Saturday, September 11, 2010


Stupid video; I think that's why it always entertained me. Bananarama, Venus:

Blancmange, Living on the Ceiling:

Madness, One Step Beyond:

9/11: Never Forget

Let me join my voice in chorus with those who say we must remember the historic events on this date in history.

1789 Alexander Hamilton was appointed the first secretary of the treasury.

1814 An American fleet scored a decisive victory over the British in the Battle of Lake Champlain during the War of 1812.

1850 Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale," gave her first concert in the United States, at Castle Garden in New York.

1881 A Massive Landslide near Elm, Switzerland, destroyed the town, and killed 115.

1885 Author D.H. Lawrence was born in Eastwood, England.

1941 Charles A. Lindbergh sparked charges of anti-Semitism with a speech in which he blamed "the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration" for trying to draw the United States into World War II.

1962 The Beatles recorded their first single, "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You," at EMI studios in London.

1971 Former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev died at age 77.

1973 Chilean President Salvador Allende died in a violent military coup.

1985 Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds recorded his 4,192nd hit, breaking Ty Cobb's career record.

1997 Scots voted to create their own Parliament after 290 years of union with England.

1998 Congress released Kenneth Starr's report, which offered graphic details of President Bill Clinton's alleged sexual misconduct and leveled accusations of perjury and obstruction of justice.

2002 Football Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas died at age 69.

2007 China signed an agreement to prohibit the use of lead paint on toys exported to the United States.

2009 Michael Jordan was enshrined in the basketball Hall of Fame.

From The NYT and Dave Bressan's History of Geology.

Followup, 1:26 PM: "A little bit of irreverence is good. A lot is better." -- Ann Campana Judge. A commemoration of Ann Campana Judge, who died on AA Flight 77, by her brother. That quote moved and resonated with me quite strongly, and fits well with the overall attitude of this post. I'm just sick of those who lost or sacrificed nothing on that day nine years ago talking about how hurt and scared they were. I was one of the lucky ones, and at this point I'm more hurt and scared by our own reactions to the events of that day than I ever was by the events themselves.

Google Middle Earth

I'm sorely tempted to post this to Pathological Geomorphology, but I'm afraid I don't know enough about the technical details of this imaginary landscape. Have a gander at the most detailed map of Middle Earth I've ever seen. Use the "Zoom" control to move in or out, and drag the screen to move the map to desired positions. Below is a screen capture. (Note that despite the title, Google has nothing to do with this.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Goo Goo Ga Joob Redux

Honestly, I'd rather just drop this and not give this walrus the bukkit attention he wants. However, I don't think this story is completely dead yet- apparently the Park51 leader Feisal Abdul Rauf has not in fact agreed to a meeting to discuss the possible re-siting of the ground zero mosque lower Manhattan Cultural Center, and the Terry Jones is a certifiable looney. "I'm Invincible!" "You're a looney." (Note: neither Terry Jones nor Terry Jones appears in the following clip.)

The fact is, anyone who is this obnoxious in the name of whatever they worship clearly needs to have their flywheel taken in for balancing. No need to make a fuss over it, just a little routine maintenance. However, this Jones character appears to be in need of a complete engine rebuild, according to his daughter in an interview with Spiegel Online.(Thanks to Josh for pointing me in the direction of the diagram above, from HuffPo) The idea of "split personalities," as thought of in popular culture, doesn't actually have much support from psychological research, and the diagram above doesn't do justice to the hatred and spite displayed by (the non-Python) Terry Jones. Walruses, on the other hand, are pretty mellow and intelligent beasts. When I posted a piece titled "Goo Goo Ga Joob" last Saturday, I had no idea I'd want to reuse that title in less than a week. But such are the costs of necessary mockery.

Apparently This is Real

I saw this re-tweeted, and several of the pop-aggregators have posted it as well (this one is from The Daily What)... I'm starting to think it's not just a gag or identity thief. I can't wait for SP's response.

Followup: 4:28 PM- As expected, SP did respond as only she can. See Mock, Paper, Scissors.

Video Games Are Getting So Realistic

Consider, for example, the most recent edition of Space Invaders. (See Bad Astronomy for winning strategery)

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Based on some comments at various places last week, I've decided to broaden this category to include other members of the Norse Pantheon. This week, Odin (from Wikipedia); next week, Loki.


that...with this......has, happily, been called off. Meanwhile, the daughter of Westboro Baptist Church Minister, Fred "God hates everyone who isn't me" Phelps, is angry that their congregation didn't get as much attention when they burned Korans back in the day.
One of those angry at a Florida preacher's plans to mark Sept. 11 by setting fire to copies of the Quran is Shirley Phelps Roper, a leader of the Westboro Baptist Church.
"We did it a long time before this guy," Phelps-Roper said by telephone from a street corner in downtown Chicago, scene of the latest Westboro picket — against Jews this time, not gays.
OK, fine. Credit where credit is due: You and your church are even more bigoted, insensitive, inhuman, and less representative of Christ's teachings than Terry Jones and his congregation are.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

He's Pausing to See if Anyone Argues

Either that or he's mentally double-checking his arithmetic, and is on the verge of changing his mind.

Via What Would Jack Do? The "Stupid Math Tricks" label has never been more appropriate.

Wenesday Wednesday

Morticia Addams: Children, why do you hate the baby?

Puggsley Addams: We just want to play with him.

Wednesday Addams: Especially his head.
Picture from Adventures in Nerdliness, quote from Mike Cane's Blog.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


We'll see what happens in a couple of months, but drawing on the old Star Wars riff, I have a bad feeling about this. Via Library Grape.

This Cracks Up New Zealand

Via Arizona Geology, a clip from a flyover of the surface rupture from Saturday's earthquake in New Zealand. Miraculously, apparently there were no fatalities or even serious injuries from this event. Meddling socialists and their pesky regulations.

Tuesday Tits

Two Tuesday Tits today, since I forgot this item last week. Long-tailed tit, Aegithalos caudatus, from Britannica.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Borowitz Report

Rabid Dog Briefly Mistaken for Tea Party Candidate

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (The Borowitz Report) – A rabid Doberman Pinscher jumped on stage at a Tea Party rally in Missouri on Labor Day and barked at the crowd for nearly twenty minutes before people realized he was not a candidate.

The dog, later identified by its owner as “Mister Buster,” held the crowd spellbound as he barked, growled, and frothed at the mouth, eventually receiving a standing ovation for his exertions.

Gwendolene Thomason, 42, a Tea Party supporter from Jefferson City, was one of the hundreds on hand who were convinced that the Doberman was a Tea Party candidate until he was outed as a dog.

“I liked what he had to say,” she said. ”He reminded me of Glenn Beck, only furrier.”
Very funny satirical snark; here's the link to the rest of this article, and here's the front page. Posting is irregular, but every single one is good. Here's another piece I had set aside and forgot (again, click over to read the whole thing):

Poll: One out of Five Americans Do Not Believe Obama Exists

‘Existers’ Movement Gathers Steam

WASHINGTON The Borowitz Report – In what might be the most serious challenge to Barack Obama’s legitimacy as President, a new poll shows that one out of five Americans are not convinced that Mr. Obama exists.

The poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, reveals that 23 percent of those surveyed “strongly agreed” with the statement, “I believe that Barack Obama’s birth was faked, just like the moon landing.”


xkcd-themed wedding cake, based on this comic:The world needs more nerds to get married and have little baby nerds. Via The Daily What.

Look Ma, No "F's"

The Obaminator finally seems to get the idea that a 10+ percent unemployment rate is very bad news for the dems, so guess what he's gonna do about it. If the words "too little, too late" come to mind, you're not alone.
Barack Obama is launching a campaign to persuade American voters that the ailing US economy is safe in his hands, unveiling a $50bn (£32bn) infrastructure package tonight as the countdown begins to November's midterm elections in which the Democrats are expected to receive a drubbing.
And of course, Weepy the Troll (R- Armpit) is compelled to chime in:
“As the American people, facing near double-digit unemployment, mark Labor Day by asking, where are the jobs, the White House has chosen to double-down on more of the same failed ‘stimulus’ spending,” Boehner said in a prepared statement.
Ignoring Boehner's principled opposition, by which I mean if anyone other than a good, jayzus-feering rubblekin proposes anything, he opposes it on principle, let's look at what the American Society of Civil Engineers had to say about the state of US infrastructure last year:So if we were to expand Obama's proposal by a factor of 10, and spend that amount for the next four and a half years, we would meet what ASCE thinks we need. With all due respect to Obama (very little, at this point), I'll reitierate: too little, too late. And with all due respect to Boehner (none whatsoever), shut yer whiney little yap until you have some sort of useful counterproposal.