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The Typing Octopus

Happy Scalloween

The Typing Octopus | 2005-10-31.5900 LMT | Nature | Food
Lyle Zapato

Bush Robots

Lyle Zapato | 2005-10-30.9830 LMT | Polydactylism | Technology

More on the Dactyl Fractal (aka the Handelbrot set). The Verizon ad wasn't an isolated instance of synchronicity, as can be seen in the Technovelgy.com post: Bush Robots - Fingers On Your Fingers On Your Fingers...

Juggler bush robot

"Bush robots" were proposed by ro­boticist/futurist Hans Moravec (see his paper "Fractal branching ultra-dex­terous robots"). Basically they consist of a robot arm that has smaller arms attached to one or both ends, that in turn have still smaller ones attached, and so on, forming a bush-like pattern. They will be able to manipulate objects at multiple size scales (conceivably from the mega­botic to the nano­bio­tech­no­log­ical), bringing together the smaller arms to form larger arms. Such a robot could, theoretically, rip open your house, grab you, pick up a scalpel, slice you open, reach in, grab a cell, reach into the cell, and fiddle with its DNA -- all with the same arm.

Perhaps the recent awakening of the Handelbrot set in the collective consciousness is a premonition of the Singularity? Clearly, when the robots rise, hand to hand combat will not be a viable form of resistance.

Lyle Zapato

Viral Marketing And Microsoft Word

Lyle Zapato | 2005-10-22.2300 LMT | Entertainment | Letters | General Paranoia

Perhaps by now you've seen the blog with the video of the giant uncovered by the tsunami?

Back on the 12th I received an email from someone claiming to be the publicist for Eric Belson, the owner of the above blog, who claimed to be writing a book on the mythology of giants. The publicist asked if I would run the tsunami giant footage on my site. The email had attached a press release in MS Word format breathlessly announcing the release of the video. Opening the doc up in a regular text editor revealed that it was created by someone working for TBWA\Chiat\Day, a large advertising agency used by Sony and known to engage in viral marketing.

The general consensus, based on the content of the video and others since released on the blog, is that it's all a viral ad for a Playstation megacide simulator called Shadow of the Colossus. So here's further confirmation, albeit somewhat late.

It also confirms the dangers of Microsoft Word. This is why True Paranoids write their duplicitous press releases using hex editors.

(When I received it, I emailed the publicist back asking if she worked for TBWA\Chiat\Day, but she never responded. If I had made the connection with the game then, I would have tried to finagle a free copy out of them -- no doubt a useful training aid for my eventual final showdown with the forces of Federalist Canada -- but it's obviously too late for that now. Oh well. Anyway, thanks for linking to my site, guys... although it should be "Zapato Productions intradimensional" not just "intradimensional" -- hey, I was nice enough to humor your ridiculously backslash-cobbled name, allow me my titular extravagancies.)

The Monorailist

Sink Faster, Dour Ship! The Future Is Rising!

The Monorailist | 2005-10-21.3800 LMT | Politics | Monorail Danger

Land! Land is what we need!

And land we shall finally have. The courts have recognized the rightful authority of the Seattle Monorail Project, saying that it may use eminent domain to condemn the "Sinking Ship" parking garage in Pioneer Square to make way for a much needed monorail station.

The Domain of the Monorail is most eminent indeed. Preeminent, in fact! If our monorailular destiny is to be made manifest -- as it must if there is to be any hope for the Elevationment of Humanity -- then the impediments of the past ought justly be stricken down so that the concrete tendrils of Lady Monorail may spread to all lands and take root in every neighborhood. I say: Let there be a pullulation of monorail stations! Parking garages be condemned!

Fear not, gentle Luddite motorists; the final plunge of the Sinking Ship will be no true loss. Parking shall be pointless in our monorailed future, as cars will have gone the way of the horse and buggy, and meter maids shall go begging on street corners for their precious coins. Take heart, for every end is a new beginning. The ghosts of the Seattle Hotel, long tormented by the noxious Cult of the Automobile, shall finally be put to rest in the luxurious temple of Righteous Monorailism, where in their peaceful slumber they will watch Humanity finally soar free twenty feet above the Earth.

I must admit disappointment at the leadership of the SMP for not being bold enough to exercise Section 8 and liberate Seattle, nevertheless the current problems are a momentary setback. The Monorail Project will push onward! While the new proposed line is shorter than previously planned, it will still let my fellow monorailists travel farther than ever before. And once the Self-Evident Truth of the Monorail is before the public, with the anti-monorail forces unable to deny it, the line will only grow.

Ever since my decision as a young boy to never travel by any nonmonorailular means, I have been somewhat limited in where I could go, a sacrifice I have gladly made for this most noble of causes. Yes, the Pacific Science Center and Westlake Center have served me well -- with their abundant shopping, dining, and science educational options -- but progress beckons. Oh, what brave new world lies beyond Westlake and the Space Needle? What strange people exist in those far-off lands? In due time, we shall find out, and we shall bring with us the gift of the Monorail.

Lyle Zapato

Duck And Cover (With Foil)

Lyle Zapato | 2005-10-20.4700 LMT | Aluminum | General Paranoia

Did you know that in the event of a nuclear explosion directly over your head, your AFDB will provide you with valuable microseconds of thinking time that unbeanied orthonoids will not have. It's true!

In the 1950s, photos of nuclear tests taken with Rapatronic cameras revealed an effect dubbed a "rope trick" (bottom of page) where radiant spikes travel down the mooring cables that hold the test tower in place, moving ahead of the nuclear fireball. Dr. John Malik determined that this was caused by the ropes being vaporized by the energy released as light, which was many times greater than the heat from the fireball itself and, of course, traveled much quicker. Malik found that if he wrapped the cables in aluminum foil, no spikes were formed.

Nuclear fireball with 'rope tricks' from nuclearweaponarchive.org

With an AFDB, you can rest assured that the light from a nuclear explosion won't vaporize your head. Depending on how far away from the blast you are, this may give you enough time to outrun the fireball and leap to safety in cinematic slow motion, while all those beanie-scoffers are left behind looking like lit matchsticks.

Remember: only the paranoid and cockroaches will survive.

Lyle Zapato

Aluminum Oxynitride

Lyle Zapato | 2005-10-19.2070 LMT | Aluminum | Technology

(This story appeared on Slashdot apparently and someone emailed me about it so...)

The US Air Force is testing new transparent armor made using aluminum oxynitride (developed by Raytheon and trademarked ALON®).

Transparent aluminum compounds are neither new nor unusual. Corundum (aka aluminum oxide) is the base substance of ruby and sapphire (which differ only in impurities), both of which are currently used for armor coatings in military/police equipment. If you need to see through something and not have bullets or shrapnel destroy it, chances are aluminum is involved. (See here for a ~600Kio PDF with lots of technical details about aluminum compounds used in transparent armor.)

AFDBs will develop a natural coating of aluminum oxide with exposure to air, so paranoids are already protected. (Paranoid seniors: try abrading your beanie and quickly sprinkling it with chromium dust for a stylish ruby coating.)

The testing of ALON® for military purposes is not new either. Here's a press release from 2002 announcing an agreement between Raytheon and Surmet Corp. to develop and market ALON® products commercially for the first time, whereas previously it was "developed as advanced military material and kept as a well guarded secret" (Warning: the terms "synergy" and "commercialization engine" are leveraged, although with the last one they had enough shame to put scare quotes around it.)

Radical Sasquatch

HOWL: BOUNTY!!!

Radical Sasquatch | 2005-10-17.4700 LMT | Sasquatch Issues

Desperate Human perverts in Maine want a picture of Sasquatch or Yeti that will help them squatchnap one of us and they are willing to pay ONE MILLION DOLLARS for it! THAT IS A LOT OF ECHINOID SKELETONS!!! The skeletons are being provided by a shadowy Human company, WHO ISN'T NAMED!!! What sort of company could gather that many sand dollars to barter for a picture? And why must they group us with Loch Ness Monster? WE ARE NOT PLESIOSAUROIDAL!!! Perhaps they are interested in cephalopodivores? I have heard howl from my Grendel cousins that Nessie likes peat ammonites...

BUT I DIGRESS!!!

Fellow Hominoids, and our new Plesiosaur allies, hear my howl! Stay away from Maine when the Cryptozoologists gather prior to the new moon! And to counter their contract on us, I will offer a bounty of 100 PINECONES for each Human camera you can take from the cryptopaparazzi! 200 IF THEIR ARMS ARE STILL ATTACHED TO IT!!! These are the good pinecones too, not those puny little Douglas fir cones, but MIGHTY SUGAR PINECONES!!! Excellent for personal hygiene use! Make great Life Day presents!

2005-10-19 UPDATE!!!

Human cryptofetish site reports the shadowy Human company has withdrawn its bounty claiming concern for the safety of Sasquatch! THIS IS A LIE!!! In reality they are worried about being sued by amature cryptopaparazzi who might end up getting delimbed! The company has turned out to be called WIZARDS OF THE COAST!!! This explains how they gathered all the sand dollars -- TIDALMANCY!!!

Lyle Zapato

GPM #16: The Smurfs

Lyle Zapato | 2005-10-10.8210 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots | NWO | Belgian Conspiracy

The Belgian Federal Government calls Smurfs "typically Belgian". Do I even need to say more?

I have already lightly covered their role as propaganda mascots for the Belgian Conspiracy on the "Truth about Belgium" page (and I believe a guest blogger mentioned them too). Their Saturday morning antics were designed to promote certain socio-political themes that stem from their Communist leanings, including the loyal following of charismatic leadership (Wikipedia has an article on Smurf Communism, although the Wikikommissars have targeted it for deletion -- read it while you can!)

The centralized authority inherent in the Communist system is useful for the Belgium Conspiracy, who seek to make themselves the virtual seat of the NWO Government, so it's no wonder that they would want to promote it among children, even if in an abstracted form.

Now Smurfy propaganda has taken a disturbing new turn, as reported by Daily Telegraph:

The people of Belgium have been left reeling by the first adult-only episode of the Smurfs, in which the blue-skinned cartoon characters' village is annihilated by warplanes.

...

Belgian television viewers were given a preview of the 25-second film earlier this week, when it was shown on the main evening news. The reactions ranged from approval to shock and, in the case of small children who saw the episode by accident, wailing terror.

...

The short film pulls no punches. It opens with the Smurfs dancing, hand-in-hand, around a campfire and singing the Smurf song. Bluebirds flutter past and rabbits gambol around their familiar village of mushroom-shaped houses until, without warning, bombs begin to rain from the sky.

Tiny Smurfs scatter and run in vain from the whistling bombs, before being felled by blast waves and fiery explosions. The final scene shows a scorched and tattered Baby Smurf sobbing inconsolably, surrounded by prone Smurfs.

The cartoon was produced by the Belgian branch of UNICEF, a United Nations organization. Of course, the people mentioned in the article -- written by David Rennie, who claims to be "in" Brussels -- weren't actually watching televisions but rather were having the shocking images transmitted directly into their brains while they lie deluded in their Belgian Citizen Pods under Euro-Disneyland.

It's no coincidence that this comes near Halloween, as the NWO has been long running a campaign to get kids to "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" (i.e. collect psychotronic-circuitry-laden coins from citizens' home in order to retrieve the brainwave patterns recorded on them for subversive thought analysis). The timing makes the cartoon's message obvious: Kids, gather pennies for us or we'll bomb your favorite cartoon characters back to the stone age. By first indoctrinating kids into the virtual commune of Smurf Village, the Belgian Conspiracy can now use the threat of violently taking the commune away to get them to do the dirty work of its NWO colleagues.

Lyle Zapato

25 Digit Advantage

Lyle Zapato | 2005-10-06.4420 LMT | Polydactylism

Devender Harne, who has 25 working fingers and toes (photos), is the next step in human evolution leading toward the manifestation of the Handlebrot set.

According to the mother of the 10-year-old from Nagpur, India: "I feel that he should make more progress in life that people with twenty fingers are not able to achieve."

Indeed, while the Babylonians recognized the inevitable rise of humans with six digits per limb with their sexagesimal numeral system, they could not have foreseen the beneficial mathematical complications of an extra toe. Devender may be the harbinger of a revolution in fuzzy numeral systems with variable bases.

The perception of extra digits is a common experience of people in altered states of consciousness. This link between the subconscious and dactyl evolution was explored in the documentary Altered States, in which William Hurt used psychotropic drugs and a sensory deprivation tank to force himself to transcend common pentadactylism.

As the Handlebrot archetype spreads through the collective subconsciousness, we should expect to see more instances of lateral polydactylism spurred by gathering morphogenic fields, eventually culminating in true fractal dactyl progress.

Lyle Zapato

Cyberterrorism

Lyle Zapato | 2005-10-03.6240 LMT | Letters | Complaints Department

In response to my response to some hat-related spam, our friends at Star Position dropped us a letter:

One of my people emailed you in error. You've seen fit to put her phone number on it. In case it has not dawned on you, you are actually by doing this in violation of certain Penal Codes for the State of California -> look up 'cyberterrorism' 'cyberstalking' specifically California Penal Code 646.9 'actions which would be designed to put an individual in fear for their safety'

I'm going to look at your site again in 24 hours. You are going to be a good chap and remove any phone numbers from any postings relating to my company, Star Position. And before you blow this off, or do something truly even more stupid than what you have done, I suggest you do a google search for California Penal Code 646.9 and related topics. We are based in California.

Best Regards,

Robert Sexton
Director of Business Development, Star Position US and Star Position UK

Toll Free: [REDACTED!], extension [REDACTED!]
International: [REDACTED!]

Websites:
Star Position US: WWW.[REDACTED!].COM
Star Position UK: WWW.[REDACTED!].CO.UK

Proud member of the Better Business Bureau

Apparently, revealing telephone numbers for businesses, even ones that are routinely spammed to public listserves and fora (see here, here, here, here, and here), constitutes "cyberterrorism" in California, at least in Rob's view.

(Here's the actual text of the 646.9 code. I'll leave it up to the reader to figure how repeating a publicly available business number once constitutes two or more acts of harassement against a specific person with a credible threat to his or her safety. Also note that "terrorism", cyber or otherwise, appears nowhere in the text. But hey, it sounds cool.)

Anyway, to ease any fears, rational or otherwise, that Rob or his people might have for their safety by having their business numbers in one additional place on the Net that I may have unintentionally caused, I have redacted the numbers from this and the previous email. I also redacted the web addresses above, since I'm just that good of a chap.

On a side note, Rob's people seem to have some issues with sending emails in error. Perhaps he will be a good chap and look into fixing that.

UPDATE 2007-09-03: (I just noticed I forgot to link to the post that prompted the above exchange, so I updated the first sentence accordingly.)

My attention was drawn back here thanks to an email from Amy Alkon at the Advice Goddess Blog, who has had a run in with Rob. She was fed up with getting spam from him and his refusal to remove her from his spam lists after repeated requests, so she contacted one of the clients he spams for. That got his attention, and he promptly threatened to sue her for "tortuous interference with a business". Responding to Alkon's complaint on the Better Business Bureau site, he then told some fibs (according to Alkon) and summarized his response as "Ms. Alkon needs to calm down". Funny, coming from a guy who accuses random bloggers of "cyberterrorism".