Thursday, January 29, 2009

When Steve Jobs brought Macintosh down from the heavens


This video of Steve Jobs demonstrating the new Mac in '84 is awesome in so many ways. First, the bow tie was a nice touch but my favorite part is when he lets the Mac "speak for itself" about 3 minutes in. They've really been playing that "Macs are cool, PCs are lame" card for quite a while. Actually my favorite part is the rousing standing ovation that the crowd gives after it does that. It has different fonts! You can pick it up! ZOMG! I can play chess!!!!

Can you imagine dropping something like an iPhone or PowerBook on that crowd? The collective orgasm could have powered cities. Of course 25 years from now people will be watching videos (or I dunno, holograms or whatever the hell those future people will into) of the idiots lined up around the street to get those same iPhones...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm all stimulated and stuff

So, the House passed the $800 billion stimulus package tonight. I'm pumped about the $13 billion or so that will be going to science and hopefully funding my research at some point and I think that a lot of good things (investment in energy, infrastructure, etc.) will come out of it but I'm also a little more skeptical than I was before based on what I've been reading about the billions that went to the banks late last year.

This is a post that's been rattling around in my mind for a little while but Maureen Dowd of the NY Times kind of owned the issue before I could.

Citigroup lost nearly $38 billion in the last year plus, received $345 billion in government loans and guarantees on their bad assets and decided now would be a good time to go ahead and buy that $50 million private jet.

As Merrill Lynch is going down the shitter and the government is orchestrating their buyout they decide it's a good time to hand out FOUR BILLION DOLLARS IN BONUSES. Who exactly deserves a bonus after hemorrhaging $15 billion in three months? As if the bonuses weren't enough their chief executive decided it would be a great time to renovate his office to the tune of $1 million. What was so pressing?
“Well — his office was very different — than — the — the general décor of — Merrill’s offices,” Thain replied. “It really would have been — very difficult — for — me to use it in the form that it was in.”
Yeah, a real fucking tragedy. While millions of Americans are losing their jobs, including many in his own company, he's spending money on $40,000 chairs.

AIG receives an $85 billion dollar loan and decides there's no need to cancel the hundreds of thousands of dollars allocated for the executives to take their retreat to the spa. It's been a stressful year, y'know?

I could go on: banks using their money to fight laws that would help unions, refusals to loan the money to struggling small businesses, wealthy shareholders freaking out that they won't get paid back before the government even though they'd have nothing without this bailout, auto companies threatening to sue over increased fuel efficiency standards. These people don't fucking get it. We're saving their ass with out hard earned money and children's future and these assholes just want to make sure they're not going to have to leave the country club. The prospects of the entire financial system seemed pretty dire but I guess if these guys aren't really concerned about it then maybe I shouldn't be either? Sometimes I wonder how much of this needs to happen before the American people decide to storm their own Bastille.

After that rant it may seem kind of odd that I'm still actually in favor of the use of federal money to do these things. However, it's just completely idiotic if we don't make sure that our interests are protected, that we get something in return, that this isn't just another looting of the federal treasury by those that have too much already.

The Republicans have shown that they have no interest in any of this. They bitched and moaned about tax cuts, funding for birth control, and any other issue that could water down this package from my perspective and they got a lot of it. What did Obama get in return? Not a single Republican vote. They know they're not going to get any credit if it succeeds and they know they know they'll get killed by the far right no matter what so there's no upside for them. Even with the compromises all Obama is going to get is a "fuck you." So why even kowtow to their demands? Make it clear that you're making overtures to them in the interest of bipartisanship but they won't do anything in return and then pass the bill you want. The bill that will actually fix some of this mess and protect the interests of the average person that is really truly hurting.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tee hee

For those that still snicker at sophomoric place names (like me).
Others evoke images that may conflict with residents’ efforts to appear dignified when, for example, applying for jobs.

These include Crotch Crescent, Oxford; Titty Ho, Northamptonshire; Wetwang, East Yorkshire; Slutshole Lane, Norfolk; and Thong, Kent.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Big Inauguration

Here is the long-awaited Big Picture photo gallery from Tuesday.

#3: Ant hills!

#5 I wonder what kind of thoughts Obama had to look out and see people as far as the eye can see. I have to think that there would be some moment of wonderment and awe at the responsibility he now has.

#9-16 Another moment that brings home the power this event has for those around the world. There were some staggering numbers that came out saying that 60% of the country said they watched part of the events live, 20% watched news coverage, and 20% are the bitter ones making ridiculous whiny comments.

#20 It would have been amazing to be there but I'll bet I had a better, warmer, and much more comfortable viewing experience than these people. But they get to say they were there...

#26 Goodbye already!

#27 Fly faster.

#28 Delusional to the end. "Wow, the whole country thinks I'm still number one."

#39 Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others! I saw one of the clips and wondered how they distributed so many flags. It was a ridiculous number.

#42 A great metaphor for the change that is coming.

#46 Many have commented on how affectionate the Obamas are with each other but I had no idea the press knew details like the one this Fox reporter dropped. Wha??

Great photos, all the way.

Labels:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Thoughts

First, the crowd looked pretty amazing. All of the reports I've seen have commented on the joyous nature of the crowd and it looked like a picture of America instead of the sea of whities that tend to make up Republican dominated events. I read that Obama has the highest approval rating going into his first term of any president, at least since Truman if I remember right. I hope that people give him time because it's going to take about four years just to begin to clean up Bush's mess.

Speaking of Bush part of me thought it was kind of funny (probably not "classy" though...) that he was booed and the crowd sang "nana na na, nana na na, hey, hey, goodbye" as his helicopter flew away. In a perfect world it would fly directly to Guantanamo while he awaited his trial for destroying the Constitution over the last eight years but as long as he goes away I'm fine with that. He almost seemed giddy to be getting the hell out of there. I'm sure that was fun to sit there and listen to Obama subtly rip apart his entire presidency. Good riddance.

Can we officially declare Dick Cheney as one of the most bizarre vice presidents ever? From the stories of the "man-sized safe" in his office to the ever-curious "undisclosed location" to shooting a guy in the face and then having that guy apologize to him he's always been weird as hell but randomly showing up in a wheelchair to be rolled around like some sort of Bond-villain or Mr. Potter from "It's a Wonderful Life" was just too perfect. Images like this certainly make for an appropriate metaphor.

What's with John Roberts? How hard is it to read your line off of a card? Way to blow it.

We had the entire thing playing on a computer in our lab but I was in and out most of the day. I think that was probably good since CNN decided that showing people eating was worthy of their coverage. The parade was alright as far as parades go. I kind of like each state sending a bunch of stuff that represents them and all of the different cultures in our country but I also identified with the kids who looked bored out of their minds and ready for a nap. That's got to be one ridiculously long day. As my PI said, "when's this mother fucker going to get to work? Enough with the parade."

Ted Kennedy trying to steal the spotlight by having a seizure? Nice. Then Senator Byrd has to check out too? I hope they didn't draw straws to be Obama's food tasters or something. The Kennedy thing led to CNN reporters saying the phrase "we're told he 'has his Irish up'" about 30 times in 2 minutes. I don't know what that means. I hope he recovers quickly.

The right wingers are so bitter about everything. They really can't stand how much the vast majority of the country is loving every minute of this. They keep whining about how Bush's inauguration wasn't as long or as expensive (it was both) and that he didn't get the love that Obama is. Hmm, perhaps that's because he just lost the popular vote and was viewed as appointed by the Supreme Court by about 51% of the country?

Shout out to science in his speech. Whoo! Science! Suck it, fundies.

There's something to be said about the way one election can change the way that America views itself and the way the rest of the world views us. I believe French President Nikolas Sarkozy remarked on this phenomena after the election but it's rings true. There are still going to be US policies I disagree with which means there are certainly going to be US policies that the rest of the world disagrees with but we're getting something of a fresh start or a do-over. Obama has an international awareness that's often been lacking among Americans and I think the rest of the world recognizes that and hopes they can work with him instead of getting the "you're with us or you're agin' us" treatment. I'm not convinced that someone with Barack's story would be elected in the majority of the European countries which makes me feel like America can once again continue moving towards truly upholding the lofty ideals written into our Constitution and national psyche. That we can be an example to other countries that want to uphold those same values. If one election and one politician can inspire us to do that, well, that's pretty cool.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths.

What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have travelled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Labels:

44

43 is done, gone, goodbye forever. Finally. They will walk off (or wheel off in Cheney's case...bizarre) into history ridiculed and despised.

But, enough of that. It's time to focus on 44. It was a pretty amazing site to see all of the people there. It's clear that the people have moved on. I'll probably have some more thoughts tonight after I get the chance to watch it without having to do actual, you know, work.

Labels:

Monday, January 19, 2009

12 hours



If you're looking for something a little more positive here is a pre-inaugural photo gallery. Some really cool shots. Tomorrow is going to be a good day.

Labels:

24.5 Hours

It's sort of embarrassing how happy I am that Bush is finally leaving forever. I'm almost giddy and feel that a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. We've been saddle with this loser for eight years, I guess I'm just ready for something else. Anything else.

We had a "Bush is Gone" party last night which led to a lot of discussions about whether he was evil or just dumb (conclusion: both), our "favorite" moments, finding out our friends from high school were right-wing extremists, and where we were in our lives eight years ago. It was a very therapeutic environment. Now I've spent the morning watching videos of the inauguration concert from yesterday. I loved Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen leading "This Land is Your Land" with the bonus "controversial" verses.
In the squares of the city
By the shadow of the steeple
By the relief office
I saw my people
As they stood hungry
I stood there whistling
Was this land made for you and me?

A great high wall there
That tried to stop me
A great big sign there
Said Private Property
But on the other side it didn't say nothing
That side was made for you and me

Nobody living
Can ever stop me
As I go walking
My Freedom Highway
Nobody living
Can make me turn back
He's just shy of 90 and can still belt it out. His "You sing it with us. We'll give you the words" cracks me up for some reason.

For as many problems as the country is facing now the optimism I feel is pretty amazing. Fortunately it seems to be a feeling felt by most of the country. Obama will inevitably disappoint me but right now I'm just going to enjoy the moment.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

President Fail

If you have 10 minutes and want to remind yourself of the massive failure that has been the last 8 years (just in case you're getting nostalgic or something...) Keith Olbermann lays it all out there.

After all of that I'm still not sure I heard him mention everything like the attorney general firings and destruction of the justice department that has been in the news again recently among many other crimes/failures. Eight minutes just isn't enough for these scumbags. Good riddance. I'd love to see every one of them frog marched into a courthouse but I doubt that day will ever come.

Labels:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jesus hates your rock music

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

coupla things

Great study about the effects of cocaine on bees. Apparently they love to go clubbing. Heh, he thinks he's people.
Cocaine alters their judgment, stimulates their behavior and makes them exaggeratedly enthusiastic about things that might not otherwise excite them.

On cocaine the bees “danced more frequently and more vigorously for the same quality food,” Dr. Barron said. “They were about twice as likely to dance” as undrugged bees, and they circled “about 25 percent faster.”

The bees did not dance at the wrong time or place. Cocaine only made them more excited about the food they found.

It's illegal to fire someone in Peru for being drunk on the job.
The firing was excessive because even though Cayo was drunk, he did not offend or hurt anybody, Fernando Calle, one of the justices, said on Wednesday.
Hey, as long as nobody is offended, right? 2003 Larry Eustachy is wondering what the basketball scene in Peru is like.

Turns out there's only one degree of separation between swindler Bernie Madoff and Kevin Bacon.
"I don't have anything lined up right now, but I need to work, for obvious reasons."
I assume that means we can expect him in Eddie Murphey's annual crappy cash grab flicks.

PETA wants to rename fish "sea kittens." Ugh.
"Knowing that the fish sticks in the school cafeteria are really made out of tortured sea kittens makes most kids want to lose their lunch."
Double ugh. Make your own sea kitten here. I call mine, Delicious.

Create Your Own Sea Kitten at peta.org!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This was nothing like Jury Duty

Can you imagine if all you knew about jury duty came from the Paulie Shore movie Jury Duty? I'll bet you'd be pretty disappointed...or happy, depending on how you feel about his comedy.

But, yeah, I had jury duty for the first time yesterday and today. Murder, murder, murder was not the case that they lost but, in fact, a civil case involving a car accident, whiplash, and paid doctors. It was a complicated case, Maude. A lot of ins and outs, a lot of what have yous, lot of strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old duder's head.

The rub of the case was that a woman with previous back pain history was rear ended by a guy on the Kansas turnpike as the cars merged into two lanes. Was her current (and supposed increase in back pain) due to the accident or a pre-existing condition? The actual case isn't really exciting enough to go into but there were a few highlights. We had to endure lots of testimony from this cheesy chiropractor via a video-taped deposition and at the end of it this woman on the other side of the woman to my right leaned over to her and whispered "good looking, doctor." If you're into dopey looking guys with too much gel in their hair who are trying way too hard to act like they're some expert, I guess.

But, the best was the yokel who went into way too much detail about his recent legal troubles involving interference with public acts (because he refused police orders to leave the scene of a domestic disturbance until he got his ciggs from inside), his phone (he keeps it wrapped in saran wrap to keep it clean), and any other random thing that crossed his mind (To himself while everyone else is sitting in silence: "oh, I've got to see if I can change that appointment. Yeah, I could do it Thursday, I guess. Or should I just do it next week?").

The first day he wailed on the dish of lifesaver candies on the table. As we were leaving the bailiff is telling us how we're going to have coffee and donuts in the morning and do we need anything else? "Yeah," the guy shouted. "More Lifesavers!" Uhh, ok. So, this morning we have a full dish of candy that he is again wailing on in addition to the donuts and the coffee AND apple juice. During deliberations he's going after that candy again and immediately grabbing a Dr. Pepper. He was debating with himself about whether he should have another soda or whether he'd had enough sugar already when he leaped up. "I gotta go to the bathroom." Unfortunately the bathroom was waaay to close to our deliberations because I could hear every detail of whatever foul deeds were occurring in there. It was all I could do to break out a "hey, how 'bout a courtesy flush in there?" Also, you don't really see many people rocking the green courderouy pants with the slightly different shade of green courderouy shirt anymore.

With all of that said, I'm sure people are telling stories about me around their dinner table tonight because I was one of the 3 people holding up the process at the end arguing over money. It's not that I felt she deserved a ton of money or anything but in a civil case you have such a low burden of proof that I thought it was probable that a portion of her future medical expenses were due to the accident but it wasn't to be. I wasn't necessarily completely tied to the idea but I wasn't going to give in that easily to these people just because they wanted to go home. Justice must be done, dammit! However, we didn't exactly pull a "12 Angry Men" because we caved after like half an hour.

And that was pretty much it. A day and a half out of the lab and something like $50. That's not a bad deal, I guess.

Friday, January 09, 2009

I guess that's why Christians never die

Joe the Plumber, are you worried about rocket attacks while you're in Israel?
"Being a Christian I'm pretty well protected by God I believe."

Sweet. Way to go, Joe. You never cease to amaze me with your stupidity.

10.5 days

Can you believe it? After like 7 years and 51 or so weeks we're finally about to close this thing out for the Bush presidency. I'm debating whether to do a retrospective of his "greatest hits" or just celebrate quietly and let him and his "legacy" fade away.

Anyway, I have to say that Dana Perino was infinitely more likable than any of her predecessors in the press secretary job. She didn't have that bald weasel look of Ari Shapiro, or the flop sweat of Scott McClelland trying to lie his way out of another one, or the boringness of Tony Snow (rest his soul...). Sure she's still an administration shill but as this funny clip shows she can kind of have good time and you can tell even she can't take it that seriously.

Still glad to see her go though...

Labels:

Was I too hard on Tebow?

First, here is a link containing a video with a sampling of the effusive praise heaped upon Tebow's broad yet humble shoulders. A modern day Atlas some might say. Warning, it gets pretty graphic watching these two grown men slobber over a 21 year old.

So, I was starting to feel a little bad this morning because I thought that Tebow probably was a really great guy and had done all of these great things to help people and I shouldn't hate on someone if everyone else chooses to over hype his efforts. Then, however, I'm sitting in the barbershop and ESPN is running a little piece about how great he is. After debating whether to quickly puncture my ear drums I decided the more reasonable course would be to hear it out so that maybe I would respect him more after seeing some specific examples. Nope.

This great service he was performing involved heading to the Philippines during his spring break (with camera crew in tow...) and spending most of his time spreading the gospel with a little bit of helping involved. Then, it turns out that most of his actual help involved circumcising Phillipino boys! Uh, what? First, you're not a doctor. Second, why do they need to be circumcised to begin with? Turns out most of the world seems to get by just fine without getting their junk operated on by a Heisman trophy winner. Now, apparently this might be because some studies may have shown that circumcision might reduce chances of contracting AIDS. That kind of raises the question of what his religious group thinks about condoms which could be much more effective in that regard.

So, cut to his next act of charitable goodness and he's speaking a prison. "Who will join me up here and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Who will join me? Thanks you, brother."
Ugh. I guess I should be impressed that he's converting the heathen masses but from my perspective there are many other much more important things he could focus on that can have an affect on people's lives rather than altar calls and circumcisions. I'm sure he's involved in some of them as well but perhaps a little sanity is in order about what he's really doing. According to his dad's website here are their five priorities:
1. Evangelism
2. Church planting
3. Pastor Training
4. Orphanage
5. Training the next generation of evangelists (probably fits in nicely with #4)

If this is what he wants to do that's absolutely fine but those aren't my priorities and they aren't priorities for a lot of others whether they're Christians or not. I'm sure he's helped a lot of people but I honestly don't feel as bad for questioning a lot of the hero worship surrounding him.

/Asshole rant

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Tim Tebow died for your sins

And don't you forget it.

I'm just finishing up watching the BCS title game which featured Oklahoma against Florida led by Jesus...err, Tim Tebow. Tebow is one of those guys that the announcers just love except this actually even goes beyond that. Announcers may never shut up about Brett Favre or Tyler Hansbrough and their athletic accomplishments but at least we don't also have to hear about what a great fucking person they are. On and on it goes.

Quick sidenote but Fox's production of these BCS games was abysmal. Why did anyone think it was a good idea for them to do zero college football games throughout the year and then throw four of the five biggest ones on their network? The announcers are clueless (tonight's guys usually do baseball), they have way too many gimmicks (like the "OU Between Snaps" clock that failed miserably every time they tried to use it), they try to show the band after every single play, the list goes on. It's just been amateur hour every night. As much as I hate to say it I might actually be in favor of the games moving to ESPN whenever their contract starts. You know it's bad if I believe that.

Anyway, here are some Tim Tebow True Facts I learned from the game tonight. Tebow was home schooled, Tebow's family sold everything they have to start a mission, Tebow is a great Christian (and in case you forget it he helpfully writes a Bible verse on his eye black strips, John 3:16 today, and puts his hands together in a praying motion after touchdowns). Just wearing a Livestrong bracelet isn't enough for Tebow...he has TWO OTHERS! I have no idea what they're for or why he feels the need to wear all that crap on his arm when he plays but dammit, Tebow's just trying to do his part! People in the Philippines have named their children after him! After their one loss this year Tebow started crying at the press conference promising that no one would practice harder or push his team more than he would. Then, he just said "God bless" and walked off stage. I know you will I'm exaggerating but this shit went beyond any sort of satire I could come up with.

More than once the announcers said that hanging around Tebow will "make you a better person" and "can change your life." It's impossible to tally up the number of references to his faith but rest assured it was about every other play. After he scored the final touchdown they went into a litany of countries he lived in, accomplishments, whatever. I was sitting there in disbelief about all of this when they actually said "he's lived in an orphanage and a leper colony." At that point I just started laughing. I mean, like I said, this is beyond parody. Does he love Jesus or is he Jesus?

So, old Jebus Tebow himself is icing the game and decides he's going to get in an OU player's face to talk some shit. Whoops, 15 yard taunting penalty. Stuff like that is classic. I'm sure he really is a good guy but if you're going to talk about your faith constantly and make such a big show about it shouldn't you maybe not spend all game running around screaming at people like a d-bag? After this penalty the announcer could only say, "that may be the first thing he's ever done wrong!"

Ugh, I give up. Praise Tebow!

How to know you've married a crazy woman

Dateline Australia
An Australian woman accused of setting her husband's genitals on fire because she thought he was having an affair has been charged with murder.

Prosecutors said 44-year-old Rajini Narayan confessed to neighbors that she set her husband on fire on Dec. 8, 2008, after she saw him hug another woman.

She was initially charged with endangering life and arson but the charges were upgraded to murder after her 47-year-old husband, Satish Narayan, died from his injuries last week.

Prosecutor Lucy Boord said Narayan told neighbors she was a "jealous wife" but she hadn't meant to kill him when she doused the sleeping man's genitals with an alcohol-based solvent and then set him on fire.

Boord quoted Narayan allegedly saying: "I just wanted to burn his penis so it belongs to me and no one else. ... I didn't mean this to happen."
Wow. even Doug Christie's wife thinks this is extreme. And, hey, I know you only want his penis for yourself but if it's all shriveled and burnt it's probably no good for anyone, right?

Plus, the stock photo they include with the article is classic.

"Hmm, we need something that says 'penis fire.' How 'bout we go with 'naked dude' and photoshop 'burning match' in there?"
"Ooh, nice touch."

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

This is (not really) Joe the (not really) Plumber reporting from under some heavy fire right now

Yes, it appears that Joe the Plumber is going to try his hand at being a war correspondent by talking to some Average Yousefs in Israel to see what they think. What? The career as a country singing, book writing, unlicensed plumber isn't panning out? Oh, you "regular Joes" are always wanting more.

Perhaps he's just going to see if the claims that Obama's election would mean "death for Israel"? With analysis that was such bullshit that even Fox wouldn't swallow it I can't see how this won't be an amazing success. We could be talking about the second coming of Edward R. Murrow here. I mean, why should we trust trained professionals to bring us our news when we can just send over this d-bag because he said Obama was socialist once? (Since Joe's so concerned about the working man shouldn't someone ask him why he's taking jobs from real reporters at a time when so many are being laid off?) These people are truly insane. In fact I guarantee someone right now is tracking down the "Obama's an arab" lady to get her ass over there to get some truth up in this thing!

On a sidenote, watching that video brought back some memories of just how ridiculous the campaign was at times. I mean, McCain actually issued a statement distancing himself from the "death to Israel" remarks yet in that same statement claimed that Joe had offered "some penetrating and clear analysis." Ha, when exactly was that? I wonder if McCain ever looks back and sees Palin and Joe and just thinks, "what the fuck was I thinking? Was I drunk that entire campaign? Who told me this would be a good idea?" I was concerned that the Republicans might get their act together but if they're going the Palin/Joe the Plumber route and passing around "Barack the Magic Negro" at the highest levels I might not have much to worry about yet.

Wal-Mart and Porn: American Traditions

Via Terrace Agenda is this intriguing map of the spread of Wal-Mart, a blight on this great land of ours. Kansas fought it for a little while but we were just too close to the epicenter of the spread. It's a little hard for me to imagine that for the first few years of my life there wasn't a Wal-Mart within 50 miles of me considering I can't get away from them now.

Then there's Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild sleazebag Joe Francis asking the government for some, ahem, stimulus money for the porn industry. How's the smut business, Jackie? Not good apparently.
“The take here is that everyone and their mother want to be bailed out from the banks to the big three,” said Owen Moogan, spokesman for Larry Flynt. “The porn industry has been hurt by the downturn like everyone else and they are going to ask for the $5 billion. Is it the most serious thing in the world? Is it going to make the lives of Americans better if it happens? It is not for them to determine.”
Lest you think they're only doing this for their own pocketbooks it appears there's a more altruistic motive:
"People are too depressed to be sexually active," Flynt said in the statement. "This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex."

"With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind. It's time for congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly."
Hmm, good point. But, in typical Flynt fashion it's actually some pretty good satire.

Another Ames landmark to close

I'm pretty sure someday I'll go back and there will be nothing I recognize. Except Welch Ave Station, I guess. I could go in there in 30 years and the same five bartenders will still be working, and the same posters from the 80's will still be on the wall, and Brooke Burke will still be hanging over the urinal.

Anyway, this time it's the Varsity Theatre, a hole-in-the-wall movie theater that mostly showed independent/artsy films while I was in school there. I will say that it isn't exactly a surprise considering more than once I'd go see a movie and we'd be the only people there but I do have quite a few good memories of that place. One of the first I remember was watching a free preview of "Road Trip" before it came out (remember when Tom Green was a superstar? Those were strange times...), lining up to watch Fahrenheit 9/11 and cheering with the sold out crowd when it opened, deciding on a whim to see Napolean Dynamite before it blew up, getting drunk for the midnight movies and throwing popcorn at the people who would pass out, plus just seeing any number of other movies I never would have seen in the days before Netflix. Bummer.

Monday, January 05, 2009

I'm big on the Big Picture

I've linked to a few offerings from the Boston Globe's Big Picture blog and thought their three part 120 photo look at 2008 was worth another link. Check it out.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Parenting

I think that probably one of the hardest parts of being a parent is when your kids disappoint you. If I ever have kids I hope I don't have to go through something like this. Now, don't get me wrong. I know it's not easy for kids and I, myself, have dabbled with the banker but it's hard to get kids to understand that there are some thing more important.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

You probably shouldnt watch this

This is a video that you probably should just avoid unless you're into obese Auburn fans eating whole lizards dipped in ketchup. Seriously. Enjoy, Gene.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

"For some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror."
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

Wow, really?