Hey, anybody want to construct an impromptu college dorm room?

Full over Full Bunkbed - $200 (Normal heights)
Full Size Keg (empty) - $40 (Normal Heights)
“The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt art work - $20 (Downtown/Little Italy)

Done and done. Recreate the best years of your life anytime you want!

Moving (widely) on, I confess to a soft spot for adorable poultry. Can't understand why I feel this way, but that's just how it is. Anyways, check these little critters out:

SMALL Exotic Chickens - Black Bantam Frizzle Cochin Pair - $30 (El Cajon)

The little cockerel is so ugly that he actually pulls a Pac-Man and crosses out of ugliness and into cuteness. My flatmate has this idea that that's what happens when (and if) you reach the edge of the universe, you just pop out on the other edge like Pac-Man fleeing Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde through the magical gateway at either end of the screen.

Weirdly, this analogy actually makes some sense--at least to me as the world's worst cosmologist. Goofy as the notion of a Pac-Man Shaped Universe is, it fits with my (admittedly inadequate) understanding of the cosmological shape of the universe.

I took an astronomy class in college and was perpetually baffled by much of it. Lots of stuff--such as the practice of tracking the sun's progress through the sky--just didn't compute for me. I don't know why. What did sort of make sense, however, was the weird cosmological stuff that got covered near the end of the course. I chalk this up to my tendency towards more abstruse philosophical outlooks on things--

--to this day, I am much more confused by the definition of a mathematical function than I am by the use and existence of the imaginary number i. Maybe this is the result of some willful indignancy towards simple truisms, maybe not. What is certain is that the more "out there" concepts in math and physics make a hell of a lot more sense to me than the simpler, 9th-grade rules and regulations.

Enough with my insecurities over arithmetic--back to the Pac-Man Shaped Universe! From my understanding, there is much disagreement between the commonly bandied-about theories on the shape and nature of the universe, its "open-" or "closedness," flatness (or lack thereof), and just about every other aspect one could think of. There is at least some consistency on its infinite nature, which is sort of comforting. It seems that the universe is infinite by its very definition; being everything, it must go on forever. Some of the models, however, allow for it to be an infinite space with boundaries. Interesting to think that this thing, which goes on forever, reaches point beyond which it does not go. The only thing that makes sense to me is that the infinite universe can only have one thing as a boundary; viz., itself.

Consider the Pac-Man Model. Pac-Man's little world (which also theoretically exists in infinite iterations, thereby satisfying the cat paradox, sort of, maybe...) exists in planar space, yet has itself as a boundary and follows a sort of spherical topology, which allows Pac-Man to traverse the distance r (from the ghost cage to the magic gateway) and end up precisely at another, different point (in the other gateway) which is still at a distance r from the ghost cage. Is it impossible to construct a working, physical model of the universe based on topological principles at work in a legendary video game? I should hope so, given the other insane metaphors which have been drawn up to assess the state of things as we know them. People explain Hubble's law by talking about raisin bread, after all. I think Pac-Man is definitely fair game in light of such things.

At this point I should really stress that I have no idea whatsoever, really, truly not the faintest inkling or suspicion that any of what I'm saying is even remotely accurate or useful in any way. HOWEVER, it serves one, very vital function. It helps me wrap my mind around the vastness of the totality of the universe in which I, you, and everything within the realm of human knowledge itself are of microscopic stature. In order to fully express that sentiment, I will give the floor to Eric Idle:

Comments

SDaniels Dec. 7, 2009 @ 4:27 p.m.

Someone really should do a little book, perhaps a graphic format, exploring all of the handy metaphors used by physicists to attempt to embody mathematical discoveries about the structure of the universe. It'll be a magical story fit even for kids, in which the Cheshire cat is both there and not there to tell them riddles, as they munch on Swiss cheese and raisin bread, and bounce on those big inflatables with dancing atoms.

I accept your topological model of the Pac-Man, though surely it is not the most elegant we've considered ;)

AND...I guess I can forgive you that beastly cartoon, since you posted cute chickens and the Idle ;)

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David Dodd Dec. 7, 2009 @ 4:41 p.m.

I think the universe is basically a Slinky. It would follow, then, that Richard James was at some point captured briefly by aliens from a distant planet and then created the toy in a frustrating effort to come to terms with the abduction. This would also explain his gravitation toward religion and spirituality in the years leading up to his death.

And SD, you HAVE to admit that the cartoon is quite funny.

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SDaniels Dec. 7, 2009 @ 4:50 p.m.

Very well ;) Psychoanalysis usually receives this criticism, with far more merit. I remember once reading a piece in a respected journal, in which the author was discussing Lacanian concepts--including, of course, the text and the self--and about two pages into it, I began to think there was some kind of mistake, and that the author was either crazy or sneaky, and had submitted a piece that just looked like it knew what it was talking about. Turned out to be the latter--editors had not read it through ;)

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antigeekess Dec. 7, 2009 @ 9:31 p.m.

I LOVE the cartoon. :)

As for the rest of it, all I can think of is this poem.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI18un7Ti5A

Love her, too.

And look what else I found, while looking for it.

(You can probably guess how I feel about this as well.)

Maybe I'm just in a good mood because I just had dinner...

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antigeekess Dec. 7, 2009 @ 9:48 p.m.

This is almost unbelievable. The same KID who just played the beautiful original piano solo in my link above? Well, he's got another vid where he explains the creation of the universe, with the assistance of Dr. Who footage.

He even uses the word "reverie," too...

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SDaniels Dec. 8, 2009 @ 2:27 a.m.

Thanks for posting that Dickinson, AG--perfect for this thread topic! I love the way she tries to show us in this piece her very process of thinking; as usual keeping a double set of suggestions going in image and proposition; here with the “brain” and “sky,” and “brain” and sea…” and “they will differ—if they do…” It is such a tease of her to sometimes use “brain” and sometimes “mind”—drives me crazy! ;)

This poem I’ll post in Pike’s honor, who attempts to conceive of the universe as the domain of Pac Man:

I had not minded—Walls— Were Universe—one Rock— And far I heard his silver Call The other side the Block—

I’d tunnel—til my Groove Pushed sudden thro’ to his— Then my face take her Recompense— The looking in his eyes—

But ‘tis a single Hair— A filament—a law— A Cobweb—wove in Adamant— A Battlement—of Straw—

A limit like the Veil Unto the Lady’s face— But every Mesh—a Citadel— And Dragons—in the Crease—

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SDaniels Dec. 8, 2009 @ 2:52 a.m.

...and yet more fun with the universe:

I saw no Way—-the Heavens were stitched— I felt the Columns close— The Earth reversed her Hemispheres— I touched the Universe—

And back it slid—-and I alone— A speck upon a Ball— Went out upon Circumference— Beyond the Dip of Bell—

So many questions arise with Dickinson’s flinty, yet oblique lines.

Is “Dip of Bell” referring here to sound? Is this narrative emanating from after death somehow? The senses seem to be both obstructing (as usual in her investigations) and aiding, as when the narrator is able to ‘touch’ the universe, and to push it back like a screen, while going forward.

And another:

Heaven is so far of the Mind— That were the Mind dissolved— The Site—of it—by Architect Could not again be proved—

‘Tis vast—as our capacity— As fair—as our idea— To Him of adequate desire— No further ‘tis, than Here—

“Heaven” is usually the ‘universe’ in Dickinson’s work. “Heaven” is so far of the Mind”: meanings proliferate, so that the universe is so much a product of the mind, yet we also have the spatial term in “far,” denoting distance between one and the other. The mind seems to be conflated with the universe; if the mind dissolved, so would the universe—the universe being just a concept of the mind, then, yet the “far” suggests that the object conceived of must be given a possibility of autonomous existence apart from its conception. So this is also more fun on the topic of observer and observed, one of ED’s favorites, and one which also takes the form here of consciousness attempting to circumscribe its own boundaries, yet necessarily failing, because in order to think about your thinking, you’d need to be able to stand outside it. (The site of “it” (indefinable) could not be proved). Amazing stuff! 'Spose I should have just done a blog on this... ;)

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FullFlavorPike Dec. 8, 2009 @ 1:04 p.m.

You know, Diggity Daniels, you prolly produce as much content in comment form as anyone does on there blogs. You, my dear, are the META BLOGGER--blogging about blogs as blogs.

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FullFlavorPike Dec. 8, 2009 @ 1:05 p.m.

Or, in Lacanian latin, the "blogger qua blog"

;)

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SDaniels Dec. 8, 2009 @ 2:10 p.m.

Ah, someone has finally discerned my blogging meta raison d'etre. Good show, Doctor Pikey-Pikington!

Hmmm. "Diggity Daniels..."

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SDaniels Dec. 8, 2009 @ 4:40 p.m.

Mais non, je me suis multiculturelle, qua. ;)

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SDaniels Dec. 9, 2009 @ 12:21 a.m.

Ok, this is driving me nuts. Why was the audience laughing? It looked like the three were passing something around or mock-passing something around at one point.

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David Dodd Dec. 9, 2009 @ 1:09 a.m.

Je suis perdu.

I thought this was about poultry and cosmology...

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SDaniels Dec. 9, 2009 @ 4:04 p.m.

It could be...for a price! :)

Gringo, why don't you get us back on track, with your fave quotation-- a writer, a physicist, etc-- from a conception of the universe.

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David Dodd Dec. 9, 2009 @ 6:09 p.m.

Okay. In fact, we'll turn this into a game of sorts. Guess who said this...

"There is a theory which states that if ever for any reason anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another [theory] that states that this has already happened."

And no fair using google. Google ruins stuff like this.

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MsGrant Dec. 9, 2009 @ 6:16 p.m.

Stephen Hawking? I did not google. Just a guess.

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antigeekess Dec. 9, 2009 @ 6:31 p.m.

Hey, look everybody, refried's got a new recipe! http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...

Okay, Re #19, that sounds like the Hitchhiker's Guide. So it'd be Douglas Adams.

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David Dodd Dec. 9, 2009 @ 6:36 p.m.

Correct, AG.

And I did browse that fish soup recipe, looks interesting. Here in Baja we have something similar, Caldo De Siete Mares, or Seven Seas soup. I've made it. Rick Bayless probably has the best starter recipe on the internets, but you really want to adjust his to your liking. Bayless is amazingly accurate though.

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antigeekess Dec. 9, 2009 @ 6:39 p.m.

Re #16:

Because it's 3 nerdy preppy white guys doing this:

Hiphop? Fun. White nerds doing hiphop? Funny.

:)

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antigeekess Dec. 9, 2009 @ 6:50 p.m.

"Correct, AG."

BOO-YAH!!! Over 20 years since I read that book, too. What kind of NoPrize did I win? Big bowl of fish soup?

I won't be adjusting any recipes, though, considering that I don't cook.

:)

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MsGrant Dec. 9, 2009 @ 6:53 p.m.

natch, AG would get this!! That soup recipe looked really good and really LONG.

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David Dodd Dec. 9, 2009 @ 6:55 p.m.

You like white nerds doing hip-hop? These guys actually have a San Diego connection:

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SDaniels Dec. 10, 2009 @ 1:09 a.m.

Darn, I missed that--and believe it or not, would have gotten it right--though yeah, I think we all read Adams when we were about 15, right? ;)

Gringo, I once compared you with Bayless; didn't know you actually liked his stuff. It should be accurate--he's a cultural anthropologist who has worked and lived all over Mexico for probably thirty years. He had a show for a little while on the Food Network, and I didn't like his affect at first, something of an overenthused Dead groupie, but grew to love his thoughtful, genuine appreciation for the humblest ingredient.

I always want the siete mares soup, but it is always the most expensive thing on the menu--why is that? They aren't using expensive fish or shellfish, right?

Agree with Grant, that recipe was way too LONG. Got a better fish soup recipe for us, refried, or do you use Bayless's?

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David Dodd Dec. 10, 2009 @ 1:41 a.m.

I promise to give out my Caldo De Siete Mares recipe the next time I cook it. The reason I think it's so expensive is two-fold: First, the ingredients are not cheap; fish, shrimp, and perhaps four other shellfish. Second, it does take a long time to prepare, maybe six hours.

Bayless is honest. He sees the dish prepared and asks questions, but the answers aren't always accurate. For example, he'll have you toast chiles and garlic and just about anything prior to cooking them. This is horsecrap. It's a short cut. Boil the chiles in water for about three hours. You won't have to strain them and presuming you can afford the gas (as opposed to roasting which requires less) it mixes better in the long run, plus you have an awesome amount of water to start the broth.

And my family is spoiled rotten, in case anyone is wondering.

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SDaniels Dec. 10, 2009 @ 4:37 a.m.

Yes, I know your family is awesomely spoiled :)

Many questions arise, gringo", in the universe of chiles and garlic:

How does boiling chiles for three hours equate to toasting them, and peeling the skin? These are very different preparations, so what is the objective? Just to remove the skin? And I've always heard that toasting adds a smoky flavor that is highly desirable...? Also, would you actually BOIL garlic to precook it for a preparation? I've never used a recipe that asked me to do anything but mince garlic, or add a clove or two to a soup, to be removed later.

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nan shartel Jan. 10, 2010 @ 2:59 p.m.

hey u 2...stop diggin' and get a room will ya

hahahahahahahaha...great blog Pikester!!!

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