Saturday, July 07, 2007

Friday, July 06, 2007

Joss Whedon remains my master.

Too funny.

"They all die at the end. Oops. Spoiler alert."

MySpace Comic Books: Joss Whedon answers YOUR questions!

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Superman gives the best speeches.

We laugh because it's true.

Damn sure, something has a sense of humor.

Peaceful Warrior Blog:
"Relationships prove that God has a sense of humor."

This is utterly fascinating.


TED | TEDBlog:
"Alan Russell studies regenerative medicine, a breakthrough way of treating disease and injury by helping the body to rebuild itself. He shows how engineered tissue that 'speaks the body's language' has helped a man regrow his lost fingertip, how stem cells can rebuild damaged heart muscle, and how cell therapy can regenerate the skin of burned soldiers. This new medicine comes just in time, Russell says -- our aging population, with its steeply rising medical bills, will otherwise (and soon) cause a crisis in health care systems around the world. (Recorded February 2006 in Monterey, CA. Duration: 19:37. Contains graphic medical imagery.)"

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Akiyoshido, the final chapter.

From the first Kokusai Spirit trip a couple weeks ago, pics from the always effervescent Kathy.
[Sandy has "the issues."]

Holding up the bridge.

Because we're all dorks.

Why I love comics.

More depth than you realize grasshopper.

"The whole idea is that life itself, sentient life, is what gives birth to power. And emotions, which complex lifeforms experience -- like humans, who are on the low end of complex lifeforms in the universe compared to other advanced races -- when they experience an emotion, when we do, it's much more powerful than just an evolved and complicated brain. It's about the soul and the spirit, and that releases a kind of energy into the universe. The more people feel certain emotions that are important to our spirituality, either positive or negative, the greater that power will exist in the universe, and the more someone can tap into it."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

4th of July.

It took me until my third class of the day, of asking kids "What day is it?" and "What's the date?" before I realized it was the July 4th holiday.

Years of saying the Pledge of Allegiance in the AM at Catholic School, clearly lost on me.

However, making it all worthwhile -- SchoolHouse Rock! Fireworks!

"Am I saying that a sizable minority of the world's population has had their brain hijacked by parasitic ideas?"

"Well, it's worse than that. Most people have."

"Here's one of those talks that can change your view of the world forever. Starting with the deceptively simple story of an ant, Dan Dennett unleashes a dazzling sequence of ideas, making a powerful case for the existence of "memes" -- a term coined by Richard Dawkins for mental concepts that are literally alive and capable of spreading from brain to brain... Philosopher and scientist Dan Dennett argues that human consciousness and free will are the result of physical processes and are not what we traditionally think they are. His 2003 book Freedom Evolves explores the way our brains have evolved to give us -- and only us -- the kind of freedom that matters, while 2006's Breaking the Spell examines religious belief through the lens of biology."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

If only this was how it actually worked...

"Vices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property.

Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another.

Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property.

In vices, the very essence of crime – that is, the design to injure the person or property of another – is wanting. It is a maxim of the law that there can be no crime without criminal intent; that is, without the intent to invade the person or property of another....

Unless this clear distinction between vices and crimes be made and recognized by the laws, there can be on earth no such thing as individual right, liberty, or property.... For a government to declare a vice to be a crime, and to punish it as such, is an attempt to falsify the very nature of things. It is as absurd as it would be to declare truth to be a falsehood, or falsehood truth.

~ Lysander Spooner, Vices Are Not Crimes: A Vindication Of Moral Liberty

I swear to god it's stuff like this that makes me wanna murder everybody.

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > Please Plea Me:
"Usually when a prosecutor offers a plea bargain and the defendant declines, insisting on a trial, the prosecutor (and sometimes the judge) throws the book at him—for stubbornly wasting the state's time on such constitutional frivolities (see Richard Paey).

That's basically what happened to Ochoa, accused in 2005 of a carjacking.

Though prosecutors had DNA from the actual carjacker's clothing, and that DNA didn't match Ochoa's, they pushed forward with their prosecution anyway, thanks to two eyewitnesses who insisted Ochoa was the culprit. They then let Ochoa listen in person as one eyewitness implicated him before offering him a plea. Ochoa also got to hear the judge who would be sentencing him promise the maximum sentence allowable by law—25 years to life—if Ochoa insisted on a trial and was convicted. If you've ever wondered how an innocent person could cop to a crime he didn't commit, this is certainly one way it happens. Ochoa took the plea, and accepted a two-year prison term.

Ten months into Ochoa's sentence, DNA testing connected the carjacker's clothing to that of a man already convicted of other carjackings. Prosecutors now admit that Ochoa is innocent, and he's been released from prison.

Under California law, Ochoa is now due compensation for his wrongful conviction. But the attorney general's office is holding back. Their reasoning is a hoot: They say Ochoa is partly responsible for his own wrongful conviction because he "voluntarily" plead guilty to a crime he didn't commit. Deputy Attorney General Catherine Chatman wrote in a report arguing against compensation that, "Mr. Ochoa's fear of a lengthy prison term and the mistaken but positive eyewitness identification appear to have been the truly motivating factors" for his wrongful imprisonment. "


The most cognizant analysis of the Bush/Cheney Administration I've read.

Kung Fu Monkey: L33T Justice:
"We are faced with utterly shameless men. Cheney and the rest are looking our representatives right in the eye and saying "You don't have the balls to take down a government. You don't have the sheer testicular fortitude to call us lying sonuvabitches when we lie, to stop us from kicking the rule of law and the Constitution in the ass. You just don't. What's beyond that abyss -- what that would do to our government and our identity as a nation -- terrifies you too much. So get the fuck out of our way."

And to a great degree, the White House is right. You peel this back, and you reveal that the greatest country in the world has been run, for the last six and a half years, by men who do not give a shit about the Constitution, or fair play, or honesty. No, not just run by corrupt men, or bribe-takers, or adulterers or whatever, we could handle that --no we'd be admitting It Went Wrong.

There is a sizeable population in America that just does not, cannot wrap their head around the fact that the President may be a Bad Man who does Bad Things. He's President of America. We're Americans. We're the good guys. Remember, the Nixon mythos in America is that the system worked. "See, in America, even the President is not above the law."

These Suited Bastards know the fragile shell of American exceptionalism is all that's keeping a whole lot of people from processing that they're working too many hours for not enough money, and they either believe real reeaaaalll hard that they're living in the Shining City on the Hill or admit their lives are shit and they've been chumped.

Who ya gonna believe, me or your lyin' Congress?

I cannot help but think that as Nixon walked to the chopper, somewhere in the darkened hallways of the White House Dick Cheney shook his head, spit, and whispered: "Pussy.""

"Never “organize” what you can discard"

I totally want to make this my new mantra.

My War on Clutter: Never “organize” what you can discard | 43 Folders:
"If the stuff that you accumulate doesn’t help get you closer to the life you want to have, it’s simply not worth keeping. Period.

Obviously (and unavoidably), this goes for a family room that’s turned into a junk drawer for DVDs and books, and you can clearly see it evidenced in a kitchen where no flat surface is free of junk mail, bills, and newspapers. Those you can’t miss.

...The clutter doesn’t need a prettier package; it just needs to go. Now, and in very large quantities.

...As you wage your war on clutter, you will have many moments where you pause, item in hand, over the trash or recycling and feel resistance and fear. Sometimes its for cause, and you’ll elect to keep it, but also be prepared to let go on an unprecedented scale. Think volume and be brutal in your evaluations.

GTD‘ers know not to let pointless actions into their projects; why would you suffer pointless physical crap in your life?"

The relationship video dilemma, and yes, I totally have this problem with Sandy.

She has no video watching discipline, that girl.

Getting Some on The Sly -
"Netflix (and Blockbuster online, premium cable on demand, TiVo, DVR) provides the modern Date Night for the young and the childless, for those with enough unclaimed time to plan evenings around watching movies. Couples in darkened living rooms across the country bond in their sweats, cultivating a shared appreciation for Park Chan-wook. The concept is easy: Unlimited DVDs! Delivered to your house! Waiting for you when you get home!

Waiting for you when you get home. There's the catch.

Because when a pert new envelope arrives, it begs to be opened. Because when it's opened, it might contain -- surprise! -- the brand-new fifth season of "Scrubs." Because your boyfriend works until 8 and it's only 5:30. You'll just watch one episode, you think. He never has to find out. But before you know it, you're having a nightly rendezvous with Zach Braff.

Adam Cuthbert, confessed Netflix cheater, blames his infidelities on his and his girlfriend's disparate Netflix drives: "She lacks stamina," he says. "I'm trying to work down the queue. She has no respect for that."

...And the folks who work at Netflix are no help: When we phoned the nine-year-old company for guidance, one employee confided that she and her husband were in the process of a "Netflix divorce," separating their shared queue into two individual ones. She asked that we not use her name because "it's a sore spot in our marriage."

There is a commonly accepted hierarchy of Netflix cheating:

The most forgivable transgression is watching something that you erroneously (but honestly) believe your partner would have no interest in seeing. Example: "Premonition," when your spouse repeatedly hates on Sandra Bullock.

Slightly more despicable is watching a movie you know your partner would like, but for which no specific viewing plans have been made.

The highest level of cheating occurs when you knowingly and willfully break a specific and longstanding viewing agreement.

A special circle of hell is reserved for those who watch directors' cuts alone.

Beyond that, some couples have developed their own rules and clauses."

Vacationing on Tatooine.

The Best Geek Vacations: The South Pole, Chernobyl, Tatooine:
"6 Sidi Driss Hotel
Welcome to the underground dwellings that were Luke Skywalker's Tatooine home in Star Wars. They're in the burg of Matmata, Tunisia, and are now lodging geekotourists. What else is there to do? Day-trip over to the nearby town of Gabes, which — despite what you may have heard — is not a wretched hive of scum and villainy."

People are just dying for folks to tell them what to do.

Mahler's Aggressive Strength Newsletter - Aggressive Strength Magazine:
"From an early age, most of us are conditioned to ask permission before doing anything. This behavior is continually reinforced over the years and most people spend even their adult lives either consciously (but mostly unconsciously) awaiting permission from others.

Hell, I know men who refer to their wives as "She Who Must Be Obeyed". These men want someone to pick up where their mothers left off in giving them permission to live their lives. Somehow, many people take comfort in this--as long as someone else thinks it's okay, it must be fine. There's a sense of safety people find in letting others think for them: in relinquishing responsibility for your life you're no longer responsible for success or failure. Well, it looks lame on paper and it's worse in real life--such behavior is acceptable for children but absolutely unacceptable for adults.

When I was a kid I thought adults had it together and took charge of their own lives. As I've gotten older, it's become clear that most adults are over-sized children still seeking approval and permission and waiting for others to tell them what to do, not to mention relinquishing responsibility whenever possible. I read about children far more mature than typical adults..."

Monday, July 02, 2007

Oh, sweet irony.

End of an era?

Sumo tests lack Japanese presence | The Japan Times Online:
"NAGOYA (Kyodo) Sumo's status as Japan's national sport has been jeopardized further as no one applied for the tests for new recruits for the first time ever, sumo officials said Sunday. The Japan Sumo Association was forced to cancel the tests scheduled for Monday after receiving no applications from would-be professionals prior to the Sunday's deadline, a week before the start of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. According to the JSA, it was the first time in sumo history that the association had no applicants for such tests, which are conducted prior to each of the six tournaments held a year."

Image via.

Rule of Law? Personal responsibility?

Anything? Other than rank hypocrisy and huge douchebaggery, that is.

Bush spares Libby from prison term - Politics -
"President Bush commuted the sentence of former aide I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby Monday, sparing him from a 2 1/2-year prison term in the CIA leak case."

Atarashi Megane*

*That's "new glasses" for those of you playing the home game in English.

Sometimes she just sits in the middle of the kitchen floor eating chips.

I don't know why.

Coming next week, a new haircut!

For her. Not me. I still have no hair. And I like it that way.

A gift.

You know, if not for the fact that the kid who made this in class is already one of the sharpest English students, I'da thought she shoulda been doing work instead of origami. But since she is, this was very cool.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Before and after shots. Pretty damn phenomenal. Whenever you end up thinking your life can't get better... you're wrong.

Jimmy Moore's Livin' La Vida Low-Carb™ Blog: The Most Inspiring Weight Loss Story I've Ever Seen--David E. Smith Lost 400 Pounds!

No, you are not high... this is how they really look.

Very cool architecture, via Via Trippy art: Melting building @

"Crooked House" - Sopot, Poland

On manliness.

Nicely said.

Musings from America's Outback:
"In the olden times, like in the first half of the 20th century and even today in small pockets of resistance, these “agreements” used to be called “Being A Man.” By which I do not mean “being of the male gender” or “having the male plumbing” but rather, “Being A Man” like they would have said it in 1940 or some such. Stand straight and up for yourself and your loved ones. Tell the truth, be honest. Work hard. Be honorable.

Of course it is politically incorrect to say such a thing, mostly because it theoretically degrades women for being “less of A Man” than “A Man” would be. And I grok that. But what we used to have was an archetype of how A Man was supposed to behave – before Homer Simpson and all the other slovenly, lazy, chubby, idiotic, moronic, “pale penis people” who dominate the telly.

And not that every man behaved as A Man was supposed to, but since it was the supposed goal, and how mothers and fathers used to raise their sons, there was a greater expectation. And failing to live up to it carried greater shame."

Patton Oswalt on Geeks vs. Nerds

Patton Oswalt rocks.

Ratatouille Star Patton Oswalt on Geeks vs. Nerds:
"Wired: You're nearly 40, and you've returned to playing Dungeons & Dragons. Please explain.

Oswalt: It's a benign way to have a midlife crisis that doesn't involve sports cars. My wife is probably hoping, 'Maybe tonight he'll just go to a strip club...' Instead, I'm out rolling dice and saying things like, 'I don't know if a Wall of Fog spell lasts that long!'

Wired: There's a great line on your new album, Werewolves: "My geekiness is getting in the way of my nerdiness." What's the distinction?

Oswalt: A lot of nerds aren't aware they're nerds. A geek has thrown his hands up to the universe and gone, "I speak Klingon — who am I fooling? You win! I'm just gonna openly like what I like." Geeks tend to be a little happier with themselves."

Almost beautiful in its truthiness.