We're Just Different From Europe, OK?
Scotland's first minister has told a group of high school pupils that it is okay to get drunk "once in a while". No word on his views regarding hot teen sex.
Confounding the calumniators and apostates
Scotland's first minister has told a group of high school pupils that it is okay to get drunk "once in a while". No word on his views regarding hot teen sex.
Startlingly, teenagers really want to have sex, and when you tell them not to, they actually do it more.
Shishmaref is starting to erode, badly, fast. The Army Corps of Engineers puts the cost of moving the village, one of over 200, at $180 million.
"One in three U.S. high school students say the press ought to be more restricted, and even more say the government should approve newspaper stories before readers see them, according to a survey being released today."
1. Stock (of personal despair)
"If we’re going to calculate and reward who’s bigger, sir, you’re going to lose."
"Visitors from England were crushed by the gloom of the Edinburgh Sunday. Sir Richard Steele, founder of The Tatler, who visited Edinburgh in 1717, nicknamed the Reverend Andrew Hart 'the hangman of the Gospel' because he seemed to take such pleasure in preaching 'the terrors of the Lord'. As late as 1775, Captain Edward Topham, an English traveller, said that during Sunday service it was as if 'some epidemic disorder had depopulated the whole city.' " Weekdays were only a little less sombre...
Inspired by this article, economist Arnold Kling notes that colleges and universities must be the most overcapitalized institutions in the country. Education is important - in my world view it's more important than almost anything else - but I don't think much of this money is going for education. It's going for edifice-building and real estate adventures. (I don't notice English professors suddenly tooling around in Porsches.)
After 30 seconds of thought I am using Bloglines which seems nice. I have added a little Bloglines bug at the bottom of our template because I thought it was very tasteful.
If you haven't shot an arrow into the air recently, do so.
Sentenced to driving a car for a crime I did not commit, I have turned to the radio for solace. There's not much soloce out there. But I have re-discovered one show, on KALW every day, which is unbelievably good. It's "This American Life" (I know, I'm always the last to know, but better late than never), and while Terry Gross is slapping Kevin Bacon's ass and commiserating with some rock star about his rehab, these folks are doing real radio features about things that matter.
Just two brief excerpts to titillate you:
I must have missed this when I was in Hawaii.
After all the GOP has done for our great Nation, old people are mad because they might lose their social security benefits. There's no pleasing some people.
The Laird suggests:
Picking up on an earlier thread, the new gazillion dollar 747 with a huge chemical oxygen laser has made some recent strides toward not being a complete waste of time and money.
Washington state, under its new Democratic Legislature and Democratic governor (yes, thank YOU fellow Eisengeisters), is considering Jersey's plan for a vanity tax on cosmetic surgery, in the incredibly outrageous form of removing the exemption from sales tax, all just to pay for basic health care for children.
You can read this while chewin' yer haggis. I have read Chapter 1, and it alone was worth $10.
A scoop from Salon: The Bush administration bribed another columnist (this make three so far) to promote an administration policy. This kicker on this one is the guy wrote a column on ethics. And sold out cheap.
I know that my score on the Savvymeter is much lower than most of my fellow Eisengeistonians but perhaps you will still find this amusing.
These kids today, their music is just noise...but there is this one guy whose stuff works for me, a Mister Adam F of Liverpool. Hard to categorize - there's some rapping, there's some club/dance/trance elements (I guess the relevant subgenre is Drum & Bass, but other people say he's all hip hop now...I can't keep up...). Anyway, some of it is very musical. I like his site, too (try "Stand Clear").
Mr. Feith's office was responsible for creating the short-lived Office of Strategic Influence, which proposed providing news items, possibly ['possibly' means 'especially' in the New York Times] even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of an effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers. Mr. Rumsfeld closed the office after its plans were publicized and created a furor on Capitol Hill.
"A world without tyranny is an ideal world," the president said in opening remarks at a White House press conference.
Mr. Gates sees your $10,000 and raises you $749,990,000.
I beg to differ; this is the best eulogy to Carson I've read so far.
Mad, mad props to Dr. X for recommending and lending me Will and the World. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. After I finish (only half-way through, now) I'm going straight to my Riverside for and read it again for the first time.
One more piece on Carson (this is really the best) by Tom "He hates everything!" Shales:
...is worth reading:
He was sooo funny, Red Skelton, Groucho Marx, and Jack Benny worked on his first show for free...
As it happened, Mr. Skelton was home that day, watching Mr. Carson in action and thoroughly enjoying what he saw. The next week he showed up unannounced and demanded to be seen and heard. Soon, Groucho Marx and Jack Benny turned up to participate in a show they thought was funny even though it did not have the budget to pay them a fee.
...where x = whatever we say
You can make your own Windows error messages, even if you're not the Sum of All Monkeys:
Introducing our new robot soldier for Iraq. To be followed by the V-1 and V-2...?
Well, twice today I have read articles about the state of our nation where his name comes up. The guy who changed everything. You know, the man who served with distinction in the nation's armed services, married religion with politics in the deep south and ushered in the Reagan Revolution. I refer, of course, to Jimmy Carter.
Through the gunsmoke, seawater, sweat and diesel, I worked my way forward in Unterseeboot-143 , picking off sea-Krauts with the old Swiss Guard crossbow, pulling the arrows out of the bodies and shooting again, while Dardenella in the mink bikini continued to distract the Japanese military delegation with a hula dance in the 10 by 6 foot wardroom. Normally, the mere sight of Dardenella, a woman so beautiful she'd had to take out restraining orders against several woodland creatures, in a mink bikini would have induced men to buy her a car. When she started singing "Stardust," two of these clowns had a coronary.
The gamble of lighting a giant swastika on fire on the volcanic island had paid off, attracting the submarine to us like a bedbound grandfather to a cherry-flavored menengitis lozenge.
Down the long gray corridor lined with bananas, the door to Captain Jerry Von Bosch's tiny steel cabin appeared. I kicked it in with democractic enthusiasm, and rifled through the Nazi Commander's linens. Judging by its contents, he seemed to have a girl in every port, or I was begining to hope to that he did. Where was the log? Where was the codebook? Where was the extra secret secrety thingy that the engineered gurgled out of his throat after I winged him with a razor bolt? I took a second to deliberately drop cigar ash on El Kapitan's paisley bunk cushions. I tried to think. The magic 3-d picture of Hitler than turned into Errol Flynn from a different angle began to get on my nerves, and I took a sip from the first bottle I could find, which unfortunately turned out to be stale milk kept I think deliberately in a whiskey bottle for just such a contingency.
"AH HA! Halt! You Amerikanzer Pig!" Surprised, I spit the turned milk on Hitler. Or Errol Flynn, from his side of the room, which was no more than three feet away.
El Kapitan, short, blond and so pink he could play a baby rat in the school play, was back, with an ugly looking burp gun that could shoot 30 ballerinas a second and a trigger finger so itchy he actually carried a bottle of Calamine lotion in a holster. His eyes were so steely you could sharpen scissors with them, and with that fascist gaze on me with my hand in his linen drawer, I could see that this was no time to try to sell him an insurance policy.
"I will show you how weak your pathetic Amerikan wool suit is!"
He squeezed: the blast of bullets flew - 10, 20, 30, 50 rounds. In that tiny room it was louder than than stepping on a cat who'd swallowed an air raid siren. Then he reloaded.
"Next time, I shall be considerably more careful with my aim! And you will learn the futility of resistance and worsted wool sportsjackets with a mere three buttons."
I'd heard of fashion Nazis before.
"Prepare to die a quick and unstylish death with no trace of panache!"
It was a fair bet that I wasn't going to survive yet another 50 round clip blast of 9mm in a 24 square foot metal space. I had less time to think than Marie Antoinette after her head hit the basket.
Which is exactly the last thought Klaus Oppressenheimer had as the pirate snipped off his head with a cutlass as neatly as girl deals with a prom-night nose pimple. Pirate?!
"Arr! That'll barnacle-blasted bilge-bat's polished his last jack-boot!"
My mouth was filled with the tangy taste of profound surprise as well as sour milk.
"I need a drink, Mack. Got any rum?"
"The name's Captain Jules Rougier. What kind of two-eyed pegless lubber d'ye take me for?" He tossed me a tot in a leather jug, yet I had clearly rattled his beard beads.
"Thanks, no offense. Nice work on taking out Herr Dusseldorf there, but we need to get to the control room." I showed my appreciation with a nice crossbow shot to a marauding squarehead's wrench-wielding hand.
"Arrghhh, your tea, sir," he said, dropping the china and soaking the cucumber sandwiches. I may have been rash.
Running forward over a headless Nazi in a U-Boat with an 18th century pirate with a bloody dripping cutlass back to a girl in furry underwear mesmerizing a clutch of Japanese diplomats made me wish I was back at Mel's trying to get Crumples to front me another Sloe Gin Howitzer so I could think this over. But it was Crumples and his crumply chloral hydrate betrayal that got me here in the first place. When I got back, I'd show that bum what America stands for by smashing his dentures in.
Wait - Pirate, cutlass, headless bodies, Losie the bookie, rumors of some kind of German time changing device that some egghead named Hiesenberg may or may not have been working on. Hard to process it while cranking the crossbow. Maybe I should have picked up the machine gun. It occured to me that someone had gone back in time to place and win bets with Losie - but Einstein had proved that was impossible. There was something, there was something....and that's when I bumped into Dardenella smack in the fuzzy gazongas.
"Arr!" said Captain Jules.
After 772 episodes, VOH is over (but we're on delay in the States, so we'll keep getting it for another year or so...). I was a bit worried that Nancy Sit (below) would have a down period in her career following her incredible run, but she seems to have bounced back pretty quick, co-starring in a movie with William Hung...
The Rude Pundit has fun doing a global substitute of the word "cock" for the word "freedom" in Bush's inauguration address:
There is nothing like a set of graphically presented statistics to give the imprimatur of professionalism and legitimacy to our little kvetch pad.
...there was Anna May Wong, who in the 1920's broke down barriers in Hollywood for incredibly hot women, and who is the subject of a recent biography by Graham Russel Gao Hodges of Cornell University. The New York Review of Books has published a review of Hodges' book in their latest print edition, and they conclude that the significance of her career was multifaceted, and note, purely as a matter of academic interest, that she was very hot:
I refuse to give in the temptation to pump up our readership by using the phrase "free porn", which demonstrably improves hit rates. I just want to caution all of you: this is not a free porn site. We do not offer free porn, and we have no interest in offering free porn. This includes, but is not limited to, hot sexy teen cheerleader babes. The world around us may be descending into a lowest-common-denominator quagmire where free porn is viewed as a birthright, but we are not going there. We will maintain our intellectual standards and stay focused on what matters, which is not free porn. Readers looking for free porn should look elsewhere. There is no free porn here, and never will be.
Every year, the science web site Edge asks science types to answer a question. The question for 2004 was "what do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?"
... or Department of Atrociously Feeble Taste (a.k.a. DAFT)
In case you had missed that everyone and everything is for sale, I went to the American Dietetic Association website and clinked the link for the "Start Healthy" brochure. What do you know, it's got the Gerber logo on it. I didn't bother reading, but my guess is that the American Dietetic Association recommends kids eat Gerber baby food until they're at least 14, just to be on the safe side.
Amazingly, it's not from the Onion, either.
I was wrong.
Your selfish needs are ruining the nation's finances.
- Hey! I'm an old friend of George's too! Where's the cocaine?
Interesting bit of trivia on the upcoming movie.
Easterbook ignored my letter regarding the Seahawks, so I reprint it in full here:
Full marks for this bit of abuse from Easterbrook:
Bush Administration hard at work on Iran attack plans. In a savagely convincing rebuttal, White House spokesman says: "I don't believe that some of the conclusions he's drawing are based on fact."
In the neverending war between jocks and nerds, football remains the stronghold. In baseball, Bill James and his army of sabermetricians have made immense gains in using statistics to understand the game. He has gone from writing obscure journals to a key position in the front office of the World Champion Boston Red Sox. It's over: the Nerds own baseball.
Hey, Reggie Tongue (former Seahawk) is from Fairbanks. And he just ran an interception back for a touhdown.
Found a website today, built in the Russian constructivist style, about that formative novel of my youth, The Master and Margarita. Pound for pound, I say this is one of the best novels ever written. It's got everything: good, evil, a love interest, the rejected artist, debasement of the currency, and a talking cat. It's funny and deeper than most "serious" novels. The website doesn't have a plot summary, but there is a decent one at Amazon, or you could read the Cliff's Notes, or the Critical Companion. But hell, it's only 300 pages - start with the novel, and when you confused let the Middlebury site sort you out.
Through the nausea Roy remembered an old saying. He quoted, "Woe unto him who calls evil good and good evil."The Natural, I learned this week, is based on a true story.
The Telegraph of India, of all things, points out why the Prince Harry flap is an extremely uncomfortable gaffe: many of the Royals and the aristocracy had friendly, even supportive relationship with the Nazis before the war.
The polls show Dean as the frontrunner...wow...deja vu...
Dave Barry is a genius. No, really:
Robert Shrum takes a seat on the sideline next to Tucker Carlson.
I believe I've mentioned the Hong Kong series "The Virtues of Harmony" in the past. It runs every night on Sir Run-Run Shaw's TVB network, which we get here in SF as The Jade Channel. No subtitles, so my wife translates on the fly.
For some reason, this wasn't on the front page of the paper in Honolulu:
I am sure you are as surprised as me that the world's most expensive, deadly and catastrophic easter egg hunt has ended in utter failure.
In my voting career, we've had six presidential terms, four Republican, two Democratic. The Democratic candidates in those elections were: Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry. Four out of five lost.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN—Advertising executives say they have hit upon an ingenious new way to target blacks: Mount a campaign that co-opts their own language and musical style. "Many blacks enjoy 'rapping' music," said Briggs & Adams Advertising president Sherman Roe, who developed the campaign for HospCare HMO. "And what better way to tap into their market than by 'rapping' good health to them?" Roe's campaign employs the use of a black teenager doing a "rap" for good health. Billboards of the campaign have been put up in black neighborhoods, and radio and TV ads have aired on black-oriented stations in the area. Roe predicts area blacks will, as a result, be "'rapping' happy with their HMO service."
A generator goes out in Kaktovik and the little northeast coast town is in serious trouble.
What do "Mellow Yellow" and "You Really Got Me" have in common? Correct, Jimmy Page played guitar on both (well, the Kinks deny the second allegation - let's just say it's a strong possibility). I had known about the Yardbirds stint (used to have a bootleg of a NY concert that was all Page), but not that he had been a "teenage guitar prodigy" or that he had been one of the most-employed studio musicians in the British pop music scene of the early 60s.
...so far as you know.
This is the second time I've written to Greg Easterbrook, the Tuesday Morning Quarterback. He's pretty much the only stranger I ever write to...
Yahoo! News - Steelers QB Gives $18,000 to Tsunami Aid
Watched this movie for a second time last night with M. and our neigbors on DVD. I declared it: "The Greatest Stoner Road Movie Ever Made." None disagreed. What seperates it from it's predecessors is that 1) the stoners are smart, 2) the jokes are funny, 3) the cast is great, and 4) it makes the most eloquent (half-joking) case for American hyper-consumerism I've ever heard.
This could be either really good, or really, really bad.
The lollipop-lucious lips of Dardenella steamed away East at six knots max as Jenny and I woke up tied face to face on a slow boat to Bora Bora that hauled a load of flax, jute and floss for Singapore. Crumples had slipped me a Mickey alright, a chloral hydrate handshake with San Francisco Nazis!
NYT article on the U.S. looking for our peace with honor, um, no, uh retreat, uh no, how about victory and withdrawl with a sudden completely unforseeable deterioration into Iraqi civil war.
How bad was it? Consider Football Outsiders' view of the Rams:
This all-english Iraqi meta-blog is what you would probably think, a set of nice people writing thoughtfully about issues, getting comment-bombed by a few sadistic right-wing psychos, and showing a natural desire for democracy that they have zero confidence in Bush's ability to deliver.
Crossfire is cancelled:
This is the title of the new North Korean hit reality series: the BBC reports on North Korea's new war on long hair. Do not miss the photos, which are no different from the last mormon pamphlet I saw on the subject. How to react? As one of the best and truest sayings goes:
Fortunately, the authorities intervened before real harm was done.
Linklater is working on A Scanner Darkly - could be really, really good.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has ordered a review of the security situation in Iraq amid concerns over the elections scheduled for January 30.
A Mr. Stern, in the NYT, making waves when he stops just short of calling the rise of the US right-wing evangelical movement fascist.
There are about 2 million millionaires in the U.S., according to this subversive organization (the whole page is worth a look). If each followed the president's example and gave $10,000 for world health efforts each year, we'd have $20 bn to work with, or 20 times more than the World Health Organization's annual budget.
I've been on Maui since Saturday, and I'm beginning to see the appeal of Waikiki. I believe the primary appeal of Maui to many is that "it stays white out longer here." There is definately a predominant spirit of "I got mine -- fuck you" on this island. I'll live, but it still remains to be seen if I will be able to get off the island without sitting through a 100-minute time-share sales presentation (which, had they existed when the Geneva convention was penned, would certainly have been off-limits for prisoners of war).
Not to start a rumpus, but the colonials seem to be misfiring on their own ideals.
Feb. 11, 2003: Following a four-week search after the firing of Steve Mariucci (60-43 in six years, including playoffs), Dennis Erickson is hired and receives a five-year, $12.5 million contract.
2003: The 49ers finish 7-9.
2004: The 49ers finish an NFL-worst 2-14.Jan. 5, 2005: Erickson is fired with three years and $7.5 million left on his contract.
"President Bush, who has pledged $350 million in U.S. aid to help victims of Asian countries ravaged by the tsunami, has contributed $10,000 from his personal funds to the relief effort, his spokesman said Wednesday."