Wednesday, December 31, 2008

From FEAR to HOPE (in 365 days or less)


The 2008 Mensa page-a-day puzzle calendar (gift from Mom) must have been designed in mid-2007 and printed by Fall 2007, but December 31 seems like a prescient summary of the year 2008.



Hmmm…
FEAR refers to Mister Cheney/Governor Bush.
PEAR must be Mrs Clinton.
PEAS could be Biden and Dodd.
PEPS the Democratic Convention?
POPS is McCain.
HOPS is Palin.
HOPE is Obama.
????

Another solution:
FEAR
FEAT
FEST
HEST
HOST
HOSE
HOPE
It's more fun to find a solution that's not on the answer sheet and out of the box, altho this one has to use the archaic word "hest".

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Ozone Hole Watch

Monitor our planet's ozone layer with the help of NASA. 





Never mind the ACORN…

For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country. 

AP Photo by DAVE WEAVER
A squirrel pauses at attention as it tries to take some of the material from a U.S. flag Thursday Nov 6, 2008 in Omaha, Nebraska. 

Friday, November 07, 2008

Earn the Puppy

"Sasha and Malia, 
I love you both so much, 
and you have earned the new puppy 
that's coming with us to the White House."

  President-elect Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, and their daughters Malia (10) and Sasha (7) arriving at Grant Park, Chicago, November 4, 2008. 

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Johnny Too Bad


Johnny Too Bad 
(The Slickers)
Walking down the road
With your pistol in your waist,
Johnny you're too bad.
Walking down the road
With your ratchet in your waist,
Johnny you're too bad.

You're just robbing and you're stabbing and you're looting and you're shooting
Now you're too bad.
You're just robbing and you're stabbing and you're looting and you're shooting
Now you're too bad.

One of these days when you hear a voice say come
Where you gonna run to
One of these days when you hear a voice say come
Where you gonna run to

You're gonna run to the rock for rescue
There will be no rock
You're gonna run to the rock for rescue
There will be no rock

{organ solo}

Walking down the road
With your pistol in your waist,
Johnny you're too bad.
Walking down the road
With your ratchet in your waist,
Johnny you're too bad.

You're just robbing and you're stabbing and you're looting and you're shooting
Now you're too bad.
You're just robbing and you're stabbing and you're looting and you're shooting
Now you're too bad.

One of these days when you hear a voice say come
Where you gonna run to
One of these days when you hear a voice say come
Where you gonna run to

You're gonna run to the rock for rescue
There will be no rock
You're gonna run to the rock for rescue
There will be no rock...

Friday, October 31, 2008

To Serve Man


Best Twilight Zone… Ever? -tho I have half a dozen favorites near this level.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Easily follow fast-breaking squirrel news photos with Daylife

Daylife is a good way to follow the news visually. Their actual news isn't so good yet, and I am still figuring out how to use it, but if you want to follow all the pictures taken of something in the news, such as squirrels, acorn, Barack Obama, Joe, or anything else frequently photographed by the news media, Daylife has nice large images under an attractive cubist interface.

Maya and Barack in San Francisco in the 1970s

In this screen shot of a frame around 1:59 in this video at the BarackObamadotcom Youtube channel, big brother Barry holds his sister Maya by the Golden Gate Bridge. I love this picture. Since Maya was born in August 1970, I'd guess this could be the summer of '72? I tried to restore my screenshot of the lo-res video of the faded photo to what I imagine the scene actually looked like. Despite some artifacts in the sky and under the bridge, I think this is about right.
The shirt was (Vietnam) camouflage green, not (Desert Storm) brown, as it appears in the reddened photo. I used to have one like it around the early 70s, shortly after I ruined the paisley one by forgetting some chewing gum in the pocket. Some green light reflected off the shirt onto Maya's arm, Barack's face, and the side of Maya's face. Young Barack's hair was more of a deep rich brown with reddish highlights in the bright sun, if these colors are right, and Maya's hair was a lighter brown with a reddish tinge, too. They are both squinting under a bright late-morning sun. I guess they are in a spot Golden Gate Park, facing south. I don't know the area well. It's a really nice snapshot of (the universal) brother and sister.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Obama Battles the Pink Robocallers

The Obama campaign YouTube site has a video complaining about the McCain robocall attack. McCain cannot afford or convince humans to do his dirty work, so he has been employing bots to speak ill of Obama in hopes that the humans will repeat the rumors.



That reminded me of a song… which needs a few tweaks…

Obama Battles the Robocalls
(by Unknown Pirate, ripoff from The Flaming Lips)

His name is Obama
he’s a candidate for office
working for the people
he has to discipline his message

'Cause he knows that
it's demanding
to defeat those evil machines
I know he can beat them

Oh Obama, they wanna harm ya
but you won't let those robots bomb ya
Obama, they wanna harm ya
but you won't let those robots bomb ya

Those evil robo-callers
they're programmed to destroy us
he’s got to guide the nation
so he’s taking your donation

'Cause he knows that
it'd be tragic
if those robo-callers win
I know he can beat them

Oh Obama, they wanna harm ya
but you won't let those robots bomb ya
Obama, they wanna harm ya
but you won't let those robots bomb ya

Obama

'Cause he knows that
it's demanding
to defeat those evil machines
I know he can beat them
………


Monday, October 06, 2008

Proposed Political Ad Warning Label

POLITICAL IDEOLOGY
CAUTION! HARMFUL OR FATAL IF SWALLOWED!
For electoral use only.
If swallowed, DO NOT induce voting.
Call metaphysician immediately.
Persons with skin or sensitivity should use sufficient protection.
Avoid contact and breathing vapor.
Contains petroleum-based ideological by-products.
Keep away from heat, sparks and open flame wars.
Use only with adequate ventilation.


CAUTION! CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM IRRITANT
KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.


CALIF. PROP. 265 • POLITICAL WARNING
(CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE

WARNING: This product contains memes
known to the State of California to cause stress,
mental defects or psychological harm.
Use proper protection when using product.

The Intolerable Suffering of the Investment Bankers

When the financial melt-down bail-out was first proposed, I marveled at how the paper losses of a handful of bankers could be judged more worthy of intervention than the one-million plus families who have lost their homes in the mortgage crisis over the past year.

Much has been written about socialism for the rich, fascism, moral hazard, and other hazards of this, which I won't re-hash here, since the proposed massive bailout seems to have now become law, well-lubricated with pork fat the second time. Does anybody hear a squealing sound?

I had thought of how difficult it would be for George Bush to persuade people to give him 700 billion dollars, and two songs by the Who came to mind. Initially, We Won't Be Fooled Again, and later, Behind Blue Eyes. This song in its original form seems to reflect the great pain of the bankers. After all, doesn't one banker losing a million properties feel a million times the pain of a family who only loses one? I'm not really sure that the banking class is literally entirely blue-eyed, but let's just say they figuratively are. This song dedication goes out to the clueless Henry Paulson, who will represent the banking class. I don't have a radio station or even a YouTube video or slideshow for this, I'm just suggesting a soundtrack as a concept. Some annotations to the lyrics have been provided for the illumination of the metacognitively challenged.


Behind Blue Eyes
(Pete Townsend, 1971)

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man (who wrecked the economy)
To be the sad man (who is financially washed-up)
Behind blue eyes (WASP or honorary one)

No one knows what it's like
To be hated (you got that right)
To be fated
To telling only lies (financial statements, declarations, depositions, testimony)

But my dreams (greedy ones)
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be (not to mention my accounts)

I have hours, only lonely (everyone has dumped my stock)
My love is vengeance (the homeless families)
That's never free

No one knows what it's like
To feel these feelings
Like I do
And I blame you (not my fault)

No one bites back as hard
On their anger
None of my pain and woe
Can show through (investors may lose confidence, must keep up appearances)

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free

When my fist clenches, crack it open (force me to make loans)
Before I use it and lose my cool (overheated economy)
When I smile, tell me some bad news (market correction)
Before I laugh and act like a fool (deliver me from irrational exuberance)

If I swallow anything evil (excessive risk)
Put your finger down my throat (relieve me of my debts)
If I shiver, please give me a blanket (to stop my financial shivers)
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat (make the taxpayers bail me out!)

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

Sunday, October 05, 2008

SP Operating System outlined

This is the Sarah Palin Debate Flow Chart, courtesy of the highly-perceptive reverse-engineering skills at adennak.com (AKA ph33r and loathing). Apparently the chart has gone viral, and I am only one of at least several tens of thousands if not millions of people who got this in an e-mail. What can I say? He so nailed it. This is far more articulate than any analysis you'd get on CNN. The programming metaphor may be a good fit since Palin looks animatronic, to me. Hollywood, it's not too late to include a Palin look-alike in the re-make of Westworld.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

BBC releases script prepared for post-nuclear-war radio announcement

BBC nuclear bomb script released

A script written by the BBC and the government to be broadcast in the event of a nuclear attack has been published. The script, written in the 1970s and released by the National Archives, included instructions to "stay calm and stay in your own homes". Scripts were written to reassure the public the BBC was "still there".
PDF

BBC TRANSCRIPT TO BE USED IN WAKE OF NUCLEAR ATTACK

This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. We shall bring you further information as soon as possible. Meanwhile, stay tuned to this wavelength, stay calm and stay in your own homes.

Remember there is nothing to be gained by trying to get away. By leaving your homes you could be exposing yourselves to greater danger.

If you leave, you may find yourself without food, without water, without accommodation and without protection. Radioactive fall-out, which follows a nuclear explosion, is many times more dangerous if you are directly exposed to it in the open. Roofs and walls offer substantial protection. The safest place is indoors.

Make sure gas and other fuel supplies are turned off and that all fires are extinguished. If mains water is available, this can be used for fire-fighting. You should also refill all your containers for drinking water after the fires have been put out, because the mains water supply may not be available for very long.

Water must not be used for flushing lavatories: until you are told that lavatories may be used again, other toilet arrangements must be made. Use your water only for essential drinking and cooking purposes. Water means life. Don't waste it.

Make your food stocks last: ration your supply, because it may have to last for 14 days or more. If you have fresh food in the house, use this first to avoid wasting it: food in tins will keep.

If you live in an area where a fall-out warning has been given, stay in your fall-out room until you are told it is safe to come out. When the immediate danger has passed the sirens will sound a steady note. The "all clear" message will also be given on this wavelength. If you leave the fall-out room to go to the lavatory or replenish food or water supplies, do not remain outside the room for a minute longer than is necessary.

Do not, in any circumstances, go outside the house. Radioactive fall-out can kill. You cannot see it or feel it, but it is there. If you go outside, you will bring danger to your family and you may die. Stay in your fall-out room until you are told it is safe to come out or you hear the "all clear" on the sirens.

Here are the main points again:

Stay in your own homes, and if you live in an area where a fall-out warning has been given stay in your fall-out room, until you are told it is safe to come out. The message that the immediate danger has passed will be given by the sirens and repeated on this wavelength. Make sure that the gas and all fuel supplies are turned off and that all fires are extinguished.

Water must be rationed, and used only for essential drinking and cooking purposes. It must not be used for flushing lavatories. Ration your food supply: it may have to last for 14 days or more.

We shall repeat this broadcast in two hours' time. Stay tuned to this wavelength, but switch your radios off now to save your batteries until we come on the air again. That is the end of this broadcast.
Not to worry, then!
This is the end of the world news.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Be. Like (the) squirrel.

This is the textbook definition of Nuttwerx Squirrelization. Come to think of it, it could be Squirrel Nuttwerxization as well. You are what you eat, and the squirrelly hostess is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. When preparing members of the order Rodentia for your dining pleasure, presentation is important. That's my line; the ones in the video are nuttier. This looks like a job for Sarah Palin. (The Kill-It-Yourself movement. Teach your children well, the squirrel's hell…) Perhaps it could be on the White House menu then. What sense does cheese make? I'd suggest peanut-butter and squirrel sandwiches. I somehow find myself wondering how a squirrel-melt smells (not tastes) and am eagerly awaiting the time when computers are equipped with smell cartridges, and a standardized olfactory codec for YouTube enables the smell of fresh, lightly toasted squirrel melts to waft gently away from the fan of my laptop. And now, if Euell excuse me, as a counterpoint and in the interest of equal time, I need to go listen to the White Stripes' Little Acorns, a celebration of the dignity and inspiration of that noble forest denizen.
("Be like the squirrel! Be like the squirrel!")


v=7RlK0Xd4c2c
Via Posthuman Blues.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Duh Bait


Presidential candidates debate transcript wordle and some visual after-debate zeitgeist from daylife.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

McCAin'tV

What's this I hear about McCain suspending his campaign and possibly not showing up for the debate? Does this mean he is no longer contesting the election? Will Obama debate his empty chair, a spokesdrone, or YouTube videos of McCain? Or is this McCain saying that this "election" stuff just isn't all that important. "I'm far too busy spending ONE TRILLION DOLLARS of your money bailing out some good buddies back in Washington DC and I just don't have the time to explain it all to you little people! I'm a busy man!" Would McCain just suspend the election itself if he thought he could?

I was at tv-intros.com today through a google search gone astray and really enjoy that site altho I basically hate(d) TV. There are many downloadable WMV files of virtually every TV intro I know of. I stopped watching TV in the 1970s so the ones I am interested date from that era. With McCain in mind, I drew up a TV line-up which would be the ones approved by the Homeland Security team during the McCain administration, presumably after the government bailed out all of the failing TV networks and the production of new TV series died out in favor of pre-millenial nostalgia.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Uncle Joe's Minor Gaffe/Bidenism/Aneurysm Generator

"Chinese menu" - just pick one item from each column. Click on it; it's big.
Different layout:

A Whole New World.

Republican Vice-Presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin continued to enhance her foreign policy credentials today as she toured Florida's EPCOT Center, meeting with the newly-installed animatronic presidents Zardari, Hamid Karzai, Indira Gandhi, and Abraham Lincoln. Later, the former beauty queen had lunch with Cinderella and Minnie Mouse, where the conversation veered away from the everyday concerns of hard-working fictional characters in the fantasy land community into an unexpectedly heated discussion of animal rights. Local reporters and national media were chased from the scene by an angry John McCain, who appeared to be shadowing Mrs Palin. Mrs Palin left the event by helicopter, and was last seen attempting to bag Bambi from the low-flying aircraft. Technicians who arrived on the scene were unable to field dress the animal due to rust and extensive soldering. The Disney autonomouse region casts 3 of the state's 27 electoral votes through a tough 2000 compromise that had the kingdom suspend its armed, eared, four-fingered secessionist struggle in exchange for implants in the spinal cords of the Bush royal family and their offspring.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yet another electoral scoreboard


Take the median value of all polls in a state over the last month for each state. Use that as the best guess of how the state will vote. I admire the simplicity of that approach, especially since I am also a big fan of the power of the median as opposed to the overrated mean or average. Calculating the median also saves energy or computing power. Their method is not only simple but powerfully predictive. This method, (Gott and Colley's Median Poll Statistics), predicted 49 out of 50 states correctly in 2004. It currently has Obama getting 273 votes due to adding IA, CO, and NM to Kerry's 2004 states. Which polls to use? They use (the same ones as) RCP although you could theoretically add more polls and get an even better result since the median method automatically eliminates outliers. Mr Gott has done a good job with the map, too. (It would make a good quilt, RISK board, or pendant of fuse beads AKA iron beads in Japan.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

the shape of song

musical visualizations

http://www.turbulence.org/Works/song/mono.html
http://www.turbulence.org/Works/song/index.html
http://www.turbulence.org/Works/song/method/method.html
http://www.turbulence.org/Works/song/gallery/gallery.html

Wordle


Wordle is a fun and interesting tool. You may find a use for it. On the right is a wordle from the text of Vonnegut's God Bless You Mr Rosewater. On the left is one from posthuman blues. Original writing of your own and dynamic changes sources such as google news give interestingly varied results. Wordle of Cat's Cradle is below.
http://wordle.net/
http://wordle.net/create

Electoral Vote Trend Visualization Take Two

Because it would be bad luck to leave the old one with McCain ahead, here is my new electoral graphicalization. NeoOffice(2.2.2) works on this MacBook but looked bad. Excel came through again. I got the single center gridline at 50% to come out somehow (Excel stopped rejecting that modification) and I stuck a picture behind it. Time order is geological as before. I made it A3 size (click on it!) but some inexplicable artifact came into the horizontal bars. Maybe it is "shadow" and I'd have to go back through the "wizard". As before, data is from electoral-vote.com and inspiration from EVStrength.com.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

reading: David Foster Wallace

I wasn't really familiar with the work of David Foster Wallace (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008) but I hope to become more familiar with his work. Like Jim Carrey, he was born within a few days or weeks of me, which seems to sometimes give a similar outlook due to astrological, terrestrial, or zeitgeistical influences. Harper's magazine has released PDFs of his work as a memorial. I am looking forward to reading them soon.

September 1989
Everything is Green

December 1991
Tennis, Trigonometry, Tornadoes: A Midwestern boyhood

August 1992
Rabbit Resurrected

September 1993
The Awakening of My Interest in Annular Systems

July 1994
Ticket to the Fair (Video–Reading in 2000)

January 1996
Shipping Out: On the (nearly lethal) comforts of a luxury cruise

January 1998
The Depressed Person

July 1998
Laughing with Kafka

October 1998
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

April 2001
Tense Present: Democracy, English, and the wars over usage

February 2008
The Compliance Branch

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Get Off My Lawn! '08

Remembering another of those politely overlooked moments at the RNC:

"My friends, countrymen, hey, all of you kids…
GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!

G'won. Git outta here."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

State polls electoral vote trends

This is just a graph inspired by the assiduous data collection at electoral-vote.com and the superior graphicalization at EVStrength.com. The data is from http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Data/scores-2008.csv

This is an Excel graph; my first attempt with OpenOffice.org was too ugly to look at (inducing epileptic seizures in viewers not wearing protective eyewear). I am test-driving OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta, an Aqua version for the Macintosh, after abandoning the newest version of NeoOffice, which didn't work at all.

I think this is just a one-off. I don't plan on doing this regularly. I wanted to see what it looked like and what I could do with ooo (Answer: a lot, but Excel was better). Click on it for the full-size image. If it makes no sense to you at all, go to electoral-vote.com and EVStrength.com for a better explanation of the key (AKA legend) and methodology.

Briefly, Strong is a 10%+ lead, Weak is a 5-10% lead, and Barely is a less than 5% lead. Tied are within 1% in polling. The stacked percentage bar graph reports percentages, but 100% is 538 electoral votes. 50% is 269. Each 10% line is 53.8 electoral votes, and the 2% tick marks therefore indicate 10.76 EVs. Since there are 50 states, the 2% marks also indicate an average (nonexistent) state with 10.76 electoral votes. IN, TN, MO and WA are closest to average with 11 EVs each, so you can think of a 2% tick mark as indicating one of them. Coincidentally, these 4 states lie (today) in 4 different states of confidence (of the 7 bands represented).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Free E-booX

I forgot to post this draft. 

I was watching Meet the Press. Joe Biden and Tom Friedman were on.
http://mtp.msnbc.com
Last Sunday"s show:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032608/
Transcript
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26590488/
Last segment with Tom Friedman
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26590488/page/5/
MR. BROKAW: We're back live in Wilmington, Delaware. And with us now,
having traveled from Washington all that way, author of the new book
"Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How It
Can Renew America," Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist from The New
York Times, Tom Friedman.

Friedman is very vivid but a bit too glib and tends to jump from idea
to idea. I don't think I would buy his book. He had a good point to
make about "the price signal" and making that national policy instead
of surfing the market.

You may have heard of Lester Brown"s Plan 3.0. In a way Friedman is
ripping him off or popularizing a variation of what he and Al Gore
are saying.
I just downloaded the free pdf version which is available at his site
or linked from treehugger
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/02/book_review_pla.php
all ccxviii pages of the pdf are numbered in roman numerals for some
reason
perhaps to distinguish them from the page numbers in the actual text
http://www.earth-policy.org/Books/PB3/index.htm
http://www.earthpolicy.org/Books/PB3/Contents.htm
http://www.earth-policy.org/Books/PB3/80by2020.htm
or you can pay money
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393330877/ref=cm_cr_asin_lnk

Speaking of free online books about saving the world/climate/solving
the energy problem,
you can also get Amory Lovins' book Winning the Oil Endgame online.
http://www.oilendgame.com/ReadTheBook.html
http://www.oilendgame.com/ExecutiveSummary.html
There was an article about him in the economist Sept 4.
http://www.economist.com/science/tq/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11999219
A $40 bargain:
www.amazon.com/ Winning-Oil-Endgame-Amory-Lovins/dp/1881071103
At TED:
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/
amory_lovins_on_winning_the_oil_endgame.html

And speaking of free electronic text, Cory Doctorow's novels are
available free at
http://craphound.com/indexphp?cat=5
That'll save you about $100 you could have spent at amazon
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url?%
5Fencoding=UTF8&search-type=ss&index=books&field-author=Cory%20Doctorow

That reminds me that I recently downloaded Steal This Book by Abbie Hoffman from http://wiki.stealthiswiki.org/  That is a book which I once found in a used bookstore around 1980 and considered a fossil even then. Updated 2008 versions and variations have been created for online reading and downloading, for what it's worth.  

I really need to add treehugger and worldchanging links to the sidebar.
http://www.treehugger.com
http://www.worldchanging.com/

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tales of Courage, Valor, and Horror

In May, 1968, John McKern was flying a bombing mission in Lower Kagookistan when his airplane came under small arms fire. As he returned fire on what he believed to be a suspicious boat sailing below, the plane was fired upon and disabled. McKern managed to crash land directly onto the swift boat before he was able to determine that it was a friendly craft. All the soldiers aboard were killed, with the sole exception of the boat's captain, John Kermacky. Mobile Army Surgical Hospital medics who rushed to the site described a hellish scene of severed body parts strewn about the banks of a tributary of the Messihippiz river. Forced to improvise under harsh field conditions, surgeons took two intact, living torsos and began sewing other intact body parts onto them. One man had two punctured lungs; thus a lung transplant was performed. The other man had two punctured kidneys, necessitating a kidney transplant. Both men were missing portions of their faces, jaws, assorted limbs, and even brain tissue. Surgeons labored for days in dark surgical tunnels, working to piece the macabre jigsaw together under woefully inadequate lighting conditions. Despite being subsequently captured by Upper Kagookistani irregulars, both men survived. Years later, their friendship survives as well. Stranger still, both men serve their country, the Republic of Armed Desire, in the House of Sedators. McKern is an Esteemed Predator of the Party of Reptilian Empowerment; Kermacky a Senior Elder in the Party of Demogogic Cyborgization. Despite their political differences, the two men reserve time to meet at least twice a year to share a meal of hot dog soup. "But on hot summer days of the Barbecue Festival, we usually have cold dog soup," Kermacky says proudly.

Source: Surrealist Review of the World Nest; Rat XX.

Whale here, whale now!

Cetacean-based fats and oils are a tested and proven source of light, heat, energy, and provide a nutritious, edible, metal-rich spread for our growing nation. Futuristic fuels such as coal oil and petroleum are pie-in-the sky ideas best left for the next century. John McCain supports expanding the nation's whaling fleet to deal with the fast-rising price of whale oil above the critical sixpence-per-cup level. Large numbers of energy-rich whales drift uselessly in our territorial waters due to tax barriers erected by the liberal Democratic allies of Barack Obama. Given the proper tax incentives, these offshore whale reserves can be used to free the land grow the economy!

Whale, baby, whale!
Paid for by the Cetacean-based Fuels for America's Future Consortium



This is only a drill.
Had this been an actual national energy emergency,
you would have been directed to develop renewable energy sources for energy independence.

NPR=uNPRofessional

Strike One:

Most E-mailed stories podcast 09-02-2008
Stories: 1) Finally, Guidelines On Cleaning Ears Released 2) An Oscar Crop With An Instinct For Change 3) Bulger Case Changed FBI's Role With Informants 4) VP Nominee Says Teen Daughter Is Pregnant 5) A French Marionette Tradition 6) Fall Movies: Corsets, Crises, Comedies and Cranks
There just had to be something happening in the world on September 2 that was more important than NOT cleaning your ears too much.

Strike Two:
I have heard the expression "swing state of Minnesota" several times, but couldn't remember where. It's odd because Minnesota has voted Democratic in the last 10 elections. In the last 12 elections, it crossed over to the Republican side once, to re-elect Nixon in 1972. It occurred to me to Google the source of this and I found… NPR!
Debate Reaction from a Swing State : NPR
Morning Edition, October 14, 2004 · NPR's Juan Williams watched the presidential debate with voters in the swing state of Minnesota. Williams reports on how ...
www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4108759 - Similar pages
Blog House: With GOP's No. 1 question settled, it's onto No. 2
20 Feb 2008 ... Popular in the swing state of Minnesota (where the GOP convention is going to be held). Has fairly modest roots (can't allow Dems to play ...
www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/15822002.html - 71k - Cached - Similar pages
That story's from 2004, when Republicans came unexpectedly close to winning Minnesota. I'm blaming NPR anyway. POS News.

Trouble is, among their suburban lifestyle stories they occasionally have a great science or anthropological report. As a standard train-commute audio news report, Democracy Now is best, but still leaves a little to be desired. Here and Now is fairly OK but poofy at times as well. When a story like earwax begins I usually press skip, and this occurs far too often.

Electoral sites and sims (link dump)

You can run the election as a probabilistic simulation in your browser and see who wins.

explain

main

Caution State-level polling data this far in advance of November is of limited predictive value. Therefore, these simulations may bear no resemblance to how the election will actually play out.

Did you know that there are over two quadrillion (15 zeroes) ways that the U.S. map can be colored red and blue?
1.99 quadrillion of those are extremely unlikely, however.


Newest and best

An older, rival site: Sam Wang at Princeton

Electoral Maps

Polls

Markets

This probably lists every electoral-vote related site in the world.

I found that here.


Update: An alternative visualization of the same state poll data collated by electoral-vote.com is at EVStrength.
Update 20080-9-17: Another view is provided by ignoring the polls directly and using Intrade prices as data, instead. Rather than being subject to speculative swings as you might expect, the dats seems to be steadier and the numbers check out better. It's worth cross-checking: electoralmap.net

Oh, Dear Leader!

"There is nothing wrong with Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Dear Leader Kim Jong Il. The plasticized corpse of the Dear Leader
continues to sit upright and preside over an important ongoing
cabinet meeting, and he will continue to guide our nation for
eternity," a North Korean government spokesperson affirmed Wednesday.

-fikshnl DPRK Nuws Riliys

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Wreck of the Party of Lincoln

Wreck of the Party of Lincoln
adapted from
Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald
Original music and lyrics ©1976 by Gordon Lightfoot
livicated to the 29-man crew
these lyrics creative commons attribution pls


1
The legend lives on from Superior on down:
the Republican Nat'n'l Convention
in 2008, late summer of hate,
days after the mile-high love-in.
2
With a load of "folklore", twenty-thousand times more
than the party of Reagan held empty,
that good party crew was a bone to be chewed
when the "Gales of November" came early.
3
The new cap'n's name was J S McCain (III),
a Panamanian-registered vet'ran.
A naval bombardier, he was a prisoner
who'd ditched his first wife for an heiress.
4
He said he didn't know how many homes he owned
but his staff would get back to us later.
And sometime that week when he picked out his veep
came the wreck of the party of Lincoln.
5
His first running mate was governor of a state
where the moose and caribou frolic.
Her privilege was to kill them to get a cheap thrill.
Her voice was like nails on a blackboard.
6
Palin was the pride of the born-ag'in side,
coming down from some town in Alaska.
As governors go, she was younger than most,
with a pregnant unmarried teen daughter.
7
Consulting some firms with political terms,
she left fully loaded for Dayton.
And later that day when the teleprompter rolled,
could it be the North Slope they were drillin'?
8
The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
as the waves broke over the levees.
And ev'ry man knew, as the captain did too
'twas the ghosts of Katrina come callin'.
9
The dawn came late and the party had to wait
when Hurricane Gustav came slashin'.
When afternoon came it was drivin' rain
in the face of a hurricane west wind.
10
When Monday night came the networks got on deck sayin'.
"Fellas, it's too rough t' feed ya."
At seven P.M. the main speaker caved in; he said,
"Fellas, I'll phone it in later!"
11
The pollster mailed in he had polls comin' in
so they sent Mister Cheney to Georgia.
And later that night when the moon was outta sight
came the wreck of the party of Lincoln.
12
Does any one know why the black waters flow
from Saint Paul to the city of N'Orleans?
On the streets of Saint Paul the cops make a haul
rounding up passers-by and protesters.
13
In a big musty hall in the town of Saint Paul,
called the "Xcel Energy Center"
the Blackberries chime ringing twenty-three times
for each speech scheduled in the new lineup.
14
"Democracy Now" never matters somehow
to the "Homeland Security" goon squads.
In "pre-emptive arrests" citing "anarchists"
they arrested 400 "protesters".
15
The legend lives on from Superior on down
to the mouth of the great Mississippi.
Lake Pontchartrain never cares for Bush's brain
when the gales of November come early!


Notes: This music came to me in the morose atmosphere of the start of the Republican National Convention. It was lucky that that expression even has the right syllable count -- if you reduce National (Nash+nul) to 2 syllables. A few lines occurred to me over the past few days and I wrote up some more for my amusement this afternoon. I was trying to have 14 stanzas(?) like the original but I ran over so delete your least favorite one, mix and match, substitute words, credit me as co-lyricist if you record this. I left the numbers in. This music must be deep in my brain. I thought nobody over 40 or 36 or so would remember it, since it was a 1976 song about a 1975 wreck, but the Dandy Warhols recorded a cover of it. I'd like to see the Dandys or Gordon Lightfoot or better yet, "Gordon Lightfoot and the Dandy Warhols" performing the 2008 Electoral Rewrite version of this song, live, in concert.

Music video:


2008 live Gordon Lightfoot version:


Gordon Lightfoot MySpace

Dandy Warhols cover

Original lyrics: 1, 2

The Republican Party Convention:
official
wikipedia

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Journalists Harassed at the RNC

If you even dare to report on the estimated 20,000 to 50,000 protesters in St. Paul, you are likely to get arrested and roughed up a little by the police, as happened to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now.





News story at UPI.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hater-in-Chief?

I hate to repeat hateful racist words, but here is why any discussion or debate about McCain as a viable candidate should be over. He's racist. He's stubborn. He's bitter. (He's also cruel, sexist, senile, ignorant, uniformed, and a hothead, but those are issues for another day.)

Feb. 18, 2000
Arizona Sen. John McCain refused to apologize yesterday for his use of a racial slur to condemn the North Vietnamese prison guards who tortured and held him captive during the war.
"I hate the gooks," McCain said yesterday in response to a question from reporters aboard his campaign bus. "I will hate them as long as I live."
I wouldn't judge John McCain. He has a right to hate. He has a right to free (hate) speech, perhaps, even under McCain/Feingold. But he has no right to imagine he is qualified to be president with unresolved anger issues like those.

What is amazing to me is how is how the old white male Republican is graded on a curve, and can get away with things that would drive the media to end th Obama campaign if the boot were onto the other head.
Discussion:
FAIR
Twin Cities Daily Planet
Seattle PI

End of the Voting Machine Error (almost)

I think it is worth noting that Diebold Election Systems, which changed its name to Premier Election Solutions about a year ago (perhaps as a tribute to Premier Joe Stalin? or more likely because its brand name is dirt), has admitted now that its voting machines (not its ATMs, which it also makes) don't work. They drop votes. They can't count. Unfortunately, it is too late to change the machines for the next election.

OK, then. Can we have the last 4 years back now?

I think I'm going to spill some links here (due to the Help America Vomit Act of 2002).

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/08/21/ohio_voting_machines_contained.html
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hM24D2P_dBmIDGu_u_mPKthDHpGQD92MVT580
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hM24D2P_dBmIDGu_u_mPKthDHpGQD92MTAI80
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/07/AR2008080703083.html
http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20080822/diebold-premier/
http://wok3.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/premier-election-solutions/
http://blogs.computerworld.com/diebold_premier_fesses_lost_oh_votes
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=electronic-election-day
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jej6XIWrQn6-gw5O5bJa1ELx78DgD92LLDO00

Paper is the answer. It works and always has worked, around the world. If writing your candidate's name on a piece of paper is too challenging, a piece of paper on which you put an x in the box next to your candidate's name can be provided for you. Obtain paper. Have writing implements. If each person can count 500 ballots you will need one person to count for every 500 voters you get. 0.2%. It really isn't that hard (just like the notion of "health Insurance").

The images here are just a handful from a series of parody ads called the Diebold Variations by Rand Careaga/salamander.eps (c)2004-06.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Better Living Through Electronic Monitoring Bracelets

The increased use of electronic monitoring bracelets provides a hi-tech solution for law enforcement personnel who seek alternatives to the traditional American answers of incarceration, taser, and the British third way of continuous CCTV surveillance. Here are three stories involving the use of electronic monitoring bracelets I've read in the last day or so:

1. for illegal immigrant mothers in Mississippi
Catch, tag, and release IS more humane than catch, detain, torture, deport.

2. for sex offenders in Korea
Hey, who's gonna complain!

3. for kids who don't attend school in Texas
As if you couldn't track them by their twitter or cellphone.

DNC via C-SPAN not CNNj

Here in Japan we have CNNj on satellite TV. It was supposed to stand for CNN Japan. It has 0% Japanese content, unless you count the commercials. It seems that CNN came up with the name to mask the fact that it was just a direct feed from the US network, recycled. This year they have backed off from last year's programming. It seems that viewers in Japan didn't appreciate nonsense like Lou Dobbs any more than the failed Fox News. Instead, coverage shifts to Hong Kong in the early morning and to London later in the day.

Anyway, CNN is a network which is supposedly covering the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Their coverage consists of their own talking heads telling us how the convention is going. The convention is happening in the background, but they are ignoring 90% of it. Instead, we are expected to listen to the CNN talking heads telling us how the convention is going, when we can clearly see that they are neither watching nor listening to any of it.

While Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell was speaking, they were interviewing Rudy "9-11" Giuliani.

That's when I shut it down and changed to C-SPAN.

I am still monitoring CNN to document how miserable their coverage is. I won't be watching CNN until after the RNC is over thanks to them pulling that Rudy crap. CNN, you suck royally. What a massive waste of bandwidth.

Right now Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer is speaking. CNN has Wolfblitzer and a camera trained on Bill Clinton scratching his eyes.

Looked at the TV again. Wolf has shut up and they are now showing us Schweitzer. He is likely to get cut off in mid stream for a talking CNN head to lead us to the next commercial break.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Russian Armored Vehicle Empire (RAVE)


Proposed revision of the Russian Federation flag, inspired in part by the AK-47 on the Mozambique flag.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Top 5 Reasons Why I Hate the Olympics

Reasons Why I Dislike the Olympic "Movement"

1. Nationalism
If 21st century Earth is a giant prison camp, nations are the gangs and their flags are the gang emblems. Watching people wave their banners is pretty depressing, just like watching what was that horrible movie Triumph of the Will? Why not allow athletes to compete as individuals? Alternatively, they could form teams based on blood type, favorite music, favorite color, or some other randomly chosen characteristic. Rotate it so while teams compete on the basis of blood type this session, they will go by favorite color four years from now.

2. Competitivism
Technically, that isn't a word, but the religion of competiveness is an empty shell. Races are won on the basis of hundredths of a second. Instead of laughing and giving everyone a prize, they give out the gold as though the one hundredth of a second really meant something. That whisker of a win was decided by how well someone shaved, whether they packed the right razor, or whether their clothes contained streamlined microfibers or not. What this is telling us is that everyone is pretty much equal and that the whole basis of the medals and awards is bogus. Maybe we need some kind of cooperative games or it is just time to retire the whole concept.

3. Regionalism
By regionalism I mean the egotism of the capital region. Beijing is an idiotic place to hold the Olympic games. Basically it is the center of an industrial complex. Maybe they could have gone out of town to somewhere more rural and unpolluted (less polluted, let's say).

4. Spectaclism
Just watching sports drives me crazy. I immediately want to move and wonder why I am trying to hold still and watch a screen and the people on the screen get to move. This is a general criticism of spectator sports. Unless you are handicapped, you should get out and move yourself. For every two hours you are playing, watch a game on TV for an hour, maybe. I suppose you could learn to improve your game, whatever your game is. There used to be community leagues for all kinds of sports; many of these dried up with the rise of spectatorism.

In connection with this is the crappy and nationalistic coverage of the media, and the bizarre kinds of games that exist. Subjectively evaluated "sports" such as synchronized swimming, and even basketball (sorry) are not real games. These are subjectively evaluated, scored, and refereed. A true game should have simple and self-evident criteria for winning. This is true of foot races, shot put, javelin throws, etc. Anybody can see who arrived first, which went farther, etc. It should be possible to measure the results with a machine such as a scale, sensor, or tape measure. The medieval Olympic games degenerated into circuses, too, and we are following that natural path of development or devolution. These circuses also distract people from useful social work which could be done on a global scale.

5. Class and Oppression
The Olympic games are usually a good excuse to tear down old buildings, throw poor people out of their apartments to renovate them to rent to visitors, beef up the police force, spy on citizens, fly lots of helicopters over the city, etc.

I could come up with a few more things I dislike about them, the environmental waste, the runaway corporatism, and so on, but this will do for now. It may seem like a good idea in principle to get the world's athletes together every once in a while for a massive series of games, but it has got to be overkill from the point of view of many. So many games are going on and most of them will not be watched or televised. It would be better to have a series of small competitions the way the world cup in soccer and other sports is done. I could probably be persuaded of some good effects of the games, but overall I find more to disgust me than inspire me.

Watching the Olympics makes me feel I am watching a row of dogs chained to their kennels, straining furiously at their chains, perhaps to see which one can get the closest to a passing cat. All the chains are the same length, but the cat may venture a little closer to one and one dog may feel that he really scared it and got the respect of the other dogs. The dogs are just hurting themselves the harder they strain to get the cat. Similarly, athletes are driven to do unhealthy things due to the money and politics of the games. The spectator fetish led to the corporate interest and money in the game, which led to athletes doping themselves, ruining their health and setting bad examples with their prostituted short athletic suicide lives, hopefully bringing down the whole decayed system to be replaced with the old family/neighborhood/community good-natured sports model, except now it is played with a Wii.

I do like China, though. And Taiwan. And the Dalai Lama. Long live Tibet! Can't we all just get along? I'm glad that China got a chance to hold the games, if it is important to them (and it is).