This page contains:
Tom's Page O' Links
Stuff I'm actively involved with:
- EarthTouch Shiatsu, my bodywork therapy practice
Sowebo festival 2005. Photo by Doreen Peri.
Some groups I'm currently or formerly a member of:
- The American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia, the professional organization for practitioners of shiatsu, acupressure, tuina, and other forms of Asian Bodywork Therapy rooted in Chinese medicine. (Website for the Chesapeake regional chapter can be found here.)
- Association for Computing Machinery the professional organization for information technology professionals
- The American Civil Liberties Union
- The Electronic Frontier Foundation
- "poly-ticks: many bloodsucking parasites" category at my blog, unreasonable.org
- My thoughts on the 2004 election and the state of the nation
- Indict George W. Bush for his war crimes
- VerifiedVoting.org - will your vote be counted?
- Organic Consumers Association, for safe and sustainable agriculture
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
- What's Wrong With the Drug War? from the Drug Policy Alliance
- On-line version of the great book Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do (The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Country), by Peter McWilliams
- My statement on the use of pre-employment chemical drug screens (just say no to employers with no respect for privacy and human dignity)
Philosophy and Intriguing ideas:
- Zen (if you sit down, shut up, and pay attention, you can learn a lot): Alan Watts' wonderful essay Beat Zen, Square Zen, and Zen — Excepts from "Open Mouth Already a Mistake" by Richard Shrobe (Zen Master Wu Kwang) — Some quotes from Zen Without Zen Masters by Camden Benares (Some might argue that this would fit better under "Discordianism" below. If you say that this correct, I will hit you thirty times; if you say it is not correct, I will hit you thirty times. Or maybe give you a flower.) — A great collection of articles by Zen Master Seung Sahn and his students, from the Kwan Um school of Zen
- Paganism (the Goddess is alive and magic is afoot, and we like drumming and dancing around bonfires): My introduction to the Circle of Laughing Thunder (which is currently on hiatus) — ESR's Neo-pagan FAQ and essay "Dancing with the Gods" are interesting reading — Free Spirit Alliance, previously mentioned — The Association for Consciousness Exploration, the folks who bring us the Starwood festival and suchlike — Isaac and Phaedra Bonewits are interesting and pleasant people with an informative web site about paganism and other stuff. (Isaac is the first and only person to graduate from an American college with a BA in magic and thaumaturgy.)
- Animal Rights ("...men will be killed and tortured as long as animals are killed and tortured. So long there will be wars too. Because killing must be trained and perfected on smaller objects, morally and technically."): The animal rights FAQ — The Philosophy of Animal Rights and The Case for Animal Rights, articles by Tom Regan — PETA, previously mentioned
- Polyamory (creative and honest alternatives to monogamy, any kind of love is all right): alt.polyamory Frequently Asked Questions — home page for the Usenet newsgroup alt.polyamory at www.polyamory.org — info at Society for Human Sexuality — PolyMatchMaker.com, with personal ads and discussion forums for the polyamorous
- Taoism (go with the flow, and what's wrong with being useless?): Raymond M. Smullyan's wonderful essay "Is God a Taoist?", which changed my life and my mind
- Atheism and Agnosticism (believe nothing): Universal Church Triumphant of the Apathetic Agnostic — The Atheism Web
- Discordianism (God is a crazy woman named Eris, somebody had to put all this chaos here; a brilliant religion disguised as a joke, or the other way around?): What is a Discordian? — Principia Discordia, or How I Found Goddess And What I Did To Her When I Found Her — RAW's "Now Look What You Made Me Do!" (the true story of the apple of discord)
- Zenarchy (Universal Enlightenment is a prerequisite to abolition of the State, the only solution is a Yin Revolution): nice summary article — online version of Kerry Thornley's wonderful book Zenarchy
- Anarchy/Libertarian Socialism (freedom is good, but not easy): Libertarian Socialism — critiques of Libertarian Capitalism — Wikipedia article — an anarchist FAQ — From the Illuminatus! Trilogy, an excerpt from Never Whistle While You're Pissing: "If authority implies submission, liberation implies equality".
The Drooling Fanboy section: (local, underground, and off-beat acts you've probably never heard of, but should!)
- Kiva, the "pagan supergroup", "a percussive, acoustic, worldbeat ensemble that celebrates the magic of nature and ancient bardic traditions with music that opens the heart and heals the spirit."
- Big Blow and the Bushwackers, an indescribable folk/jazz/world music thing involving didgeridoo, tuba, mandolin, musical saw...and a whole lot of fun.
- Chris Chandler, playing in the border where poetry meets folk music meets genius, along with folk musician Anne Feeney, the "Union Maid".
- Telesma, "neo-classical post-industrial psychedelic primordial space fusion." Oh, yeah. And yes, I did help save the life of one of the members. Take a CPR class, you migt save someone cool.
- Bob Pyle, songwriter and banjo player who's one of the most off the wall and creative people it is my pleasure to know. Used to run a Tuesday night open mic at Side Streets in Ellicott City, at which I would often perform. (After this and this, we'll be saying a big hello to everyone in domestic surveillance...)
- The Pain - When Will it End? is a comic appearing in the Baltimore City Paper (and a few other scattered alternative weeklies) that I didn't care for at all the first few years of it's run. Now it's often a highlight of my Wednesdays. Tim Kreider's artist statements on the website are often brilliant.
- And on the topic of comics, see also Lulu Eightball by Emily Flake. (Is it sad to develop a crush on a woman you have never met, or even seen a photo of, based on a comic she draws?)
Links to Family and Friends:I do actually have more friends than this. Most just don't have web sites...
- My Dad, Mark Swiss, Realtor and baseball umpire (an upstanding citizen who should not be judged by the weirdness of his eldest son)
- I've been friends with artist, designer, and didgeridoo player Mike Gurklis since we were in kindergarten in 1975.
- The lovely and talented Hillary Banachowski is always doing something creative and interesting.
- Robin Gunkel, founder of Zelda's Inferno, poet and living poem, inspiration of songs, my hostess for two trips to Japan, and target of one of my hopeless crushes...
- My friends Dorian (yet another software guy) and Amethyst (massage therapist and high priestess of the Den of Iniquity...)
- I met Eric C. Anderson when we worked together at IBM Annapolis for a while: software engineer, rainforest explorer, ecotourism entrepreneur, installer of the first Internet servers in the Brazilian Amazon, and generally interesting fellow.
- Dogs I have known and loved
- And more friends and acquaintances via the inevitable MySpace page (this one's mine too) and Facebook profile.