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Things Other People Accomplished When They Were Your Age
Enter an age and see a list of accomplishments performed at that age.



"A Dollar for Your Soul" and "The Vision Vine" have just been released as an audio book, available at and on iTunes.

Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine
"A Dollar for Your Soul"
A good introduction to Ponzi™ schemes and the madness of crowds. Based on a true story about a high-school soul-selling pyramid scheme, this story originally appeared in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine. A Russian translation was done by Andrei Novikov and published in December 1993 in Yesly ("If") magazine, which has been voted Europe's best science fiction magazine. Since its circulation in 1993 eclipsed that of MZBFM, it appears that far more people have read this story in a Russian translation I knew nothing about.

"The Vision Vine"
A short story about
virtual reality and entheogens, originally published in Whole Earth Review. It's also about tribal cultures in conflict with modern civilization. The magazine Transdimension Vista published a Japanese translation without my knowledge or permission, so I'm using this graphic without their permission. (Also see Google's translation of the Japanese version back to English.) The story was then translated into Russian (from the English version, of course) and published in the May 2002 issue of Yesly magazine.

"The Talking Cat"
A very short, allegedly true, story.

Boring Bedtime Stories: An Anthology for Insomniacs
A collection of stories designed to be as uninteresting as possible — your contributions are requested.

"The Girl Scout Cookie Project"
What happens when your local scout troop goes on strike and refuses to sell cookies containing trans fatty acids (TFAs)?

An unpublished story about dreaming and networks. No one has bothered translating this.



Paul Hawken's Commencement Address to the Class of 2009
Direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate, lean, shivering, startling, and graceful.



I've been trying to understand what makes this guy tick. While some people underestimate him or dismiss him as a celebrity, he's an effective speaker, good at feeding off the energy of his audiences. He stirs up the crowd by peppering his speeches with coarse phrases and put-downs. Even as he cultivates chaos by playing to peoples' fears and resentments, he offers himself as the visionary leader who can restore law and order. He paints the present day as a time of decline and decay and promises to make the country great again, but is vague about his actual plans.

He has been described as an egomaniac who only loves himself; a self-obsessed clown with a strangely scattershot, impulsive style; a narcissist with a flair for self-dramatization and a "characteristic fondness for superlatives." His manic speeches raise questions about his capacity for self-control, but he's a shrewd politician, with a keen eye for the strengths and weaknesses of other people and an ability to instantly analyze and exploit situations.

He's been called "so thoroughly untruthful that he can no longer tell the difference between truth and lies." He believes in appealing to the emotions - not the reasoning power - of the crowd, with repeated slogans consisting of accusations, vows of revenge, and promises for the future.

His supporters feel the country needs a strong man who can shake things up. "Why not give the National Socialists a chance?" a prominent banker said of the Nazis. "They seem pretty gutsy to me."

- Based on Kakutani's review of "Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939" by Volker Ullric.

Ten Bible verses to think about when selecting a president



The "I Hate My Life" Project

The Clockworks Project
An online diary of what I was doing and thinking each time a random timer beeped

Incorporating Dogs into Art

The Dollar Project
I distributed dozens of dollar bills rubber-stamped with messages asking for return of the dollar or information as to its whereabouts



Review of Don't Think Twice
Mike Birbiglia's excellent movie about an improv comedy troupe.

Photos of recently discovered Crap Circles, strange circular feces formations.


Photos of Fort Ord and the Impossible City

Message Found in a Rat



A Bunch of Song Demos, including You Do the Math and You Hate Me and I Don't Know Why


A brief excerpt from a deposition, wherein I give testimony regarding a road kill possum.



Near-Lucid Dreams and False Awakenings
Humorous Commentaries on the Human Condition

A hypertext version of a dream about dreaming,
in which a telephone symbolized a dream. The over-reaching interpretation is included at no extra charge

Comic about a Dream about a Comic about a Dream



Powerful technologies for coping with chronic negativity
Improv, Aikido, meditation, etc.

"You could be happy right now"
Might as well.



Regarding "Experimental Nonlocal and Surreal Bohmian Trajectories"
I encountered an unexpected passage in an otherwise serious paper on quantum physics.

"The Loudness War: Background, Speculation and Recommendations"
Video based on a presentation I gave at the recent Audio Engineering Society convention in San Francisco. The presentation looks at the Loudness War in terms of game theory and questions the idea that louder recordings sell better.

My long out-of-print recording "It's a Jungle in There: Sounds of the Tropical Rainforest in 3D" is finally available from the iTunes Store.

Some short essays on tropical bird sounds, along with samples I recorded in Costa Rica.

An essay on Mockingbird Song

Unusual Ideas for Science Fair Projects

Using Information Technology to Save Water
My local water district responded to this idea, and they may implement it next year. Update: they didn't.

Environmental Quiz from the "Awesome Possum" video game.
Historical note: I think the bass part of the Awesome Possum theme song was sung by the late Elmer "Len" Dresslar, Jr., famous for being the voice of the Jolly Green Giant.

Do It Like a Penguin
Chapter 7 from Do It Like an Animal: Spice up Your Love Life with Erotic Advice from the Animal Kingdom

A report on Things Found Growing in My House

Concerning the Speed of Light

Quantum Randomness, Consciousness, and the Mind/Body Problem



from Tech Support Hell

Escape from Tech Support Hell
"Any sufficiently automated tech support system is indistinguishable from torture."

ChatterBlocker ChatterBlocker is a software program that uses digital audio technology to neutralize unwanted conversations so you can focus on your work, not your coworkers.

"Treadmill Meditation" is now available from the iTunes Store.

The Purr Detector lighted cat collar glows whenever your cat purrs.

The "Credit Card Number Despacing" problem has been solved. This discovery untangles one of computer science's most difficult mysteries.

Masterpiece Helper is a Photoshop plug-in for fixing a variety of common artistic blunders, such as Monet's blurry images and Escher's mistakes with perspective. See all the 5-star awards this program has won!



On Happiness
In which I resolve to just be happy

The Secrets of the Universe
A true story within a true story

The Purpose of a Man
Thoughts on evolutionary biology and love



Letter to the DNC Direct Marketing Department

Letter to Comcast
about a long series of unfortunate events

Rejection Letter
from a literary agency

Complaint Letter
to a beard trimmer manufacturer

Reply to a Letter Concerning Post Alpha-Bits
My original was written in crayon

Letter Regarding a Software Upgrade

Reply from a Fast Food Company
regarding those beeping sounds

A Winning TiVo Essay Contest Entry



Things people are searching for
Search terms recently used to find this site.



Domain Names for Sale
Art for Personal Growth workshops in Silicon Valley.
Acrylic, oil and watercolor paintings by Zoya Scholis

Stuff I recommend
A few of my favorite things


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