World Domination Update
“Carpathian Tunnel Syndrome”
vol. IX, iss. iii

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness”
                                            —Matthew 3:3


Quote of the Moment:  “Wagner fills a much-needed void in classical music” — saint
Secret Word of the Day:  
Site of the Week: Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
Barbecue Sauce of the Month:  Ol’ Sparky’s Electric Sauce

In this issue:

·  Troll Wars
·  The Truth about Truth Serums
·  An Un-encouraging Gospel
·  The Nature of Hell
·  Logic Loop
·  Why Nothing is “True”
·  Ask Evil Matt
·  Hedgehog Movie Review


Hey, Kids!!!

    To say things have been crazy here at the Cyber-Compound underscores the concept; it’s been busier than a bee hive during pollen season.  saints still teaching deviant theology up at Miskatonic, and I havent heard a peep from Evil Matt since Spring, so basically I’ve been a one-man show here at Camp BadAss.  Business as usual.  However, since a couple of y’all have actually written in asking “when’s the next Update?” I figured I should take some time off to churn one out.

So, a quick summation of the current situation: Bush is an idiot, and people still aren’t thinking for themselves.

Like I said: business as usual.

Now, I know this subject has been done to death, but I feel I should give lip-service to how badly Bush handled Hurricane Katrina.  After all, Branch Floridians have a good deal of Hurricane experience: recall last year the Brain Police Hurricane Attack on our old stomping grounds, where two huge hurricanes came ashore at the Octopus Garden.

My own personal guess on why it took FEMA so long to get into gear on Katrinas after-effects was because Bush was still reading My Pet Goat.  It’s bad enough that Bush revamped FEMA by making it a subsection of the Homeland Security octopus, but he really showed his ineptitude by placing crony Michael Brown in charge.  Apparently the only part of Brown’s résumé he didn’t fudge facts on was his serving 10 years as a commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association.  In other words, his only qualifications for disaster management would be if the United States had a vast stampede of Arabian horses run amok.  Of course, a week after Katrina had hit, Bush publicly stated “you’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie.”  Once again, Bush shows just how in touch he is with reality...

Of course, all that’s old hat and has been done to death: you already knew that.  What you probably  didn’t know is that Hurricane Katrina itself was a conspiracy set up by the Brain Police.

It’s already been established that the Brain Police control the weather.  The proof that something’s amiss became glaring when it was announced that the contracts to rebuild most of New Orleans’ vast port and shipping facilities would go to none other than Dick Cheney’s old corporation, Halliburton.

Need I say more?


In other news...

Screen Scribblings

Last issue had an article on the mysterious Voynich Manuscript, and while researching it I realized this has all the elements for a kick-ass conspiracy thriller.  So I sat down and started churning out a novel, but almost immediately realized it was so visual that it was just begging to be filmed, so I revamped it into a screenplay.  It was almost completely improvised: I had no idea who the characters were or where the plot was going, but it still wrote itself.  Things like that either self-destruct after 10 pages, or they go on for 200.  The latter is what happened.  Bruddah Max tells me that if this were actually filmed as written, it would be over 7 hours long, but phuq it.  So far, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Obviously, I will give it a 1% chance of ever getting made, and then another 1% chance of getting made correctly, but that’s actually irrelevant: this needed to be written.  It’s still in draft form and under construction [currently version 1.6] but anyone interested in reading it is welcome to: click here.


    reader feedback


Troll Wars 2005


Last issue I mentioned that I had reworked the Cyber-Compound coding to keep out trolls, spammers, and Brain police agents.  Alas, it seems that my html traps were inadequate, for all three were able to infiltrate past the front end in the form of one person: Chris Johnson.My name is Chris Johnson

Until he mailed me, I had never heard of him, and I am still unclear how he found my site.  Cyber-Compound Server logs for that day did show an intense amount of .gif-lifting and article linking from a number of Live-Journals devoted to Ayn Rand, so I’m guessing he surfed in from one of those.

Now, I get hate mail from Gumby’s all the time, plus twice now chat-board flame wars have inadvertently spilled our way.  But apparently ‘amateur night’ on the MSN troll boards got cancelled, and Chris had some free time.  Lucky me.

 To put this in context for y’all, a few years ago I wrote an article on why I didn’t like Ayn Rand.  A year later, I did a follow-up, focusing on her followers, or what I called the Cult of Ayn Rand.  In the second piece, which is obviously labeled “Part Two,” the very first sentence has a big, shiny blue hyperlink to my previous article that debunks her philosophy.  Sort of like with this present paragraph.  It’s an easy-to-see link for convenience; you can’t miss it — unless your name is Chris Johnson...  He obviously only read the second piece, and even then, most likely just skimmed it.

Now, I’ve actually had people write in about the pieces before.  A few high-fived me, but the others were Rand adherents, who felt that I either misunderstood her philosophy, or at least that her philosophy was still valid despite my objections.  All of them took the articles’ tones with a grain of salt: they guessed that with a name like “Branch Floridians” there was going to be a heavy dose of sarcasm involved, and that I was being intentionally over-bellicose about the matter.  

But like I said, amateur night at MSN must’ve gotten cancelled...


  From: Chris Johnson []
Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2005 7:25 PM
To: evilmatt
Subject: Ask Evil Matt

Your "Rand Rant," is among the most poorly written pieces in the history of the internet.  You're obviously semi-literate.  Rand has her flaws, but your piece?  Repetitive, and it used comparisons to Hitler...which is a sure fire sign of craziness.

I do wish you the best, and I hope that you can go to maybe a good community college and learn composition.  Having a shrill...detestable argument.

"Also, with an opening like that, you can correctly guess the tone of the book: Judgment Day is 436 pages of unabashed hero worship that praises Rand on just about every page.  There is also a subtle, insidious undertone between the lines when her philosophy is expressed: if you don’t agree with this, you are a fool.   Then again, since 99% of the readers of this swill are undoubtedly Ranch fans, they probably need such support and reassurance."

It says that it's hero worship, but it doesn't debunk the ideas.  You're incapable of doing that.

I'm out.  I'd de-bunk you, but it's enought to know that I think you're a terrible writer.  Comforting that few will read you.

"Helping People Win!"
Chris Johnson
RE/MAX Town Center, LLC
Phone- 614-470-7101
Fax- 614-635-3664
4100 Regent St,
Columbus, OH 43081


At first I though this was a joke.  I mean, come on!  Let’s start with the obvious:

  1. he says I’m a terrible writer and should learn composition, yet his letter has a fragmentary sentence and several typo/spelling errors—including in his auto-sig!

  2. he says my article “doesn’t debunk [Rand’s] ideas.  You’re incapable of doing that.”  Remember what I said about the shiny blue hyperlink in the very first sentence???

  3. he has openly and repeatedly insulted me, yet included his full name, phone number, fax number, and what is probably a home address (I’m assuming the one on his website is business)

Now, I’d expect this kind of crap from a Gumby’s Pizza manager, or maybe even my last flame feuder, Ken Dill, but then I remembered: he’s an Ayn Rand fan.

So I wrote him back.

From: shade
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2005 1:29 PM
To: Chris Johnson
Subject: RE: Ask Evil Matt

You are, of course, entitled to your opinions, or at least what opinions you have allowed Ayn Rand to form for you. 

My article obviously struck an inharmonic chord with you, though I suspect something akin to a sour grapes revelation that "the truth hurts."   In a way, I'm actually sorry that you hated the piece as much as you did.   You are not the first to write me regarding the article.  However, all the others were able to have a lucid dialogue on it rather than just the juvenile fecal slinging your letter displayed.  Then again, I gather nothing I could say to you would be listened to with an open mind, so I don't sense a loss.  "Many are called, but few are chosen."  Don't worry -- I don't expect you to know what book that's from.

Unless you wish to apologize, please don't respond.  I'm too busy for a flame war with a troll.


Within two hours of this, the Branch Floridian Mail Server began getting bombed with spam.  I think 40 pieces in an hour was the average, and about half of them had suspiciously suffixed attachments.  Coincidence?  Ask the man with the wireless laptop on the Grassy Knoll.  However, one piece did stand out as actually being intended for me.  As demonstrated with his inability to notice shiny blue links, Chris also couldn’t quite grasp the last paragraph of my e-pistle where I politely asked him to go away.

From: Chris Johnson []
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2005 10:45 AM
Subject: RE: Ask Evil Matt

Ad hominem is the only tool in your belt.
"Helping People Win!"
Chris Johnson
RE/MAX Town Center, LLC
Phone- 614-470-7101
Fax- 614-635-3664
4100 Regent St,
Columbus, OH 43081

I was about to compose a response to this in Latin, starting with quid autem vides festucam in oculo fratris tui et trabem in oculo tuo non vides, but when I went to saint to check up on some grammar rules, he flatly refused to help. 

In retrospect, he was right not to, of course, which is why saint’s,,, well,,, saint.  But I’ve taken his advice:


Don't feed the trolls, especially Ayn Ran nuts like Chris Johnson

Don’t feed the trolls


So I’m actually dropping it.  Hey, it gave me something to bitch about, and this issue needed padding, but I’m done with... let’s move on to some more positive reader feedback...


I will tell you, I have been to that Whataburger on Rural many times and believe that we have encountered the same employee. My story is almost identical to your's, except I obviously got the Ranch instead (for an additional 23 cents which had to be rung up seperately after I ordered and charged on my Visa - a separate fiasco). But I ordered the exact same combo as you and requested BBQ for my O-Rings. No go, the fat lady says. I absolutely could not believe that a fast food joint that serves onion rings (and BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, for Christsakes)does not have any BBQ sauce, so I set up a sting. Sure enough, the next time I went in the place some other dude was in there taking the orders and I got an Onion Rings to-go. He bags the things up and whips out that tray of condiments (what the fuck IS that thing all about, by the way, WHATAJOKE). I peruse through all the shit and sure enough - BBQ sauce! There was only one on the tray so I ask the guy for another, which he pulls out from under the register - no problem he says. But there is this one fat Mexican bitch in there who has the IQ of a WHATABURGER that consistently insists that they don't have it. I have come to realize that the whole thing is futile, so anytime I go in there and see that she is working I go next door to Wendy's to save myself the aggravation. Don't be fooled, however, Whataburger does indeed have BBQ sauce - it just depends on which employee serves you.


shade’s peshar

Strange praise from the DK—he’s actually agreeing with me?!?  I can only hope that it was the barbecue sauce helping him see The Light.


Gumby’s Update


Our war with those cheeseless fiends at Gumby’s Pizza continues, though we continue to make progress as word gets out about how nasty they are.  Indeed, back in June we had our 10,000th hit to our web-testimonial to their vileness.  As of right now, the counter stands at:


You know, I’m not sure I gut this.  Nobody comes to the Cyber-Compound for out ‘think for yourself’ seminars, sermons, or World Domination Updates...  they surf in to bitch about Gumby’s Pizza.

After the Gumby’s Hate Page, our second-biggest draw [based on our server logs] is our ‘recruitment’ page, but only because it contains the term ‘sodium pentothal.’  Indeed, this email seems indicative:


Reader Feedback



i have never in my life visited such a kick ass sight in my life, but then i don't spend much time on the computer either.  however it was a real joy to come across it- i was just looking for a way to obtain truth serum anyway...  there has to be a way.




shade’s Sodium Pentothal peshar


Sodium Pentothal is commonly called a ‘truth serum,’ but as usual, the facts are different then the lore.

Sodium Pentothal was discovered in 1936 by two scientists (Ernest Volwiler and Donalee Tabern)  working for Abbott Laboratories.  Indeed, the name “Sodium Pentothal” is a registered trademark owned by Abbott.  The drug was intended to be a general anesthetic, and indeed is still used as such, but over the course of time certain side effects were noted that, with some judicious fibbing, gave it the reputation it has today.

Aside from dulling pain, Sodium Pentothal dulls the mind, and as such clouds judgment and makes the person under its influence more open to suggestion.  So, if police give a suspect sodium pentothal and then ask “tell us about the bank robbery last night,” they might get a slightly more accurate answer than if the person were asked sober.  Or not.  Likewise, if you give a person sodium pentothal and then tell them “I am the returned Jesus Christ,” they might be slightly more inclined to believe you — until the drug wore off 15 minutes later.  [With that in mind, I don’t think it’s an accident that Jonestown had a huge stockpile of Sodium Pentothal.]

However, Sodium Pentothal actually has no way to inhibit lying, and tests have shown repeatedly that a person can successfully lie while under the influence.  More than one researcher has noticed that the major determining factor seems to be whether the person knows this before-hand — if the subject believes that sodium pentothal will make him tell the truth, the drug’s effect on the brain will reinforce his own belief!  In other words, they’ve psyched themselves out, and the truth serum effect only works psychosomatically.

In April, 1953, CIA director Allen Dulles ordered the creation of a program called MK-ULTRA.  Over-simplified, this was the CIA’s bid into mind control, essentially hoping to make some type of Manchurian Candidate.  All sorts of wacky chemicals were tried, almost always with results that were at best unsuccessful and at worst fatal.  Needless to say, Sodium Pentothal was one of the ones tried.  One report showed “promising” results with a mixture of LSD, Sodium Pentothal, mild electric shock, and playing tapes of the person’s own voice to him backwards.

Since I get enough mail and web traffic on the subject, I have actually created a page for people looking how to make Sodium Pentothal.  Here’s the short version:

Mix 11 parts carbon, 17 parts hydrogen, 2 parts nitrogen, 2 parts oxygen, 1 part sulfur, and 1 part sodium.  Serve over ice.


Reader Feedback



Read your interesting article on how the Gospel of Thomas was found. Can you tell me if there is an article on how the Gospel of Barneabus was found or was written?

Thank you.



shade’s peshar


First, thanks for the praise on Thomas.

I actually had to do some digging on the Gospel of Barnabas.  There’s not all that much info on it available, mostly because—even by the usual standards of apocryphal scripture—G’Barn is a blatantly bad forgery that was almost instantly derided as both heretical and half-assed.  If you want a serviceable [if understandably superficial] intro to the subject, try the Wikipedia entry for it.

Of course, I’d be happy to write one up for you, which will also be serviceable and superficial, but a whole lot more sarcastic...


The Gospel of Barnabas


First, if you would actually like to read the Gospel of Barnabas, here is a translation of it.

It’s no secret that in the first few centuries there was a flood of “biblical” literature churned out and ascribed/accredited to various Apostolic figures, almost all of it being fake.  Personally, I’m of the opinion that most things were held as authoritative not because they were authentic, but because some “Church Father” agreed with it.  After all, there is smoking gun evidence that even if something was authentic, they would denounce it if they didn’t agree with it.  However, with the Gospel of Barnabas, it’s a fairly safe bet that this isn’t the case: G’Barn is both glaringly fake and disagreeable.

Actually, I should qualify that: the version in existence now is blatantly fake.  In all likelihood, there were two Gospel of Barnabases, written over  1,000 years apart, and we only have copies of the second one.  Let’s backtrack a second to explain.

Like I said, in the first few centuries a slew of Gospels, Apocalypses, and Epistles appeared, all of them ascribed to some figure in the “authentic” narrative.  All the Apostles have one (at least!) accredited to them, so various heretics who joined late in the game had to start scrounging around for some of the more obscure figures to which to attribute their scribblings.  Barnabas is actually a good choice for this.  His real name was Joseph [“Barnabas” is a title, meaning “Son of Encouragement”} and was Mark’s cousin [Colossians 4:10].  He was Paul’s traveling companion, and is even referred to as an Apostle [Acts 14:14] so his influence was pretty big—at least until he and Paul parted ways over an argument (Acts 15:36-40).  An Epistle of Barnabas had been floating around for centuries, and was even deemed to have been authentic and part of the Canon well into the 5th Century, until evidence became overwhelming that it was spurious.

Not surprisingly, there was also a Gospel of Barnabas floating around at the same time.  We only know it existed—not what it actually said—because it is indexed on some lists of material the emerging Catholic Church considered to be heretical.  The earliest reference I could find for it was on the 6th-Century Decretum Gelasianum [technically, ‘Decretum Gelasianum de libris recipiendis et non recipiendis’, but that’s a mouthful].  This is a catalogue of Gospels and Epistles the author considered to be acceptable to be read to the masses, as well as those which he didn’t approve of.  In the latter case, there is a “Gospel under the name Barnabas.”  Why the compiler of this list didn’t approve of it is unknown.

Interesting side-note: in the 7th Century, another such “good and bad” list [the so-called “List of the 60”] not only has the “Gospel According to Barnabas” on its index of disapproved literature, but the Revelation of John is also frowned upon.

So, by the end of the 6th Century, a Gospel of Barnabas was in existence, and apparently had enough circulation that someone thought it important to reference it on a list of heterodox material.  As said, we do not know anything about it why it was disapproved, just that it was.

Now, jump forward 1,000 years to Spain, where seemingly out of the blue another Gospel of Barnabas appears and begins finding some small circulation.  It’s pretty safe to say that this G’Barn isn’t the one from the earlier lists because of some of the content in it that time-stamps it to having been written after June 8th, 632 [the date Mohammed died.]

I cite the last because, in this Gospel of Barnabas, Mohammed is mentioned by name.  Indeed, in it Jesus denies he himself is the Messiah, and when asked “How shall the Messiah be called?” Jesus answers “Mohammed is his blessed name.”

 Obviously, the Gospel of Barnabas is a harmonization of Christianity and Islam, and even contains the Shahadah, the Muslim profession of faith: “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His prophet.”  Jesus is portrayed as being a Prophet, but not actually the Son of God.  This is straight out of the Quar’an, as is the Gospel of Barnabas’ assertion that Jesus was not crucified [per G’Barn, Judas Iscariot was mistakenly nailed up there instead.]

Since Spain had long been a hotbed of Islamic activity—the Moors had conquered it and were not expelled until 1614—it is not surprising that something like the Gospel of Barnabas would originate there.  It strikes me as an attempt to evangelize Islam to the remaining Christians in Spain.


A Hell of a Sermon

by saint


Maybe a month or so ago, I had some neighbors who used to run a poker pit at their place.  Almost every night, they’d be up until dawn playing cards, and every half hour would take a smoke break out on their patio to bitch about the last series of hands.  Lucky me, I was within earshot of this, and since there is a known proportion between alcohol consumption and vocal volume, I got to overhear them a lot more than I wanted to.

One night, one of them was leaving, and he and his friend had this exciting exchange:

Nitwit #1: “Wherere you going?”

Nitwit #2: “Straight to Hell if I don’t change my ways.”

Nitwit #1: “Well, don’t change your ways, and I’ll see you there.”

That stunned me on several levels, enough that I thought it worth mentioning here.

The whole point of Hell is that you are stuck in a place where you are not having fun.  Ever go to a party that sucks?  You don’t know anyone there—and after a couple of conversations you realize you don’t want to know any of them; the music’s terrible; the keg’s flat; there are no snacks except stale Cool Ranch Doritos; and your friend that took you to this place ended up getting lucky and going home with someone—leaving you stuck there.  Got the idea?

Hell will make you wish you were at that party.

Admittedly, I have mixed feelings over what Hell is.  Jean-Paul Sartre once wrote a play called Huis Clos (“Closed Door”; sometimes it is called “No Exit” or “Dead End”) about three people in Hell.  He portrays Hell as psychological.  For example, one of the characters is intensely narcissistic, and the place they are in has no mirrors.  I like the idea of a fungible, customizable Hell, which certainly makes more sense—and would be more effective—than just a generic torture chamber with fire, brimstone, and a guy with a pointy tail poking you with a pitchfork.

That said, there are too many flaws in the concept of Hell, especially in terms of what gets you there.

It’s easy enough to dismiss Hell as a man-made concept created as a control mechanism: “do what we say, or when you die you go to this place.”  That’s obviously flawed, especially if you tack on the extension that it is ultimately God who sends you there.  If we posit the existence of God and further stipulate that God can do anything, then one has to wonder what a God who can do anything would want.  The only answer that makes sense would be “God wants us to love Him of our own free will.”  In other words, love God without expectation of a reward for doing so, not because you are trying to avoid some type of punishment.  Otherwise, it’s a coerced love, and as anyone knows, any type of contract or agreement made under coercion or duress is invalid.  In other words, if we love God because of self-interest (ie: we don’t want to go to Hell) it isn’t true love.

The Bible itself has probably the only answer to this: God is to be feared [Proverbs 1:7, etc.]  If He can come up with something like Hell and send you there for such offenses as eating a ham sandwich or walking more than 1,000 paces on a Saturday, then yeah: Fear this Entity, because He’s not sane by human standards.


...meanwhile, moving back to the mysteries of metaphysical World Domination...


Alternate Logic
[Part 1]


The following is a neat little logical paradox.  I can’t take credit for discovering this.  An overly-complicated (and exceedingly left-brained/mathematical) version was posited by French mathematician Jules Richard in 1905.  Three years later, Kurt Grelling and Leonard Nelson came up with a right-brained variant [using language].  Since I hate both math and the French, I’ll go with the Grelling-Nelson variation, especially since it is easier to explain and grasp.

First, let’s start with definitions...

An adjective is a word that describes a word.

Examples:      blue sky,
                                    heavy load
                                    loud sound

Adjectives usually describe nouns, but (and this will be important in a minute) they can also describe other adjectives.

Examples:      dark green car
                                    incredibly stupid person
                                    very dangerous situation

It is possible to sort adjectives into different categories, based on arbitrary criteria.  

Examples:      an “odd adjective” is an adjective that has an odd number of letters in it
                                    an “even adjective” is one that has an even number of letters in it
                                    a “vowelized adjective” is one that starts with a vowel
                                 a “consonated adjective” starts with a consonant

Obviously, you could also define things by their opposites, so in the above examples, a “non-odd adjective” does not have an odd number of letters in it, a “non-vowelized adjective” does not start with a vowel, etc.

With me so far?  Good.

Let’s assume a new grouping of adjectives: happy and sad.  Grelling and Nelson use “autological” and “heterological” but I like “happy” and “sad” better.  Anyway...

A “happy adjective” is one that can be shown to somehow describe itself.  Sort of like onomatopoeia.

Examples:      multi-syllable

A “sad adjective” is one that does not describe itself.

Examples:      vowelized [using the above definition]
                                  Japanese [ie: this word is in English, and even then, the Japanese refer to themselves as “Niponese”]

Now, in the above definitions, “happy” and “sad” are themselves adjectives [in this case describing the word “adjective”.]  So, the question is, in that context is the word “sad” itself a happy or sad adjective?

The answer is NEITHER.

Let’s examine why...

If “sad” were a happy adjective, it would be describing itself.  Since the descriptive quality in this case is not describing itself, then it would be describing itself as not describing itself.  Therefore, it cannot be “happy.”

If “sad” were a sad adjective, then it would not be describing itself.  But again, the quality is ‘not describing itself’, so in this case it would NOT not be describing itself.  This is a double-negative, which cancels itself out, meaning it is describing itself.  Which is directly at odds with its own definition.  Therefore, it cannot be “sad.”

In other words, it’s neither.  This is a logic loop paradox.

Neat, huh?


    A quick linguo-logic joke


An English teacher is in front of a class, and is explaining double-negatives.

“In English, a double-negative is considered to cancel itself out.  ‘I don’t have no money’ means you ‘do not’ have ‘no money’, thus meaning you actually do have money.  This only happens in English.  In some of the Romantic languages, it is acceptable to have a double-negative.  For instance, in Spanish, ‘no tengo nada’ literally means ‘I do not have nothing’ but again, the language structure makes the double-negative acceptable, and it is seen as a reinforcement, not a cancellation.  So in some languages, a double-negative is okay.  However, in no language does a double-positive cancel itself out to become a negative.”

A voice in the back of the class says, “Yeah, right.”



Alternate Logic
[Part 2]
Voiding the Null Hypothesis


For those who don’t know, a ‘null hypothesis’ is a concept where something is considered to be true until otherwise proven false.

Null hypotheses annoy the crap out of me.  They’re an inch short of ‘dogma’ [something considered to be true and not to be questioned or disproven at all] and a lot of bad laws and concepts have been founded on null hypotheses.  I think most of you will agree: if you start off with the assumption that something is true without even trying to find out if it’s false, that’s pretty shaky footing, and potentially dangerous.

Having said that, here’s a concept that undermines the entire concept of the null hypothesis:

It is impossible to prove anything ‘true’; you can only prove something ‘not true’

In other words, if I perform Experiment X and get Result Y, I have not actually proven that X always yields Y.  At best, I have proven it conditionally true: in that one instance, X yielded Y.  I could perform the experiment again and get a different result.  Or—and more importantly—there could be some outside variable I am not aware of that is affecting the experiment, and once that variable is removed, my results change.  It is impossible to know all the variables that could affect anything, so it is impossible to make an absolute statement that X will always yield Y.

So even if I perform Experiment X 10,000 times and get result Y each time, I have not actually proven X yields Y, because theoretically I could get a different result on the next try.  I cannot absolutely prove X yields Y as true, I could only prove X does not yield Y as true if the experiment fails.

Let’s move beyond abstracts and give some concrete examples.

    hypothesis:  if I flip this switch, a light will turn on.

If I flip the switch and the light turns on, I have not proven that my hypothesis is absolutely true, just that it was true in that one instance.  So, I flip it again, and the light comes on again.  Even though I’m 2 for 2 on this, I still haven’t proven my thesis absolutely true.  I could do this 10,000 times with the same result, and still not prove it, because there are unknown variables that potentially effect, and one of them may kick in on the 10,001 try.  For instance, the bulb could burn out, the fuse could blow, the lamp could become unplugged, etc.   The number of variables affecting this are effectively infinite.  I can never completely prove my ‘switch = light’ theory as absolutely true, because theoretically I can flip the switch and the light won’t come on.  If that happens, I have disproven my theory.

Moving on, let’s substitute in a new hypothesis:  2 + 2 = 4

So, I experiment to prove this.  I have 2, I add 2 to it, and I get 4.  So far so good.  I could repeat this experiment 10,000 times and get the same results, but again, on the 10,001 try I could theoretically get a different sum, because there may be variables I am not aware of affecting the equation.

If you think about it, you’ll see I’m right.


Speaking of always being right...


Ask Evil Matt

The Evil One fields your queries, as channeled by Sister Ob’dewlla ‘X’.

I’m not sure if I should be impressed or discouraged: since the last Update of April 19, only one question landed in the in-box.  So either this means everyone is either figuring out what’s going on [or at least how to Google their own answers] or no one cares.


Q:  how many countries drive on the left hand side of the road?

A:  As of 2005, it’s: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bermuda, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, East Timor, Fiji, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong [“Mainland” China drives on the right, though], India, Indonesia, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Macau, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Niue, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Got a question?  .


    And finally,,,

The Hedgehog Corner

By Harriet the Hedgehog



Cinematic Hedgehogs


In the past, I’ve noted an astounding lack of positive hedgehog roles in the movie industry.  Indeed, the overwhelming majority of movie ’hogs seem to be relegated to the adult entertainment industry, such as porn star Ron “the Hedgehog” Jeremy.  Fortunately, it has come to my attention that an exception to the rule has existed for over ten years, in the case of Peter Jackson’s “Meet the Feebles.”

This movie is sick and disturbing, and very much has a road kill fascination: you’re horrified, but can’t help but watch more of it.  Meet the Feebles can best be described at “The Muppet Show” on acid.  Superficially, it’s about animal puppets putting on a variety show, but that’s about where the similarities with Henson’s camp classic ends.  The animals in the Feebles are crude, vulgar, and without any redeeming social values.  At least one of them is a drug addict, another is filming a porn movie in the basement [which gets turned into a snuff film when the co-star gets squashed], etc.  

But wait!  The one likeable, redeeming character is a hedgehog named Robert.  Robert is an innocent (some would say naïve] newcomer to the variety show, uncorrupted and by the shenanigans going on behind the scene.  He is talented and dedicated to giving his best, including thoroughly researching his roles.  “I’m patwohling the moat!” hehe.

If the movie had focused on Robert, that would be great—caliber even.  Unfortunately, it contains entirely too many subplots about the other characters, which distracts from the over-all hedgehog effect.  However, this is minimally acceptable, as the other ostensibly unrelated sub-plots do tie in at the end, setting up a scenario that allows Robert to be “hero hedgehog” and save the day.

Over-all I give Meet the Feebles an enthusiastic ‘Two Paws Up!’ and encourage viewers to track it down and check it out.  Feel free to fast forward over the non-hedgehog parts and check out Robert, who is clearly the star of the film.



    That’s it for now, folks; and y’all know the drill:


      Trust no one
      and always keep your lighter handy!


© 2005 (IX, iii)



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