Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Perspective II


From the AP...

"The universe may glitter with far more stars than even Carl Sagan imagined when he rhapsodized about billions upon billions. A new study suggests there are a mind-blowing 300 sextillion of them, or three times as many as scientists previously calculated. That is a 3 followed by 23 zeros. Or 3 trillion times 100 billion."

And all in seven days! Actually six if you count (tee hee) biblical union rules...

"The estimate, contained in a study published online Wednesday in the journal Nature, is based on findings that there are many more red dwarf stars — the most common star in the universe — than once thought."

Always thought that Red Dwarf would be a great name for a midget wrestler. Sorry, little person...

"But the research goes deeper than that. The study by Yale University astronomer Pieter van Dokkum and Harvard astrophysicist Charlie Conroy questions a key assumption that astronomers often use: that most galaxies have the same properties as our Milky Way. And that conclusion is deeply unsettling to astronomers who want a more orderly cosmos. When scientists previously estimated the total number of stars, they assumed that all galaxies had the same ratio of dwarf stars as the Milky Way, which is spiral-shaped. Much of our understanding of the universe is based on observations made inside our own galaxy and then extrapolated to other galaxies"

We're not the norm! Ptolemy weeps. So how many stars ARE there in the Universe?

"When van Dokkum and Conroy crunched the incredibly big numbers, they found that it tripled the estimate of stars in the universe from 100 sextillion to 300 sextillion."

That's hot. Get it?

"'That's a huge number to grasp, even for astronomers who are used to dealing in light years and trillions', Conroy said."

"'It's fun because it gets you thinking about these large numbers,'" Conroy said. Conroy looked up how many cells are in the average human body — 50 trillion or so — and multiplied that by the 6 billion people on Earth. And he came up with about 300 sextillion."

"So the number of stars in the universe 'is equal to all the cells in the humans on Earth — a kind of funny coincidence,' Conroy said."

It always comes down to sex...





Monday, November 29, 2010

Bada Bing

I realize that I'm perseverating but...

I saw these (left) stickers on a beat up volkswagen today and I felt the need to follow up on my car-decal rant from last week.

So anyway, here we have fake bullet-holes. As I passed the aforementioned volkswagen and noticed the 30 or so of these stickers that made the car look as if it had been riddled a la Sonny Corleone on the causeway, I tried to imagine the state of mind, the rationale, if you will, that would lead one to placing these stickers on their car.

Perhaps it IS an homage to the Tattaglia clan, or maybe the old A-team ("See? I got shot at thirty times by an automatic weapon and not only am I alive, so's my ride!")

Or maybe it's something else.

Maybe it is an attempt to appear "gangsta." Maybe it's an attempt to relate and conform to a criminal lifestyle that, for some reason, has become the ideal. You know, the same ideal that causes professional athletes and musicians to illegally carry weapons despite that fact their fortunes would allow for a security detail on par with the Secret Service.

Or maybe it's me. Maybe I'm at the end of Youth and as I turn the corner to Middle-Age, I'm naturally adopting contempt for those just entering their youth. Maybe I'm becoming a grumpy old man shaking my fist at the TV and saying things like "Kids these days..." or "Get off my lawn!" while cracking open a can of Ensure. (The chocolate flavor's yummy.)

Nah. Screw that. Bullet-hole stickers are f#$%ed up. And I'm sorry, but the sticker hasn't been invented yet that will make you more "Gangsta."

Now REAL bullet-holes...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Quickies

This nonsense has been making the rounds. Sarah Palin on Glenn Beck's radio show...



It's not the slip of the tongue that is disconcerting. It's the entire inane, vapid, rambling response devoid of meaning or purpose that caught my ear.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Came across this this week. Warning: Blue Language.....




Two priceless moments. The first at about :05, the sheer look of despair in our would be pervert. The second, at :17, our little spitfire gives what may be the greatest glare in the history of eyeballs, giving the perve no doubt as to the outcome of this little comedy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

WTF II


















Looking for something to piss you off today? Well, check
THIS out from the NY Daily News.

Actually, I'm dying to know who is or isn't pissed off by this.

Discourse!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Look at Me


I've recently noticed a proliferation of these "In Loving Memory" car decals, generally in the rear window. Apparently, the owners of these cars have suffered a recent loss and are intent on letting everyone behind them know. Obviously death is a sad and sometimes tragic occurrence, but informing complete strangers in traffic strikes me as an odd way to mourn or remember a loved one. Isn't that what funerals and photo albums are for?

How did cars become mobile tombstones? I wonder who the first person was who said "Grandma's dead! I wish to commemorate that sweet woman's passing by plastering her name, birth and death dates on a surface that is essentially a target for bird feces."

Car decals of different types are all the rage. Take these god-forsaken things...
Who is the sadist who came up with this?

Why must I learn everything there is to know about you while I'm stopped behind you at a red light? Must I know that you have three kids and love Disney? Must I know that you "heart" your collie or that your kid is autistic? Do I need to know your alma mater or that there's a baby on board?

I don't care what sport your daughter plays or that you want to keep the Christ in Christmas. I don't care that you despise Ford vehicles so much that you need to display Calvin peeing on the brand name. I am not interested in knowing that you fish or hunt.

Why does your car now have to resemble your Facebook page?

Get a hold of yourselves, people. Your lives and preferences aren't all that important. The only people who need to know all of these things about you know them without looking at your car.

Fin.

WTF

Pull My Finger

Looking for something to piss you off today? Well then check out this item regarding newly elected Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson and her righteous battle against sexism and hat bans in Congress. You shall be summarily peeved.

You're welcome.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rate the Robots VI

Starfleet Academy Yearbook Photo?

Robot: Lt. Commander Data from the television series, "Star Trek the Next Generation"

Overview: Designed and built by Doctor Noonien Soong, Data is a sentient android who serves as the second officer and chief operations officer aboard the starships USS Enterprise-D and USS Enterprise E. His positronic brain allows him impressive computational capabilities while his android body is many times stronger and faster than a human body, making Data capable of some amazing physical feats.


Pros: Data's amazing capabilities are in stark contrast to his naiveté regarding the nuances of simple human reaction. Data's search for understanding on matters such as humor, friendship, family and love make for very enjoyable storytelling.


Cons: The damn "emotion chip." Every time Data slaps that bad boy in he becomes immediately unlikeable.

Reality Check: Data is a compelling character and utterly believable as a prediction of robot/android technology a few centuries hence, albeit a bit optimistic. See: Cyberdyne Systems T-800.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Bonus Feature: One of my favorite scenes; Data playing poker with some of the greatest physicist of the past...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Maudlin

I saw a dying man today.

I made it a point to attend a college at least four hours from home. I don't know why, really. It just seemed important. I opened a map of NY on my bed and circled every state school that was at least 200 miles from home.

I attended a school that was exactly 241 miles from home. It was one of the few goals I achieved in the four years between orientation and graduation.

I learned little in college. I learned that cliques transcend high school. I learned that liquor and beer, imbibed in any order, will make one sick. I learned that the person you knew as freshman was not necessarily the person you walked past with nary a glance as a senior. I learned that the theory of relativity applied to the human condition.

I saw a dying man today. I see this man maybe once or twice a month in the course of my work.

During college the thing I dreaded most about returning home for a holiday or vacation was the inevitable comments about how much weight I had gained or lost during the last visit home followed by the sharing of theories as to my current mass.

"We sent him too much money!" should I be deemed overweight.

"Look at him. Send him more money, dammit!" should I be deemed malnourished.

I saw a dying man today. I see him once or twice a month in the course of my work. He's been sick for some time, cancer from what I've been able to glean.

I would invariably retreat to a bathroom to inspect myself. Turning this way and that, I couldn't begin to see what the family saw. It was the same reflection as yesterday and it would be the same reflection I would see tomorrow. Crazy people. Though they all seemed to get a bit older, fatter or thinner each time I saw them...

I saw a dying man today. I see him once or twice a month in the course of my work. He's been sick for some time, cancer from what I've been able to glean. With each visit, he seems a bit more gaunt, a little slower, thinner, more tired.

It's a question of perspective. It's a question of being a boy in a train tossing a ball in the air as opposed to a boy at the station watching the train go by. Does the ball simply go up and down or does it bounce along as if it thrown. It's a question of perspective.

I saw a dying man today. I see him once or twice a month in the course of my work. He's been sick for some time, cancer from what I've been able to glean. With each visit, he seems a bit more gaunt, a little slower, thinner, more tired. He knows the reality of his situation, but I wonder, after seeing the pain I tried to conceal as I looked at him, if he went into the bathroom to ponder his reflection. I expect that, as he turned this way and that, he felt that he didn't seem all that different.

As rational beings, we all know our realities, but it occurred to me that our own perspective is a gift. It occurred to me that to be the boy on the train isn't about where you are going but where you are, where ignorance is bliss.


Rate the Robots v

GERTY Happy and Sad



Robot: GERTY from the 2009 movie "Moon" starring Sam Rockwell.

Overview: "Moon" is about a man, Sam Bell, who experiences a personal crisis as he nears the end of a three-year solitary stint mining helium-3 on the far side of the Earth's moon. GERTY, a robotic, artificial intelligence, is Sam's sole companion and is responsible for the everyday operation of the moonbase, including caring for Sam.

Pros: Haircuts, food prep, laundry, medical treatment...you name it, GERTY does it with a smile. The "emoticons " that reveal GERTY's emotional state at any given time are a bit much, but they grow on you, and actually make for some poignant moments later in the film.

Cons: I'm thinking...

Reality Check: At the end of the day GERTY is a distinctly believable notion of a robotic, artificial intelligence in terms of structure and function, but with a slight twist. Without giving too much away regarding a great movie, think of GERTY as a HAL-9000 with a conscience.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rate the Robots IV

How bored am I?



Robot: Bomb #20 from the John Carpenter classic, "Dark Star"

Overview: In the middle of the 22nd century, humankind has reached a point in its technological advances to enable colonization of the far reaches of the universe. Armed with intelligent "Exponential Thermostellar Bombs", the scout ship Dark Star and its apathetic crew have been in space alone for twenty years on a mission to destroy "unstable planets" which might threaten future colonization. For whatever reason, Bomb#20 malfunctions, and fun ensues.

Pros: Besides packing quite a punch, Bomb# 20 is equipped with an artificial intelligence which allows for a reasoning process that would do Socrates proud. Spoiler Alert! Click HERE to see what I mean.

Cons: The bombs voice, which is an amalgamation of the Hal9000 and Linus from "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" detracts a bit from the above-mentioned philosophical discussion.

Reality Check: It's hard to fathom why, exactly, these bombs were equipped with artificial intelligence and that Bomb#20 would so quickly acquire a God complex. It isn't hard to fathom humanity bulldozing it's way through space.

Rating: 3.5 out of 10. If only for the Bomb philosophy lesson.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Rate the Robots III

It's not often that a robot can transcend the piece-of-trash movie/TV program in which it appears. I believe I may have found one such rarity.




Robot:
Maximillian, as seen in Disney's The Black Hole.

Overview:
Killer robot who's sole purpose was to kill whomever uncovered the secret of the USS Cygnus. Confused? Don't worry, and please don't see the movie. If you must, check out the Wikipedia synopsis.


Pros:
Never has so much intimidation been packed into so small a mechanism. Retractable, whirling blades of death and a perpetual scowl make Max no pushover. He floats (literally) through his scenes oozing a palpable aura of dread. And that paint job is the bomb, sick Cold-War red for the antagonist.

Cons: He gets taken out by this:
Reality Check: Again, I'm a sucker for an indiscernible propulsion system. Could Max serve as a effective bodyguard/heavy a few years hence? Hellz yes.

Rating: 5 out of 10. He's a victim of circumstance/crappy movie.

Fun Fact:
The movie was renamed in the Soviet Union, because 'black hole' is an obscene term in Russian.

sineP!


What is the deal with San Francisco? First, the city attempts (successfully, for now, pending a mayoral veto) to ban toys from Micky-Dee Happy Meals. Now, there is an attempt to place a ban on circumcisions on an upcoming ballot.

From UPI.com...




A San Francisco man is trying to get an initiative on an upcoming city ballot that would ban male circumcision, officials said.

The proposed measure for the November 2011 ballot would amend the city's police code "to make it a misdemeanor to circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the foreskin, testicle or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18," The (San Francisco) Examiner reported.

Under the proposed measure submitted to the Department of Elections, doing so would result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.

The initiative, which would require the collection of 7,168 valid signatures by April 26, 2011, was submitted by San Francisco resident Lloyd Schofield, who argues it is genital mutilation.

"You shouldn't be performing cosmetic surgery for other people," said Schofield, who points out that female circumcision is banned.

"Tattooing a child is banned as a felony and circumcision is more harmful than a tattoo," said Schofield, who believes religious traditions should change.

"People can practice whatever religion they want, but your religious practice ends with someone else's body," Schofield told CBS news. "It's a man's body and … his body doesn't belong to his culture, his government, his religion or even his parents. It's his decision."

No word on what would drive Lloyd to take up the mantle of the "No-Circumcision Movement." I mean, it's an odd thing to rail against, considering the myriad ills of the world.

So, with that in mind, is it more reasonable to say that;

A: Lloyd feels strongly on the issue of an individual's right to choose, and feels that said right should preempt a traditionally parental decision,

or

B: Lloyd has a preference.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rate the Robots II

Alright, so number two in our Rate the Robots series has us taking a look at a seemingly insignificant member of robot lore...




Robot: Training remote, as seen in Star Wars Episode IV,

Overview:
The training remote was a simple type of training droid most often employed as a means of schooling whiney hillbillies in the Jedi arts.


Pros: Now we're talking! Quick, unpredictable, and unpretentious. This little doohickey had a job to do and it did it.

Cons:
Little electric jolts fired from the training-remote eyes will slap your ass worse than a locker room towel, blast shields be damned.

Reality Check: The training remote jumps about with no obvious signs of how, exactly, it's jumping about. It's the future, baby!

Rating: 6 out of 10. Sometimes less is more.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rate the Robots

Whenever I can't sleep, I usually engage in some sort of mental game or inner-discussion. After 7-8 minutes, I generally bore myself to sleep. Last night was one such night, but, for better or worse, it was the impetus for this post.

Last night I started thinking about different robots as portrayed on film and TV, and began to judge them. I judged them in terms of whether or not they were believable, then and now. I asked my non-drowsy self; Was the robot a good idea at the time of its inception? Does the robot still stand up today? What are the "Pros" and "Cons" of said robot?

I rated said robots on a scale of 1-10, 1 being lame, 10 being Nostradamus-like. Now, by "robot" I mean any sort of artificial intelligence. We are not prejudiced here at Annoying Joe. We accept all artificial lifeforms, ambulatory or not. Anyway, I thought I would begin to present each robot one at a time over the next few weeks, in no particular order. Great filler material.

So, without further ado, let us
Rate the Robots!

Robot: Dr. Theopolis from the Buck Rogers TV program, circa 1978.

Overview:
Theopolis, or Theo for short, was an intelligent computer who was part of Earth's Computer Council. He was assigned with the process of assimilating Captain William "Buck" Rogers when he first arrived on Earth.

Pros: Lightweight. Please note hook-shaped ears for easy carrying. And how hot was Erin Gray?

Cons: Forget what I said about not being ambulatory-biased. Really, it's the 25th century and your being carried around by a leather strap?

Reality Check: Sorry Theo, I'll take Google over your seizure-inducing face anyday.

Rating: 1 out of 10. Only because Erin Gray is hot.


Fun Fact:
Mel Blanc was the voice of Twiki, Theo's annoying steed.





Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Could You Please Pass the Salt?


I'm not quite middle-aged, yet I'm not quite young. As such, I can remember the horrible days of years gone by. I remember the days of square TV's and getting up to change the channel. I remember ovens as the primary medium of reheating. I remember walking as a means of getting from A to B. I remember answering a phone without knowing who it was that was calling. Damn it, I remember pay phones!

Worst of all, I remember the days of personal responsibility. I know, right? Makes you just shudder to think about it. Thank heavens for Bloomberg the First, and his crusade to create a city in his image. From WPIX.com...



After taking on smoking and sugary soft drinks,Mayor Michael Blomberg is now targeting one of America's favorite condiments: salt.

As part of his latest health campaign, Bloomberg is urging New Yorkers to cut their salt intake and start comparing labels on their favorite foods.

The anti-salt campaign will head to the subway in new city ads for the next two months, the city's Health Department announced Tuesday.

Among the ads, one features a half-opened can of soup with a geyser of salt spewing from the top and forming a heap around the can with a startling message: "Excessive sodium can lead to heart attack and stroke."

The citywide campaign costs $370,000 partly paid by taxpayers and the federal government, a spokesperson for the department said.
Next, His Omnipotence will be targeting women with the "Front to Back" campaign. Brought to you by you.

Whipped up this little diddy for the better-half. She was pa-leased.

And since sharing is caring.....









Pork Chops in Beer recipe


4 large pork chops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (12-ounce) can beer
½ cup sliced onions

Daddy threw in a little basil and jalapeno from the garden , but thats just me.

Directions:

Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add chops and brown on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes total.

Add beer and onions and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until chops are no longer pink and sauce is reduced, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Funnies

Narwhals, the Jedi of the sea...


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Go Nerds!

O.K. so the status of nerds in the U.S. isn't all that bad. On Thursday, NASA's spacecraft Deep Impact made a flyby of comet Hartley 2, taking some amazing pictures along the way. Images from NASA...




If you would, click here for the lowdown on the little spacecraft that could, and the nerds that love it. Now, if you were a nerd, wouldn't you much rather have a comet named after you than a video-game character?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Surfin' the Interwebs

Isn't the internet great? You never know what you are going to stumble across. It's a veritable yellow-brick road of joy and discovery. Of course, with so much information, it becomes difficult to separate fact from fiction. So what I like to do is settle on the absurd. Its so much less stressful.

Sweet ride, and he looks so nice and white. Why didn't they ever talk about THIS in mass? Jesus looks ready to kick some ass. Who wants to get saved, bitches! It's a surprise the Roman's ever get within 20 feet. Wonder if you can get a stegosaurus-sidecar upgrade...


Red Shirt Guy: Update

Remember King o' the Nerds, Red Shirt Guy. Well the good folks over at Blizzard, the makers of World of Warcraft have decided to do Red Shirt Guy a real solid and repay him for doing his due diligence, not to mention providing mucho free publicity (video over 3 million hits.)

So what can a multi-million dollar company do for a 17 year old. Some money for college? A new laptop for homework? A set of encyclopedias? Ho no. Behold!



Yeah, that's right, they made a character based on him! Wildhammer Fact Checker, kickin' it with the very character that was the subject of Red Shirt Guy's beef.

And so Red Shirt Guy is forever immortalized in the game that he holds so dear. One could say that
Red Shirt Guy has risen up to the nerdy heavens to join the great pantheon of nerds. All without ever having ridden a dinosaur.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Truth Bombs

Usually spend my time disseminating the insanity of the day, but what's insanity without a sane reference point? For my ADD readers, skip to 2:55. For those of you with a sense of humor...enjoy!


Election Coverage


A the eyes, ears and Blackberry's of a nation focus on Election Night, I thought it prudent to take a look at some of the hot-button issues being decided by the people. Actually, just one hot-button issue.

So we turn our attention to the "Centennial State," Colorado....(from ABC yest.)






When Denver voters head to the polls tomorrow, they won't just have a chance to vote for a new senator or representatives. They'll have a chance to cast their ballots for E.T.

On the ballot this year is an initiative that would charge the city with creating a seven-person panel to study unidentified flying objects and extraterrestrial life.

Jeff Peckman, the Denver entrepreneur spearheading the campaign, said Denver's Initiative 300 would establish an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission responsible for collecting and sharing evidence that extraterrestrials are visiting Earth and for assessing the risks and benefits of making contact with those aliens.

"The reason it's important is that this needs to start somewhere. It's not starting anywhere, at the federal level or state level or any other level of government," Peckman said. "In this country we believe this could very well be a citizen's task."


I wonder if the creation of such a commission would be in direct conflict with any state or federal immigration laws. Let's leave that for whatever misguided legal challenges seek to derail this worthy initiative. For now, forward, Colorado! Shine on you crazy diamond.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Perfect Circle


Election Day is upon us, and I'm having mixed emotions. For one, it would be nice to put a stop to the endless background noise of political rhetoric. It would be nice to have the nightly news go back to good old fashion fear-mongering. It would be nice to be able to see commercials for products that keep middle-aged women "regular" or middle-aged men "at attention," and not political ad after political ad in which the smiling protagonist sits around with the nuclear family while likening their opponent to the Anti-Christ.

On the other hand, what theater! It's been witches and kicks to the groin and political rally beat-downs. We've met Aqua Buddha and men dressed as Nazis, potheads and former Black Panthers, a madame and a UPS driver.

There has been so many moments. How does one mention them all? It would be nigh impossible. Faced with this, how can one then find a singular piece of evidence that could serve as a microcosm for the entire campaign, something that encapsulates every absurd piece of theater that has been presented to us? A daunting task but....

success!

From California's U.S. Senate campaign, I give you, "Demon Sheep."




And so tomorrow I will fulfill my responsibility and vote. Wednesday, I will get up and go to work. Regardless of the election outcome, I don't expect that I or anything will feel different. I don't expect that my life will change in any significant way. A new set of elected officials will clamor away in a far-off land, pushing and pulling, strutting and fretting their hour upon the stage while accomplishing little, just subtle shifts between ideologies. Over the next two or four or twelve years, the sands of public opinion will be swept up by emotion and selfishness, only to settle upon the one adage that has stood the test of time, "Throw the Bums Out!"


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lambda Lamda Lamda

Wondering why China has the world's fastest super-computer? Wondering why U.S. students rank so low in science and math scores relative to other countries, lagging behind such academic powerhouses as Latvia, Hungary, and Kazakhstan? Wondering why the manned U.S. space program relies on technology (with a few upgrades here and there) developed in the 70's? Wondering why the last person to step foot on the moon did so almost 40 years ago?

I think I may have found the answer. Our friend below, known only as "Red Shirt Guy," is shown here during some sort of video-game convention questioning the creators of World of Warcraft on some inconsistencies that he found puzzling. What's World of Warcraft? Ask a 14 year old boy...




Bravo, Red Shirt Guy! Here's what happened, in a nutshell, from Yahoo!'s Plugged-In...

For those not versed in the intricacies of Warcraft lore (*meekly raises hand*), The Red Shirt Guy's question concerns the status of the character Falstad Wildhammer. Apparently, Falstad's appearance in the World of Warcraft book "The Shattering" -- a prelude to the coming Warcraft game expansion,Cataclysm -- indicates that he's sitting on a certain council, while the designers mistakenly believed the character to be long dead. Whoops! Guess keeping track of a fantasy franchise as massive as Warcraft isn't as easy as it looks.


Can you imagine the hours upon hours Red Shirt Guy must have spent playing the game and studying it's intricacies to be able to point out such an oversight to the game's creators? Can you imagine the commitment to so singular a purpose?

The most sublime moment, for me, was the big cheer Red Shirt Guy received from his nerd peers at the end of the clip. In times past, nerds would generally reserve that sort of adulation for the winner of the science fair or a spelling bee.

I'm not using the term "nerd" in a derogatory sense. Oh no, far from it. Nerds made this country great. Nerds (and the Cold War) kept the U.S. at the forefront of every major scientific advance of the 20th century. For every hot-shot test pilot climbing into an X-1 or a Mercury capsule, there was room after room filled with nerds wielding their slide rules with gusto and flair. Watch "Apollo 13." You'll see a mission control room full of nerds getting s@#% done!

Nerds nowadays? Instead of trying to build a better baking soda/vinegar volcano, they're trying to become a Level 20 elf-wizard. If Red Shirt Guy put as much time into his homework that he does playing, interpreting, and dissecting video games, he'd have earned his first Fields Medal.

And so I am left wondering when "Made in China" becomes "Made in America"




Thursday, October 28, 2010

Who's Hungry?

Stirring the pot, for stirrings sake. Acorn's Bertha Lewis.,,



Testify!


Daisy, Daisy


Oh China, is there nothing you can't do? First, Huan Kitchen down the road makes the most scrumptious steamed dumplings, and now this.....(from the NY Times)

"A Chinese scientific research center has built the fastest supercomputer ever made, replacing the United States as maker of the swiftest machine, and giving China bragging rights as a technology superpower.

The computer, known as Tianhe-1A, has 1.4 times the horsepower of the current top computer, which is at a national laboratory in Tennessee, as measured by the standard test used to gauge how well the systems handle mathematical calculations, said Jack Dongarra, aUniversity of Tennessee computer scientist who maintains the official supercomputer rankings.

The race to build the fastest supercomputer has become a source of national pride as these machines are valued for their ability to solve problems critical to national interests in areas like defense, energy, finance and science."

Who needs civil rights when you can download porn at 2.5 petaflops?




Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Don't Tread on Me


Sure has been a spirited campaign! An alleged Rand Paul supporter shows his disdain for an alleged protester allegedly representing the allegedly liberal organization, MOveOn.org. The incident allegedly occurred outside of a debate between Paul and his opponent Jack Conway (can't make it up) for the open Kentucky senate seat...





Maybe she owed him money. Forget the guy doing his best Jimmy Conway vs. Billy Batts routine, check out the gratuitous boob-grab by the hat-wearing take-down guy at :10. Really, dude? What a time to cop a feel.

Now go home and get your f#@%&* shine box.

Do As I SAY...


This from the New York Magazine, 10/25/10...

"When you head to the polls next week, if you're a city resident, you'll not only be asked to help coronate Andrew Cuomo, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Chuck Schumer, but to vote on whether to keep the city's term limits at three terms or send it back to two terms. Where does Mayor Bloomberg stand on the issue? Well, since he's the one who pushed the City Council to extend term limits to three terms in 2008 so that he could run for mayor for a third time, a good guess would be that he supports keeping it at three terms. But he doesn't. Earlier today Bloomberg revealed that he would vote to reenact a two-term limit, but wouldn't say why. A spokesman explained that the mayor 'supported three terms only for himself because the situation was extraordinary.' Nobody will ever again be as indispensable as Mayor Bloomberg."


Monday, October 25, 2010

The New Math


Two interesting and, I think, interconnected stories from this past week. First, from WRAL/WBTV Charlotte...

"A lesbian couple say they were forced to leave a mall in Raleigh because they were spotted kissing in public.

Caitlin Breedlove says she and her girlfriend had finished eating lunch and were sitting on a bench, WRAL reported.

They had their arms around each other and had kissed briefly on the cheek when a security guard approached them, she told WRAL.

The guard told them that "being affectionate" was "inappropriate" and asked them to leave, WRAL reported.

Breedlove told WRAL that the guard added, "No one wants to see that at Cameron Village."

Breedlove, who is the co-director of Southerners on New Ground, says she asked the security guard if they would be asked to leave if the two were a man and a woman and that the guard replied "no."

The officer had not received other complaints about them, Breedlove told WRAL."

A representative has since met with and apologized to the couple, stating...

"We welcomed the opportunity to sit down with the women and offer our sincere regrets over last week's incident."

Who doesn't love a happy ending? Nobody should be able to impose their morality on another person or persons. That's just not American. Sensitivity training all 'round.

Then this, from Fox News...

"A civil rights case has been filed against a woman in Grand Rapids, Mich., who posted an advertisement at her church last July seeking a Christian roommate."

The ad "expresses an illegal preference for a Christian roommate, thus excluding people of other faiths,” according to the complaint filed by the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan.

"It's a violation to make,print or publish a discriminatory statement," Executive Director Nancy Haynes told Fox News. "There are no exemptions to that."

Haynes said the unnamed 31-year-old woman’s case was turned over to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Depending on the outcome of the case, she said, the woman could face several hundreds of dollars in fines and “fair housing training so it doesn’t happen again.”

That'll learn 'er! "Fair housing training." That's Newspeak, if you were wondering.

You know, on a hunch, I decided to check out some craigslist ads from the great state of Michigan, just to see what i could see. Certainly the diligence and influence of the Fair Housing Center would be most noticeable on what is arguably the biggest medium of rental advertising in metropolitan areas across the country...

Ok, HERE is one that's titled "Section 8 Preferred." I have a job...does that discriminate against me?

HERE is another that insists that one "MUST" (their capitals) be gay friendly. Also, "business professional preferred." Welders need not apply.

Hold your hats. HERE'S one that is titled "Single Black Female Seeking Same" to share an apt.
This ad was posted on Oct. 8th, 2010. The ad is still active. In Michigan. Strangely enough, it's says right there on the craigsilst housing listings menu that "stating a discriminatory preference in a housing post is illegal," and the Fair Housing Center's website states that...

"Fair Housing is the right of individuals to obtain the housing of their choice (ie: rent an apartment, buy a home, obtain a mortgage, purchase homeowners insurance etc.), free from discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, mental or physical disability, familial status, marital status, age, sexual preference, and legal and verifiable source of income. These rights are assured by Federal, State and local fair housing laws."


Apparently the Fair Housing Center's influence only reaches as far as church bulletin boards. Hey, it's a start! I'd say the fine people at the Michigan Department of Civil Rights have their work cut out for them.

So how are these two stories related? I suppose it is the inconsistency in which our culture doles out it's outrage. The security guard was wrong. The tool that took it upon themselves to file a complaint about the "Christian Roommate" ad was wrong. And yet here we are; two similar stories, two very different outcomes, because you can bet the farm that the "Christian Roommate" woman will not be receiving an apology.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Perspective

From Space.com...

"A star's last gasp at the final stage of its life has been frozen for all time in a new photo by the Hubble Space Telescope.

In the photo, Hubble took a deep look at NGC 6210, a curious planetary nebula located about 6,500 light-years away, in the constellation of Hercules."



"At the heart of NGC 6210 is a star slightly less massive than our sun that is in the last fitful stage of its life cycle. The star's death spasms have kicked off multiple shells of material with different degrees of symmetry, giving the NGC 6210 nebula its odd, bulbous shape.

A star's life ends when it runs out of fuel for its thermonuclear engine. The estimated lifetime for a sun-like star is about 10 billion years.

When a star is about to die, it becomes unstable and ejects its outer layers to form a planetary nebula. What's left behind is a tiny, but very hot, star remnant known as a white dwarf.

The white dwarf inside NGC 6210, which is visible in the center of the Hubble image, will cool down and fade very slowly.

According to stellar evolution theory, our own sun will experience a similar fate in approximately 5 billion years."

I suppose the end really is nigh. Relatively speaking.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

We Don't Need No Education

Christine O'Donnell's latest ad...



Ok. That's all well and good. Well maybe not.

What 's wrong with going to Yale? What sort of statement is that? I don't believe that attending a certain university should be a prerequisite for being elected to office, but touting the schools you HAVEN'T attended...? Why is she beginning these ads with these ridiculous statements?

So what have we learned? Well, we have learned that Ms. O'Donnell is not a supernatural creature and that she does not have an Ivy League education.

Rumor has it that, in the big push to election day, Ms. O'Donnell will release another ad where she reveals, with a sheepish grin and a shrug of her shoulders, "I don't drown puppies. I'm you."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hat in Ring

Annoying Joe is officially endorsing Jimmy McMillan, the NY gubernatorial candidate from the Rent Is Too Damn High Party in his bid for the governorship of the Empire State. If you witnessed the debacle that was the gubernatorial debate last night, you would quickly understand why we are throwing our considerable weight behind this great man. Some highlights...



My man's thirsty! I suppose by "highlights" I would have been more accurate in saying "only highlights." Suffice it to say that Mr. Mcmillan was not only the most entertaining debater of the evening, but the most honest. Shoe-in Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo white-noised his way through the debate, always ready with the appropriate and utterly prepared comment that we have all come to loathe.

That last comment by Mr. McMillan regarding marrying a shoe was in response to the moderator's question on whether Mr. McMillan supported gay marriage. Apparently, kung-fu expert Mr. McMillan is not opposed, cuz the rents too damn high. And you know something? He's right.

Please, if you would, visit the party's website here. Epileptics beware.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Which Way is Up?


The N.Y. Post today officially endorsed Andrew Cuomo in his bid to become New York's next governor.

Also today, God repealed gravity.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Funnies

The More Things Change...


From AFP.com,

"Germany's attempts to create a multi-cultural society in which people from various cultural backgrounds live together peacefully have failed, Chancellor Angela Merkel has said."

"'Multikulti', the concept that 'we are now living side by side and are happy about it," does not work, Merkel told a meeting of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party at Potsdam near Berlin."

Said Napoleon to his puppies. At least she's honest. I couldn't even begin to imagine a prominent American politician, celebrity, etc. saying something along these lines about the U.S. Mel Gibson notwithstanding.

And why does the Chancellor feel comfortable speaking thus? Some interesting poll numbers regarding German citizen sentiment from the same article...

"...more than one third (34.3 percent) of those surveyed believed Germany's 16 million immigrants or people with foreign origins came to the country for the social benefits."

"Around the same number (35.6 percent) think Germany is being 'over-run by foreigners' and more than one in 10 called for a 'Fuehrer' to run the country 'with a strong hand.'"

"More than half (58.4 percent) of the 2,411 people polled thought the around four million Muslims in Germany should have their religious practices 'significantly curbed.'"

Does this make anyone nervous? Yup...

"Jewish leaders in Germany meanwhile warned that German society and democracy were under threat from extremists."

They would know.



Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Freshly Squeezed

I cannot wait for Nov. 3rd. I cannot wait for Nov. 3rd because it is my hope that, on Nov. 3rd, my search for the absurd will not invariably lead me to the election races. I will be able to once again write about runaway asteroids and wacky religious zealots and inane scientific studies. Unfortunately, however, it is Oct. 13th...

Came across this today. Incumbent, democratic Fl. Congressman Alan Grayson ran this ad recently, attacking his Republican opponent, Dan Webster...



Wow! Powerful stuff. This guy is a lunatic. "Taliban Dan" indeed. I'm not one to buy into a political ad but, gosh, you can see the words coming out of his mouth. I mean, it's all right there

Or is it? Check this out, especially at :11 to about :18.



...

Nothing up my sleeve, folks. Talk about smoke and mirrors.

The politics of incitement and fear. In essence, Rep. Grayson is telling the people of Florida's 8th congressional district that, should they elect his opponent, they can expect to be living under a fundamentalist Islamic regime replete with Ak-47s and burqa-clad women. And all of that with the biggest "taking out of context" since Mr. Roper found Mrs. Roper on top of Jack Tripper on the Roper's couch...Too much of a stretch?

It makes me wonder how the people of Florida's 8th congressional district who are unemployed, can't afford decent health care, or can't afford to go to college feel about this ad...


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Truth Is Out There

Came across this today on "The Upshot" Yahoo! blog...


Vladimir Lenin, King Tut and the McDonald's Happy Meal: What do they all have in common? A shocking resistance to Mother Nature's cycle of decomposition and biodegradability, apparently.

That's the disturbing point brought home by the latest project of New York City-based artist and photographer Sally Davies, who bought a McDonald's Happy Meal back in April and left it out in her kitchen to see how well it would hold up over time.

The results? "The only change that I can see is that it has become hard as a rock,"Davies told the U.K. Daily Mail.

She proceeded to photograph the Happy Meal each week and posted the pictures to Flickr to record the results of her experiment. Now, just over six months later, the Happy Meal has yet to even grow mold. She told the Daily Mail that "the food is plastic to the touch and has an acrylic sheen to it."

See above picture. Mickey D's responded...

"McDonald's hamburger patties in the United States are made with 100% USDA-inspected ground beef," Riley wrote. "Our hamburgers are cooked and prepared with salt, pepper and nothing else -- no preservatives, no fillers. Our hamburger buns are baked locally, are made from North American-grown wheat flour and include common government-approved ingredients designed to assure food quality and safety. ... According to Dr. Michael Doyle, Director, Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, 'From a scientific perspective, I can safely say that the way McDonald's hamburgers are freshly processed, no hamburger would look like this after one year unless it was tampered with or held frozen.'"

As it turns out, Ms. Davies isn't the first to try this experiment. Wellness and nutrition educator Karen Hanrahan has kept a McDonald's hamburger since 1996. Her site is a must see here.

There's a guy at work, Dave. Dave's swell. Dave's entertaining. Dave's a conspiracy nut. Somewheres 'round 2-3 times per week, Dave regales me with stories of vast, worldwide conspiracies, his usual source of information being the Youtube videos that he had watched the night before. Among other things, Dave believes that a small group of men (Illuminati, Masons, take your pick) are in cahoots to create a "New World Order." This "New World Order" unfortunately calls for the elimination of 80% of the worldwide population. According to Dave, they have a few methods of doing this. As read the above information, I remembered Dave mentioning McDonald's as one such method. Apparently, this particular brand of fast food is being treated with certain chemicals that will, over time, bring about the customer's untimely demise.

So I have decided to conduct the same test as Ms. Davies and Ms. Hanrahan. Only, I will be expanding the control group, if you will. I will be purchasing a hamburger not only from McD's, but from Burger King and Wendy's as well. Let's just see how deep this conspiracy runs! Stay tuned for weekly updates.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Foot in Mouth


Good times in the NY gubernatorial race. GOP hopeful Carl Paladino gave some interesting social commentary this weekend. From the NY Daily News...

"Carl Paladino says it's the bumping and grinding he finds disgusting. "

"Appearing onNBC's "Today" Monday morning, the Republican gubernatorial candidate Paladino said he has nothing against gay people in his work or personal life - he just doesn't want to be exposed to their culture."

So why is Mr. Paladino saying these things?

"Paladino ignited a firestorm Sunday when he declared that being gay is 'not the example that we should be showing our children.'"

What sort of example does having sex and conceiving our children set, exactly? Mr. Paladino went on...

"'I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family,' he said."

"He later added: 'I oppose the homosexual agenda, whether they call it marriage, civil unions or domestic partnership. Marriage is between a man and a woman - period.'"

After telling us all how we should live our personal lives, Paladino added one more gem...

He dubbed himself the "religious values candidate."

Oh no he didn't just say that. This is the same man who sent these emails? (Warning, Graphic) You know, the emails that depict the President and 1st Lady as a pimp and prostitute? Or the pornographic emails, including bestiality videos? Or the racist videos likening black people to chimpanzees?

This is the man who know sees fit to pass judgment upon a segment of the population. And not passing judgment about their stance on the issues, but upon what they do in their private lives.

This is the "religious values candidate" that has run on the notion of fixing what is unquestionably wrong in Albany by reducing the governments role and adhering to a strict, conservative interpretation.

It is yet another example of some opportunistic carpet-bagger who is taking advantage of the sound message that emanates from the Tea-Party movement and manipulating it further their own agenda.

When Mr. Paladino contradicts himself in this way, he begins to pander in the very same way that all of the politicians that he rails against pander. Mr. Paladino has begun to tell us not what he believes, but what he believes we want to hear.

Back in 2008, Paladino said that the only reason Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent James Williams had been hired was because he’s black. Agree or disagree, at least he was being honest.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Quickies: Death and Taxes...O'Reilly Civics Fail

Why there is a Tea Party movement, reason no.37, from Fox Business...

The end of the estate tax began in 2001 with the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act. That year, gradual reductions of the estate tax rate began, along with increases in the value of an estate that would be exempt from taxes.

In 2009, estates of $3.5 million or less weren't taxed; those worth more than that faced a 45 percent rate.

When Jan. 1, 2010, arrived, the estate tax disappeared. But the 2001 act that made it possible also included a provision that a stricter estate tax would return in 2011.

If no legislative action is taken, next year a federal estate tax of 55 percent will be assessed on estates of more than $1 million.

I know $1 million sounds like tidy sum, but that includes an assessment of everything, including property. Hang in there Granny.

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A Bill O'Reilly essay was featured in the NY Post today. In it, Mr. O'Reilly puts forth an impassioned and surprisingly succinct and convincing argument in support of our aforementioned Mr. Snyder in his battle against the WBC. Well, that is until he writes...

"The Snyder family has a constitutional right to privacy and the pursuit of happiness."

Press Play


Oooooo! Sorry. Thanks for playing. Actually, the "pursuit of happiness," that would be the Declaration of Independence. No "Happiness" amendment, no.

So much for a strict inerpretation.