MySpace site added...

Signed up for one of those "MySpace" accounts - why not? www.myspace.com/tomswiss. Don't expect to put much content up there but might help people find my various enterprises.

note to Robin

Sharing a note I sent to Robin:

Hi Robin!

I see you did the Kerouac re-tattoo - outstanding!

I've started my nihongo class at the community college (AACC)...visions of hiragana dancing in my head.

It's a little strange being in a class with everyone else so much younger...and then the dialogs in the textbook are all college-y, "What's your major?" (Senmon wa nan desu ka?) and "What year are you?" (Nannensei desu ka?) sort of stuff.

Brain care news

A few interesting bits about the brain that I've seen the past few weeks...

First, contrary to long-held popular belief, adult brain cells do keep growing. So you can teach an old brain new tricks. Furthermore, it seems that a marijuana-like drug can accelerate neurogenesis, and may have anti-anxiety and anti-depressive effects. (Despite what the SSRI-pushers claim, the anti-depressant effects of drugs like Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil apparently have more to do with neurogenesis than with correcting some "chemical imbalance".)

Secondly, new brain cells follow the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This should be very interesting to people who practice craniosacral therapy.

New stuff at infamous.net

I've put up a new page for my music over at infamous.net.

(Why two sites, infamous.net and unreasonable.org? Partly historical reasons, my original intent years ago was to separate my professional from my personal/political site; but now infamous.net is my more static site, whereas I post ongoing updates and pointers to news stories here.)

The past few months my musical endeavors have started to pick up steam again, with a regular gig at Leadbetter's, and work starting on a CD of my original music - I go into the studio Friday.

Group purchase of BrowserCam membership

BrowserCam is a very cool service that allows you to obtain screenshots of web sites in a number of different browsers, so you can see what your site looks like to people using IE, Safari, Firefox, or Opera on different platforms. It is, however, on the spendy side - one day's access is $19.95. But, a year's access for a group of 10 people is $399.95 - this is originally intended for a company, but if you get 10 people together you can get a year's access for the price of one day.

People have been using Fundable.org to co-ordinate such group purchases. Here's one that I've joined.

A different "HST"...

Just one line, seen on the net today:

"We were half way to Rivendell when the drugs began to take hold." -- Hunter S. Tolkien

Now that's funny.

Happy 100th birthday Albert Hofmann

Albert Hofmann, the inventor of LSD, turns 100 this week.

Happy birthday!

His "problem child", lysergic acid diethylamide-25, will be 68 this year; it was first synthesized in 1938, but its remarkable effects were not discovered until Hofmann accidently absorbed some through his fingertips five years later.

Wacky water gun

This is just too funny not to share. From Superdickery.com, check out this photo of a Batman squirt gun. They way the figure is shaped into the gun, seems you give him an enema, then pump his crotch until he projectile vomits.

Year ending, year beginning

Hello friends! Happy New Year!

It's been an interesting one here. For those of you I haven't seen in a while: my father had heart surgery this spring (to replace a bad valve), has recovered nicely. We finally settled my grandfather's estate, selling his house; an emotional burden resolved, and a financial resolution we needed (my father having been unable to work for a while, due to the surgery and the condition that necessitiated it). I felt 50 pounds lighter the day after we settled on that house.

This year I traveled to San Francisco for the AOBTA convention; Chicago for the 20th anniversay tournment for the Seido Karate branch there; and Osaka to see my friends Robin and Eric and, well, it's Japan, enough said! I'm now scheming if I might be able to get back to Japan for a longer stay.

With all the energy going into the family stuff, my shiatsu practice has been slow to start, but it is getting moving. (That website again, www.EarthTouchShiatsu.com...tell your friend with the stiff neck or the aching back...)

My music seems to be picking up some momentum, too. For those of you local, I'll be playing the first and third Wednesdays of the next few months at Leadbetters' in Fell's Point (selected Baltimore Magazine's "Best Dive Bar" 2005) from 4-8pm. I'm also looking at finally getting off my butt and recording a CD of my originals.

Z interviews RMS

Z Magazine (or at least it's on-line project "Z Net") interviews Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software movement. RMS discusses globalization, power, and freedom:

If you are against the globalization of business power, you should be for free software....

People who say they are against globalization are really against the globalization of business power. They are not actually against globalization as such, because there are other kinds of globalization, the globalization of cooperation and sharing knowledge, which they are not against. Free software replaces business power with cooperation and the sharing of knowledge.

Globalizing a bad thing makes it worse. Business power is bad, so globalizing it is worse. But globalizing a good thing is usually good. Cooperation and sharing of knowledge are good, and when they happen globally, they are even better.

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