Monday, December 31, 2012

Oh, ffs

Were I not in a better mood, this would've been another one of those "kill me now" posts. But seriously, New York Times … really?   REALLY??

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rhetorical Question of the Day

Hey, anybody remember when the nascent Teabag Revolution was focusing laserlike on economic issues, and excluding all that Culture War stuff?
    -- Doghouse Riley

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Not that this'll come as any great shock to you ...

... but it's worth noting for the record, and, I suppose, encouraging that "[t]he report was welcomed by Heiner Bielefeldt, United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, who said in a brief introduction there was little awareness that atheists were covered by global human rights agreements."

You can download a copy of the full report, Freedom of Thought 2012: A Global Report on Discrimination Against Humanists, Atheists and the Non-religious from the International Humanist and Ethical Union's website, or just click this direct link to the PDF.

(h/t: TC, via email | pic. source)

The Jon Swift Memorial Roundup 2012 #jonswift2012

Friend of lowly bloggers everywhere, Batocchio, the Vagabond Scholar, has once again put in a bunch of time soliciting and assembling "the best blog posts of the year, as chosen by the bloggers themselves." This is, of course, a tradition started by the late great Reasonable Conservative, and it is carried on in his memory. And you even get to start off with a cat pic!

You might thank Batocchio on Twitter, and join in the discussion using the hashtag #jonswift2012.

Happy reading!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Google Two-Factor Authentication Fail

Just noting for the record:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Deep thought

In case the state of Arizona is casting about for a new motto ...

screenshot of a Google image search for 'Grand Canyon'

I got 99 problems, but a ditch ain't one.

(h/t: Jay-Z | blame: Takei | pic. source)

Mysteriously, December 20th has come and gone. This might explain everything.

Maybe it was all a simple spelling error.
    -- George Takei

[Added] Also.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wingnut who scolds other Jews for not being Jewish enough is furious that Google says "Happy Holidays"

It's not easy feeding the insatiable thirst for manufactured outrage.

I hope K-Lo doesn't get mad that you're on her turf, Ben.




Monday, December 24, 2012

Wine snobs on wine snobs

I'm always up for a jargon list. "Battle of the Somm" lets us in on what those people with the long upper lips are saying about us in the back. And by "us," I don't exactly mean to include myself among the whales, however much I am in other contexts interested in deep oceans. I'm more of a cork dork, admittedly. And definitely an A.B.C.

Although certainly I could be persuaded to hang with someone who orders cougar juice. I don't judge.

(h/t: KK, via print edition)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Weasels ripped from context

William Horman, the headmaster of Winchester and Eton, included the Latin form 'Mater artium necessitas' in Vulgaria, a book of aphorisms for the boys of the schools to learn by heart, which he published in 1519.

Which leads, just one screen later, to Frank Zappa, in a connection for which I have just begun to kick myself for never having made.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Congrats on surviving the Mayan Apocalypse. Now, here is your Skynet update.


A famously mysterious military space plane operated by the US Air Force has launched from Florida, the third flight in a secretive test programme.

The reusable, unmanned craft is designed to operate in Earth orbit for extended periods. Its prior missions in 2010 and 2011 lasted 224 and 469 days.

The US government kept the timing of Tuesday's launch secret and has not said how long the mission will last.

More links.


Line of the Day: 2012-12-22

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.
    -- Rebecca West

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

May be!

Did you know there is actually such a thing as a "Hello Kitty" model of the AR-15 assault rifle? Thanks to Jesse Taylor, now I do!

Maybe the best way to control guns would be to require that they all be painted bright pink. What do you think, Conservative flake?

"Gangnam Style"

By Psy. Because sometimes, goofy is good. (15-sec ad first. Sorry.)

Discovered thanks to this Twitter exchange.


artist: Farley Katz | pic. source: The New Yorker

You might also have a look at the cartoon-off between Farley Katz and Randall Munroe.

[Added] Eleventy!

What, you don't need any differentiators?

But really, a gig as security guard at the Museum of Mathematics? DREAM JOB.

(h/t: MK, via email)

Breakfast Serial

New friend Doug recommended Portishead to me. My first reaction: I like them better than I like most bands upon first reaction, so, I will give a second listen. "Scorn" ("Embedding disabled by request") stood out, if you care about my tastes.

Meanwhile, the lead singer's voice, especially on some other songs, reminded me of an old favorite. (Song, I mean. The video may or may not appeal. I don't judge™.)

I think Howard Zinn might fail to see the humor in this

(vide | pic. source: The New Yorker/Michael Shaw | also? just sayin: top result.)

"Disaster Economics"

No, it's not actually about the Republicans in Congress. It's a short, smart piece by James Surowiecki from the 3 December 2012 issue of The New Yorker about what it costs to clean up after a hurricane versus what it would cost to build preventative measures.

Spoiler alert ...

... the latter is way cheaper than the former.

Of course the political realities will not change any time soon (for which, okay, it's fair to blame the Republicans, to a large extent), but this is a long-term problem and so it's worth trying to nudge the supertanker onto a slightly different course, as it were, starting now.

(pic. source:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Line of the Day: 2012-12-15

TBogg on Joe Lieberman, a few days ago:

... that the people who knew him best and worked with him on a daily basis found other things to do and places to be when he was giving his farewell speech speaks volumes.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Kill me now

Had the remote control in hand and everything, ready to turn off the teevee for the night.

But just five seconds too slow to avoid the commercial wherein the lamest of the lame identifies himself as Jack Reacher.

As Jack Reacher.

You didn't need the money that bad, "Lee Child." And you're for sure not getting any more of mine.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Three words: conservative think tank

You go, Heritage Foundation.

Can't make this stuff up

Ah, the obliviousness of wingnuts. Glibertarians, especially.

(h/t: @vacuumslayer)

That uncomfortable feeling of, "Hey, are they talking about me?"

Good thing the steering wheel's on the wrong side.


[Added] Belinda responds thus.

"Tsekalo and Puttin annealed at Sparrow Hills"

Or something like that. In any case, Цекало и Puttin` отожгли на Воробьевых горах is delightful.

(h/t: TC, via email)

Monday, December 10, 2012

So ... what's on the home page of The T®ustworthy En©ylopedia™ today?

Welp ... The Whore of Babylon, perhaps related to the bunch of stories in the right column following the lead one (Hosing the influence of evolutionist rats out of Britain before more British college women enter the sex trade!); recitation of line 1 of the The Creed (One thing you can be very sure of: The world is approximately 6,000 years old.[4]); some sports news (The liberal media continue to prefer failure rather than support playing the conservative Tim Tebow. Today the Jets barely squeaked by the 2-11 Jaguars.); and that's just the first glance.


Or weep.

One of those.

Heh. That Krugman.

... while it’s true that the finance guys are still making out like bandits — in part because, as we now know, some of them actually are bandits — ...

(From "Robots and Robber Barons.")

Sunday, December 09, 2012

M.B. on 12/7

In Comments under this past Friday's post, M. Bouffant refers us to another one of his, posted five years earlier. It's about his father's experiences on that day in 1941. Definitely worth a read. Plus, more pix here.

Saturday, December 08, 2012


The conclusion of a piece on how even his colleagues are now laughing at sad clown Dick Morris:

At one point, after Media Matters began seeking comment from Hill staffers, a "mass email" went out to the paper's reporters "specifically instructing us not to talk," according to one staffer who had agreed to speak, but indicated it would not be possible after receiving the email.

Managing Editor Bob Cusack then emailed Media Matters stating: "I am the best contact for any piece you are writing about The Hill. Thanks." He later requested questions via email rather than participate in a phone interview.

Media Matters emailed Cusack several questions asking about his view of Morris, the columnist's future at the newspaper, and what Cusack thought of staff members' concerns.

His email response: "We're not going to comment."

(h/t: Taylor Huffman)

At least she hasn't posted on Salon in over a year

I predict her downward spiral will continue until she lands a part-time gig as Ann Althouse's guest blogger.

Ah. One puzzle solved.

Her name ...

... is Mélissa Theuriau.

Thanks for the detective work, Ocean!



Ordinarily, here's where you'd find a link to the pic. source. However, I decided not to this time, because, come on ...

Wednesday, December 05, 2012


Lieberman Regrets Being So Negative on Obama

If you must.

Never forget.

McCain and Lieberman

Lieberman kisses Bush

Right on

Swiped from @bay_naam.

It's not the medium. It's the message.

Buy this shirt! Wear it! Show your support for the cause!

(h/t: Roy Edroso)

[Update] Boo hiss on Photobucket for deleting the above and substituting this.

From the annals of Our Christian Nation

Congressman’s Restaurant Refused To Serve Muslim Couple

We don't need to make clear that it was a Republican Congressman, do we?






(h/t: Wonkette | pic. source)

[Update] Follow-up.

Line of the Day: 2012-12-05

From “The Conflict Against Al Qaeda and its Affiliates: How Will It End?”, a talk given by Jeh Charles Johnson, General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Defense, at the Oxford Union, Oxford University, on 30 November 2012.

“War” must be regarded as a finite, extraordinary and unnatural state of affairs. War permits one man – if he is a “privileged belligerent,” consistent with the laws of war — to kill another. War violates the natural order of things, in which children bury their parents; in war parents bury their children. In its 12th year, we must not accept the current conflict, and all that it entails, as the “new normal.” Peace must be regarded as the norm toward which the human race continually strives.

(source | via)

Bubble? What bubble?

Let me introduce you to my red state friends.

49% of GOP voters nationally say they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama. We found that 52% of Republicans thought that ACORN stole the 2008 election for Obama, so this is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn't exist anymore.

The exact question (PDF), in case you were wondering if these people were somehow tricked:

Q8 Do you think that Barack Obama legitimately won the Presidential election this year, or do you think that ACORN stole it for him?

Interestingly enough, 2% of those who voted for Obama also believe ACORN stole the election for him. (Don't tell Willard. It will just make him sadder.)

(h/t: Jack, via email | pic. source: plognark)

Pity that people have to die for us to appreciate them

Belated thanks, Willis Whitfield.

If you didn't already know:

Half a century ago, as a rapidly changing world sought increasingly smaller mechanical and electrical components and more sanitary hospital conditions, one of the biggest obstacles to progress was air, and the dust and germs it contains.

Stray particles a few microns wide could compromise the integrity of a circuit board of a nuclear weapon. Unchecked bacteria could quickly infect a patient after a seemingly successful operation. Microprocessors, not yet in existence, would have been destroyed by dust. After all, an average cubic foot of air contained three million microscopic particles, and even the best efforts at vacuuming and wiping down a high-tech work space could only reduce the rate to one million.

Then, in 1962, Willis Whitfield invented the clean room.

Which brings to mind a favorite piece of understatement, from the first article on nanotechnology that I ever read, thirty or so years ago: At these scales, a drop of oil is not a lubricant.

Gotta love this part:

Particle detectors in Mr. Whitfield’s clean rooms started showing numbers so low — a thousand times lower than other methods — that some people did not believe the readings, or Mr. Whitfield. He was questioned so much that he began understating the efficiency of his method to keep from shocking people.

“I think Whitfield’s wrong,” a scientist from Bell Labs finally said at a conference where Mr. Whitfield spoke. “It’s actually 10 times better than he’s saying.”

And of course, no blog post would be complete without a salute to the superiority of the free market, unencumbered by gummint regulation!

The clean room was patented through Sandia, and the government shared it freely among manufacturers, hospitals and other industries.

(pic. source: Sandia Lab News (PDF) | h/t: KK, via email)

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Oh, the irony

You'd think, with my love of science jokes ...

... I'd have thought of that before some suggestion bot did.

Also, I will never be able to say fey again.

(Got a hand from Shop Leondardo.)

Oh, daddy, not again.

Guess who just barely caught the caboose on the wingnut welfare gravy train?

Rick Santorum To Join World Net Daily As ‘Exclusive Columnist’

(h/t: Wonkette| pic. source)

Sunday, December 02, 2012

In other news ... Shape of Earth: Views Differ

Is this not classic New York Timesism?

Leaving questions.

In fairness, the hedging in the blurb is at least somewhat contradicted by the fact that they did the story at all.

Saturday, December 01, 2012