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May 31, 2007

Like Rain On My Wedding Day

100 words every HS grad should know

I do better with the second half of the alphabet, it would seem.

By min | May 31, 2007, 3:13 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (3) | Link


Remember when i used to read?

By min | May 31, 2007, 3:02 PM | My stupid life | Comments (0) | Link

Random Lyrics Thursday

I'm Not Like Everybody Else by The Kinks (although i like the Camper Van cover better...)

I won't take all that they hand me down,
And make out a smile, though I wear a frown,
And I won't take it all lying down,
cause once I get started I go to town.

cause I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else.

And I don't want to ball about like everybody else,
And I don't want to live my life like everybody else,
And I won't say that I feel fine like everybody else,
cause I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else.

But darling, you know that I love you true,
Do anything that you want me to,
Confess all my sins like you want me to,
There's one thing that I will say to you,
I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else.

I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else
And I don't want to ball about like everybody else,
And I don't want to live my life like everybody else,
And I won't say that I feel fine like everybody else,
cause Im not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else.

Like everybody else,
Like everybody else,
Like everybody else,
Like everybody else.

If you all want me to settle down,
Slow up and stop all my running round,
Do everything like you want me to,
Theres one thing that I will say to you,
I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else.

I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else.
And I don't want to ball about like everybody else,
And I don't want to live my life like everybody else,
And I won't say that I feel fine like everybody else,
cause Im not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else.

Like everybody else (like everybody else),
Like everybody else (like everybody else),
Like everybody else (like everybody else),
Like everybody else.

By fnord12 | May 31, 2007, 9:39 AM | Music | Comments (0) | Link

May 30, 2007

The five best beards in comic books


By fnord12 | May 30, 2007, 2:22 PM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link

This bastard got me sick


A man with a form of tuberculosis so dangerous he is under the first U.S. government-ordered quarantine since 1963 told a newspaper he took one trans-Atlantic flight for his wedding and honeymoon and another because he feared for his life.

The man told the Journal-Constitution he was in Rome during his honeymoon when the CDC told him to turn himself in to Italian authorities to be isolated and be treated. The CDC told him he couldn't fly aboard commercial airliners.

"I thought to myself: You're nuts. I wasn't going to do that. They told me I had been put on the no-fly list and my passport was flagged," the man said.

He told the paper he and his wife decided to sneak back into the U.S. via Canada. He said he voluntarily went to a New York hospital, then was flown by the CDC to Atlanta.

He is not facing prosecution, health officials said.

"I'm a very well-educated, successful, intelligent person," he told the paper. "This is insane to me that I have an armed guard outside my door when I've cooperated with everything other than the whole solitary-confinement-in-Italy thing."

"What do i care if i put all those other people on the flight at risk of getting TB? Fuck them, at least i got home. I'm a very well-educated idiot."

I had TB last Friday. I'm sure it was this guy's fault. I got better due to my incredible stamina, but others might not be so strong.

By fnord12 | May 30, 2007, 10:52 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link

May 29, 2007

First Came the McJob....

Then the McMansion (thanks to nsxt290 for the link). I wonder if McDonald's will sue the Oxford English Dictionary over this one, too. Or they might go straight to the petition to falsify the definition. I wonder what other words we can change the definition of.

One in five American houses had at least four bedrooms in 2005. That's up from one in six in 1990, despite shrinking families and increasing costs for construction and energy.

Houses with five or more bedrooms were the fastest-growing type in that time, adding to the nation's consumption of resources and reputation for excess.


Evan and Valerie Astle are having a 5,700 square-foot house built in a new subdivision near Ogden because they want more space for their three teenagers. They have been renting a storage unit while living in their old, 2,100-square foot home.

That won't be a problem in the new house, which has four big bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms and a three-car garage.

"Our kids have more stuff. They need more living space," said Valerie Astle, a grade-school teacher.


In much of the country, the growth in big houses is fueled by suburban homebuyers seeking luxury, rather than big families needing space, Ahluwalia said.

"They are buying for lifestyle," he said.

Nationally, the average household size has shrunk slightly since 1990, to about 2.6 people. Meanwhile, the average new house grew by nearly 400 square feet, to 2,434 square feet.

"You cannot sell a new home today with 1 1/2 bathrooms," Ahluwalia said. "Even if only two people are in house, they still want 2 1/2 to three bathrooms."


Most big homes in the U.S. are going up in the suburbs, contributing to sprawl and congestion, said Vicky Markham, director of the Center for Environment and Population.

All those big suburban houses require more land, more materials to build and more energy to heat and cool, Markham said

"Excess is a matter of how each person views their own life," Markham said. But, she added, "Each person today is taking up more resources, more land, more energy than generations before."

This is just really sad. They are renting storage space because they have no room for their things. Hey, lady, here's a tip. Quit getting your kids so much stuff. If you can put it away in storage and it's not seasonal stuff (e.g. lawn equipment), you prolly didn't really need it in the first place. Sell it. Give it away. Don't buy it in the first place.

We have lots of stuff. I'm the first to admit it. But it's all stuff we're using. Musical equipment, comic books, regular books, and music. Well, ok. We're not really using those cds anymore now that they invented mp3s and iPods. I'm afraid to get rid of the cds in case we somehow lose the mp3s. Some of them also have sentimental value to me. Ofc, now with the CD fascists out there, we prolly wouldn't be able to sell our cds now anyway. But, for the most part, we're not collecting stuff just to have stuff that's new and big and shiny. We collect stuff that we need, want, and use. That's bad enough. But at least it's not in storage. Damn consumerism.

By min | May 29, 2007, 3:45 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (8) | Link

Ask Dr. Wallace Breen

Let me read a letter I recently received. 'Dear Dr. Breen. Why has the Combine seen fit to suppress our reproductive cycle? Sincerely, A Concerned Citizen.'

Thank you for writing, Concerned. Of course your question touches on one of the basic biological impulses, with all its associated hopes and fears for the future of the species.

I also detect some unspoken questions. Do our benefactors really know what's best for us? What gives them the right to make this kind of decision for mankind? Will they ever deactivate the suppression field and let us breed again?

Allow me to address the anxieties underlying your concerns, rather than try to answer every possible question you might have left unvoiced.

First, let us consider the fact that for the first time ever, as a species, immortality is in our reach.

This simple fact has far-reaching implications. It requires radical rethinking and revision of our genetic imperatives.

It also requires planning and forethought that run in direct opposition to our neural pre-sets.

I find it helpful at times like these to remind myself that our true enemy is Instinct.

Instinct was our mother when we were an infant species.

Instinct coddled us and kept us safe in those hardscrabble years when we hardened our sticks and cooked our first meals above a meager fire and started at the shadows that leapt upon the cavern's walls.

But inseparable from Instinct is its dark twin, Superstition.

Instinct is inextricably bound to unreasoning impulses, and today we clearly see its true nature. Instinct has just become aware of its irrelevance, and like a cornered beast, it will not go down without a bloody fight.

Instinct would inflict a fatal injury on our species.

Instinct creates its own oppressors, and bids us rise up against them.

Instinct tells us that the unknown is a threat, rather than an opportunity.

Instinct slyly and covertly compels us away from change and progress.

Instinct, therefore, must be expunged.

It must be fought tooth and nail, beginning with the basest of human urges: The urge to reproduce.

We should thank our benefactors for giving us respite from this overpowering force.

They have thrown a switch and exorcised our demons in a single stroke.

They have given us the strength we never could have summoned to overcome this compulsion.

They have given us purpose. They have turned our eyes toward the stars.

Let me assure you that the suppressing field will be shut off on the day that we have mastered ourselves...the day we can prove we no longer need it.

And that day of transformation, I have it on good authority, is close at hand.

By fnord12 | May 29, 2007, 3:22 PM | Video Games | Comments (1) | Link

Self-Determination and Relationships

Researchers performed a study that might show making sacrifices, big and small, for your partner because you want to rather than because you feel obligated to, can result in feeling happier about your relationship.

To answer one of the most common conundrums of romantic relationships, Patrick asked 266 men and women in relationships to document either their own or their partner's pro-relationship behaviors (PRB) for two weeks. Pro-relationship behavior can be any sacrifice or accommodation made out of consideration for one's partner or one's relationship.

Patrick found that partners who engaged in PRB because they wanted to -- not because they felt pressured or obligated to -- were more satisfied in their relationships, more committed to them, and felt closer to their mates following PRB experiences.

But she also found that people who simply perceived that their partners engaged in PRB because they wanted to were also more satisfied and committed to their relationship after a partner's PRB.

Patrick says her research has practical applications. She sees it being used for individual and couples therapy. She says this new information gives couples and psychology professionals insight into why some relationships aren't fulfilling even when everything looks OK on the surface.

My question is, are they feeling more committed and more satisfied because they voluntarily performed these PRBs or is it the other way around - are they more likely to engage in voluntary PRB because they already are satisfied and committed to their partner? How do you know what is the cause and what is the effect? The article doesn't specify how exactly they measured a couple's level of commitment after each PRB experience.

This last part of the article i totally agree with, though, and it's not about picking up your dirty socks from the living room floor.

Along with Patrick, Ryan, who is a professor of psychology, psychiatry and education, and Deci, the Gowen Professor in the Social Sciences, a fourth Rochester researcher, Dr. Geoffrey Williams, associate professor of medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, will present at the conference. He will unveil new findings that demonstrate patient involvement in a quit plan leads to smokers who are more motivated to quit because they genuinely want to, not because they are being nagged or bullied into kicking the habit. Williams said the method has also proved successful for patients managing diabetes, weight loss, and dental care.

Both Patrick's and Williams' research illustrates the crux of Self-Determination Theory: A self-motivated person derives more satisfaction in completing a given task, and is more likely to do it well.

You can't make people change if they don't want to.

By min | May 29, 2007, 2:55 PM | Science | Comments (0) | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Ant-Man - kind of like Heroes for Hire bringing in Devil Dinosaur and Moon Boy, bringing in Damage Control is a signal to me that this series is going to be more of the "goofy/funny" than "serious-disturbing/funny" and that's disappointing. I like the idea of a series about a total bastard who is not a super hero but pretends to be one in order to get chicks and loot, but i don't like goofy-bad comics like howard the duck or she-hulk. This issue was fine but i'm wondering if there's really anywhere to go from here.

FF - i've read a few reactions to this online and i can see where people feel like suddenly the Black Panther just pulled a bunch of gadgets out of nowhere in order to settle the conflict, and it did feel like everything resolved a little too neatly but A) Reed Richards constantly pulls wacky devices out of his butt to defeat the bad guys and B) in this case the devices in question are from the much-loved Christopher Priest Black Panther run. Regardless of that, this has been a great run with good dialogue and characterization.

Captain America - great stuff. The very last line of Bucky's inner monologue threw me for a loop. Very funny (serious-disturbing funny). Overall, it was a great set of reactions to Cap's death, confirming for me that i didn't need Jeph Loeb's probably awful Fallen Son mini. I loved the squabble between Red Skull and Dr. Faustus. When Arnim Zola is acting as a mediator, you know you're dealing with some unstable people. Zola's description of Doom's technology ("A lot of his science isn't exactly... science") was cool, too. My only (minor) complaint is that Epting's usually awesome art fell apart when showing the remnants of the resistance fighters - suddenly people's faces were melting.

Secret Wars count - i couldn't keep track due to the crowd scenes but i didn't get anywhere near eight.

By fnord12 | May 29, 2007, 2:30 PM | Comics | Comments (2) | Link

May 24, 2007


Headline: Home sales soar by record level .

First sentence of article:

Sales of new homes surged in April by the biggest amount in 14 years, but the median price of a new home dropped by the largest amount on record.

By fnord12 | May 24, 2007, 11:55 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link

That much closer to a Secret Wars movie

With Marvel now making their own movies, they shouldn't have to worry about different production companies owning the rights to various characters when they're ready to do the mother of all cross-overs. Assuming Marvel doesn't go broke and lose the rights to all their characters if the movies don't do well. Now they just need the rights back for their major characters like Spidey, the FF, and the X-Men. How does that work. Do the rights to the characters expire over a period of time, or are they licensed to do a specific number of movies, or what?

By fnord12 | May 24, 2007, 10:51 AM | Comics | Comments (1) | Link

Keith Olbermann: "The entire government has failed us"


This is, in fact, a comment about... betrayal.

Few men or women elected in our history - whether executive or legislative, state or national - have been sent into office with a mandate more obvious, nor instructions more clear:

Get us out of Iraq.

Yet after six months of preparation and execution - half a year gathering the strands of public support; translating into action, the collective will of the nearly 70 percent of Americans who reject this War of Lies, the Democrats have managed only this:

  • The Democratic leadership has surrendered to a president - if not the worst president, then easily the most selfish, in our history - who happily blackmails his own people, and uses his own military personnel as hostages to his asinine demand, that the Democrats "give the troops their money";
  • The Democratic leadership has agreed to finance the deaths of Americans in a war that has only reduced the security of Americans;
  • The Democratic leadership has given Mr. Bush all that he wanted, with the only caveat being, not merely meaningless symbolism about benchmarks for the Iraqi government, but optional meaningless symbolism about benchmarks for the Iraqi government.
  • The Democratic leadership has, in sum, claimed a compromise with the Administration, in which the only things truly compromised, are the trust of the voters, the ethics of the Democrats, and the lives of our brave, and doomed, friends, and family, in Iraq.

You, the men and women elected with the simplest of directions - Stop The War - have traded your strength, your bargaining position, and the uniform support of those who elected you... for a handful of magic beans.

You may trot out every political cliché from the soft-soap, inside-the-beltway dictionary of boilerplate sound bites, about how this is the "beginning of the end” of Mr. Bush's "carte blanche" in Iraq, about how this is a "first step."

Well, Senator Reid, the only end at its beginning... is our collective hope that you and your colleagues would do what is right, what is essential, what you were each elected and re-elected to do.

Because this "first step"... is a step right off a cliff.

And this President!
How shameful it would be to watch an adult... hold his breath, and threaten to continue to do so, until he turned blue.
But how horrifying it is... to watch a President hold his breath and threaten to continue to do so, until innocent and patriotic Americans in harm's way, are bled white.
You lead this country, sir?
You claim to defend it?

And yet when faced with the prospect of someone calling you on your stubbornness - your stubbornness which has cost 3,431 Americans their lives and thousands more their limbs - you, Mr. Bush, imply that if the Democrats don't give you the money and give it to you entirely on your terms, the troops in Iraq will be stranded, or forced to serve longer, or have to throw bullets at the enemy with their bare hands.

How transcendentally, how historically, pathetic.

Any other president from any other moment in the panorama of our history would have, at the outset of this tawdry game of political chicken, declared that no matter what the other political side did, he would insure personally - first, last and always - that the troops would not suffer.
A President, Mr. Bush, uses the carte blanche he has already, not to manipulate an overlap of arriving and departing Brigades into a 'second surge,' but to say in unequivocal terms that if it takes every last dime of the monies already allocated, if it takes reneging on government contracts with Halliburton, he will make sure the troops are safe - even if the only safety to be found, is in getting them the hell out of there.

Well, any true President would have done that, Sir.

You instead, used our troops as political pawns, then blamed the Democrats when you did so.

Not that these Democrats, who had this country's support and sympathy up until 48 hours ago, have not since earned all the blame they can carry home.

"We seem to be very near the bleak choice between war and shame," Winston Churchill wrote to Lord Moyne in the days after the British signed the Munich accords with Germany in 1938. "My feeling is that we shall choose shame, and then have war thrown in, a little later..."

That's what this is for the Democrats, isn't it?

Their "Neville Chamberlain moment" before the Second World War.
All that's missing is the landing at the airport, with the blinkered leader waving a piece of paper which he naively thought would guarantee "peace in our time," but which his opponent would ignore with deceit.

The Democrats have merely streamlined the process.
Their piece of paper already says Mr. Bush can ignore it, with impugnity.

And where are the Democratic presidential hopefuls this evening?
See they not, that to which the Senate and House leadership has blinded itself?

Judging these candidates based on how they voted on the original Iraq authorization, or waiting for apologies for those votes, is ancient history now.

The Democratic nomination is likely to be decided... tomorrow.

The talk of practical politics, the buying into of the President's dishonest construction "fund-the-troops-or-they-will-be-in-jeopardy," the promise of tougher action in September, is falling not on deaf ears, but rather falling on Americans who already told you what to do, and now perceive your ears as closed to practical politics.

Those who seek the Democratic nomination need to - for their own political futures and, with a thousand times more solemnity and importance, for the individual futures of our troops - denounce this betrayal, vote against it, and, if need be, unseat Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi if they continue down this path of guilty, fatal acquiescence to the tragically misguided will of a monomaniacal president.

For, ultimately, at this hour, the entire government has failed us.

Mr. Reid, Mr. Hoyer, and the other Democrats... have failed us.

They negotiated away that which they did not own, but had only been entrusted by us to protect: our collective will as the citizens of this country, that this brazen War of Lies be ended as rapidly and safely as possible.

Mr. Bush and his government... have failed us.
They have behaved venomously and without dignity - of course.
That is all at which Mr. Bush is gifted.
We are the ones providing any element of surprise or shock here.
With the exception of Senator Dodd and Senator Edwards, the Democratic presidential candidates have (so far at least) failed us.

They must now speak, and make plain how they view what has been given away to Mr. Bush, and what is yet to be given away tomorrow, and in the thousand tomorrows to come.

Because for the next fourteen months, the Democratic nominating process - indeed the whole of our political discourse until further notice - has, with the stroke of a cursed pen, become about one thing, and one thing alone.

The electorate figured this out, six months ago.
The President and the Republicans have not - doubtless will not.
The Democrats will figure it out, during the Memorial Day recess, when they go home and many of those who elected them will politely suggest they stay there - and permanently.
Because, on the subject of Iraq...
The people have been ahead of the media....
Ahead of the government...
Ahead of the politicians...
For the last year, or two years, or maybe three.

Our politics... is now about the answer to one briefly-worded question.
Mr. Bush has failed.
Mr. Warner has failed.
Mr. Reid has failed.
Who among us will stop this war - this War of Lies?
To he or she, fall the figurative keys to the nation.
To all the others - presidents and majority leaders and candidates and rank-and-file Congressmen and Senators of either party - there is only blame... for this shameful, and bi-partisan, betrayal.

While i'd have included the deaths on the side of Iraqi civilians as well as the US troops, and while i think references to Neville Chamberlain are overused at this point (although this is used deliberately in a different context than it has been these past few years), i strongly agree with these sentiments.

However, while i was originally ready to give up on the Dems entirely, this post by Kos made me rethink that a bit:

I've got to say, of all the things that get me down about this job, there's nothing worse than the people who want to quit the game and take their ball home every time we face a setback. It's as if every word I've ever written about this being a long-term battle means zero. As if it's instant gratification or nothing.

We face a multiple-front war -- against conservatives, against an out-of-touch and corrupt beltway consultant class, against corporatist Democrats, or Democrats that long ago lost the fire in their belly, and against a compromised punditry elite. Those are tough opponents, and it'll be a decades-long fight.

Did any of you really think we won that war in 2006? I sure as heck didn't. 2006 was incremental improvement, just as 2008 will be. And hopefully 2010. Along the way, we'll likely lose some ground, but we must always remain focused on the long term.

The conservative movement spent three decades building up their machine and completing the takeover of their party. And some of you want to quit after one setback?

That's embarrassing.

Buck up. We still haven't completely lost this Iraq supplemental battle. And if we do, instead of crying and taking your ball home, resolve to fight even harder. We owe it to our troops in Iraq, to our families, to our neighbors, to ourselves.

We have a lot of deadwood to get rid of in DC -- both Democratic and Republican. We have to combat the lies of the right wing noise machine and its allies in the traditional media. We have to build an electoral machine that can go toe-to-toe against the GOP's machine and win -- even when Republicans aren't shooting themselves in the foot.

This movement is about fighting for what we believe in, doing the hard work to transform both our party and our nation. It won't happen at once. We'll have to do this incrementally one issue fight and one election cycle at a time.

It's not about supporting these Democrats. It's about trying to turn the Democratic party into something that i would be proud to support.

By fnord12 | May 24, 2007, 9:49 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link

Time to break out the emulator

From Game Informer (not online):

In Japan, there are few homegrown movie stars that are bigger than comedian/actor/director Takeshi Kitano (Known famously as Beat Takeshi), but that doesn't mean he's any good at making video games. In 1986, this title appeared for the Nintendo Famicom and tasked players with some bizarre challenges such as asking you not to touch the controller for an hour, a boss that requires 20,000 hits, holding one button for four hours non-stop, a flying mission that you cannot complete, and more. Oh yeah, the title screen warns that the game was "created by somebody who hates video games."

More at wikipedia.

By fnord12 | May 24, 2007, 9:24 AM | Video Games | Comments (1) | Link

Random Lyrics Thursday

The Logical Song by Supertramp

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,
A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily,
Joyfully, playfully watching me.

But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible,

And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,

There are times when all the worlds asleep,
The questions run too deep
For such a simple man.
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd
But please tell me who I am.

Now watch what you say or theyll be calling you a radical,

Won't you sign up your name, we'd like to feel you're
a vegetable.

By fnord12 | May 24, 2007, 9:15 AM | Music | Comments (0) | Link

May 23, 2007

Must Love Hello Kitty

I can't decide if i want one or not.....

But it still REWLS!

By min | May 23, 2007, 3:41 PM | Science & Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link

Don't Need No Man

Scientists in Northern Ireland have discovered that hammerhead sharks can reproduce asexually. In 2001, a female hammerhead shark that's been in captivity since it was a pup and didn't have any contact with a male for 3 years recently gave birth at a zoo on Nebraska. At first they thought mebbe she had incubated the sperm for 3 years or had mated with another species in the tank. When they tested the pup's DNA, it had no traces of paternal DNA. The DNA was only from the mother which also rules out mating with another species.

Dr Paulo Prodohl, of Queen's School of Biological Sciences, headed the university's research team and co-wrote the study said: "The findings were really surprising because as far as anyone knew, all sharks reproduced only sexually by a male and female mating.

"The discovery that sharks can reproduce asexually by parthenogenesis now changes this paradigm, leaving mammals as the only major vertebrate group where this form of reproduction has not been seen."


Co-author Dr Mahmood Shivji, who led the Guy Harvey Research Institute team, said: "It now appears that at least some female sharks can switch from a sexual to a non-sexual mode of reproduction in the absence of males."

The team established the most likely form of asexual reproduction that had occurred was a specific type called automictic parthenogenesis, which leads to less genetic diversity in the offspring compared to even the mother.

In Jurassic Park, did the females start reproducing asexually, also?

By min | May 23, 2007, 12:00 PM | Science | Comments (1) | Link

What country are we living in?

Ted Rall:

Government agencies began spying on me shortly after 9/11. I have repeatedly suffered service interruptions--loud static, whispered voices, even outages--at the hands of a government whose laughably inept phone-tapping skills match its inability to respond to a hurricane or tornado. Finally, a security official at Verizon confirmed that my telephone had been tapped. "That's already more than I should have told you," he explained, requesting anonymity. "Under the Patriot Act we're not allowed to inform our customers about intercepts."

Eventually I was seeing my local Verizon repair guy, who was repeatedly being summoned to my home to restore service, more often than my best friend. So I was naturally suspicious when I caught an unfamiliar man, no uniform or badge, fiddling with the posts in my building's phone box. "Who are you and what are you doing?" I demanded. The dude knocked me down and bolted out a door into an alley. Giving chase, I watched him drive off an unmarked white van with U.S. government plates.

By fnord12 | May 23, 2007, 11:42 AM | Comics & Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link

It's not too late

The Democratic "leadership" has wimped out already, agreeing to remove timelines from the Iraq funding bill. I don't know why they would "compromise" with a man with approval ratings in the low 30s who is moving forward with an unpopular war, but i bet they think they were being strategic and trying to not look like hardliners. Here's how that "strategy" has been perceived:

Here's how it plays in the media:

Democrats Concede On Iraq

Democrats Retreat in Funding Showdown

Bush Wins Congressional Battle Over Iraq

Democrats Concede. Democrats Retreat. Bush Wins. And that's not even covering the many stories on how the Democrats "caved in" or "blinked." Yes, that's exactly the kind of news everyone was looking for after 2006. I think we were all hoping for headlines just like these.

There are a few stories out there about how Democrats need to explain this position to "liberals," that being the 70% of the public who wants out of Iraq. I can answer that one quickly: don't bother.

Despite the failure of our "leaders", its still possible to reject this by getting the rank and file Democratic congress people to vote against the watered down bill. If you care, you can call or email your representative and tell them you don't support removing the timelines and that they should vote no.

By fnord12 | May 23, 2007, 11:16 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2) | Link

May 22, 2007

They Needed To Use A Winch

An obese American tourist who fell ill on a cruise ship had to be carried off by helicopter.

The man, who weighs 32 stone (203kg), was on board a luxury five star cruise ship anchored in the Firth of Forth when he suffered gastric problems.


After winching the sick man from the Century Cruise Liner, run by Celebrity Cruises, it flew him to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where fire crews were on standby to transfer him into the building shortly after 0600 BST on Saturday.


The guy received emergency surgery and is recovering.

FYI, 32 stone is about 448lbs. In an earlier incarnation of this article, they said that the usual procedure is to get the person onto another boat, but they assessed the situation and deemed it would be impossible to expect him to climb down the side of the ship. I wonder how far a climb that would be. I would imagine it would be difficult for someone who is ill or injured to make the climb down even if they didn't weigh 32 stone.

And, ofc, it had to be an american.

For those who aren't sure, this is a winch. I'm sure you've seen them lots of times in movies and videogames. They're constantly getting jammed or burning out in these genres. You might also see them on trucks for towing.

By min | May 22, 2007, 12:33 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0) | Link

May 18, 2007

What do your stars mean?

Ideally, the iPod's random feature would take a look at ratings and play songs with 5 stars more frequently and stars with 1 star almost never. Since they don't do that, it seems most people have redefined the meanings of the stars. Here's what mine mean:

  •     * - This song sucks. Get it off my iPod and out of my library.
  •    ** - Needs attention: it's missing album art, it has a long gap at the end that needs to be removed, etc.
  •   *** - An average song that i don't need on the iPod but still want to keep in the library. Used when i had space considerations. Now that i'm currently rocking with 80gigs, this one doesn't get used.
  •  **** - This is a good band and i need to get more of them.
  • ***** - This song has a good part or an interesting approach that i would like to use (i.e., "steal") for one of my own songs

How about you?

By fnord12 | May 18, 2007, 12:57 PM | Music | Comments (3) | Link

Frodo To Play Iggy

Elijah Wood's been picked to play Iggy Pop in a biographical film The Passenger. It's supposed to chronicle the early years with the Stooges. This site has side-by-side headshots of Iggy Pop and Elijah Wood for likeness comparisons.

I figure Wood's got the stoned out look perfected after all his practice on LOTR.

By min | May 18, 2007, 9:38 AM | Movies & Music | Comments (0) | Link

May 17, 2007

Hope For the Balding

Researchers at UPenn were able to grow hair on mice, and they think mebbe it will lead to getting dormant hair follicles to grow hair again on humans.

The Pennsylvania team found that a particular gene important in wound healing, called wnt, appeared to play a role in the production of new hair follicles.

In its experiment, small sections of the outer skin layer, or epidermis, were removed from mice.

Just this act appeared to awaken stem cell activity in the area, the scientists said, which included the production of a number of hair follicles.

If the action of the wnt gene was blocked, no hair follicles were produced; but if it was boosted, then many more hair follicles were produced, with the skin layer eventually being indistinguishable from surrounding areas.

It's all very preliminary, though, so it could be years before anything comes of it. Meanwhile, there'll be plenty of furry mice hanging out at UPenn.

Currently, hair transplants are the most expensive and most painful way to treat baldness. Then there's the chemicals like Rogaine where some say that after they stopped using it (you're not supposed to use it for longer than a few months straight), all their hair fell out again. Stupid Rogaine. Fostering hopes and then stomping them to bits in the mud.

I'd suggest you start taking zinc supplements as i've read that helps with hair growth, but that would be contrary to what i just told you yesterday. Better to be bald than have prostate cancer.

By min | May 17, 2007, 1:20 PM | Science | Comments (1) | Link

Random Lyrics Thursday

Please Forgive Us by the 10,000 Maniacs

Mercy, mercy, why didnt we hear it?
Mercy, mercy, why did we read it buried on the last page of our morning papers?
The plan was drafted, drafted in secret.
Gunboats met the red tide, driven to the rum trade for the army that they created.
But the bullets were bought by us, it was dollars that paid them.

Please forgive us, we dont know what was done in our name.
Therell be more trials like this in mercenary heydays.
When theyre so apt to wrap themselves up in the stripes and stars
And find that they are able to call themselves heroes
And to justify murder by their fighters for freedom.

Please forgive us, we dont know what was done.
Please forgive us, we didnt know.
Could you ever forgive us?
I dont know how you could.
I know this is no consolation.

Please forgive us, we didnt know.
Could you ever believe that we didnt know?
Please forgive us, we didnt know.
I wouldnt blame you if you never could, and you never will.

By fnord12 | May 17, 2007, 9:25 AM | Music | Comments (0) | Link

May 16, 2007

Stop or i shall say "Stop!" again


Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena for any of Karl Rove's emails in the Department's possession that might be relevant to the U.S. attorney firings. The deadline was 2 PM yesterday. The deadline came and went. And now Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) and ranking member Arlen Specter (R-PA) are angry.

"You ignored the subpoena, did not come forward today, did not produce the documents and did not even offer an explanation for your noncompliance," the senators wrote in a lettter to Alberto Gonzales today. "Your action today is in defiance of the Committee's subpoena without explanation of any legal basis for doing so." You can read the letter here.

The senators set a new deadline, this Friday at May 18, 10 AM. If the Justice Department does not respond to the subpoena, the senators ask that they at least explain why they're not responding "so that the Chairman and the Committee can assess any objections to the subpoena or privileges claimed by the Department."

C'mon guys! At least give us a reason why you're ignoring us so we can pretend we still have some dignity.

By fnord12 | May 16, 2007, 4:08 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link

Don't Take Your Vitamins

A study has come out that shows taking multi-vitamins might increase the risk of dying form prostate cancer.

Men taking multi-vitamin supplements often may increase their risk of death from prostate cancer, according to a new study published in the May 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

But experts caution that the study could not establish a causal relation between the risk and use of multivitamins, meaning multivitamin use does not necessarily raise the death risk associated with prostate cancer.

The study, a statistical analysis, but not a trial, found that men who used multi-vitamins more than seven times a week were twice as likely to die of prostate cancer as men who never took vitamins.

Those men were also at an increased risk of developing advanced or fatal prostate cancer, compared with men who never used multivitamins, reported Karla A. Lawson, Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute and colleagues.


But the study also found that those who took selenium, a-carotene, or zinc were among those who faced the highest risk, which is less explainable. "Thus, excessive intake of certain individual micronutrients that are used in combination with multivitamins may be the underlying factor that is related to risk and not the multivitamins themselves," the researchers wrote, cited by Medpage today.

In explaining that use of multivitamins may increase the risk of prostate cancer, Drs. Bjelakovic and Gluud suggested that "antioxidant supplements in pills are synthetic, factory processed, and may not be safe compared with their naturally occurring counterparts."

Another explanation by the editorialists is that "reactive oxygen species in moderate concentrations are essential mediators of reactions by which the body gets rid of unwanted cells. Thus, if administration of antioxidant supplements decreases free radicals, it may interfere with essential defensive mechanisms for ridding the organism of damaged cells, including those that are precancerous and cancerous."

This explanation sounds more plausible, the foodconsumer.org scientist commented. Still, the study per se could not tell the readers that multivitamin use definitely increases risk of fatal and advanced prostate cancer.

I hate it when things that are supposed to be good for us turn out to be bad for us. All those years parents have been feeding their kids Flintstone vitamins to help them grow up stronger and healthier, and all they were doing is giving them prostate cancer. Jerks.

Next they'll discover it increases the chances of ovarian cancer in women.

By min | May 16, 2007, 2:59 PM | Science | Comments (3) | Link

May 15, 2007

Death Report

Jerry Falwell died. If God does exist, Falwell's in for a shock. As if not being able to bring his money with him in death wasn't enough to depress him.

By min | May 15, 2007, 2:53 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link

Nudists Seek Younger Recruits

Thank goodness for outside sources otherwise i'd never post anything. From slyn:

Here's the naked truth about nude recreation: The people who practice it aren't getting any younger.

To draw 20- and 30-somethings, nudist groups and camps are trying everything from deep discounts on membership fees to a young ambassador program that encourages college and graduate students to talk to their peers about having fun in the buff.


No one is quite sure why nudity, at least the organized version promoted by the AANR and similar groups, is such a tough sell for younger people.

"I think people think that we're all hippies," said Laura Groezinger, 22, of Billerica, Mass., who grew up visiting Solair with her family. "Other people, I don't know the right way to say this, but they think it's more sexual, kind of. They don't understand just the being free with your body and being comfortable."


"I hope to get the word out to younger people that hey, it is OK, and here's a safe place to be, a very accepting place," Maguire said. "Unlike any other place in life, people actually look at you when they talk to you."

They're talking to you. So, all you under-40s out there, go and be free with your body....and stuff. Just not in my house.

By min | May 15, 2007, 2:46 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0) | Link

I don't remember reading about this one in Edith Hamilton

Priapus, the god of the well-endowed.

(Scroll down to 'Priapus in popular culture' and you'll see how i came to know about him).

By fnord12 | May 15, 2007, 1:54 PM | Comics & Ummm... Other? | Comments (2) | Link

Treadmill Desk

Thanks to shmoo for this link.

I don't think i would mind having a treadmill at work, actually. My ass often starts to get sore from too much sitting. I clearly have a hard job.

The question is, how do you tell someone they're overweight and you think it would be in their best interest if you took away their desk and forced them to walk on a treadmill all day instead? I'm thinking alot of employees are going to be unhappy about that. Ofc, in the U.S. we're all fat asses so everybody's desk would get replaced anyway, so nobody would feel singled out.

By min | May 15, 2007, 11:21 AM | | Comments (0) | Link

Fear Life

Spored sent me this link yesterday.

Teachers staged a mock gun attack on 11 year olds during a week long class trip. Needless to say, the children and their parents aren't thrilled about this. The kids pretty much thought they were all going to die. I bet the bill for the therapy is going to be really big.


On the other hand, this teaches kids to fear life and people and really, i'm down with that.

By min | May 15, 2007, 10:39 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link

May 14, 2007

Do they have the equivalent of frequent flyer miles, too?

If you're rich and you do crime, you can do time at the "nice prison" for a small fee:

Apparently there are about a dozen jails throughout California that offer pay-to-stay "upgrades." Inmates (or "clients," as they're known) who pay an extra $75 to $127 a day get a cell with a regular door, located at some distance from violent offenders, as well as the right, in some cases, to bring in an iPod, a cellphone or a laptop.

This is part of a larger op-ed about how taxes actually serve a purpose and Republican 'reduce taxes and increase spending' policies are destroying our society.

...come to think of it, here at work i have a regular door, an ipod, and a laptop.

By fnord12 | May 14, 2007, 4:24 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link


Listen to this guy try to say "I'd like the person with the banner to leave the room."

By fnord12 | May 14, 2007, 1:17 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link

Plush Five

Everybody loves plush monsters. I was on the Troll and Toad site (if you're in my D&D campaign that should worry you) and i ran across these:

First, the D&D creatures:



Next, the Godzilla friends:

Everybody's favorite, Gigan

Hedorah, the smog monster, is just ridiculous.

Baby Mothra

All these great baby toys. It's enough to make you want to have babies!

By fnord12 | May 14, 2007, 11:28 AM | D&D & Godzilla | Comments (1) | Link

SuperMario trilogy

Also via Mike (who needs to step away from the YouTube), here are three different people doing incredible things with the Super Mario theme:

By fnord12 | May 14, 2007, 11:09 AM | Music & Video Games | Comments (0) | Link

Stop motion song

Also in the stop-motion theme, here's a guy that doesn't know how to play drums or piano, but he recorded himself hitting a bunch of drums and notes and then put it all together in an order that makes a song. Jerk. When i was in high school, all i wanted was a four-track and a drum machine. Nowadays these kids with their fancy schmancy technology can do anything they want. (SuperMegaCredit to Mike again).

By fnord12 | May 14, 2007, 11:06 AM | Music | Comments (0) | Link

Stop motion fight

This fight, filmed in stop-motion video, is pretty cool (via Mike).

By fnord12 | May 14, 2007, 11:02 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0) | Link

I had this

Wanyas sent me this link a while ago but i'm just getting around to posting some things in my email. Although this was made in 1975, i had this as a kid. Even though it's essentially card board cut-outs, it was very cool and it probably had a lot to do with the fact that i love the marvel comics so much. At the time i played with these, i had no idea who most of these characters were, so as i read comics they probably clicked with early memories in my brain and stuck. (Click for bigger image.)

By fnord12 | May 14, 2007, 10:57 AM | Comics & My stupid life | Comments (0) | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Punisher - this is really slow and boring. I know they tried to establish earlier that the Punisher has some kind of Cap worship thing going on, but this is taking it way too far. Also, even though i agree with the politcs, the full page lecture on immigration was a bit much for me. And i find this story continues for two more issues? Dropping is imminent

Iron Fist - When i think back on what happened in this issue, it was "Iron Fist and Iron Fist Senior crawl out of the sewer and go back to the Rand Corp Headquarters, where they find more bad guys." I remember enjoying it at the time though so it must have been some damn good sewer crawling. Also i'm glad to see Luke, Colleen, and Misty show up.

Amazing Spider-Man - Good but like a lot of current comics it moves a little too slowly and i'm not really feeling the immediacy of Parker's rage at this point. The chronologist in me is trying to figure out where this fits in the Kingpin's history since he's been forced out of the country in Daredevil and already come back into the country in Runaways. I'm pretty sure this takes place immediately after Civil War, though. That works best for me as i'd like this storyline resolved before the New Avengers stories start.

Avengers - Well, the Bendis doubters were essentially right. Everyone was trying to figure out who the new Ronin was based on the few lines of dialogue in his debut appearance. The clues were that he directed his comments to Luke Cage, talked with a bit of a street slang, and didn't seem to have be familiar with working with the Avengers. Adding all that together and considering the fact that he uses a sword and that the original purpose of the New Avengers team was to get all the recognizable fan-favorite characters on one team, i had my money on Blade (thinking that the slang and the fact that he was only talking to Luke was a white writer's way of indicating that the character was black). Considering that it ended up being Hawkeye, who re-joined the team despite Cage's protest, those lines of dialogue ended up being very throwaway. Still, i enjoyed this issue despite the very sketchy art which i really am getting used to.

By fnord12 | May 14, 2007, 10:22 AM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link

May 11, 2007

Hot Enough For Ya?

Remember when we were kids and a hot day in the summer would be 87? Last summer we were regularly experiencing temps in the mid-90s. And it's only going to get better.

Future eastern United States summers look much hotter than originally predicted with daily highs about 10 degrees warmer than in recent years by the mid-2080s, a new NASA study says.

Previous and widely used global warming computer estimates predict too many rainy days, the study says. Because drier weather is hotter, they underestimate how warm it will be east of the Mississippi River, said atmospheric scientists Barry Lynn and Leonard Druyan of Columbia University and NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.


In the 2080s, the average summer high will probably be 102 degrees in Jacksonville, 100 degrees in Memphis, 96 degrees in Atlanta, and 91 degrees in Chicago and Washington, according to the study published in the peer-reviewed journal Climate.

But every now and then a summer will be drier than normal and that means even hotter days, Lynn said. So when Lynn's computer models spit out simulated results for July 2085 the forecasted temperatures sizzled past uncomfortable into painful. The study showed a map where the average high in the southeast neared 115 and pushed 100 in the northeast. Even Canada flirted with the low to mid 90s.

Many politicians and climate skeptics have criticized computer models as erring on the side of predicting temperatures that are too hot and outcomes that are too apocalyptic with global warming. But Druyan said the problem is most computer models, especially when compared to their predictions of past observations, underestimate how bad global warming is. That's because they see too many rainy days, which tends to cool temperatures off, he said.

An editor of the journal Climate had this to say about the study:

Weaver said looking at the map of a hotter eastern United States he can think of one thing: "I like living in Canada."

Canada just keeps looking better and better.

By min | May 11, 2007, 11:12 AM | Science | Comments (5) | Link

No Ipods for Grandpa

Ipods have been found to interfere with pacemakers. So, unless you're trying to give the elderly a heart attack, you should prolly keep it away from them. Hopefully, by the time we're using pacemakers, they'll have solved this problem. Course, we might have run out of power to keep any of it running. Or we could die from cancer and never make it to the point where we might need a pacemaker. You gotta think positively.

Cell phones also interfere with pacemakers, but mobile phone manufacturers tell users that it's not a big deal. Just don't put it in a shirt pocket. Cause mobile phone manufactuers would be the first people to dissuade the use of cell phones if they thought it might cause harm. Riiight.

By min | May 11, 2007, 10:54 AM | Science | Comments (0) | Link

Typical Magic Girl - now with exploding panties


In Atarashi Games' Panty Explosion ($20) players take on the roles of psychic Japanese schoolgirls and battle nightmarish demons, ghosts, government agents and even each other. Like the typical "magical girl" manga or anime, Panty Explosion mixes the mundane and the macabre, the petty trials and tribulations of high school life and the life or death struggle against supernatural monsters.

By fnord12 | May 11, 2007, 9:58 AM | Ummm... Other? & Video Games | Comments (0) | Link

And that's why they call him "Ego"

Ego the Living Planet hitting on the Earth. From the Marvel Adventures line. Brilliant.

By fnord12 | May 11, 2007, 9:52 AM | Comics | Comments (3) | Link

May 10, 2007


What is the deal with people who are stopped at a light or in traffic and feel the need to creep up? When i'm sitting there waiting for the light to turn green, i just sit and wait. I don't roll the car forward a few inches every 10 seconds. I don't understand the reason for this. You still can't go anywhere until the light changes. And you most likely will still have to wait for the guy in front of you to start going, too. You're not saving yourself any time by creeping. I've seen some people creep themselves practically into the intersection. I find the behaviour to be very perplexing. So, please, if you're a creeper, explain to me what's going on. What are you doing?

By min | May 10, 2007, 3:11 PM | My stupid life | Comments (1) | Link


Everytime i play Wii bowling, i nearly pull a muscle in my tricep.

By min | May 10, 2007, 3:05 PM | My stupid life | Comments (3) | Link

Random Lyrics Thursday

Chapter 24 by Pink Floyd

All movement is accomplished in six stages,
and the seventh brings return.
The seven is the number of the young light.
It forms when darkness is increased by one.

Change return success.
Going and coming without error.
Action brings good fortune...

The time is with the month of winter solstice,
when the change is due to come.
Thunder in the Earth, the course of Heaven.
Things cannot be destroyed once and for all.

Change return success.
Going and coming without error.
Action brings good fortune...

All movement is accomplished in six stages,
and the seventh brings return.
The seven is the number of the young light.
It forms when darkness is increased by one.

Change return success.
Going and coming without error.
Action brings good fortune...

By fnord12 | May 10, 2007, 9:33 AM | Music | Comments (0) | Link

May 9, 2007

And i've got 3,000 dust collectors in the garage


New "pawn shop" laws are springing up across the United States that will make selling your used CDs at the local record shop something akin to getting arrested. No, you won't spend any time in jail, but you'll certainly feel like a criminal once the local record shop makes copies of all of your identifying information and even collects your fingerprints.

Why this trend, and why now? It's difficult to say, but to be sure, there is no love lost between retailers who sell used CDs and the music industry. The Federal Trade Commission has scrutinized the music industry for putting unfair pressures on retailers who sell used CDs, following a long battle between the music industry and retailers in the mid 90s. The music industry dislikes used CD sales because they don't get a cut of subsequent sales after the first. Now, via the specter of piracy, new legislation is cropping up that will make it even less desirable to sell second-hand goods. Can laws targeting used DVDs be far behind?

The music industry has never been a big fan of the Doctrine of First Sale, and the rise of digital music sales will only exacerbate the tension between consumers who believe that they "own" what they pay for, and the music industry. As more and more content-oriented goods transition to digital formats that are distributed free of physical formats, this issue is going to get tricky because it will be harder to spot the counterfeits from the authentic products, and consumers will still expect to exercise robust rights with the content that they've paid for with their hard-earned cash.

By fnord12 | May 9, 2007, 2:13 PM | Music | Comments (2) | Link

Goodbye to the cassette mix


It's not like when your mates would sit in their bedrooms and press play and record to make a compilation, just to educate you in the songs they felt you needed to be educated in. It was in many ways a bond between guys at school with the time and effort it took to make a tape, taking tapes in and out. Each tape was a testament to how much that friend loved you.

By fnord12 | May 9, 2007, 2:07 PM | Music | Comments (0) | Link

May 8, 2007


So, i don't really know how it started, but then again, i never do. Bits of the Hulk's personality and memories were being stripped from him and manifesting physically. All the physical manifestations looked like the Hulk, but they acted slightly differently. One was infantile. One was super stupid. Things like that. Nothing really flushed out. I think one was super-deformed. Gigantic head, regular-sized body.

The Hulk was completely unaware of this. These people from another dimension had been gathering and tending to the various Hulk-bits. They wanted to bring them back to the Hulk and somehow re-merge his bits to the whole. Hulk, ofc, had no idea what had been happening and when these people approached him, he assumed they were attacking him. He attacked back. Typical.

Miraculously, none of them were seriously hurt by the Hulk's rampage. As the fight continued, the others managed to herd the Hulk-bits to the scene and Hulk finally understood he was not being attacked but helped.

On a side note, at one point, She-Hulk arrives and the infantile Hulk recognizes her immediately and is overjoyed. She isn't sure exactly what's going on so she tries to get away from him. She disguises herself in a lab coat and glasses and sets herself up at a desk in a lab. As if this would work. Ah well.

By min | May 8, 2007, 2:44 PM | Comics & My Dreams | Comments (0) | Link

He-Man 2008

The people who made Superman Returns seem to be thinking about making a new He-Man movie. I don't know what on earth would bring this on. The He-Man cartoon that they redid a couple of years ago didn't go very far, did it? They had even thought of bringing back She-Ra, but the He-Man cartoon got cancelled before that could happen.

All i know is there's even an IMDB entry for it. Also, Brad Pitt is rumored to be the top pick to play He-Man. Mostly, i just love that picture of Pitt's head on He-Man's body.

Not having actually watched Superman Returns, i'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Not that it should be hard to top the Dolph Lundgren version, for sure. All they have to do is not teleport them to L.A. or some other real city. And keep Ang Lee out of it. Then they should be golden.

Meanwhile, when are they going to put the Captain America movie on dvd so i can Netflix it? I bet it's awesome.

By min | May 8, 2007, 11:53 AM | Movies | Comments (1) | Link

May 7, 2007

Multiple Choice

In recent issues of Iron Man, when Dum Dum Dugan compares Tony Stark's job as Director of SHIELD to the way Nick Fury handled things even though Maria Hill had been the director of SHIELD in recent years...

A. It's because Marvel can't keep their continuity straight
B. It's because in they eyes of many, especially including Dum Dum Dugan, Nick Fury is the quintessential SHIELD director in whose shadow all subsequent SHIELD directors must live

By fnord12 | May 7, 2007, 7:35 PM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Iron Man #17 - Interesting plot and happy to see something of a redefinition of the Mandarin. I like how he's examined himself and realized that he's acted too much out of rage in the past and now he's going to correct that. This should really re-establish him as a top villain. The genetic terrorist manipulation and the struggles Tony is having running SHIELD is also good. This book has definitely gotten better.

Astonishing X-Men #21 - While this is an "any heroes will do" generic type of story, it's being executed well and i'm enjoying it. After this wraps up and Whedon leaves, i'm going to be blind to the X-Men section of the marvel universe again. Maybe i'll have to get that big event.

Runaways #26 - Several laugh out loud moments ("Why aren't you awesomed by me??") and great character moments as well (oh, the story's ok too). As long as Joss Whedon doesn't kill anyone, this should continue to be one of my favorites, even if the next issue is a time travel story.

Omega Flight #2 - Man, they'll slap an "Initiative" label on anything. This is good. I'd have expected the Wrecking Crew to actually kill Sasquatch, but dragging him around like a dog is pretty sadistic so it works even if the point from a plot perspective is to keep him alive and rescuable. It's still not paced right for a miniseries but i'm using my reality-manipulation powers to ensure that this becomes an ongoing so that'll be fine. The shock ending was ruined a bit by the preview/filler issue that came out at the end of civil war. Nonetheless, good.

Hulk #106 - this was great. I love the Richards/Cho 'chess' game. Pak said in an interview that if he could have done anything differently about Planet Hulk, it would have been to have sub-plots running through the series dealing with Hulk's supporting cast back on Earth. I wish he had done that because he's apparently a very good writer. I just haven't gotten the Planet Hulk stuff because i'm not all that interested in the Hulk-as-gladiator thing.

World War Hulk: World Breaker #1 - This was pretty pointless, and not nearly as well written as the main Hulk issue so it actually had negative value. And how is it a prologue if it takes place after #106? It's nice to have the first appearance of Amadeus Cho reprinted in the back although it turns out his bond with the Hulk isn't based on very much. The best thing in here was the Mini Marvels. Buti felt like they ran with the Black Bolt hand signal bit a little too long. God, i just hate everything, don't i?

By fnord12 | May 7, 2007, 8:11 AM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link

May 4, 2007

The Stupid Giving Vegans A Bad Name

A couple in Georgia have been convicted of starving their baby to death. They claim to be vegans, feeding the baby soy milk and apple juice.

The infant was born in the bathtub of a Buckhead apartment but never taken to a doctor while alive. He was dead when his parents took him to Piedmont Hospital, across the street from their apartment, April 25, 2004. At six weeks old he weighed just 3 1/2 pounds and was so emaciated, doctors could count his bones through his skin.

Fulton prosecutor Chuck Boring said the verdict isn't a condemnation of veganism, a strict form of vegetarianism that doesn't allow the consumption or use of animal products. Instead, jurors believed prosecutors' assertions that the couple intentionally neglected and underfed the child and then tried to use the lifestyle as a shield.

Despite the prosecutor saying it's not a condemnation of veganism, it's what most people will remember. I'm sure the Sally Fallon brigade will be out in full force twisting the facts to make it sound like soy was the real killer. Surely, it is better to feed babies unpasteurized milk with ground up beef liver in it.

Unfortunately, the fact that these people had to be idiots to think soy milk and apple juice would be sufficient and therefore had no right to reproduce really won't play as much of a role in people's memories. The soy milk containers clearly stated it was no substitute for formula. And when your baby is so emaciated, you can see its bones, you don't have to be a genius to know something's not right.

The mothers of this couple were at the trial and cried when they heard the verdict. Nice of them to show up. Where were they when their kids were busy starving their grandchild?

At least the jurors got to hear from a nutritionist who wrote a book about raising kids on a vegan diet. That leaves a tiny bit of hope that at least those 12 people will blame the parents and not veganism. *sigh*

By min | May 4, 2007, 12:49 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0) | Link

May 3, 2007

Know your Zabu

Again with the comics.

By fnord12 | May 3, 2007, 12:06 PM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link

Random Lyrics Thursday

Bus to Beelzebub by Soul Coughing

Get on to the bus
That's gonna take you back to Beelzebub
Get on to the bus
That's gonna make you stop going rub a dub

Your words burn the air
Like the names of candy bars
Your mouth is cold and red
All in rings around your
Laugh laughing laughs

It's a grind grind
It's a grind
It's a grind grind

I'll scratch you raw
L'etat c'est moi
I drink the drink
And I'm wall to wall
I absorb trust like a love rhombus
I feel I must elucidate
I ate the chump with guile
Quadrilateral I was
Now I warp like a smile

Yellow no. 5
Yellow no. 5, 5, 5

Voulez-vous the bus?

By fnord12 | May 3, 2007, 8:46 AM | Music | Comments (0) | Link

May 2, 2007

Ferret lust is perfectly natural

"There is something deranged about you... The excessive concern you have for ferrets is something you should examine with a therapist... There is something really, really very sad about you... This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness...You should go consult a psychologist... Your compulsion about - your excessive concern with it is a sign that there is something wrong in your personality...You have a sickness, and I know it's hard for you to accept that...You need help." - Rudolph Giuliani

By fnord12 | May 2, 2007, 11:27 AM | Liberal Outrage & Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link

May 1, 2007

It's a style thing

Some people (see comments in the Marvel Sales thread) just don't like Rob Liefeld. But is it really an absolute, or is it a question of taste? What it comes down to is: some people like a grotesquely deformed Captain America, and some don't.

Update: Not work safe. Although, is it really appropriate to be reading SuperMegaMonkey at work in the first place?

By fnord12 | May 1, 2007, 4:38 PM | Comics | Comments (3) | Link

Artificial Nasal Mucus

I'm sure there were plenty of people out there who could have helped them out with nasal mucus. They didn't have to go to the trouble of making fake mucus.

British scientists have created artificial nasal mucus to enhance the performance of electronic "noses."

The researchers at the University of Warwick and Leicester University coated sensors used by odor sensing electronic sensors with a mix of polymers that mimics the action of the mucus in the natural nose. They found the artificial mucus greatly improved the performance of the electronic devices, allowing them to identify a more diverse range of smells.

By min | May 1, 2007, 1:55 PM | Science | Comments (2) | Link

Xanadu On Broadway

This idea is so bad, it's awesome. It's jazz hands!!!

Greek Muses and rollerskates. You'd think with a combination like that, you couldn't possibly go wrong. Oh, how mistaken you are. The movie was terrible. They say this musical version will be tongue-in-cheek, but i don't see how that could make it measurably better.

By min | May 1, 2007, 1:06 PM | Movies & Music | Comments (1) | Link

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