Sunday, January 28, 2007

FU in the Present Day

Who could forget Francis Urquhart the murderous Thatherite of page and screen. Recently on the Alternative History board there has been a thread that imagines FU after 9/11.
But by the autumn, things we starting to drag on. True, a truck convoy filled with chemical and biological weapons had been intercepted headed for Iran during the first days of the war, so no one could argue that the invasion was not justified on those grounds. And Urquhart’s people had been able to plant evidence of Saddam’s compliancy in the death of Diana in Iraqi Intelligence archives. But questions were starting to be raised, in Parliament, and elsewhere. When will the insurgency be brought to an end.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Long Haul Trucker Calls for Railroads

On a discussion about US Energy Independence, on NPR a caller advocated a policy against his own economic interest. Mark a conservative Republican long haul trucker is appalled that he is hauling around raw and semi fininshed materials like steel and aluminum. Mike the trucker also thinks global warming is farce then he says he burns 600 american gallons of fuel per week, or about 2300 litres. He wonders why so much shipping is done by truck not railroad. The change from road to rail would happen naturally if the subsidy on trucks were removed.

His comment is here starting at the 19:30 mark.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Rockets Red Glare

There isn't alot of commerce in most of the Star Trek series. That is understandable when most of the characters are career millitary who spend most of their time in space. Sailors have gotten a rep for being free spenders because they don't spend money afloat. They spend some time and most of their money ashore and most of their time and ony some of their money at sea. Other people have seen the lack of economic activity in Star Trek as omniously encouraging communism.

A Star Wars fan Michael Wong created a site, StarDestroyer, to argue up Star Wars and down Star Trek. He thinks that the Federation's industrial capacity is limited compared to Imperial industrial capacity. He calls fans of Star Trek "Federation Cultists". Another essay, The Economics of Star Trek, of his slams Star Trek for being a communist state ruled with tyranny. Many of Michael Wong's argruements are interesting and well argrued, he also has a special section devoted to hate mail. In a contest between Star Wars tech and Star Trek tech, Star Wars is going to win. In Star Trek humanity has been in space for less than 500 years. In Star Wars space was explored in prehistory. That said all of the essays and analyses are interesting and amusing.

T-Shirt from Rome

In the TV series Rome there is a herald who announces the news from atop a stone soap box in the market place. At the end of every report/news/government press release the herald goes does a short ad for "the Brotherhood of Capitoline Bakers, True Roman bread for true Romans". In the same way that Dave Devall the weatherman always gives a short spiel for Carrier Heating & Air Conditioning. Now a fansite for TV has created a T-Shirt design for all the friends of Rome.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Cats with a MySpace page

When cats are using MySpace does that mean MySpace has peaked or that it is time to get on the band wagon. The image above is from the profile page. The motto for the cats is "we sleep a lot". I got this link from the profile page for a character from Heroes.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Dark Ages at Yale

At The History Network there is a report from Yale's dark ages. The historian Jesse Lemisch catalogues horror stories from his time at Yale during the cold war. Look below for an amusing ancedote of expensive learning. Here is a previous unflattering story about Yale also from the The History Network.

The barbarities of undergraduate culture at the time helped to prepare these people to commit barbaric acts on a world scale later on in adult (?) life. The culture honored heavy drinking and public vomiting and urinating – long before the homeless picked up these virtuous behaviors from Yalies.