April 9th, 2009

MTF

There are 100 kittens dancing in the back of my brain to the Macarena

Potpourri

New Portland company delivers large loads with bikes to cut down on delivery trucks clogging up traffic.

Woman suffers stroke, now has a phantom THIRD ARM!

Fun video of Earth from the POV of Martians!

posthuman_blues kind of mocks this, but I think Segway's new PUMA looks pretty awesome.

inkytwist wanted to know what this is, and everyone's making smart-aleck remarks, even me. I said "Antarctica in 2 years."

Bizarre extinct Buddhist sect in Japan which participated in extreme self-inflicted torture in search of enlightenment. See, Christians don't have a monopoly on beliefs that contradict the teachings of their founder!

Video: Pocket phonograph, the proto-Walkman!

If you think the American version of LazyTown is weird, get a load of the Icelandic version! I still like it though!

Can't breathe... laughing too hard!

And since these potpourri posts don't have enough embedded videos in them, I give you Danna Paola singing "Chiquita Pero Picosa," with what seems to be a cameo by the Macarena dude toward the end:



(I find it amusing that Latin dancing always looks incredibly sexy even in inappropriate places such as this video by a child singer. And no, not Danna's dancing, but the stuff around 4:05.)
mourning

Blogspot

I have joined Blogger/Blogspot: http://fayanora.blogspot.com/

Here is my first post: http://fayanora.blogspot.com/?zx=808af10f816f57ec

Admittedly, I was upset when I wrote it. But it's worth reading, if only for the list of things that disgust me about society.
I have to admit, being suspected of being a spambot has not helped my mood.

I joined because of this:

An excellent personal tale of being a 40+ year old Aspie. To give you an idea just HOW good it is: I read the whole thing on the computer screen. I almost never read long blocks of text on computer screens unless it's my own writing. That, and I almost cried in public reading it.

A funny quote from there, while she's talking about how she sometimes hates herself for not being neurotypical: "It's like a cat hating herself for not barking."

And oh gods, the uncomfortableness with my body, I SO identify with that. The hardest part of working in a restaurant was that even with clean clothes and being freshly showered, I itch constantly: head, arms, neck, face, etc. It gets even worse when I know I can't scratch the itch. And I fidget. My body is almost always moving, one part of it or another. And every few minutes I go through this complex ritual of popping the air bubbles in my knuckles, my neck, and even the knuckles in my toes (which I can do without touching my feet, even with shoes on). When I walk by strangers on the street, it often triggers the neck part of the ritual.
pensive

I want to explain something

I was thinking on the way from the library to Brooke's apartment (where I am now) and so now I want to explain precisely why race does not matter to my brain.

My brain works differently than the brains of other people. One way it works differently is that - by default - it processes other people as objects rather than as people, unless there's something unique about a person that stands out to me. With nothing to make a person stand out to me, my brain basically ignores strangers to varying degrees. Because of this, I can literally see someone one minute and not recognize them a minute later.

It doesn't even matter what color skin color one has - if you're a stranger to me, my brain is most likely going to process you as an object regardless of skin color. It's not that all whites or all blacks or all Hispanics whom I don't know look alike to my brain on this default setting, it's that EVERYONE looks the same to me by default.

However, if someone stands out to me, it forces my brain to switch gears and actually pay attention and process the person as a person. In person mode, I can memorize a person's face perfectly in less than 30 seconds. With nothing to force my brain to switch gears from "objects" to "people," it can take hours, days, weeks, even months (depending on various factors) to remember a face. Which is really odd because I have the ability to instantly memorize places visually. It's like places and people are both objects by default, but places are far more interesting to my brain than people are.

Things that can get me from object mode to people mode can be anything - jewelry or other objects on their person that I find particularly cool (especially pagan jewelry), unnatural hair colors (pink, purple, etc), or if they were nice to me or interesting to me on some level. Then the memorization of faces becomes almost instantaneous, and is generally permanent.

I know this because I can see actors or actresses once and, if they stood out enough to me, I recognize them years later even if they've aged a lot... even if they were children when I first saw them.

There's another oddity about how my brain works. Sometimes I will remember groups thanks to one or more members, but not remember everyone in the group, so that if the ones I don't remember on their own come in on their own, I (of course) don't remember them. Because I'm a child at heart and keep wishing I could be a child physically again (only with the proper gender that time around), I tend to pay a lot more attention to kids than to adults. So the most common way this "memorizing a group by one or more members and not others" thing manifests is memorizing a group by their children. One case in particular at my last job, this pair of parents had a girl who looks like a young Michelle Tractenberg. So every time they all came in together, I instantly knew them. But if one or both of the parents came in on their own, I had no idea who they were unless something they said or did reminded me about their daughter.

One good thing about the combo of my ability to instantly and permanently remember faces when my brain gets into "people" mode plus my tendency to notice children, I could potentially save some kid by spotting them and recognizing them from a missing person's flyer.

Well, that's all.