Saturday, September 7, 2013

What Color Was Your Lunch Box?

I had one just like this:

Science Fiction - The Crazy Year

Sister Time

This is old.

This is new.

Sometime, June-ish, the science fiction and fantasy world blew up over a chain-mail bikini and a couple of old guys talking about science fiction publishing over 60 years ago in which they spoke admiringly of "lady writers" and "lady editors" and mentioned that someone or other was particularly good looking.

The. World. Ended.

This ancient June history is important because World Con just happened and the call for inclusive science fiction is continuing to gain strength with the article from the Guardian stating the dire state of modern science fiction.  Both articles are extremely short and informative concerning events, though I'm having trouble finding something pithy to quote from them.   Mostly, though, it's assertions of fact that are easily disputable.
Science fiction loves a good paradox. Here's one for you: how can a genre that dreams up alien cultures and mythic races in such minute detail seemingly ignore the ethnic, religious, gender and sexual diversity right here on the home planet, here in the real world?
Science fiction also likes a good Fantasy, and this is one of them.   It's such a NICE fantasy.  So CONVENIENT for our science fiction Church Ladies.

It's gory

It's all fun and games until someone puts an... 

Look, this is nothing to ja ja ja about. 

How meager were your beginnings? Really?

This instant classic from Ace of Spades reminded me of several aspects of my childhood that could, in retrospect, be considered "ghetto".  No, we didn't eat Kaboom cereal (as far as I can recall, at least.)
I wonder if there's a universal tendency to look back on one's childhood and view it with a bittersweet nostalgia, the bitter part being a sense that one's family was poorer financially than we are now; and if we all tend to remember our early years as more Kaboom than they really were.

Certainly standards of living have improved between our childhood days and today (unless your name is Elizabeth O'bagy and your childhood was last week.)  So maybe there is a universal tendency for us to see our past as poorer because it actually was.  Still, with the damned-near universality of depictions of childhood years as meager in literature and films...if it were purely a reflection of higher overall standards of living today, there would be some variation here, some riches-to-rags stories.

So...were you a Kaboom kid, or an Applejacks richie-rich?  I'll start:

Our family of six children and two parents lived in a three-bedroom, one-bath house.  Multiple-bathroom houses were unheard-of, to us, something that rich people somewhere might own.  We had one family car, a Ford Maverick, and if we all had to go somewhere, we piled on top of one another.  Only one parent worked.  For Christmas, we had a limit of $25 (in 1975 dollars), and we'd choose items from the Sears & Roebuck catalog totaling that amount.  (I distinctly remember the pages of toys I'd avoid, where they had pricey items, with just one toy costing $50, or $100.  I think they even had a few items at $150 -- remote control airplanes and whatnot.)  No one in my family (parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, even cousins) had ever graduated from university (although a couple of them had briefly attended).  At 11, I started spending summers washing dishes for forty hours per week in a restaurant our parents had just purchased (with some deep leveraging) for $1 per hour.  I purchased my own first bicycle with my earnings (and a few years later, the awesome Chess Challenger VII.)

Unburden yourself with your own cathartic tales of woe in the comments.

At 4 A.M.

Evan Izer, Distant skyline (paper negative) , c. 1992

In a dark yard in a sparse town,
under scattered starlight
in September, the rasps
of three cricket's wings
move in and out of phase
above a low, coastal kind of sound
that is not water,
but the hiss of distant tires
washing up and down US 30.

"If I would follow that road, miles north,
it terminates in Times Square,
and I would be home again"
I tell myself.

But distance and time are tangled;

New York, my life, everything,
it all still flickers and glows, faintly
like the scattered stars, lights in dark skies,
whose distant sources may have darkened
and disappeared—
but, for now,
the light still comes.

And then I think of a boat in water,

again in darkness,
navigated, steered,
as they once were,
by the light of stars,
both there and not-there.

Pope Writes to Putin

Pope Francis has written a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, host of the G-20 summit that President Obama is attending, urging world leaders to oppose a military intervention in Syria.
“To the leaders present, to each and every one, I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution,” the Pope urged. “Rather, let there be a renewed commitment to seek, with courage and determination, a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation of the parties, unanimously supported by the international community.”
Obama has lost the Pope. This must be a huge blow to president Obama.

White kids being determinedly silly

And good at it too.

We used to fly through summer trees
The air was full of blossom breeze
Deep inhale this tasty smell
How many stories does it tell?

Hey my little honey bee
You're far away that's hurting me
I miss you darling far away
Your warm sweet smile this summer day

Je me trouve en plein hiver
de l'autre côté de la terre
j'ai trop froid sans ta chaleur
j'en ai besoin pour mon bonheur

Music is Cinnamon Girl

Apparently they're trying out for the circus. There are two parts.

The thing is, I thought most of these activities were pretty much dead skills, juggling, twirling objects, balancing and such. Seeing young people doing them so enthusiastically like this surprises me. It's showing me there are a bunch of nerdy kids out there not stuck in front of their video games and it is enjoyable seeing them dancing and having good clean fun.

Peach crumble

I was wrong. The peaches are good longer than one week. Apparently this has been an incredible year for Colorado peaches. It has from my point of view. For weeks they've been great, and right now they are fantastic.

The crumble is made with flour, butter, white sugar, lemon rind, salt, baking powder, the liquid is beaten egg

The peaches are diced, the juice of that lemon, brown sugar, vanilla. More here.

Golf board promo

At the speed of sound.

Friday, September 6, 2013

'It Never Entered My Mind'

Frank Sinatra - It Never Entered My Mind

Your First Time

I've been enjoying pictures of the Obama Hand-Message Celebrities with "Bomb Syria" photo-shopped onto their hands.  "Demand a plan... to Bomb Syria" was pretty good, too.   But I think that it's got to be Lena Dunham for the win.

(I believe that a fellow named Krewe Maynard is to be thanked for this.)

I'm also struck by just how much of that "win" is dependent on knowing the context and having seen the original campaign ad.  This, and the OH-MC, are only as funny as they are because of how enthusiastically enthusiastic and happy those celebrities were to promote Obama.  It wasn't any gruff or reserved, "Oh, I think he'd be the best of the lot and I plan to vote for him."   No, it was "This is just like having sex for the first time!"

Well, now it's (most probably going to be) dropping bombs.  Though not the first time, eh?   And the economy still sucks.

UPDATE:  El Pollo Raylan gives us this link explaining the silence of anti-war Hollywood.
Another reason some Hollywood progressives have been reticent to speak out against war in Syria, according to Asner, is fear of being called racist.
“A lot of people don’t want to feel anti-black by being opposed to Obama,” he said.
Be labeled racist because you oppose something done by a black president? Naw... never gonna happen.

AfroDuck claims fastest lap of Manh on 2006 BMW Z4

The first illegal, dangerous, record lap of Manhattan we know of was Alex Roy's 27 minute run in 2001. In 2010, a group called CBC broke that with 26:03. Now a new driver claims 24:07. But what exactly is a lap of Manhattan, and how do you set the record?
The new fastest laps claims to be set by the elegantly-named AfroDuck Productions. The run supposedly took place just a few days ago on August 26th, 2013. The car is a stock 2006 BMW Z4.
So what's the route? The driver starts on FDR/East Side Drive at 116th Street, just outside of Harlem. They tear down under the Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridges, then shoot through the Battery Park Tunnel around the downtown tip of the island. After that there are the red lights of West Street/West Side Drive, which finally opens up in Midtown by all of Trump's buildings.
The course then cuts off the northern tip of Manhattan, turning right by the George Washington Bridge in Washington Heights. From there, the driver gets across Manhattan at one of its narrowest points, turns back onto FDR/East Side Drive and runs to the start/finish line.
It's about 26.5 miles in total. That makes the average speed only something around 66 miles an hour. As you can tell by watching the video, the real time saving comes from managing traffic.
Time lapse video after the jump. I have a hunch this video is not going to be up long.
Sorry you missed it.

Make Your Own Bismuth Crystals

Yesterday, I linked to this photo of bismuth crystals:

Groovy Bismuth Crystals

An update on Elizabeth O'bagy, Intelligence Analyst Emeritus

Urgent Update:  I think I've located video of Obama's middle east expert in the field, collecting data on WMDs and shit:
Hat tip Daily Caller.

The US Senate will soon vote to authorize a war on behalf of al Qaeda...

...and they'll probably take this vote, to become al Qaeda's air force, on...September 11.

Rest assured, however, that our new allies are only partly al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists.  Most of them are pro-western freedom fighters -- fully eighty percent of them, according to one expert cited by Secretary of State Kerry.  

That expert:

Our specials include jalopeno poppers and the Mondo Margarita!
Of course, there's no need to introduce this renowned expert on middle-eastern affairs -- this is Elizabeth O'Bagy.  And no, that's not a very old photograph -- it's quite recent.  She's 26 years old.

Kerry, with Chris Hayes

Was at pains  to minimize the video’s influence on the debate in Washington and beyond. “No,” he insisted when Hayes asked if the killers in the video “become, by definition, our allies.” Kerry argued: “In fact, I believe that those men in those videos are disadvantaged by an American response to the chemical-weapons use because it, in fact, empowers the moderate opposition.” Kerry added that “they are not part of the opposition that is being supported by our friends and ourselves.”
The daily beast, I know, them, but still. Good for you Chris for asking that. I like the way Kerry can go to that incredibly stupid place for friendly faces and like-minded people and have frank discussions like this. It is not altogether unhelpful having Party mouthpieces like that even when so annoying, but good for Chris for asking that hard question. But okay then, as long as the people in the video are disadvantaged let's do go ahead then and thanks for telling we've been supporting all along, that goes far in explaining Ben Ghazi without mentioning it. 

The thing that drew me to the piece was NYT editors barfing when watching the video. I made up the barfing part, apparently they got ill and I imagined it while reading by accidentally visualizing myself in the room with that information. And a lot other information too, that I would be sorting and attempting to frame into some kind of narrative, so careful with that

only you are the fish of my dreams

“Every bit of info it gets is gold.”

"Google attorneys argued in a California court Thursday that the company needs to systematically read every email sent through its mail system. Scanning email is simply part of the business."
“[Email] providers like Google must scan the emails sent to and from their systems as part of providing their services,” reads a supporting document filed by the Internet giant in the case. “The automated processes at issue are Google’s ordinary business practices implemented as part of providing the free Gmail service to the public.”
Privacy advocates beg to differ.
“They’re also collecting information about their users for other purposes,” Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court told He and other privacy advocates argue that e-mail scanning isn't technically necessary -- only fiscally.
“It’s not just for spam [filtering]. It’s clearly for advertising,” he said.
“Every bit of info it gets is gold.”

In a post about a study in potential deceptive texting, Professor William Jacobson, of Legal Insurrection, linked to an article that also embedded a TED Talk video, where I learned something interesting about email and lying.
Let's focus on the conversations between our friends and our family and our coworkers and our loved ones. Those are the conversations that really matter. What does technology do to deception with those folks?
Here's a couple of studies. One of the studies we do are called diary studies, in which we ask people to record all of their conversations and all of their lies for seven days, and what we can do then is calculate how many lies took place per conversation within a medium, and the finding that we get that surprises people the most is that email is the most honest of those three media. And it really throws people for a loop because we think, well, there's no nonverbal cues, so why don't you lie more? The phone, in contrast, the most lies. Again and again and again we see the phone is the device that people lie on the most, and perhaps because of the Butler Lie ambiguities I was telling you about. This tends to be very different from what people expect. 
The talk offers some clues as to why Google is so interested in scanning Google e-mail.

Here's is video After the jump

Queen Elizabeth

A morph of photographs. I think it is touching. I turned down the sound, for some reason I Chariots of Fire was annoying with that, but the images themselves are obviously arranged with a great deal of fondness and this diamond jubilee tribute video changed my view of the woman and of the institution.

And unrelated,  on the other side of the continent on the other side of the ocean on the other side of life from queen Elizabeth, here is Steve Jobs telling a joke so charmingly self-deprecating that even Bill Gates has a laugh.

Air - All I Need

Air - All I Need

Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Because I said I Would"

“My name is Matthew Cordle and on June 22, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani. This video will act as my confession.”
In a powerful online video, a young man says he is prepared to pay for a night of heavy drinking and a head-on, wrong-way crash on I-670 near Third Street.
The man promises to tell the truth about how he caused the death of a 61-year-old photographer and Navy submarine veteran from Gahanna.
“I struck a car. I killed a man,” the man says in the video posted Tuesday to and YouTube.
The video is helping launch a new dot com called Because I Said I Would.
When the camera blur fades and his reflection comes into view he says, “My name is Matthew Cordle and on June 22, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani. This video will act as my confession.” Mr. Cordle continues to say that he will plead guilty when charges are filed against him and intends to take full responsibility for his actions. The county prosecutor has already said he intends to ask the state to indict Mr. Cordle.
The video is powerful and serious testament to the dangers of drinking and driving and the importance of taking responsibility for poor choices, but it’s also something else: it’s a promotional video for a new not for profit startup called Because I Said I Would.
The nonprofit’s website calls it “a social movement dedicated to bettering humanity through the power of a promise.” In addition to helping “execute charitable projects in support of other non-profit organizations,” Because I Said I Would offers free “promise cards,” little postcards that users can write on to help them remember to keep the promises they’ve made.
I watched the video. Some things about the confession lead me to believe it could be a fake, but after watching it a few times I'm not so sure it is a fake. Click to see the video at the jump.

"Testicle-biting fish found in Paris could be on way to UK"

THE Pacu, a fish dubbed the 'ball-cutter' because it has reportedly bitten off men's testicles, has been found in Paris and there are fears it could be making its way to the UK.
The small piranha-like fish was found in European waters for the first time in August with experts warning men to keep their trunks on if swimming in the Øresund channel between Denmark and Sweden.
Now the pacu has been found in the River Seine, The Paris Prefecture of Police newsletter revealed on Tuesday. Although officers were skeptical of the tropical catch, its human-like teeth marked the species as the feared 'testicle eating' pacu.
"They bite because they're hungry, and testicles sit nicely in their mouth."

Oh Well

A song in my iTunes along with:

The last strawberries

The Chemistry Of Wealth Accumulation

Researchers at the University of Exeter have found a correlation between wealth and the types of heavy metals and organic residues found in their urine: Link

Rich people have more arsenic, cesium, mercury, and thallium; poorer people accumulate more cadmium, antimony, and lead. The sources for rich people are shellfish and seafood; the sources for poor people are attributed to a great incidence of smoking.

They also found that wealthy people sequester more benzophenone-3 (from sunscreen) and poor people have more bisphenol A (from plastics). 

'It's like I never left'

Jon Stewart Returns - Slams Syrian Red Line

Hæc Sola Virtvs

Setting type, February 2007

String some words together…

Vlad set trap?

With a gap-filled chain of logic, David Samuels of Tablet puts forth a theory that Vladimir Putin was the mastermind behind the Damascus gas attack. Discounting the acting ability of Iranian leadership, whose public statements suggested they "were at the least discomfited by the Syrian government’s actions, if not blind-sided by them,"  and never mentioning the possibility that well-funded Syrian rebels could have carried the attack out, he asserts that the de facto head of the Syrian chain of command is not Assad, but those to whom he is beholden, his Iranian and Russian counterparts, Ayatollah Khamenei and Putin.
The idea that Assad gave the order to carry out such a massive and politically dangerous attack without the approval of his Russian and Iranian advisers is also absurd—given the regime’s near-total reliance on Russian and Iranian strategic planning, supplies, fighters, and diplomatic backing for its week-to-week survival. Ditto for the idea that Russian or Iranian officers inside Syria gave their approval for such an attack without the blessing of the men at the top of their own chains of command: Ali Khamenei in Iran, and Vladimir Putin in Russia.
He continues his line of reasoning by invoking Putin's KGB training, and the tactic of provocation:

"Brutality of Syrian Rebels Posing Dilemma in West"

"The Syrian rebels posed casually, standing over their prisoners with firearms pointed down at the shirtless and terrified men."
The prisoners, seven in all, were captured Syrian soldiers. Five were trussed, their backs marked with red welts. They kept their faces pressed to the dirt as the rebels’ commander recited a bitter revolutionary verse. The moment the poem ended, the commander, known as “the Uncle,” fired a bullet into the back of the first prisoner’s head. His gunmen followed suit, promptly killing all the men at their feet.
This scene, documented in a video smuggled out of Syria a few days ago by a former rebel who grew disgusted by the killings, offers a dark insight into how many rebels have adopted some of the same brutal and ruthless tactics as the regime they are trying to overthrow.
The NY Times article includes part of the smuggled video, warning of "graphic scenes some viewers may find disturbing".

Leaked: Alyssa Milano

Alyssa Milano Sex Tape

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

O doesn't draw

De-Skunking A Dog

This video won an award for practical chemistry tips:

I Had To Laugh

I was looking up one of these in particular, and found a trove of unusually named chemicals:

Constipatic acid
Diabolic acid
Earthcide or Fartox
Magic acid
Moronic acid
Mucic acid
Performic acid
Periodic acid
Picket Fence Porphyrin
Quadratic acid
Spermine, Spermidine, polyamine
Titanic acid
Traumatic acid

A fuller list and the etymology for each is given here.
*I added that one.

AEL Battle of Kadesh

This is a new reading on GlyphStudy that starts September 9th.

Would you like to follow along? Would you like to keep up with the group and turn in assignments too? Wouldn't that be fun?

You must first be a member of GlyphStudy and then you must state your desire to join the reading group, and you do that by contacting the site owner and kindly saying you would like to do those two things.

Karen at Glyph Study.

Then you will get emails.
1) to sign up to GlyphStudy site
2) join the reading group

If you do not want to turn in assignments, that is okay too.

You know about the battle of Kadesh. Proper propaganda in hieroglyphics. The battle was a standoff but you wouldn't know that from the tale chiseled in stone on temple walls. Hugely told too. Big ass lies! BLAM Right there. That's the story and Ramsses II is stick'n with it.

Here is what Karen writes about what to expect in the group.
The Battle of Kadesh is a New Kingdom text describing a battle between Egyptian forces under Pharaoh Ramesses II and Hittite forces led by Muwatallis II.  The story is recorded in two texts, known as the Poem and the Bulletin.  We will be reading the latter, in the version published by Budge in An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Reading Book for Beginners.  The text is presented in hieroglyphs and in Budge's (outdated) transliteration. 
Budge's version has 99 lines of text.  The expected pace is five lines, or roughly 110 glyphs, every two weeks, although that could change depending on our experience of the text.  (This is just a bit slower than the pace maintained by the Great Hymn to the Aten group that just concluded.)  The reading will start on Monday, September 9, with the first assignment to be due on Sunday, September 22.
They make fun of Budge in Stargate, do you notice that? I own his dictionaries and I use them a lot. He is wrong about many things, but that is no reason to disregard him altogether. I find his dictionaries useful for the back and forth translations, or attempts, and his very many variations are interesting. I have used his ideas to work out phrasing for greeting cards.

Karen does not mention for the period of the Kadesh reading group you will be receiving emails from people all over the world approaching Egyptian hieroglyphics from their various points of view. Their own native languages start them, and many languages are better, it seems, than English for points of departure. The things these people bring into the discussion is astounding.

The students write to each other in code. They must. Code for the symbols. And the symbols are already a code they are attempting to decode. The code they use to keep all their languages straight is the Manuel de Codage, itself based on Gardiners's list of signs. You can download a free program, JSesh, for all this if you like, then when they are talking in code you can type it all in and see what that looks like in pictures. They're actually speaking in pictures but expressing that in alpha-numeric code, easiest of all codified codes, period.

Report: There was a KKK-NAACP Summit in Casper WY

"A Montana recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan named John Abarr met in Casper, Wyoming, last weekend (Sat. Aug. 31-13) with members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People."
It's believed to be the first such meeting in history and was called by the Casper branch of the NAACP because the KKK has been distributing flyers in the economically depressed Wyoming coal town of Gillette, where there has also been a rash of hate crime recently.
Mother Jones lists what it call the 6 most awkward moments as reported by the Casper Star-Tribune.

Sponsored Warfare

Up on Drudge now: Kerry: Arabs Will Finance Our War

h/t Icepick

It makes me want to look again at exactly where Armageddon is supposed to take place.

Such Things Just Don't Belong In Our Arsenal

First of all, the word arsenic is odd. Just seeing arsen juxtaposed with "Greek" makes me clench.
The form of the Greek word is folk etymology, literally "masculine," from arsen "male, strong, virile" (cf. arseno-koites "lying with men" in New Testament) supposedly in reference to the powerful properties of the substance. link
Arsenic is called the "King of Poisons" and the "Poison of Kings" due to its long history. Lesser known is arsenic's more recent role in our own poison gas warfare program. I mentioned Lewisite here, but a more formal introduction is in order. Even a non chemist can recognize arsenic's central role in Lewisite's structure. Here it is:


We made a lot of Lewisite shortly after WW I but we never deployed it as far as I know. Ridding our stockpiles has taken forever and an old cache was recently (2010) found in Washington, D.C. Link

Arsenic just can't doff its nasty reputation, even cloaked in disguise.

Zen; the monk's dream

Once there was a disciplinarian monk who had kept the precepts all his life. As he was walking one night, he stepped on something that squished, which he imagined to be a frog, a mother frog laden with eggs. Mortified at the thought of having killed a pregnant frog, when the monk went to sleep that night he dreamed that hundreds of frogs came to him demanding his life. He was utterly terrified.
Come morning, the monk went to look for the frog he had squashed, and found that it had only been an overripe eggplant. At that moment, the monk's perplexities abruptly ceased; realizing there is nothing concrete in the world, for the first time he was really able to apply it practically in life.
Now I ask you, when he stepped on it by night, was it a frog or an eggplant? If it was a frog, yet when he looked at dawn it was an eggplant; if it was an eggplant, yet there were frogs demanding his life the night before. Can you decide? I'll try to decide for you:
Feelings of frogs may be shed;
but the idea of eggplant remains.
If you would be free
of the idea of eggplant,
strike the evening chime at noon.


Que Serine, Serine

Sarin gas arouses fear and outrage because it works so silently and efficiently. I don't mean to flatter it by using the word "efficient" but it's really much more deadly and lethal than anything fielded in WW I. And remember it was discovered by accident. I doubt anyone could have designed something that efficient back then: nearly all of our understanding of how sarin kills came after its discovery, including the basic notions of how enzymes work. If someone survives a sarin exposure, there's the secondary problem of getting rid of it in cells. It's the tenacity of a simple phosphate bond — the same type of linkage found elsewhere including DNA and RNA — that keeps it from getting flushed out.
Wiki Link

"He's a good person, period,

De Niro says,
“He’s trying his best. He’s going to do things that people feel are not right or violating one right or another. But at the end of the day, he represents, I think, the best of the type of people that I would like to see running the government. He has to play that game, the political game. They all do. They make statements they can’t honor because they’re impossible to honor. Once you get into that Washington machinery, you’ve just got to figure it out and swim against the current and grab onto this rock and that, and just try to maintain your course.”
That's Robert De Niro in a quote pulled from Politico I saw on Twitchy.

That is a sampling of actor-logic where the conclusions of syllogisms are stated first as premises. 

Minus five points for the use of "period," a term intended to bluster with unearned authority, and twenty points off for the use of "end of the day," a metaphor so dead it identifies its user as zombie.

No, Robert DeNiro, it is not seen that he is a good person, period, so Robert DeNiro's analysis is wanting, although his metaphor of presidency as job in the unreality of film is more apt than he intended.  

They tear him up at Twitchy and at Politico. De Niro's heartfelt defense at Politico is very sad. 

"Mr. Packer is clearly eager to be quoted."

"Greg’s campaign to be the most quoted man in news has been so successful that the Associated Press sent its staff a memo that essentially banned interviews with him. That hasn’t stopped Greg’s “career.” Individually, his quotes are utterly unremarkable, but, considered as a whole, they add up to a rather stunning body of work."

"Ariel Castro Found Hanging In His Cell"

"52-year-old convicted kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro was found hanging in his cell Tuesday."
Castro was being held at the Correction Reception Center in Orient, OH in Pickaway County.
He was sentenced August 1 to life in prison, plus 1,000 years, for kidnapping and sexually assaulting Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus while holding them captive in his Seymour Avenue house for over a decade.


O brave new world

That has such people in it!


Mayonnaise is one of the things that makes our life on earth worth every hardship. Here is my absolutely foolproof, easy and delicious recipe for mayonnaise. All it takes is about 5 minutes and a food processor, and the result is far, far better tasting than anything you can buy bottled.

Use a light-tasting oil; oils such as extra-virgin olive or peanut have too strong a flavor for mayonnaise. I think the some of the best oils to use are grape seed oil, light-flavored olive oil (this kind of olive oil is usually labelled as "light tasting", "pure", or pomace), sunflower oil and safflower oil, but any neutral or light-flavored vegetable oil will do in a pinch.

You may use all lemon juice, all wine wine vinegar, or any combination of the two; it's a matter of taste. I prefer a 50/50 mixture of both. If you're using vinegar, be sure to use wine vinegar, not cider or distilled white vinegar. I like to use Champagne vinegar, but even store brand white or red wine vinegar produces good results.

I've found that this recipe works best when all the ingredients are at room temperature, especially the eggs and oil. Before you crack the eggs, put them in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes if they've just come out of the fridge. If, for some reason, you refrigerate your oil, let it warm up to room temperature before proceeding. You may not be able to create an emulsion if you use cold ingredients.

Frightened of raw eggs? Salmonella is very, very rare in good-quality eggs in the US, and the acid pH of mayonnaise, combined with its low water activity, makes it a fairly undesirable environment for pathogens as long as it's kept refrigerated. Try not to worry about it… If you are, however, still worried about it, don't bother making this recipe.

Click "Read more" for the recipe:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

extremely mean interview prank

Not in this country, no Siree.

Clowns aren't clowning around anymore

So, the Smithsonian magazine has an interesting article on clowns and why people think they're scary. 

Are people really scared by clowns?  Or is it just one of those hipster things to say? 

This whole afraid of clowns thing gets me to thinking, however.  As "scary clowns" are pretty much the whole clown business now.  At least in pop culture.  .  But now?  It's all scary clowns all the time.  Or drunk clowns. Or sarcastic clowns.  Or sad, depressed clowns.  Or homicidal bat-obsessed clowns. 

Do kids even like clowns anymore? Not in a scared way, but in an endearing fascinated way?  Do kids want them at birthday parties? I can't imagine they do.  Why would they?  All the younger generation knows of clowns is that they're scary. 

We've lost the innocence of clowns.  The way of Bozo is over.  The intentionally frightening clown worked for a while because it co-opted an otherwise jovial and friend-seeking character. 

Now the co-opted clown is all that we find. 

Which makes me wonder what other cultural or societal relic has likewise been so co-opted there's nothing of the original left. 

bus rides organized for two hour protest on Capitol west lawn

And Senator Lee wrote a letter to Harry Reid with a list of names of people who have pledged not to support Obamacare.
As you attend town hall meetings and make phone calls to your Members of Congress to ask them to stop Obamacare, you will assuredly hear their staff tell you that they don’t need to sign onto the letter because they are co-sponsors of Ted Cruz’s legislation to defund Obamacare. This answer simply isn’t good enough.
Signers of Senator Lee’s letter are solidly pledging that they will not vote for a Continuing Resolution that funds Obamacare. Simply co-sponsoring Senator Cruz’s legislation, although it is important, isn’t enough on its own.
Exempt America is organizing the busses for the protest in conjunction with tea party patriots, evenbrite. 

Last chance to defund they say, and man, am I'm having that weird déjà vu thing again, no, it is a recursive feedback loop. 

The protest is for two hours but the bus rides they are organizing are two days apart.

Wanna go?

Would that be fun? 

Let's look at a few. 

Kennesaw, GA  
7:00am 9/9/2013 -
8:30pm 9/11/2013

Clarksville, IN
6:30am  9/9
7:00pm  9/11

Southwest Ohio

Okatie/Summerville, SC

Ashville, NC

Lancaster, Ohio

Parma Ohio

Langhorne/Philly, PA

Bunham, PA
4:45am  That is early. I got up that early before to do fun stuff plenty of times. It's nothing, really.

Paramus, NJ

Moorestown, NJ

Fun times, get yourself seen and heard, viva la résistance and all, but they are not going to defund anything. But, if you've nothing more to do than agitate...

Imagine a bus full of people thinking the same thing, or thinking similarly and imaging being on such a bus. For hours. Like a football team bus. 

West Lawn, and whenever I hear lawn party I automatically think of lawn party flamingos. It's a great way to announce the pool is open and so is the bar. I can imagine the entire west lawn covered in plastic flamingos. But ixnay on the usbay, Denver is too far for that.

Kerry turns the tables on Rand Paul


The best part:
Jabbing his finger, Kerry disagreed, saying it was guaranteed that Assad would use chemical weapons again if the U.S. doesn't act. 
Kerry, a Vietnam veteran,
The Washington Post reminds us.
reminded Paul that "you've got three of us here who have gone to war" and that they know what it involves. 
They do. Then ends with bluster, claims victoritah, everybody laughs and laughs. I am not impressed with the polemics, though, maybe somebody is. Three of them went to war so that is proof that Assad will use chemical weapons again.

When do they imagine that to happen, anytime I suppose, apparently everyone was laughing too much to ask, the article is brief on the Washington Post and closes abruptly, but my first guess would be on the 2nd anniversary of Obama's red-line statement.

I happened to turn on the t.v. with Sharpton following and critiquing the Facebook opinion of the most important person in the world, Sarah Palin, saying how despicable, dith-PICK-able it is to politicize something so important as war.


It was like a ghostly apparition, death itself, two round lifeless taxidermy eyes upon a ghastly skeletal mouth opening and closing mechanically up and down, frighteningly close to a demented self-willed ventriloquist's doll with a strangely groomed mustache and a tuff of sparse frizzy hair glued on top, speaking to itself in a mirror, horrified at its own image, terrified by its aggressively feminine pink vitality so close to its own end.

Funny Commercial


Complicated Checkout Experience at e-Lemonade Stand

Cantor Intends to Give Obama his Vote

House majority leader Eric Cantor says that he intends "to vote to provide the President of the United States the option to use military force in Syria."

Cantor's statement reads:
While the authorizing language will likely change, the underlying reality will not. America has a compelling national security interest to prevent and respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction, especially by a terrorist state such as Syria, and to prevent further instability in a region of vital interest to the United States.
“Understanding that there are differing opinions on both sides of the aisle, it is up to President Obama to make the case to Congress and to the American people that this is the right course of action, and I hope he is successful in that endeavor.
“Bashar Assad's Syria, a state sponsor of terrorism, is the epitome of a rogue state, and it has long posed a direct threat to American interests and to our partners. The ongoing civil war in Syria has enlarged this threat.
Click here for the rest of Eric Cantor's statement.

What's on your bucket list?

NY Fed Jury Rejects N-word ‘multiple contexts’

A federal jury ruled last week that use of the 'N-word' is discriminatory workplace behavior, even when used among blacks. A black New York City employment agency worker who was the target a slur-laced rant by her black boss has been awarded $250,000 in compensatory damages by a Manhattan federal jury.
The case against Rob Carmona and the employment agency he founded, STRIVE East Harlem, gave legal airing to what some see as a double standard surrounding the word: It's a degrading slur when uttered by whites but can be used at times with impunity among blacks.
But 38-year-old Brandi Johnson told jurors that being black didn't make it any less hurtful to be the target of what her attorney called Carmona's ‘four-minute [N-word] tirade’ about inappropriate workplace attire and unprofessional behavior.
Johnson, who taped the March 2012 remarks after her complaints about his verbal abuse were disregarded, said she fled to the restroom and cried for 45 minutes.

Not so random Drudge - 3 of 27

 Record cold strikes Alaska...



Russia Issues Travel Warning About United States...

Robber Attacks Gas Station Clerk -- With Bible... 



6 Ways Activists Sabotage Their Causes

Walter Hudson pjmedia

6) Guarding fiefdoms, tea party example. His own.
5)  Attacking efforts, tea party example, same person as above.
4) Defying legislative process, tea party example. Little tangible support emerges. Refusal to support good candidate waiting for a pure one. Impulses to shutting down government. Irrational intransigence. Expecting legislative outcomes wholly out of sync with electoral outcomes denies responsibility of activist to build coalitions.
3) Defying two-party system. Libertarians in Main breaking with GOP example. Mistake in viewing the Party as a servant which ought to work on their behalf rather than a a vehicle which must be actively steered in a desired direction. It cannot be steered by bailing.
2) Rejecting organization as elitist hierarchal affront to Democracy, tea party example, occupy example.
1) Refusing money. Occupy example.

The author uses personal examples, specifically a difficulty with one individual, Mona, but I was expecting something along the lines of, say, the endeavor of political activism itself tends to attract assholes. 

Reminds me. There was a facebook/twitter meltdown. Ha! That's how I found the story again  [russian activist facebook twitter meltdown]  and I don't even have to mention [gay]. Done wrecked his gay activist career by ragging on Jews. Might have wrecked it, in a rational world, but reading the comments I am not so sure. The guy says himself that he's out, (autoplay). 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Open Thread

Alain Souchon - Foule Sentimentale (Sentimental Crowd)

"Mixed Feelings Over N.F.L. Concussions Settlement"

"I expected a settlement to come at some point. What I didn’t expect was to feel so oddly conflicted about it." Writes retired NFL player Scott Fujita, in an Essay published by the New York Times titled "Mixed Feelings Over N.F.L. Concussions Settlement"
Last Thursday, the N.F.L. and the more than 4,500 plaintiffs involved in a consolidated concussion lawsuit agreed to settle their differences and, pending the approval of a judge, were prepared to put the dispute behind them. Good news, right? Certainly a win for everyone involved? I’m not so sure.
After reading the essay, I got the sense Scott wanted the plaintiffs to hold out for more money.
I wasn’t a part of the lawsuit. I was approached about it, as I’m sure every player who retired in recent months had been...
The lawsuit was not Scott's fight, he is just commenting about it.
I’m thrilled for Kevin Turner, a former player and a plaintiff who is battling A.L.S., known as Lou Gehrig’s disease... 
The proposed settlement agreement will potentially relieve a tremendous financial and medical burden for Turner. And this will happen now, instead of 5, 10, maybe 15 years from now, when he may no longer be with us. The settlement is a huge win for the former players like Kevin Turner and their families. We must not lose sight of that. It’s easy to tell someone to hold out for more when it’s not your livelihood at risk.
These deals are complicated and multilayered, and they affect everybody differently. It’s easy to feel conflicted. And it’s not always easy to declare a winner or a loser.
Is it easy to feel conflicted, because delaying the hit to the owners would also mean hurting the players battling the effects of the game?

Fight Club

I watched it for the first time last night. Not what I expected. Please give one movie-review type line that captures the essence of this extraordinary movie. I will begin:

What can possibly go wrong when a pencil-pushing insomniac (Ed Norton) meets up with a man of extraordinary will, and a revolutionary attitude regarding the general direction that capitalism is taking society (Brad Pitt). 

Obama I Have a Drone Speech

"The Best Of The Internet’s Reaction To Obama’s Plans To Bomb Syria. The memes are running 10-1 against, Mr. President."

sadieroma said ...
What if I was a Syrian? Living in terror everyday, not one of the lucky ones to get out. Scrounging for food, eating tree bark, and shoe leather like they did in Sarajevo in the early 90’s. I’ve read a lot about that time, and the one constant question was “Why isn’t anybody doing anything?! Why wont the world help us?”

Study: 'Men Feel Terrible When their Partner Succeeds'

According to a new study, men experience a blow to their self-esteem when their female partners experience success, even when they aren’t in direct competition. Women’s success also negatively impacts how men view the future of the relationship, researchers found.
“There is an idea that women are allowed to bask in the reflected glory of her male partner and to be the ‘woman behind the successful man,’ but the reverse is not true for men,” says study co-author Kate Ratliff of the University of Florida.
Skipping down, beyond the mundane details of how they did the study.
The researchers hypothesized a zero-sum approach to success and failure may be what was fueling men’s insecurities and resentment at their partners’ success, explaining that men may be more likely to see their partners’ success as their own failure.
You can read the full study here.

“The president’s request is open-ended”

"The Obama administration’s request for U.S. military intervention in Syria would not pass the Congress as written because it is too broad, a senior senator said Sunday after a classified briefing on the situation."
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), the dean of the Senate, told reporters after the meeting that the resolution seeking military force is “too open ended” as written. “I know it will be amended in the Senate,” he said.
“The president’s request is open-ended,” said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “That has to be rectified, and they simply said in answer to that that they would work with the Congress and try to come back with a more prescribed resolution. But I’m not too sure that the people who answered that are the people that have that decision to make.”
Others, like Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), emerged to say the briefing had helped them decide how to proceed in the coming days. “It was certainly instructive, as classified briefings always are,” she said.
“I’m glad I read the documents, it was worth the trip,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.). “I haven’t really made up my mind. I’m not trying to be a wise guy, I just haven’t.”
Pascrell said he sensed that colleagues in both parties and chambers seemed to appreciate the seriousness of the decision they face in the coming weeks.
“People are coming in from all over the place, I’m from Jersey, I’m only three hours away,” he said. “California is another story.”

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?

It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

Unscientific Poll

I gots to know free polls 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Short story: The Witch

Please follow this link to a pdf of the very short story The Witch, by Shirley Jackson. Please read it (before reading the comments) and let me know what you think.

"They can’t follow if you won’t lead, a**hole."

In this thread from last night, commenter AprilApple said:
This is a Must Read from Stephen Green.
 Before we get to the article linked to in her comment, I'd like to mention that AprilApple is a great commenter.  Yeah, I know, there are a lot of great commenters here, and eventually, I'll get around to singling each out and thanking them, as a reader and fellow commenter.  AprilApple's arguments are always sharp, concise, on-topic, and I don't think I've ever seen her get personal or nasty.  She's one of the few commenters in our community who I think might actually be more conservative than me, and she links to a lot of interesting things in her comments, and enriches the thread.  And she's a commenter who I think was under-appreciated by the owners and operators of other blogs at which she's commented (cough-TOP-cough).

Now back to that article:  Stephen Green, aka VodkaPundit, just called President Obama an "a**hole".  I'm pretty sure he meant "asshole" here, and he missed the typo in his proofreading.  (Fortunately we have spell-check in Blogger.)  This is just pure distilled awesome:
Now, I’ve said a lot of nasty things about our last three presidents. Alot of nasty things. But I don’t think I’ve ever been tempted to personally address any of them as “a**hole.” Not until today. Not until witnessing the most embarrassing and embarrassingly publicperformance by a world leader on the world stage. Monica Lewinsky could have been giving Bill Clinton a blowjob right there at the podium during the State of the Union address, in front of all the cameras, and it still wouldn’t have been as air-suckingly horrific as the low-rent Vaudeville act we’ve watched Obama and Kerry put on these last few days. 
I can't excerpt the whole article, but I think I can get away with just a little more thievery without violating fair use conventions:
Because in the Clinton-Lewinsky scenario I just described, at least the president is the one getting serviced, instead of dropping trou, bending over, and giving the whole world an invitation to do whatever — because, “You know, whatever. It’s only foreign policy. It’s not like it’s something important, like giving public money away to some buddies of mine who just swear they can build a magic car battery.”
AprilApple was right -- it's a must-read, and you should read the whole thing.  The fireworks start on page two.