The boring life of Jerod Poore, Crazymeds' Chief Citizen Medical Expert.

Scenes from my boring life

All y'all should be as bored as I am with my 'life.'   This is the shit I do or just think about when I'm too demotivated and/or too medicated to do much of anything.  Which is how I am most of the time.

With only a few days left I come up with a name for this decade: The Yikes!2, which is probably more accessible than Y2Kes!, although the latter might be easier to understand.  I think "Yikes!" squared  pretty much sums up the Y2K years, which sandwiched terror attacks, war, paranoia, electoral turmoils, and a global natural disaster between the dual hangovers from overhyped panic & parties and the worst international economic downturn since the 1930s.

Wacky weather haiku:

Texas white Xmas
bare, brown Montana landscape
Climate change? Really?

I got new snow tires, so of course it's not going to snow again until 2012.  If then.

I had a music-related dream the other night, yet another one that made me sad I don't know shit about music.  I heard Siouxie & the Banshees doing a Joy Division cover, which for some strange reason sounded like Siouxie Sioux singing with Interpol instead of her singing with Bauhaus / Love & Rockets, which is what Siouxie & the Banshees doing a Joy Division cover would probably sound like.  Anyway it was an original song (like all the music I dream about) with the lyric "I look in her eyes and see I can never win."  The Google can't find anything close to that in the same sentence, but there are so many great bands whose lyrics have yet to be published on the Intertubes.

Tremble in the majesty of my Kvetchmas booty, bitches:  Seasons 1 & 2 of Wonder Showzen. Robot Chicken Star Wars Episodes I & II. Family Guy Blue Harvest & Something, Something, Something Dark Side.

The animation involving things like ships and asteroids in Something, Something, Something Dark Side is better than that in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. That's saying something, I just don't know what. 

I used to be told, frequently, that I'm the reincarnation of someone from Japan.  A Meiji-era comic was the final consensus.  While hikikomori is a modern condition, it certainly describes me during adolescence:

Called hikikomori, or social withdrawal, the ill-defined but debilitating syndrome afflicts as many as 1.2 million young people--seven in 10 of them male. Symptoms include agoraphobia, paranoia, aversion to sunlight and severe anxiety; sufferers become antisocial [sic] in their teens or 20s and spend months or years holed up in their bedrooms. "They see themselves as ugly. They think they smell," says Tamaki Saito, who runs the outpatient program at Sasaki Hospital in Chiba. "They fear that they're being watched by neighbors, so they cover windows with curtains or black paper."
I didn't think I smelled bad, but everything else fits.  Although I was socially avoidant, which is what most post people usually mean when they use the term "antisocial."   I'm the kind of dick who points out that sort of shit.  I came across the article while researching Apathy Syndrome for a topic on the Crazy Meds forum.

Christmas Music

A bit late, given how this song is especially relevant this year.  But one of only two Kvetchmas songs you really need:

The other is Happy Flowers' All I Got were Clothes for Christmas.  From the Touch and Go compilation God's Favorite Dog.  I don't know if that has been re-issued on CD or not.

Lurn 2 spel

It's "straitjacket" you moron, not "straight jacket." Someone is tightly (strait) confined when wrapped / encased (jacketed) in one. It is not a linear article of clothing. The Cafe Press store name and reference on the Mental Mall page have been updated. 
It's been how many fucking years until I noticed that?

More Flavor, Less Lexico-Spatial Awareness

My Topamax dosage was raised by 50mg to 375mg a day, in addition to the lamotrigine (250mg), protriptyline (50mg) and methylphenidate (a whopping 5mg).  This has allowed me to take the methylphenidate daily, work on a crossword puzzle if I don't have anything better to do, and eat food seasoned with nutmeg and cloves without worrying about having an aura.  Taking the methylphenidate is especially important because taking it daily means my sense of smell and memory are better, and the tremors aren't as bad.

One downside is my appetite isn't worth shit.  More Topamax + daily methylphenidate = can't even force myself to eat that much.  I'm not dangerously skinny, gaining weight is just another thing I've given in to giving up on.  While nutmeg and cloves are kosher again, peanuts are now part of my permanent Lent.  No peanuts means no peanut butter.  No peanut butter means no peanut butter and banana milkshakes, which were a great means of caloric intake when I couldn't deal with cooking and/or eating.  Fortunately I don't have the "look at a peanut and die" allergy, just an "eat peanut butter and spench" allergy or sensitivity of some kind.  As peanuts are legumes it doesn't surprise me that they'd eventually not like me any more.  The cost is too prohibitive for other nut butters.

I've gone back to needing nine to ten hours of sleep.  That wouldn't bother me if I were able to go to sleep at nine PM.  I'm lucky to fall asleep at 10:30.  Waking up after eight in the morning just messes with me.

The oddest effect is a kind of jamais vu or other Topamax-related size issue.  When I'm doing a crossword puzzle it won't matter how many times I count the number of squares and the number of letters in the word or phrase I know is the answer, I can't make it fit.  It's too short, it's too long, I've yet to discern a pattern.

Updates on Crazy Meds

  • I did a minor update to the Abilify page and posted a new PI sheet for it, to reflect its recent approvals.

  • I also did a slightly less minor update to the Clozaril page and posted a PI sheet to replace the dead link, along with links to PI sheet equivalents and consumer information from Australia, New Zealand and the UK.  Clozaril is being discussed more and more these days.

  • New Board on Crazy Meds Talk for Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Conditions

    I just created a new board on the forum for Crazy Meds.   Schizophrenia & Other Psychoses: Messages from the Zernox Galaxies

    Throughout their lives, membership in the nine versions of the Crazy Meds fora has skewed towards affective mood disorders.  We never have had many people in the spectrum of psychotic conditions, but we've been one of very few sites run by the mentally interesting that caters to the psychotic.  I've yet to come across a site specifically about schizophrenia that isn't run by, and is primarily for family, friends and 'caregivers.'  It's the same patronizing attitude NAMI has these days and it disgusts me.

    What finally got me off of my ass to create the board was a post, that, in part, reminded me the latest round of anti-crazy bigotry from NPR, Huffington Post and other bastions of liberal groupthink. In their effort to avoid even raising the questions of what parts religion or nationality may or may not have played in the Fort Hood event (My take: Exactly like those of Timothy McVeigh when he killed 168 people in Oklahoma City 19 April 1995, a perverted form of religion mixed with an extremist and racist nationalism.) they dug and dug for the slightest hint of crazy. Long before the rumor of an insanity defense plea.  Unable or afraid to wade into a complex debate regarding the motives of a fratricidal traitor they prefer to deflect the issue by raising the specter of crazy.  Because it's perfectly acceptable for everyone to hate and fear us.

    In the hierarchy of the mentally interesting the schizophrenic and other psychotics are pretty low on the social totem pole.  I've read posts from plenty of people with affective mood disorders (depression, bipolar, etc.) who were glad they aren't schizophrenic, don't want to be lumped in with people that crazy and so forth.  Crazy Meds strives to be the big tent of brain cooties, it was about time I continued with that tradition.

    Tyler Durden: TV Commercial Consultant

    I sent the link of my HTC & clam commercial mashups to Adnoxious and a couple other ad-related blogs on the Panoply of Stupidity etc.

    Adnoxious did something better than noting their interchangeability, they found the pedigree of the $cientology ad: the "You're not your fucking khakis" scene from Fight Club.

    Photonuclear Excitation by the Large Hardon Collider

    A diseased sun burns through the wounded sky...

    The dealer's cold, black, insectoid eyes kept shifting to and from Nielsen and Ninomiya, the only two players at her table. Sitting in the somewhat functional remains of what was once Singapore's finest casino they had doubledowned on a pair of diamond sevens. They were dealt a pair of suicide kings. Faye, their dealer, had 18. Nielsen and Ninomiya were all in with all of their available time.

    Two sixes of spades.

    "23," Faye said, her voice as cold and flat as her eyes, "you lose."

    "No," said Nielsen, "we all win."

    "What are the odds?" asked Ninomiya, shrugging as he attempted to fade from his chair.

    Because of the strong fields associated with ultra-relativistic heavy-ions, the probabilities for several electromagnetic processes are very large at small impact parameters, and calculated, un-unitarized first-order probabilities may even exceed 1. This is for example the case for two-photon production of e+e− pairs.
    The dominating process is photonuclear excitation of the target into a Giant Dipole Resonance followed by emission of one or more neutrons. The probability for mutual Coulomb dissociation reaches about 35% in a grazing Au+Au collision at the Large Hardon Collider.
     "As anyone who has read the literature can attest," Dr. Benway said, "not all particles require collision as a means to reach a state of excitation.  Many electron-hole interactions are often played out in the form of bondage and confinement scenarios, with the hole invariably the bottom.  Typically the interaction lasts only three pulse-pumps.  Photoexcitation is required for multiple excitations, but the second hardon won't be as large nor will it last any longer.  Two is usually the limit."

    Three a.m. and two graduate students at CERN were playing cards.

    "Blackjack is a stupid game.  Who in hell would want to play that?  If you can count cards it's easy, if you can't you're a sucker.  Plus someone has to be the house, so there's no point in playing if not in a casino."

    "You're right.  I don't know what I was thinking."

    "When the largest quantum orgy of all time happened, what did electrons do when they had a chance to interact dangerously with positrons?  They were as conservative and repressed as Lutherans!"
    The large mass of the "W" Intermediate Vector Boson (IVB) is also interpreted as a re-creation of the dense spacetime metric of the primordial electroweak force unification era during the initial moments of the "Big Bang".

    Looking at a simple example, we diagram the decay of a muon (u) to an electron (e-) (antiparticles are underlined and the symbol (v) represents a neutrino):
    W-[u- (e+ x e-)] ---> vu + ve + e-
    (Where the square brackets indicate the interior of (or the mediation of) the "W" IVB)

    We see how natural a reaction this is when diagrammed via the catalytic action of the W- and a virtual electron-positron pair. The negative muon (u-) and positron (e+) simply cancel each other's opposite electric charges, which frees both their neutrinos (vu and ve), and forces the electron (e-) to become " real", as it no longer has an antiparticle annihilation partner. All the W has done is catalyze the reaction by bringing the muon (u-) and the virtual particle-antiparticle pair (e+ x e-) into intimate contact, where the charge cancellations and energy transfers can take place safely. Hence the "kissing box" of the IVBs is really a "conservation containment", which ensures that charge and energy transfers take place in a secure environment - a perfectly natural role in the well regulated and orderly conservation domain of spacetime.
     "One can only hope," Dr. Benway drawled, "that the Large Hardon Collider is used to excite particles beyond the kissing box and get them outside of what they would normally consider a secure environment."

    This quasi-Burroughsian pastiche and interictal interlude is brought to you by:

    Extra Medication For All!!

    Cult of HTC Hero Commercials

    As I wrote a couple of posts down, there's a remarkable similarity between the commercials for HTC's Hero and the latest ads from Scientology.  To give you all a better idea as to what I mean, I present a mashup of their commercials:

    Unclear on the Concept

    I got a letter informing me my truck has been included in the expanding set of vehicles covered by a recall.  It's in the category of "No reported problem of spontaneous automotive combustion, but it has the same faulty part that probably caused the 200 instances of minivans blowing up for no good reason."  I was warned not to park the truck anywhere near a building as the fire could start when the vehicle isn't running.

    This, of course, tempted me to park it in the garage under my bedroom instead of the carport where I usually do.

    The faulty part has to do with cruise control. I never could wrap my head around the concept of why something with manual transmission has cruise control in the first place, let alone how that combination works.

    So I go to Ford's website to find the nearest dealer, who is a lot closer than Missoula and has  online appointment scheduling.  The VIN is enough to tell them I need the recall service.  Everything is working like it's supposed to.

    Except after I click on submit I get an error message and am told to contact the service department.  You know, the people with whom I was attempting to make an appointment.

    I was reminded of this Fail Blog entry.

    Fortunately the only fail regarded something I wouldn't have missed, because I received a confirmation e-mail.

    TV Show Math

    I like cheesy, science fictiony TV shows.  They are often dismissed as formulaic.  True enough, as actual formulae are used.  Some examples:

    Stargate Universe = (Stargate SG1 * (2000s era Battlestar Galactica - 1970s era Battlestar Galactica)) - Stargate Atlantis + The Starlost

    Eureka = ((Original The Prisoner - 1960s Patrick McGoohan-era Secret Agent Man {a.k.a. Danger Man}) * Dexter's Laboratory) - Bill Nye the Science Guy

    Sanctuary = ((Torchwood - Dr. Who) * Angel) + The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - Buffy

    Fringe = (X-Files - Glenn Beck)  * (All those Mirror Universe episodes from Deep Spare Nine / the original Star Trek's "Mirror, Mirror" episode) + (Eureka / Mythbusters) - Twin Peaks

    Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles = Terminator 2 * Firefly

    Flash Forward = (Lost - Fantasy Island) * Quantum Leap

    While on the subject of TV, am I the only person to have noticed the remarkable similarity between $cientolgy's "No Life" ads and the "You are different" ads for the HTC Hero?  It sounds like the same narrator, the ads are thematically similar, if not identical, and if the former were more colorful or the latter shot in muted tones they'd be practically indistinguishable.  Other than everyone using the newest tech toy in the HTC ad.

    The HTC ads were done by DEUTCH LA.  I can't find who did the clams' ads.  Several people have found Boston's Co$ displayed as a favorite footprint about 3:20 into the original demo video.

    HTC's Hero runs Google's Android software.  The last thing Google needs is to be associated with $cientology.  It's one thing when their ads were displaying all over Crazy Meds, because they have a right to advertise their sham 'religion' and Google shouldn't discriminate against them.  And if they want to pay me out of their antipsychiatry budget, I'm more than happy to take their money.  Getting any closer to the clams just makes you go "eeewwww" and not want to buy the phone.

    As if I have any standing to write on that subject.  I rarely use my cell phone, and the most complicated thing I do with it is take a picture that I'll send to one person.  The only thing that keeps me from getting anything cheaper than what I have now is living just within range of Alltel's service.  And only Alltel's.

    Any day now I'll start living in the 21st century.

    But wait, there's less.

    Yet another food-triggered aura last night.  I'm especially out of it today.  Late-night lorazepam tends to make the next day disappear.

    The latest culprit: cloves.  Compared with nutmeg there's not as much written up on cloves in the world of epilepsy support & consumer-oriented information sites.  The big difference is nutmeg is often written up by itself, probably due to having psychoactive properties.  Cloves get lumped in with any foods that trigger allergies, either in someone's experience or information that's being collected by someone who may or may not publish.  The thing that bothers me the most about the foods cloves are grouped with is they are all high in salicylates.  I've already cooked the food-free diet, a.k.a. gluten, bean and corn-free, and very low-salicylate.  One can do only so much with approximately 24 items (although if it were just for me I could expand it to about 34).

    As for PubMed, the only thing about foods of any kind triggering seizures had nothing to do with what the food is, just if it had pesticide and/or herbicide residue on it or not. As much as I like to blame chemical-addicted agribusiness for my problems, it's not a factor.  The spices in question aren't organic, but I've been eating food that is across the spectrum from certified with eco-Nazi standards of purity to "it qualifies as food because people eat it.  As do the animals they eat."  As for cloves, there are a bunch of articles on how cloves are great as an antimicrobial, an antifungal, a treatment for way-too-rough sodomy, and an ingredient in a nice smelling, newage spermicide.  And for every article about how wonderful cloves & clove oil are, there's one about how some idiot ingested too much and fried their liver.  Nothing about seizures, except as a symptom when some kid ate too many pumpkin squares or something.


    J.G. Ballard wet dream
    A man staged over 90 car crashes at the nexus of high-rises and roundabouts.  His attempt to redefine himself within the context of the modern landscape was thwarted by the more modern technology of omnipresent cameras that captured fragments of his identity.  Fragments now easily merged together into a pre-crash whole.

    Amateurs using the staged crash in an attempt to alter identity or circumstances are bound to fail.  Parents and others have used staged automobile accidents for over half a century  to prevent accidents caused by reckless driving and/or driving while intoxicated.  Parents have tried to alter the circumstances of their childrens' deaths via staged accidents.  Instead of achieving the desired results, rumors of Miley Cyrus' and Emma Watson's deaths due to automobile accidents spread like wildfire.

    This bit of minor psychosis  brought to you by:

    I'm So Happy I Could Kill Myself shirts

    Picture via The Barrage

    Alternate History Cartography

    I collect antique globes, atlases and maps.  At least I used to, when I had money to spend on stuff like that.  Now I just appreciate the ones I own.  There are two mutually exclusive criteria I have, overlapping with coin, stamp and those rare currency collectors, that make a globe, atlas or map a prize find.  The first is the item became obsolete quickly due to political changes; the best being an item that shows a nation-state which existed only for a brief time.  Choicest find: a sketch-map atlas published in 1939 by Oxford University with a map showing an independent Ruthenia / Carpatho-Ukraine during one of the two brief times after the Munich Pact of September 1938 that Czechoslovakia broke into three states.  The final time, ending with the Hungarian annexation of Ruthenia, the creation of the Nazi puppet state of Slovakia, and absorption of the rest of Bohemia and Moravia by Germany in March 1939 came a full day after Ruthenia's final time as an independent state.

    I wish I could remember the name of the movie loosely based upon Ruthenia's numerous changes in political status and being passed around from country to country in the first half of the 20th century.  In the Austro-Hungarian Empire sometimes they were under Austrian rule, sometimes Hungarian.  Immediately after WWI Ruthenia was independent, then part of the short-lived West Ukranian Republic and other variations of the independent Ukraine that existed during the Russian Civil War.  Then part of Hungary.  Then it was part of Romania when the Romainians weren't satisfied with Transylvania alone and they invaded Hungary during the near-constant, internecine Balkan wars (of which WWI was essentially a supersized version).  Then they were part of Czechoslovakia under the theory that big countries kludged together (Yugoslavia & Czechoslovakia  in Europe) were needed to keep dickish countries like Germany and Hungary in line.  Then within the span of a few months Ruthenia was independent, annexed by Hungary, part of a truncated Czechoslovakia, independent again and part of Hungary until the end of WWII.  After that Ruthenia was annexed by the Soviet Union and became part of the Ukraine SSR with the typically Soviet name of Transcarpathian (Zakarpattia) Oblast.  It stayed with post-Soviet Ukraine and kept the name.

    So finding an atlas with Ruthenia as a nation, and a National Geographic map showing it as part of Hungary but of questionable status, were pretty geektastic.

    Now there's a  Ruthenian independence movement, but it's probably Russian-sponsored shit-stirring.

    I also have a globe with an independent East Timor.  From the first time they were independent, between November 1975 and July 1976.

    Those are my favorite examples of quickly obsolete items.  The other is the title of this entry.  Any map can be wrong, but there's a special kind of wrong that I really appreciate: mixing borders, existence of nation-states, etc. from wildly different times and the cartographer's imagination.  The sort of thing you might see in an alternate history book, except it wasn't supposed to be a fictional map.

    Or: the map collector's version of an upside down plane on a stamp.

    I bring this up because of a recent post on Catholic Gauze.  Apparently someone at USA Today's weather department is living in a parallel universe, as their version of the Middle East and surrounding area is nothing like it is today, or any time since forever.  Some of the same quirks also exist on their map of Africa.  They're just including or ignoring all sorts of events that happened in 1990s.  All those post-Soviet -stans came into existence in 1991-1992.  Eritrea became independent in 1993.  North and South Yemen united in 1990.  The territorial dispute between Chad and Libya ended in 1994.  The "neutral zones" between Saudi Arabia and Iraqi and Kuwait went away in 1991, and on and on.   Plus Uzebekistan reaches the Caspian Sea, but I'll give them some slack on that one since the Aral Sea, for all intents and purposes, no longer exists (shrinkage 1973 - 2000 shrinkage 2000 - 2009)and the Garabogazköl Gulf/Bay/Basin along the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea was dammed in 1980 and evaporated into a toxic plain of salt, so it didn't exist between 1984 and 1992, but has been there since.  Those sorts of changes to major physical features can really mess with the cartography of adjoining areas.  On USA Today's weather map of Asia Uzebekistan's border is correct.

    I have a few mid- and late-19th century maps of Europe, published in the US, that show alternate histories, but that can be chalked up to incomplete information and/or racism.  There weren't that many people from the Balkans living here in the 1800s, and those who were for the most part lived in urban ghettos.  So as far as US schoolchildren and self-educating adults were concerned the Ottoman Turks had complete control over all of the Balkans well into the 1880s.

    My favorite alternate history is from the universe of Ohio Art.  When I had the cash to collect globes I bought any Ohio Art globe I came across because they are always so freaking wrong.  And they're the only globes I've found that could be the basis for an alternate history work of fiction.  I had one as a kid and I'm so glad I had a real atlas.  I can't remember who gave the globe to me, but I do remember being told in a passive-aggressive way that pointing out all of the errors to the person who gave it to me wasn't nice.

    Here are some pictures from the largest of the Ohio Art globes I have, and the only one I bought off of eBay.  WWII and the years immediately afterward weren't too kind to the Communists. Of the wackier aspects of the geo-political world of the early 1960s in the Ohio Art universe:

    Post-War alt. history Europe
    Wow, Germany got to keep a lot of territory, and West Germany is a lot bigger than East Germany.  Look how skinny Czechoslovakia is.  Ruthenia is part of Hungary (again) and Istria (the peninsula south of Trieste) is part of Italy.  There's plenty of bad drawing all over the place (e.g. Switzerland, France), but Luxembourg and Ireland came out rather well.  The small Ulster is a bonus for Ireland.  Unlike Viet Nam, but like Korea, Germany has a single capital.  These are details of something, but other than an anti-Communist mindset I can't figure out if it's anti-Slavic bigotry, crypto-Aryan propaganda, or if the cartographer really had some kind of alternate history scenario going on. 

    Post-War alt. history USSR
    More bad news for the Commies.  Either the Russo-Finnish war didn't happen, or Finland kicked their asses harder than in our timeline, because that's what Finland looked like after WWI, not WWII.  The Baltic States and an enlarged Ukraine have some kind of special autonomy.  While the US didn't recognize the Soviet annexation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, prior to 1991 we didn't think the Ukraine was anything special.  Even if it did have a seat in the UN General Assembly prior to 1991.  The Baltic state capitals are indicated with stars while the capitals of most African nation-states aren't.

    Post-War alt. history China
    And oddest of all, an independent Tannu-Tuva.  Tuva was nominally independent between 1929 and 1944, and even then was a Soviet client state.  In our world it became part of the Soviet Union in 1944.  Tuva is a kind of Temporary Autonomous Zone, a Mecca for wildly diverse groups of people, including Caucasian Buddhists, World Music hipsters, and rabid philatelists.

    If you think the Soviet Union had it bad, take a look at the People's Republic of China.  It's 1919 all over again!

    I can't tell if Kashmir is represented as disputed territory or independent.  The cartographer certainly liked Pakistan more than India, as West Pakistan is almost as large as India.

    Canadian alt. history
    Labrador: disputed territory between Quebec and Newfoundland, or autonomous region within Canada?  I know some Quebecois still haven't gotten over either Labrador being taken away or that boundary dispute.  You know, all that stuff that happened in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  The Canadians really needed to bring Newfoundland into the Dominion after WWII because baby seals don't grow on maple trees, eh?

    The countries of Africa and South America are just badly drawn.  Really badly drawn, but there is no instance of alternate history scenarios on either continent.

    At least the planets on the globe's base are in order, unlike another globe from the same period.  That J. Chien & Co. globe has a really nice, albeit quickly obsolete, representation of the world c. 1964.  It sits on a base with the planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter and Pluto.  OK, I can understand Earth being extraneous and a nonagon would be expensive and look weird to most people while an octagon can be pulled off the shelf.  But that order is unfathomable, especially since they put the distance from the sun with each planet. Talk about an alternate universe.

    The funny thing is, I don't particularly like most alternate history fiction.  Go figure.

    Pruning the Panoply

    Blogrolls are limited to 125 entries.  I've spun off some of the entries from the Panoply of Humiliation etc. into a list of blogs dealing with the surreal, and deleted a couple that are unlikely to return.

    Meanwhile an additional 25mg a day of Topamax is allowing me to drink caffeinated tea and work on crossword puzzles without an aura.  I might be able to be as partially functional as I had been a couple of weeks ago.

    Bes vs. Bird

    Split into two because I tried to take some still shots for fucking delicious. No luck, of course. Bes was still playing with the bird when I go to get the camera and she's half way done eating when I return with the camera. Figures.  What the video lacks in visuals it makes up for in sound.  Birdies are crunchtastic.


    Time Travel: More Believable than al-Qaeda Getting an Antimatter Bomb?

    I have the BBC World Service news broadcast on all night long.  It helps me sleep.  A little before 4:00 a.m. Mountain Time (10:00 GMT) I heard Dan Damon on World Update (their Facebook page for you social types) speak with Dr. Holger Nielsen regarding a test Dr. Nielsen and Dr. Masao Ninomiya have devised around the Higgs boson particle the geeks at CERN's Large Hadron Collider are trying to create.  According to Drs. Nielsen and Ninomiya the Higgs boson particle can't exist in a universe where matter already has mass.  The particle (or wavicle, as the boson could be like photons and be both particle and wave) is so god-like (it is known as the God particle) that it goes back in time to prevent itself from being created.  That's why the LHC keeps failing.  Their test would determine if the future can prevent a nasty present from fucking things up for them / us.

    I figure in an eleven-dimension universe put forth in string-, or M-theory (If you like to read: What is String Theory? If you like to listen to someone explain it: String Theory Simplified) the time portion of space-time may seem linear to us, but it's not really a straight line.  Everything exists all at once, but isn't predetermined.  "Traveling back in time" is close enough for anyone who can't grasp anything outside of the concept of linear time in four-dimensional space-time.

    As I understand it Higgs boson particles / wavicles and the Higgs field in which they interact with  nascent matter should exist again, and briefly, only when our little corner of Everything collapses back into one bigass singularity and there's another Big Bang.

    So what does that have to do with al-Qaeda?  The proposed test was published in July 2008.  The same language showing up all over the place today was posted on Discover Magazine's blog as Will the LHC’s Future Cancel Out Its Past? in August 2008.  Today's New York Times has a really good essay about it The Collider, the Particle and a Theory About Fate. As I wrote above the BBC spoke with Dr. Nielsen about his proposed test.  Why?

    Maybe this has something to do with it:

    Preliminary charges filed against French physicist

    PARIS — A French investigating judge has filed preliminary charges against a physicist at the world's largest atom smasher who is suspected of al-Qaida links, a judicial official said.
    The 32-year-old Frenchman of Algerian origin, who works on the Large Hadron Collider, is suspected of involvement with Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, a North African group that targets Algerian government forces and sometimes attacks foreigners. He was arrested Thursday in France.


    [James Gillies, spokesman for CERN] said that security controls to access the office where the suspect worked were fairly light but added that his "card didn't give him access to any of the underground facilities" and that there was nothing that would have interested terrorists.

    "There's nothing in there that people can steal and use for terrorist ends, nothing at all. It's all about personal safety. There are areas where we have cryogenic liquids, high magnetic fields, particle beams and so on, where you need specialist knowledge to be able to go there," Gillies said.

    CERN featured in Dan Brown's best-seller "Angels & Demons," which was turned into a movie starring Tom Hanks. The plot hinges on a plan to destroy the Vatican with antimatter stolen from CERN. But that idea is "pure Hollywood" said Gillies.

    "If you run CERN flat-out it would take 250 million years to produce the quantity that was stolen from CERN in 'Angels & Demons,' Gillies said. "There are far more efficient ways of creating that amount of destructive matter. It's not here that that's going to happen."

    So there's a sudden rush to dig up the bit about time-traveling God particles preventing a mini black hole from forming because that is less scary than Algerian terrorists getting an antimatter bomb?  Or CERN needs to cover its collective ass about an alleged terrorist being on the payroll.  Thousands of people think Holy Blood, Holy Grail, oops, Dan Brown's stuff is true, and the last thing CERN needs is a bunch of hysterical parliamentarians asking about missing antimatter that never existed in the first place, what sort of damage could a particle beam do if fired at a building, and what would happen if a terrorist smuggled a vial of cryogenic fluid onto an airplane.  So wavicles sending messages from the future via a deck of cards is one hell of a distraction.  Seriously. Read the paper

    One could also imagine that more detailed calculations would determine whether
    the effect from the future had to manifest itself not too far back in time. In that
    case one could perhaps invent a type of card game with cards that had been shuffled many years in advance, and one only used the first six cards in such stack of cards.
    They want to play Texas Hold'em with their future selves.

    And I'm the one too crazy to hold down a real job?

    Stupid, Tired AND Without Flavor

    I had three aurae the last seven days.  There has been no real change in my medications.  I'm still taking brand Topamax, I got a refill of Teva's lamotrigine a couple weeks ago, and the most recent refill of protriptyline was from the preferred  Roxanne instead of Barr.  I've been taking Watson's lame-ass 5mg methylphenidate for the last two months.

    The first thing I did is stop the methylphenidate.  That didn't do it.  So I stopped drinking caffeine and doing crossword puzzles.  That worked for a couple of days, allowing me to get the grocery shopping down.  Then on Friday I have another one, and I can't figure out why.  The only thing that was different was the addition of extra nutmeg in my breakfast.

    I'm eating cream of buckwheat with bananas.  With my sense of smell diminishing I'm having to overspice everything.  Nutmeg as a seizure trigger?  I know that people get high off of nutmeg, so it's possible.  After I wake up from my lorazepam-induced nap I ask the Google about it.  All I can find in the literature about nutmeg and seizures or epilepsy is an article on using nutmeg oil as an anticonvulsant for toxin-induced seizures in critters.  I was able to find plenty of posts on various epilepsy support sites where people have reported nutmeg as a seizure trigger.  So no more nutmeg for me.  Blander gluten-free banana bread and I may as well forget about gluten-free gingerbread men.  The list of items for the permanent Lent gets bigger all the time.

    Maybe if I can find out why nutmeg gets people high I could determine if it's a trigger.  What do I find?

    Towards a better understanding of the psychopharmacology of nutmeg: Activities in the mouse tetrad assay  Sure.  Seeing how something affects mice is legit.  Even better they compared nutmeg with marijuana, amphetamines and morphine.

    How did they compare the effects of those four substances?  By measuring the ass temperatures of the mice.  Seriously guys?  How the fuck do people get grant money that results in something like this:

    While oral administration of all the nutmeg extracts at 500 mg/kg caused a significant increase in locomotor activity, the i.p. administration of DE showed significant reduction in rectal temperature along with a significant increase in tail flick latency at 300 mg/kg

    They note various physical reactions, but the study was designed around rectal thermometers.  I wonder if focusing on inserting things into rectums had something to do with how they got their degrees as well as the grant money.

    Some of the recently suggested studies from the latest incarnation Crazy Meds forum that no one is likely to do:

    I had so many more on previous incarnations of the forum.

    I think I went a little overboard by doing the Sunday crossword puzzle.  I should have done yesterday's.  I was feeling off prior to this post, it hasn't been getting any better.  Make that four aurae in eight days.

    So I'm stuck, for now, staying stupid, staying tired and mildly depressed, and now with even less flavor.

    New Boards on Crazy Meds Talk

    The forum has some new boards:

    As is usually the case when I add or combine boards I reordered boards in some of the categories.  The more popular antidepressants and anticonvulsants have moved up a bit. 

    More new boards are in the works.

    More schadenfreude for all!

    The panoply of stupidity, humiliation, shame & absurdity has grown to over 120 sites, and at least 100 of them are still active.  I might be depressed, but at least I can enjoy how fucked up things are for other people.

    It won't matter when more of those sites become moribund.  Per Cipolla's first basic law of human stupidity, Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation. there will always be idiots doing ridiculous things and other people documenting the results.

    Side A: Clever; Side B: WTF?

    Now that Crummy Church Signs is on a permanent hiatus I'll post these here.  Missoula's New Life Worship Center on south Reserve St. (aka state highway 93, a major north-south artery) is known around town for their sometimes somewhat clever signs they'll put up.  E.g. "Where's global warming when you need it?" during a record-breaking cold snap.  They usually have a different message on each side of the sign.  So during the last week of August drivers on southbound Reserve street saw:

    For a church without a website that's kinda cute and clever.

    Drivers on the northbound side, which is the side the church is on, saw:

    What the fuck? Don't serve God leftovers?  What is that supposed to mean?  The closest the Google can find for that phrase is someone's blog entry Serving Leftovers to a Holy God and a sermon entitled Serving God the Leftovers.  If it's based on the latter it's one of those things that makes me question if the pastor really wants people reading that part of the Bible.  While the sermon is based upon Malachi 1:6-14, anyone who keeps reading and gets to Malachi chapter 2, especially verse 3, will learn the origin of the term, "Eat shit and die."

    Hey, God said it first.  How can it be obscene if God said it?  That gives kids a free pass like you wouldn't believe.

    If you want to use a cryptic message to draw people in be prepared for that whole "as ye sow so shall ye reap" proverb, even if that isn't in the Bible.

    Bes vs. Mouse

    Bes, the runt of the litter, is the only cat who still eats the critters she catches.  At least consistently.  Here's a recent example: 

    Omega-3 EFAs Can Kill You!

    Don't take them!  Just don't.  They'll kill you.  They'll make you kill yourself!

    Don't believe me?  Here it is, straight out of the PI sheet for prescription-strength omega-3 fish oils:

    Additional adverse events reported by 1 or more patients from 22 clinical studies for HTG are listed below:

    Body as a Whole: Enlarged abdomen, asthenia, body odor, chest pain, chills, suicide, fever, generalized edema, fungal infection, malaise, neck pain, neoplasm, rheumatoid arthritis, and sudden death.

    Granted the dosage to treat high cholesterol is two-to-four times what is recommended for unipolar or bipolar depression, but a side effect is a side effect, right?  It doesn't matter how unlikely it is to happen or what the context is, a potential side effect is still a possible side effect.  I mean, just because that's how much I take each day as the usual 800mg of EPA doesn't do it for me.  Unless I'm sick, like I am now, and sometimes I get a bit hypomanic when I'm sick, so I don't need anything to exacerbate that.  It explains why the cats don't like being around me because I don't smell so fishy.

    I need to jump up and down on Oprah's couch to get this vital message across to the world.  Omega-3 fish oils can KILL YOU!!!  Stop taking them!  Everyone, just stop taking them!

    That way they won't be so fucking expensive, because a bottle of the good stuff (not capsules, straight oil) runs $20-$40 a pint.  Sometimes I want to buy some fucking Lagavulin or Balvenie Double Wood if I'm going to be paying that much money for a pint of something.

    Fixed it. No duct tape required.

    Thanks to .htaccess I managed to get Apache to deal with server side includes. Yay.

    Case of the Vanishing Medication Pages

    The latest problem: bits and pieces of .shtml pages are not being displayed. E.g. any of the Keppra pages other than Keppra's basic information page. If you look at that page you'll see the short disclaimer at the top along with the Google search bar and links to all the other pages about Keppra. Toward the bottom of the page the links are repeated along with shameless begging for support, links to other sections on the site, and the bigass disclaimer. If you click on a link to any of the other Keppra pages (e.g. Keppra's efficacy) you won't see any of that.

    The missing pieces are separate files. When I was actively updating the medication pages (and if and when I do so again) I was converting pages from .html to .shtml so any changes to things like the disclaimers, page navigation, etc. meant updating one small file instead of many large files. The files are one the server, they just aren't being displayed.

    For those unfamiliar with the HTML code, it looks like this:
    < !--#include file="somefile.htm" -- >

    The problem is the default for Apache (the software that deals with the web) on the server we're on is to not allow SHiTty Markup Language includes, what it calls server side includes. It's supposed to be a simple override to change that. But no matter where and how and how many times I try to ram that override down Apache's throat it refuses to respond.

    In this world of open source there are so many possible combinations of operating system components, and versions of those components, it's next to impossible to determine just where the problem is. Is it a CentOS 4.2 thing? An Apache 2.0 thing? A Plex 8.6 thing? My money is on Plex, because Plex makes everything weird. Case in point, I set up a job to run hourly. It runs, but it doesn't work as I expect it. Meanwhile a similar job runs daily and does exactly what I want done hourly. Except I can't find where in the daily schedule it's run so I can give the hourly job the same parameters. The cron logs give me no clue as I can't even find a reference to the daily cron job as having been run at all! It's Plex! It's magic!

    All this really, really makes me miss the Big Iron days when 90% of my fellow programmers never heard of Usenet, Fidonet, or ARPANET until the Morris worm made it into the headlines. By the time ARPANET evolved into the Internet most of them forgot about it all. Besides, who wanted to deal with domain addresses that were Or email addresses that looked like frodo!unauthorized! Back then operating systems were all proprietary and nobody in their right minds altered a single bit. The applications, mostly accounting software, were quasi-open source. The businesses bought them, but the source code usually came with it so the software could be modified. Or it was all developed in house. Back in the 1980s and '90s most places ran a mix of homegrown software and modified software they purchased to run their business and account for everything. Almost everyone who owned the same model of computer was within a release, at the most two, of the operating system as everyone else. Hardly anyone's accounting package looked like anyone else's, even when that software came from the same vendor.

    These days it's the complete opposite. If more than one person is involved I doubt if two offices of the same company in the same town have anything close to the same combination of *nix, SQL, and whatever other OS components they need, running on otherwise identical hardware. But the enterprise software they run looks and works exactly the same else in the world (allowing for language differences) that same software is running. These days there's a debate going on about vendors supplying their source code and how the open source movement is changing the way developers think, and all the intellectual property issues and so for.


    One thing that didn't change is utility software, although its relevance did. In the Big Iron Age most of us had a lot of the same utility software that made managing various aspects of system administration easier. Why? Because we read the same magazines and typed them in. I couldn't wait for them to catch up and get a way to transfer the source code to a PC so I could upload it. For awhile one of said magazines had the code digitized into something that looked like a cross between a bar code and Rorschach spat. Somehow scanning that with an optical reader and dealing with the reader's software was less complicated than a BBS, a listserv, or even something on the nascent AOL and similar services.

    With all the different *nix dialects and variations of basic functions (e-mail, ftp, etc.) I've come to learn that a piece of utility software some random person wrote to make their life easier has become a de facto piece of the OS. To the point where it's just assumed one has it, to the point where further development of the OS is predicated on that software being around, but it isn't included in the standard distribution of the OS.

    Some time in the next decade or the one after that they are so going to laugh at the idiots who thought open source operating systems could work for anyone other than people who were nostalgic for the 1970s, when everyone had to build their own PCs from scratch and tailor the operating systems for each box, or for people with a strong DIY ethic who want to do the same thing. But for businesses? For ISPs? It's madness.

    OSOS. Oh shit, oh shit.

    Not Again

    Authorization mismatch errors are popping up again. We had that problem before, but the fix is probably different now due to code upgrades and a somewhat different OS.

    The work-around is simple enough, logging out and back in. Any post you were in the middle of at the time will be displayed for your copying enjoyment, and the back function in Mozilla works. I guess it would work in most other browsers. Regardless, after you log back in you can click on the add reply button, or compose a new PM or whatever and paste the copied text back in.

    Anyone who doesn't have a fixed IP address or logs onto the Crazy Meds forum from different computers is more likely to have this problem. Any one using more than one computer, using a dial-up connection or who otherwise doesn't have a fixed IP address should always log out when done reading the forum.

    I know of one way to fix it, but it's something I'd rather not do. However if any other option is too much of a pain or sucks more then I'll go that route.

    Forum e-mail is working again.

    The e-mail function on the Crazy Meds Talk forum is working again. For whatever reasons the version of SMTP on the new server refused to play well with the forum software. I got the other mail option to work with it.

    Notifications of PMs and updates to topics to which anyone is subscribed are being sent. Anyone needing a password to be reset can once again do so from the link on the log in page.

    Response time is a hell of a lot better now as well.

    Problems with Forgotten Password Reset

    I still don't have any e-mail functions working on the forum. Therefore if you've lost / forgotten your password the link to request a new one won't do anything. You'll have to e-mail me (jerod23
    [at] gmail
    {dot} com) and I'll manually reset your password. Just tell me the user ID you use to log in with, and either a password you wish to use or if you want me to just assign you one. Either way you can change your password whenever you like.

    That nothing has changed with the forum e-mail is mainly due to my being sick since I saw my shrink on 30 July and I've just gotten over it. Given how screwed up my immune system has been since being exposed to a shitload of new office chemicals in an airtight building back in 1996, getting ill whenever I go to a doctor's office is a fairly common occurrence. That's exacerbated by my avoiding contact with other people as much as possible. I'll go weeks at a time without seeing or talking to anyone in real life.

    Loners tend to have crappy immune systems. All the studies I can find conclude this is because the stress of loneliness suppresses immune system response, or people who were born with shitty immune systems tend to be socially avoidant / indifferent. E.g. Genetic variability within the innate immune system influences personality traits in women. and Attachment security and immunity in healthy women.

    The obvious bit is left out. Those of us who avoid people aren't exposed to everyone's dirty, disgusting germs on a regular basis so we don't have the built-in immunity regular people do. While our immune systems suck to start with, they don't get regular exercise and atrophy on top of it.

    Plus I think the methylphenidate prescription I had filled in Spokane isn't bioequivalent to what I normally get in Missoula, or what the Walgreen's in Spokane has given me before. So that's not helping either.

    Registration Problems & Expected Service Interruptions

    1) There may be a problem with reCaptcha, the zen-like word pairs used in the registration process to help prevent spambots. While I have received only a couple of e-mails from people having a problem with reCaptcha, new registration is significantly down. I have no idea if any problem with reCaptcha is related to the problems I'm having with SMTP and other TCP services. If you are unable to register and did the usual stuff (made sure cookies and java are enabled, cleared your cache, etc.), just drop me a line and I'll manually register you. The link to contact me at sign-in / registration won't work until I can fix the problems the forum is still having with e-mail.

    Then again the reCaptcha program could have turned mean and/or crazy. It happens.

    2) Dil from tech support got back to me about fixing the monumental fuck-up I did Thursday night. It's going to take a few serious changes to the account. There will be at least one reboot of the system on top of the two (or more) that already happened since Friday evening. Expect an indeterminate number of interruptions between now and Sunday lasting a few minutes. As HTTP was never involved with the problem I hope it stays that way.

    Edit as of 4:15 Mountain time: Vlad found the idiotic thing I did and it was very simple to fix. The site will be available until the next majorly stupid thing I do.

    I am so the master of fucking things up

    One knack from my past life as an Information Systems Technical Wizard that I haven't lost is my ability to fuck things up in new and exciting ways. Some twenty years ago when that way my actual job title (see card) I managed to find a way to cripple a System/38 that IBM thought was impossible. Lucky for them we were just across the street so they could come over and see it with their own eyes. It took about three days working around the clock to fix it.

    I was the master of the worst case scenario. If not causing them, then at least imagining them. It's too bad I totally flipped out in Melbourne because I was coming up with stuff for insurance software that either would have been one of those "hindsight is 20-20" deals if I hadn't thought of it beforehand, or an event with the parameters I foresaw came to pass during the design & prototyping phase.

    This time around I managed to disable FTP and telnet while trying to get fucking SMTP to work. That takes talent. Especially since I wasn't intentionally doing anything with FTP, telnet or any of the ports associated with them. OK, I was doing stuff with port 25, and one can telnet to port 25, but I don't normally telnet to port 25. The only TCP stuff I fooled around with was, to my knowledge, having to do with SMTP.


    I don't even know if the last change I made is what hosed it, as I had to reboot my PC because of an unrelated problem. Any of the numerous changes I made to xinetd- and SMTP-related configuration files and scripts could have hosed it.

    Fortunately HTTP and MySQL are unaffected, which means all the Crazy Meds stuff is unaffected.

    This all happened yesterday. I was too fried to do anything about it then. I opened a trouble ticket for an ID-ten-T keyboard issue this morning. I hope it's resolved soon.

    Down, Not Across: the Sequel

    Whatever the fuck is wrong with the e-mail on Crazy Meds' new server, it is making me way crazier. Can't think straight after only five hours of working on it crazier. It is really depressing. Before I was crippled by my brain cooties I would be able to stay at work until whatever wouldn't work got fixed. Sometimes that meant staying until two or three in the morning, after getting to work between six and seven the previous day. I'd arrive so early that I always had to sign in with the guard at who was at the end of his shift, so when he saw me signing out after midnight he knew something had gone thoroughly ass over tits.

    I don't give a damn that it's been 17 years since I last did admin work on a small *nix system. I'm still pissed that I can't make this work.

    Fucking SMTP Simple my ass.

    It refuses to listen. It might have problems after that, but that's the current problem. It just won't fucking listen to the port it's supposed to. I can't telnet to it from the local host and mail is going nowhere from either the command line or from the forum.

    Asking the experts on teh InterTubes isn't going to do me much good. I have a rather primitive form of Qmail. It's 1.03 (or whatever the latest version is), but I don't have any of the stuff that apparently makes everyone's lives easier, like some updated TCP software. So after biting the bullet and looking to install all of that crap, the install fails.


    Because I don't have a fucking complier.

    I don't even have the fucking exec commands.

    It's about seven hours since I started working on it today. I can't think straight. I haven't been able to think straight for at least an hour. Eight years ago I could go 18 hours without a break before I'd start getting loopy. I could do that for ten days in a row. Three days of five hours of banging my head against the wall is severly messing with me.

    Did I mention having to have the septic tank pumped along with some other plumbing work done because the basement got filled up with backwash from the tank? I'm glad there was nothing in there I wanted to keep. I still have to keep my eye on it. I'm lucky the plumber hasn't moved, retired or died. He's worked on this lemon of a house since it was built, and it still manages to surprise him. He's never before had to use the third roll of snaking coil for an interior application. He still hasn't, but he was just about to when the clog was finally dealt with. Although that could have been only the main clog. Who the fuck knows what is up with the maze of PVC, galvanized steel and token copper pipes that gives the screen saver a run for its money.

    Just what we need, more down time.

    Actually it's not too bad. Expect one or more of what I hope will be brief interruptions in the availability of the forum and even the entire site today (Friday, 17 July) and/or Sunday (19 July). This is to deal with the response time being so freaking long.

    I'm still working on the e-mail notifications. Fortunately that should have no impact on forum and site availability.