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Aug. 6th, 2008 @ 11:29 am Dear lazyweb...
Current Location: work
Tags:
Please recommend webcomics that you read regularly. Currently, I'm really only reading a softer world, Dinosaur Comics, and xkcd.
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Jun. 22nd, 2008 @ 11:06 pm George Carlin 1937-2008
Current Mood: sadsad
Tags: ,
Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits.
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Apr. 18th, 2008 @ 08:13 pm (no subject)
I have decided that I want a t-shirt with a picture of a luchador on it, with the caption I AM SO OVER CHUCK NORRIS.

That is all.
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Jan. 26th, 2008 @ 10:27 am (no subject)
I am continually amazed by the pettiness of small people.
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Jan. 2nd, 2008 @ 11:51 pm (no subject)
Sorry if you think this is lame and/or you've seen it before, but I thought it was funny:

Best wedding first dance ever
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Dec. 28th, 2007 @ 09:00 pm tink is so mean to me, but i love her anyways =P
Current Mood: amusedamused
So, OK, tinkerbell_mk asked me to put a DVD in the DVD player and press play, and for some reason I was having a hard time understanding what she wanted. I finally managed to figure out what she wanted and I pressed the button and everything, and as I walked away, we had this little exchange:

Me: "I'm going to be back in a few minutes"
Tink: "Why? Are you going to go take some more dumb?"
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Dec. 27th, 2007 @ 12:24 pm RIP Benazir Bhutto
Current Location: work
Current Mood: sadsad
Hearing this on the radio certainly cleared the cobwebs from my brain this morning.

For all her flaws, this is very bad news for pretty much everyone. Real bad.
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Nov. 27th, 2007 @ 03:53 pm ohhhh fuck
Current Mood: distresseddistressed
Ever have one of those days at work where everything looks fine, until you get a new piece of information that throws everything into a loop?

Yeah, I'm having one of those.

I'm going to be sick and/or I'm going to strangle someone.
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Oct. 31st, 2007 @ 01:04 pm Krushing my fingers
Current Location: work
Current Mood: busybusy
Tags: , ,
Thanks to zare_k for the extra DJ Krush ticket, and thanks to tinkerbell_mk for insisting that I take it instead of her. It was a fantastic set.

But no thanks to the guy who decided it would be really badass if he kicked open the men's room door instead of opening it like a normal person, because, you see, I was on the other side of that door, and I was in fact reaching for the handle, and the impact with the door jacked up my hand something fierce. My left index finger got all crumpled and it felt like all the knuckles popped at once. I woke up this morning in quite a bit of pain, though it is feeling better now with thanks to aspirin.

So, yeah, no thanks to that guy. In fact, fuck that guy.
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Aug. 29th, 2007 @ 09:56 am In case anyone is coming up later than me and would like to meet up
Current Mood: busybusy
Camping at Camp Hex. Will be there late tonight.
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May. 15th, 2007 @ 06:58 pm Question
Current Location: mcdick's
Which is geekier and more in-jokey? This:



Or this:

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Apr. 15th, 2007 @ 01:52 am Least favorite thing to see on Pitchfork
Current Location: living room
Current Mood: boredbored
Current Music: XXXchange and Amanda Blank "Get It Now"
Tags:
That Band You Really Want To See is Touring the US!

The tour kicked off last week in your hometown. In fact, that night you were sitting around arguing with people on the internet, they were playing that small club you like so much. Those people you wish you got to see more often were probably there. I bet you could find some pictures of the show on Flickr. People probably had a lot of fun.

You can click on the link below to see the remaining tour dates, all of which are really fucking far from where you live.

Oh, but wait! They're going to swing back to the US after touring Europe. No, no, never mind, their next stop in your town is that weekend you're going out of town to do something obligatory but boring.
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Mar. 30th, 2007 @ 10:35 pm Another dream
Current Location: living room
Current Music: Timeblind "Rastabomb"
Tags: ,
I am sitting in my cubicle at work.

Everything is sort of overly sharp and flourescently lit. No one else is in the office.

Everything is also happening a bit slowly.

I am reading Livejournal on my computer.

There is a survey going around. I am reading the questions.

The question I am reading is this:

"What is your favorite kind of soda?"

I say to myself:

"Hmmmm."

I am pondering, you see. I think to myself:

"The more I think about it, I have become awfully fond of that new Cherry Coke Zero."

But I feel the matter needs more thought before I commit to typing. It occurs to me:

"Cherry Coke Zero is actually a very new product. Perhaps you are just caught up in the initial rush of excitement that new products sometimes cause. Are you sure you really think it deserves to be considered the greatest soda of all time?"

I ponder it a bit more, staring at the screen.

Then I wake up.
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Mar. 30th, 2007 @ 12:23 am The New Golf: From Guac to Cock
Current Mood: cynicalcynical
Tags:
"By 8 p.m., the incense is lit, the Jacuzzi's bubbling, and the DJ is spinning Sean Paul and Jay-Z by the swimming pool. Within an hour or so, the guests—23 white couples and 3 black couples—have arrived, all of them here specifically to have sex with single black men often a decade or two their junior. There are 12 such men in the house tonight. They call themselves Mandingos. And this is a Mandingo party.

...

Jeff will manage to squeeze in two brief blow jobs before the night is over. The rest of the time he seems to be cleaning up empties and replacing trash bags. He's an obsessively tidy man—"my OCD husband," Amber calls him affectionately.

"No one's having sex on the sofas," he says, looking pleased. "I left the throw cushions on to encourage people to use the bedrooms—a little something I learned at the last party. Especially because we've got a couple of squirters here tonight. You don't want that on the microfiber. Not good."

...

Branford is an evangelist for the Mandingos. At the last 70 or so parties, he's brought his table and given free massages. "I make great contacts here," he says. "This gets my name out there; that's why I don't charge." The way he sees it, interracial orgies are the new golf—a way to interact with rich folks. Charles, the law student, also sees the benefits. "When you network with someone, it's because you have something in common. Whether it's golf or tennis or . . . .interracial sex," he says. "I haven't used it to my advantage, but I'm not opposed—I've definitely had sex with lawyers in the past."


Story here. NSFW, obviously. Thanks due to kyooverse

BONUS: urbaniak completely eviscerates the (*ahem*) "Rappin' Rove" incident.
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Mar. 18th, 2007 @ 07:49 pm (no subject)
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Feb. 25th, 2007 @ 03:27 am Amusing headlines, posted in the manner of a funnyman or comedy specialist
Current Mood: amusedamused
Tags: ,
Two Clowns Shot Dead At Circus

Safety of US Peanut Butter in Question

The Rat War is Upon Us
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Feb. 22nd, 2007 @ 11:42 pm The great Madonna challenge!
Current Location: living room
Current Mood: stressedstressed
Current Music: Deerhoof "Believe E.S.P."
Like a number of people reading this, I was challenged semi-recently by foxtrotxray to cram a CD full of as many mp3s as I could of the music I considered to be the Best Music Ever, however I chose to define "best."

Predictably, this seemingly innocent challenge has sent me into a tailspin of music geek navel-gazing, crazed list-making, and CD ripping and online track-hunting. After numerous failed attempts at putting the CD together, I have decided to enforce a few rules on myself to keep me from going totally batshit. One of those rules is "Only One Track Per Artist No Matter Who They Are*"

This has solved a lot of problems, forced me to clear up more room to include a wider array of artists, but it has also left me in a bit of a quandry:

For the life of me, I cannot pick a favorite Madonna song. Internets, Please Help Me!!!!1!!1!!1!!!!!!

I would like everyone to post about their favorite Madonna song to help me pick. Here are the rules:

1) This isn't a vote. I just want feedback. Extended comments are more helpful than just individual song titles.
2) Only one song per poster. I'm confused enough.
3) My short list thus far: "Lucky Star," "Borderline," "Into the Groove," "Open Your Heart," "Vogue," and "Ray of Light." "Hung Up" and "Music" are dark horse contenders.
4) Madonna haterz plz go die kthx


The poster who most clarifies my thinking on this topic gets... well, nothing.

* Defining "artist" as "individual project." I can have a Bad Seeds track and an EN track, or Wu-Tang and GZA, or whatever.
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Feb. 21st, 2007 @ 12:27 am (no subject)
This is hysterical.

Stolen from reverend_kate.
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Feb. 15th, 2007 @ 11:58 pm Apocalypse Now Redux Again: This Time in Felt
Tags: , ,
I had a dream the other night that I was a much-buzzed about young avant-garde director, making a very controversial remake of Apocalypse Now.

Why so controversial, you might ask? Because I recast the movie with the Muppets, but left everything else unchanged.

Except the title. That was changed to The Muppets Take Vietnam.

Fozzy Bear was Col. Kurtz. I remember Scooter, Dr. Teeth, and Animal being among Kurtz' followers, but I am not sure which of them replaced Dennis Hopper.

Kermit was Willard, and when I woke up the image of his weird floppy green limbs thrashing around while he trashed his room in Saigon in a drunken rage was fresh in my mind.

Please, someone, make this movie for me.

Addendum: When I mentioned this to mcdick, somehow the whole thing drifted into a discussion of how different Apocalypse Now would have been if Coppola had replaced Martin Sheen with Martin Short.
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Feb. 5th, 2007 @ 11:51 pm fuck. yes.
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: OutKast "Decatur Psalm"
Tags: ,
Los Angeles - Harrison Ford has threatened to quit the new Indiana Jones movie, unless he gets to use a real whip.

The 64-year-old actor, who plays the daredevil archaeologist, was told the weapon would have to be computer generated because of new film safety rules.

Harrison branded the rule “ridiculous” and said he would pull out of the film if he couldn’t wield his whip.


stolen from Warren Ellis. Story here
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Feb. 1st, 2007 @ 12:05 am Attack of the Mooninites
Current Location: home
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Dabrye "Evelyn"


A guerilla marketing campaign for Aqua Teen Hunger Force was apparently mistaken for a terrorist attack. Law enforcement action, including the FBI. Panic on the national news. The city of Boston shut down. Felony charges.

Story here.

Yes, that's essentially a Lite Brite-style image of Err of the Mooninites which has spawned the terror scare.

"If the fucking thing had said "Coca-cola" on it, nobody would have batted an eye." - mikecap

Thanks to aijoskobi, autodidactic, and urbaniak for posting about this.
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Jan. 29th, 2007 @ 12:59 am Knowing when to STFU: Iraq's lessons for the stupid
Current Music: Deerhoof "+81"
Tags: ,
I've been trying not to indulge my perpetual irritation with the stupidity of the human species. I don't like the person I become when I really let the venom fly at people who annoy me by taking outrageously stupid positions on various issues, important and trivial, based on even more bone-headed beliefs. I don't want to wallow in that kind of negativity too much anymore.

That said...

One could say that the political conflict over the buildup to the Iraq War was a reflection of two radically incompatible political paradigms. It was kind of a perfect situation for reducing a whole slew of ideological conflicts, different perspectives on diplomacy and international relations, and understandings of the political and cultural issues of the Middle East and boiling them all down to a simple binary:

Do we invade Iraq? (Yes/No)

In the end, the yes side won out, and two broadly-defined schools of political thought and fundamental approaches to foreign policy were put to the ultimate field test.

Had the Iraqi people gratefully greeted the coalition troops as liberators in 2003, if Iraq were now a bustling and vibrant democracy flourishing in the Middle East, I think that any time the tree-hugging hippies like me who opposed the war opened our mouths in 2007, there would be a chorus of voices telling us to sit in the corner and STFU.

And, I think, justifiably so. By now, it would be clear to everyone that back in 2003, when we had screamed about how the war was an atrocity in the making, we had been wrong. We clearly had had no idea what we were talking about. The Cheneys and Rumsfelds and Wolfowitzes of the world had understood how the world worked better than we did then, and they had been vindicated when they put their plan into action. Clearly, the burden would now be on us to figure out why we had been so wrong, and that would most likely involve rethinking some of our core principles and most cherished beliefs, because those beliefs had led us to act like a bunch of dipshits screaming gibberish and standing in the way of people with a better idea.

Honestly, had such a thing happened, I can't possibly see how I would not have had a crisis of political faith. I mean, how blind would I have had to have been to call things that badly? Had the neocons been the ones who were perceiving the situation accurately, people would have been sitting there in their homes, cowering helplessly under the rule of a dictator and praying for the Americans to come and save them, and I would have been the one who hung banners and demonstrated against answering those prayers. My understanding of the world would have been so deeply flawed on so many levels that I would have felt compelled to go back and re-examine everything I believed from a new perspective.

To be totally honest, the thought occurred to me at the time. "What will I do if the Iraqis welcome them with open arms, and Iraq is liberated and becomes a beacon of hope to the rest of the region?", and to say some small part of me was terrified of the implications of that possibility would be something of an understatement.

Obviously, however, that's not what's happened.

How is it, then, that people who passionately advocated the invasion of Iraq in 2003 still have any credibility whatsoever with anyone, even themselves? If I were in their shoes, I don't think I'd be able to muster the balls to voice a public opinion about the fucking weather, much less policy issues of any consequence.

I can understand, to some degree, people who were on the fence, people who had reservations, people who felt that they didn't have enough information, people who hemmed and hawwed and maybe got swept up a little in the tide of public opinion. That's another issue, for the most part.

I'm talking, now, to the people who screamed and yelled and disparaged opponents of the war. I'm talking to the people who told us in the most condescending tones possible that we didn't understand how to deal with "those people over there," because, you know, they won't listen to reason and they hate us because they're jealous of our freedom. I'm talking to the people who spat on the French for daring to stand up to us and tell us that this was a really bad idea. I'm talking about the academics who twisted every legal text they could find and distorted every reasonable understanding of the fundamental nature of our society as well as theirs in their quest to rationalize and excuse this course of action. I'm talking to the people who were 110% certain that this war was right, necessary, and probably even overdue, the people who were just itching to push all of us nay-sayers out of the way so they could show us how real men handle foreign policy in the post-9/11 era.

Mostly, I'm talking to all those people who considered themselves "realists," because they were the only ones who understood that all our high-falutin' ideals of justice and diplomacy and all our fancy talk didn't solve problems in the "real world."

For those people, I am here to tell you that I am, in fact, a realist, and I believe in doing what works best most often for real people in the real world. You, on the other hand, essentially believe that most foreign policy problems have a simple, one-size-fits-all solution:

1) Figure out who the bad guys are.
2) Shoot them.


While you think that makes you hard-edged and realistic, it actually just makes you dreadfully naive. If the world's real problems were that easy to solve, I'd be honored to pull the trigger myself.

Oh, if only the world were as simple as your childlike brains make it seem in the idealistic fantasy world you've created! Unfortunately, most of the world's problems are a great deal more complicated than that, and solving them generally requires lots and lots of things you'd probably find really tedious: political negotiations, development of economic strategies and institutions, etc. Lots of paperwork and lots and lots of what would probably seem to you like endless, pointless talking. You know, all that boring old adult stuff you hate so much and are so eager to sidestep so you can get right to the slam-bang parts.

There might be some military action involved, but the bulk of it is likely to be that peacekeeping kind where you don't try to make the huge flashy explosions so much as you try to stop them from happening. I know, I know, I'm a killjoy.

I've saved the worst part for last: this usually requires consistent action of this kind over the course of years or even decades. Can you even imagine having to worry about what the consequences of your actions right now will be ten or even twenty years in the future?

Unfortunately, as much as we'd like to deny the cold, hard, truth of it, it's the only thing that works, and after Iraq we can no longer even pretend that your approach has any merit, or that you know the tiniest bit of anything worth knowing about the way the "real world" operates. You really need to re-examine the fundamental assumptions you have about the world which are informing your philosophy.

I'm hoping you will grow up someday, and realize that your entire belief system is stupid and misguided, and that you don't know shit about shit, but in the meantime, until you do, we're just going to have to ask you to sit in the corner and STFU.
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Jan. 22nd, 2007 @ 06:47 pm (no subject)
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: not Willie Nelson


Is it weird that the one name on the bill that totally surprised me and got me very excited was Willie Nelson?

I mean, come on. Willie Nelson at Coachella. How cool is that?
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Jan. 20th, 2007 @ 02:34 am Mystery vigilante samurai
Tags:

Mysterious samurai saves Police in UK



A samurai sword wielding vigilante has come to the rescue of two Police officers when they were attacked by an armed gang in South Shields, England.

A group of men had forced their way into a house and were ransacking the place when passing plain-clothes officers were alerted by a woman inside screaming.

The criminals outnumbered them and were armed with a hammer, knives and chains and attacked the Police officers.

As one of them stabbed at a Policeman with his knife, a mysterious do-gooder appeared from nowhere and attacked him with a samurai sword.

One of the burglars began running away but was stopped by the stranger who struck him on the arm with the sword.

Two of the criminals were arrested, but in true hero style the samurai disappeared before police could speak to him.

A third man was arrested later and two more are still being hunted.

Police are especially keen to trace the man with the sword who came to the aid of their officers, and have asked for anyone with information to call them.


From here.
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Jan. 9th, 2007 @ 11:32 pm On the hanging of Saddam Hussein
Current Location: home
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: ABBA "Dancing Queen"
Tags: ,
I have stolen this, added emphasis and all, from mj_12, who is quoting an article found here.

"Master Sgt. Robert Ellis, a senior medical adviser responsible for Hussein's care in Baghdad, praised the stoicism displayed by Hussein. “Saddam,” he said, “was gangsta.”
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Dec. 20th, 2006 @ 09:56 pm Robots in disguise
Current Location: home
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
Current Music: Gnarls Barkley "Transformer"
Tags: ,
Ohhhh, mama, they actually look really cool. The Transformers in the live-action Transformers movie actually look really cool.
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Dec. 9th, 2006 @ 12:02 am Christmas comes early
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
Current Music: Los Fabulosos Cadillacs "Matador"
Tags: , ,
You know what's really nice?

Burning a bunch of mix CDs as gifts for a party, and working your way down a spindle of blank CDs and noticing that a bunch of them aren't blank at all. No, no, actually, they're a bunch of CDs and DVDs you've been looking everywhere for for quite a while, which you suppose you must have stored with the blanks during one of your many moves.

Hell yeah.
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Dec. 7th, 2006 @ 02:06 pm I am so smart! S-M-R-T!
Current Location: the new place!
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: Yoshimoto "Du What U DO (Trentemoller remix)"
Tags: ,
Sometimes I wonder if my life's purpose is to serve as a cautionary example to others.

In case you didn't know, the correct order is:

1) Move Christmas tree where you want it to go.
2) Fill water basin at base of tree.

Oh, well. At least I managed to use manly power tools without injuring myself.
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Dec. 2nd, 2006 @ 11:24 pm Klaxons
Current Music: Klaxons "Atlantis to Interzone"
Tags:
How did I go so long without hearing this band? I mean, all the references seem to be a little ham-handed, but fuck it, this is awesome.
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Nov. 20th, 2006 @ 08:01 pm Guess a song from the first few lines
Current Mood: procrastinating
Current Music: Ladytron "Flicking Your Switch"
(stolen from zenith)

Step 1:Put your iTunes/MP3 player on random.
Step 2: Post the first line(s) of the first 20 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing the song.
Step 3: Post and let everyone you know guess what song and artist the lines come from.
Step 4: Strike out the songs when someone guesses correctly.
Step 5: NO CHEATING

I skipped a metric crapload of instrumentals. I think most of the tracks on my iTunes playlist are instrumentals. I didn't count samples as lyrics, and I skipped by one song in Portuguese. Also, I skipped two mash-ups, because it wouldn't be fair.

Also, I skipped all sorts of "Yeah. All right. Turn the music up in my headphones" kind of stuff.

Make with the guessing alreadyCollapse )
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Nov. 15th, 2006 @ 12:56 am SearchMash = the new Google?
Tags:
This is being reported on Red Ferret as Google's experimental new interface. As they point out, it's not exactly paradigm-breaking, but it has cool new features. I especially like the built-in Wikipedia sidebar on the right, and I'm guessing the feedback section will help improve the search algorithms or something. Plus, you get web page links and images in the same search, on the same page, which is neat.

If you start using it now, and it becomes standard, then you can tell everyone you started using it while Google was still being all stealthy with it, and thus build up your early-adopter cred =P
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Nov. 9th, 2006 @ 01:12 am Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...
Current Location: home
Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: Legendary Pink Dots "Belladonna"
Tags:
As most of you already know, Bush has tapped former Director of Central Intelligence, Robert Gates, to replace Donald Rumsfeld.

Like many of the people Bush has appointed to crucial positions during his administration (Elliott Abrams, Otto Reich, John Negroponte, and John Poindexter), Robert Gates is an Iran-Contra alumnus, part of the shadowy cabal that subverted the Constitution, defied Congressional authority, sold crack in the ghettos of Los Angeles fueling the escalation of gang violence there, supported particularly brutal terrorism in Nicaragua, and was otherwise involved in black ops of dubious value and even more dubious morality during the days of Ronald Reagan.

He was also instrumental in providing intelligence support to Saddam Hussein back in the 1980s, when he was a key US ally in the Middle East. From his nomination hearings (for the DCI position) in 1991:

"Robert Gates served as assistant to the Director of the CIA in 1981 and as Deputy Director for Intelligence for 1982 to 1986. In that capacity he helped develop options in dealing with the Iran-Iraq war, which eventually involved into a secret intelligence liaison relationship with Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Gates was in charge of the directorate that prepared the intelligence information that was passed on to Iraq. He testified that he was also an active participant in the operation during 1986."

1986, mind you, was when Saddam Hussein began the al-Anfal Campaign, an ethnic cleansing program conducted against the Kurdish minority in Iraq, which went on for three years and killed at least 50,000, and possibly as many as 180,000, Kurds. The program was headed by Ali Hasan al-Majid, who earned his nickname "Chemical Ali" by using chemical weapons against Kurdish peshmerga militiamen and the civilian population.

US intelligence helped the Iraqi regime by providing helicopters and logistical support used in the campaign, as well as helping them acquire the necessary chemical components of the gas used. Gates also passed on satellite photos and other intelligence information to Saddam Hussein's regime, which they used to camouflage their own nuclear program until it was dismantled after the Gulf War. The US also worked to suppress information about the regime's genocidal activities, until 1991, when it became politically expedient to bring them up to justify the Gulf War.

Oh, and it gets better. In his memoir, From the Shadows, Gates admitted that American intelligence services began a program of covert aid to the mujahideen rebels fighting the communist government of Afghanistan in early July of 1979, nearly six months before the Soviet invasion in late December of that same year. The plan was to lure the Soviets into invading to support the crumbling regime of Hafizullah Amin, and it worked exactly as planned. An intelligence aide to President Carter summed it up like this in a 1998 interview:

"That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Soviets into the Afghan trap..." [...]"The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the Soviet Union its Vietnam War."

(emphasis added)

Gates was on the National Security Council at the time, moved back to the CIA later that year and was involved in operations to support the mujahideen during the Reagan administration. Among the leaders of the mujahideen was a young Saudi militant named Osama bin Laden, who turned the connections, funding and experience he developed during the Afghan conflict into his more well-known later venture, al-Qaeda.

The US plan worked exceedingly well. The Soviets were bogged down in Afghanistan until 1989, and were eventually forced to retreat in a humiliating defeat. Approximately two million Afghan civilians and combatants were killed. The power vacuum left by the Soviet withdrawal led to the Afghan Civil War, in which the mujahideen leaders turned on each other and the Najibullah regime. The war continued through various phases until 1996, when the final victors emerged: the Taliban.

The defeat in Afghanistan is generally credited with hastening the collapse of the Soviet Union, which in turn is credited with the explosion in the trade of nuclear materials and nuclear science secrets on the black market. It is likely that the dispersal of Soviet nuclear secrets contributed to the development of nuclear weapons programs in Pakistan, North Korea, and Iran.

Loyalty to the Bush family and willingness to get one's hands dirty with its shady business goes a long way with this administration, and I can't say that I'm surprised that, even when faced with the public fallout over Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, the CIA black sites, the wiretapping issue, the mass murder of civilians, and the manipulation of intelligence in the leadup to the Iraq War, Bush has nominated someone with an extraordinary track record of exactly that type of dirty dealing and those sorts of gross human rights violations.

It's doubly amusing/horrifying that Gates was deeply personally involved in the creation of al-Qaeda and in Saddam Hussein's atrocities against his own people and his development of WMD. Essentially, Bush has nominated someone who was deeply involved in the creation of both of the threats Bush himself later dragged the US into war with.

(thanks to Lepidopteran and the other fine 'lithers whose thread inspired and informed this post)
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Nov. 8th, 2006 @ 07:24 pm (no subject)
Tags: ,


Stolen from hep
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Nov. 7th, 2006 @ 04:52 pm Spider Jerusalem on voting
Tags: ,
Both aijoskobi and moonandserpent have already posted this, but what the hell, here it is again:

"You want to know about voting. I'm here to tell you about voting.

Imagine you're locked in a huge underground nightclub filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pit bulls for fun. And you ain't allowed out until you all vote on what you're going to do tonight.

You like to put your feet up and watch "Republican Party Reservation". They like to have sex with normal people using knives, guns and brand-new sexual organs that you did not know existed.

So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as the eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades.

That's voting.

You're welcome."
- Spider Jerusalem

That said, I'm off to vote. I'm not one of those people who wants to encourage everyone to vote and make their voices heard, because, frankly, some people are stupid, and they vote for stupid things, and we would be better off if they opted to shut up.

I mean, I wouldn't force them to shut up, and I agree that they should have the right to vote, I just wish more of them would decide, on their own, to refrain, and I'm encouraging them to take that option seriously.

So go vote, as long as you don't vote for anything stupid. If you're going to vote for something stupid, please stay home. Thanks.
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Oct. 31st, 2006 @ 12:47 am Only you can spread the truth about Neptune, CA
Tags:
Why, exactly, did I think it was worth my time to correct the boneheaded notion that the fictional Balboa County on Veronica Mars was a fictional analogue of Orange County, and not northern San Diego County (better known to San Diegans as "North County"), a notion which had slipped into the Wikipedia entry on Neptune, CA?

Maybe I wanted to put a little San Diego love into the interweb tubes. Who knows? But I just couldn't stand seeing stupidity like that when there was something I could do about it.

Even if the show wasn't filmed entirely within San Diego County, for fuck's sake, people, nobody in Orange County considers themselves to live in a suburb of San Diego, whereas everyone on Veronica Mars does.

Really, seriously, it's a fictional location on a TV show which I haven't even watched this season or last. In any case, my willingness to waste time on this is proof that the Wikipedia Project works, I guess.
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Oct. 11th, 2006 @ 09:56 pm More fun with Toxoplasma gondii
Current Mood: curiouscurious
In addition to all the other effects I blogged about two months ago, apparently Toxoplasma gondii infection might also increase a pregnant woman's chances of having a male child. Story here.

Frankly, I'm skeptical of some of the more extreme claims made here. A few percentage points in either direction from a roughly 50-50 balance usually produces huge sociological effects, frequently massive upheavals. If up to 80% of the population in some countries is infected with T. gondii, and it can supposedly make women have a whopping 72% male offspring, I think we'd have noticed by now.

I wonder if the data from this study correlates with country-by-country gender ratios, given the strong dichotomy that's supposed to exist between countries with high and low rates of T. gondii infection, but somehow I doubt it.
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Oct. 5th, 2006 @ 06:11 pm (no subject)
Current Location: My family's house in New Jersey
Current Mood: blankblank
Current Music: Muslimgauze "Unlevel Line (O Yuki Conjugate remix)
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The local CBS affiliate in New York seems to be the first news organization to stumble upon the obvious person to interview for commentary on the Mark Foley scandal: Jessica Cutler, aka Washingtonienne, (in)famous for blogging about her sex life as a Capitol Hill staffer. She caused a minor scandal back in 2004 by talking frankly about fucking various people (mostly older, married men) in exchange for money and gifts. I'm kind of surprised she hasn't been making the rounds on all the poltical talking heads shows.

She pretty much said what you would expect her to say, namely, that pretty much everybody on the Hill is a totally lecherous piece of shit, and as a low-level nobody your options are limited to either going along with it and reaping the benefits or complaining and getting blackballed as a troublemaker. No big surprises there.

zare_k had a pretty interesting blog entry on the whole Foley thing the other day, which I recommend reading. If faganmobius happens to be reading this, I'd be very curious to get his perspective on what's happening.
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Aug. 25th, 2006 @ 09:18 pm Let's get some shoes.
Current Mood: Let's party.
Current Music: Kelly "Shoes"
"I saw The Passion of the Christ. I couldn't handle that movie. All I could think was 'Jesus, please! Use your safeword! Oh my God, he is such a bottom!'"

- Margaret Cho at The Sensuous Woman show the other night.

We also got to see Kelly doing a live version of her fantastically funny song Shoes.
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Aug. 8th, 2006 @ 09:26 am Blog roundup
Current Location: home
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: Infected Mushroom "Shakti Shakta"
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I need to do these more often so the feeds don't get so backed up...

Soft cyborgs and quiet AI

This essay on the relationship between artificial intelligence and human cognition was reposted recently on kuro5hin. It's amazingly lucid and insightful, and if you only read one of the articles I link to in this post, make it this one.

Beautiful/Decay has Aya Kato t-shirts

I love Aya Kato. Her work is kind of like superflat meets art nouveau with a sort of goth/EGL twist. Now, apparently, Beautiful/Decay has commissioned her to make t-shirts. Josh Rubin posted about it here.



Videogame Sherpas

Terra Nova links to and provides commentary on a WSJ article about the growing business opportunities in the field of guiding people through video game worlds and teaching them crucial skills. I'm just loving the image of a middle-aged white-collar professional paying a teenager to yell at him on his headset while he's playing Halo 2, and the possibility of hiring a professional guide to navigate through WoW further confirms the economic and social significance of the MMORPG gaming phenomenon.

Gecko Gloves

Every time I read something about gecko gloves I get more and more excited. Maybe by blogging about it I can make them happen faster. Fast enough that I'm not too old and out-of-shape to use them, anyway. Anyway, we make money not art has more info on them here.

Chris Anderson on video filmmaking

Chris Anderson, the author of The Long Tail, has posted a really interesting piece about the ways digital video is changing the process of filmmaking.

Specifically, actual film is expensive, and so there's a lot of pressure on the actors on every take. Digital video, obviously, uses no film, and so the line between rehearsals and actual filming is blurred to the point of non-existence, and actors are free to be much more relaxed. However, perfectionist directors also have fewer built-in disincentives preventing them from asking for a lot more takes. Interesting read.

BMTs and you

Incoming Signals has posted a link to a Dictionary of Medical Slang, which I am duly passing on to you, dear reader, in case you ever need a coded phrase to refer to the impending death of someone in the room without alerting their soon-to-be-grieving relatives.

Coolest. Club. Evar.

Another one from we make money not art, Kubik is a temporary open-air nightclub in Berlin built out of stacks of huge translucent plastic water tanks full of light bulbs. The light bulbs inside the tanks are programmable, so they can be used as video displays.



Texting in the US and India

Textually.org has a post about the fact that text messaging is still lagging in popularity in the US as compared to the rest of the world, and some possible theories as to why that is the case.

Personally, I think that we simply haven't hit the necessary tipping point yet. I knew texting was very popular elsewhere, but I still didn't actually do it on a regular basis until I was in Louisiana. All the other Red Cross people were obsessive texters, and so I got into it, too. If no one around you is doing it, there's no point in doing it, but if everyone is doing it, it becomes a social norm. It just has to reach a certain level of critical mass.

As for texting elsewhere, Textually also linked to an article about an Indian speech-to-SMS service, which allows the illiterate population of India access to the technology.

Sony Mylo

Gizmodo has some info about the cool new portable gizmo from Sony. Audio, video, Skype, pictures, web browsing, instant messaging, and wireless music streaming between Mylos. Pretty sexy.



Paradigm shifts and foreign policy

William Gibson discusses the failures of neoconservatism, the Israeli war in Lebanon, and the “War on Terror” using the work of Thomas Kuhn as an explanatory framework. Basically, he argues that the neocons are on the wrong side of a paradigm shift, which I suppose is pretty obvious, but hey, it's Gibson talking about Kuhn, so I'm linking to it.
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Aug. 8th, 2006 @ 08:56 am Jesus H. Motherfucking Christ
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
Current Music: Deltron 3030 "Madness"
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This is the coolest thing I have ever seen. Clicky.

Thanks to Technoccult for the link.
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Aug. 8th, 2006 @ 12:27 am Evolution, parasites, and cat people
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: FSOL "Cascade"
Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite which is normally found living in the intestinal tracts of cats. It lays eggs which are passed out of the bodies of the cats and are later eaten by rats, and the eggs hatch inside the bodies of rats.

This, of course, leads to a bit of a problem. The rat is just an intermediate host. In order to complete its life cycle, T. gondii must get inside the body of a cat, so it can lay its eggs and start the whole cycle all over again. So how does the enterprising parasite get from the body of the rat to the body of the cat?

Well, as it turns out, it does so by affecting the brain development of the rat in such a way that T. gondii infected rats behave in such a way that they are much more likely to be eaten by cats. Rats are normally terrified by the smell of cat urine, which is logical enough, since cats use their urine to mark territory.

Rats infected with T. gondii, however, show no fear of the smell of cat urine. In fact, a percentage of them actually seek it out. T. gondii gets over its little hump by changing the personality of its host body.

Here's the good part. There is some evidence linking levels of T. gondii infection (called toxoplasmosis) to behavioral changes in humans. T. gondii has been linked to schizophrenia, and infants born to women with high levels of T. gondii during pregnancy apparently have higher rates of schizophrenia. Toxoplasmosis is also correlated with depression, anxiety, insecurity, increased levels of risk-taking behavior, and slower reaction times. In men, it's associated with antisocial behavior and lower interest in seeking novelty, whereas in women it's associated with higher levels of novelty-seeking, higher levels of sexual promiscuity, more social behavior, and higher levels of intelligence.

Here's the better part. In the August 2 issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biology, an article notes a correlation between countries which have recorded high levels of T. gondii antibodies in women of childbearing age and countries which have high levels of neurotic behavior. The author makes the argument that differing rates of toxoplasma infection may have affected (and still be affecting) the evolution of different cultural groups. The author suggests that climate may be a factor in the different rates of T. gondii, as might be different cultural attitudes towards keeping cats as pets.

It's all very preliminary and all that, but I find it fascinating that the practice of keeping cats as domestic pets may have affected human cultural evolution in this way. I'd also be curious to see how a division of cultures by toxoplasmosis levels (a "cat people" vs non-"cat people" thing) overlaps (or doesn't overlap) with the Wasson theory dividing cultures into mycophobe cultures and mycophile cultures.

There are articles here, here, and here which readers may find interesting. Thanks to for the link which started me on my T. gondii kick.
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Jul. 19th, 2006 @ 12:12 am I know what an airplane is!
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I have to thank bottlroktt for linking to Eugene Mirman's stuff on YouTube. Eugene went to Hampshire at the same time I did, and he ran this great absurdist humor collective thing. He was hysterical.

Anyway, I suppose after graduation he moved to New York and is apparently now busy being a successful comedian. Who knew?

(none of these are especially worksafe)

Eugene Mirman is a Sexpert

Eugene Mirman Stages a Protest Against Eugene Mirman

Eugene Mirman Discusses New Media

Eugene Mirman is a Secret Agent
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Jul. 18th, 2006 @ 01:24 am Goodies for you
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: Federation "18 Dummy"
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Goodie #1:

Ask a Ninja: What is Podcasting?

Goodie #2:

Mortal Kombat

Apologies if you've seen these before. YouTube is eating my brain.
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Jul. 17th, 2006 @ 04:23 pm Weird gelato flavors in Hungary
Current Location: home
Current Mood: ditzyditzy
Current Music: Heather Nova "I'm On Fire"
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Stolen from BoingBoing.
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Jul. 15th, 2006 @ 03:53 pm We talk TV
Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: Lady Sovereign "Ch Ching (Armani XXXchange remix)"
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I'm so gosh-darned happy that both Entourage and Venture Brothers are kicking ass again. The most recent episode of VB (Assassinanny 911) was mind-bogglingly good. The whole Doors/Apocalypse Now thing at the end killed me.

"Can you tell me the way to the Ice Capades?"
"Dorothy Hamill has gone back to her people."

Happy happy.
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Jun. 30th, 2006 @ 12:31 am Hey, you! Yes, you!
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Current Music: boards of canada "sunshine recorder"
Tags: ,
Go play with this. Now!
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Jun. 29th, 2006 @ 11:27 pm Honor among Thieves
Current Location: home
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Current Music: Billie Holliday "Don't Explain"
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There's an interesting post today in DJ /rupture's blog (Mudd Up!) about a situation he's found himself in over rights to a sample. From the blog:

"Clearing tracks for my new mixtape, I asked one label (let's call em Label X) for permission, offering them the same conditions as everybody else. They refused. A few weeks later, digging in England I found a gorgeous LP released in 1987 on a label called... let's call it Label Y.

Turns out that the song I wanted to use from Label X contains several long samples (10 seconds or more) from this album on Label Y. In fact, these uncleared samples form the entire melody-line of the song, the crucial 'hook' that gives it its particular feel. They have not been flipped or chopped or otherwise rearranged. The song title references the LP they took the samples from. There's also a colonial element that I don't have time to delve into... Several friends of mine work with label Y. The company is independent, well-known, artistically interesting, and enjoys a reputation for fairness. Label X didn't ask Label Y for permission to use the sample. This is common in DJ culture of course -- sampling is acceptable theft and a form of homage and viral culture and fun -- but Label X was trying to assert legal control and squeeze profit using a track which they had stolen. I decided to contact Label X again.

Label X wrote me defending their theft ("We only run a press of 500 so its impossible to pay huge fees for samples."), then in the same breath, explained why they wanted to charge me a lot to use the same track -- which they can't legally control -- in my small-run CD mix!
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Jun. 24th, 2006 @ 02:44 am New frontiers in sex and consumerism
Current Location: home
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Current Music: Ben & Louise "One Reason to be Shaï"
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This is... different...

Yes, yes, Abercrombie and Fitch and sexually suggestive advertising and blah blah blah. This is the first time, to my knowledge, that a clothing company is actually using porn videos in their catalog.

Basically, the Shaïwear catalog consists of three porn videos (M/M, M/F, and F/F) with little green dots hovering over the items of clothing the performers are discarding. If you hit the little green buttons with your mouse, the action freezes and you get a little sidebar window with price and size and style information. No implied sex here, we're talking about full penetration and explicit cumshots. Yes, you too can order the t-shirt the guy is taking off when the girl is blowing him in the M/F scene.

Catalog is here. Not worksafe, as you might imagine.

So, what do you think, dear reader? Exploitative, tacky, sexy, appalling, a bold marketing tactic, the future of media, the end of Western civilization, what?
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Jun. 23rd, 2006 @ 04:49 pm Who said it? Ann Coulter or Adolf Hitler?
Current Location: home
Current Mood: hothot
Current Music: shudder to think "so into you"
There's a quiz here which posts a list of quotes and makes you guess who said them, Ann Coulter or Adolf Hitler? It's about as hard as you'd think, but it would be a lot harder if it weren't for the period-and-country specific giveaways in some of them.

Thanks to Liger Null on Barbelith for the link.
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Jun. 8th, 2006 @ 03:07 pm I am so proud of my friends for being neat-O
Current Location: home
Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: Âme "Rej"
There's an article on odditory's magnetic fingertip implant in Wired News today.

"Todd Huffman, a graduate student at Arizona State University with a background in neuroscience, joined the project and brainstormed with Jarrell and Haworth about how, and where, to best implant a powerful magnet. He helped come up with the most effective design for an implant, and eventually became the first recipient. "The fingertip was chosen because of the high nerve density, and because the hands are constantly interacting with the environment, increasing the chances of sensing electromagnetism in the world," Huffman says."
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