Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Boxing Day!

Happy Boxing Day, boxers and boxing fans!

Happy December 26, all other users of the Gregorian calendar on the same side of the International Dateline as me!

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (12/13/2012)

From "too big to fail" to "too big to jail": two-tiered justice in America.

Fuck you, Men's Rights Activists.

Rep. Virginia Foxx is a serial member's-only elevator-rider intimidator.

The neural bases of spiritual experiences, discussed by Oliver Sacks. (Learning about this kind of thing is basically why I stopped believing in God.)

How to email a professor. Pretty common sense, but you'd be surprised how many students seem to need this advice.

Young Earth creationist quote-mines biologists, blogger/professor asks said biologists to respond, pwnage ensues.

Looking for a job with a pathologically shit-headed, psychologically abusive tinpot office dictator with delusions of relevance? This could be your chance.

Those "Ditto" Christmas lights are real.

Kickstarter project for a Tolkien cookbook. (No doubt it will include lots of taters).

And J. R. R. Tolkien himself recites "Namárië." If you already know what that is, you're probably my soul mate. But in case you don't/you're not, it's the words to Galadriel's lament in Quenya (an Elvish language) as the Fellowship leaves Lorien in The Fellowship of the Ring. (And if you don't have at least a vague idea of what that means, why are you reading my blog?)

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Sunday, December 09, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (12/9/2012)

The Obama Administration is considering how to undermine marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington.

Singing about killing Americans years ago is far more outrageous than actually killing non-Americans on an ongoing basis.

The life and death of Stalking Cat.

And maybe the world's biggest domestic cat.

I never knew that "Assassin's Creed" was so... deep. (No really. And subversive too. Now I want it.)

Some great black-and-white photography from Japan during the 1950s.

Russia's Anti-Mormon Campaign: An influential young pro-Kremlin politician is trying to get the Latter-day Saints banned from the country. (I know how to resolve this, though. Since Mormons seem to think that holding a vote is a good way to decide who should have what rights, the Russians should hold a vote to see if Mormons there should have freedom of religion. Fair is fair, after all.)

Apropos of which: Mormons and gays.

And, of course: Mormons and Negroes.

Hey, a good publicist has to lie sometimes, amirite?

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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (12/6/2012)

Republicans! Tremble in fear before Team Commie! Our organizations are so terrifyingly efficient that they can steal elections years after disbanding! (At least that's apparently what 49 percent of Republicans think ACORN did.)

Today I learned: America's only coup d'etat took place in 1898 in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Things are so different today, yet still.... The terror of black American motherhood.

About half of all traffic accidents in L.A. are hit-and-runs (and nobody's doing much about it).

Special issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology: Neural parasitology - how parasites manipulate host behaviour. (Squee. I don't actually ever squee, but if I did, I might over this. Perhaps I'm a little unclear on the concept of squeeing?)

A grammar rule which will live in infamy. (Take that, peevologists!)

Hazmat team sent to high school. Because of mercury. In a thermometer. An intact thermometer.

A new Subnormality comic. (I wish I had more readers, because then more people would read Subnormality, because I like it so much.)

Know how sometimes you go on the internet late at night and randomly surf from link to link and end up somewhere really esoteric but somehow fascinating and cool in its esotericness (What is the noun form of esoteric? Is there one?)? Anyway, Polish war hammers.

Rediscoverin tha Christmas Spirit, by Prezzy Thomas S. Monston.

I have felt like this so much in my life:

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Thursday haiku: Meta dream baby

If you were real, would
you be creeped out because I
wrote this about you?

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Americans and resident aliens! Happy Thursday, the rest of you on this side of the International Dateline! Happy Friday, everyone else!

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (11/16/2012)

A Mormon reporter on the Romney bus.

Is David Petraeus a honey-hungry Dickzilla in heat? (Worth clicking just for the picture. BTW, Firefox's spell-checker wants to correct "Petraeus" to "perpetrates." Hmm.)

Election reactions explained with GIFs.

Top 10 amazing Higgs boson facts.

"What happens if you give a thousand Motorola Zoom tablet PCs to Ethiopian kids who have never even seen a printed word? Within five months, they'll start teaching themselves English while circumventing the security on your OS to customize settings and activate disabled hardware."

Another great letter from a former slave to his old "owner."

Making things for the Web.

Apparently, there is a comic book artist named Tony Harris, and he's a jerk.

How to make a Weeping Angel from a Barbie doll.

Instant Cosby.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

I take back every not-bad thing I ever said about Romney

Guess why Mitt Romney thinks he lost? Is it because he failed in some way? Is it his stiff, corny, robotic, "uncanny" public persona? Is it because he ran such a lousy campaign that he couldn't beat a barely semi-popular incumbent in a barely mediocre economy? Is it because he's only won once out the four times he's run for office, and maybe he's just not good at it? Is it his fault in any way? Of course not. He thinks he lost the election because Obama essentially bribed various minority groups to vote Democratic.

You know, just a few days ago, I actually defended Romney when a friend said he doesn't have a shred of decency. I said I think he does. Well, I take that back. I take back every not-bad thing I've ever said about him. I was wrong.

I just wasn't sure who he was. (There are so many versions, after all.) I gave him the benefit of the doubt. But he's convinced me now. Charles P. Pierce likes to say that to the Romneys there are two types of people in the world: the Romneys, and the Help. I thought that was going too far. I was wrong, though, and Pierce was right. Romney really is the clueless, uncaring plutocratic dick of the "47 percent" speech. That's the real Mitt Romney. (To the extent that there is such a creature.)

Usually, a presidential candidate is almost an abstraction to me -- I like to say that I vote for policies, not people, and I would have voted against any current Republican and been glad he lost -- but Mitt Romney makes me truly glad that he, personally, the man himself, is the one who suffered this particular defeat. He deserves every last little bit of it.

Romney once said that he likes to be able to fire people who work for him. Well, this time it was the We the Help that fired Romney. And ain't that a bitch?

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Breaking: Paula Broadwell's Petraeus book to get new subtitle

Sources inform me that Paula Broadwell's biography of General David Petraeus will get a new subtitle. Here's an exclusive look at the new cover:

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Here's the scariest music I've ever heard:

Play it when kids come Trick or Treating, and they'll run away in terror and you can keep all the candy for yourself.

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Who said it: Mitt Romney or Jean Claude Van Damme?

Hard to tell these guys apart. See if you can.
  1. A cookie has no soul, it’s just a cookie. But before it was milk and eggs. And in eggs there’s the potential for life.
  2. When sperm and egg unite, something goes from inanimate to animate. It is life.
  3. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too.
  4. I love people. I love life. I love animals. I love friendship and it’s good for people to know that.
  5. I am fascinated by air. If you remove the air from the sky, all the birds would fall to the ground. And all the planes, too.
  6. When you have a fire in an aircraft, there's no place to go, exactly, there's no -- and you can't find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don't open. I don't know why they don't do that. It's a real problem.
  7. In the year 3000, people are going to speak with sound waves. Don’t think I’m crazy, the whales do it. Dolphins too.
  8. Who let the dogs out? Who! Who!
  9. God gave me a great body and it’s my duty to take care of my physical temple.
  10. I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of American believe in.
  11. When I walk across my living room from my chimney to my window, it takes me 10 seconds, but for a bird it takes one second, and for oxygen zero seconds!
  12. I'm not familiar precisely with what I said, but I'll stand by what I said, whatever it was.
  13. Everything seems right here. ...the trees are the right height. The grass is the right color for this time of year, kind of a brownish-greenish sort of thing.
  14. Air is beautiful, yet you cannot see it. It’s soft, yet you cannot touch it. Air is a little like my brain.
Answers: 1. JCVD, 2. MR, 3. MR, 4. JCVD, 5. JCVD, 6. MR, 7. JCVD, 8. MR 9. JCVD, 10. M,R 11. JCVD, 12. MR, 13. MR, 14. JCVD
Van Damme quotes from Studious Bison; Romney quotes from all over teh interwebs

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (10/19/2012)

Get the details on Romney's tax plan.

How the FBI foils FBI plots.

A linguistic angle on "acts of terror."

Yes, I'm a blasphemer. Get over it.

Another 1-percenter gets his delicate fee-fees hurt.

Thomas Jefferson: not such a fine fellow.

"I encourage cosplaying women everywhere to be blunt and vocal with their rights, their personal boundaries, and their comfort level at conventions. I actually encourage girls to be brashly shameless about these things...."

Unmasking a giant troll.

Customer reviews of binders suitable for filling with women.

Woman dressed as a cat ballet dancing on wine bottles.

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Drink coffee: unworthy to enter a Mormon temple. Torture people: worthy to be a Mormon bishop

Welcome to the Bishop's office
Why, here's some lovely news:
"A Spokane psychologist who helped develop controversial interrogation methods, which some human rights groups say amount to torture, became the new spiritual leader of a Mormon congregation on the South Hill this week.

"Bruce Jessen was proposed by Spokane Stake President James Lee, or 'called' in the terminology of the Mormon faith, to be the bishop of Spokane's 6th Ward, approved by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hierarchy in Salt Lake City and presented to the congregation on Sunday. He was unanimously accepted by some 200 in attendance, Lee said."
Jessen, you may recall, is someone I've written about before.

Now, it's none of my business anymore who the Mormons call as a bishop. I'm well out of their church. They could call Charles Manson to be a bishop, and it would have no effect on me. Still, I find this to be an instructive moral lesson.

Because think about it: if you drink coffee, you're "unworthy" to enter a Mormon temple. On the other hand if you torture people, you're perfectly "worthy" to be a Mormon bishop, who is actually one of the people who decides how "worthy" other Mormons are. Thank goodness we have churches to teach us about morality like that, because I would never, ever, have figured that one out on my own.

Oh, and just for good measure, here's another quote from the stake president:
"He'll take a beating in the press before he sets the record straight," Lee said. "The whole story has not been told."
"He'll take a beating"? No, actually, it's his victims who took beatings (and worse). Not him. The most that'll happen to him is that some people will tell the truth about him in a little newspaper and maybe an obscure blog or two. If only that was the worst thing that happened to Jessen's victims.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (10/12/2012)

Children and grandchildren do not pay for budget deficits, they get interest on the bonds.

The many gesticulations of Joe Biden.

How plankton win Obama votes in the Deep South.

How can we fix the problem of electric cars that are dangerously quiet?

Shining a laser on an aircraft is a federal felony. Just sayin'.

What happened to Tim Burton's career?

Michael Vick is a dog owner again. (I actually think this is a good thing. I know it's probably un-American to say this, but I believe in redemption after paying one's debts to society, which he has.)

I've never seen anything like this before.

This is actually pretty much everything I know about philosophy.

Joe Biden doesn't think much of this post.

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Monday, October 01, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (9/27/2012)

Only 2.4% of Americans (not 47%) are working age, not students, not disabled, don't work, and receive government benefits.

The presidential race should never have been this close.

Why I refuse to vote for Barack Obama. (Actually, this is why I won't campaign for him or donate money to him. But I'll vote for him. What other choice is there? We saw the result of a Republican government only four years ago, and we're still paying for it.)

And this is mainly why I won't vote for a Republican even for dog catcher.

Doesn't every teenager drive a BMW convertible?

Meeting a troll.

In school, we sometimes lined up by height. What if we lined up by other criteria?

I've never seen anything like this before: paper sculptures by Calvin Nicholls.

After seven years, Adam Greenberg gets another at-bat in the majors.

Dog chases polar bear; polar bear chases dog.

Commercially-sponsored faux flash mob with studio-recorded music dubbed in, but still pretty cool:

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Things you don't want to hear the doctor say while he performs surgery on you

I went in a couple of days ago to have some minor surgery done (although "minor" surgery, as the saying goes, is what they perform on other people). It was no big deal, just an outpatient procedure with local anesthetic. The doctor, however, was -- how should I put this -- a little eccentric. And he made me realize there are some things you would prefer not to hear your doctor say while he's operating on you.

Such as:
  • "Oops!"
  • "Dammit!"
  • [Answering cell phone] "Hello... I can't talk now, I'm performing surgery... OK, bye."

Related: When doctors say "Wow!"

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (9/24/2012)

The Confidence Fairy is a vengeful harridan.

Five lessons from the delisting of MEK as a terrorist group.

"In the 1990s, scientists declared that schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses were pure brain disorders that would eventually yield to drugs. Now they are recognizing that social factors are among the causes, and must be part of the cure."

The failure of microwave weapons.

"With the possible exception of Pete Rozelle, no other men influenced the way casual audiences think about football as deeply as Ed and Steve Sabol."

Sherlock Holmes cosplay at Reichenbach Falls.

People tattooed with the logos of defunct companies.

Government report on reports about reports recommends another report.

Romney apologizes to the nation's 150 million "starving, filthy beggars."

Sixty-one things I learned at the National Hobo Convention.

And here's a music:

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In which an attractive woman sticks her finger up my butt

I went to the doctor for a physical last week. "Kuri," you might be saying, "you just had one in 1988. Why are you going again so soon?" I know, I know, once every 24 years does make me sound like a bit of a hypochondriac, but one can't be too careful where one's health is concerned.

The doctor at the cheap (not free) clinic where I went happened to be female. She also happened to be rather attractive. Not oh-my-god-i'm-in-love attractive, but more like if-i-was-single-i-might-want-to-get-to-know-her attractive. She's around my age, and pleasant-looking, but also interesting. We talked about whether I should get a PSA test, and she openly said she didn't know, because specialists recommend both for and against it. How often does that happen? I mean, just average people don't like to admit they don't know something; how often do doctors admit something like that? Kind of intriguing, no?1

Anyway, eventually we got to the digital rectal exam part of the physical. I'd been looking forward to this with both dread and anticipation. I'd only ever had one before (in 1988). All I remember about that one is that I jumped the second the doctor touched my ass, and he said, "Just relax," and I thought, "Easy for you to say, dickhead, you're not the one about to get a finger up your asshole."

However, I also remembered this novel excerpt I read in somebody's Cosmo (I think; this person used to read Glamor too, but no, it certainly seems like a Cosmo-type book) when I was young. In the story, this guy's girlfriend or wife or whatever was possessed by an alien or an evil spirit or something, and she/it wanted him to impregnate her/it so she/it could have a hybrid/monster baby. Or something -- I don't remember much, but this is the important part, which I remember quite well: he really wasn't into the sexy-time (what with her being possessed and all), so she/it jammed her finger up his butt and "massaged his prostate" resulting in an INSTANT BONER!TM 2 (and in due course a hybrid/monster baby, I think).

So apparently touching prostates can cause boners, and this attractive woman doctor is about to give me a rectal exam, and I'm thinking, "If this gives me a boner, that will be pretty awkward." I mean, I'd be facing away from her, but eventually I'd have to turn around, and then what do I say? "Oops, sorry [laughs awkwardly]"? Should I say, "Nothing personal"? Or would that actually be kind of insulting (as well as probably somewhat less than 100 percent true in this case)? Or does etiquette require simply ignoring the elephant ('s trunk) in the room? I don't think Emily Post or Miss Manners ever covered this exact situation.

On the other hand, the situation would also be pretty funny. I like humor, even when I'm the butt (so to speak) of it (within reason), and really, there aren't many things funnier than inadvertent inappropriate boners. So I was sort of almost half anticipating the awkwardness of what might happen, and when she got ready and said, "Well, there's no dignified way to do this," I thought, "Doc, you ain't seen nothin' yet."

But then in went her finger, and all I could think was, "Cosmo, you fucking liar!" And, "There are people who actually like this?! And not just with slender lady fingers either?!" It's not my thing at all. I guess enjoying having something up your butt is just one of those odd human foibles, like people who think beer tastes good.

So, no, there was no comical inadvertent inappropriate boner. On the other hand, there was no obvious prostate cancer either, so there is that. Also, I feel inexplicably close to the doctor, like we shared a moment or something.3 Is that weird?

1So remember ladies, in the unlikely event you want me to be attracted to you, admit when you don't know something.

2OK, "INSTANT BONER!" isn't actually trademarked AFAIK (not even by the makers of Viagra), it's just one of those phrases that looks funny with a TM after it. It's also funny if you imagine it being said in a deep voice with a "reverb" effect: {{{INSTANT}}} {{{BONER}}}. See what I mean?

3So remember ladies, if you want me to feel close to you -- I kid! I kid! Please find another way.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Good Reads/ Random Cool Sites (9/17/2012)

Romney says what he really thinks about people who won't vote for him. A roundup of some discussion/context. And Digby.

The true face of "voter fraud." And some "credible information" on how hard it is for poor people to get IDs.

Very apropos this week, one of those articles that really explains a lot about the world: the distress of the privileged.

Remember Paul Frank Industries' racist Indian theme for Fashion's Night Out? They actually apologized and are trying to make things right.

Art and neuroscience.

Sins of a good Mormon boy.

Unbeliever Andrew H defends Jesus' teachings against Christians.

Further proof that bacon is nature's perfect food: Bacon sandwiches really do cure hangovers.

Jesus saith, "Age is just a number. You're very mature for your age. That's what matters."

Why we love dogs.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Good Reads/random Cool Sites (9/10/2012)

Thirty writing tips from famous authors.

The Woman Who Needed to Be Upside-Down: Why did a 
giant man walk into the ER holding 
a tiny woman by her feet?

An abridged list of lies I was taught as a child.

Fucking goddam troll assholes.

You only live 11 times.

Genome brings ancient girl to life (not literally).

Curiosity could contaminate Martian water.

...the oligarchs who own proprietary software systems have changed the nature of law itself: Code is law, not metaphorically, but literally.

It's my life, and DAMMIT, if I'm going to live, I'm going to LIVE!

Anne Geddes photos with grownups.

And a 9/11 music video:

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Monday, September 03, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day, Americans and resident aliens! Happy Monday, everyone else on this side of the International Dateline!

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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (7/18/2012)

Who's worse: Bush the war criminal or Obama the murderer?

Official Team USA clothes for photo shoots don't include women's extended sizes.

Japanese men's soccer team (never even made the quarterfinals of a World Cup) flies business class to Olympics, while women's team (World Cup champions) flies economy.

Mom arrested for letting kids, 11 and 7, walk three blocks to pizza shop by themselves.

The Americas were settled in three waves.

I bet you're a sex addict.

Confessions of an ex-Mormon.

Mormon pageant: fab or drab?

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

Twenty-five YouTube comments that are actually funny.

Rufus and Chaka Khan, "Tell Me Something Good"

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Covers that you might not have known are covers: "One Step Beyond"

"One Step Beyond"

Familiar version: Madness (1979)
Original version: Prince Buster (1967)
Bonus: Madness, "The Prince" (1979)

I suspect that this song is actually pretty obscure to a lot of people, but "One Step Beyond" was really important to me back in the day. The Madness version was actually the first 2 Tone ska revival song I ever heard, and as much as I've loved music all my life, I don't think I've ever loved any music the way I loved ska when I was around 18 to 20. It's the only time in my life I actually thought about becoming a scenester. If the scene had had a different haircut, I probably would have. (Don't judge me, I was only 18.) Kind of ironic considering what I look like today.

But I never knew until recently that "One Step Beyond" was actually a cover of an old B-side by legendary ska pioneer Prince Buster. I rather like that it is, actually, since I first learned about Prince Buster from Madness's song about him, "The Prince" (see below). So here's the Madness version, Prince Buster's original, and a bonus.


Prince Buster

Bonus: Madness's tribute to Prince Buster, "The Prince." This was their first single.

Lots of times, the most familiar version of a song isn't the original version. I write about some of these "covers that you might not have known are covers" on occasional Saturdays.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (7/11/2102)

I was a right-wing child star.

The bad luck of Irish women.

"Almost certainly the lesbians will raise their children actively to detest Christians and Christianity." Gee, I wonder why that might happen sometimes. (I don't think I've ever given a trigger warning before, but please be careful: I've never seen a more wretched hive of homophobia and bigotry.)

A map of countries with universal healthcare.

Women outnumber men on US Olympic team.

Abandoned Walmart turned into library.

Modified peptide from scorpion venom kills deadly bacteria, heals infections.

Photos of the $211,000 the Oatmeal raised for charity.

Utah Valley Magazine salutes its "women of color."

They look so... normal.

Dr. John, "Right Place, Wrong Time"

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (7/10/2012)

God and Mammon edition.

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

The Great Capitalist Heist: How Paris Hilton's dogs ended up better off than you.

A couple of articles about Romney's fundraiser among Hampton millionaires:
"I don't think the common person is getting it," she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. "Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them. college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies -- everybody who's got the right to vote -- they don't understand what's going on. I just think if you're lower income -- one, you're not as educated, two, they don't understand how it works, they don't understand how the systems work, they don't understand the impact."
A woman in a blue chiffon dress poked her head out of a black Range Rover here on Sunday afternoon and yelled to an aide to Mitt Romney. "Is there a V.I.P. entrance? We are V.I.P."

Michael Jordan's house is for sale.

Mormon missionary suffers from conversion disorder.

If you were God...

This is my abortion.

The photo that changed the face of AIDS.

Vintage dogs from 1922 (the Boxer and the Boston Terrier have changed enormously; if I saw those dogs today, I'd think they were Pit Bulls).

Will Ed and Bob ever find each other again?!

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Saturday, July 07, 2012

What do mermaids and God have in common?

As I noted in my last Good Reads/Random Cool Sites post, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) put up a web page debunking the existence of mermaids (apparently because they'd actually received some serious inquiries about the subject).

Anyway, something about the last paragraph of the NOAA page especially struck me:
"But are mermaids real? No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found. Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples? That's a question best left to historians, philosophers, and anthropologists."
That would apply equally well to God:
But are gods real? No evidence of gods has ever been found. Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all peoples? That's a question best left to historians, philosophers, and anthropologists.

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Covers that you might not have known are covers: "Holding Back the Years"

"Holding Back the Years"

Familiar version: Simply Red (1985)
Original version: Frantic Elevators (1982)
Bonus version: Simply Red (2005)

"Holding Back the Years" is one of my all-time favorites. I had the album Picture Book on cassette, and I used to sing the hell out of the song when I was alone in my car. I'd try to hit those bluesy sliding notes and all -- can't imagine how bad I must have sounded. But I loved it.

Anyway, I was pretty surprised to learn that the Simply Red version wasn't the first. The song was written by their lead singer, Mick Hucknall, but he actually recorded it first with his previous band, Frantic Elevators, a punk (-ish) group he helped form after attending a Sex Pistols concert.

So this is actually a sort of self-cover. It was written and sung by the same guy, but in two different bands in two different styles.

Frantic Elevators (This one is really growing on me. It's not as emotional as the familiar version, but I really like it a lot. It's hard to believe Hucknall wrote this when he was only 17.)

Simply Red (For this version, Hucknall added a chorus ["I'll keep holdin' on..."], changed to a purer blues sound, put in that lovely muted trumpet [not shown muted in the video, oddly enough], etc.)

And a bonus acoustic, Latin-rhythm version by Simply Red from their album Simplified. (Nice enough, but I like the other versions better.)

Lots of times, the most familiar version of a song isn't the original version. I write about some of these "covers that you might not have known are covers" on occasional Saturdays.

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Friday, July 06, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (7/6/2012)

Joe Paterno, moral monster.

LDS Church: Whether we build a new nine-story building at our Missionary Training Center is a secular issue.
Neighborhood leader: In that case, I'm against it.
LDS Church: Nice little temple recommend you have there. Be a shame if anything happened to it.

California eucalyptus trees the victim of bioterror?

Dark matter detected directly.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: No evidence of mermaids has ever been found.

The harm of sexual objectification.

What online harassment looks like.

Black and white in Mayberry.

Romney campaign issues same answer to two different questions.

Flintstones car not street-legal in Germany.

Everything's OK now.

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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (7/5/2012)

Peter Higgs: "A lot of famous people told us that we were wrong. Heisenberg told me I did not understand the rules of physics, which is pretty scary if you are 26 and are worried about getting a job."

Lost kids who were taught "stranger danger" hid from rescuers because they were strangers.

Privatization of public services in microcosm: Lifeguard fired for helping man who was drowning outside of contracted area.

Schooling the Romney campaign on how to make a Venn diagram.

People made a big deal about Anderson Cooper coming out as gay, but Frank Ocean confessing his love for a man will likely have a much bigger impact.

Strongest woman in America lives in poverty.

Ladies! Don't let your vagina smell like a vagina!

"And Fun? Say Dad, taxidermy's the grandest hobby in the world!"

Man buys short story on Kindle, gets mad because it's short.

Madeline/Harry Potter mashup.

"If You Don't Know Me by Now," Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (on Soul Train, c. 1972).

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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day, Americans and resident aliens! Happy July Fourth, all other users of the Gregorian calendar residing in time zones where it isn't July Fifth yet!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (4/25/2012)

All in a day's work at the TSA: Harassing seniors (and "losing" their money), terrorizing toddlers and handicapped children, and taking bribes from drug couriers.

I said, "Pretend you've got no money." She just laughed and said, "Oh, you're so funny."

The Higgs boson explained.

Feel the Christian love.

A letter from Hemingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Boy's soccer ball lost in Japanese tsunami found in Alaska.

Oh, you sexy geek!

Agent Jeffrey's trained eyes rolled carefully around the room, taking in the sights and sounds.

Homeopaths on homeopathy.

Forget it, Jake. It's Walmart.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Kuri analyzes (not so) Great Art: Vampire Jesus Strikes Again!

Some pictures immediately tell a story. Like this one:

John thought that he could face Vampire Jesus alone, armed only with a hammer and a wooden stake, but Jesus was ready for him. John would be the first of his disciples, but he wouldn't be the last. Soon there would be 11 more, and Vampire Jesus would have a full coven of 12.

Here's a slightly improved version:

And before you Christians get all excited about me "mocking Jesus," read this.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (4/15/2012)

Class warfare! edition.

"Being a wealthy stay at home mom is a full time career while being a poor stay at home mom is undignified and lazy."

Welfare limits leave poor adrift in recession.

Wells Fargo is "a band of marauders that our society treats as legitimate because the perpetrators wear suits and can afford to hire lobbyists."

When Mormons were socialists.

Russian Orthodox Church leader caught wearing $30,000 watch, has it (badly) Photoshopped out of picture, and lies about it.

How my insurance company tried to kill my wife.

Seven rules for recording the police.

A black person may have stolen my bike, so it's OK for me to be racist now.

Pele and the cult of celebrity.

Um, yeah, hi, I'd like to dedicate this song to Ann Romney.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (3/12/2012)

The stupidity of the "they want someone else to pay for their contraception" argument.

Apparently, "material support for a terrorist group" is not a crime if you're powerful enough (and not a Muslim), e.g., "Rudy Giuliani, Howard Dean, Michael Mukasey, Ed Rendell, Andy Card, Lee Hamilton, Tom Ridge, Bill Richardson, Wesley Clark, Michael Hayden, John Bolton, Louis Freeh — and Fran Townsend."

In 2009, the people of Iceland forced the government to put people ahead of banks after the economy collapsed. The economy is already in recovery (and outperforming the Eurozone).

In Greece, on the other hand, they're doing what the banks tell them.

Why do only 20 percent of Americans realize that middle-class taxes have decreased under Obama?

I am the Lorax, and I speak for the trees Mazda.

Undertaker's story offers Japan hope.

Snowy owl vs. peregrine falcon.

The physics of Soul Calibur boobs.

Dwarf Jeebus knocks (via Reddit).

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The Adventures of Leonard McCoy, Space Doctor (#50)

Click for a brave new size.

Back with a new look. What do you think?

Click on the "Space Doctor" tag for more adventures!

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Friday, March 09, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (3/9/2012)

Caught on tape! Did you know that Obama used to pal around with black people?!

And the race-baiting continues.

I use to wonder what why companies spent money on the environment. Then, in Japan, I worked on a project that tied a sales of a product to contributions to environmental causes. The contributions were paid out of the company's advertising budget. "Ah," I thought. "Now I know."

"Frankly, the professional experience I have had with TSA has frightened me," says former FBI agent.

How William Shatner stopped being ashamed of Star Trek. (BTW, Firefox's spell checker doesn't have "Shatner" in it. I ask you, what kind of dictionary doesn't include "Shatner"?)

Exotic dancers from the 1890s (no nudes). An interesting commentary on changing aesthetics.

Old books carved into art.

This guy used to be on the BBC.

"[The Olive Garden] is the largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating in Grand Forks." And a follow-up.

It's Subnormality's fifth anniversary. Yes I love xkcd, and I like Questionable Content very much, but I think on the whole, on a good day (which is most of them), Subnormality is my favorite web comic.

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Saturday, March 03, 2012

The Trinity Explained

Over on Facebook, Andrew asked, "OK, so would someone like to explain the Trinity to me in super easy-to-understand terms?" I was going to answer there, but I thought it would be a little long for a Facebook comment, so I decided to do it here instead.

The Trinity Explained

Scene: An ancient council of Theologians

Theologian 1: OK, the Old Testament says there is only one God, but the New Testament says God the Father is God, Jesus is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, i.e., there are three Gods. We have to figure out a way to resolve this contradiction, or we’re screwed.

Theologian 2: Well... why don’t we just admit that we're polytheists?

The rest of the Theologians: HERETIC! BURN HIM!

Theologian 2: No! I was just kidding! There's only one God!

The rest of the Theologians: BURN HIM!

Theologian 1: Wait! Let's give him a chance. [To Theologian 2] All right, explain how the three Gods are only one God, or we'll burn you. [To the rest of the Theologians] This oughtta be good.

Theologian 2: Um... so... there are three Gods --

The rest of the Theologians: BURN HIM!

Theologian 2: But they're only one God!

Theologian 1: Go on...

Theologian 2: So there is one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity...

Theologian 1: And?

Theologian 2: For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.

The rest of the Theologians: BURN HIM!

Theologian 2: But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal! And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal!

The rest of the Theologians: WTF?

Theologian 1: All right, that's pretty good so far.

Theologian 2: And we neither confound the persons nor divide the substance...

Theologian 1: [Laughing] All right, don't get carried away.

Theologian 2: The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

Theologian 1: OK, you can stop, you're just repeating yourself now. [To the rest of the Theologians] I think that was pretty good. Let's not burn him, all right?

The rest of the Theologians: [Disappointed murmuring; a few plaintive cries of "Burn him?"]

Theologian 1: You realize that what you said made no sense at all, right?

Theologian 2: Um...

Theologian 1: I mean it's complete nonsense, isn't it? You're just saying "One plus one plus one equals one." And the Bible doesn't support it either. Like when Jesus was baptized, He prayed to Himself, then He heard His voice from the sky saying, "I am My beloved son, in whom I am well pleased," and then He appeared to Himself in the form of a Dove? Or when he told his disciples they should be one as He and His Father are one, he meant that they should form like a 12-man version? Really? It's complete bullshit.

Theologian 2: Um... it's a Mystery?

Theologian 1: What?

Theologian 2: Well, I was thinking that, like, anything we can’t explain, we’ll just call a "Mystery."

Theologian 1: A "Mystery." I like it.

Theologian 2: We can say things like "It's too far above human thought," and "Only God can understand it."

Theologian 1: Sweet. We can call it a "divine paradox."

The rest of the Theologians: HA-HA-HA!

Theologian 1: Yeah. But will people actually believe such obvious bullshit?

Theologian 2: If they don't, we can burn them.

The rest of the Theologians: BURN THEM!

Theologian 1: All right, I move that the Council adopt this Trinity bullshit as our official explanation for why three Gods are really one God, and that we burn anyone who disagrees.

The rest of the Theologians: BURN THEM! BURN THEM!

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (2/16/2012)

The US should attack Iran, because Iran is threatening the US by saying it will fight back if the US attacks it.

All options are on the table regarding Iran, except the option of not going to war.

The Tea Party's war on mass transit.

The mystery of exploding pig poop.

An interesting (and funny) profile of Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto.

You sluts get off my lawn!

Religious apologists aren't actually dumb.

I could see this happening.

Last-minute drunken valentine.

A real War on Christmas.

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