Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Did I Happen To Mention Windows Home Server Sucks Ass, Big Time? (I should have.)

Don't Mess with the Zohan: Who Wants to See it With Me? (No takers here.)

I'll treat you to hummus after the show!

From The Atlantic.

You Don't Mess With the Zohan is the worst movie I've ever seen, though it was better than Munich.

Okay, I liked it. So what? Who doesn't like a hummus joke? Or 37 hummus jokes? It turns out that Michael Chabon also thought it was the worst movie he's ever seen, and he enjoyed it very much as well. Since we were e-mailing about it anyway, I thought I would send him a series of questions. Here are his answers:

Jeffrey Goldberg: Do you like hummus?

Michael Chabon: I would say that, in fact, I relish hummus.

JG: Isn't hummus really delicious?

MC: Yes, but what I like most about it is that, for all its deliciousness, it has managed to stay humble.

JG: Was Zohan the worst movie you've ever seen?

MC: Certainly in the last two weeks. No, wait, I forgot about Get Smart.

JG: Do you think that Zohan is a 21st century Ari Ben-Canaan? Do people in the 21st century know who Ari Ben-Canaan is?

MC: What a depressing thought. Is there anybody else who feels that it might be best if we just started the 21st century over again? No question that, in retrospect, Zohan suffered from a distinct lack of Eva-Marie Saint.

JG: Are Jews in Hollywood more comfortable now with their Jewishness than they were 30 years ago?

MC: Are there Jews in Hollywood?

JG: And if yes, is this necessarily a good thing?

MC: I am sitting here trying to think of recent Hollywood films that might be seen to reflect their Jewish creators' increased comfort with their Jewishness. What I see is an increased degree of comfort with Jewishiness. That's probably not a bad thing.

I mean, hummus toothpaste, that had me laughing. My wife (born in Israel), and me. Nobody else in the theater (Emeryville, matinee) was really laughing about the hummus toothpaste.

JG: Do you know any Israelis who are obsessed with hacky sack? Because I don't.

MC: You mean apart from Tzabar Regel, gold medalist in hacky sack at the 2005 Maccabiah?

JG: Was Zohan a Zionist movie, or a post-Zionist movie, and, does it really matter?

MC: To the degree that it appears to suggest that Jews and Arabs can never live in peace anywhere but in a mythical neighborhood of downtown New York City, I guess I would definitely be inclined to classify it as "post-Something."

JG: What do you think of tehina in your hummus?

MC: I welcome its presence, as a grace note.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Gay I Grew Up With

At public school, aside from the '-Ass,' this was the sense of the word 'gay' I grew up with. This is I think the first time I have seen this sense used outside of primary school. All hail The Onion.

School Board Adopts Gay-Ass Uniform Policy
LOS ANGELES—Seeking to reduce incidents of student violence and insubordination, the Los Angeles Unified School District voted 9-3 Monday to institute a gay-ass uniform policy. "We feel these lame uniforms, with their dorky ties and dipwad school crests, will help create a school environment more conducive to learning," said LAUSD board officer Jefferson Crain. "We foresee fewer outbursts when students are forced to walk around in these retardo suits."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

I far prefer the term Knickers in a Twist: Stay Tuned

CD Sales Down, LP Sales Up

CD Sales Down, LP Sales Up

While sales of CDs fell 17 percent between 2006 and 2007, sales of LPs rose 36 percent in the same period. What do you think?
Young Woman

Tammy Parnell,
Loan Officer
"I think at this point people are just fucking with the record industry as a whole."
Young Man

John Bamford,
Building Inspector
"LPs may be nice for the audio tourist, but wax cylinders have a warmer, more natural sound."
Black Man

Carlos Feinglass,
Systems Analyst
"If there's a better format for listening to hissing, popping, and crackling than on a cumbersome yet fragile 12-inch piece of vinyl, I'd love to hear it."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Great Photo for A Blessedly Short Film Festival

Must See!!! The Countefeiters at the Mount Pleasant Cinema

From Wikipedia:

The Counterfeiters (German: Die Fälscher) is an Academy Award winning 2007 Austrian/German film written and directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky. It fictionalizes Operation Bernhard, a secret plan by the Nazis during the Second World War to destabilize the United Kingdom by flooding its economy with forged Bank of England currency. The film centers on a Jewish counterfeiter, Salomon Sorowitsch, who is coerced into assisting the Nazi operation at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The film is based on a memoir written by Adolf Burger, a Jewish Slovak typographer who was imprisoned in 1942 for forging baptismal certificates to save Jews from deportation, and later interned at Sachsenhausen to work on Operation Bernhard.[3] It won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 80th Academy Awards in 2008 for Austria.

And the Mount Pleasant Cinema is wheel chair accessible. Just call beforehand. My vote for best flick of last year.

I've Been Missing the Colonel Since He Came Over to the West Side

From the BBC:

Gaddafi attacks Obama on Israel

Libya's leader has strongly criticised US presidential candidate Barack Obama for saying Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel.

Col Muammar Gaddafi said he was either ignorant of the Middle East conflict or lying to boost his campaign.


Referring to him as "our Kenyan brother", Col Gaddafi also said Mr Obama might suffer from an inferiority complex because of his African origins.

The issue of race could make Mr Obama's behaviour "more white than white people", Col Gaddafi suggested, rather than acting in solidarity with African and Arab nations.


However, Col Gaddafi's defiant and famously politically incorrect rhetoric returned when talking about Mr Obama towards the end of the speech.

"The statements of our Kenyan brother of American nationality Obama on Jerusalem... show that he either ignores international politics and did not study the Middle East conflict or that it is a campaign lie," he said.

"We fear that Obama will feel that, because he is black with an inferiority complex, this will make him behave worse than the whites."


In addition, Mr Gaddafi suggested Mr Obama's comments may have been informed by a fear of assassination by Israeli agents, "the same fate as [former US President John F] Kennedy when he promised to look into Israel's nuclear programme".

Big Brown Seen Leaving Belmont Carrying Large Sacks Of Cash

Big Brown Seen Leaving Belmont Carrying Large Sacks Of Cash

NEW YORK—Shortly after finishing in last place in the Belmont Stakes Saturday, Big Brown was reportedly seen leaving through the back exit of the Belmont stable locker rooms carrying several shopping bags stuffed with cash, which the 3-year-old colt placed into the back seat of his Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe. "I could hardly tell it was him because he was wearing sunglasses, a baseball cap pulled down low over his eyes, and a long trench coat, but I remember thinking he was so tall he had to be one of the athletes," said horseracing fan Jason Larson. "Still, I didn't figure it out until I saw the 'Big B' vanity plates on his car." According to numerous witnesses, Brown spent five minutes urinating on the windshield of trainer Rick Dutrow's car before driving off erratically at high speed.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Once Again, Canada on the Cutting Edge of Stupidity (HT: JPK

Have highlighted my favourite bits.

Controversial copyright reform to be unveiled Thursday

David George-Cosh, Financial Post with files from CanWest News Service Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2008

After months of delays and speculation, the federal government is set to unveil its controversial update to the Copyright Act of Canada Thursday.

According to a press release, Industry Minister Jim Prentice and Heritage Minister Josée Verner are set to introduce the legislation during the morning Parliamentary session. Both ministers will deliver brief statements and answer media inquiries shortly after the tabling of a bill to amend the Copyright Act.

Reports have also indicated that the two ministers will unveil the Copyright Act under the slogan "Made In Canada Copyright Reform" during a scheduled press conference.

The new Copyright Act has been updated to reflect the growth of digital media and is said to include a number of contentious provisions including:

-- A $500 fine for each illegal file shared online

-- Making it illegal to unlock cellphones or copy music from protected CDs to iPods

-- Forbidding the right to copy "time shifted" shows onto personal video recorders if flagged by broadcasters.

The Conservative government was set to introduce the new bill this past December but later decided to withhold introducing new legislation following an outpouring of protest by online grassroots organizations across Canada over fears the bill would fall in line with harsh U.S. copyright laws. For example, the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes all acts of circumvention an infringement unless subject to a specific exception.

University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist, who has been a harsh critic of the government's stance on copyright legislation, condemns the U.S-styled approach Minister Prentice and Mr. Verner have taken in tabling the new bill.

"While it is clear that thousands of Canadians are waiting for the details of the bill, they don't need to wait until tomorrow to know that when Industry Minister Jim Prentice stands before a podium proclaiming this to be a ‘made in Canada' solution, the reality is that he did not take the time to ask many Canadians for their views," he said.

"The heart of the legislation, which will have a negative impact on consumer rights, privacy, and education, is better characterized as "Born in the USA.'"

Although it is unclear how the copyright bill will be enforced, observers have said enforcement could be aided if Canada signs on to the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), to be tabled next month at the G8 summit in Japan.

The agreement, which was recently published on a Web site known for disseminating leaked documents, would require Internet service providers to police the content that travels over their network. According to the four-page document, ISPs could be required to filter pirated digital files and reveal the identities of customers suspected of infringing on copyrighted material.

The Copyright Act has not been amended since 1997 although prior attempts to draw it in line following the ratification of the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization Performances and Phonograms Treaty have failed.

What I love about the above is how 1.) Geist is once again the go to guy for the contrarian point. And two, how he somehow elides this made in Canada stupidity with the US. In any event, it ain't gonna happen. If China can't control the internet, what chance does Canada hold? And, really, do we want a Great Internet Wall of Canadistan?

HT: JPK who doesn't blog nearly as much as he ought to.

You Have to Love America

Somehow the self-assuredness of these people to engage in such activities I find very admirable (if not the activity, though it would, undoubtedly, be fun.)

The 2008 Democratic Primary in 8 Minutes

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Some of the time Bertie is Brilliant, Othertimes an Idiot (Can't Decide Here)

Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination.
Bertrand Russell

I take it all back... God Exists!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

62 Years ago

Quote du Jour

Fran Lebowitz

"I've done the calculation and your chances of winning the lottery are identical whether you play or not."

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Big Brown Lost, While Casino Drive Was Scratched

So I was wrong about Big Brown at the Belmont today.
The owners of Casino Drive, the 2nd favorite, had the grace to scratch Casino Drive from the card. Not so with the owners of the Big Brown. While Big Brown looked unhurt, there's no way he should have run with that hoof.

How Do You Say Goodbye To 1.4 Billion US$ in 1 second and Not Work in the Financial Markets: Crash A B2

They say it was moisture.
Lucky, these Area 51 specials are mainly used in the desert?

It Really Is True that England Sent Nazi Germany Disinformation to Have their Bombs Land in the East End Rather than the Posh West End

More news here.

Big and Brown Big Brown Will Win Belmont and Triple Crown (8:48 est)

Today's the Belmont, and while I think it is usually a bad strategy to bet on the out and out favourite -- particularly with the terrible odds and resulting minuscule payout -- I think Big Brown is going to win.

Summer's Here

Friday, June 6, 2008

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Having Been Doing A Little Research on a Painted Turtle We Aquired: Here's their life cycle

More here.

Bloody Orkney, Never Been, Probably Now Never Will

Bloody Orkney

Bloody Orkney

This bloody town's a bloody cuss
No bloody trains, no bloody bus
And no one thinks of bloody us
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody folk are bloody mad
The bloody roads are bloody bad
Good night the bright is bloody sad
In bloody Orkney.

Oh bloody crows, Oh bloody rain
No bloody kerbs, no bloody drains
The council's got no bloody brains
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody things are bloody dear
A bloody bob for a bloody beer
And is it good? No bloody fear
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody dances make you smile
The bloody bands are bloody vile
It only cramps your bloody style
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody flicks are bloody old
The bloody seats are bloody cold,
You can't get in for bloody gold
In bloody Orkney.

No bloody fun, no bloody games
No bloody times. The bloody dames
Won't even give their bloody names
In bloody Orkney.

There's nothing greets your bloody eye
But bloody sea and bloody sky
Roll on the mob! we bloody cry
In bloody Orkney.

It's Amazing What You Can Find When You're Really Looking for Two Sunken Nuclear Subs

The story is here.

The 1985 discovery of the Titanic stemmed from a secret United States Navy investigation of two wrecked nuclear submarines, according to the oceanographer who found the infamous ocean liner.

Pieces of this Cold War tale have been known since the mid-1990s, but more complete details are now coming to light, said Titanic's discoverer, Robert Ballard.

"The Navy is finally discussing it," said Ballard, an oceanographer at the University of Rhode Island in Narragansett and the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration in Connecticut.

Ballard met with the Navy in 1982 to request funding to develop the robotic submersible technology he needed to find the Titanic.


Ronald Thunman, then the deputy chief of naval operations for submarine warfare, told Ballard the military was interested in the technology—but for the purpose of investigating the wreckage of the U.S.S. Thresher and U.S.S. Scorpion.

Since Ballard's technology would be able to reach the sunken subs and take pictures, the oceanographer agreed to help out.

He then asked the Navy if he could search for the Titanic, which was located between the two wrecks.

Once Ballard had completed his mission—if time was left—Thunman said, Ballard could do what he wanted, but never gave him explicit permission to search for the Titanic.

The Thresher and Scorpion had sunk in the North Atlantic Ocean at depths of between 10,000 and 15,000 feet (3,000 and 4,600 meters).

The military wanted to know the fate of the nuclear reactors that powered the ships, Ballard said.

This knowledge was to help determine the environmental safety of disposing of additional nuclear materials in the oceans.

The Navy also wanted to find out if there was any evidence to support the theory that the Scorpion had been shot down by the Soviets.

Ballard's data showed that the nuclear reactors were safe on the ocean bottom and were having no impact on the environment, according to Thunman.

The data also confirmed that Thresher likely had sunk after a piping failure led to a nuclear power collapse, he added. Details surrounding the Scorpion are less certain.

A catastrophic mishap of some sort led to a flooding of the forward end of the submarine, Thunman said. The rear end remained sealed and imploded once the sub sank beneath a certain depth.

"We saw no indication of some sort of external weapon that caused the ship to go down," Thunman said—dismissing the theory that the Russians torpedoed the submarine in retaliation for spying.


With just 12 days left over in his mission, Ballard began searching for the Titanic, using this information to track down the ocean liner. He speculated that the ship had broken in half and left a debris trail as it sank.

"That's what saved our butts," Ballard said. "It turned out to be true."


"The Cold War is over," Ballard said. "I'm no longer in the Navy."

And Atlee Would Know?

"Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking."
--Clement Atlee

Tagging Snails

From the innercitysnail blog.

Hitch v. The Rabbi

Julia Neuberger, rabbi and Lib Dem peer asks Christopher Hitchens, journalist, critic and author
Q Why are you so angry about religion? Don't you think your very fervour - and certainty - make you just like the religious extremists you profess to despise. And where's the room for doubt in your analysis?
A Oh Christ, not this one again. Anthony Grayling puts it definitively out of its misery in Against All Gods, reprinted as his contribution to The Portable Atheist (ed. C Hitchens) entitled Can an Atheist be a Fundamentalist?
If I may, I will borrow his conclusion: "Any view of the world which does not premise the existence of something supernatural is a philosophy, or a theory or, at worst, an ideology. If it is either of the first two, at its best it proportions what it accepts to the evidence for accepting it, knows what would refute it, and stands ready to revise itself in the light of new evidence. This is the essence of science. It comes as no surprise that no wars have been fought, pogroms carried out or burnings conducted at the stake over rival theories in biology or astrophysics."
Clear? It's not a matter of "room" for doubt. The whole analytical method of humanist materialism is based on scepticism. We take nothing on faith. Imagine what a fortune could be made by a palaeontologist who unearthed human bones and dinosaur bones in the same layer of sediment. I will bet my house that this discovery will not be made, but my bet is not entirely, or at all, an article of belief. It is, rather, a conviction based on the study of evidence.
As to the manner in which I express myself, it rather depends on the antagonist. I'm normally renowned for my patience and good humour, but I admit to being easily bored and, when I come up against, say, a self-righteous rabbi, can be tempted to succumb to sarcasm. I think that may be where your confusion arises. Oh, and I do not "profess" to despise religious extremists. I really do despise them.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Quoeth the Raven

The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
-- Calvin Trillin

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Very Cool Ap

Shell Script for Google.
Type H and you'll know what I mean.

Groove Holmes!!!

Info here.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go on a camping trip. After a good dinner, they retire for the night, and go to sleep.

Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and nudges his faithful friend. "Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."

"I see millions and millions of stars, Holmes" exclaims Watson.

"And what do you deduce from that?"

Watson ponders for a minute.

"Well, astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe. What does it tell you, Holmes?"

And Holmes said: “Watson, you idiot, it means that somebody stole our tent.”

Al Quaeda (courtesy of the Onion) denies 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

9/11 Conspiracy Theories 'Ridiculous,' Al Qaeda Says

Bin Laden Sends Belated Threat To Israel For 60th Birthday

JERUSALEM—In an unexpected act that Israeli president Shimon Peres called "thoughtful," al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden sent a belated threat to Israel Monday in honor of the Jewish state's 60th birthday. "Old fart!" read the front of the card in a font designed to look like ancient stone tablets. "Did you actually think I would forget my favorite infidels on their special day? Celebrate while you still can, dirty Zionist dogs!" bin Laden wrote under a caricature of a grinning al-Qaeda member wearing a birthday hat and a suicide belt, preparing to board a bus full of Israeli citizens. A visibly moved Peres told reporters he would return the gesture by sending a bouquet of a dozen F-15Is fighter jets to Lebanon next week.

Something's fishy?

This reminds me of the old Herman Cartoon where the restaurant owner tells the cook that it would probably not be best to name his new Salmon dish after his girlfriend Ella.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Irish Joke of the Day: 'A farmer named Seamus had a car accident.

A farmer named Seamus had a car accident.

In court, the lorry company's hot-shot solicitor was
questioning Seamus.

'Didn't you say to the Police at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine?'
asked the solicitor.

Seamus responded: 'Well, I'll tell you what happened. I had just
Loaded my favourite cow, Bessie, into the...'

'I didn't ask for any details', the solicitor interrupted. 'Just
Answer the question. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident,
'I'm fine!'?'

Seamus said, 'Well, I had just got Bessie into the trailer and I was driving down the road....'

The solicitor interrupted again and said, 'Your Honour, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the police on the scene that he was fine. Now several weeks after
the accident, he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud.
Please tell him to simply answer the question.'

By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Seamus's answer and
said to the solicitor: 'I'd like to hear what he has to say about his
favourite cow, Bessie'.

Seamus thanked the Judge and proceeded. 'Well as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my favourite cow, into the trailer and was driving her down the road when this huge lorry and trailer came through a stop sign and hit my trailer right in the side. I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other. I was hurt, very bad like, and didn't want to move.
However, I could hear old Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans.
Shortly after the accident, a policeman on a motorbike turned up. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he went over to her. After he looked at her, and saw her condition, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes.

Then the policeman came across the road, gun still in hand, looked at me, and said, 'How are you feeling?'

'Now what the F*ck would you say?'

Quote of the Day: Incidentally, it is not quite true that Chechens do not use the Russian expression, 'xxxx your mother!'

Incidentally, it is not quite true that Chechens do not use the Russian expression, 'xxxx your mother!' when speaking to each other; but they only do so when speaking in Russian—in which language, among Russian men (thanks partly to generations of military service), it has become so common under Soviet rule as to lose all meaning. Spoken in Chechen, I was told, this would indeed be a killing matter.