Friday, May 29, 2009

Camel Cute

Not from New Orleans, here they are at the end of year picnic at pre-school. I wish I could impress on you all how nasty a camel smells.

Mom Cute

All the ladies in the house say "whoop whoop"!

Wedding Cute

From the actual ceremony:

Cafe du Monde Cute

We were in New Orleans last weekend for Jason Lee's wedding. Let's just say that some people enjoyed dressing up, riding in a carriage, eating donuts for breakfast, and swimming in the hotel pool.  Here's a few shots of the girls first beignets:

Crash and burn

So speaking of 80's movies, Top Gun was on the other day.  And I reached one inescapable conclusion while viewing it: Top Gun is the gayest movie of all time.  Not "gayest" as is shitty, but "gayest" as in I'm expecting a gay porno to bust out at any minute.

We all know the volleyball scene was just an excuse to get Cruise and Kilmer shirtless, and for a long time I thought this was just for the ladies. Then I think I realized that it had this really homo-erotic jive going with the slow-motion hugs and sweaty pectorals.  But the whole movie now watches like it's a big inside joke.

Kelly McGillis? One of the all-time worst action movie girlfriends in one of the least-believable on-screen couples ever. But Maverick and Iceman? That, my friends, is some sexual tension. Why do you think Iceman is always sniffing when Mav is around?  Pheremones, baby.  He's horny.  Watch some time and see how closely all the men stand to each other in every scene. They're essentially doing the samba.

I think some day we'll look back at the progress in gay rights and point to two important cultural touchstones that turned public opinion in its favor. One, Top Gun will be seen as making people comfortable with male lust. Two, Bert and Ernie will be seen as making people comfortable with two dudes getting married. Trust me on this.  It's no different than Scooby-doo getting people to accept marijuana usage as no big deal.

Bouncy Sun

Just play it -


Like there aren't already enough Lego sets I want. Now they're planning on setting up a line of "Lego Architecture" sets.  Apparently they're going to start with sets of the Guggenheim and Wright's Fallingwater house. I think Lego has officially moved over to producing for the over 30 crowd.

The all think he's a righteous dude

For some reason I've been seeing a lot of really great (read: crappy) 80's movies on TV lately. Which makes this real estate listing tug at whatever remaining strings are still attached to my heart.

You can actually own Cameron's house.  Do you think the corvette is still down there in the ravine?  

Something for next time I'm really drunk...

.... a really bad unicorn tattoo!   Because what says "tough guy with a heart of gold" quite like some of these fantastic bits of cheese-a-riffic skin art.

It's hard to have a favorite, but here goes:

Someone walked into a tattoo parlor and said the following: "I'd like a picture of a unicorn fucking a dolphin on my arm.  Oh, I also want a rainbow in the background.  You know, so it'll look classy."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Disturbing Headlines

Should I be scared?

Zombie fire ants are studied in Texas

Seriously - WTF?

A pricing problem...

Here's an interesting comparison:

Reader Gary Cicio, NYC podiatrist, did the research, and asks us to choose one of the two options to see a Mariners-Yankees game this season, and from the very best seats:
Option 1: Two tickets to Tuesday night, June 30, Mariners at Yanks, cost for just the tickets, $5,000.
Option 2: Two round-trip airline tickets to Seattle, Friday, Aug. 14, return Sunday the 16th, rental car for three days, two-night double occupancy stay in four-star hotel, two top tickets to both the Saturday and Sunday Yanks-Mariners games, two best-restaurant-in-town dinners for two. Total cost, $2,800. Plus-frequent flyer miles.

Friday, May 8, 2009


A top 5 moment from a top 5 all-time great TV character.  Omar on the stand.  Shockingly - not a single curse-word.

Food Skepticism

An interesting post about the idea that we should be eating more like our ancestors. (To me, the most confusing part is that people advocating this seem to presume that our moms all ate live cavemen.  They're old, but they're not THAT old, are they?)

High Snark

Bill Easterly is an economist whose work I enjoy, and who is fantastically derisive with regards to the international aid community.  Here, he offers a skewering of the latest useless summit that is supposed to solve developing country problems. (You every notice these summits never actually take place IN developing countries?)

A sample:

The IGD has been around since 2003, and includes a lineup of really big names from the worlds of business, government, and aid. Chairpersons Albright and Powell were able to distill all of this experience and talent in their signature Journal oped yesterday into new ideas like “we have to focus our efforts where they can have maximum impact, and draw on the strengths of the public and private sectors alike.”
(Maybe we should subject this statement to the NOT test for meaningful content we discussed in a previous blog post: Briefly consider whether there is anyone arguing “we need to focus our efforts where they can have MINIMUM impact, and draw on the WEAKNESSES of the public and private sectors alike.”)

Attention Font Nerds...

...I mean you, Sig. You'll enjoy this:

More Sites I Wish I Had Thought Of

This is some priceless schlock. Thanks to "Awkward Family Photos" I can imagine what it would have been like to have been a dad in the early 80's:
Or just a regular old creepy early-80's Pepsi-drinking freak-job of a twin:

Sometimes, I love me the interweb.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Laws of Stupidity

Maybe not the exact ones I'd have written down, but here you go:

1. Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation (agreed)
2. The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person (absolutely)
3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses. (Okay, not sure I agree here. I'd say a stupid person is someone who acts with absolute disregard for a) other people and/or b) the future. And by future I mean anything longer than five minutes from now)
4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. (The triumph of hope over experience)
5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person. (Totally correct: the inconsistency and randomness of stupid people are what make them so destructive.) 

Don't chew so fast...

Maybe mom was onto something.  Here's a fun chart, in all of its un-identified causal relationship glory.

So, do people get fat because they eat quickly (which likely means they are eating quickly processed foods) or do they eat quickly because they are fat already and really like food?

Second - if I take Mexico and the U.S. out of the graph, is there even a relationship left?

Real Life 1. Comedy 0.

You cannot make this kind of crap up:

"Afghanistan's Only Pig Quarantined in Flu Fear"

Hockey. Hockey. Hockey.

The playoffs are in full swing, and now that I've figured out where Versus HD is on our TV (channel 1705, hello) I've been able to watch a good amount of action. Lots of observations

1) Friggin Anaheim. And you know what? It's not the Ducks, it's Scott Niedermayer. He's been doing this to the Wings for 14 years, ever since he scored on that bank shot off the end-boards against them in 95 while he was with the Devils.  I'd hate him, but he's really a great player.  At this point, doesn't he belong in the discussion about best defensemen not named Orr, Potvin, Robinson, or Borque?  If those guys are the AAA level, and you've got Lidstrom, Langway, Harvey at AA, then isn't Niedermayer in the A level with guys like Stevens, MacInnis, the wildly-overrated Paul Coffey, Larry Murphy, and Brad Park?  He's gotta be a lock for the HOF at this point. He's got the best old-guy playoff beard going. He still looks like the fastest, smoothest skater on the ice when he's playing.

2) Speaking of fast, smooth skaters, Sergei Federov is still getting it done. Honestly, he can still push off twice in his own zone and then somehow accelerate through the neutral zone without moving his feet.  From what I can tell, he's the only guy to ever win both the Selke and the Hart trophies.  You forget how freaking good he was in the mid-90's.  He was everything that Eric Lindros was supposed to be.

3) At what point do we agree that Malkin is a playoff choker?  What's he done this year to dispel the rumors last year that he was soft when it mattered? What's he done to help the Pen's so far?

4) The best thing to happen in the NHL recently is the Pens/Caps rivalry. I love that Crosby and Ovechkin don't like each other. I love that they openly admit it. I love that they are visibly pissed off by the other guy.  It's awesome. Their games have become must-watch hockey.

5) Ovechkin should be illegal. Seriously, if he can snap a wrist-shot to the upper corner at about 90 miles an hour while leaning away from the shot and being fronted by a defenseman, then what hope do you have?  On his last goal of the hat trick Monday, Gonchar played perfect defense - what else should he have done? And still Ovechkin gets off a killer wrister that Fleury had no chance on.

6) I'd actually like to watch Caps/Blackhawks in the Finals, if only because we could do away with all this bothersome defense and just watch two teams skate at full speed, all the time.

7) Did Boston/Carolina start playing?  What, they did? It's 1-1? Did they play on the moon?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Congratulations North Carolina..

You at one point made John Edwards a Senator.  Now we have the following headline:

"Feds probing if Edwards used campaign funds to hide affair"

Why doesn't he just kick a puppy while he's at it?


So I was watching Gladiator the other night.  I'm sure I'm not the only person to have been bothered by this in the past, but here are a few things that occurred to me:

- Maximus is commanding the legions in Germania when Commodus orders him killed. Maximus escapes and hurries to his home to make sure his family is okay.  That home, he says earlier to Marcus Aurelius, is in Spain (and more on that later).  If he was on the borders of the Roman Empire in Germania in A.D. 180 (the year Marcus died), then that puts him, generously, near Frankfurt today.  If we give Maximus the benefit of the doubt, then his home in Spain would be right over the border with France in northern Spain.  He says he grows olives and grapes, so he's probably near the Mediterranean, so let's call it Barcelona. That's about 798 miles.  A horse can travel about 30-40 miles per day, assuming decent conditions.  Even Roman roads were not that great, and Maximus has to assume Commodus is having him followed.  So a really gracious estimate is that it took Maximus 21 days to reach his home.  So here's my question:  why is the wound on his arm still bleeding?  If it was a bad infection, then he'd be dead already.  If it wasn't infected, it should have scabbed over most of the way.  Yet when he's picked up by the slavers he's still in some kind of feverish haze with an open wound.  I don't buy it.

- More annoyingly, in A.D. 180 there was no such place as "Spain", so there is no way Maximus would have been called "Spaniard".  Hispania was the name of the Roman province that covered Iberia.  I'd buy "Iberian" or "Hispanic", but not "Spaniard".  In the 400's, the eastern emperors had an enclave named Spania, but that's 200 years later.  There is no such thing as "Spain" until 1492 when Ferdinand and Isabella (yes, the same ones) unite Castile and Aragon into a joint kingdom.


Maps rock.  Here is a map, by county, of the percent of people uninsured in the U.S.  It's hard to infer numbers of uninsured, because 5% of a heavily populated county is a lot more people without insurance than 15% of a county is western Wyoming.  But you can see pretty clearly that state policies matter.

It makes me think about people who complain about becoming "European socialists".  The upper Midwest is a lot like living in the Netherlands or Sweden (not surprisingly).  Relatively high taxation (although still low relative to those countries), high levels of social services and education, all publicly funded.   Yet Wisconsin and Iowa exist within a very lightly regulated capitalist society.  Having high levels of public services is not the same thing as being socialist.

I love my job...

But apparently this mom does not.  From "Postcards from Yo Mama", here is a recent text message from a mom to her daughter after the daughter got a D on an economics exam:

"Honey, econ is for boring and ugly people. You shouldn’t be in that class, you’re too pretty and creative.  I’m sick of these hard classes. Next semester sign up for gym classes."

Swine Flu. Catch it.

Onward Christian Soldiers

Here's a fun nugget:
"More than half of people who attend services at least once a week -- 54 percent -- said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is "often" or "sometimes" justified. Only 42 percent of people who "seldom or never" go to services agreed, according the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life."

Just so we're clear.  Going to church correlates with supporting torture.  Seriously?  In the same survey, they found that only 28 percent of white Southern evangelicals relied on Christian teaching or belief to inform their views on torture.

So you can use the Bible to claim that gay people can't get married, but if I bring up "turn the other cheek" to you when I'm talking about waterboarding brown people, that's not relevant?

Crop Subsidies

I know, I know.  How could it have taken me this long to post something about the fascinating world of crop subsidies. This site goes over some of the existing mis-information regarding agricultural subsidies.  The most interesting thing to note - farmers are rich.  As the author says, they are not Titan of Wall Street rich (but neither are those titans any more), but they are much better off than the average American.

Why are they rich? Because we pay them to stay on their farms with subsidies.  But we don't pay subsidies to keep them out of the poor-house. All the crappy farmers have moved to the city already.