The Blob

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

I had to share this

Every now and zen I come across something on the Web that's just too wonderfully weird not to share. I wish I had written this, but I'll do the next best thing and simply share it with you. Enjoy.

The "State" Of Idaho: The Case For Open Debate

If you would ask any schoolchild how many states there are in the United States, you will get the same answer: 50. Fifty states in the Union. It is simply an accepted "fact." If you would disagree with this supposed "fact," you would be branded insane or worse.

However, mounting evidence shows that there are in fact only 49 states in the US, and the "state" of Idaho is a baseless myth.

We have been trying to distribute and publish this information for over *two years*, but our scholarship has not been given any respect. We have been censored, vilified, ridiculed and spat upon by the "traditional" geographers and historians, but WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED!

All we ask is that the existence of the state of Idaho be debated, as every other historical and geographic "fact" can be debated. Time after time, our opponents have refused to debate us on the FACTS. This alone should tell you something about the people who support the "existence" of this "43rd state."

Please read the following evidence VERY CAREFULLY, and you will be astonished at the veracity of our cause.

The Population Myth
Do you know anybody from Idaho? Do you know anybody who knows anybody from Idaho? According to the 1990 "census," there are over one million (1,000,000, or 1 x 10^6) people living in Idaho. But if there are so many Idahoers, where are they?

Some people have come forward and claimed that they were born and raised in "Idaho." But every single person who made this claim have been shown to be frauds and charlatans. These "Idahoan wannabes" are invariably inconsistent with each other about the size (in square miles or square kilometers) of "Idaho," about various town and village names, and even about the names of "Idaho's mighty rivers."

The Size Farce
According to traditional geographic sources (created entirely by people who believe in the existence of Idaho, and probably the Tooth Fairy, also) the "State" of Idaho is more than twice the size of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts combined. Isn't it strange that a state with such vast land resources has so few people? And even of you look at a map (created by the Idaho-centric cartographers) the "State" of "Idaho" is dwarfed by its much larger neighbor, Montana.

Satellite Evidence
Recently declassified weather satellite information, showing the entire continental United States, shows absolutely *no evidence* that there is any state where "Idaho" is supposedly located. Noted experts in the field of interpreting these pictures unanimously agree that, from outer space, it is impossible to determine the borders of this elusive "state." Yet meteorologists and cartographers routinely overlay these satellite pictures with the outline of states that would seem to indicate Idaho's existence.

Photographic "Evidence"
Many people, skeptical of the clear evidence that Idaho does not and never did exist, point to photographs that they've seen in encyclopedias and postcards seeming to show parts of the state of Idaho.

It is important to note that a photograph without a caption is often meaningless. A picture of people in boats surrounded by mountains could have been taken in Colorado or Nevada, but when the holy *caption* says that this is a picture of the "Salmon River" in "Idaho," gullible readers tend to swallow this information whole *without any further examination.*

We have examined literally hundreds of these "photographs," and the ones that are not outright fakes are all clearly taken in other parts of the nation.

Ask The Japanese
It is well known that Americans are woefully ignorant about geography, which is one reason why it is so easy to fake an entire state here. Not surprisingly, most of the effort to create the illusion of Idaho has been expended in the USA.
But if you would ask a typical Japanese or French schoolchild about what he/she knows about Idaho, you will usually get a blank stare. People who are much better at geography than Americans have never heard to this "great state."

The Potato Myth
Any given supermarket in the United States has sacks of potatoes clearly marked "Idaho Potatoes." People make the assumption, that when they are buying these potatoes, that they were grown in the "state" of "Idaho."

Actually, "Idaho" is a type of potato, just like "McIntosh" is a type of apple. The FACT is that many states have potato crops, as well as foreign countries, and potatoes that say "Idaho" on them are no more from Idaho than Baltimore Orioles all come from Maryland.

So, What's There?
Nothing. There is nothing there. We have been so brainwashed by the traditional mapmaking community to think that if Idaho doesn't exist, then there must be some sort of vacuum there instead. This is nonsense.

The very shapes and positions of the states, and indeed of every nation on the planet, is only known through "information" provided by cartographers. It is akin to asking "if Santa's house isn't at the North Pole, then what's there instead?"

The Cartographer Conspiracy
The only evidence that there is a state called Idaho comes from maps. Everybody has maps, in almanacs, in encyclopedias, and on the walls of every elementary school classroom in America.

Astonishingly, over 99% of all maps are created by cartographers! If any clearly defined set of people would control any other important industry to that degree, everybody would be up in arms about the undue influence given to a meager few. However, for some reason, Cartographers are immune to such criticism. Any mention about the Cartographer influence over the mapmaking industry (and, as a natural extension, our very thoughts!!) is dismissed as "lunacy."

As an indication of how insidious is this influence, just think: have you ever questioned a map? Maps, being graphical objects, require much less effort to assimilate into our very psyches. Behavioral studies show that people can much more readily understand maps than printed descriptions of geographical areas; in fact, the images on maps tend to go directly into the subconsciousness of Man (Homo Sapiens) without the critical thinking that accompanies reading. In a very real way, Cartographers are the real Thought Police.

But they do not work in a vacuum. There are much too few of them to do their real damage unaided. Mapmakers have conspired with the editors of almanacs and encyclopedias to create a fantastic illusion of space where there is none, people where there aren't any, and ski resorts where none exist.

Only The Beginning
This is only the tip of the iceberg. We have much more material on this conspiracy, and we have yet to uncover one iota of evidence that Idaho has ever existed. All of the so-called "evidence" is a mixture of falsifications, coersions, lies and exaggerations.

The Cartographers would like nothing better than to silence us. If you do not see any more postings on this subject, then you have clear evidence that their Conspiracy of Silence on Idaho has succeeded, and that Freedom of Speech has been curtailed by the Cartographical Thought Police.

What can you do? All we ask is that you be open minded. Of course, you cannot trust any of the second-hand evidence that you would find in libraries, maps (!), airline schedules or street signs. All you can trust is what we have written here. We are confident that once you evaluate all of the valid evidence, you will be angered by this conspiracy, and motivated to do something about the scum who perpetated this hoax.

Signs that the Athens Olympics are approaching

Ah, the Summer Olympic Games. A time when people can set aside their differences and come together as one in the spirit of peace and humanity. It's a time when the most gifted athletes in the world gather together to compete. And if it's Athens Greece, it's time to get laid.

Yes, the city fathers of Athens are seeing to everything. And that includes increasing the number of brothels to handle the anticipated demand. I am not making this up. In an article on, it was reported that a number of countries have taken a little exception to the idea, given that a large number of women will be badly exploited by the act. But don't worry. The mayor of Athens will make sure the brothels are required to be licensed.

I guess it means that the leaders of the International Olympic Committee must be coming to town.

Talk about progress.

"In Athens as in the rest of Greece there are laws which foresee that you need a license to open this kind of establishment, and what the city of Athens decided was to implement this law, that's all,'' Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni said Wednesday.

I can't tell you how comforting these words are. If you're going to transform your city to a sleazebucket for the largest event to hit Athens since the last terrorist bombing there, you might as well be organized about it. And while you're at it, why not make money from the licensing fees made through exploited women? Nice concept.

I can see it now. Maybe they'll make sexual exploitation an Olympic event. Call me cynical, but somehow I don't think I'm in Kansas any more.

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Standing in the path of a flood

The customer is always right, so its said. But if you're Madonna, the Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Metallica, this is a point completely lost on them. What all three of these big name acts have in common is their abject refusal to allow their music to be sold on the Apple iTunes Music Store. The reason: Apple allows music to be sold as individual songs, not just as whole albums.

That's what gets their collective shorts in a knot. Each of these acts insists that their music can only be sold as a complete album or CD. To sell individual songs, they feel, destroys the whole concept of an album. In a very well written article in the New York Times, What Albums Join Together, Everyone Tears Asunder, by John Pareles, the author takes apart their argument with historical perspective. There was once a time when 45 RPM vinyl singles ruled the day. More recently, CD singles have been very popular. And for years, before the advent of MP3 ripping, people have mixed their own tapes from their favorite songs. To rock stars like Lars Ulrich of metallic, that's an insult. In his article, Pareles focused Ulrich's dislike for what consumers are doing with this quote:

"We like to see our work released in that collective form that we've created it in and have always created our work in and grew up in," said Lars Ulrich, Metallica's drummer and songwriter. "It's about an experience that's 40 or 50 or 60 minutes long. It was always about how those songs fit together: the fast song next to the slow song next to the crunchy one next to the ballad next to the instrumental. There was a balance, and you had all these dynamics within the experience. I like the relentlessness of it, to really pummel and torture people with it as long as possible."

His words, not mine. Considering how crappy their music is, torture is exactly how I think of it.

But did it ever dawn on Mr. Ulrich that consumers can buy an entire album on the iTunes Music Store (and on other download services) if they feel it's worth it? For that matter, does Mr. Ulrich not realize that almost half the music sold on the iTunes Music Store is as whole albums? In short, consumers have a choice. And to Apple, I say kudos for giving us that.

If there is an album whose quality merits buying it as the complete package of great music, count me in. I have a lot of music in my collection that meets that standard. But why should I have to pay $18 for the privilege of getting one song, when everything else on the album is, if you'll pardon me, junk? Give me the ability to buy one song for just $.99 any day. As it is, I've been buying more music than I have in years. I'm willing to bet there are many artists thankful for the uptick in music sales, even if it is by the song. Better to have a lot of something than nothing at all.

Let me put it another way. The Anaheim Angels baseball team won the World Series last fall by playing littleball, or by getting a string of singles, instead of a few big homers. Instead of trying to swing for the fences and striking out a lot, the Angels saw singles as a way to win.

Are you listening, Lars? You're obviously not listening to your customers.

The success of the iTunes Music Store (over 6.5 million songs sold in just a few months) shows that legal downloading of music is viable. There's money to be made. And by giving customers a choice, they'll come in droves. The Madonnas and Lars Ulrichs of the world are standing in the path of a flood. Isn't it time they joined the party?