Monthly Archives: February 2011
Compare and Contrast, or, satire is dead
MeFi pointed this out, but the key posts to view are this Volokh Conspiracy post, wherein he notes that
I think there’s a good case to be made that taxing people to protect the Earth from an asteroid, while within Congress’s powers, is an illegitimate function of government from a moral perspective. I think it’s O.K. to violate people’s rights (e.g. through taxation) if the result is that you protect people’s rights to some greater extent (e.g. through police, courts, the military). But it’s not obvious to me that the Earth being hit by an asteroid (or, say, someone being hit by lightning or a falling tree) violates anyone’s rights; if that’s so, then I’m not sure I can justify preventing it through taxation.
Our counterpoint is the Onion story with the following headline: Republicans Vote To Repeal Obama-Backed Bill That Would Destroy Asteroid Headed For Earth
“The voters sent us to Washington to stand up for individual liberty, not big government,” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said at a press conference. “Obama’s plan would take away citizens’ fundamental freedoms, forcing each of us into hastily built concrete bunkers and empowering the federal government to ration our access to food, water, and potassium iodide tablets while underground.”
“We believe that the decisions of how to deal with the massive asteroid are best left to the individual,” King added.
Don’t miss the sidebar summarizing either side’s arguments.
In which photos are posted
We rambled out to the Forbidden Gardens of Katy last weekend to enjoy their closing sale; photos ensued.
This is gonna drive the fundies absolutely bonkers
MUST EAT THIS
Ninfa’s on Navigation has a fajita burger. Who’s with me?
I SO know these people
SMBC is full of win.
(By the way, the Paradox of the Court is a real thing.)
The new greatest artist of all time
Ke$ha. Don’t believe me? Go watch her new video.
Ok. It’s not really Ke$ha. It’s video director Chris Marrs Piliero, who not-coincidentally did the Black Keys clip with Tricia “6” Helfer a few weeks back. His collected output is probably worth your time. Spike Jonze has competition.
Jamie Murai tried to join the RIM Playbook development program. Madcap hilarity ensues.
Rumors of a Heathen appearance are unconfirmed
Take a look at 9-Eyes.com, a collection of amusing pix pulled from Google Street View.
What I Learned Today
Just because you could get both kittens in the carrier 18 months ago when you first took ’em to the goddamn vet doesn’t mean you can do it today with two full-grown cats, Dr Doolittle. It’s been 25 years since you had to deal with genuinely unhappy felines, and having had a vet for a dad doesn’t impart to you permanent amounts of Dog Whisperer-level animal husbandry skills, you doofus.
Now go bandage your hand, reschedule the appointment, and buy a second fucking carrier.
American Economics in 8 Charts
Just go look.
Someone please film this.
That genius of action figures and re-imagination Sillof has created a suite of figures based on Star Wars, but set in the old west. Yes, this includes human versions of C-3PO and R2-D2, and they are awesome. Via Io9, but linking directly to Sillof because fuck Denton, that’s why. ;)
A restaurant near SeaTac has banned TSA workers, and refuses to serve them.
If you’re one of those doofuses who thinks the TSA makes us safer, read this
In a test in Dallas, a TSA agent concealed a handgun in her underwear and repeatedly made it through the checkpoint without a problem. Despite repeating the test several times, the gun was never detected.
The persons responsible for screening at the time have been neither disciplined nor placed on alternate duty. But thank god we’ve got $500 million worth of body scanners, right?
The TSA is a monstrous waste of time, money, and resources. It’s a huge boondoggle for earmarks and spending, and produces no measurable benefits and significant measurable problems. And it’s not just the TSA; it’s huge chunks of the DHS, too — they’ve not stopped any plot yet. We have either passengers (think Reid) or conventional law enforcement (London) to thank.
Things you may have missed
The Decemberists and Gillian Welch played “Down by the Water” on Conan the other night.
In related news, I blame my parents for my lack of a writing career
Imagine what sort of magnum opus I might’ve penned had my parents just been a bit crazier!
Study: Family History of Alcoholism Raises Risk of One-Man Show.
Tablets: A Contrary View
This mild rejection of the current tablet landscape is worth your time:
In general, it’s less optimal to have an output area that also doubles as an input area. This is why the mouse and keyboard will be with us for decades hence—because they let you keep your hands away from what you’re trying to focus on.
Jesus FUCK what the hell is wrong with the cops in Sarasota?
Somehow, they got around the 4th Amendment by getting a judge to sanction searching everyone in an apartment complex.
Christ. You know this whole thing is predicated on the notion that nobody caught in such a blatantly unconstitutional dragnet is likely to have the means to sue the shit out of them. I sure hope somebody does, though.
Your Monday morning treat
Sigourney Weaver went on Graham Norton, and the discussion wandered to Alien and that horrific and iconic scene wherein John Hurt meets his grisly end. They speak briefly of the effects involved — it came out i 1979, so it’s all puppets and angles with no computer help — and Norton comments that they’ve set up a side stage for a re-enactment.
Madcap hilarity does, of course, ensue:
People need to shut this shit down NOW
The ongoing efforts of Wisconsin GOP governor Walker’s administration to kill unions are just another part of the obnoxiously retrograde GOP agenda — attacking Planned Parenthood, attacking women, and attacking labor are all part and parcel of their worldview. It’s not about budget problems; hell, they created the budget problems.
It should come as no surprise, then, to realize that mining magnates like the Koch brothers are funding and backing the union-killing effort that has at its root the notion of ending collective bargaining for everyone.
Maybe nobody in your family is in a union, and maybe you’ve forgotten what labor relations were like before there were unions, but if you enjoy things like a 40-hour week, insurance, and safe working conditions, you have unions to thank. Support the Wisconsin union folks, and make sure your reps know that unionbusting won’t fly.
Wrong and WONDERFUL
Via MeFi, I give you CAT LASER BOWLING:
When late night tv was more interesting
Granted, nothing else was on in 1978, but have you ever seen something quite so delightfully odd on Leno?
Via the equally awesome vintage-pic blog ThisIsNotPorn.
WHAT IS THIS I DONT EVEN
Phil Collins Day in Brooklyn:
Best Staff Page EVER.
Go check this out. Via Reddit.
Just so we’re clear
It’s now legal to kidnap, torture, and hold US citizens without charge as long as you insist they’re “terrorists.”
I’m sure this will never be abused at all.
Our kind of Krewe
The next great hit in British gangster films is here
This may be the best action scene in the history of cinema, from the Indian film Enthiran:
I’m now caught up:
- Christmas in Mississippi, mostly of interest only if you’re related to me;
- New Year’s Eve at Heathen Central, of interest if you were here, but unaccountably unable to remember all of it;
- A few snaps from the Marathon and Half-Marathon, wherein my wife and mother-in-law kick all kinds of ass; and
- A few I took at Natachee’s yesterday, mostly of my little buddy Carl.
Dept. of Crushing Disappointments
“Everybody Skype? Everybody Post?” Jesus fucking CHRIST, Lou, really? For fucking HP, of all things? You’re fucking killing me, man.
Sigh. That right there is plenty enough to avoid the almost certainly doomed hail-mary tablet from what used to be Hewlett Packard, which ate what used to be Palm. Fuck ’em both.
Howlin’ for AWESOME
The Black Keys’ action-movie-spoof video is fanTAStic, even if it is hosted on IO9’s failtastic new site.
The New York Post is a national treasure
MOAR MOAR MOAR music
Radiohead cover Joy Division rather well, I think.
Bernard’s Voice Has Aged Well
Acoustic Bizarre Love Triangle:
Nothing. Nothing more perfect than this: Playmobil Joy Division
Sofa. King. Perfect.
See Also, for comparison.
As always, the Onion nails it.
Interim Apple Chief Under Fire After Unveiling Grotesque New Macbook:
CUPERTINO, CA — In his first major product release since stepping in for an ailing Steve Jobs last month, interim Apple CEO Tim Cook faced a storm of harsh criticism Monday after unveiling a grotesque new version of the company’s popular MacBook that many in attendance described as “disgusting.”
Cook presented the bizarre, malformed new product to stunned silence during a media event at Apple headquarters, revealing a device that, while vaguely similar to a computer in certain respects, appeared to be encased in a thick, flesh-like coating that was visibly moist and engorged.
“Oh, my sweet God,” Apple employee Kurt Starfeldt said after viewing the MacBook up close. “It appeared to be discharging some sort of mucus-type substance from the headphone jack and making these weird murmuring sounds. And then it started quivering at one point when Tim was demonstrating how to use the touch pad. It was quite upsetting, actually.”
One customer, who had been anticipating the release of the new MacBook for months, claimed he felt “nauseous” when multiple software applications running at once caused the computer to started wheezing.
“I tried to force-quit some of the programs, but it got all slow and began to turn this sickly purple color,” Bill DeLain, 39, said. “Finally I hit the eject button and a tray popped open and spit out a bunch of teeth. Why does it have teeth?”
“I am now, George. I always have been.”
Eric Stoltz and Penelope Ann Miller in Our Town, ca. 1989, shot at Lincoln Center from a production that won a Drama Desk award for Best Revival.
You always thought this show as corny. Watch this now, and tell me that again.
(Hat tip to @LolaJRS over on the Twitters.)
Note the sick enthusiasm with which Apple festoons extra snowflakes to better represent the unchristian conditions in which I’m now working.
In case you were feeling too happy
MeFi points us to the sad case of William ‘Refrigerator’ Perry, 25 years later.
#webfail: “If the model sounds like TV, that is no accident.”
The Gawker network has adopted a new design that, more or less, genuflects towards TV as its guide instead of the random-access, user-driven way the web has worked before. It’s more about video and “appointment programming,” at least as they explain it. Oh boy!
Denton explains why you’ll probably stop reading his sites now. Of course, he doesn’t actually think that’s going to happen, but in the last week I’ve dropped 3 from my own personal rotation because of the shakeup. Your mileage may vary, of course.
In case you forgot why Green Bay is awesome
The team is owned by the citizens of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and operate as a public nonprofit — an arrangement that the NFL has taken great pains to ensure doesn’t get replicated elsewhere.
Stay Classy, Jerry.
Ticketholders were essentially turned away at Cowboys Stadium after Jones’ bid to set the attendance record resulted in about 400 unusable seats.
The ticketholders were offered a few options, including SRO seats or the ability to watch the game on “big screen TVs”, along with the possibility of refunds of a multiple of the tickets’ face value — which, of course, ignores the fact that many tickets were bought on the secondary market, and that most attendees spent nontrivial money getting to Dallas, staying in hotels, etc.
Nice one, Jerry!
The Onion remains perfect
Two recent examples:
Do NOT miss the 2nd one.
Best Wrestling EVAR: “How is this legal?”
This is the most awesome video you’ll see today: the Osirian Portal completely OWN these poor boys with sekrit Egyptian hypnosis moves!
Doomsday, you’re on notice. I thought your Dyketron 3000 — the Lesbian Robot from the Future! — couldn’t be topped, but it turns out actual wrestling has become even more hilariously absurd than your show. I eagerly await your response.
Oh, Fox. Just when we thought you couldn’t sink lower.
If you follow the link, you are taken to a page on Fox Nation that claims Obama “misquoted a familiar Bible verse” during his address yesterday:
President Obama misquoted a familiar Bible verse during a faith-based address at the National Prayer Breakfast.
“Those who wait on the Lord will soar on wings like eagles, and they will run and not be weary, and they will walk and not faint,” the president said during a speech to several thousand people at the breakfast.
But the actual passage, from Isaiah 40:31, states: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Somewhat ironically, while Fox Nation appears to be positioning themselves as the arbiters of authentic Christianity, they seem unfamiliar with the fact that there is more than one version of the Bible.
Obama was quoting from the New International Version, while Fox Nation was pointing to the King James Version to “debunk” him.
This would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic.
Everything Old is New Again
Are you 30 to 40 and an aspiring musician, or were you when you were 20? Did you lust after those cassette-based 4-track recorders? Are you sure kids today have no idea how good they’ve got it?
Well, if you’ve got an iPad, I’ve got some good news for you.
You should go watch this
There are two parts so far. It’s really, really well done.
Of course, we’ll ignore all these suggestions
We’d be a shitload better off if we’d pay attention to Mark Bittman’s food manifesto, but I doubt it gets any traction; it starts with “end subsidies on corn and soybeans.”
Ah, airport security. You never stop being hiliarious
According to the Daily Mail Online, an immigration officer who worked for the UK Border Agency managed to get his wife out of his hair for three years by putting her name on the no-fly list while she was visiting the in-laws overseas. Officials confirmed on January 30 that the man had confessed to adding his wife’s name to the list after she left for Pakistan, with the result that she was not allowed to get on a plane to come home. Airline and immigration authorities refused to explain to her why she was not being allowed to travel, although I imagine she put two and two together after her immigration-officer husband stopped answering his phone.
Official Heathen Four-Word Review of Bernie’s Burger Bus
Burger meh. Fries awesome.