Friday, September 30

Thursday, September 29

Chewie throws first pitch...

... and the Red Sox lose to Toronto. Are they trying to re-curse themselves?

Judy Miller liberated!

Judy Miller, the NYT reporter reviled by conservatives and liberals alike, is out on the street after serving more than two months in jail for not divulging her sources. The famed scribe will now testify in a grand-jury probe of the leak of a CIA employee's name in 2003.

Bernadette Seacrest

Bernadette Seacrest is an awesome singer based in Albuquerque. Her band is touring right now, which brought them about 500 yards from my house on Tuesday. If she comes your way, you should definitely check her out -- she has a nice Billy Holiday-esque portamento going on, and her backing band, anchored by David Parlato on upright, rocks.

Top 10 Science Pics


Tuesday, September 27

The meth-driven life?

Remember the Georgia woman who helped apprehend the guy who shot up the Atlanta courthouse and how she said she used "The Purpose-Driven Life" to help him see the error of his ways? It turns out she also gave him some meth.

Kraken caught on film!

Japanese scientists catch a giant squid on film, marking the first time that the dreaded sea beast has been photographed in the wild. They report that the kraken is a "much more active predator than previously suspected, using its elongated feeding tentacles to strike and tangle prey."

Monday, September 26

Extra, Extra

Watched 3 premieres last night:

Housewives: So, I guess the Mary Alice mystery is pretty much over and we're moving on to the Alfre Woodard mystery. Does that mean those annoying voice-overs will stop? B-.

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Eh. Better than most shows, and Larry's scenes with his father are always high-larious. Coulda been better, though. B.

Extras: Nice suprise, we caught this on a whim. As Jody remarked, it has all the cringe-inducing humor that Curb was lacking. Kate Winslett makes a hilarious foul-mouthed nun. A.

Oh, and Arrested Development was pretty strong last week as well. B+/A-.

Not Quite Sharks With Fickin' Laser Beams

But close -- dolphin assassins armed with poison darts let loose by Katrina.

Would you believe...

Don Adams of "Get Smart!" fame is dead. He was 82.

Sunday, September 25

Kate Bush single debuts Tuesday

"King of the Mountain" is available for download this week and goes on sale in October, and the U.K. is excited. You can hear a snippet now at her official site. The British songstress releases a 2-CD set, "Aerial," in November -- her first new release in 12 years.

Saturday, September 24

Apple conversion

We're buying a new computer, ditching the Dell running Windows 98 for an iMac similar to the one seen here. It's the first time I will have an Apple on my desktop since the IIc back in the early '80s.

This funeral paid for by FEMA

The Fort Lauderdale paper has discovered that FEMA money was doled out for funerals last year for people who died under circumstances that had no connection to the rash of hurricanes in Florida.

Thursday, September 22


I don't know about you, but last night's season premier blew my little freakin' mind.

That rocked.

Wednesday, September 21

Next up, Texas

Three major hurricanes hit Florida last season, causing tens of billions in damage and killing several. This year has the most storms (so far) since the 1930's. One has already hit New Orleans causing hundreds of billions in damage and killing hundreds. Now we have a class 4 hurricane aimed at Texas.

There are a couple of possible explanations for this.

If you are from a blue state, your explanation is that our dependence on fossil fuels and our refusal to take responsibility for a huge increase in greenhouse gasses has led to a warming of the earth and consequently a warming of the oceans, feeding storms and building them into a force which has come back to bite us in the ass.

If you are from a red state, your explanation is that God hates red states.

Tuesday, September 20

Achewood, Damn You!!

I've linked to it a number of times, but the current arc in Achewood is so strange and pregnant that I insist you go read it now.

They Hate Us for Our Freedom

"I guess this means we've won the war on terror."

One Side Can be Wrong

Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne neatly and thoroughly sum up why there's no reason to "teach both sides" of the evolution debate in science class. As they say, why not just teach "stork theory" in Sex Ed?

Wait, let's not give the Fundies any ideas....

British Troops, Disguised as Arabs, Firing on Iraqi Civilians

Here's a potentially huge story that you probably won't hear much more about:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A British armored vehicle escorted by a tank crashed into a detention center Monday in Basra and rescued two undercover troops held by police, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official told CNN....The Iraqi official, who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity, said their arrests stemmed from an incident earlier in the day.
The official said two unknown gunmen in full Arabic dress began firing on civilians in central Basra, wounding several, including a traffic police officer. There were no fatalities, the official said.
The two gunmen fled the scene but were captured and taken in for questioning, admitting they were British marines carrying out a 'special security task,' the official said."

"Special security task." Indeed.

NAMM Oddities

Nice collection of odd guitars and other musical instruments and acessories from this year's NAMM show.

Sunday, September 18

Dullard review: "Broken Flowers!"

The year was 1984. Cyndi Lauper ruled the charts, and Ronald Reagan was president.

Bill Murray was a Ghostbuster, and seemingly on a long career path as a wise-cracking Hollywood funnyman. Jim Jarmusch was no one, just getting going with the art-house film "Stranger than Paradise!" Murray got lost in the late 1980s, an aimlessness that bottomed out with the wretched "Scrooged!" Jarmusch meandered from the brilliant ("Mystery Train!") to the so-so ("Down by Law!").

Move ahead to 2005: Jarmusch has stepped a couple of degrees closer toward the mainstream, and Murray has reinvented himself altogether. "Broken Flowers!" represents the first full-fledged intersection of their sometimes erratic but always interesting careers. (Sorry, "Coffee and Cigarettes!" doesn't really count.)

"Flowers" allows Murray to once again showcase his ability at portraying a man of infinite regret. In that way, this performance, coming relatively soon after "Lost in Translation," feels self-referential.

Yet Murray is still able to say so much in scenes when he says nothing at all. One that is especially evocative: his character, on a quest to find an old love who may have borne him a son, stumbles out of a hotel room onto a balcony, a styrofoam cup of coffee in hand, to overlook a noisy and generic American landscape.

Jarmusch is up to some of his old tricks here, such as the slow fades between scenes. As with "Paradise," this movie plays with the idea that the static can be deeply moving.


Saturday, September 17

Art metal?

Today's alt-headbangers argue that the genre isn't as dumb as you think. Despite this NYT article and various essays by Chuck Klosterman, I am still not buying it. Sorry.

Thursday, September 15

There's a Couple of Sentences You Haven't Read Before

When you did it everyone usually gave you that amazed look, like wooh, what'd you do with that egg. Everyone knows what eggs are but they don't think about balancing them."

Well, That Decides It

I've now chosen sides in the coming class war in this country:

Thanks to the introduction of the Hummer Laptop.

Somebody please kill all these sad, pleated-kakhi motherf#@$%&*s before I get ahold of them and do a whole lot worse.

Oh TiVo, TiVo, TiVo-oh-oh, Tivo

Sing it, Mr Gabriel!

September, 2005
Alviso, CA - weather fine
It was business as usual
In cubicle 619
Oh Tivo, TiVo, because Tivo
Oh Tivo, TiVo, because Tivo
PVR! PVR! Killed by DRM.

When you try to sleep at night
Do you only dream of green?
The outside world will not sit back
While you control what's on their screens.
Oh Tivo, TiVo, because Tivo
Oh Tivo, TiVo, because Tivo
PVR! PVR! Killed by DRM.

You can blow out a candle,
But please don't delete X-Files,
If you do, we'll have to convert
To a suitable open-source technology, preferably based on linux, which turns a standard Intel-based system into a digital video recording device of some sort.
Oh Tivo, TiVo, because Tivo
Oh Tivo, TiVo, because Tivo
PVR! PVR! Killed by DRM.

And the geeks on the Web,
Are blogging now.
Blogging now.
repeat ad libitum

Wednesday, September 14

Celebrity baby update

Time to lighten the mood with news from the bizarro world of stupid famous people:

-- Famed backup dancer Kevin Federline is a proud papa. Federline, seen here in a file photo with his wife, a former Mousketeer named Britney Spears, is father to a still unnamed baby boy. He has kids from a previous relationship.

-- Supermodel Heidi Klum and singer Seal welcome a son, named Henry Guenther Ademola Dashtu Samuel. Klum has a toddler from a previous relationship.

Best wishes to all of these lovely families and kudos on their ability to reproduce!

It's the End of the World as We Know It

And I don't feel so good.....

Take a Hint

Mr. President, this job can't be fun for you any more. There's no more money to spend--you used up all of that. You can't start another war because you used up the army. And now, darn the luck, the rest of your term has become the Bush family nightmare: helping poor people. Listen to your Mom. The cupboard's bare, the credit cards maxed out. No one's speaking to you. Mission accomplished. "Now it's time to do what you've always done best: lose interest and walk away. Like you did with your military service and the oil company and the baseball team. It's time. Time to move on and try the next fantasy job. How about cowboy or space man? Now I know what you're saying: there's so many other things that you as President could involve yourself in. Please don't. I know, I know. There's a lot left to do. There's a war with Venezuela. Eliminating the sales tax on yachts. Turning the space program over to the church. And Social Security to Fannie Mae. Giving embryos the vote.

But, Sir, none of that is going to happen now. Why? Because you govern like Billy Joel drives. You've performed so poorly I'm surprised that you haven't given yourself a medal. You're a catastrophe that walks like a man. Herbert Hoover was a shitty president, but even he never conceded an entire city to rising water and snakes.

On your watch, we've lost almost all of our allies, the surplus, four airliners, two trade centers, a piece of the Pentagon and the City of New Orleans. Maybe you're just not lucky. I'm not saying you don't love this country. I'm just wondering how much worse it could be if you were on the other side.

So, yes, God does speak to you. What he is saying is: "Take a hint."

--Bill Maher

Tuesday, September 13

First Person Katrina Experiences...

Some ugly accounts of the aftermath and relief efforts by a college kid and some Socialists.

If you know of any more please post in comments...


How to get out of voice-tree hell and speak to a human. Awesome resource!

Pentagon Extending Bush Doctrine to Nuclear Realm

Of course, you don't want to be the second country to deploy nukes, but.... Call me crazy, but I don't trust these yahoos to decide when it's appropriate to use pre-emptive nukes. Because they tend to, you know, lie about other countries' WMD capabilities and stuff.

Only 1224 more days of Bush in office.


They're just baked goods.

The Grand List of Sci-Fi Cliches

Mind-numbingly comprehensive.

Monday, September 12

Back to basics in N.O.

Big Daddy's, a famed Bourbon Street strip joint/tourist trap, is ready to reopen, so you can once again "wash the girl of your choice."

Ray Davies on New Orleans

The apparently former lead singer of the Kinks (when did that become official?):
I owe as much to music of the Southern states as I do to the British music that inspired me. If New Orleans is allowed to die, a crucial part of the world�s musical heritage will disappear. "

Saturday, September 10

James Wolcott: From Blame Game to Numbers Game

Interesting essay. I certainly hope the number of deaths in NOLA is closer to 3000 than 10,000. And I do think this is the bookend to Bush's presidency. Even with many on the right, by mismanaging this crisis, on top of lying about and then bungling Iraq, he's spent all the political capital given to him after 9/11.

Y'know, some days, the 22nd Amendment doesn't seem like such a hot idea.

Computer-Generated Ringtones


Thursday, September 8

FEMA contractors busted for looting

Three truckers are accused of pillaging a Family Dollar store, snatching Barbie dolls and answering machines, among other non-essential items. Sheesh.

Ahnold's Leadership

What a craven POS.

Bush's Leadership

I think Kanye West got it half-right: George Bush doesn't care about *poor* people. He is obviously very attached to Ms. Rice, as he actually promoted her for her failures prior to 9/11. So I'll give him a pass on the racism thing.

But clearly, by looking to cut foodstamps and various other aid programs to fund the elimination of the estate tax, along with the impending lending-industry friendly changes to bankruptcy law, Bush has been leading a war against the poor since he stepped into the Oval Office. His failure to act in a timely fashion in New Orleans is just a symptom of his contempt for the poor in this country.

And sadly, he's not alone: The largely unaffected upperclass of New Orleans aren't too thrilled with the idea of all those po' folks being repatriated to their city.

Though I don't know who they think is going to fetch the ice for their highballs in the future.

Wednesday, September 7


New iTunes cell phone. Sweet.

FEMA Wants No Photos of Dead - Los Angeles Times

Gee, wonder why? Could it be related to why we don't see pictures of dead soldiers?

I'm beginning to long for the days when I was merely embarrassed by my government.

EDIT: Not suprisingly, Josh Marshall sums up this issue better than I could.

Tuesday, September 6

Photojournalists Covering Katrina Fall Victim To Growing Violence, Chaos

Welcome to the third world. When journalists are as endangered by the police as they are by the lawless, you no longer have a strong Democracy.

Open Letter to W

From Michael Moore.

Related: Sell the ranch, Mr. President.

Gilligan is dead

Bob Denver succumbs at age 70. Only the professor, the movie star and Mary Ann are still with us.

Saturday, September 3

Desperate times call for "Desperate Housewives"

ABC's murderously amusing "Desperate Housewives!" returns Sept. 25. With that and the season debut of "Curb," we've got a good night of TV watchin' to do.

Thursday, September 1

N.O. chaos

It's disquieting to click on the headline "Gunmen target medical convoy" and have a story about social disorder in New Orleans come up rather than news out of Baghdad.

So far, the new-fangled FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security have failed to get a handle on the situation. They can't even find Fats Domino.