Thursday, December 31, 2009

Patton Oswalt: The Year 2009

Oswalt examines how much things have changed since the end of the previous decade (this is from earlier this year but I still consider it appropriate as an end of year wrap up, plus this guy is just funny as hell):

Never A Year Like '09

Jib Jab does their annual year in review. I personally found the tune for this one a bit annoying but the lyrics and the animation still make it pretty good:

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Picture Of The Day

A blast from the past for the current president:

A former Manoa resident sent President Barack Obama an old photo of the two of them taken while they were third-grade classmates at Noelani Elementary School, requesting an autograph more than six months ago. He recently received the autographed picture back, as well as a personally signed thank-you note.

Scott Inoue, now a chiropractor in Stockton, Calif., said the small, black-and-white photo had been stashed away for almost 40 years at his childhood home in Manoa. For some reason, Inoue said, as he was growing up he always remembered that photo and wondered what became of "Barry."

The picture -- with the words "Scott & Barry 3rd grade 1969" scribbled at the bottom by Inoue's mother -- shows Obama almost a head taller than Inoue, with their arms around each other. Against a background of Christmas tree drawings, Obama is smiling more broadly than the shyer-looking Inoue.

The Christmas tree drawings behind them are clearly proof of Obama's radical madrasah upbringing, hence his status as a super-secret Muslim. Shh...


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chart Of The Day

I can't say that I agree with every single assessment of policy positions expressed here but the similarities are rather telling. Just saying.


Picture Of The Day

Time travel Galileo Galilei-style (click to enlarge):

This is called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. Starting in late 2003, astronomers pointed Hubble at a tiny, relatively empty part of our sky (only a few stars from the Milky Way visible), and created an exposure nearly 12 days long over a four-month period. The result is this amazing image, looking back through time at thousands of galaxies that range from 1 to 13 billion light-years away from Earth. Some 10,000 galaxies were observed in this tiny patch of sky (a tenth the size of the full moon) - each galaxy a home to billions of stars.
Selected from a gallery of 50 photos chosen by The Big Picture as the most significant images of the past decade. They're well worth a look.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Star Wars/A-Team Opening Credits Mashup

Why? Because I'm reaching the age now where everything that was once cool and significant in my world as a child is now being recycled, repackaged and repurposed to facilitate my growing sense of nostalgia as I slowly start to realize that I'll never be young again and plus, Hollywood really wants as much of my discretionary income as they can get no matter how shitty the resulting product (I'm looking at you, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra):

So yes, when the inevitable Transformers/MacGyver mashup is eventually created you will of course see it here first. Rest in peace, childhood.


[Update: Some bonus nostalgia I could share with my grandparents if they were still alive:


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Frog Leg Dance

This is a bit creepy:

Apparently since the legs are fresh all of the cells in them are still intact and the biochemical machinery is still working. The unused ATP molecules in the cells act as a source of energy for the muscles and because the salt contains sodium ions it creates a voltage difference as the ions cross the nerve cell membrane. This voltage difference duplicates the effect of nerve impulses from the brain, causing the muscles to contract and relax. Still creepy though...


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Why Men Shouldn't Write Advice Columns

Sorry, Sweetheart. Fuel pumps are a bitch.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Patton Oswalt Hates "Christmas Shoes"

I've never actually heard this song before but comedian Patton Oswalt deconstructs it masterfully. The laughter this produces is all the Christmas spirit I need:

You can listen to more of Oswalt's stuff here and here.


The Hitchhiker's Guide To Murder

This why Santa drives his own sleigh (also, it's hard to hitchhike in mittens):


Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Silence Is The Most Powerful Scream...

My sincerest apologies for the lack of posting over the past week. Although this wasn't a pre-planned break I still should have said something by way of explanation for those of you who are nice enough to come here on a regular basis to read my stuff. It was rude and neglectful of me and I really am sorry.

If I were going to stay true to form as to my past compulsions I'd lie and come up with some type of innocuous explanation for my lack of commentary, like that I've just been too busy with other things or that life has just been so exciting lately that I couldn't make the time to sit here and write. I could lie to you all (I'm actually pretty damn good at it) but none of that would be the truth. The truth is that I just stopped caring. I stopped wanting to write, to rant, to rave, to debate, to piss off other people and to be pissed off myself. My fire went out, and I found myself not giving a damn anymore.

To your collective credit (and frankly, somewhat to my surprise) several of you noticed this change in tone and tenor well before my self-imposed hiatus, emailing me privately to say so and ask whether I was OK or not. I was aware that I wasn't writing much and rather just posting soulless minutia culled online but I guess that I should have given you more credit than that. Some of you I answered and some of you I ignored (again, I apologize for my lack of manners on that count) but please know that I really did appreciate the sentiments and your attempts to reach out. Sometimes people are so much nicer to me than I feel I deserve.

It was recently suggested to me by a friend who knows about such things that I might be manic depressive, and it's a possibility that I've seriously been considering over the past several weeks. It would certainly explain some of the patterns I've noticed over the course of my life: charging headlong into some new endeavour or project, throwing the entire weight of my heart and soul into the breach only to abruptly stop caring at some point and letting everything I've worked towards wither and die while I float seemingly rudderless on a sudden and inexplicable sea of ennui.

And that's where I now find myself: emotionally anchorless, rudderless and every other ship part I can recall from my nautical archaeology courses-less. I'm in a very dark place right now. The future currently appears very bleak to me and I don't see any clear course ahead that gives me any kind of hope for tomorrow. And to be totally honest the Christmas holidays, which I've always eschewed mainly for reasons of blatant consumerism and seasonal goodwill hypocrisy, are not making things any easier. I understand why suicides always peak around this time of year.

And to be completely clear, this is not a suicide note nor is it even a precursor of such an event (although I'd once again be lying if I said that I'd never contemplated that possibility in the past). This is neither a cry for help nor is it a plea for attention. In fact, I expressly do not want to discuss my feelings on this subject nor do I want to engage in any of that other weak, pathetic therapeutic bullshit. As always, I can and will handle whatever life throws at me on my own. This is merely an explanation to those of you who were concerned enough to inquire as to my current state of mind and also to those who were too polite to do the same. I sincerely appreciate that type of personal respect.

So there it is. I hope that this uncharacteristic bout of emotional honesty has not ruined your Christmas holidays and if it has I once again apologize; that was never my intent by writing this. I sincerely hope that everyone reading this has one of the best Christmases ever along with a comparably kick ass new year to boot. Regular posting will resume at some point in the very near future but I'll be honest one more time and tell you that this declaration is neither written in stone nor blood. Happy holidays to you all, and thank you for indulging my wasted intellect and shattered psyche once again. I truly appreciate it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The War On Terror Meets The War On Christmas

In Bauer's defense, this guy's M.O. does seem a bit dodgy:

The first tip off was the fruity accent. Everyone knows that the real Santa's American, just like Jesus.


Picture Of The Day

The first four floors of the Freedom Tower finally start to emerge from the former location of the World Trade Center destroyed on September 11th, 2001. Four floors, in eight years. At this rate the entire 94 story structure should be completed by 2189. It amazes me how easily showing the terrorists who attacked us and the world at large how strong and resilient we Americans are as a people inevitably takes a back seat to political posturing and bureaucratic wrangling. The terrorists chose their target well.


Iron Man 2 Trailer

This is just the first of what I assume are to be many we'll see before this much anticipated sequel drops:


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nick Cage Is Kick Ass

I have no idea what this movie is about but I have to admit that this short trailer intrigued me:

Based upon this extraordinarily obvious Batman rip-off accompanying movie poster:

I assume that he's training his daughter to become some type of superhero/urban vigilante, which I can totally respect. My own childhood superhero training was rather abysmal (my old man never even taught me how to fight, much less how to take a bullet) so I can understand Cage's character's motivations. If I'm not raising superheroes, then what the fuck am I doing here? Right?


Picture Of The Day

Boba Fett, if he were a hot chick. Why? Because I'd totally have sex with him were he a hot chick. And if you don't find a chick Boba Fett hot , well then you and I have nothing more to discuss (and you most likely where not a male born in the 1970's). Also, you're gay. Just saying. Boba Fett chick, dude...


Monday, December 14, 2009

Stormbirds Concept Air Warfare Animation

This is a concept animation film featuring dogfighting and aerial bombers produced by some British guys I know nothing about. It's not that long but the visuals and effects are beautifully stunning:


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Picture Of The Day

Buzzfeed has composed their list of The 40 Funniest Celebrity Candids Of 2009 and I've fallen in love with several of them ("Suri Cruise Calls For Help" leads the list) but "Madonna's Arms Are So Scary" is my absolute favorite. Good God. If your own arms look any more like a cadaver you should probably check your own pulse because you just might be dead. True blue, yo.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Advertisement Of The Day

I need a handjob! Yes, this is a real product and yes, it's hilarious:


Friday, December 11, 2009

NFL To Fine Players For Getting Concussions

I guess it was only a matter of time:

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced a stricter league concussion policy at a press conference Sunday, finalizing a provision that would automatically charge a fine of $10,000 to any player who suffers a concussion. "Concussions have become a serious problem in the lives of current and former NFL players, and the only way to nip this thing in the bud is to make the players accountable," Goodell said. "Ten thousand dollars for the first concussion, $30,000 for the second, and $70,000 for the third. Hopefully these fines will make our players think twice before they have their brains jostled against the insides of their skulls." Goodell later added that the league is also considering harsher punishments for more serious injury-related behavior, saying that players who sever their spinal cords would face indefinite suspension and, in most cases, be stripped of their pensions.
Serves them right for risking their physical and mental health just so we can be entertained on Sundays. Selfish jerks.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Day In The Internet

Pretty damn impressive. And I know that it's supposed to represent Mario world for the video game portion of the graphic but I do love that at some point it actually is a series of tubes.


How To Use An Astrolabe

I've always wondered how to do this:


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Picture Of The Day

Kind of reminds me of these guys atop the Empire State Building. And once again I'll say: no thanks.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Botfly In Her Head

I love to travel and while most of my vacations have revolved around more urban locales I would very much like to visit more exotic and adventurous places around the world. Then I watched this video. I don't mind telling you that this really freaked me out:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The World's Smallest Snowman

I grew up in a state that had no snow and moved to one that is pretty much the same so my snowman building skills are severely lacking but I have to admit that I admire the ability to construct this:

You're looking at the tiniest snowman ever built. Well, it looks like a snowman, but this minuscule model — about a fifth the width of a human hair — is not made out of snow. It's constructed of two tiny tin beads that are usually used to calibrate an electron microscope, and welded together with platinum.

It's built by David Cox, a nanotech expert at the Quantum Detection Group of Britain's National Physical Laboratory. He's accustomed to working with such astonishingly small objects, and used his nano-particle manipulation tools to demonstrate the astonishing accuracy of his work.

The remarkable flourish of his smiling snowman is its little happy face, carved into the top orb using a focused ion beam.
Nano anything is sure to pique my interest but I love the artistic flair this scientist gave his creation. It's nice to see the hard sciences influenced by the soft, since I live my life constantly ensconced between the two.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Picture Of The Day

A cultural icon, and one of my personal heroes.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Rotating Kitchen Art Installation


Zeger Reyers’ “Rotating Kitchen” — currently on display at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf’s “Eating the Universe” exhibition — will be rotating nonstop from now until February 28th, 2010.
I like it, but I'll bet the beginning is the best part:

Something Someone Else Said

"As president, I believe that robotics can inspire young people to pursue science and engineering.

And I also want to keep an eye on those robots in case they try anything." -President Barack Obama while presenting his "Educate to Innovate" campaign, which aims to promote the development of new inventions by students all around the country.

I think the jokes have gotten better since we replaced the frat boy with the nerd.

I Elfed Myself

If I'm going to have Christmas crammed down my throat for the entire month of December I figured I'd just embrace it (to a point):

You can elf your own self here.

Picture Of The Day

If you laughed at this you might be a jerk. And yes, I totally did.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ataque de Pánico! Trailer

This is pretty impressive for a novice:

This is the five minute trailer for Ataque de Pánico! (Panic Attack!) by aspiring Uruguayan director Fede Alvarez. Apparently flashing the video around Hollywood netted the no-name a $30 million movie deal.
It's Independence Day meets Transformers in South America:

Picture Of The Day

Bright Sun and Crescent Earth from the Space Station (click to enlarge):

This was just one more breathtaking view from the International Space Station. The Sun, a crescent Earth, and the long arm of a solar panel were all visible outside a window when the Space Shuttle Atlantis visited the orbiting outpost last week. Reflections from the window and hexagonal lens flares from the camera are superposed.
I envy the person who snapped this photo.

It's Raining Polar Bears

I'm all for reducing our collective carbon footprint and I question the science behind the declarative statements but this is a bit jarring, even for me:

Brief: We wanted to confront people with the impact that short-haul flights have on the climate. We used Polar Bears because they're a well understood symbol of the effect that climate change is having on the natural world.
This is not for the faint of heart (although it's obviously totally CG). Fair warning:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Vodka Now Comes In Pill Form

Well it's about damn time. I was getting tired of all that chugging:

Good news for vodka lovers as you can consume your favourite drink just like any other solid food, without the hassle of carrying heavy glass bottles.

Russian professor Evgeny Moskalev of Saint Petersburg Technological University has evolved a technique that allows turning alcohol into powder and packing it in pills. The new technique can solidify any kind of alcohol, including whisky, cognac, wine and beer.

“Dry” vodka can be wrapped in paper and carried around in a pocket or a bag. Vodka in form of a pill would come handy at parties when “consumers” would be able to calculate their exact required dosage. “Dry” vodka can be wrapped in paper and carried around in a pocket or a bag. Vodka in form of a pill would come handy at parties when “consumers” would be able to calculate the exact required dosage.
Is it just me or is the first thing you think of when hearing about powdered alcohol a rash of spiked drinks? The article mentions that this technique has been successfully performed on spirits of up to 96% alcohol content. That can make for a strong ass drink. I'll stick to Rohypnol to achieve my ends, thank you very much. Brain Rage posted about powdered red wine last summer.


Picture Of The Day

Protest sign punkings are some of my favorite things in the world.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Back To The Future Rap

Doc Brown holla:


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Picture Of The Day

I suppose this shouldn't be that surprising but it's still beautiful just the same:

A tipster sent along this spectacular photo of the Burj Dubai, the world's tallest, most absurdly ostentatious building, getting struck by lightning. While checking for newness, I noticed something amazing: This happens all the time. Well, not all the time, since storms aren't exactly a daily occurrence in Dubai. In a way, though, that makes the sheer number of occasions this has been caught on film all the more impressive.
One would assume that this is something architects have had to contend with for some time now but as we build our super skyscrapers higher and higher I'm sure that the rest of us will get used to seeing it.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Something, Something, Something Dark Side

Here's the trailer for Family Guy's new Empire parody:

If you haven't yet seen their two-part Star Wars parody, what are you doing wasting time reading my blog? Go!


Goin' Back To Cali...

I returned to California last night after spending a great Thanksgiving holiday with the family in Texas. The food was incredible (thanks, Momma!) and the football was exciting (the Cowboys won while the Aggies put up a valiant yet ultimately losing fight against UT, one of the best teams in the country). I drank too much wine and ate so much crawfish etouffee before I boarded the plane that I thought I was gonna burst. Nonetheless, it's good to be back. Hope everyone else had a good one as well. So, what's been going on?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pictures Of The Day

Why would you fuck with this guy?


Happy Thanksgiving

Hope everyone has a good one today. Go Aggies and go Cowboys!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Picture Of The Day

OK, this might seem a tad self-indulgent but the intent was to showcase all of that tasty looking beef. When you're done drinking that in, check out the plate of food as well! Seriously, this was a single order of chicken fried steak I had upon landing in Houston last night and each of those two bad boys was about a pound each not counting the deep pools of delicious gravy. And that might look like a pile of broccoli but it's actually Texas-sized parsley. You gotta love the food here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm Out, Bitches!

Travelin' for Thanksgiving, ya'll. Cali to Tejas. I'm drinking of course but since I'm not also driving it's alright. I hope you enjoy yours.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Palin Book Signing Crowd Interviews

They don't know what Palin's policies are (or even what Obama's policies are, for that matter) but they know that they love her and hate him. What else is there when choosing a president?


Something Someone Else Said

"If I lived in the Star Wars universe, I’d live on Coruscant with a summer home on Naboo." -Palahniuk & Chocolate

Kirk Cameron Celebrates Darwin Anniversary

I guess I'd consider doing this too if my crazy religious rantings couldn't stand up on their own merits:

Kirk Cameron, best known for his role in the 1980s sitcom Growing Pains, now spends much of his time advocating for far-right Christian evangelical causes.

In a video posted recently to YouTube, Cameron lays out a plan to subvert 'Darwin Day' on November 22, 2009 -- a date marking the 150th anniversary of the publishing of Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species." Cameron says that he and like-minded activists plan to deliver 50,000 copies of an altered version of Darwin's book to students at dozens of U.S. universities.

Cameron explains that this "very special" edition of the "Origin of Species" will include an introduction explaining "Adolf Hitler's undeniable connection" to the theory of evolution, and highlighting "Darwin's racism" and "his disdain for women." Cameron's edition also exposes the "many hoaxes" of evolutionary theory, while presenting a "balanced view of Creationism." (There's a pdf of this introduction here.)
They're able to do this because Darwin's book was written so long ago that it's now in the public domain. I'd say the best thing to do here would be to get one of their free books, tear out the first fifty pages and give a brand new copy of "Origin of Species" to a loved one. You can watch Cameron talking up his plan and hear about how oppressed Christians are in a country where over seventy five percent of the population is Christian here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

An Idea: Bad Boy Kickers

I just watched the Oakland Raiders come back to win against the Cincinnati Bengals by a last minute field goal and I had a thought: I'd love to see a bad boy kicker in the NFL, a real arrogant asshole kinda like Terrell Owens. He'd be constantly bragging about what an incredible kicker he was and trash talking other kickers when he was off the field, like calling them Ray Finkle. He'd do stupid show boat shit like run through the end zone after a kick, grab the ball, pull a Sharpie from his sock, sign the ball and then drop kick it into the stands. He could even wear a different right shoe every week decorated with war paint. I think a guy like that would be hilarious.

If The Earth Had Saturn-Like Rings



Picture Of The Day

Hit me.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Election Legitimacy: 2000 vs 2008

Olive Willis makes some comparisons in light of the fact that 76% of Democrats thought Bush was an illegitimate president in 2001 versus recent polling showing that 52% of Republicans think that ACORN stole the election for Obama:

Let’s look at the ways this is dumb.

* Obama beat McCain by 7%. He beat him by 10 million votes overall. Bush lost to Gore in the popular vote by 0.51%. Gore got over 500,000 more votes than Bush.

* The 2000 election went into a recount

* The recount was halted by Bush bringing a case to the Supreme court, adjudicated by some judges appointed by his father, using legal precedents that only somehow applied to this one case

So, in one case, we had a clear and present winner beyond dispute yet conservatives insist that a community activist group somehow stole the election for the victor.

In the other case we have a close, complicated election that involved the intervention of the Supreme court in which the winner of the lesser amount of votes was eventually sworn in as president.

Yeah, the two cases are just the same. Where’s Obama’s birth certificate?
Never mind that there are no credible theories or verifiable proof to back up these claims against ACORN, or even that most people who believe them don't even know the difference between voter registration fraud and actual voter fraud. All that matters to these people is that they dislike Obama and that they make every effort to vilify him. Things like reality and facts just get in the way of that.

The Bacon Beer Mug

Just the fact that someone was able to weave delicious bacon together so tightly that it doesn't leak it's cheesy goodness is quite impressive; I can feel my heart resenting me for even gazing upon it. When I got my class ring in college we had a tradition called "dunking your ring" in which you dropped it into a full pitcher of beer which you then had to chug in the number of seconds as your graduation year (I did it in 90, six faster than my goal) but this chalice of the gods offers a much tastier and greasier challenge.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Chart Of The Day

To quote Jon Stewart during his recent interview with now unemployed CNN personality Lou Dobbs: "It feels like all of the people who want limited government really just want government limited to Republicans." Of course, there's a logical explanation for this apparent aberration in the principles of the supposedly fiscally conservative: nakedly partisan hypocrisy. Shorter Republicans: it's OK when we do it.


The Left's Ignorance vs The Right's

I was writing a reply to a question posed by commenter CS (now guitarguy81) about a video I posted yesterday of two Sarah Palin fans who apparently knew next to nothing about her policy positions yet were both still huge fans of hers and it started to become so long that I decided to turn it into a post instead. His point was that there are more than enough idiots who know little about politics on both sides of the political aisle and that the corporate American media has played a large role in facilitating this collective ignorance.

Now I agree that there are way too many uninformed and incurious dolts on either side of the aisle in this country but I would have to characterize the average Palin acolyte as much more so than say the average Obama supporter. Obama obviously has his share of unthinking, knee-jerk fans but he is very careful not to specifically cater to them, he doesn't encourage outright blind faith in himself. He engages people in a discussion and encourages them to question and participate. Yes, he has a marketable image but underlying that he also tells people what he believes and what he wants to do and those are the reasons so many voted for him last November.

Palin on the other hand likes to play up the image that she doesn't have a great education and doesn't think particularly deep thoughts, and she talks trash about all of the supposed "elitists" who do. Her supporters like her for who she is and where she comes from, for how many kids she has and the fact that she's an "everyday American" while the need to hear actual policy positions and ideas for fixing the problems of this nation is to a great extent nonexistent. Her persona is her policy. And it has become the height of Rovian politics that the right attacked Obama for supposedly encouraging some kind of a cult of personality around himself during the campaign while they are now celebrating Palin as their empty vessel, neo-rock star. It's dishonest and it's frivolous and it plainly smacks of hypocritical populism.

As to the media establishment, I've said this before and I still think that it holds true: they're in it solely for the money, regardless of any political ideology. The far left and far right are constantly showcased because, as commenter Truth 101 says "society is driven by ravings" (while networks are driven by ratings). There is no interest in listening to two moderate left of center and right of center candidates rationally discussing what's best for America in a civilized manner. For the average American that's boring and it turns them off of politics, hence they turn the channel. The networks showcase the horse race aspect of elections and feature pundits and candidates butting heads and going for blood because the spectacle draws in the viewers, which therefore draws in the advertising dollars.

As for both sides of the aisle, I was criticizing FOX News once and a buddy who's mom is a conservative and is thus always feeding him the conservative line asked me what I thought about MSNBC. Aren't they just as biased as FOX and therefore just as (il)legitimate? And I said very plainly no, while MSNBC is obviously left of center FOX News is just as obviously far right of right. They are both biased toward their respective ideologies but they are hardly equivalent and I see that as a metaphor for the two major political parties in power today. While Democrats and liberals lean to the left, the Republicans and conservatives are lurching to the right and the sympathies and voting patterns of the country's independents bear out these electoral trends.

As I said, I'm sure that Obama has some unthinking idolaters supporting him and I'm also sure that Palin actually has some rational intelligent fans out there; yes, I really just said that. They're just not the ones you're going to see standing in line for hours to meet her and buy her new book. But while Obama has consistently tried to broaden his appeal well beyond his base in order to be more inclusive of those who might not agree with him on all things Palin has chosen to tack in the opposite direction: she has clearly decided that her rabid fan base is all she needs or cares about in her current endeavour to market herself and her image for her own personal profit while everyone else can be conveniently labeled as haters and attackers who are out to destroy her. It's the difference between acting like a thoughtful president and acting like an incurious talk show host, and every day that difference is becoming ever more stark. Oh yeah, you betcha.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Picture Of The Day

That would be hilarious.


TDS: The Rogue Warrior

Jon Stewart explores why the left totally hates Sarah Palin and must therefore destroy her:

[Update: These two Palin supporters perfectly exemplify the art of mindlessly spouting talking points even in the face of contradicting truth and reality:


Monday, November 16, 2009

Bot Programs Are Fucking Up My Comments

Some regular readers may have noticed a few comments like the one below lately:

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These are generic bot programs that randomly post their bullshit ads in your blogs comment section without your consent. We've had some others in Japanese pushing their "sex swap parties" to no avail. Every day I have to delete several of these things from bots that have settled into a regular pattern of trying to push advertising onto this site. So in reaction to this newest technological annoyance I've changed my comment settings to exclude Anonymous commenters. I know that this probably won't affect the vast majority of people who comment here but I just wanted to point it out in the spirit of full disclosure. Bitch on, ya'll.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Picture Of The Day

The Motherboard Mona Lisa, created out of old computer motherboards and displayed in the lobby of the headquarters of ASUS in Peitou, Taiwan. Modern era meets classic art. Beautiful.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Star Wars Gangsta Rap: Chronicles

Yeah, that's right. Lando be big pimpin':


Deal With The Devil

I've never had a problem with the Devil but that's just me. Certain Catholics can rejoice; others can wail:


Friday, November 13, 2009

TDS: Stewart Trys To Watch Hannity's Apology

This is pretty much how I watch Hannity's show as well:

You can watch Stewart's take down and Hannity's full apology here.

[Update: A Daily Dish reader with experience in television shares my opinion of Hannity's "apology":

When I first heard that Hannity was offering up an apology (confession?) for his video lie, I was impressed. I honestly didn't think he had it in him. And then I watched the damn thing. Turns out I was right. Forget the tone, which I found gratingly smug. Or the final punchline thanking Stewart's writers for watching, a lame attempt to diffuse the troubling transgression with humor. What keeps nagging at me is his claim that it was some sort of accident. That no one meant for it to happen. Sorry, but I don't buy that for a second. Those sorts of things don't simply "happen".

Let me explain.

I have been working in television for the past 15 years. I know in detail how these things work: 1) you are assigned a story, 2) you send out a crew to shoot the necessary footage, 3) the footage is brought back to the studio and loaded into the Avid, or whatever editing system you are using, 4) you cut together your piece based on THE FOOTAGE AT HAND.

For footage from a different event that took place months earlier to find its way into an entirely new piece, well, someone had to: 1) make the decision to lie in the first place (and lets be clear, it IS a lie), 2) locate the old footage, 3) cut the footage into the new piece, 4) a producer or the like had to approve the clip for air.

Yes, accidents can happen. But I guarantee you someone on his show said, "Man, we need to make those crowds look bigger" (don't get me started on the ethical quagmire of that decision) and a writer, producer or editor said, "I know, we can use some stuff from Glenn's rally. No one will ever notice." True, Hannity may not have been aware of that editorial decision (he cannot supervise every piece of footage that airs on his show) but let's be clear: contrary to what he said, someone DID mean for it to happen, they simply did not mean to get caught. And his lame apology is covering someone's ass. It also leads me to wonder how often this is being done on his network.
I think we all know the answer to that last bit of speculation.]

Something Someone Else Said

"The main reason I can’t march along with the right wing blogosphere any more, not to put too fine a point on it, is that most of them have succumbed to Obama Derangement Syndrome. One “nontroversy” after another, followed by the outrage of the day, followed by conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory, all delivered in breathless, angry prose that’s just wearying and depressing to read.

It’s not just the economic issues either. I’ve never been on board with the anti-science, anti-Enlightenment radical religious right. Once I began making my opinions known on issues like creationism and abortion, I realized that there just wasn’t very much in common with many of the bloggers on the right. And then, when most of them decided to fall in and support a blogger like Robert Stacy McCain, who has neo-Nazi friends, has written articles for the openly white supremacist website American Renaissance, and has made numerous openly racist statements on the record ... well, I was extremely disappointed to see it, but unfortunately not surprised." -Charles Johnson, Little Green Footballs. Johnson has become a pariah within the right-wing blogosphere merely for not towing the line of the Obama-hating Christianist base of the Republican party. You can read of my own verbal spar with Robert Stacy (yes, Stacy) McCain here.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

TDS: Stewart Catches Lie, Hannity Apologizes

A few days ago Jon Stewart noticed something peculiar about Sean Hannity's coverage of Representative and free-range cougar Michelle Bachmann's anti-health care reform rally in Washington, DC:

Caught in his lie, Hannity offered the following apology and explanation:

Now call me a cynical bastard but based on the dozens and dozens of examples of FOX News making "inadvertent" mistakes like this I doubt the veracity of Hannity's claim but at least he somewhat copped to it.

(hat tip: Doug"e")

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Picture Of The Day

President Barack Obama descends the stairs of the stage from which he led the memorial service for the 13 people killed in last week's massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chart Of The Day

Rather telling, isn't it? And this is just the UK. Because of the decades long smear campaign here in the states I'm sure the media coverage is much more skewed against cannabis, a plant that is far less deadly than ordinary everyday aspirin. Also, the starred phrase "highly questionable" drastically understates the reality of these "cannabis related" deaths, which is also how they're recorded by hospitals here as well, i.e. if you ingest an eight ball of coke, several tabs of ecstasy, a case of beer and smoke half a joint before you die it's a "cannabis related" death which is then dutifully entered into the statistics.

The truth is that there has not been one death in all of recorded human history that can be directly attributed to the use of cannabis. It has been estimated that in order to receive a lethal level of THC, the main active chemical produced in the plant, a person must ingest approximately one third of their body weight all at once, which is so obviously physically impossible that it's laughable. I can't think of any other health related issue for which the popular perception of the medical science has been so blatantly and drastically skewed by our government and the media. One of the silver linings of the economic straits we currently find ourselves in is that people are finally starting to wake up and seriously reexamine the stupidity of the laws concerning this plant and it's myriad of uses.


The Empire Sabotages Back

The sci-fi classic is set to the Beasties:


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tancredo Gets Smackdown From Veteran Kos

This is what's known as being called on your chickenhawk pussy bullshit:

After college Moulitsas completed a three year voluntary enlistment in the army. Tancredo was too depressed to fight in the Vietnam War when he graduated college and became eligible for the draft, although he was an outspoken proponent for America's involvement there. Which actually puts him in pretty good company, Republicanwise:

There are similar stories [of avoiding service in Vietnam] about almost every other prominent rightwing Republican of recent vintage. Newt Gingrich, ex-Speaker of the House, went the Cheney route [of obtaining deferments]; Kenneth Starr, Clinton's legal nemesis, had psoriasis; Jack Kemp, Dole's running mate in 1996, was unfit because of a knee injury, though he heroically continued as a National Football League quarterback for another eight years; Pat Buchanan had arthritis in his knees, though he soon became an avid jogger.

The best story concerns Rush Limbaugh, the ferociously bellicose radio personality, who allegedly had either "anal cysts" or an "ingrown hair follicle on his bottom". It is not my custom to mock others' ailments, but anyone who has listened to Limbaugh's programme can imagine the dripping scorn he would bring to the revelation that a prominent Democrat had skipped a war over something like that. Also, in his case, a pain in the arse is peculiarly appropriate.
It's easy to be enthusiastic about wars when your neighbor's sons are the ones fighting them for you.

The Zoomquilt II: A Collaborative Art Project

The only way I can explain it would be to say that it's like falling through a wormhole with Salvador Dali, Hieronymus Bosch and M. C. Escher. Very cool. Check it out here.


SNL: Pirates And Emperors

Just thought of this cartoon the other day and decided to post it:

Friday, November 6, 2009

Water Droplets Bouncing On A Sheet Of Water

This is kinda cool:


Carrie Prejean Has Her Sexy Film Debut

Remember how she became a right-wing victim/martyr when she was so discriminated against because of her views against gay marriage and totally not because she violated the terms of her pageant contract? Ahem:

The sudden end to a legal battle between dethroned Miss California USA Carrie Prejean and pageant officials was prompted by the revelation of a "sex tape," according to a source familiar with the lawsuits' settlement.

Prejean was fired in June after lingerie-modeling photos of her emerged that pageant officials said were a breach of her contract. Prejean sued the pageant in August, arguing her firing was religious discrimination because of her opposition to same-sex marriage.

Pageant officials countersued last month, demanding their former beauty queen repay $5,200 in pageant money spent for her breast implants and give them all proceeds from a book she's written.

A settlement of both lawsuits was signed in New York Tuesday, but no details were made public. Lawyers and parties for each side were bound by a confidentiality pledge, according to the source.

The veil of secrecy was partially lifted Wednesday after celebrity gossip Web site TMZ reported the deal was sealed after pageant lawyers presented an "extremely graphic" home video involving Prejean.

TMZ Managing Editor Harvey Levin said during a webcast Wednesday that he obtained the Prejean video during the summer, but found it "too racy" to post on his site. He indicated Prejean was alone in the video.

You have to love traditional conservative values. I for one refuse to believe that this disgusting tape exists until I've seen it for myself. In private. Many times.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Obama Does Thriller

My favorite Obama impersonator Alphacat finally busts out the Thriller video:


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Could A Human Beat A T. Rex At Arm Wrestling?

I've dated girls with bigger guns than those girly reptiles:

“First, we’re assuming that the T. rex won’t just eat the person, right?” asks Jack Conrad, a vertebrate paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Right. This is a sanctioned match, and killing your opponent is strictly against the rules. Who's coming out on top?

“Doesn’t matter,” Conrad says. “There’s no chance that any human alive could win.” The T. rex’s arms might have looked wimpy, but they were extremely strong. Each was about three feet long and, based on the size of the arm bones and analysis of the spots where muscle attached to the bone, they were jacked. “The bicep alone—and this is a conservative estimate—could curl 430 pounds,” Conrad says. Even the beefiest humans max out at around an embarrassing 260 pounds.

Surely an Over the Top–era Sylvester Stallone would put up a good fight? “Not even Lou Ferrigno in his prime would stand a chance,” Conrad says. “They didn’t just have big biceps. Their chest and shoulder muscles were huge too. They had huge arms and shoulders—bigger than my leg. They had the strength to rip a human’s arm right out of its socket.”

Although he does go on to say that since the T. Rex could only move his arms up and down Barbie doll-style Ferrigno might win it on a technicality. I have to admit that I've always considered the T. Rex's arms almost comically tiny but I suppose this is just an indication of how truly massive and powerful an animal they were.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chart Of The Day

It doesn't have to be complicated, people. As long as everyone can admit that they might be wrong we can all just go about our business.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Something Someone Else Said

"Journalists should strive for accuracy, and fairness. Objectivity is impossible, and is too often confused with balance. And the problem with balance is that we are not living in a balanced time. For instance, is it patently obvious that at this point in our history, the leading luminaries on one side of the American political spectrum are considerably less tethered to reality than those on the other side. Madly trying to split the difference, as so many of my mainstream-media colleagues feel impelled to do, does a disservice to the concept of the truth." -Dan Froomkin, The Economist

CNN's Campbell Brown put it this way when she was on The Daily Show: "If one person says it's raining outside, and another says it's sunny, the journalist should have the common sense to look out the window and report which person ought to be gently led away." Or to be less diplomatic about it, which one is a damn liar.


Picture Of The Day

I missed blogging about this launch a few days ago but I had to post the photo:

What you're looking at is called a "shock egg," or the Prandtl-Glauert singularity, or a shockwave that compresses air and forces the vapor out of it. You see this kind of stuff a lot in photographs trailing behind fighter jets, but it's especially awesome when it happens to rockets.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Texas Police Ticket For Not Speaking English

Really, Texas?:

Police officials say they have uncovered 38 cases where Dallas officers improperly cited drivers for not being able to speak English.

Chief David Kunkle said Friday the discovery came after a woman was pulled over earlier this month for making an illegal U-turn and was given a ticket for being a "non-English speaking driver."

Ed Morrisy has the definitive comment:
This is Texas, of course. And if English was good enough for the Lord Jesus Christ, it's good enough for them.
English, motherfucker! Do you speak it!? You better.