"If you understood everything I said, you'd be me" - Miles Davis
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
"Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government." - Lenny Bruce
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson

Utility Fog Banner

Curvy Temple Goodness
Shingon-Shu Temple
Shigon-Shu Temple
B of the Bang Sculpture
"B of the Bang" Sculpture, which just screams "Alien Overlord" to me
"Thomas Heatherwick describes himself as a three-dimensional designer. Considered "UK's brightest young designer" in Icon magazine, an extraordinary selection of projects ranging from public art with England's tallest sculpture, to a bag collection for Longchamps, a rolling footbridge and a collection about ideas for the Conran foundation, has been invented and produced by him.
...
Besides all these stunning works, Thomas was asked by a Japanese Buddhist priest of the Shingon-Shu Sect to build a temple in the South of Japan."
Thomas Heatherwick Interview
Via we make money not art

Housekeeping
    Three new features in the left sidebar:
  • The navigation array now has button-links to all the blog-post catagories.
  • My Old BlogRoll has moved to it's own page and been replaced with a list of my Bloglines Feeds.
  • The Blosxom plugin "referer" shows a list of all referring URLs. Apparently I get a hell of a lot of hits from people looking for pictures of Ligers, all because of a single post.


Don't Worry Kids, Santa's Packing Heat
santa with a gun
Pistol Packing Santa
Via The J-Walk Blog

Now They Tell Me
Zombie Claus
"It has come to our attention that the North Pole and the international Mall-Santa training grounds (IMSTG) have been attacked by the undead. The arrival of the undead into these areas of normal holiday cheer has caused a mass revolt of Santas around the world.

"As Santas become the undead their perspectives about Christmas have changed. They are now protesting the over commercialization of the Christmas holiday and it?s encroachment into the traditional Zombie holiday of Halloween" Stated the IMSTG president in exile, Claude H. Smoot.

To date, Zombie-Claus have been spotted in the Canadian provinces and are making their way south and should hit the bordering states sometime in the next few weeks. The people of Southeastern Michigan should be particularly concerned. There have been unconfirmed reports that an organized gathering of Zombies is scheduled for sometime in December.

As the Zombie-Claus attack their population is increasing greatly. Besides the Zombie-Claus there have been confirmed sightings of Zombie-elves and Zombies that appear as if they have been caught in the middle of a Christmas shopping spree. Nobody is safe from these attacks and all trips to shopping districts in December should be done so with caution.

Please help to get the word out, Lives need to be saved."
Zombie Claus
Via Metafilter

King Of Freedom
"The wave of prim outrage provoked by the revelation of George Bush's domestic spying program has only been eclipsed by the display of determined indignation at its explanation, as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales maintained that the president's powers as commander-in-chief gave him the ability to override and ignore the Foreign Intelligence Surveillence Act. Naysayers insist that the president has discarded the rule of law, ignored his duty to protect the Constitution, and left a stain of criminality on the Oval Office.

How soon we forget the lessons of September 11th! Faced with a threat unlike any before, America can no longer afford its cumbersome system of unwieldy checks and balances. Instead it must nimbly respond to terror with a single, streamlined, omnipotent executive branch. Instead of waiting for critical domestic spying programs to pass through Congress, where bickering Senators can selfishly subject them to public scrutiny, an efficient White House can put them into practice so quickly the country doesn't discover them for another four years."
More at Fafblog


Ho Ho Hoax
Homeland Security Didn't Visit Student for Checking Out Mao's "Little Red Book", as I blogged about earlier

But it was plausible-which is bad enough.

Firefox
I've updated to Firefox 1.5 and it's all good. I hadn't realized that all my preferences and bookmarks are kept in a directory separate from the browser-that makes updating really easy.

On a different matter, I get a big kick out of spam with a date in the distant past. Like I might have important unread e-mail from 1969.

Funny/Sad/True
"... MODERATE:
In a nutshell. And I thought to myself, 'a little Party 'o Lincoln nibble will do the trick'. So I curtailed my Goldwatering activates, sallied forth, and infiltrated your place of purveyance to negotiate the vending of some Conservative comestibles.

MANWHORE:
Come again?

MODERATE:
I want some Traditional Republican values.

MANWHORE:
Oh, I thought you were complaining about the Swastika.

MODERATE:
Oh, heaven forbid. I am one who delights in all manifestations of the Foremost Constitutional Emendation. ..."
Good Stuff
A Moderate Visits the GOP Cheese Shop
Via robot wisdom weblog

Lost/Cluefest or Hoax 3
The "Copenhagen" Photo (mentioned before on UFog here and here) is a hoax.
"Copenhagen" Photo Hoax Confession
Via Alt.TV.Lost

This Could Get Interesting
"Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist under criminal investigation, has been discussing with prosecutors a deal that would grant him a reduced sentence in exchange for testimony against former political and business associates, people with detailed knowledge of the case say.

Mr. Abramoff is believed to have extensive knowledge of what prosecutors suspect is a wider pattern of corruption among lawmakers and Congressional staff members. One participant in the case who insisted on anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations described him as a "unique resource.""
Abramoff Flipping?
Via Eschaton

Lost/Splice Question
Howard, the text of the orientation film splice can be found at the bottom of this transcript and in the Comments

P.S. I think the splice is genuine, and the differences are just the result of really stupid continuity errors. If the splice were fake, that would mean someone would have had to have manufactured it after the film had worn out, so that it matched the random position of the real splice. And then we have to wonder why? If there was something on the original splice that needed to be hidden, why make a replacement at all? If the splice is lying, it can only be lying about the ability of the computer to be used for communication. Hmmm, come to think of it-it IS lying about that. But then why was the splice on the other side of the island? It can't tell the lie if no one plays it. OK, the splice could be a fraud-but I don't think so.

Lost/Geocaching
Are the Lost creators placing clues in the real world ?(Alt.Tv.Lost Thread)


Best
Once again Fimoculous has compiled a master list of "Best of 2005" lists

CuteCuteCute
cute sleeping puppy
Utility Fog likes the cuteness, which is why we like Cute Overload Blog
Via Boing Boing

Ho Ho Homeland Security
"A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book."
Two history professors at UMass Dartmouth, Brian Glyn Williams and Robert Pontbriand, said the student told them he requested the book through the UMass Dartmouth library's interlibrary loan program.
The student, who was completing a research paper on Communism for Professor Pontbriand's class on fascism and totalitarianism, filled out a form for the request, leaving his name, address, phone number and Social Security number. He was later visited at his parents' home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department of Homeland Security, the professors said.
The professors said the student was told by the agents that the book is on a "watch list," and that his background, which included significant time abroad, triggered them to investigate the student further.
"I tell my students to go to the direct source, and so he asked for the official Peking version of the book," Professor Pontbriand said. "Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security is monitoring inter-library loans, because that's what triggered the visit, as I understand it." "
Agents' visit chills UMass Dartmouth senior
Via Boing Boing

Lost/Cluefest or Hoax 2
If my previous link to a purported hatch picture isn't working anymore there's another link.
Via 815

Joe Makes My Head Hurt
"On Wednesday, Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut reproached fellow Democrats for criticizing President Bush during a time of war.

"It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be the commander in chief for three more critical years and that in matters of war we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril," Lieberman said."
Hey, you know what undermines Presidential credibilty the most? A President who lies.
Lieberman reproaches Democrats

Lost/Cluefest or Hoax?
Delta Park Project has a link to a BIG picture that it says used to be on the TheHansoFoundation.Org site, but was taken down. If (and it's a big if) this photo is genuine/official then it's a motherlode of Lost clues. Among other things, there's a letter to Ray Mullen (the Australian farmer who put up Kate) from Marvin Candle alluding to the "incident". Analyze away.
Alt.Tv.Lost Thread about Hanso/Hatch picture

UFog Likes Valenti-Hell Freezes Over
""What has made America great is, it's a free country, and when you are a First Amendment person, you must allow into the marketplace that which you find to be meretricious, untidy, unwholesome and sometimes just plain stupid, but that's the price you pay for democracy," Valenti rightly argued. "A democracy is quite messy. If you want to have a pristine television show, you go to Burma or you go to North Korea, and you'll find yourself in a pristine world where nothing that the government doesn't want on the air is on the air. That's the price you pay, Brent, for a democracy."

Picking up on Bozell's failure to mention which shows had depicted sexual acts, Valenti then gave some advice to Sen. Stevens.

"Mr. Chairman, I think you'll find that it's very fine to say you could have standards, but now when you begin to fine people, when you begin to force people, then you must be precise," he cautioned. "You cannot indict a man for a crime without defining what the crime is ... What is the standard? What is too much violence? Where do you draw this line? The idea that the whole country, all of us get upset about a three-second version of an artificial breast to me is the most absurd thing in the world, this Janet Jackson thing. It made no sense. And yet you can go in any museum, you can go anyplace and see nude women. Venus de Milo is known around the world. The point is, this thing got out of hand, it seems to me, that to have three, four seconds of a silicone breast and the country became ecstatic about it ? I mean, it just doesn't make any sense." "
Advocates Show Colors at Decency Hearing
Via Warrenellis.com

Violence=Good
Milk and Cheese Tamper with God's Domain
Evan Dorkin, the creator of the awesome "Milk & Cheese: Dairy Products Gone Bad", has his own blog.
Via Warrenellis.com

Glass House
"Washington, DC: The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) issued a stern warning today to Televangelist Pat Robertson. Robertson had recently condemned the citizens of Dover, PA to the wrath of God for not voting in a school board that would teach Intelligent Design in classes.

"We'd like to say to the good Reverend Robertson: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to Science, you just rejected it from your life," AAAS said on its daily television show broadcast from Washington, the 3.14159 Club.

"And don't wonder why it hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. We're not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just pushed science out of your life. And if that's the case, don't ask for its help because it might not be there," they said. "In particular, you won't have a phone to call the ambulance, and it won't exist even if you could call it. And even if the doctor lived next door and you could call her, she would only bleed you and put smelly poultices on your forehead to balance your humours. And she would be a guy."

"Actually, we're just kidding," the AAAS later corrected. "Science works whether you believe in it or not. That's what's really cool about it," they said.

"What they said," indicated Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in an independent statement."
Don't Ask Science For Help
Via robot wisdom weblog

Keep Your Head Down
"Here is a useful example, from a superb November 27 story by Adam Liptak of the Times. The story was about the rigid Bush policies concerning "enemy combatants" taken prisoner in the Iraq war, who have been allowed almost no legal rights, even those granted by the Geneva Conventions. Most of the prisoners are simply being held indefinitely without trial.

Liptak described a hearing last December before a federal judge in Washington, Joyce Hens Green. Using hypothetical questions, Green pressed a Justice Department official, Brian Boyle, for a clearer, more specific explanation of who could be detained as an enemy combatant under the government's definition.

The judge first asked if it would include "a little old lady in Switzerland who writes checks to what she thinks is a charitable organization that helps orphans in Afghanistan but really is a front to finance Al Qaeda activities."

She next asked: What about a resident of Dublin "who teaches English to the son of a person the CIA knows to be a member of Al Qaeda?"

Finally, "What about a Wall Street Journal reporter, working in Afghanistan, who knows the exact location of Osama bin Laden but does not reveal it to the United States government to protect her source?"

Boyle replied that the military could detain all three people as enemy combatants."
Who Is An Enemy Combatant?
Screw the NYTimes, I just NewsGoogled "Joyce Hens Green".

The Things I Wonder About
I haven't been able to determine if any of legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi's sculptures have survived to the present day.

Damn you Interweb, for failing to satisfy my every intellectual craving!

Season's Greetings
Bill O'Reilly:
"I am not going to let oppressive, totalitarian, anti-Christian forces in this country diminish and denigrate the holiday and the celebration. I am not going to let it happen. I'm gonna use all the power that I have on radio and television to bring horror into the world of people who are trying to do that."
You want horror? Try working retail.
O'Reilly Brings The Horror

Now You're Talking
porn for bibles
Atheist Agenda/Porno For Bibles
Via Boing Boing

Merry Christmas, M*****F*****
"If you come a-caroling to my house, you're going to get yanked inside, strapped to a bed of pine trees, and force-fed a gallon of hot wassail while I recite the screenplay to IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. We'll laugh and laugh and scream and you'll be so bursting with Christmas cheer you'll beg me to scamper off and find a linoleum knife.
"You've got to help me share all this Christmas cheer with the rest of the world!" you'll gurgle. Then I'm going to cut you open and make entrail angels all over the floor!"
I'M THE SHERIFF OF CHRISTMASTOWN!
Via Boing Boing

Lost/Withdrawal
"Top Ten Signs you're in serious "Lost" withdrawal.

10. You look at your friend's new baby and note: "She's wrapped up exactly the way Locke swaddled Claire's baby."

9. You check your family Bible for hidden clips of Dr. Marvin Candle.

8. On your lunch hour you drive around looking for the Mr. Cluck franchise in your area.

7. You keep checking iTunes for a Charlie Pace Celebrity Playlist.

6. You ask at the quick stop why they don't stock Apollo candy bars.

5. You think your goldfish may have a Dharma Initiative logo on its tail.

4. You call your friends in the carpool Han and Chewy. (This symptom may lead to a false positive. It may only indicate that you're a nerd and not actually suffering "Lost" withdrawal.)

3. At the office, every 108 minutes you open a DOS prompt and type in 4-8-15-16-23-42 even though it does nothing but annoy your boss.

2. Tops on your Christmas list: An Apple II.

1. "Dude, you've got some Arzt on you.""
Via Sidney Williams Journal, by way of The Tail Section

Lost/Orientation Film Splice
The film splice Mr. Eko brought back in the hollowed Bible may not match the Station 3 orientation film.
1: Exit sign bulge moves to the left.
2: Candle's tie appears different.
3: Lab coat lapels change.
4: Lighting goes from flat to dramatic/shadowed

2 Screen Caps:
Episode #203-Orientation
Episode #209-What Kate Did (splice)

If the films don't match the question is whether this is intentional or a continuity error.
Via The Fuselage

Lost/Possible Clue
Via The Fuselage Forums
"This appeared in the April 30 Australian TV WEEK.
"TV WEEK ask's Lost writer and co-executive producer, David Fury, about some of the wildest theories on the series- and finds out some aren't so wild after all.

Theory: The two skeletons in the cave are aviator Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan.
David Fury: Wow. Wow, that's a wonderful theory. No, that's not the intent.

Theory: The two skeletons in the cave are Jack and Kate.
DF:Who knows what's possible on the island? There was something that was cut from the episode I did in which Sayid was captured by the French woman Rousseau, and tortured. She said she was with a science team, that she had come from a research vessel. There was a line that was cut from an earlier draft where he said, " What were you studying?" and she said "Time." If you think about that, suddenly you say that's Jack and Kate in the cave.
Of course on other occasions TPTB have stated that there is no time travel. And they've raised doubts about the crash occuring in 2004.

Say Hello To The Future
Flesh Eating Bacteria News
Via linkfilter.net

Random Shows Of Force Make Me Feel Warm And Cuddly
" Miami police announced Monday they will stage random shows of force at hotels, banks and other public places to keep terrorists guessing and remind people to be vigilant.

Deputy Police Chief Frank Fernandez said officers might, for example, surround a bank building, check the IDs of everyone going in and out and hand out leaflets about terror threats.

"This is an in-your-face type of strategy. It's letting the terrorists know we are out there," Fernandez said.

The operations will keep terrorists off guard, Fernandez said. He said al-Qaida and other terrorist groups plot attacks by putting places under surveillance and watching for flaws and patterns in security.
...
"People are definitely going to notice it," Fernandez said. "We want that shock. We want that awe. But at the same time, we don't want people to feel their rights are being threatened. We need them to be our eyes and ears.""
Shock and Awe in Miami

But why worry? It's not like the Miami police have a bad history at this sort of thing...

"Miami Police Used Excessive Force Against Protestors: Lawsuit

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida's Greater Miami Chapter has filed three lawsuits charging that officers of the Miami, Miami-Dade and Broward police departments used excessive force to intimidate and unlawfully arrest innocent bystanders and protesters who were exercising their free speech rights during the November 2003 Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) ministerial meetings in downtown Miami.

The three lawsuits were filed today on the two-year anniversary of the FTAA summit and are on behalf of a former Miami New Times reporter, four labor union members and a college student from Massachusetts whose skull was fractured after police hit him in the head three times with a baton. All six ACLU plaintiffs were arrested on Nov. 20, 2003, during marches that resulted in hundreds of arrests after police used unnecessary force to disperse crowds.

"The 'Miami Model' was a police tactic designed to intimidate political demonstrators, silence dissent, and criminalize protest against the government policies," said ACLU Greater Miami Chapter President Terry Coble, referring to the City of Miami's law enforcement strategy during the FTAA meetings. "If this type of police action is allowed to continue, our country will have lost one of our most basic rights, and we will be on the road to a totalitarian government."

The plaintiffs in the lawsuits were among thousands of people who came to Miami to observe or participate in lawful demonstrations to protest FTAA trade policies. Despite the overwhelmingly peaceful nature of the gatherings, police officers arrested approximately 300 people, most of them for minor offenses such as disorderly conduct and failure to obey a lawful command. Hundreds of people were held in local jails for more than 24 hours. The charges against virtually all of those who were arrested were later dismissed, the ACLU said.

Working under the overall command of Miami Police Chief John Timoney, officers from the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County and the Broward Sheriff's Office made extensive plans to militarize the police force in an attempt to limit demonstrations. According to news reports, police officers from more than three dozen law enforcement agencies converged on downtown Miami to create an almost surreal backdrop that included armored vehicles on the ground and helicopters dotting the skyline above. The police marched in lines wearing full riot gear and wielding batons, tear gas, pepper spray and beanbag rifles to control the crowds of demonstrators."
Miami Police Face FTAA Lawsuits

Papers Please
"Meet Deborah Davis. She's a 50 year-old mother of four who lives and works in Denver, Colorado. Her kids are all grown-up: her middle son is a soldier fighting in Iraq. She leads an ordinary, middle class life. You probably never would have heard of Deb Davis if it weren't for her belief in the U.S. Constitution.

Will it come to this? The ID card above is satire, but how soon before it becomes reality? When honest, law-abiding citizens can't commute to work on a city bus without a demand for their "papers," something is very, very wrong.

One morning in late September 2005, Deb was riding the public bus to work. She was minding her own business, reading a book and planning for work, when a security guard got on this public bus and demanded that every passenger show their ID. Deb, having done nothing wrong, declined. The guard called in federal cops, and she was arrested and charged with federal criminal misdemeanors after refusing to show ID on demand.

On the 9th of December 2005, Deborah Davis will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in a case that will determine whether Deb and the rest of us live in a free society, or in a country where we must show "papers" whenever a cop demands them."
United States v. Deborah Davis
Via The J-Walk Blog

Boycott Christmas
Christmas Resistance
Christmas Resistance
Remember, "Santa" spelled sideways is "Satan".

Linty Fresh
toy house covered in vacuum cleaner lint
Vacuum Cleaner Lint Houses
Via The J-Walk Blog

Hmmmmm...Catsuits
secret history of aeon flux
The Not-So-Secret History of 'Aeon Flux'
Via Drawn! The Illustration Blog

Only In Texas
Jesus Appears On Tailgate
Via Bifuracted Rivets

Mass Hysteria
"Attention citizens the Greater Seattle Metropolitan Area. As we have received 1/16th of an inch of show municipal code N-774290.4.c is now in effect, requiring all drivers currently on the roads to drive their vehicle into a ditch at the earliest convenient moment. If you are unable to do so because your nearest ditch is already filled with vehicles, you may instead precipitate either a rear-ender or a fender-bender. Your compliance will ensure that local news stations have no difficulty obtaining footage for their "BlizzardWatch '05!!" coverage, which will begin immediately and continue until the last sludgy lump of ice has melted from the median of I-5.

Residents should also be aware that all chit-chat, small talk, and informal shit shooting must, by law, be confined exclusively to weather-related topics for the next 48 hours. We thank you for your cooperation."
Snow Advisory From Defective Yeti

Great Sneezing Buddha, tell me about it. I had to drive around King County all day today and people were driving like it was raining blood and frogs. The snow was melting as soon as it hit the ground (40 degree weather will do that) so what we had today was a classic "Seattle Snow Panic" only without the snow.

Lost/Episode #206 "What Kate Did"
The c.d.p. points out that in the recruitment office Sayid appears on the TV. Don't feel bad for missing it, it goes by REAL fast.

P.S. I get the feeling those blast doors are going to come down sooner or later.

Lost/Hanso Foundation
There's a new Easter Egg at the Hanso Foundation Site. Click on Alvar.
Via The Tail Section

Lost/Episode #209 "What Kate Did"
*Black Horse Good / White Bear Bad

*Kate's real name is Katherine Austen

*First Mama Cass, now Patsy Cline. Did Dharma stock the Station with any records by male artists?

*Sawyer's muttering sounded processed to me, maybe to make it sound like "the whispering".

*Add Kate to the list of Losties involved in a car wreck.

*From TV Guide via SpoilerFix (Do I need to warn you about spoilers?):
"The "Orientation" film's jarring jump cuts are actually what [Damon] Lindelof calls "missing pieces" that resulted when former hatch hermit Desmond spliced the broken movie back together after watching it too many times."
If Desmond removed the film pieces how did they end up in the Arrow Station? I would think either Desmond took them there (which means either he wasn't alone or the story about entering the numbers is hokum) or someone else took them (either they stole them or Desmond's had houseguests despite his "I was all alone" sob story).

*Maybe the clock hitting zero wasn't just a teaser. Maybe there was another "incident" and we (and the Losties) just don't know it yet.

*No new "Lost" episodes until January 11th. The bastards.