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, July 26, 2008
The "look in the mirror, you moron" quote of the day
"No regime should ignore the will of its own people and calls from the international community without consequences."
-President George W. Bush, explaining with head-exploding ironic hypocrisy why he approved additional sanctions against the government of Zimbabwe?s President Robert Mugabe.
Quotes of the day, birthday edition
I'd rather be dead than singing "Satisfaction" when I'm forty-five.
-Mick Jagger (July 26, 1943)
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
-Aldous Huxley (July 26, 1894-November 22, 1963)
(C.S. Lewis died on the same day, but he and Huxley's passings were barely noted because of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.)
Reason alone does not suffice.
-Carl Jung (July 26, 1875-June 6, 1961)
You see things as they are and ask, "Why?" I dream things as they never were and ask, "Why not?"
-George Bernard Shaw (July 26, 1856-, November 2, 1950)
Friday, July 25, 2008
Surrealistic post of the week
From KGB's good buddy and guy on the inside, The Covert Comic:
"Michelangelo, and a guy named Guido, each obtained their marble from the same Italian quarry. But what each man saw in that marble made the difference between a statue gathering dust in a museum, and the calcite nano-compounds that saved our galaxy from the dreaded Venusian Hell-Beam."
(Venusians have WMDs? Oh Lord, please don't let them have oil, too. By the way CC, do the federales have a file on me? She Who Must Be Obeyed But So Far Hasn't Ordered Anything Too Over The Top is certain of it. If they do, do I retain the subsidiary rights?)
Quotes of the day
Eric Hoffer (July 25, 1902 (or 1898) - May 21, 1983)
A society becomes stagnant when its people are too rational or too serious to be tempted by baubles.
Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.
An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head.
Far more crucial than what we know or what we do not know is what we do not want to know.
Humility is not renunciation of pride but the substitution of one pride for another.
In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.
It is a perplexing and unpleasant truth that when men have something worth fighting for, they do not feel like fighting.
It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor.
It is the malady of our age that the young are so busy teaching us that they have no time left to learn.
It is when power is wedded to chronic fear that it becomes formidable.
Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experiences as a sinner.
Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.
Our passionate preoccupation with the sky, the stars, and a God somewhere in outer space is a homing impulse. We are drawn back to where we came from.
Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.
Rudeness is now serving as a substitute for power, for faith, and for achievement.
Self-righteousness is a loud din raised to drown the voice of guilt within us.
Sometimes it seems that people hear best what we do not say.
The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do.
The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep.
The compulsion to take ourselves seriously is in inverse proportion to our creative capacity. When the creative flow dries up, all we have left is our importance.
The fear of becoming a has-been keeps some people from becoming anything.
The greatest weariness comes from work not done.
The Greeks invented logic but were not fooled by it.
The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.
The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.
The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.
The so-called nonconformists travel in groups and woe unto him who doesn't conform.
The true believer is eternally incomplete, eternally insecure.
The well-adjusted make poor prophets.
There are no chaste minds. Minds copulate wherever they meet.
There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail.
There is a tendency to judge a race, a nation or any distinct group by its least worthy members.
To know a person's religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance.
To the intellectual, America's unforgivable sin is that it has revolutions without revolutionaries, and achieves the momentous in a matter-of-fact way.
Unlimited opportunities can be as potent a cause of frustration as a paucity or lack of opportunities.
We can remember minutely and precisely only the things which never really happened to us.
We cannot win the weak by sharing our wealth with them. They feel our generosity as oppression.
We clamor for equality chiefly in matters in which we ourselves cannot hope to obtain excellence.
We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.
We usually see only the things we are looking for- so much so that we sometimes see them where they are not.
When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.
When there is the necessary technical skill to move mountains, there is no need for the faith that moves mountains.
You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
You cannot gauge the intelligence of an American by talking with him.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Quotes of the day
Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.
-Amelia Earhart (July 24, 1897 - missing July 2, 1937)
Why on earth would anyone want to buy
Amelia Earhart luggage?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Mental health encounter of the day
So I arrive at the shrink's office for my quarterly bolt-tightening and dosage adjustment wearing the above, a Christmas present my son gave me a few years ago. I was commuting then between Chicago and Pittsburgh, two cities whose rabid sports fans often react unpredictably when encountering someone wearing non-local sports colors. The cap had the advantage of a) making me look like sports fan, b) being entirely non-committal, and c) making a subtle comment about my complete disinterest in professional sports.
But I digress. The office person looks at my hat, then at me with a puzzled expression.
"Oh," I said. "The hat. He's helping me work through some commitment issues."
And speaking of psychiatric humor, from this month's Reader's Digest... a patient tells the shrink he thinks he has CDO. "Don't you mean OCD?" the doctor asks.
"CDO. I put it in alphabetical order."
Headline of the day
Quote of the day
It can't end like this. Tell them I said something.
-last words of Pancho Villa (attrib.) (June 5, 1878 - July 23, 1923)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Batman never really changes...
Inane quote of the day
We have a lot of work to do. It's a very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the Iraq-Pakistan border.
Some would say it's an impossible struggle, given that there is no Iraq-Pakistan border:
Know what I'd like to see? I'd like to see someone present McCain with a blank map of the middle east and ask him to write in the names of the countries. Perhaps then the media will realize this guy is clueless.
I could really use one of these...
(Pam Panchak/Pitsburgh Post-Gazette photo)
I've been trying for years to convince my neighbors that instead of all the duplicative grass-cutting efforts, we should chip in, buy a sheep, and just move it from yard to yard during the summer. My brilliant suggestion was foiled by infernal details: zoning laws, waste collection, etc.
Ah, but the geniuses at the Robotics Institute at CMU have devised a perfect solution.
I just wonder if it leaves little batteries all over the grass...
Quote of the day
Money-giving is a very good criterion of a person's mental health. Generous people are rarely mentally ill people.
-Karl Menninger (July 22, 1893-July 18, 1990)
Monday, July 21, 2008
Quotes of the Day
Ernest Hemingway, July 21, 1899-July 2, 1961
[T]hat is the great fallacy; the wisdom of old men. They do not grow wise. They grow careful.
A big lie is more plausible than truth.
A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.
All good books have one thing in common- they are truer than if they had really happened.
Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
America is the land of wide lawns and narrow minds.
An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his friends.
But in modern war...you will die like a dog for no good reason.
But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.
Fear of death increases in exact proportion to increase in wealth.
Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.
I [like to write letters] because it's such a swell way to keep from working and yet feel you've done something.
If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it.
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.
Never mistake motion for action.
Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime. Ask the infantry and ask the dead.
Nobody knows what's in him until he tries to pull it out. If there's nothing, or very little, the shock can kill a man.
One cat just leads to another.
The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector. This is the writer's radar and all great writers have had it.
The sole purpose of the cabaret is for unattached men to find complaisant women. All the rest is a wasting of time in bad air.
The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong at the broken places.
There is no such thing as safety. There are so many seeking safety here now that they make a great danger. In seeking safety now you lose all.
To be a successful father there's one absolute rule: when you have a kid, don't look at it for the first two years.
When some people hear an echo, they think they originated the sound.
When you give power to an executive you do not know who will be filling that position when the time of crisis comes.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Technology comment of the day...
Nearly everyone who had an iPhone at the TED Conference this year, also had a Blackberry. I had the STRONG feeling that the Blackberry was the wife and iPhone was the mistress...
-Linda Stone (on Dave Farber's Interesting Persons mailing list)
39 years ago today...
Apollo 11 lands on the moon: July 20, 1969
(Apollo 16 pictured above.)
Copyright © 1987-2015 by Kevin G. Barkes
All rights reserved.
Violators will be prosecuted.
The email@example.com e-mail address is now something other than firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that firstname.lastname@example.org was no longer email@example.com but rather firstname.lastname@example.org which is longer than email@example.com and more letters to type than firstname.lastname@example.org and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than email@example.com but actually just as functional as firstname.lastname@example.org? I sent e-mails from the email@example.com address to just about everybody I knew who had used firstname.lastname@example.org in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the email@example.com change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which firstname.lastname@example.org was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for email@example.com would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that firstname.lastname@example.org no longer is the email@example.com they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. firstname.lastname@example.org. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...
440 pages, over 11,000 quotations!
get kgb krap!