Monthly Archive for March, 2007

Brilliant Photos.

I came across these photos and was floored. One of them is a photo of the Jesus in Rio. I happen to be going to Rio in about a week, and was thinking I wouldn’t bring my camera because of the high likelihood of theft. But now I wanna bring it. Anyway, take a look at these stunning photos. I’d post them here on Virtual Obscurity, but I think it looks better on the original site.

Surviving a Police Interrogation.

handcuffs.jpgLast year, I posted a video on How Not to Get Arrested. Well, assuming you screwed the pooch on that part, you are going to get taken into the station, booked, and probably interrogated. At that point the MOST important thing you can do is remain silent and ask for a lawyer. In law school, one of my favorite classes was Criminal Procedure. The professor taught us about all of the sneaky tricks cops use to induce confessions, which is the most surefire way to get a conviction. I recently came across an article detailing in laymen’s terms how these interrogations are conducted to maximize the likelihood of a confession.

How Police Interrogations Work.

The article is fascinating for all the psychological tricks the police use to induce confessions. But if you need to learn only one thing from the article, it is this list:
Five Techniques of Surviving a Police Interrogation (Without Confessing)

  1. Remain silent.
  2. Remain silent!
  3. Imagine the words “I invoke my right to remain silent” painted on the wall, and stare at them throughout the interrogation.
  4. Momentarily break your silence to ask for counsel. When you ask for a lawyer, the interrogation MUST stop.
  5. Cultivate hatred for your interrogator so you don’t fall into his traps and start talking.

When You’ve Got Company The Just Cause Law Collective warns that if you’re arrested with friends, you’ve got to keep a cool head. Decide beforehand that no one’s going to say a word until everyone has a lawyer, and remind yourself that police will try to play on the natural paranoia that arises when people are separated. The Collective offers a further warning regarding a group arrest: When you have your strategy discussion, don’t do it in the back seat of a police car. If the officers stuffed you all into one car and walked away, they’re recording you.

Sweep the Leg!

So the site went down for a while. My host said that I was using too much memory. But I think it was a corrupted database or template. In any event, I recently saw something cracked me up – a music video with all the old characters from the Karate Kid. The music is meh but the video is great!

My Disappointment.

I’ve done everything I can. I’ve talked with friends, family, and loved ones. I’ve tried to give it one more shot, time and time again. I just can’t delude myself any longer. My faith has been shaken. But I’ve broken down and admitted it. Because no matter how hard I try to deny it, there’s no escaping the truth:

Scrubs sucks this year.

And I’m not the only one. Lots. Of. Other. People. Are. Asking. The. Same. Question. Also.

There are weak and boring plots in this sixth season of Scrubs, such as the Iraq war veteran that ends up a discourse on the morality of the war. To add insult to injury, Elliot kisses the vet with no apparent motivation. The show jumped the shark when they did a crappy musical including a forgettable number named “Everything Comes Down To Poo.” Even the music has been sucking lately, one of the high points of the show. There’s a terrible (and terribly rated) clip show, that most hackneyed of sitcom throwaways. The characters are no longer quirky and weird. You don’t see any of the physical gags you used to see on the show. It’s almost as if some NBC fatcat executive told Bill Lawrence that he should make the show “more like Grey’s Anatomy.”

Perhaps it has something to do with the rumor that Zach will not return for a seventh season. Some have speculated that the more talented writers or directors may not be involved with the show anymore, though I haven’t been able to substantiate that very easily.

scrubs.JPG

No matter what the cause, it’s a heartbreak. Scrubs was my favorite show of all time. Now it is teetering on the edge of tivo-worthiness. I’ve already had to dump Family Guy and My Name is Earl. I hope things turn around for the show. Either Bill Lawrence needs to administer some swift kicks in the ass, or he needs one himself. Maybe he needs to go back on the sauce in order to write good copy. Or maybe he needs to get off of it – whatever he is doing with the sauce, he should do the opposite. Because Scrubs is hurtling towards obsolescence. And its a damn shame.

Lucid Dreaming with Haruki Murakami

I recently finished reading Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore. I thought it was a very easy, pleasant read. Towards the end it started to get a little too Yamazaki-surreal on me, but other than that I enjoyed it very much. The story was peppered with random graphic sexuality, much like Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

But what really struck me about the book is how much of an effect it started to have on me. Specifically, how this book triggered vivid and lucid dreams.

Like many others, I first started toying with lucid dreams after seeing the brilliant Waking Life. In what is probably Richard Linklater’s best film, a kid travels in and out of his dreams, plays with existentialism, and asks the important question: are we mere spectators in our dreams or can we control them? This is the premise behind Lucid Dreaming, the idea that you can become self-aware in a state of dreaming, and ultimately control the events that occur in your dreams. After seeing the film in 2002, I set to initiate lucid dreaming without much luck. I couldn’t even turn on a light switch in my dreams, which is one of the interesting tests Waking Life suggests. The best I could do was realize that I was in a dream right before I woke up. My conscious brain wanted to take over the moment it realized it was not in control.

Vivid dreams are slightly different. Vivid dreams occur during REM sleep. Various drugs have been associated with vivid dreaming. Others insist herbal and natural ingredients can induce vivid dreaming. In any event, it is different than lucid dreaming in that you are not necessarily in conscious control of your actions or the actions of others in the dream. I would think that most people have experienced vivid dreams at some point in their life.

In any event, while reading Kafka on the Shore, I started experiencing vivid dreams, and when I realized this, tried as hard as I could to actively control them. I had fleeting moments of control, but nothing like complete control. After experiencing more than 5 vivid dreams while reading the book, I wanted to find out if others have had a similar experience. And of course, they have! I found at least eight places that either directly or indirectly linked vivid or uncommon dreams to Kafka on the Shore. Link1, Link2, Link3, Link4, Link5, Link6, Link7, Link8.

What is it about this book that stimulates vivid dreaming? Is it the intersection of plots both surreal and ordinary? I’m not sure, but I would love to hear if anyone else out there has been able to attribute vivid or lucid dreams to having read this book.