Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Reason presents the decade in politics.

It is to weep.
"Hands down, the '00s were the worst political decade at least since the 1990s.

Reason.tv celebrates the (lack of) personalities, the scandals, and the screw-ups that made us all want to forget the first 10 years of the 21st century.

Approximately 2.10 minutes. No politicians were hurt in the making of this video."


Atlas Lesson 1 x2, Neck mobility
Giant set - hindu pushups, hindu squats, bridge, neck nods, chins, dislocates, single arm db snatch, tricep pushups, hyperextensions, bodyweight rows, wall squat, wall walk, glute bridge, wall handstand
19m shadowboxing

We are getting dumber and dumber, I swear to god.

Reproduced in full, because, honestly, the stupidity can't be overstated.

It's Complicated Rating Extremely Complicated - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine:
""What did you do in the drug war, Daddy?"

"I rated movies for inappropriate contact, son."

The romantic comedy “It’s Complicated” arrived at the multiplex on Friday complete with an R rating, ranking it in the same category as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Basic Instinct” in the eyes of the Motion Picture Association of America.

But there is no violence in “It’s Complicated,” and the bedroom scenes are decidedly tame by contemporary standards. Instead, the R rating — which experts say could limit the box-office potential of the Universal Pictures film — comes largely from a sequence in which Steve Martin and Meryl Streep smoke marijuana.

Whole NY Times story here.

Among movies featuring drug use that got PG ratings? 9 to 5 and Annie Hall. But they were released a long time ago, in a country far, far, away."

Church teaches truth. Inadvertently.

Via Fuck Yeah 4Chan

Monday, December 28, 2009

Walking around the neighborhood.

Massively overdressed for a rather mild winter afternoon.
From 2009-12-28

From 2009-12-28

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Getting a little bit of altitude... the apt is way back in those tiny buildings someplace.
From 2009-12-28

No pictures, please.

From 2009-12-28


Been crap about logging these over the holidays...

Atlas III Pushups [1m] - 25
Atlas Situps [3m] - 57
Hindu Squats [12m] - 240
Atlas Situps [3m] - 54
Atlas III Pushups [1m] - 20
MILO DSR [4m] - 20/15
13m shadowboxing
Bridge 2x30 count
Chins x 10
Atlas Lesson 1

12/25-27 Holiday wkend off

Atlas III Pushups [1m] - 24
Atlas Situps [3m] - 57
Hindu Squats [12m] - 240
Atlas Situps [3m] - 50
Atlas III Pushups [1m] - 20
MILO DSR [4m] - 20/15
Atlas Lessons 1, 10, 11
Neck Mobility Work

12/23 Hungover from the bonnenkai

Atlas Lessons 1, 10, 11
Circuit 3x - Hindu pushups 20/15/15, Hindu squats 40/30/30, Bridge 40/30/30, Chins - 10/8/10
Atlas Lesson 1
Calf raises x100, Forearm flex x50
15m Shadowboxing

Atlas Lesson 1 [x3]
Atlas Lessons 1, 10, 11
Atlas III Pushups [1m] - 23
Atlas Situps [3m] - 57
Hindu Squats [12m] - 234
Atlas Situps [3m] - 50
Atlas III Pushups [1m] - 20
MILO DSR [4m] - 20/15
Bridge/neck nods x50
Bodyweight rows x20
Chins 2x8
Facepulls x20

12/19-20 Bust - lazy

Atlas Lesson 1 + Neck mobility
Atlas Lesson 1 + Neck Dynamic Tension
Atlas Lessons 10, 11
Pushups 20/20/15
Pullups 3x5
Neck mobility + dynamic tension
Pike pushups 10/15x2

Sunday, December 27, 2009

"The Myth of Mental Illness."

True fact - when Denny O'Neil wrote The Question in 1987, he changed the main character's "real" name from Vic Sage to Charles Victor Szasz [disregard the fact that the character was an orphan, and that wasn't his real name either] - so it's clearly not coincidental that besides being an ass-kicking kung-fu adventure tale, it also became a meditation on identity, sanity and violence. One of my favorite comics ever, certainly in ambition, if not necessarily execution. [Execution wise, probably 3rd or 4th favorite, but still way, way up there.] All roads lead to comics. Always.

Thomas Szasz - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Szasz consistently pays attention to the power of language in the establishment and maintenance of the social order, both in small interpersonal as well as wider socio-political spheres:

"The struggle for definition is veritably the struggle for life itself. In the typical Western two men fight desperately for the possession of a gun that has been thrown to the ground: whoever reaches the weapon first shoots and lives; his adversary is shot and dies. In ordinary life, the struggle is not for guns but for words; whoever first defines the situation is the victor; his adversary, the victim. For example, in the family, husband and wife, mother and child do not get along; who defines whom as troublesome or mentally sick?...[the one] who first seizes the word imposes reality on the other; [the one] who defines thus dominates and lives; and [the one] who is defined is subjugated and may be killed."[7]

His main arguments can be summarised as follows:

  • The myth of mental illness: "Mental illness" is an expression, a metaphor that describes an offending, disturbing, shocking, or vexing conduct, action, or pattern of behavior, such as schizophrenia, as an "illness" or "disease". Szasz wrote: "If you talk to God, you are praying; If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia. If the dead talk to you, you are a spiritualist; If you talk to the dead, you are a schizophrenic."[7] While people behave and think in ways that are very disturbing, and that may resemble a disease process (pain, deterioration, response to various interventions), this does not mean they actually have a disease. To Szasz, disease can only mean something people "have," while behavior is what people "do". Psychiatry actively obscures the difference between (mis)behavior and disease, in its quest to help or harm parties to conflicts. By calling certain people "diseased", psychiatry attempts to deny them responsibility as moral agents, in order to better control them.
People who are said (by themselves or others) to "have" a mental illness can only have, at best, a "fake disease." Diagnoses of "mental illness" or "mental disorder" (the latter expression called by Szasz a "weasel term" for mental illness) are passed off as "scientific categories" but they remain merely judgments (judgments of disdain) to support certain uses of power by psychiatric authorities.

...In Ceremonial Chemistry (1973), he argued that the same persecution which has targeted witches, Jews, Gypsies or homosexuals now targets "drug addicts" and "insane" people. Szasz argued that all these categories of people were taken as scapegoats of the community in ritual ceremonies. To underscore this continuation of religion through medicine, he even takes as example obesity: instead of concentrating on junk food (ill-nutrition), physicians denounced hypernutrition. According to Szasz, despite their scientific appearance, the diets imposed were a moral substitute to the former fasts, and the social injunction not to be overweight is to be considered as a moral order, not as a scientific advice as it claims to be. As with those thought bad (insane people), those who took the wrong drugs (drug-addicts), medicine created a category for those who had the wrong weight (obeses).

Szasz argued that psychiatrics were created in the 17th century to study and control those who erred from the medical norms of social behavior...

...Szasz's critics maintain that, contrary to his views, such illnesses are now regularly "approached, measured, or tested in scientific fashion."[15] The list of groups that reject his opinion that mental illness is a myth include the American Medical Association (AMA) , American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

The effectiveness of medication has been used as an argument against Szasz’s idea that depression is a myth. In a debate with Szasz, Donald F. Klein, M.D explained:

“It is that elementary fact, that the antidepressants do little to normals, and are tremendously effective in the clinically depressed person, that shows us that this is an illness” [16]

But as the New England Journal of Medicine reported on January 17, 2008, in published trials, about 60 percent of people taking the drugs report significant relief from depression, compared with roughly 40 percent of those on placebo pills. But when the less positive, unpublished trials are included, the advantage shrinks: the drugs outperform placebos, but perhaps only by a modest margin.[17]. "

Belgium seems logical.

Overheard Everywhere | Ooh, and Some Scrambled Eggs!:
"Girl to friend: I'm going to order a pint. Or do we just want to split a pitcher?
Friend: I'm pregnant, remember?
Girl: Oh, yeah. But I thought you were planning to abort it?
Friend: I am. (sighs) Okay, let's get a pitcher.


We're all gonna turn into paranoid idiots.

You know, I haven't heard the horribly cliched phrase "...then the terrorists win" in some time, but when we become this paranoid, this suspicious, this stupid... yeah, I'm pretty sure that's the real definition of it. Black guy with stomach trouble now = total freakout. Jesus wept.

Sick Nigerian Prompts Security Alert in Detroit - NYTimes.com:
"“A passenger on today’s Northwest flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit spent an unusually long time in the aircraft lavatory,” she said in the statement. “Due to this unusual behavior, the airline notified T.S.A. and the agency directed the flight to taxi to a remote area upon landing to be met by law enforcement and D.H.S.

“The passenger in question, a Nigerian national, was removed from the flight and interviewed by the F.B.I.; indications at this time are that the individual’s behavior is due to legitimate illness, and no other suspicious behavior or materials have been found."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Xmas Day.

We ripped open our presents earlier in the month, impatiently and without respect for tradition... So Xmas day consisted mostly of good food and holiday video.
From 2009-12-25

From 2009-12-25

Japanese Christmas Cake!
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Japan + Xmas = Chicken! Well, actually, it's supposed to mean KFC, but we made do.
From 2009-12-25

Intensive TV focus!
From 2009-12-25

And we did exchange early "anniversary" presents - [we met 15 years ago on Dec 28th/Monday.] Sandy got DVDs...
From 2009-12-25

...and I got an uber-cool/comfy new Hawaiian style pillow. [Proper bedding is essential.]
From 2009-12-25

Christmas Eve Dinner.

With some of Sandy's friends, at the restaurant managed by her friend's son-in-law. The food was awesome.
From 2009-12-25

The restaurant manager/head chef.
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That's a big glass of wine.
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I'm clearly drunk off good food. And, you know, alcohol as well.
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She calls him "Koji."

My wife's Xmas gift from a friend. My wife's kooky. :)
From 2009-12-25

Baachan/Yanagawa Tourist-y Photo Op Follow-up.

Grandma's awesome.
From 2009-12-25

Last end-of-the-year closing ceremony.

2009 coming to a close...
From 2009-12-24

The outgoing student council... just a great group of kids.
From 2009-12-24

Jr High Bonnenkai.

Much food, drink and fun was had.
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I was on the "political team" playing as "Barack Obama." Go figure.
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The hats were new this year.
From 2009-12-24

Party games, karaoke style.
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Other games, deep thinking. I only cheated a bit.
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The spoils of competition.
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The bus home.
From 2009-12-24

The benefits of wifely presence.

She even cooks bacon :)
From 2009-12-24

In response to the bombing attempt, the TSA continues its meaningless, reactionary, security-theater-focused, full retard press.

Schneier on Security: Separating Explosives from the Detonator:
"...And what sort of magical thinking is behind the rumored TSA rule about keeping passengers seated during the last hour of flight? Do we really think the terrorist won't think of blowing up their improvised explosive devices during the first hour of flight?

For years I've been saying this:

Only two things have made flying safer [since 9/11]: the reinforcement of cockpit doors, and the fact that passengers know now to resist hijackers.

This week, the second one worked over Detroit. Security succeeded.

EDITED TO ADD (12/26): Only one carry on? No electronics for the first hour of flight? I wish that, just once, some terrorist would try something that you can only foil by upgrading the passengers to first glass and giving them free drinks."

TSA: Dumb as Ever | The Agitator:

"So in response to the attempted terror attack over Christmas, TSA will apparently adopt a new policy prohibiting passengers from moving during the last hour of a flight. Also, no pillows or blankets during that last hour.

In addition to keeping with its usually tradition of making policy on a reactionary basis, this one wouldn’t even have done anything to prevent the attempt over the weekend. The guy was in his seat when he tried to light the explosive device. And the passenger who confronted him got out of his seat to do it.

Also, if the goal was to bring the plane down from the air, why add restrictions for the last hour of the flight?

Seems to me that what this, Flight 93, and the Richard Reid incident have shown us is that the best line of defense against airplane-based terrorism is us. Alert, aware, informed passengers.

TSA, on the other hand, equates hassle with safety. For all the crap they put us through, this guy still got some sort of explosive material on the plane from Amsterdam. He was stopped by law-abiding passengers. So TSA responds to all of this by . . . announcing plans to hassle law-abiding U.S. passengers even more.

If you’re really cynical, you could make a good argument that they’re really only interested in the appearance of safety. They’ve simply concluded that the more difficult they make your flight, the safer you’ll feel. Never mind if any of the theatrics actually work."

Yo dawg, I heard you like TSA security restrictions, so I put some security restrictions on top of your security restrictions Boing Boing:

"Here's an open thread for discussing the awesome new TSA in-flight security restrictions that will surely protect us all from future pantsbombers. Just like the war on toothpaste protected us from Mister Sizzly Pants' crotch-launched Christmas fireworks. How'd that loser manage to board a plane in Lagos packing Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), then glide on through to a Detroit-bound Delta Airlines flight? What the hell's PETN? Is it in toothpaste? How did our supposedly tightened post-9/11 flight security system allow this to happen — despite apparent warning?

Incidentally, I took an early morning flight on Delta from Latin America to the US, among the first international flights subject to a TSA security directive issued this morning.

As we boarded, the flight attendants announced that all passengers would be prohibited from getting out of their seats (for instance, to go to the toilet) or from using any electronic devices (phones, laptops, games) or having anything on their laps (even a book or a blanket) during the last hour of the flight. I tweeted about it from the plane. Bottom line, the new rules make your fellow passengers farty and crosslegged (ever try not going to the bathroom during the last part of a really long-haul international flight?), the flight attendants seemed to be just as annoyed about the meritless new rules as the passengers, and we were none the safer. The worst part? None of this would have stopped the pantsbomber."

18th century Britain was kinky.

Hellfire holidays: Round 2 of the Pervert's Grand Tour. (1) - By Tony Perrottet - Slate Magazine:
"A couple of years ago, while researching a treatise on salacious European history, I discovered the phantasmagoric wonderland of sex that was Georgian Britain, the era from 1714 to 1837. Long before the heyday of Austin Powers, debauchery proliferated up and down the rain-soaked land, fueled by riotous boozing and self-indulgence. "There was a gusto about 18th century vice unmatched before or since," writes historian Fergus Linnane with tangible nostalgia, in London: The Wicked City. A flood of wealth from the budding empire allowed the leisured classes to fulfill their carnal fantasies without restraint. And perhaps the most striking feature of the age was the explosion of British sex clubs, where a colorful array of rakes, libertines, courtesans, and aristocratic adventuresses dressed up in outrageous outfits for kinky ceremonies. Each club accumulated its own peculiar regalia, such as erotic drinking vessels, sleazy curios, and obscene ballot boxes modeled on human torsos (yay or nay votes going into respective orifices). There would be ribald toasts, poring over the latest dirty books, and visits from comely young "posture molls," who posed nude on tables and gyrated like modern lap dancers. Special rooms were provided so members could retire in pairs or groups, and ladies of fashion could unwind with handsome rent boys. Surviving accounts suggest that some clubs would spice their orgies with a dash of Satanism, while others focused on elaborate rituals of self-abuse.

Sadly, during the prudish Victorian era, most references to these naughty clubs were scotched from the historical record. Horrified relatives burned embarrassing documents and club regalia. But their subversive antics survived in pornographic novels, travel guides to risqué tourist sites, and, of course, popular memory...

Visiting the city today, you must constantly look past all the ponderous Victorian institutions that smothered the world of whimsical sex romps. No trace can be found of the Mollies Club for homosexuals, the range of transvestite societies (both men and women relished gender-bending in the 18th century), the Flagellants' Club for the many gentlemen who favored a little birching, or the women-only club for discreet lesbian encounters on Jermyn Street. A creative leap of imagination is needed to picture Covent Garden, now given over to flower markets and Body Shops, as the city's most sordid red light district, where, in the seedy Shakespeare's Head, waiter-pimps would set gentlemen up with ladies like Oyster Moll, who would "open the wicket of love's bear garden to any bold sportsman who has a venturesome mind to give a run to his puppy." And in tree-lined St. James's Square, nothing remains of upmarket bordellos like Miss Falkland's Temple of Love, where one could sip champagne in damask-lined parlors and enjoy such luxuries as "elastick beds" that were spring-loaded "to restore old men and debauched youths," much like the vibrating mattresses of Las Vegas hotels, and where resident doctors who would screen ladies for the pox.

...In 1721, rumors began circulating throughout the city about a new group that called themselves the Hellfire Club, some 40 "persons of quality," male and female, led by a handsome and depraved young peer, Philip, Duke of Wharton. Along with the group sex and sadomasochism, there was talk of sacrilegious rites in their townhouses—mockeries of the Holy Eucharist, feasts of Devil's Loins and Holy Ghost Pie—so the club was shut down by royal order.

...In 1750, Dashwood gathered his friends and concocted a fake religious sect, renovated the abandoned medieval abbey of Medmenham near his family estate, and began to use it as a private rumpus room for carnal misbehavior. In this isolated setting, beneath old stained-glass windows and new erotic frescos, a dozen randy "apostles" would gather in monks robes for twice-weekly bacchanals. Aristocratic women would travel from London to join the frolics dressed as nuns, and comely local "nymphs" were hired, allegedly to lie naked on his altar so the monks could lick holy wine from their navels—an exciting aperitif before the real festivities began. To crank up the eerie atmosphere, revelries were also held inside purpose-built caves dug on Dashwood's estate, in torch-lit chambers that evoked the pagan catacombs of ancient Rome.

What exactly transpired in these inventive club settings has been a matter of feverish speculation by historians ever since, with rumors of sacrilegious sex games, pagan fertility rituals, and, of course, a spicy dash of Satanism. We do know that club members included high-level figures from the British government, including the Earl of Sandwich and radical John Wilkes, plus celebrities like the writer Laurence Sterne, artist William Hogarth, and Benjamin Franklin, who became Dashwood's close friend."

Friday, December 25, 2009

"Kick-Ass" -- the Hit-Girl Red Band Trailer.

Made of absolute win/total awesome. From the comic by Mark Millar/John Romita Jr.

Perhaps overly naive - denying human nature, in fact - but a viewpoint that in its most basic terms I agree with.

Making that distinction between capitalism and corporatism is one that is rarely done these days. And erring on the side of greater freedom I can almost always go along with. But I get hit with the "overly idealistic" tag by the more practical minded I know.

I always liked John Stossel though... I remember watching him as far back as Jr High when he was on 20/20.

John Stossel - Dump the Audience? - Reason Magazine:
"I like explaining that what I defend isn't business but economic freedom and markets. Businessmen—with some honorable exceptions—are usually happy to collude with government to stifle competition and harm consumers and workers. I hate that.

And anyway, it was not free markets, but meddling politicians, bureaucrats, and central bankers, along with their corporate cronies, who created today's problems."

Merry Winter Solstice - Yule - Saturnalia - Sol Invictus. I'll celebrate in the traditional ways of Japan - with cake and chicken.

Also, "Make Sure to Drink Your Ovaltine."

Winter solstice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"...the Winter Solstice occurs on December 21 or 22... Christmas or Christ's Mass is one of the most popular Christian celebrations as well as one of the most globally recognized midwinter celebrations. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Christian Deity God Incarnate or Messiah, Jesus Christ. The birth is observed on December 25, which was the Roman winter solstice upon establishment of the Julian Calendar. Christian churches recognized folk elements of the festival in various cultures within the past several hundred years, allowing much of the folklore and traditions of local pagan festivals to be appropriated. "
Yule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Yule or Yule-tide is a winter festival that was initially celebrated by the historical Germanic peoples as a pagan religious festival, though it was later absorbed into, and equated with, the Christian festival of Christmas. "
Saturnalia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Saturnalia is an Ancient Roman festival that was held in honor of the god Saturn... Originally celebrated for a day, on December 17, its popularity saw it grow until it became a week long extravaganza, ending on the 23rd... Saturnalia involved [...] the making and giving of small presents "
Sol Invictus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was a Roman god...

The date for Christmas may also bear a relation to the sun worship. According to the scholiast on the Syriac bishop Jacob Bar-Salibi, writing in the twelfth century:

"It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same 25 December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day.""

Christmas Cake in Japan. Fried Chicken as the holiday meal.

Oh yeah, and Merry Xmas too.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Science' catches up to what natural health folks, anybody with common sense, has been saying for years-High Fructose Corn Syrup is horrible for you.

Even if HFCS was "only" as bad for you as straight sugar, the fact that it's so inexpensive makes it so that it's in everything these days - ensuring you consume far too much crap and screw with your insulin and hormonal systems as a given.

Child diabetes blamed on food sweetener - Times Online:
"Scientists have proved for the first time that a cheap form of sugar used in thousands of food products and soft drinks can damage human metabolism and is fuelling the obesity crisis.

Fructose, a sweetener derived from corn, can cause dangerous growths of fat cells around vital organs and is able to trigger the early stages of diabetes and heart disease.

It has increasingly been used as a substitute for more expensive types of sugar in yoghurts, cakes, salad dressing and cereals...

Over 10 weeks, 16 volunteers on a strictly controlled diet, including high levels of fructose, produced new fat cells around their heart, liver and other digestive organs. They also showed signs of food-processing abnormalities linked to diabetes and heart disease. Another group of volunteers on the same diet, but with glucose sugar replacing fructose, did not have these problems.

People in both groups put on a similar amount of weight. However, researchers at the University of California who conducted the trial, said the levels of weight gain among the fructose consumers would be greater over the long term..."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Science is tricksy.

Overheard in New York | Nice Wednesday One-Liners Finish Last:
"Man on cell: I need attractive girls with low self-esteem so I can tell them that I understand and then do horrible things to them. This is basic science.

--40th & 8th

Overheard by: 13Atlantic"

Why journalism deserves its slow, painful death.

Morning Links | The Agitator:
"Thank goodness the Washington Post didn’t perpetuate irresponsible Internet rumors on that snowball fight story. Instead, they went straight to MPDC for the official version of events, unskeptically published the resulting lies from the department’s spokesman, after which WaPo columnist Marc Fisher put up a smug blog post gloating about how responsibly the paper treated the story, as opposed to those hysterical blogs and Internet sites. Never mind that the blogs and videos had proof the WaPo got the damned story wrong. Facts aren’t as important as who followed journalistic protocol."

Tattooing truth.

Tattoo in Japan - Boing Boing:
"'I've seen very little that I would consider wearing for the rest of my life...'
I hear this a lot, but it's not really about finding a design you want to wear for the rest of your life. After a few years, you don't really see the 'design' anymore, you see what your life was like at the time you got it, you remember whatever good or bad things were going on at the time, and maybe think about how different things are now.

Some people get really hung up on 'but what does it MEAN?' like every little detail is supposed to have some sort of mystical story behind it, for some parts I just say, 'I don't know yet, ask me again in a few years.'"

Possible winner of this year's "Best Mom" award...

Via A mother's letter to her hemphead child - Boing Boing

Full service gf.

texts from last night:
"(831): just woke up to two already rolled blunts and a full explanation of what happened last night. I love my gf"

Take shit from no one.

Possible best use of Facebook ever.

Click to embiggen. Totally worth it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Honest communication runs some risks.

Overheard in New York | New Yorkers, Unfiltered.:
"Hobo: Hey man, can I have a cigarette?
Jewish smoker: No, sorry, I'm running low.
Hobo: No, you just don't wanna give me a cig 'cause you're a Jew.
Jewish smoker: Why can't you afford your own cigarettes? Is it cause you're black?

--9th Ave & 18th St"

Nothing wrong with that.

texts from last night:
"(808): You know that it's no longer pregaming if you don't go anywhere, right? That's just drinking alone."


texts from last night:
"(513): woke up to 35 texts all saying im cheating on her
(513): me and last nights hook up spent two hr. figuring out a reply we went with i love you.."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just when you thought Catholics couldn't be further divorced from reality.

Pope passes special Vatican copyright giving him exclusive right to use his name, title, image Boing Boing:
"The Pope has created a special (and weirdly incoherent) copyright in his name, image and symbols."

Kokusai Spirit - Hita Bus Trip.

The hat works, actually.
From 2009-12-19

Winter shoes!
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Japan's fabled alcohol vending machines.
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The snow begins coming down.
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I'm artsy.
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Reprobates drinking in the back of the bus.
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Impromptu, slightly intoxicated snowball fight.
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I'm a ninja.
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Anton is serious.
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Child abuse more a matter of perspective, really.
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Making the shochu.
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And tasting the shochu.
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Awesome viking style buffet.
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Old Hita.
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Japan will win because even their manhole covers are intricately and cutely designed.
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