Sunday, May 30, 2010

quote for the day

"If people threw sea water onto the floors of bp executive offices they would be arrested and not put in charge of the investigation."

George at Skippy the Bush Kangaroo

Saturday, May 29, 2010

saturday matinee

Clarke and Dawe, political satirists from down under, give their take on the European financial crisis.
In quiz show form.

via Boing Boing

Friday, May 28, 2010


just... wow.

Even if it was nothing more than (or as good as) this, it's enough.

via Jim Smash!

addendum: I think this may be the actual movie.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


- Through the Viewfinder; a Flickr group devoted to taking photographs using the viewfinders of old waist level cameras.

- Hmmm, seems doomsday rhetoric isnt really new. But we knew that, didnt we?

- Finally, a useful new law. (via)

- The Non-existant Kid. (via)

- Yeah, yeah, we all hate Facebook. So what?

- Hey guess what? The big push behind charter schools may not be all about educational concern. Whodathunk? (via)

- Guess which, of the last five Republican presidents, holds up best compared to current GOP thinking? (Hint: It aint their patron saint?)

- A couple of new terms for IMers.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

with Werner Hertzog,
today's story: "Where's Waldo?"

Just in time for you elementary teachers to use filling lesson plans out until the end of the school year.

also: Curious George, Madeline and Mike Mulligan And His Steam Shovel.

via Presurfer

Monday, May 24, 2010


I personally find it amazing that a party which works so hard to deny evolution can believe so strongly in the Market. Or do they believe in an Authority with a Design there also?


Q: How does a backwards poet write?

A: Inverse.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Five Years!!!

So, it's been five whole years since I first started this blog. Previously, I celebrated on August 7th, since that was the date when I actually started saying anything, but time and experience has taught me that there's not that much difference between when I was "saying something" and when I was not.
When I started this blog, I immediately had nothing to say, though not for lack of wanting to. Five years later and I still dont really have anything to say, but I suppose that it's more about the process than the result. I hope so anyway, since I've churned out an awful lot of process.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

read this

Have I ever mentioned my love for "Hark, A Vagrant", by Kate Beaton? It's wonderful, it's clever, and it has lovely details. It does not rely on gross-out or shock humor, but rather history and human foible.

Oops, I ruined it, didnt I? Sorry.

oh, look

Texans are acting like assholes. Again.

Friday, May 21, 2010

quote for the day

"If you want to succeed, double your failure rate." - Thomas Watson

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Why is BP getting any kind of consideration from the U.S. government? It is a foreign company, which came to our shores, and is now ruining them. Yet the possibility remains that American taxpayers will be paying for most of the mess, not the foreign company that made it.

Addendum: On second thought, I consider Iraq, and realize we have nothing to say about oil companies fucking up someone else's country. Except for the part about our taxes paying for it. That still applies.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

pronoun trouble

4 races yesterday. In one of them, a Tea-partier beat out the mainstream GOP candidate. In another, the Tea Partier tied. Another race had a former GOPper loosing to an actual Democrat. And in a fourth, the Democrat won a district that was anti-Obama two years ago. The message that the MSM seems to get from this? That the mood amongst voters is "anti-Washington establishment". It doesnt seem to occur to them that it might instead be a mood that is anti-Republican establishment.

Or at least not one that the gatekeepers of the news are willing to admit.

perspective problem

There are people in America who describe the poor and unfortunate in this country as having somehow brought their need on themselves. That the collection and use of "entitlements" is somehow caused by their failure to be good citizens or by poor personal choices, and so that they do not "deserve" to get any of the money that was earned by those who are more "successful".
But perhaps this situation needs to be looked at from a different angle. Perhaps the failure is not of the less successful of us, but of those who claim success. After all, these are the people with the access to power, the people who have the advantage (whether born or achieved) of connections and money, the movers and shakers of the nation. Perhaps they are the ones who have failed. Before accepting the idea that those who have little or nothing are not doing enough for the country (in order to "earn their keep"), perhaps we should be examining the question "what are those who have so much doing for the country (that has benefited them so handsomely)?"

Or put it another way: Many of the most successful people in this country not only dont seem to be grateful for the hard work and sacrifice of ordinary (and less "successful") people, they appear to feel that the rest of the nation should feel gratitude that their wealth provides jobs for the nation, despite the fact that those who hold those jobs, and the nation they all helped to create, are the actual source of the wealth and success.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Julia Child was 11 years younger than her diplomat husband. In the movie Julie & Julia, Julia Child is played by Meryl Streep, born in 1949. Julia's husband Paul Child is played by Stanley Tucci, born in 1960. That's still eleven years, though.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A note to all spammers:

Fuck Off.

No, really, just fuck off. Fuck. Off. I will not follow you to your blog, or your website, or whatever you want me to follow you to. Not even to see if it might possibly turn out to be worth it. It wont be. I refuse to help you (or more likely some exploitative organization paying you pennies for each commental assault you make) make even a fraction of a cent because I happened to open a web page.
I write this thing for my own reasons without expectation of monetary gain. Is it too much to ask that you dont try and squeeze a few pennies out of me while I do that? Feel free to make a real comment. Feel free to make a fake comment. Feel free to call me an asshole. Maybe you'll get my attention with your wit or your insight or your vitriol. Maybe I'll say, hmm, who is that person, and then go to your profile, and then visit your blog.
Maybe I wont. I usually dont. Occassionally, very occassionally, it's even a mistake, though that's pretty rare.
But dont you make the mistake of thinking that I give a shit about whatever you're trying to sell, because I dont. I do not.
And I will not.
I rarely watch television because I dont like commercials. I dont listen to anything but public radio for the same reason (and I turn that off when it is fundraising time, like it seems to be all the time.
I will read a Fry's ad.
But not yours.

Are we clear here?*

* The management would like to acknowledge that it in no way actually believes that such a diatribe will have any actual results. Spammers exist for the same reasons that mosquitoes, fleas and lice do, contribute as much misery if allowed to breed uncontrolled, and are, in general, barnacles on the bottom of the great ship that is the internet. We would wish them all to die of a horrible social disease except that a) it's not a nice thing to do, and b) they are a horrible social disease. Finally, we'd just like to reiterate our original point which was:
"Fuck off. Really. Fuck. Off."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dave's idea of the week

So, I had this idea, and I've been playing with it in my head all day. Here it is:

Kodak (or someone) needs to sell a square format "waist-level" viewfinder digital camera. Really, when you think about how most people use digital cameras, looking at a two-inch (or so) screen rather than through a tiny viewfinder, it makes a certain amount of sense. Look, below, I've slightly altered an old Kodak Brownie Starlet.

Now, imagine that instead of a viewfinder window, that top lens was for a flash instead.
Oh, wait, maybe you've never seen a Brownie Starlet...
Okay, the Starlet was an old Kodak camera. It was built for the masses. It was cheap and easy to use. It shot photos in a square format. The lower lens exposed the film while the top lens bounced off a mirror and onto a viewing window in the top of the camera (which popped open, see below). If you've never used a waist level viewfinder, it's kind of nice (and you didnt have to use it at waist level, it worked just as well at chin level). I would suggest replacing the mirror/viewfinder arrangement with a simple screen showing what the lens sees, just like on any decent digital camera.

Really, I'm kind of surprised that someone hasnt come up with this idea already (well, someone has, sort of, but not for real use), because digital cameras as they are currently designed are kind of awkward, being a viewfinder-style design with a screen on the backside, forcing you to hold the thing in front of you (often rather precariously) while trying to compose your shot through the glare. A Starflex-style camera (with it's hood shading the screen from glare) would make more sense. If you really needed to have the screen visible from behind the camera, it seems like a easy job to simply make the screen pop up, rather like the hood does.
I think that if you marketed this thing right (say, first going after the retro crowd and old people) you could have a real winner on your hands. And the square format is terrific (ask anyone who loves their Hipstamatic app), especially for portraits and family photos. Find professionals who shot with medium format and hand out a few for free and watch the praise begin.
Yes, you can shoot with a regular camera and crop square, but it really is not the same. Believe me, I've done both.
Listen, Kodak needs this. They were once the kings of photography, but they've been beaten out by Fuji, by Canon, and by HP. This could be their chance to regain the consumer photography crown.
Bring Back The Brownie!

quote for the day

"If you want to make God laugh,
tell him your plans."

Rielle Hunter, via Pryme.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

quote for the day

"There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families."

Margaret Thatcher
I wonder if you could get a Republican to express (admit to) admiration for this sentiment, because if this doesnt sum up Republicans these days, I dont know what does.
Woo-haw, ride'em cowboy! It's every man for himself. IGMSFU. The word "gestalt" is not in a Republican dictionary.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

an observation

For a nation with a history of rather shoddy treatment of dark-skinned people, America sure seems to like tanning.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

quote for the day

"If you're going to be anti-establishment, don't be surprised when the establishment is anti-you."


Yeah, I've been having a lot of these lately, havent I? Dont expect them to stop any time soon. Worst part of this one? Nobody reads this thing on weekends.

Saturday, May 08, 2010


Here's a crazy idea: sell "amnesty" for illegals as a means of paying off the massive deficit. So many folks bitch about illegals "not payin' taxes like honest 'Mer'cans do", how about we make them all citizens? HA! That'll show 'em not to mess with us. After all, considering the whining from the Right, what better punishment can you imagine than making them pay taxes? 'Cause, like, they're already enjoying the fruits of the nation (like working long hours for unacknowledged aristocracy making pathetic wages while political deals are done in backrooms based not on the needs of the People but on who's got the most money).

Friday, May 07, 2010


Is it just me, or does using your own car in a bombing that's not a "suicide" seem like a really stupid idea? How hard is it to steal a car? Teenagers do it all the time. What part of not having links to the bombing did this guy not understand? If this is the quality of the intellect behind the danger, then the fact that we're still worrying makes me wonder what the hell is wrong with our side.

I stole this

Ken Murphy's 'A History of the Sky' enables the viewer to appreciate the rhythms of weather, the lengthening and shortening of days, and other atmospheric events on an immediate aesthetic level: the clouds, fog, wind, and rain form a rich visual texture, and sunrises and sunsets cascade across the screen.

An image of the sky is being captured every 10 seconds from a camera installed on the roof of the Exploratorium, on the edge of San Francisco Bay. The images collected over each 24-hour period are assembled into a 6 minute movie.

Ken Murphy's website.

Stolen from Presurfer

Thursday, May 06, 2010

thursday night at the movies

a thought

So, some have suggested that the environmentalists may have sabotaged the oil platform in the gulf, hoping the disaster would end offshore drilling. It's a stupid idea, but, I suppose, possible, if really, really unlikely. See, environmentalists want to protect all the environment, not just part of it. They're not really a "destroy the village to save the village" crowd.
Here's another possibility, which seems to me more likely*: that someone who's been investing heavily in oil futures (say, perhaps, a Wall Street bank) sabotaged the rig in an effort to drive up oil prices, thus making their investment pay off all the better. Now that is a scenario that fits a philosophical profile.

* though neither is as likely as a simple combination of greed and lack of oversight

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

robert reich rocks

I've argued in the past that education needs to be better funded in the U.S., that in a land where ads and pundits tell us (in the interest of getting us to spend money) that education is the "best investment money can buy", it's crazy that we dont spend more funding on it. Hell, I think many people would be willing to accept cuts in welfare spending, if we simultaneously made higher education free and provided childcare for anyone who needed it. Think of it as teaching a man to fish.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

quote for the day

"The enemy isnt liberalism. The enemy isnt conservatism. The enemy is bullshit."

Lars-Erik Nelson

Monday, May 03, 2010

quote for the day

"After all, you can't spell "Arizona" without the letters N, A, Z, and I."

Samurai Frog, discussing recent nuttiness in Arizona.

for monday

via Jonco.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

just a thought

I havent had much to say about Arizona's new illegal immigrant bill, mostly because it's such a stupid, irritating law, and much of what needs to be said has been said already by people better at it than me. I just wanted to add one more point, though: If an officer was to stop me and ask me for proof of citizenship, I dont think I would have any, aside from my driver's license, which I suspect a lot of illegals have. I dont carry my social security card* around with me, nor my birth certificate. Actually, I'm not sure just where my birth certificate is these days, since I couldnt find it last time I looked for it.
Of course, this is completely beside the point, because I can guarantee you that a white boy such as myself is never going to be asked for proof of anything other than insurance. Right there is the problem with this "law", and the reason that it will probably end up being overturned.

Addendum: Frank Rich says Arizona's not the problem, but a symptom. I say, even though a cough isnt a cold, it still sometimes requires some strong medicine.

* also not unusual for illegals to have