Sunday, May 27, 2007

Some eleven year-old kid kills a 9ft, half-ton ...pig ...with a handgun. I'm not kidding, it's about the size of a small minivan.

It's odd that he's 11, it's odd that the pig is about as massive as a small minivan, but this statement just takes the cake.

"It feels really good. It's a good accomplishment. I probably won't ever kill anything else that big."

I'm extremely pro-gun but how did it come to pass that the destruction of the most rare and unique animal is cause for celebration? What other activity shares this dubious honor?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Headline of the Day:

"New U.S. Embassy in Iraq is world's biggest"

...which segues nicely into Quote of the day:

"What kind of embassy is it when everybody lives inside and it's blast-proof, and people are running around with helmets and crouching behind sandbags?"

    - a former top U.S. diplomat in Iraq.
Ann Coulter whines:

"Even Falwell's fans, such as evangelist Billy Graham and former President Bush, kept throwing in the "We didn't always agree" disclaimer. Did Betty Friedan or Molly Ivins get this many "I didn't always agree with" qualifiers on their deaths? And when I die, if you didn't always agree with me, would you mind keeping it to yourself?"

Don't worry about us, Ann. When you die the universe itself will smile.

"Let me be the first to say: I ALWAYS agreed with the Rev. Falwell."

What a coincidence! You've always been a twat!

Coincidence? I think not...

"First of all, I disagreed with that statement because Falwell neglected to specifically include Teddy Kennedy and "the Reverend" Barry Lynn."

You can almost hear Coulter wondering out loud, "What's the douchiest thing I can say to get back on the talkshow circuit and revive my delusion of relevance?"

Ah, I can't read any more of this article. It burns.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) -- A woman blames the devil, and not her husband, for severely burning their infant daughter in a microwave, a Texas television station reported. Eva Marie Mauldin said Satan compelled her 19-year-old husband, Joshua Royce Mauldin, to microwave their daughter May 10 because the devil disapproved of Joshua's efforts to become a preacher.

Sounds like a rational defense to me. OK, maybe "rational" is not the right word. Perhaps the phrase "consistent with the Bible" is more accurate.

Hey, if God can command Abraham to offer up Issac, his son, to be burned to death, are we to believe that Satan is capable of less?

Since we obviously can't prove that the devil did or didn't put Mr. Maudlin to the task of microwaving his daughter, I recommend the judge pray about it and base his verdict on what god tells him.

And right after the verdict is read, why don't we split the country into two; one side secular, one side the faithful. You can keep the judge, Mr. Maudlin and we'll even throw in half of the space program if (and only if) you make Ralph Reed an astronaut.

Sure, space exploration is important but a faith-based shuttle launch would be worth its weight in gold.

Former President Jimmy Carter has been taking aim at the current chimp saying, "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history."

White House spokesman Tony Fratto indicated that Carter was becoming "increasingly irrelevant" for expressing these views.

Amber Wilkerson, Republican National Committee spokeswoman, said it was hard to take Carter seriously because he also "challenged Ronald Reagan's strategy for the Cold War."

They say victory has a hundred fathers but defeat is an orphan.

We told you repeatedly that Bush's plans for Iraq were fatally flawed, we told you specifically why they were certain to fail and we have been right on every single count.

Carter is right, Miss Wilkerson and your man, the President you are paid to flak for, the sole director of the war who has had precisely ZERO restrictions placed on him for four years -- 1,500 days -- the "decider" who surrounded himself with sycophants assuring us and the complicit so-called "free press" that the war would be simple, the war would be quick and the war would pay for itself, the President who stumbled into Iraq without a plan (but no lack of swagger), the very epitome of Southern Baptist prayer and political might, the alpha and omega of right-wing Conservatism fucked up every single aspect of the war possible to fuck up.

And yet TO THIS VERY MOMENT, you continue to support him Miss Wilkerson.

When you get past the social stigma there's scant difference between Tony Snow et al and a prostitute, I think. Granted, one has something coming out of their mouth while the other has something coming in, but the prostitute has the distinct moral advantage of at least realizing they're for sale.

So tell me, what is it that makes you imagine your president -- much less you, his dutiful and oh-so-willing mouthpiece -- is taken seriously by the country he ostensibly leads?

Friday, May 18, 2007

If you've ever wondered how the various techno genres fit together thematically and chronologically, wonder no longer.

Thanks to Jen for cluing me in to this well-researched, extremely funny sampler.

Lessee, what else...

I ate bison last night and it was the best red meat I've had in my life. A slight char on the outside, red all the way through but not cold, melted in my mouth quicker than an ice cream soaked waffle cone.

The waitstaff explaining food to the adjacent diners was a tad bit weird, though.

"This venison was taken from the flank quarters of 'Bob,' a young but gregarious caribou born and bred on the southern tip of Nova Scotia."


I wonder if our waitress heard me, though. She came over, put the food down and said, "your bison." It would have been even better if she simply pointed and said "meat."

I'm leaving Flickr, I'm no longer buying JPG, grr on the former, GRR on the latter.

More later, gotta run. This week has been nothing but...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My epic photo tribulations made it into the papers.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Spinning counterclockwise.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

While doing research for another story, a reporter from BostonNOW (an upstart rival to the ubiquitous Metro) learned of my subway photography (and associated problems with the MBTA). A few emails turns into a twenty-minute interview on the phone. I'm told it'll likely be published Monday, maybe Tuesday.

Well this is going to be an interesting week...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

In a thread attached to a video of James Randi making Uri Geller look stupid (yes, again), KING777TUTT wrote:

"There is twenty known constants in the universe, the electon volt measured at something like 10 to the power of -34, the speed of light, gravity and so on. If even one of these constant's values were moved one decimal place to the left or right the whole universe wouldn't work. It's sooo finely tuned its incredible. So the scientific community have come up with the theory of an infinte number of universes to explain it."


Imagine for a moment you're a penny. If a penny could think, you might marvel at your situation...

How many different ways -- most not condusive to copper accumulating -- might the earth have formed? What are the odds of the earth forming at all? What are the odds that you'd wind up on a planet that can host life, much less develops life, much less life capable and inclined to extract ore?

What are the odds that your copper bits would even wind up on terra firma? Realize that copper is created by supernovae so most of it exists in space until gravity (read; mass) tells it otherwise.

And what are the spectacularly unlikely chances of YOUR particular chunk of copper being at the top 1% of the surface that man can reach? What are the odds that your particular rock would be in the 0.001% of copper that humans would extract from that thin crust humans can reach at all?

In fact, think about how unlikely it is that the specific mining company exists at all! If the mining company founder's parents didn't meet, or their parents didn't meet, or THEIR parents didn't meet, or have kids, or not get killed in a duel or by some disease, through dozens of generations, the odds of you existing go down dramatically. How about the specific human that actually pulled you out of the earth and what had to happen for them to be at that spot at that time?

How about the happenstance for the person who wrote the schedule? Really, what are all the things that had to happen for everyone involved in your extraction to exist in the precise state necessary for you to become a penny? What if the foreman didn't have a cold ten years earlier, a cold that caused him to sneeze while waiting for the bus, a sneeze that caused him to meet his future wife three years later?

When you consider your existence as a penny you must also consider every little minor, insignificant action we make that winds up impacting out lives dramatically. It's known more coloquially as the so-called "Butterfly Effect."

But let's get more specific; how about the pocket you reside in right now? Since 1972 you've been passed from pocket to pocket, from person to person, from cornerstore tienda to 7/11 to McDonalds to Macy's, tens of thousands of transactions, ALL of which had to occur with ZERO deviation for you to be in the pocket you're in. If ANYONE in those 35 years decided to split a dollar bill instead of using change, or dropped you into the leave-a-penny cup to save pocketspace, or if ANYONE in those 35 years forgot to empty their pockets before washing their pants at the laundrymat or if ANYONE in those 35 years didn't remember to grab their change before leaving the house ...well wouldn't be in the pocket you're in, would you?

The odds of all these things happening the way they did, with no deviation, are a trillion billion to one.

And despite all this, without any divine guidance, here you are. In this pocket.

KING777TUTT, you probably want to instinctively object and say "but if I wasn't passed from human to human in that exact sequence I'd just be in someone else's pocket." That's correct but now you'd be asking how unlikely it is that you were THERE which only demonstrates that your position isn't actually terribly unique.

On the other hand you might argue, "If I was never mined, or smelted, or formed into a penny, I wouldn't be around to ask the question at all."

And you'd be right!

When broken down your argument takes two forms:

    • If things were different then things would be different.

    • If we weren't here to ask the question, we wouldn't be here to ask the question.

...and both are tautologies.

Monday, May 07, 2007

This is hilarious. Front page of

Study Finds Drug Abuse by 10 Percent of U.S. Adults

The researchers based their findings on interviews with 43,093 people in 2001 and 2002. They estimated 10.3 percent of U.S. adults abused drugs during their lifetimes, including 2.6 percent who become addicted.

Ten percent? Really?? I could have sworn the incidence of drug use in high school was waaay higher. And everybody knows that use = abuse. [1]

So I headed over to the Google.

Hm. Something isn't right. According to the CDC, 40% of teens have tried marijuana alone.

Now me crazy but if we make the assumption that 100% of adults were once teens and factoring in the official government "drug use is abuse" party line then least four out of every ten adults are or were drug abusers "during their lifetime."


See, our government can't be consistent and say 40% of Americans have abused drugs in their lifetime because it would become instantaneously and blindingly obvious that (a) drug use must not be so terrible (since society hasn't burned to the ground) or (b) "abuse" is immediately proven to be a meaningless fucking term.

Think about this for a moment; forty percent of the population. Two out of every five. More than one in three. If you've got two neighbors and they're not pill-snorting meth junkies, guess what?


So they just say "10% of adults." Sounds plausible. Sounds epidemic-ish. And most importantly, keeps the middle class worried enough to keep funneling $20,000,000,000 (that's "billion" if you lose count) into the anti-drug law enforcement cartel.

Besides, nobody has a fucking memory in this country. Dick Cheney, to this very day, continues to claim that Saddam Hussein had WMD and something to do with 9/11.


[1] To cite just a single example, The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA, a government organization and a branch of the National Institutes of Health), publishes a "research report" on "marijuana abuse." The word "abuse" appears 22 times (excluding domain names, citations, etc.) over a whopping eight pages. Use is never distinguished from "abuse" and despite having a glossary, "abuse" is never defined.

[2] From the U.S. Department of Agriculture website (no, seriously): For the government, any use at all of an illegal drug or misuse of a legal drug is drug abuse.