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"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
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Lost Mobisode 13 - So It Begins
If you are a Lost fan you have to see this.
Holy Freaking Crap

Lost - Ep #322 - Through The Looking Glass

In honor of Season 4 of Lost starting Thursday, here's my looooong delayed write-up/analysis/link-fest.

  • Limber up your "page-down-key" pressing finger, because this is going to be a looong one. "Greatest Hits" had only 1 page of notes but "TTLG" filled up 6.
  • Today's Lost Book Club selection is, of course, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
    • TTLGAWAFT (I am NOT going to type the whole title every time) is patterned after a game of chess. This ties into Lost themes of games and black and white. Ben and Jack are like two players moving their pieces around the Island. The chess game in TTLGAWAFT contains an illegal move - White fails to move out of check. This is mirrored in Jack deciding not to act to save Jin, Sayid, and Bernard. At the start of the game Alice (Jack) is only a white pawn but she becomes a queen ,captures the Red Queen (Ben), and puts the sleeping Red King (Jacob) in checkmate.
    • "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum" features as the opening song on Bob Dylan's 2001 album Love and Theft. It's an open secret that the Island is a huge Dylan fan.
    • "It was getting dark so suddenly that Alice thought there must be a thunderstorm coming on. `What a thick black cloud that is!' she said. `And how fast it comes! Why, I do believe it's got wings!'

      `It's the crow!' Tweedledum cried out in a shrill voice of alarm; and the two brothers took to their heels and were out of sight in a moment.

      Alice ran a little way into the wood, and stopped under a large tree. `It can never get at me here,' she thought: `it's far too large to squeeze itself in among the trees. But I wish it wouldn't flap its wings so -- it makes quite a hurricane in the wood -- here's somebody's shawl being blown away!'"

      Sound like any mysterious Black Smoke Monster you know?

      Link: Chapter IV - Tweedledum and Tweedledee
      Via: Planet Lost: Through The Looking-Glass, Influences? Pt. II
    • "Lewis Carroll" is a pseudonym, a "false name"-like Ben claiming to be Henry Gale.
  • Newspaper Story/Obituary:
    • The Newspaper is dated April 5, 2007. Kurt Cobain committed suicide on April 5th.
    • "Allow me to fill in the blanks. The complete text from the obituary is as follows:

      "The body of John Lantham of New York was found shortly after 4 am in the 4300 block of Grand Avenue. Ted Worden, a doorman at the Tower Lofts complex, heard loud noises coming from the victim's loft. Concerned for tenants' safety, he entered the loft and found the body hanging from a beam in the living room. According to Jaime Ortiz, a police spokesman, the incident was deemed a suicide after medical tests. Latham (sic) is survived by one teenaged son. Memorial services will be held at the Hoffs-Drawlar Funeral Home tomorrow evening."

      The obituary text was just dictated to me by a friend who worked on the L.A. portion of the reshoots, where TPTB filmed the E.R. and Oceanic Airliner scenes. I believe it to be 100% accurate, and I stand by my source.


    • Latham, not Lantham?
      "Perhaps the culmination of Latham's fusion of art, science and sociology was the concept of Flat Time. In its most basic form, it is represented by a canvas attached at the top to a cylinder which rolls up and unrolls on an electric motor. The back of the canvas faces outwards so that the image is only visible along the cylinder at the point where it unrolls. This represents the present moment in passing time which can only be made sense of when related to what has already gone, the past, represented by the image on the back of the canvas. The ideas contained within the time-base roller, as it is know, are far more complicated. While the vertical represents passing, clock time, scale along the cylinder is the 'time-base'. This is a concept, developed by Latham, asserting that the period of an event is fundamental to its properties and to how it relates to other events. The cylinder is scaled A-Z with A denoting the shortest possible event, M the period of human activity cycles (roughly 30 years), U the period of the universe and Z a notional period in which other universe could occur. The square of this canvas, time-base against clock time, is the area where all events can be mapped out, as Latham himself puts it, 'This omnipresent component the painting surface becomes a score which unfolds while being there all the time, via the time base.' If all events, however large or small, can be represented on the same scale, then psychology and sociology must take an equal foot physics in our understanding of the universe."
      John Latham at Wikipedia

    • How about Jeremy Bentham?
      " Jeremy Bentham was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. He was a political radical and a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law. He is best known as an early advocate of utilitarianism and animal rights who influenced the development of liberalism.

      He invented the Panopticon. The Panopticon is a type of prison building designed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham in the late eighteenth century. The concept of the design is to allow an observer to observe all prisoners without the prisoners being able to tell if they are being observed or not, thus conveying a "sentiment of an invisible omniscience." In his own words, Bentham described the Panopticon as "a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example."

      He also lead the Jacobin Terrorist (Jacob reference?). The Jacobin Club was the largest and most powerful political club of the French Revolution. It originated as the Club Breton, formed at Versailles as a group of Breton deputies to the Estates General of 1789. At the height of its influence, there were between five and eight thousand chapters throughout France, with a membership estimated at 500,000. After the fall of Robespierre the club was closed."

      Link: Sledgeweb's LOST...STUFF: 3x22: Who Died?! Jeremy Bentham?

      Note: Although mention is made of Bentham's correspondence with Mirabeau and other leaders of the French Revolution and his subsequent 1792 honorary citizenship in the French Republic, neither the Wikipedia entry for Bentham or the Bentham entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy provide any mention of Bentham leading the Jacobins.

    The black neighborhood of the funeral home, the teenage son, and the real Latham being an artist point to Michael being the occupant of the casket.
  • Another Lost car wreck. Jack may be a hero for saving the passengers, but he caused the wreck when the driver saw him about to jump off the bridge.
  • He may be a surly suicidal junkie, but Jack's vintage Bronco is a bitchin' ride. His beard rocks the house too.
  • Speaking of the beard, much has been made on the interwebs about the darkness of future-Jack's (Fack, no...Fuack!) facial follicles because his Island beard has clear traces of grey. Wazzup with that?
  • And more speaking of grooming: Island Jack has gotten a pretty recent short haircut. A contrast to his furry future?
  • What did Jack say just before he was about to jump? Lostpedia says it was "Forgive Me", but to me it sounded more like "Don't Leave Me". I've re-wound that scene a dozen times, and it never sounds like "Forgive Me" to me.
  • I liked Rose when she was The Kindly Wise Middle-aged Woman. But now that she's morphed into Nagging Control Freak I keep hoping she'll be the next kitty-toy for an overly playful Smoke Monster.
  • I'm sorry-when I see Hurley holding Aaron all I can think is "I hope the big guy isn't hungry".
  • Naomi: "What did you do for a living before you became Moses?" Moses was unable to cross the Jordan with the Israelites into the promised land.
  • Charlie: "I came in my invisible submarine, don't you see it?"
    • Wonder Woman has an invisible plane, which can also be an invisible submarine.
    • She was born on the hidden island of Themyscira (aka Paradise Island):
      " Originally a city state founded by Amazons three thousand years ago, Themyscira's inhabitants were first shown in Wonder Woman (volume two) number 1. Here it is said that "the skies above fair Greece yawn wide pouring thousands of souls from Gaea's womb", thus placing the nation's original location somewhere in Greece. Later in issue 17, Diana first visits Greece (after living her entire life on Paradise Island) with her mentor, Julia Kapatelis, and at the end of a tour of her ancestry in that country, she reaches the island of Lesbos where she contemplates in solitude the fates of her Amazon sisters who once flourished at that site.

      This ancient former city state of Themyscira was destroyed and later abandoned after the arrival of the demi-god Heracles. When the Amazons lose favor with their gods they are given immortality and sent to a far away island. Beginning in a parted Aegean Sea, it takes three months before the Amazons arrive at the hidden Paradise Island, later retitling it Themyscira after their fallen home. While on the island they are assigned to guard a doorway to Tartarus (Hell) which lies beneath the island for the rest of their lives."

    • " At the end of the 1960s, under the guidance of editor/plotter/artist Mike Sekowsky, Wonder Woman surrendered her powers to remain in "Man's World" rather than accompany her fellow Amazons to another dimension where they could "restore their magic." (Part of her motivation was to assist Steve Trevor, who was facing criminal charges.)

      Now a mod boutique owner, the powerless Diana Prince acquired a Chinese mentor named I Ching."

    • Samuel R. Delany wrote two issues of Wonder Woman (vol. 1, #202-203). This has no relevance to Lost, but it is some serious geek trivia.
    • " The goddess Artemis has granted Diana the "Hunter's Eye" which gives Diana enhanced senses, as well as unity with the animal kingdom and the ability to tame wild beasts.

      Shortly before Infinite Crisis, Wonder Woman was blinded; her sight was later restored by Athena. Since then, she has possessed the sight of Athena, or the gift of increased insight. Consequently, Diana can detect others' emotions, is now fully immune to Doctor Psycho's illusions and also mind control as shown during the conclusion of the Sacrifice storyline when Maxwell Lord tried to telepathically control her but was unable to do so.

      Diana possesses great wisdom and intelligence, primary gifts from the Goddess of Wisdom herself, Athena. Diana has exhibited heightened proficiency with languages, being able to speak her native Themysciran, Ancient and Modern Greek, English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese (she expressed "difficulty" with the tones of Cantonese during an interview with Lois Lane), Russian and Hindi."

  • Bambi and Thumper (aka Bonnie and Greta) are running a classic "Good Cop, Bad Cop" game on Charlie.
  • Charlie telling B+T about Juliet's betrayal is pretty stupid. Showing off to his captors will cause lots of trouble.
  • Ben's Journal:
    • Screencaps of the Journal
    • Journal Transcript:

      "_/12 an important meeting tonight with (R) and (H or M) regarding the developing situation. We are now in day 3 of our exodus from the village and I am, I fear, at the limit of my tactical resources. (J)'s agenda, which I do not question, is however a hurried and difficult one and I could well wish we had time to prepare, not merely for the military strike, but for a partnered campaign. In the bush we we are short on provisions (seasonal) and, more importantly, the long-awaited resupply of camp gear having been missed (and so narrowly!) and just as our water supply routes have been cut off. We look like a very sad sort of primitive army. Morale, I have to say, has fallen as the circumstances ________ Yet, for all that, I feel (or fear) (arrangements?) "

    • Exodus: Ben and the Other's journey to the Temple mirrors Jack (Moses) and the Losties trek to the Radio Tower.
    • My best guess, R = Richard, M = Mikhail, J = Jacob.
    • Questions:
    • Partnered Campaign: Partner with who (or what) against who?
    • Resupply: Was this another pallet parachute drop (a.k.a. P.R.D.? How did they miss it? Is it sitting back at the village? There are still lots of unanswered questions regarding the pallet-drops, like why they still contain Dharma-brand goods and how they are dropped on an Island that is impossible to find.
    • Water Supply Routes: What is cutting off the routes?
  • Richard and Mikhail are playing chess.
  • Charlie: It's Charlie, tell him I said hi! Charlie has found a better drug than heroin: certain death in a noble cause. He has nothing better to do until he fulfills his destiny than flip shit at the Others.
  • Mikhail: "You told us the Looking Glass was inoperable, flooded." I couldn't be happier that my prediction that Ben's statements about the Looking Glass would never be resolved was completely wrong. Not only have TPTB kept track of this plot thread, they resolved it by making it an integral part of the story. Ben is revealed to the Others as a liar and Bonnie wouldn't have given Charlie the code if Ben hadn't ordered Mikhail to cover up the Looking Glass jamming.
  • Looking Glass Station Nitpicks:

    1: Jamming a radio signal consists of transmitting a signal on top of the target signal so that the signal-to-noise ratio drops below what is intelligible. Jamming doesn't erase the original signal, it adds enough "noise" to render it meaningless. What this would mean to someone looking for the Island is that while no human messages are coming from the Island the Looking Glass station is still transmitting a powerful signal that the outside world could receive and locate.
    Sources: Radio Jamming (Wikipedia)
    Remedial Electronic Counter-Countermeasures Techniques

    2: I find it hard to believe that Charlie can only turn off the jamming equipment with a secret code. Humans all share an innate ability to break things, even things they don't understand. But having a code and a switch allows Charlie to be sure he's disabled the jamming (and talk to Penny) so I'll let this slide.

    3: An underwater station is possibly the worst location for a radio jamming operation. Water strongly absorbes radio waves, which would necesitate a separate, vulnerable antenna.

  • Ben: "I lied". His whole power structure is falling apart: Juliet isn't being manipulated anymore and now he's forced to admit that he lied to his own people.
  • If the Losties had thought to use Nikki and Paolo's Other radio this could have been a whole different show.
  • Tom calls Ryan Pryce "Sir", indicating Pryce outranks him. If this is true why has Tom been the face of Other muscle until now?
  • Wow, I guess they didn't need shrapnel after all.
  • Jin misses his dynamite, but to give him credit, he had the pistol instead of a rifle and he shot 2 Others.
  • Pryce yells "green light" to signal that the Others can open fire.
  • Bernard sure isn't Rambo-he can't even run away well.
  • Tom clotheslines Bernard. Is this a football reference?
  • Kate is wearing a sweatshirt with the hood up like Charlie in evil-junkie mode.
  • Jack's ex-wife is pregnant and standing in front of a poster about folic acid in spanish. "Adequate folate intake during the periconceptional period, the time just before and just after a woman becomes pregnant, helps protect against a number of congenital malformations including neural tube defects." Folic Acid and Pregnancy
  • What was the woman and her son doing driving around L.A. at 2 am?
  • Ben isn't the only liar. Jack lies about his drinking to his ex-wife and about the success of the ambush to the Losties. "We have a plan"-yup, a wonky little caper that depends on the martial skills of a dentist, an ambush that has to kill all it's targets, and especially the heroic efforts of a ex-junkie rock-star. What could go wrong?
  • I love how Charlie not caring that he's going to die freaks out Bambi and Thumper.
  • And we cut to The-Worst-Day-in-Ben's-Life getting suckier by the minute.
  • Ben: "Shoot Kwan". Sure, he's a bad-ass hitman and as far as Ben knows he only speaks Korean.
  • Oh Bernard, you silly, weak man. Couldn't you at least try to lie?
  • Ben's Map:
    • Lost Screencaps and Easter Eggs: Map to Radio Tower
    • Composite of Map Screenshots (jpg image)
    • One of the named features on the map is Pascal Flats.

      Blaise Pascal:

      " Blaise Pascal, (June 19, 1623-August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father. Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the construction of mechanical calculators, the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote powerfully in defense of the scientific method.

      He was a mathematician of the first order. Pascal helped create two major new areas of research. He wrote a significant treatise on the subject of projective geometry at the age of sixteen and corresponded with Pierre de Fermat from 1654 and later on probability theory, strongly influencing the development of modern economics and social science.

      Following a mystical experience in late 1654, he abandoned his scientific work and devoted himself to philosophy and theology. His two most famous works date from this period: the Lettres provinciales and the Pens�es."

      Pascal facts:

      " In De l'Art de persuader ("On the Art of Persuasion"), Pascal looked deeper into geometry's axiomatic method, specifically the question of how people come to be convinced of the axioms upon which later conclusions are based. Pascal agreed with Montaigne that achieving certainty in these axioms and conclusions through human methods is impossible. He asserted that these principles can only be grasped through intuition, and that this fact underscored the necessity for submission to God in searching out truths."

      " For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either. The ends of things and their beginnings are impregnably concealed from him in an impenetrable secret. He is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is engulfed.?

      " Pascal made himself an armorial (heraldic) emblem of an eye surrounded by a crown of thorns, with the inscription Scio cui credidi- "I know whom I have believed.""

      Pascal's religious belief was influenced by Jansenism:

      " In Jansenist thought, human beings were born sinful, and without divine help a human being could never become good. This led the Jansenists to seek to exhibit a high level of piety and moral rectitude, and to prepare carefully through prayer and confession before receiving Communion (hence Jansenists favored less frequent reception). The Jansenist idea of predestination, based on Augustine's writing and close to that of Calvinism, was that only a portion of human beings, the "elect," were destined to be saved. Unlike Calvinism, however, Jansenism lacked a doctrine of assurance, deeming salvation unknowable even to the saved."
  • Ben: "You're going to take everyone to the Temple as planned". Best guess: The Temple is related to the 4-toed statue.
  • Richard: "People are asking questions". Finally, too bad it's the Others, not the Losties.
  • Beyond serving the plot, I don't understand why Ben is going to meet with the Losties alone. He doesn't even have a backup plan.
  • Sawyer's stopped calling Kate "Freckles". Is this a side effect of him killing Cooper?
  • Once again, for a professional con-man, Sawyer is a terrible liar.
  • The ever-insightful J. Woods points out some parallels between Lost and 2001, a Space Odyssey, by Stanley Kubrick.

    Some of Woods' comparisons:

    lost kubrick 2001 reference

    lost kubrick 2001 reference

    lost kubrick 2001 reference

    lost kubrick 2001 reference

    And don't forget poor Karl strapped into the "Clockwork Orange" re-education chair.
  • Doctor Jack isn't operating on anyone-he's got the shakes bad.
  • The new Chief of Surgery (Christian Shepard's old job) calls Jack a "hero twice over". Is this because Jack saved both the mother and son or because of another act of heroism?
  • Nice smooch from Juliet. I guess that makes it a love-quadrangle.
  • Why did Sawyer go back to the beach? Is he trying to help his friends or get himself killed?
  • I can't make out the lyrics to the song Charlie can't get out of head. It sounds something like "Last of the Maidens".
  • Bonnie and Greta hate it when Mikhail just "floats in". He's always undressing them with his eye.
  • How could the Others believe that Bambi and Thumper were on assignment in Canada? Wouldn't that involve leaving on the Submarine? What about the Sub's crew? They would know that the Sub hadn't gone anywhere.
  • Mikhail's bad eye is scarred shut-no glass eye for him, at least not recently.
  • Patchy hasn't even stopped dripping and already tricksy Charlie is sowing dissention amongst the underwater Others.
  • Mikhail: "The Island told you it was necessary for you to jam your own people?"

    Ben: "Yes it did."


    Ben: "I'm asking you to trust me, to trust Jacob, who told me to do this."

    I think Mikhail's question reveals a great deal. Patchy is intelligent, perceptive, and clearly does not like being deceived or lied to, I believe we can accept Mikhail's belief that the Island communicates with people-in this case with Ben through Jacob.

    This would mean that the Island has motives (or desires) and can perceive events in some way. Mikhail's question means that the Island can be seen as a sentient entity, though we still don't know the nature of it's metabolism or if it has the ability to reproduce.

  • Ben refers to Mikhail as a "Loyalist". Is there another faction?
  • It's crystal clear: Ben wants to protect the Island, and he'll do anything in order to do it.
  • "A runway, for what?" - "For the aliens"
    "So are you screwing Jack yet?" - "No, are you?"

    They better not kill off Juliet for at least 2 seasons, because she is clearly the biggest smartass on the Island.
  • Sawyer has to be cruel to be kind to Hurley.
  • Couldn't Ben get ahold of some Dharma condoms?
  • We come back to Locke with another close-up of an eye, just like Jack in the first episode.
  • I'm glad Locke never fired that gun. Even though it was holstered, sitting outdoors in a tropical jungle charnel pit for 20 years would probably mean it would explode in his hand, if it fired at all.
  • Waaaaaaaaaallllllllt!!!
  • Was "Walt" a vision from the real Walt, an apparation from the Island, or a manifestation of the Black Smoke? And is there difference between the last two?
  • Can Locke walk again because he believes he can?
  • Jack is listening to Nirvana's Scentless Apprentice in his car.
    "Like most babies smell like butter
    His smell smelled like no other
    He was born scentless and senseless
    He was born a scentless apprentice

    Go away - get away, get a-way

    Every wet nurse refused to feed him
    Electrolytes smell like semen
    I promise not to sell your perfumed secrets
    There are countless formulas for pressing flowers

    Go away - get away, get a-way

    I lie in the soil and fertilize mushrooms
    Leaking out gas fumes are made into perfume
    You can't fire me because I quit!
    Throw me in the fire and I won't throw a fit

    Go away - get away, get away, get away, get away, get away, get a-way"

  • The name of the funeral parlor "Hoffs/Drawler", is an anagram for "Flashforward".
  • There was no funeral, just a viewing. No one came, and Jack is neither friend nor family. My best bet is the coffin holds Michael, followed by Locke or Ben. It could be someone we haven't met yet.
  • Bonnie is a believer in Jacob.
  • Kate is smart, she went off to see if there were any others.
  • The prescription "from" Jack's dad, does this imply he's alive? Or is it a forgery to get more drugs? Can you use a prescription made out by a dead doctor?
  • Why is Jack a hero? From the car crash, or because of something to do with flight 815?
  • Ben says "not so long ago" he made a decision that killed over 40 people in a single day. Is he referring to the "purge"? That happened no later than the early 90's-say at least 10 years ago. Is 10 years "not so long ago" or is Ben talking about something else? 40 people seems low for the Dharma Initiative, though there may have been defectors to the Others.
  • Ben must be desperate-he's playing a weak hand.
  • Properly motivated, Charlie can be pretty smart and persuasive.
  • The jammer code was programmed by a musician-Who?
  • The Rousseau girls are a team again. Seeing how capable each is alone, I predict the two of them together will form a nigh-unstoppable killing-machine.
  • Godlike, first Hurley Van-Fu. then Sayid kills a man with his feet, and Sawyer makes good on his threat to Tom. Note that Sawyer didn't shoot Tom because Tom had shot him, he shot him for taking Walt.
  • Note how dead Mikhail looks, just like Locke.
  • Why the hell is Penny on the same frequency as the Looking Glass station?
  • Nice death, Charlie. I hope you appear in some killer visions.
  • Jack may be a depressed junkie in the future, but right now he's more driven than Ben or Locke.
  • How is it that people were rescued from Craphole Island, given free tickets from Oceanic, but no one knows where the Island is?
  • Oh yea, you should have figured out a while ago that this is the first flashforward, not a flashback.
  • Kate wasn't fond of the dead person either.
  • Jack is "sick of lying". Lying about what?
  • Kate has to get back. "He's gonna be wondering where I am"-who is he?.
  • Why isn't Kate afflicted with Islanditis?

Save The Books
Book Scavenging in Manhatten
Via MetaFilter

About Time

Message to Scientology
Via Wired: War Breaks Out Between Hackers and Scientology -- There Can Be Only One

In Echo park, It's Winged Eel Fingerling

Via The Slog

Dog Vs. Balloons

Via Laughing Squid

Lying Liars
" President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.

&nbsp On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both. This concerted effort was the underpinning of the Bush administration's case for war."


"The massive database at the heart of this project juxtaposes what President Bush and these seven top officials were saying for public consumption against what was known, or should have been known, on a day-to-day basis. This fully searchable database includes the public statements, drawn from both primary sources (such as official transcripts) and secondary sources (chiefly major news organizations) over the two years beginning on September 11, 2001. It also interlaces relevant information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches, and interviews."

The War Card: Orchestrated Deception on the Path to War.
Via Daily Kos

" "Globally, it's clear we are eroding soils at a rate much faster than they can form," said John Reganold, a soils scientist at Washington State University. "It's hard to get people to pay much attention to this because, frankly, most of us take soil for granted."

&nbsp The National Academy of Sciences has determined that cropland in the U.S. is being eroded at least 10 times faster than the time it takes for lost soil to be replaced."

The lowdown on dirt: It's disappearing

Some People Call Them Cliches, But They're Really Tropes
I could spend days in the TV Tropes Wiki's Anime Tropes section.
It's a massive time-suck, in a good way.
Via Barbelith Underground Bleach Thread

It's Called Denial
" But here's what I found really interesting about the Huckabee supporters I met in South Carolina: Over and over again Huckabee supporters told me-on the record, cameras rolling-that they supported Huckabee because they wanted to see "a good, Christian man in the White House. Because... uh... just look at the pickle all those Buddhists, Atheists, agnostics, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians presidents have gotten us into.

When I pointed out that we we already had one of those in the White House--good, Christian George W. Bush, the man South Carolinians helped elect in 2000 and 2004--and that things haven't been going so well, there was a momentary silence before the fundamentalist version of the Great Walk Back began.

Conservative pundits have been pointing to George Bush's prescription drug program and out-of-control spending and insisting that, despite what they believed/wrote/said about Bush, George W. Bush is not a real conservative. Yeah, right. What they're doing, of course, is absolving themselves of any responsibility for the disasters that Bush has inflicted on the country by insisting that Bush isn't one of them, never was, uh-uh.

Religious conservatives are doing the same thing. They voted for George W. Bush because he was a good Christian and being a good Christian is the chief qualification for the Oval Office. A good Christian is going to be a great president because he's a good Christian. But George W. Bush has been a terrible president--and many of them recognize that.

So what to do next? Instead of reexamining the criteria they've applied in the past--a process that might lead them to conclude that good &amp Christian isn't nearly as important as, oh, smart &amp competent--and look for other qualities in a candidate, a lot of fundamentalist voters in South Carolina have concluded that George W. Bush isn't a real good Christian. One person we interviewed insisted that George W. Bush wasn’t just a poor Christian, but not a Christian at all."

This, Dan, Is What We Call the "Bible." But you can call it the "U.S. Constitution."

Is it just me, or is anyone else mildly amazed that the anyone is still running for office as a Republican? They've got no answer for "Hey, aren't you the guys who gave us George Bush?".

evil pope cat costume
Craftster Best of 2007 includes "My Cat's Evil Pope Costume".
Via Neatorama

Red Room
Twin Peak's Black Lodge in Lego
Via Primitive Screwheads

We Will Never be as Weird as the Japanese

USAVICH vol.1-vol.5
Via militant platypus

Huckabee = Radical Cleric
"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that's what we need to do is amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than trying to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family."

Good luck with that rewrite, Huckster. You'll notice that not even Cheney has tried to go that far. He just ignores it.

Huckabee Wants A "Faith-based" Constitution
Via Signs Of Witness

Good Practice for Zombies


How Many Five Year Olds Could You Take In a Fight?
Via linkfilter.net

Gingerbread is so Over
model house made of meat
Nice Meat House
Via J-Walk Blog

And Now You Do
100 things we didn't know last year (BBC)
Via Fimoculous

Odd Couple
The octopus who loves his Mr Potato Head
Via jwz

Corpse Wheeled to Check-Cashing Store Leads to 2 Arrests

Not Cool
Believe it or not, the IT guy at the South Pole has a big problem with computers overheating.
Via Slashdot

Fetch the Slipper, Watson, the Game's Afoot!
Fly Oceanic Air

I'd Better Get Funnier

Utility Fog Blog is the #1 result for the Google search for "funny blog entries"