Happy Friday...

Enjoy this lovely pinup, Lil Bit, please. She's a combination of both hot and adorable, and --fortunately-- may even come in my size ;)



Voynich Manuscript has a Birthday...

and, it's about a full century old than anyone thought.


Let me back up for a second. Life is full of conspiratorial nutjobs chasing grumkins and snarks in the shadows, and looking for hidden wisdom and "ancient astronomers"; healing crystals and magic pyramids, where frankly no evidence exists to support these wild claims (like, for instance, unschooling). 

But, occasionally, nature or accidents of history churn out something so freaky, so bizarre and mysterious that it begs to be explored.

Such is the case of the Voynich Manuscript. 

What is the Manuscript? Good question, no one really knows. And the reason that no one knows is because it describes plants and animals that do not exist, in strange milieus unknown in 15th Century Europe. And, worst of all, is a a language that we cannot read, cannot decipher, yet is incredibly consistent throughout. And, it's illuminated and illustrated.

 Looks like Friday at my house...

Let the good ole' Wiki explain the linguistic style of this one:

The text consists of over 170,000 discrete glyphs, usually separated from each other by narrow gaps. Most of the glyphs are written with one or two simple pen strokes. While there is some dispute as to whether certain glyphs are distinct or not, an alphabet with 20–30 glyphs would account for virtually all of the text; the exceptions are a few dozen rarer characters that occur only once or twice each.
Wider gaps divide the text into about 35,000 "words" of varying length.

These seem to follow phonological or orthographic laws of some sort e.g. certain characters must appear in each word (like English vowels), some characters never follow others, some may be doubled or tripled but others may not, etc.

And, the subject matter:

The illustrations of the manuscript shed little light on the precise nature of its text but imply that the book consists of six "sections", with different styles and subject matter. Except for the last section, which contains only text, almost every page contains at least one illustration. Following are the sections and their conventional names:
Each page displays one plant (sometimes two) and a few paragraphs of text—a format typical of European herbals of the time. Some parts of these drawings are larger and cleaner copies of sketches seen in the "pharmaceutical" section (below). None of the plants depicted are unambiguously identifiable.

Contains circular diagrams, some of them with suns, moons, and stars, suggestive of astronomy or astrology. One series of 12 diagrams depicts conventional symbols for the zodiacal constellations (two fish for Pisces, a bull for Taurus, a hunter with crossbow for Sagittarius, etc.). Each of these has 30 women figures arranged in two or more concentric bands. Most of the females are at least partly naked, and each holds what appears to be a labeled star or is shown with the star attached by what could be a tether or cord of some kind to either arm. The last two pages of this section (Aquarius and Capricornus, roughly January and February) were lost, while Aries and Taurus are split into four paired diagrams with 15 women and 15 stars each. Some of these diagrams are on fold-out pages.

A dense continuous text interspersed with figures, mostly showing small naked women bathing in pools or tubs connected by an elaborate network of pipes, some of them clearly shaped like body organs. Some of the women wear crowns.

More circular diagrams, but of an obscure nature. This section also has foldouts; one of them spans six pages and contains a map or diagram, with nine "islands" connected by "causeways", castles, and what may be a volcano.

Many labeled drawings of isolated plant parts (roots, leaves, etc.); objects resembling apothecary jars drawn along the margins; and a few text paragraphs. 

Many short paragraphs, each marked with a flower- or star-like "bullet".

 Pharmacopiea? Madman's rantings? Who knows....

So, know one knows who wrote this tome, what language it's in, why there are plants from the New World in a 15th Century manuscript, much less how cellular anatomy came into play.

But, at least now, thanks to Carbon 14-Isotope dating, we do, in fact, know when it was written: drumroll please....

According to Physorg

University of Arizona researchers have cracked one of the puzzles surrounding what has been called "the world's most mysterious manuscript" – the Voynich manuscript, a book filled with drawings and writings nobody has been able to make sense of to this day.

Using , a team led by Greg Hodgins in the UA's department of physics has found the manuscript's parchment pages date back to the early 15th century, making the book a century older than scholars had previously thought.  (specifically 1404-1438).

Again, we have no idea what its purpose was, but as one of the Ariz. U profs conjectures, and I think it's just as likely as any other reason:

"The text shows strange characteristics like repetitive word use or the exchange of one letter in a sequence," he says. "Oddities like that make it really hard to understand the meaning."

"There are types of ciphers that embed meaning within gibberish. So it is possible that most of it does mean nothing. There is an old cipher method where you have a sheet of paper with strategically placed holes in it. And when those holes are laid on top of the writing, you read the letters in those holes."

"Who knows what's being written about in this manuscript, but it appears to be dealing with a range of topics that might relate to alchemy. Secrecy is sometimes associated with alchemy, and so it would be consistent with that tradition if the knowledge contained in the book was encoded. What we have are the drawings.

Just look at those drawings: Are they botanical? Are they marine organisms? Are they astrological? Nobody knows."

 I'm sticking with alchemy...

Anyway, just an awesome little piece of news about one of the most awesome, mysterious objects on the planet today.


Mysterious Friday

Let's hear it for "Orphaned Land", an atmospheric powerdoom band hailing from Israel that uses, no shit, Arabic influences/language/musicians in an attempt to reconcile the internecine conflict in that god-forsaken, wind-blown, war-torn hell hole.

Such is the power of music.

I chose Orphaned Land for an entirely different, non-prescient reason, however. I have a story coming up in a bit about a very mysterious object, and it's now-discovered age. Hold tight.

Until then, enjoy Mercy won't you. Not the best sound quality, but the distorted sitar is tits-out awesome.

I really can't think of any music, other than of Persian extraction, which is so mysteriously evocative.



Not all Student-Athletes are televised

No, Stanford, I'm not talking about your Men's Water Polo. And, no North Carolina, I'm not talking about your Women's Field Hockey.

I'm talking about the other exceptional talents that many kids work on, unheralded, without scholarship, and without the applause and laudatory attention of millions.

I'm talking, specifically, about the well-worn, time-honored drinking game of quarters.

Behold, the most talented such player that has ever slopped tequila down the front of a dirty shirt.

The Michael Jordan/Pele/Tiger Woods of the Booze World.

 h/t Spock Jenkins



Really, really looking forward to the Thor movie. But, you're gonna' need some background.

I was an odd kid growing up: I was a voracious reader, a comic nerd, a gamer (AD&D holler), in the choir and jazz band, a pretty successful athlete, a hoodlum who spent a record 54 days of suspension in the 11th grade, an honors student, an amateur designer, and -most oddly- a neophyte proselytizer.

See, I wanted to bring back the gods. The very very old gods from Upsala and Thuringia and the Jutland. Of course, not really. What I wanted to see was a world where people worshipped their own gods, ancestral or geographical (fortunately, Neil Gaiman would write a book about this very concept. And, if I need to tell you the name, then...well, nevermind, I'll let you find it on your own).

So, yeah, renaissance kid borne solely from restlessness and heavy drug use.  But, the last one has really perservered. I am an atheist personally, but I really do still want to see our friends in France and the UK try to restore some of Angelesly's lost druidical lore. I'd have no problems with our Tuetonic neighbors rearing kids on tales of Asgard and the horrors of Niefelheim. And, specifically, I think it'd be a better world without the covetous, pissy hermit god of the desert holding sway in modern Christianity and Judiasm.

So, yea, really pumped for Thor. Let's have some Viking and Pagan Folk Metal, shall we?

Enslaved, Heidevolk, Korpiklaani, Finntroll, c'mon...what else do you need?



Ready for an infuriating story?

After a 3000 mile chase, Chief Joseph is ready for anything...

Say hello to Bryan Fischer, Communications and Policy wonk at The American Family Association, a paleolithic Right-wing organization so hard-bit by the crazy, so fundamentally rotten with fascistic Christian racism that it, quite frankly, defies description.

How crazy? How racist? How Christo-fascistic?  Let his own words, at the AFA Blog, do the talking

The Amorites, or Canaanite peoples, practiced one moral abomination after another, whether it was incest, adultery, sexual immorality, homosexuality, bestiality or child sacrifice, and God finally said “Enough!”

By the time he brought the nascent nation of Israel to the borders of the land flowing with milk and honey, he had already been patient with the native tribes for 400 years, waiting for them to come to the place of repentance for their socially and spiritually degrading practices.

Hmmm...Sounds good. Please go on, Mr. Fischer.

Okay, Fischer, we get it. You don't like Jews and clearly believe that everything got prior to the theft of Palestine foundation of Israel was on their own heads. But, what the fuck does that have to do with us?

The native American tribes at the time of the European settlement and founding of the United States were, virtually without exception, steeped in the basest forms of superstition, had been guilty of savagery in warfare for hundreds of years, and practiced the most debased forms of sexuality.


Many of the tribal reservations today remain mired in poverty and alcoholism because many native Americans continue to cling to the darkness of indigenous superstition instead of coming into the light of Christianity and assimilating into Christian culture.


Sadly, this column will likely generate a firestorm of nuclear proportions among wingers on the left rather than the thoughtful reflection the thesis deserves.

Holy. Shit.

So, now we have clearly deranged, mentally unstable, militant Dominionist, Nazi-clones telling us to give their vile screed "thoughtful reflection". Okay, Fischer, here's the thoughtful reflection you deserve, also from an alleged man of God, Fr. Bartolome De Las Casas, who traveled with the Spanish progenitors of the genocide inflicted on MesoAmerican Indians. 

These are the actions of the "enlightening" Christians that Fischer would have us emulate.

  • And never have the Indians in all the Indies committed any act against the Spanish Christians, until those Christians have first and many times committed countless cruel aggressions against them or against neighboring nations.
  • We can estimate very surely and truthfully that in the forty years that have passed, with the infernal actions of the Christians, there have been unjustly slain more than twelve million men, women, and children. In truth, I believe without trying to deceive myself that the number of the slain is more like fifteen million.
  • After the wars and the killings had ended, when usually there survived only some boys, some women, and children, these survivors were distributed among the Christians to be slaves.
  • These people are the most devoid of rancors, hatreds, or desire for vengeance of any people in the world.
  • Their reason for killing and destroying such an infinite number of souls is that the Christians have an ultimate aim, which is to acquire gold, and to swell themselves with riches in a very brief time and thus rise to a high estate disproportionate to their merits.
  • They attacked the towns and spared neither the children nor the aged nor pregnant women nor women in childbed, not only stabbing them and dismembering them but cutting them to pieces as if dealing with sheep in the slaughter house.
  • They made some low wide gallows on which the hanged victim's feet almost touched the ground, stringing up their victims in lots of thirteen, in memory of Our Redeemer and His twelve Apostles, then set burning wood at their feet and thus burned them alive.
  • They made a grid of rods which they placed on forked sticks, then lashed the victims to the grid and lighted a smoldering fire underneath, so that little by little, as those captives screamed in despair and torment, their souls would leave them.

So, Mr. Fischer, we've been down this road before. We've seen what happens when we yield to the temptation of "assimiliation" and the cheap murderous, totalitarian thrills of a "Christian Nation".

Please, die horribly, painfully and slowly now.

Perhaps by being given to priests?


Wednesday's got a confession....

...not big into Hellecktro. Or Cybergoth. Or Aggrotech. Always been more of a fan of the subdued stuff. Blacks (sans neon), grays, lace, extravagance in layering. Classic, Victorian gothic...or, as I like to call them, pretty things.

The CG thing always struck me as an aesthetically unpleasant chic, and no where is it more unpleasant to me than in the musical scene it begat. I'm not bagging on it...just not my thing, and there are a couple of bands I do dig.

But, my confession is this: Suicide Commando does the shit well. Very Well.  And I groove on him.

This track, "See you in Hell", is the stuff of nightmares. Do not watch this while alone or on drugs.

Suicide Commando's "See You in Hell"
Soundtrack for the post-Apocalypse gloom-merchants.
h/t DJ Darkest Peru for turning me on to this so many years ago.


Well, that was weird as hell

For some reason, Ping.fm decided that it wanted to cross-post my Tweets as well.

Note to self: Do not monkey around with these cross-dev apps.

Just to make up for that, I'll show you my present favorite Pinup...just cute as hell :)

So, ummm, if anyone's looking for a paralegal gig in Hawaii, please submit a resume like the above.

Very important case RT @invcondemnation: More on HAWICA: construction defects are not occurrences covd under insurance http://deck.ly/~AnJkg
RT @hawaiicourts: Testimony on HB1476 re trying minors as adults in murder cases http://bit.ly/i0kWt1
RT @hawaiicourts: Testimony on HB1476 re trying minors as adults in murder cases http://bit.ly/i0kWt1

Something much, much better than "Some eCards"

Don't get me wrong, I love me Some eCards. Absolutely do.

And, with good reason...


But, sometimes, you're up for more of the macabre, and less of the clever. 

To those people seeking a darker bent to their careless e-Card habit, I present Wrongcards.com.

Here are a few of my faves.

So, similar vein, a bit darker content, and without the iconic Victorian images. But, I think you'll be able to find something for that not-so-special, or specially twisted, person in your life.
You mainlanders really don't know what you're missing RT @HIBigIsland: Lovely Waipio..... http://fb.me/Km7y5A8m
As if you couldn't hear it this morning peeps RT @Hawaii247: High surf advisory for West Hawaii until 6 p.m. http://t.co/3yR9th1
Thats how i feel about my women! RT @TWEsq: @BigIslandLaw @bamabecky ugh, no whites for me, thanks
Truth RT @Charlemagne3983: Guy in front of me at bbq joint ordered ham and cheese sandwich. failorder
Just thought of the only way to make the Midwest cool: roaming bands of gypsy caravans. Imagine the possibilities.
And conversely has done worse with more RT @JasonIsbell: No matter how bad you think your upbringing was, someone has done more with worse.
Amen RT @69eyesofficial: Tuesday is the new Monday. J69
Modern civil reprise of the Burning Times RT @NEENZ: No sparks but plenty of paper: Church targets Wiccans for conversion http://om.ly/BMMVd

Cartoon Characters I Want To Sleep With: Esmeralda.

My unrequited love of ethnic women knows no boundaries: Tatars, Turks, Ukranians, Lebanese, Greek, Rus, Eastern Europeans of varying unidentifiable ethnicity, and -of course- the Roma.

Better known as "Gypsies" to the uninitiated, these stateless citizens are found in exceptionally high concentration in Bulgaria, Romania, France, and anywhere else they won't be prosecuted (as has historically been the case).

I could rail about the injustice done to the Roma (and perhaps I should, one day); however, now is not the time. Suffice it to say that lord, there are some beautiful Roma women in these insular conclaves.

Ms. Romania, for instance...

Sadly, cartoon versions of the lovely refugees of Eastern Europe are few and far between. To our Western eyes, we'd recognize very few of them. In fact, I can only (off the top of my head) immediately name one, but she is a doozy: Esmeralda from Disney's bastardization of Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

 Seriously, what's not to like about this....

Easily the most buxom Disney character, Esmeralda rocks some billowing peasant skirts/blouses, diving cleavage, and has the best coiffure this side of Jasmine. As with all Disney ethnic characters, they do make her a darker hue, with decidedly Anglo features (right down to the green eyes). But, if you look at Ms. Romania above, it actually works this time.
And, easily amenable to CosPlay!

Besides being the prototypical "type" what else does Esmeralda have going for her? Well, the first and foremost thing in her camp, is the unapologetic "Gyspy-ness" of the character; tinkerers, street performers, artisans, diviners, and pole dancers.
What? Pole Dancers?

Easily the most Sex-centric thing Disney has ever pulled, Esmeralda has a famous "pole dance" scene in Hunchback, programming children to accept their fate in smokey bars, over-priced drink in hand, shoving ones down stripper thongs...

Seriously, Disney. What the fuck?

Naturally, such a sensual character hearkens lust, desire, and a not-inconsequential amount of day-dreaming (including me). And, the best part is, unlike some quite frankly baffling tribute art, the Esmeralda smutty tribute art, actually works this time.

Including, what I am certain might be statutory offenses in America....

Good ole Jasmine, Esmerelda's got the cure for what ails ya...

Of course, some are slightly more...baffling...
A bit more aquatic and spiny than I like in my women, but...

And, then there are some that just take Quasimodo's lusts to their natural plateau...
Seriously, be glad that I cropped this one...

So, let's give a hand to the most sumptuous, overtly-sexual Disney character yet: Esmeralda. The Roma cum cracker that turned a thousand heads, and gave hundreds of little boys strange feelings in the movie theatre. It's not often that Disney gets one right --and I'm not sure this was intentionally correct, so much an accident of morphology-- but this time, they did.

While I am certain Victor Hugo is rolling over in his grave, Disney hasn't exactly made it's living with faithful reproductions...


Tuesday: Blasted by nostalgia.

Yesterday's 1984 redux from Motorola got my fragile psyche prepared for sandblasting by nostalgia. And, for some reason, this morning the only thing I could really think about was Coke's epic (and epically creepy) Max Headroom.

Such a hit was Max, the disembodied, assholish, talking head, that he got his own talk show (and featured prominently on others).

So, chilluns' of the 80s, enjoy some Max Headroom, on "How to be Macho", with --holy shit!-- Pat Benatar's Love is a Battlefield. It does not get more throw-back than that, short of the Smurfs wrestling Voltron for the rights to choose which Styx song to play on the Walkman. 

There is a reason all of we Gen Xers are completely fucked in the head...



I'm done with yogurt...and so are you.

 Oh, just the act of physically swallowing.
No reason. None whatsoever.

Der Schatten has long been put off mayonnaise. Now, it seems, that I must be done with yogurt.

According to the Smoking Gun,

A 28-year-old victim was shopping with her daughter in the store’s cereal aisle when she was approached by Garcia, who worked in the store’s dairy department. After accepting Garcia’s offer of a yogurt sample, the woman immediately thought the sample tasted “gross and disgusting” and, cops reported, “said it tasted like ‘semen.’”

In a handwritten statement, the woman said, “I spit it out on the floor many times cuz I was upset.” The woman recalled that when she talked to manager Catherine Flores, “she told me was a Greek yoghurt. People love it has lot of protein on it.”

The woman paid for her groceries and returned home, where she told her boyfriend about the incident. She told of how Garcia had “just come with one sample just for me,” and that “he was so pushy to tell me how taste it.” The woman and her boyfriend eventually returned to the market, where they summoned police.

I wish I were kidding. A woman is approached by a dirty hippie in a Farmer's Market, with a puddle of goo and told "eat it" "eat it". And, she does. Despite the fact she has no idea what it is (beyond what's she told), that the guy only has one sample (pardon the pun), and that she's in front of her daughter, and is meant to be a role model of positive, responsible behavior.

So, what does she do?

She eats the shit, naturally.

As much as I wish ill on any psychopathic asshat that does this to folks, you have to think that deep down, way in our visceral past, that people like this --the ones that ate the strange mushrooms-- were the very ones that didn't live to reproduce and spread stupidity genes. Ah, the modern society, thwarting Darwinism for 160 years, eh?

Anyway, if you'd like some horrifying reading materials, please check out the pdf (also from Smoking Gun), of the complaint sworn out to form the basis of the warrant. Disgusting.

Enjoy your Taco Bell "queso"


1984 all over again...

Apple, back in the day (1984, to be exact), used to be the upcomer, the challenger to the brown-boxed IBMs and Commodores (gray, natch) that dominated the nascent home-computing market.

They insisted on being different. Demanded that the sheeple break free from the 5'14" floppies, and, well...think different. How different? They went so far as to blast the PC/IBM hegemony with the now-classic 1984 ad below.

That was then...

Flash forward two decades, where Apple completely dominates the portable music market, has revolutionized SmartPhones, and -with the introduction of the iPad-- now holds a commanding 75% market share for tablets (on top of it's 11% and growing desktop market).

Imagine my surprise then, when I saw this lil ad streaming on the twitter feed last night for the Superbowl. 

..This is now.

The product is the Motorola Xoom, an $800 competitor to the ubiqituous iPad (also pushing 8 big ones). And, this time, it's the lil' upstart being portrayed as the hegemon; the enslaver of the masses. Not too sure how Motorola, of all people, can claim to be the little guy. But, what's good for the goose here back in the days of Reagan and Yuppie douches, is just as good today, in the era of a black president and Hipster douches.


Monday, same as a Sunday...

Shadow didn't get a whole lot of quality hang-out time this weekend. Saturday was spent preparing for/dealing with people coming to view his condo. While Sunday....

Sheesh. Sunday.

Sunday began pretty nasty with a true night terror: Waking paralysis, horrendous visual content bleeding into reality, etc. I have them about 3-4 times a year...on top of my weekly nightmares and sleepwalking. This one, comparatively speaking, I'll give an 8.3 to - Not enough to truly derail me for days, but enough to ruin Sunday.

And, even after I recovered yesterday, I nevertheless spent a full work day getting caught up at the office. So, yea, Monday has gotta' be a lil' better.

Which brings me to today: German Goth-Industrial DeathStars, with "Razor End". This is absolutely 100% free of anything resembling commercial influence. Purity? Yea, you could say this. For a nice change of pace --from anything really-- check these guys out...

Yep, pretty much the soundtrack to my nightmares...