Sic Semper Socktopi

Welcome to my Autohagiography.

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Location: United States


A classmate, knowing my affection for Banksy, alerted me that this week's New Yorker has a long article about him.


Silver Rush!

Today at a fundraiser for the college jewelry department, they were selling a bunch of broken tools and such, and I bought this jar of "junk silver" for 50 cents!

I showed it to Josh in my next class, and he offered to use his skills as a Metalworking TA to refine the stuff. That sounded great to me, and we agreed to split the loot 50/50.
The jar had about 3.5 pounds of gravelly black metal rocks and dust in it, but there was no telling exactly how much silver could be extracted from it. Why would the professors and students price the jar at 50 cents if they thought there was any real use for the stuff? But we were optimistic.
Josh (l) and newly enlisted metalworking classmate Tyler (r) melted down the rocks with giant blow torches while I helpfully watched.

Then, with most of the impurities removed, they did their best to pour the liquid silver into bar-molds.

After that, they gave each bar to me to file off glass impurities and flatten as best I could (using a hammer and an anvil), making them suitable for running through a press that can smash metal into sheets.
After all was said and done, we had 19 ounces of silver! Success!

Silver is selling for about $13.50 per ounce! It took us about 2 hours to turn the 50 cents of dirty metal gravel into $200+ of silver! I gave half to Josh (who gave a bar to Tyler) and kept 9.5 ounces for myself. I offered the silver to the other jewelry students at $10/ounce, and sold 3.7 ounces for $35. I still have a big 4.4 ounce bar and a 1.4 ounce nugget, but mostly because people didn't have cash on them. Next week I expect to sell the bar and maybe keep the nugget, just so i have something to illustrate this story (besides my nifty new jar!).

Supposedly there was another 50 cent jar of this stuff sold earlier in the day, but you can't win them all.


Subdivision is a Crime Against God

I took these pictures earlier today, overlooking the "Gateway" housing development aproximately 1 mile from Oakland, Ca near the Caldecott Tunnel.This pristine valley is being flattened into 250 homes for a bunch of Rich-Fucks.

Oh well.

Cick to enlarge!

Competing Memes

Kyu Sakamoto Performs on Japanese television circa 1963

This isn't the best video I've ever seen, but something must be said for the internet's ability to provide a vast and ever increasing array of previously lost media.

Jump to minute 1:10 to skip the host's intro and go straight to Kyu lip-synching "Anoko No Namae Wa."

Kyu Sakamoto's "Ue o Muite Aruko," renamed "Sukyaki," was the first and last Japanese song to hit number 1 on America's Billboard charts, and "Anoko..." was the b-side to the American 45, although it was one of a long string of hits Sakamoto had in Japan.

In it, Kyu sings that he sees a beautiful girl, so he calls out different names, hoping she responds to one of them causing her to turn around. Unable to guess her name, a flustered Sakamoto discovers that the beautiful girl is in fact a mannequin.

Sakamoto died in 1985 in the deadliest single aircraft disaster, JAL flight 123 which killed 520 of the 524 people onboard. You could probably learn a lot more by watching the approproiately titled Japanese television drama Kyu Sakamoto Monogatari (The Legend Of...) which someone uploaded at least 11 parts of onto youtube, although only part 1 has been fan-subbed:



Swedish Rounding on Wikipedia