Friday, June 29, 2007

Ironic Encounters of the Sociological Kind

If you enjoy laughing at random internet nerdiness (and I know you do), check out They keep a database of funny-ass IRC quotes that people submit.

Here's a sample that's so funny it hurts:
<'kylev> hahahahaha
<'kylev> some girl just came onto our floor
<'kylev> and was yelling "sexual favors for anyone who does my sociology paper"
<'kylev> i just asked her what the paper was about
<'kylev> and she said the accomplishments and growth of feminism
<`Neo> bahahahaha
There's lots of good stuff there. Check it out. Your boss won't mind at all.

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About two minutes in, you'll get to the mimic octopus, which is one of the most remarkable critters in the world. This short clip doesn't do it justice.

Ponder the power of natural selection as you watch. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Awful Pun Wednesday

Commence groaning in 5, 4, 3...

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

For Those of You Who Still Think Humans Are the Acme of Evolution

I present Exhibit A.

Truly an advanced form of life.

You can read the particulars of his story here.

He's still not as evil as Dick "Dick" Cheney. Tattoo Boy is a piker compared to that sonofabitch.

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Monday, June 25, 2007


Just a little upkeep.

Hey hey.

We've added some links. We've subtracted some links. And we've changed a couple of things. Look around! I think you'll especially like xkcd. It's good stuff.



Sunday, June 24, 2007

Think about This

The next time some asshole tells you about why "sacrifice" is necessary in the War on Terra, think about this.

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The Penalty Good Men Pay for Indifference to Public Affairs Is To Be Ruled by Evil Men

Dick Cheney, undated file photo.

Go read this article in the Washington Post. Then curl up into a ball and cry.

It's the first in a series of four parts, so there's lots more coming to give you nightmares.

It's Sunday. Go think happier thoughts now.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

I Know Condoms Are a Barrier Method, But This Is Ridiculous

Well, it is a very big border.

Condoms. What can't they do? In addition to helping prevent unwanted pregnancies and STD's, one House Republican thinks they can stop illegal immigration! I shit you not. I can't make up things like this.
A congressman is pushing a not-so-quick fix in the debate over illegal immigrants from Mexico: free contraceptives.

"A slower rate of growth of Mexico's population would improve the economy of Mexico. It would also reduce the environmental pressure on Mexico's ecosystem. But a slower rate of growth would also reduce the long-term illegal immigration pressure on America's borders," reasoned Rep. Mark Kirk, who also supports stronger border security in the short-term.

In reality, fertility rates have plunged in Mexico since 1980, when an average couple would have five or more children. Now, the country's fertility rate has dropped to 2.5 children, compared to 2.1 for the United States, according to United Nations data.

Kirk, an Illinois Republican, made the argument on Thursday during a heated debate in the House of Representatives over whether the U.S. government should be allowed to donate condoms and other contraceptives to family planning agencies abroad that also engage in abortion.

The proposal was narrowly approved by the House, over the protests of anti-abortion lawmakers who prefer sex abstinence education. The measure faces a veto threat from the White House.

Kirk, who attended college in Mexico and holds a master's degree from the London School of Economics, may have offered an idea that might appeal to some fiscal conservatives.

Shipping condoms to the poor in Mexico could be cheaper than the multibillion-dollar fence being constructed along the U.S.-Mexico border.
It's funny to watch the crazy Republicans--is their hatred of sexuality going to win out over their good old-fashioned racism and xenophobia? Stay tuned next week to find out!

Really, though, there's so much here that's funny and tragic. To begin with, the oh-so-hilarious phrase "anti-abortion lawmakers who prefer sex abstinence education." How the fuck did abortion get mixed up in this? These fools just don't wany anyone fucking, anywhere. On to Rep. Kirk's assumption that carpet-bombing Mexico with Durex (I guess that would be the new GBU-69 Anti-potential Personnel Device in military terms) will magically reduce fertility rates, which will in turn end illegal immigration. Uh, Mr. Kirk? I have a couple of friends I would like you to meet. They're called "Cause" and "Effect." Finally, what kind of imperialistic bullshit is this, anyway? It's not enough that these "small-government conservatives" have to be up to their eyeballs in our personal lives--now they're looking to go international? (And, yes, I know about all the bullshit with respect to AIDS prevention programs in Africa and condoms.)

We paid Mr. Kirk over $165,000 last year so he could come up with brainstorms like this. God Bless America.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Attention NASA

I got that in spades.

Dear NASA:

When you're ready to do something like this, give me a call. I'm on the motherfucker.
The European Space Agency (ESA) on Tuesday called for applications for one of the most demanding human experiments in space history: a simulated trip to Mars in which six "astronauts" will spend 17 months in an isolation tank on Earth.

Their spaceship will comprise a series of interlocked modules in an research institute in Moscow, and once the doors are closed tight, the volunteers will be cut off from all contact with the outside world except by a delayed radio link.

They will face simulated emergencies, daily work routines and experiments, as well as boredom and, no doubt, personal friction from confinement in just 550 cubic metres (19,250 cubic feet), the equivalent of nine truck containers.

Communications with the simulated mission control and loved-ones will take up to 40 minutes, the time that a radio signal takes to cross the void between Earth and a spaceship on Mars. Food will comprise mainly the packaged stuff of the kind eaten aboard the
International Space Station (ISS).

The goal is to gain experience about the psychological challenges that a crew will face on a trip to Mars.

Four of the crew will be Russian, and two will come from countries that are members of ESA, agency and Russian officials said at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget.

In all, 12 European volunteers are needed.

A precursor 105-day study is scheduled to start by mid-2008, possibly followed by another 105-day study, before the full 520-day study begins in late 2008 or early 2009.


The terrestrial Mars-stronauts will not get much glory for their confinement, nor will they get particularly rich.

They will get paid 120 euros (158 dollars) a day, said Marc Heppener of ESA's Science and Application Division.

They have to stay in "only" 19,000 cubic feet? Shit. Oh, and for $158 a day? For seventeen months? Please, please, Br'er Bear, don' fling me in dat brier patch.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

For Your Elucidation




What's better than summertime cookouts?

I can't think of much.

Thus endeth the lesson. Go in peace.



Thursday, June 14, 2007

Genetic Anomalies in Utah? Say It Ain't So!

Free Image Hosting at
Click for a larger image

Holy crap.
In a dusty neighborhood under sheer sandstone cliffs studded with juniper on the Arizona-Utah border, a rare genetic disorder is spreading through polygamous families on a wave of inbreeding.

The twin border communities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona, have the world's highest known prevalence of fumarase deficiency, an enzyme irregularity that causes severe mental retardation brought on by cousin marriage, doctors say.

"Arizona has about half the world's population of known fumarase deficiency patients," said Dr. Theodore Tarby, a pediatric neurologist who has treated many of the children at Arizona clinics under contracts with the state.

"It exists in a certain percentage of the broader population but once you get a tendency to inbreed you're inbreeding people who have the gene there, so you markedly increase the risk of developing the condition," he said.

The community of about 10,000 people, who shun outsiders and are taught to avoid newspapers, television and the Internet, is home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), a sect that broke from the mainstream Mormon church 72 years ago over polygamy.

The group, who wear conservative 19th-century clothing, is led by Warren Jeffs, who was arrested in August and charged as an accomplice to rape for using his authority to order a 14-year-old girl against her wishes to marry and have sex with her 19-year-old cousin.

Doctors in the area declined requests for interviews and families refuse to talk to reporters. But former FLDS members, independent doctors and authorities say the disorder appears to have struck at least 20 children in the past 15 years.

"The disease itself is very rare in the rest of the world," said Dr. Vinodh Narayanan of Arizona's St. Joseph's Hospital & Medical Center and Barrow Neurological Institute. Doctors worldwide had only studied about 10 cases just a decade ago.

"Once you get people within in the same community marrying, then the chances grow of having two people carrying the exact same mutation."

Local historian Benjamin Bistline said 75 to 80 percent of people in the area are blood relatives of two men -- John Y. Barlow and Joseph Smith Jessop -- who founded the sect on the remote desert plateau in the early 1930s.

"There aren't any new people coming in. It's a closed door and that gene just keeps getting passed around," said Bruce Wisan, a court-appointed accountant overseeing a trust of the sect's assets.

Dr. Leslie Biesecker, chief of the Genetic Disease Research Branch at the National Institutes of Health, said the bad gene could have been introduced after the original founding families settled there. "Any person who joined that community could have brought that mutation with them," he said.

Tarby, who has recently retired, said he first observed the problem when an FLDS couple came to a Phoenix clinic about 15 years ago with a 10-year-old boy suffering from a degenerative condition. He sent a urine sample to a lab in Colorado for analysis and was stunned by the diagnosis.

Since then, increasing numbers of children in the community have been stricken with the disease, which causes unusual facial features, frequent epileptic seizures, episodes of coma and possibly early death.

In the disorder, brain cells fail to receive enough fuel to grow, multiply and function properly because of a missing enzyme needed to generate energy from food, causing severe mental retardation and muscle control problems.

Tarby met with about 150 FLDS members in November, explaining that the disorder was not caused by tainted drinking water as rumored but by cousin marriage.

But even with that knowledge, it is still hard for people to leave the sect, said Brenda Jensen, 55, who fled the FLDS several years ago and now works for the Utah-based HOPE Organization, which helps women leave.

"If they are willing to marry their cousin, or unwilling but do it anyway, or even in a relationship that is closer than that, it can be very hard for them," Jensen said.

And local habits, are deeply ingrained, authorities say.

"They will tell you if that's what God wants for you than that's what you will get," said Gary Engels, an investigator assigned to Colorado City by the Mohave County attorney's office. "They don't think too much about marrying cousins and things like that."
Tell me again-- why is being a "person of faith" such a good thing?

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

For What It's Worth

I don't think the answer is quite this simple.

Take a look at this.

Click image for a larger version.

Wow. Bush hasn't had a 50% or greater approval rating (whatever the hell that really means) since the end of 2005. And that was clearly an outlier.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Im in ur crowdz, stealin ur watchez

Check this out. Around fifty seconds in, look at Bush's left arm as he's greeting the Albanian crowd. What's not on it fifteen seconds later?

Oh noez!

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Angels and Ministers of Grace Defend Us

Lynne Cheney's favorite beer.

Please, dear lord, don't let this happen.
Lynne Cheney, the wife of Vice President Cheney, is “being floated in Senate GOP leadership circles as a possible replacement for the late Sen. Craig Thomas (R-WY), who died Monday night.”

We're begging down here.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Hammerin' Hank

Now there was a ballplayer.

Hank Aaron still kicks ass.
Hank Aaron wants no part of Barry Bonds. With Bonds closing in on the career home run record, Aaron attended a news conference Thursday at the spot where his 755th and final home run landed in 1976.

"I don't have any thoughts about Barry. I don't even know how to spell his name," Aaron said briskly, then added a laugh.

Aaron was curt when asked whether baseball commissioner Bud Selig invited him to attend any celebrations for Bonds, should he break the record. Selig and Aaron are longtime friends.

"I've not spoken to him at all," Aaron said. "That's his decision and I'm sure he'll make the right one."

Of course, for the best coverage of this farce, you have to go to America's Finest News Source.

Check it out:
Nation To Ken Griffey Jr.: 'We Wish It Were You Hitting 756 Home Runs'

CINCINNATI—Overcome with a mixture of distaste at the almost certain future and a wistful sense at the way things could and should have been, baseball fans across America took time to address veteran Reds superstar Ken Griffey Jr. yesterday in order to let him know that they sincerely wish that Griffey, and not Barry Bonds, was on the verge of hitting his record-breaking 756th home run.

"Don't take this the wrong way, Mr. Griffey, because the last thing we as a nation want is for you to think you've disappointed us by not breaking this record," the country's message, which was read to a quiet and humble Griffey by retired Seattle, WA–area mechanical engineer and lifelong baseball fan Robert Colgrave, began. "America knows you did everything you could, and we couldn't be more proud of you. In fact, that's the whole point—we think you're a man who is actually worthy of this record."

"Believe us, if life was as fair as baseball, you'd have 760 homers right now," said Colgrave, pausing as if momentarily overcome. "More, even. And you'd still be chalking them up. You're a natural talent. God's gift to the baseball diamond. It's just… Damn bad luck, is all. Bad luck and trouble."


"I would be proud to have Ken Griffey Jr. break my home-run record," current record-holder and Hall of Fame legend Hank Aaron said upon being told of the nation's statement. "I would most certainly attend any game in which he had a chance of doing so. And I would come down from the stands and hug him fiercely after he crossed the plate and had been congratulated by his teammates. I really don't think I'd be able to help myself."

"Hell, I'll probably attend the game he's playing in when my record is broken in any case," Aaron added.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, responding to overwhelming demand, has confirmed that an asterisk will be placed next to Griffey's name in the record books in order to indicate that, in a perfect world where dignity is always rewarded, cheaters never triumph, and people always get what they really deserve, Griffey would have hit one more home run than Barry Bonds' career total.
And, for what may be the best and funniest line, if it weren't for our invaluable service, you'd have to pick up a paper copy of The Onion. I'll reproduce the line for you here:

Hank Aaron: "I Will Not Attend Bonds' 756th Homer Game, As I'll Be Busy Fucking His Mother"

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What the Fuck?

Elephant in the room? What elephant in the room?

Uh, Mitt? You might wanna think about coming up with something to say about that whole war thing. People seem to care about it.
And at another forum in West Des Moines, Republican Steven Faux, 54, was left cold after telling Romney that his son's National Guard unit was on the verge of deployment to Iraq. The candidate does not mention the war in his stump speech.

Describing himself as a "worried parent," Faux, a Drake University professor, called the war a "mess" and asked Romney how he would fix it.

Romney responded by voicing support for President Bush's recent troop buildup, saying it had a "reasonable prospect of success." He outlined risks of a quick U.S. withdrawal but offered no hint of how he would proceed if Bush could not stabilize Iraq.

That's about as politically tone-deaf as a person can be.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to Cheney: Go Fuck Yourself!

Ha fucking ha!

Now this is a court ruling I really appreciate. Partly because I like swearing, but mostly because of the court's reasoning.
If President Bush and Vice President Cheney can blurt out vulgar language, then the government cannot punish broadcast television stations for broadcasting the same words in similarly fleeting contexts.

That, in essence, was the decision on Monday, when a federal appeals panel struck down the government policy that allows stations and networks to be fined if they broadcast shows containing obscene language.

Although the case was primarily concerned with what is known as “fleeting expletives,” or blurted obscenities, on television, both network executives and top officials at the Federal Communications Commission said the opinion could gut the ability of the commission to regulate any speech on television or radio.

Kevin J. Martin, the chairman of the F.C.C., said that the agency was now considering whether to seek an appeal before all the judges of the appeals court or to take the matter directly to the Supreme Court.

The decision, by a divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, was a sharp rebuke for the F.C.C. and for the Bush administration. For the four television networks that filed the lawsuit — Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC — it was a major victory in a legal and cultural battle that they are waging with the commission and its supporters.

Under President Bush, the F.C.C. has expanded its indecency rules, taking a much harder line on obscenities uttered on broadcast television and radio. While the judges sent the case back to the commission to rewrite its indecency policy, it said that it was “doubtful” that the agency would be able to “adequately respond to the constitutional and statutory challenges raised by the networks.”

The networks hailed the decision.

“We are very pleased with the court’s decision and continue to believe that the government regulation of content serves no purpose other than to chill artistic expression in violation of the First Amendment,” said Scott Grogin, a senior vice president at Fox. “Viewers should be allowed to determine for themselves and their families, through the many parental control technologies available, what is appropriate viewing for their home.”

Mr. Martin, the chairman of the commission, attacked the panel’s reasoning.

“I completely disagree with the court’s ruling and am disappointed for American families,” he said. “The court says the commission is ‘divorced from reality.’ It is the New York court, not the commission, that is divorced from reality.”

He said that if the agency was unable to prohibit some vulgarities during prime time, “Hollywood will be able to say anything they want, whenever they want.”

Beginning with the F.C.C.’s indecency finding in a case against NBC for a vulgarity uttered by the U2 singer Bono during the Golden Globes awards ceremony in 2003, President Bush’s Republican and Democratic appointees to the commission have imposed a tougher policy by punishing any station that broadcast a fleeting expletive. That includes vulgar language blurted out on live shows like the Golden Globes or scripted shows like “NYPD Blue,” which was cited in the case.

Reversing decades of a more lenient policy, the commission had found that the mere utterance of certain words implied that sexual or excretory acts were carried out and therefore violated the indecency rules.

But the judges said vulgar words are just as often used out of frustration or excitement, and not to convey any broader obscene meaning. “In recent times even the top leaders of our government have used variants of these expletives in a manner that no reasonable person would believe referenced sexual or excretory organs or activities.”

Adopting an argument made by lawyers for NBC, the judges then cited examples in which Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney had used the same language that would be penalized under the policy. Mr. Bush was caught on videotape last July using a common vulgarity that the commission finds objectionable in a conversation with Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain. Three years ago, Mr. Cheney was widely reported to have muttered an angry obscene version of “get lost” to Senator Patrick Leahy on the floor of the United States Senate.

“We find that the F.C.C.’s new policy regarding ‘fleeting expletives’ fails to provide a reasoned analysis justifying its departure from the agency’s established practice,” said the panel.

Emily A. Lawrimore, a White House spokeswoman, said Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney had no comment about the ruling.

Although the judges struck down the policy on statutory grounds, they also said there were serious constitutional problems with the commission’s attempt to regulate the language of television shows.

“We are skeptical that the commission can provide a reasoned explanation for its ‘fleeting expletive’ regime that would pass constitutional muster,” said the panel in an opinion written by Judge Rosemary S. Pooler and joined by Judge Peter W. Hall. “We question whether the F.C.C.’s indecency test can survive First Amendment scrutiny.”
Hoo-fucking-ray for obscenity!

I'm glad that all these "small-government conservatives" care so much about keeping the state intruding into our personal lives.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

In the Beginning Was the Brick

And from that original brick was created The Brick Testament.

You just have to click through.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

A Little Music on a Sunday

It's Fats Domino singing Blue Monday. Enjoy!

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Sad News

Steve Gilliard has died. His singular voice and uncompromising honesty will be sorely missed.