A writer for WIRED spent 27 days attempting to disappear. Part game and part experiment, Evan Ratliff made many preparations. With a well thought-out plan, he vanished, but with a $5,000 bounty on his head the internet responded.
I already owned a couple of prepaid phones; I left one of the new ones with my girlfriend and mailed the other to my parents — giving them an untraceable way to contact me in emergencies. I bought some Just for Men beard-and-mustache dye at a drugstore. My final stop was the bank, to draw a $477 cashier’s check. It’s payment for rent on an anonymous office in Las Vegas, which is where I need to deliver the check by midday tomorrow.
Crossing the Bay Bridge, I glance back for a last nostalgic glimpse of the skyline. Then I reach over, slide the back cover off my cell phone, and pop out the battery. A cell phone with a battery inside is a cell phone that’s trackable.
One of my favorite episodes of Rob & Big was on tonight. In it they decide to beef up the security around the house by installing several security cameras and purchasing a net gun. I want a net gun, but they’re pricey! So, maybe I’ll just build one.
“I’m taking out a BIG man, a skinny man, and a PUPPY!!”
Rob, netting everyone possible:
This episode also opens with them in the car wash. Good stuff.
My first computer was a C64. When my parents purchased it and put it on the desk in our kitchen we had no idea what to do with it. We learned. We played hours and hours of games, including Pole Position, California Games, and Jumpman Junior to name a few. If Manomio makes Jumpman available, then I will download this application! My family still sits around and talks about that game even to this day.
It’s interesting to hear how people’s parents met, especially when you think about how you met the people you have dated. My stories have been pretty boring, as I have mostly met people at work and through social gatherings. My parents’ story is a little more interesting.
My dad is ten years older than my mother and was in the Air Force for the early to mid part of his twenties. After that he came back to St. Louis and was a city cop, working night beats from 7PM until 3AM in the morning. He was working one night, and between De Baliviere and Skinker, pulled my mother over on Lindell Blvd. She, blonde and fit, was driving a Volkswagen Beetle and sped right by my father. He didn’t give her a ticket on the condition that she gave him her number and went out on a date with him. She did and now they’re still married 34 years later, but my dad does joke that he should have given her the ticket and let her on her way.
When meeting in a situation like that, it’s hard not to think about fate. He could have easily been a street over or she could have been going the speed limit. So many factors could have changed the outcome.
You may also find several frequent patrons to be road blocks to your success. The elderly, for instance will certainly get in your way. Running kids can cause havoc as can the guy who can’t decide which gravy to put on his mashed potatoes. The excessive hoarder can dampen your plans as well, drying up all rations of fried shrimp or crab legs. As goes for the overweight diner who loads everything up on one plate stopping at each serving tray slowing your progress. It is acceptable to go around slow diners as long as there is room on the other side and you will not be needing to reach back towards the skipped individual. A powerful technique here can be the “accidental” elbow bump in order to encourage them to move on.
John Mayer’s Battle Studies is to be released next week, but I’ve been listening to it for the past two days. I’m still trying to figure the album out. Mayer describes it as a heartbreak handbook. Some tracks are heavy, some are light, some seem misplaced entirely. It’s no Continuum, by any means, but I’m curious to see where he goes from here. I’m digging a few tracks more than others, especially Heartbreak Warfare, Crossroads, Do You Know Me, and Assassin.
I was a killer, was the best they’d ever seen
I’d steal your heart before you ever heard a thing
I’m an assassin and I had a job to do
Little did I know that girl was an assassin too.
The Riverfront Times recently tweeted about a necro article from 2005 regarding the house in St. Louis where the exorcism of a small boy took place. Records of the events were kept in a diary written by Father Bishop, a professor at SLU. The diary would eventually become the basis for the novel Possessed by Thomas Allen, the fictional novel The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, and more famously, the movie The Exorcist. I might have to map the address, 8435 Roanoke Drive in Bel-Nor, in my GPS and swing by the next time I’m in North County.
From the Riverfront Times article (below, R meaning Robbie, the possessed boy):
That night, the diary reports, “Father Bowdern in surplice and stole began the prayers of exorcism. On the first ‘Praecipio’ there was immediate action. Three large parallel bars were scratched on the boy’s stomach. From then on at the names of Our Lord and His Blessed Mother and St. Michael scratches appeared on the boy’s legs, thighs, stomach, back, chest, face and throat. The most distinct marking on the body were the pictures of the Devil on R’s right leg and the word ‘HELL’ imprinted on R’s chest.”
The nightly interventions at 8435 Roanoke Drive would continue for the next week, the child’s reaction to the exorcism growing more extreme by the day.
Update: I drove by this house today and was unable to snap a good picture. I felt like a voyeur. It’s tucked into Bel-Nor on a quiet cul-de-sac. I’ll get straight to it. The house looks creepy. A large tree looms behind it, barely hanging onto its leaves. The window frames look to be original, wooden, and painted over several times. It’s very eerie. After leaving its location I drove by the house where my mom grew up, less than a mile away. I then met her for lunch and asked her about the house on Roanoke. She said that they didn’t know anything about it growing up and that it was kept a secret. She said that the address and location of the house was new information and that no one had any idea that it had taken place in the neighborhood until recently. The RFT article was printed in 2005, so, recently might be in the past 10 years.
I’m well into Season 2 of Mad Men and it’s getting better and better. My favorite scene, featured on the finale of season 1, will explain why I love this show so much. It’s all about Don.
In the scene, Don Draper is pitching advertising for the Kodak Wheel projector to win the account. His pitch, mingled with the changing of slides of his family, is amazing. He floors the Kodak reps and brings grown men to tears.
It gets really good at the 1:20 mark. Embedding is disabled so you have to jump to YouTube to watch it.
…the exodus is inevitable. There’s no stopping this. The internet is the new cable: Netflix, Hulu, BitTorrent. Apple might not get to launch it in a few months, but it will happen. Just give it time. The actually crazy part, if you ask me, is that the Apple TV might even live up to its name.
It’s not said that the AppleTV will be the hardware that runs this subscription service, but it would make sense. I use my AppleTV almost daily. I use it primarily to listen to music and watch music videos, and I have also used it to watch movies that I have purchased in iTunes. It’s a great device, but it’s lacking a few things without additional hacking, specifically Hulu, Netflix, and Pandora (my trinity). There are devices made that will stream this content like the Samsung Blu-Ray player and, instead of waiting around for Apple, maybe I should just move on.