August 27, 2014

Urban Dictioonary Word-of-the-Day

Proglodyte.

Martina was shocked to find out that there was a church in her neighborhood, so she telephoned her network of Proglodytes and they all agreed to burn it down so the church members wouldn't promote hate mongering.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:52 PM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2014

Federalism-dictated bifurcation

Virginia: it's for lovers!

West Virginia: I-79 BACK OPEN: Chickens and ammo to blame for shutdown

Posted by John Kranz at 4:19 PM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2014

Competition

Everything is improved by competition. I cannot expect that the entire Internet is mine just to provide Review Corner. It was inevitable, really, that someone else would step in.

I was just not prepared for this discussion of Robert Heinlein's "Friday."

Whether it is SFW depends on where you work.

And, is that how you pronounce "Heinlein?"


Posted by John Kranz at 5:08 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Thank you for the link, and for being man enough to promote a competitor! Still hoping to make time for a thorough viewing in the company of the charming literature aficionado and Heinlein acolyte who deigned to accede my nuptial proposal some years back.

Posted by: johngalt at August 19, 2014 12:48 PM
But jk thinks:

Now, what I'd like is a video of Sister dagny's watching that video. That would score an embed whether SFW or not.

Posted by: jk at August 19, 2014 1:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ummm, I think just the one video is enough. We're simple folk.

Posted by: johngalt at August 19, 2014 4:52 PM

August 5, 2014

ONLY ONE LEFT!

Tempting to get the used one, but I wouldn't want some old thing that would just be a lot of problems.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:17 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2014

Just Three Pages of Econ . . .

UPDATE: Now I had not seen (nor heard of) Kristen Bell's until this came out. I made a point of finding hers and watching it first.

In a bit of reflection, this struck me as a microcosm of the left-right debate. We have facts, reason, and a guy who looks like Remy. They have total sophistry, but put it into a clever package. Ms. Bell is distractingly attractive, even primped up as Mary Poppins.

We're doomed I tell you. Doomed.

UPDATE: Ari Armstrong weighs in.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:14 PM | Comments (8)
But johngalt thinks:

How 'bout this:

Kristin Bell in Walt Disney's 'Mary Poppins is Taxed Enough Already.'
Posted by: johngalt at July 29, 2014 12:50 AM
But jk thinks:

Let it go.

Posted by: jk at July 29, 2014 9:48 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Can't hold it back anymore.

Posted by: johngalt at July 29, 2014 11:14 AM
But johngalt thinks:

We are all The Tea Party now.

Even the beautiful people.

Posted by: johngalt at July 29, 2014 1:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. I'm not the only one. Ari - Spoonful of Coercion

Posted by: johngalt at July 29, 2014 1:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

UpUpDateDate:

Funny or Die Accidentally Proves Why Big Federal Government Programs Suck While Making the Case for a Minimum ... http://t.co/PRZy2BKnrw

— Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) July 31, 2014
Posted by: johngalt at August 1, 2014 2:57 AM

June 20, 2014

They Won't Last Long at these prices!

I think we may all be in the wrong business:

tenor_book_prices.gif

So, do you think I am okay with the new one for $563.10, or should I pony up for the vintage used at $883.95? I just bought a very cool vintage tenor guitar for $400 -- had no idea it'd be twice that to buy a book!

Posted by John Kranz at 4:55 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Pshaaaw! A bargain, at only 20 cents per chord.

Posted by: johngalt at June 20, 2014 5:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Hahahaha - a little perspective is in order. Also, that's really just $281.55 for standard tuning and $281.55 for "Irish."

I imagine it won't be long before they lose their trademark prorection for Irish Tuning™: it is pretty demeaning.

Posted by: jk at June 21, 2014 10:21 AM

February 27, 2014

Surf Dude Meme


foodstampsurferdude.jpg


Whatchyer Think?

Posted by John Kranz at 10:10 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Awresome! Love it. Might even have to "promote" it on FB.

What's everyone else think? Genius, or just "yeah, right?"

Posted by: johngalt at February 27, 2014 11:31 AM
But jk thinks:

It's very good. I would certainly torque some of your (and my) FB friends with it.

Does it espouse a timeless truth (like COEXI$T) does? I am not positive that it does, but I had to warm up to COEXI$T, so my snap judgment is flawed.

I, too, failed at uploading FSSD.jpg (Food Stamp Surfed Dude) to memegenerator.net -- wow, is that the world's worst web interface or what? Getting him into the meme stream might be as valid a blow for liberty as promoting yours. (Anybody else wanna try? A raw one is here.)

So my brutally honest answer is "maybe." You're welcome.

Posted by: jk at February 27, 2014 1:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

There's no turning back now. I did it.

Posted by: johngalt at February 27, 2014 2:51 PM

February 5, 2014

All Hail Taranto!

Germane:

taranto140205.gif

Posted by John Kranz at 5:50 PM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2014

All Hail Taranto

Liza Mundy says, of Wendy Davis "Truth is, the lives of single mothers are multifaceted and hard to categorize." James replies:

It's not that hard to categorize Wendy Davis: She was among the category of "single mothers" who are married to rich dudes.

Heck, if you don't have to be single to be a single mother, it stands to reason, or whatever Mundy is substituting for it, that you don't have to be a mother either. That would make your humble columnist a single mother. So don't judge us.


Posted by John Kranz at 5:54 PM | Comments (0)

January 8, 2014

One For Our Midwestern Friends...

Minnesota.png

Hat-tip: 92 KQRS (Facebook)

Posted by John Kranz at 3:35 PM | Comments (0)

January 7, 2014

Polar Vortex!

Sorry Midwest/eastern folks, we are coming out of it today...

Posted by John Kranz at 9:59 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Just imagine, how much worse the Polar Vortex might have been in the absence of a century of CO2 "pollution" that presumably raised the global temperature. It might have been, rather than -52 F wind chill in IceButtFalls, MN, -52.7 F instead!

Posted by: johngalt at January 7, 2014 2:37 PM

December 24, 2013

Tweet of the Day

Posted by John Kranz at 10:51 AM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I see you got the Spinal Tap version of this device - you can turn your holiday spirit up to eleven!

May you and your loved ones all share a joyous Christmas Day, turned up to eleven!

(Does this only come in an analog version, or has the digital device been released yet?)

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 24, 2013 2:15 PM
But jk thinks:

I tried the digital one, it just seemed to lack warmth...

Best to you and yours, Brah!

Posted by: jk at December 24, 2013 2:22 PM

December 11, 2013

Book Title of the Day

insty131211.gif
Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 12:41 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Insty is on fire today:

"COMING NEXT, CLAUDE RAINS ORDERS AN INVESTIGATION INTO GAMBLING AT MONSIEUR RICK'S: Hilarious: Clueless Sebelius Demands Investigation Into Screwed-Up ObamaCare Website."

-- AND --

"AN ARGUMENT FOR THE OXFORD COMMA."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 11, 2013 3:59 PM
But jk thinks:

Ah, yes. I stole oxford comma for Facebook.

Posted by: jk at December 11, 2013 4:31 PM
But jk thinks:

... but missed Claude Rains. I saw that on WSJ though, sadly, several hours after his Instantness.

Posted by: jk at December 11, 2013 4:35 PM

November 5, 2013

You Know it is True

Posted by John Kranz at 7:09 PM | Comments (1)
But Terri thinks:

True and crazy making!

Posted by: Terri at November 6, 2013 8:30 AM

October 27, 2013

Live From New York!


Posted by John Kranz at 1:21 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2013

Cui Bono?

H8ers got H8.

In a gentle reminder that not all the crazies on Facebook are lefties, Dr. Sharon Schuetz @ Lady Patriots.com claims that the fainting prop which blog friend AndyN and I enjoyed so much was faked!

For some strange reason, Obama has to have props around him when he does one of his con-jobs in the Rose Garden, or wherever he chooses to receive his worshipers. This was no different, except that he had animated props this time. Although it was well staged there were enough holes in this little scene to drive the proverbial truck through.

I don't know that the success stories' dropping like flies really sells this product, but you can click through and view a Three Minute Proof.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:56 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

My brother peddled this claim too, in a family email thread. I chastised him vigorously for being a boy who cries wolf. Hey, freedom lovers, Leviathan just took a false step and is about to fall on the head of the president whose policies you so abhor. Stop creating distractions! Let everyone get his popcorn and a comfy chair and watch the spectacle unfold. The domino is already falling and you can stop looking for hand-holds to push against.

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2013 3:08 PM

September 24, 2013

Senator Cruz

Posted by John Kranz at 6:06 PM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Mr. Tanaka, the distinguished gentleman from Texas has not yielded the floor...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 24, 2013 6:26 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Takano. Dagnab spell-check...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 24, 2013 6:27 PM

August 26, 2013

All Hail Taranto!

It reminds us of this dude whose girlfriend dumped him: "I've met somebody else."

"Who?" he demanded.

"His name is Jerry, and he works for the NSA."

"Why?" he pleaded. "What's he got that I don't have?"

"He listens to me." -- BOTW

Posted by John Kranz at 5:09 PM | Comments (2)
But evden eve nakliyat thinks:

parmaklarınıza sağlık tebrikler

Posted by: evden eve nakliyat at August 26, 2013 8:01 PM
But jk thinks:

"Congratulations on your fingers health" according to Google.

Posted by: jk at August 26, 2013 8:26 PM

I Laughed

Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt newsletter:

john_kerry_save_the_day.gif

Posted by John Kranz at 10:49 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Mightn't be a bad T-Shirt either!

Posted by: jk at August 26, 2013 5:19 PM

August 14, 2013

The trouble with single-issue focus

If you're on Facebook and do not follow George Takei, you're missing something. He posts prolific amounts of amusing and interesting material. Sci-Fi nerd jokes, goofy memes, what have you. He's your new best friend who gets in early on the good email jokes.

You are also guaranteed a steady stream of gay rights information. Some complain, but it's his feed and he can do what he wants. Readers know I'm generally sympathetic.

But it is exclusive of nuance and any other issues. I get it George and wish you success. But I don't think a baker should be coerced into catering a wedding he doesn't want to. There are other considerations.

Today's is special:

putin_stache.jpg

If the worst thing you can say about Vladimir Putin is that is insufficiently respectful of Gay Rights, you're really not paying much attention.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:49 PM | Comments (2)
But AndyN thinks:

If the worst thing you can say about Vladimir Putin is that is insufficiently respectful of Gay Rights, you're really not paying much attention.

Along a similar vein, if you think the winter games in Sochi should be be boycotted but didn't say a peep about Beijing hosting the 2008 summer Olympics, I refuse to take your concern for human rights seriously.

Posted by: AndyN at August 15, 2013 3:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The real trouble with single-issue focus, when practiced by Democrats and the egalitarian socialist special interests who largely comprise them, is that the "focus" gets blurry sometimes. It is applied selectively.

Or maybe I just don't understand the pecking order of anti-discrimination ideology? I suppose that Sulu can't criticize a "clean, articulate black man" who campaigns on the idea that marriage is a relationship for "one man and one woman" without being a garden variety racist. And NOTHING could be worse than this, even gay bashing.

Posted by: johngalt at August 20, 2013 12:54 PM

August 7, 2013

Tweet of the Day

Context may help or may spoil it: you decide.
Posted by John Kranz at 10:04 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Help. Definitely. If this doesn't prove that irrational people will say ANYTHING in order to maintain an appearance of consistency in thought, nothing ever will.

Absolute laugh riot!

"before we went out to bars me and my buddies would meet up at Babies R Us to remind us of our mission"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Posted by: johngalt at August 7, 2013 2:37 PM

July 30, 2013

Lighten Things Up

A little laugh before I stop speaking to all ThreeSourcers ever again... I got a funny email from my biological brother. There's a picture meme, but I think the caption alone works:

"George Zimmerman is going to change his name to 'Ben Ghazi' so the Obama Administration and MSM will never talk about him again."

Posted by John Kranz at 6:14 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Much better than defense counsel's "knock knock" joke.

Posted by: johngalt at July 31, 2013 11:15 AM

July 26, 2013

Newsletter salutation of the day

Osvaldo Catastrophe, (which is "Dear Reader" after being wrung through the Carlos Danger name generator. Unfortunately this is not replicable. If you type it in again you'll get a different name, like "Felciano Trouble." It's almost as if there's no scientific basis for this thing whatsoever), -- Jonah Goldberg
Posted by John Kranz at 12:37 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

And yet, I was thoroughly impressed when KHOW Denver's Michael Brown ran Barack Obama live on the air and got, also, Omar Scourge.

Doesn't Jonah know that "Dear" isn't a name and "Reader" isn't a surname? What's he expect?

Posted by: johngalt at July 26, 2013 1:22 PM
But jk thinks:

The heuristics are obviously too sophisticated for a simple journalist.

Posted by: jk at July 26, 2013 1:35 PM

July 24, 2013

Funnier than Yoram Bauman

With great respect to the "Stand Up Economist," the competition (Peter Schiff) is pretty good:

Hat-tip: Thomas E. Woods

Posted by John Kranz at 12:56 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

A too-willing crowd, but still very funny.

THREESOURCES.COM condoms?

nascarretards.com?

Posted by: johngalt at July 24, 2013 3:24 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, he doesn't know the "tough room" like I do...

Posted by: jk at July 24, 2013 4:46 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Okay, okay.

"Go Boulder Libertarians! Woo hooo!"

Posted by: johngalt at July 25, 2013 6:23 PM

Who is Diego Menace?

Slate's "Carlos Danger" pseudonym generator: the Internet now has a purpose!

diegomenace.gif

Share to Facebook, heck yeah! I dig it. (Hat-tip Jim Geraghty)

Posted by John Kranz at 10:18 AM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

Awesome! Anthony WEINERforMAYOR has got to be a White House plant to distract from their shenanigans. How could anyone be so clueless? I couldn't stop laughing when he said, "Now that I'm running for mayor I've decided I won't do that anymore."

My Carlos Danger name doesn't roll off the tongue but I did look up Ayn Rand's pseudonym:

Raphael Badass
Posted by: johngalt at July 24, 2013 11:17 AM
But johngalt thinks:

And...

Karl Marx = Alfonso Threat
Chet Atkins = Antonio Dynamite
Richard Nixon = Jaime Evil
Vladamir Putin = Raphael Kill
Barack Obama = Omar Scourge

Posted by: johngalt at July 24, 2013 11:23 AM
But jk thinks:

Hahahahaha! Excellent.

Posted by: jk at July 24, 2013 11:56 AM
But Terri thinks:

Drudge wins for headline of the day:

ERECTION UPDATE: Pressure mounts on Weiner to pull out......

Posted by: Terri at July 24, 2013 12:27 PM
But jk thinks:

I am genuinely concerned that the hubhub around Rep. Wiener will distract -- not so much from the President, but -- from the far more dangerous Empire State Rehabilitation Candidate, Eliot Spitzer. Where Weiner is a doofus, Spitzer was a dangerous abuser of power as NYAG.

I was happy to see his tenure as Gov. cut short as his eyes were clearly on the Presidency and he has the friends and money for a real run. It's not that I am in any way above dick jokes in a mayoral race, but they are providing cover for Spitzer's rise which is not a laughing matter.

Posted by: jk at July 24, 2013 12:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I take comfort in the belief that Spitzer could never rise as fast or as far as the Big Apple's Weiner.

Posted by: johngalt at July 24, 2013 1:40 PM

May 29, 2013

Headline of the -- ever!

Taranto misclassifies this as "We Blame George W. Bush."

I will misclassify it as Headline of the Day:

DUI sex blamed for crash that ejected naked woman

I say misclassify, because the farther into the story you read the bettrer it gets. In fear it will be edited, I offer the 05/29/2013 08:33:54 AM PDT update in its entirety:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A New Mexico man faces multiple charges after police say he was having sex with a woman while driving drunk and crashed, ejecting the woman from the vehicle.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/111Kb8Y) 25-year-old Luis Briones was found with one shoe on and his shorts on inside-out Monday night after he wrecked his Ford Explorer in Albuquerque.

Police say Briones' female passenger was found naked outside the SUV after being ejected. She had deep cuts to her face and head.

Authorities allege Briones tried to drive away after the crash and leave his passenger behind, but a witness grabbed his keys from the ignition. He also allegedly tried to hide from responding officers behind a cactus.

Briones is charged with aggravated DWI, reckless driving and evading police.

No attorney was listed for him.


I went to school in Socorro, and that is an Albuqurque story!

Posted by John Kranz at 4:54 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Hid behind a cactus! Make it stop!!!

Posted by: jk at May 29, 2013 5:11 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

That is an Albuquerque story. Lived there for 4 years, and have so many drunk driver/police chase stories to tell from it.. but nothing this funny.

Posted by: T. Greer at May 29, 2013 8:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Accomplice to indecent exposure?
Leaving the scene of a quickie?
Lewd and laschivious collision?

Surely some of these are on the books in ABQ.

Posted by: johngalt at May 30, 2013 12:42 PM

May 22, 2013

Headline of the Day

Father who set up video to capture 'paranormal' activity accidentally films his girlfriend having sex with his teenage son instead -- Daily Mail
It's, like, she thought he'd believe anything...
Posted by John Kranz at 5:55 PM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2013

You're Welcome

Saw (and reposted) this on Facebook thanks to John Pizzarelli's Radio Deluxe. Jimmy Stewart was born 105 years ago today.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:23 PM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2013

Help out an Elite White Male!

Professor Mankiw's eldest son has an online survey for his science project -- and gets Dad to bleg for help.

It is kind of long but very interesting -- personal, sometimes almost random questions about what you like and value -- many will torture the Randians.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:42 PM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2013

I'd love to see this

Posted by John Kranz at 2:15 PM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2013

Some Guys C'n Tell a Story...

Hat-tip: Jonah Goldberg

Posted by John Kranz at 3:34 PM | Comments (0)

Get Elected First!

Jim Geraghty brings word of the husband of a Rhode Island lawmaker who just doesn't get it.

[T]he 55-year-old was a passenger in a parked car in Cranston when he was arrested. He was charged last month with stealing a credit card to rack up $720 in charges.

"Hey, hey, buddy, what do you think you're doing? Only an elected official gets to spend money she doesn't have like that!"

Posted by John Kranz at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2013

Ain't I a little stinker?

Change your profile picture to celebrate the RECORD S&P 500 closing high!!!

heart_sp500.jpg

Posted by John Kranz at 5:01 PM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

A breakup letter from an economist. It's the utility-maximizing thing to do.

I want you to know that this decision isnt just for me--it's for you, too. I've done the calculations. There are plenty of eligible bachelors out there who are probably able to more vigorously, consistently, and knowledgeably have sexual intercourse with you. While the thought of you being with someone else causes me a substantial negative utility that makes me feel as though I am going to vomit, I know that in the aggregate everyone is better off, and therefore it is the right decision for us to make.

There's no need to try to persuade me otherwise, Susan. We just can't let our feelings get in the way of the math.


Hat-tip: Mankiw

Posted by John Kranz at 3:27 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

And once again, "the dismal science" proves how richly deserved that moniker is. And yet, written by an economist with a sense of humor!

If I may humbly offer in counterpoint, as JG and I have recently discussed music lyrics, a little Trace Adkins:

(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing

I been thinkin' 'bout our love situation
All this attraction in the present tense
I've reached the only logical conclusion
Love ain't supposed to make sense

This ain't no thinkin` thing,
Right brain, left brain
It goes a little deeper than that
It's a chemical, physical, emotional devotion
Passion that we can't hold back
There's nothin` that we need to analyze
There ain't no rhyme or reason why
'Cause this ain't, this ain't no thinkin` thing

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 14, 2013 6:20 PM

February 13, 2013

All Hail Taranto!

Nice:

taranto130213.gif

Posted by John Kranz at 5:05 PM | Comments (0)

February 1, 2013

Country Song

I got the title!

McConnell on immigration, guns, bourbon and Ashley Judd

It's in G...

Posted by John Kranz at 8:43 AM | Comments (0)

January 3, 2013

Ell Oh Ell

Very much NSFW, very much funny:

NFL QBs On Facebook: Crappy New Year!

HT: Brother Keith on Facebook

Posted by John Kranz at 11:36 AM | Comments (1)
But dagny thinks:

I am reminded of a section from the Heinlein novel, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. The newly self-aware computer (Mike for those who haven't read it) is trying to understand humor. He prints out reams of jokes from his ginormous reference banks (no Kindles available) and the humans tell him which are funny and not funny. Turns out women and men think different things are funny. From this the women conclude the computer is a girl and start calling it Michelle.

Not sure if this applies in this case but I mostly don't think this is very funny, just crude. And I am actually a football fan so I get most of it. Call me a prude if necessary.

Posted by: dagny at January 4, 2013 6:43 PM

Ell Oh Ell

Very much NSFW, very much funny:

NFL QBs On Facebook: Crappy New Year!

HT: Brother Keith on Facebook

Posted by John Kranz at 11:36 AM | Comments (1)
But dagny thinks:

I am reminded of a section from the Heinlein novel, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. The newly self-aware computer (Mike for those who haven't read it) is trying to understand humor. He prints out reams of jokes from his ginormous reference banks (no Kindles available) and the humans tell him which are funny and not funny. Turns out women and men think different things are funny. From this the women conclude the computer is a girl and start calling it Michelle.

Not sure if this applies in this case but I mostly don't think this is very funny, just crude. And I am actually a football fan so I get most of it. Call me a prude if necessary.

Posted by: dagny at January 4, 2013 6:43 PM

December 24, 2012

Randian Stocking Stuffers

That is...if you can find their stocking... Link
Posted by John Kranz at 5:35 PM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2012

Quote of the Day

Lindsay Lohan has apparently bagged herself a gen-u-wyine boyband rockstar-ish boyfriend (how'd that happen?) whose name is Max George, of the British band The Wanted. On Friday night, she partied (what else? did you think they sat around and discussed Kierkegaard motifs in the fiscal cliff?) -- Kiri Blakeley, The Stir
Posted by John Kranz at 7:03 PM | Comments (0)

I Love June Carter, I do.

Powerful:

Two letters from Johnny Cash to his wife of 35 years.

Hat-tip: @JonBois

Posted by John Kranz at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)

December 7, 2012

Macro Follies

Oh, yeah:

Hat-tip: Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2012

ThreeSources Fashion News

Clearence sale on Austrian Economics T-Shirts at mises.org:


Posted by John Kranz at 1:05 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Harumph. "Dead white guys." Where are the ones of black, hispanic, female, or LGBT economists?

Posted by: johngalt at November 13, 2012 1:46 PM
But jk thinks:

Soooo busted! That's Rose Wilder Lane ("Discover Freedom") and one of hers is headed our way.

Posted by: jk at November 13, 2012 2:44 PM

November 8, 2012

Oh yeah!

I lifted this off of the Mises Facebook Page. I would get killed for sharing it there:


Posted by John Kranz at 7:16 PM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2012

Peyton Manning

Posted by John Kranz at 11:10 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Stop laughing! It's not funny! Call out the National Guard because the Broncos are destroying the __________!

Posted by: johngalt at October 30, 2012 12:42 PM

September 22, 2012

Got to have a Little Fun

Blog friend Perry is swamped with work but shares a couple funnies via email.

Did I say "a couple?" obamasith.jpg

Posted by John Kranz at 12:38 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Just don't call him Darth or Dark Lord Barack or you will be called "racist."

Posted by: johngalt at September 23, 2012 12:03 PM

September 5, 2012

Oy Vey!

Yiddish Curses for Rebulblican Jews. Keep hitting "Show Me Another Curse."

Or just enjoy this one:

Hat-tip: Peggy Noonan

Posted by John Kranz at 2:11 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2012

Tweet of the Day


Posted by John Kranz at 7:25 PM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2012

Tweet of the Day

I don't get the allusion, but I'm still laughing...


Posted by John Kranz at 2:44 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2012

Facebook Bleeding into ThreeSources

Can't help it, this is too awesome:

If you are on Facebook, you want to like George Takei; he has a direct conduit to the funny.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)

July 9, 2012

Merle Hazard

The Fiscal Cliff:

As always, my embed does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of Mister Hazard's musical arrangements or economic conclusions. But I always enjoy them Hat-tip: Mankiw.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:33 PM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2012

Bumper Sticker

From my biological brother via email:


Posted by John Kranz at 9:25 AM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2012

Public Service Announcement

Posted by John Kranz at 2:40 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Doesn't Godwin's Law state that this joke is not allowed to be funny?

Posted by: johngalt at April 27, 2012 3:47 PM

April 18, 2012

1000 Words

Lifted from Facebook, sorry I cannot provide attribution:

clinton_prostitutes.jpg

Posted by John Kranz at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)

April 3, 2012

Tweet of the Day

tweet120403.jpg

Posted by John Kranz at 10:55 AM | Comments (0)

April 2, 2012

DIsmal Science

A fellow fan of Professor Mankiw's blog writes and distributes shows for school plays and musicals. He has adpted "It's a Wonderful Life" to the Panic of '08 and you can listen to the tunes on the gomusicals.com website:

Potter (a female in our version) and Sam Wainwright reflect on the economy. Inspired by a Rogoff article [Mankiw] linked to: "Game We Play"

Asleep at his desk, George has a Schumpeterian dream: "Steve Jobs"

Violet reflects on opportunity costs: "Live for Today"

Posted by John Kranz at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2012

Rethinking a career in law enforcement.

Jim Treacher links to your music for the day.


Posted by John Kranz at 7:30 PM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2012

Quote of the Day III

A new record, but I could not resist:

If your wife catches you with the Playboy with the Meghan McCain interview, don't claim you were reading it for the articles.-- @IMAO_

Posted by John Kranz at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)

March 5, 2012

A Little Math Humor

Hat-tip: John Derbyshire Good thing this was "Math Corner" this month," I did not finish last month's math problem yet. (Careful, the link is to the solution, quit reading before the text turns red if you're in the mood.)

Posted by John Kranz at 7:10 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2012

Friday Funny

Onion Sports: New Sitcom To Feature Blocking Tight End Living With Pass-Catching Tight End

Posted by John Kranz at 5:35 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2012

It's Halftime.

Reason/Remy style.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:47 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

The Rush Limbaugh parody version is pretty good too, but it's only for subscribers. (No, I'm not.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 11, 2012 12:37 PM

February 9, 2012

Thousand Words of the Day

Hat-tip: @radlybalko

Posted by John Kranz at 5:35 PM | Comments (0)

February 1, 2012

Tweet of the Day

I love Mark Perry and will probably read the post. But you gotta have a little fun:


Posted by John Kranz at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2012

Friday Funnies

Thanks Reason:


Posted by John Kranz at 5:13 PM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2012

British "Stiff Upper Lip"

"We apologize to customers for causing them undue concern."

That is a British Airways spokesperson responding to an alarm and a "this plane is about to crash into the sea" recorded message that was mistakenly played twice at three am [insert bonus Sec. Hillary Clinton joke here...]

Sorry.

Hat-tip: @jamestaranto UPDATE: Now that's a pretty good riposte:


Posted by John Kranz at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)

January 2, 2012

Heh.

No, make that "Mondo Heh."

Posted by John Kranz at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

December 29, 2011

Targeted advertising

The banner ads are getting wicked scary good at conforming to my personal interests. I looked at an item on the Musicians Friend website last week and saw an ad for it on Instapundit four hours later.

But this is just eerie. I mean, how did they know I was buying an Aston-Martin?


Posted by John Kranz at 6:28 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Don't let Mr2 find out. He'll be jealous.

Posted by: johngalt at December 30, 2011 12:49 PM

December 26, 2011

All Hail Taranto!

He may be on vacation, but you can't stop a writer from Tweeting. James suggests "The dangers of refined carbohydrates http://t.co/XxTxO2nk"

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- Chile's Supreme Court has ordered a newspaper to pay $125,000 to 13 people who suffered burns while trying out a published recipe for churros, a popular Latin American snack of dough fried in hot oil.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:44 PM | Comments (0)

December 25, 2011

Gift from Terri!

She didn't really give it to us, but I know she'd want us to have it on Christmas:

xkcd.com

Posted by John Kranz at 12:10 PM | Comments (1)
But Terri thinks:

Definitely!

Posted by: Terri at December 25, 2011 11:29 PM

November 20, 2011

That Calls for a Carlsberg!

Hat-tip: my biological brother via email.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2011

We Are the 30%!!!!!!

I guess. This article claims 70% of women "still prefer to take husband's last name."

My serviceable, monosyllabic, Austrian surname was eschewed by my lovely bride specifically to preserve the individual identity discussed in the article. I had no strong opinions either way but have been surprised for 28 years now to see how strongly it affects some people.

The article Insty links is maddeningly a "lifestyle" article and contains no particulars on the study, questions, participants, or even exact percentages. It's long on human interest, of course.

I certainly agree that the "feminist agitation" reason has faded considerably and that it is now more popular among those who have established a career or brand. At the same time, I have come to value self-sovereignty, individual identity, and ownership of our persons more highly. And it has come to seem more natural. Yet, in the 80's it felt like the leading edge of a trend which has not materialized.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:46 AM | Comments (3)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Separate or same names doesn't bother The Refugee either way. It seems far preferable to the hyphen thing (not to insult all those with hyphenated names). Hyphenated names seem so impractical because they're so long. Besides, where does it end? Does the next generation simply add their significant-other's name? In a few generations we'll have someone named Sarah Jones-Smith-Johnson-Washington-Jackson. On the plus side, it would be a self-documenting biblical "begat" naming convetion.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 15, 2011 12:47 PM
But jk thinks:

My genealogy interest came later and there is no doubt that it introduces complications if the children adopt different surnames. And yet, that seems like a weak excuse to override strongly held beliefs.

Posted by: jk at November 15, 2011 2:22 PM
But dagny thinks:

On the other hand... It sure is easier with a herd of kids for all members of the nuclear family to have the same last name. I actually have a friend who retained her maiden name for professional reasons and then found it annoying in school and other kid related activities to have a different name from the kids.

My identity is not tied to a name.

Posted by: dagny at November 15, 2011 7:01 PM

November 8, 2011

Worst Book Title Ever

So says @jamestaranto


Posted by John Kranz at 1:04 PM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2011

Cool Site

The Burning House.

People post a photo of what they would grab were their house on fire.

I always like to say "nothing:" get everything that is alive out and hope for the best for the stuff. But the photos are unusually compelling.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:13 PM | Comments (1)
But Uth Video thinks:

Nice Site, Great Content Keep It Up the Good Work.

Posted by: Uth Video at November 6, 2011 7:33 PM

October 21, 2011

Friday Funny

Don't know fair attribution, but I got it here. Hat-tip: Jonah Goldberg

Posted by John Kranz at 2:07 PM | Comments (1)
But dagny thinks:

Ok I admit I am a geek AND a Star Wars fan but I think this is HILARIOUS!!

Additionally, I think the caption should be changed to say, "This is NOT the Hope and Change you were looking for."

Doesn't it seem like an awful lot of this country was subjected to a Jedi Mind Trick in Nov. 2008??

Posted by: dagny at October 22, 2011 3:16 PM

October 18, 2011

Tweet of the Day


Posted by John Kranz at 5:01 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2011

What the Internet was invented for

Put away the coffee or cover the keyboard -- there are awesome:

Mitt Romney, I will force Spiders and Badgers on the Enemy:

Hat-tip: Jonah Goldberg.

There are a bunch. President Obama's didn't do it for me, but Michelle Bachmann... Lawdy!

Posted by John Kranz at 6:52 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Damn, no Hermain Cain!

Campaign T-shirt spotted today:

"Here I am, rock you like a Herman Cain"

Posted by: johngalt at October 18, 2011 12:03 AM
But jk thinks:

Rick Perry, Rick Perry, Rick Perry!

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2011 1:11 PM

It's Not Faaaaair!

Heh. Hat-tip: Don Surber (Scroll down for "They put $300,000 in a bank while they protest bankers?")

Posted by John Kranz at 6:29 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2011

Headline of the Day

NM firefighter poses as cop, pulls over detective
Hat-tip: a cop friend on Facebook who asks "Why is it firemen always pose as police, but you never hear of a police officer posing as a fireman?"
Posted by John Kranz at 10:53 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Headline is paced just like joke from my big brother: an illegal alien, a Communist, and a Muslim walk into a bar. Bartender says "Waht'll you have, Mister President?"

Don't forget to tip your walrusses and barbenders...

Posted by: jk at October 12, 2011 11:08 AM
But johngalt thinks:

If a policeman posed as a fireman, how would you know? He'd sit around all day (and night) in a nice house with his compatriots and swap gourmet cooking duties while waiting for a phone that rarely rings. Cops get all the action.

Posted by: johngalt at October 12, 2011 3:11 PM

October 3, 2011

Monday Funnies

"We don't serve faster-than-light neutrinos in here" said the bartender.

A neutrino walks through the bar.

Hat-tip: my biological brother via email.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:44 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. Two more from the same genre:

Precocious daughter- "Knock knock."
Adoring father- "Who's there?"
PD- "Interrupting cow."
AF- "Interrupt..."
PD- "MOOO! "

And from my dad, who worked with parapalegics for a time:

"Why can't cerebral palsy's tell a good joke, timing."

Posted by: johngalt at October 3, 2011 3:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Or: "Okay, you have to ask me two questions. First is 'Aren't you Kranzimov, the great Uzbek comedian?' and the second is 'To what do you attribute your great success?'"

"Aren't you -- "

"Yes, timing!"

[My condolences to the Uzbek community. I tried to edit the joke for another racial group, but it just isn't funny.]

Posted by: jk at October 3, 2011 4:24 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

There once was a fellow named Dwight,
Whose speed was much faster than light.
He set out one day
In a relative way,
And returned on the previous night.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 3, 2011 5:07 PM

September 29, 2011

Dedicated to Blog Friend SugarChuck!

Greyhound Adoption Program TV Commercial

Posted by John Kranz at 2:07 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Segue: dagny and I have adopted a lab mix who wandered onto our farm last Friday with three pups in tow. Pups adopted out to other friends and family too.

How could anyone just abandon them to their own devices in the countryside? Sad.

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2011 3:44 PM
But jk thinks:

Well done, sir!

For a Republican, I have an unnatural affinity for Donkeys. The few I pass around here, I always go slow to look and get excited when I see one of "my" donkeys (it's a city folk concept, I do not pay for feed, though I would).

Followed a Taranto link last week about Donkey Rescue. It seems that the Texas Drought and fires have caused some owners to abandon the animals as the shots and physical exam required for a sale now exceed the price. Heartbreaking.

Posted by: jk at September 29, 2011 4:05 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The donkey situation is also an unintended consequence of the prohibition against slaughtering equines for food. Several years ago, the Humane Society of the United States and PETA successfully closed all equine slaughterhouses. As a result, many owners who no longer want or can't afford a horse will simply abandon it to the wild - where, of course, it starves or is killed by predators. This is a real problem in the Everglades.

As a result, the price of horses has dropped like a stone and in many cases you can't give 'em away. Mrs. Refugee gets countless offers for "free" horses (yeah, so that we can pick up the $200/month food bill, shoes, vet bills, etc. etc.). Rescue organizations are overflowing and unable to take more critters.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 29, 2011 5:23 PM
But jk thinks:

A commenter alluded to that and it seemed to make sense. Thanks for the rest of the story. Maybe PETA could outlaw droughts.

Posted by: jk at September 29, 2011 7:00 PM

September 22, 2011

Tweet of the Day

Yesterday, but I was onsite.


Posted by John Kranz at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

September 8, 2011

Monetary Policy

Tweet of the Day:


Posted by John Kranz at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)

September 5, 2011

Glad Insty Links to These Things

A good excuse for a few minutes of prurience -- "it was linked by a Law Professor!"

I try not to be judgmental. I try to let others live their own lives with the Hayekian idea of distributed knowledge and all. People disapprove of some things I do and I shouldn't be too quick to criticize lifestyle choices, and...

All of which is well and good, but I think this girl is, perhaps, something of a slut.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:35 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Whoa, talk about cheapening her currency.

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2011 12:16 PM
But jk thinks:

No kidding, man. She makes the Zimbabwe Dollar look stable.

Posted by: jk at September 6, 2011 11:14 AM

September 1, 2011

Headline of the Day

Brother jg nailed it yesterday, but I think this one will be tough to beat:

Girl Uses Gadget Blog To Make Fun Of Nerds

Posted by John Kranz at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2011

Tweets of da Day

The NRO lads are yukking it up in sub-140 char increments:

Jonah has a superb piece on Banned Books B.S.

"The Tea Party moves to ban books." You have to wade through a lot of throat clearing and irrelevant nonsense, until you get to the relevant nonsense.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:58 PM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2011

On the Other Hand

It does lead itself to some humor:


UPDATE:

EVERYBODY'S A COMEDIAN:

META:

UPDATE: Blog friend Sugarchuck shares a link: Iowahawk upgrades his funny tweet to a story.

"Usually these guys are armed with Mexican Strats and Squires, Epiphones, small caliber stuff like that," said Pedro Ochoa, 36, an eye witness to the sonic melee. "This time they were packing the heavy firepower."

The steady barrage of power chords and piercing solo attacks attracted the attention of nearby U.S. Border Patrol agents, who arrived at the scene just as Los Zetas broke into Led Zeppelin's 'Immigrant Song.' By the time the dust had cleared, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Oscar Jimenez was found in a catatonic state of headbanging. He was later flown to University of Arizona Hospitals, where his condition is listed as seriously rawked.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:20 PM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Going after all those guitar makers, while accordionists are allowed to run free in society! Who in government sets these priorities?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 26, 2011 7:11 PM
But jk thinks:

Q: You're driving quickly down a narrow street and a duck and a trombone player both step out. You can't stop, you have to choose which one to hit.

A: Hit the 'bone player; the duck may be on his way to a gig.

Posted by: jk at August 26, 2011 7:19 PM

The Real Story of the Dinosaurs

Mises.org reprises a Paul Cantor column from 1998:

It all began in the late Triassic Period, when the government decided to come to the aid of cold-blooded creatures everywhere. Federal authorities were deeply disturbed by the appearance of the first warm-blooded animals, who seemed to have an unfair advantage over their cold-blooded brethren -- they moved faster, were more alert, and generally seemed to get a lot more done, particularly during the winter months.

Concerned by the possibility that warm-blooded animals might end up displacing cold-blooded animals entirely, the government passed the Body Temperature Stabilization Act. Subsidizing cold-blooded animals at the expense of warm-blooded, this bill eliminated all federal taxes on the former and doubled them on the latter. The bill also tried to outlaw winter, but this move was declared unconstitutional by the courts.

Good stuff...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:27 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Brilliantly done. Favorite line:

In the end the policy of the federal government succeeded in producing a remarkable mirror image of itself in the Jurassic dinosaur: a large, sluggish, bloated, overgrown body animated by a brain the size of a pea.

Also worth noting is Cantor's book Literature and the Economics of Liberty: Spontaneous Order in Culture by an Austrian economist turned literature professor.

Posted by: johngalt at August 27, 2011 10:23 AM

August 19, 2011

All Hail Postrel!

Sixty-six and two-thirds percent of the people I recommended "The Future and its Enemies" to liked it very much. I once forced my Software Development team to read "The Substance of Style," and while they thought I was weird, I think they all liked it. And I have forwarded her "Why Buffy Kicks Ass" column to innumerable conversion prospects.

Ms. Postrel has a Bloomberg column today reviewing a book on corporate strategy: what it is and what it isn't.

This strategy not only told Stephanie what to do but what she had to stop doing. Selling more prepared meals meant taking space away from the munchies for her many student customers. To focus labor expenses on the peak times for her professional customers, she closed earlier, meaning no sales from late-night study breaks. "Strategy is scarcity's child and to have a strategy, rather than vague aspirations, is to choose one path and eschew others," writes [Richard P.] Rumelt.

Whole you will thing read to want.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:56 PM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2011

Somebody say Word of the Day?

Barely safe-for work: coprophagic. Use it in a paragraph, James Lileks:

No doubt the advertisers will say they don't care if you hate it, as long as you remember it, but that seems a bit short-sighted. Yes, I remember it, and will ever thus associate you with coprophagic child-molesters. Well, great! Mission accomplished.

I think Mr. Lileks is a little grouchy on this one. A one-off, or the product of prolonged exposure to talk-radio?

Posted by John Kranz at 2:44 PM | Comments (0)

August 8, 2011

The Last Word on the Downgrade

Someday, this will no longer amuse. I fear the time is near. But, today...

Posted by John Kranz at 5:16 PM | Comments (2)
But Terri thinks:

Today is not that day.

Posted by: Terri at August 8, 2011 5:44 PM
But jk thinks:

Certainly not.

Posted by: jk at August 8, 2011 5:48 PM

July 23, 2011

Revolutionary!

I wasn't going to have fun around here ever, but Brother jg started it:

UPDATE: Holy Cow! They have an entire series of these. Apollo 11 with MS Excel®

Posted by John Kranz at 10:43 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Sent with High Importance. Ha! Loved it!

Posted by: johngalt at July 24, 2011 2:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

RE: Update - But it WAS done on a slide rule!!!

Posted by: johngalt at July 24, 2011 2:47 PM

July 13, 2011

Obama at the Bat

From AngelFire, H-T: my biological brother, via email.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:29 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Whew. That was close!

Posted by: johngalt at July 13, 2011 7:40 PM

June 30, 2011

Sweatin' the Day Away at the Fender Factory

The blues soundtrack is nice but it gives the piece a Steinbeck/Tom Joad vibe. One expects to see Leo running the "company store" or something...

Pretty small beans complaint for some very cool footage. Oh to have one or two of those '59 strats...

Posted by John Kranz at 3:58 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2011

Ain't This the Truth

WSJ

Posted by John Kranz at 1:44 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2011

Media Bias at Time

Predictable, really. But Death Star PR takes them to account:

In your article of June 17, you listed Darth Vader as the third worst "fictional" father. The Galactic Empire takes these kinds of accusations very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that similar accusations from other planets normally end with a rebuttal of the giant laser from space variety. However, in his infinite wisdom, Darth Vader has ordered the PR Department to respond with the second most devastating weapon known to mankind: a sternly worded letter of complaint. So prepare yourself, TIME Magazine, but know in advance that your shields can't repel refutation of this magnitude.

Hat-tip (who else could it possibly be?) Jonathan V Last.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:28 PM | Comments (0)

Kids Say the Darndest Things...

One of the unintentionally inappropriate test responses from children:

(Some at the link are a little more inappropriate than this...)

Posted by John Kranz at 1:11 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2011

It's Gettin' Real

The finest hip hop parody evah:

Posted by John Kranz at 1:09 AM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2011

Quote of the Day

I'm thankfully many years sweetly removed from this torture, but I think I'd take my dating advice from Dr. Helen:

If any male reader out there has gotten a date by walking up to a woman and saying You look very elegant and sophisticated (#18), while sporting hand lotion, a manicure, and a non-interrupting style while she talks (#3), let us know. Perhaps Im missing something here.

Hat-tip: The Instahusband

Posted by John Kranz at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2011

Internet Segue Fever!

Debbie likes cats, a great deal as it happens:

Answer her ad, marry that delightful doll, and enjoy the tax deductions:

When Jan Van Dusen appeared before a U.S. Tax Court judge and a team of Internal Revenue Service lawyers more than a year ago, there was more at stake than her tax deduction for taking care of 70 stray cats.
[...]
The Tax Court allowed her to take a charitable deduction for expenses she incurred while taking care of the cats in her home for an IRS-approved charity, Fix Our Ferals. Among the $12,068 in expenses she deducted: food, veterinarian bills, litter, a portion of utility bills, and other items such as paper towels and garbage bags.

The decision, in Van Dusen v. Commissioner, paves the way for volunteers of animal-rescue groups like the ASPCA and Humane Society of the U.S. to deduct unreimbursed expenses that further the groups' missions, such as fostering stray animals.


I'm workin' for you.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:05 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Wow. Serious or fake?

Posted by: johngalt at June 14, 2011 2:44 PM
But jk thinks:

Oh, I think when the Wall Street Journal reports on tax policy, they're usually pretty serious.

Posted by: jk at June 14, 2011 2:45 PM

June 10, 2011

Heh.

Heh.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:44 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Always wanted to try that. Thanks for the indulgence.

Posted by: jk at June 10, 2011 4:52 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Anything for a friend.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at June 10, 2011 6:02 PM

June 2, 2011

I Was Told There Would be No Math...

Be honest and don't look at the movie list below till you have done the math!

Try this test and find out what movie is your favorite. This amazing math quiz can likely predict which of 18 movies you would enjoy the most. it really works!

Movie Test:

Pick a number from 1-9.

Multiply by 3.

Add 3.

Multiply by 3 again.

Now add the two digits of your answer together to find your predicted favorite movie in the list of 18 movies below.

Movie List:

1. Gone With The Wind

2. E.T.

3. Blazing Saddles

4. Star Wars

5. Forrest Gump

6. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

7. Jaws

8. Grease

9. The Obama farewell speech of 2012

10. Casablanca

11. Jurassic Park

12. Shrek

Hat-tip: My friend, Tony, via email. I'll do a proof on demand...

Posted by John Kranz at 4:45 PM | Comments (2)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

It's like you're the Amazing Kreskin or something!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at June 2, 2011 5:08 PM
But jk thinks:

I know! Well, "Jaws" is a great film...

Posted by: jk at June 2, 2011 5:23 PM

June 1, 2011

Smells Like Free Speech!

Ku Klux Klan protests Westboro Baptist Church

If we can only get Larry Flynt in there somehow, I think we'd have a new reality TV series.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 10:29 AM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"... And He called them to him and said to them in parables, 'How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end...'" (Mark 3:23-26, ESV)

"... Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!" (Dr. Peter Venkman)

Putting them on reality TV is an interesting notion; in my mind, I'm thinking something along the lines of "Thunderdome" or "Celebrity Death Match." I went a different direction when I read the article, though -- I visualize the scene in Blazing Saddles, the long pan shot of Hedley Lamarr's recruitment line, and then I insert the WBCers right next to the Klansmen. Hilarity ensues.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at June 1, 2011 12:07 PM
But jk thinks:

"Where's the white men at???"

Posted by: jk at June 1, 2011 12:20 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Sounds like the Angel of Death protesting Lucifer.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at June 1, 2011 1:42 PM

May 27, 2011

Tweet of the Day

@JonahNRO


Posted by John Kranz at 5:22 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2011

Rapture

Unoriginal, but I don't care:

Posted by John Kranz at 12:01 AM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2011

Jon Stewart Actually Funny

Not quite enough to embed, mind you, but I'll link to Prof. Mankiw's. Stewart takes some good whacks at Monsieur DSK.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:59 PM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2011

The Funniest Thing Ever on the Internet

The Shakespearian Big Lebowski is close, but this might be it. The Death of Obi-Wan Kenobi. As Jonathan Last says "Everything about [the post] is letter-perfect--the tone, the length, the funny. It's so dead on that it works as both Start Wars parody and NYT parody."

Obi-Wan Kenobi 's demise is a defining moment in the stormtrooper-led fight against terrorism, a symbolic stroke affirming the relentlessness of the pursuit of those who turned against the Empire at the end of the Clone Wars. What remains to be seen, however, is whether it galvanizes Kenobi's followers by turning him into a martyr or serves as a turning of the page in the war against the Rebel Alliance and gives further impetus to Emperor Palpatine to step up Stormtrooper recruitment.

In an earlier statement issued to the press, Kenobi boasted that striking him down could make him "more powerful than you could possibly imagine."

How much his death will affect the rebel alliance itself remains unclear. For years, as they failed to find him, Imperial leaders have said that he was more symbolically important than operationally significant because he was on the run and hindered in any meaningful leadership role. Yet he remained the most potent face of terrorism in the Empire, and some of those who played down his role in recent years nonetheless celebrated his death.


The comments, the other stories, the SPAM...Brilliant!

Posted by John Kranz at 6:45 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

So America is now cast in parody as the evil Empire.

I guess it's finally time to haul out that Brown Coat.

Posted by: johngalt at May 11, 2011 9:58 PM

May 8, 2011

Five Wasted Drummers, Conversely...

Coolness:

Hat-tip: JazzMando.com

Posted by John Kranz at 11:19 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

A mechanical version of an LM 565! (Phase-locked loop.)

Cool!

Posted by: johngalt at May 8, 2011 2:12 PM

May 5, 2011

Not That Silent...

We've all seen these eAds:

e_ads.gif

I'm not sure snoring is a silent killer. I think he might have confused it with "Ninjas"

Posted by John Kranz at 4:25 PM | Comments (0)

May 2, 2011

Justified II

Hat-tip: PJ Tattler

Posted by John Kranz at 4:18 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

As far as I can tell, this is Obama and Clinton, right? It seems so because that looks like Bush who appears next. A bit crude, but the gist seems right.

Posted by: johngalt at May 3, 2011 11:47 AM
But jk thinks:

Could be -- I thought that was the world's worst VP Biden animation.

The joy of this was treating the body "according to Islamic tradition." (~0:50)

Posted by: jk at May 3, 2011 11:54 AM

April 25, 2011

He's a Lumberjack and He's Okay...

Y'all may know my Cousin Syd from his superb coffeehouse performances. He sends a different kind of video today, to celebrate the completion of a small project he's been working on for a couple of months.


I hope everyone affected will forgive my nonstop chainsaw noise since the weekend of Feb 23rd. Cleaning up has been my primary recreation since that day. To make the chore interesting, I set up my camera to snap a picture every minute as I chopped up the 150(?) year-old Elm that fell in our backyard. The below video lets you watch me cut up a 90′ Rock Elm in about 2 minutes from the comfort of your arm-chair. It is best viewed by clicking on the 4-arrows at the bottom right to make it full size. Be sure and watch for guest appearances from friends and neighbors. A huge thanks to everyone who offered to help! I needed the exercise and was having fun with the video.

Speaking for myself, I love honest toil and could watch it all day!

Posted by John Kranz at 10:18 AM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

From Mary Katherine Ham:

Hat-tip: Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 12:25 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2011

Quote of the Day

The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine.-- Abraham Lincoln
Posted by John Kranz at 7:52 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2011

National Geographic

Somebody can spin this into a philosophical discussion if he or she wants. Or the ThreeSources animal lovers can just enjoy.

www.uzood.com/video/44291/The-Orangutan-and-the-Hound

Hat-tip: My biological brother via email.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:37 AM | Comments (5)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

ThreeSources contribution to a feel-good Monday.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at April 18, 2011 11:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Social animals socializing! I doubt you'd see this with anti-social animals, like bears or engineers.

Posted by: johngalt at April 18, 2011 2:55 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Bears or engineers - what's the difference?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at April 18, 2011 5:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ummmmm, some bears are cute and cuddly enough (from a distance) to be chosen as the mascot of something?? Sports teams, children's toys, (...) enviro-nazi groups?

Posted by: johngalt at April 18, 2011 7:45 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Ah, good point, but engineers can be mascots, too.

Only an engineering school would have an engineer as a mascot. How lame. Maybe they should add marketing as a degree.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at April 19, 2011 11:49 AM

April 11, 2011

Neil LeVang

Even if I had known about YouTube when I was a kid. And e-mail. And "sending a link." I don't think I would have ever expected my friend Sugarchuck's sending me a YouTube link to the Lawrence Welk show.

But he's right.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:44 AM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2011

Supersize Heh.

Mallard_Fillmore110322.gif
© Chron Comics.

Hat-tip: Blog Brother BR.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:31 PM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2011

Nice, Polite, American Girl, like her Mama Raised...

Posted by John Kranz at 5:34 PM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jethro!

One of America's greatest mandolin players, Kenneth "Jethro" Burns, is saluted on the anniversary of his birth in 1920. "The thinking man's hillbilly" even appears in a Kellogg's Ad celerating productivity and division of labor!

Jethro with Chet Akins

Posted by John Kranz at 3:48 PM | Comments (2)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Almost as good as the Virtual Coffee House... almost!

BTW, when you refer to a "mandloin player" I hope it has nothing to do with San Francisco. (snicker)

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at March 10, 2011 4:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Typing is my gift! ("mandloin" corrected in spite of comedic value...)

Posted by: jk at March 10, 2011 4:20 PM

January 21, 2011

That's "Duh, Esquire!"

duh.jpg

Hat-tip: JustStrings.com

UPDATE: I got a case for him (hat-tip: Taranto):

[Joselph] Moron is described by police as a 5-foot, 9-inch white man, weighing about 205 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. They say he's known to frequent the area of Buckley Road and Iliff Avenue in Aurora.

If anyone has seen Moron, they're asked to call Aurora Police at 303-627-3152.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2011

Should Have Waited for Double Dog Dare...

Ed Driscoll points out that "already, people are forgetting the important advice they learned from A Christmas Story."

The Woodward Fire Department was called around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday after a teacher called to report that an 8-year-old boy's tongue was stuck on a pole.

Officials said when fire crews arrived, they saw the boy standing on his tiptoes, trying to wriggle his frozen tongue free from a stop sign pole across the street from Woodward Middle School.

Paramedics were able to help the boy by pouring water on his tongue. Once free, the boy told officials he got stuck after his brother dared him to lick the pole.


I must confess, I am starting to enjoy The PJ Tatler.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:37 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

In other breaking news, just down the street, another kid forgot the other important advice from that movie, and narrowly avoided shooting his eye out.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 13, 2011 8:24 PM

November 30, 2010

Socialist Hell

From my biological brother, via email:

George dies and goes to hell. He notices one sign that says "Socialist Hell," and another that says "Capitalist Hell." There's a long line waiting for socialist hell, but no one waiting to get into capitalist hell. George asks the guard, "What do they do to you in socialist hell?"

They boil you in oil, whip you, and then put you on the rack," replies the guard.

"And, what do they do to you in capitalist hell?", George asks.

"Same thing," says the guard."

"So then," asks George, "why is everybody in line for socialist hell?"

"Because in socialist hell," the guard explains, "they're always out of oil, whips and racks."

Posted by John Kranz at 10:20 AM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2010

ThreeSources Dance Segment

A Facebook friend says "Absolutely incredible not only what the human mind can conceive, but what the human body can achieve."

Posted by John Kranz at 11:27 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Impressive. Truly, genuinely praiseworthy. I'll even forego any quip about state sponsorship. If there is such a thing as individual pride in a collectivist state, this is an example of it.

(Any truth to the rumor that Kim Jong Il has already ordered the kidnapping of the pair?)

Posted by: johngalt at November 16, 2010 3:38 PM

October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Now That's Scary!

obama_pumpkin.jpg

Seriously, I think it is major cool. The artist is Ray Villafane (Audio at the link)

Posted by John Kranz at 12:39 AM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Unfortunately, the flag is displayed backwards.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 1, 2010 3:56 PM

October 7, 2010

Old Testament Style Justice

Bedbugs at the IRS:

Get some locusts swarming at the FDA and I'm in!

Posted by John Kranz at 10:13 AM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Begs the question: why are there beds at the IRS? Naps for the employees? Actually, that would probably be preferable to what they actually do while working.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 8, 2010 3:33 PM

October 6, 2010

If He's Lost Cesar Milan...

...then he's lost Canine America!

The Dog Whisperer is not impressed with POTUS's leadership skills.

Milan recalled pictures of President Barack Obama on Bo's first day at the White House. (See: Bo's first day at the White House)

"Day one was not a good scene," said Milan. "The dog always in front of the president of the United States."


Not a partisan, Milan says President Bush did not do any better with Barney.

Hat-tip: my lovely bride, via email.

Posted by John Kranz at 9:49 AM | Comments (0)

October 3, 2010

Quote of the Day

Doug Ross publishes "15 Pictures You Won't See" of the OneNation Rally: the SEIU setup, pro-Socialism signs and the devastating wake of trash on the National Mall as they left (a jobs program of sorts, he points out).

It's times like this that I miss J. Edgar Hoover.

I can't say I agree, but I laughed.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:21 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

SOCIALISM - Ideas that don't work for people who don't either

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2010 3:56 PM

September 21, 2010

Daily Show Union Bashing

Those right wing fanatics at The Daily Show are at it again:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Working Stiffed
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party
Posted by John Kranz at 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

August 6, 2010

Friday Goat Blogging

Blog friend Terri refuses to interrupt her vacation to bring us Friday Calf blogging. I felt I had to step into the breach.

A friend of a relative participates in a community farm, and mama goat (pardon me if get too technical) could not care for these kids, so he brought them home. I understand they walk on leashes through his suburban neighborhood and cause quite a stir. I can only imagine.


Posted by John Kranz at 4:56 PM | Comments (3)
But Terri thinks:

Too, too cute! Thanks for sharing and taking up the mantle. You might want to make it permanent. After getting too attached to newborn calf the farm has given up ranching for good.
All the miniature herefords have been sold including little Athena who was born in June.

Posted by: Terri at August 6, 2010 5:30 PM
But jk thinks:

I've never met these folks or their goatsies. Sis sent the link and I have no permission (other than the fact that they did put this on YouTube...)

But if they wish to provide content, I'd be delighted to make it a regular feature.

Posted by: jk at August 7, 2010 12:48 PM
But jk thinks:

@Terri: I'm guessing you're in the Spanish Riviera in a $2500/night room with the FLOTUS entourage. Say hello to Michelle for us!

Posted by: jk at August 7, 2010 1:09 PM

July 26, 2010

Jane Austen's Fight Club

What wonder that we are privileged to live in the age of YouTube:

Posted by John Kranz at 3:36 PM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2010

Headline of the Day

I fought the urge to link for well over a minute. But a) I think that is "Our Mrs. Reynolds" pictured in the black dress, and b) as I closed the window, I saw the headline for this Sydney Morning Herald article on the trend toward larger bust sizes in young women.

Boom and Bust

I link. It don't say nowhere that you have to click.

Hat-tip: Instapundit, what a perv. I can't believe he links to stuff like this...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:21 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

IMBD confirms that this is our Saffron:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0376716/

I think I can also confirm this means you noticed her face...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 23, 2010 2:14 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Interestingly, there is a close correlation between expanding bust sizes and global warming. One might say that's why a boob like Al Gore got involved... or why the science is such a bust... or why it's become a weighty issues... or it has such broad appeal...

Hmmm, must be Friday.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 23, 2010 2:14 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Yes, br, but you have to take into account the offsetting effect that results from inflation like this.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 23, 2010 2:22 PM

July 20, 2010

Merle Hazzard Explains the Greek Sovereign Debt Crisis

Hat-tip: Mankiw

Posted by John Kranz at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2010

Little Weekend Fun

Hat-tip: Instapundit. This is badly needed in Boulder County, but I don't think most are ready to scrape yet.

BTW: This is really available.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:22 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Anecdotally, I don't see nearly as many O stickers as I did before the Stimulus bill. (And I commute to Boulder daily.) ((Yes, in a car. By myself. With the A/C running.))

Posted by: johngalt at July 18, 2010 11:10 AM

July 14, 2010

No limit on these?

Man, I love Amazon! Professor Reynolds links to Deals at the Amazon Outlet Store, and baby I'm there.

And yet:

outlet_sale.JPG

Posted by John Kranz at 7:34 PM | Comments (0)

July 8, 2010

Speaking of Professor Ferguson...

The man who can sell Rep Paul Ryan's economics to Babs must be an interesting man. Thankfully, the Internet Segue Machine is running at top speed this week.

Notorious gamer, superjournalist and my Buffy-sire, Jonathan V Last, says he'd "give just about anything to sit across the board from Niall Ferguson"

Prof. Ferguson, author of "The War of the World," says that he spent a lot of time playing World War II games over the years. But he often found these games lacking.

"What drove me crazy was the way economic resources were so arbitrarily allocated to countries," he explains. "Rather in the same way that Monopoly is economically unrealistic (there ought to be a central bank with the power to vary short-term interest rates) all these early strategy games would greatly exaggerate the resources of countries like Japan and Italy, and underestimate the vast wealth of the U.S. so one had a completely false impression of the odds against the Axis."

So Mr. Ferguson worked with the developers at Muzzy Lane to realistically map material resources and economic frameworks. As such, Making History II may be the apogee of a breed which has been quietly beloved of boys and men for half a century: the war-strategy game. While computers have added a level of mathematical sophistication to the genre, the older, hands-on war-strategy games retain an elegant charm.


Depressing, but fantastic. So exciting. Wonderful, Mind-blowing.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:27 PM | Comments (2)
But T. Greer thinks:

The reason Axis & Allies and other such games have such lasting resonance is that they teach a subject which is no longer fashionable: the mechanics of military history. Playing as Japan in Axis & Allies, for instance, you see that, as a tactical matter, you must attack Hawaii as soon as possible. Play as Russia and you can conduct What-If? experiments with variations on Stalin's strategic retreat.


The author lies. The last time I played that game I ignored Hawaii completely and invaded India. By the time I had won I was earning more than Russia and America combined!

Incidentally, (and before I had read this article) I picked up Mr. Ferguson's War of the World at Barnes and Nobles yesterday. Only 40 pages in (out of 640!), but it is a solid read so far.

Posted by: T. Greer at July 11, 2010 9:33 PM
But jk thinks:

My brothers were big on all the Avalon Hill games. I confess I never played any. I was the guy in the corner with the long hair singing "Give Peace a Chance" while you were occupying the subcontinent.

Posted by: jk at July 12, 2010 8:23 PM

June 28, 2010

Monetary Policy Explained

By Merle Hazzard:

Hat-tip: Professor Mankiw

Posted by John Kranz at 12:45 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

I'll object to "We pay for Wall Street's sin." There's some truth in it but what gets remembered is "greedy capitalists" did this to us. It's analogous to the Robin Hood example.

Posted by: johngalt at June 28, 2010 3:08 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

jk and jg: at the risk of dipping again into country music, I'll add John Rich (he of "Big and Rich") and his song "Shutting Detroit Down." The takeaway from hit song is that the poor, hardworking, honest rank-and-file workers were the innocent victims of the greedy CEOs and other executives. No share of the blame is apportioned to greedy unions, competition, a crappy business model, failure to build what the public was buying, or line workers making $58.50 an hour to bolt the left rear seatbelt to the frame and passing that cost onto the consumer.

I mean it down to my country core when I say "shut up and sing, boy."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at June 28, 2010 3:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I generally like John Rich ... quite a bit even, which is surprising since the first song of his I ever heard was 'Wild West Show' which I took as criticism of the Iraq war.

Posted by: johngalt at June 28, 2010 3:51 PM
But jk thinks:

This is not Hazzard's best. I wince at a line or two, but even South Park isn't perfect. One gets a laugh when one can. (Especially a lonely old guy who stays up late commenting twice on his own soccer posts!)

But Hazzard has something nobody else can claim: a duet with Art Laffer!

Posted by: jk at June 28, 2010 4:44 PM

June 25, 2010

A Day in my Life

Really, it's just like this:

Hat-tip: qahatesyou.com/

Posted by John Kranz at 2:36 PM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2010

Very Cool Graphic

Heights amd depths. And an interesting perspectoive of the Horizon Deepwater well.

Hat-tip: Terri

Posted by John Kranz at 6:10 PM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Here's another perspective: the two relief wells being drilled must connect with the main well, which is about one foot in diameter, 18,000 feet below the surface. Precision drilling, that.

This information comes from an excellent special about the efforts to cap the well on Discovery channel last night (if it's on Discovery, it must be true). The show actually did a great job of showing the Herculean efforts going on by BP to cap the well. It did not make light of the ecological catastrophe in the making, but it did not show BP as the bumbling, don't-give-a-damn-I-live-3000-miles-away fools that the administration has tried to paint. These are very bright, dedicated engineers trying to solve an unbelievably difficult problem. Their mitigation projects, which would normally take many months to develop, are being compressed into weeks with unimaginable logistics. There were plenty of mistakes and poor contingency planning, but these people are working very hard to get the oil stopped.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at June 11, 2010 11:41 AM

May 26, 2010

Got it? Correct.

Hat-tip: Professor Mankiw

Posted by John Kranz at 2:18 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2010

Employment News

Obama To Create 17 New Jobs By Resigning And Finally Opening That Restaurant

Sadly, yes, The Onion

Posted by John Kranz at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2010

Not a Jazz Guy Today

The Rolling Stones' new label releases a deluxe, remastered "Exile on Main Street" with ten bonus tracks.

Break out the heroin!

Hat-tip: @baseballcrank: Wow, the remastered Exile on Main Street sounds fantastic. http://is.gd/ceZ5J really fixed a lot of the original's murky audio.

UPDATE: Mercy! Being a snob is fun and all, but I have rejected 80% of the music that fueled my youth (and most of my music career). But, damn, "Exiles" is a fine record. The remastering really puts a little air around it. And several of the extra tracks and alternate takes are very strong. I'm on my third run through and give it five stars! Warning, the iTunes package is $20, but if you had a passing taste for Exiles I think you'll be happy with it. Im fifteen again.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:50 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

iTune? Where can I buy the LP?!

Posted by: johngalt at May 19, 2010 2:59 PM
But jk thinks:

A sagacious man once told me "click through..."

There's a standard remastered 18-track CD, a double-vinyl edition and two deluxe issues-a double-CD edition set to retail for around $17-$20 and a super deluxe boxed set containing two CDs, a DVD, two vinyl discs and a book, which will retail for $125-$150. In the United Kingdom, iTunes will release a digital version of the deluxe "Exile" package, featuring exclusive video content.

An "audiophile's release" has to be available on vinyl these days. Persnally, I did my time with wax and ain't goin' back..

Posted by: jk at May 19, 2010 3:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Doh! And here I thought they didn't make LP's anymore...

You got me!

Posted by: johngalt at May 20, 2010 10:58 AM

May 7, 2010

Moo!

Terri's Friday Calf Blog is pretty good today...

Posted by John Kranz at 3:47 PM | Comments (0)

May 4, 2010

Links I Didn't Click

AT CAR LUST, its Minivan Madness!

D'oh! I just did! To make the link work! Dr. Heisenberg, call your office!

Posted by John Kranz at 3:53 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Ha! "I drove a minivan before minivans were cool!"

Well, maybe they're not yet cool. But they are emminently practical.

Mine looks just like the first photo at the link. I gave $1800 for it. It has all-wheel drive and I've fitted it with Yokohama Geolandar SUV tires. It's perfect around the farm. I call it my "Sport Utility Van." Do people look at me and think "loser?" Probably. But I think they are losers for investing thirty to forty grand of borrowed money in a car they burst a blood vessel in when junior drops his ice cream cone. Besides, if I can stand the pop-culture derision of being a Republican I can easily handle driving a minivan.

Posted by: johngalt at May 5, 2010 2:54 PM
But jk thinks:

That minivan drove us to defend our nation's liberty at the Denver Tea Party! I'm a huge fan of suitable transportation. I am just not going to go to "Car Lust" and drool over pictures.

Now. maybe a collection of toasters...

Posted by: jk at May 5, 2010 3:58 PM

April 23, 2010

So There!

Mondo heh. Brother TG sends a link to a funny response to my friends collectivist Facebook paean:

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock, powered by energy generated solely by Southern California Edison and manufactured by the Sony Corporation.

I then took a shower in my house constructed by Centex Homes, sold to me by a Century 21 real estate agent, and mortgaged by Citibank.

After that, I turned on my Panasonic television which I purchased with a Washington Mutual credit card to a local NBC Corporation affiliate to see what their team of hired meteorologists forecasted the weather to be using their weather radar system.

While watching this, I ate my breakfast of eggs and bacon, both produced by a local farm and sold to me by my local grocery store, and took my prescribed medication manufactured by Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Astra-Zeneca, and Novartis.

When my Motorola-manufactured Cable Set Top Box showed the appropriate time, I got into my Toyota-manufactured Prius vehicle and set out to my graphic design workplace and stopped to purchase some gasoline refined by the Royal Dutch Shell company, using my debit card issued to me by Bank of the West. On the way to my workplace, I dropped off a package at the local UPS store for delivery, and dropped my children off at a local private school.

Then, after spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the company-mandated standards enforced at my workplace, I drive back to my house which had not burned down in my absence because of the high manufacturing quality of the products inside and of the company which built my house, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the alarm services provided by Brinks Home Security. I was able to rest easy knowing that even had this happened, I would have an Allstate insurance policy which would cover any damage to my home and anything that was stolen.

I then logged onto the internet, financed and ran in part by various different private corporations such as Google, Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon, and posted on the Huffington Post and Daily Kos about how capitalism is the source of all evil in this country.


Posted by John Kranz at 11:39 AM | Comments (4)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Huzzah!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at April 23, 2010 12:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"...capitalism and corporations are the source of all evil in this country."

I'll just add: In addition to manufactured products being high quality they are also certified and listed by Underwriters Laboratory or Intertek ETL/Semko to comply with voluntary industry safety standards. (Did everyone notice that little word ... voluntary?

Posted by: johngalt at April 23, 2010 1:38 PM
But jk thinks:

Nerve hit! UL is a fantastic model for private regulation. JG, Silence and I have all crossed swords with this outfit and can attest to their being as capricious, bull-headed, and bureaucratic as any gub'mint outfit.

And yet, they are voluntary and actually have some competition from their Canadian and European counterparts.

It's the perfect model for a private FDA and USDA. Why not SEC, FTC and I'm sure more if you think harder.

Posted by: jk at April 23, 2010 5:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well said. And the mention I made of Intertek (the firm) and ETL (their mark) was because they are a US competitor to UL. We initially used UL and then switched to ETL for some products because the former's service was, um, "unwieldly." Years later we noticed that UL made significant improvements and streamlining of their processes.

I think there's a name for this private sector phenomenon... Jeez, it was on the tip of my tongue.

Posted by: johngalt at April 24, 2010 12:17 PM

April 22, 2010

Headline of the Day II

I am going to have to overrule myself. This headline is too perfect:

First They Came for Hitler...

downfall.jpg

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 7:28 PM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2010

Woooooooah!

Hat-tip: @ariarmstrong

Posted by John Kranz at 1:42 PM | Comments (0)

April 6, 2010

365 Days of Coffee

Cool Beans.

365 coffee pix.

Hat-tip: @DevilDogBrew

Posted by John Kranz at 2:33 PM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2010

Actually Funny!

One of my newfound Facebook Communist friends posts a picture that is actually humorous.

package_size.jpg

Posted by John Kranz at 11:07 AM | Comments (2)
But AlexC thinks:

Where is the "like" button on this blog?

Posted by: AlexC at March 26, 2010 12:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well into our sixth year and we're only now getting that question. Ouch!

Posted by: johngalt at March 26, 2010 2:33 PM

March 10, 2010

Unintended Consequences

Enough of that philosophy stuff. My brother emails this picture. suggesting "Apparently, the sun was not considered when designing this wall "

shadow.jpg

Where is this work of art located? St. Peter's Basilica of course. (This is an email joke, I have no proof, but, I mean, c'mon...)

Posted by John Kranz at 10:43 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Is your brother's name Beavis, or Butthead?

KIDDING!!!

Posted by: johngalt at March 10, 2010 2:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Huhgh, hughnh, hughn...

Posted by: jk at March 10, 2010 3:43 PM

February 24, 2010

Spinal Tap on Jazz

Heh. To demonstrate: here's jk playing a Sammy Cahn/Jimmie Van Husen classic too soft and all wrong at the virtual coffeehouse.

UPDATE: Double Heh. A good friend of this blog says the clip put him in mind of this month's Rolling Stone cover featuring Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. "Our towering heroes of days gone by look like little old lesbians."

Posted by John Kranz at 7:19 PM | Comments (0)

February 9, 2010

Time for new glasses

Prof Reynolds links to an article about "sexual anorexia."

I read it quickly and expected an explanation of "sexual dyslexia." With my imagination running away as the page loaded. I perhaps suffer from one of the afflictions.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:49 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Dr. Laura, please call your office.

Posted by: johngalt at February 9, 2010 3:00 PM

January 26, 2010

Mondo Heh

Hat-tip: Blog friend tg

Posted by John Kranz at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2010

Mooooooooooo!

The Friday calf blogging has been a little light at blog friend Terri's I Think ^ (Link)...

But it is back with a vengance today as we trace Kenny from birth to Stock Show.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:29 PM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2010

Heh

A good friend of this blog posts this on Facebook:

Autocomplete Me
Posted by John Kranz at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

January 5, 2010

And Tiger Woods is Losing Endorsement Contracts?

Hitler and Lara Croft sell fireworks in Delhi.

HT: @kmanguward (Katherine Mangu-Ward)

Posted by John Kranz at 6:22 PM | Comments (9)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee has mixed emotions about Ritter's announcement. He is a weak candidate who had alienated all major constituencies that helped elect him and was very defeatable. If Hickenlooper desides to run, he will be very tough to beat (although I can think of worse potential governors if you've gotta pick a Dem).

Getting rid of Dodd is an unalloyed good. Even if replaced by a Democrat (and it looks like the Republicans may have some competitive candidates) it is still like trading a rook for a pawn in chess. The numbers may be the same, but the power is significantly diminished. Fannie and Freddie will no longer have a patron saint in the Senate, and Barney alone may not be enough to keep the protection racket going. North Dakota is definitely a win-able state for the GOP.

Funny, about a year ago Democrats were celebrating the beginning of a "1000 year reich" with the accendance of Obama. Now, even die-hards like Denver Post columnist Mike Littwin are running scared.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 6, 2010 12:25 PM
But jk thinks:

Good calls on seniority and power, br. Let a thousand Senator Al Frankens bloom!

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2010 1:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ritter abandoned a re-election bid because the unions told him they wouldn't contribute to his campaign. They took this decision because early in Ritter's term he vetoed Card Check in Colorado. Apparently Ritter believed that governing as a "moderate" would be the best way to maximize his popular approval rating and that the unions would understand his need for pragmatism as he put the shiv in their backs. Apparently the unions were not as forgiving as Ritter had hoped.

I still like the way this bodes nationally. Millions or even b-billions in union contributions may tip the scales with an apathetic electorate, but it can't overcome the sort of visceral rage that's been cultivated by the 111th Congress and an Administration so tone-deaf and inept that even the NY Times has a hard time covering for them anymore.

Democrat politicians seem to be saying, "Union: Yes! ... but is it enough?"

The caveat here is how much more damage they can do in the next, final, year of the 111th. I expect it to resemble a crowd of looters rushing to steal or destroy everything in sight as they retreat from the oncoming wave of baton-wieldling policemen.

Posted by: johngalt at January 6, 2010 2:48 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

JK, I actually would take a Franken over a Dodd. I doubt there is a scintilla of difference in their voting proclivities, but Franken is such an idiot that no one takes him seriously. Dodd, with the help of a few cronies, and key chairmanship and Barney Frank in the House almost managed to topple the entire US economy while socializing our mortgage system.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 6, 2010 4:19 PM
But jk thinks:

Again my flippancy is miscontrued. I absolutely agree that a Freshman backbencher will always be a good trade for a Senate Banking Committee Chair.

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2010 5:01 PM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

The real term limits we need - limits on time as a committee chair. Stay in congress as long as you like (and can get elected). But you have to do it on more than your ability to deliver pork through the power of a committee chair.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at January 10, 2010 12:14 PM

December 31, 2009

Wow!

Nice YouTube:

Hat-tip: Don Luskin, who calls it THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S NEW APPROACH TO AIR SECURITY

Posted by John Kranz at 3:29 PM | Comments (0)

December 23, 2009

Heresy or Heterodoxy?

I know my pick:

Tax Policy Blog:

How Congress Can Create More Jobs: Mandate the National League Enact the Designated Hitter

At first, this would create 16 new jobs (number of N.L. teams). But think of all the other jobs. There will likely need to be more balls and bats produced because a D.H. is more likely to break a bat or foul a ball off during a plate appearance than a pitcher batting. This will increase the demand for wood and forestry products. Think of all those jobs. We may even need another bat boy. Pitchers will wear out faster, thereby compounding this issue. And pitchers will probably be more likely to be hurt during the season due to more wear and tear (every 9th batter won't be essentially a free pass). Therefore, more replacement pitchers will be needed. Plus, this wear and tear will create more jobs for medical trainers.


Hat-tip: Scrivener

Posted by John Kranz at 3:45 PM | Comments (4)
But Keith thinks:

"This will increase the demand for wood and forestry products." You forgot to mention all the people that would be hired to plant new trees to replace the ones we hack down - we are environmentally conscious about this, right?

So who gets to do the obligatory post about how this is not creating new jobs, but taking away workers from other industries?

Posted by: Keith at December 23, 2009 4:39 PM
But jk thinks:

My love of Ricardian specialization should make me a DH man. Instead, an accident of birth in what becomes an NL town puts me firmly in the "People's Front of Judea" camp.

Coherent, consistent philosophy my ass!

Posted by: jk at December 23, 2009 4:54 PM
But Keith thinks:

I believe there ought to be a Constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter.

But I'm flexible on the infield fly rule - perhaps my vote on that one could be bought, and for less than it costs to rent a Senator these days.

Posted by: Keith at December 23, 2009 5:32 PM
But jk thinks:

You'd forever be suspected of being under the sway of BigDroppedFlies

Posted by: jk at December 23, 2009 5:57 PM

December 18, 2009

Why d'ya think they call it Social Networking?

This is a pretty good prank:

When a man in the UK was asked to be the best man at his friend's wedding, he was touched. So touched, that he promised not to pull any pranks before or during the wedding. After the wedding though, that's another story.

This man, who is choosing to stay anonymous, has set up this Twitter account for the sole purpose of automatically tweeting when the newlyweds are having sex. I'm not kidding.


Keep it under 140 characters, kids...

Posted by John Kranz at 4:37 PM | Comments (0)

December 4, 2009

Birther Humor

From my brother, via email. I think he may actually be a birther, I 'm not sure. He sends me a lot of jokes like this.

birther.gif

UPDATE: Interestiing press fallout from this and the role of the WH social secretary Desiree Rogers.

Ryan claimed that there have been whispers around Washington insinuating that Rogers had overstepped the traditional role of her title at the event to become the "belle of the ball," thus "overshadowing the first lady." Frustrated by Ryan's tabloid-y line of questioning, Gibbs instructed her to "calm down" and to take a deep breath," adding "I do this with my son and that's what happens."

Posted by John Kranz at 5:55 PM | Comments (0)

November 3, 2009

More to life than politics

I love this country! Hat-tip: Galley Slaves

Posted by John Kranz at 5:37 PM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

Don't forget .357 Magnum Santa!

Posted by: jk at November 3, 2009 6:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well, I'll just have to go back!

Posted by: johngalt at November 4, 2009 1:19 AM
But Keith thinks:

jk: Arnold's Rule of Gunfights #8: never go into a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with at least a four. If you're looking for a recommendation, I'm a big fan if the Sig Sauer P229 DAK in the .40 flavor.

I'd ask Santa for that Mossberg Model 590 I've been drooling over, but I already know which of his two lists I'm on this year, and it would be futile.

TOTALLY loved the anvil video - and couldn't help thinking that somewhere in the New Mexico desert, there's a skinny coyote who's sure to find himself in its path once gravity asserts itself. I should probably have the print shop gin up his little sign...

Posted by: Keith at November 4, 2009 11:57 AM
But jk thinks:

Keith, my people will have enough firepower. I just don't like to get my hands dirty...

Posted by: jk at November 4, 2009 12:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And gunfights aren't the only uses for handguns. Anyone who's read "Unintended Consequences" knows the utility of the lowly .22 LR.

Posted by: johngalt at November 4, 2009 2:36 PM
But jk thinks:

Just what we needed, one more thing to fight about.

Wikipedia reports muzzle velocities of up to 1600 ft/sec on high load defense .357 Magnum cartridges, versus 1175 for the highest grain .40 S&W. Let the games begin!

Posted by: jk at November 4, 2009 4:35 PM

September 21, 2009

YouTube of the Day

Hat-tip: Terri

Posted by John Kranz at 4:47 PM | Comments (0)

June 30, 2009

Excellence

ThreeSources has been a sacred and quiet bastion from celebrity death news. But we who love the free market cannot not offer a loud REQUIESCAT IN PACE!!!! to the King Of Pitch, Mister Billy Mays.

Popular Mechanics has five of his infomercials posted and they are really quite compelling. Ed McMahon was proudest of his abilities as a pitchman as well. Goodbye to both -- it's great to see something done well.

On topic, this jazz snob has to actually spin off a few nice words about Michael Jackson as well. Looking at his productive years over the tabloid years, I offer a one glove salute to a performer who was known for working hard. I know a lot of players who rest on their abilities and I know a lot who work hard. Jackson was that rare breed who did both. He used to rehearse those dance chops pretty severely and was known to be pretty demanding at the quality of his recordings and videos.

Sorry to break our perfect record in non-Jackson coverage, but I don't hear anybody else saying that. If you're gonna be a pop star or a pitchman, do it right. And a few guys who did died last week. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2009

I bet they were always late for rehearsal

35,000 yead old musical instruments found:

The fact that multiple musical instruments turned up in the same area, not far from other artistic artifacts, strengthens the argument that Paleolithic humans developed a relatively rich culture, the researchers say.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:09 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith thinks:

And now the bad news: the musical instruments were accordions, and no scientific evidence was unearthed that Cro-Magnon accordionists were able to get gigs in the past, either.

Posted by: Keith at June 26, 2009 4:30 PM

June 22, 2009

Come to Save the Day!

Gotta have some fun. Jib Jab:


Hat-tip: blog brother AlexC on Facebook.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:20 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith thinks:

Gawd. We've just elected the love child of a Mighty Morphing Power Ranger and a Teletubbie.

And who needs a cape when you've got ears like that?

Posted by: Keith at June 23, 2009 1:01 PM
But jk thinks:

Careful, Keith! We may disagree with his policies but I didn't think any of us were earists!

Posted by: jk at June 23, 2009 1:16 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I'm about to throw up.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at June 24, 2009 10:53 AM

June 18, 2009

The Arlington Rap

C/O Galley Slaves. If you make it halfway, be sure to stay for the ending.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:21 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

You mean the 'Daz Bog' part, right?

Posted by: johngalt at June 18, 2009 7:12 PM
But jk thinks:

Singin' this all day: "Arlington! Arlington!"

Posted by: jk at June 19, 2009 1:55 PM

June 4, 2009

A New Low for ThreeSources

Okay, there's no baser form of entertainment than "cute cat" videos on YouTube. But, unless you've got a heart of stone:


Posted by John Kranz at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2009

Ch-ch-ch-chia in Chief

The Boulder Refugee pointed this out to me.
chia-obama-animated-2.gif
Buy yours here. (leave the sound on while you shop).

Posted by John Kranz at 11:05 AM | Comments (5)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee about fell off his chair when he saw this. Keith, it's got your fingerprints all over it. Are you going to issue any non-denial denials?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at April 10, 2009 12:50 PM
But Keith thinks:

Refugee: well, I did say "if the Obama administration's collective brain power were any lower, it would have to be watered," so I can see you drawing that conclusion. But I can point to clear and unarguable evidence that this is not my handiwork:

(1) Absence of his middle name, which I surely would have used.
(2) Job title does not say "Prezznit."
(3) Wrong herb growing from the cranium; my version would have cleverly been marketable at a "Chiapothead."
(4) Three words: TelePrompTer Sold Separately.

But the most conclusive and persuasive proof it that I'd have made more money. This slag is going for $19.99 a pop, and will soon be on the clearance shelf at your neighborhood dollar store. If I had a bunch of clay and a license on Obama's visage, I'd be selling clay pigeons to gun-rights advocates for $200.00 per dozen, and they'd be flying off the shelves faster than you could say "Pull!" What NRA member wouldn't salivate at the opportunity to point his Mossberg at the image of the Prezznit's face and blast it to dust?

Hang on, guys; I've got Hillary on the other line, asking for a discount on a bulk order...

Posted by: Keith at April 10, 2009 1:58 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Keith: That's exactly the kind of denial I would expect if you had really done it!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at April 10, 2009 6:35 PM
But Keith thinks:

Well, I guess my secret's out, then. Eleven centuries of the very best machinations of the Illuminati, the Freemasons, and the Bilderbergers, and it all distills down to this devious ploy. Had not the Refugee discovered my nefarious plot, I might have ruled the world.

I suppose you've also already figured out that Hulu is our back-up plan, haven't you?

Posted by: Keith at April 11, 2009 1:13 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Keith, your plot is more insideous than even The Refugee could have imagined!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at April 13, 2009 11:41 AM

April 1, 2009

Color Thesaurus

Very cool web app.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:16 PM | Comments (0)

Even Harvard is Hit Hard

Mankiw's last free post:

With Harvard having lost so much of its endowment lately, the university has asked me to stop providing this blog free of charge. Going forward, therefore, this blog will be available only to Harvard students and alumni and to others who subscribe via the new Harvard-bloggers program. All revenue from this program will be split between building the new Allston campus and providing students hot fudge sundaes on alternate Thursdays and every day during exam periods.

Bummer.

UPDATE: In the spirit -- don't miss Perry's from 2006

Posted by John Kranz at 2:16 PM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I had you with that one, didn't I. :)

Pretty much impossible to top, so I haven't tried anything on that level since.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at April 1, 2009 4:35 PM

The Refugee and jk Hash it Out

Hat-tip: Reason Hit&Run

Posted by John Kranz at 10:29 AM | Comments (10)
But johngalt thinks:

Agreed on all points. And why isn't there more debate on this by now? That was the intent of my "legal drug toke," err, "tote board" after all. BR?

On the "Amsterdam" issue, it's unfair to blame legal drugs for all of their problems. It is also a welfare state. Perhaps we could trade drug legalization with the Democrats for some rolling back of entitlements (along with legalizing domestic oil production.)

Posted by: johngalt at April 2, 2009 12:33 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

JG, I did get a chuckle out of our your "toke board" as you call it. I guess I was a bit blogged-out on the topic after the previous exchange.

However, I think your more serious point is highly valid. That is, the phrase "legalize drugs" is extremely broad. While I personally see no redeeming virtue in the recreational use of pot, I could potentially be persuaded to legalize it. I certainly know plenty of highly productive people who use the stuff.

However, I would *never* legalize drugs such as heroin, LSD, meth, crack, speed, ecstacy, etc. These are toxic, dangerous substances that can addict, permantly harm and even kill users in a single dose. I would no more advocate their unrestricted availability than I would any other poison. Cocaine is probably in the middle of the continuum between pot and heroin, but I would not legalize it because I have friends who started with a little recreational use of coke and graduated to crack for the faster, quicker high. It destroyed their lives. It is simply too dangerous to fool with, IMHO.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at April 2, 2009 2:31 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

And, let me answer JK's question before he gets a chance to ask it: "Isn't in my brain to fry if I want to, provided that I do no harm to others?" Theoretically, yes. However, these substances are so noxious that harm to another is nearly inevitable (e.g., petty/serious crime, child neglect, spousal abandonment). Thus, like drunk driving, the probability of harm to another is so high that it justifies government regulation and intervention before the fact, even to the point of a war on drugs.

There! I said it! You smoked The Refugee out! (No pun intended.) He supports the war on drugs!!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at April 2, 2009 3:25 PM
But jk thinks:

Actually, I'd like to make a pragmatic point. During prohibition, folks sold and drank high-proof hard liquor, because if you're going to smuggle, it doesn't make sense to brew 3.2 beer. Now that it is legal, there are a lot of low alcohol choices: light wines, wine coolers, &c.

You speculate on the legalization of crack. I posit that there would be no such thing as crack without the war on drugs. Just as there is no mad rush to moonshine bathtub gin today. This is an underconsidered benefit of legalization: much more sociable variations of these products would proliferate.

Posted by: jk at April 2, 2009 4:12 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Not so sure there is such a thing as "heroin lite." ("A third fewer bad trips, less pushing" as a slogan?) Also, don't assume that moonshine is a thing of the past. The Refugee has friends from North Carolina who occassional bring along a bottle of genuine moonshine just for fun. Why would anyone brew and consume something that is indistinguishable from jet fuel both in taste and energy potential? For the same reason that little boys light everything on fire - pure entertainment value and to prove they can.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at April 2, 2009 4:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ahhh, youth. I remember that! :)

Posted by: johngalt at April 2, 2009 7:06 PM

February 11, 2009

Politicians' Yearbook photos

I guess I have a problem, I think I could have guessed all but two.

http://www.vetocorleone.com/2009/02/amazing-yearbook-photos-of-us.html

Hat-tip: beloved, rhymes with tune-cat, relative by email.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2009

Spread 'em!

Blog brother Cyrano is amused by the Playmobil Security Checkpoint.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2008

Happy Beethoven's Birthday

I meant to mark the Maestro's birthday today, but I did not have a hook until now. Pillage Idiot marks the occasion to link to an older post: Starting with Nothing

What makes Beethoven great? [Claude] Frank asked. Well, he said, it's his melodies, right? And he sang the opening of the theme of the slow movement of the Seventh Symphony: C, C-C, B, B, B, B-B, C, C.

Well, it's his rhythms, right? And he sang the theme: Long, short-short, long, long, long, short-short, long, long.

All right, well, maybe it's his harmonies. And he sang: Tonic, tonic-tonic, dominant, dominant, dominant, dominant-dominant, tonic, tonic.

And he had made his point -- that Beethoven was able to create the most sublime music out of the most rudimentary materials.


Many more keen insights if you follow the link. This stupid blues and jazz boy won't offer musical insight, but I will recommend Edmund Morris's excellent biography from the Eminent Lives series of short (256 itty bitty pages) biographies.

This was the first of a coincidental string of four biographies (Beethoven, Adam Smith, Tocqueville, Chief Justice Roger B Taney) of great people who accomplished much in spite of poor health. I've stopped playing guitar because MS has taken my edge away. Ludwig wrote symphonies after going deaf. Taney thought his life almost over at 46 and celebrated the modest successes of being a successful lawyer and AG of Maryland. He didn't realize he would be USAG, Sec of the Treasury, Chief Justice -- and start the Civil War. Surely there is some trouble out there for all of us. The deafness is famous but Beethoven was in poor health most of his life.

Giants walked the Earth. Happy birthday, Maestro.

UPDATE: Attila writes that he has updated the post with a YouTube link of the movement discussed. Nice.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:52 PM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2008

Nifty Photographs

So says Samizdat Jonathan Pearce, offering this site in lieu of commentary.

I was going to think of something profound to say about the news headlines, but every time I read the words "Gordon Brown" these days, a small part of me dies.

Methinks we're in for four similar years over here.


Posted by John Kranz at 3:29 PM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2008

Now He Thinks He's Glenn Reynolds

Samizdat Jonathan Pearce thinks a little bit of "cheering up" is in order. I cannot disagree:Heh.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:59 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2008

Dave Berry, Call Your Office!

Who will save us from the flying inflatable dog turds? I think I will mail this to James Taranto for his "everything is spinning out of control" section. Blog friend Perry Eidlebus brings us the art news from Switzerland

GENEVA (AFP) A giant inflatable dog turd by American artist Paul McCarthy blew away from an exhibition in the garden of a Swiss museum, bringing down a power line and breaking a greenhouse window before it landed again, the museum said Monday.

The art work, titled "Complex S(expletive..)", is the size of a house. The wind carried it 200 metres (yards) from the Paul Klee Centre in Berne before it fell back to Earth in the grounds of a children's home, said museum director Juri Steiner.

The inflatable turd broke the window at the children's home when it blew away on the night of July 31, Steiner said. The art work has a safety system which normally makes it deflate when there is a storm, but this did not work when it blew away.

Steiner said McCarthy had not yet been contacted and the museum was not sure if the piece would be put back on display.


UPDATE: Didn't make BOTW. Everything Seemingly Is Spinning Out of Control...

Posted by John Kranz at 11:33 AM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Taranto didn't include this? He's so full of dog ****.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at August 14, 2008 9:36 AM

May 28, 2008

Wealth Gap

The Onion: Nation's Poorest 1% Now Controls Two-Thirds Of U.S. Soda Can Wealth

According to the sobering report, the disproportionate distribution of soda-can wealth is greater than ever before, and has become one of the worst instances of economic inequality in the nation's history. Data showed that over-salvaging of cans by a small and elite group of can-horders has created a steadily growing and possibly unbridgeable gap between the rich and the mega-poor.

Hat-tip: Don Luskin, who wonders "Where's Paul Krugman When We Need Him?"

Posted by John Kranz at 2:35 PM

April 24, 2008

Good Blog Tags

SFcitizen.com

Tags: heel, High, miniskirt, San Francisco, scooter, Yamaha


Heel, check; High, check; miniskirt, check; scooter, check; Yamaha, I can't tell.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:39 PM

April 6, 2008

Rethinking "The Daily Show"

Every time I try to watch "The Daily Show," I am quickly turned off or enraged by Jon Stewart's pomposity and smugness. But I frequently see some extremely funny clips on the Internet. "Hillary's 3AM Call of Duty" Video Game with "John McCain's Virtual Fireplace" was hilarious. This takedown of Code Pink is perfect.

Hat-tip: Terri

Posted by John Kranz at 12:54 PM

March 11, 2008

TOO GOOD!

Eliot Spitzer Vows To Crack Down On Excess Prostitute Pay

Okay, a serious comment on lAffaire Spitz: The GOP is overreaching one more time. They can't help it. Rep Peter King was fulminating on Kudlow Last night, and a Yahoo/AP Headline (since changed) was "Republicans Push for Spitzer Impeachment."

Folks, just look grave and mouth about how serious this is and how the Governor will have to make up his mind. Let his own party push him out or allow him to stay damaged for a while. There is no good that can come from Republicans pushing this, and plenty of bad from appearing to capitalize.

UPDATE: And one more, unserious, comment. Don Luskin points out "There's one advantage of having Spitzer replaced by his legally blind lieutenant governor: the new guv can make do with less expensive hookers." I really wish I were too good to post that. That's not what ThreeSources is about. Maybe tomorrow.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:05 PM

January 29, 2008

Cool Site

This site has semantic analysis on all the SOTU speeches (not yet counting last night's). Each is analyzed for length and grade level required for comprehension. Each has a "word cloud" visualization of important words in the speech, and a mouseover shows the number of times they appear.

Most cool. Yet another Club for Growth Hat-tip

Posted by John Kranz at 5:22 PM

October 25, 2007

Worth 1,000,000 words

Too funny:
commongood.jpg


Hat-tip: Althouse via Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 2:28 PM | Comments (1)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Will cross-post this weekend!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at October 25, 2007 10:27 PM

September 11, 2007

Income Inequality

Onion News Network explores the growing gap between the rich and the super-rich in America:

In The Know: Are America's Rich Falling Behind The Super-Rich?


Hat-tip: Prof. Mankiw

Posted by John Kranz at 1:41 PM | Comments (3)
But AlexC thinks:

"Not everyone can vacation in Italy, some of you have to vacation on Martha's Vineyard!"

Posted by: AlexC at September 11, 2007 2:13 PM
But jk thinks:

"If the rich were just a little more motivated, they wouldn't be such a drain on society..."

Posted by: jk at September 11, 2007 2:34 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"The super-rich have, really, no idea what the rich put up with."

Posted by: johngalt at September 12, 2007 3:03 PM

August 20, 2007

How Are You Paying Yours?

The Onion brings us this informative graph.
statshotpayingmortgage.jpg


Hat-tip: The Big Picture

Posted by John Kranz at 5:03 PM

July 30, 2007

Got 'Em

Leaving 6:24 on the clock.

Hat-tip: Club for Growth

Posted by John Kranz at 3:05 PM

July 26, 2007

What a Grouch

Jonathan V. Last is a great blogger at Galley Slaves, a superb journalist from the Weekly Standard, and is technically my "sire," as I started watching Buffy mostly on his recommendation.

I was stunned to read his "Casual" column in last week's Weekly Standard (paid link). The casual column is a short piece that runs right after the Masthead and gives writers a chance to cover a light topic or personal reflection. They're frequently fun and a few have stuck with me.

Last's is the first one that has angered me: I think he is at least a few years younger than me, but he thought it was time for a curmudgeonly old fart column:

As if that weren't dispiriting enough, my friend Phillip Longman tells me that progress is actually slowing down. Between 1910 and 1960, indoor plumbing, electricity, and automobiles became common. Jet airplanes were invented, and a space program was begun that in a few short years would put a man on the moon. Nuclear power, plastics, lasers, and computers--the stuff of science fiction in 1910--all had been developed by 1960.

But from 1960 to 2007, little changed. With the exception of the Internet, on which the jury is still out, most of the advances of the last 50 years are merely improvements on existing technology. Previous generations conquered disease, went into space, and split the atom. We came up with the iPhone.


Okay, the Internet crack is a joke. Last is a professional journalist and is uneasy with the blogger/"Army of Davids" culture. Fine.

Galley Slaves has three political writers who do no politics. They discuss Philadelphia sports, pop culture, video games, &c. Last, David Skinner, and Victorino Matus are modern young men and his disregarding the advances of the last 47 years is out of character. To be fair, he is complaining that the futurist visions of his youth have not panned out. There's certainly truth to that. Where once they dreamed of advanced food pills, we're shopping for heirloom tomatoes at farmers' markets."

To claim the computer was created in 1960 and that his xBox is just derivative achievement is incomprehensible. That a professional journalist doesn't see the value of Google® or cell phones or that the sports fan doesn't mention satellite or HiDef Plasma televisions is dishonest.

Laugh at the iPhone all you want, but take it back to 1965 and show it to a kid who has a black, rotary phone in his home and a color TV in the family room if he is very lucky. I think he'd be pretty impressed. Take the back off and show it to his engineer Dad.

Heirloom tomatoes? That's a sign of wealth.

In the end, that's what gets me. He can make fun of the Internet or the iPhone if he wants, but his derision carries him down the Paul Krugman path of denying that our freedom and innovation have created wealth, better lives, and a foundation for even more incredible achievement.

UPDATE: Ah yes, one advance is the search engine, where anyone you call "a grouch" on the Internet can find you. I received a kind email from JVL, who stands by his point and hopes I am enyoing the Season 8 comic books.


Posted by John Kranz at 5:13 PM | Comments (1)
But AlexC thinks:

The baby boomers promised us rocket cars by the year 2000 and vacations on the moon.

I blame them for grinding progress to a halt.

Must've been all that dope and free love.

Damned hippies.

Posted by: AlexC at July 26, 2007 6:26 PM

July 24, 2007

Dear Mister Taranto:

I'm a big fan of Best of the Web. But, this one time, I think you missed:

How'd They Know Which Was Which?
"Shark Attacks Lawyer Off Oahu"--headline, Seattle Times, July 22

I think the correct meta-headline is:
"Whatever Happened to Professional Courtesy?"

Cheers,
jk

Posted by John Kranz at 5:15 PM | Comments (1)
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

Obviously the creature that did not attempt to sue and insist that the pants were worth 64 million dollars was the aquatic one.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at July 24, 2007 7:37 PM

July 23, 2007

Four in the Morning

I have seen so many excellent TEDTalks. Today, Don Luskin links to Rives's take on oh-four-hundred. It's entertaining and effectively needles conspiracy theories. Cost you about nine minutes.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:55 PM

July 9, 2007

The Five Second Rule

I did not grow up with the five second rule. I think I was at least 30 before I knew it by name, though I think some Jungian cultural memory of it guided my actions in my younger days. I watched as the five second rule was explained to a distraught young boy at the bagel shop this weekend. (Dad overruled the customer and the bagel was replaced).

Terri at ithinlthereforeierr, links to a WaPo article where the five second rule was tested by researches at Clemson. Obviously, it has no scientific basis (I hope we didn't pony up too much Federal jack for that). But the real clarifications come from kids:

Following the rule requires understanding its intricacies. "I would never eat a pickle," says Anaiah Grissom, 9, "not even after one second." She also would not eat a hot dog, a burger or a piece of broccoli, because those get dirty really fast. A Chips Ahoy, according to Anaiah, can last up to 15 seconds, and Pop-Tarts, like, never get dirty.

Indoor floors are better than outdoors, but grass is better than carpet.


Posted by John Kranz at 3:48 PM

June 26, 2007

Way Too Cool

Create your own Simpson's characters,

jk_simpsons.jpg


Hat-tip: Galley Slaves

Posted by John Kranz at 6:11 PM

June 15, 2007

Little CH4 Producer!

Terri is calf-blogging over at I Think ^(Link) Therefore I Err.

Gotta love Fridays.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:17 AM

June 14, 2007

Darkness and anti-modernity

A frined sends this:

I love modernity but it's nice to see the old school stuff come through.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:20 AM

May 6, 2007

Crabbin'

I've been on some hairy flights and hairy landings, but I don't know if looking at the runway over the wing tip is my idea of a good time.

Posted by AlexC at 1:22 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Ich nicht verstehe, enschuldigung.

Posted by: jk at May 6, 2007 1:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Enschuldigung?

Posted by: johngalt at May 6, 2007 8:52 PM
But AlexC thinks:

I think it's Icelandic.

There doesn't seem to be much difference between it and a fast-forwarded audio.

Posted by: AlexC at May 6, 2007 10:38 PM

May 2, 2007

Wolfowitz Memo

Doc Mankiw links to an amusing parody of a Paul Wolfowitz memo to World Bank staff, ordering them to abjure playing his resignation contracts on TradeSports:

I hope you understand that any attempt by World Bank Staff to buy or sell these contracts will be considered insider trading in clear violation of my anti-corruption guidelines. Your knowledge of normal World Bank personnel procedures gives you a clear information advantage in predicting whether I will be forced to resign. You must not abuse it. Please note: the Banks prohibition on insider trading applies not only to immediate family but also to significant others (e.g., girlfriends).

Some of you have already queried my office about whether it would still be insider trading if, when you buy Paul Wolfowitz resignation contracts (betting that I will leave before 2008), you also sell short Alberto Gonzalez resignation contracts. (This is a bet that my friend, the U.S. Attorney General, will hang on through end 2007.) My emphatic answer is no! Long Wolfowitz, short Gonzalez is only a relative value play that hedges out the value of loyalty to President Bush. You would still be guilty of insider trading on your Bank-specific knowledge. (And who says I dont know enough about finance for this job!)


I think Wolfowitz is 100% innocent and wish the rest of the piece did not credit his opponents. But it's funny.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:07 AM

March 16, 2007

She don't hear so good

Terri at I Think ^(Link) Therefore I Err thought it was Friday Calf Blogging. The little calf is going to ruin the planet with greenhouse gases, but she sure is cute.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:42 PM | Comments (8)
But johngalt thinks:

Nope. "Cow" means "an adult female who has had more than two calves." (With a little help from wikipedia.)

"Breed" refers to the "domesticated subspecies or infrasubspecies of an animal." (again, wikipedia)

A fairly comprehensive bovine breed index can be seen pictorally here. (four links, by first letter of breed name, near bottom of page.)

'Sides, ain't you dun never gone ta the Stock Show boy?'

Posted by: johngalt at March 16, 2007 6:23 PM
But jk thinks:

Not until I was growed. My Grandmother left a Willa Caheresque existence to move to the city and we have not looked back for a couple of generations.

I love Atlantis farm and SugarChuck's spread, but I am city folk through and through. My siblings consider me bucolic for choosing a small town. Wrong it may be, I deserve points for "cow."

Posted by: jk at March 16, 2007 8:05 PM
But Terri thinks:

And you get points for "cow". Thanks for the link!

Posted by: Terri at March 19, 2007 11:23 AM
But dagny thinks:

Not too many points, since Terri says that she was there when, "he," was born indicating that he is a bull calf rather than a cow at all.

Also, since when does it take, "more than two calves," to be called a cow? I thought it was heifer only until the first calf was born. Anybody with some real bovine expertise to clear this up?

Posted by: dagny at March 19, 2007 4:13 PM
But Terri thinks:

Heifer's get to have one calf. Once they have their second, it's to the cows.

Apparently she needs to be over a year of age too. I didn't realize that part!

http://www.allwords.com/word-heifer.html

Posted by: Terri at March 20, 2007 12:48 PM
But jk thinks:

Nice, thanks

We usually don't get eight comments around here without mentioning immigration. And I never once called it a "moo-cow" I'm getting better.

Posted by: jk at March 20, 2007 1:35 PM

February 27, 2007

TEDTalks

I've just discovered a very bad time sink at the exact wrong time in my life, but have y'all see TEDTalks?

I found this one on Classical Values (H/T Insty) and it is awesome. Here's the description:

Steven Levitt is an economics professor at the University of Chicago and the best-selling author of Freakonomics. In this talk, filmed at TED2004, he goes inside an inner-city gang to examine economic principles at work in the real world. (Recorded February 2004 in Monterey, CA. Duration: 22:00)

The series is sponsored by BMW, and I went a Googling (actually, Im a Yahoo guy still) for TED and TEDTalks.

The editorial slant looks distinctly left of center, but they advertise a talk by Bjorn Lomborg that we're worrying about the wrong thing with Global Warming, and they have a couple talks by his VicePresidentness himself, Mr. Albert Gore, Jr.

I prefer blogs to podcasts and most video because I find it easy to read a column while I wait for a machine to reboot or a program to compile. Double-digit minutes of devoted attention are productivity sappers. But there are a pile of these TEDTalks I have to see.

I wanted to post about this one and not the series, because it speaks to something that was very important to me before 9/11. I took some of the same ideas Levitt takes from the research from the novel "Clockers" by Richard Price. The problem is the lure of money in illegal drug sales as recruitment for gang membership.

Levitt points out that it's "the worst job in the world" but also that the idea of rising in the organization to a senior level is pretty alluring against other inner city opportunities. The drug war is government intrusion into economics as surely as ethanol subsidies. Levitt points out how the economics changed with the introduction of crack cocaine.

Whether you agree with my libertarian view of the drug war or not, this is a fascinating, entertaining, and smart piece on application of economic principles. At the end, you even enjoy economic principles translated into gangspeak.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:01 AM

February 23, 2007

Ten Largest Databases

Business Intelligence Lowdown: Top 10 Largest Databases in the World

There are currently organizations around the world in the business of amassing collections of things, and their collections number into and above the trillions. In many cases these collections, or databases, consist of items we use every day.

Hat-tip: Club for growth

Posted by John Kranz at 12:36 PM

February 20, 2007

Sticking It To the Man

I wonder if liberals and Democrats who look for tax deductions while demanding higher taxes are hypocrites.

In any case, CNN Money lists 10 ways you can save some cash come April 15th.

Posted by AlexC at 11:36 AM

February 12, 2007

Socialist Paradises

Really. I had it so wrong. AlexC emails a link to Cuba: making poverty history that celebrates the economic achievements as well as the unparalleled freedom, human rights and self-direction available the island nation.

The only thing resembling a gulag in Cuba is in the USs illegally-held enclave at Guantanamo Bay where the Bush administration has built its notorious concentration camp.

Contrary to the impression given by the Western media, Cuba does have competitive elections. Much is made of the fact that there is only one party, the Cuban Communist Party (PCC). The PCC does not, in fact, endorse candidates in elections. While party members can, and do, run in elections, so can non-members. In any given electorate there may be one, or more than one, PCC member standing or there may be only non-members as candidates.


I was packing my bags to emmigrate, but then I saw this:


What a dupe I have been.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:50 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

You are right. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea IS a paradise compared to the "hell" of "America." It must be the Lost Horizon.

And the word "obesity" isn't even in the North Korean vocabulary!

(My favorite parts of the video were the Patton quote and the goose-stepping Korean school girls.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 13, 2007 3:07 PM

January 29, 2007

Let's Talk.

Attila, at Pillage Idiot has a new installtion of his photo-comics: Hillary begins a conversation

Maxima heh.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:12 PM | Comments (3)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

OMG! ROFLMAO! (and all those other IM-type sayings).

I damn near p***ed myself reading that!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at January 29, 2007 8:43 PM
But Attila (Pillage Idiot) thinks:

Thanks for the link. We aim to please, but without increasing the methane supply.

Posted by: Attila (Pillage Idiot) at January 29, 2007 9:51 PM
But jk thinks:

You've had several good ones, Attila, but this one is probably my favorite.

Posted by: jk at January 30, 2007 10:32 AM

January 26, 2007

Friday Humor

The Wreck of the Patrick Fitzgerald from The American Spectator. Mea culpa to young readers who do not get the allusion to Gordon Lightfoot's lugubrious '70s ballad; mea maxima culpa to those who will be reminded...

The legend lives on from main Justice on down
Of the thrill of the big prosecution
The "kill," it is said, gives a rush to one's head
When the perp for his sins makes ablutions.
And with yellowcake tales and reporters in jail,
Well, then, Patrick Fitzgerald sensed vict'ry.
But Fitz, the fed man, soon would get his hide tanned
When Bob Woodward did clear up the myst'ry.

Hat-tip: Extreme Mortman

Posted by John Kranz at 5:56 PM

January 18, 2007

Falling From Space

... actually a plane.

Penny Meyers was giving her 4-year-old daughter a bath Wednesday night when suddenly something came crashing through the roof.

Meyers said the impact sounded like a wrecking ball coming through their home.

Investigators said they believe the brick-sized block of ice fell from an airplane that took off from nearby Philadelphia International Airport.


It wasn't blue ice, as jets no longer dump their waste out the bottom, but regular old water-ice.

Still, there's a 12 inch square hole in the roof, and someone's bedroom has a new sun-roof.

Posted by AlexC at 9:12 PM | Comments (2)
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

I wonder when the lawsuits for 'emotional trama' and psychological damage will begin.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at January 19, 2007 1:29 PM
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

Trauma ... jeeze, I need to spell check.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at January 19, 2007 1:30 PM

Nation of Islam Sports Blog

Too funny. The whole site is great, but you have to read:

Nation Of Islam Sportsblog: Hockey: Let it Die

White devils on ice. Whirling dervishes on skates. White athletes propelled and assisted by physics to speeds they can not reach on land. The ice. The last refuge and hiding place of the white athlete.

Relegated to minority status in most team sports, the white athlete has retreated to frozen water as a means of preserving his one "major" remaining sports league. Knowing full well the Negro athlete has a traditional distaste for performing on or in water. After all, it was across a great body of water the Negro was shanghaied and stolen.


Hat-tip: Galley Slaves

Posted by John Kranz at 7:01 PM

December 28, 2006

The Caffeine Curve

caffeine_curve.jpg


Hat-tip: Club for Growth

Posted by John Kranz at 5:07 PM | Comments (6)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

This is why the TrekMedic drinks tea,...hot,...Earl Grey,...make it so.!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at December 28, 2006 10:11 PM
But dagny thinks:

Captain Picard,

Earl Grey contains plenty of caffeine as well. Not that I should talk, as I drink Chai.

Posted by: dagny at December 29, 2006 12:38 AM
But Charlie on the PA Tpk thinks:

The problem with me: I start my first cup at about 0445... so I'd need a wider curve.

Posted by: Charlie on the PA Tpk at December 29, 2006 10:36 AM
But jk thinks:

So does that shift the whole curve to the left or increase its amplitude?

Posted by: jk at December 29, 2006 1:38 PM
But AlexC thinks:

you people and your chemical dependancies.

the government needs to be involved.

Posted by: AlexC at December 29, 2006 3:11 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Dagny,..chai on a cold morning works for me, too!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at December 30, 2006 11:33 AM

December 20, 2006

The Sartre Cookbook

This is the funniest thing I have seen on the Internet in, umm, forever.

The Jean Paul Sartre Cookbook.

I would have nothing kind to say about Sartre, except that he inspired Joss Whedon to create my favorite TV villain of all time. Jubal Early, the existentialist bounty hunter in the Firefly episode "Objects in Space" comes from Whedon's love of the Sartre book "Nausea." I think that's one of two that I have read. Sadly, it inspired nothing so grandiose.

Hat-tip: Insty.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:13 PM

December 19, 2006

Peace in Our Time (Again)

LMAO!

(tip to HotAir)

Posted by AlexC at 1:12 PM | Comments (2)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

That'll be cross-posted by the end of the week!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at December 19, 2006 9:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

This is far too close to the truth to be funny. "50 million dead" may be a slight exaggeration, but only slight.

Posted by: johngalt at December 20, 2006 12:47 AM

A Blogger in Need

heh.

Posted by AlexC at 12:58 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Well, I'm too far away, and i cannot imagine AlexC mackin' on a fruitcake eater.

Posted by: jk at December 19, 2006 3:03 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Accentuate the positives, my friend.

Posted by: AlexC at December 20, 2006 12:03 AM

Fruitcake ...

... or vomit?

What's your preference?

I'm more partial to the vomit, myself.

Posted by AlexC at 12:05 PM

December 6, 2006

Black Hole-y Crap

The language and decorum is taking a tumble around here.

I thought this was interesting: NASA telescope sees black hole gulping remote star

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A giant black hole displaying horrifying table manners has been caught in the act of guzzling a star in a galaxy 4 billion light-years away, scientists using an orbiting NASA telescope said on Tuesday.

I know some folks are depressed about the elections, but a Democratic 110th is still better than being swallowed by a black hole. I guess we'll see.

Hat-tip: my lovely bride, by email.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:16 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

The corrected headline should read, "NASA astronomers see star "gulped" by black hole 4 billion years ago." First, because telescopes don't see things, people do. Second, because light seen today that originated 4 billion light years from here, necessarily began its journey to us 4 billion years ago. (Now we need to figure out how to capitalize on the advance notice with respect to those rubes 1 billion light years downstream from us.)

Posted by: johngalt at December 7, 2006 2:55 PM

Hole-y Crap

Chicago Tribune

    More than a mile below the Earth's surface, South African police are waging a battle against a new breed of pirate: wildcat gold miners who live underground for months at a time in unused mine shafts, smuggling out ore worth millions and defending their turf with homemade grenades and booby traps.

    In the past six months, in response to pleas from outgunned private mine-security squads, South African police have created a task force to ambush the thieves. The force has arrested 60 of the pirates in six perilous underground raids.

    "It's very, very dangerous," said Mike Fryer, an assistant police commissioner who helped create the new mine unit for the South African Police Service. Police teams, equipped with explosives experts and Special Task Force officers, have dodged shotgun-wielding miners, defused bombs and managed to wrestle out the invaders so far without any loss of life, Fryer said.


Naturally, the cops are afraid to fire guns in the mines, a problem the illegal miners don't seem to have. But they did allude to some "alternative weapons" that they don't want to reveal.

I bet it's water. Flood 'em out.

(tip to Ace)

Posted by AlexC at 1:19 PM

December 5, 2006

Better or Worse

Available for sale....

yhst-97394442678697_1923_3338418.gif

Stick it to the nanny state!

Posted by AlexC at 8:25 PM

November 30, 2006

Tax Free Christmas

Though not a done deal, this might be your last Christmas to stick it to the man.

    Last year, Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., and Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., introduced similar bills that would require online and catalog merchants (or at least bigger ones) to collect sales taxes for any states that met standards set by the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA). The Enzi-Dorgan proposal stood no chance with taxophobic Republicans in control of the House.

    Next year, with Democrats in charge? "The stars are lined up better," says Harley Duncan, executive director of the Federation of Tax Administrators, which represents state tax officials.

    It's not just the change in partisan control that has raised the states' hopes. They also believe they can make a stronger case for new collection authority now that the SSUTA, which is designed to harmonize and simplify sales tax laws, is finally operating. As of Jan. 1, 15 states will be full participants in SSUTA, meaning they've adopted the required changes to their own laws. State officials spent years haggling over such issues as whether bakery bagels should be considered groceries, which few states tax, or prepared food, which is widely taxed. (The conclusion: If a bakery provides a utensil with your bagel or heats it for you, it counts as prepared food.)

Posted by AlexC at 7:14 PM

November 29, 2006

Speechless

I don't know what to say.

Yeah.

Posted by AlexC at 12:32 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Uhhuh.

Posted by: jk at November 29, 2006 1:33 PM
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

Indeed.

Makes you wonder why any women bother to blog at all. It must be like decaf coffee and near-beer to them.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at November 29, 2006 10:16 PM

November 21, 2006

Interesting Site

I clicked on blog ad link somewhere last week, and signed up for a free account on BackPack. Working from home on many different machines, I am finding this site pretty handy.

For nothin', you get a few web pages that function as to do lists, virtual whiteboards, even collaborative work areas. You can email a page to have an item appear and you can also schedule reminders to be sent to your email or cell phone.

Paid accounts get you a calendar, storage, more pages, yadda. I'm not sure their pricing points are right, but the free service is priced right and does some cool things.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:25 PM

November 18, 2006

Weekend Fun

Attila at Pillage Idiot brings tales of internecine strife in the new Democratic House Leadership.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:11 PM | Comments (2)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

So much for "Let the Healing Begin,.."

The next two years will be "interesting times," for sure!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at November 18, 2006 9:37 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, I'm not much into "healing." Like Larry Kudlow, I like full contact partisanship. I don't quote Ann Coulter very much, but she had a riff I really liked. President Bush (41) said "I know you didn't send us here to bicker." And Ms. Coulter said "yes we did, we sent you there to out-bicker the other guys."

Not only the Democratic Party gains, but also many of the referenda and ballot issues make me think this nation is poised to take a left turn toward European style, mixed economy socialism. I'm certainly not looking to get along and I doubt many ThreeSources, Pillage Idiots or Is This Lifers are. Interesting times indeed.

Posted by: jk at November 19, 2006 11:56 AM

November 6, 2006

Most Popular ThreeSources Post

Our biting commentary, witty political insights, and stunning exegeses have attracted a small cadre of devoted readers -- and we appreciate every one.

But I was looking at the web stats and found that we have a runaway hit on out hands:

CHOCOLATE BUNNY CARTOON

When they were all coming for NATALEE HOLLOWAY PICTURES, I feared they all went away disgruntled and empty-handed. Folks coming for CHOCOLATE BUNNY CARTOONS, however, are at least sighting their quarry.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:22 PM

October 31, 2006

So not everybody loved 'em

Attila at Pillage Idiot notes all the favorable press that the Ford Taurus has received as production of the popular vehicle ends.

Speaking as a Taurus owner for 13 years, and as someone who actually had an emotional attachment to the car, I can only say: GOOD RIDDANCE! GOOD FREAKIN' RIDDANCE!

Fact is, the car sucked eggs. Major eggs. My 1993 Taurus LX had less than 75,000 miles on it, but I have a thick file with all the repairs I had to have done on it. Just by way of example, I went through 5 or 6 starters and starter relays. The water pump and various other parts of the cooling system failed on me. And my all-time favorite (cue scary music): the head gasket. The head gasket failure, which Tauruses were extremely prone to suffering, cost about $3000 to fix and took a week or more at the dealer. Ford agreed to pay for the repair for some owners, but limited that offer to certain model years, thus stiffing a large number of us whose head gaskets survived a few months too long.

If anyone from Ford happens to stumble on this post, I just want to say that I bought a new car this year. It was a Toyota. Feel free to send me your apology by email: pillageidiot -at- hotmail -dot- com. I still won't buy another Ford, but at least an apology will make me feel the company is not malevolent but simply incompetent. Oh, and enjoy your evening.


Bold Moves, Attila. Bold Moves.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:17 PM | Comments (6)
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

Attila is correct. I owned one of those farging wallet leaches. Died under 80K and I spent the last 2 years nursing it every step of the way till ... dun-dun-dunnnnn ... the head gasket took a dive. And yes, I own a Toyota now. Ford ... ford ... must be a democrat ... the more money you dump into it, the more it sucks.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at October 31, 2006 6:49 PM
But Attila (Pillage Idiot) thinks:

And the damned thing is still sitting on the street in front of my house, gathering pollen and leaves and costing me insurance, because I haven't had time to call the charity I'm going to donate it to. If you want it, I'll sell it to you cheap.

Posted by: Attila (Pillage Idiot) at October 31, 2006 9:49 PM
But AlexC thinks:

I have a theory that four or six bangers have problems with head gaskets because there's not enough "tightening" of the head bolts.

And don't get me started on wrong-wheel drive cars.

I likes my cars with eight cylinders and rear wheel drive. They way God intended them to be.

Posted by: AlexC at October 31, 2006 10:07 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

I currently have a 2001 Taurus w/ 75K on it. Yup,..I've spent more on it than its worth, but I'm gonna keep it until the wheels fall off, just for spite!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at October 31, 2006 10:32 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Aww man, i totally forgot. A friend of mine hit black ice and ended up going over a curb and through a stop sign.

The stub of a sign tore his gas tank open.

The Taurus pretty much made a superfund site of some guy's front yard.

Yet ANOTHER strike.

Posted by: AlexC at October 31, 2006 10:48 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Do you all think it's a coincidence that Ford Motor Company brought us the Taurus, the Merkur, the Explorer (Exploder), the Edsel and the Pinto? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me five times...

Posted by: johngalt at November 1, 2006 11:20 AM

October 25, 2006

Quote of the Day

Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies, The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

- C.S. Lewis

From Samizdata, who also provide a link to these beauties. See if you can spot which are from Sweden, and which are from the UK.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:00 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Don't these young females realize that they are inviting rape by going about with their head uncovered? It's like so much uncovered meat, right Sheik Taj al-Din al-Hilaly al-Dumbass?

Excellent quote, by the way. It demonstrates what's wrong with both the Dems AND Reps.

(And man, are those Cockney birds hot or WHAT!)

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2006 2:02 AM
But jk thinks:

Oy! Not only 'ot, but after y' buy 'em a few pints...

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2006 9:55 AM

October 19, 2006

Cheese Wit or Witout

Round 1.

    The battle for cheesesteak supremacy -- usually fought with beef, onions and cheese -- has moved out of the kitchen and into the courthouse.

    Pat's King of Steaks, a South Philadelphia institution since the 1930s, is suing Rick's Steaks for trademark infringement.

    The two eateries involved, located less than two miles apart, each are owned by a grandson of Pat Olivieri, purported inventor of Philly's favorite sandwich.

    Scott Pollack, the lawyer for Pat's, said Wednesday that the businesses are not connected in any way -- even if the owners are. Pat's owner Frank Olivieri never gave permission for cousin Rick Olivieri to use the trademarks in his advertising and signage, Pollack said.

    ''Obviously, Pat's Steaks is very, very famous. It's known all over the country and the world,'' said Pollack.

    The lawsuit filed Monday by Pat's claims that Rick's has been illegally trading on Pat's name, its crown logo and trademarked phrases, including ''Pat's King of Steaks Originators of the Steak Sandwich.'' It seeks unspecified damages and an order preventing Rick's from using the material.


I've never been to Rick's. But Pat's was my favorite until I found Tony Luke's.

At that point all looking stopped. I was home.

Posted by AlexC at 12:15 PM | Comments (4)
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

Hmmm, I'm still looking for a good lutefisk store around here. No luck yet.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at October 19, 2006 3:50 PM
But jk thinks:

Uff da! mdmh included a link to a lutefisk description on Wikipedia but our default lutefisk filter removed it before anybody could get hurt.

(Perhaps Sugarchuck could mail you some from Minnesota. No doubt that contravenes the Commerce Clause, but a man has needs.)

Posted by: jk at October 19, 2006 4:24 PM
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

Ohhh, sure. You betcha! I usually pick up a case at water-rama but the crappies were biting this year soooo I went quick down to da lake to pull some out, don-cha-know.

Heh ... I'll have Alex pick up the covertly wrapped package next time he is commuting through Commiecrapoulos.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at October 19, 2006 7:47 PM
But AlexC thinks:

I'll be there tuesday am between 5:30 and 7:15.

Just have somebody throw it to me behind security. ;)

Posted by: AlexC at October 20, 2006 2:08 AM

October 18, 2006

Happy Birthday, Chuck

TCS:

Name a song that has been recorded by all the following: the Beach Boys; Conway Twitty; the Sex Pistols; Tom Jones; Bill Haley; AC/DC; John Denver; Jerry Lee Lewis; Elton John. No, it wasn't "White Christmas." Or "Stardust."

Also Chubby Checker and Elvis and Jimi Hendrix and the Dead.

Give up? "Johnny B. Goode." The presumed model for the title character, the pianist Johnnie Johnson, died last year at the age of 80. And now the composer of the song has hit that mark. Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry is 80 today.


Sugarchuck and I have played that tune once. Or Twice. Hail, hail.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:03 PM

And He Admits It!

AlexC is on publicity and promotion duty for ThreeSources this week and scores a link from Extreme Mortman

AlexC of the great blog threesources.com and legendary Extreme Trivia winner Peter Roff correctly said The Starland Vocal Band Variety show.

Well done. Much better than my bikini-photoshopped entry on Fark.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:47 PM | Comments (1)
But AlexC thinks:

I'm mildly interested in 70's variety shows. They gave them to *everyone*.

I don't understand why a band with one catchy pop title gets a show.

That's a pretty shaky premise.

Posted by: AlexC at October 18, 2006 2:32 PM

October 13, 2006

Everything is For Sale

So The Everyday Economist worries when he reads this from AP:

The White Sox will start weeknight home games at 7:11 p.m. as part of a sponsorship deal with the 7-Eleven convenience store chain.

I know this stuff drives people crazy (my guess is that Josh is pretty tongue-in-cheek here) but I am nonplussed. If my beloved Rockies could get a new revenue source (to spend on relief pitching) or could lower ticket prices, why not?

Posted by John Kranz at 4:43 PM

October 5, 2006

Chance

I was going to Photoshop this, but there's a web site, you just type it in.

chance_monopoly.gif

Posted by John Kranz at 4:28 PM | Comments (1)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Damn you! I just wasted 30 minutes playing with that page!

;-)

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at October 5, 2006 9:59 PM

September 27, 2006

Bill CLinton targets Santa

Brit Hume closed his show last night with this video from the Tonight Show. Funny stuff.


Posted by John Kranz at 6:12 PM

September 22, 2006

Chavez: Buy Berkeley Square CD!




Venezuelan collectivist Higo Chavez made headlines at the U.N. for calling President Bush "el Diablo." That's noteworthy, but caused people to miss his message.
At the start of his talk Wednesday, during which Chavez referred to President Bush as "the devil," Chavez held up a jazz CD by Berkeley Square "A Nightingale Sang" and recommended it to everyone in the General Assembly, as well as to the American people.

"The people of the United States should listen to this ... instead of the watching Superman movies," Chavez later told reporters.


Well, actually it was a Noam Chomsky book, but Donald Luskin notes that the endorsement put the book in Amazon's Top Ten. The Conspiracy to Keep You Poor and Stupid.

Top ten, huh? I wonder how much he charges for such an endorsement?

Hat-tip: The Everyday Economist



Posted by John Kranz at 5:39 PM | Comments (3)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

I'm guessing because The Dixie Chicks would have been too obvious??

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at September 23, 2006 9:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Crimeny! I had this CD on my Christmas wish list until this. There must be some sort of subiminimable messaging in there or something. I hope none of my family members already bought it before I could wipe it off the face of my list!

Posted by: johngalt at September 24, 2006 11:04 AM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, I wouild get the backlash...

Posted by: jk at September 24, 2006 3:43 PM

September 18, 2006

The Bloggers Burden

Frequent ThreeSources commenter and fellow Philly area co-blogger Trek Medic has saddled me with another one of those internet memes.

In the spirit of blogger cameraderie, I will bare my soul to you all.

Were you born before the end of the first Gulf war?
Yes. 1977 was a good year.... for polyester, chest hair, ostentatious gold necklaces, and white-fros.

Childhood nickname?
"Al", I suppose. That's when I wasn't being addressed by my friends as any assorted profanity. Neither was my choice.

Historical person you have the biggest crush on?
Odd question. A crush?
Ok.. but any of the classic babes of yesteryear. Ingrid Bergman, Jayne Mansfield, even Marilyn. All babes. Crush worthy.

How about admire? Moses. Jesus. Ben Franklin. Ronald Reagan. (chronological order)

Favorite type of candy?
Goldenberg's Peanut Chews. Before they changed their whole product "gestalt."

Favorite foreign country?
Lately I've been digging Australia. Probably one of America's best friends, ever.

Fish or chicken?
Fish, always.

Do you have your own perfume line?
Sometimes after a hearty meal.

Have you ever written a children's book?
Yes, I have. In 9th grade. ... and one more recently.

It was posted here at ThreeSources!

It's a childrens book about government.

Have you been in a movie based on a book?
Yes. 9th grade (again). Homer's Odyssey. (It was a contemporary adaptation) Once And Future King... we did the might makes right scene. Did it for a slam-dunk extra credit points. It was done so well we didn't get any extra-credit for our effort. ...and a book about Theseus and the Minotaur whose name escapes me. Nothing quite says 9th grade dork English project like standing around in the woods with your friends taping a movie. Those degenerated into impromptu bonfires in the woods. Except for the Odyssey. Because we taped it at the house of a "cool" girl, and setting something on fire there would have been uncool.

Ever posed nude for a photo?
No. But sometimes I wonder if hotel showers have cameras.

Guiltiest pleasure?
My soul weighs heavy because of many things.

Your best nonguilty pleasure, then?
Reading "classic" good books.

What are you allergic to?
Freshly cut grass. I can't even think about it without watery eyes. It makes mowing the lawn a nightmare.

Worst pickup line you've heard?
"I just vomited, can you kiss me to see if I still have the taste in my mouth?"

I heard it senior year in High School. Yes, it worked. No, it wasn't me.

Were you bar mitzvahed?
No. But I've played "coke & pepsi" a number of times.

Have you ever cried during a TV interview?
Not to my recollection. Reagan's funeral was the last thing on TV I cried to.

If they made a movie of your life, who would play you?
It'd be a pretty boring movie. I'd be more interested in who'd actually watch it.

Pet peeve?
People on cell phones in cars. Cell phones in general. Crackberry close second.

If you weren't doing what you do, what job would you like to have?
Political consultant. I've been digging around some campaign finance reports. It pays nicely.

Place you will never be found?
MoveOn.org meeting.

Like a dog marking his territory, I'm going to add a question.
Why did you participate in this tagging?
The peer pressure was staggering.

I guess now I have to tag someone.

I'll share the pain with JK and JohnGalt, also of ThreeSources, Mark AND Blonde Sagacity.

Posted by AlexC at 1:01 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Were you born before the end of the first Gulf war?
I was born before the Vietnam war, thanks for asking.

Childhood nickname?
None. You don't have to shorten John. I got jk from work in my late teens and kept it as a stage name and blog d'plume.

Historical person you have the biggest crush on?
Also question crush. FA Hayek is my spiritual and intellectual godfather, but the relationship is strictly professional.

Favorite type of candy?
Choc covered espresso beans.

Favorite foreign country?
Australia is a great ally. My work used to bring me to Ireland and I am quite taken with it.

Fish or chicken?
Fish.

Do you have your own perfume line?
Not since I no longer play hockey.

Have you ever written a children's book?
Nope.

Have you been in a movie based on a book?
World's worst actor. Keep me behind the camera at all times.

Ever posed nude for a photo?
Nope.

Guiltiest pleasure?
Shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die. ...no I don't have guilt, I'm a carrier.

Your best nonguilty pleasure, then?
Live music, either side of the proscenium .

What are you allergic to?
Used to be nothing, now I have hay fever in the late summer.

Worst pickup line you've heard?
Knock Knock. (who's there?)
Emerson {Emerson who?)
Emerson beautiful [notable body part]s you have.

Were you bar mitzvahed?
Oy. no.

Have you ever cried during a TV interview?
I think Romo closed that genre.

last thing on TV I cried to.
9/11 recollections.

If they made a movie of your life, who would play you?
Hugh Laurie.

Pet peeve?
People who don't respect your time.

If you weren't doing what you do, what job would you like to have?
Lawyer.

Place you will never be found?
"The Knack" reunion concert.

Posted by: jk at September 18, 2006 2:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'll answer only the ones without null answers:

Were you born before the end of the first Gulf war?
Yes, but who wasn't? The damn thing still hasn't ended!

Childhood nickname?
Flash (because I did everything slow and methodically in wood shop.)

Historical person you have the biggest crush on?
A very, very young Ayn Rand.

Favorite type of candy?
Callard & Bowser's 'Treacle Brittle' (thanks mom!)

Favorite foreign country?
Deutschland

Fish or chicken?
Fish. Oh, you mean to EAT? Chicken.

Do you have your own perfume line?
I would if I could bottle it. I'd call it "Achievement."

Have you ever written a children's book?
Wrote a short story as an english class assignment. I found it great fun and would love to write an entire book. One day...

Have you ever been in a movie based on a book?
Only if there was a book called "Skateboard Jungle" with a handful of long-haired punk kids doing tricks in the backyard and filmed in Super8.

Guiltiest pleasure?
Bacon. Other than this, I have no guilt.

Your best nonguilty pleasure?
Fine single malt scotch while stargazing from the hot tub.

What are you allergic to?
Collectivists

Worst pickup line you've heard?
"Ever posed nude for a photo?"

Were you bar mitzvahed?
No, I'm an engineer not a lawyer.

Have you ever cried during a TV interview?
Someone else's interview, right? Sure. Can't remember the last time though.

If they made a movie of your life, who would play you?
Clint Eastwood. He'd have to wear platforms though, and be made up to look tougher.

Pet peeve?
Chain letters.

If you weren't doing what you do, what job would you like to have?
President of the United States. Wanna win the war on terrorists? Swear me in.

Place you will never be found?
San Francisco during a "Smug Alert."

Why did you participate in this tagging?
Because it was Alex's idea and I'm worried that he doesn't like me. :P Sorry though, I'm going to break the chain.

Posted by: johngalt at September 18, 2006 3:10 PM

The Left's Breeding Problem

San Franscisco Chronicle

    "Liberals have got a big 'baby problem,' and it risks being the death of them," contends Arthur Brooks, professor at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Public Affairs. He reckons that unless something gives, Democratic politicians in the future may not have many babies to kiss.

    "When secular-minded Americans decide to have few, or no, children, they unwittingly give a strong evolutionary advantage to the other side of the culture divide," writes Phillip Longman, senior fellow at the New America Foundation. "If 'Metros' don't start having more children, America's future is 'Retro.' "


James Taranto calls part of it "the Roe effect"... Democrats are slowly aborting themselves to smaller numbers, but also factored in are other considerations. Urban liberals vs suburban/rural conservatives and the cost of space.

Religion also makes an appearance as well as this..

    Liberal women are statistically more likely to delay childbirth into later years than are conservative women, and they may also be more open to abortion, although the data is unclear. Gays and lesbians, who vote Democratic by a roughly 4-1 ratio, are much less likely to have children than heterosexuals.

No! How much less likely?

Finally, there's this.... and it sounds like natural selection at work.

    some on the left advocate fewer children as "socially responsible" to lessen the toll on the planet's finite resources.

Darwin would be proud.

Perhaps Marc Steyn is right. Demographics is destiny.... and the Democrats demographics are on the downturn.

Posted by AlexC at 12:38 PM | Comments (4)
But dagny thinks:

On this note, for any of you that have not heard the news, we are working on producing our second little girl, due in January. BWA-HA-HA-HA. Lots of little objectivists running around.

Our first, the pre two-year-old, is busy developing an appropriate acquisitiveness. She clearly states, Mine, go away. She does a pretty good job with, touchdown, too if only the Broncos could score any. Also, what the heck happened to the Eagles yesterday AlexC?

Posted by: dagny at September 18, 2006 11:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Mazel tov!

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2006 10:23 AM
But jk thinks:

I know you guys are not big on the P-man, but do you ever worry about Plato's "Generation of Opposities:" your children rebelling and looking leftward?

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2006 10:28 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I've thought about it and I can't imagine what could cause our children to be different than us. We're going to teach them how to think critically, which empowers them, and impose reasonable limits on their freedoms, which gives them security. We won't ask them to believe anything is so because "we (or anyone else) said so" and we won't ever let them believe that life is fair.

In short, we'll teach them how to live happy lives and they won't need pot or hippies or rebellion to search for some kind of false happiness.

To be precise, if our children were to swing opposite of us it would not be to the left, but toward irrationality and collectivism. (That happens to be what the left is right now, but that can change. Our underlying principles will not.) When they find that these things get them nowhere at home, I doubt they'll give them a try when they leave the nest either. And if they do, they'll find those things still get them nowhere, or at least, nowhere they'll want to be.

Posted by: johngalt at September 20, 2006 7:53 PM

September 12, 2006

The One & Only Lileks

LILEKS (James) :: the Bleat

I dislike most TV, most modern music, and most movies, but love the big messy hot throbbing blob of Western pop culture, partly because I connect with part of it like a dog biting on a live wire, and partly because the loud rude crass mess spells freedom, and that is the root word at the heart of the American experiment. We can always learn ! from others, but theyve much to learn from us. Unless they have a 200+ year track record of expanding rights and unimaginable prosperity as well.

So young James enumerates the contradictions that would make an all-political site under his direction bad. Sorry, I am not convinced!

Posted by John Kranz at 4:15 PM

September 6, 2006

Boorish Benefit

I consider myself a courteous driver. I let people in, keep my composure in almost every situation, and try not to be an ass****.

Yet, like much of life, there are times when attempts at kindness have unintended consequences. I have long felt that one of these was "left lane closed in 2000 feet." The nice guy thing to do is to merge right, the ahem thing to do is to wait until the lane ends, then force yourself into the stream of good decent folk who merged early.

Attila at Pillage Idiot takes this on in Highway game theory.

My question is: Assume you have to comply with all traffic laws. You're on a highway with four lanes in each direction, and traffic is fairly heavy. You see a sign telling you that the two left lanes will be closed in 2000 feet. What's your best strategy to minimize the time you will be delayed? (Using the shoulder isn't a legal answer, because the traffic laws don't permit it.)

Let's call the four lanes 1, 2, 3, and 4, from left to right, where 1 and 2 are the left lanes that are going to be closed, and 3 and 4 are the two right lanes. Which lane or lanes do you drive in?


In spite of doing some time in Mathematics and the AI industry, my game theory is weak. My economics is slightly less weak.

The lane is a scarce resource, by merging early, you are increasing the scarcity -- why not use all 2000 feet? More significant still, all that early merging creates 2000 feet of stoppage. At the end of the lane, there is a natural merge point where everyone can choose the same spot.

Attila claims empirical evidence that it works best for the driver (he uses the nicer work jerk). I claim it's fairer and ultimately faster for everyone.

Objections?

Posted by John Kranz at 12:51 PM | Comments (3)
But Attila (Pillage Idiot) thinks:

What I didn't mention is that efficiency is improved even more if, when you see that "lane closed" sign, you move into the lane that's going to be closed -- and use it until the last minute. I say "efficiency" because it seems more like jerk-itude. But I've tried it, and it works.

By the way, thanks for the economic analysis. Now I don't have to feel like such a jerk. I'm avoiding the use of scarce resources.

Posted by: Attila (Pillage Idiot) at September 6, 2006 3:30 PM
But jk thinks:

When you need a buzzword, man, I'm there.

You East Coast guys can move into the empty lane -- that will get you some severe disapprobation in a square state.

Posted by: jk at September 6, 2006 4:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Mathematics, artificial intelligence, economics... how about fluid dynamics?

I agree with Attila if the percentage of closed lanes is less than 50%, as in his example. If only 1 lane is closed on a 3 or 4 lane highway, however, the best place to be is... the lane furthest away. Once lane 1 ends, the traffic from lanes 1 and 2 is now squeezed into lane 2. Traffic will be least affected in lane 3 or, if it exists, lane 4 (since some of the traffic in 2 will move to 3 to escape the merging pressure.)

This analysis presumes that traffic is actually flowing at decent speeds. At very low speeds all the lanes move at about the same rate and Attila's solution works because you're passing parked cars (like his off-ramp example). In that case you are maximizing use of a scarce resource, it is true, but you're also increasing risk that you'll have to risk jerkitude when the scarce resource is exhausted.

Speaking of jerkitude, have you ever needed to merge from an on-ramp but another car was right next to you, blocking your merge? I give cars to the left the right-of-way so unless that traffic is clearly slow and I have a long ramp, I wait for them to pass before merging. Most drivers see this and speed up. Not the jerk I saw this morning. He had what I've dubbed "CCAAC" disease. "Cruise-control at any cost." You see these people in the left lane too, shadowing traffic for miles at a time as they barely, excruciatingly, overtake slower traffic. You know, the cruise control can be temporarily overridden by the accelerator for a reason you sanctimonious self-absorbed public nuisances!

Posted by: johngalt at September 7, 2006 3:30 PM

August 16, 2006

12 Planets

Back in my day, we only had NINE PLANETS! .... and that's how we liked it!

    Astronomers, hold on to your telescopes.

    The solar system has 12 planets, not nine.

    That's the earthshaking conclusion of an influential international committee, which on Wednesday will recommend a new definition of what qualifies as a planet.

    The change is necessary, experts say, because of discoveries in the past decade that have revealed a glut of Pluto-sized bodies beyond the orbit of Pluto - until now considered the furthest planet from the sun.

Posted by AlexC at 11:35 AM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Kids today, with their iPods and Internet. They don't know what it was like out in the cold, watching Uranus through binoculars in the snow...

Posted by: jk at August 16, 2006 12:35 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Barefoot and shivering is the only way astronomy should be performed.

Posted by: AlexC at August 16, 2006 1:24 PM
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

These guys are bozos. Most people can name 3 planets TOTAL. Earth, Mars and Saturn. And that is because Saturn is a car and Mars Needs Women.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at August 16, 2006 2:24 PM
But dagny thinks:

On a related note, I heard on the radio the other morning that some large percentage of Americans can name the planet that Superman is from while only a much smaller percentage can name the planet closest to the sun in our own solar system.

Are they trying to make it even more difficult on our poor ignorant populace? It must be a Karl Rove plot to damage the egos of minority students.

Posted by: dagny at August 16, 2006 5:07 PM
But jk thinks:

Name the planets after famous civil rights leaders! All the children will know the orbital period and distance to the sun of Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and Planet Al Sharpton!

(The sound you hear is jk's last hope of holding electoral office glugging down the toilet of Google cache...)

Posted by: jk at August 16, 2006 6:21 PM

August 7, 2006

Definitions

Greg Gutfield defines fear from the left

    Fear that you hate the right for the same reason you hate your dad because you know that he is right and that you are a loser and you will always be a loser and that you are sabotaging your life and those of everyone around you because that makes you that angry.

Awesome.

It's a good mix of seriousness and levity... but they're mostly serious. Like the above example.

Posted by AlexC at 10:30 PM

August 2, 2006

Faith

Five-Pillars-of-the-Liberal-Faith.gif

Posted by AlexC at 6:03 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

True enough, but as the information age advances the strength of these pillars is compromised. Even today I suggest that most of these five are severely cracked.

Posted by: johngalt at August 3, 2006 1:35 AM
But jk thinks:

Name calling seems pretty robust...

Posted by: jk at August 3, 2006 1:44 PM

July 31, 2006

Choice

NBC10.com

    Author Linda Hirshman is calling stay-at-home mothers a "brain drain." She is even calling for a reproductive strike until men agree to take on more work at home. Hirshman said she believes it is time for a revolution.

    "It is time. After 25 years of hearing from nothing but the stay-at-home moms and why it's so wonderful to stay at home, it is time for another message," Hirshman said.

    Hirshman said women could only lead flourishing lives if they have a career outside the home.

    "My most important message is that women are bearing the full burden of housekeeping as well as childbearing, and that combination makes it very difficult for them to work in the public or larger world," Hirshman said.


...
    Hirshman said she thinks women who stay at home, especially highly educated ones, are not using their capacities fully. She said they should stay on the job and push for change in society.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Linda Hershman is pro-choice. Except when it comes to raising kids.

For the record, my wife is one of those "highly educated" stay at home moms. She wouldn't have it any other way.

Posted by AlexC at 9:55 PM | Comments (2)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

If she were pro-life, Channel 10 wouldn't have given her the air time!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at July 31, 2006 10:16 PM
But dagny thinks:

Ms. Hirshman gives us a classic example of Pillars 3 and 5 of the liberal faith shown above. Decisions regarding child-rearing should be made by individual mothers, and fathers based on what is best for their individual families. Yet, Ms. Hirshmans form of thought control insists that all men should do more at home and all women should work outside the home.

For the record, my husband does more dishes and changes more diapers than I do.

The next step is that thought control is enforced via pillar 5, unearned guilt. Those, "highly educated," stay-at-homes, are made to feel guilty that they are not contributing their brains to societys good. Maybe the cure for cancer wont be found since the genius woman doctor who would come up with it is at home wiping up baby drool. Hmm, cure for cancer or baby drool? I feel guilty just thinking about it and I do work outside the home. This is a very insidious form of thought control more commonly known as political correctness.

The other side of the coin is perhaps we already missed out on the cure for cancer since the Dr. who would have discovered it dropped out of high school since he was raised by a $10/ hr. day care worker and NOT by his highly intelligent and educated mother. This difference would be even more pronounced if the highly intelligent and educated mothers were not only staying at home but home-schooling.

Its clearly foolish to try to make these decisions on a general basis, which brings us back to the concept of an individual making her own decisions for her own life, both before AND after the birth of her child.

Posted by: dagny at August 3, 2006 3:50 PM

July 24, 2006

Goldstein Green-Lighted

Jeff at protein wisdom relates an unusual story:

I dont what to make of this, but I was out picking up lunch from a small middle eastern restaurant near the university when three men, their faces partially obscured by green and yellow bandanas, launched an orchestrated strike on me using heavy falafel balls and what I think must have been shanklish.

I wasnt seriously injuredone of the falafel balls grazed my shoulder, while the shanklish overshot me and landed on a table to my flank, causing a bit of shawarma to lodge in a toddlers ear and some tabbouleh juice to blind his mother momentarilybut unfortunately, in the ensuing chaos the three attackers were able to flee the scene on a pair of old, dirt-crusted Vespas.

But the really strange part of all this was that I hadnt even begun to wipe the fried chick pea detritus off my Fubu madras before a nattily dressed gentleman claiming to be from the State Department slipped me his card and told me that, should I wish to respond to the attack, Id have roughly ten days to do so.

After that, he said, I would either have to go back to being a Zionist oppressor hated by the vast majority of the world, or else come up with some of that really funny Jew stuff like Larry David does.


I've been there. I think it's the first MidEastern restaurant in the Denver area. More importantly, I salute Jeff's right to self-defense. If there's a march or a scotch tasting on his behalf, I'm there.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:02 PM

Back in tha Day

I got on the internets in the fall of 1995, as a young and dumb freshman at Drexel University.

One of these days, my 3 year old daughter will come across this page, and say, "Daddy, in 1996, the internet was LAME!"

... and with a tear in my eye, I'll say to my grown up daughter, "Yes, Veronica. The internet was lame back in the day."

"All I had was a 9600 baud modem and we were glad to have it!"

.... and perhaps some thirty years down the road beyond that day, my grandson will come across that page and say "Grampa, how could use use the interweb back in 1996? It was so ugly!"

"Yes, grandson, it was, but the porn was way easier to find."

But until that day, all I can say, like my parents and their gold / avocado colored 70's era kitchen.... "We didn't know any better."

Internet '96

Posted by AlexC at 3:13 AM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Have them call "Gramps jk." I was excited to see the (really lame) web pages I had created myself, when the company first went online.

Sadly, mine are too old to register. Their first entry for Spectra Logic is in 1996. I directed this but used a real artist.

http://web.archive.org/web/19961218232019/http://www.spectralogic.com/

(Four ThreeSources have worked for this company. LatteSipper and I work there now.)

Posted by: jk at July 24, 2006 10:21 AM
But jk thinks:

No, wait, if you follow the links in you get to my lame stuff. Live Oracle backup at 505GB/hour, btw, was a big deal. We threw a mountain of hardware at the problem to get that figure. Ahh, the glory days.

Posted by: jk at July 24, 2006 10:54 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Ah yes, remember it well. My first impression then was, "Is 'gonna' a real word?"

Posted by: johngalt at July 24, 2006 3:00 PM
But jk thinks:

It turns up 31 times on ThreeSources and 20 times on Berkeley Square Blog. Obviously a real word.

Posted by: jk at July 24, 2006 4:15 PM

July 23, 2006

How I learned to love the market.

One of my favorite radio talk show hosts, Michael Medved, is a thief.

But he's changed his ways. Thanks to market based innovations.

After a lifetime of taking hotel soaps and shampoos, a bath product dispenser has changed his life.

    Meanwhile, Im so struck by the sensible, ingenious nature of the bottle-on-the-wall scheme that I think Im finally ready to give up my embarrassingly extensive soap and shampoo collection. If anyone wants to buy it in return for a worthy contribution to an institution promoting free-market economics (Heritage Foundation, say, or American Enterprise Institute, or even Cato Institute), Im ready to sell (on the free market) and to provide you with an exotic, aging, and occasionally elegant collection of personally-sized bathroom supplies. Any takers?

Posted by AlexC at 1:14 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Sad that other people don't see the market's influence in innovation. The example I use is the built-in ZipLock(r) seals that are standard on tortillas and cheese and luncheon meat and now dog treats. No company would bother to use more expensive packaging and do the work of changing -- unless they felt they could sell more.

Posted by: jk at July 24, 2006 10:47 AM

July 19, 2006

Odd Military Installation

You gotta see this.

Posted by AlexC at 8:02 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Aren't you glad they didn't model Montgomery County?

Posted by: jk at July 20, 2006 10:18 AM
But AlexC thinks:

The only aspect of their model I'm judging is this one...

How bass-ackwards is their military tech that they have to put dirt and cement nearly 1km on a side so they can model something.

Can't they do VR? It's not like there's a city to model. It's all hills.

Damn. They should have just bought MS Flight Simulator.

Posted by: AlexC at July 20, 2006 1:59 PM
But jk thinks:

Being China, they wouldn't even have to buy it -- they could just copy Pakistan's...

Posted by: jk at July 20, 2006 3:04 PM

Naked Man, Stolen Pigeon

SUFFOLK [Virginia] A naked man clutching a pigeon was arrested over the weekend after beating the bird against a car.
Attila at Pillage Idiot notes a story with all the key elements: "a naked man, a stolen bird, flailing, and the police."
Sometimes you have to come to terms with what you accomplish in life. Some people devote their lives to changing the world for the better. Some people start businesses to create products that alter the way in which people live. And then, some people post idiotic stories about naked people.
Posted by John Kranz at 4:55 PM

103" Plasma Screen

Must. Find. Spare. $50,000.

    Matsushita, the world's largest consumer electronics maker, has said it aims to sell 5,000 units of the 103-inch plasma panels per year worldwide, with TV demand counting for a little less than 20 percent of that figure.

    Measuring 2.4 metres by 1.4 metres and weighing 215 kg, the 103-inch panel is bigger than a double-sized mattress and almost as heavy as an upright piano.


It would probably through the floor into my basement, but it would be awesome.


plasmaEPA190706_228x162.jpg

Posted by AlexC at 12:16 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Watching those Senate hearings on C-SPAN, close-ups of Senator Kennedy...

Posted by: jk at July 19, 2006 12:26 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Urp! Teddy close-up? There goes dinner! :)

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at July 19, 2006 10:01 PM

July 2, 2006

Rick Monday

Hero

Posted by AlexC at 4:49 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Amen. We need more Rick Mondays and fewer Amendments.

Posted by: jk at July 3, 2006 9:53 AM

A Disconnect

Chris Bowers at the liberal blog, MyDD asks....

    Establishment media? Traditional media? Corporate media? Mainstream media? Top-down media? Something else? Which term do you think best describes the national media in America that is not overtly partisan, but has been sucked into the vortex of the right-wing noise machine? For example, what term best describes CNN and the Washington Post (ostensibly neutral), but not Fox News and the Washington Times (overtly right-wing partisan).

Whew... if the media is right wing, where does that put me?

For the record, my vote is "clueless media."

Posted by AlexC at 12:59 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Definitely "Corporate Media" Chris. The ability to share risk and rewards of enterprise through legal contracts is the root of all evil. Don't ever be afraid to use "Corporate" as a pejorative!

Posted by: jk at July 2, 2006 1:25 PM

July 1, 2006

Secrets

So if (for whatever reason) you wanted to know where the Vice President's wife shops, what would you do?

1) Stalk her?
2) Hang around the Naval Observatory?
3) Read the New York Times.

It's not a top secret, obviously, but c'mon.

Posted by AlexC at 1:37 AM

June 29, 2006

Oil Prices Going Down?

Kudlow says we're going to be surprised.

    The Energy Department just announced that crude oil supplies rose 1.4 million barrels to 347.1 million for the week ended June 16. Analysts had been expecting a drawdown, so this news caught them by surprise. More, crude oil supplies in the U.S. are now at their highest levels since May 1998, when oil was trading around $15 a barrel. Add in the fact that Canadian oil inventories are fully stocked, and the more imminent reality is of a sizable oil-price decrease -- not a huge increase.

    Recently I interviewed four oil-tanker executives who control a combined 85 percent of the oil coming into the United States. They confirmed market rumors that the amount of oil being stored on large carriers on the high seas is abnormally high. One of the CEOs even predicted the possibility of $40 to $50 oil in the next 6 to 12 months. In another interview, Chevron CEO David O'Reilly suggested that gasoline and energy demands have flattened in the U.S., and may be showing signs of decline.

Posted by AlexC at 12:38 AM

June 28, 2006

Truth, Justice ...

... and all that stuff.

    Mike Dougherty and Dan Harris, the two credited screenwriters for 'Superman Returns' have changed Supermans famous motto, "Truth, Justice and the American way", to "Truth Justice and ... all that stuff". Seriously. No, really.
      Dan: "I don't think 'the American way' means what it meant in 1945." Mike: "He's not just for Metropolis and not just for America." Dan: "He's an alien, from Krypton; he has come to Earth to be kind of a savior for this world, not our country . . . And he has no papers." Mike: "What would happen with the immigration laws we have now?" Dan: "I'd like to see someone kick him out!"

    Yes, yes, good for you two jackasses. Aren't you just so clever. I bet Stalin and Kim Jung-il couldn't be prouder.

... and there's more.

Posted by AlexC at 3:07 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

I was disappointed when I first heard that "..and the American Way" had been expunged. But as a free trader, I have to accept it as a side-effect of exporting American intellectual property to wide international distribution.

It would not be "the American Way" to alienate a potential customer, nicht wahr? N'est ce pas?

Posted by: jk at June 28, 2006 3:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Millions of tired, poor, huddled masses did not risk everything to come to America mid-way through the 20th century because America was the land of "all that stuff." The "American Way" is freedom and opportunity. No other country can claim these as their guiding principles like America can.

Posted by: johngalt at June 28, 2006 4:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Well said jg.

Posted by: jk at June 28, 2006 4:49 PM

June 27, 2006

Defining the Mainstream

I think the size of the mainstream has been determined!

Atrios:

    As another Tapped commenter stated, "I'm no believer in astrology, or in virgin births, transubsantiation, or any number of very mainstream religious beliefs..." And, indeed, belief in astrology is quite mainstream. In 2003, 31% of the population, including 27% of Christians were believers (down from 37% in 1998 with 37% of Christians believing). I'm not entirely sure how to classify astrology, but presumably it falls under the general umbrella of religious/spiritual beliefs.

    For an agnostic/atheist like myself lots of religious beliefs sound pretty nutty to me, but as Amy Sullivan keeps telling us we keep losing elections because people like me aren't sufficiently respectful of religious beliefs even though, you know, we generally are. And, now, from left to right, from Tap to TNR to the wingnutosphere, people are falling all over themselves to mock someone who had a perfectly mainstream belief apparently shared by millions and millions of Americans.


In related news, liking George Bush's job performance, might just be mainstream.
    President Bush's approval rating rebounded from its lowest point a month ago and now stands at 38 percent. That is five points higher than it was in May, though still weak enough to cause Republicans to worry about their electoral chances in November.

38% is right in line with 1998's definition of mainstream and way better than contemporary definitions of mainstream.

It's so good to be back in the mainstream again. Despite my disagreement with federal spending lately (really for a while), the line-item veto stuff has brought me back. Let's hope it passes.

Posted by AlexC at 1:58 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

That may be the secret of all those mainstream Democrats winning all those elections. In Israel, I'd bet 31% is a plurality.

Posted by: jk at June 27, 2006 3:19 PM

June 26, 2006

Fool Me Once?

If this is true, Rush is done.

    Sources have confirmed to CBS4 News that conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been detained at Palm Beach International Airport for the possible possession of illegal prescription drugs Monday evening.

    Limbaugh was returning on a flight from the Dominican Republic when officials found the drugs, among them Viagra.


Not sure what Viagra has anything to do with it. Other than a cheapshot.

Maybe he's got a prescription.

It would be odd for him to fly somewhere for the price break.

Update: Move along, nothing to see here.

    While going through routine Customs inspection of luggage at Palm Beach International Airport upon his return from an international trip, Rush Limbaugh was detained by customs agents after they noticed a non-narcotic prescription drug, which had been prescribed by Mr. Limbaugh's treating physician but labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes. After a brief interview, Mr. Limbaugh was permitted to continue on his journey.

Posted by AlexC at 9:28 PM | Comments (1)
But Charlie on the PA Turpike thinks:

From the looks of things, Rush Limbaugh has little to worry about, saving for local Customs agents looking to make the local media for bringing in a big-fish.

Posted by: Charlie on the PA Turpike at June 27, 2006 7:27 AM

June 24, 2006

Schadenfreude

With all the hullabaloo breaking out over Jerome Armstrong and Kos, my question is, "How come Jerome didn't see it coming?

Posted by AlexC at 12:43 PM

June 23, 2006

I'm Joining the ACLU

No. Really.

Here's why.

    "The revelation of the CIA's financial spying program is another example of the Bush administration's abuse of power. The invasion of our personal financial information, without notification or judicial review, is contrary to the fundamental American value of privacy and must be stopped now. It seems the administration feels entitled to flip through all of our checkbooks. How many other secret spying programs has the Bush administration enacted without Congress, the courts or the public knowing? We need a full accounting of what information has been demanded by the U.S. government, how they have used it, with whom it was shared, and how they intend to repair this grave breech of trust. This program is a glaring example of how this government thinks nothing of widespread abuse of power.

Death to INCOME TAXES!

Posted by AlexC at 9:06 PM

CrashingtheGateGate

That stings.

Posted by AlexC at 1:38 PM

June 22, 2006

Good Doggie!

Blonde Sagacity links to the story of a beagle who dialed 911 and saved its owner. ALa asks Would a Cat Do This...?

The dog was trained to detect potential diabetic attacks by licking and sniffing Mr. Weaver's nose to check his blood sugar levels and pawing him. Belle resorted to dialing for help when Mr. Weaver fell unconscious.

The dog used her teeth to press the number nine key, which the phone was programmed to interpret as a "911" call to emergency services. Ambulance workers answered the phone and, hearing nothing but barking at the end of the line, rushed to the caller's house in the city of Ocoee in Florida state.


Posted by John Kranz at 5:30 PM

TNR is Dead! Long Live TNR!

Latest CrashingTheGateGate news:

DailyKos: TNR's Defection to the Right Is Now Complete

    It is now beyond clear that the dying New Republic is mortally wounded and cornered, desperate for relevance. It has lost half its circulation since the blogs arrived on the scene and they no longer (thank heavens!) have a monopoly on progressive punditry. We have hit their bottom line, we are hitting their patron saint hard (Joe Lieberman) and this is how they respond. By going after the entire movement.

    Sad, perhaps. But this is apparently the price one pays for crashing the gate.

MyDD: Who Owns The New Republic?

    Unlike the progressive netroots, which is primarily a network of independently owned and operated websites and email lists, The New Republic is owned by wealthy right-wingers. One quit the DLC in 1996 because he thought Bill Clinton was too liberal (seriously). The other is the chairman of a right-wing think tank. I can only imagine that because those two men probably know every rich Republican in the country, that everything The New Republic writes should be considered Astroturf from now on.

That's interesting in light of the second outing of the Townhouse group. Which sets the course of the left wing blogs.
Of course, Jonathan Chait of The New Republic is forced to respond.
    Kos announces in his headline, "TNR's defection to the Right is now complete." If this sounds vaguely familiar, it's because it is. More than two years ago, Kos launched what he called his "anti-TNR campaign," in which he declared us to be enemies of the people. Wait, sorry, wrong jargon--I meant, enemies of the people-powered movement. Some examples of the anti-TNR campaign can be found here, here, and here.

    He has refused to link to our stories--except of course the minority that attack the left, all the better to display our enemy status--and declared us irrelevant and buried in the dustbin of history. Except now, two years after having unleashed his most terrible weapons, he has to bury us all over again. And so, he urges his readers, "If you still hold a subscription to that magazine, it really is time to call it quits." This is like the Catholic Church digging up the heretic it had already burned at the stake so it can excommunicate the corpse a second time.


I know JK subscribes to the New Republic, because he is a sensitive New Age guy. I'm tempted now to do so.

Heh.

Posted by AlexC at 4:44 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

TNR is a great American publication with a rich anti-Communist history -- and a way to get the Democratic view on things without much moonbattery.

As it happens, I was going to let my (digital-only) subscription lapse because I thought the lefties had taken over without Peter Beinart's firm moderating hand at the helm.

Guess you cannot please everybody. In the end, this is a question for the Democratic Party: are you going to let the Kos Kids take over or not?

Posted by: jk at June 22, 2006 5:08 PM

Crashing the Gates

So... how long until "Blogola" or "Kosola" gets renamed "Crashing The Gate-Gate"?

Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas did write the book afterall.

I bet when the mainstream media picks up on it.

Everything is a "gate" with them. Reliving the glory days.

Posted by AlexC at 1:02 AM

June 21, 2006

I Can't Quit You

Here's a horror story of someone trying to quit AOL.

There's too much to the transcript to post it. But it's annoying.

Good for him for posting it online.

Posted by AlexC at 5:17 PM

Blogola

What's the first rule of Blogola?

Don't talk about Blogola.

Here's an excerpt of an email sent by Markos Moulistas to the Townhouse, an email list of elite liberal bloggers.

    My request to you guys is that you ignore this for now. It would make my life easier if we can confine the story. Then, once Jerome can speak and defend himself, then I'll go on the offensive (which is when I would file any lawsuits) and anyone can pile on. If any of us blog on this right now, we fuel the story. Let's starve it of oxygen. And without the "he said, she said" element to the story, you know political journalists are paralyzed into inaction.

Posted by AlexC at 5:12 PM

June 17, 2006

Questioning Patriotism

Dixie Chick Emily Robison...

    "A lot of pandering started going on, and you'd see soldiers and the American flag in every video. It became a sickening display of ultra-patriotism."

    "The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country I don't see why people care about patriotism."


But you know, you really shouldn't question their patriotism, while they question yours.

Posted by AlexC at 9:59 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I will credit her with candor. I wish others of her ilk would be this honest.

Our country's history of establishing and spreading freedom is a great source of pride to me. Our flag stands for that. Seeing the soldiers, sailors, and marines who leave their families and fly around the world to get shot at in dust and sand and 140 degree heat brings tears of pride.

Ms. Robison does not think any of this is important and a lot of people (especially in the UK) agree with her. Not important. Not on the level of hair care or whether to have salmon teriyaki with organic greens, or asparagus tempura and tuna sashimi.

Posted by: jk at June 17, 2006 11:18 AM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

"A lot of pandering started going on, and you'd see soldiers and the American flag in every video. It became a sickening display of ultra-patriotism."


Oh,..as opposed to that sickening display of UN-backed Bush-bashing the MSM serves us every night at dinner?

What a b***h!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at June 17, 2006 6:22 PM

June 15, 2006

iPod Accessories


Eventually, someone's got to say "enough."

    It gives a completely new meaning to the phrase 'rock 'n' roll'. For boffins have invented a cutting-edge gadget combining a portable music player and a toilet paper dispenser.

    The state-of-the-art device - called an iCarta - makes it easier for people to listen to beats while using the bathroom.

    It is designed, according to the US manufacturers, to "enhance your experience in the smallest room".

    The gadget, which costs around $99, or 54, merges an iPod docking station with a loo roll dispenser.

    After music lovers have downloaded songs from the internet on their iPod, they can place it in a socket in the top of the dispenser.


I guess reading the newspaper, magazines or books in the can has become passe'.

It would probably be ok if you were taking a shower or a bath, but if you had a half bath?

It also begs the question... if you dropped it in the holder, would you put it on shuffle, and take care of business, or constantly fast forward and navigate the menus?

Oh, and iCarta is a silly name. No one's going to confuse me for a mature person, but I'm thinking iFarta is better.

Posted by AlexC at 1:09 PM

June 13, 2006

Go Up, Young Man

Stephen Hawking...

    "We won't find anywhere as nice as Earth unless we go to another star system," added Hawking, who arrived to a rock star's welcome Monday. Tickets for his lecture planned for Wednesday were sold out.

    He added that if humans can avoid killing themselves in the next 100 years, they should have space settlements that can continue without support from Earth.

    "It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species," Hawking said. "Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of."


I guess asteroids raining down on us or alien invasion didn't make the list.

Posted by AlexC at 10:08 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

ManBearPig!

Posted by: jk at June 13, 2006 1:39 PM

June 11, 2006

That's Odd

NBC10.com

    The Rev. Alex Kendrick, who directed and stars in "Facing the Giants," said it was produced for only $100,000 by using members of his Georgia church for both cast and crew.

    Kendrick said when he sought permission to use a song by the Christian band "Third Day," their record label's parent company, Sony Pictures, asked to see the film and agreed to release it in 400 theaters in late September.

    But after the Motion Picture Association of America rated the film, Kendrick said he was told that it got the 'Parental Guidance' rating for being so openly religious. Kendrick said he's never heard of that criteria before and suggests it shows how much times have changed.


The Passion was rated R for it's violence (the scourging scenes were especially graphic). I can't recall any other openly religious movies lately. Perhaps VP Al Gore's An Inconvienent Truth.

Resident movie critic JK, any ideas?

Posted by AlexC at 10:14 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Narnia, though I suppose there is one level of indirection.

As long as the movie ratings are voluntary and somewhat useful, I don't see too much room for abuse. I cannot imagine anybody will not see "Facing the Giants" because of a PG rating.

Jay Nordlinger at National Review points out that he went to a high school play. It featured course language, debauchery, &c. Yet the theater and program explicitly warned attendees that the play featured "herbal cigarettes and gunfire."

This culture has changed. Someday we might try to catalog whether it has been for the better or worse.

Posted by: jk at June 12, 2006 9:38 AM

June 10, 2006

Google Searches

No one here has blogged about Google in a while.

But someone at the Google Blogoscope has compiled a list of censored searches at the Chinese Google.

The top 10?

    democracy
    rights
    human
    human rights
    army
    mao zedong
    what google censors
    tiananmen
    bird flu
    bbc

Human is censored? I guess a search like that could lead to "human rights"... but that's really casting a wide net.

Posted by AlexC at 10:24 AM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Pick at that scab! Pretty soon, none of us will be on speaking terms with another.

I will concede that CW has gone entirely your way; even a lot of Google people think they were wrong.

Yet I stubbornly hold on to my contention that it is no different to ask British Petroleum not to sell gas that contributes to global warming. We should remove the "consciousness" from corporations and let them be bound by the invisible hand. Maximize the asset value of shareholders and let others fight for universal rights. Donate some money if you want.

Professor Reynolds contends that they have lost their cool factor with the China deal and the censoring of conservative blogs. People are eyeing them skeptically and boycotting. For what it's worth, I'm a Yahoo guy by tradition and inertia but I wouldn't claim they had done much better.

My last company was almost bought by the "Dogpile" folks. They are nice and bright, check out dogpile.com.

Posted by: jk at June 10, 2006 1:05 PM
But AlexC thinks:

BP should continue to sell gas because that's always been their goal. (Well, really it's make money)

Make fuel.

Google's whole point was to provide information. When they go deliberately tampering with the information, not for some technical reason, but for a governmental reason, that's where people get pissed.

Posted by: AlexC at June 11, 2006 10:59 AM
But jk thinks:

Aha! You found it yourself. Google is not in business to provide information, they are in business to sell advertising. Operating in China allows them to sell more advertising.

If you talk to a Google engineer (which I do not recommend) they like to say their business is "raising the world's IQ." By providing hobbled Google to the Chinese instead of a state owned solution, I would say they had succeeded on that point as well.

You might have a compatriot at Banana Oil. Ian has to experience the firewall firsthand http://blog.ianhamet.com/index.php/archive/2006/06/01/1859/ Plus his quote from "The Fountainhead" will be well received.

Posted by: jk at June 11, 2006 12:32 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Ok, mea culpa. Google's business NOW is to make money. They used to be about finding information. The two google founders worked on it as part of PhD work.

Posted by: AlexC at June 11, 2006 1:18 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah but the $117 BBBBillion market cap is not a referendum on their research, it exists to pursue business opportunities.

I know we'll never agree on that but don't you see a danger in asking a corporation to pursue some greater good than increasing asset value? It's going to be far more frequently employed by leftists who'll want an agenda you don't agree with.

How about companies make money and bloggers save the world?

Posted by: jk at June 11, 2006 6:19 PM
But AlexC thinks:

All I'm asking is that a corporation persues their stated ideals. If it's "do no evil" I'm at a loss as to how that fits with "kowtowing to a evil political system."

If they're going to do the latter, they should drop pretense of the former.

Posted by: AlexC at June 11, 2006 10:23 PM

June 6, 2006

Google Spreadsheets

This sounds interesting.

Google is coming out with an online spreadsheet.

    Create basic spreadsheets from scratch.
    You can start from scratch and do all the basics, including changing the number format, sorting by columns, and adding formulas.

    Upload your spreadsheet files.
    Upload spreadsheets or worksheets from CSV or XLS format - all your formulas and formatting will come across intact.


That's the hook right there. Your existing spreadsheets are going to get sucked in, and work. I just wonder how well.

Posted by AlexC at 10:56 AM

June 4, 2006

Scamming the Airlines

NBC10.com

    Authorities are investigating whether two Philadelphia police officers got nearly $10,000 worth of free plane tickets by consistently buying refundable tickets on sold-out flights.

    Lt. Michael Lista and Officer Joseph Chicano, both of whom have retired in the last two months, deny doing anything wrong. They patrolled Philadelphia International Airport for more than five years each.

    The police department and the district attorney's office were investigating whether the officers received free vouchers for flights by volunteering to be "bumped" and cashing in refundable tickets that they never intended to use.


Heh. I like that one.

Posted by AlexC at 9:48 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

At the risk of being called situational in law-and-order*, it is hard to side with overbooking airlines over some Philly cops.

*You know who you are!

Posted by: jk at June 5, 2006 11:09 AM

On the Web

BBC

    A US state is to enlist web users in its fight against illegal immigration by offering live surveillance footage of the Mexican border on the internet.
    The plan will allow web users worldwide to watch Texas' border with Mexico and phone the authorities if they spot any apparently illegal crossings.

    Texas Governor Rick Perry said the cameras would focus on "hot-spots and common routes" used to enter the US.


This is a clever idea, except for the one tragic downfall.

The toll-free call in number. How long before it's rendered useless by crank calls?

Posted by AlexC at 9:43 PM

June 2, 2006

Snakes on the Plane

For real!

    "Nothing in any of the manuals ever described anything like this," the 62-year-old Cross Lanes resident said. But the advice given 25 years earlier from his flight instructor immediately came to mind: "No matter what happens, fly the plane."

    An attempt to swat the snake only resulted in it falling to Coles' feet under the rudder pedals. It then darted to the other side of the cockpit.

    While maintaining control of the single-engine plane with one hand, Coles grabbed the reptile behind its head with his other.

    "There was no way I was letting that thing go. It coiled all around my arm, and its tail grabbed hold of a lever on the floor and started pulling," Coles said.


Holy crap!

Posted by AlexC at 2:52 PM

May 28, 2006

Frivolous Lawsuit Night

Part of the magic of minor league baseball are the extra-curricular activities at the ballpark. Sure, the players play hungrier, but the combination of cheap hot dogs, cheap beer, cheap seats and intra-inning horseplay makes it a great time.

But even more importantly are the giveaways.

And the Altoona Curve (so named for the famous curve) have topped everyone.

    Inspired by a Los Angeles Angels fan who filed a lawsuit against the club because he did not receive a red nylon tote bag as part of the major league club's Mothers Day promotion last May, the Altoona Curve have announced that they will be holding Salute to Frivolous Lawsuit Night as part of their Sunday, July 2nd game at Blair County Ballpark.

The giveaways are pretty standard ballpark fare, except of course the lukewarm coffee.
    We realize that these giveaways as part of our Salute to Frivolous Lawsuit Night are fairly stupid and serve no real purpose, said Curve General Manager Todd Parnell. But if our fans dont like them, then they can sue us!

Heh.

(tip to Club for Growth)

Posted by AlexC at 12:26 PM

May 15, 2006

Strip Poker

Reuters

    Ireland will play host to the world's biggest ever strip poker contest if bookmaker Paddy Power gets its way.

    The idea was originally floated as an April Fool's joke but generated so much interest that Dublin-based Paddy Power has decided to look seriously at organising a contest it hopes will find a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

    "We got almost 100 requests to take part," the company's spokesman, also called Paddy Power, said. "We're trying to investigate whether it's possible or whether we'll get put in prison for it."


I'm thinking that as long as it's all women, and not the regular pro-poker cadre, late night cable TV just got a whole lot better.

Posted by AlexC at 6:55 PM

May 7, 2006

Accountability

Senator John Kerry gives a speech where he says this...

Dismissing dissent is not only wrong, but dangerous when Americas leadership is unwilling to admit mistakes, unwilling to engage in honest discussion, and unwilling to hold itself accountable for the consequences of decisions made without genuine disclosure, or genuine debate. As Thomas Jefferson said, dissent is the highest form of patriotism."

How many different problems exist in two sentences?

Jeff Goldstein counts the ways.

Posted by AlexC at 3:25 PM

Then and Now

Here's a comparison of how far technology has brought us since the 70s.

Now and Then

What blew me away was the tennis comparison. I thought that was a picture of a real tennis match.

One of my three year old's toys is a cordless phone that my wife had back in they day. Everyonce in a while, I'll pick it up and say, "Rachael, it's for you. The 80's want their phone back." Gosh, that thing's a beast.

Posted by AlexC at 1:10 PM

May 6, 2006

Immortality

If your very unique name made it in the title of a extremely catchy rock song, how would you deal with it?

Capitalize on it!

I knew the song was about a real person!

Posted by AlexC at 2:09 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Really high on my list of terrible songs of all time: I was in a top40 band when that came out and had to play it ALL the time. The octave lick still gives me chills.

Posted by: jk at May 6, 2006 10:51 AM
But AlexC thinks:

JK, the song is infectious! May it ring in your head all day long!

Posted by: AlexC at May 6, 2006 12:24 PM

May 3, 2006

Mexican Drug Policy

Amsterdam? Why bother?

How about Mexico?

    Mexican President Vicente Fox will sign a bill that would legalize the use of nearly every drug and narcotic sold by the same Mexican cartels he's vowed to fight during his five years in office, a spokesman said Tuesday.

    The list of illegal drugs approved for personal consumption by Mexico's Congress last week is enough to make one dizzy or worse.

    Cocaine. Heroin. LSD. Marijuana. PCP. Opium. Synthetic opiates. Mescaline. Peyote. Psilocybin mushrooms. Amphetamines. Methamphetamines.


I propose a trade.

Your workers for our junkies. That might put an end to all this immigration talk.

Posted by AlexC at 12:15 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I had seen a small story on this, thanks for the link.

I have to applaud Mexico for this. This country has a lot more severe problems than personal drug use by its citizenry. I think that makes the US (puritans!) the only place in North America where one can be jailed for small amounts of marijuana.

I would not punish anyone for possession, but I would prosecute fiercely for legal infractions or driving while impaired.

A Samizdata commenter last year moved to Mexico (from the UK), calling it one of the last free places on earth. I ain't moving there, but it i8s emerging as a libertarian oasis of sorts. If they could just control corruption, we'd be swimming the Rio Grande southward.

Posted by: jk at May 3, 2006 3:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

What do you mean "they?" Don't you know that "Republicans are controlled by a culture of corruption?"

Posted by: johngalt at May 4, 2006 2:38 PM

May 2, 2006

Is It Me?

Or does the left have an awful lot invested in Colbert bashing the President?

http://thankyoustephencolbert.org/

Dean Barnett explains the whole kerfuffle.

Posted by AlexC at 8:30 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

It's not you. Taranto nails it:

"We have often suggested that the left in America doesn't really stand for anything. Well, we stand corrected. Evidently the left in America stands for one thing: the proposition that Stephen Colbert is funny, or at least that he was at the White House Correspondents Association dinner over the weekend."
http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110008326

Sugarchuck told me of a William Kristol appearance on Colbert's CC show, and Hugh Hewitt had nice albeit pre-kerfuiffle words for the host.

A new generation is getting its news from Comedy news. Some thought of Colbert as a conservative foil to Jon Stewart, but that looks cooked.

I guess we have South Park...

Posted by: jk at May 3, 2006 5:03 PM

License Plates

ClubForGrowth's blog has pictures of a few kick-ass license plates.
TAXCUTS
LZY FARE (took me a second)
and a boat called Laissez Faire. (Cool dog, btw)

That got me thinking about an economics vanity plate for myself.

My troublemaking friend, Chris, already has Pennsylvania's "TAXCUTS" plate taken. LZY FARE seemed a little obtuse to figure out.

The game here is it's got to be 8 characters, with only a space or hyphen (but not both).

NVIS HAND maybe?

ADMSMITH?

JOHNGALT?

RANDROID?

NO TAXES?

Any ideas?

Posted by AlexC at 8:04 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I Like NVISHAND (That seems more abstruse than LZY FARE to me but I like a vanity plate that inspires thought).

FREETRDR

TAXMENOT

Posted by: jk at May 3, 2006 10:43 AM
But jk thinks:

LAFFER, or LFFRCRV, or if you get 3SRCS in PA, I will do the same in CO

Posted by: jk at May 5, 2006 11:19 AM

Quote of the Day

Power Corrupts.
PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely.
-- Edward R. Tufte, professor emeritus of political science, computer science and statistics, and graphic design at Yale. Writing in Wired.

Hat-tip: Samizdata


Posted by John Kranz at 6:43 PM | Comments (1)
But AlexC thinks:

Definately.

But how about damned bulleted or number sections in Word Documents?

Why can't that be simple?

Posted by: AlexC at May 2, 2006 7:01 PM

April 30, 2006

Supply & Demand

Tim Russert had the Energy Secretary on this morning's Meet the Press to discuss high gasoline prices.

In today's show, Mr Russert, former demonstrated complete ignorance of supply and demand.

    MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Secretary, if, if demand is up but supply is down, why are the profits so high?
    MR. BODMAN: For that reason.

    MR. RUSSERT: No, think about that.

    MR. BODMAN: You know?

    MR. RUSSERT: Play it out.

    MR. BODMAN: Demand is up.

    MR. RUSSERT: Correct.

    MR. BODMAN: Right?

    MR. RUSSERT: Right.

    MR. BODMAN: So youve got more demand, youre going to force price up.

    Youve got, youve got limited supply, and youre going to have


Expose the Left has more of the transcript and video!

Posted by AlexC at 11:50 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Across the dial on the evil FOXNews network, Juan Williams accused the oil companies of price gouging. Bill Kristol said that profits were up 7% on sales that are up 8%. Williams thought that that demonstrated gouging....ooooookay...

Posted by: jk at May 1, 2006 10:13 AM

April 22, 2006

Amnesia

Well...

    A man who went to a hospital complaining of a headache was found to have 12 nails embedded in his skull from a suicide attempt with a nail gun, doctors say.

    Surgeons in Portland removed the nails with needle-nosed pliers and a drill, and the man survived, according to a report on the medical oddity in the current issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery.


You might say to yourself, "Self, how can you forget about shooting yourself in the head twelve times?"
Well, it is twelve shots to the head.

No word on the length of the nails.

Posted by AlexC at 6:06 PM

April 20, 2006

Dearth of Death

USA Today...

    The U.S. population may be aging, but the number of Americans who died in 2004 represents the biggest one-year decline since World War II, according to preliminary government data released Wednesday.
    Nearly 50,000 fewer Americans died in 2004 than in 2003, according to data based on about 90% of U.S. death certificates. The preliminary number of U.S. deaths in 2004 was 2,398,343, compared with 2,448,288 in 2003.

Color me shocked. What could be the cause?
    It's not clear why there was such a big drop in 2004, he says. Minino says he and his colleagues suspect a mild flu season might be one of many converging factors. Better treatments and improved access to health care are among the possible contributors to the decline, he says.

Whoa there. I thought we had a health care crisis.

Like the "jobless recovery" and the "but what kind of jobs are they" we'll be hearing, "but yeah, living in in an Iron lung for thirty years, you might as well be DEAD!"

(tip to Ace)

Posted by AlexC at 4:13 PM

April 18, 2006

A Note of Skepticism

I enjoyed Glenn Reynolds's' "An Army of Davids," mostly because of its implications in my fealty to Hayekian systems. The forward looking chapters on dramatically increased longevity, nanotech, and "the Singularity" intrigued me but did not necessarily win me over.

I'm no Luddite, but there are problems which do not lend themselves to technical solutions. A good friend who understood analog electronics far better than I, once showed my some amplifier schematics, in Leo Fender's own hand. I thought the schematics were cool, but Alan gave me a tour: " Look! He's biased the wiper of the tone pot against the hot side of the pre-amp tube!!!" Maybe he said "the flay rod has gone askew on treddle!" But the point remains that a textbook amplifier design sounds like crap when you plug a guitar into it. Leo's wacky bias scheme, conversely, created the sound of an electric guitar for half a century.

I've recorded with "The Pod," which uses DSP (Digital Signal Processing) to capture the tone of popular amp designs and speaker cabinets. It's pretty good and is hard to beat for recording. But in a live scenario, all the kings chips have yet to put Leo's sound together again.

Kenneth Silber, in TCS, sounds the same concerns about the Strad, or Stradivarius violin, but you can make similar suggestions about "The Strat."

Perhaps someday advanced technology will outstrip the Strad, producing violins widely regarded as superior. If so, it still will have taken a considerably long time for high tech to outdo the work of a craftsman who lived before the industrial revolution. In any event, there will be an element of subjectivity to any evaluation of which violins are best. It seems likely that the best future violins will be regarded as notably different from Strads, and not readily amenable to a direct comparison. One consideration is that Strads, in the view of many experts, already are at their peak and perhaps moving beyond it. It also remains to be seen what new qualities and subtleties current violins will take on with age.

There is, I believe, a broader lesson to be taken from the Stradivarius about the future of technology. Some futurists and technologists, such as Vernon Vinge and Ray Kurzweil, have argued that the world is approaching a transformation known as the "Singularity", marked by the advent of some form of superhuman intelligence. In this picture, technologies such as artificial intelligence and genetic engineering soar up a curve of rapid and inexorable change. In some versions, the Singularity is given a specific timeframe, occurring sometime around the year 2030.


Both the amplifier and the violin seek a subjective tonal quality and there is something intrinsically unfair in holding them up. Yet both have successfully resisted huge amounts of technology.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:36 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

What you're describing here is the difference between faithful audio reproduction and the unique qualities of a musical instrument used for audio creation. By all means, plug the guitar into whatever vacuum tube space heater you prefer, but once the sound is recorded and you want to blast it throughout your house, it's time to call Mister FET and his army of FET brothers. (That's "field-effect transistor for you plebes.) :)

Posted by: johngalt at April 19, 2006 3:38 PM

April 17, 2006

A Hundred Years

Give or take. The University of California, Santa Barbara, has a web site which includes digitizations of over 6,000 "Edison" cylinders. The oldest I heard was released in 1902.

The Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project is well worth a peek -- and a listen. We read books and see photographs that are older, but there is something moving in hearing audio that is that old.

Cylinder recordings, the first commercially produced sound recordings, are a snapshot of musical and popular culture in the decades around the turn of the 20th century. They have long held the fascination of collectors and have presented challenges for playback and preservation by archives and collectors alike.

With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the UCSB Libraries have created a digital collection of over 6,000 cylinder recordings held by the Department of Special Collections. In an effort to bring these recordings to a wider audience, they can be freely downloaded or streamed online.


Way cool. Hat-tip: Pajamas Media

Posted by John Kranz at 6:27 PM | Comments (2)
But LatteSipper thinks:

Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services??? Federal funding??? You mean they're spending OUR money digitizing one hundred year old cylinder recordings? They should cut funding on this immediately, or at least roll it back to 80%.

Actually, I think it sounds like a pretty worthwhile project. It's just that I was momentarily shocked that anything worthwhile could be funded by the government.

Posted by: LatteSipper at April 18, 2006 11:00 AM
But jk thinks:

I would rather it were funded privately, but that does not mean that it is not cool. I would rather the government didn't print our money, but I still like it.

Posted by: jk at April 18, 2006 12:53 PM

April 9, 2006

Smug

alex_smug.jpg

This is how I look when I express concern.

Knock yourself out

UPDATE: jk here, this is too funny. What a great site!

jk_south_park.gif

UPDATE II: My Charming Bride:
riza_south_park.gif

Posted by AlexC at 9:02 PM | Comments (1)
But AlexC thinks:

That looks more like mocking to me, JK.

*pthththththththppppt*

Aaahhh.

Posted by: AlexC at April 10, 2006 2:01 PM

Brokeback Day

It's Brokeback day at threesources.com!

Saw this on Drudge.

    Massachusetts correctional officer is being disciplined for showing the gay cowboy movie "Brokeback Mountain" to inmates at the state's largest prison because his boss determined that the film includes content inappropriate for a prison setting.

    Massachusetts Department of Correction spokeswoman Diane Wiffin said Saturday that the action was not related to the critically acclaimed film's plot involving a gay love affair.

    "It was not the subject matter. It was the graphic nature of sexually explicit scenes," Wiffin said.

    She said the officer, whom she declined to identify, failed to follow prison guidelines that require staff who schedule films to review them in advance for excessive violence, nudity or sex, as well as scenes involving assaults on correctional staff.


I can't imagine sitting around a staff meeting at the prison deciding what the next movie will be.

"I know! Let's show Brokeback Mountain!"

A prison movie like Wedlock is more my style. Prisoners wear explosives around their necks... and they are "bound" (hence the title) to another prisoner. If they get a certain distance apart (like in an escape attempt), their heads are convinently disconnected from from their bodies.

Oh, and the prisoners don't know who their partner is.

That's a prison movie.

Posted by AlexC at 1:27 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

[sniff] Why can't we quit this...?

Posted by: jk at April 9, 2006 2:04 PM

April 7, 2006

The Internet's Use

Some would say that the Internet is for communication, or it's for commerce, or it's for community.

I say it's for things like this.

HelpWinMyBet

Posted by AlexC at 4:28 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

HA! This is a classic example of "be careful what you wish for."

Posted by: johngalt at April 8, 2006 10:45 AM

April 5, 2006

Craziest Idea Ever

I've seen Paris Hilton's videos.

Both of them.

She's no Mother Theresa.

Posted by AlexC at 2:51 AM

April 4, 2006

The Best of Collection


So. My new favorite obsession is Wikipedia.

For some reason, I was reading about the overthrow and desmise of Romania's communist leader, Nicolae Ceauşescu. I surprised to read that as he and his wife were facing their executioners, they began reciting the Internationale.

The first line of which is, "Arise, the damned of the earth."

Not sure how the Romanian translation is, but it would be some sense of karmic justice if they just got as far as the damned. Then BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG.

Anyway... so I started reading about the Internationale. It's also a song.

Which I wanted to hear... I managed to track it down, which led me to the album above.

Apparently through the miracle of capitalism, you can get that album AND "The Best of the Red Army Choir" for only $39.96. Hell. You can even buy it used from 38 other comrades.

What a country.

Posted by AlexC at 11:49 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

There are many, many mentions of "The Internationale" song in Ayn Rand's novel "We The Living." Kira, the lead character, grew to be repulsed by the sound of it.

Posted by: johngalt at April 5, 2006 3:55 PM

April 1, 2006

Consenting Adults

Pardon the pun. This is nuts.

    Three men have been arrested on charges of performing castrations on apparently willing participants in a sadomasochistic "dungeon" in a rural house, authorities said Friday.

    "It's extremely bizarre," District Attorney Michael Bonfoey said in a telephone interview. "It's incredible the amount of ways that people can find to run afoul of the law."

    Sheriff's investigators said Richard Sciara, 61, Danny Reeves, 49, and Michael Mendez, 60, admitted performing at least eight surgeries, including castrations and testicle replacements, on six consenting clients over the past year. None of the three is licensed to practice medicine, officials said.


These guys might find out how North Carolina's penal system works.
    "This right here beats anything I have ever seen," Sheriff Tom Alexander told the Asheville Citizen-Times, which reported that victims may have come from as far away as South America.

    Each man faces 10 felony counts _ five each of castration without malice and conspiracy to commit castration without malice _ as well as eight misdemeanor counts of performing medical acts without a license. Each felony carries a maximum three years and three months in prison, Bonfoey said.

    "Assuming that the victims consented to this _ and we don't know that for sure yet _ that doesn't make it a defense," Bonfoey said. "We can't have people who are not medical doctors lopping off limbs and other body parts."


In all seriousness, you have to ask yourself what business the sheriff of Haywood County has inside of this dungeon. It's on private property, it was probably done with consent. I can't imagine getting castrated unwillingly and not complaining.

Surely privacy rights advocates would jump to their defense.

... and since it involves multiple men in some sort of S&M situation, wouldn't gay rights advocates step up too?

Also begs another question. Say for example abortion is against the law in South Dakota.... and it's settled law. North Carolina also passes a similar measure.

Would "back alley" abortionists also be subject to this law, with this case as precident?

Would abortion-rights advocates step in, as well? This case sounds like a coalition builder! ;)

Posted by AlexC at 5:07 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Scary. This could result in a lot more Democrats!

(ooh boy i am gonna come to regret this joke...)

Posted by: jk at April 2, 2006 1:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Wow, TWO April Fool's posts. You've outdone yourself AlexC!

Posted by: johngalt at April 2, 2006 5:54 PM
But AlexC thinks:
But johngalt thinks:

Even more amazing... you've conspired to persuade not just one, but two MSM outlets to go along with your sick joke. That's pretty impressive stuff. But I'm still wondering why you picked this wholly unbelievable story to peddle. April Fool's pranks are much better when they're at least plausibly believable. There is absolutely not a single man on earth that would willingly consent to let another man cut his balls off, nor a single man who would ever conceive of doing such a thing. Nope. Never happen. I'll believe man walked on the moon before this foolishness!

Posted by: johngalt at April 3, 2006 3:00 PM

March 30, 2006

The Other

Heh...

Posted by AlexC at 11:23 AM

March 20, 2006

Organs

Independant

    Hundreds of well-off Japanese and other nationals are turning to China's burgeoning human organ transplant industry, paying tens of thousands of pounds for livers and kidneys, which in some cases have been harvested from executed prisoners and sold to hospitals.

    When Kenichiro Hokamura's kidneys failed, he faced a choice: wait for a transplant or go online to check out rumours of organs for sale. As a native of Japan, where just 40 human organs for transplant have been donated since 1997, the businessman, 62, says it was no contest. "There are 100 people waiting in this prefecture alone. I would have died before getting a donor." Still, he was astonished by just how easy it was.


Am I the only one wondering why organs aren't sold on the free market? It's a perfect example of a government meddled economy causing shortages.

If you could sell your organs after your death, provided that they were in good shape, to support your family, why wouldn't you? Obviously, you'd need to take care of situations of suicide, murder or execution or abuse thereof in some way, but this just seems like an idea whose time is way past due.

Posted by AlexC at 11:36 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Thomas Sowell has done some great work on this subject -- you are exactly right. The problem is Arnold Kling's "Folk Marxism." It just "doesn't feel right" to some people to inject commerce into that. So, never mind the advantages, our feelings shall not be contravened.

The same issue ruined the idea of a terrorist futures market, where speculators could predict attacks. This would be a valuable tool as these markets predict elections better than polls (James Surowecki, call your office!) But people thought it macabre, and complained. I have a hunch the same folks will be out in the street to stop Alex's new and near-new kidney shop.

Posted by: jk at March 21, 2006 9:16 AM
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

India has been having issues with kidney harvesting as well. Women sell one of their kidneys for dowry and then end up being cast aside since they are no longer 'pure'. Peculiar.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at March 21, 2006 11:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

AlexC, for some insight on this issue you should consider asking your priest what he thinks of the idea.

George W. Bush could never let it happen. If Kerry were prez it might happen, but there would be arcane and complicated rules and regulations to make sure that nobody could get to the front of the line because he could pay more, or dozens of other corrupt scenarios. (Sorry everyone, there's just too much baggage around this issue for me to be anything but a complete pessimist.)

Posted by: johngalt at March 23, 2006 3:25 PM

Courage

Let me be the first to commend Susan Sarandon for taking on the role of Cindy Sheehan in a soon to be released motion picture.

What with all the supression of free speech and chill winds blowin' these days.

Like Dan Rather I will say, "Courage."

Posted by AlexC at 2:30 PM | Comments (2)
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

Urgh ... Michael Moore will be director?

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at March 20, 2006 3:52 PM
But jk thinks:

Ah yes, but the moonbats can be good. Sarandon is great in "Elizabethtown," Johnny Depp has a string of superb movies. It's hard to be me somedays.

On the other hand, I think can easily miss the Mother Sheehan pic. I don't think I'll run to see that. I'm sure it will win "Best Picture" and that it will lose $$$.

Posted by: jk at March 21, 2006 9:51 AM

March 19, 2006

Phono - CD Recorder

JohnGalt needs to copy his old vinyl to a digital format. This TEAC machine is available from First Street, a proud National Review advertiser (I got two of their balanced spectrum floor lamps).

Then, you can use media player, iTunes, or my fave Audiograbber to rip them to mp3.

You're welcome.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:52 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Thanks JK, much obliged. I might even consider it, but...

How is it that as an implement of technology crossover, from legacy to leading edge, the designers of this appliance chose to employ the most ancient of legacy technology conceivable? Ceramic cartridge? Wooden box? Ack!

Built-in AM/FM tuner for which "a rotary tuner gives the Phono CD Recorder an elegant and exciting look?" Adaptable by external inputs to record CASSETTE TAPES to CD too? This has got to be a joke, right?!

Thanks JK, but no.

Besides, CDs are passe now too. I need to take them straight to wav or wma.

Posted by: johngalt at March 23, 2006 3:18 PM

March 16, 2006

Judicial System Gone Nuts

Maybe it's just me, but we might overlawyered in this country.

    When a dump truck backed into Curtis Gokey's car, he decided to sue the city for damages. Only thing is, he was the one driving the dump truck. But that minor detail didn't stop Gokey, a Lodi city employee, from filing a $3,600 claim for the December accident, even after admitting the crash was his fault.

    After the city denied that claim because Gokey was, in essence, suing himself, he and his wife, Rhonda, decided to file a new claim under her name.

    City Attorney Steve Schwabauer said this one also lacks merit because Rhonda Gokey can't sue her own husband.

Posted by AlexC at 6:51 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Divorce. File Claim. Remarry.

Do I have to think of everything around here?

Posted by: jk at March 16, 2006 6:56 PM

Cool T-Shirts

Not a lot of crass commercialization on ThreeSources. I pushed the second Berkeley Square CD a little when it came out, but we haven't had a lot of shameless plugs.

A good friend and talented designer has a new venture called teebomb. You can order one of his great T-Shirt designs online, and get it shipped anywhere domestic (dang it, I bought one as a present for a friend in the UK. I'll have to bug him to add international shipping).

He gave me a sample earlier, and these are VERY nice. The words are on the back for a more comfortable viewing experience, and the front has a black-on-black embroidered Teebomb logo. The package is cool, with a cover sleeve and a sticker label tag. Makes a great gift.

 

Posted by John Kranz at 11:25 AM

March 13, 2006

Scientology

One of my favorite shows, South Park, loses one of it's main voice actors.

    Hayes, who has played the ladies' man/school cook in the animated Comedy Central satire since 1997, said in a statement Monday that he feels a line has been crossed.

    "There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins," the 63-year-old soul singer and outspoken Scientologist said.

    "Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored," he continued. "As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."

    "South Park" co-creator Matt Stone responded sharply in an interview with The Associated Press Monday, saying, "This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology... He has no problem - and he's cashed plenty of checks - with our show making fun of Christians."


... and Jews (the MCP episode), Catholics (worshipping the spider and molesting boys), Mormons (dum... dum... dum...)

I find it strangely coincidental that this was announced so shortly after the Rolling Stone article which mentions the Scientology episode.

Which happens to be available for download here.

Two points for Trey Parker who goes on to say, "[I] never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin."

Posted by AlexC at 10:33 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

"...there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins."

Indeed, Mr. Hayes, but that time is never reached on "South Park."

Posted by: jk at March 14, 2006 9:17 AM

Nerd Off

I had far too much fun in college for this type of competition.

    [Joshua] Foer set a new U.S. record in playing-card recall, where contestants spend five minutes memorizing the order of a deck of cards and then recall as many as possible in a row. He recalled the whole deck in 1 minute, 40 seconds, which is better than he's ever done in practice, he said.

    He was already planning to attend the upcoming World Memory Championship in Malaysia in August -- book research, he said -- but part of the prize for his U.S. win includes a paid flight there to compete.

    "I don’t think I have a chance in the world championship," Foer said. "I can’t imagine going up against these people -- they can memorize a deck of cards in like 30 seconds."

    There was nothing so dramatic at the U.S. Championship, but records were broken in each qualifying event. In the speed-numbers round, where contestants have five minutes to memorize as many randomly-generated numbers in order as they can, finalist Maurice Stoll, of Hurst, Texas, won by breaking his own record with a score of 148.


On a normal day, I can't remember what I had for lunch the previous day!

Posted by AlexC at 4:30 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

I feel really good after this. While you were posting it, I was at a neurological exam associated with my clinical trial.

The numbers segment is first grade material, you hear a number every few seconds and you must give the sum, of the last two. It's childish. It's trivial. I haven't got a perfect score yet!

Not quite ready for the card trick.

I once read a compelling article that correlated software productivity to the ability of a developer to memorize long sequences of numbers. I think this is true -- somebody should teach Mr. Foer to write code.

Posted by: jk at March 13, 2006 5:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:

So, for how many years have you two been using "more than 4 joints per week?"

Posted by: johngalt at March 14, 2006 4:02 PM
But jk thinks:

I'll be 46 in May. I find this time of life to be very much like the after effects of drug abuse.

Posted by: jk at March 14, 2006 5:40 PM
But dagny thinks:

How do you know? :-)

Posted by: dagny at March 14, 2006 8:57 PM

March 11, 2006

Nobody Move.

... there's a genius amongst you.

Excellent timewaster

Posted by AlexC at 1:08 AM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

And if you want something less cerebral, try your luck with:

http://members.iinet.net.au/~pontipak/redsquare.html

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2006 12:05 PM
But jk thinks:

It's telling how much time I'll waste to be called a genius by a web page. Sad...

Got my nineteen, even though it didn't give me "23 People of Color in the Harvard Boatclub"

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2006 1:15 PM
But AlexC thinks:

JK, maybe you're just looking for acceptance!

I found the easiest way to score genius was skip if you got stuck, and when you got to the end, go do something else, then come back. Fresh mind and all that.

Oh, and I got 24 seconds on the box game. Once you escape "the middle", it's not that hard to get 20+

Posted by: AlexC at March 11, 2006 2:51 PM
But dagny thinks:

Time waster is right, but it sure is fun. My husband has called me a genius for years but now I have proof.

I got all 33.

OK OK, I got 27 on my own, two more with a guess and google search.

I'm afraid the last 4 required serious google searching.

Trivial Pursuit anyone?

Posted by: dagny at March 11, 2006 6:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm glad Dagny will be on MY team!

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2006 11:41 AM

March 8, 2006

Redefining Marriage

A fake story?

    Last week Tendler finally plucked up the courage to ask the dolphin's trainer for the mammal's fin in marriage.

    The wedding took place Wednesday, with the bride, wearing a white dress and watched by amazed spectators, walking down the dock to where the groom was waiting in the water.

    She kissed him, to the cheers of the spectators and then, after the ceremony was sealed with some mackerels, was tossed into the water so she could swim away with her new husband.

    "I'm the happiest girl on earth," the bride was quoted as saying. "I made a dream come true. And I am not a pervert."


No, of course not.

Posted by AlexC at 2:42 PM | Comments (1)
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

http://www.zoophile.net/dolphin.php

'Nuff said.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at March 9, 2006 11:09 AM

March 6, 2006

Fun with Polling

These are always fun.

A poll comparing the behavior of liberals vs conservatives.

Liberals are more inclined to believe that the rich and powerful have a negative social value. No surprise there.

I agree. Class warfare has always been a tactic of the left.

Among men, conservatives are more active in high school sports. Texas probably skews the results here.

That's odd. But I suspect that's because a team of 20 guys is the same size at every school. So if your base population to draw athletes from is small (say a rural high school of 200 vs an urban high school of 2500), it would show that. But that's just conjecture.

Extroverts have a better sense of smell than introverts. This is actually sort of interesting. Also: extroverts tend to be more conservative and more religious.

No wonder dirty smelly hippies don't bother each other.

Conservatives like the colors red and dark blue. Liberal men like dark green; liberal women like light blue.

I'm more partial to purple, myself. Black is good too. I hate writing with blue pens.

Conservatives tend to be morning people. I hate morning people.

I hate them too. I'm not functional before 11 am, and detest when one of these "morning people" expect me to be. Drop by my office at 9pm, dude.

Among women, conservatives are more likely to be sex-obsessed than liberals. Phyllis Schlafly, come on down!

Hmm. I can't say I've known a right-wing nympho. When I was in the market, I should have looked harder, I guess.

Liberals curse more than conservatives. Of course, we have reason to.

Yeah. But I work with a bunch of conservatives that could make a sailor blush.

Conservatives like beef more than liberals. ("If you eat a lot of beef, do you become more conservative? If you are conservative, do you eat more beef? More to come on this surprising and significant dietary preference.")

I hate chicken. Pork is good though... but beef is what's for dinner.

Liberals are more depressed than conservatives. Gee, I wonder why?

Tie this one in with the cursing. Maybe we're mixing up cause and effect.

Flame away, or toss in your own "surveys of one."

Posted by AlexC at 3:10 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I think some of them are random. Favorite color does not seem to correlate to exogenous factors, but optimism seems highly relevant. I have a great liberal friend who makes as much as I do, yet she confided once to me that she fully expects to be a bag lady. Her liberal friend quickly agreed.

Diet has a political component from a resource standpoint. My time on Atkins in Boulder County produced many queasy looks. Books like "Diet fort a Small Planet" have inculcated a "folk Marxism" belief that eating beef is a waste of resources. Better to just eat the cow feed.

In a way, this is the only thing that is really interesting: figuring out my liberal friends. There are some true believers, many many many elitists who think that the super-educated should take of all of us, and many negative thinkers who want the best when things go as bad as these folks believe.

Posted by: jk at March 6, 2006 4:07 PM

Pancake Breakfast

I guess this is serious.

Remember leftist pro-Palestinian protestor, Rachel Corrie? She was run over by an Israeli Defense Force bulldozer that was attempting to destroy Palestinian homes.

It led to some people boycotting Caterpiller.

Well, there's a pancake breakfast in her honor.

    The Public is invited to a memorial pancake breakfast at Denny's Restaurant on Douglas Street near Finlayson, 10 am, Sunday March 12, 2006 to celebrate the life and untimely death of Rachel Corrie, Peace Activist with the International Solidarity Movement.

    There will be a reading of selections from Ms. Corrie's letters and diary, followed by a ceremony at Topaz Park, where a stone cairn will be erected in her honour.

    Attendees are encouraged to wear their keffiahs, and to dress in black.

    No weapons, drugs, or alcohol please.


It's on the Indymedia site, so it looks legit, but are they serious?

(tip to LGF)

Posted by AlexC at 12:20 AM | Comments (1)
But Steel thinks:

Looks real enough.

I don't believe it though.

Pancake Breakfast?

Alex, do YOU know anybody on the Left that gets up before noon?

Besides that, Dennys reeks of sausage at breakfast.

I ain't buyin' it.

Posted by: Steel at March 6, 2006 12:33 AM

March 4, 2006

The New Red Spot

NASA reports that Jupiter has a new "Red Spot."

    The official name of this storm is "Oval BA," but "Red Jr." might be better. It's about half the size of the famous Great Red Spot and almost exactly the same color.

    Oval BA first appeared in the year 2000 when three smaller spots collided and merged. Using Hubble and other telescopes, astronomers watched with great interest. A similar merger centuries ago may have created the original Great Red Spot, a storm twice as wide as our planet and at least 300 years old.

    At first, Oval BA remained white—the same color as the storms that combined to create it. But in recent months, things began to change:

    "The oval was white in November 2005, it slowly turned brown in December 2005, and red a few weeks ago," reports Go. "Now it is the same color as the Great Red Spot!"


As long as it doesn't turn black and start growing, I'm not worried.

Posted by AlexC at 12:13 PM

March 3, 2006

Healthcare Costs

Next time you feel obligated to complain about rising healthcare costs, keep this in mind.

    A Baton Rouge hospital, hoping to get to the bottom of an office prank, is ordering 25 employees to undergo DNA testing or be terminated.

    Leaders at Woman's Hospital say a man who works in Building Operations returned from several weeks off to find that someone had placed urine in his toolbox.

    After hearing of the incident, hospital administrators sent a memo to 25 employees who also work there telling them that DNA testing would be done unless someone came forward admitting guilt. Since no one came forward, the hospital said the DNA testing will begin within the next few weeks.


So exactly how much does DNA testing cost?

$25,000.

As far as pranks go, that's pretty lame. Welding the toolbox shut would have been much more clever.

Posted by AlexC at 6:54 PM

Burning Down the House

Mea Culpa.

    Bond was denied Friday to a campaign aide to Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor who confessed Thursday to setting fires in the campaign office building.

    Joshua White, 29, research director for Taylor For One Georgia, Inc., is charged with first degree arson. White told investigators he broke in and used lantern fuel to set fire on each of the three floors of the John Hunsinger building at 1627 Peachtree St., just south of the Brookwood Amtrak station, to cover up the fact that he missed a crucial project deadline.

    No one was hurt in the pre-dawn fire Monday.

    A remorseful White told authorities Thursday afternoon he had a "major research project due" Monday morning and he was "concerned of the consequences that he had not done it," said State Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John Oxendine, whose office supervises state arson investigators.


How tough is this guy's boss that the penalty for burning the office down wouldn't be as bad as missing a dead line.

I've been saying for a while that Democrats are out of ideas. I'm sorry. I apologize. Clearly there are some fresh ideas within the party. Burning down your office is definately thinking out of the box.

(tip to Ace)

Posted by AlexC at 6:43 PM

Zero Tolerance? Zero Brains

Times they are a changin' readers.

Times they are a changin'.

    High school student David Thumler is a convicted nipple pincher.

    He's going to have to spend four days in juvenile detention for refusing to write a letter explaining himself after twisting the nipple of another boy while they were standing on line at a deli.

    Thumler was convicted of offensive physical touching in July 2005. The victim's parents had complained to Gold Hill [Oregon] police.


Are you kidding me?

I wish.

It gets worse.

    Thumler presented a rough draft [of an apology letter] but balked when told he must also describe his "criminal thought processes." Thumler said he had no criminal intent because he considered the victim to be a friend at the time.

Criminal thought process? What? Where is this? Oceania? Was he in Room 101?
    He said writing it would imply malicious or criminal intent. Thumler, who's 16, said he was just fooling around.

Good for him. "Foolin' around" is not criminal.

The official name for the act performed while "fooling around" is a "Tittie Twister." It's can be painful... but it's not assault.

...and there isn't a man in the audience who hasn't been the recipient or been the deliverer of this act.

File it under "rites of passage" or "any one of ten thousand things teenage boys to do each other."

It's also unheard of to do this to a girl... that would be grounds for an "ass-kicking" but in this day and age those boys would be branded vigilantes and probably put in jail as well.

Posted by AlexC at 6:19 PM

Catch

Note to self.
"Make sure the stick you throw to your dog is blunt ended."

    A lucky dog in Oregon will live after being impaled by a stick during a game of fetch.

    The 4-year-old yellow Labrador, "Tika," was playing fetch in an Oregon park when she ran into the bushes and came out with the stick lodged into her side.

    Her owner rushed her to the veterinarian, who quickly operated.

    Tika was lucky, the stick had missed her major organs and caused minimal internal damage.

    "It was pure luck this stick went all through her body and barely touched anything," said veterinarian Andrea Oncken.


It was like the Steve Martin of injuries!

Posted by AlexC at 12:12 PM

The Torture Rooms

No, not Abu-Graib or Gitmo.

The real ones.

    All the way back in 1973 Moula Mustafa Barzani, the famous and beloved leader of the anti-Baathist Kurdish resistance, said he wanted Iraqi Kurdistan to become the 51st American state. Nowhere did Barzani’s fierce campaign resonate more deeply than it did in Suleimaniya. Suli isn’t only the cultural capital of the region – its New York, if you will. It also is the capital of Kurdish nationalism. Saddam Hussein called it “The Head of the Snake.”

    He answered with genocide. No one in Iraq experienced the full wrath of Saddam’s Black Arabism more than the Kurds. If the Kurds refused to morph themselves into loyal little Baathists, he would erase them from the face of the earth.


Michael Totten includes pictures of the place.

It's tough to see. Especially the pictures of the imprisoned children.

Posted by AlexC at 12:04 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Yeah, kids in torture prisons -- but they haven't found ANY WMD!! Vote Pelosi-Murtha!

Posted by: jk at March 3, 2006 2:01 PM

March 2, 2006

Radio Callins

I thought drunks only called into the Howard Stern show?

Howard on Sirius is awesome, btw.

Posted by AlexC at 2:28 PM

March 1, 2006

Flying

A couple of stories about air travel today.
SkyNews...

    A stewardess caused panic by repeatedly screaming "We're going to crash" when a packed plane hit turbulance.

    The Virgin flight hit bad weather three hours into a journey from Gatwick to Las Vegas.

    Some passengers were sick and others thrown from their seats as luggage, drinks and trays were tossed around.

    Those using the toilet at the time were stuck in the cubicle while others prayed and cried.

    And their ordeal was intensified by the screaming stewardess.

    Passenger Paul Gibson told The Daily Mirror: "She began screaming every time the plane shook.

    "She shouted at the top of her voice, 'We're going to crash! We're going to crash! We're going to crash!"


I've been on flights were I've wanted to yell that, but I'm a civilian. She's a flight services professional.

Plus, it's nearly impossible for a plane to break in mid air in turbulence. Sure, it might feel like it, but it won't happen.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette

    You might want to think twice the next time you're tempted to make a call from your cell phone during an airplane flight. Or flip on your portable game player. Or work a spreadsheet on your laptop.

    Besides possibly annoying fellow travelers and breaking federal regulations, you might be endangering the airplane, according to a Carnegie Mellon University study that quietly monitored transmissions on board a number of flights in the Northeast.

    The study, by CMU's Department of Engineering and Public Policy, found that the use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices can interfere with the normal operation of critical airline components, even more so than previously believed.


I was on a flight where a stewardess asked a guy to turn off his laptop's GPS. She claimed the pilots were getting some sort of a red light in the cockpit. Nevermind that GPS is totally passive.

How did she know he had GPS? He had an enormous disk shaped thing suction cupped to the window.... and plugged into his laptop.

Posted by AlexC at 1:29 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

I get a little nervous when the pilot starts screaming "We're all gonna die! We're all gonna die!"

Posted by: jk at March 1, 2006 3:30 PM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

You gotta love modern alarmist reporting. Surely none of us would read the column if they didn't predict sure death from using your Ipod or laptop on an aircraft. I would love to see the actual report and the techniques used to determine that this "will, in all likelihood, someday cause an accident by interfering with critical cockpit instruments such as GPS receivers." Sorry, but I am an old aircraft guy, I have personally watched technicians from McDonnell Douglas and Apple try to interfere with critical instruments - yes this was before the advent of cell phones and gigahertz processors, but all critical wiring is separately shielded, triply redundant (there are 3 sets) and spaced by requirement certain distances from each other and other cabling. This testing was done many times and there were always a few anomalies, but never any disruptive interference. The FAA regulations have just always chosen to err on the side of safety and so the prohibition during take-off and landing (I think under 10,000 ft is the actual requirement) has stood. As for the red light in the cockpit I will have to assume that the flight attendant was just bluffing to add weight to her request.

Ah well, every few years I see on TV news or in print cautions to check with your airline before traveling with a pet in the cargo compartment to be sure their cargo area is pressurized and heated. Here's a quick answer, they all are. When an aircraft is pressurized, the whole fuselage is the pressure vessel (the whole cylindrical or basically cylindrical structure) capped by special pressure bulkheads at the fore and aft of the aircraft. The floor that you walk on and is the divider between you and the cargo compartment is not a pressure bulkhead - pressure vessels whether an aircraft or a scuba tank are cylindrical for some very basic engineering reasons. All cargo compartments get some heat as well, they may not be as toasty as the passenger compartment but Fido will not freeze. The average outside air temp at 30,000 ft is about 50 below zero. Next time you pick up your luggage think about what it would feel like if it had really spent the last 5 hours at 50 below.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at March 2, 2006 3:33 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Silence is right. There is nothing in this story that refers to examination of the aircraft systems response to the "problematic" emissions from consumer electronic devices. I intend to seek out this report in IEEE Spectrum and see what it really says. If it really says what the journalist wrote then I fear it's a case of "we need more federal funding for additional study at our prestigous research university." If the journalist has misrepresented the findings then I'll attribute it to his possibly well-placed fear of what such emissions might do to aircraft manufactured by Airbus Industrie.

Posted by: johngalt at March 4, 2006 10:04 AM

February 28, 2006

Do I Have To Vote For Sen. Kennedy?

What City am I?




You Are Boston



Both modern and old school, you never forget your roots.

Well educated and a little snobby, you demand the best.

And quite frankly, you think you are the best.



Famous people from the Boston area: Conan O'Brien, Ben Affleck, New Kids on the Block


I am not a big city guy and I am usually not an East-coast guy, but I have to admit that I really liked Boston. Hmm, I can always pretend to be educated...Hat-tip: Virginia Postrel (who is L.A.)

Posted by John Kranz at 6:06 PM | Comments (2)
But AlexC thinks:

Las Vegas baby! Bring on the hookers and 7 dollar surf & turfs!!!

Posted by: AlexC at March 1, 2006 12:17 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Austin? Well, okay. Much better than Boston or Las Vegas, which seemed to be the only two possible answers for a while.

***You Are Austin***

A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.
You're totally weird and very proud of it.
Artistic and freaky, you still seem to fit in... in your own strange way.

Famous Austin residents: Lance Armstrong, Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick

Posted by: johngalt at March 1, 2006 3:15 PM

February 26, 2006

Lighter Fare

Steven Den Beste: Why I want Roe v Wade Overturned.

Powerline: Saddam Had WMD

Posted by AlexC at 8:50 PM

Engima

Apparently there are some Engima codes for World War II that remain unbroken.

If you'd like to help to crack them, click here.

Posted by AlexC at 12:06 PM

February 24, 2006

T-Shirt Poll

CafePress has 345 Dick Cheney Shooting Items. I love this country!

Posted by John Kranz at 11:40 AM | Comments (1)
But AlexC thinks:

Heh. You can devine left vs right from them. Some of them Dems are angry!

Posted by: AlexC at February 24, 2006 5:08 PM

February 23, 2006

Who Will Google Censor Next?

Our friend Cyrano sent me this link under the email heading, "Google Censoring Mohammed Cartoons?" I can't tell if any censorship is in play here, but how many people even suspected this sort of thing before Google caved to the Chicoms? This is an apt example of why Google is playing with fire by agreeing to censor certain content for certain markets. So far it's only the Chinese market, as far as we know, but once they show their willingness to bow to one master, how can we have any trust in them ever again?

Besides that, you just can't win the censorship game. No matter how much you hide there will always be something that gets through and pisses off "mastah." According to Brit Hume's Political Grapevine today:

The popular Internet search engine Google has come under fire for giving in to Chinese demands to filter out politically sensitive search results, but China is complaining that Google hasn't gone far enough. Unnamed officials tell one Beijing newspaper that Google needs to cooperate further in blocking "harmful information" and an editorial in another state-run paper accused the firm of sneaking into China like an "uninvited guest," then complaining about having to follow the law.

The Washington Post reports that the government has even raised issues with Google's Internet license to pressure the firm to comply with its demands, which include making a larger investment in China.

You can't lie with dogs without getting fleas.


Posted by JohnGalt at 4:09 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Administrative note: Cyrano and I have been in email contact to rejuvenate his Berkeley Square Blog login and add him to ThreeSources.

This moves the geographic mean of ThreeSources South and the philosophical average more toward -- I'll let y'all figure that out -- anyway, welcome aboard!

Posted by: jk at February 23, 2006 11:09 AM
But johngalt thinks:

What? Heavy commenting on multiple "Google censorship" posts and not a whimper about the possibility that Google is censoring some of the "free" world's net traffic? Are Pamela and I the only conspiracy theorists around here?

Posted by: johngalt at February 25, 2006 10:42 AM
But jk thinks:

Sadly, we all recognize that the real threats to free speech come from the multicultural-diversity-no-hate-speech crowd.

Well, them and Senator McCain...

Posted by: jk at February 25, 2006 12:29 PM

February 22, 2006

Must Read

Eric S Raymond writes a great piece on memetic warfare.

    By contrast, ideological and memetic warfare has been a favored tactic for all of America’s three great adversaries of the last hundred years — Nazis, Communists, and Islamists. All three put substantial effort into cultivating American proxies to influence U.S. domestic policy and foreign policy in favorable directions. Yes, the Nazis did this, through organizations like the “German-American Bund” that was outlawed when World War II went hot. Today, the Islamists are having some success at manipulating our politics through fairly transparent front organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

    But it was the Soviet Union, in its day, that was the master of this game. They made dezinformatsiya (disinformation) a central weapon of their war against “the main adversary”, the U.S. They conducted memetic subversion against the U.S. on many levels at a scale that is only now becoming clear as historians burrow through their archives and ex-KGB officers sell their memoirs.

Posted by AlexC at 10:36 AM | Comments (3)
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

It's not so much that they use/used liberty and the freedom of choice/speach against us as a weapon, but rather, the inate stupidity that comes along with making all the wrong choices. We are helpless against that and can only use (GASP!) our own propaganda to combat it internally and externally. Something that the Saudi's picked up on but we have forgotten.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at February 22, 2006 2:32 PM
But jk thinks:

Must read, indeed! I dug hi list of the Soviet Unions memetic weapons.

-- There is no truth, only competing agendas.
-- All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the Wests history of racism and colonialism.
-- There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
-- The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.
-- Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.
-- The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)
-- For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But oppressed people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
-- When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorists point of view, and make concessions.
A fine collection of anti-Sharanskyism. I think these live on as Arnold Kling's "Folk Marxism."

Posted by: jk at February 23, 2006 4:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Hi, my name is johngalt. I'm an "evil oppressor."

Posted by: johngalt at February 25, 2006 3:26 PM

February 21, 2006

Screen Names

The Register...

    Yahoo! is banning the use of allah in email names - even if the letters are included within another name.

    This was uncovered by Reg reader Ed Callahan whose mother Linda Callahan was trying to sign up for a Verizon email address. She could not get it to accept her surname.

    Enquiries to Verizon revealed that a partnership with Yahoo! was to blame. Yahoo! will not accept any identies which include the letters "allah".


I suspect it's a way to prevent trouble making infidels from coming up with screen names like F-Allah1234 or something. Because that would be offensive.
    Nor will Yahoo! accept yahoo, osama or binladen. But it will accept god, messiah, jesus, jehova, buddah, satan and both priest and pedophile.

    Ed Callahan told us: "On one level this is just silliness. But we have a war on terrorism and it's migrating to be a war on Muslims - this just shows the confusion there is between the two and how pervasive this is."


Yeah.

Update: Unbanned!

Posted by AlexC at 2:40 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

AlexC said jehovah!

Posted by: jk at February 22, 2006 1:10 PM
But AlexC thinks:

No, you did! I only quoted it!

Posted by: AlexC at February 22, 2006 4:05 PM

Twenty Years of Zelda

Americans of a certain age can certainly remember endless days in front of a TV trying to beat one of the greatest games ever.

The Legend of Zelda.

It's been 20 years now.

Posted by AlexC at 2:34 PM

Global Warming

JK alluded to this effect in last week's post.

    Yet again, frozen Canadians weather-cultists risk hypothermia to complain about global warming:

      The weather may belie their message but devoted fans of the outdoor hockey rink plan to brave Alberta’s arctic-like weather as part of a statement against global warming ...

      Michael Kalmanovitch, organizer of the event in Edmonton, says the skate will go ahead in Edmonton despite the -23 C temperature. He admits the cold snap is a touch ironic but stressed the above average temperatures that have dominated the winter thus far.

    This phenomenon has been observed once or twice previously.


Just a reminder. It's not global warming. It's climate change.

Posted by AlexC at 2:26 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

This proves their ability to disregard empirical evidence in favor of near-religious beliefs.

Posted by: jk at February 22, 2006 9:21 AM
But AlexC thinks:

Near? I would say it goes to full-on religion.

Witness what they did to the heretic that wrote "Skeptical Environmentalist"... he was a believer. But Mr Lomberg went against the litany and is now reviled.

If burning a tire with a man inside it wasn't so damaging to the environment, Bjorn Lomberg would have been in one.

Posted by: AlexC at February 22, 2006 11:28 AM

February 20, 2006

Happy President's Day

Take the President's Day Quiz!

ALa from Blonde Sagacity and I tie at 14-20. She apologizes; I do not.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:23 PM | Comments (1)
But AlexC thinks:

Ha! 17!!! Re-spect!

Posted by: AlexC at February 20, 2006 7:41 PM

February 17, 2006

Bottom Story of the Day

If you were on a sci-fi series, which would it be? For jk, it's Firefly. I know, you're shocked! I was too.

You scored as Serenity (Firefly). You like to live your own way and don't enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Serenity (Firefly)

100%

Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)

81%

Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)

75%

Moya (Farscape)

69%

Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)

69%

Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)

63%

SG-1 (Stargate)

63%

FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)

63%

Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)

56%

Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)

50%

Enterprise D (Star Trek)

44%

Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)

44%
created with QuizFarm.com
Hat-tip: Samizadata

Posted by John Kranz at 5:23 PM

February 13, 2006

The Shooting II

Ok.. Last post on the Vice Presidential Gun Play.

I'd rather hunt with Dick Cheney, than ride with Ted Kennedy

Posted by AlexC at 10:37 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Triple Heh!

Posted by: jk at February 14, 2006 9:03 AM
But AlexC thinks:

Dick Cheney's gun has killed fewer people than Senator Kennedy's car.

Posted by: AlexC at February 14, 2006 12:31 PM

February 12, 2006

Inspiring Fear


A little Dick Cheney gun play.

    Harry Whittington, 78, was "alert and doing fine" after Cheney sprayed him with shotgun pellets on Saturday while the two were hunting at the Armstrong Ranch in south Texas, said property owner Katharine Armstrong.

    Armstrong said Whittington was mostly injured on his right side, with the pellets hitting his cheek, neck and chest, and was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

    Whittington was in stable condition Sunday, said Yvonne Wheeler, spokeswoman for the Christus Spohn Health System.


Live in fear, Democrats. VP Dick Cheney shot his friend. Think of what he'd do if he didn't like you.

BOO!

(that's an actual picture of Cheney off of CNN.com, can they pick a scarier one?)

Update: DemocraticUnderground's take.

Posted by AlexC at 5:00 PM | Comments (1)
But Silence Dogood thinks:

Is there a happy, smiliing picture of Cheney?

Posted by: Silence Dogood at February 15, 2006 11:54 AM

Vice President Burr Did This Too

Cheney Accidentally Shoots Fellow Hunter - Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and injured a man during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, his spokeswoman said Sunday.

Just think about it Mr. Fitzgerald, just keep it in mind...

Posted by John Kranz at 4:12 PM

February 10, 2006

Tap Water FOR Conservation

Bottled water drinkers of the world, STOP.

You're destroying the environment.

    Bottled water consumption, which has more than doubled globally in the last six years, is a natural resource that is heavily taxing the world's ecosystem, according to a new US study.

    "Even in areas where tap water is safe to drink, demand for bottled water is increasing, producing unnecessary garbage and consuming vast quantities of energy," according to Emily Arnold, author of the study published by the Earth Policy Institute, a Washington-based environmental group.


...
    The study said that demand for bottled water soared in developing countries between 1999 and 2004 with consumption tripling in India and more than doubling in China during that period.

    That has translated into massive costs in packaging the water, usually in plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is derived from crude oil, and then transporting it by boat, train or on land.

    "Making bottles to meet Americans' demand for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 US cars for a year," according to the study. "Worldwide, some 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year."

    Once the water is consumed, disposing the plastic bottles poses an environmental risk.


I bet the SUV driving soccer moms with the Kerry/Edwards sticker on their bumper just took a collective big gulp. (no pun intended).

For the ecosystem's sake. Drink tap water. Just run it through a PUR water filter. It's fine. Think of the children.

Posted by AlexC at 11:36 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Actually, the only thing a PUR filter (or any other common tap water filter) will remove is sediment and some tastes/odors. Bacterium, heavy metals and other trace elements are virtually unaffected. (The reason they are so popular is that municipal water is fairly safe from these threats, requiring only chlorine reduction which PUR carbon type filters does very well.

If your home water supply is a well, as is mine, you would be wise to install a reverse osmosis water filtration system. A complete system is only $230: http://www.wattspremier.com/watts/showdetl.cfm?&DID=15&Product_ID=162&CATID=1

Or, you could buy the same thing at Costco (as I did) for $140.

(You can all thank me later.) ;)

Posted by: johngalt at February 10, 2006 3:53 PM
But jk thinks:

There's a great anti-bottled-water contingent that includes my pal, John Stossel. As it's my week to be contrarian around here, let me point out that the opposition tends to miss the point.

I drink bottled water out of convenience, not for its superior taste and not for status. It is not Evian vs. tap water, it is bottled water vs. Coke. It's in the fridge, it's cold. No Sugar. No Caffeine. No dirty glass. (I'm boorish enough to refill the bottle out of the 'fridge door.)

Sorry about the oil use but I drive a little car and keep my modest house cool in the winter -- I gotta keep AlexC and his pals employed somehow.

Posted by: jk at February 10, 2006 4:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, I'll drink Costco or WalMart bottled water too, because it's cold in the fridge and ready to travel when I am. Trouble is, I never buy the stuff. We only have it when it's left over from a vaulting competition or some such. (Which is another good use for the stuff - feed it to kids on road trips.)

There are many people, however, who believe it's "better." In fact, my boss buys the stuff by the truckload and pays someone to haul it upstairs in our building because (our buyer insists) it's actually CHEAPER than the 5 gallon reusable bottled water service. Go figure.

Posted by: johngalt at February 11, 2006 1:54 AM

February 9, 2006

The Fear Card

Posted by AlexC at 10:21 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Q: What do you call a Democrat without cash?

A: A "Freegan."

Posted by: johngalt at February 10, 2006 3:55 PM

February 8, 2006

Olympic Dreams

Right on.

A professor of mine from Drexel University is going to the Olympics!

    He saw a cross-country skier from Kenya named Philip Boit, dead last and completely exhausted, collapse into the arms of the gold-medal winner, Bjorn Daehlie, who had crossed the finish line in the 10-kilometer event 20 minutes earlier.

    For some reason, it all looked like fun to Nagvajara, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Drexel University.

    "He's my hero," Nagvajara said of the Kenyan. "So I had a goal. It became my endeavor that I should start training and maybe go to the next Olympics."

    Nagvajara put it all together. Boit was from a warm-weather climate, yet he performed in a Winter Olympics. The professor is from Thailand, where the temperature is typically in the 80s year-round and where a pair of skis is, well, probably the least considered mode of transportation. If Boit could do it, why couldn't he?

    Sure enough, he did. After receiving sponsorship from the Thai government and competing in Olympic qualifying events, Nagvajara represented Thailand in the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. "It was like a dream," he said.


Dr Nagvajara had the best class at Drexel ever.

Microcontrollers. It was a class on programming Legos. No kidding. This was in 98-ish, so the first generation of Lego Mindstorms hadn't yet come out. They were controlled by a 68000 series CPU with a couple of inputs and outputs and they controlled motors, sensors, etc. Programming in C and Assembler.

The final project was to create a robot that navigated a rock strewn course, memorized it, then ran it as fast as possible.

My partner and I won. We were the only team that completed it.

On completion, the robot did a little jig. My final grade for that class was OVER 100.
Which is about 30 points more than my other classes. At least the ones I passed or didn't drop.

One more horn toot, while I'm at it. My class attendance was pretty lousy, and skipped it more than I should have. I was planning on skipping it one day but figured, what the hell, I'll go anyway. I showed up 10 minutes late to the mid-term. I took the test and was the first to leave... ... and I scored the highest.

Anyway, congratulations for getting to the Olympics, Dr Nagvajara. Getting there is a victory!

    Nagvajara had the honor of carrying Thailand's flag in the opening ceremonies. He was an easy selection for the honor because he was the lone representative of the country, and he will be again next month at the Turin Games, carrying the flag and competing in the 15K cross-country ski event.

    "I hope someday Thailand will have more than one athlete for the Winter Olympics," he said. "That they'll have a team."

    Nagvajara is not out to win a medal. He knows that's impossible, but he'll be better prepared than he was four years ago, when he was lapped in the 30K and therefore automatically disqualified. "I should have lasted longer, but I didn't do my thing," he said. "And the rule is if the leader catches you, you're out. He caught me."

Posted by AlexC at 1:20 AM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Great post -- go Dr Nagvajara! Dust those Knordic Know-it-alls!

(We have a higher percentage of engineering types around here than Republicans. Every technical-type I know has a fond memory of a "Hard America" class in which he/she was allowed to excel. And most remember a contest or competition. Just an observation.)

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2006 10:49 AM
But AlexC thinks:

"Hard America?" Sounds like an adult film.

Seriously. That was the best part of my college. It immersed you in Hard America immediately. You had to do 18-months of co-op to graduate. Nothing exposes you to reality than being in it.
Of course I dug reality so much, I dropped out to work full-time.

Posted by: AlexC at February 8, 2006 1:15 PM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

I suspect I might be the tipping point in that percentage? (being an engineer but not a Republican)

Spot on observation JK, for me, an ME, it was building a water tower. My team won the strength to weight ratio as I figured out how to make a joint that angled out in two directions with just pieces of angle iron - water tank was 2'x2' and the base was 3'x3' but we had only angle iron and flat iron to bolt together.

Alex also points out the other consequence - the lure to ditch school. I interned at McDonnell Douglas my 4 summers of college which had the intended consequence of teaching me about the real world and the unintended one of showing me how little relation much of my coursework had to that world. Theory gives you the basis of understanding, but without the ability to apply it doesn't get you very far.

Now if I could just find ancestry to some small country without an Olympic team...

Posted by: Silence Dogood at February 8, 2006 6:29 PM
But jk thinks:

I know a frequent commenter whom I suspect would call himself a Republican, but is a English Lit'richure dude, so maybe it's even. Two droputs though -- we've got something going...

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2006 6:47 PM

February 7, 2006

Framing the Debate

In the 70's the looming climatological disaster was global cooling.

Then in the 80's and 90's it was global warming.

Now the meme is "climate change" so that any change direction of the trend is bad.

... and the culprit was always humans.

On it's face it's laughable. We've had ice ages... we've had warm ages in the past (think dinosaur times for the obvious one)... the only climate related constant is the drive for more money for research.

Anyway... here's another theory on "climate change."

    A Russian astronomer has predicted that Earth will experience a "mini Ice Age" in the middle of this century, caused by low solar activity.

    Khabibullo Abdusamatov of the Pulkovo Astronomic Observatory in St. Petersburg said Monday that temperatures will begin falling six or seven years from now, when global warming caused by increased solar activity in the 20th century reaches its peak, RIA Novosti reported.

    The coldest period will occur 15 to 20 years after a major solar output decline between 2035 and 2045, Abdusamatov said.


Smoke 'em if you got 'em. It's gonna get cold!!!!

Posted by AlexC at 1:07 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

I grew up fearing overpopulation and global cooling (and of course, killer bees).

Now the cradle of liberty is set to fall from underpopulation and folks are trying to convince me of global warming. But I'm still afraid of bees...

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2006 1:27 PM
But Sensible Mom thinks:

Thank goodness for the supposed global warming now so we can have something fond to think of when the cooling begins. When will the "experts" like Al Gore finally realize that the changes in the Earth's temperature have more to do with the sun'd output than anything else?

Someone better let Gore know we're not going to burn up after all.

Posted by: Sensible Mom at February 7, 2006 3:33 PM
But jk thinks:

Driving a convertible (http://www.berkeleysquarejazz.com/blog/archives/001133.html), I am counting on the rest of you to keep the planet warmed up!

I had the top down once in January and a bit this afternoon. I plan to drive top down in every month of 2006. Thank you, fossil fuel.

Have to go with "Sensible Mom." (very good blog, follow the link.) I feel that climate is based on solar output. The Wall Street Journal once traced more than a thousand years of tree-ring-width projections of temperature against solar reverse-predicted flares and saw impressive correlation.

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2006 7:11 PM

February 6, 2006

Media Bias

Via email...

    The Pope is visiting Washington DC and President Bush takes him out for an afternoon on the Potomac sailing on the presidential yacht, the Sequoia.

    They are followed by several boats with secret servicemen and the press from every network and newspaper. They're admiring the sights when, all of a sudden, the Pope's hat (zucchetto) blows off his head and out into the water. Secret service guys start to launch a boat, but Bush waves them off, saying, "Wait, I'll take care of this. Don't worry."

    Bush then steps off the yacht onto the surface of the water and walks out to the Holy Father's little hat, bends over and picks it up, then walks back across the water to the yacht and climbs aboard. He hands the hat to the Pope amid stunned silence.

    The next morning the topic of conversation among Democrats on the Hill and all the liberal media, such as; CNN, CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, the New York & L.A. Times is................"BUSH CAN'T SWIM "


I actually offended my Catholic sensibilities.

RIOT!

Posted by AlexC at 7:30 PM

February 5, 2006

Buying Danish

With the outrage of the Danish cartoons still escalating, many Islamic countries are boycotting Danish products. In response to the boycott, the "netroots" is promoting buying Danish products.

Here's a list.

I don't think I've ever had a Carlsberg beer. But there is one Danish product I've always enjoyed.

Lego.

I want to make Lego purchase, but I really want to wait for the new edition of Mindstorms to come out in August.

I'm so torn!

Posted by AlexC at 3:25 PM

February 4, 2006

More Cartoon Outrage


So much to write about here....

In the back.
Rudeness, slander, disrespect... is this freedom of speech?
Yes, the DailyKos M.O. is protected by the freedom of speech.

Muslims must speak out for justice and truth.
Yes... and by holding that sign you are. Now the Danish guys get a turn at speaking out too.

You... in the front row.
The Prophet is the greatest man that ever lived.
I except that Christians would disagree. Aren't you infringing on their freedom? I'm feeling a little disrepect.


I understand the backside says, "Retain the freedom to draw those comics with the hook noses for now."

Posted by AlexC at 5:57 PM

Overreaction

Here are some pictures from anti-cartoon demonstrations in London.








Getting past the message, one thing sticks out in my mind about these signs. They are all written by the same individual. Look at the Ses, the look like fives.

That leads me to believe a couple of possibilities about the protestors.
1) They are professionally agreived, always at the ready to hold a sign about something or other.
2) They're too lazy to do their own signs.
3) They're illiterate.

Finally, one more picture.

I wish I could find the comment, but some months ago mdmhvonpa made a snide comment that "someone forgot the free speech is unconstitutional sign."

Not this time.

Posted by AlexC at 12:33 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

4) They are ALL on British welfare. The good people of the UK are paying for this all right...

Posted by: jk at February 4, 2006 1:27 PM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

I want to post my own sign - "Take comfort in knowing I am going to Hell" I take some comfort in these signs because maybe they are getting this freedom thing. If they can get out their anger by chanting and waving signs then I say welcome to the free world. It is the kidnappers, rock throwers, and gunmen I worry about.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at February 5, 2006 9:42 AM
But johngalt thinks:

And you had plenty of those too, Silence. In Lebanon, I believe, the Danish embassy and a Christian neighborhood were attacked and vandalized.

Posted by: johngalt at February 6, 2006 12:34 AM

DNA Tech

Super Bowl Extra Large gets a drop of cool technology to thwart counterfeiters.

    Super Bowl XL comes with a guarantee: Every football all 120 of them will be dropped.

    That is, each will be marked with a drop of synthetic DNA to thwart potential counterfeiters who might be tempted to sell phony "game-used" Super Bowl footballs, which can be worth thousands of dollars. Exposed to a specific laser frequency, the DNA glows to a bright green.

    "The ball can change hands a thousand-plus times, but it will never lose that DNA," said Joe Orlando, president of PSA/DNA Authentication Services, a division of Santa Ana-based Collector's Universe Inc., which for the sixth consecutive year marked the Super Bowl footballs. "The chance of replicating this exact DNA sequence is one in 33 trillion, so it's virtually impossible."

Posted by AlexC at 12:15 PM

February 1, 2006

Those Pesky Cartoons

By now you have heard of the European papers publishing the cartoons depicting Mohammed and Islam in a not so favorable light. (As if flying planes into buildings and strapping exposives on your chest wouldn't.)

Anyway... there appears to be some capitulation.

From a French paper. [go figure ...ed]

    France Soir originally said it had published the images in full to show "religious dogma" had no place in a secular society.

    But late on Wednesday its owner, Raymond Lakah, said he had removed managing editor Jacques Lefranc "as a powerful sign of respect for the intimate beliefs and convictions of every individual".

    Mr Lakah said: "We express our regrets to the Muslim community and all people who were shocked by the publication."


Mr Lakah then continued... "In a show of reconciliation and extending alms to the Muslim community, we will be putting Piss Christ on the tomorrow's front page."

Being a practicing Catholic, I'm a little sensitive to blasphemy. But I also understand that in a free society, a measure of the societies freedom is the ability to permit forms of expression that it might disagree with.

I don't like it, but I know that the unrepentant artist will spend eternity in fiery damnation. ... and that's good enough for me.

(tip to LGF)

Posted by AlexC at 11:17 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I think that "Piss Christ" and the Danish cartoons offer the perfect antidote to the contention that all the American Christian fundamentalists (y'know, Bush, Ashcroft, Robertson, &c.) are as bad as the Islamist Fascists.

One side argues whether government funding is appropriate and one claims that a private newspaper cannot publish offensive material.

Christopher Hitchens it right: how can the left claim any solidarity with those who would repress rights so drastically?

Posted by: jk at February 2, 2006 11:45 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Big deal, Mr. Lakah. Your multiculturalist philosophy holds no more respect for the symbols of Christianity than for those of Islam anyway. Who do you think you are fooling with your pledge to disparage Christ on your front page? If you want to show willingness to denigrate a symbol of your own faith, try this instead: http://www.thoseshirts.com/commies.html

Posted by: johngalt at February 2, 2006 3:04 PM

January 31, 2006

Buttery Spread

Jeff Goldstein shows that Islamic fundamentalists have no possible response to this free-market discovery: "Smart Balance Spread has introduced a new microwave popping corn with NO trans-fats and NO hydrogenated oils -- and an Omega 3 blend that may in fact REDUCE cholesterol "

Which is sad, because this IS a delicious, buttery-tasting popcorn that literally cleans your arteries while you enjoy its tasty crunchy cornbuttery goodness were talking aboutversus, like, mandatory prayer, sand, and chicks rolled in burlap like scratching posts. So, yknowyou might not wanna put all your eggs in that rebuilding the Caliphate basket just yet, holy warriors.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:01 PM

January 30, 2006

Speechifying

Speechwriting web pages are usually pretty lame.

But here's a good one.

Tip to smedley log

Posted by AlexC at 10:35 AM

January 29, 2006

More Google Flogging

"Falun Gong" at the American Google.

"Falun Gong" at the Red Chinese Google.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Posted by AlexC at 6:41 PM

Happy Valentine's Day

Osama_valentine.jpg Ala at Blonde Sagacity, shares the heartwarming Valentine's Day story of a little Jewish girl who want's to send a Valentine to Osama Bin Laden.
Posted by John Kranz at 1:05 PM

January 27, 2006

Chinese New Year

I'm a frequent flier, and have been in some cramped conditions... but this has never crossed my mind.

    Sales have soared ahead of the holiday as travelers prepare for long trips home aboard trains so crowded that even the toilets are jammed with people, newspapers said Tuesday. Supermarkets report diaper sales have risen 50 percent since Jan. 14.

    The problem arises from the need to sell twice as many tickets as there are train seats. Those without seats must find some place -- any place -- to put themselves, including in toilets.


I'm not understanding why there's a need to sell 2X the seats.

Here's a question: Will the Google News's Chinese version report on this news? Depends, I guess.

Posted by AlexC at 12:03 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Well, it is the year of the Dog...

I suggest that Google will not censor the fact that other, freer countries do not expect their citizens to crowd in the toilet when they have purchased a seat and that that alone will be a freedom enhancer.

Posted by: jk at January 27, 2006 1:15 PM

January 25, 2006

Firefly Season 2

This will warm JK's heart. Sci-fi nerds are lobbying hard for Firefly Season 2

UPDATE: Sorry, I had to add the button -- jk

Posted by AlexC at 6:00 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

The long-tail come to life! Excellent find, Alex.

Follow this link to vote on your preferences and tolerance for additional eps...

Posted by: jk at January 25, 2006 6:40 PM
But jk thinks:

...anybody else wonder what he meant by "Nerds?"

http://www.threesources.com/archives/001761.html

Posted by: jk at January 25, 2006 6:44 PM

Scandal Rocks DC

Via email...

    All of the evidence is not in, but it appears that Secretary of State Rice may have slept with Senator Ted Kennedy. Will send details when they become available; all we have now is this photo.

Posted by AlexC at 5:07 PM

January 23, 2006

Wonderfalls

I bought the DVD to Wonderfalls last year after Tim Minear of Angel & Firefly fame recommended them to Professor Reynolds at Instapundit. The topic has resurfaced on Insty, and a quick search shows that I have not discussed them.

My wife and I really enjoyed the show. When she got her video iPod, it was the first thing she wanted ripped. Fox, in its infinite wisdom, cancelled the show and there are 13 episodes on the DVD. I wouldn't say that it's as good as Angel or Firefly, but it is still better than anything else out there. I would not hesitate to recommend it.

The long tail of TV is here. You don't have to watch what they schedule for you. (By the way Silence, I have been watching Veronica Mars on your recommendation. It's pretty good but it has not captured my heart.)

Posted by John Kranz at 11:58 AM | Comments (2)
But Silence Dogood thinks:

Glad to hear you have been watching Veronica. I hope it will grow on you, its one of my favs. I too enjoyed the quirky Wonderfalls during its short network run. What was the name of the Canadian actress who played the lead? I keep waiting for her to show up in something new.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at January 24, 2006 4:58 PM
But jk thinks:

Caroline Dhavernas. She was very good. Firefly fans will also enjoy a few-episode-cameo from Jewel Staite who played Kaylee.

Posted by: jk at January 24, 2006 5:22 PM

January 18, 2006

Carnival of the Clueless

My "Good Taste" - A Children's guide to Politics post from earlier in the week made it up on to the "Carnival of the Clueless."
It didn't make because I'm clueless, but because Senator Kennedy's (D-Beefeater) dog's name is Splash.

Which is either clueless or incredibly sensitive.

Go check out the rest!

Posted by AlexC at 10:27 AM

January 17, 2006

Happy TriCentennial, Ben!

Ben Franklin was born 300 years ago today. I blogged about a new book, but there are several articles today celebrating Silence's hero:

The American Apostle of Thrift, by David Blankenhorn at The Daily Standard

B Franklin, Moralist, by Timothy Lehmann at The Daily Standard

Better Than Well Said, by Pete DuPont at OpinionJournal.com

Revolutionary and Conservative, by Christopher Hitchens at the Wall Street Journal.

Since that last link is paid, I'll excerpt (holler if you want it via email)

In how many dimensions can one observe this figure, on his tercentenary? Unlike most philosophers, he was also an eminently practical man, schooled at first in the most charming and useful of trades -- that of a printer -- but wise in the ways of business and some distance ahead of his time in matters of science. If he did not exactly discover electricity, he did establish beyond doubt that it was a principle at work in the natural universe. And for him, discovery of this kind was intuitively linked to the possibility of the useful: for the lightening of the human load and, more important, the enlightening of the human mind.

Unlike most revolutionaries, he was a conservative. He did not, for example, join Benjamin Rush and Thomas Paine in the Anti-Slavery Society until quite late in his life. I think it may have been John Maynard Keynes who observed that conservatives often make very effective revolutionaries, in that they have tried to make the existing system work and have come to understand very clearly why it must be changed. Benjamin Franklin offered to pay the damages of the Boston Tea Party. If the British authorities had not treated him in such an arrogant and underhanded manner, and had not had such a paltry idea of the man with whom they had to deal, he would very probably have negotiated a brilliant settlement of the outstanding disputes between the colonies and the motherland. This was certainly his wish. But as it was, his full talent as a diplomat was only disclosed when he became the first and best envoy of the American Revolution. (He never lived to see the full effect of the French one.)

One ought, also, to remember his physical courage and his readiness to take risks. He very nearly died on a hazardous expedition to French Canada during the fighting in 1776, and repeatedly stood the danger of first-hand experiments with lightning, which on at least one occasion could have cut his life extremely short. His insouciance about all this must bear some relationship to his dry and highly developed sense of humor. The Founding Fathers were not to be renowned for their joke-cracking capacities: One may page through Thomas Jefferson's elegant correspondence and yet become dispirited by the want of a jest. You can never be sure exactly when Franklin is joking: In the "Autobiography" he boasts with Abramoff-like glee that he both recommended an increase in paper money to the Pennsylvania Legislature and then eagerly received the contract to print it. But in any crisis of seriousness, Franklin was also the main man. He was drafted onto the committee that drew up the Declaration (and may well have been the one who imposed the ringing term "self-evident," as against the more pompous "sacred and undeniable" in its crucial opening stave.) When George Washington's horse bore him into Philadelphia for the grueling meeting that would eventually evolve the United States Constitution, it was at Franklin's front door that the president necessarily made his first stop.


Posted by John Kranz at 12:12 PM

January 15, 2006

Needing a Clue by Four

If the Nobel Foundation offered a prize for Stupidity, this would be a nomination.
A teacher assigns his/her class homework on porn!

    Superintendent Jeff Lampert said that although the teacher's apparent goal _ to discuss the harmful effects of pornography _ was well- intentioned, he agreed with parents that the assignment was inappropriate for 14- and 15-year-old freshmen at Brooklyn High.

    The assignment asked students to research pornography on the Internet and list eight facts about pornography. Students also were asked to write their personal views of pornography and any experience they had with it.


I'm pretty sure I know how the boys would answer this. If only the kids were taught more than just putting condoms on cucumbers! They wouldn't have to go to pornography for source material.
    Lampert said he doubted the teacher would face any punishment.

I have no doubt that the teachers union would mount a vigorous defense.

Posted by AlexC at 6:44 PM | Comments (1)
But scrapiron thinks:

I see a teacher having (or wanting to have) sex with children and the sex of the children won't matter. I see a teacher that should be working at McDonalds, if he's qualified.

Posted by: scrapiron at January 18, 2006 12:24 PM

Good Taste

Earlier in the week, I was hearing some grumblings of Senator Kennedy (D-Glenfiddich) writing a childrens book.

And that's fine.

But how classy is it that it's a book about his dog?

His dog named "Splash."

No. I'm not kidding.

    Meet the latest children's author, Sen. Ted Kennedy, and his Portuguese Water Dog, Splash, his co-protagonist in "My Senator and Me: A Dogs-Eye View of Washington, D.C."

    Scholastic Inc. will release the book in May.

    "I am very excited about the opportunity to create a book for young readers and their families that will deepen their understanding of how our American government works," Kennedy said in a statement Monday issued by Scholastic.


With some illustrations, here's how I would write a children's book about how government works.

(Click Read More, to see the story)

The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

"See Dick."

"See Dick lose an election."

"See Jack win."

"See Dick & Dick's friends (also Dicks) pout for years about how we wuz robbed."

"See Jack deal with getting problems solved. We call Jack an adult."

"Go Jack Go!"

"See John. John is Dick's old colleague. They are friends. See John's wife Jane. She makes ketchup."

"See Dick go on a left wing leftist bender. Jane is not far behind him."

"See John try to beat Jack."

"Run John, Run!"

"See Jack continue to the run the country."

"See John's friends go out of their way to help John win."

"Meet John's friend John. They have nice hair."

"See John lose."

"See John's friends also pout."

"See Jack and his friends continue to lead this nation. He is an adult."

"See John and his friends in the Senate get in the way of every thing Jack and his friends want to do. They do it because they are children."

"See Jack and his friends spend money like drunken sailors. They do it because they pretend like they don't know any better and want to make some of John's friends their own. That's not a good idea."

"Iran triggers nuclear armageddon in the Middle East because Jack and John's friends in far away places could not agree on how to deal with bullies."

The end.

It could use some editing.

Posted by AlexC at 1:32 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

ROTFLMAO!

Posted by: johngalt at January 15, 2006 11:24 AM
But Steel thinks:

Now who ya gonna get to do the illustrations?

Gahan Wilson maybe?

Posted by: Steel at January 15, 2006 11:30 AM
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

Hmmm, I think illustrations may be detremental to childrens. More importantly though, will it be scratch-n-sniff? Vodka, scotch, etc...

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at January 16, 2006 8:50 AM

January 13, 2006

Cheap Thrills

This might be the funniest blonde joke ever.

Posted by AlexC at 3:23 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Heh.

Posted by: jk at January 13, 2006 10:11 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yawn. :)

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2006 11:20 AM

January 12, 2006

Freedom of Speech



This picture comes to us from the United Kingdom, where Abu Hamza, a Muslim preacher is in court on terror related charges.

I post the picture in the hopes of noting the irony of holding up signs attacking the goverment which doesn't prohibit you to hold up those signs.

If only this planet had see signs saying "Mullah Omar is go to Hell!" or "Wahabbism is Hypocrisy" would not be finding ourselves in this mess.

But alas, 'tis only a dream.

Posted by AlexC at 12:55 PM | Comments (1)
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

Somebody forgot to bring the 'Free Speech is Unconstitutional' sign.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at January 12, 2006 2:18 PM

January 9, 2006

Philly Boom

This may be one of the craziest things I've seen in the New York Times, ever.

Headline: Tax Breaks Drive a Philadelphia Boom

    AFTER years of losing population, the downtown region, known as Center City, is booming, with developments going up and old buildings being transformed into lofts and condominiums.

    The construction, fueled by tax breaks, has succeeded in halting the city's 40-year population decline. Center City, which has the nation's third largest downtown residential population, behind New York and Chicago, is experiencing its fifth straight year of increased housing starts, both new and rehabilitated units. Center City's population grew to 88,000 by the end of 2005 from 78,000 in 2000. Even more striking, the number of households rose by 24 percent, according to figures compiled by the Center City District, a business-improvement group.


Cut taxes, and faster please.

Posted by AlexC at 7:56 PM

Chronic of Narnia Rap

From SNL -- very funny!

Hat-tip: Galley Slaves, who point out the quote "You can call us Aaron Burr from the way we're dropping Hamiltons."

Posted by John Kranz at 3:49 PM | Comments (1)
But AlexC thinks:

Great line. Reminds of my favorite rap line.
This is by Dr Dre.
"I get so much ass, they call me an astronaut."

Posted by: AlexC at January 9, 2006 5:13 PM

Ball Players

AP:

    A leader from the women's rights group NOW has asked Joe Paterno to resign over comments the Penn State football coach made about an alleged sexual assault.

    Joanne Tosti-Vasey, president of the National Organization for Women in Pennsylvania, said Sunday that she was "appalled" by Paterno's comments last week and that they represent an institutional insensitivity that endangers women.


What did JoePa say?
    "There's some tough there's so many people gravitating to these kids. He may not have even known what he was getting into, Nicholson. They knock on the door; somebody may knock on the door; a cute girl knocks on the door. What do you do?"

I'm not going to discount the allegations, they're no joke.

NOW's statement goes on...

    "Allegations of sexual assault should never be taken lightly," the statement reads. "Making light of sexual assault sends the message that rape is something to be expected and accepted."

You seriously have to consider what the actual position of the National Organization of Women is in light of their response to the claims of Jennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, Dolly Kyle Browning, Kathleen Willey, and Juanita Broderick.

Where were the press releases? Who asked the President to step down? At least the President committed those acts.. (well, allegedly), Joe Paterno had misfortune of being the kid's football coach.

Posted by AlexC at 12:52 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Allegations of sexual assault should never be taken lightly," says she. "Nor should allegations of witchcraft," say I and the Salem Reverend's girls.

Being a Colorado resident and Colorado University alumnus and football fan, I've seen this all before. I highly recommend Bruce Plasket's book 'Buffaloed' to those who want to know how and why it happens. (ALLEGATIONS of sexual assault, not ACTUAL sexual assault.) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1599710250/qid=1136834909/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-9439318-9679219?n=507846&s=books&v=glance

Posted by: johngalt at January 9, 2006 2:29 PM

January 8, 2006

iPod Civics

AmericanRhetoric.com has a listing of the Top 100 speeches and many of them are available in MP3 format.

Now you listen to our nation's greatest speeches AND be trendy.

What a country.

My downloads so far?
MLK's "I Have a Dream" and "I've Been to the Mountaintop"
All of the Reagan speeches, MacArthur and some Nixon speeches.

Posted by AlexC at 6:05 PM

January 5, 2006

Sam

Talking about Estonia made me look for a blogger in Esonia that I used to read and correspond with.

Holy cow! Sam (Unigolyn) now has a Serenity/Firefly themed blog called "Kojinshugi." It'll be on the blogroll later today.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:16 PM

January 1, 2006

Respecting Your Mom

I pity tha fool that doesn't respect his mother.

But in this case, I kind of pity Mr T. I can't imagine this was his idea.

Posted by AlexC at 9:22 PM

December 31, 2005

E-Books

My wife and I were early adopters of eBook technology. I had a Gemini Rocket (Five stars) a Franklin something-or-other (1.5 stars) and I now read books on my Palm. The two great things about eBooks are being able to carry a dozen large books on a small device and incredible ease of reading in any light situation.

I can only read paper in very good light but I can read the eBook on a plane or in dim light.

Sony is unveiling a new piece4 of hardware at the CES show next week. Business Week reports:

Back in 2000, a bunch of e-book readers hit the market, only to tank because the technology didn't adequately duplicate the book reading experience. Now, with everyone from Google (NasdaqNM:GOOG - News) to Microsoft (NasdaqNM:MSFT - News) to HarperCollins (NYSE:NWS - News) digitizing books, plus the arrival of slick new display technology, Sony figures the time is right for a handheld e-reader in the U.S.

But while Sony's iPod-like strategy -- seamlessly wedding content to hardware -- has promise, reading books on a digital device still feels nothing like the real thing to most consumers. As such, it will be an uphill battle building a sizable market for e-books, which accounted for an estimated 0.2% of the 944 million books U.S. publishers sold worldwide in 2004. "No one has created a device compelling enough to have mass appeal," says Nick Bogaty, executive director of the International Digital Publishing Forum, an industry group.


That's the conventional wisdom. The right hardware has just not appeared yet. Bulltwinkies.

The holdup for adoption of this technology is business failure, not any technical hurdle. We loved our eBooks but an eBook costs the same as a Hardcover and could not be shared with another device. I can lend a book out when I'm done, give it away, sell it, donate it to a thrift store, but I have to lend my hardware out to share an eBook. I get zero credit for the printing, inventory and shipping I saved the publisher, the selection is limited. After time, it seems not to be worth it. The exception is public domain material which is available free or cheap (Riza bought Dickens's "Bleak House" for my Palm for two dollars and change).

I wish Sony the best. I really believe in this technology and hope their device is cool. But the deciding factor will be its arrangement with publishers even more than the user experience.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:31 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

It appears that publishers' fears of lost profits the old fashioned way are hindering their progress toward a superior delivery system. But if this is true, won't the "Schumpeterian gales" eventually blow the old school boys away?

Posted by: johngalt at December 31, 2005 5:18 PM
But jk thinks:

Schumpeter is exactly what it's about and Google may indeed be the gale.

There is another issue if I may put on my tinfoil hat and wait for the black helicopters to pass overhead. Publishers can now manipulate sales figures very easily (weaselly) by shipping product that is not really purchased in the classical sense. Ship two million copies of Senator Reid's "Searchlight Cowardice" and you can perch the book on the bestseller lists. When the unsold copies are returned or remaindered, nobody puts an asterisk by the title.

I fear publishers are as afraid of real sales numbers as a new business plan. These folks are few and solidly entrenched; it will take a Google or one of their members straying from the fold (TimeWarner?) but I do believe Schumpeter will prevail.

In the meantime, they can claim that the right hardware has not been invented yet. I don't believe it. But I will buy one of the new Sonys. I can put it on the shelf by my Betamax and AIT tape drive...

Posted by: jk at January 1, 2006 12:03 PM

December 28, 2005

Serenity, Post XIV

TNR gives "Serenity" a great review for the DVD market.

Sadly, it points out that Serenity only earned $25 million box office. It got clobbered by all the bad films with the big stars. Nothing makes me rethink my dedication to free markets than entertainment -- I can be a real neo-Hamiltonian: make them watch good stuff; make them like it!

But hope is not lost

Still, as Whedon and his "Firefly" cohorts have already shown, there's more than one way to skin a human (and sew him into a nice little Reaver ensemble). Theatrical box-office makes up an ever-shrinking portion of a film's total receipts (now a mere 15 percent, according to Slate's Edward Jay Epstein), with the vast bulk of the revenues coming from DVD sales and rentals on the one hand, and broadcast licensing (pay-per-view, network, and cable) on the other. And while Serenity was never well-positioned for the box office, it should, like "Firefly" before it, make a killing on DVD. (My own exceptionally scientific survey of a couple of local outlets would tend to confirm this: By day two of its release, Serenity had sold out from one and was only available in the less-popular fullscreen version from the other.) Once the movie hits cable, it should be set for life--I envision it running three nights a week on the Sci-Fi Channel for at least the next decade. Will this be enough to ensure a sequel? You can cast your own vote at the local Blockbuster.

Here's my idea, Mr. Whedon. Create two more one-hour episodes and release it as a movie. A short theatre run, then to DVD sales, then licensed for syndication after. You wouldn't need $40 million to make it and you could release these pairs twice a year.

Robin Wilcox compares Whedon to Charles Dickens (Whedon is a big fan of the big man). Dickens released novels as weekly serializations. Other novelists looked down at him but the folks loved it.

To be honest, most Firefly fans would like two more "eps" than another movie. Am I lyin'?

Posted by John Kranz at 3:48 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Honestly, I think the Browncoat community would be thrilled with either. The episodes provide a larger feast but the movie delivered better continuity of an impressive story line.

The problem I see with your idea is that one of the factors making episodes less costly is that one set up cost is amortized over many episodes. There's not going to be a lot of difference between one 2-hour movie and two 1-hour "eps" per year.

Posted by: johngalt at December 31, 2005 5:29 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm sure you're right. You caught me pushing a personal agenda here as I have concluded that -- as good as the movie was -- the TV show was a little better.

I was looking for savings in the quality of special effects and CGI work. The greatness here is the storyline, writing, ensemble cast and general cinematography. I don't know that the better/more expensive effects of the film made it better.

Posted by: jk at January 1, 2006 12:09 PM
But Sam Muldia thinks:

The movie was awesome, but I personally have preferred TV shows since the X-Files. Firefly was the apotheosis of good, arc-driven, episodic TV. River's seemingly psychotic and irrational behavior in earlier episodes all of a sudden makes perfect sense in retrospect. Jayne's betrayal in Ariel leads to remorse and a crate of apples in the next, which jump-start the theme.

And I for one have not seen or read or heard stories more beautifully told than in Out of Gas and especially Objects In Space.

I NEED this story to continue. It was perfectly played, perfectly written, perfectly shot, designed and produced from the first second. Other shows need time to find their legs - Firefly was born standing tall. Those fourteen episodes were better than the entire run of anything I've ever seen before.

The day I hear the Ballad of Serenity again will be a very happy one.

Posted by: Sam Muldia at January 5, 2006 6:32 PM

December 24, 2005

Wanting to Believe

You will remember this story I blogged about earlier in the week.

    It rocketed across the Internet a week ago, a startling newspaper report that agents from the US Department of Homeland Security had visited a student at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth at his New Bedford home simply because he had tried to borrow Mao Tse-Tung's ''Little Red Book" for a history seminar on totalitarian goverments.

    The story, first reported in last Saturday's New Bedford Standard-Times, was picked up by other news organizations, prompted diatribes on left-wing and right-wing blogs, and even turned up in an op-ed piece written by Senator Edward M. Kennedy in the Globe.

    But yesterday, the student confessed that he had made it up after being confronted by the professor who had repeated the story to a Standard-Times reporter.


At the time, I threw a bullshit flag on the play. It sounded too made up.

Well...

    But yesterday, the student confessed that he had made it up after being confronted by the professor who had repeated the story to a Standard-Times reporter.

    The professor, Brian Glyn Williams, said he went to his former student's house and asked about inconsistencies in his story. The 22-year-old student admitted it was a hoax, Williams said.


It breaks my heart.

Really. It does.

    ''I feel as if I was lied to, and I have no idea why," said Williams, an associate professor of Islamic history. He said the possibility the government was scrutinizing books borrowed by his students ''disturbed me tremendously."

He has no idea why?

That's really surprising. There are two possibilities.

1) He was a willing dupe.

2) Click to view...

Posted by AlexC at 1:23 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

3) All of the above.


Great coverage AlexC!

Posted by: johngalt at December 24, 2005 2:44 PM
But jk thinks:

Great work indeed. The root cause of bias is that an anti-American story always gets the benefit of the doubt, a pro-American story is scrutinized beyond legal standards.

Posted by: jk at December 24, 2005 4:47 PM

December 22, 2005

I Might Need a Car

bugatti.jpg
A young man fell asleep at the wheel last week and hit both an RTD bus and my 1999 Subaru. The Subaru is probably reparable, but close enough to totaled that the estimator hinted we could get there if I wanted.

I thought I'd fix the Outback (although a conservative friend asks why I drive "such an Earth-Muffin car"). But that was before I saw this piece in TCS on the Bugatti-Veyron:

The Bugatti-Veyron, which will be formally debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show, in January, certainly appears to have the steak to match its sizzle. Its wondrously compact V-16 engine displaces 488 cubic inches but, thanks partly to four (yes, folks, four) superchargers, it develops 1001 horsepower. Thats no typo -- one thousand and one horsepower -- enough to slam your head back into the leather headrest when the two-seat coupe accelerates from a standing stop to 62 miles an hour in 2.5 seconds. In normal use, it will burn 1.3 gallons of high test per minute.

A thousand and one ponies...

Photo credit: RSportsCars.com

UPDATE: Jeremy Clarkson has a review of this car in the Times of London. He has said some hateful things about America, but it is still worth a nine hour flight to Britain just to watch his TV show "TopGear."

From behind the wheel of a Veyron, France is the size of a small coconut. I cannot tell you how fast I crossed it the other day. Because you simply wouldnt believe me. I also cannot tell you how good this car is. I just dont have the vocabulary. I just end up stammering and dribbling and talking wide-eyed nonsense. And everyone thinks Im on drugs.

This car cannot be judged in the same way that we judge other cars. It meets drive-by noise and emission regulations and it can be driven by someone whose only qualification is an ability to reverse round corners and do an emergency stop. So technically it is a car. And yet it just isnt.

Other cars are small guesthouses on the front at Brighton and the Bugatti is the Burj Al Arab. It makes even the Enzo and the Porsche Carrera GT feel slow and pointless. It is a triumph for lunacy over common sense, a triumph for man over nature and a triumph for Volkswagen over absolutely every other car maker in the world.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:40 PM | Comments (5)
But AlexC thinks:

Holy crap.

Posted by: AlexC at December 22, 2005 4:23 PM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

Forget 1.3 gallons per minute, I am betting the sticker price is above $1000/hp - equivalent to your Subaru going for about 160 grand.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at December 22, 2005 5:52 PM
But jk thinks:

I think I'll wait for the Hybrid. For $3000 more, it only uses 1.0 gallons per minute...

Posted by: jk at December 22, 2005 6:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Nice car JK. I say, dump the granola moblile.

In "normal use" it will burn 1.3 gallons of high test per minute. What is "normal use" for a 1000 hp car? Certainly not highway cruising at the double nickel. At that speed I'd guess its consumption is not altogether different than your average SUV.

But here's what caught my eye: "Bugatti enthusiasts (the originals remain perhaps the most sought after of all vintage collector cars) reportedly have mixed emotions about the revival of the name, some feeling that this new machine is too in-your-face, too ridiculously expensive, too flamboyant." Ah yes, the inescapable "tall poppy" syndrome. Too expensive? Too flamboyant? That's like, "too fast, too pretty, too fun, or too much money." Ain't no such things as those!

Hat tip: Darryl Singletary - http://www.cowboylyrics.com/tabs/singletary-daryle/too-much-fun-2060.html

Posted by: johngalt at December 24, 2005 3:22 PM
But jk thinks:

I think Misters Clarkson and Singletary are on the same page: "a triumph for lunacy over common sense, a triumph for man over nature and a triumph for Volkswagen..."

Sadly, the gronola-crunchin', earth-muffin car is perfect for me. Goes in the snow, carries the band's PA, my dog has the second seat to herself -- I didn't know what else I would buy. On a serious note, I think that CAFE standards have kept the other car companies from offering something in this marketspace; it would be counted as a car and the other guys have to make SUVs instead.

On the lighter side, I did keep my W2004 sticker on it way too long, so the Boulder types would know I had not been assimilated. Every other dark blue Outback has a Dean or Kucinich sticker.

Posted by: jk at December 24, 2005 5:01 PM

December 20, 2005

Constitutional Usurpers

Give thanks this holiday season for Jeff Goldstein's Protein Wisdom.

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) expresses his rage at the Bush administrations pretensions to monarchical power to a sales associate at his local Footlocker store
Feingold: I mean, you seem like a nice ordinary Joe. Would you want that cowboy doofus and his NSA goons unilaterally deciding to listen in on your phone conversations? Because the fact is, the president cannot make up authority and legislative power when it isnt there. Hes President. Hes not King George Bush."*

Footlocker sales clerk: Of course he isnt. A King might presume to tell us when its okay to, say, exercise our First Amendment rights to political speechincluding how we can spend our money, and how close to elections we can broadcast arguments like the one you just made.

Footlocker sales clerk:: And sorry, sir, but as I already told you once, I dont care who you say you are. I still cant let you try on the Pumas without any socks.


Perfect pitch humor. Which impingement on the Constitution affects me? scares me? Senator Feingold's.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:08 PM

Psychiatric Christmas

John Derbyshire posts these on The Corner:

Schizophrenia --- Do You Hear What I Hear?

Multiple Personality Disorder --- We Three Queens Disoriented Are

Dementia --- I Think I'll Be Home For Christmas

Narcissistic --- Hark The Herald Angels Sing About Me

Manic --- Deck The Hall and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and Fire Hydrants and.........

Paranoid --- Santa Claus Is Coming To Get Me

Borderline Personality Disorder --- Thoughts Of Roasting On An Open Fire

Personality Disorder --- You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder --- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

ADHD -- Hark the herald angels sing ba-rum-pa-pum-pum in the little town of Bethlehem up on the housetop in a winter wonderland one foggy Christmas Eve hey how bout them Bears no I don't want to switch to Sprint but thank you for shopping at K-Mart.


Really, isn't making fun of the mentally ill what the season is all about?

Posted by John Kranz at 2:30 PM

Dumb Lawyers

Heh.

    Four white men fired by the Philadelphia School District have won a racial-discrimination lawsuit, and a federal jury awarded them nearly $3 million in damages.

    After Friday's verdict, Carl E. Singley, a prominent African American lawyer who represented the school district, exchanged words with some members of the all-white jury as they rode a courthouse elevator. He called them "crackers," four jurors said in interviews.


The defense lawyer in a racial discrimination lawsuit slurs the plaintiffs who just beat him?

That went over real well with the judge.

    Within 30 minutes, U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle 3d brought Singley and five of the seven jurors in the case back into his courtroom. Singley, a former Temple Law School dean, promptly apologized.

    "What I did and said was inappropriate," Singley said, according to a transcript. "I should not have disrespected you, and I do apologize."


Ha!

(tip to GrassrootsPa)

Posted by AlexC at 12:30 PM

December 19, 2005

Modern Art

In case you needed any more proof that "modern art" is a racket and a monkey could do it.

    A GERMAN art expert was fooled into believing a painting done by a chimpanzee was the work of a master.

    The director of the State Art Museum of Moritzburg in Saxony-Anhalt, Katja Schneider, suggested the painting was by the Guggenheim Prize-winning artist Ernst Wilhelm Nay.

    "It looks like an Ernst Wilhelm Nay. He was famous for using such blotches of colour," Dr Schneider confidently asserted.


I'm sure.

My 3 year old daughter's finger painting also makes extensive use of blotches of color. I'm framing it all for sale to suckers.

    "I did think it looked a bit rushed," she told Bild newspaper.

No doubt. But much of the world will savor for some time your "misjudgement."

For what it's worth, I'm not an art basher. My favorite artist is probably Andrew Wyeth. Though no one would confuse his work with modern art.

(tip to The Steel Deal)

Posted by AlexC at 2:59 PM | Comments (2)
But Steel thinks:

There's an elephant that gets 500 bucks for its art in Portland Oregon.

The image I used for that post was done by 'Washoe' of Koko fame. She has her own website and gets 100 bucks a pop.

P.T.Barnum was a visionary.

Posted by: Steel at December 19, 2005 11:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well heck, that's your problem AlexC... your favorite artist is of the "realist" school. Modern "art" deals exclusively with the non-real.

My favorite remains... James Russell Sherman: http://www.threesources.com/archives/001710.html

Posted by: johngalt at December 20, 2005 4:04 PM

December 16, 2005

Two Words

New JibJab

Posted by AlexC at 9:21 PM

Car Break-in

Depending on your perspective, it's heartwarming Christmas tale.

    Imagine getting off the train after work and finding a $15,000 diamond ring in your car.

    A Westborough, Mass., man says thats what happened to him.

    It seems the ring was left in his unlocked car by a total stranger, heartbroken over a lost love.


Lucky day! But the heartbroken suitor left a note.
    The ring came in a box topped with a white bow. A note with it read: Merry Christmas. Thank you for leaving your car door unlocked. Instead of stealing your car I gave you a present. Hopefully this will land in the hands of someone you love, for my love is gone now.

The suicide note has yet to be found.

Posted by AlexC at 9:11 PM

December 12, 2005

Perspective

Mike Farrell aka BJ Honeycutt on the Schwartzenegger clemency denial.

    "The governor's 96-hour wait to give an answer was a cowardly act and was tortuous," said former "M A S H" star Mike Farrell, a death penalty opponent. "I would suggest that had he the courage of his convictions he could have gone over to San Quentin and met with Stanley Williams himself and made a determination rather than letting his staff legal adviser write this garbage."

For those who aren't aware, Stanley Williams stands convicted of the following acts...

  • Williams, at gunpoint, ordered [Store Clerk] Owens to "lay down, mother f*****." Williams then chambered a round into the shotgun. Williams then fired the round into the security monitor. Williams then chambered a second round and fired the round into Owens' back as he lay face down on the floor of the storage room. Williams then fired again into Owens' back. (TT 2162).

  • Williams, using his shotgun, killed seventy-six year old Yen-I Yang; Williams also killed Yang's wife, sixty-three year old Tsai-Shai Yang; lastly, Williams killed Yang's daughter, forty-three year old Yee-Chen Lin. Williams then removed the currency from the cash register and fled the location

I'll disagree with Mr Farrell's opinion of the Governor's decision, but for the sake of argument, I'll say Schwartzenegger was cowardly.

Does Mr Williams, clearly a coward, deserve any better?

For the sake of argument, I'll say the Governor tortured Mr Williams. Does Stanley Williams deserve better?

For what it's worth, if the Governor had not acted, the lethal injection would have been given tonight anyway. It was neither cowardly nor tortuous. The only instances of cowardly and tortuous behaviour are of the guilty. Shooting the unarmed might rate as such.

Posted by AlexC at 10:54 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

I am pretty squeamish on capital punishment; I hate to give the right to life and death to folks I don't trust with my tax dollars.

But the salvation for me is the jury system and a generous opportunity for appeals. The Governor trusted the jury and the appellate process.

It would have been a lot less courageous to buckle to Farrell, Bianca Jagger, and the Hollywood intelligentsia.

Posted by: jk at December 13, 2005 10:47 AM
But Sugarchuck thinks:

During W's days as governor of Texas, a convicted murderer on death row found Jesus and completely turned her life around. While there was support from the usual death penalty foes, I don't remember Snoop Dogg, Mike Farrrel, Jamie Foxx or anyone else from Hollywood protesting her execution. I don't know what it is about writing a book that sends the Norman Mailers and Bianca Jaggers over the moon, but I doubt they would have the time to spit out a soundbite for a woman, full of remorse and dedicated to God and doing His will. This woman went to her death with Christ at her side, not Hollywood.

Posted by: Sugarchuck at December 13, 2005 12:29 PM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

Somewhat lost in all the stories is also the fact than Stanley Williams was the co-founder of the notorious Crips gang. As such, like a mob boss he was likely responsible for the deaths of hundreds of others. I am an opponent of the death penalty for much the same reason as JK but the hand wringing about his innocence rings very hollow to me.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at December 13, 2005 11:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm the last one to defend government or its employees, but the judicial branch has little control over your tax dollars. Despite their maddening subjectivity, virtually ALL of which is slanted to benefit the accused, if a death penalty verdict can survive as many appeals in as many different courts as Williams' did there's only rational conclusion: GUILTY.

Posted by: johngalt at December 14, 2005 1:29 AM
But jk thinks:


Chris Matthews talks about "Mommy Party/Daddy Party" and I am afraid enforcing the law as written comes a little easier to conservatives. It is always easy to find a reason to be compassionate to an individual. Farrell, Jagger & Co. have an easy job.

Silence: Tucker Carlson made your point last night, noting that the Crips have terrorized the neighborhoods that Williams's defenders claim to care about.

Posted by: jk at December 14, 2005 11:29 AM

Serenity

I just pre-ordered Serenity (Widescreen) on Amazon. It will be released on December 20 and it is already #4 in DVD! I'd say there's hope for a sequel.

Long live the long tail!

Posted by John Kranz at 10:23 AM

December 9, 2005

Imagine There's No Moonbats

I lived through the 60s, though I was too young to "do" the 60s. I dug the Beatles, and my sister and I cried when John Lennon was killed (I was 20 at the time).

I still appreciate his music on some level, but the fawning media is really stating to get me down. He was a man of some talent, in a group of some talent, but let's watch the lionization. His social views were deeply flawed and he allowed himself to get caught in a lot of bad artistic and business judgments in his day.

The Solid Surfer speculates that Lennon's iconoclastic non-conformism would make him a Republican today. Interesting, macabre, and disprovable as this is -- I have to dissent. If I may be forgiven de mortuis nisi non bonum, I fear Lennon would be one more moonbat in the chattering class parade.

Sadly, I cannot find George Will's column online. But I had a book of collections of his columns, and it had a devastating, line-by-line takedown (we'd call it "Fisking" today) to the Lyrics to Imagine. Sorry, kids, it is sophomoric twaddle, not high social thought. I for one, am content to let the lefties keep this one.

Sorry for the grouchy post, but I can't let this bit of history be rewritten.

UPDATE: Atilla at Pillage Idiot, is less sentimental than me...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:25 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

I remember an exchange with a co-worker at the time (at my part-time job during high school) where, in reaction to the 79th playing of "Imagine" that day I said, "Imagine no possessions? No countries? That's impossible!" To which my contemporary replied, "Well, that's why the song is called IMAGINE!"

I couldn't say it better if I tried.

Posted by: johngalt at December 9, 2005 3:20 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Put me down in the "definately maybe" column. While the right and Republicanism is rife with ex-liberals who have cleaned the socialism out of their ears, there are a lot of dirty hippies from the sixties who just can't let go of their "inner liberal."

I think peer pressure might have kept him a liberal. Afterall, how many recording artists are Republicans? Only a handful... and the rest of the Beatles? McCartney is a lib, Ringo? George? I dunno.

The entertainment industry is full of people who want to be liked. Peer pressure is a mofo.

Posted by: AlexC at December 9, 2005 11:03 PM

December 8, 2005

Thrust

The lads from TopGear blow a hippie car around with a 747. I think some of the engineering-inclined, or hippie-disinclined, might dig this..

Hat-tip: Banana Oil

Posted by John Kranz at 6:48 PM

December 5, 2005

EU Constitution

Samizdata points out this gem (follow the link for triple hat-tips)

The US Constitution begins, famously, "We the People...". The European Constitution begins, "His Majesty the King of the Belgians...". That gives you a fair idea of the different spirit of each document.

His Majesty, the King of the Belgians, you really can't make this stuff up.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:10 PM

November 30, 2005

Pravda

The Interweb continues to amaze.

Behold the latest example.

Posted by AlexC at 6:28 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

One only wishes George Orwell were alive to enjoy this...

Posted by: jk at November 30, 2005 10:09 PM

Internet Tele

I think Sugarchuck will forgive me if I call him a luddite He'd drive 300 miles to get a pair of EV34 tubes or some original 1948 wire to wrap pickups, but wasn't sure about computers and such.

He confessed that he has finally joined been assimilated into the iPod culture. It's a slippery slope, friend. It starts with an iPod, but then descends to a Fender Telecaster with an "Intel Equipped" logo:

18 November 2005 - Intel has created probably the worlds first super-charged guitar that will allow you to surf the web in-between songs.

The company has teamed up with Fender to create a concept guitar that explores the possibilities and redefines the term music on the move an internet-enabled super guitar.

Beginning with the iconic FENDER Telecaster - made famous by legends from Bruce Springsteen to Franz Ferdinand the surf guitar is the worlds first to allow you to download and playback your favourite riffs from the Internet without touching the strings, so you can sound like Bo Diddley while doing diddly-squat.


Fight it. Fight it hard.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:54 PM | Comments (6)
But AlexC thinks:

If the fingerboard was perhaps magetized in someway so that they would "pulldown" the strings to the correct note, that would be cool.

Kind of like a player piano.

But otherwise, it looks like a six-string PDA, and nowhere near as portable or useful.

Just because you can put a computer in it, doesn't mean you should.

Like my toilet.

Posted by: AlexC at November 30, 2005 3:16 PM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

I was going to email this to you, now I see I don't have to. Great, now concerts will have pauses while the band checks their email. Franz Ferdinand is a legend already?

Posted by: Silence Dogood at November 30, 2005 3:34 PM
But jk thinks:

When I think of "legendary" tele players, Bruce Springteen is a ways down the list and Franz didn't quite make my list at all -- should I know him?

Roy Buchannan Albert Lee. Keith Richards even.

Posted by: jk at November 30, 2005 3:52 PM
But jk thinks:

...and if you don't like your computerized toilet, maybe you should have gotten the 800MHz bus...

Posted by: jk at November 30, 2005 3:54 PM
But Sugarchuck thinks:

I am a luddite, no debate there. I do think that putting a computer in a telecaster is rubbish, and like JK, I wouldn't call Springtseen, or that other guy (guys?) a telemaster. But... I am very impressed with the technology used to recreate amps for recording. Pete Anderson, a true master of the telecaster, recorded his last few projects with an Amp Farm Deluxe Reverb sample and he sounded great. Jim Keltner proved, so many years ago, on Ry Cooder's Get Rhythm cd that even the dreaded drum machine can be a wonder in the right hands. My complaints with Pro Tools are all based on the producer, not the technology (if you can abide the lyrics, listen to the sound of a Steve Earle record to see how compatible state of the art technnology is with roots music). I guess in the end, computers don't kill music, people do.

Posted by: Sugarchuck at December 1, 2005 9:34 AM
But jk thinks:

Sometimes, the wrong technology makes it worse, and better technology makes it better.

To the ThreeSources engineering division: Leo Fender and his ilk created guitar sounds with very bad analog circuitry. I've seem good analog guys cry over transgressions in Leo's hand drawn schematics. For years, solid state attempts to create these pleasing sounds failed miserably.

Now, folks are using DSP to recreate these. I use a Pod for recording that allows me to select which amp and which speaker cabinet and it faithfully recreates even the hysterisis on the controls. Amazing stuff.

These have rescued recording, which has a tough time reproducing those odd tones. For live tone, it's still voodoo and karma.

Posted by: jk at December 1, 2005 10:44 AM

November 27, 2005

The jk Still Loves The Manolo

Most of you know me, and know that fashion is not a huge priority for "the jk."

Virginia Postrel's "The Substance of Style" changed my business attitudes sharply. And made me realize that I should change my slovenly nature.

More importantly, I have always belittled the vain. While the shallowly vain deserve it, I now realize that part of my over-arching philosophy is to accept the bounty of this great earth, and the affluence that our freedom has provided.

Who says it best? Today, it's definitely The Manolo as he covers Black Friday:

1) Everyone has the right to be super fantastic. The Manolo he is the proud and strong believer in the personal freedoms, in the ability of the autonomous individual to dress in manner he or she desires (even if the manner chosen it is awful).

2) Manolo loves the Capitalism! Nothing is more worthy of the ridicule than the fashion sense of the dictators, politburos, autocrats, and tyrants. For the example, the most horrible, deadening, life-sucking piece of the fashion ever invented, it is the Mao suit, for it reduces the individual to the mere cog in the ideological machine. Happily we live in the system in which the marketplace it is free to deliver to the peoples the beautiful clothes, enabling each individual to dress in the manner he or she chooses.


Of course, I'm wearing a Sam's-Club-purchased Broncos sweatshirt today. Hey, we're 9-2!

Hat-tip: Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 1:24 PM

November 18, 2005

Truth in Advertising

Who said there's no more truth in advertising?

    Two Florida lawyers are in the judicial doghouse for billing themselves as "pit bulls."

    John Pape and Marc Chandler of Fort Lauderdale drew the ire of the Florida Supreme Court with an ad that featured a mean-looking, spike-collared pit bull and told potential customers to call "1-800-PIT-BULL."


The Supreme Court of Florida (yeah, that one) told them to knock it off.

Afterall, all hell might break loose.

    The court ruled the ads and phone number violate bar rules that ban ads describing the quality of the legal work offered.

That's a strange rule. No one would advertise they were a lousy lawyer. What could that possibly be for?
    Chief Justice Barbara Pariente said the ad, if allowed to stand, would open the door to images of "sharks, wolves, crocodiles and piranhas" to advertise services.

... and this is bad because?

(tip to The Steel Deal)

Posted by AlexC at 4:57 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Anachronisms from the no advertising days. I'd like to see them have dogs, sharks, .50 cal machine guns -- whatever -- but I wish they would be prohibited from trolling for cancer patients and class action participants.

Posted by: jk at November 18, 2005 5:39 PM
But Steel Turman thinks:

Hey Alex,

Now I know where ya live. Cool.

Thanks for th TB too.

I like the way the text stands out on this site.

Posted by: Steel Turman at November 18, 2005 9:51 PM

Heightened Security

Iain Murray shares a funny email on the NRO Corner:

The British are feeling the pinch in relation to recent bombings and have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." Londoners have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorised from "Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666.

Also, the French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide". The only two higher levels in France are "Surrender" and "Collaborate." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country's military capability.

It's not only the English and French that are on a heightened level of alert. Italy has increased the alert level from "shout loudly and excitedly" to "elaborate military posturing". Two more levels remain, "ineffective combat operations" and "change sides".

The Germans also increased their alert state from "disdainful arrogance" to "dress in uniform and sing marching songs". They also have two higher levels: "invade a neighbour" and "lose".

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual and the only threat they worry about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.


Happy Friday!

Posted by John Kranz at 4:01 PM

November 13, 2005

P.J. O'Rourke

I've long been a fan. "Parliament of Whores" and "Give War a Chance" are so funny and so enlightening, they should be on the reading lists with Mises and Hayek. "Eat the Rich" is pretty good as well, although I was disappointed that he did not accept the benefits of "liquidity" professed by NYSE workers, calling it "ka-ching, ka-ching!"

O'Rourke has a piece in the Telegraph ostensibly about Tory leadership, but his small-government beliefs come shinning through.

I agree with Friedrich Hayek, who said in The Road to Serfdom that the "worst imaginable world would be one in which the leading expert in each field had total control over it".

Just once, I'd love to hear a politician say: "We're going to bring the second-best minds together to work on this." The second-best minds are all much more practical people than the first-class guys. More importantly, they are not going to try to do anything very much. They'll fix lunch or take the dog for a walk before they get on to pressing political problems of the day - and by the time lunch is over, it's time to take the dog for another walk and prepare dinner. That's the right order of political priorities. The greatest danger in politics is people who try to do things.


The second best minds, Buckley's desire to trade Congress for the first 535 names in the phone book -- there is a fundamental truth.

Hat-tip: Samizdata. I misread the post to be a critique of O'Rourke (separated by a common language and all) but the comments make clear that Pearce is a fan.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:51 PM

October 29, 2005

Chris Muir gets a sponsor

I am happy to see that Day By Day has been picked up by the RNC. I hope they are paying him boatloads.

The self-deprecating jibes of the past two days, as Jan worries that the strip is selling out are too funny.

Just a reminder, kids, when he makes it big, all of you who bought the Berkeley Square CD with his illustration on the cover are going to be retiring in Bermuda...

Posted by John Kranz at 4:45 PM

Mommy Knows Worst!

James Lileks is the web's own treasure and I think we have a duty to buy his books. I gave several copies of "Interior Desecrations" and "The Gallery of Regrettable Food" for Christmas last year and they were all big hits.

Just got my copy of Mommy Knows Worst : Highlights from the Golden Age of Bad Parenting Advice from Amazon and it is very funny.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:16 PM

October 27, 2005

Sox & Strauss?

The Weekly Standard's parody is pretty funny.

Congrats to the Sox today. I'm an NL guy through and through, and I thought that the city of Houston should have been rewarded for its generosity to Katrina survivors. BUT IF YOU'RE GONNA STRAND 16 BASERUNNERS...

Hats off to the Sox bullpen.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:25 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

I recall several factors outside the control of the Astros that cost them in the first three games, but game four was mismanaged, pure and simple. If you're going to lift your starting pitcher for a pinch hitter with 2 outs and the bases empty, don't send your former superstar who "hasn't had the power since his shoulder surgery" simply to give him a cameo in front of the home town crowd. And for NED's sake, DON'T PULL YOUR STARTER AFTER 7 INNINGS OF 5-HIT SHUTOUT BALL WHEN HE'S CLEARLY IN THE GROOVE, AND FEELING INVINCIBLE! Come on man, what the H E double hockey sticks were you thinkin?!

The Sox were clearly the better team in the series though. Hats off.

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2005 2:40 PM

October 18, 2005

The Best Serenity Review

John Coleman at Ex Nihilo captures the animating ideas of Serenity: Love and Belief

But rarely do we remember love as galvanizer. Love as world-changer. Love as bond. Love as purpose. Or love as belief. Rarely do we remember that great men and women are almost never motivated by self-interest or even pride, but by loveof an ideal, of a person, of a country, of a godto do great things. And, to quote a movie that nails the nature of love without fully capturing its seriousness, we almost always forget that love is like oxygen. Love, for centuries, has been the sustaining force of mankind, through ages of war and turmoil, decades of flat-souled peace, and millennia of hatred and despair, it has carried us, it has nurtured us, and, most importantly, it has offered us hope. It has given us our Mandelas, our Lincolns, our Shakespeares, and our Martin Luther Kings.

Good stuff! Hat-tip: Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 6:03 PM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:

My modest review of 'Serenity' on October 5 didn't go into detail on the philosophy of the movie, but one of the two philosophical themes I mentioned was Mal's embodiment of rational self-interest as a philosophy of life. Then along comes John Coleman to say man's highest motivation is not self-interest, but "love and belief." What gives? Had we both seen the same movie? The answer, of course, is yes. But each of us had much different preconceptions against which we weighed the events of the film. Where Coleman sees sacrifice and belief, I see choice and values.

I agree with Coleman's point that there can be no love without belief in something, but I'm not willing to endorse a belief in just "anything." This is what leads, as Coleman admits, to a force that can be either the greatest good or the greatest evil. A textbook example of the latter is the belief system of islamofascists that somehow inspires them to love... DEATH.

A further example of Coleman's flawed analysis of the Serenity characters' motives is his completely baseless characterization of their loves as "unconditional." This just prior to the aforementioned belief prerequisite. Maybe he meant pseudo-conditional instead. No, the film's heroes loved who and what they loved only because those people and things were of value to them. I'm not talking about commercial value... something to be traded. I'm talking about the "big" values - the priceless ones - life, liberty, happiness and the recognition of those values in other people. This is a highly conditional love.

Then there is the issue of "true belief." As I recall, this was Book's explanation to Mal for why the Operative pursuing River was such a formidable foe. But the point was not that this "true" belief was virtuous, rather that it was dangerous. It enabled him to murder children if necessary to further the goals of his cause. Thus, another islamofascist parallel.

I do believe my counterpart has admirable intentions. He at least acknowledges the existence of good and evil. His problem is that his value system is shaped by altruism (unconditional love) and blind faith (true belief.) That may be what moves him to his personal notion of greatness, but it isn't what drives a man of principle to wager his net worth toward defeating an entire government structure founded upon an immoral ideal.

Posted by: johngalt at October 21, 2005 2:52 AM
But jk thinks:

You always get me thinking, jg, I'll give you that...

Yup, there is a whiff of Altruism (should I call it "the A-word?) in Coleman's review that may not be visible in Mal, but I still don't get your flat rebuke of alt****m in all forms.

[Spoilers ahead, but we've been good on this site, if you ain't seen it yet, I dunno...]

Why does Mal "aim to misbehave" when he does? He risks the near certainty of losing his ship, his crew, and the ignominy of being tortured and eaten by rievers.

At that point, and as I've made the case with our U.S. military heroes, it's exceeded rational self interest, if it's not a-------m, it's certainly some form of doing something to benefit others.

Posted by: jk at October 23, 2005 1:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm so glad you're engaging me on this on JK. It's too good a subject to let fade into "blognominity."

"Why does Mal 'aim to misbehave' when he does?" An excellent question for which I have the answer. Recall the context: Mal and Serenity had just returned to Book's settlement to seek refuge. On their prior visit Book had told him, "The Alliance can't find us here." Mal attempted to, as Book had, "go away and be left alone." But despite how certain Book was that they were safe, the Alliance's thugs STILL found them and STILL murdered them all. Yes, there was a trace of revenge in Mal's pronouncement but, selfishly, he knew that if he tried to hide himself and his from the Alliance they could never be safe. Or at least, could never live in peace knowing the threat was always there. THIS is what caused Mal to "misbehave" and THIS is why US troops went to Afghanistan and Iraq and...??

Now you may choose to see the actions of these men as altruistic, and some of them may feel that to some extent, they're out there risking their lives "to protect their countrymen back home and around the world." But how many of them would not also say they're pursuing evil and confronting danger now in the hope of destroying it, so they can return home to a life of peace without fear? In the final calculation, the best (and fiercest) soldiers are the ones who love not death and destruction, but life and happiness on earth.

In conclusion, because others benefit from the actions of heroes, both real and fictional, does not make such benefit their motive. The first and highest benefit goes to the hero himself. And as proof that Mal doesn't have an altruistic bone in his body I'll remind you of what happened when the man from the bank tried to climb onto Mal's "mule." Mal told him how to save his OWN life, then kicked him off. Wheedon thought this scene so important he had Zoe question him about it in the next scene. "But you left him there to die," she said. "That ship carries four," he said. "We were full and I'm not about to risk my crew when I don't have to." (Or something like that. I don't have the transcript.) This is one of the things I most loved about this film. The philosophy was not just correct, it was explicit.

By the way, did you know that "Zoe" is Greek for "life?"

Posted by: johngalt at October 24, 2005 2:24 PM
But Ken thinks:

John, you're missing the character development of the film.

At the beginning, Mal is certainly self focused, caring only about "me and mine." But it is precisely as he leaves this behind that the film moves forward. When he brings River back to his ship after what she did at the bar (the beginning of all his troubles), was that rational self-interest? When Jayne - the true voice of a Randian, and hardly put in a good light - asks why he did it, Wendon makes a point of focusing the camera on a knowing glance between Mal and Zoe, as if to say that Zoe was right to call him on his earlier selfishness. Mal, it seems, recognizes his mistake and refuses to repeat it. That he is no longer seeking his own interest (at least primarily) is confirmed when he refuses to give River up to the Operative. The rational thing to do would be to drop her like a hot potato.

In short, Mal (and especially Jayne) begins as something of a Randian, but the film as a whole (and the series it is based on) is a pretty clear rejection of that view as insufficient.

Belief (and sacrificial love) is presented as necessary, even if it can be abused. The Operative's belief is certainly condemned, but it is Mal's (and the other's) own belief in something more important than themselves (the Truth?) that leads them to oppose and defeat him. The film raises questions about belief, love, freedom and control, but it doesn't fully answer them. It certainly doesn't offer any defense of rational self-interest. Mal, too, is willing to die for his belief, even if that isn't "plan A."

In fact, without a tacit admission that there is a standard of good and evil that is more important than self-interest, the plot (not to mention real life morality) simply would not make sense. Since this affirmation of a fundamental standard of good and evil is itself a belief, self-interest is, at best, a side show to the film's real focus on belief. Thus, John Coleman's review is, I think, substantially correct. Though I suggest it needs a little expansion here: http://cruxmag.typepad.com/situation_critical/2005/10/serenity_revisi.html

Posted by: Ken at October 25, 2005 6:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I see that I've struck a nerve with my criticism of "true belief." As I compose my response to Ken, Dagny reminds me, "we want him to keep coming back to the site and commenting." While I agree with that, it's often impossible to completely challenge someone's belief system and keep him engaged in rational dialog at the same time. I'll just give it my best, and most diplomatic, effort and let the chips fall...

Earlier I observed that John Coleman saw 'Serenity' as a story of sacrifice and belief rather than choice and values. Ken takes this same worldview even further, describing it as sacrifice and belief TRUMPING choice and values. Citing no more than his interpretation of a "knowing glance" Ken insists that I've misinterpreted Mal's "misbehavior" and that it is, as JK suggested, "certainly some form of doing something to benefit others." But where JK casts this self-sacrificial behavior as "exceeding" rational self-interest, Ken argues that the entire idea of rational self-interest is "insufficient."

To his credit, Ken attempts to explain how it is insufficient: "...without a tacit admission that there is a standard of good and evil that is more important than self-interest, the plot (not to mention real life morality) simply would not make sense." But while Ken is fast and sure in his criticism of rational self-interest, he's not so confident in offering the "sufficient" alternative - one that "fully answers" the questions of "belief, love, freedom and control." His best suggestion is "the Truth." In 'Serenity's' example, the truth is, as Samizdata's Paul Marks put it (see 'Serenity Review', 10/10/2005), the Alliance central government "wishes to create a better, more civilized world (or rather worlds) and (...) is prepared to violate the nonagression principle in order to achieve this objective." (Note again, the Islamist parallel.) But Ken didn't refer to the "truth" he said, "the Truth" with a capital T, like "Him" or "God." (We call Him "NED" around here, meaning "non-existent deity.) So in the end Ken takes nothing more from this film than a duel between competing true-beliefs and, not unlike the Christian crusades against the Muslims of their day, the "good guys" win. Why? Because they believe "in something more important than themselves." This could conceivably explain how our heroes defeat the primative, range-of-the-moment Rievers, but not the Operative who gave us numerous lectures about the superior virtue of HIS true belief.

I give Whedon much, much more credit than this. As Book cautioned Mal, "True belief cannot be defeated, it can only be destroyed." This is because "true" belief means "unquestioning" belief - anything that opposes the doctrine of that belief is, by definition, wrong. But how did Joss end the film? [Major spoiler alert!] When Mal had the Operative dead to rights and raised the sword high in a two-handed grip, with every justification to kill in defense of himself and humanity, Mal plunged the Operative not into death, but into bondage before the video of what resulted on Miranda in the name of his own "true belief." The true-believer was forced to watch the horror that waits as the ultimate end of his highest value: A "better, more civilized world" through the suppression of human ambition. But ninety-nine percent of humanity will, when their ambition is removed, refuse to fight - for their neighbor's life, their loved one's life, their own life... or ANYTHING else. (The other one percent? They become Rievers.) This resulted in the Operative abandoning his pursuit of River.

Thus Mal had not destroyed true belief, he defeated it (also giving River liberty instead of "dropping her like a hot potato.") He did this not by the force of some "superior" true belief, but using reason and reality to show the Operative how his belief was wrong. For the Operative to recognize his error and submit to the overwhelming power of reality in contradiction to his belief required one thing: rational thought.

This brings me to what I consider the most pernicious element of Ken's entire entry. Whether by ignorance or hostility, Ken dismisses Ayn Rand's philosophy as nothing but "me first." He insinuates that Rand held no moral values, no "standard of good and evil that is more important than self-interest." He presents Jayne as "the true voice of a Randian." But Jayne starts out closer to a Riever than a Randian. Rievers kill for sport and for spoils. Jayne too will sometimes kill for spoils, which distinguishes him from Mal or any other Randian. Rational self-interest justifies killing only in defense and not as a means of personal gain... even if that gain is necessary for survival. Randians draw this distinction because it is rational: If every human were a Randian there would be peace and commerce and progress and life; if every human were an altruistic true-believer there would be war and slavery and taxes and mass-murder.

Zoe and Mal's "knowing glance" implies an inconsistency in Mal's treatment of River versus the stranger at the bank, but Mal had made no mistake. Despite River's actions at the bar she was still a member of his crew, and therefore a part of "me and mine." Mal's uncertainty was not the validity of self-interest, but whether River posed a future danger to the rest of the crew. He dealt with her transgression by laying down the law with her and her brother. In the end keeping her proved to be in his, and the crew's, self-interest.

For more on the the philosophy of Ayn Rand, which she called, "Objectivism" see: http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=objectivism_intro

Posted by: johngalt at November 6, 2005 1:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Comments closed on this post. Post future commments on the new thread at: http://www.threesources.com/archives/002077.html (Or scroll to November 6 above.)

Posted by: johngalt at November 6, 2005 1:46 PM

October 13, 2005

It's Not Good To Be The Speaker

ThreeSources blogger AlexC maintains his pstupidonymous blog for postings about Pennsylvania and Philadelphia politics. Most of those postings can be applied to the rest of the country by extrapolation or by allegory, and they are always well worth reading.

Grist for the pstupidonymous mill of late has been a PA State legislative pay raise that was voted for with little debate or public discourse.

The (Republican) Speaker of the house is followed to a book-reading at a fourth grade classroom and AlexC has photos, links to video and commentary. It is must reading!

Posted by John Kranz at 1:50 PM | Comments (1)
But AlexC thinks:

Heh... Lately, I've shifted into Pa politics mode, only because it's so ripe for commentary.

Even moreso because it's Republicans that are providing the targets.

Posted by: AlexC at October 13, 2005 7:51 PM

October 10, 2005

Serenity Review

I missed a couple on Samizdata.net Paul Marks has a tough time with teh American accents but still gives thumbs up to "a libertarian film."

The characters are lead, for a variety of reasons, in to a head on clash with the government - "The Alliance" its Parliament and those who serve it.

They are not fighting the government because it does not spend enough on welfare or education, or because it does not issue enough fiat money (indeed many people in the outer planets do not accept the government's credit money, it has to pay in cash even some of the security forces who work for it), nor are they fighting the government because it is a selfish or corrupt dictatorship.

No, in the end, the characters are fighting the government because it wishes to create a better, more civilized world (or rather worlds) and because it is prepared to violate the nonaggression principle in order to achieve this objective.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:49 PM

September 30, 2005

Beef Wellington, Saag Paner

The UK has the worst reputation for cuisine. People always ask when I get back "How awful was the food?"

Of course the truth is, while England's indigenous cuisine may not be much to write home about, they brought great food back from all the ends of the world, most of which they had colonized. I don't mean this as a slap; they got the Magna Carta, the brits got Abu Mater and asian noodles.

Jonathan Pearce of Samizdata reports on Britain's first known curryhouse, circa 1805.

In my area of Pimlico, central London, there is an Indian restaurant right near my flat (aaahhh!) - said to be one of the oldest in London, dating back to the 1950s. But it appears that this now-established feature of culinary life has been going on since the age of Nelson, Wellington and William Wordsworth. An early example, in fact, of culinary globalization. It is not, in fact, all that surprising, since the desire for eastern spices and foodstuffs was an important economic incentive behind much of global trade at that time.

If you enjoy Indian food, not only will you not starve in the UK, you will come home to find our good ol' 'mercun Himalayan food distictly sub par.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:13 PM

September 29, 2005

Larry Kudlow - CNBC Website

I have always been surprised at the low level of web integration on CNBC TV shows.

Glad to say, the powers that be have added a Kudlow & Company CNBC web page at www.kudlowcnbc.com.

It is a quick link to the daily poll, previous polls, guest lists, &c.

Now on the Blogroll...

Posted by John Kranz at 4:45 PM

September 24, 2005

Serenity Movie

I had blogged before twice about the upcoming Serenity Movie. My wife and I have been counting the days until the release -- now we may get a three day jump!

They are opening advance screenings across the country to bloggers, who agree to link and review it. Here is another link (the PR firm just sent an email that seemed to imply that I will have to arrive at the theatre 45 minutes early and beg to be let in). It is worth revisiting the site, they have updated it quite a bit since I linked before.

Joss Whedon, the Oscar - and Emmy - nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE, ANGEL and FIREFLY, now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity. The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal.

If my groveling skills are good, I will have a review for you next Wednesday!

Posted by John Kranz at 3:01 PM

September 22, 2005

Ninth Circuit Approved

-- but not endorsed, Samizdata links to:

I pledge allegiance to the curve
Of supply and demand in equilibrium
And to the principle for which it stands
Market pricing, with low transaction costs
Yields utility and profit for all

Amen.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:47 PM

September 5, 2005

A Grey, Capable Sheep

Bill Whittle's TRIBES essay is another corker from Eject! Eject! Eject!

Whittle divides us, not into black/white, not into blue/gray, but into Tribes. He discusses capable vs. culpable, pink vs. grey, sheepdogs, wolves, sheep, and even a tribe just for Sean Penn.

He leads with the unpleasantness of actually defining tribes. I would like to think that all us good 'mericans are all one. But that is a "pink" thought and like most of those, it isn't true.

What if you, your workmates, friends had been directed to the Superdome. Can you argue with Bill?

Only a few minutes ago, I had the delightful opportunity to read the comment of a fellow who said he wished that white, middle-class, racist, conservative cocksuckers like myself could have been herded into the Superdome Concentration Camp to see how much we like it. Absent, of course, was the fundamental truth of what he plainly does not have the eyes or the imagination to see, namely, that if the Superdome had been filled with white, middle-class, racist, conservative cocksuckers like myself, it would not have been a refinery of horror, but rather a citadel of hope and order and restraint and compassion.

That has nothing to do with me being white. If the blacks and Hispanics and Jews and gays that I work with and associate with were there with me, it would have been that much better. Thats because the people I associate with my Tribe consists not of blacks and whites and gays and Hispanics and Asians, but of individuals who do not rape, murder, or steal. My Tribe consists of people who know that sometimes bad things happen, and that these are an opportunity to show ourselves what we are made of. My people go into burning buildings. My Tribe consists of organizers and self-starters, proud and self-reliant people who do not need to be told what to do in a crisis. My Tribe is not fearless; they are something better. They are courageous. My Tribe is honorable, and decent, and kind, and inventive. My Tribe knows how to give orders, and how to follow them. My Tribe knows enough about how the world works to figure out ways to boil water, ration food, repair structures, build and maintain makeshift latrines, and care for the wounded and the dead with respect and compassion.


After reading it all, follow one of his commenter's links to a "tribe" that stayed in New Orleans, coalesced and "became more civilized."
NEW ORLEANS - In the absence of information and outside assistance, groups of rich and poor banded together in the French Quarter, forming tribes and dividing up the labor.

As some went down to the river to do the wash, others remained behind to protect property. In a bar, a bartender put near-perfect stitches into the torn ear of a robbery victim.

While mold and contagion grew in the muck that engulfed most of the city, something else sprouted in this most decadent of American neighborhoods humanity.


UPDATE/RETRACTION: I wish I had chosen a different excerpt from the Whittle essay. I think the essay is valid and well worth a read (like all of his) but the assertion above of "a citadel of hope and order and restraint and compassion" is unfounded. The trouble with all utopian scenarios is that folks will not always be perfect.

My previous job was at a small (~60 employees) company that was populated with folks from my tribe. Yet am honor-system candy box for the homeless came up short every month. I was always amused by this as I thought it a scam. We had a private-enterprise competitor who provided machines, change, fresher product and better prices -- yet I have never forgotten that some of my workmates took candy and didn't pay. (It could have been Silence or Johngalt, I don't know...)

But I want to retract my agreement that tens of thousands of "my people" would have performed admirably.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:04 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

I tried posting my comment on Bill's site but it matched their blacklist somehow. "Use of uninitialized value in substitution (s///) at plugins/Blacklist/lib/Blacklist/App.pm line 44." was the message. Damned if I can figure it out.

Here's what I wrote:

Excellent essay. I particularly enjoyed "Malodorous Michigan Manatee of Mendacity." But I must expand on the colonel's assessment of sheep. It is true that "the sheep generally do not like the sheepdog" because "he looks a lot like the wolf." But some, or perhaps many (TOO many, at least)... SOME sheep don't like the sheepdog because they are not really sheep at all, but rather WOLVES in sheeps CLOTHING. These "shee-wolves" hate the sheepdog because he is ready and willing, and has the courage, to seek out and kick the ass of the wolf. (And perhaps more importantly, because the sheepdog understands that there is SUCH A THING as a wolf.) The shee-wolf believes his life will be better once all the sheep have been devoured - not because he'll be any better off, but because "All those mother-f'n happy sheep will be gone, dammit, and my miserable little existence won't feel so bad by comparison."

Several commenters above are timely examples of shee-wolves.

Posted by: johngalt at September 7, 2005 3:16 PM

August 31, 2005

Oceanside, Colorado

I fear our friend James Taranto has been had, or else his humor has been desiccated by global warming. A humorous letter writer on the topic of global warming is identified as:

"reader Eric Free of Oceanside, Colo."

Oceanside, Colorado! Global Warming! Get it?

Posted by John Kranz at 5:02 PM | Comments (1)
But Silence Dogood thinks:

Hey, I heard recently that Colorado has the highest per capita number of licensed scuba divers, go figure.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at August 31, 2005 5:52 PM

August 30, 2005

Your Oil $$ at Work

A friend emails this picture -- believe it at will. It is a Silver (That's Ag, not the color) Audi A8 for a sheik in Dubai.

.ag_audi.jpg

Now you feel better paying for $3 gas, don't you?

Posted by John Kranz at 11:57 AM | Comments (5)
But Silence Dogood thinks:

Hmm, silver what plated? The Audi A8 is somewhat unique in its extensive use of aluminum body panels instead of the normal steel. Great for weight savings, not so great if you get in an accident - few auto body shops can deal with the cutting and welding of aluminum. Aluminum also does not plate well, so the claim of real silver seems questionable.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at August 30, 2005 12:29 PM
But Michael Cummins thinks:

This is already in SNOPES.

http://www.snopes.com/photos/automobiles/silveraudi.asp

It's not true.

Posted by: Michael Cummins at August 30, 2005 1:39 PM
But jk thinks:

Truth, schmuuuth -- we have a blog to run!

Posted by: jk at August 30, 2005 1:46 PM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

That's the spirit! Man can you imagine the sun glare off that thing?

Posted by: Silence Dogood at August 30, 2005 2:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Here's what I wrote back to my mother-in-law when she forwarded this picture to me two weeks ago:

This looks like an Audi A8 with aftermarket work by MTM (whom Ive never heard of.) Sort of like AMG though Im guessing.

Now lets talk about this philosophically:

Saudi sheiks have an obscene amount of money from profit on selling crude oil. This is fine.

Saudi crude oil is pumped from the ground by (largely) American companies in partnership with the Saudi government. This is also fine.

The Saudi oil fields originally belonged to American and English private oil companies, who bought the land only to have it gifted to the Saudi royal family, aka the Saudi government, by President Eisenhower. This is NOT fine.

The thought of these hypocritical playboys of the middle-eastern world driving around in a car like this is obscene. Where is Howard Roark!

Posted by: johngalt at August 30, 2005 3:07 PM

August 26, 2005

Reardon Metal

Samizdat Brian Micklethwait got a laugh out of me with his comment that he "regards the word 'nanotechnology' as nerd-speak for it will never happen."

But he links to a nanotubes article that you'd have to be comatose to read without excitement:

The nanotubes are made of carbon and possess incredible strength. The sheets of nanotubes measure just a few times wider than the actual carbon atom, or 2 millionths-of-an-inch (2000 times thinner than paper). A square mile of this will could weigh as little as 170 pounds. The sheets are transparent, flexible and stronger than steel or high strength plastics.

The sheets will emit light when they are heated. The nanotubes are similar to solar cells because they can produce electricity when exposed to sunlight. It is hoped that other future applications can be developed including artificial muscles, faster race cars and better batteries.

The sheets can be produced very quickly. The real breakthrough is the automated process that can produce a 2 inch (5 centimeters) wide strip at a rate of 47 feet per minute. Previous methods have been much slower.


So, it's Reardon Metal, but it has photovoltaic properties and can emit light. Hank would be proud...

Posted by John Kranz at 4:15 PM | Comments (2)
But AlexC thinks:

Yes, but what *color* is it?

I'm not sure I'd go as far as Micklethwait, but I read about nano-tech (particularly instapundit's excitement), and i'm saying to myself, "where's the nanotech?"

Promises are only exciting for so long. Let's see practical.

Posted by: AlexC at August 28, 2005 1:25 AM
But jk thinks:

Well, I've been called a technocrat before but I think nanotech is poised to be "the next big (little) thing."

I'd compare it more to the transistor than the computer. It has applications in electronics, medicine and mechanics.

The excitement of the nanotubes is the suggestion that it is closest to commercialization. I'd have to think there will be a Moores Law of nanotech once it starts to show some ROI for the capital markets.

Posted by: jk at August 28, 2005 10:24 AM

August 18, 2005

Devadip

Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton were my idols as a young guitarist. I was disappointed when Mr. Santana showed up at the Oscars in Che-wear, but I'm now pretty glad I don't work for him.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. -- A former personal assistant to Carlos Santana has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the veteran rocker, claiming he was fired after his consciousness was calibrated and determined to be too low.

Bruce Kuhlman, 59, charges that Santana's wife, Deborah, brought in a man known as "Dr. Dan" so employees could grow closer to God and become better workers.

"In Deborah's view, the higher a person calibrated with Dr. Dan, the better employee they were because they were more `spiritually evolved,'" the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit, filed in Marin Superior Court, alleges that "spiritual calibration" allowed a person to develop a deeper level of consciousness.
Kuhlman is seeking monetary damages for lost wages, emotional distress and unpaid overtime, among other demands.


A Clapton biography I read a while back makes me think he was nuts as well, although I think he has grown into a credible role as an "elder statesman" of sorts; I hope he's okay.

Now I like Jazz, home to all kinds of lowlifes, dopers and psychopaths (cf. Stan Getz) but I think Tal Farlow was a pretty good guy as was Joe Pass.

Hat-tip: The Corner

Posted by John Kranz at 5:58 PM

August 13, 2005

No, no -- James Woods!

A thousand pardons, but when I saw an Instapundit link to Christopher Walken for President, I confused him with James Woods and thought it might be a good idea.

WRONG! Walken is Walken and his website outlines all of his serious polity concerns in a single paragraph:

"Our great country is in a terrible downward spiral. We're losing jobs, losing benefits, and losing lives. We need to focus on what's important-- paying attention to our children, our environment, our future. We need to think about improving our underbudget educational system, making better use of our resources, and helping to build a stable, safe, and tolerant global society. It's time to be smart about our politics. It's time to get America back on track."

If I may quote Andrew Sullivan, "Puh-Lease!"

If you want a rugged, tall actor with a deep voice at 1600 Pennsylvania, might I suggest James Woods. I don't know where he is on free trade, but he is the first Hollywoodian to voice a strong antiterrorist stance. Snopes confirms:

Woods took a flight from Boston to Los Angeles one week before the World Trade Center attacks. The only other people in first class with him were four men "of Middle Eastern appearance" who acted very strangely. During the entire cross-country flight none of them had anything to eat or drink, nor did they read or sleep. They only sat upright in their seats, occasionally conversing with each other in low tones. Woods mentioned what he had noticed to a flight attendant, "who shrugged it off." Arriving in Los Angeles, Woods told airport authorities, but they "seemed unwilling to become involved."

I'll never confuse the two again.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:29 PM

August 10, 2005

A Dignified Hearing

The President and the Senate have both publicly committed to a dignified hearing process. I think that WuzzaDem has a good idea of just how dignified it will be.


hsquares_biden.jpg
specter.jpg

This is a funny site. I found it this morning following Instaguest's link to "Political Stones."

Posted by John Kranz at 1:20 PM

August 8, 2005

Good Stuff in the NYTimes

I beat them up, but they still put out a great paper.

With the August news doldrums in full swing, take a break and enjoy an interesting interview with V. S. Naipaul.

''If you write a novel alone you sit and you weave a little narrative. And it's O.K., but it's of no account,'' Naipaul said. ''If you're a romantic writer, you write novels about men and women falling in love, etc., give a little narrative here and there. But again, it's of no account.''

What is of account, in Naipaul's view, is the larger global political situation -- in particular, the clash between belief and unbelief in postcolonial societies. ''I became very interested in the Islamic question, and thought I would try to understand it from the roots, ask very simple questions and somehow make a narrative of that discovery,'' he said. To what extent, he wondered, had ''people who lock themselves away in belief . . . shut themselves away from the active busy world''? ''To what extent without knowing it'' were they ''parasitic on that world''? And why did they have ''no thinkers to point out to them where their thoughts and their passion had led them''? Far from simple, the questions brought a laserlike focus to a central paradox of today's situation: that some who have benefited from the blessings of the West now seek to destroy it.


Hat-tip: Publius

Posted by John Kranz at 4:13 PM

Blog Taxonomy

By now, you have probably come across the Conservative Blog Taxonomy entry at Mithras' blog, Fables of the Reconstruction.

It has been favorably linked to from the left side of the blogosphere, and not so favorably from the right.

Perhaps it was lines like this one:

    Michelle Malkin - Far-right affirmative action hire who is so bigoted she'd arrest herself for trying to cross a border. Famously published a book praising internment of Japanese-Americans that was (a) incoherent and (b) probably not written by her. If she didn't have tits, she'd be stuck writing at Townhall.com.

I guess suddenly liberals are against affirmative action.

In anycase, not to be outdone, rightwingnuthouse comes out with their own list. This one with a heretofore unique "reality quotient."

His comment on the 0.4 RQ rated DailyKos...

    What makes Kos such a ball and chain for the Democratic party is that despite his ability to raise money, the fantastical conspiracies given prominence on his site regarding Bush, the war, elections, Gannon/Guckert, Rove (again and again), Cheney, Haliburton, and on and on give the party a patina of psychosis that leaves conservatives laughing and rational Democrats scratching their heads. His 0 for 16 record when supporting a Democratic candidate also prove hes a loser. If he couldnt raise money, hed be out of business since a political consultant is only as good as his won-loss record.

This will be a blogosphere mud-slinging. But it makes for great entertainment.

Posted by AlexC at 11:07 AM

August 5, 2005

No, It's real money

John Derbyshire is 100 times the mathematician I am. I met him at Boulder Bookstore and got a signed copy of his book "Prime Obsession" which I recommend highly.

But I don't see how this brilliant mind doesn't grasp economics -- even with his Wall Street experience.

He regularly boasts of mowing his own lawn. I think that's virtuous if he enjoys it, but he wants everyone to discard the theory of Comparative Advantage and do their own gardening.

Today, he cheerfully reports a net worth with seven decimal places but thinks it unreal because it is illiquid:

John Derbyshire on Housing Boom on National Review

Well, no, wait a minute, hold the bubbly. That million dollars is all faery gold, the sort that looks dazzling to the eye, but melts into thin air if you try to touch it. We need a house to live in. If we sold this one, wed have to buy another one, and they dont come much smaller or older than this. As for all those bulging mutual funds: I am reliably informed that if I were to actually attempt to cash in any of that money, Uncle Sam would come down on me like a wolf on the fold aye, and Uncle George, too so I had best not even think of doing so. Its all faery gold. I must continue to drive a 12-year-old car, my garage is never going to get that makeover it needs, and if my kids are to go to college, I shall have to work till I drop.


Mr. Derbyshire: first, congratulations, you're doing better than I am! Secondly, call your banker. Both your retirement portfolio and your home on Long Island are very real assets and both can be collateral if you want to access some of the asset value of either, I am sure your banker would gladly hook you up with a loan for that new car.

If Polonius's advice rides too loudly in your British ear for the loan, may I suggest you sell out. You can move next door to me for ~230,000. I'll introduce you and Rosie to Phyllis and John across the street -- I think we'll all get together just fine!

I'll even pay you to mow my lawn...

Posted by John Kranz at 1:12 PM | Comments (2)
But Silence Dogood thinks:

You're 100 times the economist I am, but haven't some basics of macroeconomics changed in the last two decades? Consumer spending used to be a constant force in the economy, averaging in the low 90% of income range. Since about 1990 this has risen to neary 99%, but income is no longer based solely on salaries. With most of the middle class in the stock market through 401k's and in real estate through the spiraling value of homes, the old standard has shifted. In time of economic downturn consumer spending would often stabilize the economy. Now if a recession were to include the market, real estate, or both it could have an unprecedented effect on consumer spending, rather than being the old stabilizer it could actually further fuel the recession. We middle class folks are certainly better off, thus diversified, but it does change some of the old economic theory does it not?

Posted by: Silence Dogood at August 8, 2005 7:44 AM
But jk thinks:

The economy is certainly susceptible to a price shock in equities or real estate. We saw some of that when the NASDAQ tanked in 2001.

I would argue that the better diversification between people's capital and labor (human capital) assets would protect people in a downturn.

I am not trying to get my buddy overly-leveraged into the housing boom but I do reject his assertion that it is "faery gold" and not actual, valuable assets.

Posted by: jk at August 8, 2005 11:07 AM

August 4, 2005

Bonus Miles

Earn 10,000 Bonus OnePass Miles to Aruba

So boasts a Continental OnePass "getaways" offer.

Welcome to an island of unusual landscapes, white-sand beaches, exotic birds, sunken ships, and the Caribbean's highest and most dramatic natural coral structures. In addition to the warm Dutch hospitality, Aruba offers a myriad of historical sites, restaurants featuring every type of cuisine imaginable, and a wealth of beautiful crafts and exciting casino action. Come to the perfect vacation destination for the active traveler.

Now when you book your Aruba vacation package of 5 nights or longer, you'll earn an extra 10,000 bonus OnePass miles. Be sure to enter promotion code: COVAUAMILE when making your reservation.


So, did all those FOXNews reporters score a sun-drenched story destination AND pocket 10,000 miles? It is starting to make sense...

ON THIS TOPIC: I looked at the logs for July. Webalizer shows statistics for hits and sites and referrers, &c -- and also what search strings were entered when a ThreeSources page was recommended to a reader. These are frequently amusing, but in July the top three were:

1 39 12.87% natalie hollaway missing
2 30 9.90% natalie hollaway
3 18 5.94% natalie hollaway aruba
...
12 3 0.99% pictures of natalee Hollaway

I'm thinking this adds up to 89 very disappointed ThreeSources viewers. Of course, this post will only draw more.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:37 PM

August 3, 2005

Maybe Headline of the Century!

Jonathan Last at Galley Slaves calls it the "Headline of the Year," but I have to suggest an upgrade:

ESPNSoccernet.com

Young Boys Wankdorf erection relief

Posted by John Kranz at 1:52 PM

July 19, 2005

Golberg's New Book

K-Lo interviews Bernard Goldberg on NRO about his new book, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America.

I just finished this and, yes, you can judge this book by its cover! It's funny, and interesting, but it is pure polemic.

I was blown away by Goldbergs Bias and Arrogance. Both books said serious things about why and how far Goldberg's peers in MSM had gone. I think both of these books were important, because Goldberg is no ideologue. He was a serious insider writing serious books.

A Hundred People is not serious. It's funny, and I agree with most of the members. (I would trade Senators Chris Dodd and Pat Leahy for the "Grand Theft Auto" guy and the "Fear Factor" guy -- but as he said, it's his list.)

I wouldn't tell anybody not to buy it, but I am worried that it'll detract from the importance of his other works. When I say "Bernie Goldberg really blew the lid off the media, people will say "Goldberg is just a right-wing hack"

Posted by John Kranz at 6:33 PM | Comments (2)
But Silence Dogood thinks:

Tough to argue with the profitablity of being a right wing hack, it sells just like Grand Theft Auto and Fear Factor. (Hey, you offered up the components of the comparison, I just ran with it)

Posted by: Silence Dogood at July 20, 2005 1:04 PM
But jk thinks:

Poor Bernie. He is the only left-of-center right wing hack in town. No small feat.

Posted by: jk at July 20, 2005 2:44 PM

July 18, 2005

I Know How He Feels

A little honesty from Chris Muir:


daybyday07-18-2005.gif


...just how he feels...

Day By Day -- always on the ThreeeSources blogroll!

Posted by John Kranz at 1:30 PM

July 15, 2005

Good Flash for Friday

eclectech has a flash animation "tribute to charles clarke and his id cards"

Now that's good politics! I wish I had hired them when the US was getting Campaign Finance Reform! Good stuff.

Hat-tip: Samizdata

Posted by John Kranz at 6:25 PM

Thin Skin?

Yahoo's Word of the Day is "insular." IN-suh-ler.

The example caught my eye:

insular
DEFINITION: (adjective) narrow or isolated in attitude or viewpoint
EXAMPLE: Americans are famous for their insular attitudes; they seem to think that nothing important has ever happened outside of their country.
SYNONYMS: bigoted, closed, restricted

It's not the most egregious (uh-GREEG-jus) anti-Americanism of all time, but I am a little unprepared for it in the context.

Oddly, the example doesn't appear on the definition page, or in Petersons.com, which is listed as providing the information.

One of the NRO writers once found a crossword puzzle clue that asserted Alger Hiss's innocence. Same deal, it's not PBS or the New York Times --you're just not expecting it.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:59 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

While we're on erroneous dictionary examples, I found this one while perfecting my understanding of the word "penumbra:" An area in which something exists to a lesser or uncertain degree: The First Amendment has a penumbra where privacy is protected from governmental intrusion (Joseph A. Califano, Jr.).

Since when? It's the fourth, not the first. Worse than that, privacy from governmental intrusion is an EMANATION of security from unreasonable search and seizure, not a penumbra. Sheesh.

Posted by: johngalt at July 16, 2005 2:12 AM

July 14, 2005

I'm A Liberal!

I like taking these tests. It's always fun to see where I lay.

    You would feel most at home in the Northwest region. You advocate a large degree of economic and personal freedom. Your neighbors include folks like Ayn Rand, Jesse Ventura, Milton Friedman, and Drew Carey, and may refer to themselves as "classical liberals," "libertarians," "market liberals," "old whigs," "objectivists," "propertarians," "agorists," or "anarcho-capitalist."

(tip to TrekMedic)

Posted by AlexC at 11:00 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

jk's a little NW of you...

Posted by: jk at July 14, 2005 11:43 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Cool map! Finally, an alternative to the false left-right myopia. Notice that Stalin and Hitler are at the extreme edge of the same quadrant - that of government control over both the economy and liberty - while Ayn Rand is at the opposite extreme of the opposite quadrant - that of individual control over the economy and liberty.

We all agree that Hitler and Stalin were extremely bad, right? Even evil. So how is being their extreme opposite not extremely good? Huh Dad, huh?

If your strident goal is "balance" between these two ideologies then what does that make you? One part right to one part wrong, wouldn't you say?

Posted by: johngalt at July 14, 2005 4:38 PM

July 9, 2005

Don't Read This

Unless you can handle verbal violence and a serious metaphorical beating of one of the squirreliest figures in American politics, don't read this interchange between Christopher Hitchens and Ronnie Reagan.

CH: Excuse me. When I went to interview Abu Nidal, then the most wanted terrorist in the world, in Baghdad, he was operating out of an Iraqi government office. He was an arm of the Iraqi State, while being the most wanted man in the world. The same is true of the shelter and safe house offered by the Iraqi government, to the murderers of Leon Klinghoffer, and to Mr. Yassin, who mixed the chemicals for the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. How can you know so little about this, and be occupying a chair at the time that you do?

I no longer seek out aggressive punditry; I was into it during the Clinton Impeachment contretemps, but I now prefer calmer, internecine rifts.

Having said that, I would really, really like to see this takedown, I may go hunting for a replay.

Hat-tip: Insty

UPDATE: Here's the video!

Posted by John Kranz at 3:06 PM | Comments (6)
But Chris Cronin thinks:

Abu Nidal was kicked out of Iraq in 1983. Hitchens interviewed him long before then. Pretending that Abu Nidal had anything to do with our reason for being in Iraq in 2003, a year after A.N. was killed in Iraq upon re-entering it, is stultifyingly absurd.

I admire C.H. quite a bit, but his facts support nothing.

I still have seen no good reason for us being in Iraq, other than the fact that we are there, and can't leave.

Let's bring the fight back to Afghanistan so the extra-national terrorists follow us there and the Iraqis will start paying attention to their country, not our occupation of it.

BTW, Zarqawi was in the northern territories before we got there either working with Kurds on a plan for secession from Iraq, or for disrupting Baathist control of Iraq. He was no friend of S.H, and we've never seen proof of it. Asserting it as true is without merit.

Posted by: Chris Cronin at July 9, 2005 9:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And what of Mr. Yassin and Leon Klinghoffer's murderer, whom Hitch didn't name? Do you have explanations for them as well?

Hitchens' point was that Saddam HAD supported terrorists during his regime, subsequent disfavor notwithstanding. Iraq may not have been "a center of terrorism" but it was indeed a terror sponsoring state (openly so when it suited its purpose), and an outlaw regime in the eyes of the UN (if it ever opened those eyes) to boot.

Despite these facts I too have reservations about our soldiers, our neighbors and countrymen, being in their sad country to do their dirty work for them. These brave men and women are risking their own lives to wage a careful, deliberate war against murderers in the midst of civilians, rather than more safely conducting stand-off bombing with every means at our disposal, which was and is morally justified. The one justification I see for this riskier form of warfare is that in Iraq, as in America and the rest of the west, there are those who love life and liberty and will fight for them if given a chance. By risking their lives to kill those who "love death like you love life" our troops are giving Iraqi patriots that chance.

Posted by: johngalt at July 10, 2005 10:35 AM
But jk thinks:

You can disagree with Mr. Hitchens, but the telling item to me is RR's insistence that the 9-11 commission report completely exonerated Hussein's Iraq from all terrorism before and after. Abu Nidal, payments to the families of PLO suicide bombers -- all were wiped away by the 9-11 commission.

Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard is not even ready to disaow Iraqi involvement in 9-11 (we'll now provide a brief pause for all the lefties to roll their eyes). He's still at it in this week's Weekly Standard:
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/804yqqnr.asp

Posted by: jk at July 10, 2005 11:45 AM
But Also thinks:

"Hitchens' point was that Saddam HAD supported terrorists during his regime"

Well, following that logic, Cuba would be justified in invading the U.S. for harboring the terrorist Orlando Bosch. Not only is he given safe haven in the U.S. but Jeb Bush actively campaigned to get him released from prison even though he was convicted of trying to blow up a Polish freighter after he had been convicted of blowing up a Cuban airliner killing 73 people. And his crimes don't end there.

This is just one example.

I still don't think that would justify an invasion of the U.S. and I don't think that Christopher Hitchens would argue that either.

Posted by: Also at July 10, 2005 8:35 PM
But jk thinks:

I know Bosch is a cause celebre of The Nation and the left. I am reluctant to establish equivalence between a lenient sentence given to a man Alexander Cockburn feels is a terrorist and Hitchens's claims Abu Nidal had a government office in Iraq.

I don't know the details, but Bosch was not convicted in a US Court for the airplane bombing. The suggested government ties are tenuous at best.

As a flippant aside, let me say that I hope we are a sufficient threat to Castro's sovereignty that he has a right to attack us. But I'll join you in hoping that our government was not complicit in facilitating the release of one who targeted civilians.

Posted by: jk at July 10, 2005 11:45 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Cuba has airliners? Wow. You really do learn something new every day!

Posted by: johngalt at July 13, 2005 4:23 PM

July 8, 2005

Louis Jordan and Billy Eckstine

Scott Johnson pens a nice tribute to these two artists on the anniversary of their births.

I told Sugarchuck, on many longwinded occasions, that I thought Louis Prima really invented rock'n'roll, not Elvis nor Jerry Lee nor Little Richard. SC would say "not Louis Prima, Louis Jordan!" and it is hard to argue.

You probably know several of his hit songs -- "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens," "Caldonia," "Let the Good Times Roll." Perhaps most striking is the sheer infectious joyousness of Jordan's music. For a taste of the good stuff, check out the thoughtfully compiled selections on the page devoted to Jordan by Chicago's WBEZ public radio. Jordan died in 1975; the music survives.

And as for Eckstine, I played "Satin Doll" on the night of our first date with the woman who became my lovely bride of 22 years. Without that tune (and "Misty") I would certainly be a lonely old bachelor.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:59 PM

July 3, 2005

Live Grate

Good title for a good post over at Power Line. John Hinderocker tries to give Sir Bob Geldof and the boys a chance, but gives up and leaves with a reader's letter which includes this gem:

Time after time, the TV announcers reminded us that things are "even worse in Africa than they were before Live Aid 20 years ago!" Clearly, none of them considered this might tell us something about the efficacy of Live Aid and its use of cash to solve problems caused by massive political corruption.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:37 PM | Comments (2)
But AlexC thinks:

I glanced through the comments by some of the speakers.... did anyone mention Mugabe? Did anyone say, "hey... debt relief is not the answer?... Democracy is." ?

Posted by: AlexC at July 4, 2005 10:42 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Ummm, I mentioned Mugabe.

I spent last evening at an impromptu July 4th party hosted by a liberal friend and his more liberal wife in uber liberal Boulder, Colorado. There were a couple dozen others there, virtually all with varying degrees of vitriol in their liberalness. I wore my NewsMax.com, county by county, Red/Blue "Bush Country, My America" t-shirt.

My dear hostess "couldn't believe I would wear a shirt like that to her house." I replied that I thought she'd want to show her friends how "open minded" and "tolerant" she is. She said, "I'm not!" She brought up starving children in Africa. I brought up Bob Geldof. "Who," she asked? "You know, Live Aid?" "Oh, yes I know him." I paraphrased Geldof's lament that conditions in Africa are worse now than before the original Live Aid, and asked what that says about the efficacy of Live Aid or Live Eight. She became animated and then produced a mass-mailing postcard addressed to Condi Rice and produced by some lefty group whose name I've forgotten. It cited UNICEF with the statistic "30,000 children die each day from preventable causes" among other things. (Hmmm, I wondered. 10 million children per year seems like an awfully large number and one that may deserve scrutiny. I considered saying, "That's a lot of children. That number must include aborted fetuses," but I thought better of it.) As she handed me the card she said, "Even if you don't have any compassion for those people, it's in our best interest to help them so that the problems they have don't spread and affect us, because they will." I said, "I do have compassion for them, that's why I don't want them to live under the thumb of oppressive tyrants." She countered that "We put those tyrants in power." I said, "Robert Mugabe? He's not our guy. Where did he come from?" That pretty much ended our political conversation for the evening.

We spent the remainder of our time grilling various types of meat and releasing greenhouse gasses from municipally prohibited fireworks made in Chinese sweatshops by... children.

Happy 4th of July mister Geldof!

Posted by: johngalt at July 4, 2005 1:52 PM

June 27, 2005

eBay Bargain

Don't get mad, get even...

eBay item 4556985749 (Ends 17-Jun-05 00:26:49 BST) - Lotus Esprit Turbo

I need to get rid of this car immediately - ideally in the next 2-3 hours before my cheating arsehole husband gets home to find it gone and all his belongings in the street.
I am the registered owner and I have the log book. Please only buy if you can pick up tonight.


So the lothario DJ's wife sells his precious Lotus for 50p. The rest of the story is here.

Hat-tip: Samizdata

Posted by John Kranz at 5:04 PM | Comments (1)
But AlexC thinks:

Very funny, but I suspect she had a few screws loose herself.

Posted by: AlexC at June 27, 2005 11:03 PM

His Orotundity

The Weekly Standard's Scrapbook lays low Senator Byrd's autobiography with an acerbic wit worthy pf a British Obituary.

Fess up: It's been out a whole week already, but still not a soul among you has taken the time to track down and purchase a copy of Robert C. Byrd: Child of the Appalachian Coalfields.

And let's keep it that way, shall we?

Rather than plunk down $35 for this 770-page doorstop, let's instead simply indulge ourselves, first, in a loud, lusty snicker over the preposterous promotional campaign West Virginia University Press has prepared for The Great Fossil's long-unawaited autobiography. This kind of thing: "Senator Byrd's journey from the hard-scrabble coalfields to the marbled halls of Congress has inspired generations of people in West Virginia and throughout the nation. From reading the stories of the Founding Fathers as a young boy by the light of a kerosene lamp to the swearing of an oath for more than half a century to guard the United States Constitution, Senator Byrd's life is legendary." Barf.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:24 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Bravo for the unvarnished descriptive prose, JK. Until I reached the byline I thought this was an AlexC post! You've got RANGE, my man.

Posted by: johngalt at June 27, 2005 2:26 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Really?
I'm humbled!

Posted by: AlexC at June 27, 2005 9:27 PM

June 24, 2005

Makes you go "Hmmm."

Lileks hits a house favorite in today's Bleat

You dont hear much about Evil Spain grinding the natives under their boot, any more than you hear about Belgiums merry escapades in the Congo. In fact, the Spanish culture has been subsumed into a general Latino identity in a way that makes it oddly immune from criticism. Hey, dont talk to me about racism and oppression look what you guys did to the Indians! It would sound bizarre, no?

This is a house favorite because of my wife's Filipino ancestry. Spanish oppression and looting all around the world is forgiven and forgotten. As Lileks says, "Yet the Original Sin of the New World always seems to focus on the 19th century American experience, and everything else is just a messy regrettable blur."

England and America left good governmental and economic ideas in their wake. This is not an excuse for colonialism, but it is a mitigating circumstance. Spain just loaded up the wealth and split.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:34 PM

Where "Star Wars" fans go when they grow up.

That's a kinder description of the "Nerd Prom" that lined up at 5:00 PM for a 10:00PM sneak preview of the unfinished Serenity movie.

Whedon is trying a new marketing approach, letting the beloved "browncoats" see the film in progress. And the Weekly Standard has a comprehensive piece on it.

"Firefly went on the air two years ago," [Joss] Whedon continues, "and was immediately hailed by critics as one of the most canceled shows of the year."

Everyone laughs.

"It was ignored and abandoned, and the story should end there--but it doesn't. Because the people who made the show and the people who saw the show--which is, roughly, the same number of people--fell in love with it a little bit. Too much to let it go. . . . In Hollywood, people like that are called unrealistic, quixotic, obsessive. In my world, they're called 'Browncoats.'"

"This movie should not exist," he continues. "Failed TV shows don't get made into major motion pictures--unless the creator, the cast, and the fans believe beyond reason. . . . It is, in an unprecedented sense, your movie.

"Which means, if it sucks, it's your fault."

[..]

What made Firefly stand out was its odd, romantic characters and gutsy, strange writing. The dialogue tended to be a bizarre puree of wisecracks, old-timey Western-paperback patois, and snatches of Chinese. The stories were mostly simple genre exercises: train heists, double-crosses, duels at dawn, running from the law. And they allowed the crew--which included a fugitive doctor (Sean Maher), his psychic sister (Summer Glau), a missionary (Ron Glass), a cute mechanic (Jewel Staite), and a courtesan (Morena Baccarin)--to bump and occasionally grind against each other in amusing ways. The chemistry was irresistible.


I link 'cause I am a browncoat, but also because I once predicted that a "long-tail" approach might spread to movies from music and journalism. This project is driven by the fans in a new way.
Since the fan screenings began, Firefly DVD sales have shot up the genre charts at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. In July, a Dark Horse Serenity comic book, written by Whedon, will hit shelves, and the Sci-Fi Channel will soon start broadcasting the 14 Firefly episodes--all of them, in order.

Sept 30, I'll be at the Nerd Prom. See you there. Trailer.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:07 PM

June 23, 2005

MIT Blog Survey

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

I took it, it is pretty interesting. Instapundit linked today so I bet it will collect some data...

Posted by John Kranz at 6:00 PM

June 16, 2005

Happy Bloomsday

Attila at Pillage Idiot reminds us "It's June 16, time to start reading Ulysses again (not that you or I will)."

I read Ulysses when I was young and was consciously trying to survive some challenging books. Finishing in 24 hours would be ambitious -- I seem to recall alternately suffering and enjoying that book for six weeks.

After that, my brother challenged me to read Finnegan's Wake. I failed.

All and all, I like Joyce and spending time in Ireland I have been surprised the low regard for him. Maybe it's not a fair cross section but the Irish I've met respect him about as much as this Coloradan likes John Denver's music...

Posted by John Kranz at 4:17 PM | Comments (1)
But Attila thinks:

JK, I had to read Ulysses my freshman year in college and wasn't very successful, but I realized it was worth trying again. I plowed through it over the summer and found it to be a lot of fun. Unlike some people, I feel no need to understand each word before I can move on to the next. I figure I'll get the gist of it.

On re-reading the book, I've discovered parts that I originally thought were boring but turned out to be extremely funny.

Posted by: Attila at June 16, 2005 8:04 PM

A New TV Show

Hmm. Jonathan Last, who turned me onto Buffy has a good review of a new Fox show with Tim Minear, Adam Baldwin, and some writing by Jane Espenson.

The Inside Story

And then, something miraculous happened: The executives at Fox hired Tim Minear to salvage the project. Minear worked his way up the TV ladder as a writer on various shows until he made his mark on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off, Angel. From there he executive produced the critically-lauded Firefly in 2002 before creating Wonderfalls last year. How good is Minear? It would not be rash to consider him one of the five best minds in television.


Not sure I could produce four others...

I have not watched a show that was actually on TV many years (I bought Buffy and Angel and Firefly on DVD) but I will check this out.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:04 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Programmed for weekly recording. We'll give it a try.

Posted by: johngalt at June 17, 2005 3:07 PM

June 15, 2005

One Man's Torture

Chris Muir nails it today:

DayByDay050615.jpg


Day By Day is always available from the ThreesSources.com blogroll

Posted by John Kranz at 12:18 PM

June 8, 2005

Clarence sequitur

Got to disagree with my buddy Attila at Pillage Idiot who's taking Scalia's side of Raich. I hate to disagree with Nino but must this time.

Still I liked Attilas song

My Federalist Dope

I'm sick of it, sick of it,
Churnin' and heavin',
So why shouldn't I now
Abandon all hope?
My nausea's back when
I read John Paul Stevens,
Who keeps me from smokin'
My federalist dope.
Yes, he keeps me from smokin'
My federalist dope.


Posted by John Kranz at 5:55 PM | Comments (1)
But Attila thinks:

Thanks for the link.

Your readers can see the whole three-verse song over at my place.

Posted by: Attila at June 8, 2005 6:45 PM

May 25, 2005

Serenity Trailer

At last count, I had convinced one ThreeSources reader to experience the wondrous joy of Joss Whedon's "Buffy, The Vampire Slater" and had one other on the ropes. (I'm watching Season 2 of "Angel" now; the first shows would be a good choice for a newcomer who wanted to check it out.)

Whedon's big failure was "Firefly" which ran a half a season on Fox. It's a little too complicated for broadcast TV, though I am surprised that a guy with 12 seasons of hits under his belt didn't get a longer leash.

Whedon has made a movie with the original cast. "Serenity" opens September 30 and the trailer is here. There's plenty of tie to buy the Firefly DVDs and be fully prepared for the opening weekend.

Firefly is an adult show (the teenagers on "Buffy" scare people away) with a terrific ensemble cast. The message is of freedom and independence. Our heroes have lost a war of independence to the alliance (U.N.) and have taken to the outer planets to preserve their freedom.

Kurt Vonnegut was an avowed Socialist yet wrote the greatest opposition piece to in "Harrison Bergeron." In the same manner, Whedon is liberal who hosted fund raisers for Senator Kerry's presidential bid, and an avowed atheist. Yet his scripts are beloved by both libertarian and social conservatives. They lack moral relativism. There is duty, honor, right and wrong, and actions have consequences.

September 30. I am scared that the role of villain may be shifted from the Kofi-Annanesque Alliance to the mysterious Blue Sun Corporation, but it will be fun whatever goes down.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:20 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

MOST EXCELLENT! Thanks for the tip, JK.

Just be careful throwing around that word "failure." The "failure" was on the part of Fox canceling it. I don't know what the ratings were but I do know the show was excellent. In addition to the virtues you listed, it was witty, clever and multi-dimensional.

Its one weakness with the masses may be one you alluded to - atheism. That sentiment is expressed from time to time in the series. Even in this modern age of scientific enlightenment, some 92 to 97 percent of Americans are still afraid to let go of the blanket. (http://partners.nytimes.com/library/magazine/home/20010114mag-atheism.html)

Posted by: johngalt at May 25, 2005 2:37 PM
But jk thinks:

You a Firefly fan? A closet browncoat? Sweet!

The atheist point I was going for, I don't think you would like. Jonathan Last at the Weekly Standard called the Buffy Episode "Amends" the most religious hour ever on Television. Friends I have brought into the fold have remarked on parallels between story arcs and biblical passages.

Like Harrison Bergeron, I think art is just funny that way.

Posted by: jk at May 25, 2005 5:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yeah, you knew that! Or at least, I've mentioned it on the blog.

I'll watch a couple episodes on DVD soon and find a theism reference outta Mal's mouth.

Posted by: johngalt at May 26, 2005 12:30 PM
But jk thinks:

I never believe what I read on blogs; those are written by crazy people!

I am *extremely* used to things that I like being artistic successes and market failures. I don't even think about it anymore.

I was going to do a post, but let me float this here. I think that TV is ready for a long-tail revolution as we have seen in recorded music and journalism.

The way I see it, Joss Whedon has sold a buttload of DVDs. I bought Seven years of Buffy, five of Angel, Toy Story, Firefly and the Buffy movie. Are there enough of us to keep "Firefly" alive with DVD sales? Is there a Moore's law technology that will make this feasible?

(Much better a comment than a post -- I would never say "buttload" in a post...)

Posted by: jk at May 26, 2005 1:58 PM

May 17, 2005

But Is It Really?

One for Best of the Web....
As seen on philly.com

Posted by AlexC at 8:00 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

The phrase "rush to justice" springs to mind.

Posted by: jk at May 18, 2005 10:51 AM

May 16, 2005

$1100 per Square Foot

If I may try to tie together a few recent ThreeSources posts, the common theme of late seems to be Donald Trump. Don't look at me -- I am as surprised as you!

I had passed along the WSJ Ed Page's suggestion that Mr. Trump should complete Ground Zero renovations. Today, Johngalt links to an awesome Mark Steyn column on U.N. Perfidy and incompetence. I must tie in John Hinderacker (of PowerLine fame)'s expose of the next scandal -- a $1.2 Billion renovation of the U.N. Headquarters at Turtle Bay.

That's over $1100/ft2 and Donald Trump says the only explanation why this renovation will cost three times the new construction of his "Trump Tower" is either incompetence or fraud (a Hobson's choice at the ol' UN -- take the first one you find!)

It appears there are serious questions about the U.N.'s renovation project. Depending on which assumptions one accepts about cost and square footage, anywhere from $500 million to $1 billion in expense is unaccounted for. Given the U.N.'s history, is there any reason to doubt that the costs projected by that organization include substantial sums representing, as Trump put it, incompetence or fraud? Given what we know about the oil-for-food program, is there any reason to trust the U.N.'s business or accounting practices?

American taxpayers have a legitimate interest in knowing the answers to these questions. The renovation is to be financed by a low-interest, 30-year, $1.2 billion loan from the U.S. government. (Kofi Annan's original request for an interest-free loan was turned down.) And, of course, the loan will then be repaid largely by American taxpayers, who foot a little over 20 percent of the U.N.'s bills.


When President Bush addressed the U.N., many commentators remarked on the splendor of the U.N. facilities. They feature marble and monarchically-high podiums (podia?) which look out of place to Americans.

I think I've found some budget we can cut, Mr. President!

Posted by John Kranz at 5:25 PM

May 5, 2005

One For Taranto

Taranto-ize ThreeSources...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:39 PM

April 20, 2005

Welcome Home

So good to have LILEKS back:

The selection of Ratzinger was initially heartening, simply because he made the right people apoplectic. Im still astonished that some can see a conservative elevated to the papacy and think: a man of tradition? As Pope? How could this be? As if there this was some golden moment that would usher in the age of married priests who shuttle between blessing third-trimester abortions and giving last rites to someone whos about to have the chemical pillow put over his face. At the risk of sounding sacreligious: its the Catholic Church, for Christs sake! Youre not going to get someone who wants to strip off all the Baroque ornamentation of St. Peters and replace them with IKEA wine racks, okay?

Said just what I wanted to say, better of course. I don't get a vote. It's political but its not a democracy.

Best of luck to Pope Benedict XVI

Posted by John Kranz at 5:29 PM

April 15, 2005

Friday Fun

Take the Monday Morning Test

Posted by John Kranz at 1:35 PM

April 14, 2005

Spouse's Passwords

Here's one for you. You should keep your email passwords and the like in some sort of escrow (with a friend?). This would allow you to keep privacy but still allow your spouse to access accounts in the event that you, say, had a stroke or something.

What about a web service that does this? You can enter your passwords and a master password that is required to access them. If the passwords are accessed, email is sent to the primary account holder. That would come in handy even for the slightly forgetful.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:37 PM

April 5, 2005

Another El Jefe Crime!

Manolo's Shoe Blog lets Fidel Castro have it:

As the end it approaches for this evil man, he must worry that there is the special place reserved for those who would deny the super fantastic shoes to others.

Beautiful! Hat-tip: Galley Slaves

Posted by John Kranz at 11:51 PM

March 24, 2005

The Land of Orwell

I really fear for our good friends and brave allies in Britain. Did you see this in Lileks today?

A pubowner posted a sign in his parking yard, that said "porking yard." He was cited with an Asbo, which the headline writers assumed its readers would recognize as an "Anti-Social Behaviour Order." (George! Please pick up line one -- it's urgent!)

In case you haven't recognized the racism yet, the sign is "deeply offensive to Muslims."

I regularly use the learning centre in Wade Street, which is near to the pub, with my fellow Somali friends.

Muslims do not eat pork but the sign has a picture of a pig and the words porking yard.

My friends and I were angered and upset by the sign and we have welcomed the court ruling ordering the sign to be changed. I definitely think it is provocative and insulting to Muslims.

Beat manager Adrian Williams, of Avon and Somerset Police, welcomed the Asbo.

He said he had received complaints about the sign from school teachers, community leaders and members of the Somali community.

He said: We are very pleased that the order has been made following complaints from the community.

It shows that this kind of behaviour, which is provocative, will not be tolerated.


Maybe they do need a monarch over there to slap this silly nonsense down...

Posted by John Kranz at 2:55 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

I have a suggestion for our dear pub owner. Take down the "offensive" sign and replace it with an "unoffensive" one. For example:

"George W. Bush is a F-ing Twit! He is not welcome in my porking yard." Go ahead and leave the picture of a pig. You'll never hear another 'oink' from the authorities and their hASBrO.

Posted by: johngalt at March 25, 2005 3:12 PM
But Attila thinks:

Excellent idea, JG. But how about this one: The pub owner says his intention was not to insult Muslims; it was to insult Jews. The authorities would shut up pretty quickly, I suspect.

Posted by: Attila at March 27, 2005 7:52 PM

March 23, 2005

Get Your Fusion On!

Just got a nice email from the folks at www.fusiongroovin.com/ They are readin' and we are listenin' (great thing, this Internet -- well done, VP Gore!)

Seriously, if you want to hear some vicious instrumental fusion, click on over!

Posted by John Kranz at 4:57 PM

A Jazz Aristocrat

You could live to be 80 years old, as Bobby Short did, and never read a kinder obituary/eulogy. Jazz trumpeter Eric Felten pens a poignant tribute to the cabaret singer in today's Wall Street Journal.

I'll confess to having just the slightest acquaintance with Mr. Short's music, but I will rectify that in the days ahead. I, too, like the standards, the ballads, the cabaret style. It's what I love.

I also liked this paragraph:

Mr. Short was born in 1924 and grew up in Danville, Ill., the penultimate of 10 children. One could say that it was ironic that Mr. Short--a Midwestern kid--became an iconic New Yorker. Ironic, too, that an African-American man would come to embody the sort of glittering, bygone world of high society that, in the 1930s, would hardly have welcomed him. But then again, it isn't really ironic at all. Mr. Short lived an American life that was in perfect harmony with the songs he sang, one in which any man, every man, can be an aristocrat if he just takes the trouble to gain some sophistication.

As my buddy AlexC might say: "F*ck Yeah!"

Posted by John Kranz at 10:32 AM

March 18, 2005

We're All Doomed

I don't want to ruin anybody's Friday but the world is ending.

John Derbyshire (not exactly an "up" guy but certainly very bright) has long predicted that the end of the world may well be caused by physicists creating a black hole with a particle accelerator.

The BBC reports:

The Brown researcher thinks the particles are disappearing into the fireball's core and reappearing as thermal radiation, just as matter is thought to fall into a black hole and come out as "Hawking" radiation.

However, even if the ball of plasma is a black hole, it is not thought to pose a threat. At these energies and distances, gravity is not the dominant force in a black hole.


On second thought, bartender, why don'tcha put that on my tab...

Dual hat-tips: PillageIdiot and Galley Slaves

Posted by John Kranz at 6:45 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

It's difficult to take anything seriously in modern particle physics given that theories as inconsistent with reality as HUP (i.e. precise position AND momentum of a particle are INTRINSICALLY unknowable, not merely technologically unfeasable at the present time) and Schrodinger's cat (i.e. quantum indeterminacy, which violates the identity theorem applicable to actual matter) have not yet been repudiated. At least inasmuch as they have any manifestation in reality as opposed to theoretical mathematical constructs.

In the event that this phenomenon is actually what Nastase thinks it is, i.e. a process analogous to that in a black hole, there is little to worry about. The event lasts some 1E-23 seconds, or 10 thousand nano-nano-nanoseconds. Hardly even getting started, much less becoming a self-sustaining or runaway energy conversion process.

It also bears mentioning that Mr. Nastase may be another in the proud tradition of our friends Pons and Fleischmann. (Anyone want some palladium? Cheap!)

A note on the BBC science editor: Couldn't he find a better way to express 1E-23 seconds than "10 million, billion, billionths of a second" which actually represents 10 million seconds? (What is a billion, billionths of something equal to, after all?) 10 million-billion-billionths would have been better, as would 0.00000000000000000000001 seconds.

Posted by: johngalt at March 19, 2005 1:06 PM
But AlexC thinks:

The only good thing about physicists killing us with a black hole is that it will be pretty quick.
So we got that going for us. ;)

Posted by: AlexC at March 19, 2005 1:59 PM
But jk thinks:

No, I am not really scared -- and I am certainly not scared of this one. Yet the race is now on to make a bigger and a longer lasting one.

Ice-nine, here we come...

Posted by: jk at March 19, 2005 6:38 PM

March 16, 2005

Top TV Theme Songs

Jonathan Last from Galley Slaves links to this list: top 100 TV Theme Songs. But I cannot condone it. No way.

jk's list:

10. Angel
9. Flintstones
8. Bewitched
7. I Dream of Jeannie
6. The Green Hornet
5, Miami Vice
4. WKRP in Cincinnati
3. Sanford & Son
2. Barney Miller
1. The Rockford Files

Disagree if you want, but you know that I'm right.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:19 PM | Comments (8)
But AlexC thinks:

What? No Starsky and Hutch? JK... massive oversight there.

Posted by: AlexC at March 16, 2005 8:39 PM
But jk thinks:

Hmm, afraid our age difference might be showing. I was in my late teens and thought TV a vast wasteland. Missed that show. I remember a Ford (Torino? I was a MoPar guy) and I remember "Huggy Bear." The theme song escapes me, I'll go check the web...

Posted by: jk at March 17, 2005 10:04 AM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

M*A*S*H and Hawaii-five-O?

Posted by: Silence Dogood at March 17, 2005 10:47 AM
But jk thinks:

Hawaii five o gets honorable mention. M*A*S*H Top 100 maybe, but not my top 10.

I'm thinking of a whole post on commercial art, kind of a jk-does-Virginia-Postrel.

When I was looking at a musical career, I was intrigued by jingles and station promos and throwaway themes to newscasts and Public service programming. I saw a sub-art layer of art and was keen to participate.

I found overwhelming satisfaction in middle management, of course, but am still intrigued by this art in our life. TV theme songs have touched all our lives. I can name the composers to just a couple of my picks, yet they have touched me as much or more than a lot of music I buy.

(The omission nobody's pointed out yet is Paul Anka's theme to "The Tonight Show" Daa da dant dah-duuuuuh... )

Posted by: jk at March 17, 2005 11:31 AM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

I have to admit actually owning the theme from SWAT on 45, must have been mid-70's, still had to play it on my parents phonograph.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at March 17, 2005 3:27 PM
But sugarchuck thinks:

Somebody needs to mention Larry Carlton's great guitar playing on the Hill St. Blues theme. Guess that would be me.

Posted by: sugarchuck at March 17, 2005 4:21 PM

March 14, 2005

Lebanese Revolution Scarves

Five bucks on eBay Lebanon Independence 05 Collectible Red Scarf (Harriri). There is also a white scarf with red lettering.

Hat-tip: Publius Pundit

Posted by John Kranz at 5:26 PM

March 7, 2005

NYTimes Paean to Wal*Mart

If you live long enough, you really do see it all. David Akst writes a story on Wal*Mart that is not apocalyptic and the Grey Lady publishes it.

These investors must be charitably minded because they aren't the main beneficiaries of Wal-Mart's business.

For several years now, the shareholders, who have more than $200 billion tied up in the company, have not done especially well. Since the end of 1999, Wal-Mart stock is off 23 percent, while Target is up 43 percent and Lowe's is up 95 percent.

The big winners during this period were the juggernaut's customers, who gained by having Wal-Mart drive down the price of consumer goods. Assuming that Wal-Mart investors are more affluent than its shoppers, the system offers a progressive transfer from rich to poor - from capital owners to less prosperous American consumers and hard-working Chinese factory hands. It's like Robin Hood, only with parking.
It's tempting to say that some of the benefits to shoppers come at the expense of Wal-Mart's roughly 1.2 million employees, but it's a tough case to make. Many Wal-Mart employees presumably can't get better jobs; if they could, they would. By continuing to work at the chain, they are showing that they prefer the jobs they have to no jobs at all. If Wal-Mart vanished, in fact, they would be in big trouble indeed.
[...]
If you don't have much money, Wal-Mart is a godsend, and, in a way, that's the trouble. Wal-Mart's hold on its shoppers is largely mercenary, and therefore tenuous. To me, shopping at Wal-Mart feels like a chore, and Sam's Club is better only if there's no Costco nearby. In other words, I think the juggernaut is vulnerable. It may well be, for the foreseeable future, that it's smarter to buy stuff at Wal-Mart than to buy stock in Wal-Mart. The stock may or may not be a good deal. The stuff is a sure thing.


I hope some of the activists who succeeded in depriving the folks in Queens of the price, selection, and job opportunities that a Wal*Mart would have provided see this.

Boy, Bush was right and Wal*Mart isn't completely evil. Tough days for the Times...

Hat-tip: Virginia Postrel

Posted by John Kranz at 6:27 PM

Super Fantastic!

The Manolo speaks of writing the book:

At the first, the Manolo he was resistant to the idea of the book. Who would pay the $18.99 in the American dollars to read the blatherings of the humble Manolo, especially if this it can be obtained for the free at the Manolo's blogs.

But then the literary agent of the Manolo he convinced the Manolo that the book it was the very good idea, that perhaps many people they would pay this money to hear the Manolo pontificate on the fashion and the celebrity, and that this world of ours, this crazy mixed up world of ours, it needs the Manolo now more than the ever.


I discovered Manolo's Shoe Blog on Virginia Postrel's site. And Chris Muir featured him on Feb 25th's DayByDay. Gotta read the Manolo!

UPDATE: Not that it matters, but I hereby take The Manolo No Poncho Pledge

Posted by John Kranz at 6:15 PM

March 1, 2005

The Military as Hiring Pool

Virginia Postrel posts on a WaPo story. It seems Walter Reed hospital has become a corporate recruiting center:

executives seeking out wounded soldiers claim that many of the skills acquired in the military are applicable in the private sector -- particularly within companies that serve the government. A soldier who has led a platoon into war is probably capable of leading a unit at a private company, executives say. With government contracting in the midst of a boom, the security clearances and knowledge that soldiers bring home with them are also highly valued.

Virginia sez:
We're a long way from the plaintive TV commercials of the 1970s, which begged employers to hire Vietnam vets. The recruitment trend represents a triumph for the All Volunteer Force--a military of skilled professionals.

Here's hoping that the 60's might end in our lifetime...

Posted by John Kranz at 1:16 PM

February 28, 2005

Clinton '08 Receives Key Endorsement

No surprise, but I do like the headline: Yahoo! News - Clinton: Hillary Would Be Great President

TOKYO - Former President Clinton (news - web sites) said Sunday that his wife, Hillary, would be an excellent choice as the first female leader of the world's most powerful nation.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:52 PM

February 24, 2005

Che - No!

Here is a free blog ad for a great product. I am buying one but we'll see whether or not I have the stones to wear it around Boulder. I'll try the Trident Bookstore/Coffeehouse/CommunistHQ -- that'd be fun.

shirtsquare-commies.jpg


Order your own here.

Alex chimes in:
Don't forget the dirty hippies!
I wear that to remind the 60s refugees I work with.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:50 PM | Comments (1)
But Riza Rivera thinks:

Don't forget to order one for me and we can get kicked out of Boulder together!!! Riza

Posted by: Riza Rivera at February 25, 2005 3:48 PM

February 21, 2005

Death of a Playwright

Arthur Miller died last Thursday. The playwright most famous for "Death of a Salesman" received a lot of accolades, yet some conservative press has veered off "de mortuis nil nisi bonum" and pointed out some problems with his work and his philosophy.

Sugarchuck e-mailed me about Terry Teachout's Wall Street Journal Piece -- he found it very harsh.

Well, Mark Steyn is no friendlier. In today's Spectator, he has a go at Miller's anti-Americanism and the esteem to which he is held in Britain. I liked this line:

Even in his disparagement, Miller was right to grasp that the salesman is a critical American archetype. In the dictatorships he admired, from the USSR to Cuba, you dont need them: theres no competition, no choice, nothing on the shelves, and every checkout line in the supermarket is perforce for five items or less. And in a one-party state, politicians dont need to be salesmen, either or at least not to their own people: Gorbachev and Castro were very canny in the way they flattered Miller, understanding that a man of such unbounded self-regard judged the health of nations and political systems in the same way he did the health of the American theatre by how fulsomely they acknowledge his genius. And Fidel and Gorby were applauding long after Broadway had fallen silent.

It's just one more work of art that leans left: I can't not read Steinbeck -- or Stephen King -- because I disagree. I watch "It's a Wonderful Life" every year with my internal economist bound and gagged. I enjoy the art and just know that they're wrong.

Willy Loman is one of the archetypical characters in American fiction. Sugarchuck ranks him with Huck, Tom Sawyer and Gatsby You create a character like that and as Lileks would say you've proven you can "hit the right keys."

Requiescat in pace.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:46 PM

Happy Presidents Day

Well, I'm working but the market is closed and the blogosphere is silent -- a pretty dull day. My friends at research arms of major Universities are working today, though they got MLK day off. Worthy of a blog post? We couldn't have had Dr. King without Presidents Washington and Lincoln. Naaah.

But here is an interesting fact: this lawyer claims that there is no paper trail for a legal change from Washington's Birthday to Presidents Day. We all act like it happened, but Jason Bezis says it didn't:

For instance, it has been widely accepted as fact and reported -- by numerous major newspapers and educational Web sites -- that Richard Nixon dubbed the holiday Presidents Day in 1971.

But a Nixon archivist said last week there is no evidence the 37th president signed such a proclamation, which appears to be a myth spread, in part, by an Arkansas newspaper columnist writing in the voice of his dead cat.
Bezis, a onetime calendar monitor at a Livermore kindergarten, a former White House intern and a graduate of George Washington University, has persuaded the World Almanac and the New York Times to ditch Presidents Day for Washington's Birthday.


Kurt Vonnegut made a passionate stance for not replacing Armistice Day with Veteran's Day. I think he and Mr. Bezis both have uphill battles.

I cannot think of two men more worthy of honor than Lincoln and Washington but feel both would be more inclined to have us go to work in their honor -- not hang out at the mall. For the record, I would apply that to Dr. King as well. It would be better to send children to school to learn of his works. That's honor.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:12 PM

Uncle Duke, RIP

I was a big Hunter S. Thompson fan way back when. But the last couple of his books I read not only made me question whether he had lost it -- they really made me question whether my original approbation was well placed.

But I don't have to think or write. Lileks has nailed it:

HST killed himself. He never would have turned his life around thats a hard thing to try when the rooms been spinning for 40 years. Depression? Wouldnt be surprising. A bad verdict from the doc? Wouldnt be surprising. A great writer in his prime, but the DVD of his career would have the last two decades on the disc reserved for outtakes and bloopers. It was all bile and spittle at the end, and it was hard to read the work without smelling the dank sweat of someone consumed by confusion, anger, sudden drunken certainties and the horrible fear that when he sat down to write, he could only muster a pale parody of someone elses satirical version of his infamous middle period. I feel sorry for him, but Ive felt sorry for him for years. File under Capote, Truman meaning, whatever you thought of the latter-day persona, dont forget that there was a reason he had a reputation. Read "Hell's Angels." That was a man who could hit the keys right.

I'll go with that assessment. Requiescat in pace.

UPDATE: When I die, I wish Tom Wolfe would write my obituary

Yet he was also part of a century-old tradition in American letters, the tradition of Mark Twain, Artemus Ward and Petroleum V. Nasby, comic writers who mined the human comedy of a new chapter in the history of the West, namely, the American story, and wrote in a form that was part journalism and part personal memoir admixed with powers of wild invention, and wilder rhetoric inspired by the bizarre exuberance of a young civilization. No one categorization covers this new form unless it is Hunter Thompson's own word, gonzo. If so, in the 19th century Mark Twain was king of all the gonzo-writers. In the 20th century it was Hunter Thompson, whom I would nominate as the century's greatest comic writer in the English language.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:34 AM

February 18, 2005

Laser Virtual Keyboard



THIS IS COOL.

The virtual laser keyboard (VKB) works by using both infrared and laser technology to produce an invisible circuit and project a full-size virtual QWERTY keyboard on to any surface. The virtual PC keyboard behaves exactly like a real one: direction technology based on optical recognition enables the user to tap the images of the keys, complete with realistic tapping sounds(!), which feeds into the compatible PDA, Smartphone, laptop or PC.

Maybe cooler when it is integrated into my phone or my palm, but goldawgs! This is a good idea.


Posted by John Kranz at 2:48 PM | Comments (4)
But AlexC thinks:

It's definately cool tech, but what about the ergonomics of it? Keyboards give way under your finger, a desk will not. I could see it for quick work on your PDA or Blackberry... but give me a keyboard anyday. Especially a Model M...
mmmmm...
http://www.scoutingaround.com/computers/keyboard/Model_M.html

Posted by: AlexC at February 18, 2005 5:58 PM
But jk thinks:

A model M with the caps lock and insert key yanked out -- now yer talkin'!

I wouldn't replace my desktop but I would start using my PDA more and sending more text messages from my phone.

With flexible LCDs and this, a laptop could fold up very tiny.

Posted by: jk at February 18, 2005 6:24 PM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

I say forget the flexible LCD and use this same type of technology for a display. I.e. a miniture projector type display would allow you to use any flat surface such as the tray table on the airline seatback in front of you as your display.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at February 21, 2005 3:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Yup. Then your cell phone really becomes a laptop.

Posted by: jk at February 21, 2005 6:25 PM

February 17, 2005

Lord STanley Weeps

The WSJ Ed page is a little disrespectful of my favorite sport, but their middle editorial today contains bitter truth.

As newspaper readers, we have a special fondness for headlines that disclose the end of something we didn't know was taking place. Such as, "Drought in Burma Finally Over." Millions of Americans may have a similar reaction today when they read that "NHL Commissioner Cancels Season." You mean they weren't playing hockey? We hadn't noticed.

Hardy har har...But the analysis is spot on:
The more fundamental problem is that both sides failed to appreciate that in today's competitive sports world they aren't "management" and "labor." They are, or should be, business partners. The National Hockey League is just one of many pastimes bidding for the scarce entertainment dollar. Across a normal season hockey competes with basketball (pro and NCAA), golf, football, professional wrestling, figure skating, and for that matter the circus -- any spectator activity that North Americans pay to watch.

By refusing to compromise, the NHL's powers have only ceded the field to this competition. Of course, they've also hurt their fans by denying them a favorite winter diversion, but we suspect most of those who used to be the NHL's paying customers have been able to find other things to do and watch.


I played, as a kid and a grownup, and do love the sport. Missing a season has been disappointing but strangely not devastating.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:38 PM | Comments (2)
But sugarchuck thinks:

Cancelling regualr season hockey is a corporal work of mercy; cancelling playoff hockey is a hanging offense. Regular season hockey consists of too many mediocre players spread out over too many teams playing at half speed while playoff hockey shows some of the intensity and speed of pre-pre expansion days. Winning a Stanley Cup is one of sports most difficult challenges and robbing hockey fans of their playoffs is unforgiveable. And it's stupid; really, really stupid.
JK correctly points out that players and owners should see themselves as partners and this is especially true in hockey. When you are selling a sport that draws a smaller audience on ESPN than Pro bowling, you might want to rethink the strike plans. When the replacement programinng on ESPN, college basketball, draws double the viewers of hockey, it's time to get back to work. It is likely that ESPN will cancel their NHL contract next year, and who could blame them. Hockey, because of its speed, does not televise well, so owners and players should be doing whatever they can to enhance their marketablility, not sitting out a season over slices of a shrinking pie.
I live in a state where high school hockey play-offs are televised and when the NHL comes back we will be here. The same won't be true in those parts of the country where the ponds don't freeze and I doubt the tv execs will be in any hurry to get the NHL back on the tube.

Posted by: sugarchuck at February 18, 2005 10:31 AM
But jk thinks:

Okay, I'll come out of the closet. I have watched only playoff hockey for the last five years. You're right, this is a sport with some severe problems, making the strike look even more stupid.

Posted by: jk at February 18, 2005 4:45 PM

February 14, 2005

Vote With Your Feet

Brian Micklethwait at Samizdata catches an interesting ratio. It seems 500 protestors marched on the US Embassy in London, taking exception to America's decision to back out of Kyoto.

Yet the same BBC estimated "thousands flocked" to the opening of a new Ikea store. Brian sez:

I think this contrast well illustrates the relative pulling power of shopping for bargains compared to political demonstrating, and shows that Western Civilisation will not necessarily be collapsing under the weight of its idiocy any time soon.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:13 PM

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope all (both) readers have a great Valentine's Day, with just enough candy and affection.

Accused of injecting politics into everything, I will link to Reason Magazine's My Privatized Valentine: A martyr for state-free marriage In this piece, John Coleman posits that St. Valentine himself would have supported less state intrusion into marriage:

In his second inaugural address, President Bush highlighted the preeminent importance of liberty and individual responsibility noting, "In America's ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private characteron integrity, and tolerance toward others, and the rule of conscience in our own lives. Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self."

This Valentine's Day, let's live up to this call and spark a revolution in commemoration of the occasionthe very revolution alluded to in Bush's latest, and most eloquent speech. On February 14th, take a loved one to dinner. Reach out to those who are lonely. But if you really want to honor the martyr, join in the battle to take matters of personal charactermatters that should precede governmental authorityout of the hands of the state.

Amen to that! Hat-tip: Glenn

Posted by John Kranz at 1:27 PM

February 9, 2005

Those Sophisticated Europeans

How dare we think that our upstart society has anything to teach them:

She said the man was taken to Heath Hospital but could not confirm his condition.

It was reported that the man told his friends: "If Wales win I'll cut my own balls off."
After the 11-9 victory in the Six Nations clash, the man is reported to have gone outside and [excerpt edited for compassion and dignity...]


Whew, Alex, aren't you glad the Eagles lost, now?

Hat-tip: Pillage Idiot

Posted by John Kranz at 2:15 PM | Comments (3)
But AlexC thinks:

Testicles are off limits in wagering. This guys was nuts... or was in possesion of them.

And I've been rooting for the Iggles only enough for them to lose in the Super Bowl. And I've been proved right, AGAIN.

Posted by: AlexC at February 9, 2005 2:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

After witnessing a friend throw a ringer in horseshoes I quipped, "If you can do that again with the next throw I'll give you twenty bucks!" He smiled, he threw, and I was speechless.

Before I paid my wager I briefly entertained the idea of reneging, but quickly realized my personal honor was worth more than twenty bucks. If I were ever drunk and stupid enough to make the wager this poor wanker did, I assure you that the value of my honor would pale in comparison!

Posted by: johngalt at February 9, 2005 3:29 PM
But jk thinks:

I don't think it has the moral rectitude of being a wager -- I fear it was some bizarre, Welsh form of celebration...

Posted by: jk at February 9, 2005 5:02 PM

February 6, 2005

Brother Ray

Blogs allow people to float ideas and see if they can gain currency, which is certainly a plus. Some ideas are so good and yet so unattainable, however, it makes one pine for what could be. In this pile I would place "Vaclav Havel for UN SecGen" and this concept for the Georgia State flag:




I had blogged about this last June. And I had to look it up after seeing "Ray" last night on DVD. The movie is superb; go buy the DVD if you haven't seen it. Some actors seem born to play a certain role and Jamie Foxx's performance is unquestionably one of those.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:40 PM

January 29, 2005

More evidence that Beer makes you live longer

What better encore for a serious post about the meaning of life than a lighthearted post about saving one's life? And man, what a way to get out of a predicament! It seems that Richard Kral was driving his Audi through the Slovak Tatra mountains when it was buried on the road by an avalanche. He couldn't open the door, but did open the window and started trying to dig his way out.

"But as he dug with his hands, he realised the snow would fill his car before he managed to break through." Additionally, his car might be damaged by the snow. As an Audi owner myself I can relate to his desire to protect it, but what alternative did he have? Fortunately Mr. Kral was going on holiday and had... sixty bottles of beer in the car! These were half-liter european bottles - not the measly 12 ouncers we're accustomed to here in the states, but a healthy 16.9 ounces!

In indomitable fashion, the stranded motorist "Peed way out of avalanche." "...after cracking one open to think about the problem he realised he could urinate on the snow to melt it, local media reported. He said: "I was scooping the snow from above me and packing it down below the window, and then I peed on it to melt it. It was hard and now my kidneys and liver hurt. But I'm glad the beer I took on holiday turned out to be useful and I managed to get out of there."

Here's hoping he was fortunate enough to have brought along 30 liters of Pilsner Urquell, and not Pandur. But as Mortimer admitted, even bad Slovak beer is better than England's best!

Hat tip: Drudge Report.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:46 PM

January 28, 2005

She Should've Had an Abortion...

Best of the Web highlights this story in the Haverford (PA) delcotimes.com:

Zero tolerance: Student suspended for taking medicine

HAVERFORD -- A Haverford High School honor roll student, known to all as a conscientious, high achiever, was suspended from school last week for taking what might be considered the equivalent of an aspirin. The suspension was based on a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy, which expressly forbids any form of self-medicating -- including use of over-the-counter products -- without proper authorization. The incident sparked an outraged response from parents, and raised questions about school policy.


The drug in question was a generic version of Aleve. The honor-roll high school student who took it, and her friend who provided it were both suspended.

I post this because it is silly -- but also because of NOW and NARAL's take-no-prisoners demands that these same young women should be allowed an abortion without parental consent. Major surgery, fine. Aleve, no way.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:11 PM | Comments (5)
But AlexC thinks:

Argh! You beat me to it! I was going to do this and link to this rant!
http://pstupidonymous.blogspot.com/2005/01/abortion-weekend_25.html
I was going to make the same point! Ya bastaahd!

(good point, btw)

Posted by: AlexC at January 28, 2005 9:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm not sure how to do this without sounding condescending so I'll just say up front that I'm not trying to be condescending.

Much as I agree with both of you that the PC "zero-tolerance" BS that has infected our public schools since Columbine is ludicrous, I have to disagree with your implied relationship with abortion-on-demand for minors. Your linkage of the two is contextless. The students would not be suspended for popping Aleve in a doctor's office, or a friend's house, or in the park, and NOBODY would demand their right to said abortions performed on school property.

"Zero-tolerance" of drugs and alcohol in schools is not the answer to school violence, but it is also certainly not an argument in favor of parental notification. If you want to debate that subject there are numerous better points to be made. (None that persuade me, I must disclose. It is MY job to know what my -3 week old daughter is up to, not the state's. Here's hoping she's not a Tribble!)

Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2005 11:35 AM
But jk thinks:

No, It is not completely contradictory to have zero tolerance drugs on school grounds and lax rules for parental notification of abortion. But it does strain the mind to imagine those emanating from the same society, much less the same political subsection.

And, to run with your analogy, I'm not sure that the young lady would have been given an Aleve(r) in a doctor's office without parental consent.

Your comment was not condescending. I think that a parent has the right to raise a child that supersedes the right of the child to privacy. Do you disagree?

Posted by: jk at January 30, 2005 6:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You know me, JK. You know I place a high value on parental guidance. But what do we do when the parent fathered the teen daughter's unwanted child? Let the government decide? Maybe, but usually not my first choice.

I am convinced that the "militant anti-abortionists" use this as a wedge issue, subservient to their broader agenda.

Posted by: johngalt at January 31, 2005 3:56 AM
But jk thinks:

I think that the militant pro-abortionists use "her daddy fathered the child" as a wedge issue. I seem to remember Gov. Dean getting in trouble for claiming that that happened to him when it did not. If it were to happen, that is a special case that probably warrants something more life-changing than a surreptitious abortion.

I don't know that you and I are that far on abortion. But I still claim that the problem is Roe v. Wade. By making abortion a sacrosanct Constitutional right, the legislative branch lost the opportunity to make some common-sense regulations.

If it comes to a vote in Colorado (after Chief Justice Thomas overrules Roe v. Wade), I would vote for legal abortion but I would institute parental notification and ban D&X.

Posted by: jk at January 31, 2005 10:17 AM

January 20, 2005

Stalin World

    You may have thought Disneyland and Stalin-era mass deportations had nothing in common. They do nowthanks toenterprising Lithuanian Viliumas Malinauskas.The 60-year-old canned mushroom mogul recently opened an odd-ball park that mimics a Soviet prison camp. The facilitypart amusement park, part open air museumis circled by barbed wire and guard towers, and dotted with some 65 bronze and granite statues of former Soviet leaders Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin, and assorted communist VIPs.

    Organizers say its the first and only Soviet theme park in the world. Officially, the 30-hectare complex is called the Soviet Sculpture Garden at Grutas Park. But residents of the nearby village of Grutas have dubbed it Stalin Worlda name thats stuck.

    During a recent gala opening, thousands of invited guests were greeted at the gate by an actor dressed as Stalin; a Lenin look-a-like, complete with a goatee and cap, sat fishing by a nearby pond. Guests were invited to drink shots of vodka and eat cold borscht soup from tin bowls, while loud speakers blared old communist hymns. Nearby, red Soviet propaganda posters read: Theres No Happier Youth in the World Than Soviet Youth!

    It combines the charms of a Disneyland with the worst of the Soviet gulag prison camp, Malinauskas told assembled journalists, including a handful from abroad whod flown in to report on the bizarre spectacle.

Perhaps this is the next logical step in Che chic? (tip to RachaelC)
Posted by AlexC at 8:51 PM

January 19, 2005

New Jib Jab

 

I can't say that I like it as well as "This Land is Your Land," but the new JibJab is well worth a look/listen (It's a five meg download, but W's banjo playing during the d/l is strangely comprelling..

Give it a look.

 

Posted by John Kranz at 2:50 PM