Category Archives: Humor

Friday Linkorama

Non-political Links:

  • Is this what we’ve come to? Death threats against psychic cephalopods? Have we no decency?
  • Scott Adams imagines a cashless world. Maybe. But it makes me nervous. Sue and I recently went to a cash basis for most our spending. It has really forced us to economize and stick to a budget. Credit cards are too great a temptation.
  • The latest on the fight between Jezebel and the Daily Show. I have only seen one of Olivia Munn’s segments but she seems pretty funny, hot or not.
  • I rarely actually laugh out loud at something on the internet. But Catalog Living has caught me twice. Here’s a good one.
  • Political Links:

  • God damn it. What is it with government know-it-alls continually flunking basic economics.
  • The media stopped calling torture by its name when Bush began to dispute whether things like waterboarding were torture. They still called it torture when China did it. Well, not any more.
  • Climategate is now five for five in investigations of scientific fraud. They are also five or five in being rebuked for asshole behavior and a lack of transparency. The response of the Right? Call it a whitewash.
  • My unending question: what is the post of having liberals around if the most liberal court in the nation decides that being innocent does not get you out of jail if you filed your motion too late?
  • Saturday Linkorama

    Bouyed by Tim Howard’s soft hands…

    Non-political links:

  • I swear this isn’t political, it’s funny: Barack Obama was apparently not in the video for Whoomp there it is.
  • A nice post from my favorite web movie critic on the birth of his son.
  • Woman claims she was fired for being too hot. I’m dubious.
  • Heh.
  • The inevitable articles about the world economy suffering from the World Cup miss the point entirely. Life has to be about something. It can’t all be dollar and cents. Joy and excitement have value too.
  • Political links:

  • Is one-third of healthcare spending wasted? Maybe. But it is so difficult to tell, in advance, what will be effective and what won’t be.
  • This crosses me as an extremely bad idea. Giving the President the authority to control the internet in an “emergency”? All we need is to get Sarah Palin elected and she’ll declare a national porn emergency and shut down the whole smash.
  • Again, I ask: what is the point of electing liberals if they’re not going to do some liberal things like cut our bloated defense budget?
  • I’m with Bainbridge. The change in budgeting rules could save us a lot of money. It’s a good idea from the Obama team.
  • It comes as no surprise to me that some anti-Walmart sentiment is being stirred up by the competition.
  • Midweek Linkorama

    Fueled by my re-discovery of the Purple Rain album.

  • The Democrats aren’t happy with lawyers who do their jobs and represent terror suspects. Again, what’s the point of electing Democrats if they’re going to cave on every civil liberties issue?
  • No, the BP oil spill does not validate socialism, as anyone even vaguely familiar with the environmental records of socialist paradises should know. Yet another example of “Disaster Socialism”. BP, however, ain’t exactly what people envision for a free market.
  • Shit like this is why I can’t stand the Right Wing. They live in their own reality. Some kids are punished for wearing American flags; the ACLU defends them; conservatives blast the ACLU for not defending them. WTF, man? These things are not difficult to check in the Age of Google. And this is not an isolated incident. This happens all the fucking time, especially on the environment.
  • Yet another data point on socialized medicine. In the meantime, pressure builds to provide “free” birth control. We tried this when I was a grad student. And no one could grok why their insurance rates went up at the exact same cost as the pills.
  • How Education Policy Works. The DC voucher program showed measurable progress in improving kids’ performance; it was axed. The DC public school system is a catastrophe; it’s teachers are getting a 21% raise.
  • Pre-obituaries. Do not read if you are liberal.
  • Violent crime continues to plunge, as it usually does during tough economic times. Maybe there’s no one worth robbing anymore.
  • Weekend Linkorama

  • Best. Newspaper. Correction. Evah.
  • As much as I fear fire, I’m not sure about the mandate that homes should have sprinkler systems. I can just see myself burning dinner and destroying my expensive television. I do know it’s telling that the biggest advocate for the mandate was … the sprinkler industry.
  • It’s only been two months and healthcare reform is already increasing in cost. We tried to warn people.
  • Tonya Craft was acquitted. Thank goodness.
  • How conspiracy theories are born. I particularly like the “hidden messages” in Moby Dick.
  • A round-up of why Sheriff Joe, hero of many on the Right, is a freaking nut (although the porn ban seems reasonable to me).
  • Balko expands on this disturbing viral video of a drug raid that ends with a a dog dead.
  • Lewis Black puts Glenn Beck in his place.
  • As much as I oppose the Fair Tax, the Democrats are lying through their teeth in their recent ad here in Pennsylvania. It’s disgusting. And expected.
  • Weekend Linkorama

  • Sullivan runs down the accomplishments of the Obama Administration so far. I disagree with a lot of what’s been done. But the meme circulating in the Right Wing Echosphere that this is a “failed Administration” is bullshit. And, what’s more, the meme peddlers know it’s bullshit. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be turning around claiming that Obama is destroying America.
  • More pictures that combine past and present. I love it.
  • This cracked me up.
  • Piano tuning is more complicated than you’d think.
  • An interesting article on the pending phosphorous shortage. I’m not as pessimistic as they are; we usually find clever ways to solve these problems … if we have a free market. Phosphorous shortage create high prices create increased demand create entrepreneurs creating ways to obtain more phosphorous. The only real danger is that the government will try to fix phosphorous prices too low. A big business of the 21st century is going to be recovering materials from waste and landfills.
  • The War on Salt ramps up. Salt in our food is now a “crisis” — a word that has become so used and abused as to be meaningless.
  • Watch a stadium get blowed up. I think its Texas Stadium. If only they could have blown it up while the Cowboys were still in it.
  • The dollar redesign project. Some of these are quite good. However, Americans tends to be very conservative about our money and I’m glad the treasury has taken the more gradual approach to modernizing the currency.
  • I have got to see this documentary. As for this movie … why, God, why?
  • It begins. An American citizen is forced to “show his papers” in response to Arizona’s new immigration law.
  • Midweek Linkorama

  • As expected, the “temporary” stimulus spending is becoming permanent as states become dependent on the Feds.
  • The Philly school spying case gets creepier.
  • George Washington — desperado.
  • Probably the most depressing thing about politics is how rapidly people’s attitudes change depending on who is in power. Here’s one example: people who used “regime” to describe the Bush Administration expressing alarm when that word is used for the Obama Administration. I hated the word both times; I can’t listen to Limbaugh because he uses it. But some consistency from anyone but libertarians would be nice.
  • A cosmic thought on free trade.
  • Just when you thought the GOP couldn’t get stupider; the Arizona wing sponsors a birther bill.
  • The food grabbers strike again. And again. And now the military is getting in on the act.
  • Debunking Cracked is one of my favorite websites. But today they ran an article on how a biotech company almost killed the world.

    I have to assume that this article is a joke, not a serious article. Because if it is serious, it’s incredibly sloppy and poorly researched.

    The claim is that scientists tried to modify Klebsiella planticola, a ubiquitous plant bacteria, to produce alcohol when it broke down plants. They were about to release this bacterium into the world when a researcher found out it killed plants. Had it been released, all the plants in the world would have died.

    Maybe this story is accurate but it set off my bullshit antennae something fierce.

    1) Lack of specifics. We’re told a “European biotech” company was doing this. No name is given; no country is given. This is especially strange given European attitudes toward GM crops. Only vague references are given to the study that saved us all. Someone in the comments pointed me to the PDF. It’s very mild compared to the article’s claims. Cracked tends to exaggerate for humorous effect, but this is a bit far even for them.

    2) Google “Klebsiella planticola”. The only thing you will find are fringe anti-GM sites repeating this story. You will also occasionally find claims that the “world will die” study was withdrawn or debunked. The fringe anti-GM sites make me think the article is serious, not satire.

    3) I found the website of Dr. Ingham, who is supposed to have saved us. While she has several papers in preparation on Klebsiella planticola on her CV, her bio suspiciously leaves out the part where she saved the world.

    4) If this story were real, anti-GM organizations like Greenpeace would be flogging it constantly. Every time someone so much as moved a corn starch gene, we’d hear that “we don’t another Klebsiella planticola”. It would be the Chernobyl or Three Mile Island of genetic engineering.

    5) The author, in responding to comments, states that this was ready for “worldwide release”. Given that we can’t persuade countries to accept GM crops that have proven to be safe, this sounds dubious.

    I checked out the author’s website for his book. It’s about 20 ways the world could end. One thing he cites is HiPER, a nuclear fusion experiment that could “consume us all in a fiery fusion reaction”, which is laughable.

    Again, I have to assume this article, and the book, are a joke. This guy is not a scientist, but a humor writer. But if it is a joke, it’s a poorly disguised one.

    Midweek Linkorama

  • Chili grenades? Chili grenades.
  • Stripper week continues on the blog with this story about Iceland banning the practice. This is being proclaimed as a great victory for feminism, but I don’t see that taking away women’s freedom — even if it’s the freedom to “degrade” themselves – and probably forcing them into illegal activity, is progress.
  • A fun story about the First Seder in the White House. I wonder how the Demented Right will square this with their vision of Obama as an Israel-hating Muslim.
  • Radley Balko has a point. Why doesn’t the public have a fraction of the outrage over real killings and bloodshed committed in the name of the War on Drug as they do about a brick thrown through a politician’s window?
  • Barack Obama and the Democrats kept abstinence-only education funding in the healthcare bill. Because what this country really needs to bring our healthcare bills down is a bunch of pregnant teenagers. And I thought I was snarked out on that subject.
  • You know the thing I hate about being a libertarian? Being right all the time. For the last decade, we warned that states were spending beyond their limits and creating a fiscal time bomb. We were right. Again.
  • More on the Godwinizing of the Tea Party.
  • Some legal humor from one of my favorite judges.
  • Midweek Linkorama

  • How fat are the Swiss? So fat, that prostitute are getting defibrillator training in case their clients have heart attacks.
  • This is awesome. Those supposedly exploited Chinese sweatshop workers are using their earnings to start business of their own.
  • Judge Jim Gray on the War on Drugs. Incredible.
  • Finger faces? Finger faces.
  • A sad story of game addiction. I sometimes worry about internet addiction myself. I’d be a lot more productive without the blogosphere. Quitting is something that weighs heavily in my mind at times.
  • I’m sorry. Does this mean Lindsay Lohan is admitting to being a lush?
  • Is the “missing women” problem starting to fade? God, I hope so.
  • Weekend Linkorama

  • The Fed buyout of foreclosed properties is chasing away buyers who do not have powerful political connections. Again, we see the Dave Barry Principle at work. ‘People are suffering and predator lenders/speculators are making lots of money. The feds want in on that!’
  • Paul Krugman: rapidly becoming a punch line.
  • For once, National Review has a point. Linking insurance to employment is an accident of WW2 wage controls, not a sensible policy. True healthcare reform would at least loosen that connection.
  • I always knew those Canadians were strange.
  • So why do men do most of the driving?
  • Tuesday Linkorama

  • Alabama. Doomed.
  • Yep. Sarah Palin was and is a disaster.
  • This is for the Dudette, assuming she still reads my blog.
  • Is the G-spot a myth? Not so fast. The study did cross me as rather anecdotal. One problem with our puritanical attitudes in this nation is that sex research is woefully underfunded. One of the most fundamental aspects of our existence — we literally wouldn’t be here without it — and we understand it only slightly better than our great-great-grandparents.
  • I have mentioned by love of time lapse video, haven’t I?
  • Interestingly, the research does not necessarily support the idea that salt is uniformly dangerous. Of course, a little science never stood in the way of America’s Favorite Tyrannical Mayor.
  • Godspeed. Both of you.
  • Rationality is awesome. You can do anything with triangles these days.
  • Christmas Linkorama

  • Peter Suderman runs down the failed healthcare experiments that comprise our national plan. Those who do not learn from current events are destined to be Democrats.
  • If you’re going to embrace alternative energy, you can’t start playing NIMBY game. There simply isn’t enough spoiled land to provide all our power that way.
  • The worst ideas of the decade.
  • Yet more debunking of the idea that global cooling was the consensus in the 70’s.
  • I’ve probably posted this video before, but I can’t find it in my links. It’s about change blindness and it’s amazing.
  • Coolnessin science.
  • A collection of hilarity from HuffPo.
  • A report says that ACORN broke now laws. Of course, this just proved how deep the conspiracy goes.
  • Well, at least lobbyists are doing well in this economy. And at least bureaucrats are getting tax breaks.
  • Thursday Linkorama

  • Hilarious fishing bloopers.
  • Yeah. What about Oyster guy?
  • How do people get money to do this sort of research? If it’s true, then a campaign to promote internet porn might do more good than the current iteration of healthcare (well, for men, at least).
  • You have to wonder when all the Right Wingers who agitated for the Duke Lacrosse players will take up this case. I’m also curious as to why the victim was not allowed to be cross-examined.
  • Sarah Palin vs. Algore. Dumb and Dumberer. I can’t believe that either of them are touted as leaders. But I do think she has a point: Algore did just up and quit halfway through his term of office. Oh, wait…