Friday, July 2, 2010

Warning: Wear Gloves

Friviality Friday

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kagan Kills: Comment O' Teh Day

It's like a Catskill Mountain Resort -- a Jewish comedian playing to a bunch of senior citizens (but in this case, there are more gentiles than Jews in the audience).
Video at TPM. Lindsay Graham apparently thinks Hanukkah and Christmas are on the same day.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New/Old Agnostics: Back To Square One

Remember yesterday when I converted wholeheartedly to agnosticism?
Wait, you don't even remember what you had for lunch yesterday?
Well, anyways, I did, seduced as always by the highly persuasive Ron Rosenbaum despite my disappointment in his reaction to 9/11 (kill all the bastards now!).
I admitted that I knew nothing of physics, but I was willing to take his word for it that it doesn't help answer the question.
Except, apparently, it does.
As Nobel Laureate physicist Frank Wilczek has put it, "The answer to the ancient question 'Why is there something rather than nothing?' would then be that 'nothing' is unstable."
PZ Myers over at ScienceBlogs blasts Rosenbaum for being a lazy thinker and essayist and I also find him persuasive, although pretty hyperbolic. But it's easy to forgive since Rosenbaum probably is. Lazy, I mean.
So, sigh, back to the quest.

101 Recipes For Grilling

From Mark Bittman. I love reading Bittman, and watching his videos, but I totally screwed up on his Phad Thai and I had to drive 45 minutes for the something-or-other paste (tamarind, that was it), which I used too much of as well as not enough honey (I ran out) so that I couldn't eat it although my companion thought it was yummy and had seconds.
Anyway, MeFis (MetaFilter denizens) love/hate Bittman and have other links to his stuff.

If You're So Smart, How Come You're Not Rich?

Love my inner Bob. He's my headline writer.
So, Jonah Lehrer talks about Type 1 and Type 2 intelligence and YOUR BRAIN!
Cool stuff. But that's just me. Or is it Bob?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Contrarienne Reviews 50 Top Videos

This is the best, partly because it's only five seconds but also because it made me laugh out loud. Well, Charlie biting my finger was the best. Then this.

What's really embarrassing is that Contrarienne had seen 30 of the 50 videos.
It took more than an hour to scan through, not watch, them all. Anything over two minutes without good music is a speech, not a YouTube video. Most of the ones I hadn't seen weren't worth it. I should have liveblogged, but because I watch it so you don't have to, here's the recommended list.
#15 Wedding Dance
#16 Sneezing Panda
#17 Otters Holding Hands
#27 Hillary ! classic
#36 if you want to know what auto-tune is, you'll know enough at 1:38
#40 Thriller in Manilla
#42 SNL's Adam Samburg--Lazy Sunday--classic
#43 Diet Coke and Mentos, you know you want it
#47 Skateboard Dog
#48 Christian the Lion (you'll probably cry)

Charlie Bit Me

and 49 other top YouTube videos from Time Mag. I'm going to watch them all. It should take about half and hour, better than the news.

Who Says The Democrats Haven't Learned Anything?

It's probably too soon, but I'm an optimist, albeit a damaged one. (Cynical? I prefer skeptical.)
So when the House started balking today at funding Afghan projects, citing corruption and bellowing about the waste of taxpayer money, I sniffed a plan.
Obama can't take the lead on this, because for the Republicans it's all about Obama all the time.
And why should he?
Congress needs to get us out of there. What better way than to start closing the purse? First the slushy stuff, then the military stuff, and finally, force withdrawal.
I just don't see many Republican candidates making much headway toward election by accusing their opponents of wanting to cut and run from 25 AQ — that was the number estimated to be there, in a report a day or two ago. Good timing? Heh.
Polls show a way high percentage of Americans  think the war in Afghanistan is lost, for fools, just don't care. Most of them forgot we're there.
It's bleeding dollars, and Tea Partiers and whatever sympathizers they have can't muster much to appeal for the opposite action.
I'm willing to bet some resourceful staffers are ready with a nice study to show how much we could reduce spending and reduce the deficit with these cuts.
It's a winner all the way.
I'm feeling better already.

It Was String Theory

that put me back in the agnostic camp, just when I was ready to jump ship and confirm my unbelief.
But, frankly, can anyone who knows nothing of physics — and knows she knows nothing — honestly subscribe to either belief or unbelief? And I know nothing of physics. And neither do most people. I just like string theory, I don't know it.
Anyhoo, if they're selling this, I'm buying it.
Our T-shirt will read: I just don't know.

Kagan Hearings

Best comment so far on the Republican idiots blasting Thurgood Marshall and Kagan for clerking for him:
It's just warmed over Rovianism... take an opponents strength (clerking for one of the best-know and most beloved justices of the modern Supreme Court) and try to turn it into a liability.
See also: boating, swift.
although I also liked the one calling Sen. Sessions a "little rat-eared racist prick."

The Front Fell Off

Circulating via email as an actual interview.
But it's not. But it's hilarious. What can we do but laugh?

Sarah's Baby: Hang In There, Andrew

Andrew Sullivan's not letting this go and I, for one, will be forever grateful.
His biggest bitch, and mine, is not Palin or the birth story fiction.
It is the media.
What have we seen to back up the maternity of Trig? Nada. Not a single page from what must be a mountain of medical records, no birth certificate, nothing but a single page doctor's note confirming the birth in passing, issued four hours before polls opened, by a doctor who once spoke freely with the local press but clammed up completely as soon as Palin hit the national stage...because if Palin has lied about this, it's the most staggering, appalling deception in the history of American politics.

The Bush Lega$y

Yeah, I know it's spelled with a "c" but I had to do it.
And now, folks, for a nice graph of the Third Depression.
Be sure to skim the comments. CBO apparently backs this up.
Whadda we want? JOBS!
When do we want 'em? YESTERDAY!

Wing House: Recycling A 747

Yup, the whole thing.

Dept. Of Sex And Quote O' Teh Day

Female sexual response is too complex for any pill.
Wit ya on dat, Brutha.

New Media Dept.

Worry. Not worry. You decide. Me, losing the intertubes would be like cutting off both arms.
I just love this line, so I'm linking to the whole piece even though it's not as witty overall.
Yes, every time we learn a fact or skill the wiring of the brain changes; it’s not as if the information is stored in the pancreas.
Maybe I just like the word pancreas. It's a silly word.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Next Up: Elena Kagan

Hearings start Monday. So what?
For Congress, it's an election year, and the hearing provides Democrats and Republicans a platform to make their respective campaign arguments to the viewing public.
Oh, and, um, the G-20 idiots decided to commit to austerity, just the opposite economic policy needed at this time. Because, Krugman says, they're idiots. Obama seems to be still favoring more stimulus, although how this will all play out is anybody's guess. Maybe when they start cutting spending and the unwashed masses begin to notice, things might change.

Blood Cell Phones

I'm probably going to buy one later this year.
But which one? Are there any electronics companies listening to the "conflict" movement? Seems the new video is going to go viral and Kristof's column yesterday gave it a big push.
Here's what you can do.

Warning: Science Rears Its Ugly Head

  • The total precipitation that falls on the world in one year is about one meter of rain, the height of a golden retriever.
  • The total amount of rain that has fallen on the world since the industrial revolution began is about 200 meters, the height of Hoover Dam.
  • The amount of rain that has fallen on the world since the time of Moses is enough to fill up all the oceans.
  • The amount of rain that has fallen on the world since the Ice Age ended is enough to fill up all the oceans four times.
  • The amount of rain that has fallen on the world since the dinosaurs died is enough to fill up all the oceans 20,000 times—or the entire volume of the earth three times.
  • The amount of rain that has fallen on the world since coal formed is enough to fill up the earth 15 times.
  • The amount of rain that has fallen on the world since oxygen formed is enough to fill the earth 100 times.

Okay, you say, and I should care why?
Wait, we haven't even gotten to rocks yet. And, and, ice.

And so, he concludes:
The geologic record suggests that climate ought not to concern us too much when we’re gazing into the energy future, not because it’s unimportant, but because it’s beyond our power to control.
Uh, okay, I don't need a Prius after all. In fact, I don't matter. In fact, who is I?

The Mother Of Us All, Reborn

I will never read this book. Either translation. And it doesn't matter. I am lucky to be the recipient of its benefits to the cultural change and personal awakening it created.