Saturday, December 30, 2000

Odd Biddles / Personal Anecdotes...

This section is for Personal Anecdotes...
Odd Biddles,
Evidence that i've been abducted by Flying Saucers,
Sexual Exploits, Criminal Desires,
Insolent Confessions, Pietistic Apologies...
and so on...
i.e., ( et. al. )

Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Things that i Can't be Recalling Correctly...

Do you have memories that are so quirky that you often wonder...
Did that really happen to me... That way...???
These are some kooky incidents that i have sinewy memories of---
But are they reliable...???

  1. The Marble Incident...
    Have you ever met anyone that had such a strong sense of Charisma that it was of The Jedi-Knight Order of Mind Control...???
    My 6th Grade Teacher had this Quality.
    His name was Gary Rust.
    There are innumerable examples of how this was manifest throughout the year, most notibly by the continuous occurance of special events that recieved media attention... Attention that was not paid to The other classes, students or teachers that were not under Mr. Rust's tutelage.
    One residual aspect of this Charisma; was that we, The Students, felt that Mr. Rust genuinely respected us as Humanimals, and we, in turn, genuinely respected him.
    This respect was of an order, many upturned recliner sofa's above the usual faux-respect that Ordinary Teachers demand through punishment & intimidation.
    We really liked him; and it would have hurt us deeply if we did anything to betray that trust that we shared for one another...
    So one afternoon; While the preponderance of the class was out at recess ( or somesuch ) there were about a dozen of us remaining behind in the classroom, working on various projects...
    We were all sitting dutifully at our seats, not talking, just as if-- any other teacher were there cruelly supervising us... But there was no teacher there, not even a designated monitor; We were on our own, and behaving ourselves...
    Because we were under the spell of Mr. Rust's ubiquitary guidance.

    Another teacher, one that i was unfamiliar with...???...BURST ( Explosively! ) into the room, completely hysterical, Ranting incoheriently about 'A Marble' that had rolled out from under the door of our classroom.
    To this day; i don't believe that there was a marble.
    But she had her way, and lined us all up and cross-hackled us roughly for several minutes, and none of us had any idea what she was yapping about...!!!
    One student; The trouble maker ( of sorts ) admitted that he had rolled the marble out under the door, but simultaneously revealed that he didn't, But was willing to take responsibility for this imaginary fiasco.
    Considering our ages, this was an amazing act.
    Mr. Rust was sent for, and the short of it ( all that i can remember ) was that all the boys were given 'Hacks' ( legal at that time ) while the girls escaped this torture. i beleive that the hacks were administered by Mr. Rust.
    What was this all about? Interclassroom Politics...???
    One thing is for Certain; i lost alot of respect for The Institutions of Public Education
    --and curiouser...
    That was the last year that Mr. Rust taught 'Anywhere'...!
    It was my understanding that he gave up teaching after that and was reassigned to Administrative Duties...???
  2. The Rodney Disowns me...
    When i was living in Bremerton, My n'cle Jack & Auntie Joanie lived in Seattle, about an hour away by ferry and auto... So from time to time, they would invite The Rodney ( my father ) and me over to dinner...
    But they did this in kind of kooky way...
    They would ( according to The Rodney ) invite him; and through him,
    He would invite me...
    So that n'cle Jack & Auntie Joanie would never 'directly' invite me...???
    Would that have been so difficult...???
    So one afternoon when The Rodney called to invite me over to their house for dinner; i balked. i said; "Why don't they just invite me themselves...???"
    And The Rodney went completely ApeShit.
    "What do you want: A Golden Invitation!?" ...and so on.
    So that went on for a few minutes, all the while, i was trying to be very reasonable; suggesting that a simple phone call would do...
    But this was completely out of the question.
    So after he hung up; i thought that i would call his older brother ( Jack is The Rodney's younger brother ) and get 'Phil' to help straighten things out, after all, he was The Patriarch and that's his job... right...???
    Because i didn't have his phone number, i called directory assistance to get it.
    As soon as i mentioned who was calling; He immediately launched into what seemed to be a well rehearsed rant pertaining to every slight, affront, snub, discourtesy and feeble affectation of disrespect that he had ever imagined that i had inflicted upon him...???
    There is essentially two or three comparitively major exploits that may have established a foundation for this missive. One being that i'm a crazy lunatic that has spent the bulk of my adult life as a street person, and the other is that i changed my last name, Which the paternal side of the family found some distain in...???
    The third thing is that i'd been 'freeloading' off The Rodney for several years.
    This last thing was kind of easy; because he's such a 'light touch' and since my parents were divorced when i was around 8 or so, i figured that he 'owed' me a little...??? What exactly... Who the heck knows the answer to something like that-- but with all 'my issues' of being a neglected asperger's child, and so on... ( et. al. )
    ...Plus he's the only person in my family ( until just recently when i moved in with my sister ) that i've ever so egregiously mooched off of...
    That established: This Second Rant by Phil went on for what seemed like 15 minutes at least...??? And all without any indication of any breaths being taken... So that when he finally did start to wind down, i'd had plenty of time to relax and thank him for his valuable input, then i gently hung up.
    i don't think i ever did get a chance to explain what i'd called about...
    i did recall that he believed that n'cle Jack did not have my phone number and i suggested that he use the same technique that i did, to get his; ( Phil's ) Use Directory Assistance.
    One thing about discussing ( arguing ) with someone that is not prone to reasonable dialogue, is that they do not want to engage in reasonable dialogue.
    Any suggestion of reasonable dialogue only further enrages them.
    Which was true in this case.
    So what was going on here?
    Why wouldn't n'cle Jack & Auntie Joanie personally invite me over to dinner?
    Why did The Rodney & Phil find this request so utterly unreasonable?
    What was biting Phil's Ass?
    Why did The Rodney go completely ApeShit and Stay in a state of perpetual ApeShitness for the next 5 years, or so, until some ( Unknown* ) ailment finally killed him...???
    [ *His Death Certificate didn't list a cause of Death...??? ]
    Curiously; i think that after this-- i got along reasonably well with n'cle Jack & Auntie Joanie... But-- They NEVER DID invite me over to dinner.
  3. Being Put Back in The Fifth Grade...
    i have learned comparitively recently that i have an iq of around 130...
    And it is entirely reasonable to think/believe, that i when i was a child, i had an iq of 130, or possibly even higher then...???
    So why was i held back in the 5th Grade...?
    Was i an unruly student, constantly getting in mischief...???
    No; that's not it.
    i was a very polite and well behaved student.
    Unusually polite, Unusually well behaved.
    Was i flunking all my classes...?
    Well; i have a distinct memory that that year, i wanted to get a hamster, and to get the hamster, i had to get at least 3 B's on my report card. i got the hamster, so i must have gotten the 3 B's.
    Does that sound like the academic performance of someone that needs to be held back...???
    One curious thing about it -Then- was that i was completely indifferent to being held back. Perhaps this is a clue. i seem to recall that besides being polite and well behaved, i didn't care about anything.
    i had absolutely no interests in anything, no hobbies, no involvement with sports, no favorite musical bands, no favorite authors.
    Nothing held my attention.
    But i do recall that being put back did confirm something that i was constantly being reminded of, And that was that i was stupid.
    Everyone seemed to agree on this point, and now; i had proof.
    Then; much later;
    in High School, and later; in College, This disconnect between my performance in these other venues, and my internal certitude that i 'Can't' be doing well... Was the source of tremendous confusion...???
  4. Getting Kicked Out of DVR...
    After i got on SSI and was designated as 100% UnEmployable...!!! ...
    [ Slight Digression: My sister works at a place that cares for severely disabled people, many of which are little more than human shaped sock puppets. So despite this, The Agency that oversees these people, insists that they learn 'Life Skills' which may, or maynot, include employment experience...??? But this same government; has decided that i don't have to obtain any such credentials, And am under no obligation whatsoever to find an avocation...??? Pretty Kooky-- Huh...??? i don't make up these rules folks, i just roll with 'em. ]
    ...i moved to Eugene Oregon, and then to Bremerton Washington, where, after living there for 5 plus years, i thought that i really should try to find a job...???
    i had no idea of how to do this; but i think that i was 'inspired' to try this place that i'd passed many times while riding on the bus to Silverdale...
    It was something called DVR; Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.
    That sounded like what i needed; So i wandered in there one day and after a short interview with what amounted to 'The Receptionist'-- She told me to 'Get Lost' and 'Look in the newspaper'.
    Some time after this; i returned and got a more lengthy interview with someone that may have been something more than a receptionist... But as it turned out, the Receptionist may have been the brains of this outfit.
    By some series of circumstances or mechanisms that have been long forgotten, i was sent to a far away Day Care Center for elderly & disabled individuals.
    Kathy -- was trying to get a 'Art Program' started there-- But she didn't have a clue has to how to do this, or anything else, as far as i could tell, and i didn't know what their resources were, or how to get anything like that organized either... All i had to offer, was a bunch of Hand Made Greeting Cards and some other bits of Mail Art, which got me that far.
    So this wasn't going anywhere, and to advance to a 'Real Job' position, i had to somehow 'Qualify' -- and that would take awhile... By more unknowable mechanisms...??? ( That never seemed to involve my participation )
    During this very mysterious transitional phase, i continued to go and do some odd jobs at The Day Care Center-- And i would send postcards to Marge Gardener, my DVR Case Manager... to let her know that i was still interested, Since this transitional phase was taking months...!
    One of these postcards had a letter that was tightly folded up, and affixed to the area normally reserved for succently compressed tidings!
    When The DVR Office got this; Marge was 'Away' ( at a Hospital ) and the clerks that processed it-- THOUGHT IT WAS A BOMB...!!!
    So they called The Bomb Squad, and by means that were never made clear to me, determined that it was not a bomb...
    Nevertheless-- The Head DVR lady called me up, and in a face to face interview, told me about this 'Bomb' and DisEnrolled me from DVR.
    There are just so many layers, and crazy things that i didn't even mention, like the medical evaluations...??? ...that it's really hard to know where to begin in an examination of this...???
    It's just Kooky.
  5. The Entire Ninth Grade...
    After my parents were divorced and we moved to Spokane, Washington, i attended The Longfellow Elementary School... ( Since torn down, and replaced with a Gawd Awful looking piece of Crappity Crap -- 'Modern' Architecture ... anyways... )
    ...from the 4th to the 8th grades. i plodded along, never giving much thought to anything.
    When i was to advance to the 9th grade, they had just finished a new Jr. High School; Garry Jr. High, which was for 7th, 8th & 9th graders. So i went there for the 9th grade.
    Clearly, i think, this was a transitional phase for me, but more than that--
    Several really odd things happened.
    i met Steve Stamotopolus (?) A definitive 'Bart Simpson' type that wasn't a hard core criminal, but merely a dedicated mischievious imp, that smoked pot and was forever getting into imponderous situations that never seemed to blow out of control. In his company; no police were ever called, no serious injuries occurred, no buildings were ever burnt to the ground-- but there was a constant grandeur of percieved delinquency...
    He was also the first person, that i truly respected, that enjoyed spending a free afternoon aimlessly browsing through a library, to find interesting books.
    He taught me that being smart was 'OK'!
    But despite this new epiphany; i completely failed Algebra, and Never did any work in any of my classes that i can recall.
    By all reasonable accounts, i should have flunked every one of my classes-- But i didn't.
    No one seemed to notice that i wasn't doing a bit of homework or turning in any assignments...???
    How could this be...???
    The most egregious of these failures was Chemistry, which i distinctly, VERY Distinctly, recall having NEVER read anything in The Text Book or Doing any of the Assignments, i don't recall learning ANYTHING about Chemistry...!!!
    And yet-- i passed that class as well.
    The entire 9th grade was a large musty closet with nothing in it, yet somehow, a pair of socks were found in it, at the end of the year, to let me get into highschool.
    Another very curious thing--
    Was that One of The History, or Social Studies, teachers was affiliated with The American Institute of Foreign Studies, Essentially a Travel Agency that allows young people to visit Europe and such...
    The year i was there, she handed out 'Ditto's' for people interested in this, and of course, i just threw mine away...
    Then a year or so later, she wrote my mother asking if maybe i would be interested in going to Europe that next Summer...???
    The Net Effect of this was that she has 'Picked' me...???
    Which seems VERY unlikely...
    What is more reasonable; is that she was fishing for students, because she wanted to visit Europe and she needed some fodder to pay her way...???
    As it turned out, i got my dad to fork over $2000 and i went with several other students, all of which were less than sterling examples of academic pursuance...
    But i had a lot of fun anyway...
  6. Money When i was A Street Person...
    For the longest time; about 7+ years that i was a street person, before i finally got on SSI, i would often have money to buy Hot Cocoas with, or Coffees and Rolls @ McDonal'and with, but i can't seem to recall how i was coming by this income...???
    i seem to recall occasionally turning in Cans in Oregon, and there was this one Extremely Anomalous phone booth in Pacific Grove, California that i would pass by nearly every morning, and it would 'Often' ( many more times than once... ) would be literally full of quarters in the coin return bin...???
    But i would much more frequently have plenty of money for laundry, and journals and other completely unnecessary biddles...???
  7. Sleeping in Corvallis Oregon...
    Just about every place i've ever been, i have a pretty clear memory of what i used to do when just hanging around there, and where i slept at night and so on...
    But i recently revisited Corvallis Oregon, when i distinctly remember having spent several months there, and even watching the MiniSeries 'Shogun' (???) at the TV room at their Student Union Building...
    But i have Absolutely NO RECOLLECTION of where i slept there at night...
    Which is Very Unusual for me...???
  8. Other Things that i just Don't Understand...
    Dispite many years of trying to figure them out...???
    1. Bell's Inequality...
    2. Multiple Universe Interpretation...
    3. Matrix Arithmatic...
    4. Social Conventions [ Taboo's ] ...
    5. The Dearth of Political Assassinations...
    6. Suppression of Various Technologies...
    7. Dissemination of Wrong Ideas...
  9. Getting Kicked Off The Assisted Housing List in Bremerton Washington...
    After i'd been living in Bremerton Washington for about 5 years ( + ) i decided to see if i could move into an Assisted Living Apartment ( ??? ) which are Amazingly Inexpensive, like $5 a month...!!!
    So i signed up for both The Kitsap County List and The Bremerton List--
    And i think that there may have been some 'Complicated' Things that i was supposed to do, to make this work, that i didn't do...
    Like contact the Individual Apartment Buildings or some such... Partly because i was initially #400 on both lists, and i thought that i'd wait until i got to the top 20 or so before i put more effort into it...
    And both lists where supposed to be like Six Month Waiting Lists and i was on The Kitsap County List for more than 10 years...!!!
    But prior to that, i got kicked off The Bremerton List because at some point, they sent me a 'Are you still Interested in This' Do-dad ( Questionaire ) and amoung the questions was: Have you even been convicted of Child Molestation? or something like that... and i wrote in; along the margin, since it was a Yes/No Question, and provided only boxes for an Answer; "No, but i am a compulsive masturbator."
    So they kicked me off their list...
    But i thought that that was kind of Kooky, so i tried for a few weeks to find their 'Office' and was completely Unable to do so...!!!
    They apparently existed as a Mail In Service only...
    It also strikes me; That this Housing Solutions Service ( ? ) was specifically for Disabled and Crazy people, so that i again demonstrated that i was Too Crazy for An Agency Specifically Designed to Accomodate Crazy People...???
  10. Title
  11. ---

Thursday, November 30, 2000

Book Reports... ( et. al. )

This Area is principly for Book Reports ( et. al. )
But it may contain Other kinds of Reports;
For Movies or Films ( Note- Distinction where Appropriate )
or possibly even Music CD's or Celebrity Personae's...???

Thursday, November 16, 2000

Sea Monsters...!!!

i just recently finished a Fabulous Book:
Monsters Of The Sea
The Truth about The Lock Ness Monster, The Giant Squid, Sea Serpents, Mermaids and other Fantastic Creatures of The Deep...!!!
By Richard Ellis / © 1995

Ordinarily; when a book says that it is The Truth about something, It means that it intends to DeBunk some Cherished Cultural Sentiment, and do it with an Angry Vehemence that could be matched only by pouring gasoline on a box of kittens and throwing the flaming, mewing melee at Bob Barker, just as he's about to announce the winner of the Miss American Contest.

But Actually; This book, while it is decidedly Anti-Lock Ness Monster and Sea Serpents in General...
It does give a pretty strong argument that the evidence for these Sea Monsters really is pretty weak...

But -- It argues that many of the Reports of Sea Serpents, of which, most were made by Sailors 100+ years ago... ( why are there so few Modern Reports of Sea Monsters...??? ) ...were actually Not Sea Serpents... But Gigantic Squids...!!!

That's right! He carefully argues against one kind of Sea Monster in favor of another...!!!
And -- The Evidence for Gigantic Squids are Overwhelming...!!!
Even though NO ONE has ever seen a living one in it's natural habitat,
( there are a few cases of sailors seeing them fight with Sperm Whales on the surface )
or caught one, or even found one intact...!!!
But -- There are Oodles of Pieces of them that have been collected from The Stomachs of Sperm Whales... And it would seem that from the numbers of Sperm Whales that we know exist,
And the amount of Giant Squid that is recovered from their Bellies...
It's estimated that the Bio-Mass of Giant Squids, that are eaten every year by Sperm Whales,
Must be equal to the Bio-Mass of All The Worlds Humanimals...!!!

Regretfully; These Giant Squids, by my standards,
aren't so very gigantic... 50 feet... ( ? )
You expect me to loose any sleep over a 50 foot squid,
considering that half of that isTentacles...

But -- He also seems to allow that there may be 200 foot Octopus' in the Oceans...
Although the only evidence for these; is only ONE report of a Globster washing up on a Florida Beach in 1896.

And then there's the report of a pretty big shark sited in the vicinity of Port Stephens, Broughton Island ( ??? ) ...
The Cray fishmen, who are presumably familiar with most sea life, and could easily distinguish a whale from a shark,
Claimed that ( several witnessess ) they were being annoyed by a Shark that was 300 feet long...!!!
A more conservative witness suggested that it was 'only' 115 feet long.
This is about 2 1/2 to 3 times as long as the longest Great White.
There 'was' a Shark that fit this description,
But it hasn't been photographed by a reputable magazine for more than a million years.
( Carcharodon Megalodon )

Are there still a few left...???

The book is not only MASSIVELY INFORMATIVE,
but it's also Fun & Easy to read...!

Highly Recommended...!!!

Book Series Review: BstAmUnRqRe

i just recently finished a series ( On Going ) of books called:
The Best American NonRequired Reading
2002 ( apparently they started in 2002...??? )
Additional References from The Store @ 826 Valencia

Each is an Anthology of Stories collected from American Magazines, Zynes, The Internet &/or Discarded Gum Wrappers.
The Stories are often Political, or Oriented towards a Greater World Consciousness...
There are also many other topics, Many down to Earth, Old World Narratives; As well as an occasional dada piece...???
But; The Principle Analogous feature of all the Tales; Is that they are Well Written and Entertaining...!!!

Highly Recommended...!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Fermi Paradox & Strange Brain's

The two books are:
Where Are They? & Strange Brains & Genius
The first book: Where are they? is a listing of ( supposedly ) 50 solutions to Fermi's_paradox,
But regretfully, because of persistent redundancy, there are substantially fewer than the promised 50.
The predominant theme of the book that solves the paradox is that we are, in all probability; Alone in the Universe.
Life is just terribly unlikely, and if there Is some kind of auto-chemical preponderance for life to spring from non-life-- As it did on this planet; Very soon after the formation of the planet, then it is at least as improbable for the original primitive life forms to advance to the next step, and there are thousands, if not zillions, of intermediate steps that separate us smart humanimals from free swimming, skinless self-replicating molecules.
This-- of course --discounts the obvious solution that they are already here,
Acting in a completely incomprehensible manner.
The Second book is about several peculiar Genius', and how they were probably genius' Because they were mentally ill...!!! ( principally due to Temporal Lobe Epilepsy & Bipolar Personalities )
What these two books brought together for me though, was the idea that human intelligence has still one more oddity surrounding it.
Where are they? mentions that, as part of it's argument that humanimal intelligence is particularly unlikely, All mammals & some large parrots have 'about' the same level of intelligence...!
And that Humanimals, if you take away the innate ability to use language,
would neatly fall into that community bin of 'All Mammals'.
That is; All mammals, from humanimals to chimpanzees to cats to rats to grey parrots--
can all count up to about 7 without using language, and can tell large quantities from smaller ones,
and can form a reasonably detailed map of their environment.
The only thing we have over the animals in this one quirky mutation, of Language.
It allows to sort out ideas, keep track of them, and recall classes of things without too much hard thinking.
Hard thinking being the rare ability of so very few...???
Without it, we would have all the behavioral characteristics of a troupe of apes...
And considering that we've probably lost most of our 'instinctual' survival skills, and our furry coats,
we would be at a distinct disadvantage if we had to compete with them...!
( why in the world would we have lost all our fur anyways... that was sure dumb... of Evolution...!!! )
Then in Strange Brains, it brings this up again, but now considers that perfectly ordinary, dumb people,
That is; Average People-- are befreit of all the things that make the smart people able to create human culture.
Which is exactly what i've already been thinking for years and years.
But i'm also thinking these days, that there really isn't much difference between dumb and smart people after all...
i was thinking a while ago that smart people think smarter in same way that dumb people think dumbly,
But with one tiny difference...
While dumb people work out problems with their hands, by means of clumbersome trail & error,
Smart people work out those problems by trail & error, in an imaginary world, inside their heads...
And the particularly smart people are able to trick some parts of their brains into doing all this trail & error stuff away from the conscious musings of the ego, so that the solution just 'pops' into their consciousness, without any apparent thought at all...!!!
The more subconscious personalities the smart ego is able to generate and enslave, the smarter they seem...!
Another thought occurred to me at about this same time,
And that is; Humanimals seem to have just the right amount of intelligence to construct a culture and build a civilization...
If nobody had an IQ above 100, we'd all still be blissfully naked & living on the open savanna...!
But just as critically; If Everyone had an IQ of 130+, then they'd be nobody to do the necessary work that the smart people would be thinking up... Everyone would want to be the Chef, and no one would be willing to be the dishwasher.
This sort of arrangement might be alright in another 200 years, when we have plenty of robots to mow lawns,
But if had been the case when we were first moving into caves; if we had suddenly leapt forward in brain power, It would have killed us off for sure...
Curiously; We Did Leap Forward, but just the right amount, so that only 5% or so, would be the really smart people...
i think that this may be why The Asian countries have fallen behind The West-- It is because they are Too Smart...!
That instead of carefully balanced 5%, they have a destabilizing 15% of Smart people...
Which worked for them when there were hardly any of them to begin with--
But now, with a surfeit of people-- it is catching up to them...
Now then; Will we become destabilized in this same way, when our population becomes sufficiently large enough, so that our mere 5% becomes Millions of Excess Genius'...???
( With a large preponderance of them Looking for Mischief...! )

Two Versions of Asperger's

i recently finished two books that were similar,
In that they were both autobiographies of weird people...

The Curious Case of the Dog
in The Night-Time
Running with Scissors

The Dog in the Night-Time is apparently a fictional account of a Highly functional Autistic Boy, Possibly Aspergerian, or somewhat intermediate between Classic Autism & Asperger's...
At any rate; He attempts to solve the case a Dog that is murdered in his neighborhood, and discovers the identity of the murderer only because s/he confesses this to him about 2/3's of the way through the book. It is meant to be a quirky account, but it fails me in that at the end, it reverts to the conventionality of a typical 'teen' book, when the moral is revealed; that despite his many handicaps, he can accomplish anything he sufficiently desires.
Another annoying element of the book was that although it was meant to told in the first person, it periodically reverts to a 3rd person description of things that are going on, specifically during dialogue & 'adventure' sequences... While it is revealed that Christopher has something like an eidetic memory, the dialogue segments are still very 3rd personie... Like many fictional autistic characters, Christopher has 'too many' 'special gifts'...??? Usually, An Autistic person has one or possibly two special gifts, such as date calculations or genuine eidetic memory, But Christopher has just about all of them that are mentioned in the literature...!!!

Running with Scissors has this same flaw; when the central character of this book, who is alleged to be a real person, and the events described, actual events, eventually find success and happiness, as do most of the other characters that are pulled through the book with him.
It reads something like a David Sedaris book, although David is usually at the center of the weirdness, acting as it's principle instigator; while Augusten ( Running with Scissors ) is struggling to be comparatively normal, while everyone else around him is transquirkily insane...!
Augusten's book is also a little 'lighter' than Sedaris, lacking the dark mischievious undertones--
But he attempts to make up for this with graphic insertions of homosexual acts & parental &/or psychiatric abuse.

Both books were enjoyable enough,
But neither rose up to where i would heartily recommend them.
If you like to read alot, then by all means include them on your reading list,
They are both easy reads and will allow you to pass through them, within a day or two,
if they prove unworthy of contributing to your personal spiritual growth... ( ? )

Sunday, November 12, 2000

The Case for a Creator / By Lee Strobel

The Case for a Creator

By Lee Strobel

i picked this book up at a Bible store in Salinas, California, While waiting for a bus to take me to San Francisco.

  1. White-Coated Scientists :--: Are Science & Religion two different things, or the same thing...? Strobel argues; like The Translucent Amoebae Consortium, that they are actually the same thing...! Both are trying to explain The Universe-- Perfect ( unrealized ) Science tries to do this by finding the truth that's hidden along the edges of snowflakes, and Perfect ( unrealized ) Religion thinks it already knows all the answers. Unfortunately; Both have severe limitations: Religion touches on only a few of the many facets of Reality, & Science fails to accept The Humanimal Experience as a viable source of information. Science also thinks that the very topics that Religion is most authoritative in, are Off-Limits, while Religion does exactly the same thing with 'Scientific' Topics... When will these Squabbling Sisters sit down & reconcile their differences...???
  2. The Images of Evolution :--: This book really should have included some illustrations...!!! Besides this prejudice against visual aids, many 'learned' books also commit another crime; That this one only partially perpetrates; and that is to fill page after page with solid blocks of unbroken text...! Fortunately; Strobel knows how to hit The Carriage Return, and when to break up a thought from time to time with a period. He frequently draws our attention to items that are so visually accentuated, that he has to tediously describe them for us...!!! Such as Ernst Haechel's Chart of Embryonic Forms... i'm sure you've seen this before... It's the one with chicken, frog, human & fish Embryos that look essentially identical-- Proving Common Descent. Well-- It's a Fake...!!! So he claims. And he sounds believable! Also considered in this chapter is Stanley Miller's Primordial Soup Experiment, which is also repudiated. And the Tree of Life. Fake, Fake, Fake. As this book goes on, it becomes increasingly annoying that the title of this book should have been; A Case for Jehovah. Never does he argue for the existence of a generic Creator, or Aliens that invented our DNA, or that we live in A Screen Saver Reality. No-- Jehovah or nothing. Such that whenever his pretense confronts evidence that may actually support his thesis of a Creator, but leads him away from Jehovah, he is forced to discard it. ugh.
  3. Doubts about Darwinism :--: One of the Annoying things that Creationists do; Is to use their own 'Model' of Biblical Knowledge as the Template for 'Darwinism' / Evolution. So that-- Charles Darwin becomes Evolutionists Infallible Gawd and Animals invariably evolve in a straight line from Primitive forms to Advanced Forms, with Humanimals at the top. Such that any effort to explain to them that Evolutionists have long since discarded many of the quaint ideas that Darwin held, or that animals frequently De-Evolve or Wildly Branch-Out into a multitude of forms-- will miss their ear holes and bounce off the sides of their heads. It's so very annoying that they continue to attack positions & evidence for Evolution that have long since been discredited; Such as Early Man fakes, Human fetal gills & Homology; The 'Science' of grouping animals together, based on their outward appearances.
  4. Where Science Meets Faith :--: The curious thing about Faith is that; in theory; It's supposed to be a belief that is utterly free of Reason-- But if that were true, When would anyone stop believing...??? Once you've allowed yourself to start believing in things as a function of Faith, You'd end up being equally convinced that there are Unicorns living in Caves on Mars, That Sidewalk Cracks will cause Osteoporosis and that George Washington never wore is Mothers underwear! People actually believe crazy things because: a) They're pleasing to Believe & b) They think that they have Good, Reasonable Evidence for Believing in them, Such as falling off a bicycle just before it runs into a Wonderbread Delivery Truck may lead you to believe in Angelic Intervention... Never mind that The Angels should have turned your head to see the truck coming... A Miracle is a Wondrous thing, even if it costs you your New Bicycle. As it turns out; Creationists aren't the only ones that are effected by Irrational Beliefs, Scientists too, are Strongly Influenced by their desire to pursue an agenda which will lead them to some pleasant unreality. ( most of us should have known this all along... most of the chapters in this book are just filler anyway... there are only two good ones, and of those, only one is a good one. )
  5. The Evidence of Cosmology :--: This is the first Chapter with some meat on it. Strobel attempts to argue that The Big Bang ( The Kalam Theory, proposed by several ancient cultures; That since Whatever exists has a Beginning, and Whatever has a Beginning has a Cause, And that Since the Universe >Must have<> Unfortunately; The Big Bang & The PreCambrian Explosion of Life are not Genesis & [ As always ] ...If it's So Dang Unacceptable that The Universe always existed ( in various forms ) Then why do Creationists so easily Accept that Jehovah has always existed...??? Over & Over throughout this book, Lee Strobel tries to convince us that he's a Hard Boiled, SamSpadian Detective, Looking unflinchingly for The Truth-- But time & time again, he will fail to ask the obvious question when interviewing his collection of experts, and blithely allow them to dismiss alternative theories or criticisms. This may well have been a powerful book, and may be a powerful book, Written my someone else, But this treatment of The Evidence is flavorless Milk-toast.
  6. The Evidence of Physics :--: Most of the Reviews of this book have considered this Chapter it's most powerful, and which i consider one of its weakest...! Again; Strobel discusses examples, details & finer points, without providing us with the elements of his argument. He merely lays down his conclusions that he's hastily scribbled on soiled napkins and considers this the proper way to present an irrefutable logical argument. i would kind of have liked him to at least list The Eight Variables that Define Out Universe...! Strobel argues that all these Variables are so finely tuned that if any one of them were even, ever so slightly changed, Then The Universe as we have come to expect it, would be so thoroughly changed that Life would be Impossible. And this is almost certainly True...! Except-- When Strobel says 'Life', He Doesn't mean Self Replicating Molecules or Systematic Lattices of Information Storage with a accompanying set of Tool Using Appendages... No-- He means; People, just like you and me. If one of these Alternative Universes were to spring into existence, We Humanimals would surely Die before we could take a Second Breath. But he completely fails to consider that Any Orderly System-- that is; Any Universe with Rules that Govern it, Irregardless of how Foreign they are, will have Structure & Predictability to go with it. Such a Universe may, Certainly so, Be Very, Very Different from our own, Possibly without anything even resembling Stars, Molecules or Cellular Telephones-- But so long has it has its own form of Order, it will find a way to exist, and may even harbor Life in some Utterly Alien Form.
  7. The Evidence of Astronomy :--: This is a very weak Chapter. It attempts again to claim that since other Stars, in other locations throughout The MilkyWay Galaxy, and The Universe, would be unsuitable for Humanimal Life, they would be Unsuitable for any Life at all.
  8. The Evidence of BioChemistry :--: This is The Second, or Third, to the Strongest Chapter. In it Strobel argues ( sloppily ) that Biological Chemistry; Living Organisms; contain various components that are defined as Irreducibly Complex. That is; Like Cilium Motors; which snap Cilia back & forth on tiny Single Celled Animals & inside our Throats, Can't be taken apart in such a way that would allow Evolution to 'Grow' Them a little bit at a time. Another Example is; Blood Clotting-- and Thankfully, he Does NOT include the Eye...!!! If-- In Fact; Evolution did produce these Molecular Machines, Insect Wings, Dolphins Blow-holes & Situational Comedies... Then they were most probably created by a process of Indirect Fudging... Which suggests that The Complex Biddles were once something completely Different, and Underwent a Sudden Change in functionality, When all their Components Independently Evolved along their own tracks. i'll grant you that this 'Explanation' is itself very weak, But since Strobel refuses to allow for the possibility of Alien Intervention, it's the only one that's available here.
  9. The Evidence of Biological Information :--: The more you read about how DNA works, the more you have to come to the conclusion; That it just HAD to have been Created by a Well Defined ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence. For my three cents worth, and to address the criticism that IF it were created by Aliens from another planet, THEN: where did they come from? Well-- THEY did Evolve, But without DNA...! They have something more like protein templates that directly transcribe their proteins into functional cellular materials... and they also reproduce through budding.
  10. The Evidence of Consciousness :--: Of course; All this talk about Aliens creating our DNA is completely MOOT-- If you consider The Impossibility of Consciousness... Which Strobel thinks is Evidence for Jehovah... But is Really Evidence that EVERYTHING is WRONG...!!! Out Entire Reality is Maya...!!! We're living in a Screen-Saver Reality, and the Source of our Consciousness is found in our 'Mother' Reality, that is Completely Different from this one. ( ! ) Just consider for a moment that If the Brain were the Origin of our Minds, then; EVERY thought that you have, Was Created in your Brain... So that if you're deciding between a Peanut Butter Sandwich or a Bologna Sandwich, It's your Brain that makes that Decision... You may be Aware of that Dilemma, But any 'Thinking' that is going on in your Consciousness, is being formulated by your Brain...! That is; Your Brain Generates the Effect of your Consciousness, Your Awareness... But Then; There is NOTHING that is going on in that Consciousness that Was Not Generated By Your Brain...!!! The Brain; By some Inexplicable Process Creates the effect of your Consciousness, But there is NO WAY that your Brain could be Aware of that...! It's like a light bulb; It produces light, but there is no way that it would know that it's producing light...!!! So that when your Brain generates statements like: "I think; therefore I am." It is either Not being truthful, or it's Idea of Thinking is Completely different from your Awareness of Thinking... And when it argues to this point... Where in The Heck is that coming from...??? How could Electro-Chemical processes ever become Aware anyway... How can your Eyes take in a 2D panorama, break it all down into it's visual components, then somehow represent within your brain a 1::1 correspondence with your outside world... The internal representation Must be Completely Different, And how can you perceive it as an Holistic Experience...??? How can the Electro-Chemical patterns on one side of your Brain become a Single Unified Experience with patterns on the other side...??? The Correct Conclusion is that Everything Is Wrong, Not: 'Mutilate your Genitals & Be Welcomed into The Kingdom of Jehovah'
  11. As Babynous has asked : "Are we living in a Universe that is So Cruel, That it allows us to be Aware that we are Robots?"
  12. Additional Filler :--: The Last few Chapters include a synopsis of Strobel's previous books, A Case for The Historical Jesus & A Case for Faith. Just to prove to you that he's completely fair & unbiased.
  13. Suggestions for How to make This Theme Into a Stronger Argument :--: This book does briefly touch on some of the Moon's Anomalous features, But it does so; as with all it's 'Scientific' References; with a considerably conservative presentation... That is; If the established Scientific Community says that The Big Bang is a Verified Fact-- Then it is so. This approach seems considerably opposed to the lines of attack that most Creationists use, But it may be quite consistent-- Actually --with their notoriously sloppy handling of what they would like to be; Verifiable Evidence... Which is to use Established 'Facts' when it suits their agenda, and to disregard, Equal or Superior Facts when they don't. The Translucent Amoebae Consortium would like to be known as A Provincial Fountainhead of Wisdom that Uniformly, & without Prejudice, Disregards all Established Truths, Irregardless of their Origins. Such that : There are many elements about this reality that we find 'suspicious'... ??? Tides for Example; Don't you find it just a little bit... Totally Freaking Unbelievable ...that when the moon is on one side of The Earth, pulling up the oceans a fixed amount; On the other side of The Earth, The Earth itself is being pulled Away from the oceans at exactly that same fixed amount, So that along any given beach, It will have 2 high & 2 low tides of essentially equal heights...??? This sort of thing just >Smacks< of an Inside Joke, left behind as Irrefutable Evidence of Artificial Reality Generation...!!! : Another example that would seem to question 'Evolution' is the case of Eyeless, Albino Salamanders that are occasionally found in Caves that have been isolated for 'x' numbers of years from the surface world... It would seem to me that while Surface Pigmentation & Eyeballs would have no use to these animals, and they are undoubtedly No worse off for their discontinued use-- That is Not the way Evolution is supposed to work...! For these Salamanders to loose these features, They have to be Selected Out by Either Genetic Mutations, or-- The Selective Weeding out of those features from Normal Diversity... And just how often are Albino Salamanders born without Eyes...??? Probably not that often, and even so; for these features to then Dominate the Population; The Salamanders with Eyes & Colouration would have to be at a Measurable Disadvantage...! Normally, When a Brain is denied the use of some Sensory Organ, That portion of the Brain is then 'Taken Over' by the other Senses so that it is put to good use... So that The Eyed Salamanders would have the same use of their brains for their other Senses as the Hypothetical Eyeless Salamanders... And also: How would Pigmentation be to their Disadvantage; so that it to would be Selected Out...??? Obviously; Some Creationist Element has specifically Designed or Introduced these features into this Isolated Population. : A curious thing about Evolution; That may also be found in Flying Saucer Reports, as well as Ghost Stories, Big-Foot Encounters, Spontaneous Eruptions of ESP ---and so on... Is that when one examines The Totality of The Reports for any of these given Topics... The Evidence seems Overwhelmingly to Support the General Assertion... BUT -- When you take Any One of The Accounts, and Examine it for Validity or Some Reasonable Measure of Believability... It will Fail Miserably...!!! When this applies to Flying Saucers, It is Perhaps ( ? ) Sensible to suggest that because the Aliens are So Very Different from us, that any measure that we may wish to apply to their Behaviour, Technology or Motivations is unwarranted... They are; By Definition, Wildly Strange & Completely Bizarre from Everything that we're familiar with, So it is to be Expected that our Encounters with them are UnBelievable... : But when we take this same approach with The Evidence for Evolution, and Encounter the Same Difficulties... We would like to expect that there is some Logical Continuation to The Development of Fauna and such... So that when we see, again & again in the Fossil Record that Wholly Formed Species just Pop into Existence... We are left wondering... 'How did they do that?' : The Evidence for a Creative Force or Agent may well be Overwhelming, But when you go looking for it, Don't bring along too much Prejudicial Anticipations of Who the Master Craftsman is, Because it may very well turn out ( If we'll Ever Know...! ) that this Architect of Our Reality may be something Very Different than we would Expect -- or Desire...!

Dan Brown: Genius or Prolific Hack...???

[ May Contain Spoilers for Digital Fortress, The Da Vinci Code
&/or Angels & Demons--
As Well as Any & All Other Dan Brown Novels...!!! ]

The first Dan Brown Novel i read was Digital Fortress... i liked the cover illustration, i'd heard some good things about his books ( Da Vinci Code had come out a few weeks earlier ) and i was interested in Cryptography, The NSA & Super Computers.
My foremost impression of the book was that it was an 'Easy Read' which; to my way of thinking, is very important...! While experimentive prose of the sort that Mark Leyner might churn out is highly amusing and captivating, When i'm reading a 'story' i like the narrative to proceed in a straightforward and elegant manner.
Dan Brown has the ability to do this.
Furthermore; i enjoyed many of his ideas concerning cryptography and supercomputers...
But-- The book did contain many places where characters behaved irrationally & strained my ability to suspend my critical intervention of 'normal reality' logic & credibility.
Perhaps this is most easily illustrated when one is watching a movie like Star Wars or a Television program like The Greatest American Hero in which ones Ordinary Reality is tossed aside for the sake of Entertainment... The Secret to Successfully discarding a logical review is to make it clear from the get-go that reality has no place in this particular setting. The most egregious violation of this that i can think of; Is Bruce Willis' Movie The Fifth Element in which the narrative proceeds along a very straightforward Futuristic Science Fiction Space Adventure, and then in the last few minutes of the film, in order to resolve the plot dilemmas, Suddenly pulls a tangential 90 degree left turn into A Cheap Girlish Fantasy Dream Sequence. The only thing they forgot to include was Unicorns & Cherubic Elves.
But Returning to Dan Brown...
After Digital Fortress, i finally got tired of waiting for a copy of The DaVinci Code to turn up at the Library and so i bought a copy... It was just as amusing as Digit Fortress and contained many of the same Weakness'.
What i found most disturbing however was that it seemed to be constructed around the same scaffolding as Digital Fortress...!!! (?)
Was this just a Coincidence...??? Was i superimposing my own perceptions onto these two books...???
So to settle this; i then Read: Angels & Demons.
In the first few pages a was astounded and annoyed that; Yet again-- In the first few pages, a mysterious Character is brutally murdered...!!!
Other Startling Similarities:
  1. The Principle Hero is a Middle Aged College Professor that is pulled into the storyline by a fatherly figure who intends to exploit his apparent naivety.
  2. The Fatherly figure; or principle Guide, turns out to be their Arch Nemesis.
  3. The Secondary Hero/ine is an Attractive Female that is Sexually Bonded to the Hero.
  4. The Heroine is not quite as Innocent as the Hero.
  5. The Story contains a Major Character in a Wheelchair &/or is Terribly Disabled in some way.
  6. The Story contains a Major Character that is a Serial Murderer/Assassin.
  7. The Handler of the Assassin is Unknown to the Assassin himself.
  8. The Quest Involves lots of Running Around.
  9. The Catholic Church is Portrayed in a Untowards Manner.
  10. The Quest Involves Solving a Cryptic Puzzle.
  11. The Quest could be easily solved if only they brought in an Appropriate Specialist.
  12. No Character has a Unique or Regional Dialect or Accent.
  13. Each Story Contains at least Two or More Articles of TechnoJunkScience, But these are always Peripheral to The Storyline.
  14. Each Story Ends WithOut The Principle Mystery being fully Disclosed.
  15. While The Stories are Generally Free of comedic dialog or situations, The Ending is designed to be light-hearted.
  16. Rather than Cleverly & Subtly Explain important Plot-Necessities before the Climax, Brown waits until afterwards to Reveal what just happened.


  1. The Fatherly Figure / Principle Guide may or may not be Killed in The End.
  2. The Assassin may or may not be An Albino.
  3. The Character in the WheelChair may be good or evil.
  4. There may or may not be a Mickey Mouse Watch featured Predominantly as a Plot Element.

Notes by The Carbon Based Mistake:

  1. His Characters are plastic cliches. For gosh sake! He even had the "kiss the girl by the edge of a cliff" at the ending of DaVinci Code. I tell people who say they liked DaVinci Code 2 things, 1: that that are WRONG, and 2: they should read The Philosophers Stone by Colin Wilson
  2. ...did you notice how many times Dan Brown characters "wince" ? way too much.
  3. And that awful scene when the main character (which is clearly modeled after himself, dan brown) and the girl are in the Louvre and are trying to sneak out, and she calls him Mr. Langdon, and he stops and takes the time to flirt and tell her "Call me Robert" while the cops are after him!

Are these the signs of a Hack...?

Does Dan Brown have only One Formula to Write Around...??

Have you read any of this other books...

...Do they follow this same Formula or are they Radically Different...???



i was on a plane recently coming from Hawai'i to Los Angeles, and i happened to talk briefly with a Lutheran Pastor that had read one of Brown's books that i'd been avoiding; Deception Point-- Which he confirmed; had many of these identical Plot Elements...???

Charles; The AntiChrist...!!!

Prince Charles & A Cup of Tea
Examines the high probability that Prince Charles is The AntiChrist...
( or not. )

The Stupidest Angel / Magic for Beginners

Partial Book Report:
i didn't actually read the whole book:
The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore...
And Another Book that is kind of like it--
Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link...
That i did read all the way through...
Both of these books were started on the premise that they were 'Quirky' writers...!
Moore has the dullest style... He apparently just wrote a fairly dull and ordinary story, and then went back and took all the adjectives and 'spiced them up' which is the sole attribute of his quirkiness...!
The story itself is as plain as paste.
Kelly Link
has a fun and easy to read writing style and her stories contain lots of quirky and fun detailing... But they go on and on, without going in any particular direction...! Then as most of her critics have mentioned; they end with a twist. i think that that 'twisted' endings are a direct consequence of her not knowing where the story was ever going, but that she needed to end it after so many pages; perhaps because she'd exhausted all the ideas she had for that narative... and so; she simply turned the story line off in a perpendicular direction and stopped typing.
The book i'm reading now is; Terry Bisson's
The Upper Room, and other likely stories.
This is also a quirky collection of short stories, and he does some things that i would normally think of as very annoying, but he seems to pull them off; such as repeating lines or catch phrases, over and over and over again...???!!! The stories are very imaginative and easy to read... But although i'm only 2/3's of the way through this first book of his, they are beginning to seem just a tad formulistic...???
But still; i'm planning on following this up with
Numbers Don't Lie... and Bears Discover Fire... if i can find it...???
Then i'd also like to find Link's
Stranger Things Happen... which the library doesn't have either...!

The Minority Report...

As you may recall, i've recently begun to read everything by Phillip K. Dick...
One of his short stories; The Minority Report was, a few years ago, made into a historically forgettable movie featuring Tom ( Whacko Boy ) Cruise.
The short story, which i just finished, is quite different from the movie, particularly having to do with the elemental concept of The Minority Report...!!!
The story DOES have 3 emasculated retards fused to a giant computer,
And the chief of police is identified as a potential murderer--
But the similarities end there.
There is no eye transplant in the story,
no kidnapping of the retarded girl,
they are not freed in the end,
and there's really no chase to speak of...
Particularly annoying...???
...The movie takes the idea of The Minority Report and does something 'kind of' complicated with it...
While in the short story; Dick treats it in a reasonably conventional manner of a 'Time Paradox'...???
In the Story; There turns out to be not just One Minority Report, But 3...!
All the Retards came up with a different version of the Future, and only by means of a mistaken interpretation of the reports, does there appear to be a consensus of opinions...
What happens is that one of the retards straightforwardly predicts that the chief of precrime will murder a retired general, Then the second retard takes into consideration that he will see this prediction and change the future accordingly, and the third retard predicts the future based on the events as they are altered according to the second retards version, which will also become known to the chief of police...!!!
You may recall that in the movie; The Minority Report was in fact; just that, a report that the other two retards disagreed with, in that she 'saw' a future in which a 'reflection' of an event was... uhhh... actually i forget exactly how that all worked out...
In the story though; The chief of police DOES murder his victim, just as the retards predicted, but which the Minority retard predicted would not occur...!!!
Which version is more 'Clever'...??? The movie or the short story...???
The Story version is convoluted, but when you've read a few hundred 'Time Travel' stories that deal specifically with 'Paradoxes'... What is really fresh anymore...?
The Dick Story tries to take it to a new level by layering Paradox on Paradox...
While the movie version is just confusing...
Plus; i don't really understand why people think Tom Cruise is attractive...
i think he's kind of funny looking... That nose of his, just doesn't look right to me...

SPOILERS...!!! Harry Potter # 5

Don't read another wor-


Don't read another word if you have any plans ( ever ) of reading:
Harry Potter
& The Half-Witted Prince

Alright; my Review, Critic, Recapitulation,
Summarization, Synopsis or Frothing Rant,
Is about to begin...

Harry Potter
& The Half-Blood Prince
By JK Rowling

The Answers to your
Top Ten Questions:

1. Professor Dumbledore
2. Severus Snape
3. Harry Potter
4. Harry Potter
5. Ginny Weasley
6. Harry Potter
7. Hermione Granger
8. Bill Weasley & Phlegm
9. Aragog
10. Kreacher

What i would like to see in
The last ( ? ) book that we haven't seen yet...

( By the way; this was supposed to be the second to last book,
as next year, Harry would be a 7th Year student of Hogwarts,
which is the terminus year for it's students, and yet--
It may now be the case that Harry will 'Drop Out'

and pursue a different career path...???
Might this mean that there will be many more books,

perhaps an 'unspecified' number of books in the future...??? )

What i would like to have explained is;

The Theory of Magic!
Where does the power for magic come from, how is it focused into actions & fabrications...?
Are the animals that Witches & Wizards produce out of thin air, or transformed from Inanimate objects; 'Really Alive'...?
How would a Wizard go about 'Inventing' a new incantation, spell or magical object?
We've seen that Harry's father & 'Chums' made the Marauder's Map,
and Fred & George have invented many curious practical jokes & such,
But neither Harry, Ron or even Hermione has ever created anything even remotely creative...!!!

How do Witches & Wizards Differ from Muggles?
There are apparently 4 distinct types of Humanimals...
Witches & Wizards : Full Blooded Magical Beings
Mudbloods : Half Blooded Magical Beings
Squibs : Full Blooded Magical, But Inept Beings
Muggles : No Magical Abilities
The Mudbloods ( Apparently there is no proper technical term for these...? ) & Squibs are the most interesting... They seem to mean that the talent for Magicalness is like a Musical or Spelling gift... Anyone can obtain this ability, if their genes ( ? ) allow it...?
( If not our genes, is there 'some-other' 'attributical source' that passes this ability down through a family...? )
Also: What are 'Elves'...??? They seem to be fully sentient beings, and yet they are enslaved by the Magical Community...??? We see this again & again, The Good Guys are retaining a moral standard that doesn't quite seem to connect with the high ethical standards that many of the characters are attempting to embody while differentiating themselves from The DeathEaters and Voldemort...???

Does Magical Science have any awareness of DNA, Electricity, Mechanical Principles or The Material Sciences?
We discover in this book that Arthur Weasley, Ron's dad does not understand how Airplanes fly, and we see that Hogwarts is lit exclusively by Oil Lamps and Torches...! It is as if somewhere along our ancestral's technological evolution, a magically talented group separated themselves from The Muggles, and never looked back...! The historical nuances of this seem very interesting to me...! How could they have so completely insulated themselves from Muggle advances...? The Magical Society must have so thoroughly loathed humans, that they made somekind of racial decision that Anything The Muggles do, We will refute it completely!
They are like Magical Amish People...???!
But -Why-...??? Is it Religious...?
If The Magical Community does have somekind of Religion, it's not entirely clear what that might be... They celebrate Christmas, but only in a trans-secular manner...
Their Christmas is missing both The Christ Child AND Santa Claus...???

Another element that i find very curious;
Is that The Magical Community doesn't seem to have an equivalency for The Telephone...!
Never mind Cell Phones, they don't even have a Wall Mounted Variety...?
The don't seem to have Television Either ( In some magical form )
But in this book, The Weasley's do have a phonograph, but it seems to work in exactly the same way The Muggle version does...???

Has anyone listed all The Clever Ideas that the previous books have been chocked full of...?
i only mention this because this book seems to have fewer of them than the former ones...
It's as if; The Vocabulary & Scenery were set down, and now we're merely shown how it all fits together...???
There are a few new things, The least clever is U-No-Poo... A joke product produced by Fred & George...
The most clever idea is a container that holds half your soul... Which has NOTHING to do with the Title...
But even this may easily be derived from Previous Story Lines such as Steve Martin's 'All of Me' in which a soul is kept, transitionally, in a large bowl. The effect is quite different, but the elemental idea is there...

( One of many ideas is take a well loved movie or book, such as Star Wars or Harry Potter, and pick it apart, one bit at a time, and show where all the ideas were stolen from...! ( Some of the scenes in Star Wars are quite blatantly ripped off from other films...!!! ) )

In this book; JK Rowling has begun comparing the affinities of Voldemort & The Ministry of Magic

to Al'quida & The Bush Administration...!
When the books first came out, Voldemort was a very undimensionally challenged villain --
But now; with the War on Terror, Star Wars I through III and A Series of Unfortunate Events--

to draw from--
Voldemort is becoming a classic;
Good Boy that took a wrong turn while trying to find the secret of immortality...!
Tom Riddle ( Voldemort ) started out as an orphan, no more genuinely mischievous than Harry Potter, given their slightly different upbringings...
With new revelations, we see that Harry and Tom have much in common, and while one is portrayed as All Evil & one as All Good... It is apparent that given Harry's pathological tendency to Lie first and squeeze the truth later, -vs- Tom's scrupulous approach to academic studies...

One may wonder who is The Good Guy and Who is the Bad Guy...???
( We also are made to wonder more about which side Professor Snape & Draco Malfoy are on...? )
We've seen this in Star Wars; when Anakin only wants to make the political organization of the galaxy run a little smoother than what the confederation of Senators is able to accomplish...
And in the X-Files, The Smoking Man is portrayed as Evil, yet his actions are always to save The Earth from an Alien Invasion...
( The final episode never really made it clear if He -or Mulder and Scully succeeded at this...! )
Is it just Moral Relativism, or is there a trend creeping into our Movies and Books to portray The Arch Villains as Good Guys that are merely Confused about how to go about building their Utopian Paradise's...?
Adolph Hitler wanted to create a Utopia for Germany, and if he'd only chosen not to keep invading other countries, he might easily have succeeded, and exterminated all the Jews in Europe to boot...!!!
One might wonder if The Time Travelers are somehow responsible for WWII, when they might just as easily have killed off Hitler, But that's not what they wanted to see happen...
These things are Very Complicated...
And seeing Voldemort struggle with his choices should make you wonder if the books are really about him, and in the end, Voldemort will Triumph, as we hope he will...?

Other Annoyances...
These books really should have a Glossary... It's quite as bad as A Clockwork Orange, but unless you take the time to reread all the previous books, whenever a new comes out, you are severely handcapped when trying to fully grasp the simple nuances of everyday life amoung the magically inclined.
Don't you just hate it when you're watching a news interview, and the politician or CEO or Bigwig will say some bone-headed thing, and the reporter will completely fail to follow up on it...! Well the same think happens repeatedly in this book, Nobody ever seems willing to ask pointed or necessary questions to make a particularly ambiguous & confusing situation clearer...!!!
The Revelation of who The Half-Blood Prince is, is very clumpsily done... it's just thrown out, and the half-blood part seems to directly contradict previous factoids -- of which this series is becoming somewhat notorious for...!!! ( Why for example; Is it the Fake Mad-Eye Moody that teaches Harry to repell a particular kind of spell that Voldemort is most famous for, which at the end of the book, allows Harry to escape...! -- i really think that Rowling just starts writing and writing and writing, and then her publisher starts whining that it's time to set it into type, and she quickly wraps it all up, whereever she happens to be...!!! )

Additional Links:
The Last Page of : The Half Blood Prince...
Harry Potter : Toady of Satan?

The Last Page of The Half-Blood Prince

...Hagrid leaped from the 4th floor balcony, leaving Harry on the cold marble slab with his chest & face neatly burnt away!
Neville came running up the stairs and jumped into the room with his wand straight before him, ready to blast any of the traitors that may still be alive.

He then saw Harry and knelt beside him;
"Harry, are you still with us, we need you desperately...!"
Harry gasped once, and then looking into Neville's eyes, struggled to form words through the gaping hole that was rimmed with burnt stubs that were all that remained of his once bright, well brushed teeth...

"You must avenge this; All of it, Not just for me, But for poor Ron that was disintegrated by Professor Snape & Hermione, melted like a fresh crayon on a hot sidewalk by the demons of Malfoy's soiled underwear... and the others-- So many others Neville, All that remains for this world now rests on your resolve..."
Neville looked out past the huge, shattered veranda into a night of blackness, so dark that even the brightest stars were barely visible--

"I am at your service forever Harry, Your will is my fate... I shall not let all this that has been perpetrated against us, rest another day without my rage falling upon it a thousand fold!"
Harry smiled, but the grin was hidden beneath his charred lips, and Neville could not see it,

but he knew that Harry would be proud of him, Half-Blood or not, Would be Prince of a Stately Nation of lopheaded serfs & peons, or not-- Neville would lash out a terrible vengeance on Dumbledore, Hagrid & the others that humiliated & betrayed them this past year.
Lily & James appeared then; But only for Harry's blinded eyes.
"Come with us to the Wonderful City beneath the sea,

Come and live with us under The Generous & Benevolent Rule of The frequently misunderstood; Great Cthulhu,
in the Dark City of R'Lyeh where we will sleep;
Dead forever, and yet Dream as no mortal could imagine!" Whispered Lily.
Harry's eyes watered and the black salt stung his raw cheeks,

"I can not go yet Mother, my time here; in this sullied world, is not yet spent..."
Harry turned to Neville, and speaking with a voice that came from deep within him;

"In my dresser, at the foot of my bed, you will find a book of unimaginable power,
The Necronomicron--
With it; You will easily defeat all our enemies...
If only I hadn't been so naive and trusting of those around me...
Please Neville, don't let this faith in our own kind defeat you,
Trust No One...! You! You are our only hope...!"
The Great Cthulhu; in all his damp & wiggiling majesty, appeared behind Harry's parents

He stood and appraised the two brave wizards as they contemplated what the world had always been, and that now, like few others, they were seeing it, as one would see the inner workings of an onion, and while beholding it's intricate mysteries, weep without sadness or joy, but merely for the pure satisfaction of weeping in the presence of the gods unimaginable & amoral cleverness...
The Dragon like creature from a distant star had come to claim this boy; and his friends, but now-- He knew that that would come another day, perhaps many, many years from now, as time for such beings means so very little...
Coming around on the side, through a well stained tapestry, was Nearly Headless Nick...
"Harry..." rasped the long dead knight...

"We have urgent business on the grounds..."
"Yes-- I am coming..." Harry said,

Lifting himself up, away from his body, it sank like a damp, crushed kitten beneath him...
his foul green urine flowed unencumbered from his bladder.
"We shall have great fun," Began Nick as he took Harry's hand...

"Reeking Vengeance from beyond the grave is the most fun you've ever had...!
It will be good again to return to those times, When i sought after those that had murdered me... But it will be sad when they are all dead, like us, awaiting a harsher judgment by those that we gingerly worship..."
"I can't wait to get started--But I'm sure that there will be much work to be done, after we've finished with these scoundrels... The world is full of dark souls that need to be thrashed by our righteousness...!"

"With Neville's help, we shall make short work of Dumbledore and his ilk..." Growled Harry...
"Their due is long past--" injected Nick...

The huge creature standing on the stone floor smirked beneath it's tentacled head... How very often over the millennia had he heard others proclaim that their holy cause was more Just than any other before it...
"It is so beautiful in R'Lyeh, with the Shoggoths bounding along the green pathways this time of year..." began Lily...
"His fate lays elsewhere--" Interrupted James...

He stepped forward and gave his son a long overdue hug,
"We'll all be so proud of you..."
"It's time to go" said Nick...

And at that, He and Harry hastily vanished over the balcony's railing,
and soon the screaming--
The Long & hard screaming began.