Just Another Blog
Monday, April 29, 2002
That's All For Now

I probably won't have the chance to post for the next week. I am off to the Kentucky Derby and the related festivities. I'll throw up a post or two if given the chance, but I'm optimistic that there will be way too much to do. I'll be back in a week...

For Pam

I think my boss took my being fired hardest of all. After all, she now has to survive on my virtual sarcasm instead of heavy doses of the real thing. Anyway, this link is for her. I don't particularly care for cats. If you enjoy crazy kitten pictures, feel free to check it out.

For My Friends in Florida

As the aforementioned Fark points out, shark attacks have become passé; it's the alligators you need to be careful of.
In the last two weeks, a six-footer snapped at a custodian at Pembroke Pines Charter School, a seven-footer crunched tooth marks into the bumper of a woman's car in Port Charlotte, and a nine-footer killed a dog near Tampa. Another wayward gator, struck while crossing a highway west of Cocoa, caused a pickup truck to flip, killing the driver.


I've added Fark.com to my link list. It's kind of like a scrolling version of an always light-hearted Drudge.

The Bionic Reporter

Pejman pointed me towards this article on a reporter who gets bionic powers. Ultimately, he disrupts a loofah session between Netanyahu and Sharon, but there are other funny parts too.

Army Do's and Don't's

Some guy (gal?) named Skippy has a list of 213 things that he has learned not to do now that he is in the army. The list is quite humerous. I found myself wondering how he found out some of these things were forbidden:
7. Not allowed to add 'In accordance with the prophesy' to the end of answers I give to a question an officer asks me.
27. Don't tell Princess Di jokes in front of the paras (British Airborne).
29. The Irish MPs are not after 'Me frosted lucky charms'.
33. Not allowed to chew gum at formation, unless I brought enough for everybody.
34. (Next day) Not allowed to chew gum at formation even if I *did* bring enough for everybody.
44. I am not the atheist chaplain.
56. An order to 'Make my Boots black and shiny' does not involve electrical tape.
77. The MP checkpoint is not an Imperial Stormtrooper roadblock, so I should not tell them "You don't need to see my identification, these are not the droids you are looking for."
83. Must not start any SITREP (Situation Report) with "I recently had an experience I just had to write you about...."
The laughs go on and on. Check it out.

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

Turns out that - according to the gay-o-meter - I am 26% gay. That seems a little high to me. I would have guessed much closer to 0%. Thanks to Feces Flinging Monkey for the link.

Saturday, April 27, 2002
Good News, Bad News

I hate Johnnie Cochran for all of the obvious reasons. But it turns out that he is seeking the end to NASCAR as we know it. I don't like NASCAR either. Last weekend, while waiting for hockey to come on, I found two golf events, a NASCAR race, and an Indy car race on tv. While I am starting to see the appeal of golf as a hobby, I don't consider it a sport and couldn't possibly watch it on tv. I switched back and forth between NASCAR and Indy for a little while. The differences were striking considering both races were nothing more than a bunch of guys (and one woman) turning left. The Indy announcers were well spoken and could talk about the physics and strategies involved with the race.

The NASCAR announcers had thick southern accents (nothing wrong with that, but they don't play well on television unless you are courting a specific audience) and had a style that hyped the small positional changes that kept occurring in the race. It was clear that they were doing a very narrow play-by-play without any sort of ability to see the bigger picture. There's a grand prix race coming to downtown Denver this summer. Everyone I know wants to go see it. But bring the NASCAR guys in here, and I don't think anyone would show up. So, back to Johnnie Cochran: good luck to you.

Hockey Shots

God forbid that ABC would carry two games on the same day in one viewing market. There's hockey on right now, but I can't see it. I guess they want me to just be grateful that the Avs game is going to be on network tv later. (And, really, I am.)

Kyle McLaren of the Boston Bruins is suspended for at least one game after he tried to remove the head from Montreal's Richard Zednik. He should be suspended for much more than one game. Zednik made a move to get by McLaren. McLaren threw his arm (elbow) to make sure there was no way he would get beat. It was obviously just an instantaneous reaction to a guy who had just made a good move, but it was a cheap shot that had the obvious potential to injure. We'll see how the NHL comes down on McLaren, but I'm betting it will be harshly. ESPN has a good recap of the hit. The next game between those two teams is going to be ferocious!

Rectal Hygiene Solution

Before you cringe unnecessarily, go check this out (link via FARK). With features like
The Family Nozzle: "This is great for the whole family especially when grandma has a raging case of the ‘roids or when your bulimic sister’s laxatives kick in."
Bidet Nozzles: "According to company literature the bidet nozzle 'is extremely well suiting for dealing with these uniquely feminine problems'."
And the real selling point: The Dryer: "No more reaching around those hard to reach places."

I Am Unemployed

As of yesterday afternoon, I am officially unemployed. Hopefully, I can use the situation to do more considered blogging. The move of I Can Blog! off of Blog*spot is now imminent - I just need to figure out exactly how to do so. I'm considering a move to Moveable Type or some other more stable system.

My group has known for nearly four months that we would be losing our jobs, so there was a certain sense of relief to just be done with it all. Still, it was a sad day filled with good-byes and reassurances that we would all keep in touch. Of course these were mainly lies that we told to each other to make the good-byes easier to swallow. Surely some folks will keep in touch and some folks will end up working together again, but by and large, I know that I will never see most of those people again. And I will miss many of them. There are a number of people who disappeared before I got a chance for a proper good-bye and others that I avoided because I knew it would be too hard. Hopefully, I'll be able to track down their email addresses and wish them luck. If not, well, my fondest wishes from here will have to suffice. Best of luck to you all!

Americans in Arabia

Laughing Hyena has a relative living in Arabia. Here's his report:
My four days of work and a morning of shopping in the local Saudi community have evidenced no overt anti-American sentiment. Other Americans who work with younger, lower job category Saudis tell me the hatred is "out there", boiling just below the surface. Most of our compatriots here feel that GWB is going to invade Iraq, but probably not until December or early next year. We will be very glad to be gone by then. Of equal concern is Aramco's (and by extension, Saudi Arabia's) viability: the incredible culture of entitlement, waste, inefficiency, graft, and disunity will certainly bring the whole enterprise down within two years unless something drastic happens. So certain do I feel about the implosion of this country that I would be willing to put money on it; I just wish I were investment-savvy enough to know how to profit by anticipating a reduction in the flow of Middle East oil! I feel so sorry for those good Saudis who work hard and want nothing more than to do their best for their families!

Meanwhile, our only remaining close friends the Hintermaiers have announced they will be leaving as early as next month. There is definitely a new feeling about this place--both ominous and spookily less "Western". I don't feel an immediate threat, but I can't blow it off as my imagination. So we will both move with "deliberate haste" to get our affairs in order for an Octoberish departure. We can't wait!

Thursday, April 25, 2002
Thank You Swen

Nearly all of my (very) humble amount of traffic in the past few days has come by way of Coyote at the Dog Show. Swen has also been kind enough to add me to his list of links. Thank you! I appreciate the business. I hope that some of you have found this interesting enough to come back on a regular basis. And Swen, I hope you were lucky with the turkeys. Thanks again. For those of you who ended up here some other way, Swen was pointing everyone to this joke from about a week and a half ago.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002
Porn Face

Thanks to Lane McFadden for pointing us to this article on Porn Face. You really have to see it to get it, but it was apparently some pop-up add that will help you make sure your kids aren't finding any porn. This is what they would like if they did find porn.

Also, if you haven't checked out Lane's Mix Tape Project, there's still time. The deadline is May 5, so check it out.

Remembering the Twin Towers

Go read Megan McArdle. But do it in a place where you won't mind if people see you shedding a few tears. My eyes rarely get wet from looking back at the attacks. Even when I visited the site in November, I was more struck with awe and reverence than tears and sadness. But something in these writings was enough to get me to shed a tear. The only other time I can remember that happening was about six weeks ago. My buddy who lives in New Jersey had sent me a link to be able to view the photos of his new house that he had posted up on Ofoto. In addition to the virtual album of his house there were a number of other albums and pictures posted. As I browsed through them, I realized that one set was from photos taken on the observation deck of one of the towers. At first I was just noticing him and his girlfriend in the pictures. And then suddenly it hit me: they were standing on the WTC less than four months before the towers were destroyed. Megan's writing today is fantastic.

Update: I had Megan's name spelled wrong. Sorry.

The USS Clueless Is

Steven says
All I can say is that in the spectrum of fans of various sports, hockey fans rank down about one step above pro wrestling. There are probably thoughtful, educated hockey fans, but there aren't damned many.
And he says this because he is trying to apologize to the Canadians. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Regarding hockey: I watched the Avs game last night. When Roy plays like he played last night, nobody can beat Colorado. Nobody.

I Want a Submarine

Fox News has this light feature on the availability of submarines for the super-rich. Man, I don't know know if there would be anything cooler than owning your own submarine. On top of it all, the article says they are easy to pilot. Now I just need to find $20 million worth of disposable income...

Tuesday, April 23, 2002
Volvo Commercial

Laughing Hyena points to this page on collecting bull sperm as an example of an awful job. But I love the last exchange in the interview:
I bet some bulls are turned on by their collectors.

I had a colleague who was collecting dairy bulls and didn't even have to have the artificial vagina. They would recognize his car. He'd drive up, and the bulls would be standing at the breeding stations, getting erections just from the sight of his Volvo.

Monday, April 22, 2002

I've spent my morning reading Pejman Yousefzadeh (it's pronounced just how it's spelled). I see him linked to by everyone and his comments show up on all of the other blogs that I tend to read, but I had never given him more than a passing glance. I've got to say though that this guy is funny. I have a sneaking suspicion though that what is funny in print would be obnoxious in person. Maybe he would be a blast, but he seems like he may be one of those super-high-energy, super-goofy guys who get tiring after about 30 minutes. VodkaPundit invited him to the Rocky Mountain Blog Bash, so maybe I'll get the chance to find out. I hope so.

Everybody's Doing It

Oh course, everyone else seems to be coming up with better characters than this one. Well, I am being oppressed right out of a job this week...

which "monty python and the holy grail" character are you?

this quiz was made by colleen

Sunday, April 21, 2002
I'll Bet You Can't Listen to the Whole Song

I got close, but couldn't bear to listen to John Ashcroft's entire rendition of his own Let the Mighty Eagle Soar. I have no idea where or how this really came about.

DNA as Exculpatory Evidence

It seems from this story that DNA can be used as evidence to get you out of jail for a crime that you didn't commit, but it can't stop you from having to pay child support for a child you never met from a woman you never impregnated. Ludicrous.
But family law attorney Jenny Skoble disagrees, contending the child’s needs should take precedence over the adult’s rights.

"The harm done to the child from being left without a father and without support is greater than the harm done to the man who has to pay support for a child that’s not biologically his," Skoble said.

Promotes Vigilance

Or Provigil for short. Provigil is a drug that keeps you awake and alert but isn't a stimulant. I can't believe that I haven't heard of this before. I also can't believe that every college campus in the country isn't awash with Provigil. I know that my own undergraduate study habits could have been greatly enhanced by such a drug. Of course, they probably could have been as effectively enhanced by time management and anti-procrastination seminars (I just never got around to taking one). Still, as I (hopefully) prepare to return to school, this is definitely the kind of ally I want in my corner. The article, again from the Los Angeles Times, raises some interesting issues about who may or may not benefit from Provigil (think about medical intern, Navy Seals, truck drivers). In the mean time, the prospects are interesting enough that I may try to dig up more information on the company as a potential investment (NASDAQ: CEPH).

The Nursing Shortage

The Los Angeles Times has this feature on the nursing shortage. I find this pretty interesting mainly because of my family background. From a family of six, everyone other than my brother and I is, was, or soon will be part of the healthcare field, and even my brother sold medical devices for a while. The article make it sound like it is a wonderful time to be a nurse in terms of financial incentives. The problem is that the types of nurses that hospitals and patients seem to want are those who are not concerned so much with their own pay and career as with the care of patients. I think it is interesting that this is one of a few professions where we expect that the employee will not have his own best interest at heart (with primary educators being another example). One of my sisters is just beginning nursing school. While I know that noble causes are driving her along her way, I sure hope that she finds a way to take advantage of the strong bargaining position she will be in once she graduates.

No doubt this is heresy to my father who has to deal with the recruiting, hiring, and retention of nurses for his hospital system. I'm not sure what the answer is, and surely he could write far more eloquently on the subject than I. (How about it Dad? hospitaladmin.blogspot.com could be the next big forum for healthcare management discussions) One thing that strikes me as surely being the wrong answer to the problem is further legislation. The article vaguely refers to a California law mandating staffing ratios. Of course the law will never be changed even as advances in patient care techniques evolve. This will put hospitals in an even more tenuous position in the future as they strive to allocate resources and run their business.

Finally, I think that hidden in this story is a financial warning for those still young enough to save actively. If you live long enough to need long term care or some sort of intensive care, then you better have enough money saved to fund it privately. A nursing shortage really translates into a shortage of patient care. If you want the best care for yourself or your spouse you had better be prepared to hire it on your own rather than lying in a room in a hospital or nursing home waiting for a patient care specialist to check in on you every four to six hours. It's just another thing that folks my age and younger have to keep in mind knowing that social security will be gone by the time we get to that point.

What To Do With the Suicide Bombers

I was reading the Best of the Web this morning about the coverage given to the events in Jenin, Israel by the British papers compared to the American papers compared to Israeli accounts. The discussion carries the following quote from the New York Times: "Israeli forces in Jenin had caught 10 would-be suicide bombers who had already videotaped their farewell statements."

This got me to thinking... What do you do when you capture a suicide bomber before the act? It seems excessive to lock someone away forever for something that they planned to do but never did. On the other hand, if you let them out, you know that they are an enemy of the state and a clear danger to your people. If you can demonstrate that they helped in the execution of other suicide bombings, then I think it's easy to keep 'em locked up forever as part of that event with their own plans serving as additional evidence. But I am not sure that the suicide bombers are all so helpful and involved with one another. Perhaps this is where a Clockwork Orange styled reeducation plan would serve Israel well. Or maybe the best answer is to take no prisoners. I don't know, but it would seem to present an interesting dillema.

Saturday, April 20, 2002
Why the Avs Always Have a Chance

This exchange was from an ESPN.com online chat with Ray Borque:
Casey NJ: Ray, Congrats on your career. Great seeing you alongside Barry in the booth too. In your opinion, who is the most fiery competitor in the playoffs you have ever played with or against.

Ray Bourque: (3:51 PM ET ) I've got to say Patrick Roy. He's a major competitor -- he wants to win every game and he wants to play perfect all the time. He's a very emotional guy. You see it just by how he plays.

Rocky Mountain Blog Bash!

You heard it here first (of course you didn't really): May 25th-ish will be the Rocky Mountain Blog Bash. Stephen Green proposes somewhere Denverish and fun. Since I am a mere one mile from the heart of downtown Denver and a mere six days away from being unemployed, I am happy to help with the planning. This is very exciting. My first instinct is to suggest the Wynkoop. There's a Rockies game that day, but it's a 1:05 start, and parking downtown should free up a bit by the time the festivities start.

No Mercy for the Palestinians

Sgt. Stryker points to this outstanding interview with one of Arafat's minions. Read it and tell me why we should show any mercy or support for the Palestinians. An excerpt:
"We cut off lengths of mains water pipes and packed them with explosives and nails. Then we placed them about four metres apart throughout the houses -- in cupboards, under sinks, in sofas."

The fighters hoped to disable the Israeli army's tanks with much more powerful bombs placed inside rubbish bins on the street. More explosives were hidden inside the cars of Jenin's most wanted men.

Connected by wires, the bombs were set off remotely, triggered by the current from a car battery.

According to Omar, everyone in the camp, including the children, knew where the explosives were located so that there was no danger of civilians being injured. It was the one weakness in the plan.
Update: Oh yeah, I forgot to throw this link in from Happy Fun Pundit. It's Jimmie "J. J." Walker talking plainly about the Arabs being our enemies. Right on brother.

While I'm on My Libertarian Soapbox...

Swen, over at A Coyote at the Dog Show, points us to this picture asking you to pray for the gun show.

There's Something in the Air

Today is April, 20. Yep, 4/20. 420. Normally, the folks at Rainbow Farm in Vandalia, Michigan would throw a big bash today. But I can't find anything on the internet to suggest that such a festival is taking place this year. Certainly, there will be individual displays of support around the country, and there will be other smaller festivals. But, there will be no 4/20 Spring Kickoff.

Why? What happened? Why is the farm that threw parties featuring bands and performers such as The Byrds, Big Brother, and Merle Haggard not throwing a party this year? Because Vandalia was the site of Ruby Ridge-esque standoff last fall. On September 3, 2001, FBI and Michigan State Police snipers shot and killed the two gay men who ran the farm. The Washington Post has what appears to be a fairly evenhanded report of the incident.

So, if you're partaking in any type of celebration, protest, or remembrance today, stop for a second and remember that if anyone sees you they will try to take away your children and your property and even your life. The drug war is raging and marijuana users have been sentenced to die.

Thursday, April 18, 2002
Blogging During Hockey?

The Avs are up one nothing in their first game of the NHL playoffs, and I am sitting at home with no game to watch. I turned down free dinner and the chance to watch the game with my brother as I intended to enjoy the game at the local watering hole with Vince. But I got there, and it was so crowded they wouldn't let me in. As Cartman would say, "I am sooo pissed off right now."

Google Calculations

After encouragement from VodkaPundit, I installed the Google Toolbar on my browser. Icanblog rates a 4 on the page rank system today, but I was a five last night which is weird in itself. But what I don't understand is why Blogger is an 8. My understanding is that page rank is based on some sort of formula that takes into account links to the page and how often those referring pages and the page itself are updated. Well, at least half of Blogdom appears to be powered by Blogger, and all of those that are have links back to Blogger, and Blogger itself updates with the most recent blogs that have been updated continuously. Ok, well not continuously, as the darn thing always seems to be down late on Sunday mornings when I am most apt to try and use it. But back to my question, why is Blogger only an 8, and will all of these links help? Has anyone ever seen a 9 or a 10?

Cut the Knot

Cut the Knot is a website I found thanks to Now You Listen To Me Litttle Missy. While tooling around there, I stumbled across this discussion about whether or not positive infinity and negative infinity meet at a place called little zero. The concept sort of made sense to me, but so did the arguements against it. But what blew my mind was that the concept came from a little four year-old child in China. Man, the internet is cool. I can learn things from four year-old Chinese kids.

Amazing Technology

It runs Windows XP on a 1 gigahertz processor with a 10 gigabyte harddrive and 256 megs of RAM. Oh, and did I mention that it is only 5 x 3 inches? Cool!

Update: Here is the manufacturer's homepage. Again, cool!

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

VodkaPundit is back to posting after a week's hiatus. But the most interesting information on the site today isn't his. Check out the comments to this post. It's all about why we can't convert civilian 747's into B-747 as a low cost way to bomb the hell out of our enemies. In part, I guess, it goes to show that all of the other big name bloggers are reading Mr. Green, but really, I just find it interesting that people know so much about this kind of stuff.

The Best News Ever

From Drudge:
Researcher finds link between alcohol intake and wealth

A university professor has found on average the more people drink, the more they earn.
As one of my colleagues just commented, I should really be a millionaire already then. Well, I'll keep working on it.

Sunday, April 14, 2002
Surveillance Databases

InstaPundit points to this excellent article on the move to create a single government database that allows every bit of information about an individual to be culled together and used for any number of purposes. There are a number of things in the article that scare me. Larry Ellison, founder and head of Oracle, the company that will help make all of these things possible, says that essentially this is no big deal because these databases are already out there and privacy is already a thing of the past. I suspect that the instant I click the publish button, Mr. Ellison will some how be notified that I have written about him. He will have access to my mortgage records, my medical history, my payroll and personnel files, my oil change history, etc. Mr. Ellison is quoted as saying, ''It's our lives that are at risk, not our liberties." Read the article; I think you will see that he has it backwards.

The Booze Is Working

The current event fact over at RefDesk reports, "Also, 400,000 students between 18 and 24 years old reported having had unprotected sex as a result of drinking." I suspect that this quote is a little misleading. They seem to be emphasizing that the drinking led to the unprotected part. I suspect, however, that the drinking led to the 400,000 part.

Saturday, April 13, 2002
Timely Joke

I found this at the Page 3 Chat-ups and Gags.
A man had just finished a putt and reached in the hole to get his ball, but pulled out a leprechaun! "Sure, and ye have me," cried the leprechaun, and if ye let me go, for yer tribble, I'll give ye three wishes!" "Thank you," said the man. "I don't really need anything, so I'll pass on the wishes." He let the leprechaun go, and went off to finish his game. The leprechaun was dumbfounded. Who had ever heard of such a thing? He sat on a pebble and thought to himself "Such a man as that deserves three wishes!" I'll give 'em to 'im in spite of 'imself! Now what!!! Why money,of course! Everyone wants money. So, for his first wish he wants to be a Millionaire! And second-let's make him a great golfer! And last-ah! Let him have a wonderful sex life. A month went by and the leprechaun spotted the man playing on the course again. He jumped out of a hole and yelled up to the man: "How ye be doing?" The man smiled and said: "Hello, little friend. I be doing just fine." The leprechaun smiled back and said: "And how's yer money situation, if ye don't mind my askin'?" "It's funny you should ask," replied the man. "An uncle of mine passed away and left me a fortune!" "Hah! Is that so? And how's ya golf game now?" "It's an amazing thing," said the man. "For the past few weeks I can't do worse than two under par!" "Sure, and that's wonderful!" With a sly look, the leprechaun asked: "And how's yer sex life?" The man, obviously embarrassed, looked away and coughed, "Well, it's fine. Two or three times a month. "The leprechaun was aghast. "Two or three times a month? That's horrible!" The man looked up and said, "Actually, it's not bad for a priest in a small parish."

Tree Hugger

Tree hugger stops hugging tree and dies. There might be a lesson here, and no, this is not a headline from The Onion.

Rhinestone Cowboy

Ok, you probably already saw this link on InstaPundit, but in case Glenn wasn't convincing enough to get you to read the article I have more to add.
I read in a magazine that the newest New York trend is a complete (Brazilian) waxing of the pubic hair and the application of RHINESTONES in a variety of designs. WHO WANTS RHINESTONES ON THEIR VAGINA? This is clear evidence that people who live in New York have far too much money to be rational, normal people. Additionally, taking it all off, is tres en vogue, as is the pubic hair shaping option.

One hopeless romantic confessed to me that his fantasy is pubic hair in the shape of a heart.

Another boy said that Mickey Mouse would be "hot."

Ummm. That's dirty. Is that why they have old people in Disney commercials these days?

As far as total removal, I was informed that this question is completely reliant upon the vagina. (I kid you not). Some people can pull it off, others just can't. "You gotta have the right type. It's gotta be a really, really nice vagina."

WHERE am I to go to find out whether I qualify? Do you know any vagina appraisers?
Well, I know a number of aspiring vagina appraisers. Email me for more information.

Friday, April 12, 2002
Mr. Sullivan's Not Going to Like This

"He said gay people should look for help with their "disease" in the Bible." He who? A Mississipi county judge. This guy is going to give Mississippi the kind of reputation the Clinton clan gave Arkansas.

Singing Brooke's Praises

Looking at my stats tonight I discovered something odd. This site is the #3 return on Google to the query Asparagirl. Actually, as I write this and play around with Google, I seem to be turning up where just two days ago I was nowhere to be found. I guess have at least made it on to the internet map. Cool!

How To Get Free Music

Lane McFadden has stumbled upon an idea that will make him musically rich. This idea is genius! I am sure the you will start seeing lots of other folks doing this too. I suspect Laughing Hyena would jump all over the concept - if he just had a CD burner. I personally need to get a stereo component style recorder. I have bunches and bunches of old records that I would like to burn and share with the rest of Kazaa like to make a single copy of for archival purposes.

Thomas Sowell

I don't have time to comment right now other than I like and agree with this.
There was once a time when parents pointed out bums on the streets and told their children that this was what could happen to you if you didn't bother to learn the things you needed to know, and do the things you needed to do, to make it in life. Today, children are taught to be "non-judgmental" and the media keep saying that these drug-ridden derelicts are "people just like us" who happened to fall on hard times -- even though study after study shows what a pious lie that is.

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Many thanks to my old roommate for pointing us to a site where absinthe may be purchased online. "But wasn't absinthe banned because it was just so dangerous," you ask. Consider the following on thujone, the active chemical in absinthe:
Absinthe drinkers were reported to have experienced a double action intoxication [5]. This intoxication combined the separate effects of alcohol and thujone. The alcohol produced a sedative effect in absinthe drinkers while the thujone is reported to have caused hallucinations (both visual and auditory) as well as excitation. The only proven effect of thujone, however, is its toxicity to the brain. The toxicity of thujone in the brain is believed to result from its structural similarity to tetrahydrocannibinol, or THC (3) , the active compound in marijuana. Cannabis has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes and has great therapeutic potential[8]. Thujone and THC have similar shapes, and it is believed that they interact with the same biological receptor to produce their similar psychological effects [9]. The similarities between the molecules include gem dimethyl groups and a similar carbon framework. It is also believed that the hydroxyl group of THC and the carbonyl of thujone may interact at the same site.
Ok, so you wanna try some absinthe then, but don't know how to serve it. Luckily the internet seems chock full o' good absinthe information. This link seems to cover everything from the following serving suggestion to history to chemical compounds to what countries are churning out the best absinthe (and I love the look of the site).
The traditional method of 'presentation' (drinking) involves charging a perforated 'absinthe spoon' with a sugar cube and placing it over an 'absinthe glass' which greatly resembes a modern parfait ice cream glass. The glass has a line around it demarking the proper amount of absinthe it should contain so that when full, the glass will hold the proper 5 parts of water fo 1 part absinthe -- almost no one ever drinks this liqueur neat, save for a few show-offs. The water is trickled from a carafe or 'absinthe fountain' over the sugar cube which slowly dissolves. As the sugary water dilutes the alcohol, the herbal oils in the high proof alcohol solution come out of solution, being almost insoluble in water. This liberates the hugely floral bouquet and produces a milky off-white drink similar to Greek ouzo or Mideastern arak or European anisette -- all anise based drinks like absinthe. The clouding effect is termed the louche, and is of great aesthetic appeal to absintheurs. Modern variations involving setting the absinthe alight are mere cheap melodrama.
I am a big fan of non-traditional liqueurs (no offense Stephen). Chartreuse (I prefer green to yellow), grappa (yeah, it's not a liqueur, but it's strange stuff), Fernet-Branca (aka brown death), Pernod, etc. I can't wait to try absinthe!

I Think I'll Stick With Tang

It appears that we may now have the ability to grow fish (the food) without so much need for fish (the animal). The idea is to have sustainable and efficient food supplies for long space trips. On one hand it's a pretty neat idea, but on the other hand:
Benjaminson's group cut chunks of muscle five to 10 centimetres long from large goldfish. After washing the chunks in alcohol, they immersed them in a vat of fetal bovine serum, a nutrient-rich liquid extracted from the blood of unborn calves, which biologists usually use for growing cells in the lab.

After a week in the vat, the fish chunks had grown by 14 per cent, Benjaminson and his team found. To get some idea whether the new muscle tissue would make acceptable food, they washed it and gave it a quick dip in olive oil flavoured with lemon, garlic and pepper. Then they fried it and showed it to colleagues from other departments.
Yuck! I know that Laughing Hyena has been promoting the benefits of fish oil, but this might be too much for me.

Optimistic on Arafat

Former Middle East envoy, Dennis Ross is more optimistic about the ability of Arafat to wield influence over his minions than I (or any other blogger that I can think of). His commentary piece in the (again) LA Times is certainly based on a much more thorough understanding of the area's affairs than I possess. Mr. Ross appears willing to give Arafat the benefit of the doubt, but I think we have given him too many chances already.
But in the end, Arafat has to decide. He will try to up the ante, insisting there can be no cease-fire without a U.S. commitment to Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders. He will settle for less but also claim he can take only partial measures.

The secretary of State must echo the president: No more failed leadership and no acceptance of half measures.

If we succumb to the allure of half steps by Arafat now, any calm that results from Powell's trip will be very short-lived.

No Taliban, Cheap Heroin

Now that the Taliban is gone, so is the edict against the growing of opium poppies. The LA Times has this story on the resurgence of opium farming in Afghanistan. I don't understand at all why this is an issue that we are leaving to the feeble, interim government in Afghanistan. We've all seen the commercials lately that say if you use drugs you support terrorists, so we know that the US government believes that opium, like coca and marijuana (in their eyes), is the root of terror. The US has taken efforts in the past to wipe out crops of drugs throughout Latin America, so we know that we are familiar with destroying fields of drugs. President Bush has seen to it that the financial industry cracks down on the flow of money into and out of the hands of known terror organizations, so we know that controlling access to cash by terror groups is a priority. The new government in Kabul is being propped up by the American government according to the story, so we know that we are at least somewhat committed to helping those currently in power. Now that we know all of these things, why is it so difficult to see that we should destroy the opium before its pending harvest? The British (and the rest of Europe) have a strong interest in stopping the harvest as well since most of the harvest will end up in the hands of European users. It will be interesting to see if they step forward and take control in this arena where the Americans seem unwilling to lead.

Catching the Girls

Found this link on Drudge this morning.
Suicide Bomber Apprehended in Tul Karem

(IsraelNN.com) Another terrorist attack was averted today when soldiers operating in the Shomron apprehended a 24-year-old Arab female disguised as a pregnant woman. In actuality, the ‘fetus’ was a bomb vest that she was wearing under her garment.
I read somewhere recently (no link because I can't find it now) that the reason Arafat's terror group was turning to women "martyrs" was because the Israelis were getting too good at apprehending and thwarting male suicide attackers. I am glad to see that they are catching some of the women too.

Conceal Carry Win

The Los Angeles Times reports the Ohio state court of appeals has overturned a state law banning concealed carry. The story notes that the first article of the state constitution reads in part, "the people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security." It is strange - in light of this - that there is even any question. It seems to me like the folks who wrote Ohio's constitution were pretty clear on gun owners' rights.
By voiding the state ban on concealed weapons, the judges paved the way for anyone to carry a firearm, with no background check or training. That, in turn, has spurred calls for a permitting system that would impose some controls.
This, apparently, is part of the strategy being worked by the gun rights advocates. It makes a lot of sense and seems to be working. If the end goal is to allow responsible citizens to responsibly protect themselves, their families, and property, then the first step is to make sure there are no laws prohibiting such reasonable action. Next, when the gun control advocates in Ohio freak out over the possibility that anyone could now carry a concealed weapon, a dialogue can be established to further refine access to concealed carry permits. This benefits us all by helping to make sure that those individuals who are walking and driving around with concealed weapons have had the proper training in terms of safe-handling, marksmanship, and legal issues.

More on the Addiction

Now InstaPundit is warning of blog addiction as worse than internet addiction. See, I wasn't kidding.

Thank You Swen

Swen Swenson of Coyote at the Dog Show has lots of nice things to say about me. "Linking and thinking with equal alacrity." I should be so lucky as to have my gravestone inscription read as such. And I certainly appreciate the words (and links) while I am still of this earth. (Not that I have any plans to go to any other place). I am hopeful that The Coyote's nice words will send a few new folks my way and that some of you will find this site interesting enough to check back again.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002
Mark Your Calendars

Football's preason starts four months from today. But the days you want to mark on your calendars are Monday, November 11 and Sunday, December 22. These days ought to be a trash-talkin' extravaganza. These are the days that the Denver Broncos will face the hated Oakland Raiders. The Broncos have resigned their all-time leading offensive trash-talker in Shannon Sharpe. The Raiders have picked-up the Broncos all-time leading defensive trash-talker in Bill Romanowski. Guess who will likely pull the duty of covering Sharpe? Man, that's gonna be a treat!

Poor AP Reporting

I read this story from Drudge on the NJ cop who's loose and out for blood. Among the lines that I have issues with:
"We do believe he's armed with firearms," said Dover Township Police Chief Michael Mastronardy.
As opposed to being armed with just arms I guess.

When asked if Lutes might be going after other targets, Mastronardy said all precautions have been taken for anyone who could be a threat.
It seems that it might be more helpful to protect those who are at threat - or better yet threatened.

John E. Mabie is charged with four counts of murder for killing his granddaughter and three neighbors on Feb. 21 as he went from house to house shooting a .39-caliber revolver.
This is a new, special, police-only caliber I'm guessing.

Tuesday, April 09, 2002
Are You Reading All the Right Blogs?

Read the story on Happy Fun Pundit today. If you get it, you're on the right track. If this is a bunch of not-funny, rambling nonsense, then may I suggest you check out some of my links on the left and start following some of their links too, becasuse this is really pretty funny.

Update: Keep reading down the HFP page for the interview with Tom Ridge. Sounds like homeland security is trying to get Spiderman to enlist.

Perfectly Normal

Mayor Bloomberg is perfectly NORML according to a new ad campaign.

Monday, April 08, 2002
Blogging Is Addictive Too

As addictive as everyone seems to find blogging and when considered in light of the following story, it is no wonder that all of blogosphere freaks out anytime Glenn or Stephen or Steven disappears for more than a few hours. What if their chronic blogging is really a cry for help? Maybe Mr. Reynolds is a hyper-blogger because he is desparately trying to compensate for his poor body image. Maybe Stephen's name for his blog is not so much a take off on InstaPundit as it is a sign of his addiction. I think that we all know that addicts tend to have personality types that make them subject to multiple addictions, not just one single passion. I think it is time for the folks at Blogger to hire a good lawyer. A mulit-million dollar lawsuit is obviously just around the corner. Perhaps the Blogger logo will soon be replaced by a warning label.

This from Overlawyered.com (see the story for all of the relevant links):
"Addictive" computer game blamed for suicide. 21-year-old Shawn Woolley of Hudson, Wisc. played the popular online game EverQuest a whole lot. Then he committed suicide. Now his mother Elizabeth says she plans to sue Sony Online Entertainment, saying the game should have come with a warning label concerning its "addictive" nature, and she's lined up attorney Jack Thompson, veteran of earlier litigation attacks on videogame companies (see, for example, July 22, 1999). A psychiatrist had diagnosed Shawn with depression and schizoid personality disorder which "fed right into the EverQuest playing," claims Mrs. Woolley. "It was the perfect escape." A specialist in "computer addiction" appears on cue in the article, as if summoned by the lawyer, to say that "The manufacturer of EverQuest purposely made it in such a way that it is more intriguing to the addict" and that it "could be created in a less addictive way, but (that) would be the difference between powdered cocaine and crack cocaine." Moreover, "[h]aving low self-esteem or poor body image are also important factors, he said." (Stanley A. Miller II, "Death of a game addict", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Mar. 30).

Tanya and Music

Tanya over at Red Sugar Muse points to this punk rock karaoke bar in Minneapolis. I may have to check this place out if I ever make it back up to the Twin Cities. I've got a bunch of cousins up there, but we are not close.

I also want to take a second to complain to Tanya for getting this 88 Lines About 44 Women song by the Nails stuck in my head. I don't recall ever hearing this in the 80's, but I have made up for that by listening to the dang thing about 100 times in the past 72 hours. Make it stop!


From the Best of the Web: Arkansas' public schools have long been known for the poor quality of their sex-education programs; some graduates don't even know the definition of "sexual relations."

Also from Best of the Web:
"Scores of monkeys have swamped a girls' college in the hill resort of Darjeeling in eastern India, destroying thousands of books, stalling classes, clawing and slapping the students," the Indo-Asian News Service reports. "The monkeys have torn to shreds at least 6,000 books in the library and broken furniture. The damage to property caused by them exceeds Rs.60,000 [$1,200]."

Local authorities "say their hands are tied as local residents oppose any action against the monkeys, considered scared by Hindus."
I would swear that I saw a similar episode of The Simpsons.

Girls, Girls, Girls

I watched Weakest Link with the playmates last night. One of those beautiful young ladies lives in the Playboy Mansion and calls 75 year-old Hugh Heffner her boyfriend. Apparently, Bob Guccione is not as lucky (link via Drudge).

Sunday, April 07, 2002
Special Forces in Uniform

William Arkin of Johns Hopkins University has a rambling editorial in The Los Angeles Times on the nature of the work the United States’ special operations forces are doing in Afghanistan. The piece starts out with this interesting description.
Since the Taliban was swept away, the Herat [a restaurant in Kabul] has served a conglomeration of customers reminiscent of the bar scene in "Star Wars." But if one looks carefully at its unlikely collection of customers, they turn into human tea leaves:

There are diplomats, United Nations officials and NGO workers--along with their Afghan counterparts--working to rebuild a 23-year-old, war-blasted infrastructure. They represent the reasonably bright future Afghanistan could have.

There are young Afghan men of indeterminate rank and allegiance with Kalashnikov rifles--harbingers of the violent chaos ahead if the first group fails.

Finally, there are the young Americans in Gore-Tex jackets and Nike shoes who say vaguely that they are "engineers" come to help with reconstruction. Some are in fact Army soldiers working on roads and such. Many, however, those with no license plates on their new Toyota Land Cruisers, belong to the U.S. "special operations" forces. And this part of the Herat crowd--what they do and how they do it--may determine which future Afghanistan actually has.
But Mr. Arkin goes on to argue that:
a) these special operations personnel should be dressed in military uniforms
b) they should be more closely aligned with the UN International Security Assistance Force
c) they need to be more careful of the intelligence they are supplying to the folks who control the bombs
d) they should be more interested in rebuilding the Afghan nation so as to prevent it from becoming a future breeding ground for terrorists.

Ahh, to heck with it! I am starting to ramble on even more than Mr. Arkin. Suffice it to say that I do not readily agree with his conclusion that getting our special forces either into uniform or out of Afghanistan will help our mission to eradicate terrorist workings in the country. Read the whole thing to try to figure out if this is really the conclusion that he is trying to point us toward.

That's all for now. It's taken me 45 minutes of fighting with Blogger to get this up. I can take no more.

The Sport of Kings

The Kentucky Derby is now less than four weeks away. I think there's a pretty good chance that I will make it to Louisville for the festivities. Came Home won the Santa Anita Derby yesterday and will be one of the horses to watch in the Run for the Roses. Reading this article though, I suspect that he might not be big enough to sustain a lot of early bumping from some bigger horses and still make it a mile and a quarter. There are still a few big prep races left that will ultimately help decide the field. Boy, this is a great time of year for sports. The Stanley Cup playoffs are ready to get underway and horse racing is gearing up for the Triple Crown races. Who needs baseball where you have to pay $10 to park, $15 for bad seats, $5.50 for a beer, $3.50 for a hot dog, and then sit around for four hours watching a pitcher shake-off the first three signals on every pitch? Not me.

Some People Never Learn

Marie Colvin is a reporter for The (UK) Times. This story (link requires registration) is apparently her second in which she reports about being hit with a grenade for being in an area closed to reporters.
I never saw the grenade that hit me last year. I was attacked by the Sri Lankan army in the dead of night as I tried to walk out of Tamil-controlled territory from which journalists had been banned.

Journalists are also banned from Ramallah, but I believed Israeli soldiers were disciplined enough to understand that we are not military targets. I was wrong.
Of course her (typically European and self-righteous) lesson learned here is that if this can happen to journalists than the Palestinian common folk have no chance. I hope she's right.

Break: I must need some coffee. I seem more full of piss and vinegar than usual this morning.

The Six Week War

The New York Post explains that Israel will need at least six weeks to clean up the West Bank because they will not use the full force of their military and face the possibility of many civilian casualties by bombing their terrorist neighbors straight to hell. At some point I think that they may have to reconsider this approach. It is not trained men with Kalishnikovs who are blowing up Israeli cafes and citizens. Nor is it even Israeli Denfense Forces who are primarily being targeted by the terrorists; it is the Israeli citizenry. An eye for an eye. Blow Jenin off the map. It will be one less disputed area to worry about.

There is also an interesting comment in the story that Yasser himself has instructed his men not to leave the Church of the Nativity. Good thinking on his part: this will surely help rally some of the traditionally Christian nations of the world to his side.

Surely, These Are The End Times

I don't know how else to explain all of the strangeness on Drudge this morning.
Strange Lights in the Sky

Woman Eight Weeks Pregnant with Clone

Trilateral Meeting to Discuss Terrorism

Two-Headed Snake Found

Clock Ticking for Jewish State in Terror War
I hate to just rehash Mr. Drudge's work, but there is just a mighty strange feel to it all.

Saturday, April 06, 2002
In Case You Hadn't Noticed

I have added a stat counter and a comments section to I Can Blog! Many thanks to Bravenet for the stats application and to Electric Hamster for the comments application. Both are free and easy to set up. The stat counter is just for me, but I hope you will use the comments. It will provide me further reinforcement that somebody is seeing this.

This Is Only A Test

I was screaming at my computer this afternoon because I couldn't get through to Blogger. I could see all of the Blogger driven sites, I just couldn't comment. Only now do I find out that a warning system is in place. This should help in the future.

The Vocabula Review

After reading that last article on last words, I stuck around and read more of the content on Vocabula.com. Many of the folks to whom I have links may be better writers than I, but sites like this will help me catch up. If you are a fan of writing and language, I think you will enjoy the site.

Final Thoughts

I just discovered the Arts and Letters site thanks to NRO. Here is another good article that they point to. The whole thing is on the last words of some famous folks. Here are a few to get you over there. Read the article to find out who said:
Don't let it end this way. Tell them I said something.

How were the circus receipts in Madison Square Gardens?

Hold me up; I want to shit.

Dying is easy. Comedy is difficult.

Egan's Law

I stumbled across this article about five days too late. Read it to find about a new law designed to protect minors far better than the old Law ever has.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

This article from Discover (via Arts and Letters) talks - eventually - about the ability to induce savant-like behavior in normal, healthy adults. Psychology is often short changed as a serious science, but every now and then there is some really mind-blowing, awesome stuff to come out of the field. The article is accompanied by a picture of someone hooked to a transcranial magnetic stimulator. That thing would scare the hell out of me! How safe can it really be to use, "magnetic fields to disrupt neuronal firing"? What if the second or third time you do it, the ol' neurons stay disrupted? Scary, but still cool.

p.s. I guess if I were slightly more paranoid, I might worry that the CIA might already be employing TMS against me while I sleep. Well, at least I'd be able to know almost instantly how many sheep there were without having to count them one-by-one.

Iraq: Wait and See

This is a post by John Miller over at The Corner.
President Bush on Iraq, in an interview yesterday with Britain's ITV network:

Q I take your point about no immediate plans, but in a sense, have you
made up your mind that Iraq must be attacked?

THE PRESIDENT: I made up my mind that Saddam needs to go. That's about
all I'm willing to share with you.

Q And you would take action to make sure that happens? And, of course,
if the logic of the war on terror means anything -- which you have explained --
then Saddam must go?

THE PRESIDENT: That's what I just said. The policy of my government is
that he goes.

Q People think that Saddam Hussein has had no links with the al Qaeda
network, and I'm wondering why you have --

THE PRESIDENT: The worst thing that could happen would be to allow a
nation like Iraq, run by Saddam Hussein, to develop weapons of mass destruction
and then team up with terrorist organizations so they can blackmail the world.
I'm not going to let that happen.

Q So you're going to go after him?

THE PRESIDENT: As I told you, the policy of my government is that Saddam
Hussein not be in power.

Q And how are you going to achieve this, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Wait and see.

Friday, April 05, 2002
Hockey Talk

ESPN has this good discussion on who may win the Vezina Trophy. I am pulling for Roy, but it's starting to look like Hasek will finish the year (regular and post-season) with 50+ wins. That will make him hard to vote against. There's a lot of nice things said about the Canadiens' Theodore, the Coyote's Burke, and the Lightning's Khabibulin, but really, I think it has to come down to the guy who leads in wins (Hasek) and the guy who leads in stats (Roy). If the Avs go further in the playoffs than the Wings, I think Roy is a shoe-in. I think the Vezina is supposed to recognize the regular season leader, but the recency effect and thus the playoffs could make a difference.

Wednesday, April 03, 2002
Well, I should have known better. Fluffertrax is a blocked site at work. It is categorized as Sex 2 - whatever that means. Find some place that you can get access to this and groove away.

bin Laden as "Destructive Charismatic"

Brian Finch on TechCentralStation has this insteresting article on psychological profiles of terrorists. It's an interesting discussion about how bin Laden likely sees himself and how he reached that point.
Thus, bin Laden is at heart a runaway narcissist, with delusions of being the "commander in chief of radial Islam." In that role, bin Laden sees himself as leading the fight against the corruption of the modernizing, secular West that poses such a threat to his version of a "pure" Islam. This narcissism and his grand belief in himself (so much so that he almost identifies himself with Allah) compels him to fight the U.S. and the West, and he exploits rather adroitly feelings of hatred amongst his followers. As he is singled out more and more as a threat, so grows his stature and the readiness of Muslims to follow him.
The article goes on to discuss what the profile tells us about how we should be pursuing bin Laden and terrorist commanders in general. There are also a couple of links to articles on the economics of bounty hunting that I look forward to reading when I can steal some time.
Understanding that bin Laden is an opportunistic leader who exploits whatever political ill is available in order to enlarge his following and build upon his vision of himself as the grand protector of Islam, the U.S. must do what it takes to destroy that vision. To that end, the U.S. and in particular the media has to (in a sense) forget about bin Laden. There should be no more headlines simply about the "Hunt for bin Laden" or how "Bin Laden Evades U.S." or how the "U.S. Ratchets Up Search for bin Laden." Instead, the U.S. should focus on fighting terror across the globe, how it is steadily dismantling terrorist groups and decreasing threats with each day.

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Oh yeah. It's Tuesday. Time for Rachel Klein.

"There is only one option now available to Israel: to decisively win the war that has been forced upon us."

Benjamin Netanyahu has an opinion piece in the L.A. Times today. It's short and to the point. Among some the high points:
Indeed, the much-vaunted political solution to end the conflict was attempted two years ago at Camp David, and it utterly failed. Arafat rejected a scandalously far-reaching Israeli offer of a sovereign Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, which included half of Jerusalem, and instead chose to unleash the present war of terror against Israel.
Our excessive concern about the international community has also borne bitter fruit. Israel's refusal so far to act as would any other self-respecting nation heightens the doubts in the minds of our friends about our belief in the justice of our cause and encourages our enemies to increase the bloodshed.

The only way to win international understanding for our position, especially in the United States, is to steadfastly assert our basic right to defend ourselves and to achieve a quick and decisive military victory that will stop the terrible massacre of our citizens.
What is absolutely clear is that we cannot continue, even for one more day, on a path of indecision without a goal or a policy.
I haven't historically been a big fan of Israel as a state. But the senseless crap that they have had to deal with from Yasser and his minions cannot go on. Mr. Netanyahu is right: get it over with now. Use the full strength and reach of the Israeli military and destroy the hordes.

Aww Shucks...

Asparagirl is all freaked out over her success. How cute.

That's How I Like to Dance
This link that Andrew Sullivan points to is hilarious. Streaming porn music – man, I love the internet. I just listened to Candye Kane’s The Meat Song from the album Porn to Rock. I think I may see if I can get away with this at work tomorrow. Now it’s Prince’s Pussy Control. Perhaps, it was not his biggest hit, but it certainly has a certain beat to it. You have to check this out!

Hansel and Gretel Had It Better

Rod Dreher, over at The Corner, says that some Africans are savages. He links to this BBC News story which includes the following.
Limbs from children, primarily the sexual organs, are said to be the most potent. These are sometimes taken from live victims because their screams are thought to enhance the power of the medicines.
This reminds me of the best King of the Hill episode that I ever saw. Young Bobby Hill has his father all up in arms because he wants to celebrate Thanksgiving the way the "real" Indians did. Hank fights and fights with the boy, but ultimately relents and lets the youngster do his part during the holiday gathering. When Bobby's turn comes he has prepared a presentation on the Indian tradition of cannibalism. Hank and Bobby argue whether a native culture's traditions could possibly be inherently wrong. It is far funnier than I describe. Anyway, I think my point here is that sometimes you have to call a spade a spade, and Mr. Dreher is right: they are savages.

How and Why the Towers Fell

Live from the WTC has an interesting and somewhat unsettling description of the physics behind the collapse of the south tower.
But the fires continued to burn. Black smoke poured from shattered windows on floor after floor, fresh oxygen sucked in from the gaping holes caused by the impacts. In the northeast corner of the south tower's 80th floor, where office furniture had been shoved by the plane, the fire burned so hot that a stream of molten metal began to pour over the side like a flaming waterfall.

The apparent source of this waterfall: molten aluminum from the jet's wings and fuselage, which had also piled up in that corner. Within minutes, portions of the 80th floor began to give way, as evidenced by horizontal lines of dust blowing out the side of the building. Seconds later, near the heavily damaged southeasterly portion of this same floor, close to where the aircraft had entered, exterior columns began to buckle.

Stolen from the Sarge

The Sarge provides this headline and link and quote. (Chances are if you're here you've already been there, but just in case, I felt the need to put it down again.)

Rumsfeld Gets It
From the DoD press conference today:

Murderers are not martyrs. Targeting civilians is immoral, whatever the excuse. Terrorists have declared war on civilization, and states like Iran, Iraq and Syria are inspiring and financing a culture of political murder and suicide bombing. The president has declared war on terrorism. It's a war unlike any other America has ever fought -- not only in the nature of the battle and the weapons and tactics employed, which will undoubtedly change from place to place, but in this conflict, the battlefield is but one threat of many.

We could be living in an era so stupid that even the most intelligent among us are cement-heads.

This is almost certainly the case where I work, but that is not the point here. National Review points out this article by P. J. O'Rourke. All in all, I found it quite boring, yet I just kept on reading. Actually, this is not the first time that I have had such an experience with Mr. O'Rourke. Anyway, he pretty much tears apart some silly statement signed by 103 various Nobel Prize winners. Here's a quote. See if you can get through the rest.
Why do political bien-pensants automatically roll "dispossessed," "poor," and "disenfranchised" together, as if they have a natural correlation—like "ice," "cold," and "beer"? The Dalai Lama [Peace Prize 1989] is dispossessed. My parish priest is poor. And Alan Greenspan, as a resident of the District of Columbia, is ineligible to vote in congressional elections.

Monday, April 01, 2002
Drugs Legalized - For the Employed

I am always a big fan of The Onion. This story though is absolutely tops.
"Drugs are addictive, and that's true whether you're a ghetto gang member or a Harvard-educated entertainment lawyer," Hutchinson said. "But the cold, hard truth is, if the ghetto kid gets hooked, he isn't going to clean up in a rehab clinic in Palm Springs and maybe even become president, now, is he? That's why we need to protect the less fortunate among us with the threat of arrest and incarceration."
If the libertarians succeed, this story may one day run in the Washington Post. Ok, maybe the Washington Times...

Queen Mum Dead

Why is it that they will not be burying her until April 9? Anyway, Andrew Sullivan points us to this obit.
To most people, she was simply a very old lady with a love of horse racing and expensive tastes, who was reported by the news media to enjoy a large overdraft.
I hope some day that the same is said about me. Well, not the old lady part.

I also appreciated HappyFunPundit's observations:
I offer no judgement herein on the value or relevance of the monarchy. Like most Canadians, I regard the Royals with a mix of affection and amused contempt. My earliest associations with Queen Elizabeth II are of frustration at having to stop opening Christmas presents so the grownups could listen to the Queen's Christmas message... what could the boring old lady have to say that was more interesting than Christmas presents? If the Queen Mother was making the speech, she'd probably preface her remarks with "But I want the children to go right on opening presents while I talk"; that's how grandmas do things. As I got older, my impressions really didn't change much. The Queen herself always seemed a bit of a sourpuss, but the Queen Mom always seemed to be having great time.

New SAT Question

Palestinian Authority : Government
Scientology : ________

a) Religion
b) Cult
c) A bunch of crazies
d) Invention

The correct answer is A. This is because the Church of Scientology holds itself out as a legitimate religion in the same manner that the Palestinian Authority holds itself out as a legitimate government.

More Conservatives than Liberals in the Print Media

That is what this article from Editor & Publisher.com would have you believe.
"Conservative columnists are a bit more popular," agreed Alan Shearer, editorial director and general manager of WPWG, which has four liberal, three conservative, and eight moderate or hard-to-pigeonhole Op-Ed columnists. He said one reason why conservatives tend to sell better is that conservative publishers, especially at smaller papers, often influence editorial-page editors' column buys.

This makes some Op-Ed pages more conservative than many of their actual or potential readers. And there are more conservative columnists on the far right than liberal ones on the far left. Then again, there are more liberal political cartoonists on Op-Ed pages.
I would be willing to bet that many of these hard-to-pigeonhole columnists aren't really so tough to categorize after all. I suspect that one of the big reasons for the popularity of conservative syndicated columnists is that they offset the liberal slant of many papers' local editorial staffs. The article seems to be written from an It's-Hard-to-Believe-Americans-Are-Reading-This-Stuff stance.

Looking Back on Blogs

In September 2000, Rebecca Blood wrote this article on the history of blogging. Heck, she had even written a book on it by then. In the article she quotes Greg Ruggerio from Immediast Underground.
Media is a corporate possession...You cannot participate in the media. Bringing that into the foreground is the first step. The second step is to define the difference between public and audience. An audience is passive; a public is participatory. We need a definition of media that is public in its orientation.
I am not sure that the media has become more public in its orientation, but web-logging has certainly helped to make sure that more of the audience is now part of the participatory public.

No, it's not an April fool. I really am back for more blogging. The past few days I just haven't had the energy or the interest. Everything now is Israel vs PLO and Elder Saintly Priests vs Young Innocent Boys. Hopefully, I can find some other interesting stuff in the world to write/complain about.

Laughing Hyena moved out to Kansas City this weekend. So the weekend was spent packing and saying goodbye. The weather here in Denver has been spectacular. Now then, on to more blogging.