“The condemned inmate, his body torn apart by guard dogs, slumped unconscious as the three executioners fired. The bullets shattered his skull, splattering blood near other prisoners forced to watch…People were seized with fear but no one could say anything…If a female inmate got pregnant…she and her lover would be shot to death publicly. Then… prison guards would cut open her womb, remove the fetus and …feed it to guard dogs.” Read story here.
Archive for October, 2008
Tags: Cows, Lightning, Sin
Whatever devious sins these cows committed will perhaps never be known (group cow sex? Playing with their udders?). But we do know something of the severity of those unmentionable acts: they were terrible enough for God to strike the bastards down with lightning.
“It is the black hole of the digital age — the three minutes it can take for your computer to boot up, when there is nothing to do but wait, and wait, and wait some more before you can log on and begin multitasking at hyper-speed…” Read rest of this NY Times article, Age of impatience…
Tags: Cuban Missile crisis, Nuclear mistakes, Nuke attack, War
Now we all know about the Cuban Missile Crisis and how close we came to an atomic exchange but did you know about the one from back in 1956 when “the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) received warnings that seemed to indicate that a large-scale Soviet attack was under way” or the one from 1979 when “four command centers for the U.S. nuclear arsenal received data on their radar screens indicating that the Soviet Union had launched a full-scale nuclear first strike on the United States” ? Don’t worry there were others too and probably a lot more we don’t know about yet. Read rundown here.
Yes, at least one conservative sees the uselessness of the situation: “Time for nation to divide in two. We’re simply not one nation any longer.” Me? I think we should divide by at least four or five parts. Hell, make it six. –Wait a minute, lets go back to the original 13 colonies.
Tags: Books, Illiteracy, Reading
When PJ Haarsma wrote his first book, a science fiction novel for preteenagers, he didn’t think just about how to describe Orbis, the planetary system where the story takes place. He also thought about how it should look and feel in a video game. The online game that Mr. Haarsma designed not only extends the fictional world of the novel, it also allows readers to play in it. At the same time, Mr. Haarsma very calculatedly gave gamers who might not otherwise pick up a book a clear incentive to read: one way that players advance is by answering questions with information from the novel. “You can’t just make a book anymore,” said Mr. Haarsma, a former advertising consultant. Pairing a video game with a novel for young readers, he added, “brings the book into their world, as opposed to going the other way around.” Read article here.
Well, I have to admit this is a very inventive approach to a growing problem of illiteracy, But there are also other ways to get teens to read, esp the game tappers. Here’s a few:
1) For every word read in a novel credit the “reader” with one cent; every hundred words, excluding articles (e.g., the) and prepositions (e.g., at), will gain him a dollar. This will at least give him an incentive to earn money towards a new game.
2) Upon proof that a teen has read at least one non-fiction book present him or her with a non-transferable $20.00 voucher towards offsetting normally high college tuition or car insurance.
3) Rewrite all classics in “text message” format.
4) Make books edible, high in sugar content, and available in various flavorings. Finishing the book would be accomplished when all the pages are gone. One disadvantage of this type of book, however, is that it would perhaps encourage cheating. Unfortunately pages could be eaten before being read.
Tags: Abuse, Terrorism
“A link between terrorism plots and hardcore child pornography is becoming clear after a string of police raids in Britain and across the Continent, an investigation by The Times has discovered. Images of child abuse have been found during Scotland Yard antiterrorism swoops and in big inquiries in Italy and Spain. Secret coded messages are being embedded into child pornographic images, and paedophile websites are being exploited as a secure way of passing information between terrorists…” Read this article here.
Latest culture watch headlines:
We congratulate Madonna of Scotland and Guy Ritchie on their upcoming divorce. In fact, this pop icon has reportedly been lambasting Ritchie onstage . At stake here is the pot of gold worth about 600 mil. Madonna’s the big loser of course. Ritchie could get half, which from his POV means this marriage and having had to share a bed with this beastly cob must have been well worth the sacrifice.
Teen age puppy love couple Rolling Stones’ 94 year old Ronnie Woods and eleven year old Russian Ekaterina Ivanova take a stroll in London. The lovers stopped at a local cafe for coffee (even though Ekaterina isn’t old enough to drink caffine).
Dennis Leary kicks some autistic butt with some deep psychological insight; as you may know, Leary acquired a Masters degree in autistic research when he was in the sixth grade, his highest level of education. See for yourself, here it is straight from the great doctor’s mouth: “There is a huge boom in autism right now because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can’t compete academically, so they throw money into the happy laps of shrinks . . . to get back diagnoses that help explain away the deficiencies of their junior morons. I don’t give a [bleep] what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you – yer kid is NOT autistic. He’s just stupid. Or lazy. Or both.”
Tags: Angus, Religion
“Pious Jews at this moment are trying to breed the spotlessly pure ‘red heifer’ mentioned in the book of Numbers, cahpter 19, which if slaughtered again according to the exact and meticulous ritual will bring about the return of animal sacrifices in the Third Temple, and hasten the end of time and the coming of the Messiah… like-minded Christian maniac farmers are attempting…to help their co-fundamentalists by employing special breeding techniques…to produce a perfect Red Angus beast in Nebrska.” Quoted from God Is Not Great (Christopher Hitchens). This return may be sooner than we think: according to McDonald’s and various taste testers, their relatively new and mteituclously prepared one-third pound heifer patty, advertised as the Angus Burger, has attained as thorough a perfection as is likely to be found in the fast food world. Will time end? Will the Messiah now appear? This is still open, but keep checking the parking lot.
…Oh, and here’s another aspect of this fanaticism: These same religious zealots in Israel are trying to raise a child “in a pure ‘bubble’ free from contamination, who at the attainment of the right age will be privileged to cut the heifer’s throat.”
Tags: Detective fiction, Farewell My Lovely, Fiction, Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler
You know, Raymond Chandler in the guise of Philip Marlowe held the nitty gritty of life in the revolving cylinder of his typewriter. No one counts on religion in a Chandler novel. It won’t get you a free drink, nor will it keep you from getting murdered. You need your wits about you and a healthy enough cynicism to maneuver the dark corners of society where even beautiful flesh is usually nothing more than meat gone bad. You should read the two best, The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely for the sleek pizzicato dialogue, where Marlowe, so full of contempt, blurts out acerbic one liners even with a gun held to his head. A bird doesn’t fly in a Chandler sentence; it comes by fast like a pitched stone. You should read Chandler instead of How to be a Good Writer in Ten Easy Chapters, or 100 Things Every Writer Should Know Before He Hits the Keyboard…
“I stood there looking at her, not saying anything, not thinking anything particular to say. I stepped over to her side after a moment and put the flat bottle, now almost empty, on the table at her side…She was staring down at the carpet. The radio droned pleasantly in the corner. A car went by outside. A fly buzzed in a window. After a long time she moved one lip over the other and spoke to the floor, a meaningless jumble of words from which nothing emerged. Then she laughed and threw her head back and drooled. Then her right hand reached for the bottle and it rattled against her teeth as she drained it. When it was empty she held it up and shook it and threw it at me. It went off in the corner somewhere, skidding along the carpet and banging up with a thud against the baseboard…She leered at me once more, then her eyes closed and she began to snore.”
I laugh out loud whenever I red this line. “I’m an occational drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard.” –”The King in Yellow”
Tags: Beatle, Joh Lennon, Yoko Ono
I love this–another sixties blue meanie gets caught in the electric fanbelt…Yes, 60′s super pop peacenik guru John Lennon turns out to be a real warrior in the home: …Prone to unprovoked acts of cruelty, jealous rage and perverse sexual fantasies (well at least that part sounds interesting). Is this anyway for a peacnik to act? I mean didn’t this bobblehead ever hear of Give peace a chance? According to a review of John Lennon: The Life by Philip Norman, “The portrait is so damning…” Now my curiosity is piqued. I don’t have the book yet but I can already feel my eyes groping for the words. “… This peacnik callously treated Yoko…there was physical and verbal abuse of his two sons (“No, I’m not going to mend your f—ing bicycle”), there were his chronic infidelities. Do I smell a MISOGYNIST and child hater, a member of the Liverpoolian woman haters’ club? This guy had no class. “When Cynthia [his wife] returned from a vacation in Greece to her home in England, she found John and Yoko seated on the floor together in matching bathrobes…John showed no sign of guilt or even surprise, merely looking round with a casual, ‘Oh . . . hi…’ “Now I know this Beatle isn’t here anymore to defend himself, so that’s what his close admirers are for. So far only Yoko has stepped up and has said of the book (which she contributed to) that it’s “too mean.” I can understand why she said that. She’s simply protecting her franchise.
Youtube gets smart with an “audio preview” feature – intended to “humiliate the illiterate and inane commenters into rethinking their posts” . There’s also the Firefox add-on called “YouTube Comment Snob” you can use to filter out the crap. Unfortunately many commenters won’t see anything inappropriate with what they wrote and how it sounds when it’s played back to them (can’t you tell that by simply re-reading it?). Better yet, when you go on Youtube ignore the comments altogether.
Tags: ACORN, Corruption, Politics, Polling, Voter fraud, Voter registration, Voter scams
Here are just a few links to the ongoing voter corruption…
Now these are just a measly few of voter scam investigations and allegations. One has to also wonder if some polling stats are now corrupt. We are, after all, living in a banana republic.
It’s encouraging to read from various accounts that Europeans are beginning to realize radical Islamists are indeed a threat to their way of life. Unfortunately, wanting to make the grand religion of multiculturalism work, they struggle to creatively incorporate the ever expanding contradictions of appeasement into a democratic context. Appeasement of course is tolerance, but radical fundamentalists should understand that, human nature being what it is, tolerance has a threshold. Remember in the Time Machine (the Rod Taylor Movie version, that is), where the pacifistic vegetative and extremely high tolerance abiding Elois, who, after all, allow themselves to be used as food for the underground-living Morlocks (an extremely tolerant gesture) finally rebel. Their tolerance threshold, as astoundingly high as it was, had been breached. Maybe we can get the movie played more in Europe.
(Note: this is from a post I put out last year, but I felt it was more timely now in a number of ways than ever.)
I read this fascinating and disturbing chapter (3) in Hitchen’s God Is Not Great (I imagine the pb version will be out soon) several times. Here Christopher Hitchens reads the chapter in its entirety, A Short Digression on the Pig; or, Why Heaven Hates Ham.
Speaking of ham…In her autobiographical book Reading Lolita in Tehran Aza Nafisi wrote of how in protest of the constrictions of the Islamic government she would eat ham sandwiches in her home.
Tags: Cartoons, Looney toons
I don’t know about you but this image ruined my dinner.
There is no place safe now. Feeling depressed or befuddled by life I have often sought solace in Looney Toons–Bugs Bunny, Sylvester and Tweety Bird, Daffy Duck…but, alas, now there is nowhere to turn.
Note: go here to see the rest.
Tags: Analogy, Biden, Debating, Horse Feathers, Horse race, Palin, Politics
Why is it, when describing debate performances, just about all writers fall back on those tired old boxing cliches? Attaching cheap brutal physicality to verbal sparring (geez, now I just did it) is so boring, so tired I never get past the first sentence under a headline, and usually not even the headline itself. If you have to use a sport analogy how about using something less tired, like horse racing. OK, let’s take Palin and Biden, here known, to use typical race horsey names, as Moose Eater and Botox Boy–OK…….Moose Eater and Botox Boy are neighing in the chute…They’re ready…the chute opens…they’re off! …They’re in the running…Botox Boy pulls ahead…here comes Moose Eater…It’s Moose Eater by half a length…Botox Boy’s on her tail…Moose Eater hugs the turn…Botox Boy’s slipping…no, here he comes…no no……..yes…Down the stretch they come…Neck and neck…They’re approaching the wire…Here it is…Here it is…it’s Moose Eater by a nose!
Why is it that the absolute best writing about American politics always seems to come from the Brits? It never ceases to amaze me how some British thinker will seize an American dilemma by the horns (like one of those English 1930′s big game hunters with a 300 lb Serengeti antelope), analyze it, put it in totally bleeping perspective and publish it. Even the best writer in America today is an ex pat Englishman, Christopher Hitchens.
Case in point.
“There’s something curious about the human imagination. Confronted with unprecedented events of unfathomable scale, it seems to find the shocking reality insufficiently interesting and reaches instead for even grander, more cosmic explanations of what’s going on. The financial crisis is precisely that sort of moment. It’s a vast drama, with consequences that will ripple steadily from immediate economic hardship to changes in short-term political fortune to a broad recasting of the way our economies and societies work. But that’s not enough, apparently, for the drama queens and kings of our political and media establishments. Hastily, they’ve constructed a grand historical narrative in the last couple of weeks, composed largely of overarching myths that are in danger of hardening into conventional wisdom. So at the risk of being accused of missing the historical boat, let me try to take a few of them on…:continue with That rubbish they talk about the credit crunch.
Tags: Eastern religion, Levitation, Meditation, Yoga
Probably the most famous demonstration of levitation occurred in India, in front of 150 witnesses on June 6th in 1936, by Yogi master Subbayah Pullavar. The “levitation” lasted approximately four minutes. By the way, this faking technique shown in the video is only one of various types of levitating trickery. Religious rivals of Jesus–and perhaps Jesus himself–used levitating tricks to impress crowds, and to lend an aura of godlike mystique to their persona. There are even magicians who use levitating tricks today, like David Blaine, for example. With a little guidance, a little know-how, you too can levitate.
Cynical views in descending order (more or less)–in other words the good, the bad, and the ugly:
“…Let’s be clear: This is a Wall Street crisis, not a national economic crisis. The overall economy, while a bit weak, is still growing. Some politicians are comparing the current environment to the Great Depression. But in 1932, when the federal government last moved to bail out the banking sector, economic output had fallen 45 percent and unemployment was a staggering 24 percent. Today, economic output is actually up and unemployment is a historically modest 6.1 percent…” Read Reason Online
Is testosterone responsible for this crisis? Scientific American
Propping up banks will not rescue a debauched financial system UK Telegraph
And now it really gets cyncy, brother: “…The natural order of the world is chaos, not calm. Like it or not, for over a half-century the United States alone restrained nuclear bullies, kept the sea lanes free from outlaws, and corralled rogue nations. America alone could provide that deterrence because we produced a fourth of the world’s goods and services, and became the richest country in the history of civilization. But the bill for years of massive borrowing for oil, for imported consumer goods, and for speculation has now finally come due on Wall Street — and for the rest of us as well. Should that heart of American financial power in New York falter — or even appear to falter — then eventually the sinews of the American military will likewise slacken. And then things could get ugly — real fast…” America’s nervous breakdown
I have saved the worst and certainly most negative, most incredibly cynical outlook for last: “The banking crisis is upending American dominance of the financial markets and world politics. The industrialized countries are sliding into recession, the era of turbo-capitalism is coming to an end and US military might is ebbing. Still, this is no time to gloat…” The end of arrogance
WHOAAAA….LET”S TAKE A TIME OUT: Are you sick of reading about all this kind of stuff? Then, ninny, why not indulge in some laughter of the funny kind. Read about a large woman who was fined 300 bucks at KFC for taking too long to devour a super size bucket of chicken. Right here.
If you doubt that democracy can evolve and sustain itself in Russia, especially under Tasr Vladimir Putin, then you obviously know something of Russia’s past. You have history on your side. An article in the London Telegraph sums it up nicely: “Though communism was a ghastly delusion, and the rule of Stalin inflicted unspeakable pain, Russia’s historic experience goes far to explain how her people could accept such subjection. To this day, it is not uncommon to travel in a Moscow taxi whose driver keeps a picture of Stalin above the dash…”Russian history, even before Stalin and the Russian revolution, is one of authoritarian and religious oppression, even under the so-called enlightened Peter the Great.
Tags: Battle of the Somme, Prostitution, Sex, Soldiers, WWI
Man does not live in the trenches alone. Poison gas, machine guns and artillery bombardments could not keep these soldiers from their appointed rounds…”As dusk descended on the little French village, casting its shadows over the war-ravaged countryside all around, a British clergyman marched up to the door of the local brothel, pushed it open and strode…inside…” Read Sex and the Somme