Open Thread

Nothing caught my eye this morning, and there’s nothing pressing out from within my somewhat crowded mind… so, it’s your turn! Somebody say something interesting (or not) about something!


23 Responses

  1. Hearing Light –

    Scientists at Northwestern University prove that they can improve the function of cochlear implants (devices that directly stimulate neurons in the inner ear, enabling the deaf to hear) by replacing the traditional electrodes with lasers.

    Reportedly, laser-cochlear implants should be just as good if not better than regular hearing. Current electrode-cochlear implants are limited in resolution.

    Someday soon, maybe even right now, we will have access to surgeries to improve our bodies and minds. Elective surgery to hear better, see better, heck maybe even breathe underwater.

    I want to be bionic.

  2. I know most of you are all uber intelligent and like to discuss important things, I’m not as intelligent…so… Last night my boyfriend and I had a knock-down, drag-out fight about the “history” of Vampires and the legacy of Anne Rice and how her work is “always” present in any story that came after 1980. Any thoughts on this?

    (…and yes, a real knock-down, drag-out fight that left one of us going to bed in tears and the other one contemplating our incapatibility as a couple. It was worse than the Battle of Gwen Stefani’s Solo Album Target Market)

  3. UM… really?! wow… on the first subject i have no opinion (or knowledge) whatsoever… on the second, i don’t either… hmmmm…. am i woefully under-educated…

  4. Yeiser, awesome read. i’m so amazed at the in-flux of technology in the past few weeks. a girl living months without a heart, a woman getting a new throat made from stem-cells, and the possiblity of cloning wooly mammoths! it’s truely an amazing time to be watching innovative science.

    Megan, you know this is my wheel-house. Rice sucks…vampires are not meant to be sensitive. i’ve read the orginal ‘interview’ and i think the 3rd novel (queen of the damned i think) way back when i was maybe 16. she created the story and characters to deal with the death of her daughter which is fine but anything after the first are glorified romance novels that have only influenced the innane Twilight series at best. i don’t know if you were on the side to defend Rice or not., but i’d like to know examples of following creativity influenced by this series.

    Vampires are not nice and Zombies do not run! (although i do enjoy the remake of Dawn of the Dead very much)

  5. ooooo…. keep talking, i am finding this intriguing… really…

  6. and welcome back jesse!

  7. thanks, nice to be back….

    okay, just keeping it going. Dracula and classic vampires in general are symbols of human’s love/hate, lust/fear relationship with death…but they are also a metphor for human’s beliefs in superstitions and they power they have over us. when you take away the superstitions from the vampire, you take away a big part. Rice’s vampires aren’t repelled by crusifixes or garlic or the like. that is what makes them so cool, that if we were involved in conflict with such beings, they have weaknesses we can exploit and conquer them with. that’s the dichotomy….without that, the vampire is simply a metaphor for death which is all powerful and boring (like Superman)

    now, for zomblies…..Night of the Living Dead is also a metaphor for death and it’s power over us mortals, but it’s the social commentary that ensues when they are constantly out there, creeping towards you. how we react in such a situation is the interesting part. to make zombies fast or have powers takes away the drama from our impending doom.

    anyone like to agree or disagree?

  8. I’m not an officiando of Ann Rice as Eric claims to be but when he stated that all stories now, never any examples for support, are based on her “physics” of vampires. Ann Rice’s make and model of vampire show up time and again in every created here after, no need for specific examples. Now, I’m a scientist so I don’t agree with absolutes and I love me some supporting facts. All of this talk of always, all, never, every, only, etc…get my heart rate up. At the very least see a different origin from Braham Stoker’s Dracula versus Dracula 2000’s Judas Iscariot-Dracula.

    However, if anyone has been watching True Blood an HBO series based on Charlaine Harris’s series of Sookie Stackhouse novels a new and interesting thing has happened. These books are no great literary gems but for the first times Vampires have been able to “come out of the coffin” and are now “mainstreaming” in a world that lives in fear and hatred of them. So it’s interesting to watch as these characters of all degrees of acceptance and ignorance deal with living next door to a Vampire. While it’s humorous to hear one claim “I’m not willing to hate a whole race of people based on the acts of a few bad ones” it’s just as scary to hear others claim “They shouldn’t be allowed to live among us because they are just not like us”.

    What’s that called? Satire?

  9. Jesse I would love to agree or disagree, but I dont think I can.

    i did get a chuckle out of them cloning wooly mammoths, bummer for them with that pesky global warming thing.

  10. nothing deep or revalatory to contribute on my end. Seems I’ve avoided catching the vampire bug all along the way. Never ‘ve even read any Ann Rice.

    But curious, [Jesse] what’d you all think of the zombie movie, 28 Days Later? [i haven’t seen the second one so I’m only talking the first]. I just thought it was a cool, unique concept for a zombie movie–a pandemic virus as the source of zombie-making.

    believe it or not, i’ve never even seen dawn of the dead. hmmm. maybe it’ll be tonight’s babysitting download 😉

  11. Megan, i haven’t seen True Blood yet but have heard many good things. i’m searching the internet for episodes i can watch since i don’t have HBO. from what i’ve heard and what you’ve described it sounds like the marriage of vampires into social commentary. i wouldn’t say this is the first time vampires are out of the coffin, the Lost Boys movie glorified being a vampire effectively. even though the vampires in that movie weren’t on the surface, it was probably the first mainstream movie to glorify being a vampire.

    Miriam, i loved 28 Days Later and the sequel 28 Weeks Later…..but technically these weren’t zombie films. a zombie (according to George Romero’s universe) is someone who is recently deceased and then returns to life. the 28 Days Later vicitims were the “infected”. If you’ve never seen Night of the Living Dead or any of it’s sequels, i would definitely recommend!

  12. Random and shallow responses:

    1) I don’t want to be bionic. My tech stuff keeps breaking down. The possibility for improving performance is negated, in my mind, by the expense of the service contract, the inevitable upgrades which won’t place nice with my hardware, the extra warranties I’d be pressured to buy, and the chances I’d be stuck on a phone with someone with an impenetrable Asian accent who calls himself “Mike,” trying to tell me where to find the ‘reset’ button.

    2) My daughter just dyed her hair blue. I have mixed feelings about this; she is a beautiful girl with big eyes so she kind of looks like a cross between an anime and Marge Simpson doing that hair ad. I think I liked it better when she had the platinum hair with fuschia streaks.

    3) Anne Rice did an awesome makeover on vampires. Previously they were stuck in the thirties, gloating in white tie, like the Monopoly millionaire, seeking women who were prone to pass out sporting Marcel waves and chiffony lingerie (presumably like the Monopoly millionaire’s wife). Nobody has vampires swanning around in white tie anymore, and that is because of Rice. Now they brood and wear jeans and leather jackets, though judging by the Twilight poster my kids just fought over, some of them seem to going for Goth — which is kind of a natural segue, I guess. Because I care deeply about wardrobe issues, I think this is important. OTOH my blue-haired teenage daughter is desperate to see ‘Twilight’ and wants me to read the series so that I understand how fabulous it is. I told her I am deeply prejudiced against the undead and do not want to watch them or read about them. This includes zombies.

    My bottom line: The undead shouldn’t be allowed to live among us.

  13. Ty, Brain, Roger [where’d you go Yeiser?] …

    It’s 2 a.m. The hubby and BIL just woke me up coming in after their night of rockin’ out. … my night in, babysitting a cranky 2 yr. old, and giggly 4 and 5 yr. old girls who [tonight] think they’re Sleeping-Beauty-meets-Superman.

    it’s been apparent lately—the Feminist movement has created some odd bedfellows.

    So, I’m awake and would like to say, More open threads-more open threads!! Please? This was fun!

    @Anna K.

    1) Service Contracts – ahahahahaha … of course, who wants to have to pay for service contracts! it’s so obvious now! i feel deficient for not realizing this before.

    2a) Blue, huh. Well, anime is better than Marge. Maybe if she started wearing one-piece pantsuits [like Uma in Kill Bill] you wouldn’t feel so ambivalent. At least she’d look like she’d kick some ass.

    2b) What do you think she’d do if you dyed your hair blue?

    3) I have an existential [maybe rhetorical] question … how dead is undead? Seems like I might know quite a few.

  14. Good point on tech stuff breaking down, and awful support… But I’d point out: our stuff (bodies) suffer breakdowns already, and we manage to muddle through with sometimes terrible support as it is (healthcare).

    I have never been brave enough to dye my hair.

    And I personally think Sleeping-Beauty-Superman is totally awesome.

    As for where I’ve gone, Ty was very kind to extend to me the opportunity to post blogs here, and I had fun with it for a bit. In the end, however, I do not agree with the overall down-with-religion thrust of TIW enough to be part of the team. I just don’t think it’s that important. When my name appears at the top of the blog, I am somehow responsible for what Ty and Brain and Roger write. I don’t agree with them strongly enough to (as I put it to Ty) “wear the tshirt.”

    Ty and I have argued over this quite a bit, but essentially, I don’t care to challenge the contents of anyone’s mind. None of my business. Nor are the contents of my mind anyone else’s business. What concerns me is what people do. I sooooooo don’t care if you believe in unicorns or zombies or father-son-and-holy-ghost.

    I just don’t fit in ’round here 🙂

  15. Is Sleeping Beauty-Superman like Cassanova Frankenstein?

    And I have to say that Youngblood is awesome.

  16. @ Miriam B

    re service contracts, I just spent 90 minutes on the phone with Verizon tech support. Previously my router was working, and my modem was out. Now my wireless router is out (directly caused by the clueless interventions of Verizon tech support) and my modem is working, which is why I am posting here for fun. This afternoon I’ll tackle restoring the mighty powers of my router, with no help from Verizon, which seems to think it is not responsible for messing it up. Coincidence, or evil synchronicity? Maybe the undead resent my earlier comment, and are messing, with, like, electromagnetic energies, man. Though my father the computer guru thinks I need a new surge protector.

    She wears Hello Kitty t-shirts, bows in her hair, and ripped jeans. She has always kicked ass, but because she is short, dainty and angelic looking, no one sees it coming. Imagine a china doll with the soul of Margaret Thatcher. I try to warn people but they don’t believe me until post ass kicking. I wish to state for the record that though I am legally responsible for her until she is 18, after that the planet is on its own.

    ZOMG!!!!!! You are absolutely right! I SHOULD DYE MY HAIR BLUE!!!! I love that idea . . . though I would have to bleach my hair to do it, since I am a brunette. Might be worth it, though, to see the reaction . . . wow.

    Existential answer: since the undead are not as dead as they should be, we just have to live with it. *snuuuurk guffaw*


    I’ve never been brave enough to dye my hair, either, though Miriam has me mightily tempted.

    You’re right, we do suffer breakdowns already, and I am too well acquainted with the medical world. I think if I had to deal with tech support issues along with navigating the healthcare system and fighting with insurance companies, I would become a prescription drug addict. Washed down with shots of tequila.

    *looks around, whispers* Perhaps insurance company execs could be categorized as the undead . . . ?

  17. @Brain:
    In keeping w/ the original gender construcion … I’d say Sleeping-Beauty-Superman is more like Mata Hari-Frankenstein. Which i personally like very much. So thank you for making me think of next year’s Halloween costume a year early.

    @Anna K.
    Your daughter sounds awesome … and like she SHOULD have blue hair. I’m all for the tactic of disarm then POW! I can only hope as my girls get older they know how to execute that sort of battle.

    And glad to offer a little hair inspiration. If you don’t want to go to the [permanant] trouble of bleaching out then dying, here are two more suggestions. Get a wig. Or go buy some of that spray on haircolor. If blue wouldn’t show up well on your lovely dark locks, just get another color. Like red could be fun! I might even try it!

    And together you’d look very patriotic.

    I understand your issue of not thinking your should don the T-shirt. OTOH, I also think being the contrarian holds an important place in shaping all of our pliant little minds. But maybe you feel more comfortable in that role down here with us regular folk. Not sure. But please ponder.

    back @Anna K.
    Absolutely, I’d characterize almost anyone who works for an insurance company as a member of the undead. OTOH, I bet after your row w/ Verizon you might’ve felt like an honorary member yourself. I know I do on days like that.

  18. Aura Photography and the Psychic Vampire:

  19. um … what happened to my other comment???

    ok, I’ll paraphrase:

    @ anna k.
    two thoughts. wig. or spray on haircolor. in fact, i think i might play w/ red myself.

    @ brain
    No, not so much Cassanova-Frankenstein. I think more like Mata Hari-Frankenstein … to keep w/ the original gender construction. think that will be my Halloween costume next year. So thanks for the thought.

    @ yeiser
    Is there not a place here for the contrarian point of view? I think it’s important in shaping our pliant little minds. but maybe you feel more comfortable down here w/ us little folk?

  20. yeiser: i agree with Miriam, I think the blog needs a contrary point of view. I hope you will reconsider. I have always enjoyed reading your comments. 🙂

  21. yeah Yeiser, i agree with the gals. you shouldn’t let conformity get in the way of your opinions here. a devil’s advocate is what the blog needs. i agree with Tyson on a lot of subjects overall but when it comes to details, we disagree frequently.

    myself, i wouldn’t want the responsibility of leading a subject. i feel i still have much to learn to be an authority on anything. i feel happy being the contrarian.

    lastly…i work for a health care company, and you could say managment is like Lumberg from Office Space and a zombie would be me (before coffee).

  22. I think in Lumberg’s case, it’s demonic possession.

    :-O :-O :-O

  23. But, I don’t disagree strongly enough to be devil’s advocate either.

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