Tuesday, October 31, 2006


fireman, originally uploaded by lesterhead.

In Fort Greene park.

....May God bless it - to our understanding.

Bush's Crop Is Good For This Country

The crop of the photo used on the NYPost story:

But the full scene's pretty funny. Look at that Dad!

A Way WIth Words

Bill Clinton, at a political event for Andrew Cuomo:
I'm so proud of Andrew I could pop.
Well then!

(quote from NY1 - I'll post a link when it's up)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Logo Force

PZ Meyers is compiling user submissions for some kind of "godless" logo - and the readers are digging it!

What About BBQ-Flavored?

Oligopoly Watch has compiled an entertaining list of the 34 different varieties of Robitussin available this season.

Of course, OW notes, these are "pseudo-varieties."
The point, as with beer and toothpaste, is to elbow other rivals off the shelf. You are prompted to spend your time choosing between "Robitussin Chest Congestion Guaifenesin Syrup, USP" and "Robitussin Cough & Allergy" rather than between Robitussin and competitors like Vicks (Procter & Gamble, with its Nyquil and Dayquil barnds), PediaCare (from Pfizer), or Theraflu (from Novartis).
The list:

Robitussin Cough DM
Robitussin Cough Long-Acting
Robitussin Sugar-Free DM
Robitussin Honey Couch Syrup
Robitussin Infant Cough DM
Robitussin Pediatric Cough
Robitussin Cough & Cold GF
Robitussin Cough & Cold Long-Acting
Robitussin Cough & Cold Nighttime
Robitussin Pediatric Cough & Cold Long-Acting
Robitussin Pediatric Cough & Cold Nighttime
Robitussin Chest Congestion Guaifenesin Syrup, USP
Robitussin Head & Chest Congestion PE
Robitussin Cough & Congestion
Robitussin Cough, Cold & Flu Nighttime
Robitussin Night Relief
Robitussin Cough & Allergy
Robitussin Sunny Orange Vitamin C Supplement Drops
Robitussin Sunny Raspberry Vitamin C Supplement Drops

Robitussin Cough & Cold Liquid Filled Tablets
Robitussin Severe Congestion Liquid Filled Tablets
Robitussin Cough, Cold & Flu Liquid Filled Tablets
Robitussin Cough & Cold Pediatric Drops

Robitussin Herbal Berry Cough Drops
Robitussin Herbal Almond Cough Drops
Robitussin Honey Lemon Tea Cough Drops
Robitussin Herbal with Natural Honey Center Cough Drops
Robitussin Honey Lemon Cough Drops
Robitussin Cherry Cough Drops
Robitussin Honey Citrus Cough Drops
Robitussin Menthol Cough Drops
Robitussin Sugar Free Tropical Fruit Cough and Sore Throat Drops
Robitussin Sugar Free Citrus Cough and Sore Throat Drops

Reminds me of the List of Brooklyn Community Access Shows on Sunday.

Brooklyn Houses, 100 Years Ago

The NYTimes has some beautiful photos of Brooklyn from 1905-1911, taken by photographer Clinton Irving Jones.

Article and photos here.
Noel Murry, The Onion AV Club:
But since Cohen won’t appear out of character now—he’s like a magician safeguarding his tricks—it’s hard to know what’s really real in Borat. There have been a lot of articles about the ordinary citizens who appear in the movie, most of whom are annoyed not only at the way they were exploited, but that no one’s had the common courtesy to give them a little “thanks for being a good sport, we’ll send you a DVD” call. And they’re really not happy at how clueless they’ve been made to look, since a lot of them actually realized something odd was going on, but didn’t know quite what to do about it because they were being paid for their time. A few of them would’ve looked bad regardless, like the rodeo dude who goes along eagerly with Borat’s anti-gay remarks, and the RV full of drunken frat guys who run down minorities and women with undisguised malice. By and large though, what Borat proves is that southerners are unfailingly polite, and will put up with a lot more boorishness than they should, even if it makes them look guilty by association.

Perhaps that’s an insight in and of itself. But it’s not the one that so many people seem to be claiming on behalf of Borat. If the movie really wanted to make a point about bigotry, Borat would have to pepper its inadvertent subjects with follow-up questions, to make sure they’re really saying what they’ve sort-of been caught saying. But that wouldn’t be as funny, and Borat, to its credit, prizes comedy over truth. So let’s not underrate the former in a rush to overrate the latter.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

For Once

NYTimes editorial:
The president has just a little more than two years left in office. You’d think that for once he’d want to consider devoting his time to making things better instead of worse.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Michael J: "I Don't Give A Damn About Rush"

Go, Michael! On that "Couric Show":
FOX:[...] I could give a damn about Rush Limbaugh’s pity or anyone else’s pity. I’m not a victim. I’m someone who is in this situation. I think I’m in this situation along with millions of other Americans, and we have a right, if there’s answers out there, to pursue those answers with the full support of our politicians. And so I don’t need anyone’s permission to do that.

COURIC: You have said before this is a bipartisan problem that requires a bipartisan solution.

FOX: No, disease is a nonpartisan problem that requires a bipartisan solution.

COURIC: Would you support a Republican candidate?

FOX: I have. Arlen Specter is my guy. I have campaigned for Arlen Specter. He has been a fantastic champion of stem cell research. In the meantime, separate and apart from my political involvement, I’ve started a foundation that has raised $85 million for research and is the second leading funder of Parkinson’s research after the federal government.

And, you know, it’s not — I’m not a Johnny-come-lately. Nobody plucked me off the apple cart to come and do this. I mean, I believe in this cause. I put a lot of my life and energy into it, and I’m serious about it.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rumsfeld:"Back Off"

Donald Rumsfeld at a press conference Wednesday via Think Progress:
This is complicated stuff. It’s difficult. We’re looking out into the future. No one can predict the future with absolute certainty.

So you ought to just back off, take a look at it, relax, understand that it’s complicated, it’s difficult. Honorable people are working on these things together. There isn’t any daylight between them. They’ll be discussing this and discussing that. They may have a change there, a change here. But it’ll get worked out.

But What's the Backstory on the Arm?

Wired News interviews the head of the studio that created the insane PS2 game Godhand:
God Hand's not a game that's too terribly concerned with story. You have a guy who didn't want to be a hero, but by an unfortunate circumstance loses his right arm. But the arm it's replaced with has the power of a god in it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

ABC News: "Hannity Said This"

An email I just sent

From: [me]
To: support@abcnews.go.com

I was very confused by the inclusion of your piece of "news" that
basically covered some things that Sean Hannity said.


In what way is this news? If it was an opinion, please feel free to offer Sean a place on your op-ed pages, but if you wanted to cover his musings that Michael J Fox hadn't taken his medications, I would have expected you to at least talk to some doctors or other Parkinson's patients.

It's a bewildering piece, almost like someone hacked your site and posted it.

And how does your article reflect the opening sentence that "Conservatives came to the defense of talk radio host Rush Limbaugh" - the only other human beings mentioned in the entire "article" were Michael J Fox and Sean Hannity. And when did Rush "apologize?" His was the George Bush-style conditional apology, structured like: "I would apologize for anything I did wrong, but I didn't do anything wrong"...

I hope this isn't a sign of things to come. The Foley scandal made me add ABC News to the news I read each day, but this - and the interview between Bill O'Reilly and Mark Halperin - has made me think ABC is acting like FOX News.

"The height of hipsterism is when hipsters make fun of hipsters, but in a really hipster way"


Good God, Malkin's actually PROUD of these things...

Pinko Hobgoblins

The Editors:
It’s not just that Bush Republicans aren’t trying to justify themselves to libertarians - they aren’t trying to justify themselves to anyone. Once they got themselves into power they abandoned and repudiated any principles they ever claimed to hold (remember limited government? Remember humble foreign policy? Good times!) All that’s left are spooky campfire stories about Boogeyman Michael Moore and all his frightful liberal pinko hobgoblins, and if you don’t think that’s good enough, well, screw you.
“I like campaigning,” Mr. Bush said. “It’s what guys like me do in order to get here.”

It's Fun To Lose and To Pretend

Jesus, CHRIST. Did you have any idea? Kurt Cobain's the top earning dead celebrity. Will you look a' that!

1. Kurt ($50 million)
2. Elvis ($42 million)
3. Charles Shultz
4. John Lennon ($24 million)
5. Albert Einstein

Apparently, his appearance is probably a one-off, with most of the money coming from Courtney Love selling a 25% stake in his catalog last year.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Course the Stay?

OMG they're so confused.

Their silly fantasy games don't make any sense anymore.

"Most Americans"

Thanks, Pete, we'll call you if we need any more suggestions.

Oh, and Pete...
Finally, when we see what the new leaders of a Democratic House are likely to do, their views are--well--very different from most Americans.
That's not what--well--"most Americans" say.
Newsweek Poll
Most worrisome for the president, should the Democrats retake one or both houses of Congress, the American public supports their proposed “First 100 Hours” agenda. An overwhelming majority says allowing the government to negotiate lower drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies should be a top priority for a Democratic Congress (74 percent, including 70 percent of Republicans); 68 percent want increasing the minimum wage to be a top priority, including 53 percent of Republicans; 62 percent want investigating impropriety by members of Congress to be a top priority; and 58 percent want investigating government contracts in Iraq to be a top priority. Fifty-two percent say investigating why we went to war in Iraq should be a top priority (25 percent say it should a lower priority and 19 percent say it shouldn’t be done.)

I Don't Care If It's Vegan

Call me not-fun, I don't want to eat these.

Clever, though, for sure.


robot 001, originally uploaded by petesweb.

In the halloween spirit...

(via Suicide Bots)

Can't Hurt

It can't hurt to see a recap video like this.

You spineless liar.

Bush: "It reminds me of where I wanna be sometimes"

It's not his errant use of the definite article in front of Google. It's not that he forgets the name of Google Maps.

It's the utterly surreal lack of significance he seems to attach to his thoughts and his position.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sean Hannity, in a message to Democrats:
I want you to stay home on Election Day because you must accept the fact that your party has abandoned you. You've gotta accept the fact that your vote doesn't matter anyway. So all you Democrats, stay home. So, you know, why don't you stay home on Election Day? This is how the press is going to report this: "Hannity says Democrats should stay home on Election Day." After all, your vote won't change who occupies the White House. Your candidates have absolutely no ideas how to win the war on terrorism. The only ideas that they espouse are ways to undermine the troops in harm's way and undermine their commander in chief while they're at war. Your candidates have no idea how to keep this economy strong.
What a terrible man.

(via Media Matters,who has the audio clip, too)

Update 10/23: And now Media Matters notes Hannity's comments two days later
I argue that there's even a sort of an institutionalized bias to sort of suppress voting and take away initiative from people -- that's how I feel -- based on the news coverage

Kevin Tillman: "Somehow Nobody Is Accountable For This"

Brilliant powerful post from The Editors, including a long quote from Kevin Tillman, brother to the slain NFL linebacker turned soldier in Iraq turned cover-up-victim of friendly-fire.

I also defer to The Editors, who points out that Kevin's words truly are un-exerpt-able.

Jack Desparately Wants To Join A Crusade

For Christ's sake, Congressman Jack Thompson, could you sound like anymore of a wanker?

Dear [ESRB President] Ms. [Patricia] Vance,

We just found gay sexual content in Bully, as Jimmy Hopkins makes out with another male student. Good luck with your 'Teen' rating now, Patty.

As one commenter at gamespot (whom jack cc'd on his letter this morning, you attention-whore) put it, "How does gay content make it any more adult?"


Bill Bennett Can Suck My Ass, If He's Not Busy

What's the point of this "Bill Bennett Q&A" page on CNN?

Why has the rest of the world pretty much lost faith in our democracy and government?
Joaquin Garweg, Houston, Texas

BENNETT: I don't think the rest of the world has lost faith in our democracy and government.

It is fashionable in some precincts to condemn the United States. We have not been popular in the Middle East for many years, and the university class (in Europe, especially) has a "sophisticated" view that is aped by academia in much of the U.S. professoriate.

But many millions of people around the world love America, Americans and the things America represents. If [people] virtually anywhere in the world ... saw a group of soldiers coming over the hill and could pick which flag they were carrying, the American flag would still be the choice of many.

Is there a bias in the mainstream media against the Republican Party?
Mike Malloy, Paradise, California

BENNETT: Yes. And it is demonstrable. Survey after survey of powerhouse journalists -- on television, in newspapers and magazines -- show a clear liberal predisposition.

The president and many members of Congress keep repeating that if the Democrats are elected to Congress, that our taxes will be raised. ... My question is: If that occurred, couldn't the president veto it?
Joseph Filutz, Ammon, Idaho

BENNETT: The short answer is yes, the president could veto it. But remember, the tax cuts in force at present have to be renewed by an affirmative vote, which is unlikely to happen if the Democrats take control.

A bill to extend tax cuts will, in that case, never make it to the president. This, in effect, would be a tax increase. Remember, too, all tax legislation originates in the House.

So much to say about each one of these, but I think I'll just let them speak for themselves. The thing they really remind me of is the Q&A pages they have on the WhiteHouse.gov site from time to time - for instance, please-to-enjoy this "chat" with Alberto Gonazales answering "your" questions about the Military Commissions Act of 2006.


At first you might think I'm posting this to demonstrate Ellen's whoring herself out over the Zune, but actually it's for the crowd going batshit when they announce that everyone in the audience is getting one.

Na' Ga' help, Msoft...

Net Neutrality

Great metaphor on Net Neutrality from Craig "Craig's List" Newmark:
Here's a real world example that shows how this would work. Let's say you call Joe's Pizza and the first thing you hear is a message saying you'll be connected in a minute or two, but if you want, you can be connected to Pizza Hut right away. That's not fair, right? You called Joe's and want some Joe's pizza. Well, that's how some telecommunications executives want the Internet to operate, with some Web sites easier to access than others. For them, this would be a money-making regime.
There is a big PR push going on right now from cable companies to insinuate, without evidence, that Net Neutrality is a bad thing, somehow "bad for consumers." Be aware.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Must Remember, Exotic Pets Are Cruel...

IMG_6630, originally uploaded by genstarchild.

I'm in love.

(with the foreground)

Cranbrook Rain & Uniforms

2005-07-24-cranbrook-002, originally uploaded by bsatroop371.

I have my rss reader subscribed to picture tagged with "cranbrook," meaning the boarding school in Michigan where I lived for the first 12 years of my life (leaving, in fact, a year after the Detroit Tigers won the world series, which they're in this year for the first time since then).

This one showed up, as part of a series including more rain and more people dressed in clothes like that, and while I have no idea what's going on, I really really love the image. The postures of the people, the reflection of the sky in puddle, the slight flash-effect, and the rain-sky glow - it's all quite beautiful.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

NYTimes: Bush "Sudden Change of Heart...Maddening"

Strong editorial from the NYTimes:

The way the Bush team is stage-managing the president’s supposed change of heart about “staying the course” is unfair to the Americans who have taken him at his word that real progress is being made in Iraq — a dwindling but still significant number of people, some of whom have sons and daughters serving in the conflict. It is a disservice to the troops, who were never sent to Iraq in sufficient numbers to protect themselves or the Iraqi people. And it is a disservice to all Americans, who have waited so long for Mr. Bush to act that all that is left are a series of unpleasant choices.

And it is happening in the midst of a particularly ugly, and especially vacuous, election season. There is probably no worse time to begin a serious discussion about Iraq policy than two weeks before a close, bitter election. But now that the discussion has begun, it must continue, as honestly and openly as possible. It is time for the American people to confront all the things that the president never had the guts to tell them about for three and a half years.

Read the whole thing.

Elizabeth Fraser

Elizabeth Fraser, singer for the Cocteau Twins, performing "Song to the Siren," as part of the 4AD group This Mortal Coil...

What a beautiful place...

Maher: Stop Making Predictions

Incredibly words from Bill Maher
Maher: And finally, new rule in two parts: (A) You can't call yourself a think tank if all you're ideas are stupid; and (B) If you're someone from one of these think tanks that dreamed up the Iraq War and who predicted that we'd be greeted as liberators, and that we wouldn't need a lot of troops, and that Iraqi oil would pay for the war, that the WMD's would be found, that the looting wasn't problematic, that the mission was accomplished, that the insurgency was in its last throes, that things would get better after the people voted, after the government was formed, after we got Saddam, after we got his kids, after we got Zarqawi, and that whole bloody mess wouldn't turn into a civil war, you have to stop making predictions.
(quote pulled directly from the Crooks & Liars post, which also has the video)

Proper Perspective

Mark Wilson at Gizmodo on the Boy Scouts RIAA "merit patch," generally "awarded for various recreational and educational activities, such as conservation or volunteering at a food bank."
Yes, because humans starving and our environment becoming an inhabitable wasteland is equivalent to a kid stealing Sexyback off the new Timberlake album.


ambush, originally uploaded by gravityx9.

It's a photoshop job by someone known as gravityx9, but it sure gets you to the front of the line to be posted on Chelicerata to create a montage of a scorpion fighting a spider.

Digby: "I have only had one small beer, I swear."

This is why I sometimes say I get more raw data out of watching FOX News or the 700 Club than from, say, CBS News.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Creepy Dead Moose Shots

This is from a creepy-ass image gallery page of Men and the Moose they bravely wrestled to the ground with a gun.
There may not be a better opportunity in the North to obtain a record book Alaska/Yukon moose. Huge tracts of fantastic moose country remain virtually untouched. If watching your guide call a big bull in close doesn't get your adrenaline going, nothing will. Mature bulls of 60" and better are usually taken on our limited number of moose hunts.
Bonus shot of our courageous hunters after an epic battle to "harvest" a sheep:

(And here I was, just learning to find common ground between hunters and environmentalists. Oh, well, long road...)

Steve Hargreaves Gets High, Writes Stupid Article

Who the fuck is this Steve Hargreaves idiot? Special to CNN, my ass:

"Mac Attacks Rare But Rising"

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Apple computers have long been prized for being relatively virus-free. But as more people use Apple products, experts say the company is increasingly becoming a target for cyber pranksters and criminals writing viruses and other forms of malware.

The threat was highlighted earlier this week after a handful of the company's iPods were shipped with the RavMonE.exe virus.

According to Apple, the virus affected less than 1 percent of the video iPods available for purchase after September 12, 2006.

The problem is thought to have originated in the manufacturing process by another company that builds iPods for Apple and isn't believed to be a direct attack on the widely popular iPod itself.

Moreover, experts say the iPod isn't likely to become a Petri dish for cyber germs, as it's not directly connected to the Internet and is easily wiped clean and reloaded. But they do believe viruses targeting Apple's Macintosh personal computers are increasing.

I would never never suggest that macs are eternally safe from viruses, and Lord Knows apple fucked up and should have come out without the snark on this issue, but how do ipods shipping with windows viruses on them somehow reflect an increase in "Mac attacks?"

This is why bloggers laugh at criticism that says they are a bunch of hacks. And this article is under a fancy category at CNN called "Welcome to the Future." Right. Gotcha.

Hey, Steve, maybe you could become a reporter for the NY Times, and write articles like this one?

Lady Sovereign

The anthemic chorus is a bit repetitive, but I dig lots about this song and video...especially those monkeys.

I'm really losing my mind. NYTimes:
With Congress now in a recess, President Bush on Thursday bypassed opposition from Democrats in the Senate and the United Mineworkers of America and appointed his nominee to head the agency that oversees mine safety.

Mr. Bush appointed Richard M. Stickler, who is expected to serve about a year until the end of the next session of Congress.

Mr. Stickler, of Terra Alta, W. Va., will head the Mine Safety and Health Administration, which has been without a leader for two years.

The mine agency is part of the Labor Department.

Mr. Bush nominated Mr. Stickler last year, but Senate Democrats have blocked the nomination. The lawmakers and the mine workers’ union said Mr. Stickler had spent too many years as a mining executive and had failed to demonstrate adequate concern for safety in the mining industry.

What more can we say?

Bush makes a recess appointment of a former mining executive
to oversee mine safety.

They're not even TRYING to hide it anymore!

You get the feeling that this is a man that may actually hire a fox, a real live physical fox, to watch a real, non-metaphorical hen house!

(via ThinkProgress)

Curious. Very Curious.

WFMU's got a gallery of the Best Damn Monkey Portraits Ever. No shit.

Hello, It's Been 22 Years Since My Death

David Eagleman, Nature Magazine, writing on "death switches," which are "programs" you can set up that poll you regularly by email, and if you fail to respond for a predetermined amount of time, they assume you are dead and send out a message you have written to a distribution list of your choice. Sound fuckin morbid to me, but it gets creepier :
Soon enough, people realized they could program messages to be delivered on dates in the future: “Happy 87th birthday. It’s been 22 years since my death. I hope your life is proceeding the way you want it to.”

(via Pasta & Vinegar)

Someone Buy Him a Cruise - A Long One Far Away

Sean Hannity, in a message to Democrats:
I want you to stay home on Election Day because you must accept the fact that your party has abandoned you. You've gotta accept the fact that your vote doesn't matter anyway. So all you Democrats, stay home. So, you know, why don't you stay home on Election Day? This is how the press is going to report this: "Hannity says Democrats should stay home on Election Day." After all, your vote won't change who occupies the White House. Your candidates have absolutely no ideas how to win the war on terrorism. The only ideas that they espouse are ways to undermine the troops in harm's way and undermine their commander in chief while they're at war. Your candidates have no idea how to keep this economy strong.
What a terrible man.

(via Media Matters,who has the audio clip, too)

It Begins

So this is the fallout:
Moving quickly to implement the bill signed by President Bush this week that authorizes military trials of enemy combatants, the administration has formally notified the U.S. District Court here that it no longer has jurisdiction to consider hundreds of habeas corpus petitions filed by inmates at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

In a notice dated Wednesday, the Justice Department listed 196 pending habeas cases, some of which cover groups of detainees. The new Military Commissions Act (MCA), it said, provides that "no court, justice, or judge" can consider those petitions or other actions related to treatment or imprisonment filed by anyone designated as an enemy combatant, now or in the future.

(via Eschaton)

Scorpion King

Scorpion King, originally uploaded by sweetsexything.

My hat's off to you, chelicerate....

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Dwight Chrute on The Office tonight: "Not everything's a lesson, Ryan - sometimes you just fail."
As my friend would say, it's been Hyperlink Graveyard day around here, but sometimes that's the way it is. Here, without further ado, are some rules of etiquette (mostly about the "no gravity" situation) for future space tourists from experienced astronauts.

File under "yeah, I could see that."

Dropping The Day Away

Terrible Name, Excellent Activity. The app ("Ball Droppings") generates a steady stream of little balls, and you draw as many lines as you wish, of whatever length or angle. The stream formulates a mesmerizing visual and auditory pattern. Bravo!

Whip scorpion

Whip scorpion, originally uploaded by Tradescancia.

Fine specimen. Excellent way to celebrate a Thursday.

Onion Studio

Oh, totally. "Studio 60 Was Better When It First Came Out."

Bush's Victory Strategy Revealed!

Oh, shit, he's gonna be in trouuuuble! Tony Snow slipped up and revealed Bush's strategy in Iraq - the secret strategy that Bush and Conrad Burns were "not going to tell everyone in the world."

Damn, now it's not gonna work anymore.

Andrew Cohen: "Terror and Cause and Effect"

Andrew Cohen in the Washington Post:
Enormous and unchecked new power now has been given to a White House whose officials at first called Zacarias Moussaoui the "20th hijacker" but were wrong; who at first called Jose Padilla the "dirty bomber" but were wrong; who at first called Yaser Hamdi such a threat to national security that he could not even be allowed to talk to his attorney -- until they decided to set him free. Freedom from judicial review now has been given to the same administration officials who allowed Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen whom we now know that they knew was not a terrorist, to be transferred to Syria for torture. Vague or narrow definitions of torture now have been given to the executive branch operatives who are responsible for Abu Ghraib. New powers have been given to the people who brought us the National Security Agency's domestic spying program, the one that some legal experts say violates both federal law and the Constitution.
And he ends:
Here, Congress has given the President its trust and ours without verifying whether the White House truly deserved either. The record establishes that it doesn't.
Read the whole thing.

Our Humble Place In Time

I mentioned this post from PZ Meyers some time ago, but it's such an important bit of writing to me on our place in time on this Earth, I thought it was worth linking again. The small chart of 200 "bibles" is just devastatingly humbling.

There are other metaphors like this, including the earth-history-as-one-year one, but PZ is a marvelous writer.
Here's another icon, a few bits of bone from another australopithecine, Lucy. Like the relics in those cardboard boxes from the bone room, we know little about Lucy the thinking, acting, living being. She was a small female, less than four feet tall, living in old Africa. We can imagine that she had family, she lived in a group or tribe, she foraged, she had hungry days and full days, she courted or was courted, she had moments of happiness and moments of grief. All of the things she thought most important are gone and lost to knowledge, and all we have now are these few bones. When I hold the femur of a man dead 50 years, I can feel the sorrow of a life lost to me; how much more reverence should we feel for these bones of a person from a world gone 3.2 million years?
Also, don't miss his beat-down of the BBC's lazy coverage of some bullshit science on how woman will evolve as hairless with "pert" breasts.


Grace, originally uploaded by mi_kirk.

Beautiful statue from Cranbrook

Bad People

There are bad people out there.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

That Rabbit's Dynamite!

If we give Lou Dobbs a coat of armor and let him carry a sword, will he stop acting like he's such a goddamned warrior?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Do The Bachmann Chuuuu-ckle

This is just a short little giggler.

It's awesome how belief in evolution is used as political criticism. I don't know this politician, Michele Bachmann - i just enjoyed the "hundreds and hundreds of scientists" bit.

More here, and thanks to PZ for the link.

Monday, October 16, 2006

What Else Did You Expect From Tony Snow?

You know, i saw this, too, and my take on it is that this is just completely fucked. Could there any clearer example of unethical combination of roles? If Snow is fundraising for Republicans, how could we possibly imagine that he will give the country proper information as White House press secretary?

Could this be any more obvious? What a rotten, rancid group.

Pattern Recognition

The White House is in total freakout mode, furiously mocking the comments made by the evangelical David Kuo on 60 Minutes and in his new book Tempting Faith, who was deputy director of President Bush's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives until 2003.

No way, Tony Snow says, how DARE you suggest such a thing! Look at the nice letter he wrote!

You can read all about it around the web, but I noticed this little reminder at the bottom of the AP story. Are you seeing a pattern here?
Kuo's account of how the faith-based office has been regarded inside the White House recalls that of another high-level alumnus of the program. John J. DiIulio Jr., the faith-based office's first director, who quit in 2002, told Esquire magazine that "Mayberry Machiavellis" led by Rove based policy only on re-election concerns. After his comments caused an uproar, DiIulio apologized for making what he said were rude remarks.

3D Nightmare

OH, man, I'm SO gonna see the theatrical re-release of Nightmare Before Christmas - in

Robot Athletic Meet

TVInJapan provides all necessary commenatary, so suffice it to say that he's got some videos of a Robot Athletic Meet. Marvelous stuff!

If You See a Gun, Kid, Run Towards It

An elementary school in Fort Worth, Texas, is teaching kids to swarm and attack if a gunman tries to hold the school hostage.

Browne recommends students and teachers "react immediately to the sight of a gun by picking up anything and everything and throwing it at the head and body of the attacker and making as much noise as possible. Go toward him as fast as we can and bring them down."

Response Options trains students and teachers to "lock onto the attacker's limbs and use their body weight," Browne said. Everyday classroom objects, such as paperbacks and pencils, can become weapons.

"We show them they can win," he said. "The fact that someone walks into a classroom with a gun does not make them a god. Five or six seventh-grade kids and a 95-pound art teacher can basically challenge, bring down and immobilize a 200-pound man with a gun."

What a god-awful idea. I suppose it makes them feel they're teaching the kids to be brave. Maybe next they could teach the kids to fight back in a mugging?

Oh, and what's with picking on a small art teacher? I can totally hear that voice.

(via Angry Astronomer)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

From XKCD: "Turn Back"

I don't even understand what this XKCD comic is, so to speak, "about," but I love it. See it here.


IMG_3186, originally uploaded by greeneyzblu2.

The Fall is here, and with it a darker shade of chelicerate postings...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Better In All Ways

Sure to be ground-zero of the eventual uprising, Nagoya's Robot Museum is set to swing their doors wide during tomorrow's grand opening event.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

They're Still Fucking Creepy

Art Linkletter, on the 700 Club (!!!):
I asked a 100 year-old woman what the best thing is about being 100 years old. She said: There's so little peer pressure.

The Beginning of Time

In a post by Joystiq about some Tetris-shaped fridge magnets (which I'm drooling over), Kevin Kelley provides a brief history of video games since Tetris, and the roots of Tetris itself:
Tetris has spawned dozens of clones, appeared in other Nintendo games like Dr. Mario, and lives on today as Hexic, which was designed by Tetris creator Alexey Pazhitnov. In fact, most of today's popular puzzle games like Bejeweled can trace their roots back to Tetris, which is itself a sort of bizarre twist on Breakout, and that leads directly back to Pong, which takes us back to the beginning of time and makes our heads hurt.
I love Pong as "the beginning of time."

Hiding Something or Mostly Lying

NYTimes/CBS News Poll:
83 percent of respondents thought that Mr. Bush was either hiding something or mostly lying when he discussed how the war in Iraq was going.
(via AMERICAblog)

No Fault of Their Own

Poor Bloc Party.

I can't point to a single wrong thing about their music, but it just doesn't sound good any more. I cringe every time it comes up on the pod. And yet the songs are still creative, the performances are energetic, and the lyrics engaging.

Oh, and The White Stripes, too. I can't hit the skip button fast enough when this stuff comes up, even Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground, which I never thought I'd give up, ever since my rousing rendition of it at a basement karaoke place for one of Joe's Farewell-I'm-Off-To-London parties...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Foley's "Tribute to Congressional Pages"

Oh, C-SPAN, you are a beautiful thing.

In light of recent events, this is an extraordinary piece of video (Real Player) from June of Rep. Foley speaking in the House in June 2006, giving what C-SPAN calls a "Tribute to Congressional Pages."

It's abominable that this could be allowed to go on. He tells stories about the "high bidder" for a "lunch with Mark Foley," and how he drove the boy to a steakhouse in his BMW.

He just seems to view himself as part of the kids - and THAT is completely horrible He is an adult and betrayed these children and their parents by not maintaining the line.

Update 10/9: Transcript at MyDD.

NYTimes: "Protecting a Freedom to Insult"

NYTimes on Iraq:
But when it comes to one of the most basic tenets of democracy — freedom of speech and the press — Iraq is not setting an example that even the youngest of democracies would be wise to follow.

New laws in Iraq criminalize speech that ridicules the government or its officials, and any journalist who “publicly insults” the government or public officials can be subject to up to seven years in prison. Some of the language is resurrected verbatim from Saddam Hussein’s own penal code. It is hard enough for journalists to operate on the ever-expanding battlefields of Iraq. That is true for foreign journalists, who often have all the gear and protections of powerful outside media. But it is even harder for Iraqi journalists, who now face not only the dangers on the street but the threat of defamation laws as well.[...]

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Yeah, That'd Be Awful

“I hope we don’t find out that people sat on information just so they could leak it here a month before the election,” Senator John Cornyn of Texas said on CNN. But he acknowledged that he had no evidence of this.
Get used to that kind of quote from Republican Congressmen. It's the only kind of thing they can possibly say about this, besides We Fucked Up. You can also learn a lot about a news organization by seeing whether or not they include the followup clarification that I bolded in the quote.

I sure hope we don't find out that the Bush Administration lied to the American people about the reasons for taking us into Iraq.

Update: ThinkProgress has the transcript of Wolf interviewing Republican representative Patrick McHenry from NC who's pulling this shit. To his credit (probably because he has heard it a trillion times in the last week), he keeps insisting that he provide evidence. Listen to the argument style of a 10-year-old:

BLITZER: Do you have any evidence to back that charge up?

MCHENRY: No, no, actually, if the Democrats had any issue with saying this, putting all the facts out on the table, they would say, certainly, I’ll testify under oath that I had no involvement in it. They’ve said no.

BLITZER: Well, you don’t have any evidence, though, right?

MCHENRY: Well, look at the fact points.

BLITZER: Yes or no, do you have any evidence, Congressman?

MCHENRY: Do you have any evidence that they weren’t involved?

BLITZER: I’m just asking if you’re just throwing out an accusation or if you have any hard evidence.

MCHENRY: No. It’s a question, Wolf. The question remains, were they involved? And if they were not involved, they need to say clearly. And it’s a question. It’s not an accusation.

How low can you go?

Saturday, October 07, 2006


I love Techdirt. Their story on that YouTube/Google crap goin around: "Who Needs The Truth When We Can All Just Point At Each Other?"

Thoughtful Mistakes

These are wrong, but they are at the same time beautifully thought out.

Friday, October 06, 2006

"Like Watching An Unassisted Triple Play"

Glenn Greenwald, remarking on the almost divine perfection of the Foley scandal and all its ramifications, in a post called "Does the Foley scandal prove the existence of a God?":
The perfection of this scandal lies in its substance, not its theatrics. The Foley scandal is not -- as even some Bush opponents have asserted -- an aberrational, isolated, inconsequential melodrama that is unrelated to the substantive and important critiques of the Bush movement and which just coincidentally emerged as a cynical weapon that can be used to defeat the Republicans. The opposite is true. This scandal has resonated so powerfully because it is shining such a powerful light on the towering hubris, utter lack of intellectual and ethical integrity, and deeply engrained corruption that accounts for virtually every other Bush disaster -- from Iraq to law-breaking scandals to torture to Abrahmoff-type corruption schemes and everything in between.
I also enjoyed the quote he made in the same post from John Podhoretz:
This whole Foley business is one of the most dazzling political plays in my or any other lifetime - like watching an unassisted triple play or a running back tossing a 90-yard touchdown pass on a double-reverse.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

John Hodgman Interview

Engadget interviews the "PC Guy" from the mac ads.
The villain of any story is often the most compelling character. Justin, who is brilliantly funny, of course must play the hero, and the Luke Skywalkers of the world always catch a certain amount of flack. It's unfair, but inevitable, and I don't think it has caused people to buy more PCs anymore than it caused people to root for the empire over the Jedi. The Jedi still are the best. And they don't get viruses.

How did you maneuver me into a Star Wars discussion? Damn internet.
John is a hilarious writer in his own right. I saw one of his pieces on The Daily Show a few weeks back. I'm sure you could find it on youtube...


Microsoft: "Software piracy is not a victimless crime."

ZDNet: "Wrongly accusing someone of software piracy is also not victimless."

(via Techdirt)

Don't Joke

Are you fucking with me? A sequel to The Dark Crystal?

Hastert Zen

Sorry to use TDS's phrase, but Moment of Zen is really the best way to put this kind of thing.

Click image for full-size, or visit Dependable Renegade, where I found it.

Weddings and Wolves

Button I saw on a girl's bag today:
A Nation of Sheep, Ruled by Wolves, Owned by Pigs

The other day, I saw a woman sitting on the train perusing a very thick coffee-table kinda book. Except, the weird thing was, she was browsing through pages of enormous full color photos of different kinds of wedding rings, each with names and several photo examples like "The Classic" or "The Double-Loop." It was really just surreal. She was about 33, very well-dressed, like she was off to a cocktail party, and had the heavy book sitting on an opened amazon box that was sitting on her lap, which clearly she had been so excited about perusing her future possibilities that she couldn't wait to get home to open it.

I got to see the book as she exited the car. It was called "InTouch Weddings."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Matthew Loraditch, a former page and now president of the U.S. Page Alumni Association:
It was a slight cautionary statement, you know, 'Don't get too wrapped up in him being too nice to you,' and all that kind of stuff. You know, 'He's a nice guy but he's a little bit odd.'

Swarm of Cars

The web has been very good to me of late. Collection of Wonderful Things, indeed!

First up we have an astonishing video of replay footage from a racing game. Thing is, they ran the race 1000 times (aka), and then somehow, seamlessly and beautifully merged all the runs into a single video. What it ends up as is some sort of flowing stream of elegant slick yellow cockroaches. And, unlike almost all videos of video game footage, this one has great music.

And a bonus link: the Nietzche Family Circus. With each refresh it combines a random Family Circus panel with a random Nietzche quote. Glorious.

See also the Silent Garfield strips and the Marmaduke Explained blog.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

CNN Right Now


Update: Gawker had the same thought.

Cheney As Scarface

Brilliantly done, and very much NSFW audio:


Unknown spider, originally uploaded by artour_a.

I think what's extra spooky about this one is that the leaf the spider's on looks a bit like skin. But not just any skin - it looks like the skin of an individual that has had its "life essence" sucked out by an evil spider...

If You'll Just Look At The Skull Measurements...

Think Progress distills (and, of course, documents) a common right-wing reaction to Mark Foley's crimes: "See what being gay leads to?"

Not An Easter Egg Hunt

Daryl from Hominid Views, on Representative Dave Reichert's attempts to clarify his views on Global Warming by saying stupid-ass shit like "I’m going to wait until all the facts are in. There were many scientists who used to say the world was flat."
Anyone who knows anything about science knows that “all that facts” will never be “in.” Science isn’t a fucking Easter egg hunt! But using pre-enlightenment science as an analogy to argue against acceptance of modern science shows a fundamental lack of scientific training.

The Wall Street Journal Doesn't Understand

Do they really not understand this issue? This is so extraordinarily muddled. From the paper's lead editorial today.
But in today's politically correct culture, it's easy to understand how senior Republicans might well have decided they had no grounds to doubt Mr. Foley merely because he was gay and a little too friendly in emails. Some of those liberals now shouting the loudest for Mr. Hastert's head are the same voices who tell us that the larger society must be tolerant of private lifestyle choices, and certainly must never leap to conclusions about gay men and young boys. Are these Democratic critics of Mr. Hastert saying that they now have more sympathy for the Boy Scouts' decision to ban gay scoutmasters? Where's Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on that one?
Yes, Mr. Hastert and his staff should have done more to quarantine Mr. Foley from male pages after the first email came to light. But if that's the standard, we should all admit we are returning to a rule of conduct that our cultural elite long ago abandoned as intolerant.
No, no, and no. And if you don't understand the difference, you should hand over the writing duties to someone with a clearer head. They think they have caught someone in hypocrisy, but it's as if they're complaining that someone can be pro-soldier and anti-war.

Perhaps hard-rockin Conservative George Will can explain it to you better. He certainly seems to understand the state of our leadership.

And why doesn't someone go down to that "alcoholic treatment center" and pull that asshole out into the light?!

The List

Things you can count on the Republican leadership to screw up:

The deficit. Body armor. Medicare reform. Social Security reform. The minimum wage. Port security. The National Guard. Diplomacy. The Geneva Conventions. Fair elections. Clean elections. Intelligence. Protecting the Constitution. Protecting the Bill of Rights. Government transparency. Oversight. Separation of church and state. The middle class. The poor. Tax reform. Tax cuts. Bankruptcy law. Global warming. Disaster management. Defeating terrorists. Saying no to lobbyists. Saying yes to public opinion. Pre-war planning. Post-war planning. Competence. Civil rights. Civil liberties. Civil debate. Veterans' benefits. Hiring based on ability. Legal surveillance. Morality. Energy policy. Energy independence. End-of-life decisions among spouses. Inclusion. Learning lessons from history. Learning, period. Drug policy. Fiscal responsibility. Trusting the generals. Trusting the spooks. Trusting the experts. Basic honesty. Basic health care. Education. Creating jobs. Keeping CIA operatives' identities secret. Catching Osama. Playing nice. Playing fair. Refilling ice cube trays. Making paper airplanes. Or coffee. Tying their shoelaces. Making friends. Blowing their noses. Counting to ten five three. Sharing their toys. Telling the truth. Uniting the country. Protecting underage kids from a predatory congressman.

Hippo Hop

It's great when you find a new word for a concept that previously had no word. The Chewbacca Defense, for example.

The latest one I can be grateful for is Hippo Hop, from a Family Guy episode the other day.
Lion: What kind of music do you like, Gloria?
Hippo: "Hippo-Hop!" Wooooh-hooo! Yeah, baby!
This term, to me, now refers to the inclusion of safe-for-whites hip-hop references in all the endless shitty animated movies out there, like the hip-hop flies in Racing Stripes. I'm sure there will be a hip-hop - or gasp! a rastafarian - penguin in that new animated penguin movie "Happy Feet" that they started working on last year when everyone was into March of the Penguins.

Update: Anyone think of examples? Rastafarian OR hip-hop?

A Shark Tale

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Protein, originally uploaded by pingubrigade.

Those are bowl of hundreds of living scorpions!