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Holy Bejesus!

May 16, 2010

This is my favorite combination of amazingly useful, terrifying and hilarious. All in one convenient location! Japanese scientists have created a robot mouth that simulates the human voice. The logic that lead them to make this monstrously weird thinggy is actually quite cool. It was designed as a therapy tool to aide the hearing impaired to improve their pronunciation and articulation of speech.  It serves an unexpected second and third function as well, watch for yourself and see:

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Fabulous Prizes!

April 30, 2010

Fact: Herb Alpert is amazing.

I found this video for Tijuana Taxi and was so pleased with the dancing that I’m compelled to beg you, the good citizens of the internet to learn this dance. If you shoot a video of yourself performing said dance you will be fulfilling my Make-a-Wish, and, also, I’ll love you forever, and, also, I’ll give away fabulous prizes to the first five people who post said videos in the comments section.

Happy Friday everybody!

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Scars

April 27, 2010

This is a link to an audio story I found on the blog the Dirtbag Diaries, it’s a great piece about scars that made me quite happy.

Scars

If you’re interested, here’s the link to the original site:

The Dirtbag Diaries

Happy Monday!

P.S. If anyone knows how to create links that don’t say #mce temp url# I’d love to know…

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I Live in Reality

April 23, 2010

Something about the internet has been bugging me. Just a slight twinge like the beginning of a toothache that’s been coming on since the late nineties. I fancy myself something of a social beastie, so why am I skeptical of the internet friendships that so many wonderful people have formed? A disclaimer here, some of my very favorite people in the world have met friends, husbands, business partners and every conceivable form of colleague online, and yet… I just can’t seem to take the disembodied citizens of the interweb seriously. The why of this has buzzed in the background noise of my mind for over a decade generally answering itself in a vague way somewhere along the line of thinking that interweb friendships are too niche specific, that you’re limiting yourself to having only one thing in common and that that thing is usually pretty shallow, like a shared love of Buffy The Vampire Slayer or other such fangirl/ fanboy things. Or perhaps its that I’m a traditionalist; I thrive on the manipulation of social filters that people drop when communicating anonymously and at a great physical distance. These are both solid theories, but the longer my real-life friends have relationships with internet people, the deeper the cracks in both. I’m forced to acknowledge the fact that friends met in fangirl-land grow beyond television, and that friends made on parenting websites are almost always more likely to have stronger social mores than people you meet at parties. So what is it then?

Last night in an insomnia fueled media bender, I came across the documentary We Live In Public. A fascinating if somewhat terrifying look at the birth of internet media and communication as framed by the vision of mogul/ artist Joshua Harris. At the tail end of 1999 Harris initiated an experiment called “Quiet: We Live In Public” in which a collection of artist were invited to live in an underground bunker in the middle of New York for a month. All of their needs were met, food, clothes, drugs and weapons were provided and no one was allowed to leave. The Orwellian bunker was furnished with small sleeping pods and every inch was rigged to pickup sound and video which were streamed live over the net. Remember, this was 1999, years before social networking and Youtube. Disturbingly, or perhaps predictably, the people in “Quiet” reacted to their captivity by acting out every base desire in the gamut of human experience. The exhibitionism at the heart of the experiment turned the individuals into caricatures of their impulses. So much so that the police shut “Quiet” down on January 1, 2000 out of a fear that the project was some kind of millennium cult.

With modern additions to the internet like Chatroulette and Facebook bringing us closer to the performance art at the heart of “Quiet,”  one wonders how much of this exhibitionism we’ve begun engaging in as part of our daily routines. Furthermore, look at how sophisticated we’ve become in crafting our own messages. In Chatroulette we angle cameras, exposing our genitals and hiding our faces. Proclaiming our sexuality while simultaneously denying our individuality. Facebook allows us to select pictures of our most flattering angles, and take as much time as needed to construct our wittiest or most intellectual status updates. There we exist as our most flattering, carefully-edited selves.

Facebook me

There is a random chaos in real world interaction that the internet encourages us to delete from our social behaviors. Gone are telling gestures, fluctuations in speech patterns, verbal pitch changes and knowing glances. The chaos of these subconscious movements are where human vulnerability lies. Is the internet allowing us to naturally evolve away from this? And if so, to what end? Are we becoming detached penises and carefully projected minds? Also, is this splitting of mind from body negative or simply unfamiliar?

In the face of this incredible self-selected control, my friends have made genuine connections with people around the world. Thus, my problem can’t possibly be as global as this. It hit me this morning, this tension is predicated on self-identity carefully constructed to defuse erroneous perceptions in face-to-face meetings. Physically, I’m crippled. I limp, my fingers and arms twist strangely and move slowly. I’m short, I’m redheaded, I look younger than my thirty-one years and when you meet me in reality the tension between the fact of my physicality exists in a contradiction to my loud potty-mouth and occasional profundity. Disabled since infancy, I grew up keenly aware that at first sight, others would likely assume mental retardation must be part of the package. This allowed an amount of social freedom well beyond that of the average person. When suited I keep my mouth shut or actively play up this perceived vulnerability. Most of the time, however, I casually drop SAT words, art history references and dirty jokes. These act as careless declarations or my intellect and “normalcy,” and to a degree I’m only beginning to realize, they are intensified by my physical differences.

Reality Me

With it’s disconnection of mind from body, the internet allows me a freedom I’ve never wanted. Online, I don’t need defense mechanisms against people’s perceptions’ of disability. What I realize now, is that these mechanisms are so integral to my personality that it actually makes me physically uncomfortable to ichat with people I haven’t known for years in real life. Over the span of a lifetime, my mind has struggled to completely integrate my body. Socially, I delight in challenging (and hopefully changing) people’s perceptions of disability. Surrounding this, the advance of the internet has made me look at myself in a new light. So much of my confidence is wrapped in thinking of myself as witty and intellectually engaged. The interweb detaches sharp mind from crippled body. Provoking an uncomfortable realization that the juxtaposition of the two, in reality, intensifies others’ perceptions of my mental acuity. For the able-bodied, the internet is a place to create fanciful avatars of the unique individual they wish they were. For me, it’s a place where everything unique falls away. On the internet I am a self-consciously naked mind.

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Recent Doodles

April 15, 2010

Invention for the prevention of drunk dialing

Alternate strategy for the prevention of drunk dialing and texting

True story

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Christine McMahon, Adventure Cripple!

February 3, 2010

If the world gives you a new year, take stock!

If the world gives you a chicken carcass, make stock!

If these things happen together, do both!

As I sit here, chicken slowly decomposing in my most gigantic pot amidst various herbs and spices earlier sprinkled at it, it becomes disturbingly metaphoric.   Unemployment can be it’s own slow simmer, so I’ve a mind to assess the last year and plan for a better 2010.  Neatly categorizing one’s subjective experiences is oddly satisfying, and when I’m done I have a “Good” and a “Bad” list for 2009 that force this narcissist to chuckle at her own simplicity.  They are embarrassingly psychological transparent. I’d include them, but you’d definitely stop reading, so, to sum up; the bouillon of my life to date is apparently that I thrive on travel, being around supportive friends, writing, art things, and the eating and preparing of good food.  Things I don’t enjoy include; feeling I’ve nothing to contribute, being taken for granted and wasting time.  Nothing too earth shattering there, but for me, it’s a solid foundation.

Spice wise, there’s the new decade wall of self reflection to hit. Personally, the early thirties thus far can be summed up with a big old, “Holy shit, I’m a grownup! When did this happen, why wasn’t I told!?” Additionally there’s the aforementioned unemployment. Also, as the blog tittle suggests, the disability thing.  Having lived with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since one and a half it mostly feels like the background noise of life, until it combines with job searching and my preference for a slackerish lifestyle.  Physically, I’m the worst candidate for most slacker jobs. Barista, waitress, dishwasher, sales girl, line cook, sugar beet picker, delivery person and hobo all require more standing, carrying and general speed that I can muster.  Historically I’ve been forced to look for and take jobs that are much more serious and much more dull than I’d like. I find myself with a skill set diametrically opposed to my actual personality.  You want something collated, you need receipts checked against Quickbooks, ledgers balanced or phone calls made, I’m your lady!

So how to balance the flavors? This year I’m determined to live an experiment, to try as many things as I can and reflect on good adventures past. Ultimately moving towards a life more delicious. Today I declare myself Christine McMahon, Adventure Cripple.

Chicken Stock:

You will need:

1 Chicken Carcass

1 Onion

1 Shallot

3 Carrots

2 Sprigs of Sage

4 Tbs. Herbs de Provence

1 tsp. Ground Ginger

1/2 C. Brandy

1 Shot of Tequila (For Good Measure)

Salt and pepper to taste

A Big Old Pot

A Bunch of Water

Roughly chop the veggies. Put the chicken and veggies in the pot, add water until nearly full. Add all other ingredients. Simmer for at least 3 hours occasionally skimming and discarding fat.  Add more water as needed.  When you’ve achieved the desired flavor, strain out all of the odd bits and make whatever you want out of it.

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Puppet Poetry Theatre 3

November 21, 2009