Thursday, June 27, 2002

Somehow, my lab baymate, Jon, was directed to Villain a lot of obvious pieces with some hidden gems, especially in the "Traps and Tortures" and "Misc. Evil" sections. Some day, I hope to see misc. replace miscellaneous as the correct spelling, much the way Mrs. has.
Well, the Andromedans, or Greys, have confirmed my whole Hollow-Earth-as-surrogate-anus theory by finally communicating directly with us through Joseph Smith... er... I mean... Alex Collier. He has made their teachings available in the unabridged online version of Defending Sacred Ground. Apparently, the Hollow Earth is not unique; in fact, all celestial bodies are hollow and filled with colonies of scrawny, hairless aliens. Mmmmm...

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

I've finally found the source/clearinghouse of all of those humorous and bizarre flash videos circulating around everyone's e-mail: Albino Blacksheep. While going through their older archives, I found a link to How to Dance Properly, which made me laugh. Meanwhile, dad sent me a couple of flashes that I didn't see at the site: Ja Da and Spin. The former is just silly, while the latter animation is quite Plymptonesque.

Saturday, June 22, 2002

It was lawn mowing day this morning, and I finally got my tape player working so that I could listen to music during the hour-long task. I dug through my now decades old tape collection, and came up with two favorites: Commercial Suicide by Colin Newman, and The Shivering Man by Bruce Gilbert. Both Newman and Gilbert were members of Wire, one of the most influential bands in the art rock movement. Wire went on hiatus during the early 80's so that the members could persue their own solo interests, including the collaborations of Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis as Dome. I find myself drawn more to these interim projects than to the works of the band as a whole. Perhaps it is was simply the timing of my introduction to the band, but I prefer to think that the disparate styles of the members was somehow lost in the whole, and that those qualities I love in these albums are watered down or missing from the Wire albums that came after. Commercial Suicide is OOP (out of print), but can still be found lurking about the backwaters of E-Bay; The Shivering Man has been re-released.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

I am a big fan of Laurie Anderson. It has, however, been a long time since I've bought one of her albums or gone to one of her shows, so when I received the upcoming Edison Theatre program guide and read that Laurie Anderson would be doing a show, I was at first leary: not quite knowing what to expect after all these years from her or from me. My friend Mat e-mailed me to tell me she was coming and to ask whether I'd be going to the performance, so I decided to try catching up by visiting her website, It was like hearing from an old friend. Her site is at once cerebral and familiar; I read through her synopsis of her "Moby Dick" project, looked through the photo album, and didn't know whether I was more drawn to reread the book or to see her perform it. Although this is not the show that she is bringing to Edison, I'm now sure I will enjoy the performance immensely.

Friday, June 14, 2002

Truth is stranger than fiction, especially in the comedy arena. The internet has allowed us to peer into and mock the lives of others, not because of some Orwellian invasion of privacy, but because they openly publish their own web pages! Try reading through the testimonials at Skirtsmanship without breaking a smile. The internet has also given us the opportunity to see all of the sideshows we missed before everyone went online: Touching People is a list by ViceLand of the top 10 "outsider" videos that show us some of what we've been missing. If only there were a way to combine the Skirtsmen with SeanBaby, we'd finally have the "killer joke" we've all longed for.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

If you go to, the Environmental Work Group's site, you can find out how close you live to the "atomic train" that will be hauling radioactive wastes cross country to the Yucca mountain facility. Most of St. Louis' central corridor is within a mile of the proposed route, which will be travelling along the still heavily used Union Pacific line. Our house is 50 yards from the tracks.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

As I was deleting old messages from my e-mail folders, I came upon two from my father that I'd received last year: New Adventures Into The Hollow Earth and Home Colon Cleansing. Either he's come to the same conclusions as I have, or he's gone a bit off. I'll have to keep an eye on him.

I didn't go to my 15th college reunion, which was, apparently, a mistake, as has been pointed out to me by several classmates through e-mail attachments. I've sent each of them their own personalized copies of W32.klez.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

I was reading through the posts on one of the many message boards I follow, and there was a mention of some soccer game between England and Argentina. I was preparing to post a crack about flammable aluminium boats - I ended up not posting, because I couldn't think of a way to make it funny and contextual - and I thought, "gosh, what IS the combustion point for aluminum in air?" Since I was already online, I figured I'd start with SIRI (Safety Information Resources, Inc.) and check throught the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for aluminum. The first one listed was for aluminum foil from JT Baker™. The first thing it says about aluminum foil is, "As part of good industrial and personal hygiene and safety procedure, avoid all unnecessary exposure to the chemical substance and ensure prompt removal from skin, eyes and clothing." It then goes on to require goggles and lab coats as standard precautions when working with aluminum foil. Obviously, the government has used OSHA to force them to print that, to keep people from making aluminum foil deflector beanies and escape their mind control beams!

That, or they just use the same base MSDS for everything. To test this, I looked up water, CAS#7732-18-5, at JT Baker and, sure enough, they suggest goggles and lab coats. I also checked for water at Fisher Scientific got the following MSDS for water. They must have put the summer intern on non-toxic chemicals. Firstly, they give the molecular weight for water as 20.14, which would only be correct if it were deuterated water with traces of tritium, toxic stuff indeed! Secondly, in case of a chemical (i.e. water) spill, they instruct: "Absorb the liquid and scrub the area with detergent and water." Doh!

I recently got this link to a "real" tombstone with a hidden epithet. I have to say that I question either the validity of the picture or the intelligence of the creators. "Boy, John'll really be mad when he reads this (titter, titter), that is, if he were still alive..." Doh!

Thursday, June 06, 2002

As an addendum, I searched Google (like I need to include the link) for "Everything You Know is Wrong" and found a new book by Disinformation, a first volume by Lloyd Pye, and a groovy, illuminati-esque site by Mantra. Since Phil Proctor controls my brain, I can't help but laugh at the absurdity of it all and wonder whether the real conspiracy is that Disinformation is really just one massive satire that almost got too caught up in its own importance. The fact that their version of "Everything You Know is Wrong" is being hocked alongside "The Best of the Moog" (which I already own, thank you very much) seems to me to be a wink to the 70's and the heyday of the Firesign Theatre.
"Just dig a hole..."

Many years ago, when I was a youth, my neighbor Alex Jones invited me over to his house to listen to some records that he had checked out of the local library. He had been combing through the comedy albums and found two interesting titles by a group called the Firesign Theatre: "The Case of the Giant Rat of Sumatra," and "Everything You Know is Wrong." Although the former album was more accessible to our prepubescent minds - it's just one big pun - the latter was much more interesting, and not just because the narrator was "Happy" Harry Cox. (We still titter about that.) We went on to find and listen to their entire oeuvre, but those earliest finds still have some special meaning to me.

Much of "Everything You Know is Wrong" is an ongoing news story about a meteorite that produces a deep hole in the ground and speculation that it has opened a passage to the Hollow Earth. At the time I first heard the record, I laughed at the absurdity of the story and at their comical "experts" discussing the ramifications of the hole. Now I find myself once again confronted with holes and unable to shake the feeling that Phil Proctor controls my brain!

A little over a decade ago, Alex sent me another in a series of mix tapes that we had been using in lieu of correspondence. Overrepresented were the Tom Tom Club, Danielle Dax, and Pere Ubu, suggesting that these were his present favorites. I knew of Pere Ubu, the band, from Urgh! A Music War, and so listened happily to the various tracks Alex had included. One track was "the Hollow Earth," which Alex said had reminded him of the Firesign Theatre and added that some people(?) believed that the Earth was hollow, hence both references. A few years later, I began subscribing to the "Skeptical Inquirer," and found that the Hollow Earth Theory had surfaced, died, and resurfaced several times over the past couple of centuries, and that the 60's New Age movement had included one such resurfacing. Well, that explained the brilliance and timeliness of the Firesign Theatre album, and maybe Pere Ubu - who take their name from an absurdist, surreal French drama - had had a similar introduction. Maybe.

Over a year ago, my friend Mark was testing unusual search terms to find books at Amazon, and typed in the term "anus." He was directed to a book by Hiroyuki Nishigaki titled "How to Good-bye Depression: If you constrict anus 100 times everyday. Malarkey? or Effective way?." What's the connection? Well, recently my father sent be a site called simply "Holes": a collection of 100 pictures of holes. As I looked at the various holes, a voice in my head said, "just dig a hole that's deep enough, and everybody will want to jump into it." At almost the same time, we got yet another question in the Earth Sciences queue of the Mad Scientist Network insisting on the existence of the Hollow Earth.

So, I started researching the Hollow Earth Theory as it impacted my life, and found that the source of almost all information on the topic was one Raymond Bernard who wrote a treatise on the subject back in 1964. So HE was the source of this insidious meme that now haunted me.

As I went through the pages previously linked, I was struck by the two faces of Walter Siegmeister/Raymond Bernard: half of his life and writings were devoted to solving constipation, and the other half was devoted to expanding his spirituality. This seemed to culminate in "the Hollow Earth", in which alien spirit beings are constantly commuting through a great Earthly pore far too reminiscent of a great planetary anus. I looked back at the 100 holes, and was reminded again that "they knew not their holes from an ass on the ground." I went back to Nishigaki's sites - the parallels to Bernard's works suggested something more deepseated. It was then that I was reminded of seeing Whitley Strieber's "Communion" with Alex and others when it was released as a movie. Here, the alien's were directly commuting through Strieber's anus instead of the Earth's.

So, what's with all of these fringe authors' preoccupations with alternative spirituality and continence? According to the NIH, they're exhibiting the warning signs of Schizophrenia! Certainly, the descriptions of Raymond Bernard's later paranoia surrounding the Cold War that culminated in his "disappearing" in the jungles of South America to avoid radioactive fallout would point to a chemical imbalance, but what of the others? Dr. Hulda Clark, who has also posted to the Mad Sci Net, believes that Schizophrenia, as well as every other disease known to man, is caused by parasitic worms (guess wherefrom). It's like Freudianism gone awry. Maybe all of the religious fundamentalists that are plaguing the world today are just anal retentives overdue for their weekly enemas. Maybe Graham and Kellogg were right in trying to save the world one high colonic at a time.

I'm still waiting for Phil Proctor's next instruction.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Will the REAL Raymond Bernard please stand up.

I'm looking for some good sites on Raymond Bernard... because... well... I'm not sure why. I think I'm being mystically drawn to him. World renowned author? Rosicrucian founder of CIRCES? Expert Oenologist? French Filmmaker? Dr. Walter Siegmeister?!

Allright, 3 and 4 are clearly different people, and 1 and 5 are the same person, but what about 2?! It seems odd that the Raymond Bernard who wrote the book on the Rosicrucian influence on early American History is not the same Raymond Bernard who founded CIRCES as an offshoot of AMORC. Maybe he's really L. Ron Hubbard!

Monday, June 03, 2002

The Ballad of the Radio

I inherited my present car, a Honda Accord, from my father after it passed the 100,000 mile mark. Like my previous Accord, it runs well and needs little repair - except for the factory-installed stereo system. Some time ago, the stereo began to make popping noises while cutting on and off - raising and lowering the antenna - annoying me greatly, as it prevented me from listening to cassettes without ruining them. I was in getting the car inspected and asked about the radio; the mechanic told me that this was a common problem with this particular model and could be fixed by a guy she knew out in West County.

Instead, I figured I'd just listen to the radio for a bit, and see if I could expand my musical horizons. About this time, our family moved from downtown St Louis city out to Kirkwood - in my childhood, this was the edge of civilization in St Louis county, beyond which were small towns, unincorporated farmland, Six Flags, and the Chrysler plant. While living downtown, I had started listening to the only jazz station in the area, WSIE, which unfortunately originates in Edwardsville, Illinois on the other side of the river. As I began making the trip to and from the new house, I would listen to the jazz as I loaded and unloaded the car. Only after discussing the programming with another listener did I discover that my car radio is possibly the only radio in Kirkwood that can pick up the weak, distant signal. Like Cheever's protagonist, I'm afraid that fixing my radio will end my listening pleasures.

But, even the jazz becomes tiresome as each DJ's playlist becomes more and more familiar. Sliding through the lower FM stations one day, I came upon the familiar sound of a preacher condemning sinners and praising Jesus and such, and stopped to listen. I would like to say that I found the Lord and John 3:16 and A-men and all that, but to my eternal damnation, the preacher was discussing the evils of evolution and giving the usual proofs of Creation. I was intrigued as every argument against evolution was appended with a proof for Creation that itself was denied by the argument. Stuff like, "the evolutionists want you to believe that man evolved from birds, etc., which is clearly a fairy tale! The Bible says that man was formed from the dust by God!" Thus began my nightly listening to Hank Hanegraaff, "The Bible Answerman®" during my drive home from work. So, if you see someone talking to the radio on I-44 during rush hour in a white Accord with the antenna going up and down, steer clear.

More great biblical teachings can be found at Landover Baptist Church, and some great websites can be found through Adult Christianity.

I have been a fan of electronic music probably even before my neighbor, Alex, introduced me to Gary Numan in the late Seventies. Apparently, my father shares this interest, in spite of his deep interest in and knowledge of classical music and jazz, so he forwarded this interactive site: Electronic Music Interactive. He also sent the Glass Engine, a site with most of Philip Glass' works and an interesting interface for searching through and listening. As a fan of Glass and Steven Reich (OK, so Glass isn't a minimalist - the end results are similar), I had to stop myself from wasting a day just browsing through pieces I already know.

Couple my love for experimental music with my brother John's work as an architect, and you get two lovely, ambient sites: Cités Obscures and The Central City. Each site give the visitor an interesting set of landscapes and soundscapes to explore.