The 10 Most Influential People

My friend Thelton teaches 6th grade and they asked me to give them my Top 10 Most Influential People in Human History. So here’s what I came up with. In no particular order. OK, maybe there’s an order. For me personally.

  • Philo Farnsworth
  • Isaac Newton
  • Socrates
  • Jesus Christ
  • Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha)
  • Charles Darwin
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Julius Caesar
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Alexander the Great

We’re All Astronauts

That’s the overriding thought pattern in my head whenever I’m working out in the small office gym we’ve set up. Our jobs are so physically undemanding, we’d turn to jelly if we didn’t work out. As a kid I remember thinking it was funny that astronauts in zero G had to work out regularly to keep their muscles from atrophying. But these days, in any tech-based job or other cubicle farmhouse, it’s only slightly less essential.

The Continuing Saga of 101.1 FM

Remember awhile back when I complained that my favorite radio station was gone? Well it changed again. For a few months it was a modern rock/pop station, but over the weeked, a rather bizarre transition occured. For about 24 hours straight, the station played Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.”

Definitely the weirdest format change I’ve ever witnessed in this town. Especially after giving the previous format such a short span to in which to work.

I still haven’t heard any DJ’s on the air, just the FCC-mandated call letters and city. I also can’t get a fix on their format. You tell me what kind of station has this playlist:

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons – Big Girls Don’t Cry
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come on Eileen
Sweet – Ballroom Blitz
Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough
Chic – Le Freak
David Bowie – Let’s Dance

Everything else I’ve heard has been mostly 70’s disco tunes with names I can’t recall. Weird.

Movies and Days in Review

Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a marvelous thing. Guns, action, sexiness and subtext. What the movie never quite says (and what perhaps it may not even know) is that the film is an exaggerated metaphor for all marriages. Being married means surrendering yourself to one person and trusting them not to kill you in your sleep. When Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are staring down the barrels of each others’ guns, they have to give in, they have to make a leap of faith and surrender to one another. It’s a cute conceit, tied up in shattered glass and head trauma wrapping paper.

Batman Begins is another winner. Cillian Murphy as Jonathan Crane seriously wigged me out, and Liam Neeson takes his Star Wars mentor bit into a darker place. Michael Caine rocks the house, although his Cockney accent seems out of place for a butler. Christian Bale is a better playboy than Michael Keaton and a better Dark Knight than George Clooney. And Katie (I’m the non-British one) Holmes…well, our little girl is growing up. May God save her from being eaten alive by the increasingly batty but still totally not gay Tom Cruise. As a bat-nerd since 1990, I have to say this movie surpasses the original Tim Burton version.

Land of the Dead marks the first time I’ve seen a real B-movie in a theater. It’s truly a fun crappy film.

In other news, Matt leaves for Salt Lake City tomorrow. There needs to be a word for “sad for me but happy for you.” Reverse schadenfreude?

Oh and I interviewed the Boondogs for Localist on Sunday. Check them out. Moody, low-watt power pop.


It’s easy to take for granted what the invention of the telephone has brought to courtship and human relationships. Getting a phone number from a member of the opposite sex is such a crucial first step in the dating process; how did we ever date without them?

And how will the Internet change this? Obviously the exchange of email addresses is taking on a status similar to that of the phone number exchange, but I truly believe that the Internet will affect the very way we meet people. Why go to a bar and hope to find someone interesting enough to ask for a phone number? Why not flip through profiles and web pages of people so that you can move quickly past their physical exteriors to get some idea of who they really are? Sure there’s the likelihood of subterfuge, but it will always be smaller than that of its outdoor counterpart. Assuming of course that you’re looking for a personality to match yours, and not just an attractive body.

Consider this. Jamie B started a profile at for her sister Amy (the twins mentioned in the June 16 entry), whom I then met and with whom I became good friends. I later got onto (wherein I met my other Jamie) and pulled in Jamie B, wherein she met her now-fiancee Charles. I’ve also made a few new friends via So it’s already happening. And it’s not just for hopeless nerds who never leave the house. Not anymore.

Terminology and Categorization

For whatever reason, it recently occurred to me that saying “I am the Alpha and the Omega” sounds so much cooler than saying “I am the A and the Z,” which is what a true modern translation would be. The former sounds like a weighty pronouncement, while the latter sounds like a bad advertising slogan. Just another great example of how important proper translations are.

In other news, I’ve categorized most all of my past blog entries for your convenience and my narcissism. See the bottom left of the navigation for links broken down by topic. Remember that once you click a category (or an archive for that matter) you have to click the title of the entry to see the full text.

Pictures from the weekend and the last week or two. The first half are all camera phone pictures, so that explains the haziness.

The Cognitive Vicissitudes of Twins

Plugging into what I was saying a few days ago about neurochemical signatures, today I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine who has recently moved to Little Rock. She is the twin sister of another friend of mine who moved away a couple of years ago. We’ve hung out a few times now, and today she mentioned to me that I look at her like I know her well, when really I barely do. I had actually noticed this myself recently. In my brain, she moves inside her sister’s neurochemical pattern. I regard her with a set of unconscious assumptions because she fits the same visual and auditory data patterns that her sister created. I have to stop and remind myself that we don’t have a shared history together. That wasn’t her I went to see Amelie with; nor was that her on whose doorstep I left a Valentine’s Day flower. Yet my brain forgets that. She’s immediately an old friend even though I’ve only met her on a handful of occasions. This is weird for me; I can’t imagine how it must feel for her.

Spiraling: Pictures

Here are some pictures via Jessica. Can you believe I left my camera at home? I’ve been getting lax on that since I got my new camera phone, which I quickly discovered is useless in a dark venue with lots of really bright lights.