Terror Behind the Walls

I recently visited Eastern State Penitentiary’s haunted house, Terror Behind the Walls. It was a pretty good haunted house; my only complaint is that there were way too many people walking through with me (thus I saw many of the people in front of me get scared). The creepiest part, however, was simply walking down the dark corridors of the old, decaying site, looking into the cells and seeing only darkness. At the end of the tour, there was a small museum showing the far more interesting history of the old penitentiary.

Eastern State Penitentiary was built in the 1820s under the Quaker philosophy of reform through solitude and reflection, and has held the likes of Al Capone and Willie Sutton. Covering around 11 acres in Philadelphia, it has become a Historic Site. From the moment he arrived until the moment he left, the prisoner would see no one. The furniture of the 8×12 cell consisted of a mattress and a bible. “…Silence, solitude, the bible, never a moment of human contact, never a voice heard at a distance, the dead world of a living tomb…” In the end, the solitary confinement of Eastern State ended up driving most of its inmates insane, until 1903 when the idea of complete isolation was abandoned. By the time Eastern State was closed in 1971, it had become just another old, crowded prison with the usual share of brutality, riots, hunger strikes, escapes, suicides, and scandals. I think a regular guided tour and commentary would be scarier than the haunted house was…

Back in Black

In trying to sift through the issues of the upcoming presidential election, I’ve found that both candidates are truly obnoxious. What criteria should I base my decision on, especially when they are no doubt lying their butts off? This year, I think I’ll give my vote to the candidate with the hottest daughters. Sadly, this criteria could actually be used with a clear conscience.

Universal Myth

Joseph Campbell’s influential The Hero With a Thousand Faces defines the “Universal Myth,” a structure which underlies stories told all over the world since the beginning of recorded history. This page discusses how Campbell’s blueprint for “The Hero’s Journey” was used by George Lucas in making Star Wars (the page also discusses Campbell’s influence on The Matrix). This interesting article and other influences and origins of Star Wars mythology can be found on this Star Wars Origins site. Another interesting site for the futuristic myths produced by science fiction is The New Mythology; there’s lots of discussion and a ton of links (references include Star Wars, Dune, Asimov, Enders Game, and more!)

Tandem Insanity

Those who are familiar with Kaedrin’s Tandem Stories might get a kick out of XMark’s Interactive Stories. You can continue the stories already there and you can even start your own story! He’s also got some links to other kickin’ interactive story sites.

BTW, I’ve begun to archive this weblog so you can see all the posts since its inception.

Rebel Yell

Kaedrin has just been given the “Rebel Rebel Yell” award, complete with spiffy graphic on the right (ack! its gone!). The award comes from Michman’s Rebel Rebel Star Wars Fansite. For quite some time now, Michman has woven an interstellar tapestry of adventure, romance and a few guffaws for generations of Star Wars Role-Playing Gamers. Check it out, I’m also being interviewed by Michman for inclusion in his Tie Interviewer section (Sneak Peak).

More things people do while stuck in traffic (Contributed by Spencer via the infamous Kaedrin Discussion Forum) :

  • Picking their teeth
  • Cleaning out ear wax
  • Picking nose
  • Balancing checkbook
  • Getting dressed

Nirvana on the Freeway

Another interesting article concerning traffic congestion suggests that certain traffic densities “transform the whole mess into a state of crystalline harmony”. However, this state is extremely sensitive, which probably explains why I have never witnessed said “crystalline harmony” in traffic.

I know this whole traffic jam situation seems hopeless, but this guy claims there is hope and he goes into fairly deep detail about the whole situation. This article is excellent, and I even tried some of his “solutions” and they appeared to get me to my destination quicker than usual, though I really fail to see how my driving can affect the people in front of me (though I can see that the people behind me are in a state of uniform movement, which is pretty damn cool).

Some things I noticed people doing in their cars while waiting at the Tollbooths of the PA Turnpike:

  • Playing with something hanging off their rearview mirror
  • Dancing retardedly to their stupid music (wich is being played way to loud)
  • Reading a novel
  • Washing off their windshield
  • Picking their nose (my personal favourite)

So the next time you get stuck in traffic and feel the compulsive need to pick your nose, remember, people can see through your windows. Then pick your nose anyway.

Traffic Week

Since I have been spending the better part of my recent life stuck in traffic, I’ve become intrigued with the ebb and flow of stop and go. “Scientists said they are closer to comprehending the birth of the universe than the daily tie-ups along Interstate 66.” Joy. It doesn’t help that the road system is not being expanded to handle the increased volume (ie. more cars, no new roads). Then again, some say the problem is congestion, not lack of roads (more lanes means more congestion)… Not to mention that roads, specifically in the northeast, are in a constant state of (dis)repair due to increasing volume and the extremes of weather. More joy.

Mindfucked

Most people are aware that scientists are bright guys. Wery intelligent, they are. But faster-than-light light? This is insanity (, max – ‘or maybe its genius’)! Apparently scientists have figured out a way to have light exit a box before it even enters. Mindbending shite. I need a drink.

BTW, Amazon is back to its old bloated self. Damn.