Sunday, April 20, 2008

Thoughts on Artificial Intelligence

We've all seen the movies or read the books. Artificial intelligence, however, is about set to break free from the 2-dimensional world. Leading scientists now say that the first artificial organisms can be born within 10 years.

Intelligence, as a working definition, is the ability to make standalone judgments based on impulses coming from one's surroundings. The hallmark of intelligence is action based on choice, rather than rule. For example, if you've seen those commercials that talk about a system for matching by compatibility. It is advertised as an intelligent system, but really it's just based upon a sequence of rules (i.e. if A=B, then C=D, etc.) There is no ability to discern unusual circumstances, such as a partial parameter (i.e. person does not fully conform to A or B, but falls in between).

Many people might confuse robotics and artificial intelligence. For example, Honda's now famous Asimo is sometimes mistaken as being intelligent.

In reality Asimo is a non-intelligent robot; although he seems to interact of his own volition, every single action and reaction is controlled by lines and more lines of programmed code. These sub-routines do not think, simply follow.

The key difference is that A.I. beings will ultimately be able to actively shape their own program. Imagine for a moment - you own one of those Asimo units. Let's say it's been programmed to help you carry objects up and down stairs. The program will consistently carry out the action as needed, faltering only due to mechanical issues.

Now let's say that Asimo has been upgraded with an A.I. processor. The unit no longer relies on the owner to call it. It will inspect the situation and determine whether or not assistance is necessary, based on various factors. Of course, this stage is much further away than 10 years.

Still, how benign are the molecular mecha-organisms currently being developed?

Anyone who has seen 2001: A Space Odyssey knows the ugly side of A.I. gone bad.

Image: HAL9000, the fiendishly disobedient A.I. from 2001: A Space Odyssey

Many people assume that as long they are micro-organisms, there is little threat. Maybe I've seen too many disaster movies or watched too many sci-fi shows, but isn't that when the danger is greatest? It's more difficult to control something we can't directly see or handle.

I think A.I. is a great thing and the natural next step in technological evolution, but we have to be cautious. Scientists are making bold leaps, sometimes without having 100% understanding of or control over the laboratory conditions. It's easy enough to predict and control one tiny A.I. molecule. What about groups? There are many unpredictable dynamics when dealing with groups of such organisms.

I’ve got many questions.

- What safeguards will there be against such groups co-operating to break out of their design parameters (which is totally possible with non-rule oriented beings)?
- Will these new organisms be able to interact with biological sells and non-living organic molecules?
- What about continuity? Will they be able to replicate themselves? What controls are there to prevent them from "assimilating" new organic elements and evolving beyond human control?

I don't mean to sound paranoid, it's really a great thing. However, humans are inherently open to making miscalculations and this is one area where a miscalculation can be grave.

Alternately, this presents a whole new area of philosophy. Recently, Java Jones did a couple of interesting philosophical posts. One about
perceptions of reality and another on the physical manifestation of stored information. The upcomming A.I.'s present a cross-section of these two concepts. Soon enough we'll be sitting around pondering how neurotransmitters are stored, copied and transferred; how electrical impulses carry oxygen and other fuels for life.

Also, what about the use of A.I. technology on already existing organisms...

What will happen when A.I. is applied to more advanced organisms? Such devices have already been used to mind-control insects, fish, birds and even small mammals. The U.S. government (supposedly) already has dolphins equipped with such bio-mechanical interfaces.

Image: Electrical impulses used to control the behavior of a roach.

I believe this is torture for animals, and I think it takes mankind "1 step forward, 2 steps back". To be simultaneously advancing in technology and de-evolving in comodification of living beings is simply not acceptable.

Mankind is at a cross-roads, much as we've been in the past. Whatever the chosen path, we can never and will never go back.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pro Patria -

- For one's country.

The more I pay attention to political battles ensuing in the media, the more I'm convinced people have "patriotism" all wrong. Recently I read this article, which suggests two main points for why Obama is unpatriotic: He doesn't wear a US flag pin and he knows a guy that used to be in the Weather Underground.


If that's all the dirt they can come up with then I'd have to say the guy is a saint.

The flag pin: Obama is a multi-cultural man, and I personally commend him for being such. By representing one country's flag, he is shunning another. Wearing both flags would set off a media firestorm, so the only option is not to wear any. That only shows that the man is a genuine patriot who will not sell out one part of his identity to gain favors with another.

The W.U. dude: I guess the obvious assumption made here is that the Weather Underground was unpatriotic. Granted, their methods were over-the-top. The philosophy, however, was very much aimed at improving this country. They aimed to further the goals of equality and peace in this country, a struggle very much in effect today. Even their bombings were somewhat benevolent; aimed at symbols of the government (a la "V for Vendetta") rather than people. They often placed warning calls before a bombing, causing all employees of target buildings to be evacuated. In contrast, religious fanatics in this country don't think twice about bombing abortion clinics full of living, breathing, human beings.

Now, I have to ask... are these media figures and pundits just playing the fool?

Many of them grew up during the civil wars of the 1960's and 70's; were themselves a part of the counter-culture. Can it really be that they've forgotten? No. I think it's much more likely that they've committed to an ideology, thus forcing themselves to use deceptive devices (i.e. convenient omission, reaction/emotional exaggeration, flat out bullshit, etc).

When you play the fool you do two things: sell yourself out and sell yourself short. It seems like Barrack Obama refuses to sell out his values, and is under fire as a result. It's sad to see genuineness viewed as a shortcoming. Hilary has been faking and fooling her way through almost every media appearance since she was first set back-paddling. And despite the fact that Obama is more genuine, it seems like he has less of a chance to beat McCain.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Put your creativity to work... on eBay!

We all want that ideal home-based source of supplementary income. EBay, the biggest marketplace for home-based business, is the ticket to finally opening that door.

You need but one of two things in order to profit: a niche and/or creativity.

The beautiful thing about the online market is that you are not limited to tangible goods. This is where your creative sensibilities can really pay off. Just look at the string of off-beat and gimmicky auctions that have been quite successful:

- Last year an average looking lady from CA (not someone famous or anything) listed a month worth of advertising on the space above her large breasts. That sold for $2,200! And I don’t think she was actually walking around bearing it all for a month.

- A Scottish woman did the same thing and made 422 GPB, or about $840 for a 15 day ad.

- Supposedly “haunted” dolls and items. As long as the back-story is interesting and scary enough, these items commonly go for $50-$100+ when they would regularly be $5. All you need is some old, scary looking toys and a talent for creative writing (which, as a blogger, you have!)

- New trends. Someone had come up with the genius idea to use the community aspect of eBay to make a profit. The idea: A game of “pass-it-around Twister”. The first person spins and writes in the spaces where they would have to place their hands/feet. Then it’s sold, the next person does the same and so on. Some of these “passes” actually did as much as $130 + shipping! There are numerous such examples out there, and it can pay of to get on the bandwagon when the price is low enough.

- Use your own website! You can actually sell advertising space on your own blog. Weekly, monthly, whatever – it’s up to you. Especially if you get a decent amount of traffic, that can be a selling point. Once sold you can simply add their ad by pasting it in or with code, depending on the format of your site.

- Provide a service. I haven’t seen to many people listing custom writing services, but it could definitely work. You can list services such as homework help, essay/paper assistance, custom written poems and stories, editing services. The plethora is limited only by your imagination.

Get your own ideas – just browse through the Everything else – strange / bizarre items categories and you’ll see what I mean!

As for the niche approach… that’s a bit more tricky. There are plenty of opportunities to make bulk/wholesale purchases and profit from reselling. The thing is, you need to know what you’re doing.

Developing a niche requires much more time and commitment, as well as investing in a reference library for whatever the niche is. For example, I primarily deal with coins. The resources and accessories cost nearly $1,500, but it was worth every penny. Each time I find something valuable that might’ve otherwise been discarded, I’m thankful for making the investment.

It beats the heck out of working for someone else and can easily hold you over while searching for that ever so elusive full-time creative job.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Has technology killed the romance star? - Not quite!

For some time I've held the belief that technology has completely killed everyday romance in our lives. It just seems to me like romance requires effort - like the olden days. There was no means for instant communication or express transportation. When you did see your love it was truly romantic. Now-a-days it's all at the tips of your fingers. As a result, "romantic" has become replaced by such adjectives as "sweet," "cute," "corny," "hot," etc.

So, browsing the news today I came across one very refreshing tidbit of a story. This one raises the bar for all the guys!

It's so cool how the guy used technology to bring romance back. Wish I were that creative and capable! This guy actually spent a couple months figuring out how to manipulate the program. Like I mentioned earlier, romance requires a genuine effort. In this day and age, to devote months to a task that can easily be done in other ways... that's a true romantic.

What do the ladies think of this one?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Italian pornstar grabs politics by the balls

Former erotic actress Milly D'Abbraccio is making waves in the world of Italian politics.

Her campaing is using her most familiar asset to attract voters…

Image: Actual campaign poster, identical to those hanging around Rome.

The intersting thing is that she’s actually being taken seriously. Here is the U.S., pornstar Mary Carey had made a run for governor of California. She was not at all taken seriously. Rather the republicans used her as a show piece to raise money and get free advertising through sensational media. The Italian enigma is a little confusing. On the one hand you have a culture rooted in religious tradition and values. On the other hand, you have open support for a politician who wants to create a new red-light district near the Vatican.

To me this represents the ultimate clash between the old and new worlds; progress in the face of tradition. Italy previously had a former erotic actress actually elected to their parliament. Some 20 years earlier “Cicciolina” had mingled among the suit-and-tie crowd in skimpy outfits and punctuated her talking points with strip dances.

I can’t wait until the U.S. adopts this open mentality. One aspect of your experience does not necessarily have a bearing on other aspects. Like the saying “What’s that got to do with the price of rice in China?” In the U.S. we have the supposed “values voters” who look at image first and political aptness second. Politicians should represent the people they govern. A former pornstar is a lot more in touch with the everyday person than the clean cut, straight talking career poltician.

Restricting our choices with something so irrelevant as image only hurts us. Genuine personalities are weeded out. Fakers, liars and poker-faced bastards remain. Thus, our elections become a “lesser of two evils” scenario, where it should be “let the best (wo)man win.”

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Delaying gratification, role reversal and frigidity

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you guys for the support. I know my posting has been lax lately, but there’s a lot going on these past couple weeks. Should be back to full strength soon! =)

Despite how it sounds, delaying the orgasm leads to a better and more fulfilling climax. There is a certain sense of maturity required, in terms of experience and a mind state of not just wanting to “get your rocks off.” To delay gratification is both a selfish and a generous act; you must be willing to give and receive, not just one. Also, if you’re a man and find it difficult to outlast your woman, then this is for you.

Image: Roy Lichtenstein "In the Car" 1963


Breathing - Slow, deep breaths will bring down your heart rate and relax the nervous system, effectively counteracting sexual stimulation. Some people experience a sensation of fainting after sex. This is mainly due to improper breathing (too fast, too heavy). Personally, I find that fast paced pumping doesn’t feel nearly as good as deliberate, “grinding” strokes. Of course, these can make you climax even faster… so read on.

Posture – Looking at the “epicenter” of the action is usually very arousing. Try doing a position where you cannot see, but can only feel. Something where you’re more face to face, neck or back than at a distance. Use that closeness to stimulate some of the more subtle erogenous zones, i.e. the ear, temple, outer corners of the eyes, side and back of neck, lips. In addition, when you’re not seeing it directly it’s easier to drift off (Not very passionate to drift off during sex. But if you really feel like it’s the only way to keep going long enough – it works).

Stroke – When you’re in, it’s all about depth and angle. Straight in is the best way to keep from being over-stimulated, but chances are it’s not doing much for your girl. So, if you can’t use the angle, use the depth. Rather than a full stroke do a shallower one, where the head stays in and the shaft is taking most of the contact. This will do enough to keep you in the zone, but not enough to make you climax fast when combined with some of the aforementioned points.

When you get the hang of it, you will have excellent control over when you do or don’t orgasm.

By getting close and then staying there, waiting patiently, you will get more overall pleasure out of sex. Not to mention the grateful and pleased woman next to you. Guys sometimes complain that girls have such a long orgasm. Well, here’s the equalizer.

Image: The Seahorse is a master of role reversal. The female transfers her egg sac, and the male carries out the remainder of the pregnancy and birthing process.

Another interesting milestone in any relationship is the role reversal. Typically (and this is by no means the rule!) one person is going towards a goal and another is kind of laying back for the ride. In heterosexual couples, let’s say the man is “driver” (to borrow the stereotypical gender perspective).

One particularly potent expression of this reversal is the lingam massage. Now, this is a mix of sugar and spice; with incredible pleasure comes some intrusion of personal boundaries.

An excellent guide to the lingam massage can be found at the White Lotus. This is an excellent database of sexual techniques to explore by oneself or with a partner(s).

Another important aspect of being a great lover is the understanding of where your girl’s g-spots are. Women have a different ratio of clitoral vs. vaginal sensitivity which directly relates to what acts in what modalities will cause them to orgasm. Even if the girl is not aware, you have to make it your business to experiment and figure it out. The number of women who believe there is a psychological reason for their not orgasming is greatly exaggerated. I’ve said this in previous posts, for some that’s true and for many it’s just improper handling.

The White Lotus also has a great resource on frigidity that men and women may find useful.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Who's the man - Bad boy or Smart toy?

In a recent post, Funkybrownchick mentioned that nice guys get less ass than cocky guys. I though about this for a moment and completely disagreed.

The only factor behind this I can think of is shyness vs. sociability. Nice guys may be less likely to approach a girl, thus diminishing potential encounters. For this post, let’s ignore this little paradigm. ;)

The way I see it, you need to have at least one of the two: personality or looks. A guy that’s good looking will get plenty of ass, cocky or nice doesn’t matter so much as long as they are sociable.

But, what about a guy that’s not at all attractive?

No looks + bad personality = recipe for loneliness

A nice guy, on the other hand, may not have looks. They may not be getting ass in the casual sense, but at least their personality can attract a deep and meaningful relationship.

This is also related to age and maturity. I see that younger girls sometimes like the bad boys. Again, their attraction is fleeting like the flavor of the month and does not lead to anything lasting. As they mature, many women move away from that “just for fun” mentality and start to think about serious relationships. Ultimately, it’s the nice guys that wind up with the prize.

That being said, some of you may be thinking… “So, the cocky guy gets first dibs?”

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s all a matter of preference. Personally, I don’t want a girl to just lay there. Girls with experience are simply better. That’s the exact reason I’m typically attracted to girls my age and older, rather than younger. (And would never consider dating a virgin, no matter how hot/interesting she may be. If anything she would be just a friend, without benefits.)

Cocky guys attract party girls, while nice guys attract smart girls. So even if it’s true that nice guys get less ass… I still say QUALITY OVER QUANTITY!

Would love to hear the women’s opinions on this one! =)

I’m a shy guy, when it comes to unacquainted girls. Every girl I’ve ever hooked-up or gone out with was introduced by mutual friends or actually came up to me and said something first (like my current girlfriend). I know that I could have had waaay more women if only I partook in the hunt. If I see a girl checking me out, I don’t follow up (even if I’m single). Maybe a glance or two back and forth and then right back to my book or notepad or whatever I’m doing. Guess I’m just not a pick-up artist.

I have no regrets though. Casual sex is not an attractive prospect; fucking for the sake of physical release is an empty shell of the actual act. I am very happy with the type of girls my nice-guy personality has reeled in, especially the one I’m with now.

On a related note: Nice guys actually do finish first!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Suspiro Ergo Sum (I breathe, therefore I am)

Many people underestimate the importance of correct breathing. In the normal to-and-fro of daily activities people typically breathe shallow and at an increased pace. This has both short and long term negative effects. Shallow breathing can contribute to anxiety and related palpitations of the heart. Also, deep breathing opens up the lower branches of the bronchial tree. With shallow breathers, those areas are prone to being blocked of with respiratory infections, which can then lead to pneumonia, bronchitis and an early death. This is especially the case for smokers, who already have an increased rate of sputum production. (Sputum is a major cause of blocked bronchioles).

Some tips: When you want to have a relaxation session, you need to set a rhythm. Start by taking deep breathes (to the point where you cannot inhale any more) at a count of 5 seconds per inhale and 5 seconds per exhale. Breathe in through the nose and exhale via the mouth. Be sure to breathe from the chest (you should feel your ribs expanding rather than your abdomen). After a cycle of 15 – 20 breaths, slow it down to 6 seconds per inhale and exhale. After another 15 breathes, down to 7 seconds. Continue this at a pace of 1 more second for every 12 - 15 breathes up to about 9 seconds, or where ever you feel comfortable and not lacking air.

As you progress through each cycle, your heart rate will slow down and your mind will begin to drift off with the vibration of the breaths (similar to the use of “Ohhhmmmmm” in many practices). You’ve disconnected from the everyday; stepped out from behind the veil of practical reality into a personal intellectual reality.

At this point, only you know how to figure out personal puzzles and infractions of the ego. Getting here is half the battle.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the grind; to become so intertwined in the worlds of others that you lose touch with yourself. These breathing techniques can be useful in so many ways… anger control, stress relief, or just to give yourself a minute to sort things out and get a fresh start. Once your heart rate is relaxed anxiety will not be a problem, those little neurotic ticks that affect us when we’re under serious pressure will be marginalized. If you’re impatient (like me), this will help you when dealing with some of the duller light bulbs in the lamp store =)
Oh, and don’t forget… proper breathing can be an important tool in tantric pursuits. If you and your lover wish to take your sexual relationship to a deeper level, synchronous breathing is a KEY factor. It's a foundation for Kama Sutra and other forms of tantric yoga, and you need it to turn the penis and vagina into the lingam and yoni.

Image: Lingam inside yoni (white).

Additional resources:

Pranayama – Breathing techniques of the yogis

Swara Yoga – the science of nasal breathing

Help people keep breathing! Learn the new CPR guidelines (PDF format)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Etiquette... or a lack thereof

What the hell happened to being kind for the sake of being kind?

I'm in the post office the other day. A middle aged man (white, around his 50's) is leaving the lobby. Behind him is a woman (also white, looked about 40-ish). He sees her behind him, holds the door and gives her a pleasant smile. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Well, literally 2 steps behind this lady was another woman (Asian, looked to be in her 50's) carrying a big box with both hands.

The guy sees her right behind the first woman, LOOKS HER STRAIGHT IN THE FACE and lets the door go, hitting and knocking her down. If not for the box, that heavy metal and glass door would have hit her dead-on in the face. I blurted out "Muthafucker!" and was pleasantly surprised that other people standing on the line had the same notion.

So this asshole held the door for the nice, attractive white woman who didn't need help. The little Asian lady, that DID need someone to hold the door, was not his problem.

So, what's up with etiquette?

Another example: While on the train this past weekend, I decided to do a little naturalistic observation. Finally, an old lady came on the train (black, with a cane, looked about 60's-70's) and it was pretty crowded. She stood by one of the poles in the center, next to a bench with several college-age boys and a girl.

Care to guess what happened?

The 4 young-guns, who were so animated in their mutual conversation only a minute ago, suddenly went to sleep! That's right. Closed their eyes or put in headphones, and kept looking down into their own little world. The guilt was apparent, but not the means to resolve it.
Had I been sitting I'd give it up right away, but I wasn't, so this just made me even madder. I had a mind to grab on of these shit-heads and... well, unfortunately that's not me. Besides, I can't even count how many times my own naive little ass had done the same fucked up thing.


Here's the kicker. About 15 minutes later, after that lady had been given another seat (and by someone around the same age as her!) a super attractive girl walks on, still no open seats. One of the sleepers must have dreamt about her, cuz he made like morning wood and popped right up. All smiling and motioning for her to take a seat. She took his offer, with a half smile like she's used to this; a haphazard show of gratitude, not because it's felt but rather because it's socially appropriate.

Is etiquette the new pick-up line??

Well, so far I only know of one place that people make a very strong point of sticking to the rules...

'Till next time! And when that time comes, I'll try not to sound pissed =)

In the meantime, check out the humorous, yet appropriate etiquette handbook from NY Magazine.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Prose, as inspired by CoSM

The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, or CoSM is the personal museum of famed NYC artist Alex Grey.
CoSM is a center of spiritual, sexual and empirical thought, expression and freedom. Visionary spiritualist Alex Grey has a knack for capturing in paint what we can only imagine in fleeting bits and pieces. He creates worlds that are simultaneously in front of and inside the viewer.
If you live in, or will be visiting NYC, I highly recommend you check out the above link. His works embody raw passion, to the point where a viewing with one of his pieces feels like mental sex. Alex Grey is known for shedding away the flesh and showing humans, animals and ideas in their true form.
If you plan to visit - Leave all reservations at the door!

The following is a piece of prose I wrote on a recent visit. The inspiration was a wonderful triptych titled "Journey of the Wounded Healer".

I fell into the piece, and barely climbed back out. For a second, my world went dark... and only then could I see that the light has been artificial all along.

The chicken-man crows
His hearkening call bringing with it a new era of silence
I came once, and witnessed
What before I'd only heard

The little fish becomes the big sea
Becomes the sky
Mirrors the world

Mechanical dreams become patchwork memories
And the feelings of winter,
They reflect in her eyes

In my bed
of Baptism and burial
A tangled path unwinds anew

Click on the image to view full size.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Interracial couples and those who stare at them

Peek-a-boo, I see you...

This is a notion I've gotten pretty used to in 4 years of being in an interracial relationship. For whatever reasons, people look and stare. My girlfriend used to always react by muttering things like "What the hell are they staring at?!?" or "What? They've never seen a..." accompanied with a dirty look in the viewer's direction.
Is it right to automatically assume that they are looking upon us with negative judgment? I think not!
Granted, some people will look at you with a sense of disapproval or even disgust. However, some people may be genuinely curious; as in the case of those who recently broke out of a uni-racial country or community. Also, you have people like me who are in the same exact place you are. I may look, but only to think "Oh cool, another..." as opposed to "Oh god! Not another..."
When I am put in the viewer's position it's pretty clear that there is a generalized reaction to "staring". But, what constitutes staring? In my experience, even a moment of eye-contact is enough to elicit a negative reaction.
Seems like glances that would be deemed normal and insignificant when you are alone suddenly become offensive when your mismatched mate is alongside you. In reality, there is no difference.
We instinctively pass over the mundane and focus our attention on things that stick out. And in most environments, an interracial couple tends to stick out.
So if you're in this situation now or will be in the future, please remember that not all looks are meant to kill...

...But I'm still getting this t-shirt. =)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Guy gets caught screwing a picnic table.

Have you seen, heard or read this story?? Just when I though stuff on the news couldn't get any more ridiculous, this story breaks about a furniphiliac.

Yogi Bear would be ashamed!


Don't touch my...

Image source: Photo at Kohl's in Ceasar's Bay, Brooklyn.

Maybe I've fallen out of touch with fashion, but... wtf is up with these mannequins?? Did they have a traumatic experience in the storage shed? And don't they look kind of manly to be wearing skirts?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Close your eyes and take a good look

Absinthe is a hell of a drug, man.

Well, not really. That’s why it’s recently been legalized in the US for import and, in some places, sale. My folks will no longer have to smuggle them in from Prague.

Funny story, my dad stuffed a bottle into a pair of pants in his luggage. He knew the x-ray would spot it, so he cut off the “absinthe” part of the label and put it in a book. Unfortunately, the Bohemian supermarket brand was much worse quality than the expensive imports.

Regardless, me and my friends had a blast. If you’ve never tried absinthe then you should know that:

It tastes NASTY!!! IF you like the taste of anise seed, licorice, or Sambuca Romano liquor, then you’re all set. Otherwise you may want to go for the red absinthe, which doesn’t have anise seed.

Don’t do shots! Seriously, even if you consider yourself as having an iron stomach, you’ll probably still throw up. You mix about 1 part absinthe with 5 parts cold water, a spoonful of sugar (also an excellent short film.), and some fire. That’s right. FIRE. You have to light up the sugar. Once the sugar caramelizes and the water is mixed in, absinthe should louch from a clear green to a foamy, opaque light green. Now keep in mind that cheap absinthe doesn’t louch, as I found out first hand.

You won’t trip balls. I used to hear people talk about it like it was on par with acid or shrooms. Really, it’s all hype from people that never tried it. The effect is basically the same as a regular buzz, with a few differences. It makes you very energetic and giddy at first, like alcohol, only without the slurred speech, loss of balance and with a surprising clarity of thought. As soon as we got the drinks down, we proceeded into a 15 minute long philosophical discussion. After that, the thujone wears off and you just feel the alcohol effect.

Alcohol and thujone. These are the main active ingredients. Absinthe is typically between 140 and 180 proof, with a thujone content of 6 to 15 %. At higher thujone levels it can bring about mild visual effects, such as colors becoming more vivid and can appear to come out of the surface right at you. This must be why Van Gogh was such a fan of the “Green Fairy.” It certainly shows in his paintings.

So if you plan on trying it, here's a couple suggestions:
Pick a place without too much stimulation. For example, don't do it at a club or parade, etc. Because too much stimulus can cause you to blank out, just like on shrooms.
Don't mix with other drinks, alcoholic that is.
It's also more fun in a small group. You'll be amazed at the depth of the conversation.
This is not a liquor that should be abused by alcoholics.

If you're gonna do it, make sure to let me know of your experience. =)

Image source: Photo in Negative effect.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Poetry is the expression of one's soul

Don't you just love digging through piles of your written work from like 10 years ago? I sure do!
The best thing is reading your own work once you've completely forgotten about it. Here are two very different pieces of prose and poetry I wrote for publication in a high school literary magazine. I was never really good at coming up with titles, so I just didn't bother =)

Untitled 1 (prose):

I sat on the beach and waited...for summer to pass, and the sand to turn black.

Night after night I watched...through tranquil breeze and summer storm.

Comets blazed with Heaven's fire...buried in their ashes I stayed, and collected my thoughts.

The depths of sky have littered sparks upon the waves. Burning pyres as testaments to watery graves.

I will swim among the fires by moonlight and starlight... just to find my peace next to you.

Untitled 2 (poetry):

As we walk and talk our tunes
Of summer past and summer soon
When young hearts are a-toying
Waiting for the coming June

On summer nights and summer days
The loneliness of winter fades
The loves of spring a thing gone past
The aches of autumn approaching fast

But these hands are seldom idle
Much like many busy bees.
As they find that rare honey
And return among the trees

Once the summer didn’t stay,
Went to September right from May.
Skipped on all the summer drama,
In the world you’ve turned away

In the deep and tender night
When the fireflies take flight
I will find you here once more
Softly crying at my door

But those days are getting shorter
Soon the boys and girls will see
That summer time has come to be
And summer love has come for me