Thursday, October 28, 2010

Japan's Godzilla Statue

Erected around 1995, if I understand correctly, and in Hibiya, Tokyo (I haven't had the time to figure out yet if Hibiya is a district or burough or what.)

I am re-posting this because I hadn't heard of it before, being only casually aware of such things, despite my "putting on airs."

It's disappointingly small. Then, compared the toy figurines that are usually the only option, it's gargantuan.
The Monster Movie Fan's Guide to Japan strikes me as very interesting to note. I am grateful for the other bloggers putting the info out there for me to find.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What have you read by Philip José Farmer?

Oddly enough, I wasn't even aware of this author until these past two weeks. The reason it's odd is that he is a sci-fi author who has been one of the more famous (infamous?) writers since the 60s, and is to all accounts is partially responsible (if not largely) for science fiction reaching a level of maturity.

To whit, he is renowned for breaking some sci-fi taboos and conventions, or at least testing their flexibility. Thereby giving the entire genre a shove. He is particularly noted for adult themes of sexuality, romance, reproduction, but also religion.

Another reason my oversight is odd is that this author and I share many common interests. Tarzan, ERB, Opar, and even Willy Ley. And his themes of absurdity and confused unreality appeal to me greatly. His stories reek of the preposterous, and I love it. He also has a sense of simple fun, exuberance, revels in freedom. I have noted this factor among other authors. Some are fun, even when on a tragic subject, and others are grim even when on a fun subject.

I learned of him through a mention in another book, and at first I confused him with Philip K. Dick (who is in fact a similar author), and I knew for a fact I wanted to avoid any more Philip K. Dick (but my revulsion with him is another blog). I ordered some Farmer books from the library out of curiosity, intending only to look over them. Well, you know what they say about curiosity...

I'm on Tarzan Alive right now, just a fun romp in that world, and I've read a handful of short stories, and I have more waiting to be read.

Oh, I found this:

Farmer has got me interested in "Heritage of the Flaming God"
by Frank J. Brueckel and John Harwood, an essay examining the potentialities of an admittedly fictional Tarzan/Atlantis subject, Opar. World-building is fun, innit?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What's our GDP?

Here, I'm not talking about the Gross Domestic Product.
I'm musing on our Gross Domestic Potential (my term) for the U.S. It seems to me that the American people are wasting a HUGE about of time and effort on pretty much nothing, assuming they are looking for jobs like I am. Not only are we wasting our time, but we are wasting the time (at a net loss of productivity) of the prospective employers.

And that is multiplied many millions of times by all the jobsearching going on.

I know in my case, I spend hours a day, many days, simply typing away, other hours revising or discussing my resume, making online applications, e-mailing cover letters, attending jobsearch help groups, etc.

I'm not saying there is a solution; this may be the best we have. But, if so, this is awful.

More than all that, consider the huge sums of money being spent by the government on non-workers, in the form of unemployment benefits, food stamps, medicaid, etc.
To me, that is perhaps the worst of it.
I wonder what would happen if it were required for a person to be a substitute teacher or a bus driver to receive those benefits. Or, if they are medically excused, or otherwise legitimately, alternative public works projects? I mean, staff the soup kitchens and the libraries and toll-booths! Heck, maybe all those Tea Party activists on unemployment can spend some hours a day checking government accounting for corruption!

Bring back the WPA! Put all this unused potential to SOME sort of use! Can I just be a "conscientous objector" like for the armed forces, and do useful things that support the civic effort?

Does Nature have rights?

Quick side note: The Whirlpool of Life blog got me interested in the Bioneers Conference and movement.

I have been meaning to post on the topic of what I might call ecosystem rights, the ethical right for a natural space to exist with the least impact possible, including not only animal species, but also plants and even air soil and water.

Whenever I see a natural area despoiled and especially razed unnecessarily for a building project, I feel like I have witnessed a crime. A crime against nature. True, I'm seen as a bleeding-heart complainer by some, but I think this ethical question bears discussion.

We talk about crimes against humanity. But that's a modern idea. In the past, there were no such ideas. In fact, proponents of this concept of nature rights are quick to point out that slavery, including abuse of and murder of, were not so long ago strictly a matter of property.

I have to wonder, is it meaninful to say that an ecosystem "wants" to remain natural? Well, it is certainly meaningful to say that a dog wants something, so sentience is not absolutely required. Bees have instinct, but thats understood to be different. A vine slowly clasps another plant to reach farther sunward. One can easily argue it is foolish to describe that as "wanting" in the sense we understand it, but I'm not so sure.

I am reminded of historical sites also. Before there was protection of such heritage sites, they were often simply plowed over as needed. Disregarded. Destroyed. So, is it enough to merely protection for nature? Or would "rights" be more accurate?

Many of these ideas (well, most) I have gotten from Garrett Hardin's "Tragedy of the Commons" and other associated works published as "Managing the Commons". Although that book has been around since the 70s, I don't hear too much about it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rabbits are fickle and have sex a lot

I am re-blogging this from Nariane, just because I feel like it.

* 1. What is your favourite word?
I prefer not to prognosticate, although I will stay abreast of the issue, that is when I get off my fundament.

* 2. What is your least favourite word?
"Maybe later" comes to mind but that's two words.

* 3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

I'm inclined to be as honest as Nariane, but my answer would be most simply fun in its various forms, but especially from an unexpected direction.

* 4. What turns you off?
Mean people suck.

* 5. What is your favourite curse word?

* 6. What sound or noise do you love?
Laughter, and especially innocent giggling. I might have some other answer, but Nariane's former one stuck in my head.

* 7. What sound or noise do you hate?

Hate is a very strong word. I would have to reserve that for extremely offensive language used in public with supreme disregard for other human beings. For instance, I'm not black, but when I hear someone casually use the "N-word" in public, I'm not a happy camper.

* 8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Hmm, Coast Guard. I am curious what I would have been doing during the Gulf Oil fiasco if I have used the Coast Guard to become a staff biologist, but now I'm too old. I have other answers, but those seem more like "fantasies" than real ideas.

* 9. What profession would you not like to do?
I don't want to ever wipe asses for a paycheck again!

* 10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Close enough.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Job Hunt Woes: The Next Episode

I really should be actively jobhunting rather than blogging, especially since I am after all at the public library, but I am fighting a sense of hopeless fatigue. And I'm not tired, per se. In fact, I haven't done much of anything the last few days except make some calls. But it's the culmulative effect of it all. Please bear with me. (Or is it "bare with me"? I'm not sure)

Well, two major things have happened lately that feel worthy of a blog.
One, I've been turned away and rejected and delayed by a number of places I thought would be better. It makes me feel real sorry for people actually desperately in need.

The YMCA is not what it once was. I remember when the YMCA was a place people went when they needed help; where homeless people could go if they had nothing else. I got turned away the first time because I had to have this document and that document and that form filled out. I had to get an income verification from my former employer plus bring my tax returns from last year. One, isn't that private stuff I might not want to be sharing with everyone? Two, getting all that together was a chore that used my resources that a truly desperate person wouldn't have. And God forbid I had lost the tax forms.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hahaha...Gila Monster horror movie rock song

I think this is great, but my sense of humor is a little off from the mainstream.
Part of what is great is that this marries my love for natural science and monster movies and music. The rock song portion itself isn't bad, but is nothing amazing.

I want to send this to my friend in the Herps Dept at the Tulsa Zoo, but I'm not sure if I still have an e-mail for them. I think it's make a great novelty outside the Gila Monster exhibit.

Speaking of which, have you heard of the unsubstantiated European mystery lizard known as the tatzelwurm?