Saturday, January 19, 2008

There, but for the grace of god, go I.

You know... trying to help people out... more power to them.

Superheroes in Real Life - City Pages (Minneapolis/St. Paul):
"Geist's breath fogs the winter air as he surveys the frozen Minneapolis skyline, searching for signs of trouble. His long duster flaps in the breeze as his eyes flick behind reflective sunglasses; a wide-brim hat and green iridescent mask shroud his identity from those who might wish him harm.

Should a villain attack, the Emerald Enforcer carries a small arsenal to defend himself: smoke grenades, pepper spray, a slingshot, and a pair of six-inch fighting sticks tucked into sturdy leather boots. Leather guards protect Geist's arms; his signature weapon, an Argentinean cattle-snare called bolos, hangs from a belt-holster.

...Finally, his destination is in sight: People Serving People, a local homeless shelter. Geist strides boldly into the lobby—a cramped, noisy room where kids and adults mill about chatting—and heaves his stuffed paper bags onto the counter. "I have some groceries to donate," he tells Dean, the blond-bearded security guard on duty, whose placid expression suggests superheroes pop in on a regular basis. "And I have an hour on the meter if there's anything I can do to help out."

...Such is the life of Minnesota's only superhero—a man in his mid-40s who sold off his comic book collection to fund a dream borne of those very pages. Unlike his fictional inspirations, he hasn't yet found any villains to apprehend in Rochester, a sleepy city of 95,000 about 80 miles south of Minneapolis. But that doesn't mean he's wasting his time, he says. "When you put on this costume and you do something for someone, it's like, 'Wow, I am being a hero,' and that is a great feeling."

BY MOST OBSERVERS' RECKONING, between 150 and 200 real-life superheroes, or "Reals" as some call themselves, operate in the United States, with another 50 or so donning the cowl internationally. These crusaders range in age from 15 to 50 and patrol cities from Indianapolis to Cambridgeshire, England. They create heroic identities with names like Black Arrow, Green Scorpion, and Mr. Silent, and wear bright Superman spandex or black ninja suits. Almost all share two traits in common: a love of comic books and a desire to improve their communities.

...Most Reals use a combination of martial arts and weaponry. The Eye is a 49-year-old crimebuster from Mountain View, California, who wears a Green Hornet-inspired fedora and trench coat. Though he focuses mainly on detective work and crime-tip reporting, he prepares himself for hand-to-hand combat by studying kung fu and wielding an arsenal of light-based weapons designed to dazzle enemies.

"In movies, a ninja will have some powder or smoke to throw at you to distract," he explains. "That's essentially what I'm trying to do."

...For sheer investment in gadgetry, none top Superhero, an ex-Navy powerlifter from Clearwater, Florida. His patrol vehicle is a burgundy 1975 Corvette Stingray with a souped-up 425-horsepower engine. He wears a flight helmet installed with a police scanner and video camera, and carries an extendable Cobra tactical baton, a flash gun, sonic grenades, and a canister of bear mace. Topping off the one-man armory is an Arma 100 stun cannon, a 37mm nitrogen-powered projectile device. His ammo of choice? Sandwiches. "Nothing stops them in their tracks like peanut butter and jelly," he explains in a video demonstration posted online."

"You should have let me die."

I have no idea why this popped into my head, but the whole "You should have let me die" quote came to me, and thanks to the majesty and wonder of Google I was able to figure out where it came from. The Jeffesons wasn't the greatest show ever, but I sure as hell remember this ep.

Sermon: Kingdom Neighbors:
"How many of you all have ever seen the Jefferson's? I know now it is on cable. It used to come on on Sunday nights and I would watch. There is one episode that I remember that George, the main character, who is black and short and very loud and obnoxious. George finds some flyers that say 'come and come to our meeting. We have got a community meeting and we are going to talk about how we are going to clean up our building.' And, so George gathers his neighbors and they go down to this meeting. But what George does not realize is this is really a Ku Klux Klan rally. It was just disguised. And, so George goes to the meeting and sits in the front row. And the leader is looking at him as if to say, "What in the world are you doing here?" But, he goes on with the meeting and he says, "We have got to rid our building of this riffraff." George says, "That's right we got to do it." The man looks at him and keeps on going. He said, "These people are driving down our property values. It is not a safe place for our families to live anymore." George stands up, "That's right. I am with you brother." And the guy looks at George and says, "I am talking about you." And George, George is a hothead. He takes off his coat and he is ready to fight. And then the guy does an interesting thing. He begins to grab his arm and then he collapses on the floor and his assistant says he has a heart condition and he needs somebody to give him CPR or he is going to die right here on this floor. And, so he asked if there was anybody in the room that knows CPR. And everybody looks around. Nobody's hand goes up. Finally, one hand starts to go up. Guess who knows CPR? George. And so George gets down and gives mouth to mouth resuscitation to the Klan leader and saves his life. And then as they are wheeling the man out of the room, he comes to and asks his assistant what happened. The assistant tells him he had a heart attack. Someone came and gave you mouth-to-mouth and saved your life and it was him and he points to George. And the leader looks and says, "It was him? He saved my life? You should have let me die." And they wheel him out of the room. And the episode ends with all of the people becoming disgusted with this organization and walking out because of what happened."

Theologically, this is actually damn accurate.

If you were raised Catholic anyways.

YouTube - The Bastard Fairies-We're All Going To Hell (Official Video)

Argh! [+ nuns who invent disco.]

The Pirate's Dilemma:
"How do you start a movement with a marker pen? What’s the connection between the nun who invented disco, and file sharing? How did a male model messing with disco records in New York in the 1970s influence the way Boeing design airplanes? Does hip-hop really hold the secret to world peace? How did three eleven-year-olds revolutionize the video game industry by turning Nazis into Smurfs? And what’s going to happen to Nike when it’s possible for kids to download sneakers?

The Pirate’s Dilemma tells the story of how youth culture drives innovation and is changing the way the world works. It offers understanding and insight for a time when piracy is just another business model, the remix is our most powerful marketing tool and anyone with a computer is capable of reaching more people than a multi-national corporation.

Do we fight pirates, or do we learn from them?

Flame. Gun.


Flame gun ad from 1972 - Boing Boing

Okay, he's not all cute and affable anymore...

Now he's just another religious nutjob.

Personally, I look forward to the return of polygamy and concubinage.

Crooks and Liars » Huckabee Wants A “Faith-based” Constitution: "
(I)n Warren, Michigan on Monday, Huckabee declared his personal crusade to amend the Constitution by copying and pasting from the Bible:
“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And thats what we need to do is amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than trying to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.”

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > Huckabee Gets Biblical:
"In a Beliefnet interview, Mike Huckabee elaborates on his comment that "what we need to do" is "amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards." He says he was referring specifically to amendments banning abortion and defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman:
I don't think that's a radical view to say we're going to affirm marriage. I think the radical view is to say that we're going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal. Again, once we change the definition, the door is open to change it again. I think the radical position is to make a change in what's been historic.

If "the Bible was not written to be amended," what's the New Testament all about? And if Huckabee wants to stick with the biblical definition of marriage, why does he imply that a marriage consisting of "a man and three women" is some newfangled challenge to the family arrangements endorsed by God? According to the Bible, Abraham sired one son with Hagar (his concubine) and one with Sarah (his full-fledged wife) while they were both living and had more children with Keturah after Sarah's death. Jacob had two wives (Rachel and Leah) and two concubines (Bilhah and Zilpah) at the same time, producing children with each of them. Moses apparently had two wives (Ziporrah and "the Ethiopian woman"). David and Solomon each had a bunch..."

I have this same problem.

" 9AM Why Work Holidays Exist

Worker #1: This information she sent me isn't right at all. It says 'GMT,' but there's too many time zones.
Worker #2: GMT is General Mountain Time.
Worker #1: I know that already. I'm going to call her now to show her how wrong she is.
Worker #3: Get off the phone before you make an ass of yourself. Didn't either of you ever hear of Greenwich Mean Time?
Worker #2: I guess we're not as sophisticated as you.
Worker #3: Sophisticated? Most grade schoolers know that.
Worker #1, hanging up phone: You remind me of my ex.
Worker #3: If he had to put up with nonsense like that, I understand why he left.
Worker #1: I left him; he didn't leave me.
Worker #3: Is he grateful for this?
Worker #1: You make me sick.
Worker #3: Was it something I said?

500 West Cummings Park
Woburn, Massachusetts

Overheard by: Charlise

via Overheard in the Office, Jan 16, 2008"


Thursday, January 17, 2008


Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > Dodging Baseball's Speed Limits:
"Intriguingly coincidental as the spike in ADD diagnoses looks, a more important question is why this is any of Tierney's business. 'We shouldn't have to have hearings like this all the time to stay on top of these problems with baseball,' he said. They don't have to, of course; they choose to. They can stop anytime they want. And given that the Constitution does not grant Congress any authority to dictate the rules by which baseball is played, that would be a good idea.

Nor is it clear what 'problems with baseball' Tierney has in mind. Amphetamines were first marketed in the United States in 1932. Seventy-four years later, Major League Baseball, under government pressure, told players to stop using them. This does not seem like an emergency of any kind, let alone one that should occupy the federal government."

Everyone dies alone.*

Rule # 8.

*Stolen from Whedon.

The world is your rorschach test.

Rule # 7.

"The game of life is hard to play... I'm going to lose it anyway."

This is one of the two songs I remember having to learn in music class. In Catholic school no less. Somebody was being subversive, though I can't, for the life of me, remember who.

[The other song? "Windy." Go figure.]

"Suicide is Painless..." What an amazingly morbid song to teach Jr High school students. I'd blame such crazy morbidity as contributing to my typical teenage thoughts of suicide, when confronted by such overwhelming tragedy as unrequited crushes and parental disconnect.

[Um, it was typical, right? I'm not just overwhelmingly screwed up and dysfunctional, right? I've read lots of teens think about the big "S." Let's just assume I'm not all touched in the head, kay?]

Still a great song though. Great movie. Great TV.

"The pain grows stronger. Watch it grin."

M*A*S*H Theme Song:
""Suicide is Painless"
Music by Johnny Mandel
Lyrics by Mike Altman

Through early morning fog I see
visions of the things to be
the pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see...


That suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.

I try to find a way to make
all our little joys relate
without that ever-present hate
but now I know that it's to late, and...


The game of life is hard to play
I'm going to lose it anyway

the losing card I'll someday lay
so this is all I have to say


The only way to win is cheat
and lay it down before I'm beat
and to another give my seat
for that's the only painless feat


The sword of time will pierce our skins
it doesn't hurt when it begins
but as it works its way on in
the pain grows it grin but...


A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
is it to be or not to be
and I replied 'oh why ask me?'

'Cause suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please

...and you can do the same thing if you please."

Reality is a multiple choice question.

Rule # 6.

Doonesbury can still bring it.

Doonesbury, comics, editorial cartoons, email comics, political cartoons

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I Need A Hero - The Browncoat Version.

I have actually loved the amazingly cheesy 80s song this is [deftly] edited to, ever since it was the theme song for the the very short lived 80s show Cover Up.

Which I got into because it starred the late Jon-Erik Hexum, who I first saw on the show Voyagers!

Which, to the best of my recollection, started my love of time travel scifi. I'm a sucker for time travel scifi.

Which explains my unabashed love for Quantum Leap to this day.

"Dr Sam Beckett never returned home."

Still makes me tear up, it does.

[The Quantum Leap finale, that is.]

Doctors, chopsticks, Japan & the funny.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's all relative.

Rule # 5.

"Paradoxes and double standards abound."

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > The Drug Raid Paradox:
"This is a common refrain from police in drug raids that turn into shootouts—be it with actual criminals, or with innocent people whose homes were wrongly raided. The middle-of-the-night timing, concussion grenades, and door-busting tactics are necessary, we're told, to catch dangerous people by surprise. But when surprised suspects then mistake police for intruding criminals, we're told that the suspects had to have known the intruders were police. Put another way, we're told these tactics are necessary to bewilder and confuse, but when people say they were genuinely bewildered and confused, we're told to assume they're lying...

By the same token, when police mistakenly shoot unarmed people in these raids, they're generally forgiven, due, they say, to the inherent volatility and dangerous nature of the raids.

Paradoxes and double standards abound."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Your belief systems are how you bullshit yourself into thinking you know what's going on.

Be they political, religious, psychological or philosophical.

Belief systems are all B.S.

Rule # 3.

Figuring out Mitt Romney.

On the nose analysis.

Balloon Juice:
"He is so completely phony, so calculated and poll-tested and focus-grouped and rehearsed and plastic and totally full of shit. There is no emotion in his words, it is like an automaton spitting out the right ‘crafted’ response...

He thinks there is nothing that he can not charm or smooth his way through...

In short, he reminds me of this guy:

Those of you who remember Diehard know exactly what I am talking about."

Funny American Gladiators Promo.

Outstanding news of the week...

Compound reverses Alzheimer's in minutes - Boing Boing:
"Researchers at the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) gave an Alzheimer's patient an injection of a compound called perispinal etanercept and noticed a 'dramatic and unprecedented therapeutic effect' within minutes of the injection."

"...a prostitute is more likely to have sex with a police officer than to get officially arrested by one."

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > But Whatever You Do, Don't Legalize It:
"A new study by Freakanomics guru Steven Levitt comes to some uncomfortable conclusions about prostitution in Chicago. First, Levitt finds that prostitutes are more likely to have sex with city police than they are to be arrested by them:
They estimate that roughly 3 percent of all tricks performed by prostitutes who aren't working with pimps are freebies given to police to avoid arrest. In fact, prostitutes get officially arrested only once per 450 tricks or so, leading the authors to conclude that "a prostitute is more likely to have sex with a police officer than to get officially arrested by one."

Cool House Made from 110 Tons of Steel.

Architecture: A House Made from 110 Tons of Steel:
"We're going to need hardened steel habitats after the zombie apocalypse. That might have been what Robert Bruno, architect, had in mind when he created this cool design for his own house in Texas. It took him twenty-three years to build and he used tons and tons of steel (110 tons, to be exact). The house, which has tons of crazy geometric shaped walls, skylights, and windows, sits on a river near Lubbock, Texas."

How I understand politics.

I don't care, makes sense to me.

The Dark Primary Knight at ComicMix

For Great Justice!

The Local - Victory for topless bathers:
"A swimming pool in northern Sweden has said it will allow women to bathe topless, following a campaign by feminists.

A spokesman for the pool, part of Sundsvall's municipal leisure centre, said that employees there had decided they would not act if women tried to bathe semi-naked.

"We're used to naked people. Nobody cares," Per-Erik Ulander told local paper Dagbladet, adding that women could still be asked to cover up if other bathers take offence.

The Bara Bröst network - which translates both as 'bare breasts' and 'just breasts' - last year started its campaign for women to be allowed to swim without tops by stripping off at a pool in Uppsala. The protesters were ejected from the pool. Since then, campaigners have launched protest actions across the country, which have usually resulted in them being asked to leave..."

Jimmy Carter lays the smack down.

Okay, not really. But it'd be funny if it was...

I Got What America Needs Right Here

The Onion

I Got What America Needs Right Here

Sometimes I'm a little stupid, maybe, a little slow in the head, so I'm wondering if you can help me get something straight....

"...But who comes to me, huh? Fucking nobody. Why ask old Jimmy anything? What the fuck could he know about peace in the Middle East? It's not like he fucking won the Nobel Peace Prize for that shit. You myopic pricks. Back in '79, I sat Sadat and Begin right down and made those two dicklicks shake hands. It was beautiful—I had all the pieces lined up and I smiled and waved in my best fucking suit and tie right there on TV. And what do you do, you pieces of shit? You screw the whole goddamn pooch.


Oh, what's that I hear? The weather's all screwy? You got a global warming problem? Boo-fucking-hoo! I was telling you morons to turn off your lights and unplug all your shit at night to conserve energy in 19-fuckin'-75, for chrissake. Gee, I wonder what woulda happened if we'd all switched to solar power like I fucking did back when we had a fucking chance to do something about it. Think we'd still be sucking Saudi Arabia's dick like a five-dollar whore? I sure as fuck didn't get no fancy Oscar for that little spiel, though, did I? No. But Al Gore, that cum-sucking pig, steals the shit from me and now he's the greatest thing since Jesus Christ made a fucking sandwich.

Well, he can lick my asshole right after George W. Bush, that fuck.

You want compassion? Somebody who's looking out for the little guy? Why don't you take a look at Jimmy Carter, 'cause unlike, oh, every motherfucking candidate out there, he spent the last fucking quarter-century building houses for the homeless. And what does he get for it? A fucking hernia. Some fucking gratitude, you selfish twats. You talk to me about compassion? I'll shove a crucifix so far up the Democrats' asses they'll be asking me to buy them dinner and kiss them good night.

Funny thing about me: I actually fucking know shit! Not like these goombas trying to weasel their way into the White House. I practically wrote the book on collapsing bridges, inflation, and the working poor, fuck-o. I even got a degree in nuclear engineering or some shit. You know how easy I could swoop down right now like a guardian angel and solve all your fucking problems? Snap. Bam. Do it in my fucking sleep. Just fucking try me.

So you want me to run for president again? Yeah, sure, absolutely, I'll do it. I'd be honored to do it—with my fucking dick in your mouth, you worthless scumbags.

You had your chance with Jimmy Carter, and you fucking blew it. So get fucked. Fucking country."

Gulf of Tonkin II?*

You'd think they'd come up with new fake bullshit for their new fake war, wouldn't you? Same old nonsense...

ABC News: Where Did the Mystery Voice Come From?:
"Just two days after the U.S. Navy released the eerie video of Iranian speedboats swarming around American warships, which featured a chilling threat in English, the Navy is saying that the voice on the tape could have come from the shore or from another ship.

The near-clash occurred over the weekend in the Strait of Hormuz. On the U.S.-released recording, a voice can be heard saying to the Americans, "I am coming to you. You will explode after a few minutes."

The Navy never said specifically where the voices came from, but many were left with the impression they had come from the speedboats because of the way the Navy footage was edited.

Today, the spokesperson for the U.S. admiral in charge of the Fifth Fleet clarified to ABC News that the threat may have come from the Iranian boats, or it may have come from somewhere else."

In case there's any confusion - Gulf of Tonkin:
In 2005, it was revealed in an official NSA declassified report[2] that the first alleged attack, on the destroyer Maddox, was in fact carried out after the Maddox fired first. In 2008, another declassified NSA report[3] revealed that no attack happened on August 4.

TSA searches, detains multiple 5 year old children.

Why we let these people tell us what to do is beyond me.

TSA searches, detains 5 year old because his name was on no-fly list - Boing Boing:
"A five-year-old boy was taken into custody and thoroughly searched at Sea-Tac because his name is similar to a possible terrorist alias. As the Consumerist reports, "When his mother went to pick him up and hug him and comfort him during the proceedings, she was told not to touch him because he was a national security risk. They also had to frisk her again to make sure the little Dillinger hadn't passed anything dangerous weapons or materials to his mother when she hugged him."

...You know, if you wanted to systematically discredit the idea of a Department of Homeland Security, if you wanted to make an utter mockery of aviation safety, you could not do a better job than this."

Another five-year-old on the no-fly list: meet Sam Adams - Boing Boing:
"Ted Adams -- the publisher of IDW comics -- named his little son "Sam Adams," a good, solid patriotic name. It's also a name on the TSA's no-fly list, and the five-year-old has spent his young life being harassed by airport security goons who think he's a terrorist.
...My son, also five, is on that same list and it's a nightmare. Every time we fly with him, we can't use the computer terminals to check in and the attendant has to call some never named government agency to make sure he's not a terrorist. Some attendants joke it off but some are insanely serious about it. His seat always goes unassigned (even if it was assigned when the reservation is made) which always causes problems.

I've tried everything that anyone has suggested. There's a TSA form that you can fill out for this situation, which I did, but they won't tell you if they've removed your name. We got him a passport -- that didn't work. We've tried booking the tickets with his full name (including middle name), that didn't work. We tried booking the ticket under Master Samuel Adams, with still no luck.

Yeah, and if you think that's funny, imagine this kid's life when he's an adult and Every goddamned flight he takes involves an extra hour of hassle, a search, no assigned seats, being turned away, being humiliated, being harassed... There's a special circle of hell that's being prepared for the domestic fear-mongers who've helped the terrorists make Americans so very afraid."