You ARE good enough, Stuart

Congrats, Al Franken! You survived a round with the RNC legal spin machine. You are good enough, gosh darn it!

Also, Repugnuts? Suck it.

Which leads me to ponder... am I becoming the very monster I once aimed to fight? For instance, there is a well known theory in the intertubeweb about Republican strategy, which goes a little something like this: If it pisses off liberals, it's a good move.

That's it -- you can actually explain much of the Repuglican moves of the last 10 years by that theory.

But am I simply becoming the opposite?

Hmm. Ok, I've thought about it. No, I'm not. So suck it, Repubtards.


How Fox News Works cont.

Here's a quote from a respectable commentator from the great Conservative news site posing as an objective media site, Politico:

Now why would anybody be dumb enough to believe anything being said on Reliable Sources? Howard Kurtz and ‘friends’ are always liberal Socialists with Marxist bents, all think that Marxist Obama is the Messiah who can walk on water and cure all sicknesses with the wave of his hands, and all tacidly work for the Democrat/Marxist Party in order to create a new (but better, they believe) workers paradise like the former USSR, Communist China, or North Korea. While Fox News informs their listeners on all the news going on without taking sides, the rest of the MSM is nothing more than the Democrat Marxist Parties propaganda arm that will only tell their listeners the Obama and Democrat Marxist-approved news. No wonder they hate Fox.

Let me parse this for those of you that need some clarification: Howard Kurtz, noted Villager (i.e. lifetime journalist in Washington, thoroughly corrupted by said position) hosts a show about the media on CNN called "Reliable Sources". In my opinion, Kurtz is like most other Villagers, in that he has a double standard whereby he goes easy on Republicans, and much harder on Democrats. In the same opinion, CNN as a whole does the same. Kurtz was also involved in the recent firing of Dan Froomkin from the Washington Post, the only member of the "Liberal" WaPo Editoral staff who dared take on the Bush Admin over torture. All evidence points to his firing as caused by Krauthammer and Kurtz. I don't need to tell you who Krauthammer is, I assume.

Anywho, the quote above demonstrates what I'm calling the "Fox Effect". This good citizen is obviously convinced that the LIBERAL MEDIA is everywhere and controlling everything, except Fox News, which he sees as the pinnacle of objective journalism. Whereas the truth is, Fox News is a straight out propaganda organization, designed to get guys like this to think thoughts exactly like that! So, in amazing feat of Doublethink, this guy is convinced up is down, down is up, and no one can tell him otherwise.

Well done, Fox.

Summer of 77

Lot's O' dead celebrities the last few days. I missed all the news as I was in special Redshirt training. Read elsewhere for JACKO coverage, or Billy Mays memorials, but I want to briefly lament Farah, specifically the Farah from this poster.

If you are an American Male of a certain age, you know this poster. Probably intimately. It was a revelation, and deeply effected me. This, and the iconic Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader poster from the same era.

I miss you 1970's!


We have always been at war with Eurasia

Note to Rethugs: When FoxNews puts the (D) next to your name, the Family has kissed you goodbye.

Brave Women of Persia

I make some jokes about the protesting babes of Persia, but I only half joke, cuz seriously, they are a beautiful people. But I don't mean to belittle them by any means, as I stand in awe of the collective efforts of the women of Iran on behalf of this protest. I have read story after story of brave women facing down the basiij with nothing but their honor and dignity to protect them -- which often does not. And as in this picture, I have read of several stories where women rush in to protect a male getting beaten down by the basiij. Think for a moment of the type of bravery required to do what these women above are doing: Risking everything, for a belief. For a better day.

It's all very inspiring.

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Hitler, self-portrait, 1910

To think! If he had just received a little bit more positive feedback, the horrors of the NAZI's and WW2 might have been avoided.

Or would it have? Did Hitler create the movement, or did he tap into an existing movement and mobilize it? Certainly, anti-Semitism was common currency in 1920's Germany, and really, all of Europe and America. But, in many ways, the German people had to be goaded/led into war, via the very charismatic Hitler. Can one person make that big a difference?


Persia on my mind

Don't know about y'all, but I got Persia on the brain -- can't stop thinking about the events currently unfolding. Historic already, but if this breaks a certain way, this could be epochal; Persia is a vastly cultured and sophisticated land with a rich history; if the country were to integrate into the "normal" world -- specifically a more Western sphere - they would quickly become the leading country in the Islamic world, and very much so in the general region. It would be a benefit to the entire world for Persia to open it's arms.

So, what is going on now is now less the battle for our futures; on the one hand, you have the forces of repression and war -- and make no mistake, they're not just in Persia. The American neo-cons are rooting for the same thing as the ruling clerics in Iran (and the leaders of Al Qaeda; interesting alignment of sympathies, yes?). On the other, the forces of change, of liberalization and greater social freedoms.

Who will win? My money is on the protestors, on Obama. For no other reason than these respective forces of repression seem to be incredibly dumb currently -- the entire situation in Iran could have been avoided, for example, with just a bit more skill. Instead, they're going to lose power.

Just as the neo-cons have lost power in the US. Praise SHESAH!

PS: Check out the babe in the middle!



Barring global catastrophe (!), our destiny lies off Earth; Moon bases will be nifty, but our future lies on Mars - the only realistic option we have for an off-world permanent home. Now, if I'd had my way, we'd have all this accomplished already - we could have if we had stayed on the same trajectory of the late 60's space program. Sigh, Apollo....

But it is inevitable, eventually, that we will colonize near space - it's an evolutionary must, on the one hand, if we wish our species to survive for a longer term; but practically, again eventually, there is so much money to be made in space that this final frontier will not be denied: Greed is the pathway to human exploration, apparently.

And when we do colonize near space - I tell you now so you may prepare as you see fit to our collective destiny - it will be a vegetarian colonization. It would be far, far too expensive and impractical to raise any sort of livestock on Mars; shipping meat in, while possible, will be very expensive -- too expensive for the norm. And so, our Lunar and Martian brothers and sisters will live the vegetarian life, eating soy in the shape of meat, and growing to only mildly rue it;

So preach on, my Vegetarian comrades -- the future will be ours!

Happy Solstice!

Eastport ME

Also, a nice example of the power of the beaver on an environment. All of this wetland is created by the beaver and its busywork. You can see the sweet beaver lodge in the upper left of this photo, and the dam is just out of sight. Amazing creatures really -- besides man, they're the only animal to so broadly effect their physical environment. I've seen some sights you can hardly believe -- mile long trails and dredged canals, ten foot high, thirty foot long damns, old bridges converted into beaver castles... they're out there, in the woods, right now, building and building, to what end, who knows....


Happy Belated Captain Picard Day!

June 16th; some of you wags might know this as "Bloomsday", but you're wrong. It's Captain Picard Day, and I missed it! I have no excuse, and offer up this post as penance: Please forgive me Captain! I also offer up this:


Our space

Say hello to the Heliosphere, and it's cousin, the Heliopause. You could choose one or the other for this analogy, but this is our egg shell -- our electron wall. Barring the invention of a truly revolutionary technology like Warp Drive, this is our space, and we will not go beyond it for a long time, if ever. In fact, this is our reality, even though we can see far beyond it. And I mean that by a sense of scale; just as the physical reality for an ant would seem very small and contained to us, we are bound by our physical reality, and that is the heliosphere.

The distance between our star and the next is so vast, and space as a whole is so unbelievably vast, that by the simple physics of our surroundings, this is our space. Our cell, our reality. Looks like an egg, right? It's a nice home regardless.

Slightly off-topic, but consider: We live on the earth, which spins at something like 26K MPH; our Earth orbits the sun at a very high speed; our sun orbits a central gravitational spot shared by several other stars; this group in turn orbits an even bigger central gravitational spot, and so on until we all are orbiting the galactic center; but even at this scale we are moving, as galaxies orbit central gravitational spots, and larger collections of galaxies orbit ever larger central gravitational spots, so on and so on until.... well, do the mind puzzle: Not only are we moving incredibly, incredibly fast, right now (as you sit in your seat reading this), but we're also spinning like a whirling dervish.

It's no surprise we often seem so dizzy.

And yes, I'm revisiting the Heliosphere. It's fascinating....


Persia Cont.

Tons of activity today in Persia, though far less reporting/images, as it seems the Iranian Govt crackdown on foreign reporters (in addition to their days long battle on the intertubes) has had an effect in slowing down the information coming out of country.

That said, and on a completely shallow note, man, there's a lot of beautiful Persian people out there protesting, especially the ladies. For no other reason than allowing these beauties to travel the world, Freedom must come to Persia!

PS: Lose most of the veils though, TIA!



What's going on in Iran right now is a big deal -- it might turn out to be a historically big deal. My thoughts are with the brave protestors who are fighting for their beliefs. I just hope the death toll does not go too high.

On a related note, if I had only watched CNN or MSNBC this weekend, or even read the Washington Post, I would have little idea what was going on in Iran. The difference in coverage between the MSM and some of the more active blogs (Huff, Sully, Balloon Juice) is stunning. So stunning I have to check myself and see if I am missing something, the gap is so large.

Another note: Watch the Neocons rally around Ahmadinejad. It started this weekend on the blog, but expect Faux News to pick up the ball and run. Nuts of a feather flock together and all. And also remember: The Neocons care nothing for the US or anything in this world, other than their own power and wealth.


Conservatism, defined

In picture form! To wit: Always looking back at times that never really existed. With many scoops of Doublethink added.


Where at least I know I'm free

Not sure whether to go with a "Proud to be an American" tack, or a "Show them all the beauty they possess insiiiiiiide" tack. Tell you what -- choose your own joke.

PS: Funny to see the dynamic in this picture. I bet 1 Million Space Bucks that the little kid is the leader of this duo, creating the iconic "Little Guy - Big Guy" dynamic we all know and love.

Giant Cowgirl

So, any of you ladies care to dance?


Ah, memories. But seriously, I had my hands on a physical copy of this picture back in the mid 1990's, and if I recall the story correctly, this picture was taken by a friend of a friend of a friend. Tenuous, I know, but I find it neat when something I've seen in real life enters the Hive Mind of the Intertubes. You win again, Ethernet!


Friday Tennis Blog

I have found that women's tennis is far superior to men's tennis for a variety of reasons, key among them is the lack of reliance on "Aces". Womens' tennis provides a lot more back and forth then men's tennis, and that is, ultimately, what is enjoyable about tennis.


Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form

Two images here: The first shows the distribution of mass in the Universe, the second, the structure of an Atom.

Consider: According to my learning, the picture of an atom above -- the image most of us are familiar with in regards atoms -- is grossly out of scale. The example I heard: Consider an atom to be Westminster Abbey (or any really large building). The walls would be where the electrons buzz around. The nucleus, in this example, would be the size of a housefly. Thus, the vast majority -- approaching 99% - of an atom is empty space. The only thing that allows matter to act upon matter (to touch things, in other words) is the electrical fields generated by the electrons in each atom.

Now, consider the top picture: Astoundingly, average, everyday matter - stars, planets, gas clouds - only makes up at best 4% of the observable density of the Universe. The other 96%? We don't know yet. Maybe hadrons! But even most of this 4% is gas floating in the vast, vast expanses of space. The stuff we know best -- all the stuff on earth for instance -- makes up less than .05%. All the stars, all the rocks.... amount to basically nothing.

And there you have it. The space within us, and the space around us, is mostly -- up to 99% - empty. And yet is this less than a percent which makes up everything we'll ever know with our bodies.

Point? Life is a mystery, and we are merely sniffing at the questions.

Finally, consider: A drop of water contains 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms of oxygen, and 4,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 hydrogen atoms. One little drop.