"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


Bo Diddley - Hey, Bo Diddley and Bo Diddley

Via {feuilleton}

Serious Dogs
You Better Have a Pocket Full of Porkchops
Via Snuzzy

Frozen Donkey Wheel
The Top 30 "WTF?!" Moments in LOST History
Via The Tail Section

Giant Sand Art
giant desert sand drawing

3 miles across, 100 miles and 7 days of walking - "freehand"

The Largest Human-Made Art on Earth

Magic Smoke
$500 audio cable - Flim Flam
Snarky Reviews - Priceless

Via Bifurcated Rivets


"Simply, Mexico is in a guerrilla war and the majority (54%, in a recent Reforma poll) of the population thinks the narco-guerrillas are winning. Last month, the guerrillas decimated the senior staff of Mexico's law enforcement organizations and there are threats of more assassinations to come. In small towns, policemen are resigning en masse as the drug gangs continue their killing spree. Placards and banners are openly displayed in town streets promising death to the police that oppose the drug gangs and/or offers to recruit anybody with military experience.

Calderon's effort to crush the syndicates has backfired. As the top leadership of the syndicates were arrested or killed, a myriad of smaller and more violent groups have emerged to replace them (as predicted by global guerrilla theory). Currently, the groups are fighting each other more than the government, which has reduced their effectiveness. That will slowly change as territories are become fixed, connected to the primary loyalties of village or neighborhood. Eventually, a fully formed open source insurgency will emerge and the government might find itself only in command of the capital. At that point, Mexico will be a hollow state. A government in name only. This is going to be interesting to watch.

NOTE: The only existential threat the US faces in the near term, is from global guerrillas in Mexico and not the Middle East. A breakdown there could result in massive population movements, refugee centers, and the spread of guerrilla warfare into US border states. "

But, but, we've got a giant wall to protect us! And lots and lots of aircraft carriers.

Global Guerrillas

Keep Your Head Down and Your Mouth Shut

"Four young residents of a North Philadelphia house who circulated petitions questioning police-surveillance cameras were rousted from their home Friday and detained 12 hours without charges while police searched their house.

Daniel Moffat, 28, a co-owner of the house, said police had no warrant when they entered. The house was examined by officials from several government agencies and then shuttered by the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections.

"This leaves me homeless, without access to things I need. My whole life is disrupted," Moffat said yesterday.

The raid on the property on Ridge Avenue near Parrish Street was led by 9th District Police Capt. Dennis Wilson, who was quoted in an online story by the City Paper as saying of the residents: "They're a hate group. We're trying to drum up charges against them, but unfortunately we'll probably have to let them go.""

Who needs some guy making audio tapes from a cave in Pakistan when you have the Philadelphia PD?

Moscow on the Schuylkill: Philly cops bust activists...for what?
Via Futurismic

There's ice on Mars
Via kottke.org

Wait...I'm in a Mall? WTH?
David Levine has infected me with the Zombie Meme:

"You are in a mall when the zombies attack. You have:

  • 1. one weapon.
  • 2. one song blasting on the speakers.
  • 3. one famous person to fight alongside you.

* Weapon can be real or fictional; you may assume endless ammo if applicable. Person can be real or fictional.

Weapon: The BFG 10000 from Quake III. Best. Weapon. Evar.
Song: "Bat out of Hell" by Meatloaf. Nothing rocks more.
Person: Harrison Ford as... oh, I'm not sure. Han's more ruthless but Indy's more indestructible. Maybe Super President from Air Force One, who is both ruthless and indestructible plus, as a special added bonus, can call in a nuclear strike, just in case."

So, let's start the festivities:

Weapon: Kzinti Variable Sword-Instant zombie sushi.
Song: "Walk on Hot Coals" by Rory Gallagher, the Irish Tour '74 version, please.
Person: Jet Li seems to be taken already. I thought about Superman, but that seems too easy: I could be armed with a licorice whip and humming tunelessly if I'm packing that kind of backup. I pick Special Agent Dana Scully. She's smart (doctor!), tough, weapons trained, and of course..."Last Man on Earth".

Cracking Wise
I'm digging the hep new Middle Man show. It's chock full of snappy patter and snark.

Funky Cabbage

"Without kimchi, Korea would not be the same country---there might be a nation in the same place, and it might even be called the same thing, but it would not be Korea.

If you think I'm exaggerating, you haven't been to Korea. It's enough that the stuff is ubiquitous: outside of Western-style fast food, there is not a single meal eaten here that does not somehow incorporate kimchi. According to the International Herald Tribune, Koreans eat more than 1.6 million tons of kimchi every year. But it's more than its presence on tables that makes it so important and so prevalent. Fat brown kimchi pots and huge bales of leafy green cabbage are mainstays of the Korean countryside, giving it its own contours and mood. The ajummas hunched in the field, digging radishes and scallions for the winter gimjang out of the soil with thin trowels, are Korea's iconic naifs, Millet's gleaners dressed in blue polyurethane visors and floral blouses. When Koreans pose for photos, it's not cheese they invoke to bring smiles to the faces of the subjects, but "Kimchi!" Kimchi is monumental in a way that no prepared North American foodstuff can ever hope to be---it is a touchstone of Korean life, the leafy skein from which the country's history and self-image has been woven."

On Kimchi
Via MetaFilter

Just Another Day

"Their model suggests that new universes could be created spontaneously from apparently empty space. From inside the parent universe, the event would be surprisingly unspectacular.

Describing the team's work at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in St Louis, Missouri, co-author Professor Sean Carroll explained that "a universe could form inside this room and we'd never know". "

Take that, mundane reality!

Hints of 'time before Big Bang'

Chihuahuas don't cure asthma

Civics 101

"That a law invalidated by a court is supported by a large majority is not an argument supporting the conclusion that the court's decision was wrong. Central to our system of government is the premise that there are laws which even the largest majorities are prohibited from enacting because such laws violate the constitutional rights of minorities. Thus, the percentage of people who support the law in question, and how long and pain-staking the process was that led to the law's enactment, is totally irrelevant in assessing the propriety of a court decision striking down that law on constitutional grounds.

Contrary to Wittes' extremely confused argument, a court striking down a law supported by large majorities is not antithetical to our system of government. Such a judicial act is central to our system of government. That's because, strictly speaking, the U.S. is not a "democracy" as much as it a "constitutional republic," precisely because constitutional guarantees trump democratic majorities. This is all just seventh-grade civics, something that the Brookings scholar, Wittes, and those condemning the California court's decision on similar grounds seem to have forgotten.

The duty -- the central obligation -- of judges faithfully applying the law and fulfilling their core duties is to strike down laws that violate the Constitution, without regard to what percentage of the population supports that law, and without regard to whether it would be "better" in some political sense if democratic majorities some day got around to changing their minds about it. It's perfectly appropriate for, say, marriage equality advocates to take into account whether it would be preferable, in some political or strategic sense, to achieve gay marriage only once there is majority support for it. But that is a completely inappropriate factor for a judge to consider, because the judge's sole consideration is whether the law is consistent with Constitutional protections."

Whenever I come across the phrase "activist judges" my bullshit detector lights up.

The California marriage decision and basic civics

No Reason...Just Wondering
Zombie bites a Vampire

Happy Face
21 Best Mugshots Evar
Via MonkeyFilter

Real World Applications
The world (or at least the news media) is all agog with monkeys controlling mechanical arms with their thoughts.

But I've seen nada about Joe Internet's concerns:

  • When will this tech be used in videogames?
  • Can it be used for pr0n?
  • Is this another step down the slippery slope to the Terminator?

David Gerrold's website reports that he's going to turn the 5th Chtorr book, "A Method for Madness", in to his publisher in Octorber 2008.

I just hope the next 2 books don't take this long.

Via pianodwarf
Now I can only dream of some action on Thomas Harlan's "Land of the Dead"