Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tornado watch edging closer to Triangle :: WRAL.com

Tornado watch edging closer to Triangle :: WRAL.com:

RALEIGH, N.C. — A cold front sliding into North Carolina could bring tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and damaging winds before daybreak Wednesday, according to WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze.

The peak threat time is from midnight through 6 a.m. 'It's just moving really, really slow,' Maze said.
I'm shutting it down for the night. Unplugging the electronics in case we get power interruptions, and putting a flashlight and a radio in the "tornado closet" where we'll hunker down if we hear the alarms. If y'all don't hear from me in the morning by, oh say ... 8:00 AM ET, tell 'em to check the treetops for us! (Just kidding. I hope.)

NME Top 75 Albums Of 2010

NME Top 75 Albums Of 2010 - Stereogum:
14 The Fall – Your Future, Our Clutter
13 Gayngs – Relayted
12 Caribou – Swim
11 The National – High Violet
10 The Drums – The Drums
09 Liars – Sisterworld
08 Salem – King Night
07 Zola Jesus – Stridulum II
06 Foals – Total Life Forever
05 Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can
04 LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
03 Beach House – Teen Dream
02 Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
01 These New Puritans – Hidden
Why highlight 14? That's how many it took to get to The Fall, silly.

New NC revenue chief vows to collect sales tax on online buys

New state revenue chief vows to collect sales tax on online buys :: WRAL.com:

David Hoyle. The Taxman Cometh.

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Revenue Secretary David Hoyle is on a mission to collect the sales tax on purchases North Carolina residents make from online retailers.
I'm not a fan of higher prices; however, the current system gives out-of-state businesses an unfair advantage over in-state businesses, and like it or not at checkout time, sales tax revenues fund services I don't think people really want to live without.

Understanding power: the indispensable Chomsky

Understanding power: the ... - Google Books

Image via Google Books.
He's said it a number of times and a number of ways of the years: secrecy is primarily used by governments to conceal its misconduct from its own citizens.

Excerpts from "A Children's Treasury of Mark E. Smith Verse"

A Journey Round My Skull: It Was the Time of the Giant Moths

Image via  A Journey Round My Skull.
I love this!  How have I not seen this before?
Via @brennanbtmc

Word on the tweet: #Fuquay-Varina, November 30, 2010

OK, time again to round up some tweets from or about Fuquay over the last couple weeks:

@rhettandlink you're not moving right? We'd miss bumping into you in Fuquay alleys ...Fri Nov 12 23:13:19 via Tweetie for Mac

Buzz is building for Rhett and Link's upcoming pilot. I've not yet bumped into the fellas at Stick Boy, Strafe, or any of the downtown hot spots yet, but I'm hoping I will before they get all famous and Hollywood.


In the big city of Fuquay Varina hanging out, waiting.Tue Nov 16 14:05:45 via Twitter for Android

Tourists. ~rolls eyes haughtily~

its gona be WORLD WAR 3 at fuquay-varina high school tmro #justwaitTue Nov 16 22:02:38 via web

Happy to report no such thing happened. (At least nothing that cracked twitter or the local news that I saw.)

Random gunblasts in the night keep things exciting out here in ole Fuquay Varina.Mon Nov 22 04:02:53 via Twitter for iPhone

Whoa! What part of Fuquay are you hangin' in, fella?

Aviator brewery with the fuquay gangThu Nov 25 01:29:41 via TweetCaster

Good beer at Aviator folks. Strong reason to come to Fuquay.

Fuquay-Varina, NC is where it's at:)Fri Nov 26 01:47:16 via Echofon


In a part of Fuquay-Varina known as "Niggatown." I'm ready to go...now.Sun Nov 28 01:03:39 via ƜberTwitter

Meet the New South. Same as the Old South.

Someone erected a huge 40ft cross on 401 between Lillington and Fuquay-Varina. Scared the hell out of me as I was coming to work.Mon Nov 29 04:17:58 via Panoramic moTweets

INORITE! My wife said the same thing. (Reading through the rest of this guy's twitstream making the cuckoo sound and the universal sign for "crazy".)

@wraltraffic I'm ready for Judd Parkway to finish up in Fuquay. Taking forever!Mon Nov 29 22:07:45 via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Make it so.

All ima say is peole at Fuquay , all you can do is #smh at them.Tue Nov 30 13:49:22 via web

Aw, c'mon now. Ain't no people like Fuquay people.
Keeping my eye peeled for the Fuquay hashtag. Drop some knowledge on me, tweeps!

New Get Your War On Comics

www.mnftiu.cc | Blog Archive | New Get Your War On Comics

Image via mnftiu.
♫ Simply the best. Better than all the rest ... ♫

Tuesday is WHOsday: Adipose

Springfield Punx: WHOsdays; Adipose:

Adipose. Detail from a larger image via Springfield Punx.
Well, it's hard to see the Simpsons-izing here, they mostly look like ... well, Adipose. As I pack on the holiday pounds, this week's Springfield Punx might be a more suitable friendfeed and facebook avatar for me than the Tennant I've been using ...

Secession and slavery. Party on, neo-Confederates!

Secession Defended on Civil War Anniversary - NYTimes.com:

Jefferson Davis. Via the NY Times.

And yet, as the 150th anniversary of the four-year conflict gets under way, some groups in the old Confederacy are planning at least a certain amount of hoopla, chiefly around the glory days of secession, when 11 states declared their sovereignty under a banner of states’ rights and broke from the union.
If I roll my eyes any more vigorously, they're going to do a complete rotation. People want to celebrate their states' failed attempt to secede?! Over the issue of slavery ... ahem, states' rights to enslave their fellow man?!? Which resulted in a devastating war that left 600-700K dead and wounded, all told?!? 

If any celebration is called for, it should be all states celebrating the preservation of the Union, the squelching of a viciously immoral rebellion, the lives of the Union soldiers and civilians that were lost in the conflict, and the page turned on a shameful chapter in the history of our nation. Every confederate flag-waving f**cunt should be hanging his head in shame and sent back to school to study history for, presumably, the first time.

The Confederate flag is anti-American. It's the flag of the unrepentant traitor.

Look, you don't have to tell me about the plantation system in the South, the long history of conflict between federal and state power and how those things, in conjunction with and on top of the issue of slavery, particularly when new states were being added to the Union. You also don't get to pretend slavery was anything but a monstrous, deeply evil practice that was closely tied to the issue of states' rights and the economic differences between the North and South. I know it wasn't angels vs. demons. There was plenty of corruption, abuse of power, and a not entirely rosy history of race relations in the North as well; I don't dispute these things. Rebellion however, was not the best solution to any of the issues identified as causes of the conflict. It's a question of which side had the better of the argument, the more American solution in keeping with our Founding principles. That side was the North. Not by virtue of having won; had the Confederacy managed to survive, we can say the history books would have been written differently, but we couldn't have said the side with right on its side had triumphed. Just as every time a treaty with the Native American tribes was violated, the United States was in the wrong. Victorious in conflict, but still wrong.

They hate me, they really hate me. (Death Threat Received in Comments Achievement Unlocked!)

First (spammy looking, not really alarming at all) death threat comment received today. At least, the first since moving from Triptych Cryptic to this blogspot. Deleted the comment.  T'was sloppy, stupid, and unimaginative. Still, it would be nice if there was a badge awarded for unlocking the Death Threat Comment Received Achievement.

The new bipartisanship.

The new bipartisanship - This Modern World - Salon.com:

Detail from This Modern World for 11/30/2010. Via Salon.
 "Clearly we don't see eye to eye on everything -- but there must be something Democrats and Republicans can work together to achieve?"  Oh, the belly laughs just keep on coming.

Violence is the answer. Regardless of the question.

Newser | Headline News Summaries, World News, Breaking News, and Local News:

More fun with Newser clusters.
Problem in North Korea? Nuke it into a sea of shiny glass. Violence in society? Practice religious intolerance and arm yourself. Secrets leaked? Death penalty for the leakers.  Kid at Starbucks make your latte wrong? Kill them all. Kill! Kill!

Bills Receiver Tweets Anger at God Over Dropped Pass

Bills Receiver Steve Johnson Tweets Anger at God Over Dropped Pass | User Submitted:

Magical Sky Deity of Goat-Herding Primitives is a Steelers fan.

(User Submitted) – After dropping a would-be winning touchdown pass in an overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday, the New York Daily News reports that Buffalo Bills receiver Steve Johnson did what any modern day athlete would—he tweeted to the Almighty. 'I praise you 24/7!!! And this how you do me!!! You expect me to learn from this???How??? I'll never forget this!! Ever!! Thx Tho.' No word yet from God.
He's kind of got a point, if you accept all the false premises: why shouldn't Odin deserve blame when things go wrong, if he deserves praise when things go right?  

The funny thing here isn't the tweet or the obviously deluded mental state of Mr. Johnson, it's the inevitable barrage of  "UR doing it wrong" messages he's probably already started getting from religionists. Because the right way to worship Zeus in this case is to pray more, be humble, and accept that he works in mysterious ways. Plus, the Steelers and their fans were obviously praying harder.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Raleigh man charged after child found sitting on loaded gun. (Giving New Meaning To The 'I Got Shotgun' Call Edition)

Raleigh man charged after child found sitting on gun :: WRAL.com:
Police say Atwater had a loaded 9 mm handgun under a couch cushion where his girlfriend’s child was sitting when officers went to the home on Sunday.

Police seized marijuana from the house and a stolen handgun, according to the warrants.
It was a stolen handgun, evidently not one he owned or registered legally. Still, it was manufactured legally, and (we assume) originally sold legally -- although I suppose it's possible it may have been stolen somewhere in the supply chain between manufacturer and retailer. My point is, simply, unless you are law enforcement or active military, there is no reason to be in possession of a gun. (Again, I'll make my usual disclaimer for not really being too concerned about non-automatic hunting rifles in general, being more concerned about handguns and automatic weapons.) Even legally purchased, registered weapons are routinely stolen and subsequently used in crimes. Now, true, the same can be said of cars and any number of other things, and I'm not arguing cars should be banned (although the environmental case could be made ... but we won't go down that road!) or anything else a criminal might use in the course of committing a criminal act, such as a pair of sneakers, a cell phone, a pair of gloves, etc. The crucial difference, of course, is sneakers, cell phones and automobiles are not made with the specific intent of firing projectiles at a high velocity to injure or kill other human beings.

The Second Amendment is killing us. Archaic, misunderstood, and outdated, it is simply not a protecting a freedom society values the way our currently down-trodden Fourth Amendment was designed to do. When we, the people, wrote and ratified the Second Amendment as part of the Bill of Rights back in 1791, we were concerned about our national ability to defend ourselves from an invading army. We have a pretty large military now that takes care of that. I'd argue that anyone who talks about "original/Founders' intent" with regard to the Second who doesn't acknowledge that is being disingenuous.

When was the last time we amended the Constitution to fix a flaw or to account for changing times so it better reflected our values as a free society?  The last meaningful amendment was ratified in 1971, to extend the franchise to 18 year-olds. Almost forty years ago. (I'm ignoring the Twenty-Seventh, which had to do with Congressional pay.) The Eighteenth is a cautionary tale, but aside from that, the Amendments to Constitution we've made have served a purpose that is understandable.  I'd argue against the sensibility that the Constitution is sacred object to be fetishized but seldom changed. Now, I'm not saying we should be in making change for change's sake.  We should though recognize times change, technology changes, and we recognize there are things the Founders couldn't foresee and gaps in the law as a result. The Constitution should be a living document.  The Supreme Court has failed us so many times (Gore v. Bush and Citizens United rulings leap to mind as recent examples) and is populated largely by conservative dunces who can't be trusted to make coherent rulings. It's actually rather critical we fix the Constitution in those areas where clear principles in keeping with our (small 'd') democratic values (such as defining 'speech' to distinguish it from money, and clarifying that corporations are not now, nor have they ever been, people) could be spelled out in such a way as to prevent Congress and the Supreme Court from trampling on our freedoms.

RIP Mario Monicelli, Director - Suicide

Mario Monicelli, Director, Kills Himself at 95 - NYTimes.com:

Image via NY Times.

ROME (AP) — Oscar-nominated director and screenwriter Mario Monicelli, considered one of the fathers of the Italian comedy of the 1940s-1960s, died Monday after jumping from a fifth-story hospital window, the hospital said. He was 95.
Wow, he looked pretty good for 95. On the one hand, it's obviously tragic; however, if you're 95, you've lived a full life, and you've been told whatever sent you to the hospital is terminal, the decision is understandable.

NC bank robbery suspect description is not complimentary.

Cary releases description of bank robbery suspect :: WRAL.com:

Suspect. Image via WRAL.

CARY, N.C. — A Town of Cary spokeswoman released a very specific description of a man wanted for robbing a Centura Bank branch Monday morning.

The suspect is white with brown hair styled in a 'messy comb-over,' Deanna Boone said. He is about 5 feet 6 inches tall, in his mid-40s, weighs about 185 pounds and has freckles. He was wearing a denim shirt and blue jeans.
I don't know why it tickled me to see "messy comb-over" as one of the suspects identifying features. Gave me the impression the rest of her description might have been along the lines of, "He was a real Costanza-type, y'know? Doughy, kinda stupid looking. He didn't really seem to care about his appearance. He struck me as lazy. Probably didn't do really well in school ..."

The Mystery of the Red Bees of Brooklyn

Bees in Brooklyn Hives Mysteriously Turn Red - NYTimes.com:

Honeycomb. Image via NY Times.

Her bees, the ones she had been raising in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and on Governors Island since May, started coming home to their hives looking suspicious. Of course, it was the foragers — the adventurers, the wild waggle dancers, the social networkers incessantly buzzing about their business — who were showing up with mysterious stripes of color. Where there should have been a touch of gentle amber showing through the membrane of their honey stomachs was instead a garish bright red. The honeycombs, too, were an alarming shade of Robitussin.
Whether it's vanishing hives or glowing red maraschino bees, I'm the grandson of an apiarist and have a resultant long-standing interest in the fate of the bumbles.

Via FriendFeed's John (a.k.a. Dendroica)

Deadline for closing internet gambling parlors could be delayed

Apex Herald - Deadline for closing sweepstakes stores could be delayed:
The General Assembly enacted legislation earlier this year prohibiting the stores, finding them a form of gambling and setting Dec. 1 as a closing date for all existing gaming parlors. A superior court judge later ruled the internet sweepstakes stores legal under the constitution as it protects freedom of speech, according to Jerry Roy, owner of one electronic gaming store in Fuquay-Varina and others in Raleigh. Roy said, at the same time, the judge ruled that the state has the authority to regulate such games.
There are a few of these in Fuquay, one just a few blocks from my house. Watching with interest ...

Psychologists should give prestidigitators their due.

The misdirected quest - Vol. 23, Part 12 ( December 2010):
What history also shows is that experimental methods do not compensate for a superficial understanding of an enormous range of situational practices, and that even the most up-to-date technology does not necessarily provide better knowledge in matters of complex human interaction. After all, so far as psychology is about understanding and predicting human behaviour, the experienced magician can demonstrate his or her ability to do so regularly (with a replication rate most psychologists would envy), and to do so in the real world. Magicians have been able to do this for centuries, but how they have done this has changed according to the way in which people think and behave at different times and in different places. Psychologists can indeed learn from magic, but it is magicians who understand the real secrets.
Paging Derren Brown ...

TCU Will Join Big East

Texas Christian Will Join Big East In All Sports - Courant.com:

Texas Christian University has accepted an invitation to join the Big East Conference. An official announcement is expected some time later today.
~Audible groan~  That's great for the Big East from a football perspective, I suppose, in terms of getting a highly ranked team. It's also great for TCU to join a BCS conference where they will likely dominate. However, it looks like a horrible fit geographically and I don't think does much of anything for the Big East in terms of basketball which, frankly, is all I really care about. 

Well, I like the mascot, if nothing else, about this announcement.

RIP Irvin Kershner, director of Empire Strikes Back

Irvin Kershner, director of Empire Strikes Back, dead at 87 | Blastr:

Image via Blastr.

'I wanted very much for the film to succeed because I knew that George was spending his own money on it. I think the critics felt that they were going to see an extension of Star Wars. In other words, they wanted another Star Wars. I decided that the potential was much greater than a rerun of Star Wars. When I finally accepted the assignment, I knew that it was going to be a dark film, with more depth to the characters than in the first film. It took a few years for the critics to catch up with the film and to see it as a fairy tale rather than a comic book.'
I think I'm hardly alone in listing Empire as my favorite of all the Star Wars movies. I didn't know, or had forgotten, he also directed Sean Connery's last outing as James Bond in Never Say Never Again which, while by no means my favorite Bond movie, is far from the worst. (Not his fault Connery was way too old to be playing Bond at that point.)

Who would've guessed a utopian community that assumed human perfectibility would fail?

Fruitlands: Bronson Alcott, Charles Lane and their unsuccessful search for utopia – Richard Francis – Failure magazine |:
Their philosophy was an offshoot of a movement called Transcendentalism that developed in Boston in the 1830s. The most important aspect of it was a belief in the [perfectibility] of humankind. Transcendentalists believed that Jesus wasn’t the son of God, but was simply a perfect human being, setting an example for other human beings to become perfect likewise. The spin Alcott put on this was that if you could orient yourself correctly to the material world, you would solve that problem. In other words, he believed the spirit is born into a material environment and it’s becoming material that erodes your spiritual perfection. Therefore, if you could calibrate the material environment around you correctly, your spirit would be safeguarded.
Reading this reminded me of the historical lesson provided by armies that have tried to invade Russia in the winter. Even if you think it looks like a good idea to fight a land war in Asia in the spring, it's not going to look quite so easy when the temperature drops and the snow starts flying. Similarly, thinking your perfect human spirit will make cold showers in the New England winter, followed by dressing up in linen clothes to eat a hearty breakfast of raw fruit, tolerable is the kind of pie-eyed optimism that'll get you fleeced skint by even the most somnolent rookie carnival barker.

Dark-skinned would-be hobbits sent to the back of the bus.

Wanna-Be Film Extra Told She's Too Dark to Be Hobbit - Race row hits New Zealand production:

Hobbiton: Whites only. (Image via Newser)

(Newser) – A woman who wanted to be an extra in The Hobbit was told by the casting crew on the New Zealand production that while she was short enough to play a hobbit, she wasn't white enough. 'The casting manager basically said they weren't having anybody who wasn't pale-skinned,' the woman, who is of Pakistani descent, told the Dominion Post. She waited for 3 hours with hundreds of other aspiring extras before being told there was little point in her being there.
Maybe it's just that light-skinned hobbits never enslaved dark-skinned hobbits and their insular culture has enforced regional homogeneity?

Ten Years Later: Still Dislike the Electoral College

cryptonaut-in-exile: Do We Really Need The Electoral College?

Stolen Elections Make Me Angry, Too

Ten years ago, I was concerned our electoral process was deeply flawed and hoped four years of Bush incompetence would prompt change. Little did I know we were in for eight years of mismanagement, corruption, scandal, and illegal war. The Supreme Court was able to hand our country over a right wing goon and his cronies thanks to existence of the Electoral College. Nothing has changed. The idea that small states should get more say than large states in the Presidential election is alive and well. It's a shameful farce. Nobody's vote should count more than mine! And mine should count for no more than anyone else's. As we used to say on TC quite a bit back in the day, "Anger Rising!"

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Naked Gun star Leslie Nielsen dead at 84

Naked Gun star Leslie Nielsen dead at 84:

Image via Montreal Gazzette

Canadian actor Leslie Nielsen has died.
Family confirmed to Global News that Nielsen died Sunday afternoon in a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., hospital from complications of pneumonia.
"I am serious ... and don't call me Shirley."

Research carefully before buying from an unknown merchant.

For DecorMyEyes, Bad Publicity Is a Good Thing - NYTimes.com:

Detail from image via The Daily What

“Hello, My name is Stanley with DecorMyEyes.com,” the post began. “I just wanted to let you guys know that the more replies you people post, the more business and the more hits and sales I get. My goal is NEGATIVE advertisement.”

It’s all part of a sales strategy, he said. Online chatter about DecorMyEyes, even furious online chatter, pushed the site higher in Google search results, which led to greater sales. He closed with a sardonic expression of gratitude: “I never had the amount of traffic I have now since my 1st complaint. I am in heaven.”
Long, scary read. Getting ripped off could be the least of your problems. 

Neo-Epicurean Marxist Diet (Eat Ataraxia, Drink Aponia Edition)

Against Health - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education:
In America, we have become strangely divorced from our bodies, counting calories on every product in the supermarket, watching blood pressure, measuring cholesterol, and sacrificing pleasure out of an excess of caution. These days we eat not for pleasure, but to lower our numbers. Yet we are one of the fattest nations in the world and growing every day more obese. But what do we stand to lose if we lose the enjoyment and pleasure that we derive from good eating and drinking? We may stand to lose everything. The epidemiologist cannot tell us what the Epicurean wants to know: What should I choose to love without guilt? What is good for me? What keeps me happy? What, in the best sense, keeps me healthy?

This ever happen to you? (Private Concert By Jazz Great In Unbelievable Location Edition)

Louis Armstrong Playing for His Wife in Giza - Egypt., love uploaded by ademiromano

Detail of image via pixadaus.com
What do you play in that setting? "Go Down Moses"?

Think: decapitated ursine centipede re-purposed.

The Grizzly Bear Chair | clusterflock

"Come in, have a seat and relax. Only, don't fall asleep in it ... the nightmares it induces are exceptionally vivid."

Shaughnessy-bot to automate the process of writing hatchet jobs.

StatSheet Is Writing Sports Stories With Software - NYTimes.com:

image via mt.cementhorizon.com

This month, StatSheet unveiled StatSheet Network, made up of separate Web sites for each of the 345 N.C.A.A. Division I men’s basketball teams. Beyond statistics galore, each site has what the company calls “automated content,” stories written entirely by software, including write-ups of the team’s games, past and future. With a joking wink, StatSheet’s founder, Robbie Allen, refers to these sites as the “Robot Army.”
The problem that immediately leaps to mind here is there are probably small sports teams where young writers cut their teeth and find their voice on the way up. So, not only could this software be taking jobs from actual writers, but also ensuring the quality of sports writing (often not high to begin with) goes down over the long term; imagine what would happen to baseball if we did away with the minor leagues.

I keep imagining a T1 with a curly red fright-wig cranking out stories ...

Via BlueNC 

How is your state looking on the Hate Map?

Hate Map | Southern Poverty Law Center

NC has 29 flags on the map. Shameful, but it gets worse as you head south. (Also, New Jersey, WTF?)

Women shop, men drop. (No Shit, Sherlock Edition)

Men take a stand on Black Friday - Consumer - NewsObserver.com:

Shawn Rocco's photo via News and Observer

RALEIGH -- Watch the Black Friday crowd inside Crabtree Valley Mall for a few hours and a two-part truth materializes: women shop.

Men lean.
It's the division of labor. But, I'll bet you'd find more men pushing the carts in the Best Buy. Somehow, major electronics purchases have stayed, by and large, in the male magesterium.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Welcome back to Hockey Night in Hartford.

Hockey, AHL, Whale make debut - Courant.com:

Detail from image via the Hartford Courant.

HARTFORD — As the green-and-blue uniforms hit the ice a few minutes before 7 p.m. Saturday, 'Brass Bonanza' filled the XL Center and the crowd reveled in the nostalgia of the moment.
Warms my heart from afar to see the green and blue pull down a victory in their (re)debut. 

IMO, they missed one of the most dangerous and prevalent parenting blunders...

7 Things 'Good Parents' Do (That Screw Up Kids For Life) | Cracked.com: The one I'm surprised to see not listed is 'leaving your child with a youth pastor'. Go ahead, google "youth pastor arrested", or something along those lines, and see if you don't notice a pattern. Also, using brain-washing techniques to perform religious indoctrination on children probably deserves a mention.

I'm not a collector, but I'd keep an evolution coin.

Evolution is the coin of the realm | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine

It's not quite the same, but I do have a monkey coin:

Monkey Coin

Handsome fellas should consider embedding a headshot in their CV.

Are Attractive People More Employable? - NYTimes.com:
Are good-looking people more likely to get jobs? That depends whether you’re talking about men or women, according to a new working paper.
Via Friendfeed's Hutch Carpenter. 

Dead NC teen may have attempted to stowaway in landing gear?

Did Delvonte Tisdale, Teen Found Dead in Massachusetts, Stow Away on Plane and Fall From Landing Gear?:
(NEWSER) – There is a 'remote' possibility that a teen whose battered remains were found near Boston's Logan International Airport died after falling from a plane's landing gear, authorities say. Delvonte Tisdale was last seen in his North Carolina home Nov. 14, and never returned home from school the following day. His body was found last week in Massachusetts, having suffered massive trauma but with no cause of death given, the AP reports. Investigators are working with the airport to determine if Tisdale could have met his death while attempting to stow away on a plane.

Brass Bonanza composer mystery solved!

Column, Jeff Jacobs - Courant.com:

Jacques Ysaye (AKA Jack Say)
Image via Hartford Courant

Even after Peter Karmanos took his hockey team and pony tail to North Carolina in 1997, the song continued to resonate. The UConn pep band plays it. During UConn-Tennessee women's grudge matches, during UConn men's Big East showdowns, 'Brass Bonanza' played on. It is played periodically at Fenway Park after the Red Sox score, yes, even during the Yankees' historic collapse in the 2004 ALCS. The Rock Cats, the Danbury Whalers, various New England colleges, 'Brass Bonanza' played on.

Yet nobody has heard a single note from the composer in more than three decades. Nobody has heard Say say anything.

Well, hold onto your whale tail Pucky.
Grinning sheepishly, I just sent Mr. Ysaye a friend request on Facebook.

Free Willie!

Willie Nelson takes a hit: Singer arrested on dope charge - El Paso Times:

Willie Nelson image via El Paso Times.

Country music superstar Willie Nelson was arrested Friday morning for allegedly having about 6 ounces of marijuana after his tour bus was stopped at the Border Patrol checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, about 85 miles east of El Paso.

I'm imagining the church-state nightmare that would result if the U.S. tried this.

Average Joes Will Rewrite Iceland Constitution:
Hundreds of ordinary people, from truck drivers to teachers, are vying to be elected to one of up to 31 spots on Iceland's Constitutional Assembly, which will convene early next year to perform the first major rewrite to the charter since Iceland gained independence from Denmark in 1944. In the aftermath of its 2008 financial meltdown and the massive unemployment that followed, many Icelanders in the nation of 320 ,000 seem hungry for changes that might restore confidence and better protect the public interest.

War Room's Hack Thirty - Salon.com

War Room's Hack Thirty - Salon.com:
The War Room Hack Thirty is a list of our least favorite political commentators, newspaper columnists and constant cable news presences, ranked roughly (but only roughly) in order of awfulness and then described rudely. Criteria for inclusion included writing the same column every week for 30 years, warmongering, joyless repetition of conventional wisdom, and making bad puns.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cardassian debit card scam.

OH on my local news a moment ago: "Connecticut's Attorney General is warning consumers about a debit card heavily promoted by the Cardassians ..."

Well, duh. I mean, do you know how many complaints have already been lodged with the Bajoran Business Bureau?

Gul Dukat in the ducat business.

Ohhhh ... Kardashians. Still, duh.

Pro tip: anything related to these people is for suckers.

Sweepstakes cafes to close in NC.

Luck runs out for employees of sweepstakes cafes :: WRAL.com:
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — When a state ban on Internet sweepstakes games kicks in next week, luck will run out for the employees of the cafes that host the machines.

Glasgow Kiss of the Week for Friday, November 26, 2010

When your hate group is recognized as such and you have the unmitigated audacity to demand an apology, you're an easy pick to be ...

Glasgow Kiss of the Week
Award Winner

Family Research Council Hate-Monger-In-Chief,
Tony "Don't Call Me Psycho!" Perkins

Hackbarth: Armed and really sad. (Guns And Stalkers Don't Mix Edition)

Minn. Pol With Gun Outside Abortion Clinic Says He Was Just In Area 'Checking On' His Girlfriend | TPMMuckraker:

Rep. Tom Hackbarth (R-MN)

A security guard at a St. Paul Planned Parenthood clinic called the cops last week after he spotted a Republican state lawmaker with a loaded gun in the parking lot. But the pol says he was only 'checking on' his online girlfriend, who he thought may be on a date with another man -- a claim police have not been able to corroborate because the man did not have a phone number or address for the woman.
Citizens of Minnesota State Legislative District 48A must be extra proud today! Nice work there, Minnesotans, you've got yourselves a real go-getter in Hackbarth. (Go-getter / Go-Get-Her ... see what I did there?)

Socialist Pilgrims victims of Samoset and Squanto? (Rush-visionist History Edition)

Limbaugh: Indians Scammed Us - Curmudgeonly Rush slams 'casino culture':

via Newser

'We shared our bounty' with the Indians 'not because we didn't know how to make it. It was because we first failed as socialists. Only when we turned capitalists did we have plenty,' he said. Earlier he viciously quipped that Native Americans 'continue to add to our nation's heritage ... at their casinos and on their reservations.'
On a related note, my car overheated the other morning because it was a socialist. Luckily, some mechanics were able to teach it capitalism and now it thrives.  

"On the bloody morning after, one tin soldier rides away"

A Fistful of Dollars | Mother Jones:

Ruben's fist. Via Mother Jones.

'It's about justice,' Ruben, 29, tells me when I say it doesn't make any sense for victims to scrape together a pile of beating-up money after getting their cash stolen. 'People want people either beat up or locked up. And on a reservation, they're probably not gonna get anybody locked up.'

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ten Commandments rise again in Texas.

Ten Commandments rise again in Texas - UPI.com:
AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A bill introduced in Texas letting teachers display the Ten Commandments in public schools would again test church-state laws if passed, observers say.

Republican state Rep. Dan Flynn recently filed a bill providing that school districts cannot prevent copies of the commandments from being posted 'prominently' in classrooms, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
The only reason to ever display the Ten Commandments in a classroom would be to in the course of demonstrating that any reasonably educated 10 year-old could do a better job writing up a set of ethical guidelines than the magical sky god of the Bible. I'm reminded of Sam Harris's comments:

Consider the possibility of improving the Ten Commandments. This would appear to be setting the bar rather high, as these are the only passages in the Bible that the Creator of the universe felt the need to physically write himself. But take a look good look at commandment #2. No graven images? Doesn't this seem like something less than the-second-most-important-point-upon-which-to- admonish-all-future-generations-of-human-beings? ... Almost any precept we'd put in place of this prohibition against graven images would augment the wisdom of the Bible (Don't pretend to know things you don't know? Don't mistreat children? Avoid trans fats?). Could we live with all the resulting problems due to proliferating graven images? We'd manage - somehow.

#FF @joshcomers | Happy Shanksgiving!

Today, prisoners everywhere give shanks.Thu Nov 25 18:51:12 via web

Early #FF in case I'm in a cranberry relish-induced food coma tomorrow.

Lost and found. (Seagull For Thanksgiving Edition)

After 50 Days Lost at Sea, 3 Teens Rescued - Boys reportedly survived by eating a seagull:

Lost at sea, this'd pass for Thanksgiving turkey.

(AP) – Three teens who have been missing in the South Pacific for 50 days—and were already eulogized in a memorial service—have been found alive by a New Zealand fishing boat. The boys, two 15-year-olds and a 14-year-old, disappeared while attempting to row between two islands in the New Zealand territory of Tokelau in early October and were given up for dead after an extensive search involving the country's air force.

UConn Routs Kentucky For Maui Title - Courant.com

UConn Routs Kentucky For Maui Title - Courant.com:

Image via Hartford Courant

LAHAINA, Hawaii — — A week ago, one might have considered this a week for UConn to merely survive.

The Maui Invitational wasn't supposed to be a springboard to national prominence, Hawaii wasn't necessarily supposed to be Kemba Walker's personal playground and, put simply, the Huskies weren't supposed to do what they did over the past three days.
I'm still skeptical of this team ... but, dang, they sure got the season started off right. Beating two top ten teams in two days, even though it's early, that's no mean feat. I'll be interested to see on Monday where the unranked Huskies stand relative to current #2 MSU and #9 Kentucky. Can UConn go from unranked to being in the top ten on the strength of their performance this week? 

North Korea unhinged, bellicose. (Even more than usual.)

North Korea Warns of More Strikes:
(NEWSER) – North Korea has warned it will attack the South again if it carries out any 'reckless military provocations.' The statement from a North Korean military delegation—which promised 'second and third strong physical retaliations without hesitation'—didn't specifically mention the US-South Korea joint military exercises set to begin on Sunday, but the drills are certain to infuriate Pyongyang, the AP notes.

100 Notable Books of 2010

100 Notable Books of 2010 - Holiday Gift Guide - NYTimes.com

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

FRC listed by SLPC as a hate group. (Sounds about right.)

Family Research Council Labeled 'Hate Group' By SPLC Over Anti-Gay Rhetoric | TPMDC:

The face of mainstream hate.

The Family Research Council is perhaps the most prominent voice in conservative social politics and the hosts of an annual rite of passage for many Republicans who hope to run for president. And now, FRC is on the same Southern Poverty Law Center list of hate groups as the Ku Klux Klan.

The CT Whale :: Jersey Unveiling

The CT Whale :: Jersey Unveiling A Capitol Affair:

Pucky, Baldwin, and Gov. Rell

“This is a big day and another step,” Baldwin said. “I appreciate all that the governor has done for hockey in the state. We feel there is great leadership here, and we hope we can provide leadership to bring hockey back and make this the premier market that it once was.”
It's not the same as having an NHL team again, but I continue to rejoice for the people of my home state. The Whale is back. 
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