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June 21st, 2006

Laser Top

I am like the Borg on that latter version of Star Trek, only much less effective and a good bit less off-kilter. When I find something which will add to my unity, I rapidly assimilate it. This week's assimilation into my singularity has been a laser top.

Lasers are one of those things that have undergone a renaissance since my college days. I remember being a physics student, when Alvin, the fellow who won everyone's admiration for being the most persistent science devotee notwithstanding the fewest economic and intellectual advantages, used to stand out in a crowd because he loved to talk at length about his heathkit-like toy laser. Now lasers are used everywhere, having, like pod people, taken over when nobody was looking.

The laser top cost an entire dollar from this place called a "dollar store". It is a plastic solid-state contraption in futuristic top shape. Inside, it has a small electronic circuit board. When it is spun, its circular base begins to emit an ever-changing spirograph of waving colors. I have now incorporated it into my wholeness. I want to make videos of its spin. I seem to recall that Alvin settled for a master's degree after he fell down the elevator. I myself barely passed University Physics III. But if one must pays one's money and makes one's choice, I pay one dollar, spin the laser top, and watch the colors swirl. I do not know if it even *is* a laser. I am pretty sure it is barely science. But it is a cool laser, and it makes me warm and Mr. Wizard, somehow.

birthday bash

I see that I neglected an important milestone. My Yahoo discussion group, the Feeder Guppy Rescue League, just celebrated its third birthday in late May. The League now has 73 members, who seek ways to protect fry from zealous (and hungry) mothers, who inquire whether we also wish to save goldfish, and who tell heart-warming tales of guppy love. I started the group as a parody, but it turned into something useful and in many ways its own thing.

When it first began, I actually ran an article in Aquarium Fish Magazine, to promote it. A new member said the ad ran again this month--which surprises me, as I did not run it. It's got links, now, and really doesn't need advertising, but it was fun to write a "thank you, or by the way...." letter to the magazine about the curious new ad.

I think that the club deserves a new song. I will work on this. Speaking of songs, my song "One Endless Unity" just got podcast by a Harvard Law School public policy center as the intro to a really cool speech by a woman named Traci Fenton, who spoke about corporate democracy in a winning and intelligent way. That's what I always want my music to be for--a free soundtrack to the exploration of thought and ideals.