Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Electronic Motion Captured on Video

Yep, that's right. From Science Daily: Using short pulses from an intense laser source, scientists from Lund University Faculty of Engineering in Sweden have been able to capture an electron's motion to video for the first time. Currently, I don't have much of a background in modern physics so I'll spare you from any attempt on my part of an explanation.

Johan Mauritsson of Lund University claims that this technology can be used to corroboration of various theories. He also says, "What we are doing is pure basic research. If there happen to be future applications, they will have to be seen as a bonus."

The entire length of the video represents a single oscillation of the light. Of course, the video has been slowed so that we can observe the effects.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I recently traveled to a mountain state for a short term contract in my field. They put me up in a shitty dorm room with communal toilets and shower. The room was horrid and reeked of pipe tobacco smoke. I arrived on a Sunday, and shortly after I arrived for work on Monday began vomiting. I don't know whether it was the "water" in the room's decrepid sink, the smell of pipe tabacco smoke, or simply a 24 hour stomach virus. I left my first day sick and went to a covenient store to buy some bottled water and pepto bismo tablets. While the lady was trying to dispel the static electricity making the plastic bags stick together, I immediately had to place my hand over my mouth. It was not good. I vomited again outside the door to the station, and 3 more times next to my car.

I was supposed to work Monday thru Thursday 10 hour shifts. I was there 2 hours on monday before i had to leave. I offered to just "delete" monday, and start Tuesday thru Friday to make up for Monday. That was agreed upon. I worked two full 10 hour shifts on Tuesday and Thursday, and 1.5 hours on Thursday, before I was called by my company, saying that "I have some unfortunate news, they don't want you there. This is not the appropriate place to talk, so you need to leave "Now" and pack up your things from the dorms".

I drove 20 hours to get there last Friday (Feb 15) and had to leave "immediately" to go back home. Not to mention, I was expecting a full paycheck, because I have checks out to pay for bills, etc.

I turns out that the manager of the institution I was at said there were personality conflicts.
What! She wasn't even there on Tuesday! How the hell could she possibly know? As far as I know, I was getting along well with everyone. Sure, one guy was of the opinion that "liberals" were all bad, and I being liberal on most political and social issues made my case that "we" are not all bad. He's a right-wing conspiracy nut. Good lord, if only he knew. Anyway, we actually had a decent, civil conversation. We even talked about "God". He mentioned how many religions were similar. I concurred and also told him of a bumper sticker I had seen on a website; the one that says: "God is too big to fit inside any one religion" and how I thought it was appropriate.
Well, the manager walked by at the same time. I'm sure she heard it.

The next day is when I got the call from my agency instructing me to leave. See, they had a regular employee that was to start in the middle of March. According to the schedule, she was starting 2 weeks prior to that.

Is it possible that the new employee got there sooner and they wanted to start her ASAP? Why pay an agency contractor if they can make up an excuse for lack of performance, or not learning fast enough, so that they can get out of said contract?

I believe that either that is the case or I am being discriminated upon based on political and religious beliefs.

Now my company may not reimburse me for all the traveling that I've done. I will find out for sure next week when a "review board" meets.

That is just not fair! Now my bank account will have a negative balance because by the time those checks go through I will not have enough in my account. I had to take enough out for the gas home and a hotel room for a night.

I was so enraged and hurt. I'm surprised I even made it home in one piece. I screamed at the top of my lungs while driving, "Why is this happening to me?". I had a funny feeling something like this would happen. It had the eery familiarness as did the Georgia assignment.

I had a dream a couple of months ago while at the Georgia assignment that my account rep called and told me that they could not help me any longer.

It was this account manager (not even the one that was I had been dealing with about the new assignment) that called me and told me I had to get out. He will most likely be the one that will call me with the "boards" decision. I have a feeling that regardless of what I write in my email statement, that this is the way it will go.

You see, VALIS, or something like it is indeed this world's operator, and unfortunately, I am mixed with it somehow. Just like Philip Dick, we were/are thrown in the middle of all this. I just don't know whether we found VALIS or VALIS found us.

I don't know what to do now. I am jobless. My SO freaks out over these issues. She if physically and emotionally and mentally aggressive. If she would give me 6 months to a year to write and publish my first novel, I KNOW that I could make enough to earn a living. Not a great living, but at least enough to help rear my child and continue to do what I know it is that I am supposed to be doing. Writing. At least in part of what I am to do.

Why? Why does it have to be so hard?

To any agents and editors: if you feel VALIS is tugging at you and your are indeed moved to hear what I may have to say; I have several fiction projects in the works. I could have one of them finished very soon. A little interest shown, can move a universe.

Sorry for the Rant.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I found Phil

I had the privilege of visiting PKD's and Jane's resting place yesterday. I was traveling I-80 to Wyoming and detoured just a bit to Fort Morgan, Colorado. While at the cemetary it took anywhere from 1 - 2 hours of riding and walking around to finally locate them. But, I did. It was disheartening not to see any flowers or other items. On the other hand, there was a little bit of ice in front of the headstone with a space about an inch wide across the stone where the ice had melted. Within that space I found 3 pens, and a tiny plastic sheep. I ran back to my car and found one of my writing pens to add to the collection.

I was questioning Phil in my own insane way, and requested that if he was capable, to show, or help me show, that there is at least some validity to what I am have been trying to explain to her.

Around that same time the wind really picked up speed (although it fairly windy already) and the industrial sugar plant across the road made some kind of unique roar.

Back home my SO is a very compassionate nurse at a nursing home. She's a fairly skeptical person in most regards. However, for the past year and a half she's worked at this most recent job she has admitted to me of seeing dark shadows and on very few occasions, a sort of bright whitish apparition.

[My daughter went with her to work last night (it was only a four hour shift and no school the next day)] When they pulled in the drive-way there was a barn owl next to the house. That was definately a first and it happened a few hours after I requested for him to show her

I could interpret this as a synchronous event, but unlikely as this combination of events were, I still think I could chalk this one up to coincidence.

All in all, it was nice to see them.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

On That Tingling Feeling

Back in 2001 and 2002 on rare occasion when I would look at a particularly attractive woman, I would sometimes get an electrical "tingling" sensation in my head, and feel lightheaded and dizzy momentarily. It only happened a few times, and during that time a thought would cross my mind that that woman was to mother my child. I really didn't believe it whole-heartedly but thought of the possibility. I never acted on such an impulsive thought. Imagine how embarassing that could be. On the other hand, perhaps she would be flattered. And I could have played the mental illness card.

At the time, both I and my psychiatrist thought I may have been suffering from schizophrenia. Those particular instances would have been tactile hallucinations with "magical thinking" or delusions.

Naturally, when I discovered the "PKD Connection" (and because of the nature of the synchronicities and associated phenomena I definately believe exists) I thought perhaps I "was" PKD, just in a parallel world or simulated reality and the women with which I had the "magical thinking" were actually my previous wives or girlfriends.

No, I now do not believe I am PKD in a parallel world or simulated reality, however, I still can not deny the experiences I have had (discounting the aforementioned "magical thinking").

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Mapping the Brain

Wired has a great article concerning a group of researchers from Harvard who are trying to create a circuit diagram of the brain, now with mice, but ultimately our own. This looks at far more detail than conventional brain scan techniques. They are intending to get the anatomy down to the synaptic level (all the connections between the actual nerve cells). This new field of study or technique is known as "connectomics".

"It is to neuroscience what genomics is to genetics. Where genetics looks at individual genes or groups of genes, genomics looks at the entire genetic complement of an organism. Connectomics makes a similar jump in scale and ambition, from studying individual cells to studying swaths of the brain containing millions of cells."

"A map of the mind's circuitry would allow researchers to see the wiring problems that might underpin disorders like autism and schizophrenia."

""The 'wiring diagram' of the brain could help us understand how the brain computes, how it wires itself up during development and rewires itself in adulthood," said Sebastian Seung, a computational-neuroscience professor at MIT"

"Michael Huerta, associate director of the National Institute of Mental Health for scientific technology research, said that connectomics will fill a key gap in our understanding of the brain.
"You could conceivably know every chemical and every molecule of every cell in the brain, but unless you understand how those cells are connected to each other, you have no idea how information is being processed," Huerta said. "The connectome, in my opinion, is really what it's all about""

In addition to the fundamental science and reward of knowledge, and the potential to really understand mental illness and brain disorders, this is a common devise for science fiction.
Mind uploading, or even manipulating minds with nano-implants seem feasible, and even probable.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Coming Soon: VALIS to be seen by the masses

ABC's LOST features thought provoking literary novels as props either being read by a character from LOST or in his/her library. Rumor has it that Philip K Dicks VALIS will be featured in episode 4 of this 4th season. Since I am a definate LOST FAN I am overly delighted. I think Phil would feel the same way. I found this link nearly simultaneously through David Gill's Totaldickhead and just a few minutes later at a LOST fansite. I didn't follow the link to David's source until after I had read David's source myself. So, even though I would have eventually found it myself, thanks, David, for being on top of things.