Conceived above a saloon, delivered into this world by a masked man identified by his heavily sedated mother as Captain Video, raised by a kindly West Virginian woman, a mild-mannered former reporter with modest delusions of grandeur and no tolerance of idiots and the intellectually dishonest.
network solutions made me a child pornographer!
The sordid details...
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Superb satire, and based in Pittsburgh!
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Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Study Reveals Pittsburgh Unprepared for Zombie Attack
From this week's Onion:
PITTSBURGH-A zombie-preparedness study, commissioned by Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy and released Monday, indicates that the city could easily succumb to a devastating zombie attack. Insufficient emergency-management-personnel training and poorly conceived undead-defense measures have left the city at great risk for all-out destruction at the hands of the living dead, according to the Zombie Preparedness Institute.
"When it comes to defending ourselves against an army of reanimated human corpses, the officials in charge have fallen asleep at the wheel," Murphy said. "Who's in charge of sweep-and-burn missions to clear out infected areas? Who's going to guard the cemeteries at night? If zombies were to arrive in the city tomorrow, we'd all be roaming the earth in search of human brains by Friday."
Government-conducted zombie-attack scenarios described on the State Department's website indicate that a successful, citywide zombie takeover would take 10 days, but according to ZPI statistician Dr. Milton Cornelius, the government's models fail to incorporate such factors as the zombies' rudimentary reasoning skills and basic tool use.
"Today's zombies quickly learn to open doors, break windows, and stage ambushes," Cornelius said. "In one 1985 incident in Louisville, a band of zombies was able to lure four paramedics and countless law-enforcement officials to their deaths by commandeering an ambulance radio and calling for backup."
ZPI researchers noted that tens of thousands of Pittsburgh citizens live in close proximity to a cemetery. This fact, coupled with abnormally high space-radiation levels in eastern Pennsylvania and ongoing traffic issues in the East Hills and Larimer areas, led Cornelius to declare the likelihood of a successful evacuation as "slight to impossible."
"The designated evacuation routes would be hopelessly clogged, leaving many no choice but to escape by foot," Cornelius said. "Add a single lurching zombie into that easily panicked crowd and you've got a nightmare scenario."
Cornelius' model shows that after the ensuing stampede, "the zombie could pick and choose his victims," and predicts the creation of hundreds of new undead "in a single half-hour feeding frenzy."
Pittsburgh's structural defenses are particularly inadequate. The city's emergency safe houses, established by a city ordinance in the early '70s, lack even the most basic fortifications for zombie invasion.
"Under the ordinance, wooden tool sheds and rusty station wagons are classified as adequate shelter," Cornelius said. "But once dozens of zombies hungering for living flesh begin pounding on the walls and driving their half-decomposed fists through the windows, sheds and cars quickly give way."
Federal Undead Management Agency spokesperson Dr. Sheena Aurora downplayed the ZPI report, arguing that zombies move slowly and can be easily overpowered. Aurora advised citizens to look over their shoulders frequently, adding that a large shopping mall can serve as a "long-term, even fun" refuge from zombies.
Such assertions alarm zombiologist Olivier Baptiste, who calls FUMA's information "hopelessly outdated."
"Dr. Aurora's claims are based on decades-old zombie models, " Baptiste said. "Widely released evidence from recent years clearly shows that zombies can run just as fast, if not faster, than a living human."
Added Baptiste: "That FUMA trains its field agents to shoot zombies in the torso, rather than the head, demonstrates just how out of touch the government is."
Evans City, PA Police Chief Gino Fulci said zombie preparedness comes down to training on the local level.
"Children need to be taught from preschool that they might have to put a bullet between the eyes of their own undead mother, " Fulci said. "'Destroy The Brain' banners should be hung above the entrances of schools, churches, and town halls everywhere."
Cornelius recommends that Pittsburgh residents prepare a " go-bag" containing a Glock 17 pistol and 50 rounds of ammunition. If leaving the house is not an option, Cornelius advises residents to barricade all first-story doors and windows, and have at least one method of suicide prepared, should zombies successfully breach the home.
The major cause of many problems in US is... religion?
Disraeli supposedly said there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics, but these are numbers that really don't lend themselves to spun interpretations.
Jonathan Larsen used to be a producer on ABC's late-night World News Now during its halcyon days, when the anchors were a pre-gravitas Anderson Cooper and bawdy-but-nice Juju Chang. Juju's recently been spotted anchoring the Sunday morning version of Good Morning America and Mr. Cooper is, of course, the potential saviour of broadcast journalism. Someone better burn the World News Now tape library. The perception of Anderson may change when they drag out the Thanksgiving show in which, during a how to use leftovers segment, he fashions a pair of earmuffs from turkey drumsticks. Or his interview with the publisher of "Everyone Poops." Or the bit with the drunken sock puppet. Or that incident with the Elizabeth Vargas cutout under the desk. Sigh. Those were the days.
Monday, October 17, 2005
That Was The Year That Was
I remember this show fondly, even though I was only nine years old when it first appeared. I even remembered the melody of the theme song, the lyrics of which changed every week- a musical recap of current news events. And it was my first exposure to Tom Lehrer, whose album That Was The Year That Was, composed of songs he wrote for the show, is still in print 40 years later. In many ways, it's the spiritual grandfather of The Daily Show, and worth a listen.
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The firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address is now something other than email@example.com saga.
kgbreport.com used to be kgb.com until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up kgb.com and adopting kgbreport.com created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the kgb.com domain name in 1993, and had since that time used firstname.lastname@example.org as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that email@example.com was no longer firstname.lastname@example.org but rather email@example.com which is longer than firstname.lastname@example.org and more letters to type than email@example.com and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than firstname.lastname@example.org but actually just as functional as email@example.com? I sent e-mails from the firstname.lastname@example.org address to just about everybody I knew who had used email@example.com in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the firstname.lastname@example.org change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which email@example.com was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for firstname.lastname@example.org would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that email@example.com no longer is the firstname.lastname@example.org they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. email@example.com. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...
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