You Know What’s Really Funny?
Posted on August 30th, 2008 at 1:00 pm by Steve


That Blows
Posted on August 28th, 2008 at 3:43 pm by Steve

On the grim third anniversary of the date that Katrina came ashore in Louisiana, tropical meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters shares a sobering thought:

It’s time to get familiar with the names Hanna, Josephine, Ike, and Kyle, because the tropical Atlantic is about to put on a rare burst of very high activity in the coming weeks.

Masters writes a tropical weather blog at the site he founded, the Weather Underground. He identifies four so-called “tropical waves” that each have a serious potential of developing into major hurricanes that threaten the U. S. mainland in the next few weeks:

As we look at these potential monster storms, it’s important to recall that what actually killed thousands of New Orleans residents in 2005 wasn’t a natural disaster; it was an engineering disaster:

“The failure of the New Orleans regional flood protection systems,” wrote Raymond Seed, a professor civil engineering at the University of California Berkeley in an October 30, 2007 letter to the American Society of Civil Engineers, “was one of the two most costly failures of engineered systems in history, rivaled only by the Chernobyl meltdown.”

The worst part of it is, this engineering disaster is ready to happen again next week:

East of the Mississippi River, for example, the system’s Achilles heel remains the Industrial Canal area, where $695 million worth of structures are planned at the confluence of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet. But that work, still being designed, won’t start to provide any storm surge protection until this time next year.

Three years after Katrina, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning some work on the MR-GO canal, one of the biggest risks to New Orleans. That’s absolutely outrageous. And the lack of manpower, resources, and effort can—must—be laid at the feet of the Bush Administration and its allies and supporters:

Indeed, there’s John McCain receiving his birthday cake from President Bush… on August 29, 2005… the same day that the levees failed and thousands died.

So if you were a politician from the opposing party, wouldn’t you think that you might choose to mention this disaster at your quadrennial convention…? which might be taking place on the anniversary of the disaster? which might implicate not only the incumbent president, but your opposing party’s candidate?

Ah, but we forget; these politicans from the opposing party are Democrats:

…in Denver tonight, exactly three words were spoken that served as a shout-out from the powerful and the would-be powerful to a city on its knees: “Katrina and cronyism.” That’s the sum total of the verbiage from the podium of the DNC about the “greatest man-made engineering disaster in American history.”*

So, to review: hurricane hits vulnerable area; decades of incompetent federal engineering lead to unmitigated disaster; current administration is slow to respond; president and his Republican cronies are out to lunch; thousands die due to negligence; new hurricane threatens same region three years later, to the day, during the Democratic convention… but the Democrats feel that it wouldn’t be polite to mention any of this.

Good luck, New Orleans; Good luck, America!

*(That commentary comes from Harry Shearer, an outspoken critic of the Corps and a part-time New Orleans resident. He’s also part of a worthy activist group trying to save New Orleans called

“Your Pride Is Our Shame”
Posted on August 26th, 2008 at 3:45 pm by Steve

Jerusalem mayoral candidate Arcadi Gaydamak, an Israeli-Russian businessman, said “When I’m elected mayor, I would die before allowing the pride parade to be held in Jerusalem.”

(h/t: the Angry Arab)

F*ck Fox News!
Posted on August 25th, 2008 at 9:01 am by Steve

Apparently, when you refuse to speak to the obnoxious and condescending reporter from Faux News – or when you speak out against corporate media manipulation – that means you “don’t believe in freedom of speech.” At least, that’s according to Fox News’s Griff Jenkins.

The protesters outside the Democratic convention in Denver give him a piece of their agitated minds; hilarity ensues:

The Sirens of Titan
Posted on August 24th, 2008 at 1:10 pm by Steve

Arguably one of Kurt Vonnegut’s greatest novels:

Pages 76-77:

“Mr. Constant,” he said, “right now you’re as easy for the Bureau of Internal Revenue to watch as a man on a street corner selling apples and pears. But just imagine how hard you would be to watch if you had a whole office building jammed to the rafters with industrial bureaucrats—men who lose things and use the wrong forms and create new forms and demand everything in quintuplicate, and who understand perhaps a third of what is said to them; who habitually give misleading answers in order to gain time in which to think, who make decisions only when forced to, and who then cover their tracks; who make perfectly honest mistakes in addition and subtraction, who call meetings whenever they feel lonely, who write memos whenever they feel unloved; men who never throw anything away unless they think it could get them fired. A single industrial bureaucrat, if he is sufficiently vital and nervous, should be able to create a ton of meaningless papers a year for the Bureau of Internal Revenue to examine.”

Page 163:

“The lieutenant colonel realized for the first time what most people never realize about themselves—that he was not only a victim of outrageous fortune, but one of outrageous fortune’s cruelest agents as well.”

Page 169:

The only controls available to those on board were two push-buttons on the center post of the cabin—one labeled on and one labeled off. The on button simply started a flight from Mars. The off button was connected to nothing. It was installed at the insistence of Martian mental-health experts, who said that human beings were always happier with machinery they thought they could turn off.

Page 176:

“Any man who would change the World in a significant way must have showmanship, a genial willingness to shed other people’s blood, and a plausible new religion to introduce during the brief period of repentance and horror that usually follows bloodshed.”

Pages 182-183:

“Their wish, when they died,” said Rumfoord, “was not for paradise for themselves, but that the brotherhood of mankind on Earth might be enduring.”

“To that end, devoutly to be wished,” said Rumfoord, “I bring you word of a new religion that can be received enthusiastically in every corner of every Earthling heart.”

“National borders,” said Rumfoord, “will disappear.”

“The lust for war,” said Rumfoord, “will die.”

“All envy, all fear, all hate will die,” said Rumfoord.

“The name of the new religion,” said Rumfoord, “is The Church of God the Utterly Indifferent.”

“The flag of that church will be blue and gold,” said Rumfoord. “These words will be written on that flag in gold letters on a blue field: Take Care of the People, and God Almighty Will Take Care of Himsef.”

“The two chief teachings of this religion are these,” said Rumfoord: “Puny man can do nothing at all to help or please God Almighty, and Luck is not the hand of God.”

Pages 216-217:

“You come and tell me the big news,” said Boaz. ” ‘Boaz—’ you say, ‘we’re going to be free!’ And I get all excited, and I drop everything I’m doin’, and I get set to be free.”

“And I keep saying it over to myself about how I’m going to be free,” said Boaz, “and then I try to think what that’s going to be like, and all I can see is people. They push me this way, then they push me that—and nothing pleases ’em, and they get madder and madder, on account of nothing makes ’em happy. And they holler at me on account of I ain’t made ’em happy, and we all push and pull some more.”

“And then, all of a sudden,” said Boaz, “I remember all the crazy little animals I been making so happy so easy with music. And I go find thousands of ’em lying around dead, on account of Boaz forgot all about ’em, he was so excited about being free. And every’ one of them lost lives I could have saved, if I’d have just kept my mind on what I was doing.”

“And then I say to myself,” said Boaz, ” ‘I ain’t never been nothing good to people, and people never been nothing good to me. So what I want to be free in crowds of people for?’ ”

“And then I knew what I was going to say to you, Unk, when I got back here,” said Boaz.

Boaz now said it:

“I found me a place where I can do good without doing any harm, and I can see I’m doing good, and them I’m doing good for know I’m doing it, and they love me, Unk, as best they can. I found me a home.”

“And when I die down here some day,” said Boaz, “I’m going to be able to say to myself, ‘Boaz—you made millions of lives worth living. Ain’t nobody ever spread more joy. You ain’t got an enemy in the Universe.’ ” Boaz became for himself the affectionate Mama and Papa he’d never had. ” ‘You go to sleep now,’ ” he said to himself, imagining himself on a stone deathbed in the caves. ” ‘You’re a good boy, Boaz,’ ” he said. ” ‘Good night.’ “

Pages 279-280:

Once upon a time on Tralfamadore there were creatures who weren’t anything like machines. They weren’t dependable. They weren’t efficient. They weren’t predictable. They weren’t durable. And these poor creatures were obsessed by the idea that everything that existed had to have a purpose, and that some purposes were higher than others.

These creatures spent most of their time trying to find out what their purpose was. And every time they found out what seemed to be a purpose of themselves, the purpose seemed so low that the creatures were filled with disgust and shame.

And, rather than serve such a low purpose, the creatures would make a machine to serve it. This left the creatures free to serve higher purposes. But whenever they found a higher purpose, the purpose still wasn’t high enough.

So machines were made to serve higher purposes, too.

And the machines did everything so expertly that they were finally given the job of finding out what the highest purpose of the creatures could be.

The machines reported in all honesty that the creatures couldn’t really be said to have any purpose at all.

The creatures thereupon began slaying each other, because they hated purposeless things above all else.

And they discovered that they weren’t even very good at slaying. So they turned that job over to the machines, too. And the machines finished up the job in less time than it takes to say, “Tralfamadore.”

Page 294:

At first glance, the laboratory-gowned scientist seemed to be a perfect servant of nothing but truth. At first glance, one was convinced that nothing but truth could please him as he beamed at his test tube. At first glance, one thought that he was as much above the beastly concerns of mankind as the harmoniums in the caves of Mercury. There, at first glance, was a young man without vanity, without lust—and one accepted at its face value the title Salo had engraved on the statue, Discovery of Atomic Power.

And then one perceived that the young truth-seeker had a shocking erection.

Page 302:

“Whatever we’ve said, friends, we’re saying still—such as it was, such as it is, such as it will be.”

Page 320:

“You finally fell in love, I see,” said Salo.

“Only an Earthling year ago,” said Constant. “It took us that long to realize that a purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”

Amazing Timelapse Fungus
Posted on August 24th, 2008 at 2:46 am by dr.hoo

Fox Summed Up Barak Obama’s Life in 60 Min
Posted on August 23rd, 2008 at 3:16 am by dr.hoo

and summed up Fox’s hour long program in 60 seconds:

Thanks! Who has the time to watch all 60 minutes when I’ll I need to hear are the important points?

Documentary: Humanity Lobotomy
Posted on August 21st, 2008 at 2:50 am by dr.hoo

Here’s a new version of the open source documentary by Four Eyed Monsters on net neutrality and the tragic history of the public’s loss of access to media…

Keep It Up, Boys!
Posted on August 19th, 2008 at 4:06 pm by Steve

Just came across this 2003 article from BBC News that brings us the good news about male masturbation:

Men could reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer through regular masturbation, researchers suggest.

They say cancer-causing chemicals could build up in the prostate if men do not ejaculate regularly.

And they say sexual intercourse may not have the same protective effect because of the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted infection, which could increase men’s cancer risk…

Men who ejaculated more than five times a week were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer later in life.

Keep up the good work, boys!

By Request…”Jesus vs. Santa”!
Posted on August 19th, 2008 at 3:43 pm by dr.hoo

Enough of this literary crap! Here’s some real ENTERATINMENT…

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