12/29/2005

Face Transplants

There's been a lot in the news lately about face transplants and the ethics involved. One of the issues I've seen brought up is what the effect would be on the recipient when they look in the mirror and see someone else's face - would that have damaging psychological effects?

Well, of course there would be psychological effects, but my question is this: Do they really think that it would be more damaging than looking in the mirror and seeing whatever damage there was that led to them being eligible for a face transplant? Would seeing a different face than the one you were born with really be worse than seeing a face badly disfigured by fire or an accident?

Personally, I think if they've got the ability to do this and help people, then they should. It's certainly a more ethically justifiable use for the skills and technology than boob jobs, cheek implants, or, um...Michael Jackson.

I'd Love This Product Even If I Weren't A Stealth Marketer

By Kyle Pafrath

"Like you, I'm bombarded every minute of every day with advertising. And having been misled more than a few times in my life, I'm immediately skeptical of any product I see on the side of a bus. That's why I was so surprised by the new Mountain Dew True Blue"

Scary Funny spoof about the new marketing trends. From The Onion.

More Music Business Hijinks...

...or "How to Ensure People Get Thoroughly Pissed Off and Continue to Download Illegally Whenever They Can"

"You Have to Admire the Transparency"

"The other day I fired off about the moribund music industry shifting its target from downloads to target lyrics websites, in essence offering to litigate them into oblivion. But I was wrong about their attitude.

The music business knows one thing better than anything else on the planet; money. Just as they salivated over getting paid for every 'illegal' download, so now they are licking their lips at being paid for every copy of every lyric of every song. First shut down the free sites, then put all the lyrics, even the ones that are out of copyright, behind a paid login and behold, instant profit in the billions. Open champagne, order new Ferrari, dance on table top."

And it gets worse. There's new stuff in the works to keep you from making copies of CD's for your own personal use. From A Networked World.

Star Trek Evangelists

"When Star Trek (original series) first began, the USS Enterprise set out on a five-year mission. However, NBC cut the mission short cancelling the series after only three years (seasons).

Now a crew of Star Trek evangelists ranging from an urologist to an Elvis Presley impersonator are resurrecting the original series and completing the mission by filming new episodes playing off the original timeline. Yep … these extreme Star Trek evangelists are filming new episodes under the name STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES. They've filmed two episodes and the third episode is to be released in the Summer of 2006."


Over at Brand Autopsy, via Johnnie Moore.

12/28/2005

A Totally Different Spin on the National Health Care Crisis

"Most advocates of universal health care focus on the opposition of Republicans and insurance companies. But perhaps the most important factor keeping an overhaul off the national agenda is one that few Democrats acknowledge: most of Mr. Gettelfinger's fellow labor leaders don't support a single-payer system either.

The reason comes down to simple self-interest. The United Auto Workers is one of the few private-sector unions that doesn't run its own health plan. Rather, most have created huge companies to administer their workers' plans, giving them a large and often corrupt stake in the current system."

Strange Product


12/27/2005

Fixing Elections for Fun and Profit

"Two counties in Florida have terminated their use of Diebold computerized voting equipment after computer experts showed that vote totals could be changed by a single individual in a way that would be undetectable later. "

Fraud Alleged at Red Cross Call Centers

"Nearly 50 people have been indicted in connection with a scheme that bilked hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Red Cross program to put cash into the hands of Hurricane Katrina victims, according to federal authorities.

Seventeen of the accused worked at the Red Cross claim center in Bakersfield, Calif., which handled calls from storm victims across the country and authorized cash payments to them. The others were the workers' relatives and friends, prosecutors said last week."

12/22/2005

Walmart Attempts to Circumvent Local Laws Through the WTO

"As communities across the United States and elsewhere are increasingly successful in their effort to limit "big box" store expansion and destructive retail practices through transparent and accountable measures at the local level, Wal-Mart and other retailers have pursued rules at the World Trade Organization (WTO) which threaten to preempt, or at the very least chill, these local laws. These rules are part of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)."

"Unless the United States takes action to fix this problem in the current round of negotiations, local governments could see challenges to state and local land use laws brought before WTO tribunals, which are empowered to authorize trade sanctions against countries that refuse to conform their domestic policies to WTO dictates. Across the country, state and local officials are working to put laws in place to protect their communities, their environment, their wage base and tax dollars by putting land use limits on “big box” retailers, as well as retail chains and other development projects they deem destructive to the community or the environment or out of step with local needs and planning."

Via an email from Dad.

12/21/2005

Hurricane Katrina


One of the local television stations in South Louisiana actually aired an interview with a woman of color from New Orleans. The interviewer was a woman from a Boston affiliate, so she asked the interviewee how such total and complete devastation of the churches in the area had affected their lives.

The woman replied," I don't know about all those other peoples, but we gets our chicken from Popeye's".

The look on the interviewer's face was priceless.











Via an email from my Uncle John.

12/20/2005

Judge bans teaching intelligent design

"PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A federal judge on Tuesday banned the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution by Pennsylvania's Dover Area School District, saying the practice violated the constitutional ban on teaching religion in public schools.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge John Jones dealt a blow to U.S. Christian conservatives who have been pressing for the teaching of creationism in schools and who played a significant role in the re-election of President George W. Bush"

12/15/2005

Loans to Homeowners Along Gulf Coast Lag

"Loans to Homeowners Along Gulf Coast Lag

Hundreds of thousands of Gulf Coast families, hoping to rebuild their homes after the hurricanes using low-interest government loans, are facing high rejection rates and widespread delays at the federal agency that administers the disaster loan program.

In fact, the loans that have been approved appear to be flowing to wealthy neighborhoods in New Orleans but not to poor ones, according to a list of loans released by the government and mapped by The New York Times."

12/14/2005

Fuck Christmas

Fuck Christmas

Now THIS is a rant! Woo Hoo!

It's Star Wars on Satellite Radio-Bob Dylan to DJ satellite radio show

"Bob Dylan shocked his fans 40 years ago by embracing the electric guitar. Now he's stunning a few more by embracing another technological innovation: satellite radio.

The singer has signed on to serve as host of a weekly one-hour program on XM Satellite Radio, spinning records and offering commentary on new music and other topics, starting in March. The famously reclusive 64-year-old performer said in a statement yesterday that 'a lot of my own songs have been played on the radio, but this is the first time I've ever been on the other side of the mike.'"

First Victoria's Secret commercials, now this. Much as I like Dylan, it's starting to look like he's selling out. I'd probably be less concerned if he was on Sirius, but XM sucks, and/because it's owned by Clear Channel!

Red Cross President Resigns; Questions Remain

"Dec. 13, 2005 - Today's resignation by American Red Cross President Marsha Evans makes her the third in the last four presidents of the organization to end their tenure after a major national disaster.

Evans' resignation came as a surprise just hours before a congressional committee heard detailed testimony of Red Cross shortcomings and failures in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. "

All I can say is, I told you so! I ranted everywhere I could about them, telling everyone to donate someplace else. I hope people listened.

Christmas in East Texas

12/13/2005

National Geographic Printable Photo Posters

"Picture this: Now full-color posters of National Geographic's classic photography are yours for the taking."

Music thing: Reader builds drum machine in an Excel spreadsheet

Music thing: Reader builds drum machine in an Excel spreadsheet

Cute Overload!


The cuteness quotient on this site only increases as you scroll down, and the captions get wittier, too. Good site to save for those days when your need to strangle your boss is close to exceeding your need for a paycheck. Site link is above, in the title.

And who knew that a doormouse is the cutest creature on the entire planet?

Emergency Landing At Bermuda Due To Toilet Sex...

"THEY were jetting off for a holiday in Kingston, Jamaica, and the drinks flowed freely during the ten-hour flight.

Intoxicated, the couple, who were seated in business class, decided to submit their membership for the 'mile-high club' in one of the toilets.

But the British Airways flight staff became suspicious after hearing cries of passion from the loo, and the randy couple was ordered to stop and return to their seats.

Randy quickly turned into angry.

Stunned passengers watched in horror as the couple fought with flight staff."



Big Brains at the Beckman Institute

"Big Brains 2006 Calendar

Tap into some of the best minds on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus with a 2006 calendar produced by the Beckman Institute.

It’s a uniquely U of I product – from the artistically enhanced brain scans of our students, faculty, staff, and administrators to the magnetic resonance imaging technology developed by Nobel Prize winner Paul Lauterbur used to create those scans -- the calendar is about the characteristics that make us a powerful presence. Explanations of various brain functions correlated to each individual underscore the interdisciplinary nature of the Beckman Institute and the myriad ways that cutting-edge technology at the U of I is benefiting people around the world."

Virgin Spaceport to Be Built in N.M.

"Virgin Galactic, the British company created by entrepreneur Richard Branson to send tourists into space, and New Mexico announced an agreement Tuesday for the state to build a $225 million spaceport.

Virgin Galactic also revealed that up to 38,000 people from 126 countries have paid a deposit for a seat on one of its manned commercial flights, including a core group of 100 'founders' who have paid the initial $200,000 cost of a flight upfront. Virgin Galactic is planning to begin flights in late 2008 or early 2009.

New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Rick Homans said construction of the spaceport, to be built largely underground in the south of the state near the White Sands Missile Range, could begin in early 2007, depending on approval from environmental and aviation authorities."

12/12/2005

Santastic: Holiday Boots 4 Your Stockings

Holiday Mash-Ups and such. Free. Check 'em out. They even provide a link to a cover you can print.

Bush on the Constitution: 'It's just a goddamned piece of paper'

By DOUG THOMPSON
Dec 9, 2005, 07:53

Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.

Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell shocked period immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr to oppose renewal.

GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

"I don't give a goddamn," Bush retorted. "I'm the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way."

"Mr. President," one aide in the meeting said. "There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution."

"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

I've talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution "a goddamned piece of paper."

Follow the link above to read the rest of the article.

12/09/2005

Se�ora Presidente?

"CHILE is one of the more conservative countries on a continent that is not especially renowned as tolerant, forward thinking or democratically minded. Divorce was legalized here just last year, and abortion continues to be a taboo subject even for the most progressive of politicians. Our social codes and racial prejudices are deeply engrained. We are an overwhelmingly Catholic country with a history that has been marked - and continues to be marked - by the power of its military.

Given this context, it is nothing short of extraordinary - even revolutionary - that the clear front-runner in the presidential vote being held on Sunday is Michelle Bachelet, a divorced mother of three who is an atheist and a member of the Socialist Party.
Polls show Ms. Bachelet, a former defense minister, far ahead of her rivals...Although a runoff is likely, the prevailing opinion here is that Ms. Bachelet will be the ultimate winner. "

Megachurches Cancel Christmas

This is both baffling and amusing. No church on Christmas?

"Some of the nation's most prominent megachurches have decided not to hold worship services on the Sunday that coincides with Christmas Day, a move that is generating controversy among evangelical Christians at a time when many conservative groups are battling to 'put the Christ back in Christmas.'"

Truly a sign of the coming apocalypse

Fender is making Hello Kitty guitars. If you don't know why this is wrong, I can't begin to explain it to you.

Excessively Cute

Video clip of the new baby otter at the Seattle Zoo.

Sappy Stuff

I only post sappy stuff when it has to do with animals. So here's a really sappy one for the holidays:

A Rescue Animal's Christmas Poem

`Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,
every shelter is full – we are lost but not found.
Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
We hope every minute that someone will care,
They'll come to adopt us and give us the call,
"Come here, Max and Sparkle – come fetch your new ball!"
But now we sit here and think of the days
We were treated so fondly – we had cute, baby ways.
Once we were little, then we grew and we grew,
Now we're no longer young and we're no longer new.

So out the back door we were thrown like the trash,
They reacted so quickly – why were they so rash?
We jump on the children, don't come when they call,
We bark when they leave us, climb over the wall.
We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed,
Now we suffer the consequences of errors THEY made.
If only they'd trained us, if only we knew,
We'd have done what they asked us and worshipped them too.
We were left in the backyard, or worse – left to roam,
Now we're tired and lonely and out of a home.
They dropped us off here and they kissed us good-bye,
"Maybe someone else will give you a try."

So now here we are, all confused and alone,
In a shelter with others who long for a home.
The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat,
With so many to care for, they can't stay to chat,
They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer,
We know that they wonder how long we'll be here.
We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads,
Of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.
Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears,
Our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.

If you can't adopt us and there's no room at the Inn,
Could you help with the bills and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each day of the year,
Can you give more than hope to everyone here?
Please make a donation to pay for the heat
And help get us something special to eat.
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,
And more of us will, if more people will give.

Author Unknown

12/08/2005

The Long Tail - Who Decides What the People Want to Buy?

"This is not just a virtue of online booksellers; it is an example of an entirely new economic model for the media and entertainment industries, one that is just beginning to show its power.

Unlimited selection is revealing truths about what consumers want and how they want to get it in service after service, from DVDs at Netflix to music videos on Yahoo! Launch to songs in the iTunes Music Store and Rhapsody.

People are going deep into the catalog, down the long, long list of available titles, far past what's available at Blockbuster Video, Tower Records, and Barnes & Noble. And the more they find, the more they like. As they wander further from the beaten path, they discover their taste is not as mainstream as they thought (or as they had been led to believe by marketing, a lack of alternatives, and a hit-driven culture). "

Can I hear a "Hell, yeah!"?

12/07/2005

Snappy Comeback

An older gentleman had an appointment to see the urologist who shared an office with several other doctors. The waiting room was filled with patients. As he approached the receptionist desk, he noticed that the receptionist was a large unfriendly woman who looked like a Sumo wrestler.

He gave her his name. In a very loud voice, the receptionist said, "YES, I HAVE YOUR NAME HERE; YOU WANT TO SEE THE DOCTOR ABOUT IMPOTENCE, RIGHT?"

All the patients in the waiting room snapped their heads around to look at the very embarrassed man.

He recovered quickly, and in an equally loud voice replied, "NO, I'VE COME TO INQUIRE ABOUT A SEX CHANGE OPERATION, BUT I DON'T WANT THE SAME DOCTOR THAT DID YOURS."

Barbra Streisand speaks out for journalistic integrity

"This letter is to inform you that I am canceling my subscription to the LA Times, and here is the reason why:

In light of the obvious step away from the principals of journalistic integrity, which would dictate that journalists be journalists, editors be editors and accountants be accountants, I am now forced to carefully reconsider which sources can be trusted to provide me with accurate, unbiased news and forthright opinions. Your new columnist, Jonah Goldberg, will not be one of those sources.

Robert Scheer's column, with its often singular voice of dissent and groundbreaking expositional content, has been among the most notable features that have sustained my interest in subscribing to the LA Times for many years now. Apparently, previous leadership at the LA Times had no trouble recognizing Mr. Scheer's journalistic prowess in that they nominated him for the Pulitzer Prize. "

12/06/2005

Strange, new carnivore species sighted on Borneo

"GENEVA (Reuters) - Environmental researchers are preparing to capture what they call a new, mysterious species of carnivore on Borneo, the first such discovery on the wildlife-rich Indonesian island in over a century.

Swiss-based environmental group WWF said on Monday its researchers photographed the strange animal, which looks like a cross between a cat and a fox, in the dense, central mountainous rainforests of Borneo."

Tough Article to Swallow: School Newspaper Sparks Controversy over Sex Insert

Tough Article to Swallow: School Newspaper Sparks Controversy over Sex Insert

High School Student Article Disturbs Community

Dec. 6, 2005 - 'One in ten teenagers have had it,' '43 percent of teens see it as not as big a deal as sexual intercourse,' begins a four-page article called 'That Other Sex,' in a high school newspaper in Columbus, Ind., which has sparked controversy in the community.
'I think the person who allowed that to go through should be dismissed "

I'm only posting this to express my disbelief that ABC News used such a suggestive headline!

Jesus saves....at the 1st National Bank

"Real Jesus followers beat Kansas University professor who is to teach a class on the myths of intelligent design."

On this page, on Easter Lemming, there's a link to the quote above. I couldn't get it to open, but I just had to post this example of Christian tolerance and love.

Kansas is fast becoming the new Texas - used to be, every time there was some shining example of stupidity or bigotry or incest or just general freakishness, two out of three times, it was in Texas (Admittedly, Tom DeLay was responsible for quite a few of them). And the rest of the time, it was Indiana (I even have a not-blood-relative in Indiana who made national news for her stupidity. But I digress...) But lately, Kansas is taking large strides towards leading the pack.

Can bumper stickers and t-shirts with stupid sayings be far behind?

"I wasn't born in Kansas, but God created me here as fast as he could!"

"My other car is a Jesus Horse!"

"God couldn't be everywhere, so he created televangelists!"

"Fundamentalist butts drive me nuts!"

"Kansas...our prairies are wide open, and our minds are closed!"

Okay, this is too easy. Your contributions welcome...

12/05/2005

Hitmakers Implicated in 'Pay for Play' Plans

"Hitmakers Implicated in 'Pay for Play' Plans
Investigators looking into the corruption charges found evidence against two Sony BMG senior executives, sources say."

Lengthy, but interesting if you care at all about why radio sucks.

Sex, or something like it

I just noticed that I seem to have a lot of sex related posts here lately - lots of freaks making the news. I wonder if it's the season, or if there's just not much else going on?

When Animals Attack



Click for a clearer view of exactly what's going on. Photoshopped, but funny.

Via Worth 1000.

12/02/2005

Bad Sex Award

"LONDON (Reuters) - Food-critic-turned-novelist Giles Coren won one of Britain's most dreaded literary accolades on Thursday -- the prize for bad sex in fiction.

The prize is awarded each year 'to draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel.'
Coren won it for a raunchy passage from his debut novel 'Winkler' which included a description of the main character's penis 'leaping around like a shower dropped in an empty bath.' "

Safe Sex Dress

Click to enlarge (insert your own bad joke here!)

12/01/2005

Russian squirrel pack 'kills dog'

"Squirrels have bitten to death a stray dog which was barking at them in a Russian park, local media report. "

Upload, Store, Play and Share in a Few Clicks -

"Which leaves only one question: 'What is Glide Effortless?'

Here's another stab: it's a personal Web site (www.glidedigital.com) to which you can upload your favorite photos, MP3 files, video clips and even Word, PowerPoint or PDF documents. (A separate companion program speeds the uploading process by letting you drag and drop big batches of files at once.) Once everything's posted on the Web site, you can do two things with it: manage it or share it."

I couldn't actually see the site, because their server was too busy, but it sounds really useful.

Controversy over a Katrina-themed Christmas display...

"METAIRIE -- Frank Evans thought the tiny blue-tarped roofs, little toppled fences and miniature piles of hurricane debris he included in the Christmas display he builds every year for a suburban New Orleans shopping mall struck just the right humorous tone. "

Wizards Of Winter Video

Wizards Of Winter Video on Metacafe

Somebody in Mason, Ohio synchronized their entire Christmas lighting display in their yard to music. Far more interesting to watch than it sounds, this is pretty impressive.

Ick

"NOVEMBER 23--Meet Sean Kobin. The Wisconsin man, a freak if ever there was one, will be spending his Thanksgiving in a Milwaukee jail due to his toxic sexual compulsion. Kobin, you see, gets off by watching women vomit, a process he helps along by feeding them caustic liquid substances."

WhiteTrash Xmas

WhiteTrashXmas

This animated movie came to me via multiple emails. Break out the Velveeta, it's party time!