10 December 2006

Augury

From Malaysia comes word of a giant eagle with human facial features that’s been terrorizing workers on a palm fruit plantation.1

According to eyewitness reports, “The eagle had the face of a man! The face was snow white just like feathers of the bird, but it had a hooked nose, deep set human eyes, a thin mouth and pointed chin.”2

Given the perplexing nature of this encounter, it was inevitable that an old man in a nearby village would be consulted. Subsequently, an old man “warned them that a person coming face to face with such a bird would normally go blind.”

Shortly thereafter the worker who sighted the man-faced eagle was struck in the eye by a “loose fruit”, and it took nearly three months before he recovered completely.3

1Notice the linked article includes an actual photograph of palm fruit trees similar to ones the man-faced eagle was observed in.

2Palm fruits are kosher.

3What did you expect?

06 December 2006

It was a Nintendo Game Boy

A woman in Columbia, South Carolina had her 12 year old son arrested for opening his Christmas present too early. Given the ongoing disintegration of the American family it’s likely such incidents will become more common. Many of today’s parents, especially single mothers, are incapable of controlling their kids, so why not let the police handle it? Only the unruliest of brats would refuse to eat his vegetables and pick up his toys if he knew his belligerence would result in being Tasered, handcuffed, and taken downtown to spend the night in a jail cell. Sassing your mom is one thing, but sassing a burly cop with a billy-club and gun is another. At some point in the future expect a separate police force to be created that specializes entirely in child discipline.

04 December 2006

Hazy, he said

A Londonderry man named Emmet Sweeney is causing quite a stir with his claim the Pyramids “were built around 800BC when people had access to steel. That is a big reduction in the chronology."

Coming on the heels of the startling revelation Stonehenge didn’t exist prior to the 1890’s, it’s becoming obvious much of the past is more recent than previously thought.

17 years ago

“You must have noticed that more and more American movies are based on comic strips (the Superman series, Batman, the upcoming Dick Tracy), or on what might as well be comic strips (the Indiana Jones series, the so far only two Ghostbusters, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and scads more). You will also have noticed how many movies are sequels (the list is endless). What does this mean? It is the sinister confluence of two unwholesome manifestations: rabid nostalgia and a frenzy for playing it safe.”

“Will audiences never get tired of invincible Good disguising itself in mask and cape and, with or without a faithful companion (Tonto, Robin, Lois Lane), foiling vincible Evil in the nick of time? And what is so fascinating - except to nerds, who can identify themselves, realistically, with the Clark Kent persona while dreaming themselves into the Other - about the cut-and-dried dual personality of the superman-hero?”
- from John Simon's review of the movie "Batman" [John Simon on Film: Criticism, 1982-2001].

30 November 2006

Expect delays from snow and ice

Some nights he could hardly sleep imagining how wondrous it would be. Seeds, all kinds of seeds in glass cases! Tractors! An entire wing of antique farm implements! A stuffed cow! And it could all be his, he was so close! If only it weren’t for that stubborn old bastard, refusing to let go...

____

On Tuesday US District Judge James Robertson ruled US currency unfairly discriminates against the blind as all American bills are the same size so the sightless can’t tell the different denominations apart. He’s given the Treasury 10 days to start working on the problem.

Replacing existing currency with new notes of different sizes would be considerably expensive, not only for the Treasury but for industry (think of all the vending machines, ATM’s, etc., that would require retooling). A cheaper solution would be to keep bills the same size but print them using scented inks: Ones could smell like cabbage, fives like strawberry, ten-spots like cheddar, twenties like roast beef, hundreds like butterscotch...

____

"Pause a while and recall in the last four years how many wedding ceremonies you have attended and not noticed the bride being pregnant."

26 November 2006

What beast? Why, an otter

Two weeks after she went missing, the corpse of a Florida woman was discovered “wedged upside-down behind a bookshelf in her room in her family's home.” Apparently she’d been there all along, getting stuck while trying to “fiddle with a television set's plug at an outlet behind the bookshelf. Police said they suspect [she] was unable to breathe in the position and suffocated.”

After reading of this bizarre tragedy I felt compelled to check behind my own bookshelves for dead bodies. Thankfully I found none, though I did find some sea otter carcasses, which I intend to mail to the editors of Cat Fancy magazine with a note reading “Murderers.”

Elsewhere: The Chadian army has retaken Abeche.

An otter, Sir John? Why an otter?

“52 percent of dead sea otters washing up on California beaches were infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, the source of which was cat feces.”

“Ten million tons of dog and cat excreta are disposed of each year in the United States; the city of San Francisco estimates that pet wastes make up 4 percent of its residential waste stream -- almost as much as disposable diapers.

Poop B Gone, which had a prominent booth at the Pet Expo, is part of a rapidly growing service industry to help busy homeowners deal with pet wastes. In the areas of Long Island that they service, yard cleanup for one to two dogs runs $15 a week; litter box service is $59 a month for one or two cats, $105 for six to eight. I asked Mike, one of Poop B Gone's proprietors, if there was extra money to be made from the nutrient-rich dog wastes he collects. Has he considered a joint venture with a compost or energy entrepreneur? "No, we just have to pay the landfill to take it," he said.”
- Salina, Kansas plant breeder Stan Cox, speaking truth to power on the pages of Alternet.

19 November 2006

Last week in review

Last Thursday Steve "the Grape Guy" Spalding, of Dallas, TX, “caught 116 tossed grapes in his mouth in three minutes in what he hopes will become a new Guinness World Record”. Inspired by Spalding’s feat, a similar world record was attempted by Archie “the Coconut Dude” Rawlings, of Federal Way, WA. As of this morning Mr. Rawlings remains in critical condition.

In other stupid news from last week, Toys for Tots, a charity that provides Christmas presents to needy children, has rejected the donation of 4,000 foot-tall talking Jesus dolls because the dolls might offend Jews and Muslims. Why Jews and Muslims are celebrating Christmas no one can say, but it would be easy enough for the Muslim children to pretend the foot-tall talking Jesus is Osama Bin Laden. And couldn’t the Jewish children use the doll to stage make-believe crucifixions? That’s what’s wrong with kids these days - no imagination.

UPDATE: Toys for Tots has reversed itself, and will accept the foot-tall talking Jesus dolls.

15 November 2006

Current events


"Politics destroys character." - Otto von Bismarck

Crucial swing votes

The Iraq Study Group is set to advise the White House on the debacle in Mesopotamia. I wasn’t asked to be part of the Iraq Study Group, if I had my advice would be to bring back the flamethrower and apply it unsparingly and without remorse – in Iraq as well.

In other political news, Republicans appointed a Cuban, Mel Martinez, head of the party in order to appeal to the crucial Hispanic swing vote, which in reality isn’t crucial, always goes Democrat, and is mostly Mexican. While it hasn’t been announced yet, sources tell me another crucial swing vote Republicans plan on reaching out to is the fast growing cosplay community1, so expect to see Martinez making public appearances in a Smurf costume in the near future.

1Not to be confused with “Cos-Play” community, which is people dressing up like Cliff Huxtable.

12 November 2006

The Tide: Can monkeys teach a lesson?

A Tide1 correspondent visits a monkey a preserve, and discovers monkeys are a lot like people:
“To a first time visitor, one of the noticeable traits of these animals is that they are truly African species, highly social and live in groups of 15-30, much like the typical African extended family life system, each animal of the same family look out for others.”
Even better than people, in some ways:
“A female monkey takes her sexual reproductive health and rights very seriously. Sexual reproductive health and rights is one of the actions that Africans must seek to fulfil to achieve the target of the Millennium Development Goals, 2015. There is also no question of perverse sexuality or violent sex.”
The Tide correspondent also notices:
“Interestingly, every animal in the group does the bidding of the dominant male.”
That is interesting...

Also from The Tide: Small Talks’ articles, all in one place.

1Motto: “A commitment to truth”.

09 November 2006

The whole of the past

"I’m becoming more and more doubtful as to the validity of this way of carrying on. It’s not just names or being able to pronounce them: it involves a whole complex of associations. So far classical allusions and biblical ones and (in my case) liturgical ones still more or less work, but only more or less, because the whole of the past, as far as I can make out, is down the drain."
- David Jones (c. 1952), in reference to his poem The Anathemata. [see David Jones & the sacrament of art, by Gerald Russello (reg. required)]

05 November 2006

Dolphin future

A dolphin with legs has been captured:
"Japanese researchers said Sunday a bottlenose dolphin captured last month has an extra set of fins that could be the remains of back legs”

“The second set of fins - much smaller than the dolphin's front fins - are about the size of human hands and protrude from near the tail on the dolphin's underside. The dolphin measures 2.72 metres and is about five years old, the museum said.
A freak mutation may have caused the ancient trait to reassert itself”
Dolphins, as you may recall from school, were once four-legged land animals. At some point in the distant past they left the land for the sea (or “transitioned to an aquatic lifestyle”, as the anonymous wire service author of the article linked to above amusingly puts it).

Why dolphins did this remains a mystery, possibly it was to avoid being eaten by dinosaurs. My own theory is they did it to get out of paying their heavy credit card debts.

If dolphins are growing legs again, they must be planning a move back to land in the near future, which means a day will surely come when the dolphins waddle out of the ocean on to the beach, stroll past stunned sunbathers, and head on down to the local government offices to demand in high pitched squeaky voices they be given welfare checks and free medical care.

Muzzafarpur mayhem

From the town of Muzzafarpur “in the poor and lawless state of Bihar” comes word of a three-month-old boy named Praveen who has been robbing bus passengers in the company of a gang of armed men:
"Villagers were angered when a police team arrived with a list of accused, including the boy.

"How could our little Praveen be named an accused?" said Shakila Devi, the child's mother."
The instinct of a mother to defend her precious child, no matter how horrible and guilty he is, is a powerful one, isn’t it? I almost find it touching.

30 October 2006

Elsewhere: Science

Scientists confirm flamingos are composed almost entirely of erectile tissue:
“[T]hey bend their necks, tilt their bills upside down in the water and swish their heads from side-to-side. Their large tongue acts like a piston, sucking water into the front of the bill and then pushing it out the sides. Fringed plates on the tongue trap algae and crustaceans in the circulating water.”
MIT researchers have developed a gasoline engine which looks like an Apple iBook.

Oregon psychologist Dr. Matthew Johnson has discoverd Bigfoot is a mild laxative:
"We continued to hike up the trail...I heard a faint sound (i.e., “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!)...

Don’t ask me why but we continued to walk up the mountain through the very tall trees and brush. The sound continued in cycles of five to six repetitions (i.e., Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa). Louder and louder. Now the sounds were behind us.

I started putting one and one together in my mind and my biological “fight or flight” responses kicked in. I stopped my family on the trail. I told them to stay quiet. I hiked up the hill to our left because I had to go poop ASAP...While I was doing my duty, I was scanning the woods down the mountain on the other side...That’s when I saw it. I saw it come out from behind one tree to the left and walk to another tree to the right...

I was the only one who saw Bigfoot because I had hiked up off the trail high enough to see it. I can’t tell you what it looked like other than it was very tall, looked half-human and half ape, walked upright, and had very dark hair (i.e., a mix of very dark brown and/or black hair)."
Strangely, the Bigfoot described by Dr. Johnson sounds and looks like Brad Delp, lead singer of the 70’s rock band Boston. Delp's vocal stylings, in particular his sustained high notes, were also known to be capable of inducing bowel movements.

24 October 2006

From Ultima Thule to Des Moines

Greenland is slowly running out of ice, yet my freezer, like the freezer of most Americans, is practically overflowing with the stuff. We take our great abundance for granted. I’m doing my part by using one less cube per highball, which works out to 7 or 8, possibly 12 cubes conserved per day.

Meanwhile closer to home, our old friend Dr. Sue Savage Rumbagh is in the news again. As you may remember, she’s the scientist who provided a group of apes with a large (13,000-square-foot) and luxurious (indoor waterfall, gourmet kitchen) home in the hopes the beasts would learn language, music and art.1 That hasn’t happened2, but one of the apes, Panbanisha, has learned how to pull the fire alarm.

Some are describing this as a breakthrough (“Brian O'Keefe said Monday it was the first known case of an animal setting off a fire alarm in Des Moines”), but given this projects grandiose aims (music?) and expense (the home by itself cost $10 million), even if the monkey’s3 were to progress to doing better pranks such as egging cars or leaving flaming bags of dog-doo on peoples porches, it would still not be enough to proclaim success.

1Dr. Rumbaugh’s thinking is similar to parents who send their children to expensive colleges.

2With the children either.

3I write about apes, chimps, and monkeys far more than is healthy.

UPDATE (Bonus monkey business): Jihadi monkey behind bars! A correspondent alerted me to a Mohammedan monkey in India who's been imprisoned for repeatedly attacking Hindus:
Raised by a Muslim family in Jagannathpur village, Ramu allegedly attacked some Hindu children five years ago, sparking communal tension in the area. Police arrested Ramu.

But the monkey won over the men in uniform with his naughty ways and a police peace committee decided to set Ramu free after a “serious debate”.

Once freed, the monkey went back to his old ways, refusing to become “secular”. Ramu continued his jihad and landed behind bars again — this time for good. The police built a special iron cell for the “terrorist”.

22 October 2006

Elsewhere: Sports

Hunting wolves with eagles in Kazakhstan.

Baseball Lingo 101 from Mortimer Shy.

Only two weeks until the 2006 Breeders' Cup.

Watch your chances fade

While GOP candidates across the country watch their electoral chances fade, Ron Saxton, the Republican challenger for Governor of Oregon, has pulled even in the polls with Democratic incumbent Ted Kulongoski.

What’s Saxton’s secret?
“Saxton pushed the issue [illegal immigration] the hardest, accusing Kulongoski's government of enabling illegal immigrants to use driver's licenses to gain taxpayer services and to vote - and vowing to make sure immigration laws are enforced.”
Republican losers take note: Oregon's a state that voted Democratic in the last five presidential elections.

18 October 2006

Every dot and line

"From the age of six I could draw forms and objects. By 50 I had turned out an infinite number of drawings. But I am not happy about anything I did before 70. Only at 73 did I begin to understand the true form and nature of birds, fish and plants. By 80 I had made a lot of progress. At 90 I will begin to get to the root of it all. By 100 I will have reached a Superior State in art, undefinable, and by 110, every dot and line will be living"
- Hokusai

Seven Blunders

With the public being asked to choose the New Seven Wonders of the World, I thought I would examine the merits of seven of the 21 candidates.

1. Stonehenge. Why is it no one ever saw fit to mention this ‘wonder’ in print until 1902? For two reasons: 1. a bunch of large rocks in a circle isn’t wondrous. 2. Stonehenge didn’t exist prior to the 1890’s, having been constructed not by ancient druids, but by drunken university students.

2. The Great Wall of China. Proponents of this ‘wonder’ concede, as they’ve no other choice, that walls, in and of themselves, are boring, but argue because the Great Wall of China is very, very long, it is, therefore, a wonder. Which is absurd. How can more of something boring be not more boring, or at the very least as boring, but somehow less boring? It’s logically impossible. Boring meetings don’t become less boring the longer they last; boring people don’t become less boring the more one’s around them; no sane person thinks adding deleted scenese to the director’s cut DVD of My Dinner With Andre would transform the film into something exciting.

3. The Pyramids. If the pyramids are such a wonder, why do pyramid people constantly lie about them? I’m referring to the silly claim the construction of the pyramids was a feat which couldn’t be duplicated today. I’ve got bad news for the pyramid people: as anyone who has ever watched a skyscraper being built knows, a crew using a single large crane could assemble a pile of blocks into a pyramid shape as big as any in Egypt in a matter of weeks, instead of years.

4. Alhambra, Spain. On the list to meet pee-cee demands to include something by the Musselmen.

5. The robot head the astronauts discovered on the moon. Truly a wonder, ineligible because it’s not of this world.

6. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany. On the list to meet pee-cee demands to include something by the homosexualists.

7. Timbuktu city, Mali. Like Reno, Nevada, Timbuktu is a small city in the desert featuring a number of silly looking buildings. Unlike Reno, the buildings in Timbuktu are made of mud. Poor Reno, if only your casinos were made of mud instead of concrete, glass, and steel, you too could be a wonder of the world!

17 October 2006

400,000,000

In an essay on population growth for the Wall Street Journal, Joel Kotkin explains how only good is likely to result from America’s demographic transformation because, well because, claims securing the border will dampen “entrepenurial energy”, and observes:

“If you want to find the newest and biggest Chinese supermarkets, Hindu temples, or mosques, the best place to look is not the teeming cities but the outer suburbs of Los Angeles, New York or Houston.”

I have no reason to think Kotkin’s wrong as to where these things are, but why am I supposed to want to find them?

16 October 2006

Microsharking

Muhammad Yunus has been awarded the Nobel Peace prize for his practice of loaning small amounts of money to impoverished people.

I often give change, sometimes even a dollar, to the various hobos in my neighborhood. Today I went around and informed them they had to pay me that money back, with interest.

Spheres

"[T]he most pressing problem of good (and that automatically implies ethical) government lies today in building up defence machineries around spheres in which the person should have power and self-government approximately commensurate with his own capacities. The Middle Ages and their aftermath were characterized by a multitude of such autonomous and semi-autonomous spheres; medieval man frequently belonged to a variety of these."
- Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Liberty or Equality: p. 119.

11 October 2006

Yesterday's papers

At times it’s almost as if The Tide News Online (motto: “A commitment to truth”) publishes certain stories with me in mind. This week’s example: helpful sex education advice from Tide intern and Bill Bennett admirer Akang.

Also: The Illustrated London News Archive.

09 October 2006

NoK NoK Jokes

The fall out from the North Korean nuclear test continues to spread.

The North Koreans, angered by Japan’s refusal to allow North Korean synchronized swimmers compete at last month’s Swimming World Cup, have described Japan’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics as “an insult”. According to a North Korean spokesman, “This is enough to make a cat laugh”.

Relations between North Korea and the United States deteriorated further as well after Kim Jong-Il revealed he too was a recipient of obscene text messages from homosexualist former Republican Congressman Mark Foley. According to a North Korean spokesman, “These messages are enough to make a cat laugh. And feel creeped out”.

When I hear the word diversity I reach for my gun

I’m not the only one, it seems, as new research has found increased diversity means decreased trust. [via Mangan]

Abadie & Eugène Ogé


The exquisitely fine Abadie cigarette rolling papers are1 a classic brand. The above Abadie publicity poster from 1904 by Eugène Ogé is a classic as well. I find the artistry, irreverence, and humor of it delightful. It captures the spirit and freedom of another time, when tastes were better and simple pleasures like jokes and smoking were not subject to persecution by tedious scolds.

1Or were, I'm not sure if they are still being made.

08 October 2006

A new era of insecurity

We have entered a new era of insecurity. I’m referring, of course, to the menace posed by brick throwing monkeys:

New Delhi, October 8 A 30-year-old woman who had come to AIIMS to see her nephew a dengue patient in the hospital, died after a monkey threw a brick at her inside the hospital complex

The North Korean nuclear test is unsettling as well, but imagine a future (or don’t imagine, if you’re the nervous type) where brick throwing monkeys have managed to spread out from India to infest hospital complexes throughout the globe.

Not all today’s news is bad, as there have been no new reports of the Sandsend blob bothering people.

05 October 2006

Le Quizzo

Le Quizzo is back. Le Quizzo is from the swamps and it’s contagious. Try not to catch Le Quizzo.

Bird friend: Woodpecker

Bird enemy: Crow

Drum solo that changed your life: Echo, track 2 from Tony Williams' Spring. This 5 minute drum solo did more than change my life, it changed me on a sub-atomic level. And I have the scans to prove it.

Blob that changed your life: Sandsend Blob

Book that made you cry: Totally Unauthorized Secrets to Donkey Kong Country 2

Book that made you keen, caterwaul, and bewail: Roget’s Thesaurus

How do you like your Ines? Smoking and nipply

Paper of record: Daily Racing Form

Desert island donut: Glazed

Aren’t you sorry/glad you met Le Quizzo? Don’t pass it on.

Linguistic tour

Lately I’ve noticed people on the television and the radio - and only people on the television and the radio - saying ‘tour’ so it rhymes with ‘for’. Whereas I, everyone I know, and the dictionary pronounce ‘tour’ rhyming with ‘lure’.

Is this mispronunciation taught in broadcasting school? I’m going to avoid television, radio, and sobriety for the next few months in the hopes this irritating verbal tic is only a passing fad.

04 October 2006

The Black Blob of Sandsend

A creature eyewitnesses describe as a 4ft tall black blob resembling a bean bag chair has been frightening the innocent people of Sandsend:
"The dog spotted it and went racing up to see it off so it was obvious by her natural chasing instinct that this was some wild animal.

"As she approached it the odd thing was that there was no scuffle or running involved. The black thing seemed to glide sidewards very gracefully and quietly like a ghost into the grass. "The dog then ran up through the hedge and she gave a yelp."
I suspect the “creature” was actually one of those morbidly obese pre-teens so ubiquitous these days, but I will continue to keep an eye on this story as there’s a remote possibility it might lead to some sort of cryptozoological breakthrough.

In other news, Indonesian Islamofascists have opened a new front in the ongoing Jihad by launching a series of attacks against a banyan tree. Apparently the 100 year old tree possesses mystical powers, something the Musselmen find intolerable. Though slightly damaged, so far the tree appears to be winning.

03 October 2006

Camera Man

According to Owen Barfield:
"A representative Camera Man believes "that the mind is something which is shut up in a sort of box called the brain." He accepts "that the mind of man is a passive onlooker at the processes and phenomena of nature, in the creation of which it neither takes nor has taken any part." He accepts "the fallacy that there are many separate minds but no such thing as Mind"

Understood in light of the evolution of consciousness, Barfield insists, the camera must be seen as a caricature of imagination, although it is a true emblem of perspective. Imagination is living, perspective only "lifelike." It used to be said that the camera cannot lie. But in fact it always does lie. Just because it looks only in that immediate way, the camera looks always at and never into what it sees. I suspect that Medusa did very much the same...

"We live in a camera civilization," Barfield observes in "The Harp and the Camera." "Our entertainment is camera entertainment. Our holidays are camera holidays. We make them so by paying more attention to the camera we brought with us than to the waterfall we are pointing it at. Our science is almost entirely a camera science...and it is already becoming self-evident to camera man that only camera words have any meaning"
- Encyclopedia Barfieldiana

Expectations

"The average man always clings despairingly to cliches. If one takes them away from him, he has to do his own research, his own thinking and deciding and has to begin anew. One can't really expect this sort of elitist behavior from such poor folks." - Eric von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

01 October 2006

Color it is in sense

When not eating former Kentucky Derby Winning race horses or ice cream which tastes like race horses, it would seem the Japanese people spend the day sending me emails. Hundreds of them. Unfortunately, the emails are all in Japanese, which I can’t read. But through that miracle of modern compu-tology known as Google Language Tools I’ve been translating them. One particularly profound correspondent wrote:

Very the adult the community of atmosphere. When you express in one word, the maniac it is the sight where the people get together. It does not go with to the ripening woman, but well enough the woman of seniority being many, the shank. Because by his is still younger one, it had making to the people study who meet here various types. Color it is in sense. As for me when if anything the junior child is the taste, but good quality of seniority you tasted here. Rather than how you say, or there is a magnanimity, it is with the shank, settling, the [ru]. Well, even with the money regardless there is a room in life, it is probably will be. Simply, to rust and force heart and the body, like.

Years from now, maybe when you are driving, maybe when you are half asleep in front of the TV, maybe when you are lying in a hospital bed, these words will come back to you, and you will find yourself wanting to shout if not actually shouting, “Of course! That’s it exactly!”

Locke Picked

“Civil governments were formed not by the concurrence of individuals, but by the association of families.” – Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke [via Eunomia]

What you should know

“A young man should be computer literate, and moreover should know Hemingway from James Joyce. He should know how to drive a car well - such as is not covered in "Driver Ed." He should know how to fly a light airplane. He should know how to shoot well. He should know elementary geography, both worldwide and local. He should have a cursory knowledge of both zoology and botany. He should know the fundamentals of agriculture and corporate economy. He should be well qualified in armed combat, boxing, wrestling, judo, or the equivalent. He should know how to manage a motorcycle. He should be comfortable in at least one foreign language, and more if appropriate to his background. He should be familiar with remedial medicine.”
Col. Jeff Cooper

Col. Cooper, who among other things was the “father of what is commonly known as "The Modern Technique" of handgun shooting, and considered by many to be the world's foremost expert on the use and history of small arms,” died last Monday. He was 86.

25 September 2006

Sacred Duty

"There are countless horrible things happening all over the country, and horrible people prospering, but we must never allow them to disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to sabotage and annoy them whenever possible." - Auberon Waugh

21 September 2006

16 Volts Unplugged

The bastards got to Ilkka Kokkarinen, and now he's shut down his blog Sixteen Volts.

Among his transgressions was observing lesbians are fat ("and usually lesbians do eat a lot, as you can tell just by looking at them"), which no one, not even his idiot persecutors, denies, but apparently the Canadian P.C. police are worried if it's said out loud it might lead to angry mobs of skinny heterosexual people beating fat lesbians with hockey sticks or something.

Anyone with interesting information about Alireza Sadeghian, Mandy Ridley, Ryerson University's spineless President Sheldon Levy, Huda Assaqqaf and anyone else at the Ryerson "Women's Centre", please email me.

16 September 2006

Mr. E. Coli to the white courtesy phone

Organic spinach has killed one person and aggravated the bowels of nearly a hundred others, making it a far worse nuisance than second hand smoke, which has never killed anyone. So instead of eating a potentially toxic salad, why not play it safe and enjoy a tasty, E. coli free cigarette instead? Perhaps warning labels should be placed on spinach bags suggesting this.

Bonus:

"Often you hear some people describe someone as shapeless. This is a very wrong statement because every human being has his or her own peculiar shape." - Calista Ezeaku waxing philosophically in The Tide News Online.

14 September 2006

Threat Alert

The Department of Homeland Security encourages patriotic citizens to submit information regarding security threats. I myself recently alerted DHS of a plan to infiltrate America with potential terrorists, as well as the identity of the diabolical mastermind behind the plot.

Elsewhere: The All Poetry Network

"The world will fail in your description;
You arrive late in the ruined house
To wonder at the immediate tasks, the
Mere beginings, stirrings of light and air,
The exact picture of your distraction,
Dictating a steady presence--
You will not yield, but what is given
Shall deaden to your advantage the
Speech that praises only the condition,
Partial justices made wholly bitter..."

-from The Death of Metaphor, by Edward Williams

12 September 2006

Guga

Angry animal rights activists have vowed to end the traditional Hebridean guga hunt, an annual event where a team of 10 rugged men from Ness, on the Isle of Lewis, sail 40 miles to the northwest to the small, rocky, uninhabited island of Sula Sgeir to live for two weeks in stone huts and hunt gugas.

Don’t tell the animal rights fanatics, but there are no such things as gugas. These hunts are a pretext for a fortnight of drunkenness and high jinks away from the wife and brats. On the way home after the “hunt” the fellows stop at Tesco’s to buy packages of assorted frozen chicken parts that will be soaked in salt water then boiled in fish sauce to make the guga passed off to tourists and obtuse gastronomes as being a delicacy.

11 September 2006

The Japanese ate Ferdinand

The Japanese ate Ferdinand. Not some guy, Ferdinand the horse, winner of the 1986 Kentucky Derby and the 1987 Breeders’ Cup Classic. I like to mention this whenever the controversial (some would say inexplicably controversial) practice of eating horse meat is being discussed. Or whenever someone says anything related to Japan:

“I’m going to Tokyo on business."

“The Japanese ate Ferdinand.”

“I bought a Sony flat screen.”

“The Japanese ate Ferdinand.”

“I love to eat sushi.”

“Not as much as the Japanese love to eat Ferdinand.”

In fact, I enjoying bringing it up on all sorts of occasions:

“I think we should see other people.”

“I think the Japanese ate Ferdinand.”

“Why haven’t you called me?”

“Why did the Japanese eat Ferdinand?”

“Are you drunk again?”

“I drink to forget the Japanese ate Ferdinand...or to remember...whatever, all I know is they ate him.”

07 September 2006

That temperate love of liberty

I notice (via Mangan) libertarian economist Don Boudreaux thinks the Janjaweed have the right to move en masse to your hometown.1 And not just the Janjaweed, but also the Tamil Tigers, the Lord’s Resistance Army, Hezbollah, the Interahamwe - and many more, as the saying goes.

Many, many, more, if Boudreaux had his way, because he believes everyone from everywhere has an inalienable right to move en masse to America - this in a world where more than 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day. I've described libertarianism as applied autism, I’m now beginning to realize what a terrible aspersion on autistics that was.

I’m weary of refuting libertarian immigration idiocy, thankfully Alexander Hamilton did so more than 200 years ago:
The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias and prejudice; and on the love of country, which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education, and family. The opinion advanced in [Jefferson’s] Notes on Virginia is undoubtedly correct, that foreigners will generally be apt to bring with them attachments to the persons they have left behind; to the country of their nativity, and to its particular customs and manners. They will also entertain opinions on government congenial with those under which they have lived; or if they should be led hither from a preference to ours, how extremely unlikely is it that they will bring with them that temperate love of liberty, so essential to real republicanism?…
In the recommendation to admit indiscriminately foreign emigrants of every description to the privileges of American citizens, on their first entrance into our country, there is an attempt to break down every pale which has been erected for the preservation of a national spirit and a national character; and to let in the most powerful means of perverting and corrupting both the one and the other.


1For some reason Boudreaux’s radical free market ethos doesn’t prevent him from suckling at the teat of government: he’s employed at a public university.

06 September 2006

Georgia vs. South Ossetia

With the media fixated on stingray mishaps and Norwegian UFO’s, hardly anyone’s noticed Georgia and South Ossetia are on the brink of war.

I only recently became aware of this crisis, but I'm siding with South Ossetia, mainly because that country’s chief economic resource is a tunnel. Known as the Roki Tunnel, the tolls and customs duties levied on freight passing through it from Russia to Georgia generate over a third of the South Ossetian government budget.

Also the President of Georgia is a balneotherapist, and I’ve always preferred showers. Just the thought of crowds of flabby and diseased Eastern Europeans wallowing in steaming mineral baths sickens me.

03 September 2006

Hello Gojira!



People come here looking for the above picture of Gojira - a picture I've never posted before. Why is this so? An appealing explanation is that I've been experiencing visits by web surfers from the future.

Enjoy Gojira!


[image source]

27 August 2006

If there’s one phrase that epitomizes everything wrong with America today it’s Dippin' Sauce.

Apologies for the minimal recent lack of content, I’ve been busy inventing a dippin’ sauce that a person can dip dippin’ sauce in. I’ve also been working on a dipping sauce. At any rate, my discoveries are terrific news for all you fatties.

Monday from planned mega to actual small post

Now that the Hitler's Cross restaurant controversy has abated, I wonder if I’m the only who was appalled not by its ridiculous Führer theme, but by the placing of the apostrophe after the ‘s’ on the restaurant’s sign?

________
 

Sixteen Volts linking to the Stupid Comics website reminded me I’ve been meaning to write about one of the comics derided there, Fantomah. Because it's not stupid, it's fantastic. That row of apes is wonderful, as are the heads peeking over the tops of the bushes. I suspect from his style the artist was some sort of idiot savant.

18 August 2006

Truth is the Greatest Bomb

Jurist, healer, horse racing aficionado, psychic, raconteur - the extraordinary Judge Florentino Floro Jr is all these things, and more. Now he has responded in the comments to my recent item about his dismissal to provide further details about his case and the injustice being perpetrated upon him by Philippine government.

I encourage all my readers to email Judge Floro [judgefloro@yahoo.com] and let him know of your support. Those possessing psychic powers should feel free to contact the Judge and his mystic dwarf associates directly via telepathy.

Readers can also contact the President of the Philippines, the Supreme Court of the Philippines, and the United States Embassy in Manilla and complain.

16 August 2006

Another girl, another planet

According to the committee of the International Astronomical Union the solar system has three new planets - Armand, Luis and Angel. But I refuse to acknowledge them, as this ‘discovery’ has the stench of a publicity stunt, the work of a group of bored and undistinguished scientists trying to draw attention to themselves by redefining assorted space rocks everyone’s known about for years as planets.

The scientists themselves admit that because of the new definition: “dozens of objects as small as 400 kilometres in diameter that orbit the sun could be designated as planets in coming years,” Which means that additional new ‘planets’ are sure to follow, and sure enough the committee is already threatening to invent six more in the near future: Sedna, Quaoar, Igoo (which everyone knows are merely iceballs) and Vesta, Gloop and Tundro (which everyone knows are only large asteroids).

Tooth and nails

From Erbil, Iraq comes word of a major innovation in dental care: a tree that cures the toothaches of those that hammer nails into its trunk. How the tree does this no one can really say. Unsurprisingly dentists are mad about the competition:

“Dentists, however, are not among the believers. Friyad Kamal, a practitioner in Erbil, says the tree has hurt his business”

Which is why it’s unlikely the powerful American Dental Association in the United States will ever allow this treatment to take root in the United States.

The Mystic Dwarves of Florentino Floro Jr

In the Philippines Judge Florentino Floro Jr has been dismissed from the bench for using the advice of his three dwarf friends Armand, Luis and Angel, to decide cases. According to Judge Floro, the mystic dwarves, or “dwendes”, communicate with him using psychic powers.

This sad tale illustrates how, even in these supposedly enlightened and tolerant times, the ugly prejudice of heightism continues to ruin lives.

13 August 2006

The Man Who Should Be King

When I tell people I'm a neo-monarchist, the usual response is to question my motives: “Oh, so you wish you were king?” No, I don’t actually (jester, perhaps, but certainly not king).

It’s an ugly side effect of democracy: the assumption everyone must be grubbing after power, stemming from our being taught, falsely, that in a democracy all have equal chance of acquiring power. The response also reflects how democracies (must?) propagate the repulsive notion there is no difference between kings and tyrants. Very few people in democracies truly wish to be kings, but many, if not most, desire to be tyrants.

But it is entirely legitimate to ask who, if we were to have monarchy, should be king. Because the answer is by no means obvious. As I little need to remind my readers, idiots, frauds, and fools surround us on all sides. Given the current putrid state of politics, academia, and the arts, it can be safely assumed anyone presently in any of those fields is automatically suspect, and should be disqualified. Our businessmen are little better: the honest ones lack the imagination to be king, and would, by nature and habit, at the very least impose some form of bureaucratic tyranny.

After considerable thought, it occurred to me there was a man, intelligent, honest, traditional and conservative by disposition, yet at the same time innovative and adept at calculating and taking risks. A man at ease with all classes and types of people, literally from the lowliest of laborer to landed gentry. He is thoroughbred horse trainer Richard Mandella. Son of a blacksmith, elected to the NTRA Hall of Fame in 2001, winner of four races in the 2003 Breeders Cup, his most recent success training the Tin Man, winner of last Saturdays Grade I Arlington Million, Richard Mandella is the man who should be king.

1924

"In our recent crusade to make the world safe for democracy [World War I] it was currently assumed that democracy is the same as liberty and the opposite of imperialism. The teachings of history are strangely different. Democracy in the sense of direct and unlimited democracy is, as was pointed out long ago by Aristotle, the death of liberty; in virtue of its tyrannical temper, it is likewise, in the broad sense in which I have been using the term, closely akin to imperialism" - Irving Babbitt, The Choice We Must Face: Democracy and Imperialism, Or Democracy and Standards?

12 August 2006

Jellyfish are not confined to university

[Trevor-Roper] begins by explaining that “in this university, as in all institutions (see the Bible passim) there is a Party of Light” (to which, naturally, Trevor-Roper belongs) and a Party of Darkness (those who hold different views). Fortunately, he included me in the Party of Light. We see a university “as a place of learning and pleasure”; the Party of Darkness sees it as a place of administrative efficiency. Darkness has been spreading since Trevor-Roper’s death.

There is also a third party, which Trevor-Roper describes as the Jellies - the Jellyfish, or party of compromise. They are “distinguished by the complete absence of any views”. They have, however, two important qualities. “First, though sometimes submerged, they never sink. Secondly, though unable to control their movements, some of them can, if touched, sting.”
- Robin Lane Fox, Across Enemy Lines, a review of Letters From Oxford: Hugh Trevor-Roper to Bernard Berenson.

Excerpt from a non-existent journal

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Sunny day. I decide to read (Ruskin’s Praeterita) outside. A cylindrical bodied, orange, black and white striped fly lands on the page. It occurs to me I have never seen such a fly as this before. If it were a new, as yet un-catalogued species, the discovery of which would bring me fame and fortune I wouldn’t even know. That’s how it always is with me and fame and fortune. I reflect on the fact I know next to nothing about insects. The interesting fly departs, and I read:

"Both mountains have had enormous influence on my whole life; - the Dole continually and calmly; the Righi at sorrowful intervals, as will be seen. But the Col de la Faucille, on that day of 1835, opened to me in distinct vision the Holy Land of my future work and true home in this world."

My reading is interrupted by the jibbering of a squirrel up in a nearby tree. I wait for him to stop, but he seems to be agitated by something, and goes on and on. I decide to throw a rock at him. Many people don’t even know that squirrels jibber. I throw more rocks. The squirrel finally takes the hint and shuts his yap. It occurs to me I have not been on a bender in quite some time. The last bender I went on lasted nearly a week. The longest bender I’ve ever been on lasted the year of 1996. With the squirrel quiet I’m suddenly aware of the sounds of birds chirping, a bee buzzing, a dog barking far away, cars, a plane going overhead. Are those people staring at me?

06 August 2006

M. Stache

Oliver Stone’s new movie, World Trade Center is coming out. I won’t be seeing it, but I noticed it stars the same moustache who did such a terrific job in the highly acclaimed 1973 film The Last Detail.

World Trade Center

The Last Detail

02 August 2006

For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow

From Dennis Mangan I learn my health is at risk because I live in a cloudy climate which has weather similar to the weather in the UK:

“[S]olar exposure and the subsequent manufacture of vitamin D are crucial for your health. For example, an adequate level of vitamin D causes an 80% drop in the risk for colon cancer.”

Mangan quotes from the British Medical Journal:

“Active sunbathing which exposes the whole body can supply up to 10,000 IU per day(7,8). To obtain something approaching the optimum annual amount of vitamin D a person would have to sunbathe in a swimming suit on about 100 sunny summer days. This is, for practical purposes, impossible in the UK even for a dedicated nudist…

Northern Europe is an extreme climate for man. Human beings evolved in tropical Africa where the sun shines strongly every day...the cloudy maritime weather of the British Isles makes our climate one of the most extreme in Europe so far as sun deprivation is concerned.”

Since I have no intention of moving, gaining this knowledge means I now expect to get colon cancer, and when I do instead of blaming chance I will blame myself.

Vanity of vanities; all is vanity...

The ape is dead, and I must conjure him

Man who claims to have seen giant bat with 12-foot wingspan may have been lying.

30 July 2006

Baboon of genius


Our friend the club-wielding chimp has not been captured, or even seen again. Some people now think the chimp may have been carrying an ordinary stick, not a club. (Some people think it wasn’t a chimp at all, but a Bigfoot. It’s best to avoid these people.) As this mystery may never be solved, let us turn our gaze from the antics of chimpanzees, and instead ponder the antics of a baboon.

His name was Jack, and in the late 1800’s he was employed as a signalman for the Cape Government Railways:
A locomotive driver were given secret instructions and all present waited to see if Jack will past this strenuous test. Each time that the driver blasted a different signal Jack would change the correct signal and points without fail. Jack even looked around in the direction of the oncoming train to make sure that the correct lever and signal were changed. Jack has passed his test with flying colours and were duly employed by the authorities and from that day became known as Jack the Signalman. Bot not only did he get his monthly rations from the government but he also received an employment number.
Besides signaling, Jack would sweep up, act as watchman, and pushed the “trolley” his handicapped friend and co-worker James ‘Jumper’ Wide (the man on the left in the above picture) used to get to work (notice Wide is wearing a pair of peg legs he made himself). Prior to working on the railroad, Jack was employed as an oxen-driver.

Today, of course, it would be considered animal cruelty to put a baboon to work, and even if you could most of the jobs traditionally done by baboons have been taken by illegal aliens.

(I became aware of Jack the Signalman by reading this month’s issue of Fortean Times.)

25 July 2006

Still on the loose in every which way

"Poker is a game of people. It's not the hand I hold, it's the people that I play with." - Amarillo Slim

A chimpanzee, named Mikey, considered by some to be the worlds best non-human poker player that isn't a machine, will play in the 2006 World Series of Poker main event.

Mikey's trainers claim he recognizes the shapes and colors of suits, and favors an agressive playing style, frequently going 'all-in'.

Extra security is being provided to Mikey in the event he wins any money, in case the roaming chimp with the club shows up and tries to beat and rob him.

Not going back to that cage

A chimpanzee has been spotted roaming the backyards of Thousand Oaks, California. Attempts to capture the animal have been unsuccessful, but the authorities are reassuring residents they have nothing to fear, even though an eyewitness reports the chimp has armed itself with a club.

24 July 2006

Marginalia

Crying racism is the first refuge of the moron.

Libertarianism is applied autism.

If, as immigrationists often claim, the economy benefits so much from low skill workers, why continue to spend money educating native born Americans? Think of the economic boom to result if we stopped funding high schools and colleges in order to increase the homegrown pool of unskilled labor.

I dream that someday in the far future the lost art of minstrelsy will be revived.

Last time I was in a Las Vegas casino I noticed the hookers were dressed less whorish than the female tourists.

Horse betting isn't gambling, it's pari-mutuel wagering.

Successful betting requires knowledge, intellect, and the ability to evaluate and take risks. One learns that reality is too complex to be reduced to a mechanical system.

It's a gentleman’s sport, of great tradition. When wagering you compete with other bettors, as opposed to passively sitting in the stands unthinkingly adulating various egomaniacal millionaires who play kid's games with balls of some sort.

When a horse wins a race, he (or she) remains dignified. You will not see a race horse doing a ridiculous celebratory dance, like the 'dirty bird' or the 'sprinkler' in the winner's circle.

The brilliant conservative philosopher Michael Oakeshott wrote a book on horse betting called 'A Guide to the Classics'.

Jockeys make me laugh.

A new kind of Giant Peccary has been found.

23 July 2006

It helps to think of the future as the past inverted like a tube sock

Welcome news for my lady readers: researchers have invented a robot that repairs collapsed vaginas. Daniel Elliott, M.D., a Mayo Clinic urologist and the man behind what some are calling the Coochbot 5000 explains: "To imagine this, it helps to think of the vagina like a tube sock that's inverted out.”

How does it "help" to imagine that? I wish now I hadn't imagined it at all. Something’s not right about this Daniel Elliott, M.D fellow. Take my advice, ladies: do not allow this mad scientist and his infernal machines anywhere near your delicate nether regions.

Spaghetti pants to dance

From the Tide Online, the world’s newspaper of record:

Wizard caught in the act [This one has a shocker of an ending!]

“Suffer not a witch to live,” so says the Holy Bible and the people of Dema in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State may have well done exactly that.
Small Talks was reliably informed that a man, given to witchcraft had come to the end of the road..."

Girls dance with pants in PH brothels

"Prostitution in the Diobu area of Port Harcourt is taking a new dimension as young girls in the hotels now wear spaghetti pants to dance in the open place...Many of the prostitutes also tend to give extra sexual comfort to their customers to enable them earn more than the specified fee for sex. Most of them go by the slogan “I will satisfy you. I will climb you,” they say."

Touché

"VDare.com is named after Virginia Dare, the first English child - not "white child," as the News evocatively puts it - born in the New World, in 1587. (The first white child was probably a Viking, Snorri Porfinnsson. It doesn't have the same ring.)" - Peter Brimelow.

19 July 2006

Tale of the Oriental Queen

The evacuation of U.S. citizens from Lebanon commenced Wednesday, as over 1,000 Americans set sail from Beirut on the cruise ship Oriental Queen to begin the 6,000 mile voyage to New Orleans where the evacuees will be housed in the Superdome. Evacuees are reminded to bring as many kebabs as they can carry, which is always sensible when traveling.

In other news: Java suffers tsunami disaster, world declares tsunami disasters “passé”.

16 July 2006

The Rheshar-Escollet hypothesis

French geologists Arnold Rheshar and Pierre Escollet are claiming to have proof stones are living creatures which move and breathe. Stones do this very, very slowly, of course, which is why until Arnold and Pierre came along no one noticed it.

Or almost no one, for I distinctly remember as a small boy my grandfather taking me to his workshop and showing me an experiment he was conducting in which he had placed an assortment of stones in a row, and painted them green in order to observe any incremental growth or movement. My grandfather did not think rocks were alive in the animal sense, his theory was stones absorb particles from the air (which is not unlike the breathing Rheshar and Escollet describe) and thus gradually increase in size over time. He also thought rocks were capable of working their way up out of the ground, then slowly gravitating toward habitats rocks find pleasant, such as beaches.

Unfortunately my grandfather died before his experiment concluded, and his research notes were lost, and the painted green rocks were lost as well...or else they grew up and escaped.

Where is the conscience of the world?

With the Middle East all explody again one instinctively turns to the elder statesmen for advice. Because of his expertise on the Middle East, one such elder statesman whose advice is particularly relevant is Muammar Gadafi. The Colonel reminds us:

"The FIFA reactivated the system of slavery and enslavement and trading in human beings from Africa to Europe and America; and also from Latin America to Europe. This degradation is taking place against real young people just because they are poor and because they are from poor African or Latin and sometime Asian states. The rich states running the FIFA are the rich one only. The poor ones will never have the glory of hosting the FIFA even if they have the desire to be the host and even if they present whatever they have and even if know-tow to the FIFA’s president and leadership. Why?" - FIFA.. MODIFY IT OR CANCEL IT

Why indeed. Now if only there were someway to get those fighting to listen...

11 July 2006

Boys don't cry

Marine General Peter Pace wants open borders, and demonstrated before Congress today he will cry if he doesn’t get his way. I say let him. Any decent parent will tell you giving in to tears only results in more demands and more tears; encourage him and pretty soon we’ll be stuck buying General Pace a pony he promises to take care of all by himself and then does for three weeks and then he’s bored and it’s on to something else.

10 July 2006

27 news

Oldie rams car into crowd, injuring 27 (update)

Roller-coaster accident injures 27

Woman stabbed 27 times

Torrential rains kill 27 people in Jiangsu Province

27 New Aids cases recorded in Armenia

Train 27, now arriving Tibet

Oldie News

As the Zephaniah of the oldie menace, I would be remiss not to mention two recent news items involving oldie crimes against humanity (I looked for news items about oldies doing good deeds, unsurprisingly I was unable to find any).

From the UK comes the story of an elderly woman who took advantage of the latest in fertility medicine, and the lack of ethics of Italian doctors, to become pregnant at age 62. She just squeezed a 6 pounds 10-1/2 ounce baby boy from her dusty womb. If this trend continues you will have parents and newborns wearing the same brand of diapers. I have no idea why she did this, it wasn’t even her own egg (couldn’t she have adopted one of those needy African children one hears so much about?), but I’m sure the boy will turn out fine as the old broad's a child psychologist.

The other oldie making headlines is the 89-year-old man who drove his car into a crowd of younger people at a festival, running over dozens, injuring 27. I’m sure the mainstream media who caters to oldies (they being the only ones left who pay any attention to it) will spin this incident as an accident, but eyewitnesses observed the ersatz Mr. Magoo “accelerate sharply” before ramming into the throng. There’s a war on, people - so why is only one side fighting?

Old News

You’ve all heard by now how boring billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are donating enormous sums to the wretched of Africa (at times I suspect God’s reason for creating Africa was to provide wealthy white people with something to be charitable toward, then I remember I’m completely lacking in any sort of religious belief). You have all probably also imagined how you would spend such amounts of money differently. I think if I had billions, for my first act of charity I would have made a giant statue of myself, out of solid gold, and anyone who wished could gaze upon it for free. Because charity is a dish best served cold, for my second act of charity I would buy everyone in Africa an ice cream cone.

In a post you probably already read, but should read if you didn't, titled Double or nada on the highjump, the always entertaining Sixteen Volts mentioned my favorite tennis player of all time: Karsten Braasch, who is known for easily beating both Williams sisters at a time when he was ranked 203 in the world, but I remember him for the fact he would enjoy a cigarette between sets until the bastards who run tennis enacted a no-smoking rule to put a stop to him. When I build a Smokers Hall of Fame (after buying the Africans an ice cream cone, I guess) he will have a prominent place in the ‘Sport and Leisure’ wing.

That same item mentions Bobby Riggs, who lost a tennis match to a 29 year old woman when he was 55 years old, something feminists, and only feminists, find notable. Truly notable is the time Riggs played a game of ping-pong with Amarillo Slim, for $10,000, using frying pans as paddles. Riggs was a tennis hustler, something I don’t think exists anymore.

Elsewhere: I found this blog about a Parisian midget via my referrer logs, and while I am unable to read French, I find it tremendously amusing.

Free giveaway: New catchphrase. Use to impress friends, co-workers, bartenders, exotic dancers, etc.

“Bill got a raise, but it’s not like he’s getting Nene money.”

“A million here, a million there, and pretty soon you’re talking Nene money.”

“A stole your honey cause I got Nene money.”

“Bring lawyers, guns, and Nene money.”

06 July 2006

Taepodong taepodong taepodong let me launch you let me launch you taepodong

Another day, another mystery solved, as this morning while shaving it occurred to me that the Flynn Effect was caused by the dwindling of the Earth’s magnetic field over the last 145 or so years.

Meanwhile in Kolkata, India, large crowds have converged on a hospital to witness patient Sambhu Roy holding the large piece of his skull which recently fell off. Luckily for Sambhu doctors have patched the hole in his head with a soiled rag.

That this sort of thing doesn’t happen in America illustrates how television has blunted our natural human curiosity and sense of wonder. Good luck Sambhu, here’s hoping you have a speedy recovery.

25 June 2006

They want us all swimming, don't care if we drown

Tragedy struck twice yesterday in the greater Seattle area, as two men drown in separate incidents. Meanwhile not a single person yesterday died solely because of second hand smoke, in the in the greater Seattle area or anywhere else. It’s illegal in Seattle to smoke within 25 feet of doorways to prevent the slightest involuntary exposure to non-harmful second hand smoke, but it would be far more sensible to make it illegal to go within 25 feet of deadly water.

Things would be better if only things were better

Whenever I read about the situation in Darfur I think things would be better if only there were some way to convince the Janjaweed to attend a few sexual harassment workshops. I must remember to mention this to Kofi Annan the next time I see him.

22 June 2006

Inclusiveness, tolerance and opportunity - but not for Mr. Smith

"[Maryland] Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. [a Republican] fired one of his appointees to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority yesterday after the board member asserted on a local cable talk show that homosexuals lived a life of "sexual deviancy."

The termination came a few hours after Metro board member Robert J. Smith, an architect and unsuccessful Republican candidate for the General Assembly from Montgomery County, was publicly confronted by a transit board colleague. Board member Jim Graham, a District of Columbia councilman who is openly gay, called on Smith to disavow his remarks or resign during yesterday's regular meeting of the panel, which oversees Metro business.

Smith said that he stood by his beliefs, which he said stemmed from his Roman Catholic faith, and insisted that he would not resign unless ordered by the governor.

"Governor Ehrlich got it; Mr. Smith was clueless until the end," Graham said. "This is serious. To defend this point of view is beyond the pale. And so I think Governor Ehrlich got that very clearly, very quickly. So I appreciate his action."

Ehrlich said in a statement that Smith would be replaced immediately.

"Robert Smith's comments were highly inappropriate, insensitive and unacceptable," the governor said. "They are in direct conflict to my administration's commitment to inclusiveness, tolerance and opportunity.[emphasis added]"
- Ehrlich appointee fired over remark. [via First Things]

The persecution of Mr. Smith brought to mind Jim Kalb’s essay The Tyranny of Liberalism:
“[Contemporary liberalism] is a comprehensive governing philosophy that determines the whole of public morality. While it sounds permissive, comprehensive solutions are usually intolerant in practice and liberalism is no exception. Contemporary liberalism sets forth categorical demands it calls “rights,” and rejects balancing principles such as respect for natural tendencies and settled understandings. Without balancing principles abstract demands expand without limit. As a result, liberal standards have become all-embracing to the point of tyranny. Liberal neutrality, which began as a patchwork of limitations on government power, has become applicable to social practices generally and thereby oppressive. If to be liberal is to be willing to accommodate other views, contemporary liberalism is no longer liberal.”

“Liberalism today denounces deviations from its principles as oppressive, no matter how long-established and widely-accepted, and insists that they be eradicated.”

“In spite of claims of neutrality, liberalism establishes an enforceable official morality that supports a definite way of life. It makes demands for moral reconstruction that are necessarily intolerant”

“The development of liberalism has reversed its original principles. Rather than let society control the state, a more ambitious liberalism now makes the state control society. Freedom of speech and opinion have therefore become suspect. Religious people are felt to be a threat, because ways of life have public implications and public action that relies on nonliberal moral understandings violates neutrality. Simple assertion of traditional sexual morality is treated as oppressive because it creates informal obstacles, if only the force of opinion, to the satisfaction of personal tastes.”

“The actual function of the liberal insistence on neutrality is to stifle debate. To the extent they have concrete implications, moral objections to liberalism are rejected out of hand as intolerant and divisive, so resistance becomes impossible. Distortion of language complements suppression of speech. “Hatred” and “intolerance” now include all serious opposition to liberalism. “Inclusiveness” insists that others be tolerant to the point of abandoning their principles and even identity while rejecting accommodation in its own case.”

20 June 2006

Imaginary Conversations with Michael Bolton

[All statements by Michael Bolton are real and courtesy of Virgin Records]

C. Van Carter: What advice would you give to someone purchasing your new album, Bolton Swings Sinatra?

Michael Bolton: You're really setting yourself up for disappointment.

CVC: If you were singing a song, and in the middle of the song someone pinched your balls with a pair of pliers, would the song sound any different?

MB: It's a question that I've asked myself a few times.

CVC: Because I’m convinced the song would sound exactly the same.

MB: I'd have tears running from my eyes.

CVC: Deservedly so.

MB: But I love that!

CVC: Would it be fair to describe you as the King of Crap?

MB: That's my domain.

CVC: And you don’t feel any guilt for inflicting your awful songs on the public?

MB: I just feel like the best I can do is step up to the microphone

CVC: Is the song Can I Touch You...There? about fisting accidentally, or on purpose?

MB: I don't know WHAT that is, but I love that!

CVC: Agree or disagree: Your joining forces with Kenny G to record an album is not unlike the Hitler-Stalin pact?

MB: I think that's how it winds up.

CVC: Is that a carpet sample on your head?

MB: Thank you!

CVC: Thank you.

Why so blue panda bear?

The United States and Japan are upset with North Korea’s plans to test fire a long range missile. The missile, called the Taepodong-2, is believed to have a range of up to 9,300 miles. Little good can come from this, unless the missile lands on top of Nancy Grace.

Meanwhile Australia, Britain and the United States are mad at Japan for wanting to end the moratorium on the great sport of whaling:
With a majority vote for a declaration to return the International Whaling Commission to its original mission as a body that regulates whaling, Japan and other pro-whaling countries finally have gained the upper hand in a battle over a two-decade-old commercial whaling moratorium…The declaration approved at an IWC annual meeting in the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis says the whaling moratorium is no longer necessary, and that whales, which consume a large number of fish, have posed a threat to food security for coastal countries. The declaration calls on the IWC to form policies and regulations based on scientific grounds.
Members of the International Whaling Commission supporting Japan include Togo, Iceland, and Mongolia (which has more whales in it than most people realize, I'm told). Fun loving countries all, I wish them the best of luck against the Coalition of the Busybodies (I try not to imagine what would happen if the Taepodong-2 landed on some whales).

In other news involving Orientals and flabby animals, new research reveals China’s giant pandas are more numerous than previously thought. I’ve long suspected these effete gluttons were pretending to be close to extinction as a ploy for sympathy, and now there's proof.

In domestic news, economist Donald J. Boudreaux thinks the sale of human kidneys should be legal, and who can disagree? When sautéed properly, human kidneys taste even better than whale meat.

12 June 2006

Zé Gotinha: Brazillian Bigfoot?

I studied Portuguese in college, so I occasionally look at Brazilian news to remind myself what a waste of time and money that was, and to unearth under reported gems like Zé Gotinha, an hideous creature currently terrorizing the Brazilian countryside.1 Recently a photograph was taken of Zé Gotinha attempting to abduct a child.2 The little child (or 'criança pequena', as those of us who took Portuguese in college like to say) escaped physically unharmed, but mentally was severely traumatized, and now the poor thing screams at the sight of marshmallows.

1Someone notify the fellows at Cryptomundo.

2Don't confuse this Brazilian Bigfoot, who is a smooth skinned albino with small feet bearing no resemblance to the North American Bigfoot, with the other Brazilian Bigfoot known as the Mapinguary, who is dark and furry and also in no way resmebles a Bigfoot, instead being similar in description to the genus of extinct giant gound-sloths called mylodontids.

08 June 2006

The desecration of a delicate art

Michael Bolton has recorded an album of songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, Bolton Swings Sinatra (“swings” being a euphemism for “craps upon”). It would have been easy enough to record a set of new songs, but for a certain type of mediocrity the realization he’s incapable of producing art gives rise, not to modesty, but an urge to destroy the art produced by others. Bolton is of this type, as were the Talibanis who blew-up those giant Buddha statues. So too are the misshapen amateurs who desecrate the art of pole dancing with their clumsy gyrations. Please ladies, leave the stripping to the skilled professionals. If, for example, it's hard to tell if you're preganant or just fat (i.e. the woman on the right), stay off the pole, your ruining a beautiful thing for everybody.

Speaking of strippers: from the ADC archives, Actual Conversations With Strippers.

Cabinet of Mysterioso

From the files of Professor Glen Morangie:

Giant Olmec Head

Miami Heat Forward Antoine Walker Head


Were the Olmecs from Africa?

Day of the Lapham

Harper’s Magazine literary editor Ben Metcalf writes:

"I would like to hunt down George W. Bush, the president of the United States, and kill him with my bare hands." [On Simple Human Decency, Harper's Magazine, June 2006]

We all have our dreams, but given Metcalf is your typically puny New York literati, it’s doubtful he could take Barbara Bush mano y mano. A more effective assassination method would be to finagle a White House dinner invitation for Harper’s editor Lewis Lapham who could then bore the President to death with his tedious and interminable blatherings.

05 June 2006

The fumes of sighs

According to the Washington Post, “teen smoking has dropped by almost 50 percent since the late '90s”. I’m not surprised, from what I’ve observed of modern youth they only open their maws to babble on cell phones or to shove in another McWhopper Doublejackburger™. Smoking is a civilized pastime, and civilized pastimes hold little appeal for our pudgy pubescents.


Everyone should have a hobby, don't you think?

01 June 2006

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

Decent, hardworking American families are uprooted and a lovely American neighborhood is abandoned to lawless foreign newcomers, in exchange for cheap labor and the minor and temporary alleviation of the sentimental qualms of guilty whites: Changes in Orange bring exodus [via Larry Auster].

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

31 May 2006

Whatever is fair in love and war is also fair in crimefighting

The Purple Flare, a real-life costumed superhero, will no longer be fighting crime in Key West, Florida as he’s been arrested.

Bonus: My most popular entry ever: World’s Most Deadliest Killers.

24 May 2006

News of tomorrow

NASA scientists have invented a camera capable of photographing invisible demons [Inexpensive Detector Sees The Invisible, In Color, Photographs Demon]:


This is a false color image of an invisible demon in the far infrared (8-12 micrometer IR spectral band) taken with the 1 megapixel GaAs QWIP camera. Warmer temperatures are orange, cooler temperatures are dark red. Notice the thermal handprint left on its cloak as it removes its hand from its pocket.

In other news, tomorrow (May 25th) a comet fragment crashes into the Atlantic Ocean causing a giant, 200m high tsunami. It is the worst disaster in recorded human history.

23 May 2006

Flight 503 to Salt Lake City

Delta Airlines is red-faced after a granny passenger on a cross country flight whom everyone thought napping turned out to be dead:
According to the flight crew and passengers, no one realized she had passed away until after the plane landed. 
Flight attendants and some passengers said they only realized what had happened once the plane began to empty out and she didn’t move. 
One EMT at the scene said the woman was dead long enough for rigor mortis to set in.
Such embarrassing incidents could be avoided if more people did what I do whenever I see an oldie who might be sleeping: I grab the oldie by the shoulders and shake him or her vigorously while loudly asking “Are you dead yet? Are you dead yet?”

Mizoram, the land where bamboo flourishes, the rats rampage, and the giant rat-like creatures do God knows what

Giant rat-like creatures are prowling Mizoram, India. Mizoram is also the home of one of the Lost Tribes of Israel.* The first link notes scientists expect a plague of normal rats to rampage across Mizoram next year when the bamboo flowers again for the first time in 48 years. Strange place, Mizoram.

*For some reason these photos of the Mizoram Jews in India reminds me of Indians in the Americas.

22 May 2006

Your globes and atlases is obsolete

Montenegro is the world’s newest country, after its people voted to sever ties with Serbia. It’s nice the Montenegroes are allowed to have their own country, I only wish Americans were.

A Montenegro youth celebrates freedom by riding a tiny bicycle.

20 May 2006

From the TLS

"[A] nation’s consciousness, or some such, is always a slippery subject, a mobile target. We are all too inclined to look at Russia with our own established notions of common sense, of probability, of cultural inevitability. But, as George Orwell wrote, more than half a century ago, "Till recently it was thought proper to pretend that human beings are very much alike, but in fact anyone able to use his eyes knows that the average of human behaviour differs from country to country. Things that could happen in one country could not happen in another". This general point applies even to long-standing geographical and cultural neighbours such as England and France, as anyone knows who has really experienced both – and the deeper the sympathy, the deeper that feeling." - Robert Conquest, Russia on the couch.