Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday haiku: instructions

read these words, click on
the link, get the ref'rence, then
laugh (or at least groan)

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Adventures of Leonard McCoy, Space Doctor (No. 31)

"I can fix that heart problem of yours."

Follow the adventures of Leonard McCoy, Space Doctor, as he explores the far reaches of space (and my house... and my backyard... and my kids' toy boxes) with his friends Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. Twice a week, right here at ToTryANewSword.com.

For more, click on the "Space Doctor" tag below, or use the pull-down menu under "Ongoing Series" in the left side-blog.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday haiku: wishing

three times we kiss, your
lips so soft, and then i wake,
wishing i knew you

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (4/21/2010)

Sillof makes custom action figures, including these insanely awesome steampunk Star Wars ones.

I don't know who Obama will nominate for the Supreme Court, but I hope they pass this litmus test: knowing the difference between e-mail and a pager.

Diversity takes work.

Jure Robic might be the world's best ultra-endurance athlete. He has a "unique talent that sets him apart from the rest of the world: his insanity."

"During race, I am going crazy, definitely," he says, smiling in bemused despair. "I cannot explain why is that, but it is true."

The craziness is methodical, however, and Robic and his crew know its pattern by heart. Around Day 2 of a typical weeklong race, his speech goes staccato. By Day 3, he is belligerent and sometimes paranoid. His short-term memory vanishes, and he weeps uncontrollably. The last days are marked by hallucinations: bears, wolves and aliens prowl the roadside; asphalt cracks rearrange themselves into coded messages. Occasionally, Robic leaps from his bike to square off with shadowy figures that turn out to be mailboxes. In a 2004 race, he turned to see himself pursued by a howling band of black-bearded men on horseback.

"Mujahedeen, shooting at me," he explains. "So I ride faster."

The Adventures of Leonard McCoy, Space Doctor (No. 30)

"He's suffering from severe depression, Jim. And his tail is missing."

Follow the adventures of Leonard McCoy, Space Doctor, as he explores the far reaches of space (and my house... and my backyard... and my kids' toy boxes) with his friends Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. Twice a week, right here at ToTryANewSword.com.

For more, click on the "Space Doctor" tag below, or use the pull-down menu under "Ongoing Series" in the left side-blog.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (4/18/2010)

Question marks edition?

How do you pronounce the name of that volcano in Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull? "Eye-jaf-jalla-jo-kull"? "Ay-yaf-yalla-yo-cool"? Not even close.

Calculus made interesting?

Jello recipes from the late 1960s, including ham and cheese?!

What does this shadow on a San Francisco cathedral look like to you?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (4/16/2010)

Some follow-up to my post about emancipated black and white slaves: Ta-Nehisi Coates has a second post about them, and I found further information here.

Also, Digby happened to post about an example of someone who did something similar to what I did. Skip over the "Tea Partier" part and read about what Simon Winchester wrote about the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. Essentially, he dismisses the deaths of 40,000 people (as well as the economic consequences to their communities) and concentrates on the beautiful sunsets it created in Europe. There's a total lack of identification with those 40,000 people as human beings. Obviously, I'm not entitled to the same righteous indignation Digby shows, but I can't disagree with her: "...Krakatoa's importance becomes its impact, not on the world, but only on the most refined aesthetic and intellectual palates in Europe. White Europe. This is racism."

Anyway, on to other subjects.

J. K. Rowling on why she's willing to pay taxes and not about to vote Tory.

No cannibalism in the Donner Party after all?

Bet I can find 1,000,000 people on Facebook who are passive-aggressive.

The ages of Doctor Who actors at their debuts.

The Adventures of Leonard McCoy, Space Doctor (No. 29)

"I call him 'Mini Me.'"

Follow the adventures of Leonard McCoy, Space Doctor, as he explores the far reaches of space (and my house... and my backyard... and my kids' toy boxes) with his friends Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. Twice a week, right here at ToTryANewSword.com.

For more, click on the "Space Doctor" tag below, or use the pull-down menu under "Ongoing Series" in the left side-blog.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (4/15/2010)

An artist painted a crucifix in what is apparently a traditional Byzantine style with a "distended abdomen" on Jesus. People with dirty minds see something other than abs, though.

Elementary school teachers say they like creative students, but they don't actually like them.

Time traveler caught in museum photo? A 2000s hipster in a 1940 photo... possibly?

The aging of Japan, and what America can learn from it.

In the faces of emancipated slaves

This is an 1863 photograph of Charles Taylor, an 8-year-old former slave freed by Union troops during the US Civil War:


This is Rebecca Huger (11) and Rosina Downs (6), also freed slaves:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (4/14/2010)

Brought to you by random photobombers.

Paul Krugman gives a survey of the economics of climate change:
Like the debate over climate change itself, the debate over climate economics looks very different from the inside than it often does in popular media. The casual reader might have the impression that there are real doubts about whether emissions can be reduced without inflicting severe damage on the economy. In fact, once you filter out the noise generated by special-interest groups, you discover that there is widespread agreement among environmental economists that a market-based program to deal with the threat of climate change — one that limits carbon emissions by putting a price on them — can achieve large results at modest, though not trivial, cost. There is, however, much less agreement on how fast we should move, whether major conservation efforts should start almost immediately or be gradually increased over the course of many decades.

A history of psychiatry (h/t: Mind Hacks).

Fucking Hell. No I'm not swearing; "Fucking" is the name of a village in Austria, and "hell" is a kind of ale. A German company just trademarked the name, to the annoyance of the village, which doesn't want more publicity because it already has a problem with people stealing its signs (as do the German towns of Kissing, Petting, and Pissen).

The Adventures of Leonard McCoy, Space Doctor (No. 28)

"Captain, I believe our presence here may have disrupted the timeline."

Follow the adventures of Leonard McCoy, Space Doctor, as he explores the far reaches of space (and my house... and my backyard... and my kids' toy boxes) with his friends Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. Twice a week, right here at ToTryANewSword.com.

For more, click on the "Space Doctor" tag below, or use the pull-down menu under "Ongoing Series" in the left side-blog.

I'm sorry, but I don't happen to find your grotesquely deformed pet to be very cute

Look, I like dogs, and I don't mind cats. And if I like you, I want to like your dog and/or cat. But here's the problem. Dogs are descended from wolves. Cats are descended from African wildcats.

Wolves look like this:


African wildcats look like this:


Dogs and cats should bear a certain basic resemblance to these animals.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (4/12/2010)

David Brooks: "...for the first time in human history, rich people work longer hours than middle class or poor people. How do you construct a rich versus poor narrative when the rich are more industrious?"
Oh, I don't know, I think Matt Taibbi doesn't seem to have much difficulty doing it:

Only a person who has never actually held a real job could say something like this. There is, of course, a huge difference between working 80 hours a week in a profession that you love and which promises you vast financial rewards, and working 80 hours a week digging ditches for a septic-tank company, or listening to impatient assholes scream at you at some airport ticket counter all day long, or even teaching disinterested, uncontrollable kids in some crappy school district with metal detectors on every door.

Most of the work in this world completely sucks balls and the only reward most people get for their work is just barely enough money to survive, if that. The 95% of people out there who spend all day long shoveling the dogshit of life for subsistence wages are basically keeping things running just well enough so that David Brooks, me and the rest of that lucky 5% of mostly college-educated yuppies can live embarrassingly rewarding and interesting lives in which society throws gobs of money at us for pushing ideas around on paper (frequently, not even good ideas) and taking mutual-admiration-society business lunches in London and Paris and Las Vegas with our overpaid peers.

"The longevity revolution affects every country, every community and almost every household. It promises to restructure the economy, reshape the family, redefine politics and even rearrange the geopolitical order over the coming century." Welcome to the elderly age.

All you really need to know about Mormon history (to be smarter than the rest of the Sunday school class successfully feign erudition sound like a know-it-all have a good grasp of non-correlated history).

Prosecutors with no grasp of statistical probability turn Lucia de berk into a martyr to stupidity.

Friday, April 09, 2010

The Adventures of Leonard McCoy, Space Doctor (No. 27)

"Bones, Spock, could the bite of a radioactive spider actually cause the effects he describes?"

Follow the adventures of Leonard McCoy, Space Doctor, as he explores the far reaches of space (and my house... and my backyard... and my kids' toy boxes) with his friends Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. Twice a week, right here at ToTryANewSword.com.

For more, click on the "Space Doctor" tag below, or use the pull-down menu under "Ongoing Series" in the left side-blog.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (4/8/2010)

It's hard out there for a sane conservative edition.

There's a reason I keep harping on the high percentage of loons in the Republican party. I mean, a reason besides the fact that they're funny. As he often is, Daniel Larison is spot on:

Obama needs a credible, sane opposition to keep him in check and challenge him when he is actually wrong. Right now, he doesn’t have that, and all of us will suffer for it. His own party will not hold him accountable, because a President’s party never does, but in any contest between an erring Obama and a mad GOP the latter will keep losing.

Of course, I'd prefer that the GOP go on losing, but I completely agree that a credible opposition is necessary, is Good for America. I truly wish we had one.

But wait, you might be saying, the Left has just as many crazies as the Right. And you'd be pretty much right. But, as TNC explains, there's one big difference: the Democratic Party repudiates its crazies, but the Republican party is embracing its own.

So, who closed the conservative mind? Noah Millman rounds up some suspects. (h/t: Larison)

Of course, there is little new under the sun, as this seminal article from 1964 points out.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Adventures of Leonard McCoy, Space Doctor (No. 26)

"By definition, there is nothing beyond infinity."

Follow the adventures of Leonard McCoy, Space Doctor, as he explores the far reaches of space (and my house... and my backyard... and my kids' toy boxes) with his friends Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. Twice a week, right here at ToTryANewSword.com.

For more, click on the "Space Doctor" tag below, or use the pull-down menu under "Ongoing Series" in the left side-blog.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Video Favorites (April 2010)

Post-its stop-motion, Scarface kids' play, Dan Savage's weirdest letter, Girl Talk's "Feed the Animals," if Lady Gaga wasn't a pop star, "Fascinating," and Peter Chao can rap.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (4/3/2010)

Why so serious? edition.

The "Russian Rickroll" ("Trololo") singer complains that the internet is making fun of him.

Why they don't let 8-year-olds on Chatroulette.

All in all, I'd say this cartoon is pretty true-to-life.

Finally, this is the funniest picture in the history of the world.

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Adventures of Leonard McCoy, Space Doctor (No. 25)

"Heartbeat is all wrong… Body temperature is -- Jim, this man is a turtle!"

Follow the adventures of Leonard McCoy, Space Doctor, as he explores the far reaches of space (and my house... and my backyard... and my kids' toy boxes) with his friends Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. Every week Now twice a week! Right here at ToTryANewSword.com.

For more, click on the "Space Doctor" tag below, or use the pull-down menu under "Ongoing Series" in the left side-blog.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

My final post

This will be my final blog post. In a few days, I'm going to delete this blog. I'm going to delete my Facebook and Myspace profiles. I'm going to stop visiting other blogs and forums. I'll no longer be interacting with anyone on the web. After all the time I've spent on the web, and all the friends I've made over the years, this hasn't been an easy decision. But I feel I have to make it, for the following reasons.
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