Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Physicist, Heal Thyself


[Art by Rian Fike]

PHYSICIST HEAL THYSELF

Physicist, heal thyself
Submit to Alien Pleasure Rays
Before We let you board a starship
We'd like to teach humanity to play
We'd love to show you yesterday
When yesterday was called "today".

But first
We'll need to wean you 
from your "X and Y"s and "Pi"s
And feed you ribs, and naked breasts 
and tender thighs
Before We help humanity to fly
We'd like to see how passionate you cry
We'll even teach you how to nicely die.

Before you let you in the Pan-Galactic Club
We'll show you how attentively to rub
Rub shoulders, haunches, crotches, tendrils, feet
Of lovely mindful life forms 
in quantum wave-entangled heaps
Of expressive hairy strangers 
with the strangest sexual needs
That too much astral traveling 
at extra-light-fast speeds
Can bring about.

Don't ask Us: how much, how many, and what for?
Make love just once with Us 
then open up for more
Before we open up for you 
that well-kept Secret Door
To Nature and the Bigger Tribes next door
To hypersexual pan-galactic corridors
To alien wolf packs, fairy kingdoms, 
outlaw gangs galore
And all the million billion secrets of amour.

Please open up, amigos, unclench yourselves, 
invite Us in
We'll show you fifteen hundred 
different types of sin
And fifty million kinds of lovely pleasuring
From deep red-shifted clusters,
spiral nebula beyond the Rim
From love-starved quantum creatures 
neither It nor They nor She & Him
Accept Our gifts

Of pleasure tools, telepathy, 
Empath Juice and Wisdom Weed
Of bulbous bulging sacks of alien eggs and seeds
And six new senses that your species really needs
For time travel.

Open up for Me: I sense you'll really like it.
Open up for Me: I feel you'll really like it.
Open up for Me: I know you'll really like it.

Come live with Me and be My Love
And we will all the pleasures prove
So we may all the pleasures prove
Come live with Me and be My Love.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Nick Removes a Magnetron


Beautiful artifact 
From the Nuclear Age:
These things were a military secret in WW II.
Now there's one inside every microwave oven.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Abu Asks About Quantum Tantra

ABU BEN NOOMA
in conversation with
NICK HERBERT

ABU: I'll get straight to the point, Nick. What do quantum tantrikas want?

NICK: We want to fuck atoms.

ABU: With or without their permission?

NICK: With permission of course. We are not savages.

ABU: How does one ask an atom for a fuck? And what would you do if one said "yes"?

NICK: We'll use machines to ask them; if they say yes we'll use the same machines to begin the foreplay.

ABU: You'll use machines to fuck atoms? What kinds of machines do you have in mind, Nick?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Santa Cruz Session Relocates


To the novice, Irish dance music often seems to be played at breakneck speed, pushing the limits of the performers, their instruments and perhaps even the laws of physics.

Fortunately there exists, for beginning and intermediate players, a non-relativistic approximation to full-tempoed Irish music, the so-called "slow-play session". Nick has been apprenticing on the pennywhistle at one of these sessions in Santa Cruz, CA for a few years. Our session started in private homes, resided for a long while at NOAA (the oceanic NASA) in Santa Cruz's West Side, then for more than a year we were hosted by the Windmill Cafe near Twin Lakes. Now the session has moved to a new location, The Buttery, Santa Cruz's landmark gourmet bakery at the corner of Branciforte and Soquel.

Our main tune book "Foinn Seisiun" is a Santa Cruz version of the official tunes of the international Celtic music society Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann. Its 116 tunes being a fair sampling of the music you are likely to hear in any Irish pub (including the three tunes played by the Irish lowlife in steerage in the movie "Titanic") supplemented with additional popular tunes such as "Butterfly", "Swallow Tail" and  "Off to California" (which celebrates the Irish participation in the Gold Rush). Our sessions are occasionally graced by a professional Irish musician or two who's interested in learning a brand new instrument. It's a great place to indulge in beginner's mind. And, depending on the skill of the participants, the music at a slow-play session is not always played slow.

The pictures show four of the approximately dozen players who attended last Sunday's session. Jamey (fiddle), August (guitar), Nick (whistle) and Janet, who founded The Buttery, playing concertina.

For more information about this Santa Cruz slow-play session, contact Tane' Tachyon--e mail address = tachyon(at)tachyonlabs.com to be informed of dates, times and related events.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Weapons of Mass Elation

This just in from Alternet. org--a report on military marijuana
by Martin A. Lee. (Thanks, Beverly Rubik)

"[Dr. James S.] Ketchum was referring to his work at Edgewood Arsenal, headquarters of the U. S. Army chemical Corps, in the 1960s, when America's national security strategists were high on the prospect of developing a nonlethal incapacitating agent, a so-called humane weapon, that could knock people out without necessarily killing anyone. Top military officers hyped the notion of "war without death," conjuring visions of aircraft swooping over enemy territory releasing clouds of "madness gas" that would disorient the bad guys and dissolve their will to resist, while U. S. soldiers moved in and took over.

Ketchum was into weapons of mass elation, not weapons of mass destruction. He oversaw a secret research program that tested an array of mind-bending drugs on American GIs, including an exceptionally potent form of synthetic marijuana."

Pictured here the marijuana molecule tetrahydocannabinol: "Private THC, reporting for duty, Sir!"

Friday, July 18, 2008

Chase Me, Ladies


As a newcomer to blogging, I decided to look up some of my neighbors in the blogosphere and discovered Harry Hutton's blog "Chase Me Ladies, I'm in the Cavalry." Resembles Monte Python after an all-night pub binge. A CML sample:

"Been doing this nonsense for three years now, and where's it got me? Nowhere. It has simply widened the circle of people who think I'm a dick. That's all it has achieved.

Here are some of the rave reviews I have received:

"Fuck you, Hutton."
"I cannot fathom the fucking depravity of this."
"You stupid American."
"Man your ignorant."

I have also been called a pommy arsehole, a fuckhead, a right-wing eliminationist, a hippy and a Canadian. ("Pommy arsehole" was mighty witty, I'm not denying it, but accusing me of being a Canadian was tasteless and uncalled for. Does it never occur to anyone that I have feelings?)

Tim Worstall started his blog on the same day as this one. He has a lot more readers than I do, but I would remind him that being Britain's most influential blogger is like being the most influential solver of Rubik's cubes, or a champion bowler. No one normal gives a toss."

You get the picture. Hutton's forthright opinions have attracted a wide spectrum of pubcrawler commentators who match wits with one another and with Hutton the pubkeeper. Lots of downing of strong ale, thumping of hairy chests and roasting of sacred cows on this site.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

No More Safe Science

NO MORE SAFE SCIENCE

 We hold these truths to be self-evident:
This immediate non-symbolic experience
of Nature from inside;
That the Universe is filled 
with billions of invisible minds;
That each sentient creature
lives equally close to the Mystery;
That Deep Reality is waiting
for one of us to ask the right question.

We will take off our shoes and our stockings
And wade barefoot into the sea.

We will take off our clothing
We will remove our skins
Using drugs and physics
We will open our minds
To connect with Nature directly.

Goodbye Gods and Goddesses
All the world's religions
Mere warmup
For this deeper way of Worship.

Goodbye Galileo and Gell-Mann
Centuries of math & physics
Mere foreplay
For this deeper way of Knowing.

Why do you continue
Reading old love letters
When She is present
Here beside you?

We will turn away from symbols
And embrace Her Body directly.

We will rip off
The confining condom of language
And enter Reality wide open.

We will rip off
The confining condom of language
And take in Nature bare.

We will take off our shoes and our stockings
We will take off our clothing
We will open our eyes, our hearts and our minds.
We will take one deep breath, one look back
And wade naked and barefoot into the sea.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Einstein's Lady


Quantum Tantra envisioned by B. Kliban

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Flurbmeister Rudy

Some science fiction is just not suitable for public consumption--abnormal, diseased, disturbing, shamelessly flaunting the few taboos that still persist in these permissive times. Not fit for prime time. However there's always a few rabid fans who crave stronger stuff than mainstream SF provides. Waiter, where's my raw meat!

In the late 60s, Harlan Ellison solicited from his fellow SF writers manuscripts that their mainstream editors had rejected as too boundary-breaking, perverted or in bad taste, and collected these quirky works in a book called Dangerous Visions. To everyone's surprise appetite for weirdness had so increased in the 60s that DV became a runaway bestseller and was quickly followed by a sequel Again, Dangerous Visions.

Continuing in the Dangerous Visions tradition, SF bad boy Rudy Rucker along with Peter Lamborn Wilson (of TAZ fame) and Robert Anton Wilson (Illuminatus) collected bizarro manuscripts from their pals and put together a combination called Semiotext(e) SF which contains one of the earliest and most hilarious descriptions of sex in free fall that I've ever read. Later Stewart Brand's Whole Earth Review would publish a similar description of Zero-G sexual acrobatics and the ensuing controversy for a while split the magazine into two versions--one lite, one dark.

But all that flurry happened back in the dimly remembered Lithographic Era before the Internet. SF writers are still producing shocking, obscure and undefinable stories. That's their nature. But where to publish? One answer is Flurb.

Flurb represents Rudy Rucker's new role as a publisher for the too twisted works that he and his friends produce that can't find a comfortable outlet in the mainstream. You want high quality weird? Seek no further. Rudy's standards are so elastic that Flurb even published four of my quantum tantra rants.

Rudy is a multi-talented (I almost said multi-tentacled) writer who is learning to paint and has a splendid eye for photography. Reading his blog I realize that Rucker is also a splendid travel writer and this dude's been everywhere--from Tokyo to Amsterdam to the badlands of South Dakota. Oh yes, and during his wanton youth in Appalachia, Rudy sang in a rock and roll band that had something to do with pigs.

Rudy Rucker's a prolific and terrifically inventive SF writer. Most recent works: Postsingular and Mathematicians in Love. But I'm a real fan of his older stuff, notably his "Ware" trilogy Software, Wetware and Freeware. Rudy has a habit of writing his friends into his novels. Saucer Wisdom for instance features a couple suspiciously resembling me and my wife Betsy in which "I" am abducted by time-traveling saucer beings. No anal probes though. Thanks, Rudy.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Independence Day 2008 Boulder Creek, CA

"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another --- a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation ...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness ... That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness ...

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

Penned in 1776, these words read today like a frightening threat to the status quo by extremely literate terrorists. In 2008, when one is hard put to discover the slightest trace of "sacred honor" in any American leader, male or female, this document shames us by contrasting our forefather's highest hopes to an American reality almost inconceivably base.

Waging a war of choice (based on lies) against a nation that was no threat to America is a Nuremberg-grade war crime instigated by a man (and his advisors) who declared our Constitution  to be "just a piece of paper", and, who with the support of a complicit Congress has openly enrolled you and me in the grisly club of Nations Who Torture People.

Horsewomen in the Boulder Creek Independence Day parade. In BC's "Deadwood Days" (shortly before my wife Betsy & I moved here in 1969) these women would be carrying guns.

Prancy dancers.

The Bookworm Float built by Friends of the Boulder Creek Library
Nine puppies not yet weaned being offered for holding, petting and future adoption in front of the Lighthouse Surf Museum in Santa Cruz, CA. That's August O'Connor on the left cuddling two of the fuzzy little darlings. Shortly afterwards the sun went down, a tiny crescent moon appeared in the West and fireworks displays exploded all along the beachfront.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Musical Priest

If you've got a hankerin', lassie or laddie, to be learnin' to play the Irish tin whistle, then Father Ryan Duns's yer man.

Ryan's a Jesuit who teaches Irish whistle classes at Fordham University in the Bronx and he's recently uploaded a series of lessons on YouTube for beginners and intermediate players. Along with these video classes Ryan features a number of performances including a double entangled whistle duet by two of his students, Michael and Brian English, that's registered more than half a million hits. But recently Michael, Ryan and a third whistle buff topped that stunt with a triple entangled whistle performance. Full disclosure: Ryan Duns SJ also plays a mean accordian!

Ah sure, pour yerself a pint o' Guinness and listen to the man.