Friday, December 30, 2005
Ah, what a wonderful vision the AFA must have, of an America full of Mrs. Grundys. Of course, I guess it'd be too much trouble to keep the TV on PAX or ABC Family. Take pity on them--they only want what's best for their own limited, sad notions of morality.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
That's a shame, too, because I'm sorely tempted to perform necromancy on Barry Goldwater. Yes, he's a conservative. Yes, he was borderline racist. Yes, he was opposed to any attempts by government to create a more equal society. But, more to the point, he was staunchly against using the military for "regime change", deeply distrustful of the religious right, and wary of giving political power to big business. In short, he'd be livid to see what his party, and the movement that claimed him as its figurehead, has done in the past few years.
Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice," Goldwater said. And what could be more extreme than bringing the dead back to life, seeking revenge? Plus, you must admit, Zombie Barry would be a delight to watch. The only downside is if, following the stereotype, he craves human brains. Even after he was done with both houses of Congress, he'd be starving, and probably a little nauseated to boot.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Happy Hanukhah, too. And Good Yule!
In our household, we celebrate all three holidays--Christmas, out of a sense of tradition; Yule, because we're "a bunch of goddamn pagans," as I've heard us called before; Hanukhah, because my stepson's half-Jewish.
Someone tell Bill O'Reilly so his head can explode, already. Me, I like all three holidays and my head's throbbing as is.
It doesn't help that someone successfully broke into my house two nights ago and stole the most expensive gift while my family was shopping. Not much else, thank the ghods--an old Playstation and a few of its games were the only other things taken. But we resolved not to let this get to us.
Oh, and Thea? I absolutely adore the little Kali statue that you got me. (N.B.: "Kali" is one link, and "statue" is another.)
Happy Holdays, everyone.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
First, DarkSyde's post on DailyKOS regarding the infinity of time.
Then, an old IBM educational video regarding the vastness of both inner and outer space.
What need have I for bibles, churches, or even our culture's particular, anthropomorphized ideas of gods, when I have a nearly unimaginably vast and ancient cosmos to contemplate?
Praise "Bob", anyway.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
That's nice for us Westerners, but what about the third-world, where modern solar cell films and old-generation silicon cells alike are cost-prohibitive? How do paper solar cells grab you? While I would not expect much efficiency out of these, the cost should be so low that it won't matter much. Cell phones--already preferred in the Third World for not requiring expensive phone lines or switching stations--could be charged easily with such technology.
Those who said solar was too primitive, or too much a niche technology, obviously didn't realize how different the world would be in a few decades. GO SOLAR!
Does anyone have suggestions for dealing with duplicate feed entries, aside from creating a draft and not submitting it until I'm perfectly happy with it? I know, it's not professional to do otherwise, but like I have said before: I'm just like the pros--only less so.
I can understand cognitive dissonance wearing people out. But by the same token, I must admit it doesn't bother me much. In fact, it seems like I've been awash in cognitive dissonance my entire life--that my life, in fact, is a large, dissonant cognition, if you will.
When Ronald Reagan promised in 1980 to cut taxes and increase military spending, I sat up and noticed.
When the Sunday School teachers at my Assembly of God told me, in all earnestness, that all men have one less rib than women do, I took note and puzzled over the fact.
When the Iran-Contra scandal broke, and a small army of government officials claimed that the assassinations, drug-running, and deals with dictators were all done in the name of American freedom and democracy, you bet I caught that.
When I began to be exposed to perceptual psychology, and came across the realization that we can't always trust our perceptions, and that our very brains will trick us in order to make sense of what we perceive--I gave that fact a big red "URGENT" stamp.
When quantum mechanics revealed a world utterly alien to common sense, and yet too accurate in its predictions and too consistent in its logic to be dismissed, I acknowleged it as another piece of the puzzle.
When post-modernism became the vogue, and people started using the phrase "Reality isn't what it used to be" with decreasing irony, I was ready to say, "Duh."
When a Bush aide (Rove, maybe?) stated that "we create our own reality," I was not in the least surprised. I was prepared for it in ways the Democratic Party is only now starting to realize.
But that doesn't change the wisdom that there are certain externalities that cannot be brushed off by creating one's own reality, no matter how thoroughly imposed that reality might be upon the masses. Everything you perceive about, say, a mountain--its seemingly eternal size, its color, its solidness--might be questionable. You may realize that mountains are heaved upwards over millions of years, or built up from ash cones and lava flows over hundreds of years. You may realize that the mountain's color is due to light reflected off its surface atoms, filtered through the eye, and interpreted by the brain, and that therefore its "color" is not "real". You may even stop to contemplate that 99% of the volume of that mountain is empty space, with colliding electrons giving the illusion of solidness. But don't be hasty to conclude that the mountain is not real. If you try to fly an airplane through it, you will crash.
And so, in an age of cognitive dissonance, where it is easy to manipulate facts to start a war but impossible to manipulate your way out of the war, I can say with confidence:
MY REALITY CAN BEAT UP YOUR REALITY.
And of course, I'm waiting with baited breath for Age Of Empires III and Civilization 4 for Mac....
Saturday, November 12, 2005
You Are 80% Weird
You're more than quirky, you're downright strange.
But you're also strangely compelling, like a cult leader.
"Like a cult leader"? Hon, I am a cult leader. But at least I belong to a hilarious cult.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Here's the rules:
1. Go into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the 5th sentence (or close to it.)
4. Post that, along with these rules, in your blog.
5. Tag 5 people.
So here's mine:
"Emperor is releasing a new album, Prometheus: The Discipline Of Fire And Demise, which is being hyped as a culmination of this seminal and ground-breaking black metal band's work. And then... farewell."
What's changed since then? Not much, except that Emperor will get back together to headline a couple of large European metal festivals, including the classic Wacken festival. There's no way I can afford to travel overseas for either festival--and the passport would be an extra headache in its own right--but it does raise the possibility that Emperor may visit these shores again, one day. And that makes me smile.
I recently dusted off the Prometheus album, as I'm sure regular readers would've guessed by my post two entries ago. The album still stands as a classic of extreme metal, with soaring, grand melodies and rich, powerful singing mixed with savage riffing and screeches of metaphysical agonies. Get yourself a copy and you won't be disappointed.
This album consoled me at SeaTac when my flight to Tampa was delayed in late September 2001, helped me stay sane in the political fallout following 9/11, and invigorated me during many challenging times since. I'm personally grateful to Emperor for leaving this parting gift, and hope some day I can leave a similar present.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Do you also like to bang your head to heavy metal, especially extreme metal?
You are far from alone. And queerMETAL.net is here to prove it. Feel free to join the discussions; there's already been some pretty, er, interesting subjects raised.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
I wonder if the right wing will reach the wisdom that the main character of Emperor's Prometheus album reached:
He realised that the cheering cries of worshipJust sayin'.
Were but echoes of his harsh outspoken word
Reflecting back at him from cold and naked walls
In hollow circles fled illusions of wisdom he had heard
"From nothing came all I ever knew"
And he beheld the ruins
Of an empire torn apart
Yet, no grief nor rage did bind him
Just silent and bewildered
By the emptiness
He stumbled off his throne
Saturday, October 22, 2005
I've been collecting a number of albums which I play when I need to hear a darker atmosphere to get me out of my ruts. Coincidentally, many of these CDs are great soundtracks for an eerie Halloween:
- James Plotkin / Mick Harris -- Collapse
I can sleep contently with almost all my CDs playing. Not with this one. Plotkin and Harris started as metal musicians but both have become much more interested in avant-garde sonic explorations. On this album, the two wunderkinds have teamed up to combine natural sounds with processed sounds to create one of the few albums capable of creeping me out. One track has what sounds like demonic snarling low in the mix, just enough to make you wonder what's lurking outside your room. It's out of print, but aside from the used CD bins, you can find it on the iTunes Music Store.
- Melek-Tha -- De Magia Naturali Daemoniaca
I personally find this one a bit on the corny side of things, if only because the evil portrayed in comic books, pulp novels, bad horror movies, and black metal bands (ahem) is so banal and yet over-the-top. Real evil exists, but is almost always swathed in the raiments of goodness. (Hitler, after all, thought he was saving his kind from the "evils" of lesser beings, even as he brought abomination upon abomination upon the world.) But, since we speak of Halloween, this CD of material sampled from horror movies will put the chill on the neighbor's bones. Note: You may not want to play this one if your neighbors are overly religious, and you will definitely want to skip Track 1 so the kiddies don't hear a single dirty word. Melek-Tha's site has mp3s which I haven't checked out yet--but will. Use at your own risk.
- Dissecting Table -- Life
Dissecting Table is among the better-known Japanese electronic noise projects (along with Merzbow--more below) and all their music is intense and overwhelming, although the character of each piece is different. The track "Pure" on this album has moments which resemble death metal, if performed by insane poltergeists within a silo. And that's the most accessible song on the CD! You can find mp3 samples of other Dissecting Table songs here.
- LAW -- Our Life Through Your Death
The more adventurous of electronic musicians tend to go in one of two directions--ambient dronescapes, or harsh noise. LAW does both to horryfing effect. Even when the power electronics are not hammering at you, you can hear the whispers and scratches of immanent threats creaking through your ears. I'd use this one sparingly for maximum effectiveness. You can get mp3s through Mile 329.
But apparently the Christians can take away your radio station if you do upgrade your wattage, as WAVM, a small high school station in Maynard, MA, has found out the painful way.
If you want to help, you can get more info from the station's web site.
And it is worthwhile to help. In KNON's case, the Criswell Bible Institute was forced to give up its old, but lesser-powered frequency and swap it directly with KNON, which then held a pledge drive to upgrade its wattage to the maximum allowed. KNON is alive and well today, and you can even listen to it over the Internet.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
What does it say for my blog's public address?
mac coca cola hellenic cchbc company cokewww bottler bottling
HMM. The "Mac" tag is understandable, but what the hell is up with the Coca Cola references?!?
Let's try the actual server address for my blog:
blogs art map
At least it got something right, I guess.
What about my main site, neglected after all this time?
humour comics art horror dark
Not exactly right, but closer, although there's not really much horror on my site.
What about Friday Jones, a fellow SubGenius whose site does have horror stories on it?
...That's an outrage. Finally: What about SubGenius.com?
tips golf science diy
All of a sudden, Tagyu looks a little dubious. But wait...! Then I read this blurb about Tagyu accuracy when given URLs. AHA. So, using text instead should give more accurate results? Let's see....
Let me feed it some text from this page on my site and see what we get:
OK, that's just wrong. In every sense.
What about this page? I quoted nearly the entire page, so it should give better results, right?
Let's try one more web page:
The tags are somewhat right this time, but still miss the point. The lesson? If you insist on using tags, you should take the time to figure out what the tags should be, based on the kind of audience you're looking for as well as the subject material. Tagyu may develop to become an outstanding tool for coming up with tags, but depend on it only if you like inadvertant humor.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
And if you live in New York City, you can hear it live in a week. I almost wish I lived there, if only so I could hear for myself.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Saturday, September 17, 2005
I'm excited that the Hate Crimes Bill cleared the House. I'm doubly excited that, for the first time, such a bill includes gender identity as a protected category.
From Rep. Nancy Pelosi's comments, it sounds like the murder of Gwen Araujo was a catalyst for this inclusion. If only the hundreds dead before were enough. If only simple outrage at one trans murder was enough. If only such brutality was not necessary to stir souls.
Transgender deaths are not rare--they happen all too frequently--so what was so special about her death? Was it because it happened in tolerant California? Or, as I sometimes suspect, was it that Gwen was a young and beautiful woman? That suspicion sickens me, and yet I cannot rule it out in the light of a media that focused on Natalee Holloway's rape and murder while largely ignoring similar plights among women of color.
That said, I am glad that Araujo's tragedy has motivated change, while still wishing that compassion, not tragedy, was the source of that change.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Friday, September 09, 2005
"If three people in four no longer support the government, isn't this an untenable situation?" Indeed--we may see such a situation soon enough--and that would be certainly untenable.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
-- Primordial, "Gods to The Godless"
To say I've been horrified and outraged at the disaster and subsequent catastrophe which has been Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath--that would be a gross understatement. Gross, as in revolting. It's been hard keeping my composure. I feel such burning shame at how we've let poverty seep so deeply into our country, only to watch poverty conspire with calamity to produce thousands of deaths and the ruin of a once-vibrant city. And I feel intense outrage that the Bush Administration knew this might happen, then slashed funding for levee repair and allowed environmental ravaging of the Gulf Coast, and then remained apathetic and impotent for days before finally acting--a week late, and several billion short.
I've tried immersing myself in blog articles about the political fallout. (Incidentally, has anyone informed Bush that the "blame game" is not a game? Or that "blame" is a shabby synonym for "accountability"?) Grim satisfaction at watching this administration implode does nothing to staunch the revulsion. Watching "The Daily Show" for a few desperate laughs is only a temporary reprieve, and as Tuesday night's show proved, there were moments that were so wrong that not even John Stewart could manage a bon mot.
So I've turned to music. Has it helped? No--not one damned bit. If anything, the horror lurks there as well, as the snippet from the Primordial song above illustrates. The whole song sounds like a nightmarish vision of the GOP agenda. The music is gorgeous--melodic in ways not dissimilar to Opeth, but educated by their Irish Celtic roots. The lyrics, on the other hand, are savage. Just like the Great Wurlitzer.
At least I'm not listening to "When The Levee Breaks." I guess.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Thursday, August 25, 2005
(Actually, I'm a SubGenius, damn it, but I do have a deistic, agnostic/gnostic, scientific mystic bent to my favorite belief system. It makes for interesting writings on religion and science both.)
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Saturday, August 20, 2005
So Bush still refuses to give a deadline on leaving Iraq, despite the
fact that a solid, increasing, pissed majority of Americans think the
war was a huge blunder committed by a Commander In Chief who couldn't
wipe his own ass without giving himself a shit mustache. And the GOP
still refuses to send their own to fight this war, despite their
jingoistic cries of Supporting Our Troops in the War On Terror.
Meanwhile, general recruitment continues to sag, even as violence
escalates in Iraq, and grieving mothers demanding to know why their
children died in a nonsensical war are defamed by the suddenly
not-so-Great Wurlitzer of right-wing punditry. Even if we do pull out
of Iraq we've already done great damage to the reputation of the US
while providing new rationales for future terrorist activity and
condemning the new Iraq to civil war for years to come.
Will the last American soldier to die in Iraq do me a favor, and
scream "Vive le France" as he perishes? It's about the only thing that
could make this whole clusterfuck of a war even more surreally bad.
"I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence."
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
You have reached the point where you cannot climb out of the hole you insist on digging for us all. You have undermined your own efforts to rule. You shall suffer the consequences, without a single vengeful hand, save your own. You've fucked up.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
It got me thinking....
Junk DNA is genetic material which, to the best of our knowledge, serves no immediate function. Some of it is ancient hangovers--legacies from long-extinct ancestors currently suppressed. Some of it appears to be gibberish.
What if junk DNA was intended to be used as a buffer against mutation? I'm not talking about bad sci-fi mutations, like the Mutants from This Planet Earth; nor am I talking about the "Superior Mutant" used by my fellow SubGenii. Mutations in DNA can be fatal if they change the way our bodies produce vital proteins. So if you provide a lot of "junk" in the DNA sequence, your chances of mutations in vital code are greatly diminished.
Surely I wasn't the first to come up with it. Surely not.
If only I could convince the anti-science faction to take this sort of thing seriously--and, simultaneously, not use life's hardiness as proof that we can safely trash the planet. Life may continue, but we may wipe out almost all life we know in the process. No, thank you.
Monday, August 08, 2005
Monday, August 01, 2005
In one sense, this disorder--Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser Syndrome, or MRKH--has parallels with transsexuality, in that women with gender issues are seeking surgery to "correct" their genitalia. In another sense, women with MRKH are 180 degress from transsexual women; while transsexuals often know from an early age that their gender differs from their body, MRKH women are usually unaware of any incongruity until puberty. In some ways, women with MRKH have similarities closer to being intersexed, whether via chromosonal, gonadal, or hormonal means. Any changes in their gender perception come later, when puberty goes differently than expected. Psychological changes follow the physical. In contrast, for transsexuals, physical changes follow the mental. In both cases, however, we find ourselves wrestling with society's expectations of sex, gender, and sexuality.
It's promising that Our Bodies Ourselves now includes a chapter on gender identity and sexuality, but thanks to the imposition of gender based on a crude check of a baby's crotch at birth, it often feels more like damage control instead of progress.
Friday, July 29, 2005
But then I follow it up with a video for Lisa Marie Prestley's cover of the Don Henley song "Dirty Laundry." Damn, she's got her daddy's eyelids--and the high-tops from Katrina and the Waves. Too bad she can't make a song about salaciousness... SALACIOUS. Not even with subliminals, either.
wash. I strongly doubt that we'll even throw a Short Stroll, although
I still think we should throw a SubGenius Beach Party sometime next month.
For those who sincerely wanted to go, I will be announcing a date
later this year for next year's Long March. We'll have a date well in
advance and worry about logistics later, rather than going the other
way around. I realize that many SubGeniuses have a very rebellious
attitude when it comes to Conspiracy calendars. But Time Control is
not achieved by refusing to be controlled by time. You gotta grab time
by the horns and BLOW BAYBEE BLOW!
Thank you, "Bob," for the lesson, asshole.
Friday, July 08, 2005
(The Dogon, a West African tribe better known for their tales of amphibious intelligences from Sirius-B, is also said to have witnessed a slick-haired, pale-skinned man that belched smoke from a reed held in his teeth, who successfully traded a mound of elephant dung to a swarm of tse-tse flies in exhange for all their maggots. When asked by the Dogon why he would do such an incredible act, he reportedly said he had a wager to win, refusing to say any more, but winking and nudging for hours thereafter.)
One day, J. R. "Bob" Dobbs will eventually sell nothing to something, and everything to everything else, achieving universal symmetry in the Beforelife and beyond, and achieving the eternal Oozquirt we all crave so powerfully. And we Superior Mutants are dedicated to being there. In the meantime, like a cargo cult building model planes from crates to honor the flying gods that drop gifts from the heavens, we too must sell in order to bring Dobbs' sales-driven slack into our lives.
Alas, we suck at selling. Oh, we're doing better than expected by the average Normal, but ultimately we're still not exactly taking over the Conspiracy as fast as we hope. YOU HUMANS SHOULD BE SO LUCKY. At least we know and understand Slack, in some measure--and all we truly want is for a world of slack for all. All those who at least sent in a dollar, anyhow. [Updated 7/20/05]
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Sunday, June 19, 2005
- Cyclists get naked to protest big oil
- God and oil
- EnviroHealth: California's 'Green' Governor
- Record Year For Rise In Global Energy Consumption
- Former Bush Aide Who Altered Climate Reports Hired By Exxon
- U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Insecure, Need Billions
- Britain Announces Fund For Greenhouse Gas Storage
- OPEC Sees Few Options To Tackle High Prices
- Iran And India To Seal $25 Billion Energy Deal
- Words from a different kind of president
- Tippy-tippy-topple ...
- Going down with the ship
- Citigroup Owes $2B To Enron Investors
- JPM-Chase to Pay $2.2b In Enron Suit
- 'Plastic oil' could improve fuel economy in cars
- Hostage-takers demand Shell jobs
- Cognitive dissonance
- Put up your nukes!
- Capturing carbon
- Renewable energy and the devolution of power
- Bush on the energy bill
- Hey Gang! Let's Move to the Moon!
- Delay, Exxon, MTBE, and just ... ew
- Making amends
- $58.60 A Barrel
- NYC Sells Hybrid Taxi Medallions, Won't OK Hybrid Cars as Taxis
- How Bout Those Gas Prices?
- Hydrogen-Powered Motorcycles Just Around the Corner
- U.S. Pressure Weakens G8 Climate Change Proposal
- Power plants and air pollution
- The Analysis Gap
- Global Warmin' Is Fer Idjuts / Exxon writes America's energy policy, BushCo chops up emissions reports. Is there any hope at all?
- Senate Considers $1-Billion Legislation for Diesel Emissions Reduction
How American--and how irresponsibly wasteful.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
A shame that, even after reading dozens of articles a week on the subject, I'm still notm 100% sure what I would consider to be an intelligent choice.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Science requires imagination, analysis, observation, and above all, questioning.
Fundamentalism requires rigidity, ignorance, insularity, and above all, obedience.
Science encourages humility. Discovering how much can be known leads one to the discovery of how much one will never know. Every new revelation deepens the mystery, and in this we who cherish science remain in ecstatic awe.
Fundamentalism encourages audacity. They arrogantly presume that a single book can contain the entirety of The Truth. Any fact that contradicts their Truth is declared blasphemy, and thus they maintain a false sense of superiority.
Science, despite its reputation as a discipline for "brains," can be mastered by anyone willing to pay attention, make intelligent guesses, then test the guesses. It is so simple that children can learn it.
Fundamentalism, regardless of its philosophy of taking the Bible literally, is most often practised by those who never read the Bible aside from Church, and know little of the book's actual contents. It benefits from this lack of knowledge to maintain congregations.
Science accepts criticism--welcomes it. It thrives on scrutiny and responds with thanks.
Fundamentalism responds to doubt with scorn and treats open-mindedness as weakness.
Science reveals relationships and thus helps foster understanding of our place in the cosmos.
Fundamentalism demands division and so foments the very chaos they claim to defy.
Science is Heaven. Fundamentalism is Hell.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
- Cheap airline tickets speed global warming Meanwhile, U.S. plans to test missile defense aboard comm ...
- Shut bases could get nuclear waste
- Drilling For Oil
- Random Acts Of Corporate Responsibility
- Brussels Focuses On Effort To Tackle Climate Change
- GOP Hid Wilderness Drilling Approval In War Supplemental
- 'Peak Oil' Is Now
- Petroleum Joyride Almost Over?
- From Jail Cells to Solar Cells
- California solar roofs on the way
- Peak performance?
- The good news
- Oil on Ice
- Cash Landing
- 1. Control of Iraqi Oil
- Die Die SUVs Please Die / Sales of the bloated monster trucks are in a huge slump. Time for enviro-lovers to rejoice?
- How to help save the world
- EPA rules for Ethanol gasoline in 3 states
- Schwarzenegger unveils emissions plan
- What can you do about peak oil?
- Nuclear and water
- "Hybrid Veterans for Truth"?
- Don't believe the hype
- Forests fired
- Oil pumping capacity
- Oil prices rise ahead of summer: $55
- Mayors ink global enviro accords
- Refineries can't keep up with U.S. demand
- Electricity station complete in Baghdad
- Foreign Predations
- Social justice and the path forward from peak oil
- Only you can prevent ... global warming?
- Suburbia, oil, and preferences
- Biomass Adds to Ethanol Debate
- Bolivia protests seek gas nationalization
- U.N. Urges Building Green Cities
- Four Former Enron Executives Receive Loan Guarantees From Congress
- Mayors Sign Urban Environmental Accord
- Drilling In ANWR Supporters Need A Spine
- Fears For Economy As Jobs Growth Slows
- Report: Enron execs windfall in energy bill
- "Sellin' Nukes, Dissin' Wind"
- Revealed: Bush- Exxon ties on Kyoto
- Shell Predicts Two Decades Of Rising Energy Prices
- Pirates raid oil tanker at Basra, Iraq
- Fresh concerns on Iran nuke moves
- Worries as UN nuke plans go missing
- White House Defends Former Oil Industry Advocate Who Changed Climate Reports
- This Blog Is 100 Percent Solar
- New Apollo Energy Act introduced
- Peak oil mania
- Drunk, with power
- Saudis Say They Have Plenty of Oil
- Kerry, Waxman want Bush climate probe
- Japan's businessmen 'go cool' to conserve
- Big Business Puts Pressure On G8 To Curb Global Warming
- Pressure Rises On OPEC As Oil Demand Rises
Thursday, June 09, 2005
The sad thing is, it's hard to disagree with Vennochi's contentions. I do believe things are turning around, and that to some degree Joan may be buying into GOP spin. But yeah, the problem is that, while both Dean and the GOP are willing to get dirty, many Democrats refuse to stand and fight back. At least Edwards is using the opportunity to blast away in his own style. They all should.
By the way, am I the only one who realizes that there are Republicans who really do think of themselves as belonging to the white Christian party? Or have I been reading the news too much? Good gravy, we're supposed to pretend that the Republicans are minority-friendly and that the Klan doesn't exist anymore. And then the Klan reminds us they're still around anyway. ($100? Please...!) To which the Republicans say, "Yeah, but 40 years ago they were Democrats!" To which we reply, "And now they're Republicans."
Dean could use a few lessons in framing and perhaps a few lessons in rhetoric would help too, but the worst you can really say about his comments, in the final analysis, is that they aren't that artful. A shame that politics is, more often than not, low art at best.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
That's all. Go read. Enjoy the clipart, the awful jokes, and the crudity; but most of all, enjoy the in-your-face political ballsiness.
Goats rocks, too. Really.
So's Red Meat.
Liliane is excellent as well. Sleeping Beauty, indeed. (I should be in bed.)
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
The good news is: Dino Rossi isn't going to be Governor of Washington any time soon.
The bad news is: Janice Brown gets to become a Federal judge. Katherine Harris, the woman responsible for stopping the recount in Florida in 2000, announced she is running for the Senate. A Los Alamos whistleblower was savagely beaten. (The photo is a little gruesome, but still not as bad as some Al Ghraib photos. Ahem.) Both the FBI and the CIA may soon be getting newer, spookier powers. Medical marijuana in this country is dead short of Congressional action. (Heh.) Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) signed anti-gay, anti-abortion laws--in a church school auditorium. Apple is switching to Intel chips.
Let me check my wrist. Yep, still says, "Never Surrender".
Sunday, May 29, 2005
- Venezuela wants nuclear technology
- OPEC remarks may raise oil price further
- Map Reveals Airstream Potential
- Deeply Held Values Fuel Debate Over Offshore Wind Power
- Caspian pipeline: Can it ease dependence?
- House Votes On Interim Nuclear Waste Sites
- A 19th-Century Energy Policy
- Oil Sanctions Looming Over Iran Nuke Talks
- Bush complains about speed of energy bill
- New Caspian Pipeline Won't Save The West
- Wind farms: hot or not?
- GM plays catch-upForeign Oil Dependence
- Amend and Hallelujah
- Not a Car in the World
- Cash Flow
- Morgan Stanley and BP Oil to Pull Ads if Pubs Print Negative Stories
- Energy Package Clears Senate Committee
- Solid-state Lighting Sources Getting More Energy Efficient And Smart
Thursday, May 26, 2005
How massive? The entire world was using 14 terawatts of energy in 2002. With what we currently know, proper investment in wind turbines, and an improved electrical grid, we could be making nearly 72 terawatts of environmentally friendly electricity. As the map is still somewhat crude, lacking in enough data points to flesh out, say, Africa or Siberia, we have no idea how much more wind power might be available.
In short: If our Beloved Leaders stopped sucking up to the energy industry, gave up going after nuclear power and fossil fuels and turned towards wind power, it would not only work well, but we'd have to wonder what the hell to do with all that energy. Think aluminum is cheap now? Imagine how cheap it'd be when electricity is taken for granted as if it were, well, the wind. Hydrogen isn't an energy source? Fine, but it's a great energy store, so use the electrical power to crank out hydrogen in mass quantities. Want to elevate much of humanity from poverty? Make electricity so cheap that a relatively comfortable lifestyle is possible worldwide--refridgeration, hot water, electric light, and environmental controls all become possible, as would enormous economic benefits, recouping the initial overlay for turbines and infrastructure many times over. I'm barely scratching the surface, and I'm not getting particularly creative, either.
Imagine what uses we could have for abundant energy. It's scary and perhaps perilous in a larger sense, but I cannot help but think the good would outweigh the bad by far. And it may be the way to our salvation, as a civilization and perhaps even of a species.
Check out the map in the Wired article linked above. Notice the red, black, green, and yellow dots around the United States alone. Thanks to constant, federally funded (ahem) weather station monitoring, we know where to start building right now. Building the turbines and infrastructure, alone, will create a few million badly needed jobs, and would give our economy a kick-start no tax break can provide. We could be energy-independent within a decade if we started now.
Any politician who refuses to support wind energy, given the state of the art--and especially, any politician who insists on throwing billions at oil, coal, and nuclear, but not spend one cent on setting up a turbine--simply is an asshole.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Pardon the metaphors. Ahem.
So far I've preferred to "meta," or what we old-timey 'Net folks call "lurk," and digest the fallout from many different angles. The reactions have been quite interesting. Some Republicans and some Democrats felt betrayed, and while I understand the Democrats not wanting to give away any more judges, I understand the Republican stance as well. They know that it's only a matter of time before their game collapses, and the inevitable tide of politics shall usher forth a new progressive rennaissance. And, they also know that this may happen very soon, so therefore they feel compelled to rig the system the only way they know, by replacing as many judges as possible in order to ensure no further erosion of their ideal social attitudes.
Yes, I said "social attitudes." You know, "values"--as in, "I bought it on clearance!"
Of course, from the liberal point of view, the right wing ideal social attitude would result in an impoverished, ignorant, bigoted, and prideful society grounded in false piety. It's not as if they have an equally pleasant opinion of how we should run things. Just because we've already established that well-educated, tolerant societies tend to fare well for most of their citizens, doesn't mean that we have to all become hippies and nerds, even if that's what they think. But we were already losing our scientific relevance in the world, even before our reaction to the WTO attacks made us lose our diplomatic credibility, and our economy has suffered. Imagine if we didn't let anti-science religious extremists take over the GOP and the Republican Party! McCain, hell, I wouldn't mind Bob Dole half as much, for even though he clearly chose party loyalty over political courage, he is not interested in being pushed around by James Dobson.
Dobson, however, is right about one thing: While the compromise on the filibuster has caused strain in the Republican Party, that's only because the Party was already strained. Democrats may not yet be in perfect unison but given that Reid had already offered a compromise, this does come off perceptually as a Democratic win. Right now, that's what is most important.
But if I read one more article saying that the term "nuclear option" is a term used and invented by Democrats, I will scream. Swear.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
- Fuel-Cell Tanks Buck Convention
- Brazil Schools U.S. on Renewables
- Natural Gas Diesel May Cut Smog
- Prominent Environmentalists Weigh Nuclear Energy
- EnviroHealth: Join the BUYcott
- Rebuffing Bush, 132 Mayors Embrace Kyoto Rules
- A Hope For Oil Spill Bioremediation
- Global Wind Map May Provide Better Locations For Wind Farms
- Russian Oil Boss 'Guilty' Of Everything
- Apollo Creed (Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) on The Apollo Energy Act)
- A lot of hot air (Why wind power is no laughing matter)
- Energy agnosticism (Let's end subsidies and see which energy technologies truly prosper!)
- S.1031 - Referred to Senate committee. (A bill to enhance the reliability of the electric system.)
- Libya lobbyist sits on U.S. energy board
- 21 of Bush's 59 Judge Nominees Were Energy Corp. Advocates
- Job Pressure Forcing Debate On Coastal Drilling
- Bush extends order shielding oil assets
- Car buyers imposing higher fuel standards
- Congress keeps another feeding tube in
- Motivating the public for an energy shift
- EnviroHealth: Hybrid-Happy?
- Free Energy! Wave Farm Coming To Portugal
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Part of me realizes that it's my schedule that is causing it. I used to work evening shifts, getting home and staying up until 2 AM, feverishly working in Photoshop before passing out. These days, if I stay up until midnight, it's a luxury. Another part of my creative angst is due to having options I didn't before. It used to be that my computer was my only electronic contact with "the outside world". Now I have a cable box with a Tivo-like DVR built in--not only do I have the ability to record shows I would otherwise never see, I can now spend hours sifting through it all. Those hours used to be spent mastering software and techniques. But here's the worst of all: I've lost all taste for self-discipline, and that has made it nearly impossible to sustain activity.
It's not that I lack the discipline, say, to do my job or to take care of my family. But it's as if, once I've used all that discipline to handle these critical areas of my life, I suddenly don't want to use any more. (In honesty, I don't want to use that discipline in such responsible ways, either--but at least I know how terrible that is to think, and try to overcome it.) Is it just a matter of discipline, however? I just don't feel the energy to be disciplined anymore. And I need to figure out how to get my energy back, somehow.
- Britain to push for new nuke plants
- Crude drops below $50; Inventory grows
- Ecomagination: Inside GE's Power Play
- EnviroHealth: An Open Letter to Bill Ford, Jr.
- Experts: Nuclear Can't Easily Replace Oil Imports
- Fuel Waste And Gridlock
- GM, Toyota in talks for hybrid partnership
- The Intensifying Global Struggle for Energy
- Iran set to begin uranium enrichment
- MIT profs, colleagues propose plan for nuclear energy
- The New Power Generation
- Oil prices leap on refinery fears
- OPEC members say energy crisis looms
- Power of the Future: 10 Ways to Run the 21st Century
- Progressive Ideas on Energy
- Radiation flood shuts UK nuclear plant
- Spontaneous Ignition Discovery Has ORNL Researcher Fired Up
- Venezuela to look into oil firms
- Why Nuclear Power Is Not The Answer
- New Alloy May Hold Key To Safer Disposal Of Spent Nuclear Fuel
- Personal Nuclear Power: New Battery Lasts 12 Years
- Major challenges to make fuel-cell cars reality
Sunday, May 08, 2005
I just returned from the Frye Art Museum, where they are still hosting an exhibit of NSK paintings, artifacts, and video. I'm still digesting what I saw, but I can guarantee you, if you have only seen photographs, the photos simply do not, and cannot, do full justice. Until you can see the rough carved frames with socialist-realistic motifs turned dark, until you can see the roughness of the blobs of oil paint and tar upon the canvas, until you can see just how HUGE many of the paintings really are, it is difficult to understand and appreciate the impact their art can have on an unsuspecting audience. And much of the crowd at the Frye was unsuspecting, it seems--I asked one of the museum volunteers and she confided that those who saw the exhibit either were confused by the artworks, or were enthusiastic. While this museum is usually deathly quiet, there were small groups discussing and debating the art, not so loudly as to distract, but distinctly loud enough that, if you strained, you could eavesdrop.
As I said, I am still digesting what I saw, but I'm sure I'll have more to say, especially once the rest of my family gets to visit.
I think I might still launch that campaign, if only because more people need to know that a majority in this country do not support the religious right and think their behavior is shameful. More later.
- Portugal plans huge solar power array
- No Nukes Is Good Nukes
- New Zealand First To Levy Carbon Tax
- Ethanol Grows as Gas Alternative
- Plastic Sheets Convert Light into Energy
- Innovative Software Tools Keep Electrical Markets Humming
- Follow The Energy: New Technique Enables Scientists To Track Molecular Energy Transfer In Photosynthesis
- DOE-Sponsored Project Turns Coal Waste Into Valuable Building Material
- DOE Supports Promising Membrane Technology For Coal-to-Hydrogen Production
- DOE Project Deems Feasible Miniaturization Of Key Tools For Microhole Projects
- From Photovoltaics To Solar Thermal Collectors: Evaluating And Improving Green Design
- Little Answers To World's Biggest Problems: Top 10 Nanotech Applications To Aid Poor
- Earth all shiny; not a good thing
Note that I am including stories I would normally not favor. For instance, I think using any fossil fuel to produce hydrogen does not help us in the long term. Sure, coal-to-hydrogen technology may not produce as much carbon dioxide as burning, and they may improve carbon dioxide sequestration, but you still have to put energy into the process to get it started. And you still have to mine the coal--and I hope you realize how destructive that would be environmentally. Plus, how would coal-to-hydrogen membranes mesh with the idea of using coal combustion by-products as building materials?
I maintain that being aware of energy developments may be the most important issue facing our civilization. What we have now was built upon easy access to energy, and with Peak Oil upon us, that easy access will go away. So will much of our current way of life. Now we still have a choice as to how we will react, and what way of life we will lead. If we wait too long, that choice will be taken away, and we risk the death of our civilization, perhaps of our species. Stay informed, and make your representatives in Congress be aware that smart energy policy is a high priority.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Your #1 Match: INTP
You are analytical and logical - and on a quest to learn everything you can.
Smart and complex, you always love a new intellectual challenge.
Your biggest pet peeve is people who slow you down with trivial chit chat.
A quiet maverick, you tend to ignore rules and authority whenever you feel like it.
You would make an excellent mathematician, programmer, or professor.
Your #2 Match: INFP
You are creative with a great imagination, living in your own inner world.
Open minded and accepting, you strive for harmony in your important relationships.
It takes a long time for people to get to know you. You are hesitant to let people get close.
But once you care for someone, you do everything you can to help them grow and develop.
You would make an excellent writer, psychologist, or artist.
Your #3 Match: INTJ
You have a head for ideas - and you are good at improving systems.
Logical and strategic, you prefer for everything in your life to be organized.
You tend to be a bit skeptical. You're both critical of yourself and of others.
Independent and stubborn, you tend to only befriend those who are a lot like you.
You would make an excellent scientist, engineer, or programmer.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
But what Arthur and Trillian getting romantically involved?!? What the hell?!?
I mean, I understand having to leave some details out, such as teaching the computer on the Heart Of Gold how to make tea, or the same computer singing "You Never Walk Alone"--but of all the things to add...! It's as if Hollywood cannot make a movie without an obligatory love story. They'd turn Hitler's final days in the bunker into a romance, I swear.
That said, the movie was funny as hell, even for those of us who practically have the novel memorized and therefore knew most of the gags by heart. And, more importantly, the fans are pretty funny as well. Before the movie started, Wayne Brady was featured in a Will Rogers Institute spot on exercise and eating right. As that ended, one of the audience members quipped, "Now buy more popcorn."
Saturday, April 30, 2005
Note: NWS = Not Work Safe (Why are you reading this at the office?!?)
- Purple Pussy [Sporadic, NWS]
- Sluggy Freelance [Daily]
- GPF Comics [Daily]
- Zippy The Pinhead [Daily]
- Tonja Steele [3x a week]
- Jackie's Fridge [3x a week]
- Ctrl+Alt+Del [Daily, NWS]
- Dykes To Watch Out For [Weekly]
- Bitter Girl [Weekly]
- Rehabilitating Mr Wiggles [Weekly, NWS]
- The Boiling Point [Weekly]
- ZNet Toons [Sporadic]
- The Pain--When Will It End? [Weekly]