The Morbus Effect

Posted without permission, thus names obscured:

<user1> meaning, you have an amazing talent of spawning discussion about the most trivial things
<user2> Who, Morbus?
<Morbus> i take that as a compliment, you know.
<user2> That's soooo *true*!
<user1> Which is part of the problem, I thiink :)
<user2> I find everything Morbus has ever said to be trivial.
<user2> That's why I agree with him so often.
<user1> Morbus: Sorry if it comes off as a surprise, but I find that every discussion where you are involved only gets longer, rather than resolved. And so I find that not dealing with you makes me happier and less stressed.
<user1> it's surely better than bickering endlessly
<user1> and you've already indicated that we're not going to reach a compromise anyway
<Morbus> you'll find that i haven't commented on that issue since then.
<Morbus> i'm not sure how you can blame the other comments on me.
<user1> I don't know how the morbus effect works either
<user1> but it does


bot.module Goes Into Live Deployment

In order to test the stability of an IRC bot written as a Drupal module, I needed to get something useful running relatively soon so that I could watch it over a week of normal usage. As such, the first complete bot.module plugin has landed in Drupal CVS, which simply reports the titles of nodes. In a development channel like #drupal, we're constantly mentioning issue URLs for followups, patch testing, sanity replicators, etc.. This module spits the issue title to prevent wasted clicks to a topic you know nothing about. Running live on #drupal as I type.


An IRC bot... as a Drupal module?

Been on my todo list for a while. Busted out a framework today:

Druplicon is an IRC bot that has been servicing #drupal, #drupal-support, and many other IRC channels since 2005, proving itself an invaluable resource. Originally a Perl Bot::BasicBot::Pluggable application coded by Morbus Iff, he always wanted to make the official #drupal bot an actual Drupal module.

This is the fruit of these labors. Whilst the needs of Druplicon are driving the future and design of the module, this is intended as a generic framework for IRC bots within Drupal, and usage outside of Druplicon is encouraged.

You can browse the source code online. It is very basic at the moment - mostly a proof of concept, but uses the Net_SmartIRC PEAR library, is a Drupal 5 module, and supports IRC plugins (ie., additional Drupal modules) via Drupal's hook system. I doubt I'll be converting the existing Druplicon bot over anytime soon, but I will be slowly finessing the plugin system (right after I add a "reload" function, right after I add all the IRC message types, right after I...).


Link Dumpage: Finally the Punk Rockers Are Taking Acid

The heat is oppressive and so is my reading queue.

  • Jeremy Zawodny has a six part series (six dumps for the price of one!) on how he lost 50 pounds (of himself) over a year with three simple steps. I've no intention of ever following, or going on, any sort of diet plan (for the same reason I dislike taking medicine -- it seems an admission of dislike with whatever grande scheme I happen to believe in at the moment), but I do find some interest in reading over weight loss tips for people who sit on their ass all day. I've a belly, sure, but I can still see my penis. Good enough, right?
  • The Library of Congress: Web Capture: "In 2004, the Library's Office of Strategic Initiatives created a Web Capture team to support the goal of managing and sustaining at-risk digital content. The team is charged with building a Library-wide understanding and technical infrastructure for capturing Web content. The team ... is identifying policy issues, establishing best practices and building tools to collect and preserve Web content." Their primary acquisition tool is the Internet Archive's Heritrix, an open-source, extensible, web-scale, archival-quality web crawler.
  • Is the RPG Industry Screwed?: A useful read if I ever get around to finessing a Ghyll book. "Paradoxically, it's never been easier to get an RPG published, but never harder for a new RPG company to support full-time endeavour. The scalability of the new publishing model means that although it is very hard to make money, you are much, much less likely to lose it through an expensive litho print run."
  • The 7 (f)laws of the Semantic Web: "When it comes to the Semantic Web, you might call me a disillusioned advocate. I’ve been dipping in and out of the technologies for the last 5 years or so, but am increasingly frustrated by the lack of any visible progress." Some questionable conclusions here, like drawing a negative inference that there are more AJAX books then RDF books. AJAX is graphic/UI whizbangery that has more than enough glitz to harm the web vs. RDF which is much more grounded in information design (and more difficult for someone to just "pick up"). Bonus points for the shoutout to crschmidt (from #swhack).
  • BBC Domesday Project: "The BBC Domesday Project was a partnership ... to mark the 900th anniversary of the original Domesday Book, an 11th century census of England. It is frequently cited as an example of digital obsolescence ... In 2002, there were great fears that the discs would become unreadable as computers capable of reading the format had become rare (and drives capable of accessing the discs even rarer)."

With Great Sadness...

Yesterday, I watched all three extended LORD OF THE RINGS movies, it being my first time seeing the second and third (second time seeing the first). I started at 4 PM in the afternoon, and ended at 4 AM in the morning, the longest I've stayed up for two or three years. I didn't feel tired at all, quite odd when I normally hit the hay around midnight (I long ago eschewed the need for all night hacking sessions, instead desiring to just be overly "productive" at all regular hours irregardless).

The movies, (though, or perhaps, because) incredible, left me with an immense depression that they were finished... I awoke from a night of LOTR-related dreams with an immense need for "closure", and I scoured for an old copy of RETURN OF THE KING to re-read the last chapter, and watched the "end of production" related extras.

I was hit with an immense feeling of inadequacy - perhaps aggravated by my recent complaints on #swhack that "i think i'm doing good work now, just like i thought years ago when i wrote that. and ten years from now, i'm gonna look back on today and grow just as weary as I do now. I suck". Where is my Lord of the Rings?

And with that (and this), I fell (fall) into a downtrodden mood, near crying.

Cleaning Out My Closet #6a

In response to my previous entry, cskaterun in #swhack says that I "portrayed teenagers in a not so good way". To which I immediately replied that when I was in school, the girls weren't giving blowjobs in bathrooms, nor was it a nonchalant affair. Hell, they were wearing regular old panties under their skirts, not like the thong-teasing youth of today. Damn my age, damn my age!

And, even if they were giving blowjobs when I was in school, I would never have gotten one -- I have a mortal fear of public bathrooms and it all relates to this traumatic experience I had when I was very young (less than 10, I'd suspect). I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness, so every Sunday we'd head off to church, yadda yadda yadda. Welp, one day I had to take a piss, so off I scampered to the church bathroom, ready to let "a stream of amber urine flow from my dick".

And then the lights went off. Me, being a youngin', opened the stall door and walked out with my pants around my ankles whimpering to "turn the lights back on". And on the lights came at the behest of a "big kid", who proceeded to laugh and point, point and laugh, Mortal Kombat Humiliation, and so on. That was Jehovah's Bathroom Incident #1. The second one occurred at a religious convention in Massachusetts. Since there are a kazillion people there, the bathrooms are uber chaotic and filled with folks. Always nervous about a relapse of the first experience, but "really having to go", I sat down and began my business, only to have the door kicked open by someone else, also apparently "really having to go". He promptly apologized, but I assure you, my bowels flowed faster than I would normally have preferred.

Both of those things combined to ill effect on my impressionable youth, and today I can't use a public bathroom unless it is totally empty. And if it is, my goat reflexes are always on the alert for interlopers, and I've been known to cut short any attempt, or not even begin, if there's too much commotion around. Damn Jehovah's Witnesses scarred me for life!

Cleaning Out My Closet #3

For some odd reason, I kept a whole bunch of chat logs in a folder called "EpiLOG". These aren't IRC chatlogs, more like AOL chatrooms, from 1997 and earlier. A bare minimum make any useful sense, and very few of them give me an inkling on why I actually kept them. Hell, one is called "AOL Warez School" (heh, no file extension. Ahhhh...), and isn't even remotely interesting! I've been carrying this baggage on my drive for a while, and without a reminder stating my intent, nothing worth doing but delete, delete, delete.

Wait a minute. Apparently, back before I was kicked off and banned from AOL for Devil Shat Four, I ran what appears to be a planned chat (1997-04-19) called the CAFE BIZARRE, with the topic of "What Makes Us Afraid?" I believe this was some sort of tie-in for a game magazine (paper, not electronic) I ran called SE MAG ("games" backwards. I'm witty!) where I wrote an article on fear in gaming entitled "Are You Afraid Of The Dark?" (it was bad too). Skimming over this chat is pretty hilarious (MARIO USA: Morbus, you sounded intellegent,but you are getting annoying with your meaningless questions)... it seems this was from my "spooky" years where I actually tried to be uber Amazing (nowadays it comes naturally). Of additional interest is that my sister made an appearance here under the nick SWmania.

In rereading the transcript, I seem to recall this being a "proper" chat for the AOL Horror boards or whatever they were called back then. I think RELMSpectr was an AOL or Board Op (RELMSpectr: Gight, all! And watch the conference room schdule for more hosted chats!). Based on the other filenames in this directory, none seem to indicate other hosted CAFE BIZARRE sessions, so I'm not sure what happened after this (my memory, for those who know my circumstances, is not so good anymore). I'll keep spelunking for more.

Besides converting tabs, this chatlog has been uploaded unmodified. Weep with me.


Singin' Fool

I'm a big fan of music/dance games, so naturally, I bought Karoake Revolution Volume 2. And I gotta tell ya, you haven't experienced Morbus until you've seen me bellowing Britney Spears (like "Baby One More Time" and "Toxic") at the top of my lungs.

This has been going on for a while (just ask the inhabitants of #apache on, as well as this IM paste between Rael Dornfest and I:

(10:51) Morbus Iff: man, oh man.
(10:51) Morbus Iff: i played a demo of Britney's Dance Beat for PS2 last night for two hours. and it was a demo. it had one song. i listened to the same britney spears song about 60 times in a row. and then, i added the game to my amazon wishlist.
(10:52) Morbus Iff: boy oh boy.

And yes, I did eventually get Britney's Dance Beat, both for PS2 AND Gameboy.


Deep Thoughts by Morbus Iff

From an IRC transcript early this morning, thus the stilited sentences.

<Morbus> apr 25th.
<sal> really the 25th?
<sal> you'll be what? 24?
<Morbus> older.
<Morbus> not sure the exact though.
<Morbus> i'd have to think about it.
<Morbus> i live in a perpetual state of "whee, comics!"
<Morbus> i really don't feel old, mentally.
<Morbus> i know my knees are giving out on me.
<Morbus> and i get weird cricks i've not had before.
<Morbus> but mentally, i still feel 16-18.
<Morbus> i just know i'm gonna be one of those dad's that has no clue he's embarrassing his son. i'm gonna be all "woOOh, Bendis has a new comic!" and he'll be all "Bendis is SOOoOO old. Liefield is hot!" and i'll be like "Liefield?! That hack!?! He sucked when I was your agE!" and then he'll kick my shins and run off. i really, seriously, feel that i'm going to realize one day that I *am* old, and i'm gonna hit a state of depression. I've already started to worry about this.
<Morbus> here's a worry of mine.
<Morbus> i like horror movies. alot.
<Morbus> now, most horror movies have copious amounts of nudity.
<Morbus> when i'm 50, i'm gonna still be watching horror movies.
<Morbus> with teenagers getting nekkid.
<Morbus> i can't help but feel like a dirty old man.
<Morbus> even though, the nudity is not why i'm watching.
<Morbus> and, i can say it with a clear head now, and kinda chuckle.
<Morbus> but when i'm 50 and I realize this? that's gonna be weird.

Of course, I won't know how I'll be feeling when I'm 50, but I know how I currently feel when I watch some old geezer walk up to the porno rack and start browsing through 'em. Horror movies can very easily be abused as "porno-in-disguise" - they relish the shirtshed as much as the bloodshed. But, as a corrollary, I never feel the same way when Tim Lucas reviews erotica for Video Watchdog. And he's got a wife. Why do I have double standards?

Good friend sbp comments: "you're scared that you're going to turn from a creepy scary weird-assed complete enigma of a young man into a creepy scary weird-assed complete enigma of an old man? I have a feeling that you'll be able to cackle a lot more comprehensively with more well used vocal chords" Good point.


Animal vs. Male Anatomy

I know this is gonna sound like "typical Morbus funny ha ha" stuff, but I've got a serious question, spurned on by a rather unserious picture of a gigantic whale penis. I've pasted a chatlog, with some names changed in respect to their oogleability:

<male_1> wooohooo!!
<male_1> OMG
<SteamedPenguin> lol
<male_1> yet another reason i didn't go into cetacean biology
<female_1> omg
<female_1> well, it's proportionate
<female_1> the whale looks happy
<male_1> lol
<SteamedPenguin> wouldn't you be happy?
<SteamedPenguin> swimming pool, sun, and somebody stroking you
<Morbus> on a serious note, why do penis' look the same on animals, yet I know of little female-like-breasts? are there animals that have breasts like a woman?
<male_1> not sure i can answer that, different tissues and all, maybe a cow udder is the closest analogue i can think of ATM
<Morbus> i find it remarkable that a whale has a penis just like mine. but that female whales don't have breasts like a woman.
<male_1> lmao
<Morbus> ok, yeah, i know that sounded weird. but i'm serious!
<male_1> functional evolution perhaps, they'd cause unnecessary drag in the water. not that they used to have external breasts and they evolved away, i don't mean that
<SteamedPenguin> a penis has that wonderful hydrodynamic shape
<Morbus> yeah, but... hmm, yeah, i suppose a penis would float up to the body, thus reducing drag.
<male_1> samir - they retract, they aren't out there causing drag
<Morbus> female_1: when you're swimming face down, what do your breasts do?
<male_1> lol
<Morbus> look, i know this sounds like i'm trying to be funny
<Morbus> but i'm really not.
<male_1> i know, that's what's funny :)

Thoughts? Someone told me that the whale penis probably retracts like a dog's, which would remove any issue of drag. But that still doesn't answer why there aren't human-breasted mammals running around. Do female apes have human-like breasts? What about other animals?

Update: "<male_1> another thing i thought of might be related to surface area and the blubber layer which can be literally a foot or more thick for insulation purposes, any external "danglies" would provide more surface area for potential heat loss"

Update: reports "human female breasts are secondary sexual characteristics that evolved to attract mates. According to Desmond Morris (1967), this took place along with the switch from front-to-rear to front-to-front mating, the pendulous shape and cleavage of the breasts mimicking the pre-existing attractiveness of the female buttocks. This also, according to the theory, explains why men find other pendulous shapes (like ear lobes) and other cleavages (like toes in low-vamped shoes) such a turn-on."



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