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Lyle Zapato

GPM #21: ISA Space Kids

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-24.3160 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots | Technology | Politics

You may not be familiar with the Iranian Space Agency (ISA). They haven't yet launched anything into space themselves (perhaps because the President of Iran is more interested in wasting resources on dangerous transportation boondoggles). However, they do have one reconnaissance satellite, the Sinah-1, launched in 2005 by the Russians and capable of imaging the Middle East at 3-meter resolution (sample images can be seen on their site). They have plans for two more satellites and hope to one day launch satellites themselves using their Shahab family of vehicles (more, more, and more). (They also have a space tourist, but not everyone in the government is happy about that.)

In the mean time, not to be outdone by their American counterparts at the NRO and the NGA, the ISA has their own* kids' propaganda site called Space Kids (or rather, the URL is called that; the actual title is in Persian, as is everything else inside):

Space Kids

The presumably titular Space Kids appear in a series of excessively large Flash cartoons that tell the story of two little Teletubbyesque paraterrestrials who visit two Iranian children -- apparently drawn by Margaret Keane during her monobrows-and-arthropodic-hairstyle phase -- and take them on a flying saucer trip to tour the Solar System and learn fun facts about the planets. (Note: Persian is read right-to-left, so the icon on the top right is the first episode.)

There's lots of talking in these 'toons -- seriously, they spend over two millidays on the roof of the human kids' house wistfully discussing the stars and looking at the paraterrestrials psychically project images of telescopes and Space Shuttles before they ever get off the planet -- and since it's all in Persian, I don't know if any of it is interesting.

While the first episode is on Earth, the second takes place on the Moon, where they levitate amidst wafting Moon Smog as they talk talk talk talk. Then an alarm goes off, they evaporate, reappear in the flying saucer, and begin their loquacious interplanetary tour.

Episode 12

I didn't watch the following episodes since they're so large and apparently each one just gives facts about each planet in turn (in Persian). I did watch the last (twelfth) episode though, which starts with something about satellites and space stations around Earth then has some trippy images of what first seems to be a nuclear explosion that scares one of the kids, but turns out to be just a volcano (I believe this is a bit of propaganda to emphasize the Iranian government's stated position that their satellite program is purely for the peaceful monitoring of natural disasters; but then again, it's all in Persian, so for all I know they could be threatening to unleash volcanoes on their enemies via satellite nukes).

At the very end, in a pointless twist that would make Jennifer Lynch proud, we learn it was all a dream. Great! But then the beginning makes no sense.

As is obvious to anyone paranoid enough to know what's going on, this lengthy propaganda of Iranian-paraterrestrial friendship is really meant to curry favor with paraterrestrial forces observing our planet and her Internetting. Perhaps Ahmadinejad hopes this treacly display of Iranian innocence will encourage some overly sentimental faction of the paraterrestrials to foolishly give Iran advanced monorail technology with which to threaten the world.

*(I'm not actually sure if Space Kids is directly produced by the Iranian government or by some private organization -- there's another section on the Space Kids site with ungovernmental-looking stuff like a message board, foreign news articles, and an additional propaganda mascot with an unwholesome attraction to the Moon -- but considering that it's prominently linked to at the top of the ISA site and has more substantive content than anything else there, at the very least there's a conspiracy between them.)

UPDATE (2007-04-18): I've been contacted by someone associated with the Space Kids site with some clarifying details: The site was designed, with ISA sponsorship, by a private organization called the Farda Institute, which works on public understanding of science and technology. They also have another kids' site (in Persian) called (in English) Nano Club, which teaches kids about nanotechnology and includes a series of comics about a character who buys an indestructible Bucky tube and later gets shrunken down and rides a red blood cell like a raft after visiting the Nano Club site (so take care when clicking that link). Since the site's in Persian, I have no idea what their stance is on the nanobiotechnological menace of Black Helicopters.

Lyle Zapato

GPM #20: Woodsy Owl

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-16.9690 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots | Bohemian Grove Cabal

One of my lesser nemesises, hipster enclave Boing Boing, has uncovered some extremely disturbing information about USDA Forest Service's long-time propaganda mascot, Woodsy Owl. Boing Boingers can only flail incomprehensibly at the significance of their discovery, so allow me to explain...

The Forest Service recently (more or less) decided to change Woodsy's appearance (no, no gender bending this time). The classic Woodsy, first introduced in 1970 and seen here in costume form:

Classic Woodsy Owl

is now fitter and has been given shoes, a shirt, and a new slogan ("lend a hand; care for the land!" replacing the classic "give a hoot; don't pollute!" -- pollution now apparently deemed acceptable):

New Woodsy Owl

Ostensibly this change was to promote healthier lifestyles by encouraging kids to shed those extra, face-puckering pounds and avoid the dangers of deer ticks and foot fungus when traipsing through the woods.

Be that as it may, the shocking part comes on the US Government's Symbols.gov website (sorry symbologists, no revelations about the Pyramid Eye here, mostly just licensing information): According to a page containing directives on "Destroying Old Woodsy Owl Costumes", those in possession of these costumes are ordered to burn them "beyond recognition" under the watchful eye of a Forest Service law enforcement officer!

Why would the Forest Service call for such a drastic way of disposing of these costumes? To understand what's really going on here, one must be familiar with the symbology and rituals of the Bohemian Grove Cabal -- a sinister sylvan symposium of the New World's elite and powerful, who plot in secret to control government, industry, and society from a 2700-acre "campground" hidden in the redwood forests 70 miles from San Francisco in occupied Southern Cascadia. (For more on the Cabal's past activities, see the Bohemian Grove Action Network.)

The Cabalists' logo is an owl:

Bohemian Grove Cabal logo

This owl motif plays a part in one of the Cabal's most important rituals: the "Cremation of Care" -- which is the symbolic destruction of "Dull Care", or the worldly concerns that the powerful Cabalists feel burdened by. In this ritual, a mock (or so they claim) human sacrifice is burned under the watchful eyes of a giant concrete owl effigy/idol -- whose booming voice is provided by none other than Walter Cronkite -- while cloaked participants, including such notables as Henry Kissinger, the Bushes, Alan Greenspan, and compliant Simulacrum Arnold Schwarzenegger, gather around chanting:

Cremation of Care (Source Sonoma County Free Press)

The USDA Forest Service is, of course, an arm of the Cabal-riddled US Government, and many if not most Forest Service agents themselves have Bohemian connections -- there being a natural affinity between a forest-based paramilitary organization and a forest-based shadow government. Besides overseeing the forests around the Grove, their agents have been known to openly act on the Cabal's behest to repel interlopers. Therefore, it is obvious that the choice in 1970 of an owl as the Service's official propaganda mascot was an homage to their benefactors and that the "Cremation of Woodsy" ritual described on Symbols.gov is part of an initiation rite for junior Cabalists.

LAST MILLIDAY UPDATE: I should probably have noted that it's no coincidence that the abbreviation for "new Woodsy Owl" just so happens to be "NWO", thus explaining the symbology of burning the old Woodsy Owl: destroying the "dull cares" of the old World Order so they may be replaced by the New World Order.

Lyle Zapato

Kelviniversary

Lyle Zapato | 2007-01-12.6550 LMT | Announcement | 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 | Announcement | 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 | Announcement | 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

Thujoctopus pilosa

Lyle Zapato | 2006-12-29.1710 LMT | Cephalopods | Nature | Crass Commercialism | Letters

Newly added to the Tree Octopus sightings: Marc L. sent in a photo of a rare tree octopus that specializes in redcedar:

Here is a rare and endangered Cephalopod Thuja Pilcata or locally known as the Western Red Cedar Climbing Octopus. You don't see one of these babies everyday!! Especially this far inland!!

Emacs!


Photo detail enhanced using advanced ZPi cephalopod-image processing
technology.

Marc has his names a bit confused, which is understandable given the esoteric nature of tree octopus cladistics. Thuja plicata is actually the scientific name for the Western Redcedar tree that this octopus calls home. The correct binomial for the octopus itself is Thujoctopus pilosa, named for the lush coating of bluish velvet that it evolved to help retain moisture as it migrated deep inland from its ancestral Pacific home. Unfortunately, this notable trait led to its current rarity.

Originally considered a cheaper domestic alternative to fine velvets imported from Italy or Kashmir, redcedar octopus pelts became popular in the early to mid 20th century with a growing North American middle-class desperate for luxury goods. In particular, evening dresses made entirely of undyed T. pilosa pelts became such a fixture during the post-war period that they were immortalized in the song "Blue Velvet" -- made a hit in 1951 by Tony Bennett and again in the 1960s by Bobby Vinton.

(The song also featured prominently in the 1986 film "Blue Velvet" by director and animal lover David Lynch, who considered it emblematic of the moral degeneracy of suburban middle-class life. Lynch spent much of his childhood in the woods of eastern Washington and was well aware of the devastation brought against the local tree octopus populations by the twisted, fetishistic desires of the suburbs.)

Eventually, shrinking numbers of redcedar octopus combined with inexpensive mass-produced synthetic velvets available on the burgeoning global market led to the pelt trade becoming unprofitable -- narrowly saving T. pilosa from extinction.

UPDATE 2007-01-01: Marc sent another picture showing a breeding colony of "Cedar Pus", as locals call them.

Lyle Zapato

Belgium Split In Two

Lyle Zapato | 2006-12-14.3770 LMT | Belgian Conspiracy | Technology | Politics

News out of "Belgium":


RTBF reporter simulation as seen from within the Belgian construct.

An apparent glitch in the Brussels Beast on Wednesday briefly caused the Flanders and Wallonia servers to split, leaving many of the kidnap victims that are hooked into the massive Belgium simulation via the neural interfaces of their Citizen Pods to believe that Belgium had become two independent nations instead of one nonexistent one.

Belgium Conspiracy system administrators quickly reacted by first reestablishing the server connections, then blaming the whole incident on a media "spoof". Citizen memories have been revised to be consistent with this lie.

Some Belgium Conspiracy watchers suspect that this incident was actually a trial run for establishing a separate Belgium server location -- possibly under the new Disneyland being planned in Shanghai, a city with a mature infrastructure for kidnapping people and pressing them into service. This location would help expand the Conspiracy's activities in Asia, but because of the large bandwidth needed to maintain the Belgian illusion, latency between such distant servers would require limiting access across the two Belgian "regions" using a contrived "national border". (Latency considerations are suspected to be one of the main reasons for the language and cultural barriers originally built into the simulation back when the Brussels Beast ran on primitive Univac hardware.)

Investigators theorize that the incident may have been designed to test the citizens' implanted nationalistic subroutines, as many of those assigned to Flemish nodes spontaneously took to the streets waving flags. (During the Conspiracy's clean-up, these citizens were implanted with memories that they were merely actors hired by a public television station as part of the "spoof".)

Besides access to Asia, another reason the Conspiracy may be looking to establish a new server location is space. Insiders report that the vault under Euro-Disneyland where the Belgian citizens are being stored is quickly filling up with kidnapped anti-NWO agitators, kept in check only by the vault's dreaded black mold infestation, which has been consuming an estimated 5% of the pod-bound prisoners annually.

Lyle Zapato

Levitating Islands

Lyle Zapato | 2006-11-25.5300 LMT | Technology | Nature | Lost Worlds | General Paranoia

ecoEnquirer reports: Levitating Islands in Bermuda Triangle Observed by Spy Satellite. While ecoEnquirer is at a loss to explain this phenomena -- and the usual suspects aren't forthcoming -- I have two possible theories:

  1. Hyperinventor St. Clair, who is a resident of Puerto Rico (one of the points of the Bermuda Triangle), has been quiet recently. Perhaps he is working on a new patent application that will allow individuals or small groups engaged in Chi Kung breathing to create a harmonic Chi resonance, possibly by following a simple flowchart or instructional diagram, thus enabling large masses to be levitated.
  2. The US Navy is testing their superconducting belt technology on a larger scale, possibly as a means to replace aircraft carriers with flying island airbases capable of traveling back in time and stopping the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Whatever the cause, we can say for certain that the phenomena has caught the attention of the giant white arrows patrolling the Caribbean; let us just hope it doesn't displease them.

(Via Reality Carnival)

Lyle Zapato

The Six Million Dollar Killer Bee

Lyle Zapato | 2006-11-19.2660 LMT | Black Helicopters | Technology | NWO

The conditioning of the populace to the coming nanobiotechnological regime continues...

On Friday it was revealed to the general public that Israel is "developing" (as if more-advanced forms of the technology weren't already deployed) an insect-sized robot for use in chasing, spying on, and assassinating targets. The researchers promise that in three years it will be ready to navigate narrow alleyways in search of militants.

While they claim it uses only nanotechnology, they're calling it a "Bionic Hornet". Bionics, as those familiar with the 1970s are aware, is the integration of mechanical and electronic technology within biological organisms. Advances in the state of the art have long ago eliminated the telltale "da-na-na-na" sound that made bionically enhanced organisms unable to operate covertly among us, so this technology has been widely deployed among NWO operatives.

But is this Bionic Hornet really bionic -- that is, an insect with bionically integrated military systems -- or just a misnamed nanomechanical hymenopteroid? The answer is moot since the entire Bionic Hornet program is a calculated subterfuge designed only to further the NWO's agenda through memetic engineering.

The memetic pathway is simple: First, they want the public to welcome tiny robot buddies that protect us from the terrorists; next, they want the public in a state of whimsical bemusement at the thought of bees with lasers integrated into them; finally, the public will be made accepting of the complete merging of life and artifice that is nanobiotechnology.

It is then that the swarms of nanobiotechnological black helicopters come out of hiding to begin openly patrolling our neighborhoods looking for anti-NWO agitators. Prepare yourself.

(Via Bulldada Newsblog.)

Lyle Zapato

Certifiably Liminal?

Lyle Zapato | 2006-11-11.1996 LMT | Technology | Mind Control | General Paranoia | Crass Commercialism

Have you ever downloaded pirated MP3s from the Internet? If you are like a large segment of the Interpublic, you have. "What harm can come of it?", you have no doubt asked yourself rhetorically, "I take precautions!" But consider this: You wouldn't run pirated software from sketchy sources on your computer for fear of getting viruses, so why would you run pirated music on your brain? By listening to ill-gotten music -- even from paranoid artists you trust -- you are potentially exposing your brain to pirate-added cerebrosonic viruses!

With this very real threat in mind (hopefully not literally), Timothy Raymond Cronin has a simple, patent-pending solution for record labels wishing to dissuade piracy while foregoing unworkable DRM schemes: "Certified protection from subliminal content for recordings".

Record labels can add value, Cronin claims, to authentic, non-pirated music files by certifying them free of subliminal messages. By downloading a legally purchased song from the label's preferred digital distributor, customers can be made to rest assured that listening to it won't turn them into some Manchurian Candidate or cult member. Would-be pirates will think twice before hitting the P2P networks as they become trained to view every unauthorized song copy as a potential vector of subliminal enslavement.

Although it addresses a paranoid concern, Cronin's devious business method has a serious orthonoidic flaw: Who certifies that the label's certification is honest? Since the RIAA branch of the New World Order is known to add cerebrosonics to their music and music players, all this certification would certify is that listeners would be victims of only RIAA mind-control plots. While that does take some of the guess work out of who their puppet masters will be, it doesn't really add much value to the consumer.

Given the obviousness of this flaw, I fear that Cronin isn't acting out of good faith toward the paranoid community and is merely trying to manipulate nascent paranoia in the general public for either profit or mind games.