Thursday, July 29, 2010

Challenge Target and Best Buy Antidemocratic Donations


"Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!"

-- Louis Tully, Ghost Busters

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's Baaaack: The Catfood Commission


Not that it ever went away. The catfood commission is the Zombie that has been clawing at the door since Obama was elected:

Senators from both parties on Tuesday put new pressure on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to turn the power to trim entitlement benefits over to an independent commission.

Seven members of the Senate Budget Committee threatened during a Tuesday hearing to withhold their support for critical legislation to raise the debt ceiling if the bill calling for the creation of a bipartisan fiscal reform commission were not attached. Six others had previously made such threats, bringing the total to 13 senators drawing a hard line on the committee legislation.

"You rarely do have the leverage to make a fundamental change," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who said he hasn't ruled out offering the independent commission legislation as an amendment to the healthcare reform bill.

The panel, which has been championed by Conrad and ranking member Judd Gregg (R-N.H), would be tasked with stemming the unsustainable rise in debt.

Among its chief responsibilities would be closing the gap between tax revenue coming in and the larger cost of paying for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits. The Government Accountability Office recently reported the gap is on pace to reach an "unsustainable" $63 trillion in 2083.

You'll recall that during the transition period Obama was all for this commission (it was part of the Grand Bargain) and put it off until after health care reform was passed once people raised a fuss shortly after the inauguration:

McConnell said that when Obama and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, had previously spoken to Republicans, they struck a tone that indicated a willingness to work on Social Security. "That was the place that I hoped, based on what both he and the chief of staff had said earlier, we'd be able to move on a bipartisan basis. He kind of brushed over that issue" in his speech, said McConnell.

He said he has noticed a change in the administration's rhetoric over the last few weeks. "They seem to be kind of back-pedaling some," he said.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sooo sleepy

Today is definitely going to have to be a high caffeine day.  zzz....

"Egon, this reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole through your head. Remember that?"
-- Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghost Busters

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Deficits of Mass Destruction

From <a href=""><i>The
Nation</i></a> --

If you've been paying attention this past decade, it won't surprise
you to learn that the country's policy elites are in the midst of a
destructive, well-nigh unhinged discussion about the future of the
nation. But even by the degraded standards of the Washington
establishment, the growing panic over government debt is shocking.

First, the facts. Nearly the entire deficit for this year and those
projected into the near and medium terms are the result of three
things: the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush tax cuts
and the recession. The solution to our fiscal situation is: end the
wars, allow the tax cuts to expire and restore robust growth. Our
long-term structural deficits will require us to control healthcare
inflation the way countries with single-payer systems do.

But right now we face a joblessness crisis that threatens to pitch us
into a long, ugly period of low growth, the kind of lost decade that
will cause tremendous misery, degrade the nation's human capital,
undermine an entire cohort of young workers for years and blow a hole
in the government's bank sheet. The best chance we have to stave off
this scenario is more government spending to nurse the economy back to
health. The economy may be alive, but that doesn't mean it's healthy.
There's a reason you keep taking antibiotics even after you start to
feel better.

(<a href=""><i>More...</i></a>)

‘Doctor Who’ thing of the day: awesome extras on the first Matt Smith DVD set

Oooh!  B)
According to an article quoted on, the first Matt Smith Doctor Who DVD set will have little "Meanwhile, on the TARDIS" bonus bridging mini-episodes.  Neat!
( More... )

"Egon, this reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole through your head. Remember that?"
-- Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghost Busters

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Prototype Goggles Make Sure You Never Lose Your Keys Again

I so need a set of these!
From --

Prototype Goggles Make Sure You Never Lose Your Keys Again

from the where-did-I-put-my... dept

We've seen a whole bunch of different technology companies (and government agencies) experimenting with various projects that would allow people to wear a camera that would record everything they see and hear, as a sort of backup memory or backup brain. All of these projects are in the (completely) experimental stage, but some researchers in Japan may have come up with a nice little app to go along with them. It's a prototype system that supposedly can recognize the different objects you see. The current version requires you to go around and train the system (i.e., "this is my iPod... these are my keys... this is my mobile phone") and then it uses some recognition technologies to make a note every time you "see" one of those items. Then, if you happen to have lost something, you can just ask the system "where are my keys?" and it will play back the video of the last time you saw your keys. Depending on how well this works, it sounds quite cool. And, of course, the idea is to go much further, hitting "Terminator"-type levels of information display, including what kinds of flowers are you looking at and who is the person you're talking to. Sounds like a wonderful solution for people who can't remember anyone's name. Of course, like all the other projects of this nature, it doesn't sound likely that this will be hitting the market any time soon.


"No one likes to be interviewed, and yet no one likes to say no; for interviewers are courteous and gentle-mannered, even when they come to destroy."  -- Mark Twain

Thursday, July 08, 2010

So scary!

From PZ Myers --

How to fish for atheists

Category: KooksPoliticsReligionStupidity

It's easy. Bait your hook with stupid.

It's true, we're a sucker for that stuff, although it does have a downside. We'll come up, swallow the bait, follow the line to its source, devour the poor fool holding the pole, and then waddle off, all fat and smug. It's our nature, we can't help it.

So, for instance, an Indiana politician who is considered a potential presidential candidate, Mitch Daniels, talks about atheism.

People who reject the idea of a God — who think that we're just accidental protoplasm — have always been with us. What bothers me is the implications — which not all such folks have thought through — because really, if we are just accidental, if this life is all there is, if there is no eternal standard of right and wrong, then all that matters is power.

And atheism leads to brutality. All the horrific crimes of the last century were committed by atheists — Stalin and Hitler and Mao and so forth — because it flows very naturally from an idea that there is no judgment and there is nothing other than the brief time we spend on this Earth.

( More... )
"Listen. You smell something?"
Dr. Raymond Stantz, Ghost Busters

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Obama Making BP Pay Is Good Government

From AlterNet --

Last week, the nation witnessed an act of good governance when the Obama administration put the full-court press on oil giant BP to set aside $20 billion in assets to compensate the thousands of Americans whose livelihoods -- and in some cases, lives -- are being devastated by the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. It was an example of exactly what government is supposed to do; whatever it can, within the limits of the law, to protect its citizens' interests. 

Team Obama was shrewd to get a fund set up now, with the nation's outrage focused on the calamity, rather than allow the company's army of lawyers to drag a settlement through the courts for years. The agreement, entered into voluntarily by BP, ensures that the firm can't escape legal judgments by paying out all of its current profits as shareholder dividends and then claiming insolvency. 

( More... )

"Listen. You smell something?"
Dr. Raymond Stantz, Ghost Busters

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

New study documents media's servitude to government

From -
A newly released study from students at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government provides the latest evidence of how thoroughly devoted the American establishment media is to amplifying and serving (rather than checking) government officials.  This new study examines how waterboarding has been discussed by America's four largest newspapers over the past 100 years, and finds that the technique, almost invariably, was unequivocally referred to as "torture" -- until the U.S. Government began openly using it and insisting that it was not torture, at which time these newspapers obediently ceased describing it that way:
( More... )
"Listen. You smell something?"
Dr. Raymond Stantz, Ghost Busters

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Last Airbender


"This is so embarrassing.  We had never done that before, and now she's in the hospital, and my cat's dead."
(said a name-withheld New York City man in January, after he and
a neighbor decided to have sex but then accidentally ignited a comforter with a candle, starting a major fire in his apartment)

Friday, July 02, 2010

Week in Review – Week of 2010.06.27 – 07.03

This week started off great, got insanely stressful in the middle, and is now getting better as the weekend approaches. I have to work Saturday, so I won't get a three-day weekend like most people, but I'm happy to get Sunday/Monday off at least, which I'm using to go down to Evansville. I'm going to finally go to InCon this year (for one night, anyway), which people have been trying to lure me to for ages, so with luck that'll be fun.

Sunday I spent the day with Nivagi. She woke me up pleasantly in the morning wearing cute pigtails, and after breakfast we hung out with Ke and took a nice long nap. When we awoke we relaxed and played on our laptops, eventually ordering pizza so we wouldn't have to bother venturing out again. I had a great weekend with Nivagi, and I'm definitely glad we set aside some unscheduled time to just hang out and relax. We both needed it, individually and as a couple.

Monday I didn't have to work since I have a Tuesday through Saturday shift this week, so I spent all day hanging out at Nivagi's while she was at work and Ke was asleep. When Jero got home I went over to her house and we went out for dinner. We decided we're not going to make Mondays default MUX days anymore, but since we were too tired to do anything else we wound up MUXing anyway. I got in a little bit of personal role-playing and set things up for a bigger event Thursday.

Tuesday was a horrible day. Through a misunderstanding I caused Stsm much distress, and in trying to fix it I got Nivagi upset as well. Since I was stuck at work answering calls, I couldn't get anything resolved until after I escaped at 6. Stsm and I had plans with Mika after work, but she'd had an equally bad day and so we decided to reschedule. I called Nivagi to calm her down, and then hung out with Mira until Stsm arrived. Mira headed out, and Stsm and I talked and then went to dinner at Denny's. When we got back we played on our laptops until late, and then watched Family Guy before bed.

Wednesday I was depressed due to lingering stress from the day before. I'd planned to go to derby practice, but I'd forgotten that I'd promised to give my sister a ride to airport, so I did that instead. Afterward I picked up Jero for ice-cream. We sat outside, enjoying the nice weather until I felt better. When I got to Ke and Nivagi's, they jumped into my car and we went to get Chinese food at On Time. Afterward Ke cleaned and then we all snuggled 'til Nivagi and I passed out and Ke got back up for the rest of the night.

Last night when I got off work I went home and hung out with Mira and Mika until they went downstairs to swim. I got onto the MUX and ran a short TP meeting before running a climactic battle between evil Shattered Glass Optimus Prime and heroic Megatron on top of Sherman Dam. Megatron's player is expecting a baby and is therefore seldom on after dark, so I was happy for the opportunity to role-play with him. Nivagi came by after work and I snuggled with her when I finally logged off the MUX.

Tonight after work I'm going to InCon with Mika and Mira. I know we're attending a Subgenius Devival and a midnight showing of Repo! The Genetic Opera. Other than that, I'm not sure what we're doing, but I'm sure it'll be fun. I probably shouldn't stay up for a midnight showing when I have work the next day, but ah, well. It's too bad I have to work today or I'd be tempted to try to put together a Graverobber costume. Maybe I'll do that for the cosplay Halloween party if I don't come up with anything better. Otherwise I might wound up dressed as Abraham Lincoln if Stsm has her way. ;)

Tomorrow I have to work, which is going to suck since there are several events going on downtown that are going to prevent me from getting to my parking garage. Trmo was considering meeting me for lunch, but with everything going on I no longer think that might be a good idea. After work I'm running to the Circle City Socialites bout against Bloomington's Code Blue Assassins – Jero's old team. I'll be late because of my work schedule, but it should still be fun. Sunday I'm driving down to Evansville to hang out with Ursula Sunday night and to see my mom on Monday since I have the day off the for holiday. Monday night I'll drive back.

Have a good Independence Weekend, everyone! (Well, at least, my American friends…)

"This is so embarrassing.  We had never done that before, and now she's in the hospital, and my cat's dead."
(said a name-withheld New York City man in January, after he and
a neighbor decided to have sex but then accidentally ignited a comforter with a candle, starting a major fire in his apartment)

Cool Wonder Woman Costume Redesigns That You Won't See At DC

DC Comics may have finally given J. Michael Straczynski and Don Kramer the go-ahead to change Wonder Woman's costume and give her a jacket, but way back in simpler times during 2007, another group of creators came together to retool the Amazonian heroine's sense of fashion. Joe Quinones, Daniel Krall, Jemma Salume and a posse of other progressively minded illustrators presented their own visions of attire for DC's leading lady, and the top of the heap looked pretty darn good.

The contest, hosted by Project: Rooftop and sponsored by Zeus Comics in Dallas, TX, attracted some fine submissions, ranging in inspiration from sci-fi to ancient Greece. My hat's off to the to the judging, too, because Quinones really nailed his winning entry. It bears a slight resemblance to Karl Kerschl's look for Wonder Girl in "Teen Titan: Year One," only with a slightly more grown-up sophistication.

You will see a couple jackets, too, such as those that appear on Sonny Strait and Leanne Buckley's submissions.