Saturday, March 14, 2009

Caturday: Lounging Around

As you spend time with an animal, you begin to learn what they are signaling with their body language. When Ozma sleeps, she tends to assume the sphinx position. When she wants attention and petting, she drapes herself across things shamelessly. When she really wants attention, she drapes herself across things and wallows. In this case, she wallowed right off the back of the couch. Then she showed me what indignation and loss of face look like in a cat. No pictures of that though... I like to think of myself as a gentleman.

Sorry, Just Picturing Michelle Dressed Up Like Carrie Anne Moss

From Dark Roasted Blend. Also in this issue, Gigantic freaking beatles.

Chicken Pi

In honor of international pi day, even if I am running late. From Savage Chickens. For more pie, see today's Bizarro, "Pie Riots of the Caribbean." The ever-fascinating Dan Piraro tells us,"For you history buffs, "pi" was first invented by the people who built Stonehenge, which is really just a bunch of them stuck together. "

Friday, March 13, 2009

Relenting on the Conspiracy

OK, just between us, because I like you, and you need to understand what we're dealing with. Just ask yourself, "Who profits from having two consecutive Friday the 13th's?"

That's right: just follow the money. It all fits together now, doesn't it? Yeah, I smacked my head for not seeing it sooner myself. It's so obvious when you think about it. But keep it under wraps, OK? These aren't people you want to mess with lightly.

I Just Don't Get It

The inhumanity of humanity is beyond my comprehension. From The Guardian:
Her brutal murder took place last April, and since then a tide of violence against lesbian women in South Africa has continued to rise. Human rights campaigners say it is characterised by what they call "corrective rape" committed by men behind the guise of trying to "cure" lesbian women of their sexual orientation.
Yeah. That'll learn 'er good.

You know, I feel guilty for days when I hurt someone's feelings accidentally. When I discovered, an hour after the fact, why my cat had suddenly yowled and spat at me (I had rolled a wheel on my desk chair over some of her fur, which I found later as a fairly substantial tuft), I felt awful, and spent hours lavishing attention on her.

How can anyone treat a human being this way?

No wonder Jesus wept. It makes me feel like crying too.

Conspiracy, Huh?

I'm not allowed to tell you what I know about conspiracies.

Now With Bacon!

I just found this over at Volcanista: A Magmalicious Blog. To vegetarian/vegan readers, my apologies; to everyone else, my apologies. This makes me hungry too. Interestingly, it's under the vidclips, but on top of everything else. Look at the URL and you can figure out how to baconize your own blog. You can charge an extra 75 cents per slice, too. That'll add up at the end of the day.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We Must Not Allow a Whoopee Cushion Gap

Don't tell McCain and Jindal, but we're falling behind in the field of Whoopee Cushion Technology. At least the Brits are allies... but for how long? Can we afford a Whoopee Gap?

From the Telegraph. "The funniest whoopee cushion sounds are long and whiny, according to research..."

So my question to Johnny and Bobby is this: "Do you support earmarks for scientific research that is crucial to our national defense?" Remember the Great War; acquisition of key humor technology at just the right time almost certainly tipped the balance in favor of alliance powers. Those who forget the lessons of humor are doomed to repeat the joke.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday Words

I got some terrific responses to last week's Wednesday Words; my thanks go out to Callan, Wee Mousie and Dean Wormer for some good laughs! Here's this week's installment. If this is new to you, these are word verification tests, meant to keep automated crawlers from filling comments with spam. But they look like they might be real words. If they are real words, what do they mean? Click back on the first link for some excellent examples of how to play in the comments. By the way, last week's word, "vater," I thought (truly) for quite some time was Darth's last name.

Whoa! This is a Complete Surprise!

Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston have broken up! Oh, that's so sad... they made such a cute couple. I had just mentioned Knockwurst a few days ago... and it looked like everything was going so well. I guess Levi needed to get some partying out of his system before he, ya know, was really ready to deal with adult responsibilities. "Sorry darlin', I'm just not all that in to you any more. And I'm just not the type to be anchored down with kids." Any bets on whether he actually completes his GED? Any bets on how many other young women he impregnates before some would-be father-in-law blasts that irresponsible bastard's brains into next week?

And regarding Granny's political future, the Gov may want to talk to Ann Coulter regarding the republican attitude toward unwed mothers. Or not, you know, I'm just sayin'. And if you haven't been reading Margaret and Helen... well, it doesn't take anything from me if you do. It's not like there's only so many slices, and someone loses out if you get there first. You really ought to be reading that blog. It's almost like Molly Ivins is still with us.

And poor Bristol. That girl is getting "grow up fast" lessons that no one should ever have to face. All snark aside, I do feel bad for that poor kid and her kid.

Well this really is a surprise: Up until this point, I haven't had a "snark" label. I guess that means this is the first snarky piece I've done in this blog. ; )


The volcano blogs don't seem to have picked this up yet; I caught it on BuzzFeed. The Volcanism Blog had some stills from this yesterday, and Eruptions, as it turns out, does have a link to a BBC video. I haven't watched that clip yet, and it may be the same one, but here's the YouTube clip... quite spectacular!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hear, Hear!

You will not believe it, but I have been rooting for the GOP. As well deserved
as its recent drubbings have been, the fact is, single-party governance is
invariably a recipe for overreaching, the Bush years proved that inarguably. So
for the sake of the checks and balances that make our system work, I would like
to see the party get off the mat.

Hear, Hear! Leonard Pitts delivers bang on regarding an idea I've been trying to work into a bloggable form. I think many liberals and moderates are in the same position as I: we're relieved to have seen the Republicans get their just desserts over the last two elections, and relieved by the sense that some grown up, intelligent, and yes, elite (in the sense of the best in the field) individuals are shaping national policy and discussion. But we're deeply troubled by the fact that the "loyal opposition" seems to view its role as that of the pissy kid who shouts at his playmates and says "I'm takin' your ball and going home."

My sense is that Republicans nominally support a two or more party system- just as long as they win all the elections. In other words, elections should have more than one party. Governance should be only one party, the party that believes governance is a problem.

Most of those I discuss this issue with agree with my point of view, that any party- including democrats- that has unobstructed, unchallenged power, will ultimately cause great harm. In other words, I want rational opposition; I want to be challenged; I want alternative points of view. Not only that, we need those opposing points of view. I suppose that's a big reason I tend to lean democrat: looking back over that string of wants and needs, it looks very much like a scientist's perspective. The way toward clearer understanding is not through dogma and certainty, it's through a pruning of the less supportable ideas.

The analogy I've used in discussion lately, though, is this: suppose you went out for drinks and appetizers with a colleague. You say, "I want an iced tea and the jalepeno poppers." Your colleague says, "I want to cut the waitress's throat and drink her blood. I'll pass on the appetizers."

Now, your task is to find the compromise position.

Anyone who "honestly" tries to find a compromise here is just as crazy as your colleague. This is why democrats, right now, in addition to trying to find a way forward, need to be courting and encouraging rational conservatives. Because whether you want to admit it or not, our side cannot do it alone. And because what passes for "mainstream" republicanism, as we close the first decade of this new millenium, is certifiably insane.

Followup: Just a few stories later, I came across this. "At the age of 74 and after 53 years, I have finally quit the Republican Party and have re-registered as an independent voter. " The mayor of Waldport, a small coastal town here in Oregon, has sent a Letter to the Editor in the Oregonian, outlining his disillusion with his party. I'd like to hear what he thinks about... well, pretty much anything.


Another whale has washed up near Florence. This drama has been playing out since Friday, when the creature was first seen struggling north of the Siuslaw River mouth. It went back out to sea, then was spotted washed ashore yesterday. The picture, to me at least, doesn't really give a good sense of scale; it's 55 feet (about 18 meters) long, and weighs an estimated 50 tons. Apparently, if all goes well, the plan is to bury it today. I was sort of hoping a repeat of the strategy from 1970 where they tried to convert a dead whale to seagull food, but I guess they learned how well that works...

For regular readers, you may remember my post on Sea Lion Caves from near the end of December. This picture is looking north toward that headland, and the building up on the rock may be the shop leading into it. I don't think it actually is, but from this picture I can't convince myself either way.

I say "ho-hum" because growing up in Ohio, this happened all the time. When the Army Corps of Engineers re-routed the Hocking River through Athens, it confused the whale migrations badly. That, and the growing racket from the submarine races. Yeah, I sometimes miss my old stomping grounds on the banks of the mighty Hocking.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Interzone People: Rawley

As I was coming into my favorite coffee shop Friday, I ran into this dangerous looking crew. That's Josh with his coffee, Rawley leaning against the window, and Pilgrim (or "Piggy") playing the role of Josh's alert dog. (And an unknown pedestrian in the background.)
I think Josh was just waking up; he didn't really want to play "pose for a picture," but he did agree to let me use this one. Pilgrim was watching Ayla, another neighborhood goggie- as you can probably see in the photo, he's looking to my right and behind me, not AT me. But Rawley is a frequent commenter and a fun person to chat with, and he was really my target for this edition of IZ people.
An unscripted photo. Rawley is a grad student in material science. I think his research involves testing lab equipment to failure, then repairing it. He also plays in a local band, Lost Tortoise. I've only watched them once; as I've mentioned before, loud music is kind of painful for me, and crowds make me uneasy. As a result I've never really enjoyed live music. But they have some clips and some YouTube videos at the preceeding link.
I didn't notice this when I took the photo- you really can't see anything until you download the image from the camera to the computer- but in a crop from the above picture, your faithful blogger is reflected in the window. Rawley wanted to strike a "pensive" pose. I'm just happy to have an excuse to take photos of my friends, so who am I to say "no?"

I told him he did indeed look awfully pent in this one. I should mention... if anyone whose picture I've posted here wants copies, I'd be happy to e-mail them to you. The standard reduction I use is 15% of vertical and horizontal. Which means the full size versions are about 45 times larger. I personally don't like looking at myself with that kind of resolution. But if you want to see youself 45 times less small, feel free to let me know.

Sunday Funnies

A weekly roundup of stuff that gave me a giggle. We'll start with a webcomic that's new to me this week; please give a warm welcome to Savage Chickens. Knockwurst Palin's interview was notable for its clarity, honesty, and down-to-earth reality... then her mother came on. And honestly, I don't think her name is Knockwurst, but I don't remember her actual name.
Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin
see more Political Pictures

Then we've got Joe Biden, who most of us here at my favorite coffee shop are convinced was added to the ticket as a diversionary tactic. I have to admit I was pretty impressed with Biden when in one of the "debates" last winter, he was asked a simple, straight-forward yes-no question (I don't remember the question). "Yes," he responded, then stopped. After a moment the moderator said, "Sir, you have 90 seconds to answer. Would you like to expand on that?" Biden won my undying respect by saying, "No." Then shutting up.
joe biden
see more Political Pictures

song chart memes
more music charts

So the question of the moment is, "Is TARP a trap?" Back to Ackbar...Apparently, yes.

I think that if the "Pirates of the Carribean" franchise had been made 25 or 30 years ago, John Travolta would have made a good pirate. Instead he got stuck with "Grease." And Olivia Newton John, so it wasn't a complete loss.
orlando bloom and johnny depp
more lol celebs!

Old joke: Michael Jackson and Elton John are covering E.J.'s old song, "Don't Let Your Son Go Down on Me." It's interesting to consider... if MJ had died tragically in the the late 80's, he would forever be considered a hero, a great loss to humanity, and a visionary pioneer of popular music. Instead, his legacy will be as a punchline to raunchy jokes, and as a baseline of physical repulsiveness. If he had been given a choice in, say, 1989, which path do you think he would have chosen? Achilles was given a similar choice; he's remembered, what, 2500, 3000 years later?
jeremy sumpter
more lol celebs!
And because I didn't get up a picture of Ozma for Caturday, here's some LolCats and a video.
funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals
Algebra came pretty easy to me, but by the time I got to vector calculus... yeah, that was me.

This next looks like a rat dressed up for Halloween.
funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals
And as a person with a BS in geology and a Masters in Science Education, I think these guys' approach to being owned by cats is very insightful. (Hat Tip to John Cole at Balloon Juice)