Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm in the wrong business

So, let's see if I've got this straight: Apple sells us a phone, which we can only get if we agree to pay AT&T an outrageous sum of money for two whole years. Then, Apple sells people the rights to bombard us with ads for more crap we dont need, which are placed on a phone that we payed for.

TGIF



via Kox

Thursday, April 29, 2010

linkage

- So, what do we get for our taxes?

- People who live in shell houses shouldnt throw, er... snails.

- Obammunism!

- pick the right door, dont let Monty fool ya'.

- cartoon structure

- How hackable are you? Also, the 100 worst passwords (an illustration).

- a deep, black hole.

- Top 100 Lolcats. Hey, dont walk away!

- Riding in elevators! And getting stuck in an elevator!

- "Men always wonder what women want. We won't admit it, but we wonder the same exact thing." —Mei Christensen, 21, Charlottesville, Virginia

- Seriously, there's not much question about what men like, is there?

- Facts on Farts.

- Watching the old Cowboys Stadium come down - from the inside!

- "Immodesty" is rampant in female sports, apparently.

- All red dashed items via kox, all green dashed items via Bits & Pieces, both treasurehouses of the interesting.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

quote for the day

"Sorry, all the babies I've seen come through here were very cocksure."

wondermark

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

the ultimate "Downfall" parody?



By now, you've seen at least one of the Downfall parodies, where the subtitles for a section of the film are changed into something totally unintended by the makers. Apparently, the studio is run by humorless idiots without an ounce of understanding about how the parodies increase interest in the original.

Or maybe, they understand only too well how the system works.

Monday, April 26, 2010

not just another day

In an effort to prove that Muslims can be just as stupid as Christians, Islamic cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi blamed recent earthquakes on immodest female clothing. In response to that silliness, blogger Jen McCreight has created Boobquake, scheduled for today, in which women are asked to dress their immodest best in order to create (or not) another earthquake, thus proving (or disproving) Sedighi's "theory".
Personally speaking, I find that this is a movement that I can stand behind 100% (or in front of, depending on the view). Go to it, ladies!

h/t to Pooby.

Addendum: Well, it seems that there has been an earthquake today in Taiwan, measuring somewhere in the neighborhood of 6.0-ish. Not a killer temblor by any means, but could it be proof of Allah's wrath? Scientifically speaking, there's really only one way to tell - REPEAT THE EXPERIMENT!

Double addendumty: Wait, looking at the time of the Taiwan earthquake, I notice that it occurred at about 1:00 a.m., which means that it happened before all those immodestly dressed women were up and about. Still, God is supposed to be omniscient, so maybe he was letting his displeasure be known in advance of the actual event. REPEAT THE EXPERIMENT!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

question

Why arent impressionists guilty of copyright or trademark infringement?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

SoFoBoMo

SoFoBoMo starts on June 1 to July 31 (-ish). I'm considering do it, but am not sure if I will. I'm pretty sure I can pull it off, but to commit to doing it is to actually have to do it, within the set time, following the set rules.

So, like any big purchase or other decision, I hesitate, working the idea over in my head, probably too much.

We'll see.

Friday, April 23, 2010

hmmmm

I'm surprised that Republicans like Christianity. I mean, you can work hard to be good for all your life, and then somebody who has lived a wicked, dissolute life of debauchery can get the exact same reward simply by saying, right at the end, "I'm really sorry Jesus, you're my Lord and Savior".
Boom!
Bobby Godlover is sharing a cloud with Sammy (Ex-) Sinner. Sounds like socialism to me.

Or, maybe, considering some of the scandals, maybe Republicans like it precisely because you can be a twisted, perverse, lying hypocrite and still get a last minute pass.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

quote for the day

A few years back, millions of people across this nation and across the globe marched for peace. George Bush ignored us and we had to endure his lazy ass being in the White House for eight years.

So now a black man named Barack Obama, elected by the will of the people, has decided to fight for the poor, and work for world peace… and a bunch of white guys who think Fox really is News just can’t stand it.

Well, they can kiss my ass because I am tired of their belly aching.

This is exactly how our political system works. Sometimes your party is in and sometimes it is out. Your party is currently out. So shut the hell up and deal with it.
I still dont know if it's a "real" site (though the odds go up the longer it exists). And when you come right down to it, the truth about Helen is irrelevant, the truth contained in her words is more important.

I question the reality of Margaret and Helen mainly because of the excellence of the writing and the timeliness of it's appearance on the scene during the election. That's probably paranoid on my part. Does it really matter if the words were written by a old lady or a twenty-something?
Here's more good stuff:
The Republican Party of yesteryear was respectable. You were all about a small government that carried a big stick. Now you are just despicable. You used to be the Party of Lincoln and now – honest to God – you make Archie Bunker look progressive.

If it wasn’t for Fox News you would be irrelevent. That’s right. You have become a party that owes its entire existence to a cable news channel owned by an Aussie. Your mascot should be a kangaroo instead of an elephant. After all, the last guy you sent to the White House arrived there thanks to a kangaroo court ruling rather than an election. He then spent the next 8 years bringing our nation to its knees. How about sitting down and shutting your damn pie holes long enough to see if the guy in office now can actually clean up your mess. Honestly, you are embarrassing yourself.

Look. My party has problems too. It’s biggest problem might be in attempting to please everyone, the Democratic Party seems to please no one. But diversity of opinions is something I am willing to work through. Bigotry and ignorance is not. I mean it. Really.
Seriously, how awesome is that?

Do you know one reason I hate the Republican Party? Because back in the "Contract With America" days, Republicans led the attack to de-fund Public Broadcasting for being "too liberally biased", while giving Faux News a tax-break (speaking of which) worth several hundred million*. And Murdoch, however much he might like being an American, didnt actually become one until he had to in order to buy a TV network.



* Talk about an investment.

Monday, April 19, 2010

quote for the day

"Our ability to adapt is amazing. Our ability to change isnt quite as spectacular."

Lisa Lutz

Saturday, April 17, 2010

soundtrack



So, Daniel asked the other day what my blog theme song would be. Here's one that I'd like it to be, but I'm pretty sure that my blog's not nearly this exciting.
Nor, for that matter, am I.

I'll keep thinking about it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

WTF friday

Moongina... dont ask.



via Boing Boing. As Xeni says, "the internet is wierd".

ha!

I know it will make no difference to "skeptics", but an investigation in England chaired by Lord Oxburgh has found that "there was no scientific malpractice at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, which was at the centre of the 'Climategate' affair."
Here's an idea: Do climate change skeptics think that there is no chance that the planet's getting warmer, and/or that the activities of mankind are behind it? If they think there's a chance, is it 1-in-2? 1-in-5? 1-in-10?
yes, yes, I KNOW it's an automatic - is that any stupider than acting like climate change couldnt POSSIBLY be caused by human activity?If you can get a number (let's use 1-in-10), ask them if they'd put a ten-chambered revolver with one random bullet in it to their head and pull the trigger? Or, more appropriately, their children's heads.
Unfortunately, rather than wake most "skeptics" up, this kind of analogy will simply make them deny that the planet is warming.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

a thought

Hey, here's an idea, and it'll help stop those earmarks everyone keeps complaining about: Pass a law declaring that no state can collect more in funding from the federal government than it pays in. That ought to stop those red state assholes bitching about "gubmint takeovers" and spending "their money" on the "undeserving" in their tracks.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

crazy state olympics update

Oklahoma has made a bold bid in the crazy state olympics, with talk of creating a state militia to "help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty". Ha! Take that, Texas, with your wimp-ass talk of seccession! Real Men bring out the guns!

Oh, by the way, this story appears one week before the 15th anniversary of the Murrah Building bombing.

quote for the day

I'm stealing this, just simply stealing it, because it's the best description of the Republican Party that I've seen. It pretty much covers it all, from the root of the problem, rather than the surface symptoms.

from steve, commenting on greg sargent's blog:
a functioning political party in a democracy is one that is a good faith participant in the project of governance, regardless of whether it is in or out of power. the repubicans have long since ceased to be such a party. since the 90s, they’ve degenerated into a band of circus clowns and nihilists. they’ve long since lost the capacity to lead, rather than be led by, the most ignorant, hateful segment of their rank and file.

the modern republican has no actual understanding of policy, no desire to understand policy and, indeed, believes that attempting to understand policy is proof of treason to the sacred principles of clown nihilism.

they are no longer serious people with serious opinions that deserve to be taken seriously. the fact that they are no longer serious people is a grave threat to the republic. and yet, our imbecilic msm persists in treating them like they’re still the party of eisenhower and howard baker. they don’t even percieve the problem. for people like stephenopolis or tapper, it’s because they’ve never known anything but the clown nihilists and they assume thus was it was and always will be. it’s less forgivable from the surviving old hands, people like cokie roberts or sam donaldson who should recall days when there were still republicans who believed government should govern and the point of dispute between the parties was merely “how much” rather than “whether.” for them, i think, the problem is the old one of the frog in the pot whose temperature is brought to a boil so slowly, they don’t ever see the need to jump out of the pot.
Newt Gingrich has actually pledged that if the GOP regains control in 2010, that he will basically shut down the government. Now, I wasnt aware that Newt actually will be in office (though his confidence in his ability to call shots makes one wonder about the power structure of the GOP, doesnt it?), but he ought to recall the last time he tried this back in 1996, when Bill Clinton handed the GOP their collective asses.
Of course, back then his base didnt consist of the Tea-partiers, and they were up against Clinton the Lying Adulterer rather than Obama the Kenyan-born Nazi Socialist Anti-Christ, so maybe his confidence level is higher this time around.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

dave's blogtroll no. 8

Searching the dross for gold, so you dont have to.

The Sluice Box: about wine and stuff?
World Art: Australian and international Art news (Art Reviews here).
Red String a webcomic.
Rant, trog69's blog.
I Was Just Wonderin', a blog which may or may not still be viable.
Margaret and Helen, I still dont know if it's real or not.
Wooooomag.
Three Frames.
People of Walmart. Be afraid.
Starving Student Recipes - keep an eye on this one
K leo photographer's gallery
Shit My Dad Says: the wisdom of Elders - twittered!
Mythwood: The Art of Larry McDougal
Daniel Glass Photography
Flat Philosophy, a webcomic
HallmarkHIPsters, photographers in Vegas... I guess
Martin Klasch, a collection of vintage images
Sister Claire, webcomic
Muddled, a webcomic.
Doublefine comics
Scary Go Round Comics
Kukuburi; a webcomic
Twilight Lady, graphic novel online
Dawn Of Time, yes, that's right, another webcomic.
Kox?. Maybe? Lots of photos and stuff, though.
Brownie Harris, photographer
txcomics, a central point for several
United Methodeviations: thinking religious
No Pink Ponies, a web comic.
Darwin Carmichael Is Going To Hell; yes, another webcomic.
Young Me, Now Me, a photographic project
I Painted My Fridge Red: Not a conservative blog
Real Men Dont Watch American Idol: She swears as much as Dusty, but without the politics
Russ Daggatt's Blog
John Maloof's blog Vivian Maier: Her Discovered Work.
Jessica Harper is an actress
Free Flan, a blog I found via Flan (in his comments, not his links).
Sessions Watch, dedicated to keeping tabs on Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX).
Donkeylicious
565: liberal? not sure, but interesting
Logan's Blog... a guy with a beard...
Between The Hammer And The Anvil: a liberal Scotsman with definite ideas.
The Middle Of Nowhere.
Maybe There Is A Dog; a Christian and a Democrat
The Plum Line; Greg Sargent's blog.

They seem to have changed the way the "Next Blog" button works, by the way. Used to be that pushing the button appeared to take you to whatever blog had just updated, which could mean you saw stuff from anywhere about anything. Now they seem to have changed it so that you get a blog that fits some sort of slowly changing "theme" (from my blog, for instance, I can get ten or so political blogs before it changes to something else, like kids or comics or whatever).
Blogger, if you're paying attention, please stop it. It's annoying. A random blog button should lead me to a random blog.


If you would like to sample previous blogtrolls: no. 7, no. 6, no. 5, no. 4, no. 3, and another one (I'm not sure of its number - there may actually be only 6 of blogtrolls, but it's too late to change now).

Monday, April 12, 2010

consider this



via Gerry Canavan: Of all the people in human history who ever reached the age of 65, half are alive now.

quote for the day

"The most savage controversies are about those matters as to which there is no good evidence either way"

Bertrand Russell


I've been reading him, lately. Can you tell?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

sunday night at the movies


This is so adorable, and appropriate for reasons that only a few who read this will know. I tried to put it on Facebook, but the Facebook interface sucks too much to allow it.

swiped from Samurai Frog

linkage

- 15 charts about inequality of wealth in America

- The Decemberist discusses why the Senate is so disfunctional - 6 years ago.
   (via Donkeylicious.)

- Dont blow your money on a Kindle just yet (sorry, Steve).

- T-shirts and such by Glenn Jones.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Friday, April 09, 2010

Thursday, April 08, 2010

quote for the day

"Every powerful emotion has its own myth-making tendancy. When the emotion is peculiar to an individual, he is considered more or less mad if he gives credence to such myths as he has invented. But when an emotion is collective, as in war, there is no one to correct the myths that naturally arise. Consequently in all times of great collective excitement unfounded rumours obtain wide credence."

"This myth-making facility is often allied with cruelty. [snip] Such myths give an excuse for the infliction of torture, and the unfounded belief in them is evidence of the unconscious desire to find some victim to persecute."


Bertrand Russell, from An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish.
I would add that such myth-making is especially easy to create when there is an organization (or cabal or party or corporation or whatever group you may choose) with a powerful voice in whose interest such myths are created.

Addendum, from the same source:
"Collective fear stimulates herd instict, and tends to produce ferocity towards those who are not regarded as members of the herd. [snip] Fear generates impulses of cruelty, and therefore promotes such superstitious beliefs as seem to justify cruelty. Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of great fear"
That has been the game of the Republican Party for the last 8 years (longer, really, but moreso since 9/11).

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Why you shouldnt buy an iPad



I dont buy Apple stuff. Yeah, it's great and all, but it's too expensive and you have to buy specialized stuff afterwards. I do have an old Apple Cube that I intend to use exclusively for iTunes, but I bought it at a garage sale for $10, so that doesnt really count.
Anyway, here Cory Doctrow tells you why you shouldnt buy an iPad, and it makes sense to me, at least from the perspective of lifestyle, so I share it with you.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

cool, with a twist

The rubber-hand illusion involves placing a rubber hand in front of the participant in their field of vision and near to their real hand. The real hand is then concealed behind a partition. If the real hand and the rubber hand are touched or stroked in the same way and at the same time, the participant tries to co-ordinate what they are feeling (their own hand being stroked) and seeing (the rubber hand being stroked). They can experience a shift in where they believe their hand is to the position of the rubber hand.
The study is basically about self-awareness and has implications in a wide range of applications, from pain management to stroke recovery to eating disorders to autism. It displays a two-way street between the mind and the body.

I, of course, wondered what would happen if, at the end of the session, the clinicians pulled out a big hammer and smashed it down on the rubber hand, though the article doesnt discuss such an action. My wife, however, tells me that I am horrible.

Monday, April 05, 2010

monday night at the movies


via Skippy the Bush Kangaroo

see this

So, I've been cruising the "next blog" button lately, which as usual, has produced a lot of dross. But, mixed in with the dross is occassional true gold*. The most recent discovery is a site of photographs by a woman named Vivian Maier, who was unknown until John Maloof bought her work at an auction after her death. Check them out, because they are amazing.

* confession: I found this site not on a push of the "next blog" button, but on a link from a blog on the push of the "next blog" button. Not that there's much difference.

Addendum: Buhhh. I forgot the link. Stupid stupid stupid.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

sunday night at the movies

I really enjoy these things, even though I've never seen the original. This one is taking on the GOP. And why not?



swiped from Jurassic Pork.

speak out

Hey, did you know that you can be sued for saying something about some company that they dont like? Sure you did. Did you know that it doesnt have to have merit? Yeah, you knew that, too. Did you know the name of such a frivoulous lawsuit, designed not to seek justice , but merely to shut you up, is a "SLAPP"? And did you also know that Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) has introduced a bill to help stop (or at least de-nuisance) such lawsuits? Now, seeing how he's a Democrat, what are the odds that Republicans, the bane of the civil lawyers, will oppose what is essentially tort reform?

Saturday, April 03, 2010

yet another menace from socialism

Farmers in Montana are calling for federal help in battling a grasshopper infestation that threatens to be the largest since 1985. Now, I got no beef with spending government money for the saving of crops and livestock, those are things that are good for the country. But let's look at this: These businessmen, these farmers, frequent Republican voters, from Red State Montana, are calling for tax money from non-farming Americans to bail them out of danger. Nobody made them farm in these hopper-ridden areas, and the market forces so venerated by conservatives and the GOP (like Montanans) will no doubt balance everything out in the end, just like these folks say, right?
So, here's what I propose: Spray, grant, whatever is needed to be done, but before these things are done, every farmer who gets a piece of that pie must sign a form saying that he accepts this socialist handout from the government of the United States, and that taxpayers' money is being spent on them for the collective good of the whole nation.
It's about time people remember that nations are collectives, and no matter how independent they think they are, they all benefit from the efforts of the whole.

see the future

While I think that it's a damn shame that bookstors are going under (because there is nothing like a nice, densely-packed bookstore), that's just the way things go. On the bright side, just at the time that it looks like you'll be forced to buy on-line or at Wal-Mart, they've created a machine that can print a book and bind it in just minutes. Suddenly, everything that is available digitally can be bound and placed on your shelf, with no shipping or inventory involved. How cool is that? Because, let's face it, however cool a Kindle may be, it's just not as good as an actual paper book.

Now, if they could just come up with a means of browsing in these new "book" stores that reproduces the leisure of searching through actual books...

via Gerry Canavan

Addendum: Well, crap. The video I had which showed the book-maker in action seems to have been withdrawn or something. It's not even on the original link where I got it.
Oh, and now that I think of it, I can see someplace like Walmart being the ones who invest in these machines, giving more of our consumer dollar to them. Wee.

Friday, April 02, 2010

odd

Okay, you know how from time to time, I like to use the "next blog" button? Well, I was doing that, getting various intersting sites for a change, when I had to leave for a while. The site it was on when I left was a female wrestling blog (this being a sign to leave, I figured). After picking up Thing 2 at school, running to the store, running to the post office and running to the store again, I came back to the computer.
The wrestling blog was about as uninteresting as you can imagine, but when I went to move on and see the next blog, it too was a wrestling blog.
As was the next one. And the next.

How weird is that?

quote for the day

But "only God can stop a massive transformation of American business and its subsequent impact upon society. May He intervene!" On your knees, motherfucker, and git yer big ass Jesus down here to stomp some queers.

The
Rude Pundit, quoting a Family Research Council email.
You can follow the link to find out exactly what the Rude Pundit was talking about, but for the purpose of this post, it's actually irrelevant. See, I just wanted to say that if these people really believe that God hates whats going on, and if only He can indeed stop it from happening, then why, when God does not stop it, dont they shut the fuck up and accept what is, by their own logic, God's Will?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

response

Yesterday, someone left this comment on the post I did on health care a couple of weeks ago. Since it's so far back there, I thought I'd respond to to up front. They said:
hey dave
let's discuss clustfuckery, you and i. many of your observations concerning the bush II years are not without merit, but not all. alas that is better left to another comment.
let's get back to clustfuckery. i am one of the few who has actually read all 2000 pages of the health reform and patient affordability legislation. this bill is clustfuckery at it's best. the very people this bill claims to protect, the seniors and less fortunate will be in time, the worst hurt. the president, the speaker of the house, leader of the senate, all staunch advocates of this legislation tout the things they think the people want to hear, but side step those portions that will not only reduce the quality of care, but make it more expensive to boot.
did you know the bill places a tax on the manufacturers and providers of medical equipment? this cost will eventually be passed on to the consumer.
did you know that this bill mandates the individual states to add millions to their medicare roles? unknown to many is that it is the states, not the federal government that bares the brunt of these cost. this accounts to the tune of 20-30% of each states budget.It only stands to reason this will leave less resources for other services the states provide, most noteably education, and various services provided to those in need. less resources will be available to be returned to municipalities, monies that are distributed as grants to various not for profit charitable organizations.
did you know this bill places a tax on those most able to create jobs? with unemployment at 9.7. this should be of concern.
i could go on and on, but don't take my word. read the bill. i am sure you will agree in it's present form, the bad far outweighgs the good.
reform is needed. the current system of delivering health care is unsustainable, but true clustfuckery is making things worse, and then lying about it
So first off, lemme say, this person (anonymous) isnt wrong. Or, at least, doesnt say anything that I disagree with.
The Health Care bill is a piece of shit. It's a big fat gimme to the insurance companies, who should have been handed their asses after years of parasitism. Unfortunately, because the GOP has managed to whip up a lot of fear about "socialism", we cant get a sensible system.
At it's root, the American health care system has two major obstacles to any sensible reform:

1. Insurance companies form a parasitic layer of profit-making in the middle and return no gain to the system at all. If anyone can tell me what the insurance industry adds to the equation aside from the nebulous "avoiding big government" crock of bullshit, I'd love to hear it.

2. Hospitals and doctors get paid on the basis of each individual thing they do for you. Period. Until doctors (and hospitals) get paid a regular salary that doesnt depend on how many procedures they do, there is no way to lower costs.

What's needed is a system where payments to the medical system dont go up or down depending on how much care doctors decide to give you, and there isnt a company in the middle of everything whose profits depend on how much care to deny you.
Personally, I wouldve just imposed a tax of say, 1% (or something like that) on everyone's income and on capital gains, too, (and maybe on payroll to boot - and whatever else it took to drum up the right amount) then set up a system that expanded the VA to cover everyone for free.
Anyone who wanted to stick with their current insurance would be free to do so. Yes, there probably would be rationing under Government Care, but I also had the crazy idea that insurance companies could sell insurance to cover people for catastrophic illness (leaving run of the mill health-care for Government Care). Such illness would be clearly spelled out (cancer coverage, for example, or Alzheimer's), and would return insurance to its proper business, which is spending a small(er than the current) amount on the gamble that we'll need it (and insurance charging us the same on the gamble that we wont).
Unfortunately, we're going to need at least another decade of ridiculous growth in the profits of insurance companies before anything like that happens which is exactly what would have happened anyway, only this way at least most people can get sick and be covered.
Which in the end, is what really matters. Governments exist to take care of their people. Not to fatten their corporations. Not to give their biggest blowhards a paycheck. Not to make sure that our gang can kill more people than your gang.
If Americans were really concerned about spending money, they'd cut that bloated mess we call "defense", on which we spend almost as much money as the entire rest of the world does, combined. So, as much as I hate the bill, I cant get too upset about it.
Democrats may be hopeless idiots, spineless and wishywashy, and doomed to failure, but at least they seem to give a shit about ordinary people (at least in passing), which is more than I can say for the GOP, who would have let anyone who cant afford healthcare twist in the wind.