My advice to computers? Pick up a harlequin romance novel once in a while and learn about humanity.

Author: Josh  |  Category: nonfiction, science

Full disclosure: I am an amateur physicognomist and all-around student of how things move/shake/twist/roll and/or bounce in what philosophers have long referred to as “the like, whole universe, man.”

Please don’t think I am bragging when I say, humbly, that I know how things work. Do you wonder what will happen if you drop an egg? Wonder no more, dear reader. This is exactly the sort of thing my training prepares me to address. It will break. Sometimes yellow stuff flies everywhere, sometimes not. What do I have in common with the world’s most complex and expensive computer models predict will happen if you tilt a half-filled glass?[1] We both predict the same outcome–pouring water. There are differences, however. My explanation will be delivered in a sensuous, almost hypnotic baritone while the computers will mostly beep and boop. Before any announcement can be made, the computer’s handlers will read reams of ticker tape excreted from a buzzing metallic void, confer, and report in their favorite journal about the findings. The tentative title will be “On Not Crying: An approximate Navier-Stokes model of Milk Spillage.” Eventually, a public statement can be made. But be warned. It will be the words of the computer you will be hearing, translated into human speech by the “scientists.” The announcement will not be made with the tenderness you have come to expect. Remember our time together, not so long ago? You wondered about eggs falling, and I told you what would happen in a sensuous, almost hypnotic baritone and for one moment, you, the universe, and science were one? Man that was awesome.

Bottom line: You should get your science from me, and not computers that couldn’t care less about you if they came preloaded with software specifically designed to make them care less about you. To show you I am serious, I give you the following physics tutorial. With my background it’s easy for me to dismiss most movie effects as ridiculous. Once in a while, though, somebody puts in the time to make their action sequence realistic. When this happens, movies stop being just movies and start being awesome movies you wish you lived in.

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[1] Actually they will probably say half-empty glass, because computer models are heartless bastards. My advice to computers and their models? Pick up a harlequin romance novel once in a while and learn about humanity.

Set the controls for the heart of Branson, MO

Author: Josh  |  Category: music, nonfiction

Let’s assume you are familiar with the technicolor dungstorm that is the american scenic byway attraction circuit. Like me, you’ve already visited the 90-foot shirtless Santa in Scarville, VA. You probably wondered, as I did, “Who is Jesus’ favorite down home style country comedian?” Well, you learned all that and more while watching hi-def Jerry Clower footage at Jesus’s Favorite Country Comedians, provided by IMAX and the Impact, GA chamber of commerce. You’ve driven your nitrous-boosted Buick Skylark to Tonsure, MA and spent two glorious days touring Milton Bradley’s “Livestock Processing Land.” Like me you fell in love with the concept of Slaughterhouse-based edutainment in general and the HungryHungryHippos Hoof Removal Dance Party in particular. Day after glorious day you search and invariably find examples of American madness and deformity, complete with entrance fees and gift shops. Museum dedicated to the clothing of serial killers? You bet. Ice cream stand / Fully operation pony express office? Check. After a while, though, these kinds of roadside attractions start to look like just one more plastic monkey in a larger barrel of plastic monkeys (Milton Bradley on the brain, I guess). It’s time to step up your game…raise the stakes…use a cliche about increased risk.

What if there was an entire town devoted to wunderkammen-style attractions. An entire community fueled by deformity, brain malfunction and sequins. The universe has seen fit to provide just such a place– Branson, MO.

Behold! Fiddle Master Shoji Tobuchi, performing at the Shoji Tobuchi theater

with the help of various Tabuchis in residence!

Marvel as this sorceress stretches her leotard to its absolute limit

gesturing mechanically towards magical stage pieces!

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Baldknobbers, HO!

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Try in vain to wrap your feeble brainmeat around this

religio-countryandwestern-patriotic masterpiece!

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Sarah Palin as spoken word mytho-poet

Author: Josh  |  Category: josh, nonfiction, poeme

Her interview makes more sense when you stop reading it and “read” it instead, like with your gut. Instead of watching her stare blankly at an interviewer while making little to no sense (scientists refer to this phenomenon as the “I can’t believe you called on me, i will just keep talking until class is over syndrome, or ICBYCOMIWJKTUCIS, or brainjunctivitus) picture her as a revolutionary street poet, stumbling onto a smoky stage, as if by accident, and launching unbidden into this directionless (or is it) screed.

Bin Laden
      hiding out right now
      is still such a leader of this terrorist movement.