic approaching a badly-worked section of on-ramps and off-ramps. the car in front of you keeps accelerating, then sharply braking. what should you do to get the best gas mileage?

answer: you should try to keep your speed as constant as possible. try going at a constant 5 mph, and see if the stop-and-go guy in front of you has a higher average speed than 5 mph. if he does, try going a constant 7 mph and see if he still pulls away. then try 10 mph if he still does. the worst thing you can do for your gas mileage is come to a complete stop, so don't put yourself in the position of having to do so. note: if the guy ahead of you pulls away, leaving a large gap, another car may try to cut you off, so try to keep your distance from the car ahead of you small enough that another driver won't insert themselves between you.

situation:

you drive a car with an automatic transmission. what should you do?

answer: set fire to the vehicle and run away.

current mood: nerdcore
17 got owned| step right up
Friday, July 9th, 2004
11:25 am
My Best Friend is [Bad username: c4t$b4s3ziGju$tic3]
Our 8251 common interests are:smoking heroin, performing autopsies, jumping over tall buildings, getting killed in the desert by bandits, your mother, eating silverware, smashing appliances with large rubber mallets, daring to use the word WE in the presence of the queen of england, putting CDs in microwave ovens, blowing up small countries, maligning the pope, starting various international incidents, flying (and sometimes stabbing) like a true ninja, basking in the nuclear glow of a mushroom cloud, fighting off Godzilla with the help of giant robot demons, modifying html to make stuff cooler than it would otherwise be, crushing peons beneath the tread of my tire, making fun of everyone who lacks what i have, having what everyone lacks, lacking what everyone else has, crushing television with the iron fist of despair, metallurgy, casting magic spells to ward off idiots, making fun of everything else i haven't already described above, creating elaborate lies just to see who will believe them, leading someone on in a conversation when i know they're lying just so i can say AH-HA! later, (message was deleted by the administration), linking people to pages they don't know they're going to until they've already been there, the intarweb in general, cabbages, knickers, it's not got a beak!, selling people crummy watches, crushing religion with science
Who is your best friend?
Username:
Created by [Bad username: hamster with elderberries]


current mood: all
2 got owned| step right up
11:02 am - dream log: 2004 july 9
in this dream, two things were happening. first i was drawing furiously on this sheet of paper, making a small, vertically-aligned oval, then a larger, elongated oval that shared the bottom edge with the smaller one. the effect was kind of like an exclamation point. second, i was sitting in a car, and my friend Max was sitting in the other seat. we were discussing weapons or something like that. i asked him, "what's as good as another day?" he replies, "another day". i found this incredibly funny for some reason. then my alarm woke me up.

possible explanations:
not a damn clue

current mood: hungry
2 got owned| step right up
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