Friday, May 27, 2011

anything sleep related

I find anything sleep related most fascinating. Guess part of it stems from not being able to successfully “do” a natural bodily function myself. In the Stephen King novel Insomnia, the main character Ralph Roberts is an older retired gentleman who steadily loses an hour a night. He spends the majority of the book in a sleep deprived state as his body is slowly revved up. Soon he is unable to sleep at all and enters a different state of consciousness.
Lucky bastard.
I have suffered from insomnia before but in the more recent of decades have been suffering from hypersleep. At least I think it is called hypersleep? Maybe nanosleep. Anyway I usually run about 2 to 4 hours a night and never in a row. Like the other night I dozed off around midnight then was up at 1, 2, 3 and 4. It really sucks.
I think dreams are pretty easy to define but I don’t have a phd nor a government grant to back me up. I think that since everything your9 senses come into contact with during the day (and yes there are 9 not 5) I think all that input is stored in a buffer in your brain. Then when you go to sleep your brain starts to actually process and file away all this information. Now while it is doing that another part of your brain (hmm this could be a left/right hemisphere thing) another part of your brain sees these “images” and as it always does, it tries to make sense of them for you.
Like when you can see a face in the wood grain of a door. It’s not really there but your brain is hard wired to see and make sense of patterns. So it starts aligning this sensory input and this is the actual dream.
For instance: let’s say you see a fire during the day. Your brain takes that information to be filed and in filing it, it invokes a memory of the smell of smoke which causes another memory to surface from when you were 12 and at the fair and smelled smoke when you rode the tilt a whirl. The brain takes that and tries to make sense of it so now you are dreaming about being in a spinning teacup with Alice and the mad hatter.
Then again I could be wrong. It’s happened before.
The science of sleep is a modern one – in fact most scientific information on sleep has been gained in the last 25 years. This is a list of 20 very interesting facts about sleep.
1. The record for the longest period without sleep is 18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes during a rocking chair marathon. The record holder reported hallucinations, paranoia, blurred vision, slurred speech and memory and concentration lapses.
2. It’s impossible to tell if someone is really awake without close medical supervision. People can take cat naps with their eyes open without even being aware of it.
3. Anything less than five minutes to fall asleep at night means you’re sleep deprived. The ideal is between 10 and 15 minutes, meaning you’re still tired enough to sleep deeply, but not so exhausted you feel sleepy by day.
4. Dreams, once thought to occur only during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, also occur (but to a lesser extent) in non-REM sleep phases. It’s possible there may not be a single moment of our sleep when we are actually dreamless.
5. REM dreams are characterized by bizarre plots, but non-REM dreams are repetitive and thought-like, with little imagery – obsessively returning to a suspicion you left your mobile phone somewhere, for example.
6. Certain types of eye movements during REM sleep correspond to specific movements in dreams, suggesting at least part of the dreaming process is analogous to watching a film
7. Elephants sleep standing up during non-REM sleep, but lie down for REM sleep.
8. Some scientists believe we dream to fix experiences in long-term memory, that is, we dream about things worth remembering. Others think we dream about things worth forgetting – to eliminate overlapping memories that would otherwise clog up our brains.
9. Dreams may not serve any purpose at all but be merely a meaningless byproduct of two evolutionary adaptations – sleep and consciousness.
10. Scientists have not been able to explain a 1998 study showing a bright light shone on the backs of human knees can reset the brain’s sleep-wake clock.
11. British Ministry of Defense researchers have been able to reset soldiers’ body clocks so they can go without sleep for up to 36 hrs. Tiny optical fibers embedded in special spectacles project a ring of bright white light (with a spectrum identical to a sunrise) around the edge of soldiers’ retinas, fooling them into thinking they have just woken up. The system was first used on US pilots during the bombing of Kosovo.
12. The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska, the Challenger space shuttle disaster and the Chernobyl nuclear accident have all been attributed to human errors in which sleep-deprivation played a role.
13. The “natural alarm clock” which enables some people to wake up more or less when they want to is caused by a burst of the stress hormone adrenocorticotropin. Researchers say this reflects an unconscious anticipation of the stress of waking up.
14. Tiny luminous rays from a digital alarm clock can be enough to disrupt the sleep cycle even if you do not fully wake. The light turns off a “neural switch” in the brain, causing levels of a key sleep chemical to decline within minutes.
15. Humans sleep on average around three hours less than other primates like chimps, rhesus monkeys, squirrel monkeys and baboons, all of whom sleep for 10 hours.
16. Ducks at risk of attack by predators are able to balance the need for sleep and survival, keeping one half of the brain awake while the other slips into sleep mode.
17. Diaries from the pre-electric-light-globe Victorian era show adults slept nine to 10 hours a night with periods of rest changing with the seasons in line with sunrise and sunsets.
18. Most of what we know about sleep we’ve learned in the past 25 years.
19. The extra-hour of sleep received when clocks are put back at the start of daylight in Canada has been found to coincide with a fall in the number of road accidents.
20. Experts say one of the most alluring sleep distractions is the 24-hour accessibility of the internet.
Thanks Listverse.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fowl language:

I can still remember where and when I was when I said my 1st curse word (aww how cute)

I was at the movies with a buddy and my sister and her friend were sitting behind us.
Not sure what they were giggling and talking about but she was about 16 or 17 so that would have made me 14 or 15. (Yes. At any given time during any given day I cannot accurately tell you how old I am. 9 times out of 10 I am off by a year. I am quite retarded that way.)
Anyway she leans over and says something to the effect of “You don’t even cuss do you?”
There I was in crisis (HEY I was maybe 15 EVERYTHING is a crisis)
I was sitting there with my church buddy but my older sister, who I looked up to, was calling me out.
What to do?
Yes it was true. I was 15 and had never uttered a single word harsher then “sucks”. I was brought up to believe that even words like gosh, darn or golly were also too close to the forbidden words to utter.
The word crap was completely off the table.
I folded.
I caved.
“Fuck no. I don’t cuss.”
From there is was all down hill.
Now days, I am not one of those people that just have to punctuate their language with every other word being a crude 4 letter euphemism.
That’s not to say that I don’t use such language. I do and sometimes with alarming frequency.
I do think that cussing in itself is an acquired talent.
Anyone can toss a fuckdamnhellcuntbitchshit into their language with wild abandon. Doesn’t take any finesse at all just the ability to form the words with your mouth (and in some redneck cases barely that)
However the ability to know the correct time and place and which word would fit the most proper is a skill only brought about by time and use.
For instance:
Listen to any teenager who is trying to sound “grown up”. They toss these words about with a careless abandon. Like confetti they pepper their language with the crudest of words.
Why? I think shock value mostly.
That’s why I believe that if you remove the stigma attached to such words then they soon become commonplace enough to be able to leave the child’s vernacular sooner rather than later.
Like alcohol: remember before you turned 21 how desperate you were to score a beer or some fine grain whiskey?
Then after you turned 21 it soon lost it’s all shining appeal? Sure at first it was an overindulging backwash of all things drunkard but then it became so commonplace that it lost it’s luster and shine.

Sure you do run the risks of it becoming too commonplace and therefore an integral part of the thought process that is why you also set limits because every child needs limits.

For example:
The Girl : she is 15 and can toss the 4letter words about with careless abandon. She knows that I think of them as just words.
She is also well aware of my rules.
  1. A person cusses because their brain cannot come up with a better more suitable word. Think harder.
  2. Do not cuss around the grandparents. Different era, different rules.
  3. Do not cuss around the youngers. They look up to you and will mimic you.
  4. Do not drop the F-Bomb in my house. I am the King of this castle and that is my privilege alone.

The Boy : He is 13 and veritably saintly in his speech. Sure he does try to impress his sister but overall he chooses to not use such language.

Why bring this up?
My Girl and I love each other very much.
She is a daddy’s lil girl 110%.
We will verbally poke and prod at each other with comments such as
She: “hoe”
Me: “rake”
She: “shovel”
Me: “garden weasel”
“Why cant Girl go to the square dance? Cause they said HoDown and she hit the floor” – Ok yeah that’s an old one but she hasn’t heard it before so it’s new to her.
Anyway the other night we were sparring across the living room and I laid her out with an old one-two.
“Girl is a rooster-turkey” and made a turkey noise.
“yeah a real cock-gobbler.” OK that was lame I will admit. I had been at work all day and didn’t realize it was open mike night, so I had no A-material prepared.
She howled with laughter anyway.
That was just the setup though as I launched into part 2.
“What’s the difference between a rooster and Girl?’
“Rooster says cock a doodle doo and Girl says any cock will do”
She cried with laughter for the next 10 minutes.

Now when I was saying it I was rather hesitant because who wants to infer such thoughts upon their child but then I rethought it and I figured
I know her sense of humor.
It is a joke.
I know it is a joke.
She knows it is a joke.
One of the main elements of a joke is to bring out the absurd as a fact and embellish upon it.
So I went with it and was rewarded with hearing my Girl’s laughter.

However later that night she just had to tell her mother.
Wildcat doesn’t have that kind of a sense of humor.
I was immediately tossed into the doghouse for the duration of the night.

Still … it was worth it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pale Blue Dot

Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken from a record distance of 3.7 billion miles, at the edge of our solar system. It was shot and transmitted by the Voyager 1 spacecraft almost 13 years after its launch.
[It's just one pixel so if you're having trouble finding it click this link: http://tecnoscience.squarespace.... ]

Dr. Carl Sagan, who originally requested that the picture be taken, famously reflected on its meaning:

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Look again at that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A start

The end of the world
It wasn’t with fire, it wasn’t with climate change, it wasn’t even our fault.
The end of the world happened with just a color.
On August 14th 2015 at 2:57pm the entire world turned blue.
It wasn’t the kind of shading like you might see through blue colored sunglasses.
Everything was, quite literally, blue.
No difference. No shading. Every tree, sidewalk, human and animal was blue.
It was like being blind in a blue dark.
This lasted 7 minutes and 26 seconds.
The world we had known 8 minutes ago was gone.
That world has ended.
This is our new world.

It was right ATB (After the Blue) that the whole shebang started immediately to crap out. From what I saw and have learned a person would fall under one of 4 classifications...
  1. Dead
  2. Undead
  3. Normal
  4. Changed
Also as far as I can tell those who fell under the dead category were the luckiest of all. That’s all they did. Instantly. It was like a switch was just flicked. As soon as the Blue receded people dropped like flies, toppled over like trees, crashed through guard rails, drove through shopping malls, rolled over buses and flew various aircraft into the ground like a lawn dart. We are talking A LOT of people here too. Some animals as well but those usually were not operating heavy machinery.
Undead is a term I have used for years after playing all those basement dice rolling, dungeons and dragons, hack and slash games. Basically it’s a nice way of saying zombie without actually classifying them as one. Face it, you hear the word zombie and you think of soulless monsters stumbling through the night moaning and wanting to feast on your brains. I can’t say whether these people still had souls or not but the rest is rather spot on. Well, also they are not exclusive brain eaters, just... really hungry cannibals. It wasn’t like one instant walking Fido down the street and the next shoving him face first into your gaping maw. These people actually died first, found they didn’t have a taste for it and came back. Most did come from Category 1 (the insta-deads) however we learned later that 3 and 4 could also come back after they died. This for the most part was quite a bother. You never knew who was going to suddenly lurch up from their final stopping point and fancy a snack on your entrails.
This was usually cured with a good burning.
We found that burning a corpse really cut into it’s want for “LIFE: the sequel”. They usually just kinda lay there and smoldered a bit instead. Which usually pleased all of us who did not want to be eaten.
The people from Category 3 were, as it is stated, normal.
Didn’t seem to be affected at all.
Not one whit.
Their normal August day was only slightly interrupted with a brief blue period followed by alarmingly incessant instances of people falling dead around them. Some went about their daily business and pretended not to notice while others gave up right then and there and went stark raving mad. So while other were listening to the radio, formulating ideas and generally postulating over the whole historical conundrum, others had decided to dress up as various small wildlife creatures and hang upside down from lampposts screaming words like “BLaJOOm” and “ KEEPLE” and “ TURNIP” No matter which choice of action they chose though, they all still are loosely classified as “Normal”
The final category, the changed, those are the rare ones. These few souls were altered or mutated in various manners.
Some were horrific.
Like the guy in Glasgow whose entire body was turned inside out yet is still able to function normally.
Some were odd.
A woman in Chicago, Illinois could make coconuts out of thin air.
Some were useless.
A 12 year old boy from Australia could make his body hair curl and uncurl with just a thought.
Some were very useful.
A set of 3 year old triplets from Wellington Kansas can hold hands and emit a hypersonic wave that is strong enough to blast a 12’ by 14’ hole through a brick wall. Yet individually they cannot.
Some are just…super
A 58 year old ex policeman from a small town in Italy has discovered he is virtually immortal. He is immune to all forms of harm. He has been poisoned, shot, stabbed , dropped from a helicopter and ran over. At one point he was even chained and thrown into the ocean from 50 miles out. He reappeared 2 hours later walking up the beach dragging the chains behind him (he said later he didn’t feel right just leaving them in the ocean)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tina Fey

A Mother’s Prayer for Its Child By Tina Fey

Tina Fey Hard At Work
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.
May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.
Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.
Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.
May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.
Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.
O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.
And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.
And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
-Tina Fey


Supposedly this is how they do Dancing with the Stars in Argentina?
WoW! That's some must see TV.
What's next?
Americas Next Porno?

SILVINA ESCUDERO STRIPDANCE  25-10-2010 by betocammpos

Monday, May 9, 2011

As the world turns

Now I am not going to say my string of bad luck has turned but there have been some good points lately.
Wildcats place of employment has reinstated her as full time, with a promise of elevating the pay cut they imposed on everyone back up in the next few months. That’s always cool but on the grey cloud of this silver lining, this also means that Wildcat won’t continue looking for new employment options. So when, not if, this happens again we will back to square 1.
One of my life goals, as I have stated before, was to be able to get my son to Disneyworld. He missed out a decade ago because he was in mommy’s tummy. I have always been running this in the back of my head and no clue on how to do it.
My mother has now decided that next year she is taking everyone to DW.
The grey cloud : That’s a dozen of us stuck milling around each other for a whole week. You know how the whole family thing is. You love them dearly but can only take them in really small doses.
Like cyanide.
And like cyanide continual exposure will eventually kill someone.

Today was not a bad day either. Work has been going well.
Got a few shiny feathers in my cap.
Just have to remember that old work motto though.
1 uh-oh can destroy a hundred “atta boys”.

Finally a little more bit of good news came in but one I am taking with a grain of salt.
Seems there is a lawsuit against my former mortgage company, Countrywide.
And seeing that I had my mortgage started with them in the allotted time the Wife and I are set to receive $7500.00 each.
Eh well we shall see but sure would be nice.

Friday, May 6, 2011

I am a Introvert

10 Myths About Introverts

10 Myths About Introverts

I was lucky enough to discover a book called, The Introvert Advantage (How To Thrive in an Extrovert World), by Marti Laney, Psy.D. I feel like someone has written an encyclopedia entry on a rare race of people to which I belong. Not only has it explained many of my eccentricities, it helps me to redefine my entire life in a new and positive context.
Sure, anyone who knows me would say, “Duh! Why did it take you so long to realize you’re an Introvert?” It’s not that simple. The problem is that labeling someone as an Introvert is a very shallow assessment, full of common misconceptions. It’s more complex than that. (Since Carl King is talking about it, it has to be.)
A section of Laney’s book maps out the human brain and explains how neuro-transmitters follow different dominant paths in the nervous systems of Introverts and Extroverts. If the science behind the book is correct, it turns out that Introverts are people who are over-sensitive to Dopamine, so too much external stimulation overdoses and exhausts them. Conversely, Extroverts can’t get enough Dopamine, and they require Adrenaline for their brains to create it. Extroverts also have a shorter pathway and less blood-flow to the brain. The messages of an Extrovert’s nervous system mostly bypass the Broca’s area in the frontal lobe, which is where a large portion of contemplation takes place.
Unfortunately, according to the book, only about 25% of people are Introverts. There are even fewer that are as extreme as I am. This leads to a lot of misunderstandings, since society doesn’t have very much experience with my people. (I love being able to say that.)
So here are a few common misconceptions about Introverts (I put this list together myself, some of them are things I actually believed):
Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.
Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.
Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.
Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.
Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.
Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.
Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.
Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.
Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.
Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.
“You cannot escape us, and to change us would lead to your demise.” <– I made that up. I’m a screenwriter.
It can be terribly destructive for an Introvert to deny themselves in order to get along in an Extrovert-Dominant World. Like other minorities, Introverts can end up hating themselves and others because of the differences. If you think you are an Introvert, I recommend you research the topic and seek out other Introverts to compare notes. The burden is not entirely on Introverts to try and become “normal.” Extroverts need to recognize and respect us, and we also need to respect ourselves.