Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bowling + Pool... it's like I'm 16 all over again.

[Except, of course, I bowled better at 16.]

Last eve, all us disreputable Fukutsu gaijin invaded the local bowling alley en masse to partake in those most blue collar of American pastimes - bowling and pool.

Synchronistically, this week I watched a documentary called A League of Ordinary Gentlemen - it follows four PBA bowlers "after their league is purchased by a trio of Microsoft programmers who hire a Nike marketing guru to turn professional bowling into the next second-tier sports franchise." I dug it and recommend it, but I'm a documentary slut, me.

Sadly, watching it didn't help my bowling game any.

Anton... he's... special.

Where Jon goes, the alcohol flows.

Above, you can see Sandy trying to work some of that post-release death staredown hip action, which has been scientifically shown to raise her average a good 5-7 pins per game.

To our right, is Edem, a private ALT living in Fukutsu and this is his first exposure to our little gaijin enclave.

It only gets worse from here man... gambatte.

Above [you can't really see it] is the photographic evidence of Sandy's bowling dominance. After a paltry [and let's face it, somewhat embarassing - Hi Sandy! I love you!] 108 in the first game, Sandy dug deep and responded with a heroic second game of 159, to take the high game/high series/cutest bowler honors. [Okay, that last one is subjective, but this is my blog, so screw you, I can write what I want.]

Whereas I threw a 117/141, which falls into the "doesn't suck too horribly given I only bowl like 2X a year now" category. But it was enough to remind me of how frustrating the damn game can be. Hitting my marks even, just couldn't get the pins to fall. And it didn't help I left open 9th frames in both games...

Anyways, on to pool!

Where I promptly scratched on the 8 ball my first game.

Clearly, not my night.

Here, Kathy shows her concentration, whereas... and it's hard to tell... but it appears Sandy is simply yelling at the pool balls and telling them where to go.


Miyuki "The Black Widow" Martinez prepares to claim another victim.

Mike, below, exudes calm, cool composure.

Jon Vs Kathy '07! The Prelude to - The Brawl in the Pool Hall for it All!

"This is the true story, of two uber-competitive JETs, picked to play a game of pool, to find out what happens when people stop being polite, and start getting real. The Real World Fukutsu."

Jon exudes a "smooth" vibe above... while exuding something else entirely in the other pic.

It's important to note, I didn't take that pic. You can see my shiny head reflecting in the background.

Good times all...

Friday, September 14, 2007


"The World Is Our Mirror

Whenever we judge and condemn others, we are merely judging ourselves… people are nothing more than a mirror, showing us our own imbalances.

I love the phrase, “You Are What You Hate”."

The failing of conspiracy theory - the world is messy.

Rigorous Intuition (v. 2.0): "Grassroots Wisdom":
"2. Binary thinking is a mind cancer that retards insight, and unfortunately flourishes in conspiracy culture. "The beginning of wisdom," said Terrence McKenna, "is our ability to accept an inherent messiness in our explanation of what's going on." But popular conspiratology is a pathological neat freak that abhors disorder and complication, which is why it can never rise above the level of entertainment and become an agent of change and justice. It's not meant to. And so it thrives.

3. Winning the battle for popular opinion might mean something if opinion in America were not so cheap, malleable, and effectless..."

Note to self: re-read next month...

Rogan's all over the place on this one - turning 40, [gay] politics, supercolliders and 2012.

And it all makes sense people!

Okay, maybe not, but still awesome.

The Joe Rogan Blog » Conduit to the Gaian Mind » I come to you from 40.:
"I turned 40 August 11th, and I gave it a little while to set in, but I’ve gotta tell you, so far I feel exactly the same. It feels like just another day in the life.

To other people though, it seems that saying you’ve turned 40 is a lot like announcing that you’ve got terminal cancer of the asshole.

People ask me, “Happy birthday, how old are you now?”



You can actually see some people flinch when I tell them.

It doesn’t matter how you look or feel; in our collective consciousness that number 40 is a turn for the worst on that long, dark, dirt road to dead.

It’s something engrained in us.

We’re programmed by our society to freak out about certain milestones.

...On one hand our perceptions of what’s possible at an older age have definitely been changed by modern athletes that compete at the highest level WAY later than they did decades in the past because of the advances in science and nutrition. For example, one of the baddest motherfuckers on the planet, the UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture is 44 years old, baseball’s homerun king Barry Bonds is 43, and boxing’s light heavyweight champion of the world and one of the best pound for pound fighters alive, Bernard Hopkins is 42. When I was 15 a 40-year-old athlete might as well be dead.

...I mean there certainly is a difference in the way you carry yourself with age, and I’m most certainly better at being “me” now than I was when I was 20, but that’s just really a matter of getting more comfortable socially, and accumulating more information and applying it to the matters in my life. Understanding myself better, developing a better personal philosophy, etc.

What I’m really trying to say though, is that at the end of the day, when absent of outside influence, when I’m thinking with feeling and no words – whatever the real “me” is, it remains exactly the same. That’s not something I would have guessed when I was younger. I just thought somehow “I” would be different.

...I always thought that by the time I got to be the respectable age of 40, maybe politics would somehow make sense to me.

No such luck.

I’m just as baffled as to how such a goofy system like this could be in place now as I was when I was 20.

Now that I’m actually of an acceptable age to be a politician, it makes even LESS sense. Now I hear these fucking people talk their crazy talk, and I realize that some of them are actually my age. When I was 20, they were 20, and now here they are on some weird fucking talk show sitting around with a bunch of other dudes around my age, wearing ties and uncomfortable shoes, talking about how important it is to put a stop to gay marriage.

I always think, “who the fuck is that guy hanging out with?” I mean, besides other closet homos, of course.

...As a matter of fact, SO many conservative politicians get caught blowing dudes, that I’m starting to think that maybe they’re ALL gay.

From Mark Foley to Ted Haggard to Jeff Gannon to Larry Craig - maybe that’s why they’re really against gay marriage; they don’t want their bitch getting any of their cash.

I hear ya, playa. I ain’t hatin’.

One of the craziest things about politicians is that they all have writers, and that doesn’t even bother us.

We don’t even really get to know what “they” think, because everything “they” say has been carefully planned and scripted in advance by a team of experts. They just slip on those shiny shoes and repeat what’s written.

Why do we still allow that? ...Shouldn’t we have a better idea of how their brains really work?

I say we should forbid them from having writers, and have a webcam on them 24 hours a day to makes sure they don’t cheat. That, and force them to sit down and write a blog every day telling us how they feel about the world.

Could you just imagine how awesome Bush’s blog would be to read? How about with no spell check?

Another thing that freaks me out about political speeches is why is it that we still accept that weird, fake way of talking?

Could you imagine if someone tried to talk to you one on one the way the president addresses the nation? Why is it OK to talk like that just because you’re talking to a bunch of people?

...One of the more shocking realizations that I’ve come to be aware of in this fairly long life, is how much of the direction of our lives just revolve around following patterns, regardless of how silly they are.

Once we’ve got a groove carved, that’s where we follow unless something radical shifts us off course.

...Sometimes I think that the only thing that’s going to alter this fucked up direction that we humans are traveling in is the advent of some sort of technology that you could have never guessed would exist. Something so insane that it radically shifts the way we interact with this dimension, or even removes us from the physical boundaries of it. An idea so crazy that until it’s invented, it wouldn’t even be something thought of in science fiction....

There could be some new discovery right around the corner that we couldn’t possibly imagine now, and it could change every single thing as we know it, forever.

...Sounds like nutty stoner talk, right?

Of course it does, but if you look at what some scientists are up to right now it starts to seem a little more possible...

How about these particle colliders? They’re in the middle of putting together two of the largest, craziest fucking machines ever conceived by science. Just how big is that? How about 25 fucking MILES big. A gigantic machine that smashes electrons and positrons at insane speeds in an effort to figure what the fuck mass really is.

The only problem; it might create black holes. But I wouldn’t sweat it. I can’t see how that could possibly go wrong, can you?

Maybe that’s the real human “race” - technology vs. the stupid.

...Maybe the real race is to find and invent the god switch before the dopey territorial apes in charge of highly sophisticated weapons that they couldn’t possibly have invented on their own, wipe 90% of the life off the planet and the whole process has to start again from scratch.

Maybe that’s what December 21st, 2012 is all about?

Just a little over 5 years left, bitches. Live it up!"

[Semi] Famous Crazy Person Fight! - Pinchbeck vs Strieber.

And really only semi-famous if you follow the wacky - like I do.

In this corner, Whitley Strieber - supposed UFO abductee probably best known as the author and subject of the book and movie Communion.

And in this corner, Daniel Pinchbeck - profiled in Rolling Stone and author of two books [the first of which I've read - Breaking Open the Head] - writer of tomes concerning psychedelics, shamanism and 2012.

Pinchbeck vs Strieber - Apocalyptic Smackdown | TDG - Science, Magick, Myth and History:
"This week on Whitley Strieber's Dreamland radio show, author Daniel Pinchbeck was scheduled for a chat about his book 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. What eventuated though was a heated argument, after Daniel accused Whitley of being... in league with alien presences that don’t have the best interests of the human species at heart...the result is an intense and revealing discussion as Pinchbeck accuses Strieber of encouraging disaster by having a ‘negative’view of the future and Strieber accuses Pinchbeck of preferring a fantasy that seeks to ignore the laws of nature."

Head hurts... too much irony... need to go have a lie down.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

To date, in Japan, no has asked that I do an MC Hammer "Hammer Time!" English lesson.

But this is pretty damn cute.

MC Hammer school of English (video) - Boing Boing:
"Daryl Caesar... a teacher in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, shot this adorable video of children learning to speak and spell in English using the time-honored 'Hammer Time' method."

Say goodbye...

More at the link.

National Geographic News Photo Gallery:
"Most Endangered Animals of '07 Announced"


Patrick Cockburn: Petraeus Confided Presidential AmbitionsTo Iraqi Official:
"The US commander in Iraq Gen David Petraeus expressed long-term interest in running for the US presidency when he was stationed in Baghdad three years ago according to a senior Iraqi official who knew him at that time. Sabah Khadim, then a senior adviser and spokesman at the Iraqi Interior Ministry, says that Gen Petraeus discussed with him his long term ambition to be president when the general was head of training and recruitment of the Iraqi army in 2004-5. “I asked him if he was planning to run in 2008 and he said ‘no, that would be too soon,” said Mr Khadim who now lives in London."

I don't know, I liked a lot of what Wesley Clark said and did in his aborted runup to the Presidency... I probably would have voted for him... But Petraeus?

Religion, you so crazy!

No, religion has nothing at all to do with fear mongering.


Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > About the Weirdest Legal Case I've Heard of in a Long While:
"Jeffs, the head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a polygamist sect that broke away from the Mormon church, is charged with two counts of rape by accomplice in the girl's marriage to her 19-year-old cousin. Authorities allege he used his influence to coerce her into a religious union in 2001, and that the teens' consummation of the marriage amounted to statutory rape.

The girl has testified that Jeffs told her she risked her salvation if she refused.

This case--a rare set of circumstances to be sure--raises various questions about individual agency, responsibility, the intersection of religion and law, and more (among other things, I'm curious as to where the girls' parents were in all this)."

Partner Yoga - Very Cool.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"Engaging in a game of chance" illegal in NC. Now go buy your damn Lotto tickets!

Thank Christ [irony fully intended] that I don't live in the Bible Belt anymore, where they've yet to resolve their hypocritical split personality.

Poker Standout Rips Cops After Bust - AOL News:
"A poker champion cited on a misdemeanor gambling charge in a weekend raid on a clandestine casino...

Officials said the operation was sophisticated. The plain, one-story building off N.C. Highway 242 near Benson was surrounded by a fence, had pro-style gaming tables and a kitchen and food staff. Agents seized about $70,000 in cash.

...Forbis said 60 people were charged with engaging in a game of chance, or gambling, and 11 were charged with operating a game of chance.

"The point is it is illegal," he said. "The analogy is if you catch someone smoking marijuana they say why aren't you trying to get a coke or heroin dealer. The law is the law and it's not up to ALE to systematically chose the laws we enforce.""

See, that last bit... I call bullshit. Even though you hear it all the time. "The law is the law" nonsense. First off, you totally have choice in where you choose to focus your resources. They apparently choose to focus on victimless crimes committed by consenting adults. That, oh so conveniently, add about 70K to their coffers.

But regardless of that, I'll invoke the experience I had riding around with a cop buddy of mine, where he pointed out, driving around, a rapid-fire litany of "problems" or potential illegalities he noticed with the vehicles and drivers in the area around us. And when I asked him about how, out of all the potential violations he noticed, how did stop them all, he answered - of course - "You don't, you use your best judgment" about who to stop.

In my opinion, LEO's are constantly making exactly these types of judgment calls on what laws to enforce, to what extent, what your priorities are and under what circumstances. The very existence of "letting you off with a warning" is the most obvious evidence of that.

[Which, fundamentally, is probably a good thing. I'd much rather have somebody able to use his own common-sense judgment in a situation than be hidebound to the letter of some law. Generally.]

So the "law is the law" diatribe is, ahem, a "cop-out."

[Thank you, I'll be here all week. Tip your waitresses.]

UNC Chapel Hill - font of wisdom.

Learning things you never knew before.

Overheard in the Office | Does It Mean I Can Stop Wearing Heels?:
"50-ish lady peon: Oh, honey, you don't have to lift those boxes!

20-ish lady peon: No, it's okay, I really don't mind. They're not very heavy.

50-ish lady peon: But that shows on a woman later in life!

20-ish lady peon: Shows? What do you mean?

50-ish lady peon: Well, you know, makes you big... Like the She-Hulk, or that hermaphrodite wrestler! You don't want people thinking you're not a woman, do you?

University of North Carolina, 208 Raleigh Street Chapel Hill, North Carolina"

Alcohol is full of win - overcomes all.

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Where the West Bank meets Bavaria:
"Probably one of the things one least expects to come across on a visit to the Israeli-occupied West Bank is a high-spirited beer festival in full swing. But that is exactly what visitors to the small Palestinian Christian village of Taybeh were treated to at the weekend.

...On Saturday and Sunday, thousands of Palestinians and international visitors milled about in the pleasant late summer weather listening to musical performers - Christians and Muslims."

Newfound love and respect for Kathy Griffin - sweet, sweet blasphemy.

Censorship blows.

Griffin's Emmy Remarks to Be Censored - MSN TV News:
"'Kathy Griffin's offensive remarks will not be part of the E! telecast on Saturday night,' the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said in a statement Monday. In her speech, Griffin said that 'a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus.' She went on to hold up her Emmy, make an off-color remark about Christ and proclaim, 'This award is my god now!'

...The Catholic League, an anti-defamation group, called on the TV academy to "denounce Griffin's obscene and blasphemous comment" at Sunday's ceremony."

Shoot, anything the Catholic League condemns gets the two big thumbs up from me.

Habeas Corpus, how quaint, yes?

ACLU Comics... those wacky guys. All up in an uproar over things like the Bill of Rights and the Constitution and whatnot.


Welcome home, have some gunfire:
"And here's the great divine kicker: The more you worry about it, the more you abide in fear and anxiety, the more likely such trauma and drama will happen to you. It's the Great Inverse Law of Energy: What you fear most will be drawn to you like a magnet. And the universe goes: Ha."

How interesting...

More success in Iraq!

NPR : Hunt Oil Makes Deal to Seek Oil in Iraq:
"U.S.-based Hunt Oil signs a deal to explore for oil in Iraq. It's the first major oil contract between a U.S. company and Iraq in decades. But it was signed with the Kurdistan Regional Government, the body that runs Iraq's four northern provinces."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Petraeus/Iraq roundup.

"Give it some more time."

How shocking. Color me totally unsurprised.

Go ahead and trust BushCo, since they've been right about, oh, say, absolutely nothing.

Duplicitous political wankery.

Balloon Juice:
"When I hear things like “ethno-sectarian deaths,” my bullshit detectors go off."

Bullshit. But SECRET bullshit. Talking Points Memo | It's Classified?:
" near as we can tell, a lot of the numbers, the key metrics about what's actually happening on the ground remain classified.

And not just the numbers themselves.

...The best we can tell the methodology Petraeus's staff is using to tabulate the numbers also remains classified.

In other words, it's not just a matter of getting the numbers from Petraeus and his staff and deciding whether you believe them or not. They won't even tell us what the numbers are -- let alone how they came up with them. All they'll say is that they're very good. Or in some cases that there's X percentage drop over the course of the surge. Or an isolated number here or there.

But actual hard numbers? Going back over the last couple years? For some reason we're not allowed to see those."

Stupidly, douchebag lefties now throwing around the words traitor [Betray Us? Petraeus? Seriously?] just like the douchebag right wing pundits who brand anyone who disagrees with them as "against America." Balloon Juice:
"While Petraeus and the military have certainly opened themselves up to scrutiny by handing out exclusives to folks like Fox news, and having PR shops set up to “sell the surge,” or telling us he “can accept” purely political troop withdrawals (something he should not be doing- his job is to state whether we need the damned troops there or not), calling Petraeus a traitor or using rhetoric that implies treason is outrageous. I don’t think he is lying, I don’t think he will lie to the committee- I think that he is trying to win, and is more likely to focus on the positive aspects of the surge than the negative. That may bring his judgement into question in my book, but it does not make him a traitor."

Now with added weak-willed political impotence! Balloon Juice:
"You know, the Constitution lets Congress call any military commander to testify at any time. Apparently a non-trivial number of them think that Petraeus is full of shit and have the data to back it up. Yet, somehow, the only significant voices on Capitol Hill this week are the two guys with the longest history of substance-free cheerleading. Way to go Dems."

Crooks and Liars » White House rewards FOX Propaganda exclusive interview with Gen. Petraeus and Amb. Crocker:
"If there was any doubt to the US public that Gen. Petraeus was being used a puppet for Bush’s war—it should be gone now. Brit Hume of FOX Propaganda was granted an exclusive interview with the general, who is supposed to be giving an honest assessment of the “surge” and the state of affairs in Iraq. Bush might have well as given Rush Limbaugh the honors."

Glenn Greenwald - Political Blogs and Opinions - Salon:
"The whole production was such transparent propaganda that one doubts that Pravda would have been shameless enough to present it. Even the title of the program was creepy. Fox did not even bother to call it an 'interview,' but rather hailed it as a 'Briefing for America.'"

Damn, It’s Nam – Again! by Eric Margolis:
"Today’s much ballyhooed testimony to Congress by Gen. David Petraeus, commander of US forces in Iraq, will report the "progress" his troops are making in Iraq as part of the so-called "Surge" strategy. This lame idea, worthy of World War I thinking, was developed by one of America’s dimmer military minds, retired general Jack Keene, and sold to President George Bush.

...Gen. Petraeus is a very smart, well-respected commander, but one suspects his report will unfortunately be the latest example of "jamais vu" syndrome. And one heartily wishes that the general had the courage to stand up and tell Congress that his men were being killed and wounded in a war that has already been lost. That won’t happen because US officers are taught to be relentlessly optimistic and toe the political party line.

...Institutional memory rarely exceeds ten years. Most of Vietnam’s bitter lessons have been totally forgotten. Guerilla wars are fought not for territory but for control of civilian populations. Recent polls show that 80% of Iraqis want US forces out.

Once again, US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have been sent into no-win wars by their poorly informed, badly advised civilian masters, and ordered to keep coming up with rosy progress reports, then blamed when these pointless wars are lost.

...But Bush appears determined to keep the war going until his term expires so as to avoid blame for defeat in Iraq. Congress is trying to lay all the blame for the war on Bush, get him to admit defeat, and evade its own shameful role in authorizing the trumped-up Iraq War."

The Heart of the Matter: Bottoms Up:
"I've seen nothing since to persuade me that Iraq is heading anywhere other than into three separate states. The only thing that's changed is that the Bush administration now seems to have accepted the inevitable three-state outcome. Rather than calling it a "soft partition," though, as Democrat Joe Biden prefers, the favored Republican moniker is "bottom-up approach." Google the phrase and you'll see: BUA is the new Surge.

BUA refers to the strategy of bypassing Baghdad and cutting deals with warlords -- sorry, make that "tribal leaders." Today, the Bush administration describes BUA as a way to put Iraq back together, but the rhetoric is as much a figleaf as the BUA moniker itself. Logically, arming, supplying, and otherwise cementing the power and patronage of warlords will calcify Iraq's de facto division, not reverse it.

Which is a good thing, by the way. As I've argued before, Iraq is breaking up anyway. It's hard to see how fighting the inevitable will lessen the pain.

A few predictions: As ethnic cleansing continues in Baghdad's mixed neighborhoods, we'll see a lower incidence of sectarian killings. The Bush administration will credit the Surge and the BUA with the ease in sectarian violence, rather than acknowledging that the ease is largely the result of a successful campaign of ethnic cleansing. Indeed, General Patraeus and Ambassador Crocker's testimony to Congress this week is part of a campaign intended to conflate correlation (by certain measures, sectarian violence is down; there's also a Surge and a BUA) with causality (violence is down *because* of the Surge and the BUA).

...Did anyone expect Patraeus and Crocker to say anything else?

Of course not. But remember, beyond obfuscation, the purpose of this report wasn't substantive; it was to create another milestone to eat up time. How many times in the last six months did President Bush avoid a question about Iraq by responding, "Let's just see what General Patraeus has to say in September..."

Well, now we know (as though we didn't know then). General Patraeus would like to get back to us in... six months. Any guesses about what his report will consist of then?

(It all reminds me of that child's prank, the sheet of paper that says on the front, "How do you keep an idiot occupied? Turn over." With an identical message on the back.)"

Stupid/mind-numbingly infuriating cops/law roundup.

I swear to god, if I didn't know at least two cops who are decent folks, I'd be leaning towards the massive overgeneralization they were all dirtbags.

The system itself, on the other hand? Don't even get me started. No overgeneralization required - so completely f&'%ed up.

Woman jailed for serving salty burger to police officer - Boing Boing:
"A McDonald's worker in Georgia was arrested after serving a burger with too much salt to a police officer in the drive-thru.

...The police officer said that after he ate the burger, he nearly threw up. Bull wonders why the officer didn't he throw it away after taking a bite? By the way, the McDonald's gives free meals to the police who eat there."

Maricopa County Sheriff's Department burn down a house and kill puppy over traffic citations - Boing Boing:
"A Phoenix SWAT team armed with tear gas, plenty of guns, and an armored personnel carrier stormed a house, burned it down, and killed the family dog. They were looking for illegal weapons, but found none. However, they did capture a 26-year-old man who had failed to appear in Tempe Municipal Court on two traffic violations. the ultimate display of cruelty, a SWAT team member drove a dog trying to flee the home back into the inferno, where it met an agonizing death.

Deputies then reportedly laughed as the dog's owners came unglued as it perished in the blaze.

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > More Painkiller Hysteria from Florida:
"...for purposes of charging and sentencing, Florida law counts the total weight of all the medication in which the controlled substance is contained. In this case, prosecutors threatened to charge Spence for the full 49 grams of pills in the bottle, even though they were 99 percent Tylenol.

..."Under Florida’s mandatory minimum drug laws, just 28 grams of a prescription pain killer carries a sentence of 25 years. Possession of the same amount of cocaine only gets you a mandatory three year sentence."" New Professionalism 2: Comments:
"Portland cop was playing video games and posting and chat rooms while on the job...

According to the Portland Tribune article in Friday’s newspaper, the deputy, using the screen name Trafalgar, said, “Seeing someone get Tasered is second only to pulling the trigger. That is money – puts a smile on your face.”

In another chat, the Tribune article claimed the deputy said, “I crushed a dude’s eye socket from repeatedly punching him in it and then I charged him with menacing and harassment (of me). He took a plea to get away from me. He shoulda picked somebody else to try and fight.”"

Singapore police raid protest held by 5-inch plastic dolls - Boing Boing:
"Anime fans in Singapore staged a micro-sized protest against a Singapore animation distributor by attaching tiny signs to plastic robot and monster statuettes and placing them in public. The Singapore authorities responded by sending four riot vans."

None dare care it bribery. The Columbus Dispatch : Driving drunk: $1,000 covers it in Waverly:
"Nearly 100 of them have made $1,000 "donations" to the Waverly Police Department to make their [DUI] troubles go away.

No DUI conviction. No jail time. No driver's license suspension or restrictions. Just a simple guilty plea to a lesser charge.

The donations allowed drivers, including those who refused blood-alcohol tests and some with four or five previous DUI convictions, to sidestep typical penalties.

...The convictions also do not come back to haunt drivers' records. The charges apparently are not reported to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, in potential violation of state law.

...Officials in Waverly said the donations are voluntary, but one conceded that if you don't have the money, you don't get the deal."

Missouri: Police Threaten, Detain Motorist for Parking After Hours:
"A St. George, Missouri police officer is caught on tape threatening to invent charges to arrest a motorist for parking after hours.

A motorist who refused to discuss his personal business with a St. George, Missouri police officer was threatened with arrest last Friday. Brett Darrow, 20, no stranger to unconventional encounters with police, caught a St. George Police Sergeant James Kuehnlein stating that he had the power to invent charges that would put Darrow behind bars. Update: Sergeant Kuehnlein was placed on unpaid leave Monday pending an investigation.

"Try and talk back... to me again," yelled Sergeant Kuehnlein. "I bet I could say you resisted arrest or something. You want to come up with something? I come up with nine things."

...Without the video, Darrow tells TheNewspaper that he would have stood no chance disproving the officer's word in court. Twenty-eight percent of the St. George municipal budget comes from traffic citations. Darrow wonders how many of the tickets were legitimate."

Burn the oceans!

Environmentalists will flip, of course, as water vapor, NOT Co2, is the primary greenhouse gas [possibly] resonsponsible for global warming.

Possible Energy Source: Burning Seawater, Cancer Researcher Discovers Hydrogen From Salt Water Can Be "Burned" By Radio Frequencies - CBS News:
"An Erie cancer researcher has found a way to burn salt water, a novel invention that is being touted by one chemist as the 'most remarkable' water science discovery in a century. John Kanzius happened upon the discovery accidentally when he tried to desalinate seawater with a radio-frequency generator he developed to treat cancer. He discovered that as long as the salt water was exposed to the radio frequencies it would burn. The discovery has scientists excited by the prospect of using salt water, the most abundant resource on earth, as a fuel."

I can't decide if this is promoting healthy attitudes towards death or going to be psychologically scarring.

Probably both. Or neither.


Lesson in life and death: pupils build dying teacher's coffin - World:
"A DUTCH primary school teacher dying of cancer is overseeing one last class project: her pupils are making her coffin.

Eri van den Biggelaar, 40, has just a few weeks to live after being diagnosed last year with an aggressive form of cervical cancer. She asked the woodwork teacher, a friend, to build a coffin for her. 'Why don't you let the children make it?' replied Erik van Dijk.

Now pupils of the school in Someren, who normally plane wood for baskets and placemats, have been helping with the finishing touches. They have already sawed more than 100 narrow boards and glued them together. Only the lid needs to be completed."

Kazushi Sakura is STILL the man.

Despite the fact that injury and apathy has put any of my training on the back burner - [Is there anything further behind the back burner? That's where my training is.] - my manly love and fealty to Kazushi Sakuraba remains.

Yes, he's no longer in his prime. But damn it, still the man.

Next fight versus Katsuyori Shibata [2W-1L] at K1 OLYMPIA HERO’S Event on 9/17.

Pics via Kakutougi Forum

Monday, September 10, 2007

'tis true.

Quote Of The Day - Lifehacker:
"'Have you ever known people who have to turn on a TV or a radio the moment they enter a room, or can't stand to do work without some sound on? These are people who are desperately afraid of confronting some truth about themselves, so they try to drown it out with constant distractions.' —MetaFilter user Pastabagel"

Not just career advice, good advice in general.

A.J. Jacobs: Career lessons from the Encyclopedia » Brazen Careerist by Penelope Trunk:
"Be totally inappropriate
The best networking story in the Encyclopedia comes courtesy of poet Langston Hughes. The man was ballsy. He was a busboy at a hotel in Washington D.C. While in the dining room, he slipped three of his poems beside the dinner plate of established poet Vachel Lindsay. The next day, newspapers announced Lindsay had discovered a — busboy poet. In other words, he refused to let his dreams be deferred.

Work anywhere

The British-born author Hugh Lofting wrote Dr. Dolittle while in the trenches of WWI. As shrapnel burst around him and his friends died, he wrote this lovely story about a guy who talks to animals. So if Hugh Lofting can do that, you can concentrate on a big project when you’re at a train station. In fact, I recently realized my work sometimes improves when I’m in chaos. It somehow lessens the pressure — it removes the crippling burden of perfectionism — which is key for writing."

That's one answer, I suppose.

Overheard in the Office | Then You're Failing Me All Around:
"Male hippie #1 standing at printer with no paper: Aren't you supposed to be watching this? What do I pay you for?

Male hippie #2: To shave my legs and wear the skirt.

Memphis, Tennessee

Overheard by: please no more"

On the other hand, the future is kinda kick ass.

Via Warren Ellis and his Bad Signal mailing list - :

"...but what an interesting thought, that soon an entire generation will find their births recorded by friends as live entries on a global communications medium.

And, in little Hank's case, that his entire gestation has been recorded online by his mother as a globally-accessible lifebook.

And that he was born into an extended circle of friends that encircles the planet, who will watch his back for his entire life.

Welcome to Earth, Henry Leo. You're going to do just fine."

Book smart and no people skills.

Known plenty like that, myself included.

Fred On Everything:
"Generally intelligence has no effect on conclusions, which are glandularly determined. It just rationalizes hormonal inevitabilities.

...Brains just allow you to be more elaborately and ornately disastrously wrong.

However, smart people are at least interesting, like rare tumors, so early on I started having a lot of smart friends. I noticed that most of them were crazy. The right-wingers were hostile paranoids with the empathy of a torque wrench who wanted to nuke somebody. I don’t think they really cared who. The left-wingers were angry totalitarians-in-waiting with minds closed tighter than Fort Knox. For this they needed IQs of 160? You could do as well with derelicts in the Port Authority Bus Station at three a.m.

See, what happens is, as kids the bright don’t fit in. They don’t have much in common with anybody. They dress funny and get made fun of. They can’t dance. They don’t get laid much, or at all. This warps their heads. They retreat into isolation with others like them, become contemptuous of everyone else to get even, and deal in abstractions because it’s all they know. (I claim that if Marx had been able to jitterbug, the Soviet Union would never have existed.)

In short, a large IQ is an infallible predictor of emotional inadequacy.

...Many were professors at places like Stanford and MIT—scientists and anthropologists not of the first rank, nor of the second—too rigid, I thought, for originality—but nonetheless highly intelligent...

Here I figured was a window into academe, full of towering minds like Plato. These were not squirrels I bumped into in the back alleys of life. They were the real article. I eagerly awaited clarity, dispassion, and the self-abnegation of earnest bloodhounds in disinterested pursuit of Truth. Ha.

No. They too started with their premises, which they didn’t seem to realize were premises, and reasoned doggedly to…their premises...

An example: One of them used Google to search for rescue operations in the US, Mexico, and China. He found countless rescue stories for America—trapped miners, children in wells, cats in trees, what have you—and only one or two for China and Mexico. From this he did not conclude that the English press just doesn’t cover Mexico and China well—I searched in Spanish and found lots. No. He decided that Mexicans and Chinese do not regard individual life as important. They just don’t bother to rescue people, see.

...Here you have it: large IQ, zero grasp of humanity, all is abstractions.

...We ought to put something in the water to keep IQs down. There would be so much less noise."

Sunday, September 09, 2007

No future for you!

RFID implants linked to animal tumors - Boing Boing:
"VeriChip -- and other vendors -- have been busily implanting radio-frequency ID (RFID) chips in human and animal subjects ever since the FDA approved the process. But a series of studies conducted from 1996-2006 noted a high incidence of dangerous tumors arising at the sites of RFID implants -- something the FDA apparently did not consider when it approved the procedure."

"How we play the game is up to us."

Peaceful Warrior Blog:
"Whenever we are asked an either-or question, the wisest and truest answer is often, “both.”

Some things in life are preordained...

We may be fated to experience certain situations, or to move along our life path in a particular direction...

It would seem that each of us is predestined to play in a particular ballpark, but once there, how we play the game is up to us. We are predestined to climb a particular mountain — even take a particular path. But how far up the path we go, and the pace of the journey depends largely upon our will, our choice, our actions.

...I believe we can surrender to our fate yet guide it at the same time. We are not mere logs in the river of destiny. We can swim with the current towards our chosen shore."