Saturday, October 25, 2008

Playing Catch-Up


I have been delinquent in my music posts lately so now I have two to share.

The first is from the new Raveonettes single, Beauty Dies, called Black/White. Its dark and peppy simultaneously like something that belongs on a Bande à part (2008) soundtrack. Put on the the dance scene and grab your fedora for proper appreciation.

The second, To Build a Home by Cenimatic Orchestra, is just straight up beautiful - Au meets Antony and the Johnsons/ Devendra Banhart.

Larry David's Electionosis

For once, I completely empathize with Larry David's wacky brand of neurosis. This is amazing:

I can't take much more of this. Two weeks to go, and I'm at the end of my rope. I can't work. I can eat, but mostly standing up. I'm anxious all the time and taking it out on my ex-wife, which, ironically, I'm finding enjoyable. This is like waiting for the results of a biopsy. Actually, it's worse. Biopsies only take a few days, maybe a week at the most, and if the biopsy comes back positive, there's still a potential cure. With this, there's no cure. The result is final. Like death.

Five times a day I'll still say to someone, "I don't know what I'm going to do if McCain wins." Of course, the reality is I'm probably not going to do anything. What can I do? I'm not going to kill myself. If I didn't kill myself when I became impotent for two months in 1979, I'm certainly not going to do it if McCain and Palin are elected, even if it's by nefarious means. If Obama loses, it would be easier to live with it if it's due to racism rather than if it's stolen. If it's racism, I can say, "Okay, we lost, but at least it's a democracy. Sure, it's a democracy inhabited by a majority of disgusting, reprehensible turds, but at least it's a democracy." If he loses because it's stolen, that will be much worse. Call me crazy, but I'd rather live in a democratic racist country than a non-democratic non-racist one. (It's not exactly a Hobson's choice, but it's close, and I think Hobson would compliment me on how close I've actually come to giving him no choice. He'd love that!)

The one concession I've made to maintain some form of sanity is that I've taken to censoring my news, just like the old Soviet Union. The citizenry (me) only gets to read and listen to what I deem appropriate for its health and well-being. Sure, there are times when the system breaks down. Michele Bachmann got through my radar this week, right before bedtime. That's not supposed to happen. That was a lapse in security, and I've had to make some adjustments. The debates were particularly challenging for me to monitor. First I tried running in and out of the room so I would only hear my guy. This worked until I knocked over a tray of hors d'oeuvres. "Sit down or get out!" my host demanded. "Okay," I said, and took a seat, but I was more fidgety than a ten-year-old at temple. I just couldn't watch without saying anything, and my running commentary, which mostly consisted of "Shut up, you prick!" or "You're a fucking liar!!!" or "Go to hell, you cocksucker!" was way too distracting for the attendees, and finally I was asked to leave.

Assuming November 4th ever comes, my big decision won't be where I'll be watching the returns, but if I'll be watching. I believe I have big jinx potential and may have actually cost the Dems the last two elections. I know I've jinxed sporting events. When my teams are losing and I want them to make a comeback, all I have to do is leave the room. Works every time. So if I do watch, I'll do it alone. I can't subject other people to me in my current condition. I just don't like what I've turned into -- and frankly I wasn't that crazy about me even before the turn. This election is having the same effect on me as marijuana. All of my worst qualities have been exacerbated. I'm paranoid, obsessive, nervous, and totally mental. It's one long, intense, bad trip. I need to come down. Soon

- From Huffington Post

My turn to brag!!!

If only I actually had money :-(
1st out of 318,792

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Yo! And all that!

Satire?

Yeah, it must be, but it's just so realistic its frightening...


Press Secretary's 'Zumtrel Flooby' Answer May Be Attempt To Evade Question

Linking Brilliance with Alcoholism

Unfortunately, I do not have access to the full text of the article (ironic, considering my employer), but below is a link to the abstract. This explains so much, gulp.

Summary from Yahoo!:
"Contrary to expectations, higher intelligence scores at age 10 may be associated with higher levels of alcohol intake and alcohol-related drinking problems during adulthood, study findings suggest.

Moreover, these associations appear "markedly stronger among women than among men," Dr. G. David Batty, from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and colleagues report in the American Journal of Public Health."

Abstract from the American Journal of Public Health

there's no god...


Londoners fearing eternal damnation could receive reassurance from the city's bendy buses as an atheist advertising campaign gets underway.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I've already packed

flamewar?

TSA trash

Good thing our valuables are going to the fine men and women of the TSA

A Vampire's Choice Article

Natalie Angier, author of the fantastic science primer "The Canon" has a great article on the components of our good friend, blood.

Bernanke Endorses Obama!

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122455027730552509.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

this should be interesting.

Monday, October 20, 2008

LEGALIZE!!!

In Tijuana alone, a wave of gangland killings has left at least 99 people dead since Sept. 26, a death toll that rivals, if not exceeds, that in Baghdad, a war-torn city that is four times as large, over the same period.


Do you want to:

1. Sever the funding of those attacking NATO troops in Afghanistan?

2. Hobble organized crime the world over, thus making all people safer and freeing law enforcement funds for other purposes?

3. End the psychologically debilitating incarceration of thousands of non-violent, often young prisoners?

4. Help initiate a new era of prosperity in Central and South America?

5. Bring in millions of dollars of tax revenue?

6. Allow for an honest, fact-based social discussion about the medical dangers of substance abuse?

LEAGLIZE!!!

Dems and Republicans Settle Suit; Astoninshing Acknowledgements Are Made

In the settlement of a suit brought to question the use or attempted use of foreclosure lists in challenging voter eligibility in Michigan, the following statement has been made:
The settlement acknowledges the existence of an illegal scheme by the Republicans to use mortgage foreclosure lists to deny foreclosure victims their right to vote. This settlement has the force of law behind it and ensures that Republicans cannot disenfranchise families facing foreclosure.
There is more here.

Sarah Palin Wants to Amend the Constitution

In an interview with the Christian Bible Network (CBN) Alaskan Governor and Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin broke with her running mate, Senator John McCain and supported a constitutional amendment banning same sex-marriage when asked:

Brody: On Constitutional marriage amendment , are, are you for something like that?

Palin: I am, in my own, state, I have voted along with the vast majority of Alaskans who had the opportunity to vote to amend our Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I wish on a federal level that that's where we would go because I don't support gay marriage. I'm not going to be out there judging individuals, sitting in a seat of judgment telling what they can and can't do, should and should not do, but I certainly can express my own opinion here and take actions that I believe would be best for traditional marriage and that's casting my votes and speaking up for traditional marriage that, that instrument that it's the foundation of our society is that strong family and that's based on that traditional definition of marriage, so I do support that. (emphasis added)

I learned of this story via ThinkProgress's story. As TP notes, I guess she is no longer, 'in a sense,' a Federalist as she is on Roe v. Wade. Does she know what a Federalist is? Does she see this issue being of such great importance, greater importance than Roe, that she is willing to set aside her Federalist stance? I hope she'll finally conduct a press conference so that someone may ask her.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Senior Moments

Will now be referred to as amyelinated moments :)

Spinal Cord Goodness!

Here's a very promising study looking at central pattern generators in the spinal cord.

Libertarianism Is Dead

Jacob Weisberg writes a too short epilogue for the "intellectually immature" worldview that is Libertarianism. I've taken the opportunity to summarize here using his own words, but hope that someone can point out a more fully fleshed piece at a more rigorous (or at least academic) home. I provide a fast-forward version here:
But to summarize, the libertarian apologetics fall wildly short of providing any convincing explanation for what went wrong. The argument as a whole is reminiscent of wearying dorm-room debates that took place circa 1989 about whether the fall of the Soviet bloc demonstrated the failure of communism. Academic Marxists were never going to be convinced that anything that happened in the real world could invalidate their belief system. Utopians of the right, libertarians are just as convinced that their ideas have yet to be tried, and that they would work beautifully if we could only just have a do-over of human history. Like all true ideologues, they find a way to interpret mounting evidence of error as proof that they were right all along.

...Cox and Gramm, in particular, are often accused of being in the pocket of the securities industry. That's not entirely fair; these men took the hands-off positions they did because of their political philosophy, which holds that markets are always right and governments always wrong to interfere. They share with Greenspan, the only member of the trio who openly calls himself a libertarian, a deep aversion to any infringement of the right to buy and sell. That belief, which George Soros calls market fundamentalism, is the best explanation of how the natural tendency of lending standards to turn permissive during a boom became a global calamity that spread so far and so quickly.

...The worst thing you can say about libertarians is that they are intellectually immature, frozen in the worldview many of them absorbed from reading Ayn Rand novels in high school. Like other ideologues, libertarians react to the world's failing to conform to their model by asking where the world went wrong. Their heroic view of capitalism makes it difficult for them to accept that markets can be irrational, misunderstand risk, and misallocate resources or that financial systems without vigorous government oversight and the capacity for pragmatic intervention constitute a recipe for disaster. They are bankrupt, and this time, there will be no bailout.