Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Face of Evil

The kid in this photo is five year old Édgar Enrique Hernández. Edgar lives in a small village in central Mexico. And while he may look sweet and innocent, it's important to remember that Hitler was cute as a kid, too.

Edgar has the misfortune of being identified as the earliest known victim of the current swine flu fad sweeping the planet. There may have been other, earlier victims in his village but, well, they're kinda dead and buried. All the Tamiflu in the world ain't gonna help them at this point.

La Gloria, the village in which he lives, is in an area with a lot of hog farms. Residents say that on some days, dust from the farms will blow into town and cover everything. Health experts seem to think that it was in this area that the new flu virus made the leap from animal to man.

U.S. navy sniper teams have been dispatched to La Gloria, but it is believed that Edgar has already gone into hiding.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fork Off

Did I ever tell you that I used to work at Home Depot? Yup. Drove a forklift. In fact, here's some footage of my last day on the job.

Westboro Baptist Church
Comes Out in Support of My Argument

Is there a wackier bunch of religious fruitcakes in this country than the Westboro Baptist Church?

That's the group that's best known for showing up at the funerals of servicemembers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, and screaming that our soldiers are dying because God is punishing America for being lenient towards gays.

While I tend to find their tactics tasteless and reprehensible, I do find some merit in their overall message. I have long argued that God has lousy aim. For example, some have said that New Orleans was hit by Hurricane Katrina as punishment for its godless lifestyle. The only problem is that the French Quarter, which is where all the sinful behavior takes place, was spared by the storm. It was the poor black citizens of the city that ended up floating in the streets. Likewise, when Massachusetts legalized same sex marriages, God unleashed his wrath by sending tornadoes to Alabama, located some 1,000 miles away. Consequently, if you want to argue that the lord punishes us for our sinful ways, you also have to accept that for an omnipotent being, he has some really lousy ass aim.

That's why I find Westboro's theory about God's vengeance so fascinating. Because several states in this country have legalized same sex unions, God has decided to punish us by killing our soldiers located halfway around the world!?!? In other words, instead of missing his target by only a thousand miles, God is actually off by TEN thousand miles!!! WOW!!!!! It's truly humbling to have a prestigious group like the Westboro Baptist Church agree with me.

The obvious culprit here is plate tectonics. God is working from a really REALLY old set of maps. However, because of continental drift, his intended targets have moved to the other side of the planet.

Anyway, I bring all this up because the Westboro fun bunch was in town last week. To their credit, however, this time they did not target a funeral. Good thing, because then they might have ended up looking like idiots.

No, this time their target was a high school in Bethesda Maryland. And what, you may ask, did the students do to offend the Westboro folk? Well, their school is named after the poet Walt Whitman. So what's the problem, you ask? Shame on you for not knowing, you godless heathen!!! May you burn in hell for all eternity!!! As punishment for your wicked ways, God will unleash an earthquake upon some unsuspecting village in China!!!

Where was I? Oh, right. Walt Whitman the poet may or may not have been a homosexual. No one is quite sure, but the possibility is there.

So there you have it. That's why the group left their home base in Kansas and drove halfway across the country. They wanted to visit a school named after someone of questionable sexual orientation.

If you ask me, the members of Westboro Baptist Church spend a suspiciously inordinate amount of time thinking about gay sex.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Plane Truth

Someone in the U.S. government evidently decided this would be a good time to stage a photo-op using a low flying presidential 747 and a fighter jet. And where to do this? Well, why not over New York city?

The result was panic in lower Manhattan yesterday. Skyscrapers on both sides of the Hudson River were evacuated and frantic callers flooded 911 lines. Even Wall Street took a temporary hit. This is an understandable reaction for a city still raw over the September 11th attacks.

Part of the problem was that the FAA, in its eternal wisdom, decided that for security reasons only a limited number of agencies were to be notified of the event ahead of time. Consequently the public wasn't expecting it.

The purpose of the fly-by of the Statue of Liberty was to update stock photos of Air Force One. The old one had the plane flying over Mount Rushmore, so why not do one of the presidential jet flying by Lady Liberty?

Evidently whoever thought this up has never heard of Photoshop.

Anyway, it should be noted that President Obama was not on the plane, nor did he know about the fly-by beforehand. The White House issued an apology later in the day.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Only in DC

So I get a trip this morning going from Virginia into DC to Union Station. Traffic is fine until we get to the Roosevelt Bridge, which carries traffic from interstate 66 across the Potomac. Once across the river, it more or less dumps you on Constitution Avenue. This morning, however, we only got about halfway across before everything came to a crawl. I'm figuring it's an accident, until I notice the sea of firetrucks and police cars along Constitution. There were also a couple of TV news trucks with those big antennas thrown in for good measure. That's when I notice the banner.

There's a construction site on the NW corner of 23rd and Constitution, with the State Department on the NE corner (that's the building on the right hand side of the photo at the end of this post). There was big banner hanging from one of two big cranes. It was a picture of the planet Earth with the caption "Too big to fail." Clever, I was thinking, but why the big emergency response? That's when I noticed the two objects hanging from the bottom corners of the banner: People. Two morons were actually hanging from this damn thing.

According to the Post article (there's also a better photo of the banner), it was a protest organized by Greenpeace and timed to correspond with some sort of economic forum taking place at the State Department. The protesters were apparently hoping to draw attention to environmental needs as well.

But did they really accomplish what they wanted? People trying to get to work were left steaming in traffic. So instead of merely drawing attention to their cause, the protesters instead succeeded in pissing off a lot of people. That was certainly the case with me. In fact, I spent the rest of day throwing trash out of the car while needlessly gunning the engine.

And suppose there had been a major fire in the area? With so much rescue equipment tied up because of these idiots, not to mention the traffic jams, there would have been serious problems.

My passenger and I were fortunate in that we got through the are shortly after the protest started. I took took a different route back out of the city and met up with 66 on the other side of the Potomac. By then it looked like the traffic was backed up at least a mile. Plus, with the protest now all over the news and traffic reports, many motorists tried taking alternate routes, jamming those as well.

Did these protesters stop to think about the consequences of their actions? Aside from pissing off potential supporters, did it occur to them that all the thousands of cars forced to needlessly sit in traffic were throwing even MORE CO2 into the atmosphere? Wouldn't it be a hoot if their actions were the final push needed to finally melt the ice caps and doom the Earth?

Maybe Greenpeace should stick with saving the whales.

Come Flu With Me

A brand new strain of swine flu has been identified in Mexico. The previously unknown virus is a mix of previous strains that had individually infected pigs, birds, and humans. What makes this new variation so dangerous is that--unlike the SARS virus from a few years ago--it is apparently spreading easily from human to human. Out of about 1,000 known victims, 68 have died. That number makes it a particularly dangerous flu. A state of emergency has all but shut down Mexico City, with all sorts of public gatherings being canceled. The few people that have ventured outdoors have resorted to wearing surgical masks.

Like most Mexicans, the new bug is paying no mind to international borders. Several cases of swine flu been identified in the U.S. though none have proven fatal.... So far. As a precaution, schools where the virus has surfaced have been closed down in an effort to halt its spread. A cluster of cases has even been identified in New Zealand. It was among a group of students that had recently returned from a trip to Mexico.

Meanwhile, alarmed that another nation has come up with a new type of flu that is inducing worldwide panic, China has filed a lawsuit claiming patent infringement.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Getting Them to Talk

Friday, April 24, 2009

Top Ten Things To Shiver Your Timbers By

The surviving Somali pirate from the Maersk Alabama incident has arrived in the U.S. and been formally charged with piracy. Here's Letterman's take on what's probably going through his head.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Maybe It Was an Alaskan Youth Gang Intiation Ceremony

A group of eighth grade students in Alaska have been punished for taunting a moose so severely that it died. Apparently, whatever the kids were doing frightened the animal so much that it repeatedly threw itself against a wall, causing the the fatal injuries. The incident happened on school grounds during gym class, and officials decline to give more details because of privacy concerns.

On the other hand, it's only a matter of time before governor Sarah Palin intervenes and gives a medal to the students involved.

When Stress Takes a Toll

The financial crisis has now apparently claimed a life. David Kellerman, chief finacial officer for Mortgage giant Freddie Mac, was found dead in his northern Virginia home yesterday. According to Fairfax County police, it appears he hung himself in his basement. It's still unclear exactly what prompted his state of despair, but Kellerman had been with the firm for 16 years. He had started at Freddie Mac as a lowly analyst, worked his way up, and was only recently tapped to be the firm's CFO. Kellerman was 41 and leaves behind a wife and young daughter.

Once a high-flying profitable corporation, Freddie Mac has suffered enormous losses over the last year and come under withering criticism for its role in the collapse of the housing market.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Disney Ripoff

Apparently the only pirates in the world aren't located in Somalia. There are also some working at Disney.

Coinciding with Earth Day, Disney is releasing a "new" documentary called Earth. It's being billed as some sort of monumental achievement in filmmaking. There's just one problem: Despite what they've been saying, Disney didn't film the thing.

Disney's Earth is nothing but a re-edited version of a production the BBC spent five painstaking years putting together. It aired in the U.S. last year on the Discovery Channel. The Disney ads I've seen so far conveniently fail to mention that minor detail.

Also, while Disney's version is narrated by James Earl Jones, the original was voiced by Richard Attenborough. That's the version that was released on HD DVD and Blu-Ray, while Sigourney Weaver narrated the regular DVD version (the Attenborough version may now be out on regular DVD as well). Besides, these things always sound more authoritative with a British accent.

So do yourself a favor. Skip the abbreviated Disney ripoff and get your hands on the original full length DVD set--preferably in hi def if you have the equipment. The unadulterated version is a four disc set and runs something like ten hours, but it's well worth watching.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Getting a Grip

Check out this cool image taken by the Chandra x-ray observatory currently orbiting Earth.

It is a picture of a nebula located some 17,000 light years from Earth. If you look at the "wrist" area you can see a bright swirl. That's what's left of a star that exploded about 1700 years ago (in Earth time). It is now a tiny neutron star with an enormous magnetic field, which in turn is giving the various gases their glow.

Or at least that's what the know-it-all scientists with their fancy-schmancy degrees rooted in evil atheistic knowledge say. But what do they know? Just because they went to college and spent years writing dissertations doesn't necessarily make them smart.

Therefore, as a benefit to my vast readership of Christian evangelical theorists who often turn to me for guidance in this hedonistic world of ours, I have come up with an alternate theory: This photo is scientific proof of the hand of God as He prepares to crush an alien world that recently legalized same sex marriage.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Today's Astronomy Lesson

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Yeah? Well, I'm Not Font of You, Either

Last year I decided to give the Comic Sans font a try for a few months. Not sure why, but I've always liked it. After my, er, "sabbatical" this past January, I decided to switch back to something more ordinary. For anyone keeping track, I'm currently using Georgia (well, except for this current post). In fact, here's an article on Matthew Carter, the guy who designed Georgia, Verdana, and a number of others. Apparently, a surprising amount of thought goes into font design.

Anyway, it turns out that a LOT of people really REALLY hate Comic Sans. In fact, there's even an entire movement out there trying to ban it.

Poor Comic Sans. I'm tempted to switch back just to piss everyone off.

Definition of a Twit

Friday, April 17, 2009

Turns Out She's Not Quite a Virgin After All

By now, pretty much everyone with an internet connection has seen the video of Susan Boyles' performance on Britain's Got Talent. Remarkably, she almost left Simon Cowell speechless. And just in case you've been held captive for the past several days by Somali pirates, here it is.

As it turns out, Boyles recorded another song for a charity CD about ten years ago (Full story here). The song is "Cry Me a River," and someone has posted it on YouTube. She has one hell of a voice.

Careful What You Wish For

Thursday, April 16, 2009

'Not Your Father's Star Trek'

I am SO looking forward to May 8!

More Pirates After Your Money

One of the most annoying pop-up ads out there is the one one for Those damn things even manage to plague my Firefox browser (along with Netflix). Well, a couple of weeks ago I finally caved in and signed up for the basic service.

Then I discovered "The Catch."

Since I joined I have gotten two emails saying that people have left messages. And who might these people be? Well, I have no idea. The only way you can check to see who has been trying to contact you is to sign up for the so-called "Gold Membership" which--surprise, surprise--costs money!

I'm not falling for it. I once made the mistake of joining Facebook (or maybe it was Myspace--I can never tell them apart) and within 30 seconds I had a brand new friend!! I was all excited until I discovered that "new friend" was actually the CEO and founder of the website, and he automatically becomes EVERYONE'S friend when you join. Kinda creepy, if you ask me. I'm thinking of taking out a restraining order against him.

I was crushed to discover that I wasn't so special after all, and the entire experience left me broken and cynical. So I'll be damned if I going to cough up $59 for two years only to discover that my messages are actually from someone at welcoming me to the site.

On the other hand, what if it's the cheerleading squad finally offering to let me play with their pom-poms?

Such a dilemma....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's That Time of the Year

A Call to End Needless Animal Testing

Researchers for the united States military have been using live pigs to test armor. They routinely strap the animals into body armor and humvees, then subject them to explosions. The researchers then study the resulting injuries and brain damage to determine how to best protect soldiers.

Folks, this is nothing short of absolutely disgusting. We are supposedly a civilized nation, yet here we are subjecting completely innocent animals to all sorts of trauma and death. This is completely unnecessary, and the American people should be ashamed that their government allows this sort of cruelty to be perpetrated on defenseless creatures.

These animal tests must stop immediately. President Obama needs to step up to the plate and personally apologize for allowing such barbaric behavior.

Then he should do the only honorable thing: Order all the AIG executives who received bonuses to be rounded up, strapped into body armor, and blown up. The resulting data would still help protect America's fighting men and women.

Hell, let's just skip the body armor. No sense wasting money.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Puppy Love

Fire Sale

General Motors is recalling 1.5 million vehicles because of the potential for engine fires. The problem is that a small amount of oil can leak out onto the hot exhaust system, ignite, and burn up the entire car.

Obviously GM hasn't thought this true. With new car sales going down the toilet, is this really the time to institute a major recall of this nature? Clearly the knucklehead who came up with this plan needs to be fired.

After all, what better way to force people to buy a new car than to have the old one burn up?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fox: Infested by Idiots

I have long considered the people at Fox News to be a bunch of idiots. However, I've never really had a problem with the folks at the regular Fox network.... Until now.

Last week they did something so incredibly stupid that it diefies the imagination: They allowed the 8 PM live broadcast of American Idol to go into overtime. Now normally this wouldn't bother me. I'm not a fan of the show, I've never watched, and for all I care, Simon Cowell can go jump in a lake.

However, I am a huge fan of Fringe, which comes on at 9 PM. Or at least it's supposed to come on at 9. However, that's dependent on the people at Fox being reasonably competent.

So when Idol ran seven minutes over, that meant Fringe didn't start until 9:07. And since it's an hour long show, it also means that Fringe didn't end until 10:07. If you're sitting there actually watching the broadcast as it airs, that's no big deal.

But if you're relying on a DVR to record the show for later viewing, it means that you're gonna get screwed when you finally do sit down to watch it. And in this particular case, you get as far as Agent Dunham getting jumped by the bad guy, losing her gun, and.... Nothing. End of story. It's 10 PM, so your DVR just stopped recording and left you twisting in the wind.

And you really can't blame the DVR. After all, it's just a piece of electronic equipment that's doing what it's told to do. Unfortunately that includes making the assemption that the people running the Fox network have an IQ higher than that of a gnat.

Granted, you can change your TiVo settings to record longer than the scheduled time. I've learned to do that whenever Obamaa has one of his press conferences. But as a general rule I avoid the practice because the extra time can create conflicts if you also have something scheduled to record in the following time slot.

Why don't I just go to Hulu and catch the ending there? Quite frankly, the very thought of that scares the piss out of me. I've heard rumors that Hulu is run by aliens, and they'll suck your brains out. Hell, they're probably in a conspiracy with Fox and deliberately arranged to have Idol run over just to increase their pool of victims.

Why Twittering Is Bad for You.... And All of Mankind

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Walking the Plank.... Figuratively

Good news from the Indian Ocean today when an American held hostage by pirates was successfully freed. Apparently snipers aboard a navy destroyer on the scene shot and killed three of the pirates holding the victim. Considering that the pirates were on a small lifeboat bobbing up and down, those could not have easy shots.

Also, more details are beginning to emerge about what happened when the American freighter was first seized. Apparently there was a struggle between the crew and the pirates. It ended only when the ship's captain offered himself up as a hostage in exchange for the safety of his crew.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the pirate group orchestrating these attacks on ships in the area said that there was a lesson to be learned here: "Our friends should have done more to kill the captain before they were killed. This will be a good lesson for us.... From now on, if we capture foreign ships and their respective countries try to attack us, we will kill them (the hostages)."

Hmmm.... He better not hope there isn't a quiz on exactly what was learned today. If anything, what the world has finally discovered is that it's time to stop dicking around with these people. Untold millions of dollars in ransom have been paid over the last several years, and the money has only served to further encourage these hoodlums. The obvious solution is for the world's naval forces to step up patrols in the area. Granted, there's thousands of square miles of ocean to cover, but with a aircraft carriers providing cover, it should be easier to cover.

Hell, why don't the shipping companies hire armed escorts to accompany their ships or convoys? Remember Blackwater from Iraq? Those guys would love to have an excuse to shoot more bad guys.

Additionally, why not set up a 12 mile limit on ship traffic off the coast of Somalia? Anything that ventures beyond that gets stopped and searched, or else it gets blown out of the water. We may not be able to stop every single ship, but so what? Even if we're only intercepting, say, 50 percent of the bad guys, it introduces enough uncertainty for them that piracy loses its appeal.

CSI: Jerusalem

Don't crucify me for this, but I hear that Easter has been canceled.

They found the body.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hitting Bottom?

There are some early signs that the worst of this economic crisis is behind us. Wells Fargo Bank yesterday reported a first quarter profit of three billion dollars. Wells Fargo is one of the nation's largest banks, and the news could signal that the banking industry is starting to stabilize.

Where's Jack Sparrow When You Really Need Him?

The showdown with Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean may be about to get interesting. While the crew of an American cargo ship that was seized last week managed to recapture their ship, the captain remains in the hands of Somali pirates on one of the lifeboats. He made an attempt to jump overboard and swim to a nearby American destroyer but was recaptured.

Meanwhile, more U.S. warships are expected to arrive on the scene shortly. That would normally be the end of the story, except that more pirates are on their way as well. One of their ships is a German vessel with seven hostages on board. Were it not for the captives, the situation would be laughable.

Of course, it would be REALLY embarrassing if the pirates manage to capture an American aircraft carrier during all the confusion.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Modern Technology Saves the Day

So some woman in Florida is at work the other day when she decides to log onto a webcam she recently installed in her home. And what does she see? Several burglars running around in her house. Needless to say, she immediately called police. The actual 911 call is also on the video but hard to hear.

Towards the end of the video you can actually see the cops walk into the house.... And they're not playing.

This version of the video has better audio, but it isn't embeddable.

Volkswagon Joins the War on Terror

George Will: Full of Hot Air

Here's a news flash for George F. Will: Warmer temperatures have been scientifically shown to cause ice to melt.

The conservative columnist recently wrote a column in which he said that Arctic sea ice was at levels equal to the levels seen in 1979. As proof, he cited a study from the University of Illinois. This touched off no small firestorm of controversy among Washington Post readers. The issue was addressed by the paper's ombudsman, who found that the paper's editors had been negligent in their fact checking. Even a scientist at the University of Illinois said that no one from either the paper or Will's staff had contacted them. The bottom line was that Will's interpretation of the study was--to put it politely--flawed. Andrew Freedman, who writes a weather blog, has a pretty good summary of the entire controversy.

To further demonstrate that Will is incredibly selective about his facts, new satellite data shows that Arctic sea ice is continuing to shrink and become thinner. Most alarming, it also shows that ice older than two years--the stuff that doesn't melt during the summer--is at its lowest level on record.

The good news is that the scientists who just a few years ago had said the Arctic would be ice free by 2050 were wrong. The bad news is that they now think that may happen as early as the summer of 2015.

The problem with an ice free north pole--aside from the implications for wildlife in the region--is that open water absorbs much more heat than white ice, which reflects solar radiation. That will only serve to further accelerate global warming. An ice free Arctic may also have unknown effects on worldwide ocean currents, which in turn govern much of our planet's overall climate.

George Will is 68 years old, so chances are good that he'll be gone by the time our world turns to shit. But for those of us who are younger, and especially for our children, the actual scientific data is clearly something to be very, VERY concerned about.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Wonders of Modern Technology

Maybe He Just Needs a Better GPS

It's been a busy week for proponents of gay marriage. Last week the Iowa supreme court legalized same sex marriages in that state. Then yesterday both houses of the Vermont state legislature, controlled by godless Satan worshipping hedonistic pagans (also known as democrats), did the same. Although the state's Republican governor vetoed the measure, it was quickly overridden.

Meanwhile, the DC city council, while not actually legalizing such marriages, did vote to recognize same sex unions made in other states.

Reportedly God is absolutely beside himself and has decided to unleash his almighty wrath against the people of Iowa, Vermont, and DC by sending another flood to North Dakota, located hundreds of miles away.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Proud American Tradition


One of the most obnoxious commercials on American TV at the moment is the one for that ShamWow towel. The pitchman's name is Vince Shlomi, and he has one of those headset microphone things on his head as he yells at you to buy the ShamWow.

Well, it seems Vince got himself into some hot water, and all the ShamWows in the world ain't gonna clean this particular mess up. He allegedly beat up a hooker in Miami. According to the police report, Vince paid the woman a thousand bucks. Then while they were kissing, she bit into his tongue and wouldn't let go.

Personally, I think he should be thankful they never got past first base before she she started biting.

Monday, April 06, 2009

At Least Someone Is Hiring

The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways

An earthquake measuring in the neighborhood of 6.0 hit central Italy overnight. Most of the damage occurred in an area about 60 miles northeast of Rome itself. Many buildings, including a historic cathedral, were either leveled or seriously damaged. The preliminary death toll stands at 130.

Obviously God is punishing the Italians for harboring the Catholic church.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

That's Clucking Ridiculous

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Probably Just a Coincidence

The Special Olympics has launched an ad campaign to end the use of the word "retard." The group views the term as inappropriate and insulting.

This is a noble cause. Still, I'm going to find it hard to break the habit, especially since the the word Republican also starts with "re."

Friday, April 03, 2009

BOOM Goes the Baby

Traces of a chemical used in rocket fuel have been found in baby formula. What's surprising, however, is that for once the stuff isn't from China--it's from right here in the good ol' US of A. The Environmental Protection Agency says that the trace levels aren't necessarily dangerous unless also mixed with water contaminated with the same material.

On the other hand, it might explain why babies produce such extraordinary amounts of explosive gas.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Some People Have No Sense of Humor

Car and Driver caught some serious flack earlier today for an April Fools joke they posted on their website. And in an apparent effort to prove they were a bunch of pansy ass wusses, they apologized and took the story down.

According to their gag item, President Obama had ordered Chevrolet and Dodge to end their affiliation with NASCAR as a prerequisite for keeping their federal bailout money. The story caused an uproar among racing fans even though it was clearly marked as an April Fools' joke.

On the other hand, maybe the story wasn't that far-fetched. After all, when's the last you saw a black NASCAR fan?

Amazing Footage from Antarctica