Tuesday, August 31, 2004

question :)

Does the universe explode if you use a Nokia cell phone while driving a Kia?

MikeyMoore's Own Words

Mikey gets one thing right in his (cough*hotel doormat*cough) USA Today 'coverage' of the GOP convention:

"Our side is full of wimps."

On the way home today

Two slightly entertaining sightings on the way home today:

1) A hot new Ferrari with license plate "PYMT DU".

2) An auto dealership named "Sham Auto Sales".

doubleplusgoodthink

Here's an edited summary of some comments on Scrappleface:

Now lets see if I've I got this straight...

Clinton awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Yugoslavia - good
Bush awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Iraq - bad

Clinton spends 77 billion on war in Serbia - good
Bush spends 87 billion in Iraq - bad

Clinton imposes regime change in Serbia - good
Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad

Clinton bombs Christian Serbs on behalf of Muslim Albanian terrorists - good
Bush liberates 25 million from a genocidal dictator - bad

Clinton bombs Chinese embassy - good
Bush bombs terrorist camps - bad

Clinton commits felonies while in office - good
Bush lands on aircraft carrier in flight suit - bad

Stock market crashes in 2000 under Clinton - good
Recession under Bush - bad

Clinton refuses to take custody of Bin Laden - good
World Trade Centers fall under Bush - bad

Clinton calls for regime change in Iraq - good
Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad

Terrorist training in Afghanistan under Clinton - good
Bush destroys training camps in Afghanistan - bad

No mass graves found in Serbia - good
No WMD found Iraq - bad

Milosevic not yet convicted - good
Saddam in custody - bad

Clinton: Saddam has WMD and he's a threat - good
Bush: Saddam has WMD and he's a threat - bad

Clinton: Says he's going to do something about terrorism but doesn't - good
Bush: Says he's going to do something about terrorism and does - bad

Clinton is a draft-dodger - good
Bush honorably served in National Guard - bad

Clinton lied under oath - good
Bush never lied under oath - bad

Clinton cheated on his wife - good
Bush never cheated on his wife - bad

---

Kerry falls off his snowboard - good
Bush falls off his bicycle - bad

Kerry says Saddam had WMD and was a threat - good
Bush says Saddam had WMD and was a threat - bad

pro-Kerry 527s have been funded to the tune of $145 million dollars - good
pro-Bush 527s have been funded to the tune of $9 million dollars - bad

Kerry's wife Tereza speaks her mind - good
Bush's wife Laura speaks her mind - bad

Kerry marries into his money - good
Bush earned his money - bad

---

Kerry fought in Vietnam War - good
Kerry protested Vietnam War - good

Kerry was for funding the Iraq War - good
Kerry was not for funding Iraq War - good

Kerry wins war medals - good
Kerry tosses his war medals - good
Kerry still has his war medals that he tossed - good

Kerry challenges his band of brothers to speak up - good
Kerry threatens to sue his band of brothers when they
do speak up - good

Kerry claims to be an ardent environmentalist - good
Kerry owns several polluting SUV - good

Kerry says Bush lawyer helping a 527 is wrong and should stop - good
Kerry refuses to stop his own lawyer from helping Democratic 527s - good

Kerry is elected U.S. Senator - good
Kerry rarely shows up in the Senate - good

Kerry was against Desert Storm I - good
Kerry was for authorizing Desert Storm II - good
Kerry is now against Desert Storm II - good

Kerry makes fun of Bush reading to children for 7 minutes as WTC start to burn - good
Kerry admits to Larry King he couldn't think for half an hour after WTC started to burn - good

Kerry says it really doesn't matter whether Clinton served his country in uniform or not - good
Kerry says Bush's service in the National Guard isn't good enough and ought to be looked into - good

Kerry claims he believes in the First Amendment - good
Kerry threatens a publisher to pull a book critical of him - good

Kerry wants money out of politics - good
Kerry wants all the money he can get to beat Bush - good

Friday, August 27, 2004

See?

It is possible to mention Hitler on the net and still have a valid point. Cut on the Bias did so correctly. Kurt Vonnegut did not.

Vietnam summary

Hugh Hewitt sums it up well:

(The Vietnam War) was about stopping the Pol Pots and the "more civilized" variant of communism in the North. It was a noble effort. It failed for many reasons, but especially because of the domestic left in the United States, which slandered the front line soldiers as a tactic in the effort to withdraw America from Vietnam, and to settle the issue of moral superiority versus moral equivalence in the global contest then underway between freedom and totalitarianism.
America then and America now was and is undeniably the greatest force for good in the world. Its troops, then and now, fought and still fight to protect and defend the United States and to stop evil men, regimes, and ideologies from murdering millions of innocents. In those fights, there will be terrible tolls, and many innocents will die or be injured, but American armies fight wars - then and now - with more concern for the innocent and with more discipline and accountability than any armies in history.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Just sit right back...

...and you’ll hear a tale!

The Strongbad Email "they" don't want you to see...

...because they didn't write it, and they could do a lot better.

If you are one of the approximately four people on the web who hasn't seen Strongbad Email, go check it out - it's stooooopid funny. For everyone else:

(email) "Dear Strongbad, could you invent a craaazy sport? Sincerely, Kevin"

(sb) Look Kevin, all the sports that can be invented have been invented. They've been at it for millions, or even dozens of years. Now all you can do is to mix up the existing sports, like a "sports casserole", if you will.

But if I were to make a sport... I would make the athletes run for a while, and go swimming, and ride bikes for many miles, and go shoot at things. Oh, and maybe have them swordfight or something. That sounds pretty crazy to me.

(strongsad) They already have that, you doofus! It's called a Pentathlon.

(sb) What?!? You're kidding?

(ss) No. Look at the TV. It's in the Olympics.

(sb) Oh man!!

I give up, Kevin. Those sport inventor guys are way crazier than you or I could ever be.

Olympically yours,
Strongbad

Lies! Lies!

Here are a few of the many lies that Big Stupid Tommy has written:

There is no word in Russian for "pre game warmup."
There are 119 for "hangover."

The movie Mystic Pizza is a thinly veiled allegory of
Harry Truman's presidency.

Celery, if you think about it, is meat.

The National Anthem of Bulgaria is "Ice Ice Baby."

There is actually no such word as "diminutive."

Everything depicted in Marvel Comic Books from
1962-1975 actually happened.

The first cameras actually did steal your soul.
Technology has since been improved.

Porcupines are born with little tiny wings.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Photos

WARNING! EXTREMELY GRUESOME

To balance the coverage of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse, here is a site full of photos of Saddam's torture victims in Iraq. Also, here is a page from Saddam's torture instruction manual. (There are actually 14 pages - type in any number from 1 to 14 before the .jpg extension.) I can hardly force myself to look at the full size images - the thumbnail previews are horrific enough.

(Oh no, there's also a video. Here's one article that mentions it. Reading the description, I don't think I could watch it.)

ANYBODY who can look at these images and say that a pair of panties on someone's head is worse is either a PERVERT, a PATHOLOGICAL LYING $@&*$)&#, or Ted "Chappaquiddick" Kennedy.

Also, if the liberal media claims they are too gruesome for broadcast, they admit that the abuse under Saddam was worse than the abuse in Abu Ghraib. Any other reason they give is just a lame excuse trying to cover their anti-American and anti-Bush bias.

I am NOT excusing what happened in Abu Ghraib. I am trying to put it in perspective.

(Found at No Pasaran)

Heavyweight Contenders

Belmont Club: Mainstream Media vs Kid Internet

Lileks asks, "What, you believe that rag?"

WMD?

Forget this whole war on terror, let's get those evil puddle fillers!

Wanted for Moving Dirt

Quik Linx

Rightwing Duck isn't afraid of a little old Skerrycrow.

Spoons Experience serves up an updated classic.

Hmm, The Rich Get Poorer, and The Poor Get Richer

Bush-haters of the world, unite!

Monday, August 23, 2004

Scotty was here

3M scientists can now make transparent aluminum in (relatively) large quantities - wow.

Eat Your Broccoli!

I haven't followed Sgt. Stryker as much lately, but this one is worth reading.

To: Main-stream Media
Re: Potentially Imploding Aspirants for the Presidency
From: Sgt. Mom

Don't give the kids a break...

Alice Cooper says "Hey Stoopid!" to the billion dollar babies on the anti-Bush music tour:

"To me, that's treason. I call it treason against rock 'n' roll because rock is the antithesis of politics. Rock should never be in bed with politics."

"When I was a kid and my parents started talking about politics, I'd run to my room and put on the Rolling Stones as loud as I could. So when I see all these rock stars up there talking politics, it makes me sick."

"If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal."


Vaguely related site: dumbcelebs.com

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Randomness?

A few years ago, I heard a story about a university experiment of pattern analysis on random numbers, which I remembered something like this:

Some university has two programs running simultaneously on a mainframe. One perpetually generates a stream of random numbers – mathematically random, not like a low-level RND pseudorandom function found in many programming languages. The other one perpetually analyzes the stream for repetitive patterns. Short repetitions are relatively common, but every so often, a repetition occurs that is statistically extremely improbable. Analysis shows that an even more improbable percentage of these occurences happened within an hour of some major world event – earthquake, war or terrorist attack, death of a world leader, etc.

The story has many of the hallmarks of an urban legend, especially the whole "powerful knowledge They don't want you to know" feel of it. I had thought about it a couple of times, but had mostly forgotten about it... until yesterday, when I read this post.

I commented on it, and didn't get any direct answers, but there were a couple of (confrontational sounding) comments from one reader trying to get me to defend the claims of the story. I explained that I was not defending it, I was just wondering if anyone had heard of it and whether or not it was a hoax.

As I was trying to properly word my response, I thought it would be a good idea to find a reference to explain the meaning of "mathematical randomness" as I understood it. When I googled some search terms, the FIRST link listed both explains the concept, and has a link to the EXACT EXPERIMENT I was asking about in the first place - noosphere.princeton.edu.

How random is that?!?

The experiment is not quite what I remember. The premise of the experimenters sounds like new-age-global-consciousness nonsense, but the experiment itself is interesting (just click on the data access link, and there are several options available for viewing the data itself).

Current Events

Two interepretations of current events:

The Vietnam Election

War of the Memes

Read them both.

These seemed related...

Two very similar versions of the fable of the Ant & Grasshopper.

From Cheese and Bacon: I think (anti-war liberals) are the same people that never learned in pre-school that the square block will never fit in the round hole, and (think) that if they protest the circle hole enough, it'll eventually be forced to let the square block in. Then it will expect the round hole to give the square block reparations and a free ride for excluding it for so long.

more magic math

Proof that the less you know the more money you make.

Proof that girls are evil.

"I'm kidding of course"

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Anarchy, Inc.

Flying Space Monkey expands on the "irony of having a symbol for anarchy". RTWT.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Parents who defied "arguing ban" sentenced to jail

Here's my attempt at a Scrapplefacing of this article:

New York City parents are barred from arguing around their kids.

A New York couple was sentenced Thursday to 10 days in jail for defying a court order not to argue in front of their children.

Tom and Silvia Stevens, who have admitted to arguing continuously in front of their children, were led from a New York courtroom in handcuffs. But the judge allowed them to post a $500 bond to stay out of jail while they appeal the ruling. "It should never have come to this," they said after spending four hours in jail before being released.

The sentence is the latest development in a bitter and long-running custody battle between the nanny state and the Stevens family, over the care of their children, ages 10 and 8. But the restriction on arguing has captured far greater attention.

"It is within the court's powers to jail somebody for criminal contempt, but they are not happy about getting 10 days," said her attorney, Harvey Tucker. "New York City is such a vociferous state, it's kind of surprising. I've never heard of a case where you restrict behavior this way."

The district attorney claimed that the measure was necessary to protect the sanity of the children, who live with their parents and often visit their grandparents on weekends.

Tom and Silvia said they have been argumentative since starting public school. The habit became an issue several years ago as the nanny state sought to control every aspect of people's lives. As part of this microcontrol, the Stevens were barred in a court order last August from arguing around their children. They appealed that order to New York Circuit Court, where it was upheld, and are considering filing another appeal with the United Nations.

Friday, August 13, 2004

SMACKDOWN!

Go read the Outside The Beltway response to the mindless drone. (or is it henchman? sidekick? minion? no, i'll stick with drone, since it defines both function and sound...)

Superheroes usually *save* lives...

Junkyard Blog summarizes this ad as "George W. Bush is the gravest threat humanity has ever faced, paradoxically because he supports the right to life. Huh? Exactly."


It's time to play "How They Will Spin This?"

John Kerry's Private Trade Trip to Beijing.

"Ketchup Gigolo" Kerry's yacht shouldn't be floating after all the holes that have been shot in it. I wonder just what could be buoying it up?

Kerry's Magic Hat

(With an insincere apology to The Who...)

Every day I get on my yacht
- Too much magic hat
Thinkin' bout this hat that I got
- Too much magic hat
From this chatty dude in the CIA
- Too much magic hat
Who I drove in my boat to Cambod-i-a...
- Too much magic hat

"Thank you Kerry, for getting me here
- I got a magic hat
Hope your memory doesn't sear
- I got a magic hat
Ain't got time to worry bout that
- I got a magic hat
But can I give you this magic hat?"
- I got a magic hat

Don't care much about Tah-Ray-Zah,
- Too much magic hat
But I really love her piles of moolah.
- Too much magic hat
Ignore those dudes who said I lied
- Too much magic hat
'Bout drivin' my boat to the other side.
- Too much magic hat

MAGIC HAT!
- I got it I got it
MAGIC HAT!
- I got it I got it...

----------

UPDATE:

When I wrote this, I had no idea there were so many others similarly inspired. I Love Jet Noise has this post listing several others, including this fan fiction comments section.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Rightwing Duck's batting average

It looks like Rightwing Duck is batting a thousand, and continues to add to his home-run streak as well. Go read for yourself.

Muslim Kitties!

Have your kitties been bowing towards Mecca lately? Do they react with violent hissing when confronting the Great-Satan-Dane? Be careful! They often carry boxcutters in their paws, and make chemical attacks in the carpet.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Helpful Telemarketing Hints

1) As soon as you dial the number, the phone will make a sound that indicates that the potential customer's phone is ringing. When this sound stops, and you hear the sound of human speech, it is the beginning of the conversation!

1a) Promptly greet the potential customer in a friendly manner.

1b) Do not continue chatting with co-workers, chewing gum, playing freecell, or doing any activity that would detract you from the task at hand.

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2a) If the potential customer is male, do not address him as "Mrs." or "Miss".

2b) Likewise, if the potential customer is female, do not address her as "Mr." or "Dude!".

2c) If you are uncertain of the potential customer's gender, avoid making gender assumptions. A mistaken assuption may be considered offensive to the potential customer, even in San Francisco!

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3) Once the caller has verified his or her identity, do not ask them to re-verify his or her identity, as this might give them cause to doubt your attentiveness and/or competence.

---

4) During the conversation, please refrain from eating or drinking anything, as it detracts from your ability to perform your assigned task.

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5) Do not ever insult the intelligence of the potential customer, especially if you have not adhered to the rules described in the previous steps. Under no circumstances say, for example, "Are you following me?". Any potential customer who can understand you will not need such prompting, and if you cannot be understood, it is unlikely that the potential customer will trust you with any amount of their hard-earned money.

---

6) If many potential customers often ask you to repeat yourself, or keep saying "What?" or "Huh?", this is an indication that they are having trouble understanding you. On rare occasions, this may be due to technical issues, so you should request that qualified personnel examine your phone. Take that downtime as an opportunity to compare your accent to the accents of the potential customers who have given you this valuable feedback. If there are consistently large discrepancies between these accents, consider taking lessons in speaking the dialect of your potential customers, or in pursuing a different career path either inside or outside of our company.

---

7) WARNING! Some potential customers may abruptly suggest that you perform certain disrputive, destructive, or physically impossible acts upon yourself.

7a) You are allowed to ignore the request and terminate the phone call immediately.

7b) If you like, you may privately wish that potential customer to perform that particular act upon themselves.

7c) However, you are not allowed to communicate that wish to them.

---

8) At some point during the conversation you may hear a steady buzzing sound. This sound indicates that the conversation has stopped. On rare occasions, this might be due to equipment problems, but it is most likely that the potential customer is simply disinterested in our company's product.

8a) If such a stoppage occurs, simply hang up the phone and dial the next number on your list.

8b) Do not call that potential customer again, either immediately or at any time in the future.

8c) Research has shown that potential customers rarely change their mind about our product after such a stoppage occurs; if called repeatedly, they often become hostile, and may even threaten legal action! Our company wishes to avoid such problems.

8d) Consider these stoppages as positive feedback from the former potential customer, and as their way of speeding you along towards your next sale.

8e) Expect lots of this type of positive feedback.

Friday, August 06, 2004

I'm Speechless...

Start Here...

The Ceremony...

The Wedding Party...

X-treme Press Conference

Despite the profanity, this article about media bias is a must-read!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Tolstoy II

Another relevant point from A Confession: by Leo Tolstoy - on the sciences:

And I understood that those sciences are very interesting and attractive, but that they are exact and clear in inverse proportion to their applicability to the question of life: the less their applicability to the question of life, the more exact and clear they are, while the more they try to reply to the question of life, the more obscure and unattractive they become. If one turns to the division of sciences which attempt to reply to the questions of life -- to physiology, psychology, biology, sociology -- one encounters an appalling poverty of thought, the greatest obscurity, a quite unjustifiable pretension to solve irrelevant question, and a continual contradiction of each authority by others and even by himself. If one turns to the branches of science which are not concerned with the solution of the questions of life, but which reply to their own special scientific questions, one is enraptured by the power of man's mind, but one knows in advance that they give no reply to life's questions. Those sciences simply ignore life's questions.

Tolstoy's Confession

I came across this - A Confession: by Leo Tolstoy - and was somewhat surprised at the way some things he described over a century ago continue today. Here is a description of his early life as a writer.

We were all then convinced that it was necessary for us to speak, write, and print as quickly as possible and as much as possible, and that it was all wanted for the good of humanity. And thousands of us, contradicting and abusing one another, all printed and wrote -- teaching others. And without noticing that we knew nothing, and that to the simplest of life's questions: What is good and what is evil? we did not know how to reply, we all talked at the same time, not listening to one another, sometimes seconding and praising one another in order to be seconded and praised in turn, sometimes getting angry with one another -- just as in a lunatic asylum.

Thousands of workmen laboured to the extreme limit of their strength day and night, setting the type and printing millions of words which the post carried all over Russia, and we still went on teaching and could in no way find time to teach enough, and were always angry that sufficient attention was not paid us.

It was terribly strange, but is now quite comprehensible. Our real innermost concern was to get as much money and praise as possible. To gain that end we could do nothing except write books and papers. So we did that. But in order to do such useless work and to feel assured that we were very important people we required a theory justifying our activity. And so among us this theory was devised: "All that exists is reasonable. All that exists develops. And it all develops by means of Culture. And Culture is measured by the circulation of books and newspapers. And we are paid money and are respected because we write books and newspapers, and therefore we are the most useful and the best of men."