"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

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Minsk World is a Chinese theme park centered around a Russian aircraft carrier.
Via things magazine

Chop Chop
The Biggest Cleaver vs. the Thinnest Noodles

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Im in ur blog, makin u laff #2
voices make the kitty want to kill
More Funny Cats
Via Beyond the Beyond (Bruce Sterling)

Another Time, Another Place
Teleport City serves up a great indepth look at Walter Hill's Streets of Fire

Im in ur blog, makin u laff
sad cat made a cookie but ate it
Funny Cats
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Ya Don't Want the Damned Things Getting Into the House
Welcome to "Die screaming with sharp things in your head", our collection of impaled garden gnomes.
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Brass Goggles Blog - The lighter side of Steampunk

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Safe at Last
You can be arrested for trying to fly with a rubber-band ball.
Via Boing Boing!

Lost / Ep# 306 - "I Do"
Spoiler Space:

Thoughts and Observations
  • First of all, "Best Episode This Year"? - Nope. Skate doing the nasty and a escape attempt cliffhanger do not a "best of" make. I got almost butt-nothing from this episode.

  • Is anyone else having conspiratorial thoughts about the blobby pastel graphics they're putting behind some of the commercial messages? They look like the old Hanso Foundation site, during Season 1. Maybe it's a clue! Or maybe they're just subliminal messages telling me to apply for an American Express card.

  • I'd like to see the design on that pendant that Kate/Monica got from her future Mother-In-Law.

  • I just can't see Kate getting married to a cop, even one as cute as Nathan. It just screams "Let's put Kate in an emotionally unbearable situation".

  • Best con-line from Juliet - "I'll give you two some privacy".

  • "Lift up your eyes and look north" - I predict Locke is going to do some climbing.

  • They must have cut the scene with Benry frantically stabbing at the "record" button.

  • Jack in the armory: Aaarrg! - why do people only take one gun?
    My Advice: More Guns = More Good.

  • Best Line all night: Kate - "I don't do taco nights"

  • Oho, Jack has a sneaky plan! But Skate can't get away, they're on an island. I've got an idea: Steal a friggin boat!

  • Leaving the operating room to go kill Sawyer, Danny Pickett clearly says "Sheppard wasn't even on Jacob's list". So who the heck is Jacob?

  • The Biblical Jacob.

  • I can see Pickett wanting to kill Sawyer. What I don't get is him being allowed to interfere in the slightest with Benry's plan to stay alive. Why hasn't Benry sent him away to the Stepford Village? Because we need the drama he provides, however inconsistent.

"Like everybody else, I don't know what's going to happen today, but this election has already illuminated one critical truth: The modern GOP -- or, more specifically, the Axis of '70s Campus Republicans now running it -- really is just a criminal enterprise disguised as a political party.

Dirty tricks, large and small, are a sorry fact of life in American politics, but what the Republicans have done over the past few weeks -- the surrealist attack ads, the forged endorsements, the midnight robo calls, the arrest threats, the voter misinformation (did you know your polling station has been moved?) -- is sui generis, at least at the national level.

Even Dick Nixon never tried anything like this on such a grand scale -- although, of course, he also didn't have the technology. The only thing we haven't seen yet is a break in at DNC headquarters. And if the Rovians thought they could get anything out of it that would be useful in this election (nobody else has) we'd probably be reading about that, too.

It's always possible to point to Democratic/liberal offenses, but at this point the comparisons look pretty silly: some downed yard signs here, a few crooked and/or stoned ACORN canvassers there. Not even in the same universe, much less the same ball park.

Couple the GOP's rat-fucking campaign with all the other stuff we already know about -- the collectivized bribery of the K Street Project, the Abramoff casino extortion ring, the Defense and CIA appropriation scams, the Iraq War contracting scams, the Pacific Island sex trade protection racket, the church pulpits doubling as ward halls, the illegal wiretapping, the lies, perjury and obstruction of justice in the Plame case (I really could go on like this all day) -- and it's clear that what we need most isn't a new Congress but a new RICO prosecution, with lots of defendents and unindicted co-conspirators.

There's probably not much that can be done on that score, even if the Dems take both houses of Congress today. Oversight hearings and subpoenas to appear are all well and good, but what we really need to see is a heap of good old-fashioned law enforcement. I want to see the Rovians testifying in courtrooms, not hearing rooms.

If, by some fluke, the Democrats were to recapture the White House, they would be well advised to go after the Rovian machine in roughly the same manner that the Russian government went after the old Communist Party after the failed '91 coup. Personally, if it were up to me, I would declare the GOP an illegal organization (as the CPUSSR was) and let honest Republicans go regroup under a new, hopefully non-criminalized brand name -- like, say, the Detox Party.

That, of course, will never happen, but if the Dems don't turn the full weight of the FBI, the DoJ and the IRS loose on the Rovians the very first chance they get, they'll just be asking for it. The Octopus will have it tentacles wrapped around throats again so fast it will make their tiny little brains pop.

And next time, they might not be so easy to peel off."
Lifted Wholesale from Whiskey Bar

tattooed idiot

Curtis obviously didn't think this whole crime thing through.

Utah's Public Enemy Number One Arrested
Via MetaFilter

Simple Incompetence
"A series of secret U.S. war games in 1999 showed that an invasion and post-war administration of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, nearly three times the number there now.

And even then, the games showed, the country still had a chance of dissolving into chaos.

In the simulation, called Desert Crossing, 70 military, diplomatic and intelligence participants concluded the high troop levels would be needed to keep order, seal borders and take care of other security needs.

The documents came to light Saturday through a Freedom of Information Act request by George Washington University's National Security Archive, an independent research institute and library.

"The conventional wisdom is the U.S. mistake in Iraq was not enough troops," said Thomas Blanton, the archive's director. "But the Desert Crossing war game in 1999 suggests we would have ended up with a failed state even with 400,000 troops on the ground."

There are about 144,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, down from a peak in January of about 160,000."
But, but, but, the Democrats don't have a plan! I think the biggest problem the Democrats will have in 2007 is explaining just how screwed we are in Iraq-that there is no happy ending.

War simulation in 1999 pointed out Iraq invasion problems
Via Boing Boing

Say It With Me
Death Grunt

Lost / Jack's Books
The Alternative Island blog lists and analyzes the books in Jack's hospital office.

An overview, they also look at each book:
"Recurring themes of the books on the shelf, either in title, subject matter or both, correspond to themes on the show. Those themes are (in no particular order): The Wizard of Oz, Yin / Yang, constellations and astrology, science and faith, ancient societies and civilizations, mystery, redemption, religion (Catholicism), Greek mythology, medicine, monsters / evil, murder and torture, corporate corruption, ship and plane wrecks, isolation and rescue, prisons and escape, islands, and twins."
Hi-Res image of Jack's Bookcase

The Bookcase:
On top of the bookshelf (left to right)
1. Three Ring Binder (Black - thin)
2. Three Ring Binder (Black - thin)
3. Three Ring Binder (White - thick - yellow lettering ??OGICAL??)
4. Three Ring Binder (White - thin)
5. Three Ring Binder (Grey - thick)
6. West's Business Law - Clarkson, Miller, Jentz and Cross
7. Compton's Encyclopedia Vol. 23.
8. Clinical Procedures
9. Harrison's Platinum Edition - Anthony S. Fauci MD, Eugene Braunwald MD, Kurt J. Isselbacher MD, Jean D. Wilson MD, Joseph B. Martin MD, Dennis L. Kasper MD, Stephen L. Hauser MD

SHELF 1 (left to right)
1. Obscured by Jack's head
2. Obscured by Jack's head
3. Obscured by Jack's head
4. Obscured by Jack's head
6. Information Systems - Management in Practice - Barbara C. McNurlin, Ralph H. Sprague
7. Fire in the Mind: Faith and the Search for Order - George Johnson
8. Dark Horse -Tami Hoag
10. Parker's Astrology - Julia & Derek Parker
11. ____ Student's Yearbook
12. Book of the Year 1976
14. (Tilted book)
15. Pale Horse Coming - Stephen Hunter
16. Nighttime Is My Time - Mary Higgins Clark
17. The Greatest Generation -Tom Brokaw
19. Coping With Job Loss: How Individuals, Organizations, and Communities Respond to Layoffs (Issues in Organization and Management Series) - Carrie R. Leana and Daniel C. Feldman
21. Skinny Dip - Carl Hiaasen
22. Redemption - Leon Uris

SHELF 2 (left to right)
2. Two Dollar Bill - Stuart Woods
3. Domes of Fire - David Eddings
4. The Price of Beauty?
5. Valhalla Rising - Clive Cussler
6. No Place Like Home - Mary Higgins Clark
8. Hearts In Atlantis - Stephen King
9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling
10. Diagnosis of Diseases of the Chest - Vol. I - Fraser and Pare
11. Diagnosis of Diseases of the Chest - Vol. II - Fraser and Pare
12. Diagnosis of Diseases of the Chest - Vol. III - Fraser and Pare
13. Diagnosis of Diseases of the Chest - Vol. IV - Fraser and Pare
(Cycling trophy)
16. Eleventh Hour - Catherine Coulter
18. Last ___

SHELF 3 (left to right)
1. The Spirit of Christmas - exact book remains unidentified
4. Funk & Wagnall's New Encyclopedia Vol. 14
5. Lawrence Sanders McNally's Folly - Vincent Lardo
6. Funk & Wagnall's New Encyclopedia Vol. 14 (Earlier Edition of # 4 above)
7. Astrological Patterns
8. Reader's Digest Condensed Book (4 titles illegible)
9. Holy Bible - King James Version
10. Dirty Work - Stuart Woods
11. (Call It Courage - by Armstrong Sperry) Possible
13. Pulmonary Diseases and Disorders
18. The Scottish Bride - Catherine Coulter

SHELF 4 (left to right)
(Several books obscured by golf clubs)
4. Scientific Genius - Dean Kenneth Simonton
5. A History of World Societies - John P. McKay
7. International Book of ____ (?)
8. Reference work
9. Reference work
10. Reference work
11. Reference work
12. Reference work
13. Reference work
14. Reference work
15. Reference work
16. Reference work
17. Encyclopedia Americana (Vol. II)
18. Encyclopedia Americana (Vol. I)

SHELF 5 (left to right)
1. Encyclopedia Americana (Vol. ?)
2. Encyclopedia Americana (Vol. 12)
3. Encyclopedia Americana (Vol. 13)
4. America -
7. The Bailey Chronicles - Catherine Cookson
8. Last Rights: Rescuing the End of Life from the Medical Establishment - Stephen Kiernan
15. _____ Vol. 2
16. _____ Vol. 15
17. _____ Vol. 1

SHELF 6 (left to right)
(portion of books obscured by desk.)

Adobe Flash Player 9 for Linux (Beta) is out! Now I can finally play Line Rider

No Reason, Just Asking
More Ask MetaFilter:
Do you think a super strong person could yank off his own head?

Expand Your Vocabulary
Ask MetaFilter considers colloquialisms.

Humble Origins
masking tape street graffiti
Buff Diss's Masking Tape Art

Sign of the Apocalypse
Pizza in a Cone (Flash)
Via Springwise

Lost / Eyepatch Man
The reclusive zombie pirate is played by Andrew Divoff.

Lost / Ep #305 - "The Cost of Living"
Spoiler Space:

    Thoughts and Observations

  • Two possible references for "The Cost of Living":
    Death: The High Cost of Living - a comic miniseries by Neil Gaiman.
    The Cost of Living - Clash EP

  • The music at Colleen's funeral was "I Wonder" by Brenda Lee. I was thinking more Patsy Cline. I Wonder lyrics - fitting song for a funeral.

  • Do those white clothes just scream cult, or what?

  • Locke's computer plan is hairbrained. What does he plan to say to the Others if he can communicate with them? It's a good excuse to move the "plot" along though.

  • Let's skip ahead and say that the Black Smoke Monster (Smokey) can impersonate people, or multiple people. It can also impersonate/create objects (machete). The people can change and the objects can disappear instantly. Smokey may have started the fire in Eko's tent - IslandYemi had a lit lighter. Let the controversy over whether these apparitions are real or induced hallucinations begin anew. IslandYemi appeared to move plants.

  • Desmond's asking questions - what happened to his precognitive abilities?

  • The Nigerian Thug killing/threatening other people to get to Eko parallels what the Others have done with Sawyer and Kate.

  • What does Smokey want Eko to confess to/about? I don't understand why Smokester killed Eko. Best guess: He failed to push the button.

  • Was Smokey hiding from/afraid of Locke?

  • Jumping Jeezus, how many commercial breaks are there? They're like every 3 minutes.

  • Jack was taken to operate on Benry's spine. Benry has no faith in the Hippocratic Oath.

  • The body of Eko's brother Yemi is missing from plane. That makes 2 missing bodies (Yemi, Jack's Father) associated with apparitions

  • Paulo and Nikki are clearly Mr. and Mrs. Exposition.

  • I am not going to get into "To Kill a Mockingbird"

  • Is Juliet's little "kill Benry" scheme for real? If it's a test, what can they do if Jack fails?

  • Eko owed his brother a church.

  • Smokey: "You speak to me as if I were your brother". Well yea, you are appearing as him. What did Smokey expect?

  • The field of red flower bushes, is that natural?

  • Does anyone else find it strange that there have been 5 episodes this season without any flashback connections between characters?

Lost / Canadian Promo for #306 - "I Do"
I've got to get some sleep tonight, so my lengthy plumbing of "The Cost of Living" will have to wait. But here is The CTV promo for Ep#306 - "I Do". I'm trying to figure out what is blaring over the loudspeakers right at the end. I even captured the FLV video and transcoded the audio into a WAV file and loaded that in Audacity to try to analyze the audio. What it sounds like to me in the comments.