Friday, July 31, 2009

Toddlers Will Kick You When You're Down.

Of course they will that is the easiest way TO kick someone.

Crazy Temperance Types Upset with Harry Potter

Okay one columnist for the NY Times is shrieking; "Won't somebody please think of the children?" In recent article, Harry Potter and the Pint of Liquid Courage, Tara Parker-Pope lists with concern incidents of underage drinking in the latest Harry Potter movie. The writer is concerned because her country has the same drinking age tolerant and child centered Pakistan.

In the reader response to this article many posters point out that it is American drinking laws are so completely out of whack and not literary description of booze in Harry Potter.

Someone pseudonymously as Hermione has this response to the "life lessons" in literature.


and Quidditch encourages kids to jump off buildings.

and eating chocolate to ward off Dementors encourages emotional binge eating.

Does Hogwarts have a drinking problem? No. The people who came up with this idea need to swallow a few potent shots of Chill The **** Out.

Nancy Goodman seems to to agree the writer with Colbert enthusiasm.
Whoever heard of 16 year olds drinking “butterbeer” and “mead” and getting “tipsy”? Shame! When I was that age such behavior was unheard of. I spent my free time using Bible verses to derive my family’s direct lineage from Adam and Eve. I for one refuse to watch such filth lest the good Lord see fit to burn my eyes from their sockets with a finger of fire. Harry Potter is the Devil and anyone who would subject innocent children to such a debauchery deserves to burn in Hell.

Michael gets in such a good shot the author of this oped cries ouch.
Did Dolores Umbridge write this article?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What Happened to Following the Rules of Fight Club

Father In Mass. Ran Fight Club For Son James Dexter Says He Supervised Fights, Intervened When Someone Was Clearly Losing

NEWBURY, Mass. (CBS) ―

A father who helped his son set up an ultimate fighting club in his home may face serious charges.

James Dexter of Newbury admits 15 to 20 high schoolers gathered to fight in his living room, but he says it was just a sport.

"We had moved all the furniture to one side, and put a cushion on the wall. I set rules that they couldn't be using their elbows, their knees, and they couldn't lift them up off the ground and slam them to the floor," said Dexter.

He said his 16-year-old son had been planning to hold the fights in a nearby field, when Dexter intervened and said they had to do it under his supervision.

"I was standing there and if one kid was losing obviously, I broke it up right away rather than letting them get extra hits on him."

The kids wore fingerless boxing gloves and mouth guards, and fought in the style of the popular Ultimate Fighting Club.

"It's a hobby of mine," said Dexter. "We enjoy it. It's a sport."

Dexter faces four counts of reckless endangerment of a child, but a judge is giving him a chance to clear his record.

He's on probation for two years, during which he can not have anyone under 18 in his home.

As long as he obeys the conditions, the charges will be dropped.

(screen scrape from CBS Denver)

This terrible story has a moral, don't let teenagers join fight club because can't follow rules 1 & 2, Don't talk About Fight Club. Lousy punks.

Here are the rules of Fight Club.

In the Land Of the Wolves - Chernobyl and area

Elena, a Ukrainian photographer and motorcyclist has put together a site of photographs of her travels into the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Here for the photographer's site. Here for information on the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Above is the actual nuclear plant. The record of her journeys are filled with rusted out equipment, abandoned disintegrating building and healthy and unconcerned wildlife. A higher background radiation that wildlife pays for a larger habitat and reduced human caused predation.

Has anyone else read the book the World Without Us. What has been happening here and what is discussed in the book gives hope for the future, with or without us.

(link from Goranga!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ancient Computer Ad

Here is an ancient computer ad from 1990. This ad also gives many clues how the PC clones were able to win beta/vhs like computer format wars. The system being advertised are probably a 286 PC clone system that Amstrad had out at the the time. It was no great shakes even then. But as it was sold as a "business machine" it was being sold as turnkey manner. The peripherals, the software and training are included in one round and expensive price.

Trainspotting Recruitment Ad Mashup

I came across a bunch recruiting ads tonight on Youtube. This one is a mashup between a Royal Marines ad and the opening words of Trainspotting. Trainspotting is a movie about heroin and nihilism of choosing drugs over life is actually a good fit with the standard recruiting ad of danger and honor.

Other recruiting ads, official and otherwise that I came across tonight.
A NSFW US Navy ad put together by some sailors that emphasizes the congenial "cruise ship" lifestyle in the Navy.

A comparison between Japanese and American Navy recruitment ads. The Japanese ad, official ad, has bright colors and uptempo. If anything it is like that old song, In the Navy, only with more dancing.

There were also a number of vile anti-militaristic ads out there. Often it is claimed that activists who have the objections to the various wars going on in the middle east are in favour of peace. Many of the same groups and individuals also support the activities of the many and varied moslem terrorist groups in the same area. Not the work of peaceniks but traitors who will always side with our enemies.

Finally check out this low key Russian recruiting ad. It is not a recruiting ad per se, the Russian army relies on conscription not just to fill its ranks but also the NCO slots. However since the collapse of Soviet order there has draft evasion on a large scale with parental approval and help. In this ad a young man packs some clothes, hugs his mother, leaves his apartment building and gets the quiet approval of old men playing chess outdoors.

Sylar's Personal Ad

Sylar, everybody's favorite brain scooping psycho from Heroes is looking for love. Or rather a fan with the Trenchcoat Mafia has cut together a charming little ad for Sylar. If the name of the editor rings a bell the gang that couldn't shoot straight at Columbine High School also called themselves the the Trenchcoat Mafia.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Most of Doctor Who's "Travelling Companions"

(click to enlarge)

I forget where I found this illustration except that it was on a nerdy bulletin board. See how many of the Doctor's companions you can name and/or recognize.

Where to Hire a "Gun Wrangler"

While idly Googling around I came across a Canadian company that is set up to provide rentals and services to film and TV production companies. A&A Airsoft is willing rent weapons, equipment and the trained soldiers to operate it all along of with the services of a gun wrangler. From this company's name it probably started off selling Airsoft guns and then branched out into equipment and services and military surplus. The one book they sell, Once Upon a Wartime: A Canadian Who Survived the Devil's Brigade, is a memoir from a member of the Devil's brigade with a custom inscription from the author.

The Problem with Short Sellers AND Long Buyers

(click on image to enlarge)

Many people have an instinctive horror of short sellers. When markets are down the short sellers are ofter blamed. When a posted a jokey defense of short sellers from the Daily Show back in March, A Defense of Short Sellers, one of my faithful readers objected. Timbo motalized, "But if you short a stock, that can be a knife in its back. That can be the tipping point." It is a problem when anybody manipulates markets in any direction. This is why there are often special rules and disclosures for financial journalists and advisers. The problem is neither short selling and long buying, you can get regular reports on both activities through curiously the shorts report that the Globe and Mail's Report on Business publishes in hard copy is not available online. The problem is at the extremes. Pump and dump schemes can temporarily inflate stocks. And persuasive bears can talk down individual stocks for the bear's benefit. That is a manipulation however under normal conditions many companies like the attention of bulls who talk up hem up. Short sellers perform a reality service for many a company as it wanders nonchalantly off a cliff. Sometimes big dumb companies can exhibit the Wile E Coyote effect until short sellers point out the gaping chasm beneath their feet. At which point the stock falls to earth not through the "evil" designs of the short sellers but through the incompetence and bad luck of it own management.

Cool Names for ROK Military Units

I was reading the manga Cat Shit One, also called Apocalypse Meow. In one of the historical sidebars listed some of the ROK divisions that participated in the Vietnam War. The Yellow Tiger, Blue Dragon and White Horse or Stallion divisions were South Korea's contribution to the Vietnam War. Some of the other names for ROK units are Iron Wall, Golden Bat, Angry Wave, Pegasus and Eagle. In the case of the White Horse division the name cane be traced to a battle in the Korean War where the 9th div was able to beat back an assault by chi-com troops. You can read the history of the Battle of White Horse Mountain here. Below is a photo of White Horse Mountain.

Man on the Moon - As It Would Be Reported Today

Cry Havoc and Release the Fluffy Bunnies of War

For more information on this anime and the manga that it is based on check out Cat Shit One at wiki.

Bruce Lee versus Iron Man

This cool stop motion animation was produced by Patrick Boivin, check his page at his agent's.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Even More Chainsaw Bayonets/Swords

Some days internet produces the same stuff everywhere you look. Yesterday I had a post about working chainsaw bayonet, today it is also on In a thread, Things that look like alternate history, but aren't, the above image was posted. Below are the best comments on AH about this invention.

Emperor Norton I
And that's why you don't let rednecks in the army.

As I already said : Every period of history apparently has it's own Warhammer 40K fanboys...

That is so completely stupid, that it loops around the other direction and becomes awesome. I feel conflicted.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

All Hail the Green Giant

Working Chainsword

Warhammer 40K has a weapon called the chainsaw sword. Above you can see a Space Marine holding chainsaw sword. This crazy weapon has inspired lots of nerds.

The guy who made the chainsaw bayonet, pfcthiel, has other test videos of his working chainsaw bayonet at his youtube page. He is also willing to build these small rifle mounted chainsaws for $300. Here is a picture of another working chainsaw bayonet.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Star Wars Whisky Ad

Canadian Club's current campaign is aimed aimed at young non-whisky drinkers. Many of advertising campaigns use young pretty people. The twist with this campaign is using retro images of young people in the past. The faded color photos give the impression of old amateur snapshots. At CC's website you can make your own mock ad. Here, Fun With Canadian Club Ads, is a collection of more "user created content" at Something Awful.

Here is another one that could be a motivation poster.

Zombie Cat

In a forum on Something Awful, Dress up Your Cat. This is not a retouched photo. It is a cat named Chase or Chase no Face. The cat had a horrible accident and lived.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How To Get Ahead in Politics and Publishing

In an there was an argument over SM Sterling, My opinion of Stirling's ISOT and Emberverse Series. Sterling is contentious figure who has been banned from after getting into an discussion about containing moslem terrorism. On the other hand he is very influential on the entire genre of alternate history. Many topics discussed on are derived from concepts and scenarios that Sterling first developed. When the the entwined concerns of literary and commercial merit came up, with the usual slagging anything that is popular,the conversation deadened until Tom Kalbfus brought up too subtle slagging of a successful politico/author.

I think time and only time is the true test of a classic work. If someone writes a book and many copies are sold and 50 years later people are still buying many copies of that book, that may be a classic.

There are of course other reasons people might buy many copies of a book, for instance the writer happens to be a politician, maybe a Senator for instance. The Senator does one of his constituents a favor, but he doesn't want to be seen accepting kickbacks, so what does he do? He writes a book, not a particularly well written book, but somehow it still sells lots of copies, imagine that, in fact the author makes $6,000,000 from the sales of his book, and then just as mysteriously the book sales plumment, but the Senator is still happy, he deposits his money in his bank account, and then asks other wealthy and influential constituents if there is anything he can do for them, and then he mentions the book he has written.

I have no one in particular in mind, its just a hypothetical example of how someone may well many books without being a good writer.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Civil Service - a definition

The civil service, the cockroaches of government.

One civil sevice lifer to another civil sevice lifer in Torchwood S03E01