Friday, February 29, 2008

Scottish not that Celtic

I hope this isn't built on assumptions of Scotland being special though. Scotland is really just the Anglo-Saxon kingdom which escaped unification and has a bunch of foreign mountain men in its north.

Leej in thread
The Failure of England.

Prussia vs Austria

"I think Austria is a lovely little country. It's like visiting Germany, except without all those damn Prussians everywhere."

- Winston Churchill Prime Minister
of Great Britain (1940 - 1953)

Bathroom Humour and Birds

On Comics Curmudgeon there is much comment about this cartoon. Skullturf Q. Beavispants (real user name) chimes in with this tidbit of bathroom humour.

That Shoe reminds me of a joke.

Two friends are hanging out in the yard on a summer day.

Without warning, out of somewhere up in the sky, a bird takes a crap on one of them.

The poor, crapped-upon soul starts to complain and swear: “Of all the rotten luck…” and so forth.

Their friend immediately gets up and starts to head inside the house.

“Where are you going?” asks the bird-crap recipient.

“To get some toilet paper” is the reply.

“Oh, don’t bother, the bird’s probably really far away by now.

The Drains of Canada

The BLDGBLOG has an interview with urban spelunker Michael Cook. Read the interview then go to Michael blog Vanishing Point and look at sewers.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Empty Suit

In a slashdot discussion about the fashion faux pas of the IT crowd, Gaffes Keeping Geeks Out of the Board Room. Simon Brooke has this comment on our besuited masters.

But as a quick aside, the business suit is worn these days by lawyers, politicians, salesmen and the financial services industry - in other words, it's the uniform of the professionally dishonest. Is that really how you want people to see you?

Bush as Zaphod Beeblebrox

In a discussion about the effect of Douglas Adams not dying there is this tidbit of political comment on the appeal of charismatic morons.

...Although I can't see that he would ever make Zaphod such a total idiot as in the film. There's no way anyone who acts that stupid gets to be Galactic President, no matter how charming they might be...

But Bush got to be President of the United States..

(Un)Acceptable Racist Humour and Beer Sales

Stuff White People Like is a new blog that focuses on sociology of mainly white urban professionals in North America. Some observations are rude, some insightful some both. Here is one entry, Microbreweries. However a recent Report on Business article, What Happened to Blue?, highlights that decline of Labatt Blue as a brand. The change is not that the big brewers are selling less but they are promoting and selling and promoting horrible American "beer", (Srooc and Dub) rather than passable Canadian beer like Blue and Canadian, see below. Mass market beer isn't being outsold by microbrews but by mass market Yank "beer"


Molson Canadian: 11-12%

Labatt Blue: 10-11%

Budweiser: 8%

Coors Light: 7-8%


Labatt: 47%

Molson: 47%


Budweiser: 12%

Coors Light: 10-11%

Molson Canadian: 8-10%

Labatt Blue: 5-7%


Labatt: 43%

Molson: 41%

*Ranges based on industry observers' estimates and company information

Shifting ad budgets


Labatt Blue7.27.77
Coors Light 89.620
Molson Canadian 69.355

Barbarians at The Gates

Fjordman is Norwegian writer of jeremiads. Here is his reaction to book review in The New Yorker of God's Crucible, a book about a barbarian invasion. He is less sanguine about civilizing benefit of slavery. Below is except from his article.

Contrast this with modern times, when southeast Europe (the Balkans) is Europe's number one trouble spot. So is the original seat of the first Indian civilization, in Pakistan and Kashmir. The Greater Middle East thus went from being a global center of civilization to being a global center of anti-civilization. This change largely coincided with the Islamization of the region.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Free Market Fundamentalism

Monetarism -like Marxism- far from offering policy makers essential truths about the economy drove them further away from what was really happening. It made government policy dependent upon a metaphysical concept-the money supply...

Mark Mazower in The Dark Continent.

Seas of Slaughter

The above map is from a new report from documenting the decline of the seas. Here is the article in Science. Here is a discussion on NPR about the report. Sea of Slaughter is a book by Farley Mowat about the destruction of marine resources in the Maritimes.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

You May Mujahideen if

YOU MAY BE Mujahideen IF

1. You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to beer.

2. You own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can't afford shoes.

3. You have more wives than teeth.

4. You wipe your butt with your bare left hand, but consider bacon "unclean."

5. You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.

6. You can't think of anyone you HAVEN'T declared Jihad against.

7. You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.

8. You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.

9. You've ever uttered the phrase, "I love what you've done with your cave."

10. You have nothing against women and think every man should own at least one.

11. You bathe at least monthly whether necessary or not.

12. You've ever had a crush on your neighbor's goat.

Oh, I'm sorry. Did I insult you?

A Mujahideen is a moslem who has religious reasons to murder you.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Freedom, Responsibility and Film Violence

With freedom comes responsibility.

With freedom comes irresponsibility.

Movie critic Mark Harris talking about movie violence
and censorship on NPR.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mr Glasses - Architect

The Modernism movement wanted buildings to be machines for living. Unfortunately we humans are not merely cogs building should be built for us not the other way around. Here is a fictionalized version of Philip Johnson as Mr Glasses.

Friday, February 15, 2008

When You have to Define it As Such, It is Gone

In the past week I have heard this same phrasing from Hillary Clinton and Roger Clemens:

I was a friend of [insert name] before this and I will be a friend of [insert name] after this over.


Rolemodels or Lack Thereof

Probable non-recreational drug user and professional ball handler Clemens was testifying at the US congress. It appears that he was injected with banned performance enhancing drugs. He is supposed to be a role model. Not really, the only types that grow up with pro athletes as role models are aspiring pro athletes themselves. In the same way aspiring drug lords consider drug lords, real or fictional, as their role models. Charles Barkley, he of the $10 million gambling loses, said it best, athletes are not role models.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Stickfigures of the World Unite

From Romph.

Come In / Go Away

from The Party Never Stops.

Is Parenthood Worth It

From comes this bleak ad that asks the existential question "are you doing anything to justify the blood, treasure and tears invested in your birth and childhood?"

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Political Debate Reformulated as Oscar debate

I have also seen the difference between Hilliary Rodham Clinton and Barak Hussein Obama done like PC/Mac ads.

(from cartoon brew)

B School for the Mediocre Monkey

All I want out of life is to be a monkey of moderate intelligence who wears a suit. That's why I've decided to transfer to business school.

Gunter, one time monkey genius in Futurama S02E02

University Education

Please Fry I don't how to teach I am a professor.

Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth in Futurama S02E02

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Three Little Pigs Retold as 9/11

First The wolf blew down the house of straw.

Second the wolf blew down the house of sticks.

Then he tried and failed to blow down the house of bricks. So he flew an airplane into it and blamed the Jews.

Joke by Pat Condell in his video reacting to
the Archbishop of Canterbury's appeasement.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Hillary Hatred

A NY Times blogger has posted an article about Hillary Clinton hatred, All You Need is Hate. What is as interesting as his article is in comments. Some of the Hillary haters are rabid right wingers but many others are Democrats. Slate Magazine has compared Hilliary Clinton to the character Tracy Flick from the movie Election. It is suggested that Hillary hatred is one things propelling the candidacy of Obama. But I generally consider excessive charisma a negative sign in a politician, such popularity easily allows incompetents to be elected. After George Bush do the Americans really need another coke snorting ivy league glad hander. As if the ability to have beer somebody indicates that a pol has technical and moral qualities for high office.

Luka from the comments in All you Need Is Hate boils the argument this way.
Shouldn’t competence be a major reason to elect someone in office? This nation had 7 years of a cool dude with grand visions, that seemed soo compassionate and friendly. We need to sober up. We need a hard-working realist to clean up the mess.

TV Characters Bigger than Most Movies

Not that C.J. Cregg or Vern Schillinger are small achievements, by any means.

Television Without Pity reviewing overlooked
Oscar prospects from the movie Juno.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Oscar Peterson Overview and Interview

I did not enjoy the Oscar Peterson tribute broadcast on CBC last month. I thought there was too much talking, too little music and what music there was was banal. The concert should have also included, in closing one of his solo recordings. The only performance that was excellent and a fitting tribute to Oscar Peterson's life and work is this by Herbie Hancock, who steps back, slows down, plays a lot less notes and breaks convention to make this jazz piano piece sound like something yesterday or 200 years ago. The BBC 3 program Jazz Library looks at Oscar Peterson's body of work this week. You have a 160 hours to hear it.

The Unsuccessful Judas Uses a Camera Phone

The History of F1, Shell & Ferrari

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Periodic Table of Visualization has put together this periodic table of visualizing information. The periodic table progresses from simple charts to complex metaphoric illustrations. Well worth a look.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Personality Quiz Matches You with African Thugs-in-Chief

Here is a personality quiz to match you with the African dictator most like you. The behavior or misbehavior of African dictators suggests maybe decolonization was not a wholly good thing. Africa was fully colonized by European powers for less than 100 years, Moslem powers had their own slave trading stations, like Zanzibar, on Africa's east coast for much longer, but it is European colonialism that is usually reviled. However in the last decades of colonialism European powers spent more on their colonies then the colonies provided. Colonies were a status symbol not a profit center, Kaiser Wilhelm II wanted colonies despite them being a drain. In contrast foreign aid can never replace the subsidy that late stage colonialism was but it does makes government the only font of wealth and power, see post election violence in Kenya.

I took the test and ended with Robert Mugabe, a "man" currently running his country into the ground with his racist policies and economic mismanagement. Zimbabweans are worse off now then when they were as Rhodesians when Mugabe and his thugs were attempting to overthrow Ian Smith. The difference is that Mugabe's living standards are higher. "Liberation" has mainly impoverished African countries while enriching their new and mostly incompetent rulers.

Which African dictator are you?
created with
You scored as Robert Mugabe

You are Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. First and only president ruling still to this day?

Robert Mugabe


Joseph Mobutu


Sani Abacha


Charles Taylor


Jean-Bedel Bokassa


Muammar Gaddafi


Idi Amin


Friday, February 01, 2008

Death of a Communist Hitman 40 Years Ago

40 years ago a leader of a Viet Cong assassination squad, Nguyễn Văn Lém, was summarily executed by the police General Nguyễn Ngọc Loan during the height of the Tet Offensive. We forget at our peril the Vietnam war wasn't a "war of liberation" but a war of conquest by Communists. The VC getting whacked was found over several dozen bound and executed policemen. During the battle for Hue the VC and North Vietnam forces used the same plan to exterminate real and potential enemies like policemen, teachers, clergy and civil servants and their families who would serve as a nucleus for opposition to communist rule, see the Chekist. These tactics were also used by the Khmer Rouge when they conquered Cambodia.

On NPR they discussed they this image as depicting inhumanity of war rather than as a commie terrorist, not guerrilla, getting his just desserts.

Reasons Not to Trust Experts

Following a link from Andart I came across this futurism blog Accelerating the Future. This is very different than the retro futurism of Paleo-Future. Here is a long list of quotes illustrating Clarke's 3 Laws of technology especially the first law:
When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

Good Cop, Baby Cop

The Landlord

Will Farrel is shaken down for big bills by a very small property owner.

The Zombie-American

It is hard to live when you are roting corpse. Watch this inspiration film, in 3 parts.

Creepy Body Modifications as Advertising

A Lift from Newsphoto Yesterday