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29 October 2012

Chesterfield Massachusetts USA notification of imminent Apocalyptic weather event

Click to enlarge.

William Blake (English, 1757 – 1827)
Television reports (which an English pal says they call "weather porn") have ceaselessly described tropical cyclone Sandy, which formed in the Caribbean and is now headed up the USA Atlantic Coast for New England, as a "Frankenstorm." It's expected to merge with a large conventional cold front heading from Canada, and be considerably more ferocious than your basic ordinary standard Northeast USA hurricane.
Flee for your lives! 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, October 28, 2012 7:16 PM
Subject: Hurricane Sandy 2

This is Larry Holmberg, the Chesterfield Emergency Management Director.

Storm predictions have been consistent for the last 12 hours with rain and wind beginning tonight. Heavy winds of 30 to 45 mph with gusts to 60 mph will arrive between 10 am and noon tomorrow and last 12 to 18 hours. Rain predictions are 3 to 5 inches over the next several days.

Travel should be reasonable in the morning but will deteriorate during the day. Widespread power outages are expected and roads may be blocked by downed trees and power lines.

The Emergency Operations Center at the Town Offices will be opening tomorrow during the morning between 8 am and noon as conditions warrant and will be at full operation by noon. The Center may be reached by calling 296-4741.

Updates will be issued as warranted. Thank you and good night.

This e-mail has been sent to you by TOWN OF CHESTERFIELD. To maximize their communication with you, you may be receiving this e-mail in addition to a phone call with the same message. If you wish to discontinue this service, please inform TOWN OF CHESTERFIELD either IN PERSON, by US MAIL, or by TELEPHONE at 413-296-4771 or REPLY TO THIS EMAIL.

First Day Issue, Tierra de los Sueños: Death / Chesterfield Halloween Parade 2012

Click stamp to enlarge.

First Day Issue, Tierra de los Sueños: Death

Unidentified neighbor boy, winner Scariest Costume, Chesterfield Halloween Parade, Saturday 27 October.

Though little of his face can be seen, his mouth is streaked with blood. We waved and smiled as he slowly passed by.

But he didn't smile back.

What do children make of Death? How well and accurately do they understand it?

What do adults make of Death? How well and accurately do they understand it?

Children get Death better than adults. When Death strikes down a classmate, they laughingly give the finger to Death, they give Death the Bronx Cheer, and yell "Missed me, nyah-nyah!"

Later they will be taught to Respect and properly Fear and Dread Death.

But to what advantage? Respecting Death, taking off your hat respectfully when Death comes near, saying solemn prayers -- this keeps Death away, this protects us from Death exactly as well as giving Death the finger and the Bronx Cheer.

I admire children's insulting, taunting disrespect of Death. In broad daylight in front of the neighbors -- the Volunteer Fire Department and Police had blocked off the main intersection -- this adolescent Death carried his Scythe (cardboard blade wrapped in aluminum foil) for all to see and contemplate.

In the World Wars, British combat fliers were drubbingly, acutely aware of how near Death was to them, how unlikely it was that they would return alive from their mission in the sky, and drunkenly sang this parody of the Christian funeral littany:

The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
For you but not for me:
For me the angels sing-a-ling-a-ling,
They've got the goods for me.

Oh! Death, where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling?
Oh! Grave, thy victory?
The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
For you but not for me.
[The song lampoons]  St Paul's words on the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15: 55, used in the burial service: "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"

24 October 2012

Nanny State issues / shit happens / Ayn Rand & Mitt Romney & Big Bird & Oscar the Grouch / death carb for cutie

Click images to kick-butt boost


Blogger ThePeSla said...
I believe Monster did have warnings about how many should be drank in a 24 hr period.

I have my doubts as to the science and motives of the CDC lately who apparently want to direct the lives of at least grown people in their decisions.

The sin taxes are there but where does the money truly go?

Now, how is it we give children under 8 days old certain shots like hep B when it is thought that so many shots under age two may stress their immune system.

It is not clear we should be imposing such things when the overall science is not clear and the doctors disagree with their own children. It is clear who gets the money in this generation of drug culture.


Tuesday, 23 October, 2012  
Blogger Vleeptron Dude said...
Hiya ThePeSla

If you're new to Vleeptron, you may not know that I have been trying to fix a long-standing problem with Vleeptron -- not enough porn. This post was not originally intended to remedy the porn problem, but then I clicked on the Monster Energy company website and oboy oboy hubba hubba is this website rich with steamy wet soft-core porn ("The Kind Adolescent Boys Like," to borrow a slogan from circa 1900 French postcards). I imagine the lower right derriere with the supersized can of Monster tucked in the thong is a very popular boys' bedroom poster.

I can see you've been struggling with Nanny State issues. And I sympathize, sincerely and truly.

My wife No. 1 (a.k.a. The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms) believed that all attempts to clean up ads on kiddie TV shows were a Fool's Errand, and in fact did great potential harm to the children. She believed that the sooner little kids learn, through bitter experience, that the World is trying to steal their money and destroy their teeth and health by predatory lying, for corporate profit, the quicker the kiddies would Get Smart and stop demanding that Mom buy them Sugar Toasted Choco Cap'n Crunch Fudge Funnies. Government regulation, and Truth In Kiddie Krap Advertising laws would just guarantee us a generation of 30-year-old tooth-rotted obese idiots.

[cf. Mitt Romney's vision for Sesame Street's future, in which Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch would carry Sponsor Logos, like the skateboarders and BMX-treme cyclists sponsored by Monster Energy drinks.]

btw as Senator from New York, one of Hillary Clinton's most vigorous legislative initiatives was her demand to ban or restrict ultraviolent porno video games like Grand Theft Auto, to keep them from destoying the Moral Fiber of our precious Youth. Hillary doesn't just advocate The Nanny State, she wants to be Our National Nanny.

Now to Vleeptron's philosophy and conclusions about Monster Energy and its other supercaffeinated supersugared kid-oriented energy drinks.

Ah, what's a few dead teen girls? Shit happens. If it wasn't the Monster, they'd probably have texted while driving 88 mph up the interstate in the SUV. It was unlikely these distaff MTV dummies would have ever reached reproductive age.

There is the question of how much lethal predation of dopey kids the unrestricted, unregulated Free Market should be permitted to get away with. If Ayn Rand says we should let the little darlings drink all the fun-packaged Poison they want ... that begs the question of why the Free Market should be constrained from selling their adolescent hot little bodies on the Sex Trade & Kiddie Porn market. By what right does the government feel it can tell Americans what they can and can't do with their adolescents' orafices and other remunerative pleasure resources? Libertarian opposition to the Nanny State suggests that America should be allowed to morph into the Eastern European model of the Free Market -- you got rubles and znorki, we got 12-year-old girls and boys in dog collars. We accept major credit cards and PayPal.

By coincidence, the Vleeptron post preceeding this one was chapters 1-4 of "A Cool Million" by Nathanael West, which touches on many of these issues, from a very un-Ayn-Rand lefty Great Depression standpoint. I strongly recommend it to you, and if you find value or amusement (or porn) in it, Leave A Comment and I'll blog the next few chapters.

Thanks for dropping by! (What the hell were you Googling for that got you to this screwy blog???) I checked out your blogs, nice stuph, great photos!

23 October 2012

product placement / Drink Me / la vie des teen guys / la mort des teen chix / buy this stuff, ogle this hot babe

click maybe some images get bigger

UPDATE 4-U.S. probes deaths for links to Monster energy drink

Related News

    Monster shares fall after lawsuit regarding girl's death
    Mon, Oct 22 2012
    Special Report: Food, beverage industry pays for seat at health-policy table
    Fri, Oct 19 2012
    Meningitis deaths rise, FDA faces new questions
    Wed, Oct 17 2012
    PepsiCo keeps 2012 outlook despite quarterly beat
    Wed, Oct 17 2012
    Coca-Cola's revenue misses Wall Street expectations
    Tue, Oct 16 2012

Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:35pm EDT

* Monster being sued by family of 14-year old girl who died
* US says probing 5 deaths for links to Monster energy drink
* Monster says unaware of any fatality caused by its drinks
* Shares end down more than 14 percent (Adds market details, background)

by Martinne Geller and David Morgan

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, Oct 22 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Monday that it was investigating reports of five deaths that may be associated with Monster Beverage Corp's namesake energy drink, and the company's shares fell more than 14 percent.

Monster is also being sued by the family of a 14-year-old Maryland girl with a heart condition who died after drinking two cans of its Monster energy drink in a 24-hour period.

Monster, the top-selling energy drink in the United States, said it does not believe its energy drink was "in any way responsible" for the girl's death.

Still, the lawsuit and reports of other deaths could escalate calls from critics including two U.S. senators and the New York attorney general about the safety of the beverages and the way they are marketed.

The highly caffeinated drinks with aggressive-sounding names like Monster, Red Bull, Rockstar, AMP and Full Throttle are often associated with active or extreme sports, which makes them especially popular among young men.

They are the fastest-growing type of soft drink in the United States, with sales increasing 17 percent last year to about $9 billion, according to Beverage Digest.

With double-digit growth through the third quarter of 2012, Beverage Digest Editor John Sicher said he expects energy drink sales to exceed $10 billion this year. He declined to speculate about future growth.

"I don't think they are going to ban energy drinks," said Morningstar analyst Thomas Mullarkey. "The question arises whether or not it gives them more firepower for increased regulation."

That could mean more extensive labeling requirements or age restrictions, Mullarkey said. He added that the headlines also made Monster a less attractive takeover target.

"This really reduces the likelihood that Coke would want to acquire Monster," Mullarkey said. Sources told Reuters in April that the two companies had discussed a possible deal as recently as last year.

Coca-Cola Co already distributes a large portion of Monster's drinks in the United States and in some international markets. Monster has a similar distribution deal with Anheuser-Busch InBev.


The family of Anais Fournier sued Monster on Friday for failing to warn about the product's dangers.

The lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court in Riverside, said that after drinking two 24-ounce cans of Monster Energy on consecutive days Fournier went into cardiac arrest. She was placed in an induced coma and died six days later on Dec. 23, 2011.

The lawsuit, filed by her parents, said Fournier died from "cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity" that complicated an existing heart valve condition related to a disorder called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

The two drinks together contained 480 milligrams of caffeine, the equivalent of 14 12-ounce cans of Coca-Cola, according to the lawsuit.

A spokeswoman for the law firm representing the family did not return calls seeking comment.

"Monster is unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its drinks," the company said in a statement, adding that it intended to vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit.

On Monday, FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess said the agency had received reports of five deaths and one heart attack that may be associated with the Monster energy drink from 2009 through June this year.

The FDA said it investigates any report of injury or death that it receives. The notices to the FDA's adverse events database do not in themselves confirm a risk from a product.

Burgess said manufacturers are required to submit all reports on serious adverse events to the FDA within 15 days of receiving them, and that they are responsible for providing follow-up information that could shed light on their cause.

Last month, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin of Illinois and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut sent a letter to the FDA asking it to investigate the interaction of ingredients in energy drinks and the effect of the caffeine on children and adolescents. The letter followed a similar request from Durbin in April.

In July, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued subpoenas to three energy drink makers -- Monster, PepsiCo Inc and Living Essentials LLC -- seeking information on the companies' marketing and advertising practices. PepsiCo makes the AMP energy drink, and Living Essentials makes 5-Hour Energy.

The combination of caffeine and alcohol came into the spotlight two years ago when a handful of college students were hospitalized for alcohol poisoning after drinking alcoholic energy drinks like Four Loko. Four Loko's maker later removed the caffeine from the drinks.

Monster is the U.S. energy drink leader by volume with nearly 39 percent of the market, but Austria's Red Bull has the highest share by revenue due to its premium price. Drinks owned by Coke and Pepsi have smaller shares.

Monster drinks are sold in the United States and Europe, and the company is rolling them out to Ecuador, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau and Slovenia. It said in August that it was planning more international launches next year.

The company had net sales of $592.6 million in the second quarter, ended on June 30.

Monster shares closed down 14.23 percent at $45.73 on the Nasdaq, making for a 42 percent decline since mid-June when one analyst downgraded the stock to "underperform". The case is Crossland et al v. Monster Beverage Corp, California Superior Court, Riverside County, No. RIC1215551.

(Additional reporting by Dhanya Skariachan; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

- 30 -

19 October 2012

"A Cool Million, or, the Dismantling of Lemuel Pitkin" by Nathanael West / chapters 1 - 4 / Vleeptron-Dwingeloo treasury of lefty porn & depraved filth

Click image to enlarge plucky lad.

Vleeptron/Dwingeloo e-Archive of Lefty, 
Pinko & Red Diaper 
American Literature


Project Gutenberg Australia
a treasure-trove of literature

treasure found hidden 
with no evidence of ownership

Title: A Cool Million, or, The Dismantling of Lemuel Pitkin (1934)
Author: Nathanael West
* A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 0608941.txt
Language:  English
Date first posted: November 2006
Date most recently updated: November 2006

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"John D. Rockefeller would give a cool million to have a stomach like yours."



The home of Mrs. Sarah Pitkin, a widow well on in years, was situated on an eminence overlooking the Rat River, near the town of Ottsville in the state of Vermont. It was a humble dwelling much the worse for wear, yet
exceedingly dear to her and her only child, Lemuel.

While the house had not been painted for some time, owing to the straitened circumstances of the little family, it still had a great deal of charm. An antique collector, had one chanced to pass it by, would have been greatly interested in its architecture. Having been built about the time of General Stark's campaign against the British, its lines reflected the character of his army, in whose ranks several Pitkins had marched.

One late fall evening, Mrs. Pitkin was sitting quietly in her parlor, when a knock was heard on her humble door.

She kept no servant, and, as usual, answered the knock in person.

"Mr. Slemp!" she said, as she recognized in her caller the wealthy
village lawyer.

"Yes, Mrs. Pitkin, I come upon a little matter of business."

"Won't you come in?" said the widow, not forgetting her politeness in her

"I believe I will trespass on your hospitality for a brief space," said
the lawyer blandly. "Are you quite well?"

"Thank you, sir--quite so," said Mrs. Pitkin as she led the way into the
sitting room. "Take the rocking chair, Mr. Slemp," she said, pointing to the best chair which the simple room contained.

"You are very kind," said the lawyer, seating himself gingerly in the chair referred to.

"Where is your son, Lemuel?" continued the lawyer.

"He is in school. But it is nearly time for him to be home; he never loiters." And the mother's voice showed something of the pride she felt
in her boy.

"Still in school!" exclaimed Mr. Slemp. "Shouldn't he be helping to support you?"

"No," said the widow proudly. "I set great store by learning, as does my
son. But you came on business?"

"Ah, yes, Mrs. Pitkin. I fear that the business may be unpleasant for you, but you will remember, I am sure, that I act in this matter as agent for another."

"Unpleasant!" repeated Mrs. Pitkin apprehensively. "Yes. Mr. Joshua Bird,
Squire Bird, has placed in my hands for foreclosure the mortgage on your
house. That is, he will foreclose," he added hastily, "if you fail to raise the necessary monies in three months from now, when the obligation

"How can I hope to pay?" said the widow brokenly. "I thought that Squire
Bird would be glad to renew, as we pay him twelve per cent interest."

"I am sorry, Mrs. Pitkin, sincerely sorry, but he has decided not to
renew. He wants either his money or the property."

The lawyer took his hat and bowed politely, leaving the widow alone with
her tears.

(It might interest the reader to know that I was right in my surmise. An
interior decorator, on passing the house, had been greatly struck by its
appearance. He had seen Squire Bird about purchasing it, and that is why
that worthy had decided to foreclose on Mrs. Pitkin. The name of the cause of this tragedy was Asa Goldstein, his business, "Colonial Exteriors and Interiors." Mr. Goldstein planned to take the house apart and set it up again in the window of his Fifth Avenue shop.)

As Lawyer Slemp was leaving the humble dwelling, he met the widow's son, Lemuel, on the threshold. Through the open door, the boy caught a glimpse
of his mother in tears, and said to Mr. Slemp:

"What have you been saying to my mother to make her cry?"

"Stand aside, boy!" exclaimed the lawyer. He pushed Lem with such great
force that the poor lad fell off the porch steps into the cellar, the
door of which was unfortunately open. By the time Lem had extricated
himself, Mr. Slemp was well on his way down the road.

Our hero, although only seventeen years old, was a strong, spirited lad
and would have followed after the lawyer but for his mother. On hearing
her voice, he dropped the ax which he had snatched up and ran into the
house to comfort her.

The poor widow told her son all we have recounted and the two of them sat
plunged in gloom. No matter how they racked their brains, they could not
discover a way to keep the roof over their heads.

In desperation, Lem finally decided to go and see Mr. Nathan Whipple, who
was the town's most prominent citizen. Mr. Whipple had once been
President of the United States, and was known affectionately from Maine
to California as "Shagpoke" Whipple. After four successful years in
office, he had beaten his silk hat, so to speak, into a ploughshare and
had refused to run a second time, preferring to return to his natal
Ottsville and there become a simple citizen again. He spent all his time
between his den in the garage and the Rat River National Bank, of which
he was president.

Mr. Whipple had often shown his interest in Lem, and the lad felt that he
might be willing to help his mother save her home.


Shagpoke Whipple lived on the main street of Ottsville in a two-story
frame house with a narrow lawn in front and a garage that once had been a
chicken house in the rear. Both buildings had a solid, sober look, and,
indeed, no one was ever allowed to create disorder within their

The house served as a place of business as well as a residence; the first floor being devoted to the offices of the bank and the second functioning as the home of the ex-President. On the porch, next to the front door, was a large bronze plate that read:

Nathan "Shagpoke" Whipple

Some people might object to turning a part of their dwelling into a bank,
especially if, like Mr. Whipple, they had hobnobbed with crowned heads. But Shagpoke was not proud, and he was of the saving kind. He had always saved: from the first time he received a penny at the age of five, when he had triumphed over the delusive pleasures of an investment in candy, right down to the time he was elected President of the United States. One of his favorite adages was "Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs."

By this he meant that the pleasures of the body are like grandmothers, once they begin to suck eggs they never stop until all the eggs (purse) are dry.

As Lem turned up the path to Mr. Whipple's house, the sun rapidly sank
under the horizon. Every evening at this time, the ex-President lowered
the flag that flew over his garage and made a speech to as many of the town's citizenry as had stopped to watch the ceremony. During the first year after the great man's return from Washington, there used to collect quite a crowd, but this had dwindled until now, as our hero approached the house, there was but a lone Boy Scout watching the ceremony. This lad was not present of his own free will, alas, but had been sent by his father, who was desirous of obtaining a loan from the bank.

Lem removed his hat and waited in reverence for Mr. Whipple to finish his speech.

"All hail Old Glory! May you be the joy and pride of the American heart,
alike when your gorgeous folds shall wanton in the summer air and your
tattered fragments be dimly seen through clouds of war! May you ever wave in honor, hope and profit, in unsullied glory and patriotic fervor, on the dome of the Capitol, on the tented plain, on the wave-rocked topmast and on the roof of this garage!"

With these words, Shagpoke lowered the flag for which so many of our finest have bled and died, and tenderly gathered it up in his arms. The Boy Scout ran off hurriedly. Lem moved forward to greet the orator.

"I would like to have a few words with you, sir," said our hero.

"Certainly," replied Mr. Whipple with native kindness. "I am never too busy to discuss the problems of youth, for the youth of a nation is its only hope. Come into my den," he added.

The room into which Lem followed Mr. Whipple was situated in the back of
the garage. It was furnished with extreme simplicity; some boxes, a
cracker barrel, two brass spittoons, a hot stove and a picture of Lincoln
were all it held.

When our hero had seated himself on one of the boxes, Shagpoke perched on
the cracker barrel and put his congress gaiters near the hot stove. He lined up the distance to the nearest spittoon with a measuring gob of spittle and told the lad to begin.

As it will only delay my narrative and serve no good purpose to report how Lem told about his predicament, I will skip to his last sentence.

"And so," concluded our hero, "the only thing that can save my mother's
home is for your bank to take over Squire Bird's mortgage."

"I would not help you by lending you money, even if it were possible for
me to do so," was the surprising answer Mr. Whipple gave the boy.

"Why not, sir?" asked Lem, unable to hide his great disappointment.

"Because I believe it would be a mistake. You are too young to borrow."

"But what shall I do?" asked Lem in desperation. "There are still three
months left to you before they can sell your house," said Mr. Whipple.
"Don't be discouraged. This is the land of opportunity and the world is
an oyster." "But how am I to earn fifteen hundred dollars (for that was
the face value of the mortgage) here in such a short time?" asked Lem, who was puzzled by the ex-President's rather cryptic utterances.

"That is for you to discover, but I never said that you should remain in
Ottsville. Do as I did, when I was your age. Go out into the world and
win your way."

Lem considered this advice for a while. When he spoke again, it was with courage and determination.

"You are right, sir. I'll go off to seek my fortune." Our hero's eyes
shone with a light that bespoke a high heart. "Good," said Mr. Whipple, and he was genuinely glad. "As I said before, the world is an oyster that but waits for hands to open it. Bare hands are best, but have you any

"Something less than a dollar," said Lem sadly.

"It is very little, my young friend, but it might suffice, for you have
an honest face and that is more than gold. But I had thirty-five dollars
when I left home to make my way, and it would be nice if you had at least as much."

"Yes, it would be nice," agreed Lem.

"Have you any collateral?" asked Mr. Whipple.

"Collateral?" repeated Lem, whose business education was so limited that
he did not even know what the word meant.

"Security for a loan," said Mr. Whipple.

"No, sir, I'm afraid not."

"Your mother has a cow, I think?"

"Yes, Old Sue." The boy's face fell as he thought of parting with that faithful servitor.

"I believe that I could lend you twenty-five dollars on her, maybe
thirty," said Mr. Whipple.

"But she cost more than a hundred, and besides she supplies us with milk,
butter and cheese, the main part of our simple victuals."

"You do not understand," said Mr. Whipple patiently. "Your mother can
keep the cow until the note that she will sign comes due in sixty days
from now. This new obligation will be an added incentive to spur you on
to success."

"But what if I fail?" asked Lem. Not that he was losing heart, be it said, but he was young and wanted encouragement.

Mr. Whipple understood how the lad felt and made an effort to reassure

"America," he said with great seriousness, "is the land of opportunity. She takes care of the honest and industrious and never fails them as long as they are both. This is not a matter of opinion, it is one of faith. On the day that Americans stop believing it, on that day will America be lost.


"America is the land of opportunity. She takes care of the honest and industrious and never fails them as long as they are both. This is not a matter of opinion, it is one of faith. On the day that Americans stop believing it, on that day will America be lost."

"Let me warn you that you will find in the world a certain few scoffers
who will laugh at you and attempt to do you injury. They will tell you
that John D. Rockefeller was a thief and that Henry Ford and other great
men are also thieves. Do not believe them. The story of Rockefeller and
of Ford is the story of every great American, and you should skive to
make it your story. Like them, you were born poor and on a farm. Like
them, by honesty and industry, you cannot fail to succeed."

It is needless to say that the words of the ex-President encouraged our
young hero just as similar ones have heartened the youth of this country
ever since it was freed from the irksome British yoke. He vowed then and there to go and do as Rockefeller and Ford had done.

Mr. Whipple drew up some papers for the lad's mother to sign and ushered
him out of the den. When he had gone, the great man turned to the picture
of Lincoln that hung on the wall and silently communed with it.


Our hero's way home led through a path that ran along the Rat River. As he passed a wooded stretch he cut a stout stick with a thick gnarled top. He was twirling this club, as a bandmaster does his baton, when he was startled by a young girl's shriek. Turning his head, he saw a terrified figure pursued by a fierce dog. A moment's glance showed him that it was Betty Prail, a girl with whom he was in love in a boyish way.

Betty recognized him at the same moment.

"Oh, save me, Mr. Pitkin!" she exclaimed, clasping her hands.

"I will," said Lem resolutely.

Armed with the stick he had most fortunately cut, he rushed between the
girl and her pursuer and brought the knob down with full force on the
dog's back. The attention of the furious animal--a large bulldog--was
diverted to his assailant, and with a fierce howl he rushed upon Lem. But
our hero was wary and expected the attack. He jumped to one side and
brought the stick down with great force on the dog's head. The animal
fell, partly stunned, his quivering tongue protruding from his mouth.

"It won't do to leave him so," thought Lem; "when he revives he'll be as
dangerous as ever."

He dealt the prostrate brute two more blows which settled its fate. The furious animal would do no more harm.

"Oh, thank you, Mr. Pitkin!" exclaimed Betty, a trace of color returning to her cheeks. "I was terribly frightened." "I don't wonder," said Lem. "The brute was certainly ugly."

"How brave you are!" the young lady said in admiration.

"It doesn't take much courage to hit a dog on the head with a stick," said Lem modestly.

"Many boys would have run," she said.

"What, and left you unprotected?" Lem was indignant. "None but a coward would have done that."

"Tom Baxter was walking with me, and he ran away."

"Did he see the dog chasing you?"


"And what did he do?"

"He jumped over a stone wall."

"All I can say is that that isn't my style," said Lem. "Do you see how the dog froths at the mouth? I believe he's mad."

"How fearful!" exclaimed Betty with a shudder. "Did you suspect that before?"

"Yes, when I first saw him."

"And yet you dared to meet him?"

"It was safer than to run," said Lem, making little of the incident. "I
wonder whose dog it was?"

"I'll tell you," said a brutal voice.

Turning his head, Lem beheld a stout fellow about three years older than
himself, with a face in which the animal seemed to predominate. It was
none other than Tom Baxter, the town bully.

"What have you been doing to my dog?" demanded Baxter with a snarl.

Addressed in this tone, Lem thought it unnecessary to throw away politeness on such a brutal customer. "Killing him," he answered shortly.

"What business have you killing my dog?" demanded the bully with much

"It was your business to keep the brute locked up, where he wouldn't do
any harm," said Lem. "Besides, you saw him attack Miss Frail. Why didn't you interfere?"

"I'll flog you within an inch of your life," said Baxter with an oath.

"You'd better not try it," said Lem coolly. "I suppose you think I ought
to have let the dog bite Miss Frail." 

"He wouldn't have bitten her."

"He would too. He was chasing her with that intention." 

"It was only in sport."

"I suppose he was frothing at the mouth only in sport," said Lem. "The
dog was mad. You ought to thank me for killing him because he might have bitten you."

"That don't go down," said Baxter coarsely. "It's much too thin."

"It's true," said Betty Frail, speaking for the first time.

"Of course you'll stand up for him," said the butcher boy (for that was
Baxter's business ), "but that's neither here nor there. I paid five
dollars for that dog, and if he don't pay me what I gave, I'll mash him."

"I shall do nothing of the sort," said Lem quietly. "A dog like that ought to be killed, and no one has any right to let him run loose, risking the lives of innocent people. The next time you get five dollars you ought to invest it better."

"Then you won't pay me the money?" cried the bully in a passion. "I'll
break your head."

"Come on," said Lem, "I've got something to say about that," and he
squared off scientifically.

"Oh, don't fight him, Mr. Pitkin," said Betty, very much distressed. "He
is much stronger than you."

"He'll find that out soon enough, I'm thinking," growled Lem's opponent.

That Tom Baxter was not only larger but stronger than our hero was no
doubt true. On the other hand he did not know how to use his strength. It
was merely undisciplined brute force. If he could have got Lem around the
waist the latter would have been at his mercy, but our hero knew that
well enough and didn't choose to allow it. He was a pretty fair boxer, and stood on his defense, calm and wary.

When Baxter rushed in, thinking to seize his smaller opponent, he was
greeted by two rapid blows in the face, one of which struck him on the
nose, the other in the eye, the effect of both being to make his head spin.

"I'll mash you for that," he yelled in a frenzy of rage, but as he rushed in again he never thought to guard his face. The result was a couple of more blows, the other eye and his mouth being assailed this time.

Baxter was astonished. He had expected to "chaw up" Lem at the first onset. Instead of that, there stood Lem cool and unhurt, while he could feel that his nose and mouth were bleeding and both his eyes were rapidly closing.

He stopped short and regarded Lem as well as he could through his injured
optics, then surprised our hero by smiling. "Well," he said, shaking his
head sheepishly, "you're the better man. I'm a rough customer, I expect,
but I know when I'm bested. There's my hand to show that I don't bear malice."

Lem gave his hand in return without fear that there might be craft in the
bully's offer of friendship. The former was a fair-dealing lad himself
and he thought that everyone was the same. However, no sooner did Baxter
have a hold of his hand than he jerked the poor _boy into his embrace and
squeezed him insensible.

Betty screamed and fainted, so great was her anxiety for Lem. Hearing her
scream, Baxter dropped his victim to the ground and walked to where the young lady lay in a dead faint. He stood over her for a few minutes admiring her beauty. His little pig-like eyes shone with bestiality.


It is with reluctance that I leave Miss Prail in the lecherous embrace of
Tom Baxter to begin a new chapter, but I cannot with propriety continue my narrative beyond the point at which the bully undressed that unfortunate lady.

However, as Miss Prail is the heroine of this romance, I would like to use this opportunity to acquaint you with a little of her past history.

On her twelfth birthday, Betty became an orphan with the simultaneous death of her two parents in a fire which also destroyed what 'little property might have been left her. In this fire, or rather at it, she also lost something which, like her parents, could never be replaced.

The Prail farm was situated some three miles from Ottsville on a rough dirt road, and the amateur fire company, to whose ministrations all the fires in the district were left, was not very enthusiastic about dragging their apparatus to it. To tell the truth, the Ottsville Fire Company consisted of a set of young men who were more interested in dirty stories, checkers and applejack than they were in fire fighting. When the news of the catastrophe arrived at the fire house, the volunteer firemen were all inebriated, and their chief, Bill Baxter (father to the man in whose arms we left our heroine), was dead drunk.

After many delays, the fire company finally arrived at the Prail farm,
but instead of trying to quench the flames they immediately set to work
and looted the place.

Betty, although only twelve years old at the time, was a well-formed little girl with the soft, voluptuous lines of a beautiful woman. Dressed only in a cotton nightgown, she was wandering among the firemen begging them to save her parents, when Bill Baxter noticed her budding form and enticed her into the woodshed.

In the morning, she was found lying naked on the ground by some neighbors
and taken into their house. She had a bad cold, but remembered nothing of
what Bill Baxter had done to her. She mourned only the loss of her parents.

After a small collection had been taken up by the minister to purchase an outfit, she was sent to the county orphan asylum. There she remained until her fourteenth year, when she was put out as a maid of all work to
the Slemps, a prominent family of Ottsville, the head of which, Lawyer
Slemp, we already know.

As one can well imagine, all was not beer and skittles in this household
for the poor orphan. If she had been less beautiful, perhaps things would
have gone better for her. As it was, however, Lawyer Slemp had two ugly
daughters and a shrewish wife who were very jealous of their beautiful servant. They saw to it that she was badly dressed and that she wore her hair only in the ugliest possible manner. Yet despite these things, and
although she had to wear men's shoes and coarse cotton stockings, our
heroine was a great deal more attractive than the other women of the

Lawyer Slemp was a deacon in the church and a very stern man. Still, one would think that as a male he would have less against the poor orphan than his women folks. But, unfortunately, it did not work out this way.

Mr. Slemp beat Betty regularly and enthusiastically. He had started these
beatings when she first came from the asylum as a little girl, and did not stop them when she became a splendid woman. He beat her twice a week on her bare behind with his bare hand.

It is a hard thing to say about a deacon, but Lawyer Slemp got little
exercise and he seemed to take a great deal of pleasure in these bi-weekly workouts. As for Betty, she soon became inured to his blows and did not mind them as much as the subtler tortures inflicted on her by Mrs. Slemp and her daughters. Besides, Lawyer Slemp, although he was exceedingly penurious, always gave her a quarter when he had finished beating her.

It was with this weekly fifty cents that Betty hoped to effect her escape
from Ottsville. She had already obtained part of an outfit, and was on
her way home from town with the first store hat she had ever owned when
she met Tom Baxter and his dog.

The result of this unfortunate encounter we already know.

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Want Romney? Blow me.

18 October 2012

ban Depleted Uranium, or go scream at the nice people who want to ban Depleted Uranium

post from my pals and paleusses, the world's basement and garage nuclear hobbyists, on the yahoogroup Ionizing Radiation Affacianadi

this poster has made his choice, Depleted Uranium military weapons are Safe As Milk


If any of you are in NY City area, ICBUW has their annual lie about depleted uranium recruitment event and I would love to have people in the audience who know something about the subject and might pose a good question or two -- I can not find a link so here is their e-mail announcement:


The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) will present reports on military guidelines on DU weapons reductions, carcinogenic and genotoxin effects, and how the UK has deflected public opinion and parliamentary opposition to the use of DU featuring Doug Weir of ICBUW, Wim Zwijnenburg of IKV Pax Christi [the Peace of Christ], Dr. Katsumi Furitsu and Gretel Munroe of ICBUW.

This event is co-sponsored by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Mennonite Central Committee-UN, Pax Christi, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Veterans for Peace.

For more information go to:

Location: 777 First Avenue and 44th Street, 10th Floor of Church Center, NYC

Time: 6PM-9PM [USA East Coast time]

Date: Thursday 18 October 2012

16 October 2012

... and the ship, the black freighter, with 50 cannons, glides into the harbor, and on board is ... ME!

Click on Benedict Spinoza Cat to enlarge.

Benny, the household's Senior Cat, contracted toxoplasmosis, and by the time the vet determined how serious it was, Benny'd gone blind in one eye, and it had to be removed by a veterinary opthalmologist. However, the surgery restored Benny to perfect health -- with the missing eye sutured shut. So now we call him Pirate Benny, and he looks rather rakish and rough and tough. 

The loss of an eye hasn't at all hurt his excellent vermin/varmint hunting skills. Of our five cats, Benny's by far the best hunter, and nearly every day brings us the corpse of something that was incautious enough to get too close.

The very expert vet opthalmologist likes to decorate her office with photos of her former patients. She's originally from Germany, so I titled the photo Seeräuberbenny, a little homage to the famous Brecht-Weill song from Driegroschenoper, Seeräuberjenny, or Pirate Jenny (first sung by Weill's wife Lotte Lenya).

15 October 2012

Vleeptron gives you the 411 on booty shorts / these are booty shorts / look closely so you will know booty shorts when you see them

Click image to enlarge. Or not. Whatever.


Dear Abby | Abigail Van Buren

Tuesday 9 October 2012

oh no my bff 
wore booty shorts 
make it stop make it stop

DEAR ABBY: My best friend and I do everything together and I love her, so when she showed up at the gym in "booty shorts," I didn't say a word, even though they don't flatter her one bit. Heck, there's a mirror on every wall, so she must have liked what she saw, and it's none of my business.

When she wore them to a school sporting event, my husband accused me of being a "bad friend" for not telling her that her rear view was getting the wrong kind of attention. Some of the other parents in the bleachers were snickering.

I guess if the situation were reversed, I'd want my best friend to give me a hint, but I'm not exactly sure how to do it. Am I wrong to just keep my mouth shut and mind my own business?

- Anonymous in a Small Town

DEAR ANONYMOUS: Allow me to provide a couple of hints. First, tell your friend when you are alone and can't be overheard, which will spare her unnecessary embarrassment. Second, ask, "When you bought those shorts, did you get a look at yourself from the back?" If she says no, provide her with a mirror so she can look over her shoulder at herself. Then explain that at the school event, some of the other parents were staring, and not too kindly.

You will be doing her a favor to speak up. That is what friendship is all about. And if she's smart, she'll thank you.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069, and include your name, area code and telephone number. Universal Press Syndicate

14 October 2012

shoutout to jamie jordan & Holiday Heart

yes click image to enlarge

En marge - un poème de Richard Brautigan

En voiture sur l'autoroute 
entre Tokyo et Osaka

Je regarde par la vitre
à 100 kilomètres à l’heure
      (62 miles)
et j’aperçois entre les rizières
un homme à bicyclette, qui roule
avec d’infinies précautions sur un
      étroit sentier.
En quelques secondes, le voilà disparu.
Il ne reste plus que son souvenir, maintenant.
Il vient d’être transformé
en impression à l’encre
d’un souvenir à 100 kilomètres à l’heure.

Extrait de Journal japonais, Richard Brautigan, L’incertain 1992, pour la traduction française.

scientists bail from Texas taxpayer cancer research institute

The Associated Press (USA newswire)
Saturday 13 October 2012

7 more cancer scientists
resign from Texas institute
over research grant controversy

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- At least 7 more scientists have resigned in protest from Texas’ embattled U$3,000,000,000 cancer-fighting program, claiming that the agency in charge of it is charting a “politically driven” path that puts commercial interests before science.

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, created with the backing of Gov. Rick Perry and the bicyclist Lance Armstrong, a cancer survivor, has awarded nearly U$700,000,000 in grants since 2009; only the [USA federal] National Institutes of Health offers a bigger pot of cancer-research money.

Scrutiny of how the state agency selects projects has intensified since May, when its chief scientific officer, Dr. Alfred G. Gilman, a Nobel laureate, resigned in protest after it approved a U$20,000,000 commercialization project without scientific review.

Phillip A. Sharp, another Nobel laureate, was among 7 scientists who resigned from the institute last week, writing in his resignation letter that the agency’s decisions have carried a “suspicion of favoritism” in how the state is handing out taxpayer dollars.

Brian Dynlacht, another scientist who is leaving, warned that the agency was headed down a path of systematic abuses.

“You may find that it was not worth subverting the entire scientific enterprise -- and my understanding was that the intended goal of C.P.R.I.T. was to fund the best cancer research in Texas -- on account of this ostensibly new, politically driven, commercialization-based mission,” Dr. Dynlacht wrote in his letter.

Commercialization projects focus on turning research into drugs or other products that can be sold rather than financing research itself.

Dr. Sharp is a professor at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, while Dr. Dynlacht is at the New York University School of Medicine.

In a statement, the executive director of the Texas institute, Bill Gimson, called the accusations false and misinformed.

The institute was created though a bond measure approved by Texas voters in 2007. Scientists across the country help review proposals and choose projects to finance. 

- 30 -

12 October 2012

Filth! Smut! Porn! in the aisle next to the frozen Brussels sprouts!

uhhhh it was like on sale in my face in the magazine rack at the Stop & Shop supermarket. Somebody posts that it's also for sale at Walmart.

10 October 2012

Postalö Vleeptron 1st Day Issue: The Amtrak Trip to Bountiful (less crappy V.22) / okay, not Bountiful, Silver Spring Maryland / the Downeaster will add 2 more stops north of Portland! L.L. Beantown and Bowdoin!

Click stamp to enlarge.

Somewhere in the archives of the Yahoogroup Artistamp is a long essay called The Refrigeratorkunst Manifesto ... in a mere 40 paragraphs, I prove that the longer the artist's Manifesto, the crappier the art.

Amtrak's Downeaster goes from North Station, Boston to Portland, Maine -- and now, Amtrak promises, in a year or two it will continue north to Freeport and finally to Brunswick, where the amazing, spectacular (and usually frozen) Bowdoin College is. Also Big Shipyards in Brunswick. It's quite the interesting and historic Maine Atlantic Coast town.

If you like LL Bean clothes, superexpensive nylon-barrel shotguns, fly-fishing gear, tents, binoculars, camping equipment, you can show up at the store in Freeport at ANY HOUR, 24/7 (I think the store is closed on Christmas Day), and gear up for your Maine wilderness expedition. Oh yeah, they got canoes and kayaks too. Many other cool stores and great seafood restaurants in Freeport.

Anyway this is my Refrigerator Art of our recent Amtrak trip to visit my brother Maury in Silver Spring, Maryland. A new improved version, with a compass rose so you can see which way is North.

The most remarkable thing about this stamp is everything it absolutely refuses to say or show or reveal about this trip. This stamp is a Monument to Denial. It uses Amtrak as concealment and misdirection, like the smoke and flame flash and scantily-clad pretty girl assistant which a stage magician uses so you don't see The Important Stuff.

Everybody's always bad-mouthing Denial, saying all kinds of negative shit about it, saying Denial Is Bad For You.

Would you prefer to take Life straight? Totally devoid of Denial?

Shit, that would bigtime suck the hairy wazoo. I would call that: Hell.

The date of our southbound train trip was just coincidentally 9/11, but when we pondered and contemplated the coincidence, we decided there was not likely to be a safer day on which to voyage the USA Northeast Corridor than National Terrorism Paranoia Anniversary Day

Though they were reasonably light on the SWAT gear and assault weapons, the New Haven Connecticut train station and platforms were very heavy with squads of all sorts of paramilitary uniformed police from various federal agencies. (Amtrak has its own police force.) 

Lots of bomb-sniffing (and drug-sniffing) dogs -- which, by the way, don't understand English, they're all imports trained in Mitteleuropa, and respond exclusively to German word commands.

One thing this Refrigeratorkunst does not show -- my Negative Space -- is that I do not do Airports and Big Commercial Airliners anymore if I can help it. To travel to another continent or the Caribbean if I must (although don't overlook the Old School way: ships!). But I ain't doing airports or big commercial airliners no more. 

For all Amtrak's faults, to ride its passenger trains, nobody sticks his or her hands all over my genitalia, nobody makes me take my shoes off, nobody irradiates me with ionizing radiation, there's no security TV screen that shows Travellin' Bob totally nude to a bunch of uniformed giggling strangers.

Quantum optics researchers win Physics Nobel / stem cell researchers win Medicine Nobel

BBC News (UK)
Tuesday 9 October 2012

Physics Nobel goes to
Serge Haroche & David Wineland

This year's Nobel prize in physics has been awarded to two researchers for their work with light and matter at the most fundamental level.

Serge Haroche of France and David Wineland of the US will share the prize, worth 8,000,000  Swedish kronor (= £750,000 = U$1,200,000).

Their "quantum optics" work deals with single photons and ions, the basic units of light and matter.

It could lead to advanced modes of communication and computation.

The Nobel citation said the award was for "ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems."

Light and matter, when the minuscule scales of single particles are reached, behave in surprising ways in a part of physics known as quantum mechanics.

Working with light and matter on this level would have been unthinkable before the pair developed solutions to pick, manipulate and measure photons and ions individually, allowing an insight into a microscopic world that was once just the province of scientific theory.


“I was lucky -- I was in the street and passing near a bench, so I was able to sit down immediately”

-- Serge Haroche



Their work has implications for light-based clocks far more precise than the atomic clocks at the heart of the world's business systems, and quantum computing, which may - or may not - revolutionise desktop computing as we know it.

But for physicists, the import of the pair's techniques is outlined in a layman's summary on the Nobel site: they preserve the delicate quantum mechanical states of the photons and ions - states that theorists had for decades hoped to measure in the laboratory, putting the ideas of quantum mechanics on a solid experimental footing.

Those include the slippery quantum mechanical ideas of "entanglement" - the seemingly ethereal connection between two distant particles that underpins much work on the "uncrackable codes" of quantum cryptography - and of "decoherence," in which the quantum nature of a particle slowly slips away through its interactions with other matter.

The prize is the second in quantum optics in recent years; the theory behind decoherence formed part of 2005's Nobel physics prize citation.


Prof Haroche was reached by phone from the press conference. He had been told he had won just 20 minutes before telling reporters: "I was lucky - I was in the street and passing near a bench, so I was able to sit down immediately.

Ion trap

Dr Wineland's work uses an "ion trap" in which charged particles are tested using light

"I was walking with my wife going back home and when I saw the... Swedish code, I realised it was real and it's, you know, really overwhelming."

Prof Sir Peter Knight of the UK's Institute of Physics, said: "Haroche and Wineland have made tremendous advances in our understanding of quantum entanglement, with beautiful experiments to show how atomic systems can be manipulated to exhibit the most extraordinary coherence properties."

The Nobel prizes have been given out annually since 1901, covering the fields of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics.

Speculation had been rife, in light of the discovery of the Higgs boson announced in July, that Peter Higgs or his colleagues may have been in the running for the prize, but historically the prizes tend to honour discoveries after a period of years.

The first-ever Nobel prize in physics was awarded to Wilhelm Roentgen of Germany for his discovery of X-rays, and with this year's winners the total number of recipients has reached 194.

On Monday, the 2012 prize for medicine or physiology was awarded to John Gurdon from the UK and Shinya Yamanaka from Japan for changing adult cells into stem cells, which can become any other type of cell in the body.

This year's chemistry prize will be announced on Wednesday, with the literature and peace prizes to be awarded later in the week.

- 30 -

09 October 2012

CRUMMY OLD WINE DEPT: Get Rich Quick Scheme No, 1: Write a winning Computer Go program, win U$1,000,000 / from now extinct website "Elmer Elevator's Discount Prep" (via Wayback)

Get-Rich-Quick $cheme$!
"So I got this postcard from my friend and
        it said Let's go to Paris and be writers so
        we won't have to work."
                                                      -- William Faulkner
What does a fellow or girl do who's lazy and self-indulgent and doesn't like to work for a living? The chief trouble with working is Bosses and Alarm Clocks. I don't like getting up early and suddenly in the morning, and I really dislike Bosses.
By the way, did you know that the moment of the week when people have the most heart attacks is Monday morning? My medical advice to everyone is:  Stop Working for Bosses Immediately.
            "Jack's always talkin' about the Workin' Man. The Workin' Man
            wants this. The Workin' Man wants that. You wanna know what
            the Workin' Man wants?  I'll tell ya what the Workin' Man wants.
            He wants to stop workin'."
                                                                -- Eugene O'Neill (Jack Nicholson), "Reds"
Get-Rich-Quick Schemes are extremely important long before they ever make you rich. Daydreaming about the moment you dig up a buried pirate treasure and what you'll do with all the Loot is certainly one of life's great pleasures.
Of course you can't be silly or irresponsible about your get-rich-quick fantasy. It has to be a realistic fantasy; you can't just generically slobber and drool and mutter "Pieces of eight, pieces of eight" all day for years on end. You'll never get anywhere that way.
Here are two realistic get-rich-quick schemes, most of which you can pursue in the privacy of your home computer.
   £   $   ¥   ¢   £   $   ¥   ¢   £

Get-Rich-Quick $cheme No. 1
The Ing Prize
The ancient game Go comes from China and Japan. The rules are very simple, but playing well requires decades of fierce competitive play and intensive study. Most Westerners who play Go are chessplayers who were looking for a new challenge; most players familiar with both games believe Go is more difficult than chess.

Go game in progress. Black made the first move; thereafter Black and White alternately place a stone on one of the 19 x 19 intersections (or a player may pass). Go games typically generate aesthetically beautiful patterns of stones; some players say the beauty of the pattern is more important than winning. Players also take pleasure in the click sound a stone makes when it's placed on the board. 
In the past twenty years, computers have become superb chessplayers; many $100 boxes play at the Master level and beyond. The special-purpose chess machine Deep Blue, the souped-up child of a grad-school project, Deep Thought, recently defeated the world's best human player, Gary Kasparov. (He was a sore loser, but Deep Blue was a very gracious and sportsthinglike winner.)
During that same period, an enormous amount of work by a lot of very smart people has gone into trying to make computers play Go well.

The latest news -- see the results of the latest Fost Cup tournament below -- is that they're making progress, but still way behind the strength of human Go masters. (Currently there's a big debate on the Newsgroup between "Go programs are making great progress! Victory's just around the corner!" vs. "Hogwash. Go programs are still dopes compared to humans.")
Why this is nobody is quite sure. A lot of the lessons chess programmers learned ought to be applicable to computer Go -- but obviously they aren't.
And Go seems like such a simple game, much simpler than chess. There's only one kind of piece, the stone; and given any intersection (x,y), either there's a black stone there, or a white stone, or nothing at all. There are no dice or elements of chance. There are no hidden things; you always see exactly what your opponent sees, which is all there is to see. A computer ought to eat this kind of situation up with a spoon.
One constraint on your brilliant computer-Go program is Time ... your box not only has to figure out The Right Move, but has to do it within time limits that also apply to its human foe. As it is, one nickname for Go is rotten axe handle, from a legend about a woodsman who paused to watch a fascinating Go game, and when it was over, his brand new axe handle had rotted away. As a spectator sport, we are talking Paint Drying here.

For many years now, a Taiwanese businessman named Mr. Ing Chang-Ki  has offered
to the computer Go program which can defeat his designated Human Go Master.


 Mr. Ing Chang-Ki
died 27 August 1997
    at age 84.
But his Prize is still waiting to be won!
Danny Swarzman, of the San Francisco Goe Club (he keeps spelling it that way, which is fine) reports that the
97 World 
Computer Go Congress

was held in San Francisco on 21-23 November, and here's what happened after the programs had competed:
Rank  Program           Programmer                Nation
   1  Handtalk          Chen Zhixing              China
   2  Go4++             Michael Reiss             UK
   3  Go Intellect      Ken Chen                  USA
   4  Silver Igo        Naritatsu Yamamoto        Japan
                        (Silver Star Japan)
   5  Many Faces of Go  David Fotland             USA
   6  MODGO             Alfred & Walter Knoephle  Germany
   7  FunGo             Park Yong Goo             Korea
   8  Star of Poland    Janusz Kraszek            Poland
   9  Explorer          Martin Mueller            Austria
. 10  Super Ego         Bruce Wilcox              USA   .

Then "... Handtalk was matched against three human players. Handtalk was allowed to place 11 stones as a handicap. [A huge handicap! Nine stones is the most you get in a human-human game.] Handtalk defeated Lin Ting-Chao, a 13-year-old Taiwanese 2 Dan by three points and Jonathan Wang, an American 6 Dan by 21 points. Hwang Yi-Tsuu, an 11-year-old Taiwanese 4 Dan soundly defeated Handtalk."
Notice that Handtalk was also the winner of the Fost Cup competition in August!
Summing up: An 11-year-old boy prevented the smartest Go program in the world from winning a million bucks. Apparently your Go Monster Revenge Robot has to trash THREE human opponents in a row to establish that victory isn't a fluke.
So. There you are. Simple as that.

If you don't know how to program a computer ...

Well. I really don't know what to say. You have my sympathies.

Imagine spending $1000 or $2000 on a box and only being able to use one percent of its power and potential! Hahahahaha! You ought to be ashamed of yourself ... especially since you can learn to program in QBasic (which they threw in with your DOS/Windows machine for FREE!) with just one night's study!
But if you do know how to program, Get to Work on a Go Program Now!!!

To sample the flavor of the Web community that's trying to write stronger, faster, smarter Go programs and win the million bucks, you might want to subscribe to
the Computer Go Newsgroup

(and I guess type SUBSCRIBE in the subject and body; that ought to do it. They've recently moved from Australia to France.) If you expect to find a lot of people perpetually drooling over what they plan to do with Mr. Ing's Million Bucks, you'll be disappointed; these people are focused big-time! Most of the time I haven't the foggiest notion what they're talking about. (The Greeks, who naturally don't say "It's all Greek to me!" say instead: "It's all Chinese to me!")
But you can sort of intuit through the GeekSpeak that a frighteningly high percentage of these Computer Go correspondents are real smart! Reading their correspondence as they toss ethereal ideas back and forth just sorta makes a feller proud to belong to the same species. (At least I think I belong to the same species.)
Now you're going to need a Go board and a set of stones. You can get 'em cheap. Or expensive. Top-of-the-line Go boards are carved from a single tree grown specially for the purpose, and can cost $50,000. But you can get a more modest board and stones for about $65.

 As for books, if you start getting good at Go, eventually there's a problem for English-speakers: About 95 percent of Go literature is written in Asian languages. A math professor friend of mine solved this by living with a Japanese Go master for a year; he now also teaches Japanese. But there are plenty of English Go books to get you beyond beginner.
The Japanese Go Master's Tale

The Japanese Go Master lived with his wife and maybe a kid or two in your basic Japanese apartment/flat, which is like your basic USA linen closet -- essentially one room for eating, sleeping, dancing, playing Go, etc. (Married Japanese men are strongly encouraged to leave home after dinner so they won't be underfoot during the dining-dormitory transition, so the entire husband population goes to Pachinko pinball parlors for two or three evening hours.)
One evening my pal and the Master are chatting, and the Master says, "My wife would really love a small house in the suburbs. But they are so expensive, I cannot afford it." Then he looks at his Go board, which is worth about $50,000. "Now and then I think about maybe selling this board ... naaaaah!"
"Well," my pal explained to me, "marriage is a little different in Japan." 

Here are some Computer Go buzzwords you should become familiar with:
  ¡   trees (not the wooden ones, the Platonic Objects)
       ®   alpha-beta
       ®   life and death, joseki
       ¡   minimax
       ®  hashing codes
       ¡   the Game of Life

Incidentally, there's a theory about computer chess that the best programmers tend to be fairly lousy players -- the idea being that after years of humiliating evidence (often provided by 13-year-old boys with thick glasses and pimples) that you're always going to be a hopeless potzer, something snaps, and you seek Revenge by constructing a Frankenstein Monster Chess Robot that will crush and annihilate all those who made you feel like such a schmuck all those years. I suspect the same is true for computer Go.

I also suspect spending years to become a very fine Go player might even be counterproductive to try for the Ing Prize. Becoming a human Go master is an intellectual task that requires no knowledge of computers. Writing an ass-kicking computer Go program is an entirely different task, and it's quite possible the less you know about the advanced strategic aspects of Go, the better, because the idea is to make the computer do all the fancy thinking.
The 3rd International
  Fost Cup
... the annual slugfest between the world's best computer Go programs, was held in Nagoya Japan on 27-28 August 1997. (Computer Go isn't an isolated phenomenon; the tournament was part of an important world conference on artificial intelligence.)
Many of the top programs and their creators are old friends to Computer Go Newsgroup subscribers. They may not be posting every one of their trade secrets and magic tricks, but many of them are very generous with their highly interesting and obviously successful ideas.

Besides the Ing Prize, there's a Great Deal of Money to be made (mostly in Asia) by writing a strong Go program that can be sold in a handheld machine or as a home computer program -- just like home chess programs and machines.

    So far income from sales in Japan has been much higher
    than the [tournament] prizes. I have one 2nd, and a    couple of 3rd's in the world.
    But software is a great get-rich scheme. I sent a
    Japanese company my source code on a floppy, they did
    all the work of making a Japanese version and selling
    it, and they send me royalty checks.
    It's like money for nothing.
right right, money for nothing, this is a real underachiever talking, a real hammock & Budweiser sorta guy

    I use the money to buy bigger, faster, computers
    (I have 5 now), and to pay for travel, but not to
    anyplace very interesting yet.

                     -- David Fotland
                        author of "Many Faces of Go"

The new world champ, Chen ZhiXing's Handtalk, walked away from Nagoya with about U$16,500, which is not chopped liver. After beating all its international silicon foes, Handtalk then played an exhibition game against a Human Girl with a 2-kyu (very strong handicap -- lower the number, stronger the player), and squeaked out a one-point win. (The girl had little or no experience playing Go via keyboard, mouse and screen; but then the computer had little or no experience playing little girls.)

The judges were impressed with the strength of Handtalk's game and certified Handtalk as 3-kyu -- also not chopped liver, and money in the bank for Handtalk's commercial future. Next year's Fost Cup will be held in Tokyo at the end of August.

 rank  program          programmer          nation
    1  Handtalk         Chen ZhiXing        China
    2  Go Intellect     Ken Chen            USA
    3  Go 4++           Michael Reiss       England
    4  Star of Poland   Janusz Kraszek      Poland
    5  Silver Igo       Naritatsu Yamamoto  Japan
    6  Gogol            Tristan Cazenave    France
    7  Biwako           Masahiro Tanaka     Japan
    8  Aya              Hiroshi Yamashita   Japan
    9  Jimmy            Shi-Jim Yan         Taiwan
   10  Fun Go           Park Yong-Goo       Korea
   11  Stone            Kuo-Yuan Kao        USA

CORRECTION! Fotland's Many Faces finished 11th!
(I just don't know how that changes the other standings.)

.  12  Many Faces of Go    David Fotland     USA   .

Well? What are you waiting for? Start Programming!

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    As I walk along the Bois de Boulogne
    With an independent air
    You can see the ladies stare --
    "He must be a millionaire!"
    You can see them sigh and wink an eye
    And to wish that they could die
    For The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carrrrrrrlo!
Merci to Didier K., an actual French guy, for correcting my spelling of Bois de Boulogne.

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