Saturday, November 24, 2007

a guy's gotta draw a line somewhere...

This is so wrong:

101-year-old Briton Poses Topless For Calendar

Look, I doubt that I'd care to scope out Olga Kurylenko at 101.

joe klein: at it again...

Fortunately, substantive journos like Ryan Singel and the blogosphere in general are hot on his trail:
Because when it comes to these topics, Klein is well beyond stupid. He's dangerous.
Glenn Greenwald, too, nips at his heels:
For the sake of its own credibility, Time Magazine needs immediately to prohibit Joe Klein from uttering another word about the eavesdropping and FISA controversy. He simply doesn't know what he's talking about and he publishes demonstrably false statements.
Notable here is not merely the immediacy of the responses but also the vehemence. Joe Klein is presented as Time Magazine's "liberal" writer. As such, this kind of liberal needs henceforth to be pounded each and every time he puts pen to paper or opens his yap on television, lest the genuinely progressive mind be forever misrepresented.

paris, je t'aime...

Put Paris Je T'aime on your DVD queue. It is a gorgeous, charming collection of vignettes all filmed on location in the City of Lights. All-star cast, ranging from Gena Rowlands to Steve Buscemi to Gerard Depardieu to Natalie Portman, et al.; including a heretofore unknown lovely -- to me, that is -- named Olga Kurylenko (pictured above), who plays a vampire in a particularly moving manner.

Certainly takes the ache out of being under the weather for the holiday.

separated at birth... ?

Georgie Bush & Ted Bundy.
'Nuff said.

Friday, November 23, 2007

wrapping one's mind for the holidays...

Dr. Heisenberg, call your office:

The good news is: the longer the universe survives, the better the chance that it will mature into a stable state. We are just beyond the crucial switching point, Mr. Krauss believed.

The bad news is: the quantum effect, a truly weird aspect of physics that says whenever we observe or measure something, we reset its clock.

I've heard the uncertainty principle summarized thusly (and I'm sure if you amateur physicists can set me straight, I'd be much obliged): The mere fact of observing something changes that which is observed.

So little time.

Update: Does this help?
The uncertainty principle is stated in popular culture in many ways, for example, by some stating that it is impossible to know both where an electron is and where it is going at the same time. This is roughly correct, although it fails to mention an important part of the Heisenberg principle, which is the quantitative bounds on the uncertainties. Heisenberg stated that it is impossible to determine simultaneously and with unlimited accuracy the position and momentum of a particle, but due to Planck's Constant being so small, the Uncertainty Principle was intended to apply only to the motion of atomic particles. However, culture often misinterprets this to mean that it is impossible to make a completely accurate measurement.
Agh... !! So little time... !!

Update II: Oh swell! My grasp of the uncertainty principle was erroneous. What that is is the Observer Effect:
In science, the term observer effect refers to changes that the act of observing will make on the phenomenon being observed. For example, for us to "see" an electron, a photon must first interact with it, and this interaction will change the path of that electron. It is also theoretically possible for other, less direct means of measurement to affect the electron; even if the electron is simply put into a position where observing it is possible, without actual observation taking place, it will still (theoretically) alter its position.
But never mind that! The Tree Falling in the Forest thingy is starting to unravel my mind-wrap!!
Perhaps the most important topic the riddle offers is the division between perception of an object and how an object really is. If the tree exists outside of perception (as common sense would dictate), then it will produce sound waves. However, these sound waves will not actually sound like anything. Sound as it is mechanically understood will occur, but sound as it is understood by sensation will not occur.
Time's up! Put down your pencils!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

manifest destiny (not unlike deja vu) all over again...

Pottersville deftly draws a comparison between the Iraqi occupation and the genocide perpetrated by the white man on the native Americans not so long ago:
Many Middle Eastern peoples, principally the Iraqis, had long since learned that lesson during our own gold rush, this one on their oil fields. As with the native Americans, the Iraqis would come to be viewed by the foreign invaders as being in the way, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As with the Lakota Sioux, who had had their food rations cruelly cut by the federal government, a quarter of all Iraqis are now on some kind of food subsistence program, food rationing that is all but unconditional.

Friday, November 16, 2007

friday follies...

Bill Simmons, a.k.a., The Boston Sportsguy:
Come on, you missed having the Pats around a little last weekend. It's OK. You can admit it. Meanwhile, here's an intriguing e-mail from Jim in Boston: "I want the Patriots to bring back Doug Flutie out of retirement for the sole purpose of kicking an 'eff-you' drop kick. This will hopefully occur in Week 15, just before halftime with the Pats up 84-0 against the Jets. During the postgame news conference, Belichick will deadpan to the reporters, 'Hey we're just playing the game -- what did you want us to do, kick a field goal?' This has to happen."
All in favor?

Ayeeiii... !!

chris dodd emails me (because i'm so very special, y'know)...

This retroactive immunity fight, and yesterday's result, were different than most we've had since our party took control of Congress. Not because we won one, but because of the unprecedented cooperation with the grassroots.

We didn't allow the Bush Administration to shape a false debate -- security vs. Constitutional rights -- both nationally and within our own caucus. It took the kind of leadership and action delivering results that is easy to talk about, but increasingly hard to find.

And with your help, that's the leadership you'll have in the White House.

Your contribution will help us do the things we need on the ground to get us there. January 3 is getting real close.

Please make a contribution now:

Thank you again,


"the american mark twain"... ??

Here's a real head-scratcher:
"Vonnegut was the American Mark Twain. He even looked liked him. Everybody loved Vonnegut, whereas Norman was a much more controversial figure," says J. Michael Lennon, the literary executor for Mailer, who died Nov. 10 at age 84.
Last time I checked, Samuel Clemens, a.k.a., Mark Twain, was an American. It's like saying "He's the British William Shakespeare," or "She's the Russian Fyodor Dostoevsky!"

Kinda redundant, no? Ridiculous for a literary type, yes?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

physician, heal thyself...

I think I know what's been buggin' me:

Clinical depression (also called major-depressive disorder or unipolar depression) is a common psychiatric disorder, characterized by a persistent lowering of mood, loss of interest in usual activities and diminished ability to experience pleasure.

While the term "depression" is commonly used to describe a temporary
decreased mood when one "feels blue", clinical depression is a serious illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that cannot simply be willed or wished away. It is often a disabling disease that affects a person's work, family and school life, sleeping and eating habits, general health and ability to enjoy life.[1] The course of clinical depression varies widely: depression can be a once in a life-time event or have multiple recurrences, it can appear either gradually or suddenly, and either last for few months or be a life-long disorder. Having depression is a major risk factor for suicide; in addition, people with depression suffer from higher mortality from other causes.

... either that, or maybe it's middle aged angst?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

another one bites the dust...

Norman Mailer: 1923-2007

The line from Finding Forrester -- Sean Connery to the kid: "You'll get laid if you write a bad book!"

Norman Mailer was a giant. Ergo, Marilyn.

But I digress...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

it's gotta be the beans...

Hey, World! If you thought having a World Series champion and early SuperBowl favorite was more than enough for one backwater burg, get a load of The Green in tennis shoes:
The party was over, the piñata was in tatters, and the Boston Celtics were one win closer to reestablishing themselves as the most electric team in the NBA.
*Sigh* Just another reason to hate on loving that Dirty Water.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

foreclosure on the republican party...

As I was a Realtor once in Northern Virginia, this story really caught my eye:

In 2005, Loudoun County recorded a total of 12 home foreclosures. Thus far in 2007, there have been 643.

The reality of growth and wealth is that almost nobody in Loudoun really feels like they're living in the wealthiest county in the country. Because we're not sharing in it.

Could it be that suddenly, the voters on what was supposed to be the explosive front of the Republican "permanent majority" realized that the idea all along was for the super-wealthy to grab all they could, and leave the wanna-bes -- who were voting their aspirations if not necessarily their reality -- out in the cold?

Considering the so-called experts considered Northern Virginia as essentially bubble-burst proof, what with the turnover Congress endures every 2 years, not to mention the military every day -- and it may yet still be the case in Arlington/Alexandria counties (I haven't looked at the numbers), this is mighty cold water for 1st-time home-owners who put little money down and instead signed up for sublime-to-ridiculous interest rates on their home mortgages.

The Loudon County board, up to yesterday, was run by Republicans. Yesterday, it went Democratic.

Irrational exhuberance indeed.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

this one's fresh'n new...

Chaatoes always had a clever, if subtlely scathing, mimic of the union striker, s/he with the overly familiar, tired and decidedly unoriginal chant:

"Hey hey! Ho Ho! Fill-in-the-blank has got to go!"
A slight twist, then, heard from the Hollywood writer's strike:

"Hey hey! Ho Ho! Package delivery can't write this show!"
... ... ...

Well, I thought it was funny. Writers, after all.

Update: Actually, as I recollect, Chaatoes had an even better line, or, I should say, sadly, he told me the story of a striker, who, while trying to hang a sign off the Golden Gate Bridge, fell to his death; his last words quite possibly being...
"Hey hey! Ho hoooooooo... !"

2nd cover in 4 weeks...

What SI jinx??

Footnote to the Big Win Sunday: All Indy's talk of "We didn't have Harrison, we didn't have our line healthy," Blah! Blah!

Here's what it is: Pats got the Colts' measure. The refs tried to give it to 'em, and they had a 10-point lead with 9:35 remaininig.

Indy had their chance. They blew it!

Come January in Foxboro, if Indy makes it that far? There won't be any piping in no crowd noise at the Razor. No need to. That stadium sound be organic -- you dig?

And the ice & snow? That'd be real too. Foxboro ain't no ski resort!

Blow out!! 19-0!!

Update: matt v said:
Boston has been on the cover of SI so many times recently. 5 out of the last 5, and 7 of the last 12!
Sept 17: Randy Moss

Oct 1: Jonathan Papelbon
Oct 22: Tom Brady
Oct 29: The Celtics "Big 3"
Oct 31: Josh Beckett
Nov 5: Jonathan Papelbon
Nov 12: Pats Linebackers

dennis the menace...

Did I say "menace"? I meant Superhero!

Concerning the possible resolution against Bush, Swanson said Kucinich "wanted to let everyone know that he will not only continue pushing for the impeachment of Cheney but will also take up the impeachment of Bush with a new resolution."
The beauty of his efforts here involves doing an end-run around the vile 3-toed sloth that is Pelosi, Hoyer and Emanuel. And -- Oh my Gahd! -- he's getting the Republicans to help:

Although the roll call vote had initially appeared to favor Hoyer's motion to table, Congressional Quarterly's Ed Epstein told CSPAN that Republicans had switched their votes at the last minute in an attempt to embarrass the Democratic leadership, who is not keen on seeing further action on the impeachment resolution.
I'm all in favor of embarrassing Dem leaders, raggedly limp-members that they be, but the bet here is Republicans are once again overplaying their hand (their raison d'etre), assuming their only reason to table the table is to "embarrass the Democratic leadership" while not considering the American people may get behind this effort like they never would for Clinton's impeachment.

Considering the M$M hasn't picked it up yet, another bet here is this will take on a life of its own. A majority of Dems in the House cannot possibly not vote to Impeach if it gets thru committee. And by the time it gets to the Senate, it'll be bigger news than Iraq.

Game on!

Update: Okay, civics lesson for me:
So the bill goes to the Judiciary Committee. Where it will sit next to Kucinich's other resolution calling for the impeachment of Cheney, which was offered through regular channels back in April.
But didn't I read somewhere that Conyers might be itching to pull the trigger too? Ah, yesss... !

Saturday, November 03, 2007

whilst i drive... and dream...

I think I've developed a pathological hatred for cab drivers. Though I wouldn't call it a proper statistical sampling, I've had my share of encounters nonetheless.

New York: Are 10 out of every 12 cars in this town actually large yellow taxis pedal-to-the-metal? Pedestrians, by definition, can't be too bright attempting to cross 5th Avenue... or 1st Avenue or Madison Avenue, whathaveyou. These psychotic bastards blaze and careen in fleets; 3 or 4 wide, 6 or 9 deep. Traffic lights be damned! We are the champions, my friends, and we'll keep on flying to your end. I swear, some of them have humanoid silhouettes pasted on their doorsides.

Washington D.C.: The most timid little wankers on wheels (courtesy of Fred's two feet). Slow. Slower. Slowest. You honk at 'em from behind -- Get a move-on, fucker! That only slows 'em down. I fantasize being on one of those Cop-video shows where I tap their bumper and watch 'em fishtail off the side of Key Bridge.

Boston: These are the most maddening sonsabitches. Drive in the left lane. Always. Go the speed limit. Never more (quothe the Raven), never less. Unless, of course, you try to pass 'em; then they fuck with you. Which ought to make for a tidy summary of their collective conciousness: "We drive to fuck witchu, mahn!"

And which brings me to my other fantasy, sort of a Double-Oh-Seven-Dr.-No feature: An anti-grav ray that I can activate with a button. My grill recedes under my hood and a beam fires out at the car in front of me. Nothing happens at first, but then, subtlely, the targetted chassis lifts up, then the wheels come off the ground.

Up, up... up... a tiny blip in the sky. And then... gone.

Sometimes I imagine the car returns gently back to the lane from whence it came and continues onward -- after I'm long gone. Other times it rises to the stratosphere and then comes crashing violently back to Earth. And then there are the times I will the car to reach escape velocity, leaving the planet entirely. Of course the Sun's gravity-well grabs hold of it, drawing it toward its inevitable doom. The bet then is whether the car and its passengers burns to a cinder before or during its crash into the Sun's corona, or maybe the vacuum of space makes them bloat beyond capacity, eyeballs bulging and protruding outward...

... just before they go *Pop!*

safe than sorry, better to be...

Decided to bag the drive north this morning. Hurricane Noel is already kicking ass along the eastern seaboard, and I figure three hours of wind gusts and steady rain is a hair too treacherous if not inadvisable.

See you next weekend, Mom?

well, he's right...

Cesca's header in HuffPo: Crazy Bush Compares Democrats To Nazi Appeasers

Not in the context he implied, but as far as where Schumer & Feinstein giving the ole to Michael Mukasey, I'd say Dubya was spot on.

Of course, that means the Bush Administration = the Nazis in this equation.

Friday, November 02, 2007

friday nite lite... wishing i was lit...

I suppose I could've said something about the Sox winning the thing, but I've been fighting a persistent dry hack for two weeks now and, well, I'm just not that into the Sox as I used to be. Oh, I enjoyed the right proper stomping of the Christianist Rockies, but my Sox fever was broken and has been for some time, which I realized once Grady Little farted away an appearance in the '03 World Series to the Yankees -- and I didn't rage, but merely steamed. Thank Bill Buckner for that innoculation oh so long ago, eh?

Totally psyched I am, however, to catch the Pats/Colts mid-season SuperBowl on Sunday. Not certain where I'll catch it, but I figure I'll be on the road back from Maine prior to. Gotta visit my mom, who's in the hospital recovering from an elderly fractured pelvic girdle. Brutal! But what a tough nut she is, me mum, even if cracked. She fell and she got up!

I read today Schumer & Feinstein caved on the torture-apologist AG nomination today. No surprise. Schumer has ever been the pathetic milquetoast and Feinstein needs to shave her ears. Like, how 'bout it, California? Let's kick that old, whiskered tree-shrew to the curb, shall we?

So, what say to a bottle of red; pick up the DVDs (Spiderman 3; episodes of The L Word and The Rockford Files) at the P.O.; drop off the watched vids (Rescue Me and The Sopranos) at the store, grab a hot sub and turn in?

It's been a week.