Incubus: Bad Movie Makes Great Haiku

Stacie Ponder took one of the suckiest movies ever, Incubus, starring Tara Reid (2005), and made it into a very funny, multi-stanza haiku.  Here’s a glimpse:

“Ten minutes in and
this movie makes no damn sense.
I start to notice

that Tara Reid is
beige. Everything is beige:
skin, hair, eyes. Jaundice?”

Go read the entire poem on Stacie’s blog.

Urban Haiku

I found these cool haikus on a page called Haiku for People.  The first one is by Michael R. Collings:

“Silence–a strangled
Telephone has forgotten
That it should ring”

That last line doesn’t have 5 syllables, and I’m usually a stickler for that, but I still like it.  This one is by Dave McCroskey:

“the morning paper
harbinger of good and ill
– – I step over it”

Go to the website for more haiku.

Potentially Violent Coworkers

A subject that has suddenly become of great interest to me due to my recent encounter with an aggressive and volatile coworker is violence in the workplace.  In their article, How to Deal with a Potentially Violent Coworker, WorkMash states that:

“…according to government statistics, homicide is the second leading cause of death at work.”

The New York Times reports that confrontations between employees have been on the rise over the last 10 years.

If you’re concerned that you may be working with someone who may become violent, here are 8 signs that could indicate a tendency toward violence from SixWise.com’s article, How to Detect Potentially Violent People in the Workplace:

  • Actor behaviors: Acting out on anger; actions as yelling, shouting, slamming doors, etc.
  • Fragmentor behaviors: Not taking responsibility for their actions, blaming others for their mistakes, unable to see consequences for their actions.
  • Me-First behaviors: Taking breaks during crunch-time when everyone else is working, putting their wants ahead of everything else, regardless of negative outcomes.
  • Mixed-Messenger behaviors: Saying they are part of the company team, but not acting like it.
  • Wooden-Stick behaviors: Unwilling to try new technology, withholds information, wants to be in charge, is rigid and controlling
  • Escape-Artist behaviors: Lying to relieve stress, practicing addictive behaviors like taking drugs and gambling.
  • Shocker behaviors: Acting out of character or too intensely for the occasion, not showing up for work when previously they were reliable.
  • Stranger behaviors: Fixating on an idea or person, becoming isolated, social skills become poor.

This article goes on to list additional warning signs as well as what to do about it if you suspect a fellow employee is potentially violent.

Great Humpback Breaching

Here’s a poem of mine I managed to find (I’m not the most organized person) which was published in a little, free poetry journal in the Summer of 1997 called Nomad’s Choir.  It was inspired by a scuplture by the famous marine artist, Wyland

He’s an amazing artist and a smart businessman as well.  He allows people to buy his art on credit through his gallery with no interest, which means you don’t have to be rich to afford fine art when it comes in low monthly payments.  Fortunately, he also happens to be my husband’s and my favorite artist, so that all worked out really well for us.  We bought a sculpture of a humpback whale breaching (lifting up out of the water) as a present to ourselves when we got engaged.

When we bought the scuplture, we were told we could get a handwritten note from Wyland, which we were very excited about.  The sales lady said she’d buy a card and have him sign it.  We thought that was odd and a bit out of her way, so we offered to get the card, but she said no, no — she’d take care of it all.  Well, she didn’t, and she basically never wanted to talk to us again after the sale was final.

At the time, Wyland’s business manager was his mom, so I got in touch with mom and explained what happened with the saleswoman (in other words, I told on her).  I don’t think that saleswoman worked there for very long.  Wyland’s mom was super nice and took care of it for us; we picked out a card, and she had him sign it.  She told us to let her know what we wanted him to say, and I had him write this rather long note.  Looking back on it now, it seems a bit rude of me to make him write so much, but also kind of funny. 

So that is the story behind the the sculpture which inspired the poem, Great Humpback Breaching…

Great Humpback Breaching
by Edie Montgomery-Pool

Great humpback breaching,
In summer’s glassy waters,
Such beauty and strength combine
In your immense and graceful lines.
What icy coldness could possess
Any man to slaughter
Gods’ wondrous work of art
In these still and peacefull waters?
Are their hearts beyond all reaching,
Oh, great humpback breaching?

_______________

I grant permission for this poem to be reprinted in full or in part electronically, provided the following conditions are met: 1) the author’s name is listed; 2) the site on which the poem is published is not a vanity publisher or a scam poetry contest which requires its “winners” to make a purchase or pay a fee before being published. I grant permission for this poem to be reprinted non-electronically (as in, paper) provided the previous two conditions are met, as well as 3) the publication is for either a charitable or non-profit event or organization and 4) no fee is charged for the publication in which the poem appears. A comment notifying me you have used this poem is appreciated but not required.

Where’s Kelley?

So, as some of you who visit frequently know (because you’ve heard me going on and on about it), Kelley Armstrong was supposed to guestblog starting October 28th.  Although I got a personal confirmation from her (really — I didn’t just make it up), she is M.I.A.  I’m not sure what the deal is, but I have emails in to both her and her business assistant, so hopefully we can get her rescheduled.  It’s probably just some sort of schedule mix-up.  I’ll update you as soon as I know what’s going on.

Body Modification and Body Hacking

Wow — I have been working on this article forever.  What started out as a simple story on pointed ears (having ones ears surgically shaped into an elf-like point) grew into a wild discovery of current, artistic body modification practices and future, functional body hacking using interfacing technology.  So, here we go…

Body modification (like tattoos and piercings) is becoming more and more mainstream as evidenced by a recent article on msnbc called Generation of Tattooed Workers Leaving a Mark:

“The face of the young American worker is changing, and it’s increasingly decorated with ink and metal. About half of people in their 20s have either a tattoo or a body piercing other than traditional earrings…As a result, employers are finding that dress codes may need updating. In some cases, bosses are loosening up to attract young talent. In others, managers are adding new rules to keep body art covered up.”

While more people are getting bod mods, more companies are fighting against it.  The article goes on to mention the the lawsuit against Costco Wholesale, brought against them by an employee who claimed she was being discriminated against because of her eyebrow piercing (which Costco won).   She claimed religious discrimination since she’s a member of the Church of Body Modification.

Tattooed and pierced Wall Street lawyer, Marisa Kakoulas, discusses the case, employee discrimination against those with body modifications in general, and her own personal experiences in her article Employee Discrimination: Be Careful What You Sue For:

“On my first day of work at a stereotypical Wall Street law firm, four other lawyers took me for a fancy lunch to welcome me into the fold. All of us in dark suits and pasty white faces politely conversed about acceptable topics, all the while making sure we were using the right fork, until the moment when a man with neon hair, neck tattoos, and multiple facial piercings flashed before the window next to where we sat. The forks dropped. The man outside walked on. But his presence still lingered at our table.

“I don’t understand these freaks with all the tattoos and piercings,” started one at our table, and the discussion spiraled onwards towards burning the modified at the stake. Fortunately for me, my piercings and tattoos at the time were easily covered, otherwise I would’ve gotten singed.

…Or fired.”

Conservative corporations may be adverse to eyebrow rings, but I’m guessing that people in most parts of the world have seen them enough to where it isn’t even noteworthy enough to merit a second glance (or a raised eyebrow, if you will).  Although my view on this could be skewed as I live in Southern California, an area not known for its conservativeness.  While more of the regular folk embrace body art as acceptable (a tattooed bicep doesn’t automatically label you as either a sailor or a criminal like people might have assumed a few decades ago), those on the edge of the fringe continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible and what’s socially acceptable.

Luis Garcia, international liaison for the Association of Professional Piercers, said it best in a recent article called Split Tongues, Implants Take Body Art to Extreme:

“With television shows profiling tattoo shops and increasing numbers of piercings in the mainstream, more people are searching for procedures for the ‘one-upping factor.'”

Following are a few (painful looking) ways you can modify your body.  All these photos are courtesy of bmezine.com, mostly from their modblogWARNING:  Before you go cruising around this site, be aware that it contains photos of modifications to parts of peoples bodies you might not want to see; also, the pictures below, while not of anyone’s private parts, may be disturbing to some, so click with caution.

(And do me a favor — if you strongly disagree with these practices and want to voice your opinion, do so here and not there, and spare them the drudgery of having to delete or respond to yet one more negative comment, as I’m sure they’ve heard it all before.)

And if you think that’s freaky, I didn’t even include teeth filing, nipple swelling, urethral rerouting, or self amputation in that list.

Considering the extreme changes you can bring about in your body today due to technical and medical advances, where will the future take us?  Some people are considering this question already.

Adam at bodymod.org has written an interesting post linking to Philips Electronics regarding a concept for an interactive tattoo:

“The general premise is that you have some type of electronic ink / blood pathogen(?) under your skin that reacts to various stimuli across your skin. This is my guess on the workings, as it’s not described in theory anywhere. But the jist is that you turn your skin into a multi-touch, nerve reacting LCD screen that dynamically draws out tattoos on your skin to match the stimulus.”

To go directly to the conceptual video, click here.  Although not body modification oreinted, Philips has other cool and futuristic ideas you should check out as well, including the skin dress and the emotion sensor (expect a lot of hubands to buy this for their wives).

Quinn Norton, who gave a talk entitled Body Hacking at a recent ETech conference, is interested in going beyond merely cosmetic modifications and hacking into our bodies to improve their functionality.  She had a rare earth a magnet implanted into her finger which gave her the ability to sense electro-magnetic fields, as discussed in this article at worldchanging.com:

“…she could feel the hard drive spin up under the load seconds before her laptop began stalling, she could could tell if an electrical cord was live, feel running motors, security devices, etc. She explained that very rapidly her brain had adapted and developed a sixth sense.”

While I’m not at all into the whole tattooing/piercing subculture, any future invention of interactive tattoos and sense-improving, body-interfacing technology could potentially and quickly make me into a devoted and hardcore practioner of body modification.

Fishy Food Poisoning

Be careful what you eat on your tropical vacation.  Ciguatera poisoning is a bizarre condition which can result from eating tainted fish.  Symptoms include:

  • hot things feel icy cold
  • cold things feel burning hot
  • an imaginary sensation of losing ones teeth

What’s more, the effects can be long-lasting.  According to this article in Wired Science, it took one unfortunate tourist 10 months to recover from the effects.