Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fly Me to the Moons…

Dear Friends,

Why not try this… we Earthlings have a little space station in orbit above our heads. Six folks work there every day. Why not strap an ion or fusion rocket on the thing and send it off to the moons of Saturn and Jupiter. Those giant gas bags are sort of in our own backyard, and they have "almost planets" in their gravitational embrace. Under their surface grit and ice are oceans that may contain life. Shall we go, you and I?

With the right rocketry, already invented and tested, the trip would take just a few months. We could stop along the way to take some snapshots on Mars, leave a post card to the future on an asteroid or two or a few, and then, perhaps meet our interplanetary kin.

Jeez… we have spent enough American money in just the time that it took for this amateur to research this topic for my so-called leaders to bomb the hell out of poor folks in places most of my fellows can't locate on a map. Let us pursue this more worthy enterprise.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Imagining the past to invent the future…


Would like a tech that you could stuff in your pocket, one that carried ideas and information that you could share with anyone that could read? I'm not talking about an iPhone, but a pamphlet or newspaper, a phone book or an entire library. Well, we are on the verge of creating an infinite book to include every newspaper ever published, every book, every indent on a clay tablet ever scribed, every painting ever scrawled on a cave wall, and all of Humanities' art… all on something that you can keep in your pocket.


Watson, Come Now!


If you've got a credit card and the ability to write or steal a few million lines of code, the time to scan several terabytes of data into a database, you can have your own SotA AI rig on the end of your modem. Follow the link below to find out how it works.


Monday, February 21, 2011

A Memo to America


Below is a link to a plain spoken, common sense commentary on the situation in Bahrain and elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East. It seems to me, that it is time for my nation to come clean and stand unmistakably for our supposed values as a democracy. No more fooling around. Freedom requires risk; just that simple. Having a convenient base for our navy in the Middle East is no excuse to allow a King to kill and enslave the citizens of Bahrain. Freedom is a necessity, not a convenience. By no means should my nation be sending the money, tear gas, and bullets that enforce the immorality that is now going on.

We once fired our own king. Two centuries later, we fired two depressive lunatics with atom bombs and stopped an unjust, stupid war. Americans know how to do these things. We should show clear support for folks standing up to tyrants. Merely as a practical matter, it is the best way to undercut those that would become the new tyrants.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

When I Was a Boy…


There was a day when I was young, when spaceships were so tiny that they were correctly termed capsules. You pretty much wore them, and the rockets that they flew on blew up as often as they worked to blast the brave idiot  that volunteered to sling his hide inside that barrel barely bigger than his own skinny frame. The idea of living and working in space was still science fiction. Going to space, venturing to look down on our Home World, that was the most risky business that could undertaken by a Human.

Now, this one Human, John Glenn plopped his rear end into the saddle of a little spaceship that sat atop a kind of rocket that had blown up the previous three times they tried to launch it. It did work for this particular ride, but once Glenn got past the top of our sky, things went horribly awry. As he was orbiting the Earth, he noticed these things that he called "jitter bugs" glowing outside the small porthole in his capsule. What he was seeing, but did not know, were bits of the glue that held on the heat shield that would keep him safe when he plunged back into the soup of our planet's atmosphere. If that heat shield came loose, John Glenn would be the first man to get turned to less than ash in outer space.

After much discussion, the guys on the ground, including Glenn's fellow pilots decided to tell him what the score was. The folks on the ground had a possible solution, but it might not work. Glenn had a choice. He could take another chance and maybe make it home, or he could end his life in the cold vacuum of space. The dude decided to take a chance. Back on Earth was his beloved Annie. So the steely eyed missile man took a chance on love. He made it back A-OK.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thank You Sr. Borges, and the Cowboys!


For your literary and intellectual delictation… to be set to music…

The Gardens of Forking Paths
From gardens of forking paths, we ride
Together apart we left to meet
in the high, chilly wind we see
no where else to go
but, how just to be
Tasting the dew on each other’s breasts
holding tight to each other to leave
every hope once held left behind
all is lost and yet
all that’s yet to be
We got two good horses
Let’s ride
I’ll follow you
You follow me
Let’s ride, you know what to do already
kick the door open and come on in
Yeah, I have been expecting you
No matter of faith
Just experience 
We got two good horses
Let’s ride
I’ll follow you
You follow me

2010 © Solomon

A Clear Statement of First Principles…


Somehow, my country stumbled into doing and saying the right things regarding folks in Egypt in the past couple of weeks. Will we do the same in Bahrain? I'm a big supporter of President Obama, and I've had, and still have high expectations of him. But, just 'cuz the due is black doesn't mean he's not cut from the same bolt of cloth from any other American pol that claws and schemes his way into the White House. The conventional rules of our foreign policy do not change with the color of the President's skin. Still, today, he has an opportunity to do something remarkable. He can align our national interests with our professed ideals, our supposed first principles as a republic. The following is a fine essay on that topic, as it concerns the mess in our patron state, Bahrain.

Friday, February 18, 2011

More than Human?


Some further developments in neural prosthetics. The present bionic limb is not as agile as a human limb, but it works and will soon be stronger in its ability to heft and grip than the arms and hands that we are born with. It will swiftly become as facile, or more in its movements, as well. How about an extra knuckle and an extra finger equipped with a Swiss Army Knife?

So, the question is, will we come to the point that ladies not only get boob jobs, and guys get their jowls tucked, but humans start to replace their limbs with tech superior to what nature has given us? Would you like to run faster than a Cheetah, or dance with more poise than the most gifted, but unmodified ballerina?


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Here's How You Do It…


This shy professor, living almost half a world away fro Cairo, was the brains behind the outfit of misfits that took out Mubarack without firing a shot. The following is his Simple How-To Guide to get rid of a tyrant or unruly ruler. On this handy list are the methods used by American slaves and the founders of America, Gandhi, King, Mandela, the Yippies and Hippies in the USA, and others from around the globe and over the years… methods used by reasonable, thoughtful folks that want to find their own way to some kind of Liberty.


Dr. Gene Sharp

198 Methods of Nonviolent Action


Formal Statements
1. Public Speeches
2. Letters of opposition or support
3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
4. Signed public statements
5. Declarations of indictment and intention
6. Group or mass petitions

Communications with a Wider Audience
7. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications
9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
10. Newspapers and journals
11. Records, radio, and television
12. Skywriting and earthwriting

Group Representations
13. Deputations
14. Mock awards
15. Group lobbying
16. Picketing
17. Mock elections

Symbolic Public Acts
18. Displays of flags and symbolic colors
19. Wearing of symbols
20. Prayer and worship
21. Delivering symbolic objects
22. Protest disrobings
23. Destruction of own property
24. Symbolic lights
25. Displays of portraits
26. Paint as protest
27. New signs and names
28. Symbolic sounds
29. Symbolic reclamations
30. Rude gestures

Pressures on Individuals
31. "Haunting" officials
32. Taunting officials
33. Fraternization
34. Vigils

Drama and Music
35. Humorous skits and pranks
36. Performances of plays and music
37. Singing

38. Marches
39. Parades
40. Religious processions
41. Pilgrimages
42. Motorcades

Honoring the Dead
43. Political mourning
44. Mock funerals
45. Demonstrative funerals
46. Homage at burial places

Public Assemblies
47. Assemblies of protest or support
48. Protest meetings
49. Camouflaged meetings of protest
50. Teach-ins

Withdrawal and Renunciation
51. Walk-outs
52. Silence
53. Renouncing honors
54. Turning one's back


Ostracism of Persons
55. Social boycott
56. Selective social boycott
57. Lysistratic nonaction
58. Excommunication
59. Interdict

Noncooperation with Social Events, Customs, and Institutions
60. Suspension of social and sports activities
61. Boycott of social affairs
62. Student strike
63. Social disobedience
64. Withdrawal from social institutions

Withdrawal from the Social System
65. Stay-at-home
66. Total personal noncooperation
67. "Flight" of workers
68. Sanctuary
69. Collective disappearance
70. Protest emigration (


Actions by Consumers
71. Consumers' boycott
72. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
73. Policy of austerity
74. Rent withholding
75. Refusal to rent
76. National consumers' boycott
77. International consumers' boycott

Action by Workers and Producers
78. Workmen's boycott
79. Producers' boycott

Action by Middlemen
80. Suppliers' and handlers' boycott

Action by Owners and Management
81. Traders' boycott
82. Refusal to let or sell property
83. Lockout
84. Refusal of industrial assistance
85. Merchants' "general strike"

Action by Holders of Financial Resources
86. Withdrawal of bank deposits
87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
88. Refusal to pay debts or interest
89. Severance of funds and credit
90. Revenue refusal
91. Refusal of a government's money

Action by Governments
92. Domestic embargo
93. Blacklisting of traders
94. International sellers' embargo
95. International buyers' embargo
96. International trade embargo


Symbolic Strikes
97. Protest strike
98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

Agricultural Strikes
99. Peasant strike
100. Farm Workers' strike

Strikes by Special Groups
101. Refusal of impressed labor
102. Prisoners' strike
103. Craft strike
104. Professional strike

Ordinary Industrial Strikes
105. Establishment strike
106. Industry strike
107. Sympathetic strike

Restricted Strikes
108. Detailed strike
109. Bumper strike
110. Slowdown strike
111. Working-to-rule strike
112. Reporting "sick" (sick-in)
113. Strike by resignation
114. Limited strike
115. Selective strike

Multi-Industry Strikes
116. Generalized strike
117. General strike

Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures
118. Hartal
119. Economic shutdown


Rejection of Authority
120. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
121. Refusal of public support
122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

Citizens' Noncooperation with Government
123. Boycott of legislative bodies
124. Boycott of elections
125. Boycott of government employment and positions
126. Boycott of government depts., agencies, and other bodies
127. Withdrawal from government educational institutions
128. Boycott of government-supported organizations
129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
130. Removal of own signs and placemarks
131. Refusal to accept appointed officials
132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

Citizens' Alternatives to Obedience
133. Reluctant and slow compliance
134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
135. Popular nonobedience
136. Disguised disobedience
137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
138. Sitdown
139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation
140. Hiding, escape, and false identities
141. Civil disobedience of "illegitimate" laws

Action by Government Personnel
142. Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
143. Blocking of lines of command and information
144. Stalling and obstruction
145. General administrative noncooperation
146. Judicial noncooperation
147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents
148. Mutiny

Domestic Governmental Action
149. Quasi-legal evasions and delays
150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

International Governmental Action
151. Changes in diplomatic and other representations
152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
154. Severance of diplomatic relations
155. Withdrawal from international organizations
156. Refusal of membership in international bodies
157. Expulsion from international organizations


Psychological Intervention
158. Self-exposure to the elements
159. The fast
a) Fast of moral pressure
b) Hunger strike
Satyagrahic fast
160. Reverse trial
161. Nonviolent harassment

Physical Intervention
162. Sit-in
163. Stand-in
164. Ride-in
165. Wade-in
166. Mill-in
167. Pray-in
168. Nonviolent raids
169. Nonviolent air raids
170. Nonviolent invasion
171. Nonviolent interjection
172. Nonviolent obstruction
173. Nonviolent occupation

Social Intervention
174. Establishing new social patterns
175. Overloading of facilities
176. Stall-in
177. Speak-in
178. Guerrilla theater
179. Alternative social institutions
180. Alternative communication system

Economic Intervention
181. Reverse strike
182. Stay-in strike
183. Nonviolent land seizure
184. Defiance of blockades
185. Politically motivated counterfeiting
186. Preclusive purchasing
187. Seizure of assets
188. Dumping
189. Selective patronage
190. Alternative markets
191. Alternative transportation systems
192. Alternative economic institutions

Political Intervention
193. Overloading of administrative systems
194. Disclosing identities of secret agents
195. Seeking imprisonment
196. Civil disobedience of "neutral" laws
197. Work-on without collaboration
198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On Politics…


Heres' a little screed I got into over online conversation with a friend. We were talking about the most recent Foo involving our Supreme Court Justice, Silent Thomas, and his flagrant disregard for fairness in his judgement and actions. The Scalia mentioned, if you are not already aware, is the most staunchly "conservative" of our Supreme Court Justices. The closing remark is, of course, in reference to the tide of history currently tossing to and fro across North Africa, the Middle East and sloshing on shores across the globe.


Thomas and Scalia are identified as ideological buddies. But, Thomas often seems like Scalia's puppet, as he concurs almost to a note with Scalia's opinions, yet he offers none of his own and makes no comments from the bench.

I don't think Scalia is a nice man. I vehemently disagree with his interpretation of the American Constitution and his consequent decisions. Still, the guy has a titanic mind, he speaks out, and we know what we are dealing with in that cat.
Thomas, on the other hand, has small mind and never speaks up. You can see him on TV simply shaking hands with somebody at a function and know that his testicles are all bunched up, that he really would rather be evacuating his bowels, but hasn't been able to relieve himself in almost two decades… the last time that he had a movement, his entire spinal cord up to his brain stem came spilling out in a terrible mess. Since that sad day, he has only been held somewhat erect on the bench by an improvised infrastructure of tooth picks glued together with ear wax purchased from the perfumed hookers he seeks out on U Street in the dark hours before dawn. The broom stick up his rear, happily provided by his dour wife, accounts for his rather odd stride.

Now that was just good clean fun with words on the patriotic trampoline. It is good to have such a broad, bouncy place to play as that particular creep's hide. Thomas Paine would have had a fine time over coffee and brandy with Franklin, discussing how to dispatch such an idiot as Thomas. They may have simply invited him to the nearest bordello and left the ladies to rob him blind and then send him out to the muddy street naked. There he would plead to passers-by that he was an important man, before being taken by the constables to be shipped to North Carolina after a few night's in the stockade.

We will never, nobody anywhere in the world, will ever be free of petty tyrants and sick little bastards. But, we are seeing, right here, right now and today, that folks do not have to keep their mouths shut. We can talk to our neighbors. We don't have to be rude. We must consider the opinions that we differ with. Then we reasonably argue. Satire dealt with good humor seems to help in that endeavor. I'll bet on both parts of that deal.

The Water of Love…


I was just reading a story that included an observation by an old Hopi. The Hopi are Native Americans who have lived in the arid desert highs of Arizona for about six hundred years, having hightailed it up to the promontory to escape the crazy Spaniards looking for gold where there was none. The name Hopi means "The Peaceful Ones". They seem to have gained some wisdom in looking down on the activities of the Whites who took their land, the land where water was easier to find, and it was not so hard to farm and hunt.

Anyhow, this old man, he says, this is back in the late '60s; "You Whites. All your songs are about love. Most of our songs, Hopi songs, are about water. Water is hard to find for us here. Is Love hard for your people to find?"

Click the links below, if you're curious to know more about these Peaceful Ones, their observations, and their visions… or if you just want to take a break for a really fine old song by a bunch of white kids who came along at the right time in our History.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

After the Fun & Games


More thoughts are flowing on Human/Computer interactions as things like neural prosthesis and gizmos like IBM's Watson actually do seem to be truly intelligent to our species.

When do we get to the point that a Human asks himself when it is okay to hit the OFF button on a machine… and the machine tells that person that it would be wrong, that it is aware of what is about to happen to it? We haven't even gotten to that point, many of us, in our treatment of our own. We needn't look to history. We have see it on this morning's news.

IBM's Watson's answering questions placed in puns on a TV quiz show is pretty cool, but we are a long way from perfecting our own morality, let alone "programming" such rules into computers. Yet, we are not far away from creating devices that detect and respond to and mimic Human emotions. Watson is perhaps the great grandfather of such mechanical critters.

Things are going to get very weird, perhaps even wonderful, if we Humans clear a few hurdles that are not really technical.


From Mars. With Love…


We see all sorts of patterns in nature, terrestrial and beyond. Our Human minds are pattern recognition engines built to see shadows moving in the woods, and to know whether they are just leaves falling, not the spots on a hungry Tiger. We see angels and bunny rabbits in the clouds, and gods dancing in the stars, faces and pyramids on Mars, humanoid skulls in the meteorite battered rocks within a shadowed crater on the Moon. We see our dreams and fears everywhere we look.

Now, here's a good one, appropriate for this day descended from a licentious Bacchanal long ago by the folks that brought us in the north west hemisphere of Terra the names and forms of those gods and critters we see above. Those cat's would no doubt get a kick out of actually seeing the heart of their God of War.


From Mars with Love on Valentines Day

Monday, February 14, 2011


I just watched Cornel West on Bill Maher's "Real Time". The show was altogether fine and dandy, but that West fellow, crazy ass brilliant hope fiend professor that he is… well, he was just right on top the situation, speaking to the moment that we all live in with a clever tongue and agile mind. The guy lays down fire in extemporaneous rhetoric like Coltrane wailed on his horn. Brilliant!

Start with the Wiki links above, and proceed deeper into this guy's mind and work. Learn. He's a good man to have on The Team.


Our Obligations as World Citizens?


The following is an excellent commentary that poses a profound question as to our obligations and capacities to be Human and humane in a networked world.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

More Geeky Goodness…


Imagine a humanoid robot that was controlled not by a joy stick, punching keys, or limited to an onboard brain about as clever as a cockroach. Imagine if you could control it by simply moving your own body as you wish the robot to move. Through its mechanics, with its sensors, you could walk through fire to save an orphan, venture into the caldron of an active volcano, or work a mine on an asteroid. You might even chuck your Human form and map your motions into those of a crab to walk the deepest craters of our Luna. You might find it handy to be an Octopus to touch and taste the floor of the oceans of a Jovian moon.

Microsoft may have actually produced its most useful technology in Kinect, and with the help of hackers and roboticists, helped introduce something to Humanity that will be much more influential than their crappy software.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

More Lyrical Doodling…


More lyrical drivel from the digital desk drawer. This one actually does scan and time and again even rhymes. I hear mandolins and harmonica, beat up old guitars, a stand up bass, a drummer drunk with subtlety, and some old guy that can hardly sing backed by a small chorus of angels… but, I'll leave it to my friends actually possessing some talent with music to make such decisions. Then, I'll just sit back and be amazed that my thorny words got turned into some part of something like roses, something like music for us kids to dance to.


Anything, Anytime © Solomon, 2008/2011
Puzzle pieces in memory
Oh, they do speak to me
Yeah, I  have been shown that real clear
that you are a fine melody
a secret to be told just to me
Oh, and you sure ain’t so easy
and neither so am I
but you are easy to love
you are somebody to love
right here now and for every time
Anything, anytime
Let me tell you real nice
count our change and roll the dice
You got my credit on the line
I’ll watch your back if you watch mine
I am with you all of the time
You are sure ain’t noway real easy
Well, kid, neither am I
but you are easy to love
you’re so sure easy to love
not just today but all the time
Now, tell me all of your secrets
Do part the brilliant clouds
and, then please show me everything
about all what you think you know
all your mysteries and shadows
Anything, anytime
Let me tell you real nice
count our change and roll the dice
You got my credit on the line
I’ll watch your back if you watch mine
I am for you all the time
We got a good peace of heaven
and a thread through the clouds
We got each other, not much else
and we have been born to love 
born to love for all time always
Anything, anytime
Let me tell you real nice
count our change and roll the dice
You got my credit on the line
I’ll watch your back if you watch mine
I am with you all the time

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Something a bit off the charts, but a bit that I needed to share. This came from an blessed interchange with a lady that I have never met, will likely never meet in the flesh, but does pretty well get to my heart. Thus I try to speak to her own and my own heart. Here is my note to her, with a few emendations.


I spent a solid four decades as a stone drunk and true professional able to handle any substance thrown at me, or that I eagerly sought out. All the while, I functioned high and made a good living, living high.

All that came to halt about a decade ago. That had to happen along the path, and I'm actually grateful for that turn. I'm also grateful to notice a few other things.

There are folks more hard up than me. If you are inclined to pray, include Colleen, Sherri, Sonny, Bongo, Free, and my long suffering Mom in those heavenward offers. Hey, throw those offers any and everywhere! I am not a religious sort, but I have noticed that prayer does not hurt anything.

I also lately noticed that things take surprising turns in Human terms. Now and again, we meet a good heart who is a real friend. That is nourishment for the soul, and you know who I'm talking about.

Then there are these strange swirls in the tides in the stream. Nothin' much turns out the way that it seems to tend. I look over my shoulder and see the shadow of a millionaire. I look ahead and can see good reason for despair.

Whatever. I'm about to step into another puddle, maybe a pond, maybe an ocean… but if I make my connection, I know that I'll go toward good friends, and I do know how to swim.

With Love,


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Things start thinking, and disappear…


Some centuries ago, people were thinking about machines that might think. About sixty years ago, they started building prototypes. Vannevar Bush nicely spelled out the basic scheme. Then a few years later, Richard Feynman and a few other cats got thinking about building machines based on the principles that we observe in nature creating, well, us and everything else.

We seem to be on the cusp of this possibility becoming real.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011



Here it is. It is dirty and real. It is noisy and takes a good long while, as real good lovin' should. This rendition of our old fave is ripped to pieces on sacred skins stretched across drums. It is shouted from the horse throat of a loving maniac. A kid makes a noise like cathedral bells clanging, and a young old man weaves with silver out of the thin air. Some geek who should be playing trombone is tossing gobs of paisley thunder from his bass. Totally ridiculous stuff. This is MUSIC.

Good Lovin', with Pig and Big Drumz!




I was in a rather foul mood when I composed this ditty.


A Bough on the Burying Ground © Solomon 2003/2011
I can’t help you right now
I can’t show you the way
won’t worry ‘bout your troubles
if you stay out’a mine
I could tell you right now 
I’ll spell out the story
but that would worry both our dreams
just the way they make you cry
No rest for the wicked 
no rest for the brave
no rest but in death
play the pipes on the burying ground
throw a bough of ivy on the grave
I know where to find you
y’know where to find me too
we won’t worry ‘bout your troubles
stay well away from mine
No rest for the wicked
no rest for the brave
no rest but in death
play the pipes on the burying ground
throw a bough of roses on the grave

The Story of Man


Another lyrical ditty…

The Story of Man © Solomon 2006/2011
Byron, Shelley, Machine Gun Kelley
Dirty Harry and Switchblade Mary
Little Richard and Richard Nixon
It’s the Story of Man
It’s all in the Plan
It’s the story of Man
Rangeroo Roo and The Professor Foo
Doctor Strange and the Citizen Kane
The Man in Black and Jumpin’ Jack Flash
It’s the Story of Man
It’s all in the Plan
It’s the story of Man
Mao Tse Tung and Mahatma Ghandi 
The Shah of Iran and Charlie Chan
April Sunshine and the Starry Band
It’s the Story of Man
It’s all in the Plan
It’s the story of Man
Buddha, Bozo, Elvis, all of us
It’s the Story of Man
It’s all in the Plan
It’s the story of Man
Galileo, Copernicus, us
It’s the Story of Man
It’s all in the Plan
It’s the story of Man
Mother Teresa, Old Garcia
It’s the Story of Man
It’s all in the Plan
It’s the story of Man
Isis, Osiris, CANNONBALL STEVENS, and the rest of us
It’s the Story of Man
It’s all in the Plan
It’s the story of Man
Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, and the rest of us
It’s the Story of Man
It’s all in the Plan
It’s the story of Man
It’s all in the Plan
It’s the Story of Man…