Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mecca hiney ho

JD is still on a blog posting hiatus, but that doesn't mean he's not being vigilant in his quest to guard against global nattering nabobs of idiocracy.

So he sent me a link to this story (via Hotair), which outlines the "push" by a British prison to "move" the jail's toilets to ac-commode-ate Muslim prisoners who raised a stink because they didn't want to risk facing Mecca when they're doing their business.

In his email, JD pointed out that
When we realize that we can draw a great circle around the earth through our toilets and Mecca, we'll realize that in some geometric sense, all our toilets face Mecca, and then we'll all have to strap Semtex to ourselves and blow up a pizza shop. Or maybe an Einstein's bagel shop. Those guys looking through the bagels have awfully big noses.
Good point, JD. Science tends to get in the way or religious ritual sometimes.

Come to think of it (speaking of Einstein), since all matter/energy once occupied the same coordinates in space-time, and since all things are connected on a quantum level, when Ahmed is dropping a deuce, he's actually taking a dump on Mecca. And the very matter that is being "evacuated" is the very matter used to produce all of the Korans in existence (and even existence itself is an illusion, I mean c'mon, who are we kidding here).

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

YouTube Tuesday: Redneck humor

Leave it to YouTube to prove that the only thing funnier than rednecks is old geezer rednecks.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Highlight reel

I couldn't resist posting this... for all you KU fans.

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Commie ball

Say what you will about Vladimir Lenin's brand of communism and political repression, dude had serious ups and could flat out ball.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Death of a snowman

With the temperature rising, the appearance of more and more snow corpses is inevitable.

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Friday Blogthing: Say what?

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
The Inland North
The South
North Central
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Kiss my big, black, hairy tongue

Casually reading through my RSS subscriptions this morning I came across something so disgusting, so gross, so OMFG!!! that I just had to share it here.

It comes from the Mayo Clinic (via neatorama).
A black, coated tongue is a temporary, harmless condition typically resulting from an overgrowth of bacteria and sometimes yeast in the mouth. These organisms accumulate on the tiny projections of the tongue — called papillae — and cause discoloration. Certain types of bacteria and yeast make red blood cell pigments (porphyrins), which can give the tongue a black appearance. In some cases, the tongue may also appear "hairy" due to more rapid growth of papillae or an interruption of the normal shedding of cells by the tongue.
Okay, ready for the picture (you knew it was coming)...

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

In a non-bind

(EDIT. -- I'm pretty horrible at political rants. In order to do a really good rant, you have to actually care about the subject you're ranting on. Still, since evolution is still on hiatus, I feel I should gripe about something political and this seems like a good controversial topic.)

The do-nothing Democratic congress continues to do nothing and brag about it.

The latest example is this so-called legislation that the Democratic peacocks are promoting as a rejection of President Bush's proposal to increase troop levels in Iraq.

Oh, it would be all well and good if they actually were rejection the president's proposal. 22,000 troops may or may not make a difference in Iraq, but as Jerry Seinfeld would say, if it doesn't work that's one big matzah ball hanging out there.

But of course the "legislation" in question isn't really a rejection at all.

Senator-with-a-porn-star-name Dick Lugar almost hit the nail on the head when he said
"It is unclear to me how passing a nonbinding resolution that the president has already said he will ignore will contribute to any improvement or modification of our Iraq policy."
What Lugar may know but didn't mention is that improving or modifying the Iraq policy isn't the goal of the Democrats. On the contrary, the goal of the Democrats is to do nothing and make sure the policy doesn't change, but still appear as if they are attempting to change the policy.

As I pointed out last November, despite what they say the hypocritical Democrats need the war in Iraq to continue, and to fail, in order for Hillary and/or Barak to have a chance of winning the presidency in a couple of years.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

YouTube Tuesday: Da Bears Shufflin' Crew

Might as well get this out of the way now.

I was in high school the last time Da Bears were in the Super Bowl, a time of break dancing, clothes with lots of zippers, and of course, the Super Bowl Shuffle.

I can't believe me and my adolescent comrades took this song seriously (can anyone thing of a more blatant attempt to make a bunch of black guys look white and white guys look even whiter?) but such are the ways of youth.

Here are a few fun facts about the Super Bowl Shuffle, courtesy of mental_floss:

* The song actually reached #41 on the Billboard charts.
* The song actually was nominated for a Grammy, for best Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance. The Bears lost to Prince.
* Defensive end Dan Hampton felt it was too cocky and declined to participate.
* In 1998, The Onion brilliantly reported ‘85 Chicago Bears Return to Studio: Shufflin’ Crew begins work on long-awaited follow-up album.
* You can find the complete lyrics here.

As long as we're on this trip down amnesia lane, here's one of the classic Superfan sketches from when Saturday Night Live was funny...

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday blogthing: Doh!!

You Are Homer Simpson

You're just an ordinary, all-American working Joe...

With a special fondness for pork rinds and donuts.

You will be remembered for: your little "isms" and philosophies on life

Your life philosophy: "Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel."

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Movie Mini Review: Life Aquatic

I'm going to try to start a little series of movie reviews. Why? Well there are some movies I like and some I don't like, and what the heck, maybe by reader will get something out if it. If nothing else, we can start a discussion about how off base I am with my assessments.

So here's the first installment.

Title: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Owen Wilson, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum

Plot summary:

While making a documentary, the famous oceanographer Steve Zissou (Murray) loses his dear friend, eaten by a mythical jaguar shark. He raises funds for an expedition in his ship, the Belafonte, to hunt the shark and make a new film. The journalist Jane Winslett-Richardson (Blanchett) and a pilot that claims to be his unknown son, Ned Plimpton (Wilson), join his crew in their journey, planned by his wife Eleanor Zissou (Huston). While making the movie, they are attacked by pirates and left without any money to finish their work. (credit to Claudio Carvalho)

My thoughts:
I remember being keen to see this movie when it was released in theaters back in '04. I didn't get to see it at the time (we don't get out much, what can I say), but the film didn't seem to do that well commercially.

Too bad, because it's a great movie. Although I can see how it would be difficult to market. It doesn't fit neatly into the genres that movie marketers seem to rely on.

It's not really a comedy, although it has some hilariously funny lines as you would expect from a movie staring Bill Murray. I found myself laughing out loud many times.

It's not a drama either, though there are some dramatic moments, like Owen Wilson's poignant death scene.

And this movie certainly didn't have a big special effects budget. On the contrary, the effects seemed to be deliberately low-tech, as if the director Wes Anderson were trying to make the underwater scenes kitschy in an attempt to poke fun at those high-dollar, CGI-enhanced blockbusters.

In the end, this movie is a great example of how you don't need formulas or special effects or billion-dollar budgets to make a great film. You just need a great story, excellent writing and solid directing and acting.

Unfortunately in Hollywood, those things are rarer than money.

Favorite quote:
"Son of a bitch, I'm sick of these dolphins."

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

YouTube Tuesday: Not so cold

The KC metro area, and much of the central midwest, has been in the grips of icy temperatures for the last few days.

I heard one of my coworkers say it was time to move south, that it was too cold to come to work or even get out of bed.

I suspect there's some other motivational problem with my coworker because, while it is indeed cold, it's not THAT cold. I mean you wouldn't want to go have a picnic in the park when it's 8 degrees Fahrenheit outside. But let's face it, it could be much colder.

Just take Alaska for example, where it gets really cold. So cold that water, thrown outside, evaporates in midair.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

And that settles that

When I was grade school, a good friend of mine was the first kid in our town to get a video tape player.

His dad was kind of a gadget guy, an "early adopter" as the marketing gurus say. They were also the first family to have a video camera, and a cell phone (which, back then, came in the form of a small bag that you would sling over your shoulder, and you had to put an antenna on top of your car for it to work).

Anyway, they spent hundreds (maybe even a thousand) of dollars on this video tape player and we all thought it was so cool how you could watch a movie at home without commercials. You could rewind, fast forward. It was all very cutting edge. But eventually, we got tired of watching the same movie over and over again.

That's when my friend's dad realized he had invested in the wrong technology. We had been watching a Betamax player, and it didn't take long to see that VHS had won the format war.

I bring this up because we technophiles were facing a similar showdown until today.

The war was between which high-definition video format would succeed the standard-def DVD. On one side was HD DVD, on the other was Blu-ray. Sure, there were efforts to work together to come to a consensus. But like the battle between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance, no solution was forthcoming.

Until today. The multi-billion dollar porn industry has stepped in to put and end to the destructive conflict by adopting the HD DVD format for your late-night wanking pleasure.

The importance of this development would be difficult to overestimate. Despite the lip service (pun intended) paid to morals and family values in the US, Americans were estimated to spend as much as $8 to $10 billion on pornography in 2003.

And it's axiomatic that, from a technological standpoint, where the porn industry goes, the rest of American follows. Arguably, the porn industry deserves credit for most of the advance in high-speed internet content delivery technology, and possibly the internet itself.

So here's a twenty-one tissue salute to the porn industry for solving yet another social problem.

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Friday blogthing: Are we not men?

Your 80s Theme Song Is:

Whip It by Devo

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Pump you up

Clusterflock linked us to a NYT Magazine article interview with Dick Pound, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (note: I'll stay clear of the obvious joke about how Dick Pound sounds like a porn actor's name. I mean, that's just too easy even for me).

Here's that passage got my attention:
Performance enhancement is like any other kind of underground activity: the participants are the only ones who know for sure what they’re up to. Anabolic steroids were for weight lifters, home-run hitters and sprinters and would never help an athlete in an endurance event like the Tour de France, right? Yet that’s what Landis tested positive for. How that might have helped him climb mountains is unknown — except, if he took them, by Landis and any enablers. Everybody thought pitchers never used steroids because they value flexibility more than strength. Then baseball started checking for steroids, and about half the positive tests came from pitchers. In university laboratories across the world, and in places like the United States Department of Defense, scientists are dreaming up yet new ways to enhance human beings — steps that may very well be taken by elite athletes before they are perfected or even considered safe.
Hey, you ain't seen nuthin' yet. What do you think the whole stem cell thing is about. It sure as hell isn't about curing Parkinson's Disease, I can tell you. That's just the public propaganda that "they" want us to buy.

And who is "they" you ask?

Well, I have documented proof that a cabal of conspirators including the Defense Department, George Steinbrenner, GlaxoSmithKline, and the University of Oklahoma is conducting a secret research project to create super enhanced collegiate curlers using stem cells.

Of course this is just the first step. The technology will eventually be used to create a race of super soldiers, kind of like Kurt Russel in that movie Soldier.

Which is really okay. I mean, we're going to need somebody to fight the machines when the great robot revolution begins.

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Rome (if you want to)

I got an email from my good friend HBO the other day letting me know that Sunday the second and final season of Rome will commence.

The new season picks up on the same day that last season ended, the Ides of March. Ceasar has been stabbed to death by the Senate (I can hear you Democrats squealing with glee), and Niobe, the exotic and beautiful wife of centurion Lucius Vorenus has just committed suicide after her husband learned the truth about her son.

Despite the raft of great shows on network TV this season (Scrubs, The Office, Heroes, Battlestar Galactica) HBO has almost single-networkly been responsible for the best programming on the idiot box.

Shows like The Sopranos, Deadwood and Rome (all of which are ending this year) show a true artistic vision, with snappy writing, realistic scenarios and amazingly beautiful cinematography (especially in HD). They pull no punches and challenge the viewer to pay attention to the complex plot lines. For some views, the complex story lines and inconsistent time lines were a turnoff for Rome in particular. But the payoff is worth it.

Unfortunately, historical dramas like Deadwood and Rome can be pretty expensive, what with building the period sets, procuring costumes, going on location and whatnot.

So it's been a great ride with some amazing programming. It will be sad when it's over, but I look forward to the next big thing they come out with.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

YouTube Tuesday: Blueman

Yesterday, Tony took exception with a recent column by The Star's Steve Kraske about the sorry state of so-called news reporting in this city.

Evidently Tony gets off on tales of car accidents, house fires, east-side shootings and Larry Moore. He's sick like that.

Personally, I had my fill of it two years ago and stopped watching the so-called local so-called news. With a DVR, there's no need to watch trash that doesn't feature Alissa Milano.

Anyway, this little YouTube video expresses my thoughts on the subject better than what you've read to this point...

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Okie City Penguins?

I've been following the story line of the Pittsburgh Penguins' search for a new arena over the last few weeks.

Sure, they'll probably never materialize in KC, but it's still much more interesting than following the inept Chiefs.

Anyway, for you other five people in Kansas who are interested in NHL hockey, I thought I'd pass along this story Pittsburgh Tribune-Review breaking the news that Oklahoma City is considering offering a competing bid for the Penguins.
Oklahoma City is considering extending an invitation to the Penguins to visit the Ford Center this week.

Bob Funk, founder and CEO of Express Services Inc. and owner of the minor-league Oklahoma City Blazers hockey club, told The Oklahoman on Saturday, "We have always had an interest in the NHL ... I think the NHL has a good future."

Funk and Brad Lund, CEO of Funk's Express Sports, met with Oklahoma City leaders Thursday and tabled for the weekend a plan to invite the Penguins, the newspaper reported.

"It's Pittsburgh's team to lose, and Kansas City is well ahead of us," Lund said.
Not sure what kind of offer the Okies could make to the Penguins organization. If the funding of professional athletes at the University of Oklahoma is any indication, laws and common decency get about as much regard in OKC as they do in KCMO.

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The cure is worse than the illness

It's a shame and a travesty.

A Kansas City, Kan., nurse's aide pleaded guilty to the other day to first-degree murder in the 2005 stabbing death of a 77-year-old man who had once been in her care.

Turns out she had been embezzling money from him for years. When he finally caught on, she stabbed him 40 times to keep him from spilling the beans.

What a waste. I think we can all agree that this kind of elder abuse, while all too common, is completely uncalled for and causes untold loss to our society as a whole.

The elderly, such as my friend Xavier Onassis, shouldn't be harmed or abused, they need to be isolated and studied so that it can be determined what nutrients they have that might be extracted for our personal use.

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Friday blogthing

Star Wars Horoscope for Libra

You are on a lifelong pursuit of justice and determined to succeed.
You convey the art of persuasion through force.
You always display your supreme intelligence.
You have a great talent in obtaining balance between yourself and your surroundings.

Star wars character you are most like: Obi Wan Kenobie

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sunday cheers

The Wichita Eagle's editorial staff is using a temporary mass exodus from the city as an argument for pushing an end to the city's ban on Sunday liquor sales.

Though journalists are all raging alcoholics (who wouldn't need to knock back a few shots after publishing the latest gossip about Britney's coochie), they actually have a point here.

The editorial noted that last Sunday, New Year's Eve, everyone left town for the smaller surrounding burgs that no longer ban Sunday liquor sales. Despite the massive economic drain caused by everyone getting their grog in Garden Plain, the ban in Wichita proper stays in effect.

Of course we in Johnson County must smile condescendingly at our less sophisticated Wichita brethren. After all, we put away the childish ban yeas ago (well okay, last year).

But the proposal is getting some criticism on the Eagle's blog. Many folks are complaining that we drunkards should be able to plan ahead and stock up on Saturday for our Sunday drinking binges.

Why not keep Sunday a sacred day, they say. Keep it a day of reflection, a day for family, church and cursing at the NFL refs on TV even though they can't hear you.

My own humble contribution to the discussion was to point out that liquor isn't really counter-Christian. I mean, didn't Jesus turn water into wine? So how is it any kind of disrespect to Christianity to allow Sunday liquor sales (unless you're selling it at church, you know, money changers in the temple and all).

Of course, the abuse of alcohol is a different topic, but then that goes for the abuse of anything (food, drugs, women, alliteration).

Anyway, since I haven't spent an appreciable amount of time in Wichita since my high-school days (ironically, we used to go there to drink), I don't really care what they do. But I would be interested in hearing the views of some Wichitans

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Lemieux and leverage

I just saw this report that the Mario Lemieux, owner of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, is meeting today with "officials" in Kansas City to discuss the possibility of moving the franchise into the Sprint Center when in opens next fall.

This meeting follows the defeat of a proposal in Pittsburgh whereby the Penguins would have received a sparkling new arena courtesy of the Isle Of Capri in exchange for the casino company receiving slot machine licenses.

Part of me wants to be encouraged by today's development. Surely the meeting between Lemieux and the Sprint Arena people can't be a bad thing. It keeps the possibility of KC getting a major NHL franchise back in town real.

But the cynical part of me sees today's meeting as a leverage maker for Lemieux. Since it comes before a "scheduled get together with state and local government officials in Pittsburgh, who are keen to discuss "Plan B" to try and keep the Penguins from leaving."

What better way for Lemieux to put pressure on the powers that be in Pittsburgh than to appear to be close to finalizing his deal in KC.

Still, we can hope and dream that this deal doesn't go down the icehole.

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Memo RE: The coffee machine

TO: Coworkers on my floor
FROM: emawkc
RE: The Coffee Machine

Dear coworkers,
This memo is to remind you of how easy it is to start a new pot of coffee in the break room.

I understand that some of you have an inferior education, that remedial skills in following simple instruction weren't required to get a diploma from the University of Kansas.

But common decency and regard for the caffeine addictions of your coworkers demands that you learn the basic steps for starting a new pot of coffee after you take the last cup.

So let me explain:
  • Step one - open a new pre-measured packet of coffee and pour it into the filter
  • Step two - put the filter (with coffee therein) into the coffee machine between the place where the water comes out and the thing that the coffee goes into
  • Step three - press the "start" button
  • Step four - Put your tongue back in your mouth you drooling idiot!
Sorry if this memo is a little harsh, I'll be in better humor after I've had my coffee.

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