Saturday, December 31, 2011

saturday matinee: new year's eve edition

Skinemax from Smash TV on Vimeo.


WoodenSnail sez: Skinemax is Koyaanisqatsi for a generation raised on late night television and B-movie VHS tapes. It’s long form entertainment for short attention spans. An hour long VJ odyssey, it will move your body and warp your mind.

It's really long, but if you're the right age it'll suck you right in. And what else have you got to do this afternoon?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

christmas morning merryment


Wait, there's more. Click on the image, and have a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

pic of the day


creepy

University students with their necks painted protest at Bolivar square in Bogota, Colombia, Thursday Nov. 3, 2011. Their signs read in Spanish “We have the right to be outraged,” left, and “Excellent education and for all!!” Students are protesting education reforms planned by the government that propose private funding for public institutions. (Fernando Vergara)

via

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

chart for the day


I dropped out of grad school in 1993, figuring I'd go back eventually. At these prices, I'm afraid I never will be able to. Here's an article to go with it.

via

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

date a girl who reads books

DATE A GIRL WHO READS
by Rosemarie Urquico
(In response to Charles Warnke’s You Should Date an Illiterate Girl)

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.


This is making the rounds on Tumbler right now, and I wanted to save it for later.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

sunday funny


click on the cartoon for the original page.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

saturday matinee



I dont get to have a moustache, so I cannot truly relate. Consider this a public service.

disappointment reigns

So, you can see yesterday's post a couple of entries down the page, yes? So, if you read this blog you know that I was anticipating this event. If you know me you know I was excited by it. So what did I get? First of all, I got clouds. Not at 4:30 am, apparently (judging by a quick look out the window, admittedly, before going back to bed), but plenty at 5:30, when the eclipse was supposed to start. So I checked the weather sites, determining that there were clear skies to the north and to the east. So I headed north. More clouds, but, occasionally, the moon would peek through. Uneclipsed. In any way whatsoever.

Turns out, that the site that gave me my information neglected to say that the eclipse wouldnt actually be visible here, even though it said it would. I could have watched in Hawaii. But not here.

Lesson: dont trust the internet, kids!

Friday, December 09, 2011

quote for the day

Politics, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

(via)

Lunar eclipse in Dallas tonight

Total Eclipse of the Moon tonight, be ready! Okay, technically it's early tomorrow morning, but whatever.

DALLAS, TEXAS
o ' o '
W096 47, N32 47

Central Standard Time

Moon's
Azimuth Altitude
h m o o
Moonrise 2011 Dec 09 16:47 63.2 ----
Moon enters penumbra 2011 Dec 10 05:31.8 284.3 19.6
Moon enters umbra 2011 Dec 10 06:45.4 292.9 5.5
Moonset 2011 Dec 10 07:19 297.1 ----


Addendum: Hoo-boy, did that turn out to be wrong! Oh, there was a lunar eclipse, just not in Dallas.

Monday, December 05, 2011

quote for the day

"It's okay to blog about your fascination with knitting or to support official positions. If you happen to be Iranian or Chinese or Syrian, and not terribly fond of your government, and express yourself on the subject, the US government will support your right to do it 110 per cent of the way. However, as a federal employee, blog about your negative opinions on US policies and you've got a problem. In fact, we have a problem as a country if freedom of speech only holds as long as it does not offend the US government."

"Thought crime in Washington" by Peter Van Buren

America needs whistle-blowers just as much as it needs soldiers. The rate of attrition for whistle-blowers is much higher, sadly.

Friday, December 02, 2011

hmmm

I seem to be all quotes these days.

quote for the day

"Today, Erick "Erick" Erickson writes, in the blog RedState (motto: "The reason why that blobby fuck appears on your CNN") that the inevitable nomination of serial flip-flopper Mitt Romney will destroy everything sacred about conservatism. Two things: Romney actually represents the craven, amoral, opportunistic GOP better than just about anyone else, so, of course, he should be the nominee. And there is nothing left to destroy in conservatism. It's been hollowed out from the inside by parasites like Romney and Erickson."

The Rude Pundit.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

quote for the day

"The crime, the betrayal of hope, is identical at both extremes. It lies in their cultish mystifying and worshipping - without a scintilla's evidence or proof - a golden past that irrefutably wasn't, and a cruel darkness that only now is parting from before our eyes."

David Brin, discussing the yearning for feudalism in some fantasy novels, etc.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

quote for the day

"Did you know that for pretty much the entire history of the human species, the average life span was less than thirty years? You could count on ten years or so of real adulthood, right? There was no planning for retirement, there was no planning for a career. There was no planning. No time for planning. No time for a future. But then lifespans started getting longer, and people started having more and more future. And now life has become the future. Every moment of your life is lived for the future - you go to highschool so you can go to college so you can get a good job so you can get a nice house so they can afford to send their kids to college."

John Green, Paper Towns

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

dont ask



Everyday I'm steppin' on the beach.

Monday, November 28, 2011

to secure the state


Egypt to US: “We learned it by watching YOU!!!”

or, as Huffington puts it, we’re some kind of example, if not, perhaps, the kind we want to be.

quote for the day

I think you're stating something we've discussed on this site before. That the Enlightenment experiement in both democracy AND in capitalism (two very different things) that made the 20th Century what it was--was essentially an experiment in ENGINEERING. A system--a sort of machine if you will--was CONSTRUCTED which magnificently channeled human motivation INTO self-sustaining, beneficient directions.

Now in the 21st century, the right-wing is cheerfully dismantling the Great Machine under the bizarre theory that because that machine worked so well, it has proven that human motivation NATURALLY tends toward self-sustaining, beneficient directions, and that machines actually get in the way of this process.

It's analogous to a claim that the functioning of the internal combustion engine proves that the best way to make use of hydrocarbons for motive power is uncontrolled explosions--that the engine itself is somehow retarding the process.

LarryHart commenting at Contrary Brin

Saturday, November 26, 2011

saturday matinee



I hope* no one finds this offensive.






* In this particular case, "hope" means "doesnt give a rat's ass"

Friday, November 25, 2011

the Daves I know*



* Well, this guy knows, not me, really

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving matinee



Okay, I think I hate pretty much everything about the celebrity worship in our culture, but I'll make an exception for these two little girls. So cute! So clever! So glad that they're not mine! (Well, the quiet one would be okay, but the other one is no doubt a handful).

via

happy thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

rebuttal

Whenever you hear someone say that government should be run more like a business, you need to bear in mind (and perhaps point out to them) that in a business, votes are based on how much stock you own. The more you hold, the more votes you have. Then point them to this article.

you are one of the dots at the bottom

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

wow



If you have something powerful to say, then Samuel Jackson is a good person to have deliver the message.

Monday, November 21, 2011

wish I'd done this.


Maybe you, my loyal readers, remember my Christina series I did a while back (here, here, here, here, here). I didnt do this one, sadly, but got it from here.

quote for the day

"Conservatism has never been successful in this country. It has only led to some of the darkest periods in American history. The Civil War, the Great Depression, and now this last decade are all due to rampant conservatism."

Stephen D. Foster Jr., in his article The Greatest Liberals In American History And What They Did For Our Country

via

Okay, I'm about to the point where I think that Democrats should boycott the elections. Why? Two reasons:
1) Many of the representatives on the left side of the aisle are either spineless, or sitting on the wrong side. Clear them all out, the good ones will make it back next cycle.
2) No matter what happens, the GOP has the MSM on their side, spinning everything to make them look good and Democrats look bad. Remove Democrats, remove the cover they provide.
So here's my thought. Let's let the Republican Party take over the government. Completely, decisively. With no opposition in the House, and control of the Senate and the White House, they will have no one to blame but themselves when their insane policies make things worse than they already are. Democrats had their chance at dominance and they blew it, through either duplicity or cowardice, allowing the Right a level of believability that keeps them firmly in power, majority or not. Ask yourself, do we really want another presidential term like the last one?
Let the GOP in, let them run rampant, let them, at full volume with no opposition whatsoever, rape the country as they have been quietly doing for decades. I suspect that, at last, most (not all, of course) of the nation will finally see them for what they are.
I think that might be worth a two year dive into Hell, rather than the slow descent into purgatory that we're experiencing now.
And hey, maybe we're all wrong and Republicans really will make the country better!


Probably by getting tossed out on their asses during the next election.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

saturday matinee



Just image Harry Potter as a teen comedy...

Friday, November 18, 2011

quote for the day

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."


Albert Einstein

Friday, November 11, 2011

a special day




I hereby declare, by the Power Of The Blog, that today is Nigel Tufnel Day.

Why? Because it is 11/11/11, that's why.

Incidentally, enjoy this one, because there's only one more left (12/12/12). After that we'll have to wait until the next century, and neither of us will likely make it that far.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

quote for the day: screwjob edition

"Many economists argue that the chained CPI is more accurate because it assumes that as prices increase, consumers switch to lower cost alternatives, reducing the amount of inflation they experience."

Like substituting dog food for meat? This is one of the stupidest rationalizations I've heard from economists, in a long line stupid rationalizations.

The quote comes from an article about a plan in Congress to cut social security payments while raising social security tax rates (on ordinary folks - no mention is made of raising the ceiling on social security tax rates, of course). It would also gradually lower the level at which one is considered to be in "poverty".

So, to sum up, it's okay to lower the level at which one is considered poor. It's okay to raise taxes on working people. It's okay to cut benefits for people who've paid into the system for years.
But it's not okay to tax the super-wealthy, the only people who've made gains (and not just gains, but super gains) in the last few decades, even if it means merely returning to the levels of the previous decade (before things started to go to shit for the rest of the country).

Monday, November 07, 2011

quote for the day

With Libertarians/Tea Partiers being against stuff where the government is telling people what to do, I’m surprised they aren’t trying to rid of stop lights/traffic laws/etc: “The government shouldn’t be telling people whether or not they have to stop their car! People are smart enough to make that choice themselves!”

Matthew Trevithick

I originally pre-posted this a while back, before the OWS movement arose. Now, regarding Tea Partiers, it's like, "whatever happened to those guys?".

Not that I really care.

Friday, November 04, 2011

quote for the day

"One of the best things about Occupy Wall Street is the way it confuses and ignores the shrill pundit class."

Dahlia Lithwick

(via)

("Because a media constructed around the illusion of false equivalencies, screaming pundits, and manufactured crises fails to capture who we are and what we value.")

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

quote for the day

A Liberal aspires to be right.
A Conservative aspires to be Conservative.

Argue with a Liberal and he'll tell you why you're wrong.
Argue with a Conservative and he'll show you why you're Liberal.

A Liberal bases his position on his judgement of the evidence.
A Conservative bases his judgement of the evidence on his position.

To a Liberal, a liar is anyone who knowingly contradicts the truth.
To a Conservative, a liar is anyone who is knowingly Liberal.

An honest Liberal Politician is one who cannot be bought.
An honest Conservative Politician is one who, once bought, STAYS bought.

stolen from NiceGuy Eddie

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

i cannot stop myself


It's Ham Solo.

So sorry. You know how much I love Star Wars goofs.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

saturday matinee



Yesterday at work, I went dressed as my own Evil Twin. My costume was simple, because as anyone who watches TV or movies should know, the Evil Twin always looks exactly the same except he has a moustache (or perhaps a goatee). No one got it, though, without explaination.

sigh.

I had a great idea for next year's costume (and it's obscure, since that seems to be my thing). I will choose an incredibly elaborate costume, something literary and allegorical, and then write out a detailed description of it. I will then make many copies of that description. Wearing ordinary clothing, I will hand out copies of that description whenever someone asks why I didnt dress up this year. Why?
Can you guess what my costume is?
A Conceptual Artist!
Anyone who went to Art School will probably find this hilarious. Really.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

linkage

- Penny Postcards! (via)

- Create your own beer label (this one's for you, Chad).

- Your Honor, I move the witness receives an MRI to test for their paracingulate sulcus. (via)

- This is now on the top of my Christmas list.

- Crazy or amazing? Not brilliant, though.

- The Battle of Isengard... in Lego! (via)

- Damn You, Autocorrect! (via)

- Make it Right.

- a truly green bridge.

- This is the house I want.

- How the Candidates stand on LGBT issues. (via)

- fucking love!

- Ecosphere!

- Some really clever ideas.

- Even by now most people have probably forgotten the San Diego area power outages of early September, but dont worry, there will be reminders. (via)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hey! How about this as a possible root of our problems here in America, and it's one that even tea-baggers and libertarians should be able to agree on: Any time any organization reaches a certain level of size and power, that organization will start to turn its efforts towards maintaining that power rather than doing the thing that it was created to do in the first place. We see this with governments, we saw this with the Catholic Church, we saw this with Unions, we're seeing it now with the Democratic Party*.
This the real reason why Democracy is such a good thing - because it breaks things down into individual units.

I'm not going to argue for or against the idea that the best way to run an economy is pure capitalism. It seems to be so. Unfortunately, economies do not exist in vacuums, they are part of the larger societal picture, and in that sense, pure capitalism is pure poison.
A society is the result of a group of people banding together for their mutual good. At its heart, the sought after good is protection, but in any society worth a damn, it goes well beyond that. Capitalism operates on the principle that self-interest will always lead to efficiency, which while debatable, isnt really the point here, except for that self-interest part.
See, in order for a society to work, a certain level of self-interest must be put aside for the collective good. But when a society's economy operates under the aegis of pure capitalism (or that ideal, however diluted your actual capitalism may be) then that idea of self-interest tends to bleed out into the rest of the society's thought processes. Enough cross-pollination, and pretty soon your society has decided that "collective" activity is a bad thing.
Capitalism is a terrific way to make money. It sucks as a way to run just about everything else.

Which brings me to an interview of Michael Moore conducted by Naomi Klein.
...democracy can't be being able to vote every two or four years. It has to be every part of every day of your life.

We've changed relationships and institutions around quite considerably because we've decided democracy is a better way to do it. Two hundred years ago you had to ask a woman's father for permission to marry her, and then once the marriage happened, the man was calling all the shots. And legally, women couldn't own property and things like that.

Thanks to the women's movement of the '60s and '70s, this idea was introduced to that relationship--that both people are equal and both people should have a say. And I think we're better off as a result of introducing democracy into an institution like marriage.

But we spend eight to ten to twelve hours of our daily lives at work, where we have no say. I think when anthropologists dig us up 400 years from now--if we make it that far--they're going to say, "Look at these people back then. They thought they were free. They called themselves a democracy, but they spent ten hours of every day in a totalitarian situation and they allowed the richest 1 percent to have more financial wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined.
Granted, democracy probably wont work as well as Authoritarianism will in terms of making a profit or getting big projects done, but I dont see any one in America advocating the Chinese social system, and they are able to carry out massive projects pretty much just by having whatever passes as Emporor there these days decide to do so. If China decides to go green, then America will have to work very, very hard not to be left behind in the dust on this.
That America has not initiated a Manhattan Project-like effort to get create an alternative energy source or sources when the middle east (and our dependence on their oil) has been the primary source of security problems in this country is further proof of my theory on large organization. Is the military/industrial complex really keeping us safe? I dont think so.

* * *

basically: Republicans seem to feel that the market and profit are more important than the public they are supposedly serving. Those who advocate reform of the current system feel that the good of the public should come before the profits of the marketplace.
At this point Republicans will counter that the profits of the marketplace translate into good for the public, but I would argue that this is only true if money is the most important thing, i.e., that money can buy happiness.



* Republicans do it too, of course. Nakedly.

Monday, October 24, 2011

the Republican Party has destroyed America

The Republican Party has been the dominant force in American politics since the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan. And what do you suppose they've done in nearly three decades of either direct control or control via framing of the issues?
when Reagan came into office we were the largest exporter of manufactured goods and the largest importer of raw materials on the planet. And the largest creditor. More people owed us money than anybody else in the world. Now just twenty eight years later we're the largest importer of finished goods, manufactured goods, exporter of raw materials which is kind of the definition of a third world nation and we're the most in debt of any country in the world.
They will blame the collapse of America on the Democrats, they will blame it on the Unions, they will blame it on homosexuals and "high" taxes, they will blame it on a lack of moral character or fiber. Then, as a solution, they will will give the same answer that they give for every single issue that ever confronts them: deregulation and tax cuts.




props to the sadly lost Kel, who provided this video sometime ago.

Ed. Note: This was an old draft that I'd written God knows how long ago, probably back in '08, that I found and decided that it was still relevant and perhaps coherent enough to fill some space.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

saturday matinee



Thank you, folks, you've been a great audience, Magical Trevor is up next!

Friday, October 21, 2011

quote for the day

The historian Robert Paxton defines fascism as "a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion."

From The Meming of Life

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

quote for the day

"When you base your happiness on negatives, it can only get so positive."

Jef Mallett in Frazz

Saturday, October 15, 2011

saturday matinee



This is pretty cool. My wife, a history teacher, showed it to me. I love this shit, seriously.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

quote for the day

"Pawlenty knows perfectly well what every Liberal has always known: that for decades within the GOP, "Sane" has been a rusting hulk, stripped for parts and rotting in a wingnut landfill. That however much lavishly well paid children like David Brooks sit behind the stump of the steering wheel and yell, "Vrooom! Vrooom! We're going very fast now!", the only functional Republican vehicle out of obscurity and on to political power is the Batshit Clown Car."

driftglass

Unfortunately, we are a nation of children, surly teenagers unwilling to do our chores, whining, "but it's not My mess!". In the end, we will sink beneath the waves of our own self-importance and inability to understand that a successful nation works for everyone, whether everyone "works" or not.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

viva le roi! viva l'aristocracy!

Okay, here's what I'm thinking:

It's time to call the financial and industrial leaders of this country what they really are: royalty, aristocrats, the hoity toity, our Lords and Ladies. Whatever.
The signs are all there. They have hundreds or thousands of times more money than almost all of us. They inherit not only money, but power, fame and social "placement"*. They have access to lawmakers that most of us cannot even dream of. The bar for consequences to illegal behavior is much, much higher, if it exists at all.
They never get fired, even when they practically destroy their fiefdom. They may lose their job, but they never lose their positions.
And how do you explain the kind of compensations that they draw from their "work"? No person could possibly earn their salaries. Nor could they earn these kinds of benefits.

So, here's my proposition: It's time to call these folks what they are.
They are Barons of Banking, Earls of Energy, Princes of Finance, Dukes of Insurance, Viscounts of Pharmaceuticals, Marquises of the Military-Industrial Complex, and all the various Knights and Baronets of the Entertainment and Real Estate Industries. LEt's give them their titles. I mean, why wait for them to demand them? We already owe them fealty.
I myself answer to the Barons at Bank of America (and am a marked man in several other banking demenses). I am frequently forced to bow down before the petty lords who run my place of employment due to their alliance with the Duc d'Aetna.

So let's do it. America as a Democracy is probably dead anyway, so let's get started. Goodbye, Democracy, hello Feudal State. And cheer up! It cant be too many generations of toil for the glory of the aristocracy before some kind of calamity wipes out a major portion of the population, starting the whole middle class thing up again, right?

Monday, October 10, 2011

you need this for Halloween

 
 
You need this candle for Halloween, right? Which is why I'm posting this in time for you to order one (and to remind myself to do the same).
Assuming it's available, that is. It may not be. You may have to make one yourself, somehow. Or write the guy who made them and beg him to sell you one.

yeah. Or to just torment you... and myself.


(via)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

quote for the day

What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label “Liberal?” If by “Liberal” they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer’s dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of “Liberal.” But if by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
September 14, 1960

Read the rest of the speech

Sunday, October 02, 2011

sunday funny


Guess who gets paid more? Guess who determines the value of the work?

Saturday, October 01, 2011

saturday matinee



Eran Amir made a stop-motion within a stop-motion video created using 500 people in Israel holding 1500 photos. The music is 'Malinkovec Valzer' by Maxmaber Orkestar.

(straight to YouTube)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

top 10 signs you're a fundamentalist christian

10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

9 - You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.

7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!

6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.

4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs -- though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."

3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.

2 - You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. In addition, you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1 - You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history - but still call yourself a Christian.


stolen outright from Allan

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

wait, did he say "trader" or "traitor"?



This is why the BBC is better than anything in the U.S.

BBC: Can you pin down exactly what would keep investors happy, make them feel more confident?

TRADER: That's a tough one. Personally, it doesn't matter. I'm a trader. I don't care about that stuff... We don't really care how they're gonna fix the economy, how they're gonna fix the situation. Our job is to make money from it. And personally, I've been dreaming of this moment for three years. I have a confession, which is, I go to bed every night, I dream of another recession, I dream of another moment like this. Why? Because, people don't seem to maybe remember, the 30s Depression, the Depression in the 30s, wasn't just about a market crash. There were some people who were prepared to make money from that crash. And I think anybody can do that. It isn't just for some people in the elite. Anybody can make money, it's an opportunity.

Bear in mind, these are the same people who make millions in corporate donations these days. But what is their motive for those donations?

(ht)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

quote for the day

"For every complex problem there is a simple solution. And it's always wrong."

H. L. Mencken

Sunday, September 25, 2011

sunday funny


exhibit no. 38 for Why People Suck.

Yes, it's a cartoon.
Yes, it's sadly true, too.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

saturday matinee

Every Argument Every Couple Ever Has EVER. from Casey Donahue on Vimeo.


Every argument every couple ever has EVER.

quote for the day

So I’m watching this documentary about the White family in West Virginia, & it’s mostly focused on the trials and travails of members of this one infamous family. Its interesting, & kind of sad. There’s this “look at the strange ways of poor white people” tone to it. And then there’s the comments from local officials on the family dynamic (words like entitlement culture come up a lot), as well as one official admitting that West Virginia and its citizens are routinely exploited by outsiders who own most of the state and exploit its resources. He drew a comparison to the exploitation of people and resources to Africa & America’s history of slavery that was almost genius, but then he either backed off, or they cut away because it didn’t go far enough. Watching this it is very clear (again) that the real underpinnings of fostering racism in America isn’t about any real belief in white superiority.

It’s really about making sure each group is fighting for a very tiny slice of the pie & having to do so much just to survive is blamed on easy pre-made targets. Keeping up race as a barrier to communication means that the conversation is eternally about fighting each other instead of the people who poison whole populations, enslave them in deed if not word (paying miners in scrip, forcing sharecroppers to use credit in a way that leaves them eternally in debt, importing labor & taxing their pay only to blast them for wanting to be treated as citizens in the country where they work etc.), and use their money as a club to stay in power. Again, I wonder if we ever do get to be post racial what kind of world will we live in? What kind of economic system would be implemented?

Esoterica

Friday, September 23, 2011

linkage

Yeah, I know it's friday, sue me.

- Oh yeah, America's ready for the future. Not.

- Dr. Arthur Fuckingham-Wallaces' Geographical Obscenity Compendium

- It's like Photo Realism, but isnt: Alexa Meade. (via)

- I cant even begin to explain this. Bill vs. Betty. (via)

- Are you a Stalwart? (via)

- An interview about the bailout with historian Howard Zinn, with more available. (via)

- A gift idea.

- The Circus of Distraction (via)

- Of mice and men. And real estate. (via)

- Someplace to think about for vacationing.

- Would you like to take (your camera for) a ride, in my beautiful...

- 15 words with no English equivalent

- "Americanisms". Seriously, English may have originated in Britain, but they need to let it go already. (via)

- a happy ending for an otherwise disgusting story. (let's hope it doesnt get worse later) (via)

- On the Historicity of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. They prove it to be true! (via)

- Everything You Know About the Collapse of the Soviet Union is Wrong.

- Cover me.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

summer can kiss my ass


This year there really were no nice days of summer. Okay, maybe one or two. And another 70 days that were 100 degrees or more.

Last day of summer. Last day of a brutal summer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

lies, damned lies, and...

An excellent series of articles from BBC by Michael Blastland about statistics. He discusses the various ways in which statistics can be used to manipulate or outright lie by the people who present them to you. Topics include surveys, counting, percentages, averages, causation, and doubt*.

They remind me of the book Double Speak by William Lutz, a depressing book which I've never had the heart to get all the way through.

props to Jeff at Have Coffee, Will Write


* which, sadly, I cant find the link to

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

joke

There’s a story about an elderly, world-class pianist who is approached by an admirer after a concert. “I’d give my whole life to be able to play like that,” she gushes. He replies, “I have, Madam, I have.”

playing with numbers

Okay, so I was doing some calculations:

In 1998 the nation had about $37.5 trillion in wealth.
In 2007 the nation had about $49 trillion in wealth.
In 2009 the nation had about $54.5 trillion in wealth*.

In 1998 the National Debt was $5.5 trillion.
In 2007 the National Debt was $8.95 trillion.
Today the National Debt is close to 15 trillion, or almost twice the wealth held by the bottom 80% of the nation.

In 1998, the bottom 80% of the nation held 16.6% of the wealth (about $6.23 trillion).
In 2007, the bottom 80% of the nation held 15% of the wealth (about $8.18 trillion).

That means that between 1998 and 2007:

The wealth of the bottom 80% of the country went up $1.12 trillion.
The wealth of the top 20% of the country went up $10.38 trillion (an increase larger than the total holdings of the bottom 80%).

Assuming the same distribution of wealth was held by Americans in 2009 as in 2007**, then between 1998 and 2009:

The wealth of the bottom 80% went up $2.55 trillion.
The wealth of the top 20% went up about $14.45 trillion.

Doesnt that last number look familiar? Just sayin'.


* I use 2007 mainly because of it's commonness in statistics - 2009 numbers are rarer and so involve a bit of assuming on my part here.
** Though it's a good bet that the top 20%'s share got larger.

Monday, September 19, 2011

testy

I just took this personality test based on Jung and Briggs Meyers.

My Type is: ISTJ

Introverted: 89%
Sensing: 1%
Thinking: 75%
Judging: 1%

ISTJ type description by D.Keirsey
ISTJ Identify Your Career with Jung Career Indicator™
ISTJ Famous Personalities
ISTJ type description by J. Butt and M.M. Heiss.

I am, apparently:

* very expressed introvert
* slightly expressed sensing personality
* distinctively expressed thinking personality
* slightly expressed judging personality

I ought to point out that I suspect that the results would be very different if I had someone else answer these same questions about me, rather than doing it myself. I'm not sure how much I trust tests based on my own self-opinion.

for International Talk Like A Pirate Day

quote for the day

"If you stick a knife nine inches into my back and pull it out three inches, that is not progress. Even if you pull it all the way out, that is not progress. Progress is healing the wound, and America hasn't even begun to pull out the knife."

Malcolm X.


Yeah, I realize he wasnt talking about Republicans, Tea Partiers or Obama. Or anything else modern (except the treatment of African Americans, which I suppose is still relevant, but anyway...). Still, the beauty of quotes, the reason we like them, is that a piece of wisdom, however old (or new) can be applied to other, similar situations, thus lending its authority to the new situation.

Which, if you think about it, is kind of absurd.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

saturday matinee

This is the CN Tower in Toronto, which has a glass floor at the top. The tower is 1,815 feet high (553 meters). That’s almost 3 times as tall as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis (630 ft). Now, apparently, you’ll be able to walk outside around the tower when the EdgeWalk attraction debuts. Here’s a video taken during the construction of EdgeWalk.



This makes my balls tighten up.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Would you like me to tell you what's wrong with America? I can, in one simple sentence:

America no longer values work.

I'm not talking about work like Republicans are, when they talk about "hard work" in their speeches, almost always to groups of actual working people, those who work in factories owned by Republicans, who've not had a real raise in several decades, even as executive compensation at those same companies have multiplied to astronomical levels.

I'm saying that if you are a person in America who does real, actual work - be it assembly or teaching or ditch-digging - your labor is considered nowhere near as important as the "direction" given you by those who "manage" you. This attitude is often true even of those who are doing the labor. This lack of importance is reflected both in the pay (or lack thereof) and in the contemptuous manner which our "representatives" treat almost all policy and programs which directly affect working Americans.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

clever


Reverse Graffiti: instead of using actual spray cans some artists are just cleaning dirt off of certain areas to make their masterpieces. Kind of brilliant.

(via)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rick Perry - secret flip-flopper

Oh, if only Rick Perry had enough humility to flip-flop.



Really, fuck Rick Perry.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

humph

Well, I applied the previous post to Test Your Blog's Reading Level. It gave me a rating of 8th grade. 8th grade! I tried several others, and that seemed to be the verdict. I am not amused.

Is your blog smarter than a fifth grader?


Created by GiftRocket

sunday schooled

My wife read this somewhere, though she cant remember where, but I'm going to repeat it anyway because it's so wonderful:

Rick Perry prayed for rain, but all he got was fire.

Seriously, religious people never think that they are being punished by God, only that others are. How much clearer does it need to be? Hurricanes are avoiding Texas, the last one to hit us disappeared within hours of coming aground. And there is no rain in the forecast to speak of.

ten years

I really dont want to do a 9-11 post. There are plenty of excellent things out there already, including a bunch on NPR. It was a terrible, criminal act, which our leadership picked up and has been threatening us with (not directly, of course) ever since. That morning made me sad, our response made me angry. Everything changed on 9-11 alright, but only because we made it so.

Friday, September 09, 2011

today's chart


Atheism: believes in no gods
Theism: believes in one or more gods
Gnostic: believes we can know whether or not gods exist
Agnostic: believes we cannot know whether or not gods exist

(via)

Thursday, September 08, 2011

maybe Rick Perry can blow me



Seriously, do Republicans go out of their way to look like morons? Is it not enough that they spew complete idiocy from their pieholes, do they also feel a burning need to be total fucktards visually as well as aurally?

Classic. Texas gains some serious points in the Stupidest State Olympics just for having this lunkhead as governor for over 10 years.

quote for the "controversy" that would not fucking go away

"We’re still trying to figure out why people in a country where the divorce rate is above 50 percent are so concerned with gay marriage. Clearly, heterosexual marriage is not taken seriously in this country, so why the obsession with gay marriage? Perhaps heterosexual folks should expend that energy on fixing and maintaining their own marriages instead of worrying about gay marriage, which is none of their business. As my late grandmother, who was married to my grandfather for 55 years, used to say, they’re focused on the wrong thing."

Nsenga Burton, speaking about controversy over same-sex marriage in the USA

(via)

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

quote for the new school year

"The erroneous assumption is to the effort that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence....Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues, and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else."

H.L.Mencken, The American Mercury, April, 1924

Monday, September 05, 2011

quote for the day

Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.

- Allen Ginsberg

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Here's a question for conservative Christians:

When you die, and you stand before God for judgement, suppose Jesus should chime in and ask, "In what manner did you treat the least of my brothers?" How will you respond?
"Well Jesus, I denied them as much help as I could, thereby teaching them the valuable lessons of hard work and personal responsibility".
"Oh my," Jesus'll say, "Good job!"

Friday, September 02, 2011

quote for the day

"But what we've seen is always going to be a very small cup dipped out of a very big ocean, and turning your back on the ocean to stare into the cup can't change that."

Linda Holmes, on the nature of being "well read".

(via)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

aint touchin it

Those of you who use Blogger, have you seen the new link on your control pages? It says "Try the updated Blogger Interface". Now, while I would love to "try" it, it's my experience with Blogger that once you click a button like that, there is no going back, and while I could certainly think of improvements to the current controls, there's little guarantee (or chance, even) that Blogger has made those changes. I am familiar with the controls as they are, and while I'm sure that at some point Blogger will force me to accept the new ones, I see no reason to help them do that.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

blog troll no. 10

Ten! Ten blog trolls! Woo-hoo! As always, a Daveawayfromhome blogtroll is not an obnoxious person spewing bile and venom in your comment box. It is, instead, where I share the best results of my various forays into the Internets Tubes with the rest of you, saving you the trouble of wading through the crap (and there is a lot of crap - have you hit the "next blog" button lately?)

Drawings and Such Things, an Italian art blog
Great Showdowns, drawings by Scott Cambell
Producciones Balazo, an amazingly drawn web comic, unfortunately in spanish and so largely incomprehensible to me
James Hance, an artist, whose works include Wookie The Chew
Tom Gauld's Flickr stream.
Unhappy Hipsters
Chapter 56; an artist's blog
Fun Stuff With Hanni Brosh: art
Cat vs. Human
Zunguzungu
A Conscious Outpost
Maliki: le webcomic
Mishka; webcomics, etc.
Wayno Cartoons
Cul de Sac by Richard Thompson
Jack & Jill Politics: A black bourgeoisie perspective on U.S. politics
Southern Beale; a Tennessee liberal (i.e., a local endangered species)
Beggars Can Be Choosers; a Texas journalist's progressive blog
Matt Blum; photographer
Irina Werning, photographer (does a nice now-and-then series)
Boxing Barbie
Mariel Clayton, doll photography (more Barbie)
OakOak; street art
The One Cam... I cannot explain this one
2D Goggles - or - The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace And Babbage
Tangents Reviews; a webcomic review site/blog
Dear Photograph; another re-photographic site... sort of.
Pablo Delgado; the street art is especially wonderful
Crazy Thoughts
Darlene's Hodgepodge; an 86 year-old who oughta team up with Helen Philpott.
Stupid Enough Unexplaination a liberal blog (and a blogtroll repeat)
MF Blog; a liberal blogger
Aussie Sammie; an Aussie teaching in OKC
Duly Noted; Lindsay Beyerstein's new blog
Blue Gal
Sam Harris, atheist
Wild River Review"; a web magazine
Man Are We Screwed; yes we are
Filmspiration (tumbler)
Mixed-Multimedia (tumbler)
This Is A Clever Blog Title (tumbler)
Hannah Is Just Awful
I love Charts
The Friendly Atheist
Gabby's Playhouse; a blog, with comics
Mercworks; cartoons in blog form
Katie Schwartz; a blog
Detritus Of Empire, Tacitus2's blog
Married to the Sea
Yowayowa Camera Woman Diary: Natsumi, floating

This being a Daveawayfromhome tradition, there have been preceding blogtrolls. Sample them here: no. 9, no. 8, 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).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

quote for Sarah Palin Day




"Bushisms often hinged on a single grammatical or factual error. Palinisms, by contrast, consist of a unitary stream of patriotic, populist blather. It's like Fox News without the punctuation."

Jacob Wiesberg.

Mercifully, she seems to have mostly faded from the scene. Unfortunately, she's been replaced by Rick Perry, who might actually be worse.

Might.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

saturday matinee

The Village from Pedro Sousa | visuals on Vimeo.


This just looks so fake, like it was done using a toy train set. But it wasnt.

Friday, August 26, 2011

doin' the math

Okay, so one of the recent talking points that conservatives have been using lately has been to complain that 50% of Americans pay no income tax. The unspoken part of that complaint, of course, is that these are poor Americans who arent paying taxes, rather than millionaires or corporations, and as such are undeserving of receiving any government "largess" in return.
Well, John Stewart the other day made an interesting point, which you can watch, and then I'll add to it. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Now, even if you were to take everything that the bottom 50% of America possesses, it would only pay off a tenth of the deficit (the wealth of the bottom half of the nation amounts to somewhere around 1.5 trillion-ish*, split amongst 150 million people).
Next, imagine that we slash the budget on stuff like money spent on "job and family security", "education and job training", medicare and medicaid. Hey look, there's another 1.7 trillion!
By golly, maybe Republicans are right! Just nine years of giving nothing to the "poor" (you know, those folks "who dont pay taxes") and we'll have the debt paid off, all without any pain at all for corporations and millionaires.

Yay!



* That's just my estimate, and while my math may be wrong, it wont be off by enough of an amount to make my general point incorrect.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

linkage

- The Right isnt the only side of politics to contain people who are, shall we say, a wee bit over the top.

- Beyond WTF? Further proof that America is doomed.

- This page isnt here. (via)

- Adventures in genderwars at Gabby's Playhouse (via)

- Is Barack Obama this century's James Buchanan?

- Test your vocabulary! (via)

- I may have to switch to Google Chrome, just for this app.

- Listen to this People's Pharmacy show, then be a bit worried next time you buy those cheap generic drugs (which are, of course, the only ones you can afford).

- Audio book: downloadable A Canticle For Liebowitz from NPR (via)

- So you think you want to be a war photographer?

- How boosterism ought to work.

- NuPenny: when art and commerce collide the right way. (via)

- Okay, I'm pretty clueless around women, but even I know this one. (via, the long way)

- Om nom nom. Why we love fat. (via)

- For the artists! Do-it-yourself Doodler. (via)

- The trouble with Clarence, and a way to send him packing. (via)

- Not your everyday chandeliers, or, the craft of lighting (via)

- Inside The Ghost Ships of the Mothballed Fleet. (via)

- this has got to be one of the coolest, most amazing things I've seen in a while. I really wish more people read this blog, just so they could see this thing in action. (via)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

quote for the day

"They lie, this awful, destructive right wing. Often. And repeatedly. And they lie with such brazenness and bravado that it's as if lies are steel-toed boots kicking in the teeth of truth. How do you fight that? Because, from experience, the Rude Pundit can tell you that you can say the truth is the greatest fuck you'll ever have and most conservatives would say they'd rather just masturbate."

The Rude Pundit

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

victorian rap



I'd say that about says it all, right?

(via)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

sunday funny


And I started watching Star Trek before 1982.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

saturday matinee


The Illusionists is (will be) a documentary about body image and the manipulative industry that has created itself around largely manufactured insecurities.

Friday, August 19, 2011

why do I live here again?


Once again, estimations of America's numberoneness have been greatly exaggerated. We're not even better than Kazahkstan, for chrissakes.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

quote for the day

“Love for one person does not negate love for another, instead one love works in synergy with another, building a dense and electric web that goes beyond the limited definition I felt forced to accept before. It will take years to dismantle the kind of love I was taught to look for, the one that possesses and owns, one that leaves no room for others and that assumes the heart is weak and vulnerable to the point of requiring fierce protection and exclusivity. Its myriad manifestations make it possible to love so hard and so fully without fear, jealousy or pain. It is, of course, more work to love this way, but to learn to take the hits and hurts as bumps in the road to being a better lover of myself and others is worth every ache.”

Berlin Reed in OP issue #6- SCHOOLED

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

ugh


Have I mentioned how much I hate summer?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

saturday matinee



This would probably be a "dust devil" anywhere else. But it's so much cooler than a dust devil.

HOT!!! HOT!!! HOT!!!


Today, when the temperature goes over 100 degrees (and it will go over 100 degrees*) it would have marked the 43rd day in a row, breaking the record for consecutive days over 100 degrees, set in 1980.
Except it wont, because on Thursday a storm blew in from Oklahoma and cooled things down to 89 degrees*. Except that we didnt get any actual rain or anything from that storm. No, all we got is enough clouds to break the streak 3 days before we beat it. Which would be fine if we were done with 100 degree days, but we're not, not by a long shot. Today, and the next ten days, and probably another week or more after that, it will continue to be over 100.
So, things are pretty much the same today as they were last Saturday. The same. Except for Thursday and the streak. Exactly the same. So far, there have been 49 days above 100 degrees. We only need 21 more this year to beat the record for total days over 100 degrees, set in 1980. Twenty-one! Aargh!

As of now, there is no end in sight, either.

Have I mentioned how much I hate summer?

I really, really hate it.

Really.

Hate.

Summer.



* sigh... the dangers of preposting - I wrote this last saturday when there seemed no hope of anything remotely cool except for a miracle. Which of course happened, if you want to call 97 degrees a miracle. Today, just to vex me, started out with rain and hasnt gotten above 90 all day. Tomorrow, though, shows a return to form, which will continue for the rest next 10 days. I know, I should be grateful for a day off from the century mark. But I'm not. And I dont feel bad about that.


* Thursday's high was 97.