May 31, 2014

True athletes

More on this later, but dancers are hard core.  Proof here.

The 49ers are ready, probably

The 49ers have one involuntary event before training camp – a minicamp from June 17-19. Will Davis attend the mandatory camp? He offered an answer that was expertly vague. “I might be there,” he said, smiling. “I might not. It’s mandatory. I probably should be there. We’ll see.”


Acoustic lullaby

End-of-week loose ends

  • Time passes, tastes change, we move on, so I'm sure the news that Uma Thurman is single will have no impact on you whatsoever.
  • Thought I'd heard all the good WW2 stories.  I was wrong.
  • I'm gonna say it:  Katy Perry's the best Cleopatra since Taylor, maybe better.  Video here (mute is good idea).  This fellow's interpretation of the song is...innovative.
  • IDEA:  Shrug against the machine.  (FSL's gag - so sue me.)
  • New book says your society goes to hell when the accounting gets sloppy.  So long America, it was fun while it lasted.
  • IDEA:  Kim Kardashian as the new Margaret Dumont.  Don't pretend you wouldn't pay to see that.
  • IDEA:  Your new Batman:  Gilbert Gottfried.  Catwoman:  Fran Drescher
  • Still running my iPod.  Well-designed. An elegant instrument for a more civilized age, much better than the elaborate crap they make today.  My lawn: get off it.
  • Apart from Thievery Corporation, I really don't care for noise.  This is not ideal because in a truly quiet room your heartbeat gradually drives you insane.  So I'm working to manage that.
  • This is ok (speakers needed).

May 30, 2014

The Last Smear

Well darn it, I overlooked the 2012 passing of James Moseley, the man behind Saucer Smear, and the author of at least one major UFO prank.
  • Funny guy.  Last issue of Saucer Smear is here.
  • Moseley did some 'serious' UFO-ology, too, he actually interviewed Harry Truman at one point.
  • Asked about the most credible stories he'd heard, he gave various answers:
    • Cash-Landrum, although this was pretty obviously some radioactive flying government  thing...that was never publicly disclosed and served no apparent practical that clears that all up.  The involvement of John Tower lends credence to a possible extraterrestrial explanation, however.

I can kill you whenever I damn well please. But not today.
    • The Lonnie Zamora Incident, which occurred in New Mexico in 1964, not far from where they saw the Roswell weather balloon, but is much more difficult to explain.
      • Project Blue Book officially classified it as "Hush This The Fuck Up"
    • I also learned about Valentich from Moseley, but some work in 2013 may have come up with a plausible explanation for that one.  More detail here..."his deep belief in flying saucers may have contributed to his death—and not in the way some saucer buffs imagine." 
      • Forgot to Aviate -> Navigate -> Communicate ?
      • Student pilots should not report UFOs unless/until they are in full control of the aircraft. 
In one Saucer Smear Moseley expressed the view that, as interesting as UFOs are, the people who investigate them are probably even more interesting.  He was cheerfully agnostic about it all, a stance I respect more with each passing year.

And you know, Laird, Sagan wanted to believe, too.

May 29, 2014

The Joy of Dutch

If the first element of the compound ends in a tricky cluster and the second element also starts with another, you might get a monster like slechtstschrijvend, with nine consecutive consonants, representing seven consonant sounds. Admittedly, this is the kind of barely-a-word mostly used to flummox foreigners (it means "the worst writing"). But as such, it is best-in-class. 


I'd bargained for Adlai Stevenson, but ok

Obama, haunted by war and skeptical of heroics, echoes Eisenhower's foreign policy.


Cranking this on El Camino Real in my rental car off Sirius XM

Laundering: I'd Like My Billion Dollars Now

As is commonly agreed upon among the be-pantsed social orders, all of us find cash that we left in our other pants- or purse, shirt pocket or jacket, as the case may be.  Let us say with speculative guess authority that the average person has $15 tucked accidentally somewhere in the crease of the fold of something that they were sure was just here but is, in fact, there. In America alone, that adds up to 4.5 Billion dollars, worldwide, let's say on the order of $45 Billion.

Simple: I propose institutional lending against the money left in one's other pants.

May 27, 2014

Standard gun rights comment until further notice

"The NRA from now on will be known as NAMGLA, the National Man-Gun Love Association. That is all."

May 26, 2014

Explains all that communism up in Seattle and Portland

This cannot be true because it woud be too awesome

Clippers to Seattle?


May 25, 2014


If you want to develop an architecture, this is your framework...


Criss Angel Mistakenly Summons Elder God That Devours Nickelback

Laudable comedy effort!

May 24, 2014

You know, for kids



May 23, 2014

All is forgiven, Internet

May 21, 2014

More contemptible flip-flopping

May 20, 2014

This is unconscionable! Or was...whatever, never mind...

One of my favorite books is a treasured 1996 reprint of Kevin Brownlow's 1968 history of the silent movie era, The Parade's Gone By...  Written when Brownlow was in his 20s, it is nevertheless of the highest quality, full of crisp, luminous black & white photos and interviews with some of the biggest stars of the era, from Gloria Swanson to Buster Keaton.  These people were still around in the 60s, and Brownlow tracked them down and got them to talk.  I was going to say it the book is a neglected masterpiece, but actually it's still in print, and in-stock at Amazon, so there you go. 

But, reading his bio a few years ago, I wondered why he had never received proper credit for this and his other great historical and preservationist achievements...wait, what?  Oh, this just in, in 2011,  Brownlow received an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement after being nominated by Martin Scorcese.  Oh!  Well done, excellent!  Carry on!

(Why does no one tell me these things?)

The Guardian provides additional information here.

But trust me on The Parade's Gone By... , it will make those first few months on the desert island fly by.

After much consideration...

...this is my favorite Vine.

May 19, 2014

Unlocking the German mind, part 372

Have a look at this chart.  Was the problem:

a)  Irresponsible mismanagement of the budget?

b)  Reckless abandonment of sensible monetary principles?

c)  The punitive effects of the Versailles Treaty?

d)  Wrecking your country with a cynical, inhuman, imperialistic military agenda that no one in their right mind thought could ever succeed, while earning the ill-will of every other nation on planet earth except for Austria and possibly Finland and Argentina?

...I suspect I might answer differently from a German central banker.

In a related development...

I did not even know there was an International Ammunition Association.

A global fraternal brotherhood brought together by the common love for, and appreciation of, ammo.

The Bras from Brazil?

The German mind illuminated in one Google image search.

Ain't that the truth

Texas asks a lot of questions, has a worrisome level of interest in crystal meth, and probably a sore that should be looked at by doctor... 


Rachel Corrie

No, I haven't forgotten either.  I did an abstract painting related to her story, a girl like so many other intelligent and morally committed young people in the Northwest, and how a small place in a pointless cycle of willful injury and suffering swallowed her up under the treads of a bulldozer. Sure she was radical. Sure she endangered herself, like an unarmed  man stands in front of a column of government tanks in Tienanmen square.  The campaign to discredit her was and is morally revolting.  Everyone I've met who knew her loved her and admired her. 

I once got a kind note from the family, for making the painting.

To its credit, the government of Israel is rehearing the case; you can see in some of this Guardian story the corruption of the soul that permanent war creates. 

May 17, 2014

What else do you need?

This Fark thread celebrates pencils and mocks the rich.


May 16, 2014

The most Alaska news story ever...

...or it would be, if a bear had been involved.


May 14, 2014

For the record, Buckley was asking for it.

If only Nuzzi had been around to scold Vassar College's class of 1980, which chased out conservative icon William Buckley Jr. as its commencement speaker.


Powerless to Stop It

ONION: As soon as he realized what was happening, Parker sprung into action, attempting to rescue the evening with amusing childhood anecdotes...

May 13, 2014

Fire is starting

Just a night like any other, watching aviation porn, and leave it to the French to just steal the damn show (starts at 7:27).

Martian Manhandler?


May 12, 2014

It's love. This dude is the best.

Wonder who did the "ask"

Great to know our national monuments can only be repaired with the generous assistance of billionaires.  Remember who's running the country, people.

May 10, 2014

If I had a son, I'd want him to be...

Fourth round pick by the Seahawks.

"I've only got eight bars left to top Sinatra"

A few observations after listening to this 1942 episode of The Burns and Allen Show (link):
  • Some good, sharp writing on this show (apparently mostly by Burns)
  • Gracie was wonderful
  • Frank Sinatra was very popular at one time
  • Frank Sinatra was a very capable singer at one time
  • I have an odd, inexplicable urge to procure some Swan soap
For high signal/noise people, the Burns-Sinatra singoff starts around the 21:00 mark.

I agree with these

It will be fun, at first

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam was walking through the streets of Cleveland when a homeless man recognized him, looked up, and said, “Draft Manziel.”


Ray Ratto reports from Raiders draft HQ

Ratto:  "It's throbbing with ennui.  Nothing's happening."

Tolbert:  "The feel over there in the room...I mean, is it palpable?"
Ratto:  "It's really more ethereal, almost spectral."

Actual podcast for completists only:  (link)

May 07, 2014

Empire Man

Credited with founding Nigeria...


May 06, 2014

No Googlers were harmed...


It was a different time

Now the sultan is making headlines for implementing Sharia law in Brunei, including a new penal code that includes stoning to death for adultery, cutting off limbs for theft, and flogging for violations such as abortion, alcohol consumption, and homosexuality. There’s also capital punishment for rape and sodomy.

I am no expert in international human rights. My only qualification in commenting on this issue is that one drunken evening in the early ’90s, the sultan and I committed at least two of the aforementioned offenses as we looked down on the lights of Kuala Lumpur from a penthouse suite.


May 04, 2014

Get that weak normative shit out of here

Neil deGrasse Tyson sees no point to philosophy:  “Why are you wasting your time?”  (link)

Because I can, motherfucker.  I'm a cogitating primate, and that's what I do.

Give me an Oppenheimer, who at least knew what he was playing at:
We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and, to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.

Influential management thinker loses his mind, proposes sensible things

We don’t live the lives we were meant to by merrily shoving Artificially Fried Chicken Flavored Dorito Slurpees down our gullets while watching our societies crumble. 


May 03, 2014

Hey kids, your music...

...doesn't suck?

Tell me dogs can't smile


May 02, 2014

The best shooting big man of all time?

I can’t stress this enough: You’re not supposed to shoot this many long 2s and still have good percentages. For every other player in every other league in the entire world, the long 2-pointer is the worst shot in basketball. But it’s not if you’re Dirk Nowitzki. He was the second best in the league at shooting from 10-23 feet last season, but the even more amazing part is in the “attempts” column — he took nearly 10 a game. Well more than half his shots were long 2s. Unlike the rest of the planet, Nowitzki is so uncannily accurate that he can dominate games this way.


(I heard an interview with Kevin McHale a few years ago, and they asked him who was better, Bird or Nowitzki.  He begged off with "it's tough to compare players of different eras."  I'd say about even, although if money or a playoff victory is on the line I think it's still Bird by several yards.)