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Lyle Zapato

Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race

Lyle Zapato | 2010-04-29.9520 LMT | Cephalopods | Art | Crafts

The Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race is an annual event where Kinetinauts race amphibious, human-powered art-vehicles to victory and glory.

This year has a very special entrant (from the Spectator's Guide):

Veke Versa Boat is from the Jemicy School of Baltimore and is dedicated to providing habitat for the endangered, elusive, and apocryphal tree octopus.

(I'm assuming they were forced to add "apocryphal" in the guide description by the shadowy, anti-Cascadian forces pulling the strings of the race -- note the special Belgian waffle breakfast held on a balcony overseeing the opening ceremonies mentioned prominently in the guide and on the official site.)

Jemicy seems to have a cephalopod theme going this year, as their four other entries are named Squid Man, Kraken, Cabrena Octopus, & Calamari. All five are competing for an ACE award, the most challenging, rule-encumbered level of competition in the race.

No photos yet. I'll add some links in an update after the race. Good luck Team Jemicy.

UPDATE 2010-05-03: Jemicy's Veke Versa Boat won the Engineering award! Here's a photo of it without its head cropped off:

Jemicy's Veke Versa Boat

By the color and demeanor of the octopus, it looks as if they modeled it after Thujoctopus pilosa, not O. paxarbolis. Nevertheless, anything that raises awareness of arboreal cephalopods is certainly worthy of note.

Lyle Zapato

Posters For Haiti

Lyle Zapato | 2010-03-05.5330 LMT | Fonts | Art | Entertainment
The Belgian

Again The Belgian Nationale Feestdag!

The Belgian | 2009-07-21.6245 LMT | Belgian Conspiracy

21 Juli! Again the Belgian Nationale Feestdag, she graces us with her présence! The celebrations, they are the most glorieus in all the world! Today we are all the Belgen, again and forever!

But what is this? I visit M. Zapato's site to see the skilled Belgian hackeren had again improved the apparence, only to become most shocked when I find that M. Zapato had, on this the most joyeux day, updated his previous silly post to mock our Beloved and Majestic Albert II, Just and Loving King of all the Belgians!

This, it is the outrage! In Belgium -- which is totally existing now for 179 years -- we would not tolerate such onbeschaamdheid! You would get the lengthy sentence to the prison on any day of the year that you would speak the insultes like this, but to speak them on the Nationale Feestdag? It is the scandale internationaal!

King Albert is not, as M. Zapato speaks, the "Uilmenselijk" or "Owl-man". His Majesty is totally the man and not the least the "computersimulatie"! Who would even say such the silly thing as that? Not the sane person, I should think! The pixelation around His edges in the fotos that you see, they are caused by rays of the purest Majesté that He exudes, which befuddle the inferior, niet-Belgen-made cameras. Everyone knows this fact. But besides this known fact, He is also not the owl! While it is true that He is wise and occasionally coughs up the pellets, this is within the range of the human soort, although obviously supérieur to the normaal persoon. You would be wise as the owl to not listen to any more of these ridicule insultes of M. Zapato.

I think, you who make the insultes against King Albert II like M. Zapato, you do so out of the jalousie, because He is supérieur to your King...

What is that? You say you have no King? Oh, I am so very sorry for you. But it is for the best, since if you had the king, he would be so inferieur compared to the King of the Belgians that you would be too beschaamd to even acknowledge you had the king.

But do not have the worries, poor kingless niet-Belgen. You can enjoy our King! We Belgians are more than happy to share His surabondance of Majesté with all the peuples of the world! You come to Belgium and maybe we even introduce you to His Majesty. We share with you the bier and the chocolat too. It is only the short avion ride away, totally worth your time!

The Typing Octopus

Cephalopod Appreciation Society Annual Meeting

The Typing Octopus | 2008-08-01.8830 LMT | Cephalopods | Cascadia | Field Trips

Typing Octopus find human communication on Hominoidnet kiosk: think ZPi humans will appreciate:

* * CEPHALOPODS = Octopus, Squid, Cuttlefish, Chambered Nautilus. * *

Hello Cephalopod friends new and old --

We are pleased to announce the 6th annual Cephalopod Appreciation Society meeting on the afternoon of Sunday, August 10th at our favorite location -- the Northwest Film Forum (1515 12th Ave - off Pine St. on Capitol Hill - Seattle, WA).

We'll kick everything off at 12:30 pm with:

  • Cephalopod-Inspired Music (including original Colossal Squid songs by longtime CAS member Levi Fuller),
  • Underwater Filmstrip Mash-Up + Poetry (Sierra Nelson of the Vis-a-Vis Society & Jarid del Deo of Unbunny),
  • Updates on the latest Scientific Cephalopod Research from Seattle Aquarium's own cephalopod expert Roland Anderson,
  • and more!

And ending with a screening of a cephalopod nature documentary (TBA) to improve our understanding and watch the amazing creatures in action!

The Details:
Sunday, Aug. 10th
12:30 - 2:30 pm
@ Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave / Seattle, WA
All ages!
$5 suggested donation
Free stickers!

Hope to see you there!

Your friend in arms & tentacles,
squid girl

Contact: songsforsquid@hotmail.com

ABOUT THE SOCIETY:
Currently in its 6th year, the Cephalopod Appreciation Society has been meeting annually at the NW Film Forum to learn about and celebrate all things cephalopod. (Cephalopods = Squid, Octopus, Cuttlefish, Chambered Nautilus.) Members are all ages and consist of artists, scientists, and people of every sort brought together by their shared enthusiasm for and fascination by these intelligent creatures. Past annual gatherings have included film, poetry, song, art, musical slideshows, sing-alongs, dance, stickers, scientific lectures and impassioned speeches. In addition to its annual meeting, the Cephalopod Appreciation Society has also curated a wide variety of cephalopod-inspired events for venues such as the Burke Natural History Museum's In Search of Giant Squid exhibit, the McLeod Residence in conjunction with artist Cassandra Nguyen's life-size giant squid display, and Bonkers night at Re-Bar.

Humans appreciate octopus: Humans also appreciate stupid squid, needy cuttlefish, haughty nautilus: Humans have no discernment.

Regardless: Typing Octopus desire to start Primate Appreciation Society. However: Typing Octopus have discernment: only appreciate gibbons. Gibbons share tree appreciation with Typing Octopus: Typing Octopus think gibbons, tree octopus become friends.

Proposal: gibbons, tree octopus compete at quadannual event testing arboreal locomotion skill. Event held in tree octopus native forest: event called: The Olympic Forest Tentaculation/Brachiation Competition Event For Tree Octopus/Gibbon Friendship.

If gibbons appreciate proposal: turn fur purple with white spots.

Typing Octopus await reply.

Lyle Zapato

International Cephalopod Awareness Day

Lyle Zapato | 2007-10-05.8875 LMT | Cephalopods
Lyle Zapato

Kelviniversary

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-12.6550 LMT | Kelviniana

Another reason to celebrate...

2007 is the Centenary Year of Lord Kelvin becoming One with Entropy.

The University of Glasgow, where Lord Kelvin both taught and learned for over 70 years (he was accepted at the age of ten, holding the record for the youngest college student ever until recently, and never left -- quickly working his way up to Professor and eventually Chancellor, all the while professing that he remained a student), is planning to celebrate Lord Kelvin's life and contributions to Mankind (details on page 6 of the UG News Review [1.25 Mio PDF]). Observances there include (and included -- sorry, a bit late with this post):

  • The St. Mungo Lecture, which is a "celebration of the history, culture, humanity and passion which distinguishes Glasgow and its citizens", launched the Kelvin Centenary Year on January 9th.
  • In April, a series of talks by distinguished scientists taking a modern look at Kelvin's work.
  • Kelvin Honorary Degrees awarded on the University's Commemoration Day in June.
  • A one-day meeting to celebrate his achievements some time in autumn.
  • And in closing in December, a one-man performance by science promoter Johnny Ball in honor of Lord Kelvin.

If you can't make it to Glasgow, read Lord Kelvin's statements on the 50th anniversary of his professorship for some insight into what he might say were he there to join in the celebrations.

Lyle Zapato

Alumiversary

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-05.8905 LMT | Site | Aluminum

How in the world did I not know this (worse yet, why did I have to learn it from Katie Couric):

The traditional symbolic gift for a ten year anniversary is...

ALUMINUM!

So, forget what I said about 2007 being The Anniversary. From here on it shall be known as The Alumiversary! (or The Alumiversiary for our British friends.)

Of course, True Paranoids celebrate every day as if it were an alumiversary. Shine on, you crazy corundums.

Lyle Zapato

A Decade Of ZPi

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-05.2610 LMT | Site

2007 marks the 10th anniversary of the ZPi website. That's right, we've been serving the paranoid for a decade!

This site first appeared on the World Wide Web sometime in the year 1997. I've unfortunately forgotten the exact date, although it was actually later in the year. For the sake of convenience (and to dilute the overwhelming momentousness of the occasion by spreading it out over 12 months) we'll just call all of 2007 The Anniversary.

A brief history of the site, particularly points not recorded elsewhere, is in order:

ZPi itself originated in 1995 with the release of MindGuard for the Amiga. During that time I wasn't yet on the Internet, choosing instead to spread paranoia via various Cascadian BBSs -- then the most paranoid form of communication next to CB radio.

I also went through a number of organizational names, including "Lyle Zapato Product Development International", "Zapato Development And Haberdashery", and "Deborah".

MindGuard was but one of a number of products I was working on at the time. For your historical amusement, here's a combined list (from lists originally posted on a BBS, recently dug up off of an old 3½" floppy) of some products in development from late 1995 to early 1996, none of which, for various reasons, saw the light of day:

* SOFTWARE

  - MrGene: [An interface program for the Kortech P350 & P700 Personal DNA Sequencers] Still in development stages. I'm sorry for how long it is taking to bring this product to release, but you have to understand, every time I test the damn thing I need to put on a hazmat suit as the bugs in it keep causing unknown strains of botulism and e-coli. I think this is being caused by an integer to pointer conversion error but I can't track it down. Until I get this problem fixed, it would be unethical (and most likely litigable,) for me to release MrGene.

* RELIGIOUS/DEVOTIONAL

  - Whirling Dervish Whirl-O-Meter: Allows you to keep track of how many times you whirl around as well as average whirl speed. Stylish and comfortable device fits around your waist and uses proven inferred technology found in many household electronics. Deluxe model will come with a Whirl Calculator that can be used to find your optimal whirling speed for trance initiation.

* LITERATURE

  - Tapes in Book: With the popularity of books on tape, I've decided to explore the possibilities of related markets, namely the converting of tapes to books. The first tape that will be converted into convenient book form will be "Sounds of the Rainforest", a lovely tape that features high-quality true-stereo recordings of an Amazonian rainforest. The book form will feature accurate descriptions of every bird call, monkey howl, and rain drop and will be written by a real paid writer. I am also considering a book on tape version of the tape in book version of "Sounds of the Rainforest" that will feature James Earl Jones reading the descriptions of the rainforest sounds. This may be joined later by a video of James Earl Jones reading the descriptions of rainforest sounds in an actual rainforest. I may then tie the whole thing together by releasing a Video in Book version of the video that will feature accurate descriptions of James Earl Jones reading the tape in book version of the "Sounds of the Rainforest" in a rainforest, and will come with a CD-ROM that shows the making of all the books, tapes, and videos aforementioned and also includes a MPEG video of the making of the CD-ROM itself, the Video in Book description of which will be in the last chapter of the book.

* FOOD PRODUCTS

  - Cap'n Chuck's Briny Breakfast Bits: "The first presalted kid's breakfast cereal. Mouth puckering puffed wheat in four colorful maritime shapes: Scary Shark, Abyssal Anchor, Silly Sea Anemone, & Gastropodious Geoduck. Vitamin C enriched for extra scurvy protection." Kelloggs and General Mills haven't returned any of my calls.

Realizing my product line was lacking focus, I changed my organizational name one last time to "Zapato Productions intradimensional" ("ZPi" for short) and narrowed the focus to within the dimension of paranoia. Note that I was using a lower-case "i" -- next to an upper-case "P", no less! -- a full four years (and change) before Apple made it fashionable with trendy hipster wannabes. I feel like Xerox PARC!

When I eventually attacked the Internet, the first beachhead I established was an official homepage for MindGuard, offering a basic pitch and free download -- a rudimentary, one-page site with a tacky design that quickly went offline as I planned a more extensive ZPi Internet presence.

Ye Olde Logoe
One of the original ZPi logos. Beware its psioptic blinking.

That presence arrived in late 1997 and was hosted on Tripod (chosen because it was at the time less obnoxious than Geocities). My Tripod member name, and consequently part of the URL, was "zoam", which I had been using as an email name for a while, for reasons that escape me. (For you ZPi completists, visit zoam.tripod.com and see a page from 2000 redirecting people to the then-new site.)

The very first version of the site has been lost, but I know it included MindGuard, information about the AFDB (which was originally contained within the MindGuard documentation), and the Truth about Belgium. By 1998, the site included a large percentage of what it does today (which you can either take as my being forward thinking or lazy since then), as can be seen in this cached version from December 2, 1998 (the oldest version the Internet Archive has).

In May of 2000, ZPi moved from the advert-laden, PHPless servers of Tripod to space generously donated by Alan Clegg. This move necessitated a proper domain name: zapatopi.net, chosen mainly because "zpi" was already taken for all TLDs.

Forced by this lack of available three-letter URLs to expand the first word of the abbreviation (the alternatives -- "zproductionsi", "zpintradimensional", "zapato­productions­intradimensional", etc. -- deemed too long and/or ugly), serendipity struck and a new logo/mascot/unifying-motif was backformed: "Zapato" + "Octopi" = "Zapatopi", an octopus wearing shoes.

Brushed metal?
One of the first Zapatopi logos used in the site masthead.

This tied in nicely with my work protecting the endangered Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, plus it put me in the vanguard of the current popularity of cephalopodan themes at a time when everything hip was penguins (Hollywood, with its turning radius of a diplodocus, can only play catch-up).

Of course, this URL did have some downsides: people kept mispronouncing it "zap-uh-toe-pee" or thinking my name was "Mr. Zapatopi", but I was willing to live with these minor annoyances.

Over the years there have been many changes and developments: the addition of a blog in 2004; the publishing of the AFDB book in 2002; the off-handed introduction of the Dactyl Fractal, which now consumes most of the site's bandwidth in an ever-spiraling bid for total memetic hegemony. But, through it all, the paranoia remained constant. Maybe a little too constant. Suspiciously constant...

I would like to thank all the people who contributed to -- or conspired on -- this site: Alan; "Commando" from the BBS days; the many people who've sent in things that I have posted, freeing me from having to create original content myself; guestbook signers; everyone who bought the AFDB book (all seven of you); people who've emailed me but whom I haven't gotten around to responding to yet, only it's been so long now that it'd be too awkward to write back, so their emails just sit in my inbox, judging me; and anyone else I forgot.

Having been around for a decade, the site, especially those parts in which my interest has waned, has accumulated some cruft: archaic web design, outdated references, dead links. There were also things that I planned on doing or adding but never finished. Over the coming year I'll try to revisit all areas of the site and either update or, in some cases, rewrite them. Hopefully this renovation will enable the site live for another 10 years -- or at least until the world as we know it ends on December 21, 2012 with the return of the periodical Quetzalcoatlus armada.

Until then, trust no one (except ZPi).

Lyle Zapato

International Congress Of Nanotechnology 2006

Lyle Zapato | 2006-10-01.0610 LMT | Black Helicopters | Technology | Bohemian Grove Cabal

I've been put on a list...

International Congress of Nanotechnology

Dear Colleague:

You are invited to participate in the premier international nanotechnology event on October 30-November 2, 2006 in San Francisco.

More than 150 speakers and presenters from 35 countries will cover a complete spectrum of the emerging field of Nanotechnology: from the latest research and development in nanomaterials, nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, nanobiotechnology, nanomedicine, nanoethics, workforce education and training, environmental, societal and health and safety implications, to nanotech venture capital investment.

Early-bird registration will end on October 7, 2006. Please register now and save

Please visit our web site: www.icnt.org

As much as I would like to attend and speak on the nano­bio­techno­logical menace of Black Helicopters -- which is presumably the reason I received this invitation -- unfortunately the Congress is being held in Cabalist-controlled San Francisco, so I fear this could be a ruse to entrap me.

If anyone would like to go in my stead and present a poster of my findings, here's a PDF version. Just make sure your escape plan takes into consideration that you will be surrounded by nanotechnicians capable of blowing pocket nanodust in your face -- as well as possible coalesced Black Helicopter MOBs.

The Belgian

Once More The Belgian Nationale Feestdag!

The Belgian | 2006-07-20.6640 LMT | Belgian Conspiracy

21 Juli! It is again the Belgian Nationale Feestdag! We are celebrating 176 years of Belgium existing!

You wish to celebrate the Feestdag with us, no? Then you will get on the plane and come to the themepark that is the best in the world... PLOPSALAND! It is totally a real themepark!

The Plopsaland, she is totally not the same as the Eurodisneyland... she is much better! She has the monorail that looks like the train... two rides in one! She has the PIRATENZONE! Not just the one ride but the whole zone she is filled with the pirates fun! She has the Plopsa Coo, where the Plopsa Zandsculpturenfestival she is now going on! You build the castles of sand, no? And there are many Plopsa things to buy in the Plopsa Winkel... the Plopsa, she is without the end!

Bring your whole family -- especially the little ones! The kids, they love the Plopsaland! All their favourite Studio 100 characters they are waiting here! There is the Samson & Gert, the Wizzy & Woppy, the Big & Betsy, the Piet Piraat, the Bumba, and of course the Kabouter Plop... you know and love them all! They are living in the Plopsaland, maybe you will live there too, no?