(at Delphi)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mathematical rigour

I love hacker humour. Royalty Report for Q4 2008

The Dangereus' first paycheck! Wooo!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

demographics and you

Tezcatlipoca sez:

Canada has a population of about 33 million, and we have ~301 members of Parliament.
Somalia has a population of about 10 million, and they have ~500 members of Parliament.

Could you even imagine how effective our government would be with an additional 200 MPs arguing about bullshit, like whether chinese people eat cats?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Photo of a Rapist

This is what a rapist looks like. No, maybe that's not fair: A rapist looks like this.
He was sentenced to 110 years in prison, with the possibility of parole after 10.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Our Glorious History, Part IV

La quatrième partie d'une série de longueur indéterminée.

<grisom> Umu! More hellworms!
I know how to convert between the Gregorian and Coptic calendars, but I also know that the Coptic calendar has drifted rather far from the year-start originally intended by the Ancient Egyptians. When did the Egyptian calendar start *when it was invented*?

<umunmutamku> PRELIMINARY WIKIPEDIAING (i am at school and write hastily from a business-bldg computer) seems to indicate the year started with the heliacal rising (?) of the star Sirius.

<grisom> I know!

Supposedly the "heliacal rising" was an astronomical proxy for a certain point in the Nile's flood cycle, which presumably occurs on a specific date in our current calendar. The original Egyptian calendar was exactly 365 days every year, so it got badly out of sync with the Nile by the time it was Romanized into the Coptic calendar. The Coptic calendar itself, with its Julian leap years, has gone even further out of whack since then. So what I want to know, put more precisely, is: If the Coptic calendar were still in sync with the Nile, on what Gregorian date would the Coptic year begin?

(My purpose in all this is to figure out how to line up the Coptic and French Republican month names, of course.)

<grisom> July 20th! Okay, actually that's a Julian date, but it probably doesn't matter too much. This would mean we are currently in Nivose-Meshir.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Things trilinguals say

It was a near-universal experience among people at TAKE7 who spoke three or more languages that trying to rapidly switch between them causes your brain to shut down.

After being informed in Esperanto that a concert that evening was being delayed, I attempted to relay the information to a francophone friend:

— Alors, c'est quand le concert?
— Ça va okazer je le septième et demie.

Astute readers will note that THAT AIN'T NO FRENCH. Here's a breakdown of the total ridiculousness of that sentence:

Ça va okazer je le septième et demie.

French words shoehorned into an Esperanto idiom

Thankfully, I managed to stop myself before I actually said this, and instead had to explain in my mother tongue that I didn't know how to speak French right now.

Our Glorious History, Part III

Part of a series!

<umumuntamku> Is there any way this could be further aligned with the Mayan "vague year," which is vaguely similar?

<grisom> Only if you explain it!

<grisom> *looks it up*

<umumuntamku> *gets back from the shower*

I'm glad you did that, because I have no idea where my Native American Mathematics book is right now. Probably buried pretty deep.

<grisom> 18*20, eh? Yeah, the Mayans *would* do it that way, wouldn't they?

- I'm not feelin' a change from the 12*30 system, which has the support of Ancient Egypt, the Gnostic Christians, and the French Republic, all of whom are officially Cool.

<umumuntamku> Indeed, I am in agreement with you here.

<grisom> - Kinda interesting that the days of the months are numbered 0-19 rather than 1-20.
- "Bricker (1982) estimates that the Haab' was first used around 550 BCE with the starting point of the December winter solstice." WIN

<umumuntamku> Hm!

<grisom> 'The five nameless days at the end of the calendar called Wayeb' were thought to be a dangerous time. Foster (2002) writes "During Wayeb, portals between the mortal realm and the Underworld dissolved. No boundaries prevented the ill-intending deities from causing disasters." To ward off these evil spirits, the Maya had customs and rituals they practiced during Wayeb'.'

I RECOMMEND that we accept the notion that the Uayeb is a time when evil deities prowl the streets, but that we consider that AWESOME.

<tezcatlipoca> I agree with all of this (:

<umumuntamku> Uhm... aren't we... coming up on the Uayeb, like, *immediately*? That would be December 27–31, right? *anxious look*

<grisom> No, if the year ends on the solstice we have already passed the Uayeb in safety :)

<umumuntamku> ...

Wait, have I been suffering the ill effects of the Uayeb? Is that why I've felt so horrible recently? When did it happen? When is the solstice?

<grisom> 21 December, so the Uayeb would've been approximately 16-21 December.

<umumuntamku> The 16th of December, Tuesday, was *exactly* when I first started falling ill—I remember this because my body began to feel withered and dead immediately after my Greek exam that day—and the 21st, Saturday, was *exactly* when I stopped feeling like I had some horrible disease—I remember this because Clair arrived that day, and I was relieved to find that I no longer felt unable to move.

On this basis, I propose that the period of 16–20 December was in fact the Uayeb, and the Uayeb was the reason I fell ill. I failed to protect myself against the spirit attacks that I am apparently especially susceptible to.

<grisom> Interesting!

<grisom> Hmm... Well, that does correlate with whatsisface's idea that the Haab' started *on* the Solstice, but I'll have to figure out how to square this with the idea that the last day of the world is (I think) on the solstice. If the 2012 solstice is actually Dec. 22 we have it made. Otherwise I'll have to figure out some kind of justification.

<umumuntamku> *uses a calendar converter*

The last day should be the solstice? Well, do you feel that the last day will be or Those will be Dec 20 and Dec 21, respectively.

<grisom> I'm told the last day is

<umumuntamku> Aight. Then why do we want the 2012 solstice to be on the 22nd? Shouldn't it be on the 21st?

<grisom> Okay:
1. You say your spirit-sickness ended on the solstice, and that therefore the Uayeb was the five days *before* the solstice
2. The Uayeb being the end of the year, that makes the solstice the first day of the next year
3. The last day of this world's existence should be the last day of the year; that was the whole point to begin with
4. But if the end is actually *on* the solstice, and the solstice is the first day of the new year, then something in the above three points has to give.

<umumuntamku> Well, inre: 3, I question that—isn't the last day, 13=, actually the first day of the new year?

<grisom> ...

<umumuntamku> The end (which is, after all, just the beginning) takes place in the new year.

<grisom> You are an occult genius.

<umumuntamku> This would make it possible to have the solstice be the 21st, not to mention reaffirm my health-based assessment of the period of the Uayeb. :)

<grisom> Hurray!

<umumuntamku> Well, it's annoying that I have become enough of a brujo that this affects me. I suppose I will have to start adopting the Uayeb ritual practices every year. These apparently include not leaving the house and not combing one's hair, so, uh, I think I can handle it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Faye Mail!

<grisom> I just sent Faye Kane some fan mail in which I slyly directed her to our blog! She says she answers ALL emails.

...And she really does!

> Dear Faye,
> I randomly stumbled across your blog this weekend. You are really cool!
> I put a permanent link to your site from my band's blog
> (

so THAT explains all my new traffic!

hey, thanx!

I'll go there now...

> You say you want to discuss the signature of the interval metric in special relativity.

..and we're doing it!

> But metric signatures are from general relativity! [NOTE: Not true! I'm dumb.]

how? [See? —G] Where in GR does a metric have a negative term?

> I've never really understood general relativity.

me neither. I only understand the universe to the extent that it's completely empty.

> Always been a big fan of imaginary time dimensions, though.

space is imaginary time, but I think it's more accurate to say that time is imaginary space.



They call me the recursively enumerated, insufficiently remunerated, double data-rated, triple X-rated, psychoactive, hyperactive, hyperbolic, hypergolic, St. Vitus' dancin', pull down her pants and low-class, kiss-my-ass, underemployed, overjoyed, masterpiece-makin', masturbatin', window ledge over-the-edge, screwy, chiral, downward-spiral, ass upended, fair-weather-friended, 'puter freq girl geek.

My profile and weblog:

I feel a lawsuit coming...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Governance in Iran

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rescinding the Geneva Conventions

The following is the third in a series of transcriptions taken from a talk given by Noam Chomsky entitled "The Imperial Presidency". The entire talk is available for purchase from the G7 Welcoming Committee website.

Going back to Gonzales, the President’s council then, he transmitted to the President the conclusion of the Justice Department that the President has the authority to rescind the Geneva Conventions. It’s the supreme law of the land, under the US constitution, and the foundation of modern international humanitarian law.

Gonzales advised the President that this would be a good idea, in his words, “it substantially reduces the threat of domestic criminal prosecution of administration officials under the war crimes act of 1996, which carries the death penalty for grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, so you’d better rescind them quickly.” Well, we can see, right on today’s front pages, why the Justice department was right to be concerned that the President and his advisors might be subject to the death penalty under the laws passed by the Republican Congress in 1996, and of course, under the principles of Nuremberg, if anyone took them seriously.

Two weeks ago, on the front page of the New York Times, prominently displayed, was a picture of Fallujah general hospital, the accompanying story said, “patients and hospital employees were rushed out of rooms by armed soldiers and ordered to sit, or lie on the floor, while troops tied their hands behind their backs.” And that’s what the picture shows, armed soldiers standing over people patients and doctors lying on the floor with their hands tied behind their backs. That’s described in the front page stories as “an important achievement” quote New York Times, “It shut down a propaganda weapon for the militants, Fallujah general hospital had been producing a stream of reports of civilian causalities, and these “inflated figures”, inflated because our leader so declares, “were inflaming opinion throughout the country and the region, driving up the political costs of the conflict”. Incidentally, the word “conflict” has become a common euphemism for US aggression, as when we read on the same front pages that “the US must now rebuild what the conflict just destroyed.” A conflict has no agents, it’s like a hurricane, it happens, then we have to come in and rebuild it.

Well let’s go back to the picture and the story about the closing of the propaganda weapon, the main hospital. There are some relevant documents, including the Geneva conventions, so here’s a principle of the Geneva conventions, “fixed establishments and mobile medical units of the medical service may in no circumstances be attacked and shall at all times be respected and protected by parties to the conflict” So page one of the worlds leading newspaper is cheerfully depicting war crimes for which the political leadership could be sentenced to death, under US law. No wonder that the attorney general warned the president, as his council, that he should use the constitutional authority that the Justice Department concocted to rescind the supreme law of the land, adopting the concept of Presidential sovereignty devised by Hitler’s primary legal advisor.

Well the world’s greatest newspaper also tells us that “the US military achieved almost all of their objectives in Fallujah, well ahead of schedule, leaving much of the city in smoking ruins.” But it was not a complete success. Why? There was little evidence of “dead pack rats and their warrens or the streets” These are their words, not mine. They did find a body of a dead woman, although it’s not known whether she was an Iraqi or a foreigner, that’s the only question that’s raised, and apparently, the only one that comes to mind. This is all on the front page of the world’s greatest newspaper. The front page account also quotes a marine commander who says “it oughta go down in the history books” and perhaps is should, if so, we know very well on what page of history it will go down, and who will be right beside it, along with those who praise it, and even those who tolerate it.

One might at least mention the counterparts that immediately come to mind, for example the Russian destruction of Grozny ten years ago, that’s a city of about the same size, or Srebrenica, which is almost universally described as genocide in the west, in that case, as we know in detail from an extensive Dutch government report, and other sources, this Muslim enclave in Serb territory was very lightly protected, was being used as a base in attacks against Serb villages, and when the anticipated reaction took place it was horrendous, the Serbs drove out all but the military aged men, then moved in to kill them. That’s familiar, that’s Fallujah basically, but there are some differences. Women and children were not bombed out of Srebrenica, as in the Fallujah case, but they were trucked out, and there will be no extensive efforts, we can be sure of that, to exhume the last possible corpses of the “pack rats and their warrens” in Fallujah. There are other differences which are arguably unfair to the Serbs.

Well, it could be argued that all of this is irrelevant. The Nuremberg tribunal, spelling out the UN charter, declared that, and I’m quoting, “initiating a war of aggression is the supreme international crime, differing only from other international war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole,” hence the “war crimes” in Fallujah, Abu Ghraib, and so on. Those judged to have played any role in the “supreme crime”, for example the German foreign minister, were sentenced to death by hanging, and the Tokyo tribunal was more severe. There’s an important book on this topic, if you haven’t read it you should, but the Canadian international lawyer Michael Mandel, who reviews in unfortunately convincing detail, how the "powerful have become self- immunized from international law". In fact the Nuremberg tribunal itself established this principle of self-immunity. To bring the Nazi criminals to justice it was necessary to devise definitions of “war-crime” and “crime against humanity” that hadn’t existed precisely in international law. How this was done is explained candidly by Telford Taylor, who was the chief counselor for the prosecution at Nuremberg, and a distinguished author and historian, so I’ll quote him. “Since both sides in World War II had played the terrible game of urban destruction, the Allies far more successfully, there was no basis for criminal charges against Germans or Japanese, and in fact, no such charges were brought. Arial bombardment had been used to extensively and ruthlessly on the Allied side, as well as the Axis side, that neither at Nuremberg, nor at Tokyo, was the issue made a part of the trials.” So in other words, it goes on like this, the “operative definition of crime is a crime that you committed and we did not” and to underscore that fact, Nazi war criminals were absolved if the defense could show that their US counterparts committed the same “crimes”.

Taylor concludes from this that “to punish the foe, especially the vanquished foe, for conduct in which the enforcer nation has engaged would be so grossly inequitable as to discredit the laws themselves.” Which is correct, but the operative definition also discredits the laws themselves, along with all subsequent tribunals which follow the same principle. Taylor provides this background as part of his explanation why US bombing in Vietnam was not a war-crime, and his argument is plausible, further discrediting the laws themselves. Some of the subsequent tribunals are discredited in perhaps even more extreme ways, such as the Yugoslavia vs. NATO case, which is now being adjudicated by the International Court of Justice, World Court. The US was excused, correctly, on the basis of the argument that it is not subject to the jurisdiction of the court in this case, and the reason is when the United States signed the Genocide Convention, which is at issue here, the US finally did sign it after 40 years, it signed it with a reservation saying that it is inapplicable to the US, and the rules of the world court say they can only deal with something if both sides are subjected to it’s jurisdiction.

There was an outraged comment, on the efforts of the Justice Department lawyers to demonstrate that the President has the right to authorize torture, by the dean of Yale Law School, Harold Koh, and he said that “the notion that the President has the constitutional power to commit torture is like admitting that he has the constitutional power to commit genocide,” well, the President's legal advisors, like the new Attorney General, should have little difficulty arguing that the President indeed does have that power, if the Second Superpower, that’s us, permits him to exercise it.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


<grisom> This from our favourite autist:

are there any sports you actually /enjoy/?
Masturbation! (seriously). I've made it an art form! I could win an Olympic gold medal in masturbation. I could win the Nobel prize in rubbin' the nubbin.

<tezcatlipoca> am *I* autistic?

<grisom> By virtue of your unrivalled prowess in the masturbatory department, you mean?

<umunmutamku> Unrivaled in the masturbatory department, my ass.

... I meant that as an adjectival-predicate sentence in the Egyptian style, like "twice-fine this marijuana."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A graph of other stuff...

Stealing the Thunder....

New Kind of Songs For Sale He's still alive! I think the Dangereus need to get on his tip (read: we need to have Fischer do guest vocals on an album *creams jeans*)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A graph of stuff...

Lynchings and racially motivated murders in each decade from 1865 to 1965.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Third Album, Double Live

Check it out!!! Although I think technically it may be the fourth or fifth album, depending on how you count.

Mad Dog, King of Kings

Maxims and minims for the wise and the foolish

  • I think that historians are talking nonsense, because they don't write their essays in Coq. — Umunmutamku
  • Whoever fights against the empire, becomes the empire. [or something along those lines] — Philip K. Dick [as told to Tezcatlipoca]
    • We’re not fighting the empire! We are the empire! Go away, or we'll smack you with this stick! — Tezcatlipoca
  • You don't have to be straight to shoot straight. — Barry Goldwater
    • Indeed, we must prevent life, which is frequently fatal. — Umunmutamku
      • There are also a number of legitimate scientific reasons for it as well (though I don't know what they are) — Tezcatlipoca
  • Instead of thinking of Scripture as a manual, I try to think of the Bible as ‘a boyfriend’. — punkrainbow
    • Your feelings are lying to you. — Jer 17:9
  • READ A BOOK, I'M SURE IT'S IN ONE OF THEM. — Tezcatlipoca
    • Books are full of bullshit and lies! — Tezcatlipoca
      • We will lie to you but we will lie to ourselves as well. You will, however, see through our lies and grasp the shining truth within. — The KLF
  • A Gnostic is by definition a knower, and since knowledge supersedes belief, a knower cannot very well be a believer. — Stephan A. Hoeller
    • talking about the great unknown is ridiculous. it’s THE GREAT UN-FUCKING-KNOWN — Anonymous
      • The enemy knows the system. — Claude Shannon

Qadutu: Militant Queer Calculus
A mature leader of unwavering ethics and indisputable authority.
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