Doc Brown holla:
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
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
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
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
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
Monday, November 23, 2009
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?
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.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.
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.)
Sunday, November 22, 2009
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.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
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.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.
* 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?
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
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.
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
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
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
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
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".I think we all know the answer to that last bit of speculation.]
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.
"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
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
Monday, November 9, 2009
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.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
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.It's easy to be enthusiastic about wars when your neighbor's sons are the ones fighting them for you.
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.
Friday, November 6, 2009
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.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.
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.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
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?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.
“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.”
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
"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.
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.(via)
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Police officials say they have uncovered 38 cases where Dallas officers improperly cited drivers for not being able to speak English.Ed Morrisy has the definitive comment:
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."
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.