"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

Huh, Wow
Jerry Lee Lewis played Iago in Othello

Who Needs Terrorists?
"The American Society of Civil Engineers last year graded the nation "D" for its overall infrastructure conditions, estimating that it would take $1.6 trillion over five years to fix the problem.
...
"If a terrorist group were able to knock the NSA offline, or disrupt one of the nation's busiest airports, or shut down the most important oil pipeline in the nation, the impact would be perceived as devastating," Beckner said. "And yet we've essentially let these things happen - or almost happen - to ourselves."

The Commission on Public Infrastructure at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, said in a recent report that facilities are deteriorating "at an alarming rate."

It noted that half the 257 locks operated by the Army Corps of Engineers on inland waterways are functionally obsolete, more than one-quarter of the nation's bridges are structurally deficient or obsolete, and $11 billion is needed annually to replace aging drinking-water facilities.

President Bush, asked about the problem during a public question-and-answer session in an April visit to Irvine, Calif., cited last year's enactment of a comprehensive law reauthorizing highway, transit and road-safety programs.

"Infrastructure is always a difficult issue," Bush acknowledged. "It's a federal responsibility and a state and local responsibility. And I, frankly, feel like we've upheld our responsibility at the federal level with the highway bill."

But experts say the law is riddled with some 5,000 "earmarks" for projects sought by members of Congress that do nothing to systematically address the problem.

"There's a growing understanding that these programs are at best inefficient and at worst corrupt," said Everett Ehrlich, executive director of the CSIS public infrastructure commission."
Experts warn U.S. is coming apart at the seams
Via Populicious

Oh Goody
Unexpected Consequences:
"The findings indicate that the drier conditions brought about by a warming climate will cause the soil to relinquish its hold on hundreds of years of mercury accumulation, sending that mercury back into the air at levels up to 15 times greater than originally calculated. "While peat lands are typically viewed as very wet and stagnant places, they do burn in continental regions, especially late in the season when water tables are depressed," explained Turetsky. "When peat lands burn, they can release a huge amount of mercury that overwhelms regional atmospheric emissions. Our study is new in that it looks to the soil record to tell us what happens when peat soil burns, soil that has been like a sponge for mercury for a long time."

"Environmental mercury is just like a thermometer. Levels will rise in the atmosphere with climate change, but due to increasing fire activity in the north and not solely due to warming," said Jennifer Harden, a soil scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey and co-author of the study. "We're talking about mercury that has been relatively harmless, trapped in peat for hundreds of years, rapidly being spewed back into the air," Turetsky added. "Some of it will fall into lakes and streams where it could become toxic in food chains. Our findings show us that climate change is complex and will contribute to the pollution of food chains that are very far away from us.""
Forget The Thermometer, The Mercury Really Is Rising
Via Posthuman Blues

Why I Love The Interweb #43
Because it serves up quotes like this:
"As far as google is concerned, this thing has become a music blog, at least that's where my hits come from. Having mentioned The Captain and Tennille, I now get regular hits from people searching for "Free MP3 Captain and Tennille". Sure, click on that link music lovers. This is the only Christian anarchist socialist bus driving weblog on earth that gives away all the free Captain and Tennille songs your hard drive can hold."
Brother, I feel your pain. Ask me about freakin' Ligers sometime.

Link: Jon Nelson's Weblog of Wonders


Super
Mexican Superheroes and Villains

Mascots Now, In the Future Our Masters
fiberglass dog heads
Flickr Pool Devoted to Fiberglass Mascots
Via Boing Boing

Edumacational
Wikipedia: Unusual articles-Say goodbye to a another chunk of your life.
Via MonkeyFilter

Hypnotic
A most excellent time waster: The Falling Sand Game

My Theory: Invisible Duct Tape
Top 10: Weirdest cosmology theories
Via Follow Me Here...

For God's Sake, Don't Enjoy It
Instruction and Advice for the Young Bride
"by Ruth Smythers, beloved wife of The Reverend L.D. Smythers, Pastor of the Arcadian Methodist Church of the Eastern Regional Conference

Published in the year of our Lord 1894, Spiritual Guidance Press:

To the sensitive young woman who has had the benefits of proper upbringing, the wedding day is, ironically, both the happiest and most terrifying day of her life. On the positive side, there is the wedding itself, in which the bride is the central attraction in a beautiful and inspiring ceremony, symbolizing her triumph in securing a male to provide for all her needs for the rest of her life.

On the negative side, there is the wedding night, during which the bride must pay the piper, so to speak, by facing for the first time the terrible experience of sex. At this point, dear reader, let me concede one shocking truth. Some young women actually anticipate the wedding night ordeal with curiosity and pleasure! Beware such an attitude! A selfish and sensual husband can easily take advantage of such a bride. One cardinal rule of marriage should never be forgotten: GIVE LITTLE, GIVE SELDOM, AND ABOVE ALL, GIVE GRUDGINGLY. Otherwise what could have been a proper marriage could become an orgy of sexual lust.
....
By their tenth anniversary many wives have managed to complete their child bearing and have achieved the ultimate goal of terminating all sexual contacts with the husband. By this time she can depend upon his love for the children and social pressures to hold the husband in the home.

Just as she should be ever alert to keep the quantity of sex as low as possible, the wise bride will pay equal attention to limiting the kind and degree of sexual contacts. Most men are by nature rather perverted, and if given half a chance, would engage in quite a variety of the most revolting practices. These practices include among others performing the normal act in abnormal positions; mouthing the female body; and offering their own vile bodies to be mouthed in turn. Nudity, talking about sex, reading stories about sex, viewing photographs and drawings depicting or suggesting sex are the obnoxious habits the male is likely to acquire if permitted. A wise bride will make it the goal never to allow her husband to see her unclothed body, and never allow him to display his unclothed body to her. Sex, when it cannot be prevented, should be practiced only in total darkness. Many women have found it useful to have thick cotton nightgowns for themselves and pajamas for their husbands. These should be donned in separate rooms. They need not be removed during the sex act. Thus, a minimum of flesh is exposed."
Via Neatorama

Yaaaarn
knitted zombie dolls
Dawn of the Knitted Dead
Via things magazine

Play The Game Of Existence To The End
A drawing by Ben Tolman - Mega Ultra Trippy
Via MetaFilter

Flush With Success
"Fat is the bane of flushers' lives. Millions of litres, from half-eaten breakfast dishes, chip-laden frying pans or fast-food joints, are tipped into sinks each day. Eventually they find their way into the sewers. They represent the effluence of affluence. They are the graffiti that the contemporary leisurepolis scrawls on subterranean environments. Thirty years ago the Thames, unloved and abandoned, created few problems for flushers; now, the river's banks are congested with clubs, boozy eateries and art-complex gallery cafés, all of them disgorging fat.

I wade through some of it at Victoria Embankment. It is at once crunchy and spongy, like putrid bran. Brown and white and grey: a pigeon-shit potage sprinkled with an extra top layer of mop heads and tampons. Flushers tell stories of accidentally getting a gobful of the sewer flies that feed on the fat or of metal grating giving way so that they fall into eight-feet-deep fat-quicksands; the mouthfuls of the stuff they swallow leave their guts raw and hollering for months on end.

But it's the bouquet that makes their flesh crawl: "You smell it initially. You breathe it all day long. You pass wind and what comes out is the smell of the fat. You can go home and shower as much you like - even with washing-up liquid - but at the end of the day you're still farting the smell of rancid fat. My wife'll say: 'Oh, I see you've been sorting fat problems out?'"

There is one story that many flushers in London like to recount. It concerns a fat iceberg that had been building up below Leicester Square over the course of a whole decade. Eventually, this 150-square-foot "slug of hardened fat" grew so large that it was impassable. A gang of flushers armed with supersucker machines spent six weeks one blazing summer trying to dislodge it. By the time they finished they were reduced to using ice picks to hack away at the white mountain."
The hunt for the killer hairballs
Via jwz

The Web Knows
A little Internet research turns up 2 explanations for comment spam that contains invalid links or even no links at all:

1: Some comment systems record the IP address of the commenter and use a sort of "karma" system to combat spam. Leaving a lot of linkless comments could give an IP address enough good "karma" to then deposit spam.

2: Spam with bogus "number" links (like "www.865425.com") could be trackable "scouts". The spam-robot deposits a comment and then checks back later to see if the spam is still there. The numbers let the robot keep track of where and when the spam was deposited. If the scout spam has survived then the real spam will be left.

PS. I'm making invisible links on the bottom of the blog to any e-mail addresses I find on sites that spam me. The idea is that email-address harvesting web-robots will find the links and then start spamming the spammers.

More Than You Can Shake A Stick At
Things Of Interest is listing Every Musical Genre Ever
    They're up to 694 entries. Here's a sample:

  • 655. Trashcan Americana
  • 656. Tribal
  • 657. Trio
  • 658. Trip-hop
  • 659. Troll metal
  • 660. Tropicália
  • 661. Tropicalismo
  • 662. Twang core
  • 663. Twee
  • 664. Twee pop
  • 665. Twelve-tone
  • 666. Two step
  • 667. UK garage
  • 668. Unblack metal
  • 669. Uplifting trance
  • 670. Urban
  • 671. Vallenato
Via J-Walk Blog

My New Hobby
More happenings on the Comment Spam front:

1: Friday I got my first batch of Chinese spam. They think big in China-these buggers had around 100 links apiece. Only 3 spams though, so it was hardly a major onslaught.

2: Sunday seems to be THE day for spam. I had nothing all week, but just like last Sunday, here they come again. Today's spams are puzzlers. They have links, unlike last week's, but the links are to non-existent addresses like "www.561383.com".

Creepy Crawly
swedish
bike covered in cocoon
Sweden has a cocoon problem
Via MetaFilter

Comment Spam Redux
If you left a comment yesterday (July 31) I'm afraid it got deleted in my latest round of mass deletion of comment spam.

Now riddle me this: Why would someone (or something) leave comment spam that doesn't have any links? Or any commercial reference at all, just "random" words?