... seeking simple answers to complex problems, and in the process, disrupting the status quo in technology, art and neuroscience.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

2008 Redneck Awards

Like most of you, I get lots of this kind of joke email, some funnier than others. I almost never pass it on, but this group of photos struck a cord not only for it's consistent quality, but for its apparent authenticity, which amplifies it's humor. Look closely at each picture. They are each from different venues, different characters at different times.

If staged photos, these would simply be old jokes. But check each one - these are carefully collected photos of candid shots or sometimes meticulously created art. Sometimes not. I Googled, but couldn't find a source. If you know the collector, send me a link. I'd like to give him credit and a link for such impressive album.

Finally, I'd like to note, these pictures DO represent part of our culture. It's a very creative, irreverent, and yes, sometimes clueless slice of America.

But they ARE funny in their innocence and honesty.

Click the picture for close-up...

The new 2008 redneck award winners.

Redneck Harley

Redneck Bass Boat

Redneck Grill

Redneck Horseshoes

Redneck Lawn mower

Redneck Weather Station

Redneck Pet Carrier

Redneck Gingerbread House

Redneck Guest Bedrooms

Redneck Dreamcatcher

Redneck Palm Pilot

Redneck Powerball Winner

The above Powerball Winner on Vacation

You Might be a redneck if...

A little rain doesn't spoil the fishing...

You need fashion tips from your husband

You wear a shirt like this for your engagement picture...

And your wedding cake looked like this

Your doghouse looks like this...

Your pickup looks like this...

You have a deer's butt for a door bell...

You don't need a lake to do a little skiing...

Or if your wife is quoted in the local paper saying...

You're An EXTREME Redneck When...
1 You let your 14-year-old daughter smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids.
2 The Blue Book value of your truck goes up and down depending on how much gas is in it.
3 You've been married three times and still have the same in-laws.
4 You think a woman who is out of your league bowls on a different night.
5 You wonder how service stations keep their rest-rooms so clean.
6 Someone in your family died right after saying, 'Hey, guys, watch this.'
7 You think Dom Perignon is a Mafia leader.
8 Your wife's hairdo was once ruined by a ceiling fan.
9 Your junior prom offered day care.
10. You think the last words of the Star-Spangled Banner are 'Gentlemen, start your engines. '
11. You lit a match in the bathroom and your house exploded right off its wheels.
12. The Halloween pumpkin on your porch has more teeth than your spouse.
13. You have to go outside to get something from the fridge.
14. One of your kids was born on a pool table.
15. You need one more hole punched in your card to get a freebie at the House of Tattoos.
16. You can't get married to your sweetheart because there's a law against it.
17. You think loading the dishwasher means getting your wife drunk.
Two good ol' boys in a Tennessee trailer park were sitting around talking one afternoon over a cold beer after getting off work at the Local Nissan plant.
After a while the 1st guy says to the 2nd, "If'n I was to sneak over to your trailer Saturday & make love to your wife while you was off huntin' and she got pregnant and had a baby, would that make us kin?”
The 2nd guy crooked his head sideways for a minute, scratched his head, and squinted his eyes thinking real hard about the question. Finally, he says, "Well, I don't know about kin, but it would make us even!"

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Superatoms - A Whole New Chemistry

If you thought chemistry was difficult the first time around, get ready for a whole new layer, in more ways than one. Like epigenetics, this new chemistry is above and beyond the standard stuff, all in strange new ways.

It really started with the Bucky Ball but has potential to change all the rules once again. Not only will gold will take on a whole new hue, we may see perfect biological sissors, new batteries, and transparent aluminum. Think about riding in THAT airplane!

Superatoms in Science News

Superatoms on Wiki

Best of Sudden Disruption

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Crystal Island

OK. I'm a bit late getting this one posted, but it's worth a look if you like mega projects.

Crystal Island in Moscow will be the largest building ever constructed with 900 apartments and 3000 hotel rooms, school for 500 students, cinemas, a theater, sports complex much more.

And don't forget the 16,500 parking spaces.

Russia - what a country!

Crystal Island

Foster and Partners

Best of Blog

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Permaburn Review - First Ashes 2008

As noted below, I've just spent the weekend at Permaburn. My first priority was to try out some art and enjoy a regional camp-out. My second priority was to evaluate the Permaburn site and concept.

Portable Zen

If you've seen my prior art, you'll recognize some elements in my latest creation. It's meant to be a simple back-pack portable interactive Zen meditation piece. It's called Portable Zen.

I put it together just in time for the weekend. Dave Orel thought it needed a head. I think he did a nice job. We had to re-do the batteries to distribute the weight but got it working Thursday night.

When folded up, it fits nicely INSIDE the car. Unpacking and setup went well. The light winds mostly cooperated. I'll definitely have it out on the playa this year.

The rest of the trip went well too. We arrived Friday morning and helped tape the road for those to follow. The drive up was fast on open desert highway. The directions in to the site were clear.

The dirt road in from 395 is reasonably good. You might have trouble with entry and exit angles of long RVs on a few of the drainage dips, but any standard two-wheel drive with at least 7 inches of clearance will not have a problem. Greg pulled in a 24' trailer. Tom brought in one a bit shorter. A loaded down Geo Metro even showed up. The steepest part of the road is on a north face, so early spring access might be a bit of a problem depending on snow. But no problems this weekend.

First Arrivals

The site has excellent curb appeal as you top the final ridge over-looking Permaburn. You'll find a gently-slopping valley about a half mile long and a couple of hundred yards wide. This is where the sound camp was located. Music was already in the wind. So was a big white kite. Here we met one of the DJs and a few other early arrivals. But the road went on, so did we.

Toping the next ridge presented the caldera with a pond in the center. This is where most of the campers set up using the trees for shade, as did we.

This camp was about three tenths of a mile and a hundred feet above the sound camp with a nice over-looking view. There are also several small volcanic peaks around both valleys ranging from a couple, to several hundred feet higher. All of these peaks were on the property except for the highest.

As soon as we met the host and set up camp, we climb the closest one and found a fantastic view of Shasta, Lassen and other unidentified peaks of the Cascades. We were also overlooking a panoramic presentation of the Madeline valley to the south.

A Square Mile of Permaburn

The ground itself is mostly sage and rock with a few Juniper and other trees here and there. Virtually all of the ground is build-able with gentle slopes up to small peaks.

Currently the property is open range will cows making a muck of the ponds and leaving droppings. Be careful where you step! I speak from personal experience. One other negative were a few mosquitoes and flies from the pond and cows droppings. Greg promises the cows will eventually be fenced out by a large berm defining the property boundary.

As for First Ashes, the turn-out Friday night was light but picked up quite a bit on Saturday. A few came and went, with a total of between 40 and 50 over the weekend, mostly from Reno, Tahoe and Susanville. Yes, this was a small turn-out for a rave, but fair sized for a camp-out and provided a nice mix. The vibe was mellow with lots of interesting people. There was an excellent pot of chilli at the sound camp on Friday night and various food offered from camp to camp.

Besides music most of the time, there were quads and dirt bikes, someone shooting targets and several people with dogs. There was also a massage camp, trampoline and large swing. Camp Lazy Fucks from Klamath Falls had a nice chill shade up.

Most campers went hiking at one point or another. The ground invites it. I climbed four peaks with the highest providing a 360 degree view of northeastern California with the agricultural andranching valleys to the north and south.


On Sunday An and I hiked down to the reservoir and back. It's at least a mile long. Others swam there but we came down through the trees at a muddy cow dominated part of the shore so didn't go in. We followed cow trails back to camp. In total, I hiked 27 miles in three days.


The idea of Permaburn is visionary, the site is excellent and the commitment impressive. Greg plans to split the square mile up into eight, 80 acre parcels then sell quarter-acre lots for $200 each with an annual fee of $500. This is about what you'd pay for a storage spot anywhere else. It's certainly a LOT less expensive than driving an art car all the way back to the bay area. And it doesn't count the freedom to development and experiment in any way you like.

This annual fee will initially be used to improve the road as well as bring in water and other improvements. I imagine some form of on-site security will also be needed.

Greg and Friend Building Fire Ring

Permaburn Link

Greg hopes these lots will self organized into "theme" camps, creating central kitchens, bathrooms and hot tubs. These common facilities will anchor permanent "camps" of all types to explore different architectures, energy and art.

He sees Permaburn as a big "toy" to be created and explored by hundreds or eventually thousands of people over a period of years. He says he's in it for the long haul and not looking to make a profit, only recover costs.

It's an ambitious plan, but not unreasonable. The site is only five miles from highway 395 and 65 miles from Susanville. Permaburn is an inexpensive place to try out new building ideas and experiment with different materials as well as stage Burning Man projects which are too big for your driveway. It's also a nice place to get away for the weekend.

No, I haven't bought in yet, but it's on my list as soon as I come up with a purpose and a plan. And I will. The concept and ground invites the imagination to run wild.

And so will the Burners who come here.

Thanks to Greg for this excellent opportunity.

And a fun weekend.

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