Chapter 31

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Page 338

remember those twin statues of the Buddha that I told you about?
That would be on page 31.

Page 339

Shawn, somebody I know, maybe dead, maybe not, enough with the zombies
Some kind of encrypted Shaun of the Dead joke? Sheer coincidence?

Page 340

diffident long-haired person . . . doing stand-up
Mitch Hedberg appeared on the NBC show Late Friday Oct. 12th, 2001 (season 1, episode 24).

Keenan and Kel
Spelled wrong. Should be "Kenan." Kenan & Kel was a sitcom on Nickelodeon 1996 to 2000. The episode in question was Season 1, episode 2 (1996). You can laugh along with Horst here.

Page 341

Global Consciousness Project
The Global Consciousness Project is a parapsychology experiment begun in 1998 as an attempt to detect possible interactions of "global consciousness" with physical systems. The project monitors a geographically distributed network of hardware random number generators in a bid to identify anomalous outputs that correlate with widespread emotional responses to sets of world events, or periods of focused attention by large numbers of people. The GCP is privately funded through the Institute of Noetic Sciences and describes itself as an international collaboration of about 100 research scientists and engineers. Skeptics such as Robert T. Carroll, Claus Larsen, and others have questioned the methodology of the Global Consciousness Project, particularly how the data are selected and interpreted, saying the data anomalies reported by the project are the result of "pattern matching" and selection bias which ultimately fail to support a belief in psi or global consciousness. Other critics, whilst disagreeing with GCP findings, have noted that the open operation of GCP "is a testimony to the integrity and curiosity of those involved." From WIKI.

high quality supply of random numbers<br\> It's surprisingly difficult to generate a truly pure series of random numbers. While it's easy enough to come up with an algorithm that produces a series of numbers that appear random, there are usually hidden flaws that can cause some digits or series to predictably recur. In addition, some sources of "random" numbers are not random at all, but have been deliberately massaged to ensure an artificial degree of homogeneity. All this is a big deal in the world of applied math.

Page 342

Guy's walking around holding a blazing hot coal
Buddhist Parable of the Burning Coal, from page 182.

coquilles Saint-Jacques
This is a loaded meal meaning here, for not only is the scallop shell the State shell of New York, but also a fertility symbol. The dish here being made by Horst, is a popular French dish, which prepares scallops in a cream sauce, and in some cases baked as a gratin. Also, the name of the dish alludes to the scallop shell being the traditional emblem of St. James.

daube de boeuf provençal
Provençal beef stew.

Page 343

Roomba Pro Elite

Here's a video of this vacuum robot:

Page 344

Wahhabism is an ultra-conservative sect or branch of Sunni Islam, (though some people dispute that a Wahhabi is a Sunni). It is a religious movement among fundamentalist Islamic believers, with an aspiration to return to the earliest fundamental Islamic sources of the Quran and Hadith, with inspiration from the teachings of Medieval theologian Ibn Taymiyyah and early jurist Ahmad ibn Hanbal. From WIKI.

Mata Hari
Margaretha Geertruida "M'greet" Zelle MacLeod (7 August 1876 – 15 October 1917), better known by the stage name Mata Hari, was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy and executed by firing squad in France under charges of espionage for Germany during World War I. From WIKI.

halo of Daffy Duck froth droplets
Fair number of halos in this book. There's the video game references scattered throughout, and then there's page 17's "halo of faded morality," and page 183's "paranoid halo." Nice line on page 183, by the way: A paranoid halo thickens around Maxine's head, if not a nimbus of certainty.

the ill-regarded Comet Cursor of the nineties
Comet Cursor was a software program manufactured by Comet Systems. It allowed users of the Microsoft Windows Operating System to change the appearance of their mouse's cursor and to allow websites to use customized cursors for visitors. The product was introduced as an enhancement to website design and to enable advertisers to use customized cursors for their campaigns. Companies using Comet Cursor for advertising included AT&T Corporation, Energizer, and Procter & Gamble. Wikipedia


Page 345

Santería is a system of beliefs that merges the Yorùbá religion (which was brought to the New World by West Africans) with Roman Catholicism, and may include Amerindian traditions. From WIKI.

X-Files theme song reference? Urban dictionary definition. Or a Daffy Duck reference

From this page "The malloc() function allocates size bytes and returns a pointer to the allocated memory. The memory is not initialized. If size is 0, then malloc() returns either NULL, or a unique pointer value that can later be successfully passed to free()."

Game Shark hex cheats

Properly written as a single word, GameShark. A popular brand of cheat cartridges for various gaming systems like PlayStation and Xbox (WIKI) written in hexidecimal code.

Page 346

little tiny people who come out from under the radiator...with little brooms, and dustpans
A reference back to page 333: the hallucinatory effects of Ambien causing Eric & Driscoll to mistake Maxine's children for "small people running around doing a variety of household tasks."

Harry Potter House Elf?
Elves and the Shoemaker fairy tale, keeping with the foot fetish?

Chapter 1
pp. 1-7
Chapter 2
pp. 8-19
Chapter 3
pp. 20-29
Chapter 4
pp. 30-40
Chapter 5
pp. 41-52
Chapter 6
pp. 53-67
Chapter 7
pp. 68-79
Chapter 8
pp. 80-86
Chapter 9
pp. 87-95
Chapter 10
pp. 96-111
Chapter 11
pp. 112-120
Chapter 12
pp. 121-133
Chapter 13
pp. 134-144
Chapter 14
pp. 145-159
Chapter 15
pp. 160-171
Chapter 16
pp. 172-184
Chapter 17
pp. 185-197
Chapter 18
pp. 198-210
Chapter 19
pp. 211-218
Chapter 20
pp. 219-229
Chapter 21
pp. 230-238
Chapter 22
pp. 239-246
Chapter 23
pp. 247-255
Chapter 24
pp. 256-264
Chapter 25
pp. 265-273
Chapter 26
pp. 274-287
Chapter 27
pp. 288-300
Chapter 28
pp. 301-313
Chapter 29
pp. 314-326
Chapter 30
pp. 327-337
Chapter 31
pp. 338-346
Chapter 32
pp. 347-353
Chapter 33
pp. 354-364
Chapter 34
pp. 365-382
Chapter 35
pp. 383-394
Chapter 36
pp. 395-407
Chapter 37
pp. 408-422
Chapter 38
pp. 423-438
Chapter 39
pp. 439-447
Chapter 40
pp. 448-462
Chapter 41
pp. 463-477
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