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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no. we're not that kgb.
The Carbolic Smoke Ball
Superb satire, and based in Pittsburgh!
"No religious Test shall ever be required as a
Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the
Article VI, U.S. Constitution
Geek of the Week, 7/16/2000
Cruel Site of the Day, 7/15/2000
"a breezy writing style and a cool mix of tidbits"
Our riveting and morally compelling...
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Saturday, May 13, 2006
Avenging Unicorn Play Set?
"Everyone wants an imaginary unicorn friend that they can call forth to smite their enemies.
"The Avenging Unicorn Play Set has everything you need to use the power of the unicorn to rid your life of irritations. Put the posable hard vinyl unicorn on a flat surface and then impale one of three soft vinyl figures included (businessman/boss, new age lady and mime).
"Also includes four interchangeable horns (classic spiral, chrome, glow and pearlescent)."
(The mime is a nice touch, but if they had included a clown figure, I would have forked over the $12.95. Via the Robot Wisdom web site.)
Quote of the day
In a survey, two out of three women said they'd had sex with someone in
their office. I can't even get the toner cartridge to go in the copier.
Friday, May 12, 2006
Quote of the day
Corrupted by wealth and power, your government is like a restaurant with
only one dish. They've got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set
of Democratic waiters on the other side. But no matter which set of waiters
brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall
(via The Sanity Inspector on the alt.quotations Usenet newsgroup.)
The anticipation builds...
Forget Superman Returns. The summer movie America is awaiting breathlessly is the Samuel L. Jackson thriller Snakes on a Plane. The official poster is above; the link takes you to rottentomatoes.com's most recent news about the flick.
The downside to all this is Snakes will probably inspire a score of syntactically similar concept films.
Hollywood? Please don't.
What makes this movie irresistable is the thought of hearing Jackson yell into a telephone, (non-work-safe photo) "We got m*****f*****' snakes on the m*****f*****' plane!!"
That, I'll pay to see. But Gerbils in a Leather Bar? I'll pass.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Six Degrees of Terrorism
Steven Otte on the ABC World News Now discussion group shows how easy it is to get yourself linked to a terrorist:
"Who wants to play "Six Degrees of Terrorism?" I'll start.
"I interviewed former CIA chief Porter Goss while he was still a Florida Congressman. Porter Goss has been in national security meetings with Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld met and shook hands with Saddam Hussein back when he was our guy vs. Iran. The administration says (maybe wrongly) that Saddam has met with Ayman al-Zawahri. al-Zawahri has met and trained with Osama bin Laden. Bingo!
"Five degrees! Hah! Beat that!
"This is a much shorter list if, during his tenure as a regular CIA operative (before running for office), Porter Goss met with Osama while he was still our guy vs. the Russkies occupying Afghanistan. It's possible, but unverifiable."
(...and since it's pretty likely you know someone who's met a sitting Congressman or U.S. Senator, you're still within the six degrees.)
Late physicist quotes of the day
(Richard Feynman: May 11, 1918 - February 15, 1988)
[I]f you've got to add the word "science" to the name of the field then it ain't one.
[Y]ou cannot prove a vague theory wrong.
Anyone who understands quantum mechanics hasn't studied it long enough.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.
How can a man of integrity get along in Washington?
I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.
Listen, buddy, if I could tell you in a minute what I did, it wouldn't be worth the Nobel Prize.
My life changed forever the day I realized I was not responsible for how others see me.
Science is like sex: sometimes something useful comes out, but that is not the reason we are doing it.
Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts.
The theoretical broadening which comes from having many humanities subjects on the campus is offset by the general dopiness of the people who study these things...
The truth always turns out to be simpler than you thought.
There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.
There is a computer disease that anybody who works with computers knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is that you play with them.
Bye Bye Bananas
A future with no bananas?
(from New Scientist)
Go bananas while you still can. The world's most popular fruit (actually, it's the world's largest herb.-KGB) and the fourth most important food crop of any sort is in deep trouble. Its genetic base, the wild bananas and traditional varieties cultivated in India, has collapsed.
Virtually all bananas traded internationally are of a single variety, the Cavendish, the genetic roots of which lie in India. Three years ago, New Scientist revealed that the world Cavendish crop was threatened by pandemics of diseases such as that caused by the black sigatoka fungus. The main hope for survival of the Cavendish lies in developing new hybrids resistant to the fungus, but this is a difficult and time-consuming task because the seedless modern fruit does not reproduce sexually and has to be bred from cuttings.
Now the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned that wild banana species are rapidly going extinct as Indian forests are destroyed, while many traditional farmers' varieties are also disappearing. It could take a global effort to save the bananas' gene pool.
In fact many of the genes that could save the Cavendish may already have been lost, says NeBambi Lutaladio, a plant scientist at the FAO's headquarters in Rome, Italy. One variety that contains genes that resist black sigatoka survives as a single plant in the botanical gardens of Calcutta, he says.
Quote of the day
Men do cry- but only when assembling furniture.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Quote of the Day
All I wanted to do is make guys' penises three inches longer, and I'm the bad guy?
Read the story here. (via Alan Hamilton on the ABC World News Now mailing list.)
It's just a matter of time...
... until someone says, "Can you give me your card?" at which point, I produce:
It's worth the wait.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
While on the subject of lost socks...
Lost socks or orgasms...
Today is Lost Sock Memorial Day here in the U.S. In Esperantina, Brazil it's Orgasm Day.
This is one of those tea and cake or death decisions.
Monday, May 08, 2006
Totally useless things to buy just to be able to tell someone you have them #1
Puzzling headling of the day
Cheney Promotes Democratic Reform Overseas
Uh... we reform it over there, so we don't have to reform it here at home?
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Is Lost A Repeat This Week?
For the answer, just visit this elegantly designed website:
(via Zay Smith at the Chicago Sun Times.)
Jumping out of the hole and into the abyss...
Our country's self-parodying administration continues its transmogrification into an endless Monty Python sketch- and not a particularly funny one.
With warrantless wiretapping, the President's assertion that the laws of our nation don't apply to him, and the continuing erosion of our civil rights, who better to lead the Central Intelligence Agency than the general who ran the National Security Agency's illegal surveillance program?
Gen. Michael Hayden, currently the top deputy of National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, also is- shall we say- constitutionally challenged. Consider the following January exchange between Hayden and reporter Jonathan Landay:
Landay: "...the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to violate an American's right against unreasonable searches and seizures..."
Gen. Hayden: "No, actually - the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure."
Landay: "But the --"
Gen. Hayden: "That's what it says."
Landay: "The legal measure is probable cause, it says."
Gen. Hayden: "The Amendment says: unreasonable search and seizure."
Landay: "But does it not say 'probable cause'?"
Gen. Hayden [exasperated, scowling]: "No! The Amendment says unreasonable search and seizure."
Landay: "The legal standard is probable cause, General -- "
Gen. Hayden [indignant]: "Just to be very clear ... mmkay... and believe me, if there's any Amendment to the Constitution that employees of the National Security Agency are familiar with, it's the Fourth. Alright? And it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment. The constitutional standard is 'reasonable'."
One hopes that since January, someone has pointed out to the good general that you have to read all of the amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
This attention deficit disorder approach the administration uses to interpret the Constitution does explain a lot, though. Consider the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law..."
Well, there ya go. Case closed.
(See Anthony Citrano's The Cosmic Tap for a full discussion of Hayden's selective memory disorder.)
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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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