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Lyle Zapato

Mighty Cascadia Rumbles

Lyle Zapato | 2005-03-08.9250 LMT | Cascadia | Field Trips

Mount St. Helens has erupted again. Don't worry, you'll be hearing more than you care to know about it soon enough. When you're watching the live coverage on the news tomorrow with the reporter standing in front of the mountain, you may wonder what it looks like behind the scenes. For a taste, here's a panorama I took of the Media Circus that followed the minor burp last October:

Media Circus Panorama Thumbnail
Photo taken October 4, 2004. (Click to enlarge.)

It's kind of hard to see in the scaled down version, but there was a reporter doing a shoot at the time. Here's a close up:

Reporter

Anyway, the Media was segregated in a lot a few miles away from Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center (the closest, then-open facility to the mountain,) so they wouldn't pester the Normals. A few Media People did manage to escape the paddock and sneak their way to the visitor center though, as I was approached there by a roving reporter from some Canadian radio network soliciting human interest soundbites with a tape recorder. He seemed slightly disappointed when I declined to comment, but luckily the person next to me was chomping at the bit to tell Canadians all about his life-long love of volcanology.

Given the larger scale of the newest eruption, the Media Circus will probably be much larger this time. Then again, since it was only five months since the Media last visited, and especially since nothing blew up when they were there, the novelty may still be worn off. We'll see.

The Philatelist

Stamp Nook: R. Buckminster Fuller

The Philatelist | 2005-03-08.6400 LMT | Philately | Aluminum
Stamp

This edition of Stamp Nook looks at a U.S. commemorative issued last year that was brought to my attention by Reuben in the guestbook:

At the local post office this afternoon I found something wonderful that I thought perhaps Lyle and the Philatelist would enjoy. It is not a candy heart stamp left over from Valentine's day, but one honoring R. Buckminster Fuller and the geodesic colossus of his disembodied head. ... The futurist scene is monorail-free, but it does have some kind of a three-wheeled Winnebago.

Although I must admit to not being very fond of these newer self-adhesives with their ersatz perforations, it is nonetheless a lovely looking stamp. The illustration was done by Boris Artzybasheff (more) and was originally used on a 1964 Time Magazine cover for an article on Fuller entitled 'The Dymaxion American'.

The 'three-wheeled Winnebago' is actually Fuller's Dymaxion Car. It could seat eleven, travel at 193kph, get at least 13km to the litre, perform a u-turn in its own length, and was designed to eventually be equipped with 'jet-stilts' to allow it reach a house placed anywhere on 'Spaceship Earth' (Fuller designed a Dymaxion House that could be airlifted to any location, no matter how inaccessible, and suspended from a pole; a multi-tiered variation can be seen on the left side of the stamp). The car was also sheaved in aluminium, which, I have on good authority from Lyle, made its passengers quite immune to psychotronic mind control.

It was by all technical accounts a smashing success; however a mysterious 'accident' in 1933 involving the first Dymaxion Car resulted in the death of a famous race car driver and serious injuries to two dignitaries on their way to catch a Zeppelin. This generated negative press and soured any potential investors. (Interestingly, Zeppelins, which also had coverings made with aluminium, would a few years later suffer their own mysterious accident with similarly disastrous publicity.) Although Fuller's design was later vindicated when it was learnt the fault lie with the other, conventional-style car involved in the accident (driven by a shadowy Government official who fled the scene of the crime), it was by then too late and the project died, leaving today's motorists at risk for vehicular mind control and municipalities at the mercy of marauding Monorailists.

A sordid state of affairs indeed, but all in all a very collectable stamp for the transportation topicalist.

Until next time, happy philateling!

Lyle Zapato

GPM #13: Deoxys

Lyle Zapato | 2005-03-06.3100 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots
Deoxys

Originally created as an experiment in overly aggressive psyoptic mind control aimed at children, Pokémon has since evolved into an all-embracing lifestyle for it's many fans. So it should come as no surprise that a Government agency has tapped into the power of Pokémon to condition young minds.

NASA has teamed with Nintendo of America Inc. to create an in-school program that will introduce K-6 students of North America to a new GPM called Deoxys, a space-virus type Pokémon that teaches children about extraterrestrial illnesses that can mutated into collectable fighting buddies when exposed to lasers.

Besides being part of a larger ploy by the Pokémon Company to replace all biology classes with Pokémonology studies -- thereby conditioning future generations to accept, and desire to purchase as pets, the genetically engineered lifeforms being developed on a small island off the coast of Sakhalin which Pokémon are based on -- the program synergizes with NASA's gradual revelation of the existence of Paraterrestrials to society, as well as their mandate to monitor the activities of citizens from orbit.

According to the press release, the program includes "awareness bracelets." They would like you to think that these are to promote awareness of space-virus-related issues among kids, but in fact they're designed to provide them awareness of your child's every movement. The bracelets are a replacement for the school "identification badges" (actually RFID tracking devices) that were found to not yet be acceptable to the public in a trial program earlier this year. The Deoxys program lets them reissue the same technology under the cover of Pokémania paraphernalia. (It's no coincidence that NASA is planning to relaunch its shuttle program shortly after the introduction of Deoxys materials into schools, as they need to attach a Pokémon bracelet detection unit to the ISS.)

Lyle Zapato

Lord Kelvin And Your Hard Drive

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-27.2800 LMT | Kelviniana | Technology

Kelvin's "On the Electro-dynamic Qualities of Metals" describes his experiments with bits of nickel and iron that showed their electrical resistance changed depending on how they were oriented in a magnetic field.

What's so interesting about this 148 year old experiment? It marks the discovery of a phenomenon today known as anisotropic magnetoresistance (AMR) which is used by modern hard drives to read data. Just like in Kelvin's experiments, a hard drive's magnetoresistance (MR) read head changes its electrical resistance in response to magnetic fields, thus allowing the drive to read data from changes in the current being sent through the head as the head passes over the spinning magnetic platters.

The introduction of the MR read head (made of an alloy of nickel and iron -- the metals used in Kelvin's experiments,) allowed the explosion in hard drive sizes in the late '90s as they replaced the older, less-sensitive inductive read/write heads. (The original MR heads are now being replaced by even-more-sensitive giant magnetoresistive heads, which still contain an AMR element.)

So, the next time you look through your multi-gibioctet collection of MP3s, digicam snaps, and pirated episodes of American television shows, remember to thank the Lord Kelvin for giving you the ability to have greater areal density through the electro-dynamic wonder of anisotropic magnetoresistance.

Lyle Zapato

More From Robert Cassell

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-25.0280 LMT | Letters | Entertainment

Got a spare three million lying around and want to position yourself to win a NOBEL PRIZE and the prestigious title of Humanitarian of the World? Bob Cassell has another proposition for you (this one forwarded to me by the recipient, name withheld):

From: Robert Cassell <bobcassell@hotmail.com>
To: [...]
Subject: Saving Lives Supporting AIDS Medical Research New Business Development
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 21:28:36 +0000

Dear [...]

The following letter will explain how I have proven and tested both a product and concept that has the proven ability to raise in excess of $250 million per year per continent for AIDS Medical Research.

Permit me to explain.

Approximately two years ago my teenage daughter had Cancer. In order to maintain my sanity I developed a product and concept that has the Proven Market Testing worldwide to raise in excess of $250 million per year per continent for AIDS Medical Research. The initial investment of approximately $3 million will return at least $50 million per year. The $3 million in question is only half in cash and half in credit line.

So I need your advice, counsel and expertise relative to the AIDS crisis. Additionally, we could also create new jobs worldwide plus most importantly Saving Lives.

The product and concept in question is a consumer lifestyle product, that currently has no competition and utilizes a distribution system that has been used by only one product from one industry for over 50 years with resounding success.

Additionally, the concept will become a Television First. Never in the history of the World has a TV Show been broadcast Internationally ...bridging all time zones.

The company and/or investor will make themselves in a position to win the NOBEL PRIZE.

Of course there are a ton of stories that were generated over the past years. There track record of successes make the $250 million per year per continent very conservative.

Since my daughter won her battle against Cancer I believe that my effort should be utilized to help cure society of its ills. Therefore, the lion share of the profit is yours and any investor. All I want are a few points and the opportunity to spearhead the project. No front monies are required. I'll relocate any place to help rid our society of AIDS.

Personally, I've spent two decades representing the Fortune 500 Internationally from advertising, marketing , sales promotion and actual sales. Additionally, I've served on the Board of Directors of The National Crime Prevention Council.

Hopefully I've peaked your curiosity which will foster beneficial dialogue. Again, the key here is that the product and concept in question is not just another good idea it has been proven and tested. Together we can find one or more sponsors for a "Smart Pak" launch. Note: Remember Smart Pak embraces the benefits of winning the NOBEL PRIZE...either as an individual or corporation, a worldwide Television Special and the title of Humanitarian of the World. And most importantly we will save many lives worldwide.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Respectfully
Robert H. Cassell
A Chicago Resident

Wow. $250 million × 7 continents = $1.75 billion in revenue. (That's assuming that there's a sustainable market for consumer lifestyle products on Antarctica. Otherwise it's a mere $1.5 billion. But I'm sure Bob considered the Penguin Demographic in his Market Testing.)

There is a dilemma here though: What if both NEW SPORT and "Smart Pak" get investors at the same time and both investors want Bob to relocate to different places? What a wacky predicament that would be! In fact, the concept would make a great COMEDY MOVIE.

Permit me to explain.

Currently there is no competition for comedy movies about an Idea Man with a Heart of Gold from Chicago who hits it big but ends up having to juggle spearheading two different international projects from two entirely separate locations. The concept in question would embrace as a source of comedic tension the main character's competing desires to share NEW SPORT with the world and rid society of AIDS, with lots of opportunities for physical comedy during his harried commutes.

The key here is the role of Bob Cassell will be played by an actor with a track record of successes in light-hearted comedies. I'm thinking Will Ferrell or maybe Bill Pullman. The emotional center of the movie will be the cancer-surviving daughter, played by Lindsay Lohan or maybe one of the Olsen twins. There should also be a love interest for the Bob character, possibly the daughter of one of the investors, or maybe a daughter of each investor for added farce. In the end, everything works out as both NEW SPORT and a cure for AIDS are introduced to the world.

COMEDY MOVIE will be family oriented with no violence, but there will be at least one gut wrenching car chase. The soundtrack will be Country Western driven.

With an initial investment of $1 million, COMEDY MOVIE would return at least $50 million in domestic ticket and DVD sales and generate a very conservative $100 million in the International Arena. Additionally, the movie's producers will make themselves in a position to win a GOLDEN GLOBE and send a clear message of pro-activeness to the Hollywood Community.

All I want are a few points and the opportunity to direct. I'll relocate to Vancouver, B.C. if neccessary.

Lyle Zapato

Investment Opportunity: A NEW SPORT

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-22.6240 LMT | Letters | Sasquatch Issues | Entertainment

Got a spare million lying around and want to send a Country-Western-driven message to those bastards in the Corporate Community who dare question your pro-activeness? Bob Cassell has a proposition for you:

From: "Robert Cassell" <bobcassell@hotmail.com>
To: lyle@zapatopi.net
Subject: A NEW SPORT
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 14:44:54 +0000

To Whom It May Concern

New Business Development is truly the life blood of any company.

A NEW SPORT opens up the avenues tremendously...from Sponsorships to General and Promotional Advertising and More.

It clearly sends a message to the Corporate Community that your agency is more than just pro-active. It screams volumes of positioning yourself as number one.

Permit me to explain.

I have created, developed and Market Tested with resounding success a NEW SPORT.

For an initial investment of approximately $1 million since the New Sport in question has been both proven and tested with resounding success the return should exceed $400 million per year.

So the logical next step is finding representation. Hopefully you will consider taking on such a project. Please understand that this is not just another good idea. Rather it is a proven and tested SPORT.

I have taken the liberty of listing the various revenue streams.

Television Rights Sponsorships Note: corporate sponsorsors will exceed the $1 million initial investment.
Events
Licensing
Merchandising
Video Games
Its Own Song...the name of the Sport written and performed by a Country Western artist
And The International Arena

The SPORT in question has no current competition, is family oriented, Country Western driven, is non-violent, has no season and pits men versus women in got wrenching racing competition.

All I want are but a few points and the opportunity to spearhead the project. The balance is for your discretion. You see I just received the greatest gift of all...my teenage daughter just beat Cancer. So I'm wealthy with joy and happiness. What more could I ask for.

Having a successful track record in New Business Development for major Advertising Agencies, the Fortune 100 and National & International Publishing organizations I speak from experience.

Hopefully I have peaked your curiosity.

Should relocation be neccessary I will be there in a heart beat to help make it become a reality and develop a host of New Business opportunities for you.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Respectfully
Robert H. Cassell
A Chicago Resident

Since I'm already heavily invested in the Cascadian Stomper League and have burned all bridges with the Corporate Community, I'll have to pass on this NEW SPORT, tempting as it may be. Sorry Bob, but good luck anyway.

Cascadian Stomper League logo
Get To Stompin'!
Lyle Zapato

Life Inside The Belgium Simulation

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-19.6000 LMT | Belgian Conspiracy | Entertainment

A typical day in 'Belgium'.

Three people trapped in the Belgium Simulation have managed to create a documentary on the plight of so-called "Belgian Citizens" as seen from inside the simulation. While it is likely that they are not fully aware of the truth of their film due to the intense Belgian programming they are receiving from their captors, it nonetheless lets the outside world see just what is really going on in the heads of those who are forced to believe they are in Belgium. Download it quick before the Brussels Beast reconfigures itself.

The Philatelist

Stamp Nook: Porcupine Fish Helmet

The Philatelist | 2005-02-18.0250 LMT | Philately | Fashion | Nature
Stamp

This edition of Stamp Nook takes us to the tropical Gilbert Islands of Micronesia, now known as Kiribati, where we encounter a curious artefact. Issued on December 6, 1976, the stamp (Scott #289) depicts a porcupine fish helmet (or te barantauti), a traditional Kiribati warrior's helmet made out of the inflated, dried carcase of a porcupinefish, a close relative of the pufferfish.

Porcupine fish helmet icon.(I should also point out that Mr Zapato has an icon of the porcupine fish helmet available in his Archæologicons set. Very useful for differentiating your want-list of Oceania topicals.)

Read more...

Lyle Zapato

GPM #12: Dr. E, Mysterious Monkey Scientist

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-12.6950 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots
Dr. E

Most GPMs are, well, rather lame and obvious (yeah, I'm talking about you, Billabill). But then there's Dr. E.

Dr. E, notorious G.P.M. for the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy division (did I mention they're involved with energy?), is one enigmatically cool simian scientist. Whether typing on his solar computer; pondering the controls on the geothermal boiler; attacking an engine with a stalk of corn; or making sweet, sweet love to a turbine prop, Dr. E exudes a style that none of his peers can match. And yet, instead of being the engaging character he should be, there's an odd detachment to him.

Very little information is given about Dr. E. We gather that his outdoor "Energy Lab" is hidden on some tropical island where he works alone on his many energy projects, trying to generate power from what natural resources he can come by. Does he work for the D.o.E.? Is he held captive by them? Are they forcing him to develop energy technologies so radically alternative that only a monkey brain can control them? We don't know since Dr. E doesn't have much to say for himself, apart from entreating us to help him "protect the earth" -- from whom or what we are never precisely told.

After inviting us to look around his lab and giving short, perfunctory overviews of various alternative energy sources, he's quick to usher us off to someone else's site. "These sites will tell you more," he snaps, before going back into the jungle to watch the giant monitor array, leaving us to wonder why we were ever invited to his Energy Lab and just what he is hiding.

Lyle Zapato

Belgium-Doubters Likened to Dimwitted Shar Pei

Lyle Zapato | 2005-02-09.3900 LMT | Belgian Conspiracy | Entertainment