"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

Ride or Die
West Seattle's very own Dead Babies Bike Club

Congress Makes Us Fat

"Drewnowski concluded that the rules of the food game in America are organized in such a way that if you are eating on a budget, the most rational economic strategy is to eat badly - and get fat.

This perverse state of affairs is not, as you might think, the inevitable result of the free market. Compared with a bunch of carrots, a package of Twinkies, to take one iconic processed foodlike substance as an example, is a highly complicated, high-tech piece of manufacture, involving no fewer than 39 ingredients, many themselves elaborately manufactured, as well as the packaging and a hefty marketing budget. So how can the supermarket possibly sell a pair of these synthetic cream-filled pseudocakes for less than a bunch of roots?

For the answer, you need look no farther than the farm bill. This resolutely unglamorous and head-hurtingly complicated piece of legislation, which comes around roughly every five years and is about to do so again, sets the rules for the American food system - indeed, to a considerable extent, for the world's food system. Among other things, it determines which crops will be subsidized and which will not, and in the case of the carrot and the Twinkie, the farm bill as currently written offers a lot more support to the cake than to the root. Like most processed foods, the Twinkie is basically a clever arrangement of carbohydrates and fats teased out of corn, soybeans and wheat - three of the five commodity crops that the farm bill supports, to the tune of some $25 billion a year. (Rice and cotton are the others.) For the last several decades - indeed, for about as long as the American waistline has been ballooning - U.S. agricultural policy has been designed in such a way as to promote the overproduction of these five commodities, especially corn and soy.

That's because the current farm bill helps commodity farmers by cutting them a check based on how many bushels they can grow, rather than, say, by supporting prices and limiting production, as farm bills once did. The result? A food system awash in added sugars (derived from corn) and added fats (derived mainly from soy), as well as dirt-cheap meat and milk (derived from both). By comparison, the farm bill does almost nothing to support farmers growing fresh produce. A result of these policy choices is on stark display in your supermarket, where the real price of fruits and vegetables between 1985 and 2000 increased by nearly 40 percent while the real price of soft drinks (a k a liquid corn) declined by 23 percent. The reason the least healthful calories in the supermarket are the cheapest is that those are the ones the farm bill encourages farmers to grow."

You Are What You Grow (NYTimes)
Via The Agonist

The Devil is in the Details
last judgement sculpture by kris kukski
Mind Blowing Art by Kris Kuski
Via MetaFilter

Lost - Ep #317 - Catch 22
  • I'm sorry this took so long, but this episode didn't really light my fuse, and I had trouble getting my mojo working.
  • Charlie and Hurley's Superman/Flash debate might be a nod to a new writer, Brian K. Vaughan:
    "Vaughan is known for his extensive work writing for numerous comic titles from DC Comics and Marvel Comics. He has been recognized by numerous awards including an Eisner Award in 2005 for Best Writer for Y: The Last Man, Runaways, and Ex Machina"
  • I love the arrow to throat. What a great way to start an episode.
  • Penny appears for an instant at the end of Desmond's "flash".
  • Mushrooms? There are magic mushrooms on Craphole Island? I hope someone other than Locke catches a buzz on the beach.
  • Brother Campbell: "God tests our faith in many ways". Just as Lost tests our patience.
  • Hurley can't lie about other people's shit.
  • If each of Desmond's "flashes" don't come true, the whole series of predictions will come undone.
  • Once again I have to wonder how Sawyer managed to con anyone-He certainly can't use his non-existent charm.
  • Hurley refers to himself as "the master"- Jedi Master in my book.
  • Camping? Their whole friggin life is CAMPING! And Jin has a beautiful pregnant wife to worry about. Yup, spending the night out in the boar-infested, monster-stalked, booby-trapped jungle sounds like fun.
  • Charlie has a notebook from the Pearl station.
  • Desmond lies to Charlie.
  • The 4 campers whistle the theme from the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai.
  • Desmond's period of silence at the monastary could be a mirror of his future time spent alone in the Swan.
  • Abraham and Isaac:
    • Brother Campbell: You do realize you are free to talk again Brother Desmond?
    • Desmond: I'm used to being quiet I suppose. Moriah...I find the name the Brothers have chosen for the wine made here...interesting.
    • Brother Campbell: And why is that Brother?
    • Desmond: Well, Moriah's a mountain where Abraham was asked to kill Isaac. Not exactly the most festive locale, is it?
    • Brother Campbell: And yet God spared Isaac.
    • Desmond: Well, one might argue that God need not have asked Abraham to sacrifice his son in the first place.
    • Brother Campbell:Well then it wouldn't have been much of a test, would it brother. Perhaps you underestimate the value of sacrifice.

    • Abraham's first wife Sarah had infertility problems.
    • Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob, Jacob Begat Benjamin
    • "Benjamin is a ravening wolf, in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he snatches a share of the spoil"
    • Connection to Charlie's Route 61 T-shirt

    • While Abraham initially deceives Isaac as to what (or who) will be sacrificed, Isaac must have realized the truth and agreed to be sacrificed when Abraham bound him. Charlie never agreed to be sacrificed.
    • God is direct in his communication to Abraham. The Island and the Black Smoke's nature, motives, and intentions are anything but clear.
    • Abraham is prevented from performing the sacrifice by God, who sent an angel. Desmond makes the decision to save Charlie on his own.

  • Wait a minute, Scottish Wine? Since when are grapes grown in Scotland?
  • Jack better have his long con of Juliet on his mind, otherwise he's a total idiot.
  • Jin's Korean ghost story is classic.
    "And the girl turned to the man who saved her and said , 'Thank God. I was afraid you were the Hook Man.' And the man looked at the girl with a smile and said, 'Don't worry, little girl. My hook is....STILL IN YOUR FATHER'S HEAD!"
  • Where did the helicopter come from? We might assume that it has a base or ship nearby.
  • Desmond's fiance's name was Ruth. In the Bible Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Naomi.
  • Desmond says he sacrificed his engagement to Ruth for a higher calling.
  • "Purple Haze": great euphemism for the Swan implosion.
  • There's lots of potential symbolism in the song titles on Sawyer's "mix tape"- Phil Collins Hits
    1. Another Day In Paradise
    2. True Colors
    3. Easy Lover
    4. You Can't Hurry Love
    5. Two Hearts
    6. I Wish It Would Rain Down
    7. Against All Odds
    8. Something Happened On The Way To Heaven
    9. Separate Lives
    10. Both Sides Of The Story
    11. One More Night
    12. Sussudio
    13. Dance Into The Light
    14. A Groovy Kind Of Love
    15. In The Air Tonight
    16. Take Me Home
  • Lost.TV forum has done an exhaustive search for the Hula Doll with no success. This is apparently the first time the doll has appeared.
  • Today's Craphole Island Book Club: Catch-22 (in Portuguese):
    • The crewmen in Penny's listening station spoke Portuguese.
    • "Many events in the book are repeatedly described from differing points of view, so the reader learns more about the event from each iteration." Sound familiar?
    • "Yossarian comes to realize that Catch-22 does not actually exist, but that because the powers that be claim it does, and the world believes it does, nevertheless, it has potent effects" Catch-22 is another con-game.
    • Catch-22 is a loop. Desmond is stuck in a loop of repeatedly saving Charlie's life.
  • Uh-oh, it's raining again. Every time it rains, violence follows. The logical question is whether this is just a foreshadowing device by the writers or is there an actual connection?
  • While drinking the wine Desmond was singing the Celtic Song to himself.
  • The monks have only bottled 108 cases of wine so far.
  • Brother Campbell has a picture of him and Mrs. Hawking on his desk.
  • Parachute Woman knows Desmond's name.
  • Was that supposed to be Penny in the tree? Did Desmond alter fate by saving Charlie? Or was the parachutist in a state of flux, like Schroedinger's Cat?
  • The always excellent J. Woods has another essay on Catch-22":
    "Desmond also tries to create a possible something out of a possible nothing when he accepts the test and nearly sacrifices Charlie. Morally, he understands he should save Charlie. However, he thinks if he accepts the possible future as it is, Penny will drop from the sky, deus ex machina. In other words, Des knows that possible future shouldn't be, because it only holds a hope for Penny's arrival, while it determines Charlie's throat being pierced. Yet he's willing to try it - to a point. In the end, he does the moral thing and saves Charlie's vishuddha chakra, possibly changing the picture on the jigsaw puzzle box in the process. The Portuguese woman who parachuted into the island brought not only her own copy of Heller's book with a picture of Des and Penny in it, but a satellite phone that Sayid might be able to work with (if there's anything left in Otherville). She also brought another literary reference. The scene itself recalls the parachutist from William Golding's Lord of the Flies, when a British pilot parachutes onto the island the boys are stranded on but arrives dead. He is their deus ex machina, their savior, but when they arrive, their deus is mortuus. In mirror-twinned fashion, we have a live goddess, so to speak. She seems affiliated with the Portuguese-speaking men at the arctic station at the end of the second season, but we don't know yet if she speaks English, and the one Portuguese-speaker was buried a few days back (unless Vincent got to him)."
  • Fish Biscuit's recap of Catch-22

Halloween is Coming
How to Meat People and Be Loved: The Bacon Costume
Via Needcoffee.com


"On the wall outside his former residence - flat number 27B - where Orwell lived until his death in 1950, an historical plaque commemorates the anti-authoritarian author. And within 200 yards of the flat, there are 32 CCTV cameras, scanning every move.

Orwell's view of the tree-filled gardens outside the flat is under 24-hour surveillance from two cameras perched on traffic lights.

The flat's rear windows are constantly viewed from two more security cameras outside a conference centre in Canonbury Place.

In a lane, just off the square, close to Orwell's favourite pub, the Compton Arms, a camera at the rear of a car dealership records every person entering or leaving the pub.

Within a 200-yard radius of the flat, there are another 28 CCTV cameras, together with hundreds of private, remote-controlled security cameras used to scrutinise visitors to homes, shops and offices."

George Orwell, Big Brother is watching your house
Via jwz

Big, Bad, and Stuck
Tank Accidents

fukuoka japan night photography
The Night View of Seto
Western Japan at night. Large site and large images.
Via Bifurcated Rivets

"Iran's Islamic penal code, which is a parallel system to its civic code, says murder charges can be dropped if the accused can prove the killing was carried out because the victim was morally corrupt."
Iran Exonerates Six Who Killed in Islam's Name
Via Slog

Insert Transformers/Godzilla Joke Here
"Michael Jackson is in discussions about creating a 50-foot robotic replica of himself to roam the Las Vegas desert, according to reports."
Michael Jackson wants Vegas robot
Via MetaFilter

The Latest in Atomic Technology
In my hunt for tax forms (it seems only a select few Seattle libraries carry them) I passed the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Company. I think I'll get some asbestos underwear to go with my ninja-bunny hat.

Lost - Ep# 316 - One of Us - J. Wood Essay
J. Wood @ Powells has another great essay on "One of Us"

"Look for the odd shots; they tell so much, and are often symbolic. Symbols are becoming increasingly important in Lost. A symbol is an object, image, or written word that represents something other and more than what it immediately seems to be; it's over-invested with meaning, but that meaning requires a participating observer. We've seen eyes, the Egyptian hieroglyphs, black and white imagery, Buddhist baguas, and more recently the Russian doll and Juliet's mark. The doll was of interest because it was tangential to the overall plot of the narrative; it was the audience that recognized it as symbolically allegorical for the episode at hand. In "One of Us," the symbol could very well be the odd, quick shot of Juliet, Jack, Sayid and Kate's distorted reflections in the stream; it has the virtue of presenting yet another mirrored image, but one that is difficult to make out and changes before your eyes.

The mirrors pop up everywhere, first with the reference back to the second season Sayid episode, "One of Them"; this is the episode when Ben first "joins" the Lostaways, but on hostile terms. In a few places along the way, we seem to be getting characters mirroring the audience reaction once again. Sayid tells Juliet, "I want to know what you people are doing on this island, why you're terrorizing us, kidnapping children - I want to know everything." Isn't this what the audience has been clamoring for? In a recent interview with WBUR-Boston's Tom Ashbrook, one thing Lindelof notes is that the Lostaways never seem to ask the right questions, which can get frustrating for the audience. It seems someone is trying to ask what we're asking. Of course she's not saying anything - and she's under Jack's protection. None of the Lostaways are brash enough to outright attack Jack; he's the only medical care they have, and they and Jack know it. If Jack's going to step in front of Juliet, no one will push him out of the way. Juliet's no Pikki, but she's not exactly a fan-favorite, and she asks Jack how long it'll take before the Lostaways (including us) accept her. Like Sayid, Jack also seems to represent another audience sentiment: "They're good people; they're willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. But eventually they're gonna need some answers.""

Via DarkUFO

Today's One Line Spam Poetry
Re: Tunic Loaves

Is Everyone Bixby?

Lost - Ep #316 - One Of Us
  • Sayid "leads" the group back, not Jack.
  • Jack: (I) "kept my head down, did what I was supposed to, and didn't ask any questions. I hope the good doctor has some secret plan in mind, otherwise this episode made me wish for a meteor with Jack's name on it. If he was thinking of coming back to the Island to rescue the Losties I would think that getting some information of where the Island is would be helpful. And Doctors-they just happen to be trained observers.
  • Rachel must be worried sick about her sister if Juliet has been missing for 3 years. Cue speculation about differing time rates.
  • Sayid certainly isn't Mr. Smooth Interrogator. Good thing he led right off with death-threats, that way Jack can stop him and we get nothing, not even Juliet lying.
  • Juliet dragged Kate all that way into the jungle by herself? She's not a ninja, she's She-Hulk.
  • Hererat Aviation:
    • "Hererat" bring to mind Mount Ararat, where Noah's Ark is supposed to be. Strangely enough there was an Ararat, City of Refuge, which was an attempt to found a Jewish State in Grand Island, NY. Then there's asteroid 96205 Ararat.
    • Bear with me here, because we're headed into the tall grass. "Hererat" is an anagram for "Earhart", as in Amelia_Erhart, who disappeared in the South Pacific while on a round-the-world flight. Juliet's sister is in Acadia Park, which is just north of the general aviation (non-scheduled) Opa Locka Airport, which is next to Amelia Erhart Park. Clearly this proves that Paul is dead.
    • The older woman in Juliet's Otherville book club is named Amelia.
  • Richard: I know that six months sounds like an eternity, but you'll be amazed at how time flies once you're there. Another reference to time.
  • Why the hell does Ethan need her vitals?
  • Richard: That is orange juice with a considerable amount of tranquilizer mixed in. Paaarty!
  • Notice how Richard heads off her questions.
  • Richard: Don't you feel you're meant to do something significant with it?. Everything happens for a reason. Predestination/Fate vs Free Will.
  • Richard: Nobody is forcing you to do anything. Not yet, but just wait.
  • The whole trip to the Island is as funky as left-out roquefort. Based on my Google-fu, Miami to Sydney takes about 20 hours. Now say we knock 4 hours off for the time Flight 815 flew out of Sydney. But we have to add time for transfering to, and traveling in, the Sub. So back-o-the-napkin travel time is 16-20+ hours. After being unconscious that long Juliet would twist Ethan's head right off to get to a bathroom. And just how did they go from a jet to the sub? Where did they land the jet? Did the Others drug Juliet in order to conceal the location of the Island or to cover up exactly how they get there?
  • The tranquilizer they gave Juliet is probably the same stuff they gave Jack in Ep #301 (A Tale of Two Cities). Juliet: The drugs we gave you when we brought you here have a pretty serious side-effect -- dehydration. Your head is probably sore, your throat is raw.
  • One of the Sub crew and the Sub conning tower both have the K'an I Ching Trigram.

    "A solid line in between two broken lines symbolize water. The two broken lines represent the depression of earth (river banks). The solid line in the middle represents motion. This creates the image of water flowing in a river. In addition, this kua also represents the moon."

    One english translation is the Abyss

    Danger, Change
    Ear, Sound
    Second Son
    "The son is at his most dangerous now - in puberty. His balance can be disturbed at any moment. His thoughts are not understood by those around him. Much of the time, his dangerous energy dissipates, but occasionally his forces gather, especially if his father or one of his sisters helps him. He is at his worst when his elder sister is in trouble, and is likely to become uncontrollable in her defense. He represents rough water - the waves beating against the shore."
    I Ching - The Trigrams

  • Sawyer gets Claire some aspirin: Hurley's "banishment" con seems to have had some lasting effect.
  • The old Hurley would have been goofy and awkward with Juliet. The new hotness Hurley is understated and calm.
  • I bet Hurley wasn't asked to keep an eye on Juliet, he knew that the discussion was a foregone conclusion and went to where the real action was.
  • Juliet: I had the day off (from shocking and kidnapping duty). She may be a conniving bitch, but she has a sense of humor.
  • Godwin in the operating room: Did he have a medical specialty too? Maybe Ben sent Ethan (Surgeon) and Godwin to infiltrate the Losties because they had medical skills, not in spite of them.
  • Why can't the Others just send their women off Island to give birth? Methinks that travel to and from the Island is more complicated than following a compass bearing or a sonar beacon.
  • Ben is totally bullshitting Juliet about Rachel's cancer. It would be so easy for him to cook up some medical charts and then, presto-chango, "cure" a cancer that never existed.
  • Speaking of Medical Charts: The records Ben shows Juliet are for a man weighing 187lbs. And she's looking at electrocardiagrams-which are not very useful in diagnosing cancer. I think someone in the Lost props department should be looking for a new job.
  • Ben says he got the medical charts from Mikhail. They look like something shipped in rather than copies made on the Island.
  • Ben and Juliet's Beach conversation:
    • Juliet: Why would I stay?
    • Ben: Because if you do I will cure your sister's cancer.
    • Juliet: I'm supposed to take that on faith?
    • Ben: You've been here for 6 months. You've done extensive workups on all of us, have you seen even a trace of cancer?
    • Juliet: That's here, and being that you won't let me bring my sister here I'm going to need more...
    • Ben: Jacob said he would take care of it himself. Unless of course you don't have faith in him? Every woman on this Island needs you. If you choose to stay, I promise you- we will save Rachel's life.
    Key concepts: Faith/Promises/Jacob
    Juliet is instantly impressed/cowed by the mention of Jacob.
    Juliet doesn't question the idea that Jacob can cure cancer off-Island.
    Why does "every woman" need Juliet's help? If they don't get pregnant there shouldn't be any problem. Is there something else going on?
  • Women who get pregnant on the Island die before giving birth. Ben told Jack that he's lived on the Island all his life. And he told Locke "I was born on this island. Not many of my people can say that." If he's telling the truth this would imply that the pregnancy problem is relatively recent. And the Others also have more Island natives.
  • Sayid says he doesn't torture anymore.
  • Just to mess with people I would have Juliet able to speak Korean.
  • Notice how Juliet's account of Ethan and Claire makes the Others look like the "good guys"-all they wanted to do is help Claire and Ethan acted on his own with all that kidnapping, killing and hanging. More Bullshit.
  • Strictly speaking, Claire wouldn't have been the "control"- for that to be true she would have to remain untreated.
  • Ethan injected Claire with the same "vaccine" that Desmond and Inman took in the Swan for over 3 years, well before Juliet arrived on Island. Juliet is lying, she didn't create the "vaccine", unless you factor in time-travel.
  • Juliet: I can fix this-Jack "fixes" people.
  • What opera were Godwin and Juliet listening to post-coitus?
  • Ben's Books:
    ""Assassins" by Tim F. LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, which is part of the "Left Behind" (familiar?) series about the end times. "Pop Goes the Weasel" by James Patterson, a crime thriller. "The Royals" by Kitty Kelley, an examination of the British Royal Family. "Stitches in Time" by Barbara Michaels, about magical quilts and the good and bad powers they possess. "Women Who Run With Wolves" by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, about the myths of Wild Women and a call to the awakening of the Wild Woman in modern women."

    He also has "Word Power" and "Writer's Reference..."

    Wait a minute-who the hell is Ben calling on the telephone?

    Ben has lots of mounted butterflies. They're even in the kitchen.

  • Ben didn't hate "Carrie", but he thought it was depressing.
  • Ben seems almost as upset at being called a liar and a promise breaker as he does at having a tumor.
  • Juliet: If you can cure cancer, why do you have it? Why can't Jacob cure it?
  • The Mark on the Tree:

    symbol carved on tree on Lost
    The symbol carved into the tree.

    Juliets brand on Lost
    The brand on Juliet's back. Are these the same?

    alchemical sign for sal ammoniacus
    An alchemical sign for sal ammoniacus, or ammonium salt. Sometimes used for the planet Uranus. Uranus was the father of the Greek gods and personified the sky or heaven.
    It is also a symbol for an Italian sect founded by David Lazzaretti at the end of the nineteenth century. Good luck researching this unless you read Italian. He might have created a heretical utopian community. Alias was quite fond of crazed medieval Italians.

    alchemical sign for sal ammoniacus Another version of the Sal Ammoniac symbol.

    I'm not enamored of the Ummo UFO mystery theory.
  • Sayid and Sawyer could have noticed how clean the medical case was. It was supposed to be sitting in a hole in the ground for over 2 months of wind and rain but it's spotless.
  • How the holy heck do the Others know that Sawyer shot Frank Duckett? This isn't the sort of thing Mikhail can pull off of the interweb.
  • Juliet says that Sawyer killed Duckett the night before the flight- He actually did it 3 days before.
  • I really thought the Others would get morally righteous long before now. I guess that would have involved them explaining themselves too much.
  • Mikhail never has his walkie on-that's why Mrs. Klugh had to ride out to the Flame.
  • The Losties have barely crashed-who would Mikhail be shooting at? Danielle? Or somebody else?
  • Why doesn't Ben put Richard on speakerphone? Because it's another con.
  • Ben: We may have some new visitors. Who were the old ones? DHARMA? And why would Ben want Richard in regards to them?
  • 80 days ago Richard was either off Island or somewhere other than Stepford Village.
  • Ben: I'm not a liar. People who keep having to say that usually turn out to be liars.
  • Really Charlie, what motive would Juliet have in not helping Claire?
  • Juliet "curing" Claire's created "illness" mirrors Ben "curing" Rachel's non-existent cancer
  • Juliet: I'm already on my own, Jack. This is another instance of the mark being told the truth. Alex told Locke that he was being manipulated, but he was on a mission. Juliet has straight out told Jack that she's on nobody's side but her own, but he doesn't hear it. He knows full well that her primary motivation is getting off the Island and that she's willing to kill people (Pickett) or arrange a death (Ben and Jack) to do it. If he any sense he'll realize that the Others are a better escape option for Juliet than the Losties. I have my doubts, because common sense is uncommon on Lost.
  • Maybe Jack is playing Juliet. His "I saw it in your eyes" speech explains why he's not asking questions. And he might be doing his own version of "telling the truth to a mark" when he says "You want to get off this Island more than anything else in the world" i.e. "I know you would betray and kill to get what you want".
  • Great final scene with Juliet and Ben. Maybe Lost is finally picking up the explanation pace. In season 1+2 it would have taken months to find out of Juliet was conning the Losties.
  • Why was Claire implanted? The best theory I've read is that the Others were planning to use it to convince Claire she had to stay with them in order to stay healthy: "Only we can treat your serious condition".
  • Juliet is playing her own game. She'll happily betray the Others too.
  • Ben: See you in a week. That lines up with the end of Season 3, so we ought to know soon what Juliet is up to.
  • Theory has it the last thing Juliet was staring at so intently was Desmond. Presumably the Others have no dossier on him. They have no idea who he is or how to manipulate him. Maybe they even think he's an agent for a third group.
  • There's still no explanation for Juliet's ninja skills. Maybe they come from the same source as Locke's tracking and knife abilities-he certainly didn't seem to be the master woodsman before he was paralyzed and it would have been hard for him to acquire his skills afterwards. This doesn't explain why he had a case full of knives.

Magical Fruit
The Baked Bean Museum of Excellence
Via MetaFilter

I Opened Up an Idea
The latest in semi-coherent comment spam:


As what i read on this posted article, i found out the informativeness of this kind of topic. For that reason i opened up an idea and some knowledge in this field. well, you made just did a great job..more power!

Lea Go "

Down These Mean Streets

"Being a God and a Private Detective at the same time causes the occasional head to turn, but let the occasional head turn, says I. Let the head turn. Pigeons don't turn their heads. They just bob them back and forth like real estate agents.

Hours had passed and I still had no clue what I was doing in Venice. What was the job going to be? Who would be quarry, my task? My first wife, Amphitrite ("the third one who encircles the sea") used to say to me, when I got around to making use of a conch and would finally call her, she'd say "Are you still fucking that girl in Marina del Rey"? She had a mouth like a sailor, and an ass like a sailor too. I used to like sailing with her, now that I think of it. I wonder what happened to her. Her lips tasted like tuna, but without the mayonnaise."

Detective Neptune in "Christ, the Screaming Avenger"
Via Jesus' General

Skis + Longest Escalator In Europe
Via Needcoffee's del.icio.us bookmarks

ninja bunny hat
I'm gonna get me a Ninja Bunny Hat.
Then I'm gonna get all Naruto on some weasels.
Via swissmiss

I Prefer the Binge

Here's the problem with modern political scandals: Many of the journalists and media outlets follow the case for months-while it's still under the radar of the American public. Then, when the scandal attracts a great deal of attention, the articles presuppose an audience as versed in the minutiae of the case as its authors. Readers interested in the big picture are left to piece together the backstory themselves.

This has been especially true of "Purgegate," the controversy surrounding the dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys. The coverage has been so devoted to the Bush administration's bungled response to the allegations that many are left to wonder what the original allegations were. Further obfuscating matters is the fact that, as of yet, none of the key players are asserting that any specific crime was committed (though some of the White House's critics think there may be some "obstruction of justice" charges at the end of this particular rainbow).

The Purgegate Primer
Via tecznotes links

graphic made with Fyre

Hey Walt: I just installed Fyre, "a tool for producing computational artwork based on histograms of iterated chaotic functions". I'm saying goodbye to a couple of hours

Via Mohawke's Best of the Best Free and Open Source Software Collection

Lost - Ep #315 - LEft Behind
  • The Other's rec room includes a Mouse Trap game, Locke's favorite.
  • There's also a Backgammon set. Locke and Hurley played backgammon with Walt.
  • Kate tries to ambush Juliet. Juliet cleans her clock (and could have eaten her lunch). Three years ago Juliet was a mild-mannered fertility doctor- now she's got mad combat skills. Where did her ninja training come from?
  • Kate broken down in Iowa:
    • Patsy Cline's Walking after Midnight is playing. This is at least the third time this song has been featured. It might foreshadow Kate and Juliet walking in the jungle.
    • Three days for a fanbelt? No friggin' way, even in Iowa.
    • Kate is wearing a "Cowboy Up" baseball cap. Sawyer used the phrase "cowboy up" in his talk with Karl in Ep #309.
    • Why is there an asphalt roller on the edge of the field?
  • Locke considers his capture by the Others only temporary.
  • Locke's hand is bandaged and he has slight black eye.
  • Locke explicitly tells Kate that he doesn't want to go home.
  • The Other's won't forgive Kate for what she did before the Island. Why do they care? They didn't have any problem with Ethan killing Scott. And Locke killed Mikhael-he even confessed to Ben.
  • Sawyer is re-reading Watership Down.
  • Steve brings the water to the beach. Steve must be some strong guy.
  • The flies on Kate's sandwich are the first flies I think I've seen on the show. They must have been put into the shot on purpose. I wonder if they're supposed to tell us how hungry Kate is or whether they're a symbol? Decay?
  • The gas canister is real, though it's tear gas or smoke, not knock-out.
  • Kate is going by "Lucy", after Saint Lucy, the patron saint of blindness.
  • Kate waking up in the jungle is yet another mirror of scenes of other Losties waking up.
  • Juliet probably wasn't asleep when Kate opened the knife, that's how she reacted so fast.
  • How many marshals are in Mom's house? What, do they live there?
  • Why is Edward Mars (the marshal) so obsessed with recapturing Kate? Does he have a reason beyond her escaping him and duty? Good thing he didn't notice that Cassidy was wearing a wig.
  • Juliet wants to wait because the rain will wash away any trace of her "they gassed me too, we're in this together" con.
  • How did Juliet know that it was going to rain?
  • In my humble opinion, Kate didn't ruin Jack's submarine trip, Locke did.
  • What is it about little groves of bamboo that stops Smokey?
  • Eko got his past shown to him in the Smoke, but Juliet gets the flashbulb treatment. There also seems to be some lower level light. And afterwards we get a Smokey-POV shot as it moves away.
  • How the hell did Juliet dislocate her shoulder the previous 3 times? You have to be doing some fairly serious shit to do that, and if you do it once you probably don't want to do it again.
  • The Losties have enough bullets to use them to hunt boar?
  • Kate's Mom: You can't help who you love. And Mom apparently loves her dead abusive husband more than her daughter.
  • Smokey appeared to have 3 heads, confirming to many that Smokey is "Cerburus".
  • Before Smokey attacks the second time it looks as if it blows stuff out of the ground, rather than ripping stuff out as it goes.
  • Smokey can fly 50 feet into the air, but it can't fly over the sonic death-fence.
  • Juliet says the Others don't know what Smokey is, but they know it doesn't like "our" fence. Does this mean the Others built the fence? Considering our muddled understanding of Dharma vs. Others and that we can't believe a damn thing Juliet says, once again we know nothing. We can only speculate on the relationship between the Others and Smokey, though I've always wondered why the Beach camp remained so unmolested by the Others.
  • Juliet had a handcuff key the whole time. She says the Others gassed her too. How did that key get in her pocket?
    • She just happened to have it. Maybe she was in charge of Kate's bathroom breaks.
    • She grabbed it before losing consciousness. You know she's cool under pressure and a bad mama-jama.
    • Somebody (Tom, Ben) slipped it into her pocket.
    • She wasn't gassed at all (A). The Others didn't want an unconscious Juliet to be alone with someone who blows up stepfathers.
    • She wasn't gassed at all (B). She's a plant by Ben. That's why Sayid and Jack slept so long: To give Juliet time to con Kate.
  • Juliet didn't want to be left behind, but she blames Kate for not doing the same to Jack.
  • Once again Hurley proves himself the Lostie Jedi Master. He conned the con-man for the good of the group and Sawyer. Sawyer may be the apparent "temporary leader" but Hurley is the real power behind the throne.
  • I think Desmond was in on the con. Hurley would have to be sure he would take Sawyer hunting for there to be a boar BBQ.
  • Why is Jack's house so beat-up? Did all that damage occur in the short time before the gas took effect or did something else happen? Did Locke get his injuries from Jack?
  • The Others used at least 2 gas grenades on Jack, maybe more.
  • Kate is in a position to know that Sawyer has a child.
  • Much has been made of how the Others left Stepford Village. I'm putting my money on a tunnel, the tunnel that the Losties don't find because they don't search the place. Yea, I know that Sayid said that he checked all the houses, but he only had like 5 minutes. If it were me, I would be trying to figure out what the hell is going on by doing a serious search. God knows what kind of clues have falled between the Others sofa cushions. At least raid the fridge.
  • Hmmmm, i wonder what Danielle did when the Other's packed up?
  • Next Episode: Sayid is asking questions? Will wonders never cease? My prediction: No answers from Juliet.
  • Next Episode-Juliet: If I tell you what I know, you'll kill me. Does she mean Sayid will kill her once she losed her informational value or that he'll kill her because of what she would tell him? TPTB are going to have an interesting problem preventing Juliet from spilling the beans. She's going to be around for at least 2 more episodes.
  • The CDP has a great idea: Once Lost finishes it's run, recut the show into it's proper chronological order.
  • Indepth review of "Left Behind" by the always interesting J.Wood.
  • "Left Behind" on Lostpedia

Lost - Just Toys in Someone's Game
Lost In Lego
Via DarkUFO

The American Canine Hybrid Club is the home to Schweenies, Chugs, Rattles, and Rottermans.

Lost - Theories and Observations
  • The List is Bogus Theory: The Others themselves don't meet the standards for being on "the List". Mikhael (Patchy) said that the Losties weren't on the List and couldn't comprehend why he would want to be on the Island because the Losties were angry, frightened, and weak. But consider the emotional states of some of the Others:

    • Ben is frightened that he'll lose his position of power with the Others.
    • If Pickett wasn't angry, I don't know what angry is. He was ready to kill an innocent Sawyer in a rage because Sun killed his wife.
    • Mikhael himself is weak. He couldn't bring himself to follow Mrs. Klugh's order to kill her.

    The List is clearly not accurate. The reasons for the Others being on the List is not what the Others were told and believe. I think the List is part of a long con that "Him" or "Jacob" or people controlling "Him" are running on the Others themselves.

  • Lost has had repeated refences to The Wizard of Oz. I can't think of any character we know of that's more congruent to the Wizard than "Him/Jacob". I think that once "Jacob" is revealed either he'll be found to be running a long con (on the Others, the Losties, or both) or to be only a front for someone or something else.
  • Before I posted that Charlie would go back to being a putz. Upon further reflection, I think it would be more accurate to describe him as a schmuck.
  • Mikhael said that Dharma called the conflict between them and the Others as "The Purge". This is a very odd term to use in this context. Purges are done by an entity to cleanse itself or something else of impurities. The Allies didn't purge the Nazis, but rather the Allies purged Germany of the Nazis.

      I think one of two things happened:
    • Dharma and the Others were at one time working together until Dharma decided to purge itself of the Others. This would explain why the Others are still using Dharma facilities and resources on and off the Island.
    • The Others warred against Dharma in order to purge the Island of them. Ben has made references to "loving" and "defending" the Island.

  • Why didn't the Others abduct Jack, Kate, and Sawyer the first time they had them under their control, when the Losties went after Michael?

    Because at the time Ben was only supposed to be a 3-episode character. So the plan was probably for Ben to get captured, mind-fuck with everybody in the Swan, and then somehow get killed. TPTB must have had a lot of sleepless nights rejiggering the course of the show after they decided to keep Ben around.

Lost - EP #314 - Exposť
  • This wasn't the deepest of shows, so I'm going to keep it simple. For a detailed rundown I suggest the Lostpedia entry for Exposť
  • So Mr. LaShade is actually The Cobra, arch-villian extraordinaire. Mayhaps this foreshadows someone "good" actually being one of the Others, maybe even "Him" or "Jacob". I can't see it being one of the Losties, but maybe someone from a flashback.
  • Oh, I get it. Nikki's stripper character on Exposť is named Corvette. "Darling Nikki" "Little Red Corvette".
  • Locke was watching Exposť while he ate his pathetic TV dinner in his pathetic apartment in The Man From Tallahassee
  • Shannon accused Boone of "flirting with random guys" at the airport. Nice after-death insertion of a gay (or bi) character into the show.
  • Nice to see Hurley and Sawyer playing ping-pong.
  • Hammer me over the head with it: Nikki is a heartless, greedy bitch.
  • Is it just me, or did Ethan's expression seem "flat"? It's like he's stoned or something. It's not just his scene w/N+P, he's always like this, at least when he's with the Losties.
  • Sawyer called Hurley "Hugo", not a nickname.
  • If Nikki had worn that orange bikini top more often I might have warmed up to her, even if she is a murderess.
  • We're supposed to believe that notorious blowhard (and educator) Dr. Arzt has discoved a deadly spider and then neglected to mention it to anyone but Nikki.
  • The heck with killing and robbing people, Nikki and Paolo:
    • Found the Beechcraft
    • Explored the Pearl Hatch
    • Overheard the plan to abduct Jack, Kate, and Sawyer-including the part about Michael being a traitor
    • Had an Other walkie-talkie
    and told no one. They're like the Island non-communication champions. I'm glad they were buried alive.
  • If our detectives had found the empty spider jar they might have solved the mystery. Too bad Nikki threw it away.
  • I hope that walkie-talkie doesn't disapear down the plot-hole. It could come in handy.
  • This whole episode is like a foreshadowing festival.
  • Paolo, baby, if you're trying to hide stuff by burying it, next time don't do it under a torch at night.
  • Locke: Things don't stay buried on this Island. I'm eagerly awaiting zombie Nikki and Paolo in season 7.
  • What the hell are Ben and Juliet doing in the Pearl hatch? I mean really, what purpose did their little visit serve? And they just leave a walkie-talkie behind!?
  • Vincent exposes the "bodies" of Nikki and Paolo.
  • Charlie redeems himself by confessing to Sun. But I predict that he'll go back to being a putz.
  • Why did Paolo remove the diamonds from the Pearl hatch toilet? It was still a perfectly good hiding place.
  • Hurley is once again the Jedi Master/de facto leader of the Losties.
  • Why is Sun wearing a watch? Does she have appointments to keep?
  • Lost Book Club: Sawyer is reading "Evil Under the Sun" by Agatha Christie.
  • If I had a hot girlfriend I wouldn't hide diamonds in my pants.
  • I'm not convinced that the sound Nikki hears when the spiders converge on her is the Black Smoke Monster.
  • At the crash sight Boone asks Nikki if she has a pen. If Nikki had had a pen after the spider attack she could have written "I'm not dead" on her arm.
  • Lots of missed op
  • There are theories bouncing around that Nikki and Paolo weren't on the plane originally, but entered the Island timeline after the Swan imploded. This would explain why the newspaper Paolo is reading in the airport is dated one day after flight 815 left Australia and why Sawyer doesn't remember them. Though Hurley seems to know them.

Was You Ever Stung By a Dead Bee?
Stinking Badges (Wikipedia)
Via Bifurcated Rivets

Monday Morning Admiraling
Regarding the Iranian capture/arrest of 15 British seamen: To me, this raises the question: Why were 15 sailors out in potentially hostile and disputed waters without the means to defend themselves or proper backup? If that freighter was smuggling it seems like they could have killed the British without much trouble.

Best made-up derogatory term: Knob-Nozzle