Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Equal Opportunity Douchebags

I can't decide if the GOP's Norm Coleman is the foil to the Democrat's Rod Blagojevich. Do they cancel each other out in terms of douchebaggery? Are they both equally huge drags on their respective parties? Tough questions to answer.

When stupid meets smart

Here's a great example of why stupid people should keep their mouths shut unless they are asking questions with the intention of learning. But like most stupid people, instead of knowing that he is stupid, Joe Scarborough gets on his soapbox and professes his ignorance ever more loudly, all the while attempting - and failing - to demonstrate that Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski doesn't know what he's talking about with regards to the Middle East Peace Agreements, even though Dr. Brzezinski knows volumes about Middle East negotiations, given that he brokered the Camp David Accords.

Money quote: "You have a stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on [with the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations], that it's almost embarrassing to listen to you."

The Sky in Motion

This site - The Sky in Motion - has a collection of some of the most stunning videos created by assembling thousands of high resolution time lapse photographs. (Click on "Playlist" on the left for the whole collection.)

Just amazing! What I wouldn't give to be able to see the world like this with my own eyes.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Clean Nukes?

Strange (or is it?) that the Corporate-Run Media isn't picking up on the story of Thorium, a safer nuclear fuel.

The short story of Thorium is that it was explored along side Uranium as a fuel for nuclear bombs, but wasn't as efficient for making weapons-grade Plutonium. But proponents of Thorium back in the Cold War days were focused more on energy, but the rest of the world was focused on bombs. So Thorium got deep-sixed. But there are tons of this stuff in cold storage, and some smart scientists are making the case to bring this stuff back out and use it for safe nuclear energy.
Enter Thorium. Half a century ago, a different kind of nuclear reactor was invented, one that burns Thorium - an inexhaustible supply of fuel, and much cheaper than the enriched-uranium fuel used by current reactors. It can even use the nuclear waste from other reactors as fuel! The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor, or LFTR for short, operates at low pressures, so it could never explode like the reactor at Chernobyl, and its liquid-fuel design makes it physical impossible to overheat, like the reactor at Three Mile Island.

If you have an hour to spare, watch this video from Google Tech Talks.

Twilight for the US?

It has been predicted.

[Igor Panarin]

Could not have said it better

It's no secret that I think David Gregory, the replacement for Tim Russert on MTP, is a complete tool. However, I haven't had the time, nor the inclination, to waste on explaining just why. But thanks to the inimitable Glenn Greenwald, I don't have to. Glenn sums up quite well exactly why Gregory is ridiculous and pathetic.

Several months before he was named as moderator of Meet the Press, David Gregory went on MSNBC
to categorically reject Scott McClellan's accusations that the American
media failed to scrutinize the Bush administration's pre-war
claims.  Gregory vigorously praised the job which he and his "journalistic" colleagues did in the run-up to the Iraq War -- the period which Salon's Gary Kamiya called
"one of the greatest collapses in the history of the American media." 
Proclaimed Gregory, with a straight face:  "Questions were asked. I
think we pushed.  I think we prodded.  I think we challenged
the President.  Not only those of us in the White House Press Corps did
that, but others in the media landscape did that."  Most revealingly of
all, Gregory said:

I think there are a lot of
critics who think that . . . . if we did not stand up and say this is
bogus, and you're a liar, and why are you doing this, that we didn't do
our job.  I respectfully disagree.  It's not our role.

Perish the thought that a reporter should point out when government
officials are making "bogus" claims and are lying a country into a war.

Thanks, Glenn.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Star Farming

man-made sun: National Ignition Facility (NIF), California

While it has seemed an impossible goal for nearly 100 years, scientists now
believe that they are on brink of cracking one of the biggest problems in
physics by harnessing the power of nuclear fusion, the reaction that burns
at the heart of the sun.

In the spring, a team will begin attempts to ignite a tiny man-made star
inside a laboratory and trigger a thermonuclear reaction.

Its goal is to generate temperatures of more than 100 million degrees Celsius
and pressures billions of times higher than those found anywhere else on
earth, from a speck of fuel little bigger than a pinhead. If successful, the
experiment will mark the first step towards building a practical nuclear
fusion power station and a source of almost limitless energy.


Pale Blue Dot

"That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar", every "supreme leader", every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."
-Carl Sagan

Be humbled.

Animal Farm Friday - Belated but worth it

Sounding the alarm in the cutest damn way possible!

Plagiarized Messiah

All those Bomb-bomb-bomb Iran, Bible-thumpin' neo-cons might be a bit disappointed to learn that those Persians had their own Jesus 600 years earlier. You could almost say that the Christians plagiarized the Persians, and took all of the stories of Mithras and applied them to Jesus.

The Christian Father Manes, founder of the heretical sect known as Manicheans, believed that Christ and Mithra were one. His teaching, according to Mosheim, was as follows: "Christ is that glorious intelligence which the Persians called Mithras ... His residence is in the sun" (Ecclesiastical History, 3rd century, Part 2, ch. 5).

Friday, December 26, 2008

Goodybe Shelfari, Hello Good Reads!

It seems that Shelfari has a bias towards Mormons and against Atheists.
In a discussion between atheists in a book group (a group named
Atheists on Shelfari), some Mormons asserted themselves into the
conversation, then apparently had their feelings hurt because their
arguments couldn't stand up to logic and reason. So they whined to
Shelfari (, which resulted in some members of my group
being banned.

If a person of religious faith enters into a discussion between
non-believers, then obviously that religious person is looking for a
fight. But to then go whine and complain to the host that someone from
that group hurt your feelings, is absolutely pathetic. Shelfari has
completely overreacted, especially in choosing sides in this dispute.
Fairness would dictate that if any member was to be banned, it would be
all of the members in the discussion. But banning members from
exercising their rights to free speech because the feelings of another
group were hurt is morally shameful. Indeed, that a site based on the
open exchange of ideas and readers' opinions about the books they read,
and the subject matter contained within these books would suppress the
free speech of its members is astonishing. The irony is breathtaking.

Time to leave Bezos to twiddle his Kindle. I want nothing to do with any service or organization that engages in censorship.


Follow up:

Making the switch was incredibly easy. I just exported my library from Shelfari as a .xsl file, then imported it into my library. It even captured my ratings and other notes I had written.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Quote of the Day

"The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al
Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a
propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an
identified entity representing the 'devil' only in order to drive the
TV watcher to accept a unified international leadership for a war
against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US."

Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook

Just for the record

I think Dan Lungren is fucking dick.

Jerry Brown is a hero!

He's fighting the Good Fight!

(I voted for Jerry Brown against Bill Clinton, and I wonder where this country might be if he had won.)

My next new car

Well, not a car per se, but I better start saving now!

Animal Farm Friday - Super Holiday Bonus: Wet Pussy!

Another one that just couldn't wait. It's way cool, and I couldn't resist the double entendre.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We are NOT all Georgians!

Though it would be hard to tell that it was Georgians - and not Americans - who got their asses kicked by the Russians in South Ossetia by all the U.S. military equipment, machines, uniforms, and supplies left behind.

Konashenko pulls a green compass out of his shirt pocket and opens it. It’s a U.S. military model. “This is a little trophy — a gift from one of my soldiers,” he says. “Everything that the Georgians left behind, I mean everything, was American. All the guns, grenades, uniforms, boots, food rations — they just left it all. Our boys stuffed themselves on the food,” he adds slyly. “It was tasty.” The booty, according to Konashenko, also included 65 intact tanks outfitted with the latest NATO and American (as well as Israeli) technology.

What I want for Christmas

If I celebrated Christmas, I would want this.

Another reason why I hate the Third Way

Creepy posts like this one where the acting-CEO of Center for American Progress more or less attacks one of her employees, none other than the awesome Matt Yglesias, and did so on his blog. The impression I get is that some cry-baby Third Way idiots strong-armed her into it, but it's about the least professional thing she could have done. 

Death to Third Way!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Because everything is better with bacon

Animal Farm Friday on Monday - Super Squirrel

Friday, December 19, 2008

Animal Farm Friday - Cute Overload

I'm looking forward to a snowy weekend, and to someday getting a Wheaten Terrier, so here's a little of both! The Wheaten Snowplow! (Thanks, Kitten!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Flying Spaghetti Monster holiday lights

Atheist billboards

Monday, December 15, 2008

And there is no statute of limitations for war crimes.

The Senate's bipartisan report,
issued with no dissents, reiterates and adds factual context to what we
already know. And there is no equivocation in the report.

The person who authorized all the abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib,
the man who gave the green light to the abuses in that prison, is the
president of the United States, George W. Bush.

Monday Funny - Obey Your TV

Most awesomest Wikipedia page ever!

A bounty for the learned and the unlearned.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Funny - Too bad he missed!

George W. Bush is an impotent dog! He ruined this country, and he ruined Iraq. At least this one Iraqi had the courage to make a strong statement about it!