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Your globes and atlases is obsolete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.

18 May 2006

Pundit's Maxim

"The secret to survival in journalism is to think of one thing to say and go on saying it". - The Diaries of Auberon Waugh, 8 Feb 1985.

Asno De La Manteca De Cerdo

My comments are being censored at Reason Hit and Run (Reason’s motto: free minds, free markets.1 I think they still favor free markets, but who knows?) – again - this time for observing Mexicans who sneak into America are fat.

The unpleasant facts the prudes at Reason didn’t want you to see:
A Stanford University Medical Center study has cast light on the health risks and behaviors of women and men from Mexico...The bad news included poor nutrition (all respondents reported low fruit and vegetable consumption) and high rates of obesity, even among the farmworkers (more than 60 percent of all respondents were overweight, including more than 20 percent who were obese).
And their children are even fatter:
"Among male youth, the highest overweight and obesity prevalence is found in Mexican American boys (ages 6 to 11), 43 percent and 27.3 percent respectively, and Mexican American adolescent males (ages 12 to 19), 44.2 percent and 27.5 percent respectively."
The costs of obesity are already an enormous drain on Medicare and Medicaid. Importing millions more impoverished fatties will only make things worse. (And to think there are still some Americans harboring the delusion it’s the immigrants who will be paying for natives healthcare.)

In other anarcho-tyranny news, silly economist Bryan Caplan claims:

“Direct observation of immigrants leads to more reasonable beliefs about the effects of immigration.”

I challenge Bryan Caplan to stroll through the part of Los Angeles east of the Staples center between the Harbor 110 Freeway (east) and Hoover Ave (west) to directly observe the immigrants residing there. Afterward he can tell us if it made him more or less reasonable about the effects of immigration. Assuming he survives.

1Or should that be non-socially divisive minds, free markets?

Misapplied Liberalism

Did you know George Bush is still President? Well he is. At a recent press conference he explained why we must allow millions of poor Mexicans to come to our country and ruin it:
“And the objective is, on the one hand, protect our borders, and on the other hand, never lose sight of the thing that makes America unique, which is we're a land of immigrants, and that we -- we're not going to discriminate against people.”
It isn’t conservative to forcibly transform the nation to conform to an abstract principle. And it isn’t discrimination, in any malign sense, to determine who is and who isn’t allowed into our country. Bush’s immigration stance can be described as misapplied liberalism.

15 May 2006

A new report

A new report claims global warming caused by the CO2 emissions of wealthy countries “could kill an extra 185 million people in sub-Saharan Africa by the end of the century”.1 The report makes no mention of all the starvation deaths of people in sub-Saharan Africa caused by children in wealthy countries not finishing everything on their plates at dinnertime, but it's likely that figure is almost as large.


1Or 180 million. Or 162 million. At any rate, lots, you get the idea.

13 May 2006

Random Ruskin

"All the pleasure which the people of the nineteenth century take in art, is in pictures, sculpture, minor objects of virtue or medieval architecture, which we enjoy under the term picturesque: no pleasure is taken anywhere in modern buildings, and we find all men of true feeling delighting to escape out of modern cities into natural scenery: here that peculiar love of landscape which is characteristic of the age."

"There is, however, a marked distinction between the imaginations of the Western and Eastern races, even when both are left free; the Western, or Gothic, delighting most in the representation of facts, and the Eastern (Arabian, Persian, and Chinese) in the harmony of colours and forms."
- John Ruskin, The Nature of Gothic (The Stones of Venice, Vol. II).

Six-Gun Gorilla

While attempting (with zero success, alas) to locate a copy of one of the magazines that published the stories of Six-Gun Gorilla1 I stumbled across this invaluable compendium that I’m sure many of my readers will also find useful.

UPDATE: Poster available.

1“His name was O’Neil and he was a real gorilla, trapped in Africa as a baby, brought to the States and sold to a prospector named Johnson. O’Neil’s adventures appeared in the magazine Adventure and Wizard, probably in 1926.

Johnson was a kindly gent who taught his prot/g/[sic] to dig for gold, haul wood and water and, in an act that would forever change the concept of the Wild West, how to shoot a pistol. When Johnson is killed for failing to reveal the location of a huge vein of gold, O’Neil goes after the villains.

Strapping on a brace of six-shooters, the ape tracks the killers across the wilds of Colorado, bumping them off one by one — and highjacking a stagecoach now and again for transportation, and one assumes enough money to purchase a few bananas.”

11 May 2006

Many did (Great moments in the history of art, an ongoing series)


At the opening of Toi Sennhauser's show audience members can whisper their secrets into a mouthpiece connected to a puff pastry.

"Sennhauser, 29, is best known for the bread she baked with her vaginal yeast for last year's Seattle Erotic Arts Festival. The Seattle Health Department said she couldn't offer it to anyone, even though, thoroughly cooked, it wasn't a health risk. She displayed it along with the Health Department warning. Whether people ate it or not (many did) was up to them."

10 May 2006

The appearance of the Lights at Scheveningen and Flood

The illustration on the cover of Canaan, by Geoffrey Hill is an anonymous woodcut from from Staatkundige Historie van Holland titled “The appearance of the Lights at Scheveningen and Flood”:



No date for the woodcut is given, but I suspect it most likely is a depiction of a storm in 1470 which "destroyed the church and half of all houses" (either that or the devastating Allerheiligenvloed (All Saints' Day flood) of 1570).

But what could those lights possibly have been?

The Deygbam Secret Cult

"Twenty-three persons among whom were three females have been arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court presided over by Promise Iroanya Esq in Port Harcourt for allegedly belonging to a secret cult known and called Deygbam...The prosecutor Sergeant Zaccheaus Mba further stated that the accused allegedly had in their possession one locally-made double barrel shotgun, one bottle of Mac-Lord extra hot drink, a battle axe, some quantity of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp, one star axe, three drums and one bell used for secret cult activities."
- from (where else?) The Tide News Online.

Elsewhere: Turnabout

"The people admire standards not based on desire, and respect loyalty to one’s people and their ways, while elites view such things as ignorance and bigotry. In contrast, elites insist that the supreme and indispensable virtue is equal acceptance of all ways of life consistent with the uncontested reign of bureaucracy and money. The people, depending on mood, may view that insistence either as comical because of its irrationality or as an attack on the value and coherence of their own identity and way of life because of its implicit and increasingly explicit tyranny."
- Jim Kalb, Why the classes and masses don't like each other.

"One problem for liberalism as a governing philosophy arises from the liberal rejection of authority not based on consent. When liberalism is acting as a critic of established power, that rejection may lead only to demands that government justify its rule by obtaining popular support. When liberals themselves are the authorities, however, their theory requires them to insist that the governed consent to their rule; otherwise their authority vanishes. In a liberal state, in which the preferences of those involved are the basis of all legitimate social relations, people who reject liberalism philosophically are felt to be an immediate threat to society because they have no evident reason for accepting the binding power of the law. As a result, liberals lay great stress on state indoctrination of the young, and tend to view violence as a necessary consequence of non-liberal views, for example those held by right-to-lifers and the traditionally religious. Once established, the liberal state thus becomes as intolerant as any theocracy, demanding assent to its principles as well as obedience to its laws, and — since its principles require it to treat all human beings as free and equal — tending to view those who refuse to give assent as not-quite-human. The liberal state is thus prone to politically-correct bigotry."
- Jim Kalb, PC and the Crisis of Liberalism.

02 May 2006

A cigarette soothes both beast and man



from The Bain Collection (ca. 1900-1931): "Photos produced and gathered by George Grantham Bain for his news photo service, including portraits and worldwide news events, but with special emphasis on life in New York City".

01 May 2006

Brownout on Wilshire Boulevard

An 'activist' coins a clever term for the illegal alien protests:
"Much of this is being propelled by the demographic transformation of this country," said Armando Navarro, a political scientist and longtime Mexican-American activist in Southern California. Latino immigrants have reached "a critical mass," he said.
Still, Navarro said he's optimistic and calls today's boycott "a prelude of things to come."

"It's a brown-out, sick-out sort of thing," he said. "That's a grandiose objective and we may not get there. But we're going to try."
More illegal aliens means more blackmail by brownout.