Mr. Malkoviak!

Imagine if the press coverage went more like this:

John Malkovich, the famous actor, has scored a creative coup with his photo mash ups. He's put his famous visage into many well known photographs and paintings. Creative genius!

The actor does give credit where credit is due. In a fashion. He hinted the idea may have come from a similar, and earlier, treatment of the family portraits featured in Wronski's Wramblings, that irresistibly inventive website so well known for its eclectic creativity and  prescient perspicacity.

Naturally, we are pleased with the press coverage. Better than nottin' as our press agent seems to think. But, to be fair and balanced, that so inspiring "All My Relations . . . Oh! Wronski" page in Wronski's Wramblings drew upon a rich heritage of actual Wronski family members who have distinguished themselves, and otherwise, in all corners of the globe and in so many diverse areas of accomplishment. 

Perhaps Mr. Malcoviak assumed since the stamp of the Wronski genetics has been so strong in the physiognomy of the lineage one would conclude the photo entries might have been mash-ups. Au contraire. Here is scientific proof! 

And, there is even a brief written history for each one to establish context and verify historical accuracy. 

Take a look into the Wronski legend at All My Relations . . . Oh! Wronski".

And if you are interested, here is a link to see the, ahem, attempts by the aforementioned actor.
"Drugs of Choice"

. . . Stanley, Resident of the Chelsea Hotel

I lived at the Chelsea Hotel in the Big Apple a while back. During the time of Stanley. 

Actually, there were two Stanley's. 

One Stanley was the beloved Stanley Bard, owner of the property. He was known for his support of artists. You can still prowl the lobby and see some of his most eclectic collection of art. Some, if not most of which, was given in lieu of rent. 

I left the Chelsea Hotel owing back rent. I gave Mr. Bard my camera and lenses as collateral. If you go back to an older Smithsonian Magazine article featuring the Chelsea Hotel, there's a photograph of Stanley Bard in his office just off the lobby. On a shelf in the open cabinet behind him is my black camera case! Also, I left a piece of handmade jewelry; a small mobile of a human face crafted in silver by a Soho artisan. And, a tribal rug from Iran.

Mr. Bard didn't ask for those items in lieu of by back rent, I felt it was a necessary gesture in good faith to be clear I would pay up when I could. In fact, I did repay him. He didn't remember the promise, but he had the camera set and returned them to me. When I get those negatives out of storage I'll post the images I shot after leaving the Hotel. He didn't know the whereabouts of the jewelry piece or the rug. So, that's that.

There was another Stanley at the Chelsea Hotel. A true denizen of that haunted place. We had the kind of passing acquaintance you develop with people who you see on an everyday basis, but don't necessarily have anything more than a hello between you. 

I must have had a conversation or two with him, though. Once he said to me, "Drugs of choice." In connection with what I don't remember. It may have been something as simple as me telling him I was going to see a movie. "Drugs of choice." I got the reference immediately. In short, we are all drug addicts. Just that the particular preferences vary. 

Stanley, it was clear to me, was a drug user. Heavy duty. I once passed him on the hotel stairway (one of the wonders of New York City, that beautiful marble stepped and artistic wrought iron railed stairway) and his eyes looked like spinning hypnotic pinwheels. It suggested to me that he was a long time aficionado of powerful mind/body altering substances. Steeped. Anyhow, live and let live. 

That phrase from Stanley is fixed in memory as one of those adages worth keeping. Or, at least, remembering. Like what a fellow on the street in New York City said to me once about his woes over having been dumped by his true love . . . "A living man is worth more than as the crow flies." She not only dumped him, she must've dumped on him too. Big time. Poor soul.

"Drugs of choice." Like I said, I don't remember the context in which he made that profound statement; but certainly Stanley, the Drug Guy, had made his choice(s). 

Now, for the point of all this. (Have you enjoyed this wrambling so far?) You can relate to this writing as if it were a drug. A soft one. But, if you take it all in, it is compounded in my literary apothecary to have a certain wonderful effect. Try it. Come on. Chicken? Just once. There are not that many Wronski's Wrambling addicts out there. What's the harm. Everybody is doing it. 

You know they don't call it the Big Apple for nothing. Like Adam and Eve and that apple what started it all, NYC is a great temptation of the psyche and the senses. Drugs of choice. So many. Make your choice.

Of course, we live in a drug saturated culture. Legal drugs. I marvel at the advertising for drugs and how blithely and sweetly they give the arms length list of possible horrifying  and dire side effects. Also, how the copy in those commercials seems to assume we all are fluent in drug names and their uses. I'm not. I don't take anything stronger than aspirin, maybe sometimes an Advil. So I just sit and watch as the old AdMan in me analyzes the advertising. By the way, that whole business of advertising prescription drugs to consumers started during my time in the ad barrel. It's a whole specialty now. They even have experts with seminars and courses on the craft of naming drugs. Richard my Scottsdale hair cutter came up with the ultimate drug name: Copacetic, for when you just want to get through the day. 

Sex can be a drug. It's one of my faves. Note to the fellas: the advertising and the general conversation in the culture suggests that sex for us is, at the culmination, about letting it go. Sure feels good. Right? As you mature you will notice, or maybe already have, that you don't seem to come back for another quite so fast. It's not that you have a finite store of power in the sack, but as you age the turnaround time becomes longer. Something about production rate. Pharma has a solution to that problem. So, why not take a blue one and get it on. And, out. There are no long term studies on that, but I'll bet if you are into your years ripping them out regularly, you'll become a ghost. Not unlike those guys who are heavy into the illegal drugs. All grey, and gaunt. Also, at some point in one's life the natural inclination becomes more inward directed. There's a whole science on that. Mantak Chia is a well known Taoist Qi Gung Master and has written authoritatively on redirecting sexual energy. Check it out: Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy. 

Let me mention our icon of male sexual enjoyment, Mr. Hugh Hefner. The poster boy for the promise of Viagra. Could it be that its all a big pose? There's plenty of photos to suggest it is. His message: enjoy, fornicate, copulate, enjoy. Stop. Then do it again. Wouldn't it be a kick to find out after his demise that in fact he was gay? Demise? Heck, with all that snatch, he might live forever. 

And, for no reason in particular, I'm sharing that the Stanley I mentioned looked like a cross between Hugh Hefner and William Borroughs. Whether, and what, Stanley had going on besides drugs, I don't know. 

Drugs of choice. The media. Do I even have to elucidate on that one. I remember sitting around on Saturday nights listening to Edgar Bergen and Charley McCarthy. The Shadow. Then television got us all into sitting in front of a screen. Then computer screens. Now screens in our pockets. As I suggested in another rant (yes, this is becoming a rant), it's not that unthinkable that in some Brave New World we'll have the option to have a screen inserted into our brains. Option? Maybe a requirement of citizenship?

Drugs of choice. Take, work. (Please.) Nothing wrong with work. Things need to get done. But it's the busyness of business that can be so drugging. Who are we without our roles, without the time we fill with our doings and goings? If you pride yourself on being a so-called multi-tasker. So you can give 100% of your attention to more than one thing at a time? Really?

My short conclusion on drugs is that they are distractions. At best, for relieving pain and burdensome symptoms. Temporarily. At worst, keeping us from the real business of living. What might that be, you may ask? Living. There are teachers on such things. But, let me put it this way: Does anybody really think being strapped to an electronic device, or serving in some robotic capacity to earn money to buy an even better electronic device, is living? 

Underneath our distractions, we're alive. Do you really want to live? Break the drug habit. 

Welcome to 3-D Printing

Replicating Pre-Assembled Objects with Moving Parts

3-D printing is a technological frontier that has been reached. Now to the exploration of its uses. 

The feature here is about the ability of 3-D printers to print designs and replications with complex moving parts, fully assembled

Photoshop . . . Move over. 

The video below shows the 3-D printing of a fully assembled and functioning crescent wrench.


It wasn’t shown in the video from the scan how the actual internal moving parts were determined. There is the software interface step before sending the completed file for printing. 

This video demonstrates the software manipulation post-scan required to create the file for 3-D printing the crescent wrench shown in the preceding video.


 Here is a link to a company which produces software and technologies for producing 3-D printed creations:
George and Darth Vader Get Hyper . . .

There’s a Whole World in Front of You . . .

So, there they were. Tomatoes. Lounging in simple quietude, all pretty, minding their own business. Ripening, discussing among themselves who would be the first to be selected; and, for what dish.

When out of nowhere, cabbage. Uninvited. Such a big brute. Round, like a tomato, all right. But does that get you into the club? There it was, so simple. Seemingly. Yet, if you want to look at the layers underneath things, is there anything more so? Except, maybe baklava.

But, I digress.

The shame of it is how the peppers just lay about, doing nothing, uncaring. Slackers, imagining some fried mélange inspired by dreams induced from inhaling garlic fumes.

And, those pears! Who could blame them? Too green to even have a clue about the drama unfolding right in front of them.

Hey, you. Yes, cabbage? It’s sauerkraut for you, buddy! And maybe some roll ups for Sunday dinner.
Wise Guys Says . . . 

For when you want to stick it to a self-righteous Christian:

Catholic Minority Report

A friend commented: You know how practicing Roman Catholics can get into all kinds of scruples over committing sins and going to hell? Or, purgatory; depending on the gravity of the offense. 

Well, how about a Get Out of Hell Free Pass? It would be simple. Just go and confess to a sin you haven't committed yet!

You know that movie with Tom Cruise, set in a future where there is a cadre of crime fighters dispatched to prevent an occurrence before it even happens? Or that more recent confection in which a guy gets a free one night stand with someone other than his wife? Hall Pass.


A certain fellow, er, of my acquaintance attended Catholic Parochial School in his youth. Mass every day, confession once a week. Those starchy nuns daily, and all day. 

Being a very scrupulous lad, he once confessed to having impure thoughts. The priest confessor misunderstood the boy and assumed he was confessing to having sexual relations with a woman. Any boy age 10 or so has some inkling of what's what between the men and women. Down there. A lot of curiosity, to be sure. But, actual making the love of the two armed kind. Come on. At so innocent an age. Even now in this guilted age. Never. Let's hope. 

Our young friend was woefully chagrined over the priest absolving him of a sin he didn't commit, or even didn't know how to commit. But he didn't let on, and sheepishly snuck out of the confessional to do his handful of Our Father's and Hail Mary's. And, hoping the priest didn't get a glimpse of him from behind the curtain.

Time has passed.

And, I hear our pseudo-fornicating young miscreant has gathered some experience under his belt. Let us not elaborate. He related the foregoing story to me and then speculated on a work around inspired by the Tom Cruise movie; his early embarrassment in Confession; and that other movie, Hall Pass. 

What if you went and confessed to a sin you didn't commit (but would certainly like to). Wouldn't you have a pass to do the deed later, with impunity? A sort of get out of jail free ticket? 

Makes sense, right? If you are a scrupulous Catholic, you must have dealt with the quandary of the risky interim period between when you commit a Mortal Sin (straight to Hell, eternal damnation category offenses) and making it to confession. If you die in the meantime, you belong to the Devil, forever. 

All right, there's a bit of silliness in here. I'm sure the doctrine is that if you have contrition in your heart, and you die before confession, then it counts to the good. I'm telling you folks, this is stuff Catholics worry about. I remember in high school us boys peppering the priest in religion class with questions from all angles about all the what-if exceptions and just-how-far-you-can-go scenarios with the girls. That's Catholic for you. You have all these urges, and you have the chance of hell for satisfying them. 

So, here's the proposition. Why not get a chit for forgiveness before the act itself? Hey, why not collect a bunch?

Dumb is the New Smart
Dumb is the New Smart

(Rant Alert!)

As I sometimes opine about the world these days, it's either there's a whole lot of manipulative control going on to shape public opinion and action. (By action, let's be frank: consumption.) That's the cynical view. The extreme of which is the conspiracy theorist. Or, it just could be that everyone is just trying their damnedest to do the right thing. That's the kinder view. The downside of that is, if you read the news, then we're all just a bunch of idiotic fools. You can't write that stuff, as they say, folks. Slapstick comedy, 24/7/52/365.

But, let's be clear. It's all an illusion. All of it. All of the phenomenal phantasmagoria of it. As interesting and fascinated as it may be. False. To the core. Mr. Krishnamurti said, "Do you want to know what my secret is? You see, I don't mind what happens." Don't dismiss that too fast. He is on to something. For Real.

All of us, too. Illusory. Important point to not miss. We, this you and me, are all part of that illusion. You may ask, if that is true, then who am I? Good question. I refer to Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj for more on that. His I AM THAT is a clear and direct pointer for seekers of the Real and True. If you don't ask that question, then I must ask you, why not?

In any event . . . As Mr. Buddha said, it does have that "such-ness". That's for sure. Knock on wood. It sure enough looks real.

In the current historical such-ness the myth I see operating — and going unquestioned, seemingly — has to do with information. By the way, there's this fellow who is making some hay pitching an idea called Singularity. Apparently we're not too far off from a time when computers will be smarter than people. Post-human utopia.

It's arguable but not far from true that an underpinning of this notion is the myth based on the idea all's we need is more information, better information, faster information. When we have all the information of course, it has to be the right information — then everything will be perfect. Of course, just whose idea of what the right information may be, and what would constitute perfection . . . that's the sticky point, isn't it. I'm betting that it'll wind up being in the hands of a cadre of kids from Silicon Valley who are right now staying up late figuring out what you and I will want and need to such a granular level that they can tell us even how many swipes to clean up after going to the loo. 

If you don't know from algorithm, it's like this: For that exact swipe count, you have to factor age, weight, physical activity, lifestyle preferences, eating habits, meal times, paper type, time of day of the pooping, time on the commode, how big your butt is. Like that. Only many more factors. Combine all those data points, weighted by some pertinent averages based on accumulated data cross-referenced to validated observations (yes, they can see in the bowl, maybe even bowel) and combined through some black box technology, you get a formula called an algorithm. Just plug in your very own particulars and then follow the instructions from the voice on the screen. Or, the voice in your head. Read on, on that latter point. The one(s) who can come up with that stuff will rule the Brave New World. And, get the big bucks. 

Just recently those smart folks at Apple have introduced their Apple Watch. It's mid-September, and we can't get our hands on one until early 2015. Get in line. 

Time Magazine's current issue features commentary on the Apple Watch as its cover story. Like Marshall McLuhan said in his definitive Understanding Media, for every new technological extension of human ability something is added, and something is taken away. + Covenience. —  Control. Are you ready for Post-Human living? It's like, stop thinking, we'll do it for you. And, you'll pay us because you know we know best. 

My rant here is about how as our devices become ever more smarter and indispensable, our need for critical thinking is usurped. And, judgement. Yes, you read it right, more smarter. Dumb is the new Smart. Why think when that gizmo in your pocket, and now the one on your wrist will do it for you. The new Apple Watch can monitor your physical activity and suggest areas for added focus and improvement. It'll also suggest possible responses to messages. Hey, I'm too busy for even that. Why not an app to just do it all for me. 

This all happens, of course, in a culture which favors so called multi-tasking. I'll just go to it right out. If you are proud to be a multi-tasker, you're an asshole. Or, you will be soon. That is, someone who is unwilling, and perhaps unable, to give anything or anyone 100% of your attention. Remember: divided we fall. You are on notice. Don't be an asshole. Or, a schmuck.

The Time article closes with a suggestion that the next logical step from devices known as wearables would be implants. Yes, right up there nice and tight. Got that, asshole. And, by the time the marketplace gets conditioned to that possibility, we'll all be standing in line to be the first to take it right up the wazoo. Wazoo, or whatever other orifice is most convenient and cost effective.

Meantime . . . Hey, I need to make a buck too. 

Here's an App you can download for your device that comes as close to an electronic implant as I can conjure. Notice the "Cloud Now" function. That's for when the options escape you and you need support from a Higher Authority. If you are wondering where that Higher Authority is . . . Hint: Silicon Valley.


App Store #9

9. Apple [on your] Brain . . . 

Get smart! Connect you keppe to the infinitude of all information data. Gives you total control. And . . . absolute perfect execution. Stuck? No problem. Just swipe the "CLOUD NOW!" function and you can spend as much time as you care to fully controlled by the "Higher Power®"*, colloquially known as the final and ultimate algorithm.

The "CLOUD NOW" is set to a default time-in-use at 4 hours. Longer than than and we will call your doctor for you. And, the police. Not to worry, though. Foolproof. Never fail. Secure. 

* "Higher Power®" is a registered trademark of EmmCoTech®
Wise Guy Says . . .

On the White Man’s Education

On June17, 1744 Commissioners from the English colonies of Maryland and Virginia negotiated a treaty with the Indians of the Six Nations at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As part of the deal the Indians were invited to send boys to school at William and Mary College. If the Six Nations would send down half a dozen of their sons to that College, the government would take care that they should be well provided for, and instructed in all the learning of the white people.

In expressing their deep sense of the kindness of the Virginia Government, in making them that offer:

. . . For we know that you highly esteem the kind of learning taught in those colleges, and that the maintenance of our young men, while with you, would be very expensive to you. We are convinced, therefore, that you mean to do us good by your proposal, and we thank you heartily.

But who are wise, must know that different nations have different conceptions of things; and you will therefore not take it amiss, if our Ideas of this kind of education happen not to be the same with yours. We have had some experience of it:

Several of our young people were formerly brought up at the colleges of the Northern Provinces; they were instructed in all your sciences; but when they came back to us, they were bad runners, ignorant of every means of living in the woods, unable to bear either cold or hunger, knew neither how to build a cabin, take a deer, or kill an enemy, spoke our language imperfectly; were therefore neither fit for hunters, warriors, or counselors; they were totally good for nothing

We are however not the less obliged by your kind offer, though we decline accepting it; and to show our grateful sense of it, if the gentlemen of Virginia will send us a dozen of their sons, we will take great care of their education, instruct them in all we know, and make men of them.