Archive for October 31st, 2003

The Medium is the Message


Classic album covers recreated in Lego blocks. Most of these are past my
time, but some I recognize.

Yet more evidence that some bloggers have more time on their hands than is good
for them.

via Boing Boing

The Crying Game Show


LONDON – A television station said Friday it had shelved a reality show that
set up six male contestants with what appeared to be a gorgeous woman but
was actually a transsexual.

The program, "Find Me A Man," challenged the contestants to woo a leggy
South American brunette called Miriam. Only at the end of the show did the men
learn that Miriam was a preoperative transsexual.

"As Miriam is a transsexual, I would never refer to her as male or female.
She is a gorgeous creature," the spokesman told the magazine.

from Yahoo News

Happy Birthday, Harvard Stadium


Venerable Harvard Stadium, architecturally renowned as the first building
in the world to utilize the then-revolutionary but now ubiquitous
construction technique known as "reinforced concrete", is celebrating
its centennial this year. It is also famous as the site of a momentous
moment in football history – the invention of the forward pass.

Back in the day (1905) football was a lot more violent than in is today.  Hard
to believe, huh? Well, that year alone there were 18 FATALITIES and dozens
of disabling injuries on the college gridiron, and there were only a
handful of teams in those days.  Of course, they had no protective
gear to speak of, and no conditioning, steroids or supplements to steel
their vulnerable student bodies.

So in the face of growing calls to outlaw the beastly sport, the Intercollegiate
Football Association voted in 19 new rules,
like no tackling out of bounds, "striking the
ball carrier in the face," or tackling below the knee. Another new
rule would have widened the field, but Harvard, stuck with their new
concrete stadium built to the old field size, could not comply.  Instead,
Harvard convinced the Association to institute the controversial Forward
Pass.  The
rest is history.

The Dowbrigade’s memories of the Stadium are a bit foggy, as the only
occasions he was actually inside occurred back in the dim mists of his
undergraduate days. His best friend from high school, Joey Weiss, ended
up at Yale, and every year for the hoary Harvard-Yale game they would
get together for their own arcane and twisted ritual.

Each year, for four successive years, they would
inhale, approximately 45 minutes prior to kickoff, 500 milligrams (1/2
gram) of mescaline in one nostril, and 500 milligrams of cocaine in the
other.  This was as part of an ongoing experiment (Dowbrigade majored
in Psychology and Social Relations) in hemispheric brain differentiation.  As
everyone know, the right nostril is connected to the left hemisphere,
and the left nostril to the right.

The experiment required extensive prep work (mostly materials acquisition)
and careful budgeting. We would reverse the input configuration from
year to year, to create a "double blind" effect.  Cross
referencing shows that copious notes were taken on the objective and
subjective results, perhaps in hopes
of future publication, but the Dowbrigade seems to have misplaced them
somewhere over the years.

The most noticeable immediate effect was that one half of your brain
froze, while the other half melted. The differentiation extended
to ocular input, creating kaleidoscopic effects and and an interesting
new parallax between left and right eye signals which introduced a sort
of "fourth-dimensionality" into vision. Watching the crowd, undulating
like a spastic snake and emitting crackles of tense,
into the autumn air, was much more interesting than the game on the field.

Dr. Weiss is now a cancer researcher in California.  The Dowbrigade
has left his days of outlaw psychology far behind. Happy, 100th Harvard

from the Harvard Gazette