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February 15, 2013 / Nic

Robot & Frank

Just saw this movie, freaking loved it, which is rare for me. Smart, entertaining and witty.

February 2, 2013 / Nic

IAMACEO: New Album by Starflyer 59

Jason Martin has been out of the lime light for a while, so the new album got me by surprise. It’s good though, I need something new to listen too.

December 31, 2011 / Nic

Chevelle: Face To The Floor


Chevelle’s got a new album. As always, if your fan of Chevell you won’t be¬†disappointed.

I love putting this song on when I ride the metro and transfer at China Town. Listened to it everyday for about 3 weeks.



May 25, 2011 / Nic

The Bob Hare Psychopath Test

So here’s how the Bob Hare Psychopath Test works. There is a list of 20 traits. For each trait you score the person from 0-2, based on that persons behavior. This is taken from the Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders

When properly completed by a qualified professional, the PCL-R provides a total score that indicates how closely the test subject matches the “perfect” score that a classic or prototypical psychopath would rate. Each of the twenty items is given a score of 0, 1, or 2 based on how well it applies to the subject being tested. A prototypical psychopath would receive a maximum score of 40, while someone with absolutely no psychopathic traits or tendencies would receive a score of zero. A score of 30 or above qualifies a person for a diagnosis of psychopathy. People with no criminal backgrounds normally score around 5. Many non-psychopathic criminal offenders score around 22.

Twenty traits assessed by the PCL-R score are:

Factor 1: Personality “Aggressive narcissism”

  • Glibness/superficial charm
  • Grandiose sense of self-worth
  • Pathological lying
  • Cunning/manipulative
  • Lack of remorse or guilt
  • Shallow affect (genuine emotion is short-lived and egocentric)
  • Callous/lack of empathy
  • Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

Factor 2: Case history “Socially deviant lifestyle”.

  • Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
  • Parasitic lifestyle
  • Poor behavioral control
  • Lack of realistic long-term goals
  • Impulsivity
  • Irresponsibility
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Early behavior problems
  • Revocation of conditional release

Traits not correlated with either factor

  • Promiscuous sexual behavior
  • Many short-term marital relationships
  • Criminal versatility

So you just go through each item and score the person and then add the score up. If it’s over 30 they are psychopathic.

So there you have it. Now your dangerously equipped to evaluate your friends & family and really do some damage in your personal life by diagnosing everyone you know.

May 24, 2011 / Nic

The Psychopath Test

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

A wildly entertaining book. Jon Ronson has developed quite a knack for writing quirky books about under the table subjects. His most popular “The Men Who Stare At Goats” was turned into a George Clooney movie, but “THEM” was also a great book about the different sides of extremist.

Personally, “The Psychopath Test” is my favorite of Ronson’s work. It’s a deep look into the world of psychiatry, and the underpinnings of what makes a person a clinical psychopath. Complete with the Bob Hare Psychopath test, which helps one categorize the character traits of a psychopath. I have to say after reading the book and reviewing the Hare Checklist, I have known a few psychopaths in my life.

I love the self diagnosis by Ronson as he tells his story, he is the first to point out his own flaws and weakness on the Hare list. It makes for a very entertaining  read, as the author seems very uncomfortable internally confronting his own level of psychopathy. After all what makes each of us tick? Why do we do the things we do?. How close are each of us to being a psychopath?

May 20, 2011 / Nic

Permaculture Plant Database

Picture of a permaculture garden

I had talk a couple of weeks ago with a friend about the idea of building a permaculture database, running it on a SQL server and providing some type of user interface. The idea being, it would provide what ever information you’d like about a planet. It’s as simply or complex as you liked. For example, want to know what grows well with tomatoes, a simply search will tell you. Or for something a bit more complex, want to know what kind of planet would fit well into your apple tree guild, needs only partial shade, fixes nitrogen and is hardy up to zone 6?

Well it looks like someone has the same idea, except they are actually doing theirs. The Permaculture Plant Database. Admittedly it’s not a sexy website per say, but then again for true nerds nothing is sexier than raw information. The upside is, it’s very simple to understand what they are providing, you go to the site, you make some selections from drop down boxes, you search, and then you can browser through all the entries.

My original idea was to not only build a searchable database, but it was to use that data base to help gardeners and¬†permaculturalist build plant communities, guilds, and sustainable environments. I think it would be brilliant to attached some kind of GUI to this type of database and have a drag and drop function onto an empty “garden”. So when I drag an apple tree to my garden, my side panels are populated with choices of other plants, herbs, and trees that would all be beneficial, depending on whether you wanted to simply companion plant, interplant, or build a guild.

May 19, 2011 / Nic

A Beautiful & Elegant Spinning Wheel

Overland Hand Craft

Overland Handcraft is a great place to get yourself an affordable handmade spinning wheel and fiber tools. You’ll notice right away the beauty and design of these wheels are not traditional like so many of the antique wheels that have spiral spokes. Just do a google search for spinning wheels and you’ll see what I mean.

Each set of wheels are made in small batches and must meet the standards of a quality wheel before they are listed for sale. I happen to be good friends with the creator of these wheels and have watched first hand over the last two years as he has sketched, planned, and built them. He’s not only one of the smartest guys I know and deeply loves making these wheels, but he treats each customer right, with the kind of customer service that people use to expect.

I would encourage anyone, even if you’re not a spinner, to at least browser through the photo gallery. You can find out more about Overland Handcraft below.