One the blogs I read and contribute to recently blew up over the subject of conspiracy theories. Among the arguments was the following video:
Skeptic.com purports to promote rational and scientific thinking through the use of humor, but I must admit its approach is not my cup of tea. I have seen several other videos featuring the character Mr. Deity and thought then the tone was high-handed despite the humor (more like sarcasm and ridicule). Whether I agree (or disagree) with the viewpoint presented is quite beside the point.
I wish that various conspiracies could be laid to rest finally, and maybe the authors at Skeptic.com believe they have done so, but there are significant sociological reasons why belief in conspiracy persists. Most examples I discard as not deserving a decision one way or the other, but a couple I believe because I find the evidence convincing and official narrative unconvincing. Yeah, sometimes I feel silly subscribing to ideas others find bizarre, but then, lots of people believed (and still do) that the rush to war in Iraq was justified by disinformation provided by our own government. I didn’t need hindsight to see through that charade.
I see from having searched for this ad that LG has a history of pranking people with the realistic quality of its HDTVs, at least when not paying close attention:
I’m unsure whether such shenanigans ought to be deplored or admired. Scaring the bejesus out of people with intrusions into the privacy of the men’s room, disappearing elevators floors, and now an apocalyptic meteor strike during a job interview seems like crossing over the line. If I were subjected to such pranks, I’d be pissed.
This latest just makes me laugh: a company called Burnt Impressions Inc. in Danville, Vermont, is selling a line of toasters that burn images of one’s choosing into toast.
It’s usually a T-shirt maker that jumps on a trend first, but I suppose if the trend to be coopted is spectral images appearing on grilled cheese sandwiches, then it makes perfect sense to make a toaster than does it for you. Current options include Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the Nativity, the peace sign, and the pot leaf.
I also saw a couple puns worth repeating: Cheesus Christ and Jesus Crust.
Presented without comment:
Remember the Vatican’s 10 Commandments For Driving?
- You shall not kill.
- The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
- Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
- Be charitable and help your neighbour in need, especially victims of accidents.
- Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.
- Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
- Support the families of accident victims.
- Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
- On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.
- Feel responsible toward others.
Someone just added to it. While normally I would be crowing with glee at the sheer sacrilege, particularly at that stuffy moralitese the Pontiff’s office spewed out, this time I crow with laughter. Particularly at Number 17:
17: Thou Shalt Give Pedestrians the Right of Way In the Crosswalk:
It says so right in the Bible: “Crosswalks are for pedestrians, o ye jerks! Let the two-legged go first or ye shall spend eternity in a fiery crosswalk being run over by a cabbie cackling on his cell phone.”
At least, I think that’s what it says.
Anyway, it should. And that’s the god’s honest truth.
O my brothers, can I get a “Heh. Indeed!”
[Walk Signal: TMV]
What guy hasn’t gottten up in the middle of the night, stumbled into the bathroom to do his business, and experienced the blinding effect of the bathroom lights on his fully dilated pupils? Well, somebody thunk up the solution: the Jonny Glow toilet locator. Get it?
So now you can stumble in the smallest room and take care of business hardly opening your eyes. Just aim and shoot. Ahhh, sweet relief. Now if a solution can just be found to the problem of leaving the lid up. Oh, I have it: don’t live with women.
Forbes (as reported by Yahoo!) just came out with its lastest ranking of the world’s billionaires. And wouldn’t you know it, I fell just a little below the cut-off point. With my kind of money to burn, though, what do I care?
This guy really doesn’t like his cell phone.
(Originally posted on my old blog in June of 2005…presented for your amusement, with some minor edits for style and clarity.)
I just rewatched “Return of the Jedi” with Andrew, and in the course of the interactions with the Ewoks, I realized that the entire Ewok plotline reveals the moral rottenness at the heart of the Rebellion.
Let’s start from the beginning: what is the relationship between the Empire and the Ewoks before the movie begins? I submit that the internal evidence of the film makes it clear that they were peacefully coexisting. Several elements contribute to this conclusion, which is admittedly based on limited data, but which seems entirely uncontradicted by any available evidence:
“If Earth’s species were meant to change over successive generations through physical modifications resulting from the adaptation to environmental challenges, then God would have given them the genetic predisposition to select mates and reproduce based on their favorable heritable traits and their ability to thrive under changing conditions so that these advantageous qualities would be passed down and eventually encoded into the DNA of each generation of offspring,” Olathe public school teacher and creationist Joyce Eckhardt said. “It’s just not natural.”
Ayup. Of course, I have to wonder why the news organization with the most cutting commentary happens to be full of thingst hat are completely made up. Nary a fact to be found, and everything just fits so well with the view of reality…
It’s like the reverse of Fox News.
If anyone else is feeling the same way, then this is hilarious:
Panting in Anticipation.
Amanda at pandagon offers some wise criticism of capitalism and sexism (sexism against women). She approvingly (“best eviscerations of a little bit of knee jerk rhetoric I see all the time on the left”) quotes Ellen Willis (R.I.P):
As expounded by many leftist thinkers, notably Marcuse, this theory maintains that consumers are psychically manipulated by the mass media to crave more and more consumer goods, and thus power an economy that depends on constantly expanding sales. The theory is said to be particularly applicable to women, for women do most of the actual buying, their consumption is often directly related to their oppression (e.g. makeup, soap flakes), and they are a special target of advertisers. According to this view, the society defines women as consumers, and the purpose of the prevailing media image of women as passive sexual objects is to sell products. It follows that the beneficiaries of this depreciation of women are not men but the corporate power structure.
(italics added, we’ll get back to them soon!)
Inspired by one too many viewings of “Team America”, coupled with my wife’s inexplicable attraction to “The View”:
VOICEOVER: “Today on the View, Barbara Walters interviews North Korean strongman Kim Jong Il.”
BW: “Hewwo. I am Baba Wawa, and we are tawking with Kim Jong Il. Hewwo, Kim.”
KJI: “Hewwo, Bawwa!”
Remorse: It isn’t NICE to make fun of the way people talk. But it’s pretty funny, especially when they’re the evil ruler over a nest of villainy and wickedness. Or Kim Jong Il, for that matter.
Sometimes the headline tells you all you need to know about a story
Austrian nails testicle to roof
If you had taken this view here, however, you might have missed the subheadline in all its gory…, er, glory:
Favourite thing now tied up with string
Filed under Content-lite, Humor, and Reproductive Rights (because he lost his reproductive left, silly.)
Lis Riba and others are calling it the Best. Headline. Ever.
What makes it special is that ICE appears to be oblivious to what it just said.
I swear, I had no idea what I was saying.
Took the bug with me to my folks’ house yesterday to water the plants while they’re out of town. Stopped at Taco Bell on the way home. From the back seat: “Can I have nuggets?” “Sorry, sweetie, this isn’t McDonald’s, this is Taco Bell.” “Oh, can I have taco?” “Of course you may.”
Drove home, took food and daughter into the house, greeted wife.
Daughter: “Daddy, can I have my nuggets?”
“Sweetie, I already told you, you don’t have nuggets. You have a taco.”
My wife burst into hysterics, and it took me a minute to figure out why.
The infiltration of my daughter’s subconscious mind is complete.
Today while playing quietly by herself, she began talking to herself (as is her wont). She said, verbatim quote:
“I’m building a castle. A castle of DOOOOOOOM!”
That’s my girl.
You know the worst thing about whining about the need for standards?
People hold you to it.
I haven’t had a debate this productive in a long time. Nothing motivates me to learn like people easily pointing out when I’m out of my element.
I’ve been participating in a couple of discussion boards recently, and I find it striking how many points of view get represented there. Sure, there are many that lean in particular ideological directions, but the really massive ones are truly free for alls in that respect.
If there’s one thing I consider myself an idealist about, it’s discussion. I believe that the best debates are between people who disagree on just about everything. It’s why I obsess about method–I think that setting a standard up front has something of the effect of setting the rules of exchange. Sort of like they have rules about the kinds of bat you can use in professional baseball–they’re all trying to beat one another, but no one would be willing to play if there was one team that used aluminum bats while everyone else had to use wooden ones.
Ampersand and I have essentially been looking at the Lancet article from the perspective of statistical methodology, and I’ve been three steps short of him the entire way–but I’ve learned a great deal from trying to keep up.
Whether it’s this subject or any other, CD has gone a long way to renew my faith in discussion as a tool for learning.
Normally, I’d do a serious post. Something about the North Korean missle launch that flopped, or the Florida-like difficulties going on south of the border, or Israel to go Chicken Little upside some Palestinian head…
But once I saw this, I just had to mention it to a wider audience.
Pac-Man? Live action?
Go and relax, folks. Seriousness will return at a later time.
[Turn signal: Addicting Games. They named it right. Might’ve named it To Kill Time to be more honest.]
Recently, while trying to post a comment to someone’s LiveJournal, I got the following odd error message, as a result of my failing to transcribe the wobbly letters intended to fool spambots:
Error: Please prove that you are human.
Um, didn’t I just do that by…?
Here's a brief (thus far) but interesting blog by a guy who thinks that we're all too complacent and could use some heartfelt anger about the way things are going in the culture. Never mind that anger is unhealthy, unwholesome, negative, and causes high blood pressure. He's got a big list of rants, some of which push him over the edge from angry to furious. Two of them in particular caught my attention.
The Missile Shield
It's really not a shield at all, is it? It's actually just a bunch of other missiles. If you thought someone was going to throw a dart at your head, would you defend yourself with intercept darts? Hitting a mid-flight dart with another dart or a missile with another missile is hard, and it pretty much never works in either case. I wouldn't declare my head dart-proof based on a system like that. And I sure as hell wouldn't spend billions of dollars trying to dart-proof my head in response to having a brick thrown at my crotch on September 11th.
This just makes so much sense to me I wish I'd thought of it first. It was true in Reagan's day and is no less true today now that Bush has resurrected the project. It's also so laughingly foolhardy it's tragic, considering the public funds spent chasing so elusive a chimera.
I shouldn't have to hate standing ovations. But good lord do I ever. Tony Blair, when addressing the US Congress received 19 standing ovations during his 32 minute speech. George Bush received 6 in the first six minutes of the last state of the union address. A standing ovation is meant to be reserved for the best of the best. This should automatically exclude the following from receiving them: 1) all school productions (I've seen your kids, they're not that cute) 2) speeches by presidents who say "nukular" 3) concerts from local musicians 4) amateur plays. Most performers and speakers aren't that good and you devalue those who are when you arbitrarily dish out standing o's. I propose that everybody get a lifetime quota of three ovations that they can bestow on performers. No more. It might make people think twice before they stand up and start clapping like idiots for a kid hitting a tambourine.
This one has been a peeve of mine for a long time. I think one underlying cause is that we're all out to maximize our enjoyment of things, and to do so, it becomes necessary to validate our experience with standing ovations at every turn. I once took part in a staged riot at a classical music concert, which was a very modest recreation of a real riot in 1913. The looks of utter horror on the faces of the audience before they realized what was happening — that someone might disapprove of a public performance and be disruptive — was remarkable. Were I to really boo a performer these days, I'd probably be sanctioned for expressing my judgment.
According to Annalee Newitz, feminists should take over genetic engineering. (Here's a hint: Study genetic engineering… women's studies doesn't exactly make you an expert on everything).
The whole article is about the most unintentionally hilarious things I've read for a while, and I urge you to read it all, and check the comments.
Here is a teaser:
That's why any feminist worth her sodium chloride should be charging into the debate on genetic engineering with a list of demands. Hell, yes, we want to change the biology of reproduction — and we want to change it now.
The primary goal of a feminist genetic engineering project is to cut the reproductive process loose from patriarchy and male domination. One simple way to do that is to make sure feminist politics are front and center in any discussion about how we will use genetic engineering to eliminate harmful birth defects. I think we can all agree that it would be great to make sure babies aren't born with holes in their hearts, but what about girl babies born with small breasts? Can't you just see some clueless researcher claiming that women with small breasts are "harmed" psychologically, and that therefore we should engineer all women to have big ones? Feminists need to shut that shit down right away.
Damn those clueless genetic engineering patriarchs! They need some womanly wisdom to guide them, and Annalee sure is the best person for that. (Leaving aside the fact that plenty of researchers in the field of biology and medicine are, in fact, women, and besides, I must admit that I really don't see researchers focusing on genetically engineering women's breasts bigger.)
As an aside, she makes me think that John Howard may have had a point:
[ edited for correction]
First of all, we want genetic engineering to transform the way families work, perhaps by making it possible for two women to create a baby without male intervention — or for more than two parents to create a baby. (Researchers in Japan have already bred a healthy baby mouse out of genetic material from two females, and researchers in England are working on a human baby that will have genetic material from two women and one man.)
I don't care much for cats, but this feline has got enormous clanking brass ones.
Columbia Business School Dean Glenn Hubbard (who was recently passed over for the chairmanship of the Fed in favor of Ben Bernancke) has a pretty darn good sense of humor about the whole thing.
It might be a little bit too inside-baseball for some, but the video he made is freaking hilarious.
(H/T Mary Schweitzer of the Obielist for the link.)
(Also, God, the Police were great.)
What do you call a man who has sex with a ten-year old girl?
And he saves children, but not the British children.
Contains some strong language, but – as Jeff says – if your boss complains, ask him or her why they HATE AMERICA.
H/T Protein Wisdom.