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Hyperion October 27, 2003
the Hyperion Chronicles
"Be still and know that I am Hyperion"

#168 Potpourri, Volume XXIII

All Falling, All The Time
I am opposed, on principle, to Daylight Savings Time much as I am opposed to murder, most pillaging, and paying for soda refills at restaurants. However, I do like the "falling back" part. Nothing better than an extra hours' sleep. It occurred to me that when I ran for President in '00 (which reminds me; I need a slogan for '04, but I can come back to that), one of the things I wrote about was Daylight Savings Time. To paraphrase me:

We should pick 8 weeks out of the year (my vote: October and November, which can be bleak), and institute Super-Fallback Days. What would happen is that each Monday for those 8 weeks we would fall back 3 hours on Monday morning, effectively giving you three extra hours to start the week. This would allow us to understand our brothers to the north, and kick that whole S.A.D. emotional thing in the hind end. I realize that the daylight hours would be weird, but my understanding is that "Midnight Sun" times (as they call it above the Arctic Circle) are quite festive. This would be like an 8-week carnival-like atmosphere, which October and November could definitely use.

Of course, we'd lose a day, but this isn't a big deal. The Pope once cancelled two weeks. We could just get rid of December 7th. That's a sad day already, and we have enough of those. If you think this is a swell idea, write your Congressman, Member of Parliament, or Cult Leader and let's get the ball rolling.

And now some serious news
I've been through this before with AOL, but now it's Hotmail. If you have a Hotmail account, I'm not sure what I write is getting through to you. I've gotten over 1300 return messages in the past two weeks. The problem (I think) is that Hotmail is considering this column SPAM, since it's sent in the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) box. However, I am loath to change that, because I value the privacy of those email addresses. You gave them to ME, not everyone else who reads. So, for the time being Hotmail users will at least have the columns delayed, if they ever are getting them. What you can do: if you're on Hotmail, and you do get something, write and let me know. I'm curious how many days it's taking to get mail through to you. Also, if you have an alternate account you'd like me to send the Chronicles to, let me know that too.

Vocabulary Challenge
It's time, once again, to increase your vocabulary. I'm going to give you five words. Try to figure out what they mean, and I'll have the answers later in the column.


The brand new season of 24 starts Tuesday night. I'll have my review Wednesday morning, but be sure to watch it first. If you're not a TV person, this is one of the few shows to make an exception for.

Also, you have until Friday at midnight to get your Hoody Award ® nominations in. We will rerun the nominations one more time, in Wednesday's TV column.

Further Reminders
The contest to win a C.A.R. (a Column About a Reader) is winding down, with November 1 as the deadline. The way to win is to bring me the greatest number of new readers. Six people are neck and neck as of this writing, but things could still change dramatically. We may do this again for November/December if you missed out.

Why Investigative Reporting was invented...
I'm planning on doing a column (or maybe a series) on ways Canada is different from America. One thing that just occurred to me, though: they don't have dollar bills up here, instead using coins up until they get to a fiver. This makes me wonder: what happens at strip clubs? Do the dancers have some sort of pouch, or is it massive inflation? For the good of the Chronicles, this bears further investigation. Stay tuned.

The Magic of Marley
There are many things in life you regret (hitting that cop, sticking a Q-tip in your ear, stealing the raspberries), but many times is the things you don't do that you end up pining for. The other day I was in the library, and I saw this girl with "Listen to Bob Marley" emblazoned across her chest (which was the only reason I was looking). I felt I had to say something, but I couldn't figure out what, and there were people next to her, and I just felt embarrassed. But I realized that if I didn't approach her, I'd think about it forever, wishing I had. I felt I owed it to her. We're always looking for really hot I mean smart people to be readers. [Just as an aside: I think libraries are much better places to meet women than bars. In a bar, the only thing you know about them is that they are probably intoxicated (which might be what you're looking for). But in a library, there's a least a chance they can read. Here at the Hyperion Institute, we like our women sexy AND intelligent.]

Anyway, I summoned up my courage and went over to her and asked, "Do you believe in Ghosts?" I was hoping she'd say no, and then I could ask her how she communicated with Bob Marley since the man is dead. She stymied me somewhat by saying, "Yes," but I worked around that and she's now a reader. Let this be a lesson to all you would-be Casanovas: if you don't talk to them it's like you're rejected already, so you might as well try.

Thought o' the Day
"Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach that person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks." (From an Email circular)

Vocab Answers

Satiety: being fed to bursting

Ontogeny: the development of an individual

Phylogeny: the Development of a group

Steganography: writing in code

Diachronic: change as it appears over time: not synchronic

When people use the term "diachronic" what they are usually referring to is the back-story. For example: As you watch Star Wars, the story you're watching as it goes forward linearly is the synchronic story. But any flashbacks, or even references to motivation that occurs before the story started is diachronic (like: why does Ben Kenobi live alone, why does Luke stay with his Aunt and Uncle, why does Leia think Obi-Wan is the only one who can help, how did Han Solo end up with the Millennium Falcon?). Basically, any emotion or idea that it isn't motivated by what you're seeing (or reading, or experiencing) is diachronic.

Now what am I going to do with my bloomers?
Tanzania has banned second hand underwear. According to Reuters, the government of Tanzania has banned all forms of undergarments from charity organizations (since most people there are very poor, this is a big thing). The reasoning is to help fight the spread of disease, which I understand, but what will the Red Cross and other charities do now? The answer seems obvious: Japanese vending machines, where I'm told by reliable sources you can buy "used" panties there the same as you would a can of soda. Don't you love it when the whole world can work together?

And speaking of underwear...
It's now getting smart. Scientists have put a sensor in underwear that will monitor various health signs, like blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration. They hope that in the near future, they will design a chip that would even be able to call the hospital if your underwear notices you're having a heart attack. This sounds like a great idea, but my real worry is: what if the underwear can't keep it's mouth shut about other things?

And as long as we're down there...
Five men on probation in Texas have been caught using the "Whizzinator," a realistic-looking prosthetic that delivers drug-free urine. Lubbock County probation officer Tom Madigan explained how the scheme was foiled: "A body part against a plastic cup isn't going to go 'clink.'" This is exactly the sort of thing I'd be afraid the smart underwear might reveal.

And since we're already in the garbage...
Two Bronx girls reportedly had to come to school in skirts made of garbage bags as punishment for when they came to school in jeans instead of school uniforms. No reports yet on how the "hefty" jokes are going over, but with sixth graders, you'd be disappointed if they weren't coming.

And finally: I was at church last Wednesday for dinner, and in line with "Trey" when I noticed a book on the table of the guy taking the money. It read, "Song of S.A.M." (I later found out S.A.M. stands for Senior Adult Ministries.) I didn't know that at the time, though, and-my mind working the way it does-the only thing I could think of was "Son of Sam: the Musical." I told Trey, and we started coming up with song ideas. We did a riff on "New York, New York," and wrote the first few lines of "The Devil made me do it" when I had a brainstorm. "Trey," I said excitedly. "We could have the severed heads join in on the chorus!" "Yes," Trey replied, "the musical writes itself."

But strangely, no one would sit with us at dinner.

And that's life in the Dead Monkey Barrel. Until next time,

October 27, 2003

Thanks to Trey
Thanks to Ajax
Thanks to Aggie
Thanks to the girl with the Bob Marley shirt

Motto Explanation
Psalms 46:10


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