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June 30, 2011

The Perfect Number of Teeth

Never mind the train. There are much more interesting things to talk about.

Four would be too few. Ten would be too many. Five or nine would presumably produce an unaesthetic, wonky effect.

So the smiling attendants on the test run of the Beijing to Shanghai high-speed rail link revealed precisely six to eight of their teeth to display their pleasure as the train pulled out of the capital. It had, admitted chief conductor Gao Dan, taken considerable practice; in some cases, with chopsticks jammed between their jaws.

If the Chinese hadn't spent generations perfecting their ability to be inscrutable, mebbe this would have been easier.

I'm extremely curious as to how exactly the use of chopsticks could possibly have aided in this endeavor. I might have to go home and try it for myself.

Beijing's ambassador to the UK suggested last week that Chinese firms could help build a high-speed line between London, the Midlands and the north, saying the country had "the knowledge, expertise and experience".

"Of course! There's no argument," Xu declared when asked whether Britain should buy Chinese.

"China should be the first choice."

Damn skippy!

By min | June 30, 2011, 2:51 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

June 28, 2011

If someone needs a political advisor, i am available

Reasonable Conservative™ David Frum looks at a David Brooks column critiquing Obama's lack of leadership, and follows up with:

Yet Brooks has laid out the most useful and effective critique of Barack Obama for Republicans in 2012: The job has overwhelmed the man. He's not an alien, he's not a radical. He's just not the person the country needs. He's not tough enough, he's not imaginative enough, and he's not determined enough.

In the throes of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, the president ran out of ideas sometime back in 2009.

In the face of opposition, Obama goes passive. The mean Republicans refused votes on his Federal Reserve nominees and Obama ... did nothing. Would Ronald Reagan have done nothing? FDR? Lyndon Johnson?

With unemployment at 10% and interest rates at 1%, the president got persuaded that it was debt and interest that trumped growth and jobs as Public Issue #1.

Frankly, i agree with it. And while i should know better, i could imagine myself voting for a Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty or Jon Huntsman who makes that argument. You start to think to yourself that a moderate (or "moderate") Republican would basically have the same agenda as Obama and wouldn't have to deal with Republican obstructionism. And while i'll probably come around in the end (i'd never vote for a Republican, just a question of whether i can bring myself to vote for Obama or go third party), i bet a lot of people won't. That leads Brad DeLong to say:

As a result, for the first time I think it is more likely than not that Obama will lose the 2012 election. Never mind that as a reality-based leader he will be vastly superior to whatever wingnut or hypocrite the Republicans serve up--if the elite press adopts Frum's critique, then we have sixteen months to listen to the media speak with one voice about how Obama is not tough and decisive enough to be a good president.

Matthew Yglesias, one of Obama's biggest defenders (see here), also finds Frum's argument persuasive.

I just don't understand this president's strategy.

By fnord12 | June 28, 2011, 10:26 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Russia Catches Up to the 1980s on the "War on Drugs"

Drug dealers are to be "treated like serial killers" and could be sent to forced labour camps under harsh laws being drawn up by Russia's Kremlin-controlled parliament.

Boris Gryzlov, the speaker of the state duma, the lower house, said a "total war on drugs" was needed to stem a soaring abuse rate driven by the flow of Afghan heroin through central Asia to Europe.


The plans follow an admission by Medvedev in April that Russia's fight against drug addiction had failed. He called for radical measures such as mandatory drug tests in schools.

Possession of small quantities of psychotropic substances in Russia carries an administrative fine of up to 15,000 roubles (£330), but Gryzlov indicated it would now result in a jail term. The state should offer narkomany (addicts) a stark choice, he said: "Prison or forced treatment."

That could be a bleak prospect. Some of Russia's detox clinics still use "coding", a controversial therapy in which patients are scared into thinking terrible consequences (such as their testicles falling off) will result if they mix drugs with medicines which are actually placebos.


I leave you with this educational video from Johnny Dangerously.

By min | June 28, 2011, 12:45 PM | Liberal Outrage & Movies| Link

June 27, 2011

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Hulk #35 - Well, at least this was a deliberate set-up by a Watcher, and not just some bizarre coincidence. It wasn't bad.

Captain America Corps #1 - This is such a bizarre silly concept. And the art is so bad. I think this isn't just Captain America types being pulled from around the multi-verse. I think they're deliberately going for ugly ones. It's going to be a plot point, mark my words. As for the story, i'm pretty sure it doesn't make much sense. (Even ignoring the fact that there's a world without Captain America and yet they've got an Ameri-droid, which i guess is a deliberate part of the plot). Not sure how we're getting five issues out of this. But it's Roger Stern. We'll see.

Avengers #14 - Yeah, just treading water during Fear Itself. I don't mind the talking heads bit. But i don't really think Jarvis would really think that this nonsense was more frightening to him than the time that Mr. Hyde beat him nearly to death.

Avengers Academy #15 - OK, i'm worried this book is going a little too far down the melodrama route. Two issues ago the team was raring to be treated like adults and go after super-villains. Now they're full of self-doubt and in need of a pep talk ever other panel. I guess that's what a defeat by the Sinister Six and then Ruby Tuesday will do to you. But it just felt like it was all too much sap. Oh well, i'm blaming the Fear Itself crossover for now; it's generally been a great book.

Captain America #619 - Good story. I really wish the art was better. I miss Epting. Now it's time for the reset to status quo, but i think that'll be a good change of pace.

New Mutants #26 - I thought this was really good. I was definitely disappointed by the art, especially Sugar Man. Say what you will about Chris Bachalo, he can draw cool visuals, and i've always thought Sugar Man look great. In this story he wasn't nearly monstrous and weird. He looked kind of small and not freaky enough. But the story is well written. Prolly my book of the week.

Alpha Flight #1 I really don't like Marrina. I've gone from "Hmmm, she's got a totally different personality than she used to and i don't really like that they did that but i'll live with it..." to "WTF is up with this bratty unlikeable character?". Beyond that i thought this was good enough for a Fear Itself tie-in. Does every bad guy have a hammer now? Even Attuma? Or "Nerkkod" - which should have set us up for an "It's not Attoooma" joke, except it is Attuma. I'm obviously not following Fear Itself, but i thought it was like, a couple of select bad guys get hammers and that brings them up to Thor's level. But apparently it's hammers for everybody! And Alpha Flight took him out easy enough, considering he's supposed to be Thor level. Although i did like the way Guardian beat him. So, again, pretty good for a tie in with an event i'm not getting. Except Marrina. Blech.

Thunderbolts #159 - Bad art. Four different kinds of bad art. But i liked all the stories quite a bit. I especially like the classic literature (or should i say League of Extraordinary Gentleman) way they're writing Mr. Hyde.

By fnord12 | June 27, 2011, 9:28 PM | Comics | Comments (1) | Link

June 24, 2011

I mean, it's my blog, isn't it?

Sometimes i use this blog to link to something i want to read but don't have the time for. That's why i link to Paul O'Brien's Marvel comics sales analysis articles even though i know no one else has any interest in them.

And that's why i'm linking to Paul Krugman's review of this Age of Greed book.

By fnord12 | June 24, 2011, 9:13 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Government incapable of governing

Congress has finally gotten around to weighing in on Obama's actions in Libya. Sort of.

The House attempted to vote to authorize the attack. It failed 295 to 123.

Then they attempted to defund the war effort. That failed too. 238 to 180.

Libya in Limbo.

By fnord12 | June 24, 2011, 8:49 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

June 22, 2011

Good names for a band

St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Excited Utterance

By fnord12 | June 22, 2011, 9:59 PM | Good Name For a Band| Link

What'd the Dog Ever Do to Him?

Police in southern Brazil say a jealous husband hit his wife in the head with a pet poodle.

Inspector Thais Norah Sartori Postiglione says the man picked up the dog and swung it into his wife's head twice because he suspected she was having an affair. The 4-pound (2-kilogram) dog died. The inspector says Carla de Camargo Oliveira suffered only minor bruises.

Postiglione says she cannot release the name of the alleged assailaint because he was not arrested. Officers decided the attack was not highly dangerous to the woman and he was not caught in the act.

But Postiglione said Wednesday that police are urging prosecutors to charge him with assault and battery and cruelty to animals.


Poor doggie.

By min | June 22, 2011, 3:22 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

Soviet War Monument Makeover

There was Superman in red leather boots, Ronald McDonald clutching a bottle of beer, and Santa Claus about to look through a pair of binoculars.

A benign if motley bunch, you may think. But they were enough to provoke an international diplomatic rebuke, it emerged on Wednesday, after they featured in an impudent make-over of a Soviet war memorial. Members of Russia's government were said to be seething.

An unidentified street artist struck last weekend, daubing paint on a high-relief statue in Sofia, Bulgaria, to transform the monument's Red Army soldiers into a tableau of storybook characters. The artist's caption spray-painted on the statue read: "In step with the times."


Captain America and Batman's sidekick, Robin, also featured in the composition, which quickly became a tourist magnet.


You know what this makes me think of? Those weird packs of figures they sell in Chinatown that consist of completely unrelated characters. You get something like Superman, Batman, Spider-man, and a Power Ranger.

By min | June 22, 2011, 3:19 PM | Comics & Ummm... Other?| Link

June 21, 2011

Recap #40

The Second Mirror

By min | June 21, 2011, 1:49 PM | D&D| Link

June 20, 2011

A tribute to my D&D players

  • Who nearly fought the Oblivion King in the Southern Desert
  • Who briefly considered entering the undead-filled Dragonkin cave in South Luka
  • Who almost threw caution to the wind and entered the mirror dimension without a guaranteed exit point, but then didn't
  • Who peeked into the Cave of Madness at Nara Woods and decided it wasn't for them

By fnord12 | June 20, 2011, 4:46 PM | D&D | Comments (1) | Link

June 17, 2011

Oh Noes! Not Friday!

Internet sensation Rebecca Black has been forced to remove her hit video, "Friday," from YouTube as part of a dispute over image rights.


Tank goff. Now fnord12 can't make me watch this awful thing anymore.

By min | June 17, 2011, 10:36 AM | Music | Comments (4) | Link

Medicare saves money

Krugman makes the point in his column today that we should expand Medicare if we want to save money.

And here's the data for that, which he put on his blog last week.

Here's a chart showing the rising costs of Medicare. As Krugman says, looks bad in isolation.

Then we compare it to private insurance.

Now that's bending the cost curve. And it's better than it looks. While private insurance includes everyone who gets insurance through their employers, and therefore includes a large subset of healthy people, Medicare is focused entirely on the elderly, who are more likely to have more costly medical needs. So if you expand the eligibility for Medicare to, say, everyone 55 and up instead of 65 (or hell, to everybody!), you're actually increasing the base of healthy people in the program, reducing the cost per beneficiary.

The larger point is we don't have a Medicare problem. We have a rising health care costs problem. And Medicare actually does better than private insurance in reigning in those costs.

By fnord12 | June 17, 2011, 9:58 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

June 16, 2011

Stockholders ruin everything

Nintendo stocks fall 5% after Wii U announcement at E3.

Pretty meaningless in the long run, i guess. Just noting that it's not just nerds that can instantly rule that something sucks, causing PR damage.

All i'll say about the Wii U at this point is that it reminds me of this.

The more alarming thing i took from that E3 article was "Mass Effect 3 featuring Kinect support". Hopefully there will also be "Mass Effect 3 where you don't have to wave your arms around like an idiot" for those of us who don't think playing video games needs to be an aerobic activity.

By fnord12 | June 16, 2011, 12:19 PM | Video Games | Comments (2) | Link

Juan Cole targeted by CIA during Bush Administration

Juan Cole is a Middle Eastern affairs expert and he's a blogger that i often read. Among other things, he was instrumental in debunking a lot of the lies coming from the Bush Administration in the run-up to the Iraq War. And apparently the Bush Admin ordered the CIA to dig up embarrassing dirt on Cole's personal life to discredit him (they didn't find anything).

Here is the NYTimes article. And here's Cole's take.

If the standard pattern holds, the Obama Administration will now arrest Glenn Carle for revealing this information.

By fnord12 | June 16, 2011, 12:09 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Kindly do the needful

The minor pleasures of outsourcing. Google tells me i am not alone.

Update: For posterity, here's the full message, with names blanked out.

Can you confirm a meeting with _____ and _____ tomorrow 12:30 am IST?. Both of them will be together will configure the application on your server. Kindly do the needful.

_____ will be online on Skype today as well, you can talk to him regarding ant issues.

Also did you get any feedback for the code we send on Monday?

Kindly do the needful.


By fnord12 | June 16, 2011, 9:13 AM | My stupid life| Link

June 15, 2011

Salt for Radiation, Garlic for Lead

In March, China reported having a run on salt due to fear of radiation from Japan's melting nuclear reactors.

In May, they had exploding watermelons.

With all these showier, more exciting ways to be poisoned, you might have forgotten about an old favorite - lead.

Chinese authorities are blocking access to tests and treatment for children at risk of lead poisoning, according to a damning report issued on Wednesday by Human Rights Watch.

The US-based group said some local government officials affected by the widening pollution scandal are also withholding and falsifying test results to reduce health costs and main the economic vitality of factories.

Since 2008, China has been wracked by more than a dozen lead poisoning incidents, affecting thousands of people and often prompting violent attacks against the smelting plants and battery factories that are responsible for the contamination.


In many cases, local people have long complained of health problems and unusual behaviour by their children, but the authorities have ignored them because the factories are an important source of jobs, taxes and - sometimes - bribes.

"Children with dangerously high levels of lead in their blood are being refused treatment and returned home to contaminated houses in polluted villages," said Joe Amon, health and human rights director at Human Rights Watch.

"The doctor told us all the children in this village have lead poisoning. Then they told us a few months later that all the children are healthy. They wouldn't let us see the results from the tests though," the group quotes a mother from Yunnan as saying.

Another parent told the group: "The government doesn't want to have to give us anything so they make up the results."

Not to worry, though. There's an easy peasy way to cure lead poisoning.

Currently, some parents have been told that drinking milk or eating garlic and eggs is an effective way to counter lead poisoning, the group said.

Just make sure you check that milk for melamine first...

By min | June 15, 2011, 11:33 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Lest You Were Concerned the Yakuza Was Getting "Soft"

In the aftermath of the devastating March tsunami, Japan's underworld made a rare display of philanthropy, handing out emergency supplies to survivors, sometimes days before aid agencies arrived.

Three months later, however, the yakuza appears to have dispensed with largesse and is instead hoping to cash in on the daunting clean-up effort in dozens of ruined towns and villages.

The government and police fear they are losing the battle to prevent crime syndicates from winning lucrative contracts to remove millions of tonnes of debris left in the tsunami's wake, including contaminated rubble near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that many firms are reluctant to handle.


Not to be left out, the Chinese mob is trying to get in on the action, too.

The magazine recounts the story of a leading Chinese gangster who, accompanied by a national politician, visited the mayor of Minamisoma - a town near Fukushima Daiichi, where a partial evacuation order is in place - hoping to win contracts to remove radioactive waste that, according to police, could have ended up at disposal sites in China.

Really? He has to bring the waste with him back to China? Couldn't he dispose of it in someone else's country? Mebbe one of those poor island nations? Or just dump it in the ocean along with all that radioactive water Japan's throwing in there now?

By min | June 15, 2011, 11:22 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

June 14, 2011

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Annihilators #4 - The main story wrapped up pretty well. I guess Quasar's annoying self-doubt was actually set up for some character development and not just whining, so that's good. And we get a little Cosmo at the end. Overall, i thought this was a little weaker than past Abnett/Lanning space books, but it was still good, and i see that there's another series already in the works that's based on Earth, which could be interesting. I assume it's by Abnett/Lanning but the ad doesn't actually say so. Hrmm. Anyway. Random observation: a whole planet of Dire Wraiths, and not a single male? What's up with that? Regarding the Rocket Raccoon/Groot back-up: i did not like it, sir.

New Avengers #13 - There have been some Cranky Pants complains that Mike Deodato is not a good story teller, but i don't see it. His action sequences are entirely readable and pretty cool. Ms. Marvel flies in at Superia , Superia pulls a gun, and in the next panel you see Marvel blasted away in the background while Cage fastball-specials Danny. Next two panels show Danny flying through the air and then Iron Fisting through a plane. And then Ms Marvel, recovered, catching Danny. Nice little fight sequence. A page later, Dr. Strange magicks away Superia's briefcase, a scene which could easily be confusing but Deodato pulls it off pretty well. I don't know what the problem is. At least we can all agree that the Chaykin art is horrible, and that the whole 1950s Avengers plot was absolutely unnecessary. "Superia has a super-soldier formula" does not require a continuity insert where Sabertooth and Kraven the Hunter were the original Avengers. Still, this issue was pretty good - i like the idea of Mockingbird getting a super-soldier upgrade, i'm enjoying the double-agent guessing regarding Victoria Hand, and Bendis is good at writing the team interactions. I know he was worried about how i'd rule on this, but i'm giving Bendis the go-ahead to continue writing the Avengers books for a while, and of course Deodato may stay on art.

By fnord12 | June 14, 2011, 7:55 PM | Comics | Comments (1) | Link

Nerds ruin everything


Comic-Con, as a growing number of movie marketers are realizing, has turned into a treacherous place. Studios come seeking buzz, but the Comic-Con effect can be more negative than positive. The swarm of dedicated fans -- many of whom arrive at the convention in Japanese anime drag or draped in Ewok fur -- can instantly sour on a film if it doesn't like what it sees, leaving publicity teams with months of damaging Web chatter to clean up.

By fnord12 | June 14, 2011, 10:25 AM | Comics & Movies | Comments (2) | Link

June 13, 2011

Sounds familiar

Should've taken his daughter to the kitchen for some some popcorn or candy when Spider-Man wasn't on screen.

By fnord12 | June 13, 2011, 7:31 PM | Comics & Movies | Comments (2) | Link

A rising tide doesn't mean a bigger piece of the pie

This chart was worth mixing some metaphors for:

A trend sort of begins with the Reagan Revolution, but note that the cliff dive begins with the 2001 recession, not the current one. Employee wages didn't recover even when the economy did.

By fnord12 | June 13, 2011, 7:29 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

June 9, 2011

The DC Reboots

In my Teen Titans post below, i was waiting for someone to challenge me regarding my comment on the number of DC reboots. And honestly, i don't really know enough to back up my claim, other than vague references to Crises and Zero Hours. Luckily, Chris Sims lays it all out for us.

By fnord12 | June 9, 2011, 3:04 PM | Comics| Link

The Big Leagues Political Blogs Nerd Out on X-Men Movie

Ta-Nehisi Coates gets a guest post in the New York Times, and uses the X-Men First Class movie as the starting point for a conversation on race.

And here's a follow-up on his own blog. Spoilers, i guess, but i haven't seen the movie yet and they didn't bother me.

Aaand let's just put it all in this post (even though it was really supposed to be about "Hey cool, Coates is being published in the Times, good for him!"). In the second link above, Coates links to Susana Polo's post that addresses both race and gender angles. And here's a response to that from Matthew Yglesias, who basically cautions that we shouldn't look at Magneto as a pure bad guy.

Update II: More from Yglesias.

Update III: And here's Ezra Klein.

By fnord12 | June 9, 2011, 10:40 AM | Comics & Liberal Outrage| Link

Ha, ha!

Being a Marvel Zuvembie, i obviously don't have any direct stake in the DC reboot, although i think it's funny that DC is rebooting their continuity again. This time for real! But i'm actually sympathetic to what they're trying to do.

In theory.

In practice, i don't know what to make of this Teen Titans cover:

I guess if the goal of this reboot is to make the comic more accessible and appealing to a wider and younger audience, i would have expected the art to look a little more clean and familiar. Like, i dunno... this?

Not like a reject from 1990s Image. As Mike Sterling's pal Andrew says, "As parody, I'd have classified it as too over-the-top".

By fnord12 | June 9, 2011, 10:00 AM | Comics | Comments (2) | Link

June 8, 2011

Memo to All Staff and Management

For the next 24 hours, I shall be referred to as "Jedi Knight Tiny Feet".

--Thank you.

By min | June 8, 2011, 5:51 PM | D&D & My stupid life & Star Wars| Link

June 7, 2011

Marvel Sales


By fnord12 | June 7, 2011, 4:49 PM | Comics| Link

June 6, 2011

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Hulk #34 - So i thought this issue was going to be a fight with Omegex the World Ender, but instead it's a weird parallel version of Planet Hulk, which i opted to not read the first time and the fact that basically the same thing would happen again is completely unbelievable (and don't give me any "it's comics, it's all unbelievable" guff). The good news is this is a two parter so it'll be over soon, but i've just about had it with this book.

Heroes For Hire #8 - Well, that's it for Spider-Man and this stuff just really isn't very good, so sorry Abnett & Lanning: i love you guys on the space books, but we're out of here.

Herc #4 - I don't know if i'm missing anything due to not getting Fear Itself, but i feel like i am. I'm also a little confused - we took Hercules' godlike powers away to give him more street level adventures, and yet here it is issue #4 and he's fighting... Greek gods? I dunno. The Cranky Pants must be in full effect today cause i didn't really love this either, but i'll stick with it and hope it gets better after Fear Itself and/or this current plotline. We also have a Man-Bull problem - he's roaming free here, but he's also currently escaping in a jailbreak in this month's issue of Thunderbolts. Slaves to continuity my cranky-pantsed ass.

Thunderbolts #158 - Unless there's more than one Man-Bull. They're certainly drawn differently enough. This was good though. I liked Juggernaut on the Thunderbolts but i also like classic bad-guy Juggernaut so i guess if Fear Itself eventually re-establishes the old status quo it'll be good for something. Beyond that, i like the new team of bad guys and the conflicts that are getting set up there.

Avengers Academy #14.1 - I honestly don't mind that this book seems to come out once a week. I enjoyed the Corporate Molecule Man bad guy and his manipulations but also the fact that Finesse figured him all out. Good stuff even if it felt a little too status-quo maintaining: i would have thought at least one of the team, probably Striker, would have been tempted by "The Alchemist's" offer. Also: seeing the team get beat by the Sinister Six last time was cool enough, but i also enjoyed them getting thrashed by Ruby Tuesday at the beginning of this issue. Am i some sort of twisted sicko that likes watching teenagers get beaten up by super-villains? No, i just think that if a group is meant to be a team of newbies, they should act like a team of newbies.

By fnord12 | June 6, 2011, 10:28 PM | Comics | Comments (2) | Link

June 4, 2011

Always Read the Label Carefully Before Using

My mom handed me what we thought was my friend's face cleanser. I rubbed it on my face. Suddenly, the skin on my face began to tighten painfully. I tried to wash whatever it was off, but the pain wouldn't go away. In horror, i saw that the blood vessels in my face were also tightening and pulling away from my skin. Around my mouth, a few had broken through the skin and were completely exposed. Afraid the extra tension would cause them to snap, i tried not to move my face.

I frantically asked my mom what the hell was in that jar she picked up. She calmly reminded me that there were other people who needed to use the sink, too, so i should move over and give them some room.

P.S. Even after i woke up, my face still felt a little sore.

By min | June 4, 2011, 12:50 PM | My Dreams| Link

How much damage is done annually to the American forest by the spruce budworm?


By min | June 4, 2011, 12:10 AM | Movies| Link

June 3, 2011

I think we're gonna need a bigger box

By fnord12 | June 3, 2011, 3:53 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

June 2, 2011

The man likes crawfish, ok?

Please note that despite the TPM link, i've given this post a TeeVee category. Because it's really just a bizarre human interest story, nothing political.

A 'sovereign citizen' in Pensacola, Florida allegedly opened fire at a seafood market after learning that they had run out of crawfish.

42 year-old Larry Wayne Kelly allegedly fired upon the L&T Seafood Market with an AK-47 from the window of his pickup truck, after he was told they had sold out of crawfish on Sunday.

According to the Sheriffs Department, four loaded guns were found in Kelly's car, including a 12-gauge shotgun, a pistol, and a revolver. The book "The Sociopath Next Door" was also found. Kelly told law enforcement that he is a sovereign citizen (someone who believes that almost all forms of government in the U.S. are illegitimate), and that he doesn't have to follow the law.

Griggs reports that Kelly was charged with "fleeing police, aggravated assault and weapons violations," but was soon released on a $32,000 bond Monday.

Really? $32,000? Seems extremely low for shooting up a store (compared to what i've seen on Law & Order! There's the TeeVee hook!) and basically saying that laws don't apply to you.

Let's see how that worked out.

He was then arrested again on the same day and charged with "firing at a building, firing from a vehicle and criminal mischief."

As of Wednesday, Kelly was being held on a $575,000 bond.

Store owner is unsympathetic.

Store owner Tommy Nguyen told the News Journal he had sold out of crawfish because it was a holiday weekend, but was restocked by Wednesday. "If you don't have crawfish, you can get crab or something else" he asked. "Why is crawfish so important?"

By fnord12 | June 2, 2011, 3:11 PM | TeeVee| Link

Is IMF a new form of colonialism?

Joseph Stiglitz says "Yes".

Probably isn't a shock to anyone reading this blog, but i did think it was interesting how an unstaged photo became such a symbol.

By fnord12 | June 2, 2011, 11:41 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link

Peak oil is good for the environment

And makes it easier to open stuff. (Link - warning NYT article, so it'll count against your 20 if you're not a subscriber).

But the maddening -- and nearly impenetrable -- plastic packaging known as clamshells could become a welcome casualty of the difficult economy. High oil prices have manufacturers and big retailers reconsidering the use of so much plastic, and some are aggressively looking for cheaper substitutes.
Target has removed the plastic lids from its Archer Farms yogurts, has redesigned packages for some light bulbs to eliminate plastic, and is selling socks held together by paper bands rather than in plastic bags.

Wal-Mart Stores, which has pledged to reduce its packaging by 5 percent between 2008 and 2013, has pushed suppliers to concentrate laundry detergent so it can be sold in smaller containers, and has made round hydrogen peroxide bottles into square ones to cut down on plastic use.

At Home Depot, Husky tools are going from clamshell to paperboard packaging, and EcoSmart LED bulbs are about to be sold in a corrugated box, rather than a larger plastic case.

By fnord12 | June 2, 2011, 11:35 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link

War on drugs declared failure


The Global Commission on Drug Policy, which includes several former heads of state and UN officials, has released a report calling the global war on drugs a failure.

"The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world," the report reads. "Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and 40 years after President Nixon launched the US government's war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed."

The report calls for an end to the "criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others," and for governments to experiment with ways to regulate drugs so as to undercut organized crime and improve public health.

"Begin the transformation of the global drug prohibition regime," the report says. "Replace drug policies and strategies driven by ideology and political convenience with fiscally responsible policies and strategies grounded in science, health, security and human rights - and adopt appropriate criteria for their evaluation."

The Obama administration, however, is having none of it.

...White House drug tsar Gil Kerlikowske disagreed with the report's conclusions.

"Drug addiction is a disease that can be successfully prevented and treated. Making drugs more available - as this report suggests - will make it harder to keep our communities healthy and safe," the spokesman said.

By fnord12 | June 2, 2011, 11:19 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

June 1, 2011

Neighbor to Apartment 3-G

I hope you're familiar with Apartment 3-G. If you're not, you're missing out on true artistic brilliance.

Oh yes you are.

Indeed, you are.

Yes. Thank you!

The Comics Curmudgeon could help you catch up.

But what no one knows is that right down the hall from Apartment 3-G is an even more interesting character.

Apartment 3-G's neighbor: Sersi the Eternal
Thor #284 - Jun 1979

Would love to see Sersi face off against Margo.

By fnord12 | June 1, 2011, 6:33 PM | Comics | Comments (3) | Link

Recap #39

Lair of the Medusas, Part 33 1/3

By min | June 1, 2011, 5:59 PM | D&D| Link

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