Sunday, August 31, 2008

Burningman 2008- Casting

This year I got to go to Burningman for vacation. It was amazing. I met some really special people, and had a chance to party hard with my best friends Nick, Dave, and Brian. Here you will find the cast of characters of this particular tale:

This is Dave Harrington- aka Super Dave from Hawaii- he had a great time, and I see him returning if not next year, some year very soon.

Brian Harrington, brother of Dave Harrington, constantly joking and being silly, aka Harry Henderson

Nick Panza, my best friend from Seattle. He had a good time, but said he wouldn't be returning, which makes me very sad, aka Oso Hombre or Oso for short.

Liz Dembski, lots of laughs, lots of fun, and I'm falling for her for sure. Very awesome, the two of us just click into place- more on this later, aka Queen Elizabeth, Lady Liz, or Fluffy.

Ray is one of the goofiest dudes I've ever met. His laugh is to die for, and when Brian and Ray are in the same room, it is like watching a tennis match of hilarity.

Angie of the Twins, aka not Fluffy. Very sweet chica whom is dating Ray and was tons of fun to hangout with during the many hours.

Michelle of the Twins, aka Fluffy. Great chica, and cannot wait to hang out with her again.

Nick and Liz at the Temple during sunset.

The Two Harringtons enjoying a sunset with the shadow of Babel in the back.

Picture of me beneath an American flag.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

One Last Day to Go

We Are All One

Recently I've been finding my thoughts returning to this idea, the whole We Are All One idea. I'm sure that it's been around forever, and I can't exactly remember who first presented the idea to me, or when I started thinking about it. Mostly, I've dismissed it as spiritual bibble-babble and stuff that only hippies/mystics/crystal energy people believe. Lately though, I've been seeing more and more how this view fits into my own view of reality. Really the whole idea makes sense from an anti-separate-everything-into-boxes view of reality, something that science loves to do at every turn. Our brains seem to enjoy this classification of things into their proper place. You have to wonder, however, does the universe really work like that? It seems to me that every time we try to classify and separate things (like the sciences for example), we spend the rest of the time seeing how things overlap and work together.

I think I should go through some things that I believe. There are reasons why I believe these things, and I'd be more than happy to go into detail as to why I believe these things are true, but I'm more interested in the consequences of believing these things right now. Some of these things are fairly well agreed upon, and some (one in particular) is a highly debatable subject. (Note: I omitted one that I originally had- infinity or unboundedness. This doesn't in itself lead to the We Are All One thing, but is fundamental in the logical progression that I am detailing here.)

1. The Big Bang
2. Stardust, Stars, and Supernova Explosions
3. Quantum Entanglement
4. The Multi-verse View of Quantum Mechanics

A brief description of each:

1. The idea that the entire universe was confined to an infinitesimally small region of space at the beginning of time, which was about 13 billion years ago.

2. The idea that there are stars in the universe which are going through nuclear fusion converting hydrogen into helium to release energy in the form of photon radiation. The stars form from dust which coalesces gravitationally into a fusing star given the right conditions. The stars die in many different ways, and if big enough will explode in the form of a supernova which allows the star to fuse heavier elements beyond iron which get dispersed into the universe.

3. This is a phenomena of particles interacting quantum mechanically. Basically, when you have two particles that are physically (quantum mechanically) interacting in some way (typically through spin or some other quantity that follows an exclusion rule- meaning if particle A has state X then particle B has to have state Y, and if particle A changes to state Y then particle B HAS to change to state X), and you separate these particles by a distance, the still interact. More than that, they interact in such a way that the change is instantaneous (you change particle A from state X to Y, then particle B INSTANTLY changes to state X!) over distance, meaning that information traveled from particle A to B faster than the speed of light. According to relativity (Einstein) this shouldn't happen, and I haven't heard a good explanation for it yet. The only commentary that I've heard is that phase is what gets transmitted, and phase cannot contain data so it retains coherence with relativity.

4. Physics still doesn't have a satisfactory explanation of HOW a particle's wave function collapses. There are many different schools of thought on what is going on with the collapse of a particle's wave function, but none that has been crowned the winner- mostly because this question is a philosophical one at it's core. We cannot observe a particle's wave function, and thus cannot 'observe' it's collapse. Basically, the question is, why is a particle's state observed to be X when it could just as likely have been observed to be in state Y? Well one answer to this question is that it actually did get observed in state Y, it just wasn't observed to be in state Y in this universe. In this universe it was observed to be in state X. The essence of the Multi-verse view of quantum mechanics is the idea that there are an infinite number of universes co-existing at the same time (and different times), and that every particle wave collapse (think of all those photons you are observing as you read this) creates and infinite number of multi-verses.

Now, I'm just going to start blathering about how all of these things support the view that "We Are All One". I've only recently been able to get my brain around what that means to me. Each person's path to understanding is an individual one (that an infinite number of yous take all ever so slightly different), and this is mine.

1. Big Bang: Seems to me that the Big Bang fits rather succinctly into the view that We Are All One I mean how can you get more One? Every single particle that makes you and me and the trees up was at one time (time zero) squished into a single infinitely small point.

2. Stars: From what I understand, the stuff that makes up our solar system originally came from other stars first. At first this seems like a chicken and egg sort of thing, but I think the first few rounds of stars that came into being directly from the dust and stuff left over from the Big Bang. So, the same stuff that makes up the Earth, and makes up you and me, and makes up our Sun, is all stardust! All of it. At some point the atoms and molecules that make up your body, mind, and (if it is physical) the soul were all at one time stardust. Not to mention the fact that the heavier than iron elements that make up stuff all came from a relatively rare supernova event. I'd even guess that the majority of the heavier than iron elements came from the same supernova event as well. So some of us, possibly the majority of us is made of material that was in the same star. This seems like another good basis for believe in the We Are All One thing.

3. Quantum Entanglement: This is a very interesting phenomena that physicists still don't have a good grasp on, though some ongoing experiments are starting to narrow in on this effect. Basically when you have two particles (say electrons) that are linked together in such a way that you cannot adequately describe on particle without full mention of its counterpart- these particles are described as entangled. The interesting thing is that this effect continues to occur even if you separate the particles by distance, even large distance. Furthermore, if you know the state of one particle, you instantly know the state of the other particle, since they are entangled. For example, with spin, if you measure a particle that can have spin up (+) or spin down(-) (ie electrons) - you have a 50/50 probability of measuring the particle to be up or down, so if you have two particles (A and B) that are NOT entangled, then you measure A and it can be say +, and then you measure the B and it could also be +, or you measure A and it's +, and measure B and it's -; the point being that the state of A doesn't have anything to do with the state of B. However, when you have two particles that ARE entangled- this 50/50 relationship breaks down. If you measure A to have spin up, then you know that particle B has to be spin down- and visa versa (measure A as - then B is +). Also, it means that you can't have A and B both spin up or both spin down.

Now, how does this relate to WAAO? Well, if you believe that this whole show got started at some infinitely small point in space-time called the Big Bang, then at some point we were all entangled in some weird crazy thing. If all the particles of the universe were at one space-time point and entangled, well then what happens to some particle on the otherside of the Earth (solar system, galexy, universe) still has some quantum effect on the particles that make up you.

4. Multi-Verse: Finally we arrive at my last point, the multi-verse theory of quantum mechanics. The idea revolves around an idea of how a wave function collapses.

What happens when a particle's wave function is observed to be spin up? It is possible to describe the collapse as both having a particle observed to be spin up and spin down, spin up in our universe, and spin down in a parallel universe. This means that there is an infinite number of different universes that have all of the infinite of possibilities of wave functions available. Here is the deal with this idea, there are an infinite number of different people like you who have lived very different lives. Some have been bums, some have been wealthy, some have been ugly, some have been sexy, some have been healthy, some have been sickly, some have been anything, some have been nothing. The reason this is important is when you look at another person, just imagine that there is another you, a you who has lived just like this other person, no matter who they are. That is what is unifying, there is another you, that is living a life like this person you see. Ok now, I know this is a stretch, but really what is the real difference between it being you, and some alternate you? I don't really see it as being that big of a deal. I see the more important thing being that we are all connected by these alternate realities, we are all one because there is someone like you/me/everything everywhere/everytime- NOW.

Two More Days

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Crew is Arriving

Nick got here on Wed. morning and since then the last couple of days have been a blur. Good man Nick Panza.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


These flowers hurt my eyes.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cousin Joel, M.D.

This is my Cousin Joel, son of Mary my Dad's sister. He and I are pretty much the same age and grew up going to each others houses for weekends, birthdays, and Guzman family get-togethers. He is actually Dr. Joel Williams, MD now, which is pretty great, and amazing, and I'm getting old. He now lives in Sacramento which is pretty sweet b/c we can hang out. It is really weird hanging out with someone who shares a significant portion of your DNA and world views, cause it's sorta like you are pre-coded to be friends. We had an awesome weekend, I finally got to see the new Batman movie, which was a friggin' trip and a half, got a bit boozie on Chimay and Delerium Tremmens. Then over breakfast at Brasil, we had some good male bonding and philosophy discord(ia). He had a good anatomical view of the "We Are All One" thing; when you eat something, when does it become part of you? Or is it always/already part of you before that whole process begins? And if not, then when does it become part of your being? Good stuff.

Cafe' Brasil

The second entry in my Santa Cruzian locales series. Cafe' Brasil is on Mission St. and is one of the finest breakfast/lunch places that I've found, ever, anywhere. Chow on Church and Mission in SF competes.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vein of the Earth

Brought to you by:

Love Me Two Times

In commoration of my leaving Santa Cruz (for a while at least), I thought that I would start a collection of my favorite places. This is my favorite second hand clothing store, where I collected the majority of my good BM pieces. I mostly like the store because of the owner, a nice older guy who will talk your ear off.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Illuminatus! Quote

"'The funny part,' Saul said, smiling while a few tears still flowed, 'is that I'm not ashamed of this. Two days ago I would have rather died than be seen weeping--especially by a woman.'
'Yes,' Mavis said, 'especially by a woman.'
'That's it -- isn't it?' Saul gasped. 'That's their whole gimmick. I couldn't see you without seeing a woman. I couldn't see that editor, Jackson, without seeing a Negro. I couldn't see anybody without seeing the attached label and classification.'
'That's how they keep us apart,' Mavis said gently. 'And that's how they train us to keep our masks on. Love was the hardest bond for them to smash, so they had to create patriarchy, male supremacy, and all that crap--and the 'masculine protest' and 'penis envy' in women came as a result--so even lovers couldn't look at one another without seeing a separate category.'"


That's all there is to it, period, end of story. There is a "We are all one" blog coming, with rationalizations and everything. You've been warned.

Probably My Next Tattoo

Though it will be a few years from now, I think that the Man in the Maze a Hopi symbol will be my next tattoo. However, I will be adding the Golden Apple to the center of the maze. It is a symbol of chaos and discordia being part of the natural balance between order and chaos. It is also a sort of symbol of illumination and the forbidden fruit and the female goddess of chaos, Eris. Since on my left arm I have the sun, a male symbol, I've always wanted a female symbol on my right arm, and while I've always thought of having the moon on the right, somehow, The Man in the Maze with the Golden Apple seems even better...

I like this one better:

Presidential Aging

Ok, so I know bringing up the age issue in the 08 election is at best a faupaux and at worst an all out dick move, but it must be done. I don't think that old peoples should be discriminated against. I know my Mom is going to be looking for a job soon, and I don't want her very very very young age to be taken into account for that position, however, I feel that the job of the "leader of the free world" (whatever the hell that means) needs to have a strong constitution, or we might as well vote for the VP. We have to take this into account when choosing a president. It is a really hard job and not for the weak of heart. To illustrate this point, well let the image do the talking...

Note: I only took presidents who served two terms (well in the case of Nixon 1.5 terms- ass) as it makes a stronger statement.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Friday, August 08, 2008

Flowers and CSA

Out My Window

Gattica Anyone?

Touch DNA - Scary stuff.

Anyone seen Gattica? Sci-Fi, great story and concept, 4/5 stars I'd say.

Got some good pictures coming including my first vertical HDR panorama.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Fog Layer

I had to do a lot of this by hand b/c autopano can't deal with handheld. It's got stretch marks, but I like it.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Santa Cruz Walkaround

OK WTF Blogger? These pictures are exactly the same size in Pixels, but when you click on them, they are all different...WTF!

More from Illuminatus!

"'...But they can rule by fraud, and by fraud eventually acquire access to the tools they need to finish the job of killing off the Constitution.'
'What sort of tools?'
'More stringent security measures. Universal electronic surveillance. No-knock laws. Stop and frisk laws. Government inspection of first-class mail. Automatic fingerprinting, photographing, blood tests, and urinalysis of any person arrested before he is charged with a crime. A law making it unlawful to resist even unlawful arrest. Laws establishing detention camps for potential subversives. Gun control laws. Restrictions on travel. The [Kennedy] assassinations, you see, establish the need for such laws in the public mind. Instead of realizing that there is a conspiracy, conducted by a handful of men, the people reason-or are manipulated into reasoning-that the entire populace must have its freedom restricted in order to protect the leaders. The people agree that they themselves can't be trusted.'"

Dave got me thinking about conspiracies yesterday, and then I read this in Illuminatus! which is about the Illuminati Conspiracy- so I thought I should post this nice little summary about how to manipulate a populous. Fill in "The [Kennedy] assassinations" with "The World Trade Center attacks of 911" and you pretty much have what we've been dealing with for the last 8 years, only I have no clue who is behind George behind Cheney behind-

-Oh yeah and this was written in 1975.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Using the Red Channel

This is the original.

This is the original in greyscale.

This is the Red channel only.

This is the difference between the greyscale and the red channel.

This is with 15% of the difference layered on top of the red channel, reducing the noise a bit, but keeping the majority of the image as red only.

Finally, since the graininess makes the image look kinda old-school, I thought I'd add in a bit of vignetting to cap it off.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Annabel Lee by Edgar Alan Poe

Matt and I were talking about the darker and sadder side of life today, so of course, Poe came up in the conversation. I thought that I should post my favorite Poe poem so that way I can look it up in the future, and maybe you all will enjoy it too!

Annabel Lee
by Edgar Allan Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee--
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
I and my Annabel Lee--
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me--
Yes!--that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we--
Of many far wiser than we--
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:
And so, all the night-tide, I lay down by the side
Of my darling--my darling--my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea--
In her tomb by the sounding sea.