Tag Archives: Fallen Angel

Paging Dr. Mierzwiak

Father Scott

While Pax spends his time fretting over robots and zombies (and soon, I’m sure, robozombies), I’m much more concerned by this developing scientific story.

Scientists are discovering more and more easily where and how we store memories, and can even predict where they go. Check it:

Researchers tracked brain activity related to “spatial memory” as volunteers moved about inside a virtual reality setup. Their new study challenges previous scientific thinking by showing that memories are recorded in regular patterns.

“Surprisingly, just by looking at the brain data we could predict exactly where they were in the virtual reality environment,” said Eleanor Maguire, a neuroscientist at the University College London in the U.K. “In other words, we could ‘read’ their spatial memories.”

Who do they think they are: Nate Silver?

Whatever, this can’t be right, remember this?

Earlier studies with rats had also focused on the hippocampus and measured activity at the level of dozens of neurons at most. But that research had suggested that the brain did not record memory in any sort of regular pattern.

Foolproof. Rats don’t lie, they’re too busy teaching turtles martial arts.

“By looking at activity over tens of thousands of neurons, we can see that there must be a functional structure – a pattern – to how these memories are encoded,” Maguire said. “Otherwise, our experiment simply would not have been possible to do.”

Guess they do. Does that mean I’m soon going to be running through my virtual life with a sneaky-hot Kate Winslet?

“Understanding how we as humans record our memories is critical to helping us learn how information is processed in the hippocampus and how our memories are eroded by diseases such as Alzheimer’s,” added Demis Hassabis.

Oh. There’s a point to all this. Well, carry on then.

But this does not mean you can start mapping my thoughts about Fallen Angel’s mom. Those are mine.


Filed under Uncategorized

Blogroll Addition: project126

Pax Arcana

We all play our roles in the extended Pax Familias. I, of course, am the tweedy and charming father of the brood — quick with a knowing nod and generally three sheets to the wind on Scotch. Father Scott is like the strident young ward I took under my wing and saved from a life of making moose jerky somewhere in Maine. Perry Ellis is the eccentric down the street who collects discarded copper for a “secret project” he’s building in his basement.

And then there’s Fallen Angel. Once the protege of Father Scott, Fallen Angel earned his moniker just over a year ago for apostasy against the padre’s church. It wasn’t pretty.


Still, though, Fallen Angel remained in the fold, even becoming a contributor to Pax Arcana. His live blogs of the 2008 ALCS and whatever that wrestling thing was a few days ago represent the latest innovation on this site. We have no idea if they were popular (we don’t track things in too much detail around here), but the kid never fails to crack me up.

Now that he’s started his own blog, project126, we’d like to give him a proper send-off. So we roped him to an exit interview of sorts (he is obviously still welcome to post here), which we then edited and will post after the jump. This may be the only time you get to learn Fallen Angel’s thoughts on life, cake, poetry, and why we should care what the fuck he thinks.

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Filed under sports

Watch out for fast-moving Nazi snow zombies

Pax Arcana

Most students of modern history know that Norway was occupied by Germany for much of World War II.

What you probably didn’t know is that fast-moving Nazi snow zombies still roam the fjordland, wreaking havoc on groups of young pleasure-seekers. Luckily — as contributor Fallen Angel discovered — there is a new documentary film on its way that promises to fill that knowledge gap.

Presenting, for your edification, Dead Snow:

This is a subject that hits close to home. My grandfather’s cousin Otto lives in an area with a very high concentration of murderous undead Nazi soldiers. He once had to fend them off armed only with a bucket full of frozen herring and a slingshot.


Filed under movies

Unjinxing a jinx

Father Scott

After watching the Sox collapse in two straight nights, I feel compelled to offer Red Sox fans an apology. You see, Fallen Angel, a “die-hard” bandwagon Rays fan, is running around our office saying that everyone can thank me for the sudden turn of events, finding the Rays a confident team and the Sox reeling.

Whoa, a Rays fan. This is like seeing the tooth fairy.

Two nights ago our company softball team completed a doubleheader sweep and I returned to my home to see Jason Bay at the plate with a man on, down one. Don Orsillo was in full “I’m an announcer and I’m building this moment” mode. Fenway sounded excited. Bay launched a low, inside pitch into the Monster seats, the Sox took the lead, and Sox fans everywhere felt, “Good, we still own these guys.” After all, that Red Sox Nation commercial says, “Here, we stop counting at 58,” and Papelbon was coming in.

So in good fun, I sent FA the following text message: ” :) ” [EDIT: My phone does not send emoticons, it was an old-school smiley face. I’m sure Pax bought a My Little Pony application for his iPhone that sends scented emoticons for $1, though.]

We all know what happened next, and then what happened last night thanks to the 79 year old Mike Timlin (Mike: please retire). OK, it’s not entirely Timlin’s fault. The Sox blew a million chances — I won’t even begin to count them. Sure, the umps blew a few calls, and the strike zone was insane, but the Sox had many shots and, at home, should have been able to put away the Rays facing the likes of the mighty JP Howell.

So, my apologies Sox fans. I shouldn’t have taunted Fallen Angel. The Rays are for real. In fact, they’re a very good team. They’re the best team I’ve seen the Sox face this year — I would much rather face LA in the playoffs.


Filed under sports

The grand Father Scott football preview

Father Scott

Your favorite local Padre, Fallen Angel, and the Paxman himself are in a fantasy football league at our lovely office. FA and Pax dueled it out in last year’s championship with Senor Arcana taking the crown, and FA getting hauled away in cuffs to share a cell with Cedric Benson.

This is my only reason for excitement for the coming NFL season. I’m just not a huge football fan. I’m in a pool, play flag football (as Perry showed you yesterday), and attempt to dominate our fantasy league, but for some reason it doesn’t grab me most years.

However, one thing I do is try to talk myself into the NFL every year, so my excitement level at week 1 is high. And thus, I have thoughts on what will happen this year. After the jump, Padre’s predications (only for posterity — you can find analysis and stats in a hundred other places) for the NFL and fantasy seasons.

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Filed under sports

Laced Padre of the Miserable Army

Father Scott

I took a couple of minutes away from Lil’ Wayne’s latest joint (bitch, it’s the bomb like tick, tick) to read an All Songs Considered blogpost about a website devoted to spitting out a band name for people not creative enough to do so themselves (then why are you creating music, you might ask, and I would not be able to answer you).

The website is called Band Name Maker, and it’s simple to operate. Type in a word and it cranks out ten random band names. Don’t like them? Generate again.

After the jump, my favorites for each of the members of this site:

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Filed under music

Read Pax and become famous

It seems strange that we never linked to this, but faithful Pax Arcana reader Fallen Angel made an appearance on the outstanding lame-sports jersey tribute site straightcashhomey.net this month. 


My two favorite things about this photo are that:

1) it is so obviously not a spontaneous shot and

2) to try to convince you otherwise, Fallen Angel whipped out the cell phone. Convincing.

This is likely FA’s second-greatest moment of glory, falling somewhere significantly behind his bowl-winning touchdown grab against Pax’s flag football team this winter. It should be noted that FA ranked this experience ahead of the free trip to San Francisco our company gave us.


The fact that we have this documented is either awesome or troubling, your call

And since I have nothing else to say about my boy FA, here are some jerseys you can expect to see on straightcashhomey.net in the coming years…if not months.

Gerald Green, Boston Celtics. This applies to any team Gerald plays for, including Tel Aviv, which is probably coming next year. My favorite thing about watching the Celtics this year is not their utter domination, KG’s intensity, Pierce’s defense, or Rondo’s emergence, but just the fact that I don’t have to watch this asshole tantalize us for eight seconds and disappoint us for 20 minutes.

Eternally clueless

Cedric Benson, Chicago Bears. Admittedly, I’ve had it out for Benson since watching the draft when he was chosen, and given that I don’t watch college football it’s strange that I was, and still am, so passionately against him. But he sucks.

Now that’s a lot of sucking in one picture

Spencer Hawes, Sacramento Kings, Patrick O’Bryant, Golden State Warriors, Brandan Wright, Golden State Warriors. Hey, NBA GMs, listen up. Don’t draft soft big guys late in the lottery. It doesn’t work.

Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers. Does a better David Carr impression than David Carr.

Craig Hansen, Boston Red Sox. Philip Hughes, New York Yankees. Just didn’t feel right.

-Father Scott


Filed under misleading headlines, sports, Uncategorized