Thursday, December 30, 2010

Word Lesson 2

The singular form of algae is "alga",
And a "plaintain" is a big plant similar to a banana plant, that gives plantain fruit that looks like giant green bananas, and that is food rather than dessert like the sweet normal bananas.

Just in case any of you would want to refer to a single alga. Algae have feelings too!


I keep wanting to draw comics, just short ones, but still. Some stories make better print, and some make better drawings, and some I'd suppose make better film. Since my writing has come to a standstill and I can't seem to conjure up the strength to push it forward, now my brain is yelling at me about comics and animation. Something that, if I don't have time to write, I certainly don't have time for :P

I feel like a magicarp splashing around on land :< so much potential, so little time (before I suffocate and die from not being in the water :P)

Recently read a discussion about pokémon, where they talked about the "fainting" concept. Most people, it appeared, like I, never paid any attention to the word "faint" and saw it more like they died and were resurrected. I for one always thought of it as "aw crap I killed it" when you knock out a wild one and thus can't capture it. (It kinda makes no sense that because you knocked it out, you now can't keep it... O.o Do they get teleported away into crystal stasis whenever they lose consciousness? Ooooh nobody will get that reference xD the geekiness!) I imagine they called it fainting because it's a kids' game, but if all the kids imagine them dying anyway... Think people are a bit too careful with these things; it's electronic imaginary monsters, ffs.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

She's a killer whale, gunpowder, ginger ale

I'm playing puzzle games to spend time, which incidentally also teaches me new words of the English language, since I've made a point of looking up those I find. At least for a few minutes, because I've already forgotten most of the words I learned yesterday. Well, I'll know them if I read them. The one I remember is "roe" which is a collection of fish eggs or sperm. For whatever reason I should know that word >.>

Today I learned what a "porpoise" is. Either you can see it here, or you can let me explain; it's a kind of small whale that looks like dolphins except they're shorter, stouter and don't have the long nose. They kinda looks like the bastard dwarf children of a dolphin and a killer whale. I think they're much cuter than dolphins. Killer whales/orcas can also be called "blackfish", apparantly, which... I dunno, it sounds a bit... plain. I like "orca". I heard a story when I was a kid where they were sort of "holy animals", and "orca" sounds like something like that. A mythical creature.

Porpoises live in small "herds" of less than ten, and you call these herds "pods". So you'd go; "There's a pod of porpoises at the harbor" which is such an awesome sentence that I think porpoises are my new favoritest animal.

If you're wondering about the header for last post, it's because I was talking to Nallenon, and I said I don't want to write too long blogposts and he said why (sometimes I think the Nallenon-"why" is less out of actual questioning and more a conditioned response to any declarative statement) and I said it's because I have no grasp of how slow/fast people read and I don't want to occupy their entire day. I can tell when I read like an article over someone's shoulder that I tend to finish faster than most, but how fast people normally read... nooo clue. So, uh, I hope I'm not writing too long. Tell me if I do.

Monday, December 27, 2010

How Long Does It Take You To Read This?

You know what Hollywood has ruined for me? Aside from sensible beauty standards, gender roles, social life... actually intelligence, good stories, evil endings, sensibility and temperance... I'm off track, I'll try again.

You know what Hollywood has ruined for me? Nudity in movies. Whenever I see a movie that has good enough camera work and sound to not be some kid's wet dream from a garage, and there's someone naked in there, I jump as if someone threw a bucket of water in my face. "She's naked! She can't be naked, what is this, someone call... the cops, call a lawyer, call Bush! Now!"

If you're wondering what movie has nakedness, it's Macbeth from 2006. In Australia, naked women aren't a horror and sin against God. They're also redheads and have cool tattoos. Going a bit off track here again...

I happened upon it because I was looking up Sam Worthington because I watched Clash of the Titans (Sorry to interrupt, but why the hell is it named that? It makes less sense than Japanese anime naming O.o) because I was looking up Mads Mikkelsen (I just have to interject that, don't see this movie because of him, cuz his part sucks... actually the whole movie kinda sucks... the only reason to watch it really is for the actors, and in that case they all have better works...) because I watched King Arthur because I was looking up Joel Edgerton because I saw someone in something on tv who almost looked like him but it wasn't.

Joel Edgerton makes a hawt Gawain. Sorry, but somebody had to say it. Mads Mikkelsen makes a hawt Tristram as well. Then put them both on horses. And Keira Knightly in camo paint and leather straps stepping out of the forest mist. Mmmmm. Off track! Off track again!

Incidentally, I thought about how little that movie, King Arthur, makes any sense with the other legends like Tristram and Isolde or the Holy Grail. Not that any of that makes any sense to begin with. But it's fun to try and imagine those stories with these characters.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A static pattern of infinite variation

Christmas day and lazily watching television. Something sciency. I was paying half attention while carefully dissecting a chocolate Santa. They were talking about chaos. The idea that began with/spawned the saying about the butterfly and the tornado. I was thinking, boring, idiots, how couldn't you see? I've known, somewhere deep inside, always. The tiny details that tip the scales, creates tidal waves, that somehow fit into a greater pattern that yet still cannot predict the wave. I got interested at first because it amazed me that generations of great mathematicians seemed to have been baffled at the realization. The idea that chaos in the general sense is something that doesn't truly exist; it's simply another form of order.

But as they went on...

Not even nature can keep track of all the details. Micromanaging has never been the way to win a war. It's about initiating very simple patterns, that will lay the land for the winning strike, although you can never be sure when or how it will happen. Like a tree that repeats itself, smaller and smaller into branches, like our blood vessels, like river streams. Suddenly I saw the connection from math - to fractals - to nature - to the patterns of humanity and the world - back to the math that we spawned because of it. Feedback; an infinite, clever loop based on a very simple concept. A single pulse of the bat sonar, and another shard of clarity taken away from it.

Perhaps there is no need to know the details, perhaps no need to understand the small things, only to know the simple premises and how they build on each other? A difficult thing for me to accept, because it turns my beliefs about science upside down. Is it possible for humanity to understand the world we live in? An hour ago I would have said no, never, absolutely not. But maybe understanding it does not mean to know exactly where lightning will strike; rather to know the premises under which lightning will surely strike - sometime, somewhere.

It strikes me that it might be what my knowledge of people builds upon. As I get to know a person, a simple equation takes shape that will explain all behavior - but not predict it. I have always known that I'll never be able to predict. Too many small variables for a human brain to compute, probably also for a supercomputer. Bigger patterns of behavior are much easier to predict, but the actions of a single individual may also change the course of that behavior so drastically that predictions will always be just predictions; guesses.

Perhaps I even believe in evolution now, although that's a bit trickier. It means progress requires small mutations in all systems, which again removes the capacity to ever understand anything, because the tiniest change in the premise of the pattern can drastically change the outcome. Butterfly and all that.

Which brings me back to the idea that a system in motion, one that contains living, growing, evolving things can never be accurately understood or described, especially not by those inside of it.

Fractals have taken us closer to a math of nature than I previously understood. But can humanity ever understand everything? No, never, absolutely not.

But clearly there are underlaying, static patters that create a world of infinite variation. Can those be found and understood? Maybe. Maybe.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Today's theme: hopeful.

Today I am back in sync with my planning and my master plans.
And I have a new hat. Since *someone* stole mine. Rocks.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Under Attack

Big fucking tractor clearing away the snow at 3AM this morning, and as if the noise and the vibrations in the floor weren't enough, it also has a bright orange light going round round.

Sleepy and confused, I woke up by a very, very loud bang and my room filled with orange light. My head, known to make leaps at times, immediately yelled at the top of it's lungs "EMP!". If I had any tendencies towards talking in my sleep I would have actually shouted it out; it was so loud that I thought someone else had actually yelled it from somewhere outside.

I froze in place like a scared rabbit and waited for my blurry vision to clear. I was fighting with myself about whether to hide under the bed or go check if my roomie was alive and well. A few seconds later though, probably when my low blood pressure managed to get a few drops up to my brain, two creeping realizations slowly fought their way into my consciousness; 1) my vision was blurry because I wasn't wearing glasses, and 2) everywhere I'd ever seen EMP's mentioned, the light had been blue, not orange. Fishy.

I needed to go to the bathroom so I got up and opened the door, but my roomie was in the bathroom. Good, because then she was safe, so I closed the door and went back to bed. That's when the tractor continued it's work and I realized that A) tractor; so probably not black-camoed soldiers coming to crash through my window and B) well... why the hell would anyone do any of the things I had imagined to me, this city or this country.

Then the tractor went on working and kept me awake for almost an hour :< if it'd been an EMP at least hopefully he'd stopped.