Thursday, February 24, 2005

Four-Month Poo Fire Extinguished


Heat from the decomposing manure deep inside the pile is believed to have eventually ignited the manure.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Artist on LSD


I had a roommate who was a huge acid-fiend. This pretty much sums him up:


Upon completing the drawing the patient starts laughing, then becomes startled by something on the floor.

There was a six-month period during 1998 when my life was acid. The entire focus of my existence was to make enough money at whatever menial job I was working at the time to buy dose. I spent 90% of my non-working hours (and, in truth, maybe 10% of my working hours) either under the influence of or recovering from the effects of LSD. At one point, I was consuming so much of the drug that it would take anywhere from three to nine hits for me to "get off," depending on the quality of the mixture.

I say that not because I'm bragging, but because I want my comments to be taken from the context of what I consider to be pretty extensive experience. With that out of the way...

I was very skeptical at first, but from the comments alone it definitely looks like the artist was legitimately under the effects of LSD (either that or the person who forged the article had some experience with the drug themselves). This quote especially is very reminiscent of some of my experiences:

I feel as if my consciousness is situated in the part of my body that's now active - my hand, my elbow... my tongue.

It's hard to explain how that feels to someone who hasn't experienced it, but that's about as close as you can get it words. That is one of about a dozen things that happen in your brain when you're on LSD.

I heard it best explained on the History Channel, of all places. They ran a special on illegal drugs and during the segment on acid a psychologist who had some experience with LSD said something like this: "When your senses communicate with your brain, it's like plugging into a telephone switchboard. Tom sees something, so he picks up the phone and calls Mary. The switchboard makes sure he gets connected. When you're on acid, Tom gets connected to Mary, John, Pete, Pet's dog and the tree in the yard."

It's important to clarify some things, though. Firstly, LSD more than any other drug is very personality-dependent. It reacts very differently with each individual who tries it. I personally had great experiences and never once had a "bad trip." I also knew friends who had nothing but bad trips and stopped using it after two or three times. I knew one friend who got sick to his stomach whenever he took LSD.

Also, regarding the "it is bad and uninteresting, I want to go home" part - I can see how that sounds to someone who's never tried LSD. When you start to come down from an acid trip, you enter a phase that I used to call being "spun out." You brain is still reeling from the experience and everything around you seems remarkably dull compared to what you saw, felt and heard the previous several hours. For me, this phase always lasted until I ate something and slept for at least eight hours. Then I could wake up and things seemed normal again - at least until I dosed again.

I'm not saying all this because I think everyone should try acid or that I think it was the greatest thing in the world. I don't regret my decision to take it, but I definitely won't be doing it again.

One man's mind-expanding euphoria can be another man's nightmare, I guess.


Friday, February 18, 2005

Monday, February 07, 2005

Chicken Marsala recipe

Chicken Marsala Recipe (courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2003)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
2 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in halves and pounded thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups sliced mushrooms (cremini, oyster, shiitake)
3/4 cup Marsala
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped chives, for garnish

In a shallow bowl or plate combine the flour and Essence and stir to combine thoroughly. Quickly dredge the chicken breast halves in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess flour.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook the chicken breasts until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter to the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are golden brown around the edges and have given off their liquid. Add the Marsala wine and bring to a boil, scraping to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the wine has reduced by half, add the chicken stock and cook for 3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Lower the heat to medium and return the chicken breasts to the pan and continue to cook until they are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, add salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with chopped chives and serve immediately.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Yield: about 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

Group Hug

Sunday, February 06, 2005

"She Will Be Loved"

"She Will Be Loved" - Maroon 5

Beauty queen of only eighteen
She had some trouble with herself
He was always there to help her
She always belonged to someone else

I drove for miles and miles
And wound up at your door
I've had you so many times but somehow
I want more

I don't mind spending every day
Out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with the broken smile
Ask her if she wants to stay a while
And she will be loved
And she will be loved

Tap on my window knock on my door
I want to make you feel beautiful
I know I tend to get so insecure
It doesn't matter anymore

It's not always rainbows and butterflies
It's compromise that moves us along
My heart is full and my door's always open
You come any time you want

I don't mind spending every day
Out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with the broken smile
Ask her if she wants to stay a while
And she will be loved
And she will be loved
And she will be loved
And she will be loved

I know where you hide
Alone in your car
Know all of the things that make you who you are
I know that goodbye means nothing at all
Comes back and begs me, catch her every time she falls

Tap on my window knock on my door
I want to make you feel beautiful

I don't mind spending every day
Out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with the broken smile
Ask her if she wants to stay a while
And she will be loved
And she will be loved
And she will be loved (Please don't try so...)
And she will be loved (hard to say goodbye)

[in the background]
Please don't try so hard to say goodbye
Please don't try so hard to say goodbye

I don't mind spending everyday
Out on your corner in the pouring rain

Please don't try so hard to say goodbye

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Teens fined $900 for giving cookies to neighbor and triggering anxiety attack

Durango Herald

But it sounds like there isn't.
Especially since burglars and violent rapists don't generally bother to knock if they're coming to your house at night.

Who is it?
What do you want?
>To put my hate inside of you.

Altoids tin hacks

Linky (fark)

Altoids MP3 player

I used to have a lover who carried his condoms in a tin similar to Altoids only it said Celestial Seasonings. That amused the hell out of me.
Yep, I used my tin for pot as well. Wash with soap and warm water, store pot in tin in sandwich baggie.

I had a dream the other night that I got a bag of pot and it was the greenest stuff, with crazy bright fresh blood red hairs. I never got a chance to smoke it, my girlfriend called and woke me up.

Stupid pot, I don't smoke you anymore. Get out of my dreams, biatch!.
I keep Altoids and even Penguin Mints tins because they make for very useful storage -- I have one for all the covers I have for USB plugs and stuff, but most notably I have a portable medicine cabinet in my Altoids tin I carry with me to school:

* Alcohol swabs, for disinfecting (2)
* Cotton pads, for bleeding (2)
* Kleenex, to dampen noise of pills (1)
* Q-tips, for all their uses (2)
* Imodium AD tablets, for diarrhea (2)
* Extra-strength Tylenol tablets, for pain (2)
* Dallergy ER, 12hr prescription allergy pill (1)
* Pepsid AC, antacid (1)

I have the alcohol on the bottom, then the cotton, then the kleenex, followed by the two Imodia in their cases, along with Q-tips at the top that help keep the kleenex flatter and the pills on top, being about as long as an Altoid can. In the middle between the Imodium packages I keep the other pills.

So if I fall down on the way to the loo for a diarrhea bout after a highly acidic meal, scrape myself seriously, and hit an allergenic plant on the way down.

But mostly I just take the antacid.
I keep my MDMA in a Frisk box stashed inside a Tickle Me Elmo. I know, farking rav0rs.

Straight Dope: Thundersnow

Linky (fark)

Man gets ticket for using middle finger as "improper hand signal"

Linky (fark)

The Waiter You Stiffed Has Not Forgotten

Feb. 2, 2005, NYTimes

Thursday, February 03, 2005

2005 State of the Union Address transcript

Japanese like Kit Kats


Students in Japan have reportedly caused sales of Kit Kat bars to soar, by adopting them as lucky charms.

The name of the chocolate bar resembles a Japanese expression - "kitto katsu" - used by students to wish each other luck before exams.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Beer-drinking rats are smarter than you

Linky (fark)

But weight-conscious people should heed the humble rat, which stays trim by instinctively cutting calories when indulging in alcoholic drinks, say researchers at the University of Florida’s psychology department and the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute.

Rats also know how to say no to the brew, stopping at what would amount to two or three drinks in most people, according to a paper in the current issue of Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. Many people ignore the same instinct — a shortcoming that can spell dietary disaster.

Kid busted stealing tests from teacher using keylogger

Not bad. The kid actually used a hardware logger. linky (fark)

Pre-med students assigned to watch frat-party drinkers, reconsider choice of major

Linky (fark)

Hacking Coke machines (vending)

Shamelessly ripped for my own reference from places like 2600, hackaday, and i-hacked:


Written by Fire and Kyint
Sunday, 26 September 2004

# File written by Fire and Kyint #
# © 2004. All Rights Reserved #
# Modifications to this file are not permitted without prior consent #

Coke vending machines are everywhere. They're getting more and more like regular computers with LEDs that show little "ICE COLD" messages and whatnot. Well, there's a lot more to those little built-in computers than you may think. Included in the low-level operating system that these babies run on is an actual debug menu that gives you access to all sorts of machine information and possibly gives you free cokes in older machines.

There's a very strict list of vending machines that have the debug menu. First off, they're all COCA-COLA product vending machines. This means the giant, un-missable picture on the front must show any of the following: Coke, Dasani (Water), Barq's Root Beer, Vanilla Coke, Cherry Coke, Sprite, Evlan (water), Fanta, Fresca, Frutopia, Hi-C, Sprite Remix, Mad River, Mello Yello, Minute Maid, Nestea, Odwalla, Mr. Pibb/Pibb Xtra, Planet Java, Power Ade, Seagram's Ginger Ale, Simply Orange, Sparkletts, or Tab. Of course anything Diet or Caffeine free works too.
The machine must have an LED screen. Some of the older ones just allow the LED to be set to a price amount and won't have the debug menu. You're safer if the little LED is telling you something. Usually it will scroll a little message like "Ice Cold Cokes". Newer machines are more likely candidates.

To enter the menu, there's a button combination. HERE'S THE ONLY THING YOU HAVE TO REALLY REMEMBER:


The buttons are numbered depending on how they are positioned. They will either be vertical (more likely), or in horizontal rows of 4 buttons per row. If it is vertical, the first button is #1, the one below it is #2, and so forth. If the buttons are in horizontal rows, the first button is #1, and the one to the right of it is #2. The numbers work like a type writer after that. In rows of 4, the first button of row 2 will be button #5. So, to review, getting in to the debug menu looks like this:

$1.00 -------
[ Coke ] <-- Hit this button last
[ Coke ] <-- Hit this button second
[ Diet Coke ] <-- Hit this button third
[ Sprite ] <-- Hit this button first
[ And so on ]

Some text should show up on the LED (probably the word "Error", we'll explain what it means next sections). If nothing happens, your machine doesn't have the debug menu.

To navigate from option to option (What they are is next section), remember the numberings we gave the buttons. They work as follows:
Button [ 1 ] - Exit/Back
Button [ 2 ] - Up
Button [ 3 ] - Down
Button [ 4 ] - Select

Depending on the age of the machine, you will get a varying amount of default options available.
On older machines: SALE, VER, EROR, and RTN
On newer machines: CASH, SALE, EROR, and RTN

CASH - Machine Earnings Display
The CASH option will display how much money is in the machine currently. It generally takes a second or two to load. From here, you can scroll up and down through 12 or 16 different options, depending on the machine age. These other options display how much money was spent on each individual item, classified through its button (or slot, as I like to call it) number.
A neat side note about the slot numbers is that there are more slot numbers than there are actual slot, so usually the last 4 buttons contain zero money. This could be so that the same OS could be used on bigger machines, but the newer machines have even more slot numbers.

SALE - Total Sale Count
The SALE option displays how many drinks have been sold out of the machine. This tends to be cumulative, but not on all machines. The stock guy is probably supposed to reset this each time he re-stocks. Also, this has the same sub-options as the CASH option, where you can scroll up and down and see how many drinks have been sold from each slot.

VER - System/Machine Version?
This option will cause a large alphanumeric string to scroll across the LCD. The number looks very much like a serial number, but doesn't vary from machine to machine. It is most likely the OS or machine version number, but of the older machines that have the option, I haven't seen one that doesn't have the same number.

EROR - Error Log
There are 8 different types of errors - COLJ (Column Jams), VEnd (Vend Mechanism), door (Door Switch), sels (Select Switch), CHAR (Changer Errors), acce (Acceptor Errors), StS (Space-to-sales errors), and bVal (Bill Validators). The separate types and actual errors are useless, as you assumably can't get inside the machine, BUT(!) you can clear the errors. Hold the enter (Number 4) button down for about 2 seconds, and it should clear the error.

RTN - Return
This is simply the return option. Selecting this will exit the debug menu. On newer machines, pressing the BACK button at the main menu will not exit, and RTN must be selected.
A side note: The menu can also be exited by pressing the coin return button.

By holding in the coin return button and not releasing, on the newer "big-button" machines, this will display the internal temperature in Fahrenheit, as in "42F".

There are many more menu options that are only accessible if they've either been enabled from the computer inside the machine, or on the internal computer behind the door (Probably not feasible for you to access).

CPO - Coin Payout Mode
You can can dump coins from the coin mechanism, and the various menu options allow you to choose which type of coins (Nickels, dimes, etc.) are dumped.

tVFL - Tube Fill Mode
This is useless to you. This allows you to load coins into the coin tubes, which you can't do from the outside.

TEST - Test Routines
This allows you to test the following various routines:
SE Allows you to test the buttons. Will give you number
of button when you press it
SP Sold-out paddle test. Not quite sure, most likely internal function.
Su Sold-out switch test. Same as paddle.
CO Motor test. Will run various column motors.
Cn Coin test. Put in a coin and it will tell you what kind of
coin it is.
nA Note acceptor test. Same as Cn, but for bills.
dSP Display test. Will illuminate various LEDs.
vErS Rattles off version number.

RELY - Relay test
This tests the relay electronic control of various parts. Do not do, as it will cause damage if various internal parts are not unplugged before usage.

PASS - Password
This is not normally accessible, but allows you to change the menu password from the 4-2-3-1. Whoo!

PrIC - Price Setting
Used to set the price for a drink. Not sure how to work it, but it seems simple enough.

StOS - Space-to-sales routine
Lets you change the STS routine and other options. This means that various buttons will all mean the same thing, i.e. the 6 coke buttons don't actually vend from 6 different columns, but vend from one (changing when one runs out of course).

COn - Machine Configuration/Permissions
This is the machine config menu that decides what of these options you are allowed to access through the outside panel. This is probably only accessible with the door open. I won't go into detail, but I'll list the Config numbers and what each do: C1 sets price menu on, C2 sets special (manufacturer) options on), C3 disables the "ICE COLD COKE" message. C4 is autoviewing of menu when door is opened, C5 is door switch status, C6 is mysteriously reserved for "future use", C7 determines whether your money credit stays in for 5 minutes or indefinitely, C8 is Force Vend, C9 allows multiple vends without putting in more money (i.e put in a 5 and get 3 cokes and then your change), and C10 is Escrow Inhibit.

CCoC - Correct Change Only Control
Adjusts Correct Change only rule to your liking.

TIME - Time Adjustment
Allows you to set the machine's local time.

LANG - Language Selection
Not sure how many languages are supported, but there are apparently more than just English.

Unless you can get behind the door, there's little you can do with this except impress your friends. However, if you're able to set the C-switches properly, you'll be able to manipulate the machine in any way you want, get free drinks, change the price, set up cool buy-one-get-one-free deals, etc, etc :). Not to forget, knowledge is power. One step closer to free sodas!