Friday, March 31, 2006

Amelie Friday

In case you haven't noticed, it's Friday again. So let's play the Amelie Game.

If this is you're first time, here are the rules: three likes and three dislikes from the previous week. I'll start with dislikes:

  • Slow elevators
  • When people only go up one floor on the slow elevator (instead of taking the stairs)
  • When you get on the slow elevator and have to stop on every freakin' floor before you get to your own.
Likes:Okay, now it's your turn. Leave your likes and dislikes in the comments. Wise asses are especially encouraged to reply.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

More strong-arm tactics

If I were a Jackson County resident, the second thing I would do is move to Johnson County.

The first thing I would do is vote no on the Billion Dollar Rolling Roof Boondoggle. Forget about whether the people can afford it, forget about investment and economic development. What really pisses me off (and I don't even live there), is this continued patronizing tone from the so-called leaders of the community.

First comes the stick: "Give us $1billion or we're taking the Chiefs and Royals away."

Then the carrots: "Give us $1billion and you can have a Super Bowl and a All-Star Game."

Today we hear the ultimate insult: "Give us $1 billion and you can host the Final Four."

No, correct me if I'm wrong, but the Final Four of the NCAA Basketball tournament is a basketball game. So, Kay Barnes, would the basketball game be played in the baseball stadium or the football stadium.

It seems to me the basketball game would be played in the soon-to-be new Sprint Center, which is designed for basketball games. But I guess the only team playing there will be the BSU Red Herrings.

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Hard to find

Australian police recently arrested a man on drunk driving charges.

I know what you're thinking, "An Aussie was drunk? Really? What is the world coming to?"

Ironically, the guy would have gotten away with it if he hadn't stopped the police to ask directions to Ayers Rock, the well-known 1,100-foot high landmark that he was 100 yards away from.

It got me wondering what else this poor schmuck might have trouble finding. I came up with this partial list:
  • The Grand Canyon
  • The Great Wall of China
  • The Mississippi River
  • Mount Everest
  • his own ass
  • a clue
If you can think of anything else, add it in the comments.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Rhett, don't! I shall faint!

Well, I really can't disagree with the readers of FHM for naming Scarlett Johansson the Sexiest Woman in the World (excluding my Supermodel Wife, I assume).

According to, others in the Top 10 include Angelina Jollie, Jessica Alba, Jessica Simpson, Keira Knightley, Halle Berry, Jenny McCarthy (???!!!), tennis star Maria Sharapova, Carmen Electra and Teri Hatcher.

I guess those ladies are hot and all, but Johansson, even though she's only 21, seems to have a certain something that the others lack: Class. (No offense Jenny McCarthy, but bodily noises aren't that sexy).

I just hope she stays classy and refrains from whoring herself up like the rest of the top 10. Unfortunately, if Hollywood history is any guide, it won't be long before Johansson makes some crappy dramedy which tanks at the box office and she ends up in a cat fight with Alexis Arquette on VH1's The Surreal Life.

So congrats Scarlett. If you're ever in town drop me an email. And as Ron Burgundy would say, Stay Classy.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

YouTube Tuesday

For this episode of YouTube Tuesday (a series I just made up), we revisit the PR troubles Tom Cruise and The Cruistians had as a result of Isaac Hayes quitting his popular role as Chef on Comedy Central's South Park.

Hayes hypocritically stated that he was leaving the show because of the way it portrays religion. This statement came before the airing of an episode that mercilessly mocks Scientology and its famous prophets Tom Cruise and John Travolta. It also came after Hayes participated in mocking every other religion from Christianity to Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism and even The Force.

It's widely believed that Cruise had a hand in getting the satirical send-up of Scientology banned from the air. Comedy Central wouldn't confirm it, but rumor has it that Cruise threatened to pull all advertising for Mission Impossible III from all Viacom networks if the episode was aired.

Which brings us to this week's installment of YouTube Tuesday. In the best tradition of the Interweb and sticking it to the Scientological Man, here's the banned episode of South Park "Trapped in the Closet".

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Need help from KC bloggers

Sunday, my Supermodel Wife threatened to kick me to the curb.

This is a concern on several levels, not the least important of which is that at my age/weight/hairline, it might be next to impossible to find another Supermodel Wife. Also, I've grown quite fond of my wife over the last 15 years.

The issue is an old computer and monitor I've got boxed up in the basement. The computer is in perfect working condition, even packed in its original packaging. Of course, I bought it back in 1997 so the phrase "perfect working condition" doesn't necessarily translate to spectacular performance - even though I added a processor and graphics card upgrades.

That said, I just can't bring myself to send it to the landfill (what with me being a militant environmentalist wacko and all). I've been trying to find a place to take it and donate it to a charity. Maybe a church or Big Brothers or a similar organization that doesn't need a ton of processing powers. And actually, the 15-inch color monitor is still in great shape and would work with any computer really.

So, I'm asking my readers (all three of you) for some help. Please spread the word in the KC bloggosphere. Help me get the word out that this computer is available. It comes with lots of free software (Photoshop, Freehand, Word, Excel, System Software upgrades, etc.)

I'm willing to deliver, and I prefer a tax-exempt 501(3)(c) organization but at this point, I'm not being choosy.

The computer is a Mac-compatible PowerComputing Powerbase model. Here are some specs. The only differences are that, as I mentioned, it has an upgraded G3 process or and VooDoo3 graphics card.

So c'mon KC bloggers, I'm counting on your help. My marriage to a Supermodel is at stake. I know you won't let me down.

(If you have a suggestion for who I can give this to, please leave a comment or drop me an email. I'm serious about this!)

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Yeah, that seems about right

You Are 44% Evil

You are evil, but you haven't yet mastered the dark side.
Fear not though - you are on your way to world domination.

Hat-tip to Leingirlz for the link.

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...but is it against the law?

I saw on TV this morning (between my 3-year-old's episodes of Little Einsteins and The Doodlebops) this story about Walgreens being sued for insulting customers.

My first reaction was to stop chuckling. My second reaction was to wonder whether insulting customers is a crime.

To be sure, it's a bad business practice. I mean, who wants to be insulted when they're shopping? Personally, I stopped shopping at Priscilla's after they made fun of me when I asked for extra small condoms (even though I made it clear that they weren't for me, but for "a friend").

But I don't know if Walgreens employees broke any laws when they called several customers "CrAzY" and "B--tch," especially if the customers in question truly are crazy and b--tchy.

Have we really become so thin-skinned and touchy to over-react by such a degree just for having a few expletives placed by our names in a corporate database? Wouldn't the reasonable action be to take your business elsewhere?

Of course, litigious as our society has become, there will be a civil lawsuit and the lawyer of the three plaintiffs will make a ton of money from the deal and prices at Walgreens will go up for all of the other customers.

If there are any lawyers out there (Dan?), I'd love to hear read your thoughts.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I'll see your Super Bowl and raise you an All-Star Game

Backers of the billion dollar boondoggle that is the proposed Rolling Roof addition to the Truman Sports complex have sweetened the pot for Jackson County suckers, er.. voters.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig promised Kansas City that the Royals can host the All-Star Game sometime between 2010 and 2014. Of course, the promise came with a proviso, a quid pro quo with which Jackson County voters are already familiar.

According to the "honor" is contingent on the successful ballot measure to approve nearly a billion dollars in improvements for the sports complex.
"Major League Baseball is excited about the opportunity to bring an All-Star Game back to Kansas City," said commissioner Bud Selig in making the announcement. "Kauffman Stadium's construction played a key role in the transformation of modern-day ballparks. With the approval of the proposed renovations, this historic venue will once again be transformed into one of the crown jewels of Major League Baseball."
The same deal applies to the hypothetical Super Bowl that was promised after the stadium tax is approved.

Selig claims that the All-Star Game will bring $50-55 million in revenue to Kansas City as it did for Detroit in 2005. That's an investment of nearly $1Billion for a return of $50 Million.

But given the math skills demonstrated by Jackson County officials in negotiating leases for the sports complex over the past few years, I can totally see this making sense to them.

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Victim of intellectual fashion

Contratimes author and all-around good guy Bill Gnade posted the other day a link to a Wall Street Journal interview with author and social critic Tom Wolfe.

Mr. Gnade referred to and commented on some of Wolfe's views on email, the Internet and by extension, blogs. Good points were made by all, but my attention was piqued by other statements made by Wolfe, specifically, this notion of intellectual fashion. From the interview:
This is Tom Wolfe's MO--sorting out and at once demolishing pretension, snobbery, vanity in all its guises. "There is such a thing as intellectual fashion--just as we get our clothing fashions--and often it does not mean anything more," he says. "One follows fashion in order to look proper, and it's the same thing with ideas."
The current height of intellectual fashion is to consider the Bush administration an abject failure. To dare to consider that anything positive might come from the administration at this point marks you as an intellectual square by the self-proclaimed intellectual elite.

It's something Wolfe takes exception with:
George Bush's appeal, for Mr. Wolfe, was owing to his "great decisiveness and willingness to fight." But as to "this business of my having done the unthinkable and voted for George Bush, I would say, now look, I voted for George Bush but so did 62,040,609 other Americans. Now what does that make them? Of course, they want to say--'Fools like you!' . . . But then they catch themselves, 'Wait a minute, I can't go around saying that the majority of the American people are fools, idiots, bumblers, hicks.' So they just kind of dodge that question. And so many of them are so caught up in this kind of metropolitan intellectual atmosphere that they simply don't go across the Hudson River. They literally do not set foot in the United States.
It's interesting to read these statements in light of comments made by many bloggers in conjunction with the third "anniversary" of the war in Iraq.

I think one way to identify intellectual fasionistas is by the degree to which they are open to examining all (not "both") sides of a story.

For example, Joshua at TFK recently gave his version of a numerical rundown of the war in Iraq.
"2318 American soldiers have died in Iraq, a total of 2525 coalition soldiers. Credible reports attribute 33,710-37,832 Iraqi civilian casualties to military actions since the invasion, credible epidemiological research puts the number of excess fatalities above 100,000. In 1,100 days, that amounts to ten people a day who didn't have to die."
What Joshua doesn't consider is the number of people who would have died if other, or no, action had been taken. Granted, most people would expect casualties not to be as high. But then, most people in Kansas City wouldn't have expected more than 120 homicides last year.

The intellectually fashionable fail to consider numbers from other sides of the issue:
  • 1,581 Iraqi civilians killed by Islamic terrorists so far this year
  • 4,535 deadly terrorist attacks since the attack on The World Trade Centers in New York
  • 3,262 people have been killed by Islamic terrorists in America in 37 terror attacks since 1973.
All this isn't to say that the war in Iraq has been carried out flawlessly. It hasn't. There have been many missteps with fatal consequences, and the administration has shown incompetence on multiple occasions.

But, as Mr. Gnade notes in a separate post, there is no such thing as a perfect war or a perfect world. And mistakes have to be weighed against the cost of doing nothing at all. The the best way to do this is with objectivity and intellectual honesty.

Of course, that is much more difficult and takes more effort than following the intellectual fashion trends.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Trials and tribulations

It looks like the Cruisetians (also known as Scientologists) are taking another kick in the PR chones.

By now you've surely heard/read about the flack thrown by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone when it was reported that Isaac Hayes had announced he was leaving the show in protest to the way Cruisetians were satirized.

Now it turns out that that might not be true. But before the buzz can clear, comes the allegation that Scientology and Maverick are being blamed for a woman's death. MSNBC reports:
The ad refers readers to a Web site, which provides details on the case of Jeremy Perkins, a 28-year-old schizophrenic who stabbed his mother to death. Perkins was a staunch Scientologist and his mother was a counselor in the church — which opposes psychiatry and psychiatric drugs and "believes modern psychiatric medicine derives from an ancient alien civilization's plot to drug and enslave humanity," notes the site.
So, it's not a good time to be a Scientologists. But all fledgeling religions have gone through tough times. Well Cruisetians, take heart. It's only 85 more years until Comet Hale/Bopp returns and you can all hitch a ride to paradise on the Giant Space Ark.

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Wrath of grapes

A growing and insidious group of extremists continues to launch attacks in small towns and business throughout Europe.

These attacks aren't coming from Islamic extremists or anti-semitic neo-Nazis. No, the group behind the latest violence calls itself C.R.A.V. and it attacks the very life-blood of rural French, Spanish and Italian agriculture.

According to
Masked men, claiming to be from the shadowy Regional Action Committee of Winemakers (CRAV), took just 20 minutes last Friday to break open several of Val d'Orbieu's wine vats, sending millions of bottles-worth of French wine gushing into the street.

Devic told the damage could cost between €1.5m and €2m. "It is all French wine, I hope there will not be any more [attacks]," he said.
Evidently, members of the terrorist organization C.R.A.V. are striking out against large, corporate wine producers because the producers aren't paying enough for the grapes they by from regional farmers. (a website dedicated to drinking? sweeet) reported that CRAV attacks have increased in ferocity and intensity since Christmas, and millions of litres of Spanish, Italian and French wine have been spilled in streets across the region.

And I guess I can understand their point of view. I mean, why fight about insignificant things like religion and democracy when French wine is at stake.

In vino veritas

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Rock Chalk WuShock

Here's a shoutout to the best college basketball team in Kansas, you know, the one that didn't loose to Bradley in the first round of the NCAA Tourney?

In case you haven't been keeping up with current events (or if you're from Lawrence), Wichita State University represented by taking out No. 2 seeded Tennessee on Friday while KU was busy wetting themselves.

Anyway, mad props to the Shockers and best of luck in the Sweet 16.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Hey, let's play the Amelie Game

It's been a while, but I've decided to bring back The Amelie Game.

Here's how it works: I list three things I like and three things I dislike from the previous week. Then, you add your own list in the comments.

So here we go with this week's likes and dislikes:

Things I like
  • St. Patrick's Day (even if it's freezing)
  • New season of The Sopranos (Can you believe Tony got shot in the very first episode of the season?!?!)
  • YouTube (this one is great!)

Things I dislike
Okay, now let's see what you like/dislike this week. And remember, if you don't add your comments, you're letting the terrorists win.

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test post

I've been getting a weird error, so this is a test post.

Man, Blogger better not be fucking with me!

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

HUAR alert!

I used to think those people over at Humans United Against Robots were a bunch of crackpots. Then I read what DARPA is up to, and I'm telling you, this has Terminator 4 written all over it.
"In an announcement posted on government Web sites last week, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, says it is seeking "innovative proposals to develop technology to create insect cyborgs," by implanting tiny devices into insect bodies while the animals are in their pupal stage."
If this sounds familiar, it's probably because it's been the basic plot of several sci-fi horror movies. One of the creepiest, of course, is Demon Seed -- in which a super computer succeeds in raping its creator's wife in order to recreate itself in a hybrid baby.

I can see it now, DARPA develops robots to build cyborg sensory insects. Only, the robots decide to build a few "specialty" cyborg insects, and comical mayhem ensues.

If you're involved with this project, take action. A little sabotage now might just save the human race.

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I thought Turkey was our ally?

From the off-beat news department comes this dispatch from James Township, Mich.
"Something just exploded," Gerald Henze told The Saginaw News.

He turned and saw a turkey walking down the hallway. Maureen Henze, who was sitting in a recliner, was injured by flying glass after the turkey crashed through the picture window of their James Township home.
I got a good chuckle out of that. But it does raise the following geopolitical question -- If Iraq attacked Turkey from behind, would Greece help?

(sounds funnier if you read it out loud)

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Garmored Cars

I read the Star's article about local companies that have launched corporate blogs. The writer mentions Garmin, the Olathe-based maker of GPS gear (that's Global Positioning System, for you old folk).

The Star linked to a story from the frontlines in Afghanistan:

"On 23 September 05 one of my trucks was hit with an IED (improvised explosive device). The GPS was velcroed to the window sill in the truck. After the truck burned to the ground, we found the Garmin still hanging in there, the only piece of equipment to survive... The Garmin is melted and deformed but still works. I have been saved by my Garmin GPS on several occasions. I can always count on it. All I have to do is pull it off my vest and that's where I am. I can call for help on the radio and get medevacs, close air support, indirect fires, or straighten out myself while navigating."
So, this Garmin device is made out of something similar to the "Black Box" material. You know, the black box that is always the only working piece of gear to survive a plane crash?

So here's what I'm thinking, the gub'ment should have Garmin build all military vehicles to be IED resistant.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Don't player hate, player appreciate

One of the great things about the Internet is that there are so many people willing to help out and provide desperately needed services to jive turkeys like me who would otherwise be lost in a labyrinth of uncoolness.

The fact that I would use the word "labyrinth" shows how desperate my situation is.

Name pimpifier is an example of a website that provides just such a service. Now when I go slap down my bitches in the hood, I will be know as "D. Magical L. Dazzle."

Here's what the pimpifier told me:
"One of the things most hype about being an elevated player is having a name that mothafuckas respect. It's that one thing that punks who don't have your money always remember to yell while you're beating them down. "No D. Magical L. Dazzle! Please don't beat me down D. Magical L. Dazzle! I left my money in my other pants D. Magical L. Dazzle!"

See what I mean?"
So what's your pimp name, big daddy?

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Snake Saturday

It was beautiful in North KC Saturday. An amazing 75 degrees and sunny with just the slightest breeze to keep things cool.

Although the local constabulary wouldn't allow alcohol on the streets, many of the contestants in the BBQ contest were more than generous with their liquid consumables, which was good because the Snake Saturday parade lasted about two and a half hours.

Anyway, you couldn't ask for a nicer day, and it's still officially winter. So I've decided to coin a new term for spring-like weather in winter, Springter.

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Friday, March 10, 2006


Did you hear the big news? NASA scientists have observed a gigantic plume of icy water spewed forth by Enceladus, a small moon orbiting Saturn.

This is huge, since the presence of water is viewed by astrobiologists as a key to extraterrestrial life.

In fact, not only do scientists think the presence of water on Enceladus indicates the possible presence of life, they think it lends support to the idea of life on other heavenly bodies as well.

For example, some scientists think they have seen signs of microbial life on Uranus.

(I know it was a cheap joke. But those are the best kind).
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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Disaster or catastrophe

I was surprised to see Xavier Onasis at Hip Suburban White Guy railing against President Bush today.

Really, I had not idea he felt that way.

According to HSWG, Bush is solely responsible for allowing Iran to destroy the earth in an impending nuclear holocaust.

I'd just like to respond with a couple of small points.

First, the humanity on Earth will be destroyed sooner or later, and for extreme environmentalist Greenies like myself, the sooner the better. Then the earth can get on with being an innocent ball of mud and water making it's way through the universe in peace.

My second point is this: Although a simplistic world view might help some people get through the night, purely good or bad guys are rare. No catastrophe is ever the fault of one person, just like no one person can ever claim all of the credit for great accomplishments.

In the case of Iran's nuclear ambitions, I think a lot of the blame can be given to Europe.

But don't take my word for it.

Leon de Winter, a Dutch novelist and adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute, published an opinion in the Wall Street Journal stating that Europe's lack of testicular fortitude is big reason Iran is getting its way with nuclear ambition.
"The mullahs also knew that the Troika couldn't back up its threat of an economic boycott with the threat of military action. If the EU couldn't muster the will to fight in its own backyard in the Balkans without America leading the way, it surely wouldn't put any lives at risk beyond the frontiers of the Continent.

By contrast, Iran, ostensibly a democracy but in reality a religious tyranny, possesses a character trait that is almost nonexistent in modern Europe: Iranians, almost exclusively Shiite, are willing to suffer."
As usual with the WSJ, it's mighty fine writin' and I encourage you to read the rest of de Winter's piece. Especially you, Xavier, until you become a little older and wiser.

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My way or the Segway

Entering the parking garage at work the other day, I saw a security guard on a Segway.

Security guards, it seems, are one of the niche markets for the gadget dubbed by its creators as a revolutionary transportation device. Other niche markets include old farts who use it to transport their golf clubs and lazy bastards who don't feel like walking to the donut shop.

Now, it seems Segway is trying to branch out into a more athletic clientele. This is where Segway Polo comes it.

Segway Polo - that's right, replace a horse with a Segway - is the latest rage among Las Vegas epicureans and nouveau riche Silicon Valley tech geeks.

I used to be good at playing polo, so I've put one of these on my Amazon wishlist. If nothing else, I can use it to go from the couch to the fridge to get another beer.
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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Punxsutawney Phil my ass!

In yet another sign that spring has arrived early (Punxsutawney Phil my ass!), the KC metro area currently under a tornado watch. As far as I know (which isn't very far) it's the first of the "Tornado Season" (whatever that is).

I don't have much respect for tornadoes. In fact, I kind of feel I've been ripped off by tornadoes. I really think tornadoes owe me one. You see, in my more than 30 years as a resident of Kansas, I've never seen a tornado first-hand.

What a gyp.

Everybody says that tornadoes are all scary and exciting, but I couldn't tell you that. In fact, one of the conspiracy theories I subscribe to is that tornadoes don't really exist. They're just a myth, like the Yetti or its North American cousin the Sasquatch. Tornadoes are an invention of old wives tales and Hollywood special effects.

So come on, tornadoes. Give my birthright as a Kansan. Make with the blowing and the swirling and the lifting-up-my-house-and-

Just don't do it during The Sopranos (debuts March 12, 9 p.m. diggity!).
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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Zeyad from Iraq

I've been reading Zeyad the Dentist's blog from Iraq for several months now, and so should you.

Zeyad gives an unfiltered perspective on what's happening on the ground in Baghdad. Refreshingly, he doesn't seem to approach the war from a "liberal" or "conservative" bias. He simply reports, almost clinically, what he sees and hears in his city.

And he's a helluva good writer. Here's a sample from his most recent post about the bombing of the 1,300-year-old Abbasid palace in Samarra.

"No further details on the incident were provided, but still, it boggles the mind that such an operation could be carried out twice at the same area in just over a week. Given the historical and cultural value of these palaces and mosques in such a tense area, where a similar attack took place last week, one would think that they would be closely guarded.
But why protect buildings in a country where human life has no value anyway?"

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Monday, March 06, 2006


I've linked to YouTube several times, and I think it's about the coolest thing going on the web right now, which means it won't be long before some bastard lawyer (no offense, Dan) with a DRM comes along a puts the kibosh on the whole thing.

Nevertheless, here's my latest favorite, a live action version of the Simpsons animated intro. Enjoy!

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

So where's Dirk Benedict?

I saw this nerd test on Joshua'sTFK, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Luckily my highest score was a B-minus, so I'm only about 80% nerd. I suspect most male bloggers would get a A in one of the categories.
You scored as Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica).
You are leery of your surroundings, and with good reason. Anyone could be a cylon. But you have close friends and you know they would never hurt you. Now if only the damn XO would stop drinking.

Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


Serenity (Firefly)


Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Moya (Farscape)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Bully pulpit

The Lawrence Journal World reported recently on the Kansas House of Reps House Concurrent Resolution 5035 -- termed by backers the "Academic Bill of Rights".

According to the LJW:
The resolution is the brainchild of author and commentator David Horowitz, an outspoken critic of what he says are liberal biases on campuses.

The measure's sponsor in Kansas is Rep. Becky Hutchins, R-Holton, who said it was taken from "model legislation" provided by the American Legislative Exchange Council, which espouses "free markets, limited government, federalism and individual liberty."
There is an obvious link to the Paul Mirecki boondoggle, when he basically told students his religious studies class would be a "nice slap" in the "big fat face" of fundamentalists.

Now, I have some experience with professors who bully their students, though I was wise enough as a graduating high school senior to stay away from KU.

My experience was with a philosophy professor who was also a militant feminist. One day in class we were discussing a philosophical hypothetical when I mentioned a possible course of action for the "lady" in question.

I was immediately chided for using the term "lady," so I changed it to "girl." That too was the wrong answer. Embarrassed at being called out, I wrongly tried to score some points with the class by tossing out the words "dame," "skirt," "doll face," "gal," and "broad" before I was forcefully corrected as the professor wrote "womyn" on the chalk board.

I smirked derisively.

Now, I admit I took it a little too far, but it was all in pursuit of academic enlightenment (and the laugh I got from others in the class). But at the end of the semester, the professor told me pointe blanc that she dropped me from the 95 precent grade that I had earned to an 85 percent based on that incident.

Now, having related that anecdote, I still think House Concurrent Resolution 5035 is a bad idea. The realm of academics should be policed by other academicians.

The best defense against academic bullies is openness and ridicule. Paul Mirecki's loss of status and academic credibility shows this. As with most things, the government should butt out.
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Thursday, March 02, 2006

First degree douche-baggery

I recently blogged about the hypocrisy of the American public in its reaction to the port management issue. Well, now it's time to point out yet another example, this time aimed squarely at Europe.

David Irving is, in the parlance of my old neighborhood, a douche bag. The so-called historian was recently sentenced to three years in an Austrian prison for his douchebaggery - namely, saying that The Holocaust was a myth.

As you can tell, I have no interest in defending Irving. He's a bastard, and he deserves all of the unhappiness that Karma has in store for him. But should he be jailed for writing a book? Not in any country that espouses freedom of speech.

There are 14 countries with laws that forbid denying The Holocaust - including France, Germany, and Israel. Some of those countries did nothing when inflammatory images of The Prophet Muhammad were printed in newspapers.

So the West (Europe in this case) is happy to insult Muslims, but will throw a guy (admittedly an asshole) in prison using laws that protect Jews.

The bottom line is that in an open society, it's not against the law to be a douche-bag.
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