Saturday, October 10, 2009

If only... "Priest Off!"


Via An oldy but a goody | The Good Atheist

The stupidity burns so badly...

Friday Runaround – Banned Books, Baltimore Pride, Thor Casting, Stupid British Children and Nobel Prizes | Bleeding Cool Comic News & Rumors:
"Dragon Ball is the latest graphic novel to be banned from a library, in this case all school libraries in Wicomico County, as the first volume Dragon Ball, Volume 1: The Monkey King contained scenes with naked children, something a parent pointed out when their nine year old child brought a copy home.

You know, is it me, or have naked children often seen naked children in real life – including themselves and siblings? Anyway. Twenty-five years after its first publication in Japan and almost ten years after its publication here on the back of the anime adaptation, it still seems to be able to shock some, and to be fair there are some mild sexual mentions, but less than you’d find in, say The Simpsons or Spider-Man."

The Jefferson Bible and other fun Founding Father heresies.

I'd read about the Jefferson Bible before, thanks be to Robert Anton Wilson, but recently reading Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol reminded me of it. Jefferson cut-and-pasting his own version of scripture delights my blasphemy bone. That kind of thing and the Treaty of Tripoli serve as welcome reminders that those folks were overwhelmingly deist and would find the modern religious right full of asshatery, despite the efforts of the last thirty years to claim the U.S. as a "Christian Nation."

Jefferson Bible - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally titled, was Thomas Jefferson's effort to extract the doctrine of Jesus by removing sections of the New Testament containing supernatural aspects as well as perceived misinterpretations he believed had been added by the Four Evangelists.

...The Jefferson Bible begins with an account of Jesus’s birth without references to angels, genealogy, or prophecy. Miracles, references to the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus, and Jesus' resurrection are also absent from the Jefferson Bible."
Treaty of Tripoli - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"The Treaty of Tripoli usually refers to the first treaty concluded between the United States of America and Tripoli... The treaty was signed at Tripoli on November 4, 1796 and at Algiers (for a third-party witness) on January 3, 1797, finally receiving ratification from the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797 and signed by President John Adams on June 10, 1797.

...Article 11 has been a point of contention in disputes on the doctrine of separation of church and state as it applies to the founding principles of the United States.

Article 11 reads:

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Advocates of the separation of church and state claim that this text constitutes evidence that the United States Government was not founded on the Christian religion. The Senate's ratification was only the third recorded unanimous vote of 339 votes taken. The treaty was printed in the Philadelphia Gazette and two New York papers, with no evidence of any public dissent."

Lending evidence to my decisions not to buy HDTV or Blu-ray.

They got me once, switching over from VHS to DVD [and cassettes to CDs and now MP3s, for that matter...] but they're not getting me this time. I just wanna watch a damn movie.

HD TV and the placebo effect - Boing Boing:
"New research from the Netherlands explores a placebo effect around high-definition TV. Of course, HD does look sharper, but the mind apparently can easily be tricked into thinking that regular TV is HD."

Friday, October 09, 2009

Jesus. Christ.

I mean... honestly. WTF? Much more at the links... which is frankly, quite depressing and infuriating.

The Agitator » Blog Archive » Morning Links:
"Police officer mistakes woman playing with pit bull for pit bull attacking woman, shoots both. "
The Agitator » Blog Archive » Innocence Roundup:
"• Wisconsin court dismisses charges against rape and murder after the prosecutor withheld evidence of his innocence. Ralph Armstrong was convicted in 1981. In 1995, a woman told prosecutors Armstrong’s brother confessed to the crime, but prosecutors never informed Armstrong’s attorneys. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ordered a new trial when DNA cleared Armstrong in 2005, but prosecutors kept him in prison another four years while they made plans to try him again. Believe it or not, it only gets worse from there. There’s some startling prosecutoral misconduct in this case.

Florida man released after DNA clears him of a rape for which he served 26 years in prison. Anthony Caravella, who is mentally disabled and was 15 at the time he was convicted, falsely confessed to the crime. His lawyer says he was beaten into a confession. Prosecutors had originally sought the death penalty."

The Agitator » Blog Archive » Roundup of New Police Professionalism:

"Eighth Circuit panel upholds qualified immunity for Missouri police chief sued for sexual assault and tasering the husband of the woman he was assaulting when the husband objected. It’s the third time the chief has been sued for inappropriate conduct around women while on the job.

Dolton, Illinois officer caught on video beating a student in school hallway. The student says the officer was responding to a dress code violation.

Assault charges dropped against Missouri man accused of driving his car at police officers after video shows officers lied on the police report.

An arbitrator has ruled an Ohio cop must be given back his job with back pay after he was fired for (a) driving drunk, (b) calling dispatch to see where his fellow officers were patrolling so he could avoid getting stopped, and (c) undermining a domestic violence investigation of his friend. He has been disciplined seven other times."

Jon Lajoie brings the heat. Comedically, of course.


Truly frightening.

From the hovertext at the site:
"I'm teaching every 8 year old I know to say this, and every 14 year old to do the same with Toy Story. Also, Pokemon hit the U.S. over a decade ago and kids born after Aladdin came out will turn 18 next year."

3 Day Weekend Battle!

Japan celebrates "Health and Sports Day."

America celebrates Columbus getting lost, thinking he's found India.

Japan Wins.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Law enforcement I can get behind.

Overheard in New York | You Look Great! Have You Been Wednesday-One-Linering?:
"Cop to guy in handcuffs: I swear to god I won't arrest you if you do 10 push-ups right now. Swear to god.

--28th & 2nd"

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


AM - 5 Tibetans x4
Atlas Circuit - Atlas pushup, deep breathing, rope pulldown, pull apart, fist press, pressdown, dips

PM - 30m Bas Rutten MMA Wkout, kickboxing, 2m rounds
Hindu pushups, hindu squats, bridge, shoulder dislocates, pullups, chinups, handstand, wallsquats, hangs, timed hold, wrist curls/extensions, scap wall slides, back stretch
Atlas Circuit - Atlas pushup, deep breathing, rope pulldown, pull apart, fist press, pressdown, dip

For all the time I've spent online, I'd only seen about a third of these - "100 GREATEST HITS OF YOUTUBE IN 4 MINUTES."

You know, I don't believe in soulmates... but this would count, I think.

texts from last night:
"(858): batman tramp stamp. Dibs."

Applying logic to religion...

Overheard in New York | Probably Because "Indian Giver" Is a Tad Offensive:
"Partygoer #1: See, 'cause god gave us Jesus... but then he took him back!
Partygoer #2: God's a big Indian giver.
Partygoer #1: That's the real message of the season. But let's see parents teaching that to their kids!

--107th St & Broadway"

Monday, October 05, 2009


Training's just been kind of an abortion since summer vacation, clearly. Came back from the states, did about two weeks of P90X and had a triplex [triumvirate?] of injuries - lower back, wrist and neck. Crappy all around. The neck is a recurring flare up from a dojo injury from a couple years ago - tip to all you MMA folks, when shooting the double leg, don't land on your head - but the back and wrist were new and took pushing, bending and twisting movements out of play. Rested up [in other word ate too much crap and drank too much alcohol] till mid-Sept and then did various workouts I was too lazy to post up online for about a week and half until... I didn't. And then the last week and a half I've haven't done anything. Because I suck.

Anyways, back at it.

AM - 5 Tibetans, 3 reps
PM - 30m Rutten MMA wkout/boxing/2m rounds
Circuit - Hindu pushups, hindu squats, bridge, shoulder dislocates, pullups, chins, air squats, neck nods, handstands for time, wallsquats for time
Soft tissue work, Cressey mobility drills, back stretch
Atlas circuit - Atlas pushup, deep breathing, rope pulldown, pull apart, fist press, pressdown, chair press

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Watched in September.

Doctor Who Season 3 & 4 - Martha Jones is awesome... and John Simm is a phenooooooooooomenal bad guy. The season itself I thought lagged a bit in the middle, but Simm - praise be to Life on Mars, plus David Tennant - made this season straight awesome.

Didn't particularly like the Donna Noble character from the Xmas special, but she grew on me. Rose in the series premiere was particularly awesome. Season 4 showed me that Doctor Who is far smarter and entertaining than standard sci-fi fare. Good, good times.

Generation Kill - [the HBO series. I read the book ages ago... I remember it being quite good.] As for the TV show. It was really well done. The dialogue, in particular, rang true. I was an air wing pogue who never deployed, let alone saw combat, when I was in Corps, but the dynamic between Marines was spot on. Well acted and well written.

Leverage - highly entertaining TV.

Patton Oswalt - My Weakness is Strong - not as strong as his last special, I thought [Werewolves and Lollipops] but still damn funny.

Eureka, Robot Chicken, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Ultimate Fighter and Ultimate Fight Night, The Office, Parks and Recreation [Louis C.K. is awesome], Community [potentially good, shows promise], It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Mentalist, NCIS [hooked on this when I was home this summer. NCIS LA, otoh, was an abomination. Had to turn that off after 20m.] House - interesting twists this season. True Blood. Castle - Nathan Fillion rocks. UFC 103. Modern Family - best new comedy of the season. SNL. K1 WGP Final 16. Bored to Death - new HBO series... quirky, has promise.

Sasuke - my favorite Japanese program, ever. Nagano Makoto missed it by ONE SECOND this year.

Movies - Grandma's Boy. Space Cowboys. Gran Torino - best movie I've seen in quite some time. Clint rocks.

Victory - used to be on rotation on HBO when I was a kid. So I picked up the DVD for cheap when I was back home this summer. Michael Caine, Stallone, Pele, Von Sydow... great cast. I don't even like soccer, but I dig the film quite a bit. And found out this, thanks to the magical internets - Escape to Victory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"The movie is based on the 1961 Hungarian film drama Két félidő a pokolban ('Two half-times in Hell'), which was directed by Zoltán Fábri and won the critics' award at the 1962 Boston Cinema Festival.

The film was inspired by the true story of Dynamo Kyiv's players, who defeated German soldiers while Ukraine was occupied by German troops in World War II. According to myth, as a result of their victory, the Ukrainians were all shot. The true story is considerably more complex, as the team played a series of matches against German teams, emerging victorious in all of them, before finally being sent to prison camps by the Gestapo. Most of the team were killed there, but a few survived."
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People - disappointing Simon Pegg vehicle. Pegg was engaging, but a clever book was turned into a generic rom-com. Boo. The Search for Robert Johnson. Iron and Silk. Nobel Son.

State of Play - both the BBC mini and the Hollywood flick. The BBC series was vastly superior. You can't beat John Simm, Philip Glenister and Bill Nighy. The only real standout in the flick version was Jason Bateman's character, which was deft and entertaining.

The Punisher and Punisher War Zone. Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson play the same character very differently. Both good, though I'd lean towards Stevenson's. Both films suffer from crappy villains though. The actors - John Travolta and [especially, given his chops in The Wire] Dominic West capable of far better performances.

C'mon Japan, you can do better than that...

...and in a bookstore, no less.
From 2009-10-04

Still, I picked up a copy of Haruki Murakami's A Wild Sheep Chase. I figure I'd probably be able to appreciate it more while I'm still living here... and I'd been meaning to give it a go for a while.

Essential Japan = Yakitori + Snack Bar Karaoke.

Good times...

Mike goes the Full Nihonjin.
From 2009-10-04

From 2009-10-04

Speechifying in Japan.

A couple students took part in a speech contest sponsored by the Daily Yomiuri.
From 2009-10-04

Here, they rehearse prior to the event...
From 2009-10-04

They did well, but it was rather high level, so they didn't end up placing. Still, they worked hard and were impressive...
From 2009-10-04

Refresh Open!

From 2009-10-04

The local grocery store just completed renovations. New flooring, coolers, shelving, better and more fluid layout...
From 2009-10-04

...regretfully, the increased selection will not engender healthier food choices.
From 2009-10-04

Tasty though.

Hip Hop YouTube Spiral.

Soothes the soul.

Karma, justice, the proverbial middle finger from the world community.

Wonder if they'll ever wise up and get rid of the TSA and DHS? Probably not, given the lethargy and impetus of bureaucracy.

Olympic Committee Member to Chicago bid team: US Customs is "harrowing experience" - Boing Boing:
"Chicago may have lost its Olympic bid due to the insane fingerprints-and-photos regime at the US border: the Chicago bid team was questioned by an IOC member who called the US border 'a rather harrowing experience.'"