Pillowtop blowout was a promotion a mattress warehouse was running when I was in Washington D.C. recently.



Burning Bridges: Historic Dewey Bridge, RIP

I was sorry to hear about the senseless destruction of the historic Dewey Bridge, an old single-lane wood plank suspension bridge that spanned the Colorado River near Moab and Arches National Park.

It had been closed to all but foot traffic for over a generation, replaced by a flavorless but efficient freeway-style wide bridge a few hundred feet downstream, which proved impervious to the fire.

On Sunday April 6, a wicked, wicked child (aged six, if media reports can be believed), lit a brush fire that eventually burned down the Dewey Bridge.

The kid's horrible parents must be quite proud. Historic bridges don't grow back. The kid is off to a good start, and I look forward to his future achievements in crime. I hope he is scarred by horrible acne and never knows the love of a woman.

The bridge was a great place for decent, law abiding people who control their offspring to go for picnics. It was built in 1916 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

According to news reports, it was the largest suspension bridge west of the Mississippi until San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge was completed in the 1930's. Although that doesn't seem right to me, I can't prove otherwise. The bridge was over 500 feet long, but less than 1,000, so do your own Wikipedia work. At any rate, it was certainly the longest suspension bridge in Utah, but as a guy on the Internet notes, there probably aren't that many suspension bridges in Utah.

The bridge was immortalized in an episode of Ben Edlund's "The Tick". The Tick referred to it as his "favorite bridge" (although they transposed the bridge to "The City". I think the bridge survived everything, including Dinosaur Neil and Chairface Chippendale, but in the real world it was ultimately destroyed by a wretched six year old.

I took an FM recorder to the bridge in the early 90's and recorded the sounds of tapping on the various cables with drumsticks, mallets, rocks and anything handy, which I have used both as drum samples and laser gun sound effects ever since. I wish I had taken a cello bow to use on the long cables, but I didn't have access to one at the time.

Now that the bridge is gone, I'd like to return to those original tapes and re-sample them at 24/198. If anyone is interested, I'll post the "Dewey Blaster", a big sci-fi laser gun sound that was based on the bridge. Now that I have additive tools and resynthesis, I could do some interesting things with the sounds of that bridge.

So long. Dewy Bridge. You will be missed.

You were my favorite bridge.


Cookie Monster's Girlfriend's first album would be titled, of course, "C is for Cookie".





The Fourth Epoch

Todays fake band names:

"Homophonics" is an early contender for band name of the month. "Homophonic" also goes on my List Of Words That Don't Mean What I Think They Mean.

"Brannock Device" is one of those terms from the previous century--everyday terms that sound a lot more sinister than they really are. Another phrase from the same category: "The Heimlich Maneuver". It sounds like it could be a Robert Ludlum novel.

That joke is funnier in context of a real list of Robert Ludlum book titles.

I would like to do a random Ludlam book title generator. "The [Proper noun] [Noun]"

One of my lifetime goals is to own my own brannock device. No, I'm not some weird shoe guy. I just think they look neat. Like a mini football stadium.

If I were Joel Hodgson doing a "Mystery Science Theater" invention exchange, my invention would be a combination Brannock Device/Nordic Track exercise machine called "The Easy Spirit Pump". --Exercise that insole down to a svelt nine-and-a-half-wide with the "Easy Spirit Pump"!

Or maybe Brannock Device with a built-in actuarial table, called the "Death Clog". --Now you really can act your age, not your shoe size, with the "Death Clog".

Or a Brannock Device/Blow-up Doll combo called "The Sole Mate". I'll stop now.

--But "Death Clog" is a great name! My band name for today shall be :
And now, a word from our more optimistic side:

The Fourth Epoch
A desultory blog-like fragment of salient free association
[fair warning--it's not funny]

The Neolithic Revolution (8,000-3,000 B.C.) was the first of three great epochs of human innovation, where mankind switched from rudimentary hunter-gatherer tribes to agriculture, animal husbandry and community living based on laws and rituals. Along with this came technological improvements in tools, weapons, pottery and building materials, and an increase in life-span.

For much of history, everyday life changed very little for the average individual until the next epoch. Yes, there was incremental progress and the slow-growing nautilus shell of various types of belief-systems, governance, religions and philosophies. Also there was the key development of written language, which is the basis for all other advancement and may be the best single invention of all time.

And yet the reach and grasp of an average individual man or woman was still limited.

The Second Epoch was the industrial revolution, which occurred roughly between 1780 and 1840. Or 4,780 years later, if you prefer to think of it that way. Love it or hate it, the industrial revolution was a great equalizer that gave a single man the mechanical advantage to reach the entire world.

Along with this came technological improvements in tools, weapons, pottery and building materials, and an increase in life-span.

The third epoch is arguably the Information Age, which we are still swimming in, and may only hit mid-point when the fabled Singularity is achieved. Indeed, the singularity may only be the 10% point of the Information Age.

I do not have to convince you , my dear blog-reader, of the personal empowerment and vast resources the Information Age already provides you. YOU, personally. And we may only be on the ground floor of this third epoch.

Now, even though many kinds of hippies, Luddites, and intelligentsia-lefty-stereotypes and anti-intellectual reactionary "righty" stereotypes will argue that even the first epoch was a bad move, it's easy to see how each great epoch has lead to heretofore unimaginable advances in human capacity, longevity, individual capability and personal potential.

So, using your powers of extrapolation, gentle reader, tell me what you think the Fourth Epoch will be? Naysayers and the doom-and-gloom crowd need not apply. History does not bear you out. Your sky-is-falling xenophobic paranoia doesn't wash here.

Whatever is coming is going to be pretty terrific for the human race. I have my own ideas what it will be. And I think you might have your own suspicions as well. I've already dropped a couple clues.

It may not occur in my lifetime, which is too bad. Because I have the feeling that my great-great grandchildren are going to be around an awfully long time.



"Crookbackt Brokenfoot" sounds more like a name for a hobbit. I would wager very seriously that someone in World of Warcraft has a character named "Crookbackt Brokenfoot".

I would totally go see a band called "Murderbags". I bet they would be a fun show.

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