Mimesis and Violence

Great Puzzle Game
January 2, 2008, 7:47 pm
Filed under: Humor, Internet, Mathematics, Technology

Check this puzzle out: the goal is to connect 3 houses to water, gas, and electricity without any of the lines crossing. It’s kinda hard.

SuPuzzle Screenshot

See also: Kuratowski’s Theorem.


I is in ur biblez, not eatingz cheezbrgrs
October 8, 2007, 12:27 pm
Filed under: Christianity, Humor, Internet, Judaism, Religion

I giveth thee teh lolcat Bible. For those of u who donts get it, chek icanhascheezburger.com/. I xspecially liek the translatn of Job 1:

1. In teh land of Uz wuz a man calded Job. Teh man was goodz, afraid of teh Ceiling Cat and evilz.
2. Teh man hadz seven sunz and tree doters,
3. And lots of sheepz and camlez and rinoceruseses and servnts, srsly.
4. His sunz tok turns mading cookies, and they all eated them.
5. And Job wuz liek “Oh noes! Wut if cookies were sin? Gota prey, just in cased.”
6. Teh ayngles wented to seez Ceiling Cat, and Saitin wented 2.
7. Ceiling Cat axt Saitin, “Wher u wuz?” Saitin saied “Oh, hai. I’z wuz in ur earth, woking up and down uponz it.”
8. Teh Ceiling Cat sayd “Has u seen mai servnt Job? He can has cheezburger cuz he laiks me.”
9. “No wai!” sed Saitin.
10. “U just plyin favrits.
11. If u take his cheezburgers, he no laiks u no moar.”
12. Then teh Ceiling Cat sed “Okai, u can take his bukkit, but no hurtzing Job hissef.” And then Saitin went awai.
13. Wun day Jobes’ sunz and doters were eateding cookies at teh oldest wuns hoose,
14. And a mans cam to told Job a mesege. “Ur donkzeys and moo cows was eateding grass”
15. “And thens teh servnts was atacked by some dudez and ur naminals was stoldz by them and only i got wai.”
16. And then anotter mans cam to told Job a diffrant mesege. He sed “Teh Ceiling Cat maids fyr fall from teh skys and it burnded ur sheepz and more servnts and only i got awai.”
17. And thens a more diffranter mans cam to told Job a mesege. “Sum Chaldean dudez took ur rinoceroseseses and killd moar servnts and only i got wai.”
18. And then 1 moar mans cam to told Job a mesege.
19. “Ur sunz howse feld over and skishded evryones. Sry.”
20. Then Job got upt and shaved and was liek “Gota prey now.”
21. “Teh Ceiling Cat giv me cheezburger, teh Ceiling Cat takded mah cheezburger awai. I stil laiks teh Ceiling Cat.”
22. And teh Ceiling Cat sed “I winz!!”

I hereby issue a challenge to all my friends who teach at religious schools: use this as a teaching tool in some way and I will buy you a delicious dinner that meets your dietary restrictions (if u cant has cheezburger).

Oh, and just FYI

O Ceiling Cat

night tremors
August 22, 2007, 5:58 pm
Filed under: Friends, Humor, Rants

The capstone of my otherwise great Friday night was an post-apocalyptic dream/vision.

It was Josh’s birthday. I had a much too big dinner and a little too much wine with Diana and Kassi at a cheap but delicious Indian restaurant in the east village. We met Josh&Co at a bar called Lolita. Seemed an unfortunate name for a place of imbibition to release inhibition. Fortunately no children were present. Hopefully no pedophiles either. Too many SoCo and Kamikaze shots later I decided karaoke was absolutely necessary. I thought I knew more of the lyrics to “Let’s Get It On,” but I’m sure Josh appreciated the gesture nonetheless.

3:45 AM. Lights on, I pass out on Josh’s couch. Leigh graciously left me the larger one and it is comfy. My subconscious steps outside the prophetic tradition: a lucid post-apocalyptic dream world Ezekiel could never have invented; newer New York, cleaner, shinier, without character. New York as it would be if it were built anew in a California suburb. Everyone’s white. Even the black people. Well, not the Dominicans, Cubans, or Puerto Ricans, but they live in the boroughs.

It’s not one of those cool lucid dreams where I control the world. I can’t fly. I can’t wish things into existence. I only control myself, and even so I have a sudden tugging, uncontrolable hankering for a bagel (with cream cheese, smoked sable, maybe some onion, tomato? capers?). I wander the Upper West Side searching for H&H or a close approximation thereof, but all I find is

California Bagel Kitchen

The chain, it seems, has taken Starbucks’ place on every corner and in every heart. White people of all colors pour in and out of the double doors. “It can’t be that bad, it’s a bagel in New York after all,” I think. I walk in. There’s free wifi, bookcases painted on the colorful wallpaper, and a women’s bathroom length line at the register. It is that bad. Panera bad. Worse. Terrible. Unspeakably so. Organic blueberry cream cheese bad. Avocado-jalapeño and mango-lingonberry bagels awful. Not a side of salmon in sight, nor a sesame seed do I see.

7:12 AM. I wake in a cold sweat, forehead wetter than wet. I look out the apartment windows. 5 floors up on 35th and park. Decent, proper, real bagels surround me like a down duvet. But for how long? Blueberry cream cheese is already encroaching, staining the blanket. Strawberry fat-free tofutti disgustingness can’t be far behind.

exalted in translation
June 23, 2007, 2:36 am
Filed under: Friends, Humor, Thailand, Travel

In a 7/11 in Bangkok, right near Khao Sun, I took out my camera to collect evidence of American economic imperialism. A slight employee approached me quietly but urgently telling me “no picta, no picta.” I put away my camera.

After my sister purchased her cooling slushy beverage, our erstwhile guide to the wonders of Bangkok (and my longtime friend) Sratha said to me:

You know that guy who told you not to takes picture? The manager asks hims, “why didn’t you kick that guys with the cameras outs?” He said, “are you kiddings, did you see him? he’s huge! he’d kills me!”

Inside my 5 foot 8 torso my black heart skipped a beat. I wasn’t even a big guy for my brief stint on the Princeton Sprint Football team.

Hubbard Hechsher
June 16, 2007, 11:15 pm
Filed under: Humor, Judaism, Mathematics, Rants, Religion, Scientology

It recently came to my attention that Scientologists don’t believe in calculus. Something having to do with Xenu and Thetans and integrating over extended perfect fields taking over our immortal souls and preventing us from reaching enlightenment or somesuch. By recently I mean that I found out about 10 months ago, though I only recently found proof.

Rate of change is this mathematics known as Calculus. Calculus, it’s a very interesting thing, is divided into two classes — there’s Differential Calculus and Integral Calculus. The Differential Calculus is in the first part of the textbook on Calculus, and Integral Calculus is in the second part of the textbook on Calculus. As you look through the book, you’ll find in the early part of the book on Calculus, “dx” over “dy”, a little “dx”, and a little “dy” — and one’s above the other on a line — predominates in the front part of the book, but as you get to the end of the book you find these “dx” and “dy”s preceded by a summation sign, or are equating to a summation sign, and the presence of this shows that we are in the field of Integral Calculus.

Now I hope you understand this, because I’ve never been able to make head nor tail of it. It must be some sort of a Black Magic operation, started out by the Luce cult — some immoral people who are operating up in New York City, Rockefeller Plaza — been thoroughly condemned by the whole society. Anyway, their rate-of-change theory — I’ve never seen any use for that mathematics, by the way — I love that mathematics, because it — I asked an engineer, one time, who was in his 6th year of engineering, if he’d ever used Calculus, and he told me yeah, once, once I did, he said. When did you use it? And he said I used it once. Let me see, what did you use it on? Oh yeah. Something on the rate-of-change of steam particles in boilers. And then we went out and tested it and found the answer was wrong.

Calculus — if you want to know — there is room there for a mathematics which is a good mathematics. And it would be the rate of co-change, or the rate of change when something else was changing, so that you could establish existing rates of change in relationship to each other, and for lack of that mathematics, nobody has been able to understand present time — you just can’t sum it up easily — or let us say, for lack of an understanding of what present time was, nobody could formulate that mathematics. So, actually there’s a big hole there that could be filled — a thing called calculus is trying to fill that hole, right now, and it can’t.

L. Ron Hubbard (founder of Scientology and science fiction author)

Incidentally there are serious mathematicians who have taken issue with the founding principles of calculus. Philosopher George (Bishop) Berkeley (for whom Berkeley, California, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Berkeley residential college at Yale are named) criticized Newton’s and Leibniz’s calculus on the grounds that the notion of infinitesimals – infinitely small chunks of space that nonetheless sum up to chunks of measurable area – was so poorly defined as to completely lack rigor. Like any fine 18th century philosopher Berkeley launched his critique in religious terms, naming his work “The Analyst,” with the subtitle of “A DISCOURSE Addressed to an Infidel Mathematician.” Indeed, the field of nonstandard analysis attempts to develop all the analytical machinery of calculus using a rigorous definition of infinitesimals.

Hubbard never got that far, though. He just didn’t like these “rates of change,” these tools of a “Luce cult” of evil New Yorkers. And why should he? What did New York ever do to deserve L. Ron’s respect?! Fuck ’em all, those infidel New Yorkers!

In that spirit (and in the spirit of my own misanthropic religious background) I’ve come up with the Hubbard Hechsher, a sign for all the faithful that a consumer product is strictly calculess – the Scientologist’s halal or kosher. Just in time, too – Travolta could use some dietary restrictions.

I give to you the official Scientological calculess symbol:

Hubbard Hechsher

Like kosherness, calculessness certification is awarded by a central authority – the Tom Cruise Center for Kids Whos Likes to Jumps on Couches. Here are some fine products made without any calculus at all.

Calculess Plane

We built this calculess airplane on trial and error, and it flies even higher than noted Scientologist Giovanni Ribisi‘s post Boiler Room career. Keep in mind that, like Ribisi’s career, we’re still in the error phase.

Tom’s Apple

Tom’s calculess apples are guaranteed to make you inscrutable to psychotherapy and impervious to public opinion. A calculess apple a day keeps those damned doctors away and ensures that, though your recent movies are just plain awful, people will still pay nine to eleven dollars to watch you prance around and steal high-end electronics in poorly named trilogies. And we would never ever use any calculus to grow Tom’s apples, not even if it made them taste 10 times better, cost 10 times less, and cure world hunger. Such is our commitment to L. Ron.


One of the great advantages of calculessness over kashrut (kosherdom for you goyim) is that pigs are naturally calculess. No processing, salting, or special killing methods are required: pigs just can’t integrate. In that respect they’re very much like the distinct and insular minorities protected by current US constitutional jurisprudence. Did we mention that calculess pigs are naturally fat free but taste exactly the same as regular fatass pigs? mmmm…guiltless bacon…doubly treif

Calculess Nuke

Finally, we’ve got the clean burning calculess nuclear power plant and companion nuclear submarine. Much less dangerous than their calculating counterparts and much cheaper to maintain too (hint: that’s because they don’t work).

“You don’t get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.”
L. Ron Hubbard

May 4, 2007, 12:39 pm
Filed under: Humor, Princeton

A good cartoon from the ‘Prince. Who knew they were capable?

Engineer breakup.

creationism: three videos
April 30, 2007, 8:37 am
Filed under: Biology, Christianity, Humor, Religion, Science

These have been circulating on mailing lists I’m on. They’re pretty sweet.

The Atheist’s Nightmare: The Banana

I wonder whether the banana’s divine phallic eloquence is also evidence of Woman’s rightful role beneath Man (literally and metaphorically). God, after all, designed so many things in the image of His transcendental phallus – the Washington Monument, skyscrapers, airplanes, pens, pencils, Dick Cheney, neck ties, and – how could we forget our rods of power – penises!

The Atheist’s Nightmare: Peanut Butter!

Is there is something particular about being an engineer (in contradistinction to being a scientist) that allows people to avoid confronting epistemological issues and evade real scientific inquiry? Brigham Young University has an excellent engineering program; I’ve occasionally found very deeply unquestioning religionists in the engineering school at Princeton. Perhaps because engineering is the process of imitating God’s creative energy rather than the process of inquiring about creation?

Creation Science 101

I especially like Roy Zimmerman’s opening line: “I’m not a cynic…I’m a hypocrite!”