Stick Battles, Animated Graphics:

DragonBall StickGame Go!
Kuronin Red versus Blue
Kill the Wall White versus Black

One of the first visual memes that was born of the Net were simple stick figure battles. They've come along way, thriving on the quick entertainment they provide and on the animation and psychology of fighting games. If it can be said that gratuitous violence exists in a world with no flesh, then the sticks are no exception. One great source of the most recent stick battles is StickPage dot Com. Here are a few of my own favorites:

Celebrating the Marlboro Monopoly Act

I thought I'd celebrate today with a very brief review of case studies on smokers, a bit of info on previous smoking bans and some random other tidbits. As of today, the Marlboro Monopoly Act (aka, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act) has made all cigarettes containing these flavors illegal: (not menthol), strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon, pineapple, vanilla, coconut, licorice, cocoa, chocolate, cherry, and coffee. This is restricted only to cigarettes (wrapped in paper) and not cigars (wrapped in tobacco), so the clove industry (the only tested smoke with health benefits) has already begun making cigar versions of their clove products. This is also the beginning of a 12-year plan for the FDA to greatly reduce the amount of tar and nicotine in all American cigarettes at a slow rate.

The negatives are well-known at this point, so here are some positives that've gone without mention:

* Smokers are more honest than non-smokers (to the point where a commentator on the study referred to this as "abrasively honest"). [1]

* Smokers generally have an increased sex drive, 55% of aged 19-27 smokers being in sexually active relationships as opposed to 15% of non-smokers (the gap increasing as age does). [2]

* Smokers have an increased reaction-time (7% quicker), process information more quickly (21.65% quicker) and have improved short-term memory (5.76% higher retention). [3]

* A fifth of smokers only smoke four days out of the week. Men populate the majority of heavy smokers while women have less success quitting. [4]

* Most smokers believe smoking is worse for you than it really is, overstating health disorders and mortality rates. [5]

As to non-smokers, there is a long history of anti-smoking policies found most heavily in totalitarian governments. From the closure and burning of smoking cafes in Persia to early American 9-pin alleys, but the only one that beats out current U.S. policy is that of Nazi Germany. It should be noted that this most recent policy is nothing new, as America has trended more and more towards both Fascism and Communism for close to a century. Here are tidbits on anti-smoking from the master race:

* From Hitler, himself: "Tobacco is the wrath of the Red Man against the White Man for being given hard liquor." [6]

* Smoking was banned in all public places, government offices, shared living quarters and by any uniformed police and officers. [7]

* Smoking rose by almost 50% during the Nazi anti-smoking propaganda period. [8]

* Germany raised more than a billion Reichsmarks a year from 1937 to 1941, contributing to 1/12th of the funding used to build their army and launch the war. [9]

* "Passivrauchen" (trans. "Passive Smoking") was coined by the Nazi Anti-Tobacco League. Fritz Lickint, its author, gave no evidence to support its claim against environmental poisoning nor for the claim that coffee caused cancer, although both his statements were worked into Nazi propaganda. [10]

* The Nazi Reich Health Office produced posters stating that smoking was the filthy habit of Jews, Gypsies, blacks, intellectuals and Indians. [directly from preserved posters]


1. "Smoking: The Artificial Passion", David Krogh

2. "Smoking, Personality and Stress", Hans J. Eysenck, King's College, London, England

3. "Effects of nicotine and smoking on event-related potentials: a review", Pritchard W & Sokhadze E & Houlihan M., St Thomas College, New Brunswick, Canada [summary]

4. "Individual Differences in Smoking and Nicotine Addiction", Saul Shiffman, University of Pittsburgh

5. "Smoking: making the risky decision", "Patterns of Risk Perception", W.Kip Viscusi, Harvard

6. "Hitlers Tischgesprache im Fuhrerhauptquartier", Picker H., Bonn: Athenaum Verlag, 1951

7. "Die Genussgifte", Rauchverbot fur die Polizei auf Strassen und in Dienstraumen, 1940;36:59

8. "Smoking and death", Smith G D & Strobele S A & Egger M, BMJ1995;310:396

9. "Der Tabak, sein Anbau undseine Verarbeitung", Reckert FK. Tabakwarenkunde, Berlin-Schoneberg: Max Schwabe, 1942.

10. "Berlin: alcohol, tobacco and coffee", JAMA 1939;113:1144-5

Information on Marlboro's Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act:

Lastly, one more factoid on smokers: the majority of innovators, as well as early adopters, are smokers. With the heavy research going into locating, securing and maintaining a pool of innovators within each company, the profile of an innovator is very well known at this point. For my last three months before leaving my previous job, the top three performing agents in the world were all found most often in the forest outside the building smoking together. Rock! Here is one of the first studies that discovered this:

"Psychological characteristics of innovators", Abraham Pizam, European Journal of Marketing, ISSN:0309-0566

Suicide Through Pleasure by ~Ally23 on deviantART

Happiness = Productivity

Excerpt from the article Top 10 reasons why happiness at work is the ultimate productivity booster...

Here are the 10 most important reasons why happiness at work is the #1 productivity booster.

1. Happy people work better with others. Happy people are a lot more fun to be around and consequently have better relations at work. This translates into:

* Better teamwork with your colleagues
* Better employee relations if you’re a manager
* More satisfied customers if you’re in a service job
* Improved sales if you’re a sales person

2. Happy people are more creative. If your productivity depends on being able to come up with new ideas, you need to be happy at work. Check out the research of Teresa Amabile for proof. She says:

If people are in a good mood on a given day, they’re more likely to have creative ideas that day, as well as the next day, even if we take into account their mood that next day.

There seems to be a cognitive process that gets set up when people are feeling good that leads to more flexible, fluent, and original thinking, and there’s actually a carryover, an incubation effect, to the next day.

3. Happy people fix problems instead of complaining about them. When you don’t like your job, every molehill looks like a mountain. It becomes difficult to fix any problem without agonizing over it or complaining about it first. When you’re happy at work and you run into a snafu – you just fix it.

4. Happy people have more energy. Happy people have more energy and are therefore more efficient at everything they do.

5. Happy people are more optimistic. Happy people have a more positive, optimistic outlook, and as research shows (particularly Martin Seligman’s work in positive psychology), optimists are way more successful and productive. It’s the old saying “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re probably right” all over again.

6. Happy people are way more motivated. Low motivation means low productivity, and the only sustainable, reliable way to be motivated at work is to be happy and like what you do. I wrote about this in a previous post called Why "motivation by pizza" doesn’t work.

7. Happy people get sick less often. Getting sick is a productivity killer and if you don’t like your job you’re more prone to contract a long list of diseases including ulcers, cancer and diabetes. You’re also more prone to workplace stress and burnout.

One study assessed the impact of job strain on the health of 21,290 female nurses in the US and found that the women most at risk of ill health were those who didn’t like their jobs. The impact on their health was a great as that associated with smoking and sedentary lifestyles (source).

8. Happy people learn faster. When you’re happy and relaxed, you’re much more open to learning new things at work and thereby increasing your productivity.

9. Happy people worry less about making mistakes – and consequently make fewer mistakes. When you’re happy at work the occasional mistake doesn’t bother you much. You pick yourself up, learn from it and move on. You also don’t mind admitting to others that you screwed up – you simply take responsibility, apologize and fix it. This relaxed attitude means that less mistakes are made, and that you’re more likely to learn from them.

10. Happy people make better decisions. Unhappy people operate in permanent crisis mode. Their focus narrows, they lose sight of the big picture, their survival instincts kick in and they’re more likely to make short-term, here-and-now choices. Conversely, happy people make better, more informed decisions and are better able to prioritize their work.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Freedom to Fascism

Aaron Russo (February 14, 1943 - August 24, 2007), Academy Award winning film maker and beloved friend and manager to many actors and actresses, interviews many politicians, organizations and civilians to clarify the frauds perpetrated by an elite group against the American people for nearly a century, focusing on the Federal Reserve, World Bank, IRS and the upcoming RFID chip.

"The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes."
~Felix Frankfurter, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

There is a bill in the House at this very moment, put forth by Senator Ron Paul, to audit the Federal Reserve. Support actions such as these in your local and national government. If you are ever called to sit on a jury in a tax case, ask the judge to show you the exact law requiring a person to pay the tax and vote "not guilty" when the law cannot be shown (because it doesn't exist). Cases cannot be won when educated jurors sit on them. If you are ever audited, immediately make a Freedom of Information Act Request for the records that are being used to substantiate and justify the audit.

There is no such thing as a Democrat or a Republican. Obama, the current U.S. President, has already convinced world leaders to give 1.1-trillion dollars to the corrupt World Bank and is now giving the Federal Reserve direct powers over the corporate sector as well as giving them American tax money billions at a time. He is only a continuation of a long line of corrupt presidents. These institutions are the slavers:

The Federal Reserve
The Fraternity of the Skull and Bones
The Bilderberg Group
The Trilateral Commission
The World Bank/Central Bank
The International Monetary Fund
The World Trade Organization
The Bank for International Settlements
The Council on Foreign Relations
...and more

...and these are fighting the slavers!

NonTaxpayer dot Org
We the People Foundation
InfoWars dot Com
FreedomToFascism dot Com
...and many more

To make clear that these slavers understand what they are doing, here are the written words of Paul Warburg, who designed the Federal Reserve system and sat on the Council of Foreign Relations:

"We shall have World Government, whether or not we like it. The only question is whether World Government will be achieved by conquest or consent."

A far cry from the founding fathers and those who followed them. Here are quotes from both Lincoln and Jefferson talking out against this very system:

"If the American People ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied. The issuing power of money should be taken from the bankers and restored to Congress and the people to whom it belongs. I sincerely believe the banking institutions having the issuing power of money are more dangerous to liberty than standing armies."
~Thomas Jefferson

"The Government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credits needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of consumers. By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity."
~Abraham Lincoln

We find ourselves in a brief moment in the history of the world where information is free, widespread and transmitted near-instantaneously. This moment is ending. Obama, along with other countries, are placing the backbones--the infrastructure--of the Internet under government control, using cyberattacks and the War on Terrorism as their excuse to do so. Information will not be free for long. Spread it while you can. Get this message out and take the power away from those who seek our slavery.

This game is not over.

Ben Underwood - Seeing without Eyes

Ben Underwood died at the start of this year (January, 2009). He is noted for having taught himself how to see with his ears after cancer took both of his eyes. He learned how to not only pick up on pressure and sound variances, but then taught himself how to click with his tongue and pick up on the echoes it created (echolocation). It really is better simply to watch than explain:

[note: five-part video, automatically switches]

The Transhumanist movement (h+) as well as the blind have a lot to learn from the life he lived and discoveries he made. For more on echolocation, here is the entry on Wikipedia:


Shane Acker made a ten-minute short animation that tells a large story with very little. Sadly, the full feature based on the short couldn't live up to the original ten minutes. But, fortunately, the original is on YouTube and is as enjoyable as ever... so... enjoy!

[2010.07.24] - Removed trailer and promotional material from entry

Schema ATX - Conversation Pieces

<a href="">Conversation Pieces by Schema ATX</a>
The debut album from T.Rex artist Schema ATX has been digitally remastered by BMFD and re-released. It's available for free download (including insane quality formats) from BandCamp here. Each piece from the "Conversation Pieces" EP has been used in at least one film, audio project or other video works. The music inspires visual elements that one creative mind after another has taken hold of.

Happy Tree Friends

Give... but never give up!

You know "The Itchy & Scratchy Show"? Well, those two had it easy. "Happy Tree Friends" has, for years now, been the source of cute, cuddly and horribly wrong... and oh, so right. If you're unfamiliar with the series, take two minutes and watch this fan trailer:

As of April, 2009, "Happy Tree Friends" has been banned in Russia. That limits the cutest most accident-prone cuddly creatures in the world to only 49 countries worth of viewers. Censorship wins one round, but far from winning any real ground. Here's the video covering Russia's sad choices pertaining to these cartoons:

In celebration of such a flub-up from Censorville, here's my own personal favorite episode (both parts) from the series:

[note: second video starts automatically after first]

Remember, censorship could come to your country as well, so show your support and watch some cartoon violence. To tune in, the main options are to subscribe to MondoMedia's YouTube channel or visit the main site. Here are both links:

SXSW:SXSV 2009 Full Set for Free Download

My full set from SXSW:SXSV is up for free download for a limited time. With all the last-minute changes, there were plenty who couldn't make the show. This mix doesn't have BMFD's drumming, but it does include all the track-mixing as well as the quotes I mixed into them. Sadly the original link expired, but I am keeping the entry live as I'd like to mix it again in the future. Mad love to all how made the show, to all who listened here on Mall of Me afterwards and to all the artists!

01 - Protestant Work Ethic - Beekeepers
02 - Deadbeat - Roots and Wire
03 - Stina Nordenstam - People Are Strange (UNKLE Mix)
04 - UNKLE + 3D - Invasion (Medway vs. Eva Coast-to-Coast Mix)
05 - Kammerflimmer Kollektief - Matt (David Last Pocket Pet Mix)
06 - Venetian Snares - She
07 - lacunae - from dust
08 - Kirsty Hawkshaw - Beautiful Danger
09 - X Marks the Pedwalk - Time Tunnel (Phase Two)
10 - Burial - Archangel
11 - Downliners Sekt + Evi Vine - LRAD
12 - Nine Inch Nails - At the Heart of It All (Aphex Twin Remix)
13 - Smashing Pumpkins - The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning
14 - San Jaya Prime - Time Interrupt (Eternal Nightshade Mix)
15 - Order in Chaos - Desolation
16 - Telefon Tel Aviv - The Birds
17 - The Marcia Blaine School for Girls - Still
18 - Lamb - Scratch Bass
19 - Moby - New Dawn Fades

Artwork: San Jaya Prime - Nocturne Electric

1 - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - "The decision to flee came suddenly. Or maybe not. Maybe I'd planned it all along, subconsciously waiting for the right moment."
2 - Dark Knight - "You know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it. You know, I just do things."
3 - The Devil's Advocate - "God likes to watch. He's a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all time. Look but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow. And while you're jumpin' from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He's laughin' His sick, fuckin' ass off! He's a tight-ass! He's a sadist! He's an absentee landlord!"
4 - Monsters, Inc. - "Ssshh, sshhhh, sshhh... you hear that? It's the winds of change."
5 - Mrs. Miniver - "This is the people's war. It is our war. We are the fighters. Fight it then! Fight it with all that is in us, and may God defend the right."
6 - War of the Worlds - "We know now that, in the early years of the 20th century, this world was being watched closely by intelligences greater than man, yet as mortal as his own. We know now that, as human beings busied themselves about their various concerns, they were scrutinized and studied. With infinite complacence people went to and fro over the earth about their little affairs, serene in the assurance of their dominion over this small, spinning fragment of solar driftwood which, by chance or design, man has inherited out of the dark mystery of time and space."
7 - Brandon Lee* - "Because we do not know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well, and yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood? How many more times will you watch the full moon rise. Perhaps four... five times more? Perhaps not even that. And yet it all seems limitless."
8 - Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? - "Each little Crunchie contains energy, contains pep for your growing youngsters, builds strong legs so that when they're older they can stand the long waits in the unemployment lines."
9 - X-Men - "I will bring you hope, old friend, and I ask only one thing in return... don't get in my way."

* Lee is quoting "The Sheltering Sky" (1949) by Paul Bowles. It's the same quote that Lee put on his wedding invitations, and the same quote now inscribed on his tombstone. I thought it fitting as a lead-in to Telefon Tel Aviv, who lost Charles Cooper this last January 22nd.

And yet it all seems limitless.



To preface this, I'm an oldschool hacker who began teaching himself MS-DOS and GWBASIC at the age of 11. I spent the greater part of almost two-decades insulting Apple lovers. This blog entry is nothing less than a surrender and acceptance of a future that is not "on the horizon", but has already come. The end is not nigh; it is now.

On November 6th of 2006, Joel Garreau (author of "Radical Evolution") gave a speech on the NJIT campus about the evolution of technology and its link to human evolution. In his speech, when approaching the evolution of computers, he pulled a cell phone out of his pocket, declaring this device "the future". I watched this video when it was released to the public on January 8th of 2007, knowing immediately that he was correct in his statement. A day later, on January 9th, Steve Jobs announced the iPhone to the world.

Today, not even two-years following the release of the iPhone, more than 20-million devices run the iPhone OS. It provides mail, music, videos, applications, web browsing and thousands of other features. Just two years ago, I couldn't go more than a day without hearing someone complain about their phone. Now, people can barely look away from them. The entire market was hit and hit hard, spinning about face. They've been re-acting to the onslaught of this new creation ever since... and none have compared.

PDAs and trios, the early signs of this evolution, had short battery life, well-known issues syncing with computers and they limited developers greatly in how applications could be created for these rather bulky devices. None of those early limitations exist in the iPhone, nor in the iPod touch that I use. I have more computing power in my pocket than nearly every computer I've ever owned.

The iPhone has won and much of the industry must not even realize it. But its victory is not limited solely to the phone industry. While HD and Blue-Ray were caught up in their "format wars" for nearly two-years, the consumer market was moving away from such permanent storage formats and over to data. I and others like me began storing our files online, somewhere off on a server we will likely never see... but can access from anywhere in the world that has a Net-connection. Apple has been eating into the PC market, but even this war is smoke and mirrors. Laptops will still have a place with producers and designers, but more than 90% of users are end-users, not producers. The majority of users will not even be using laptops in a few short years as computers move from the lap top and into the pocket... where Apple already owns the market. No, more than that. It now defines it.

So take a good look at the future. It's already here.

Do you know where I watched Garreau's speech at NJIT? I downloaded it thru iTunes from iTunes University, where colleges and other educational institutions around the world can upload content for free download to anyone in the world. It doesn't matter who is downloading their speeches and videos. It can be a student or laymen, it's still free. In fact, if you have iTunes, this link will open iTunes to Garreau's speech for you to download and watch. A world of education, entirely free from iTunes University.

If you don't feel that, then it hasn't hit you. Knowledge, in the form of data, is floating in the air all around us and into my pocket. Apple has created an SDK for developers designed to give them as much power as possible so that they can create the best applications for these new computers. Apple has watched what hackers have done with iPhones, then replicated the most popular of these "mods". Apple has paid attention, taken action, and worked to create something that has without a doubt changed the world.

On a closing note, I am providing full disclosure. I've worked for Apple previously (twice, in fact). I loved it, with rare exceptions. I've seen how they evolve to better serve their customers and how they aim time and again to make sure each customer who needs assistance leaves happy. Having been a worker, and seen how they treat us as well, is what gives me the extra inspiration to cede my hatred of the Apple that once was in order to love the Apple that now is.

The ATX Clocktower

In Austin, Texas, on New Year's Eve 2008, we burned time.

A clock tower, fully functional and constructed primarily of wood, counted down the hours on the last day of 2008. Standing more than 34ft, and with more than 90,000 in attendance (burners and non-burners alike), it was lit ablaze by burner crews of specialists. It was the largest metropolitan area burn event ever... taking place, of course, in the largest active burn community in the world--Austin, Texas. Here is the video of the day and the burn:

The event was free to all.

Those who don't know about burners--the last great tribe of mankind--should check out the main site... this is one of the legendary icons of our time. Don't miss it.

Burning Man (Main Site):

Painting: Let It Rain

Let It Rain
by PTM Design

...available from Z Gallerie

Give Peace a Deadline

Book: Give Peace a Deadline
Authors: Nathan Otto and Amber Lupton

I'm holding a knife. Edged blade, Teflon coated and with serrations on the lower part near the haft. The significance of the blade will soon become apparent.

I have very few physical desires. Getting a gift for me proves difficult. This knife is one of two things in this world that I had desired. The person who gave me this knife had no idea of how important it was to me, and I have little to offer in way of thanks.

There is a greater significance. The person who gave me this blade fights for peace. More than that, he has placed a deadline on peace, set milestones and goals for achieving it and has spent all of 2008 circling the globe to gather everyone from church groups, to the Dalai Lama, to friends and family enrolled in this mission.

When I heard about it, I recoiled. My immediate thoughts about world peace are flower wearing commies and love parades that firmly declare that war has no place. Nathan and Amber, the authors of "Give Peace a Deadline", corrected my assumptions. Peace is simply not allowing politically organized violence... not killing. I still shied away from it, and still do.

What really swayed me was when the two authors linked me to Penn & Teller's episode of "Bullshit" centering on world peace. It really is worth watching. As such, I'm re-posting the three parts here:

I still haven't been won over. Not to dedicate many of my own resources to it. I am no fan of communism. Despite the progressive nature of their mission, and that of, I still fear that it will fall into socialist trends. They've won me over enough to promote their book, however.

"Give Peace a Deadline" is well written, with many studies to support their statements and cause. The peace they suggest is a lazy-man's piece, and I believe they will succeed because of it. For those who are not lazy--who want peace with all their being--they have much more active methods included in the book as well.

The book can be purchased off of Amazon here: Give Peace a Deadline

Lincoln Street Wine Market

Lincoln Street Wine Market
111 S Lincoln St
Fredericksburg, TX 78624

Quickies: wine selection (4/5); cigar selection (2/5); cigar prices (3/5); setting (5/5); service (3/5); food (5/5); food prices (4/5).

Lincoln Street is THE place to get a cigar in Fredericksberg. There are other places to get wine, but the selection, prices and setting to enjoy it cannot beat this beautiful piece of luxury. The cheeses and other appetizers are incredible. We ordered the pesto and a cheese, costing three of us $4 a person. We felt we'd gotten a bargain.

There are imported (and domestic) beers for those who don't have a taste for wine. Their cigars were a bit lacking, but they had enough strong selections at an acceptable price. In other words, we didn't feel we'd been robbed at cork-point for the stogies we took out to the veranda with us.

Above all this, I need to say again that the setting is simply striking. The inside is luxurious and feels immediately inviting. The veranda is an even more beautiful setting, where vines climb up walls, across the hatched wood ceiling and down the fireplace. Anyone stopping into Fredericksberg for even only a few hours should be sure to check out Lincoln Street Wine Market.

...rate my review here on Yelp

Pearls Before Swine

Pearls Before Swine
by Stephan Pastis


Pearls Before Swine
Pearls Before Swine
Pearls Before Swine

Pearls has a larger cast of characters than many comics, but each one is so well defined that it is easy to remember and recognize them. Pig and Rat are the main players, Pig being the optimist who loves everybody... but is a little dim... then Rat, who is the pessimist and wakes up every day to remind everyone that it's all about to end. Other than the two main players, the crowd favorites have actually turned out to be the crocodiles. No, seriously, check it:

In the end, Pearls is an off-and-on read. It is "on" twice as often as it's not. When it is "on", it has moments of painful laughter that are not easily topped in the modern world of comic strips.

Pearls Before Swine Books:
* Da Crockydile Book o' Frendsheep
* Macho Macho Animals
* Da Brudderhood of Zeeba Zeeba Eata
* The Ratvolution Will Not Be Televised
* Nighthogs (the original best seller!)
* This Little Piggy Stayed Home
* The Saturday Evening Pearls