November 30, 2005

It's that time of year

Yes, it's here again. As Christmas approaches, I find that my admittedly limited ability to create new stuff absolutely craters, leading me to repost things from holiday season's past. However, it's new to some people every year. Anyway, if you think that you're experiencing deja vu over the next 30 days or so, don't worry: you're probably just going crazy. Start drinking heavily and it will all get better.

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No, really?

Shouldn't everyone's reaction to this article be No Shit?

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He's baaacckkk

Acidman is back and blogging. Go by and wish him well.

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Bringing bad things to life

Remember the good old days when air guitar was huge? Unfortunately, I do. I had hoped that the craze would go the way of the dodo. That seems unlikely now that some Finnish students have created a computer system to add sound to your fantasy instrument. Excerpt:

Finnish computer science students have devised a system which enables air guitarists to hear themselves 'play'.

The Virtual Air Guitar project, developed at the Helsinki University of Technology, adds genuine electric guitar sounds to the air guitar.

Using a computer to monitor the hand movements of the 'player', it adds riffs and licks to match frantic mid-air finger work, reports New Scientist.

The Virtual Air Guitar project? If that isn't a sign of the end times, I don't know what is.

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November 28, 2005

Seems right to me

You are an enzyme. You are powerful, dark,
variable, and can change many things at your
whim...even when they're not supposed to be
changed. Bad you. You can be dangerous or
wonderful; it's your choice.

Which Biological Molecule Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thanks? to CalTech Girl for the link.

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War on reason

I have mixed feelings about legalizing drugs, despite conservative proponents such as Bill Buckley. However, this War on Drugs™ has long since passed the point where people can think that most anti-crime measures are reasonable. Case in point is this article by Jacob Sullum. Excerpt:

At my local drugstore, shelves of cold and allergy medicine have been replaced by merchandise cards hanging from metal rods. If I want to buy one of these remedies, I have to take the corresponding card to the pharmacist's counter, wait in line, show my ID and add my name to a register.

This procedure, required by an "emergency order" from Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, is supposed to prevent me from using the pseudoephedrine in products such as Sudafed and Dayquil to cook up a batch of methamphetamine in my garage.
Hard as this collateral damage is to justify, it pales next to that suffered by other innocent victims of the government's war on methamphetamine. Last summer, for instance, state and federal agents arrested 49 convenience store clerks and owners in Georgia on charges they sold pseudoephedrine and other supplies to informants posing as meth cooks.

The supplies, including matches, charcoal, antifreeze, coffee filters, aluminum foil, and cat litter, were all perfectly legal. The charges, carrying penalties of up to 25 years in prison as well as fines and asset forfeiture, are based on the doubtful premise the defendants knew or should have known what the fake customers pretended to be planning.

All but a few of the defendants are Indian immigrants, and many have a weak grasp of ordinary English, let alone the slang of black-market meth manufacturers. Several said they assumed the guy who bought matches and camping fuel, saying he needed to "finish up a cook," was having a barbecue.

This is the logic of the war on drugs. By criminalizing possession of a substance readily manufactured using innocuous everyday products, the government created the illicit labs it is trying to shut down by criminalizing the sale of those innocuous everyday products.

Perhaps recognizing that the lives of most Americans have not been affected by the "meth epidemic," prohibitionists are determined to spread the pain around.

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November 27, 2005

Quote of the day

And it's from Hog On Ice:

Here’s how it works. Dan Rather tries to palm off a memo written in crayon, and one blogger notes that Crayola didn't make that color back when Bush was in the Guard, and another blogger says they did, but it was only available in the mental institution where Bill Burkett used to spend time, talking to the kitties printed on the wallpaper. Sooner or later, we figure out the truth, and then Dan gets a gold watch and a paint-by-numbers kit and some new slippers.

Okay, more like an extended post theft than a quote. But it made me giggle like a schoolgirl.

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November 22, 2005

Thanksgiving proclamation from 1789

WHEREAS, It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor;

WHEREAS, Both the houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted' for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

--George Washington - October 3, 1789

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Smoking really is bad for you

Doubly bad, I suppose, if you attempt to open the door of an airplane in mid-flight so as to have a puff.

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Buckhead responds

I'm probably the last person on the Internet to have noticed, but Buckhead, he of Rathergate fame, has posted Clues for the Clueless on his webpage, detailing his investigation into the forged documents. Check out this excerpt from Part I of his explanation:

Ever since the controversy over the CBS use of forged memos erupted, those disappointed by the exposure of the forgeries have wondered if the whole thing wasn't some sort of set up perpetrated by the Dark Lord, Karl Rove. Integral to this paranoid theorizing was their slack-jawed amazement that anyone could have observed and commented that the documents were fake based on typography as quickly as I did. How could anyone not on the inside have articulated a technical and convincing explanation that the documents were fake within a few hours of the broadcast? Well, here's your answer. It's probably too late to make any difference, but I am no longer able to stifle myself now that Mary Mapes' has written a several hundred page book parading her venomous disregard for those who exposed her lies and her delusional self-image as the Joan of Arc of investigative journalism.

So, how did I know?

The short answer is that I am 47 years old and I am not a blithering idiot.

Personally, I think that he should stop beating around the bush and get to his point. Strictly my opinion, of course.

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November 18, 2005

Definition of a bad day

Graumagus created a new one. Excerpt:

Some time later this week I'm scheduled to be struck by a frozen meteor of blue feces released midflight from a faulty airline toilet resevoir. I won't be lucky enough to die from the hit, instead it will permanentally stain my head and face blue and give me brain damage so I wander the earth like a slack-jawed, drooling, Pictish village idiot complete with stank ass lumpy woad paint. It will forever limit my career options to begging for sandwich crusts and ketchup packets, being a Wal-mart greeter, or becoming economic advisor for Governor Blagojevich.

My advice? Start drinking heavily.

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November 16, 2005

Objects in drinking glass are smaller than they appear

A new phase in post-victory celebrations is at hand. I dunno about you, but I'm waxing nostalgic for the day when people simply set fire to random cars. I guess that makes me an old fogey.

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It's that time of year again

It's time for the 2005 Weblog Awards. Nominations are now open.

Personal request: someone-I have no idea who, because it sure wasn't me- nominated me last year for, I believe, best humor blog. Notice the 2004 Weblog Award Finalist image in the sidebar. It sure would be nice to be nominated again this year....

Okay, I can be tacky and nominate myself. Feel free to move about the cabin now.

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November 15, 2005

Required reading

Are you reading the Dilbert Blog? If not, you're missing out. Check out this post and its followup.

Sure, Scott Adams makes with the funny every day, but you might not have noticed that the guy can actually write pretty well.

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November 14, 2005

Helpful advice

Tape a chocolate bar to the outside of your microwave. If the chocolate melts you will know that the microwaves are escaping and it is time to have the oven serviced.

A mouse trap, placed on top on of your alarm clock will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep.

Old telephone books make ideal personal address books. Simply cross out the names and addresses of people you don't know.

Before attempting to remove stubborn stains from a garment always circle the stain in permanent ink pen so that when you remove the garment from the washing machine you can easily locate the area of the stain and check that it has gone.

Lose weight quickly by eating raw pork and rancid tuna. I found that the subsequent food poisoning enabled me to lose 12 pounds in only 2 days.

Avoid parking tickets by leaving your windshield wipers turned to fast wipe whenever you leave your car parked illegally.

High blood pressure sufferers: Simply cut yourself and bleed for a while, thus reducing the pressure in your veins.

Olympic athletes. Conceal the fact that you have taken performance enhancing drugs by simply running a little slower and letting someone else win.

Heavy smokers: Don't throw away those filters from the end of your cigarettes. Save them up and within a few years you'll have enough to insulate your ceiling.

Create instant designer stubble by sucking a magnet and dipping your chin in a bowl of iron fillings.

X File fans: Create the effect of being abducted by aliens by drinking two bottles of vodka. You'll invariably wake up in a strange place the following morning, having had your memory mysteriously 'erased'.

A sheet of sandpaper makes a cheap and effective substitute for costly maps when visiting the Sahara desert.

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November 10, 2005

Best wishes

Stop by and wish Cal Tech Girl a Happy Birthday, a birthday that she shares with the US Marine Corps, God love 'em.

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I'm always the last to know

But the news is so good, I don't care: Steven Den Beste is back blogging again, this time at Red State. Check out this excerpt in his bio:

Yup, it's me alright. Accept no substitutes.

By the way, please show some couth and don't gush all over the comments.

What is this couth thing, and why is he talking about it?

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And so it begins

The first Avian Flu death was reported in Anaheim, California. Look at the picture in the extended entry. It's horrifying. more...

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November 09, 2005

Worthy read

From Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Excerpt:

The American male is broken, and in his own brokenness, he is compromising his marriage and crippling his children. Immersed in a culture which is obsessed with success through competition, he is trained to forever feel like a failure. Rather than peering inside himself to discover his own unique gifts, he stares in front to see who has surpassed him, and behind, to see who is gaining on him.

The modern American male has little self-esteem and is a muddle of broken dreams. He lives in a society resembling not a circle, in which all are treated more or less as equals, but a pyramid, in which only a tiny few are perched at the top and the overwhelming majority are made to feel that they are at various stations of the bottom.

He is painfully aware that the recognition and respect of his peers will not come from assisting his kids with homework, or remaining faithful to his wife. All around him, the culture glorifies men who have built businesses even as they have abandoned wives, like Jack Welch and Donald Trump. Treating his co-workers with dignity will never bring him into the Forbes 400. Reading his children a bedtime story will not get him an invitation to the White House.
Bereft of inspiration, he fails to inspire his children. He does not parent them so much as admonish them. So they are reduced to searching for substitute heroes, and like him, they become TV addicts. The company of friends soon becomes far more fulfilling than their father's company, further isolating parent from child.

The great tragedy of this daily scenario is the fact that all along this man was a hero, only he never saw it. He got up every day to feed his children. He struggles with temptation, yet came home to his wife. But that never made him feel good about himself, because he bought the lie that a man is only important if he is rich or famous.

Read it all.

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November 07, 2005

I love science

It leads to experiments like this one: What is the Ultimate Jell-O® Shot?

This experiment shows promise as well. Paraphrasing an old line from Dennis Miller: I wear two condoms all of the time and, when I get ready to make love, I take one off, which makes me feel like a wildman. It's kind of like a batter in the on-deck circle swinging two bats so that one bat will feel light by comparison.

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