Homemaking tip of the day

April 29, 2005 at 4:34 am (Random)

Wash out your empty beer bottles before you leave town, or else they will get really moldy.

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Sleeping with the enemy

April 26, 2005 at 5:27 pm (Republican incompetence)

Not exactly, but how anyone can find this ok is beyond me.

UPDATE: When I posted this, the linked page had 30 comments.
It wasn’t until comment #3 that the conversation devolved into “yeah,
well guess what Bill Clinton did…”

There is absolutely no self-reproachment on the right.

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Some thoughts

April 25, 2005 at 8:17 pm (Philly, Rant)

I’ve been pontificating on my recent trip Back East, where I attended
probably the most extravagant middle class wedding/wedding party
ever. Haven’t yet made the A-list out here in Stumptown, but as
they say, “climb the ladder, Monty, climb the ladder.”

1. If that rat you call a child is capable of crying for 5 straight hours, don’t bring it on a plane. Period.

2. Don’t stow your breath mints. You never know when you or
the guy next to you will really, really need them.

3. Napoleon Dynamite is no longer the worst movie I have ever
seen. That honor now goes to Spanglish. I think the movie
companies pay the airlines to show the worst movies to an entirely
captive audience. I would have walked out, but I couldn’t find a
parachute.

4. O’Hare airport is the worst place in the world. I would
rather have a layover at Baghdad International, if given a
choice. I have never had an experience at O’Hare that I wouldn’t
characterize as awful. But at least there were no handcuffs
involved this time.

5. My Ipod is not going to make the plane crash. I know you
have a Doctorate of Flight Attendance, but I don’t believe you.
Just in case you are right, though, I am never flying again.

6. Similarly, why do I have to sit upright and stow my tray table
in preparation for landing? If we crash, we’re both going to die,
period. The chances of the tray table being the deciding factor
are minimal.

7. Opening a bottle of Sauza at 3 AM is a universally bad idea.

8. Philadelphia really needs to do something about its garbage
problem. Sure, patina gives a city character, but not if
you have to wade through it.

9. Only in Philly will someone start a sentence with “My buddy is a pornographer…” and be completely serious.

10. After three days of binge drinking, a hearty breakfast of
eggs, cheese and sausage seems like a good idea. It’s not.
At all.

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Consider the source…

April 19, 2005 at 8:06 pm (Politics)

Blindly partisan absolutists do occasionally produce something worth reading. You can imagine these people are upset by the “he beat communism!” hoopla, but I still find this a worthy rebuttal to recent poping efforts. What is the verb form of pope, anyway?

All the achievements of modern science—medical procedures to prolong the pope’s life; instant communications via satellite, television, radio and the internet informing the whole world of his condition; vehicles able to move hundreds of thousands of mourners quickly to Rome by land, air and sea—have been marshaled in a massive effort to convince the public that the life and death of this one person have had extraordinary, even supernatural consequences for the world.

The irony is that the enormous fortunes of today’s ruling capitalist class depend upon revolutionary advances in science and technology that fueled the growth of modern industry. And none of this would have been possible without the class and ideological battles during the feudal period that broke the Catholic Church’s monopoly on what people were allowed to think and say.

It was the triumph of the Enlight en ment over church dogma that freed up the natural sciences, which in turn allowed a period of stupendous development of the means of production that has totally transformed the world.

[snip]

His commitment to the patriarchy was total. Not only would the church continue to be completely male dominated, but challenges to the patriarchal family like a woman’s right to choose when and if to have a child—including both contraception and abortionwell as the right of lesbians and gays to same-sex relationships were to be condemned.

Let us assume that John Paul’s preachings against capitalist “materialism” were sincere, even though the church hierarchy certainly do not lack material comforts. He was telling the masses of people that they should put spiritual matters before material ones. In the real world, this means accepting the inequalities of class society—the poor shall be ever with ye—and working on one’s spiritual salvation instead.

Marx, of course, was arguing for the building of a revolutionary workers’ movement that could rebuild social relations—and the love and solidarity of the human family—on a higher and more equitable level by returning ownership of the means of production to the community of workers who built them. When there is needless hunger, injustice, war and oppression, how can there be true satisfaction of our emotional and intellectual needs?

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Explicit Content Only

April 19, 2005 at 5:44 pm (Humor, Music)

This link will take you to “Straight Outta Compton” with only the profanity. It’s worth it, but if you’re at work I’d put on some headphones.

Via Big Picnic.
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The world’s most expensive public art project

April 18, 2005 at 11:24 pm (Random)

CHRISTMAS VALLEY, OR: At
the end of a dirt road scraped into the desert, past the grazing
antelope and “US Air Force” placard, a snow shovel props open the door
to a monumental artifact of the Cold War.

The Over-the-Horizon Backscatter radar system, built to track Soviet
bombers over the Pacific Ocean, went on line just as the Cold War
ended. The government never used it.

“We expect to continue dismantling it and for the Air Force to leave the property,” said Steve Hinds, the program’s director.

Depending on the extent of the demolition, that could take years. What
remains until then is the antenna farm: originally 216 metal towers
ranging from 35 to 165 feet high, set in three long rows. It’s an
incongruous site in a region where hay sheds are the closest thing to
skyscrapers.

Here’s
the gist: the Air Force spent $300 million on a gigantic radar system
right before the CCCP fell, never used it, and is now spending even
more to dismantle it. Unfortunately, the online version of The Oregonian
does not have pictures, so you can’t see it. And for some reason
Squarespace doesn’t want me to be able to use the little shortcuts they
have for things like posting images, and I don’t know HTML well enough
to do it manually–a cry for help?–so perhaps I should just describe
it. Imagine the Very Large Array, from Contact fame, only with
giant TV antennas instead of dishes. It looks like the Bridesburg
skyline on steroids. It’s in SW Oregon, in the general vicinity of
Crater Lake. As you may have guessed, I have a few questions:

Is this Pork at its worst, or simply an unfortunate co-incident? I
hesitate to call it pork since Oregon Rep Peter DeFazio at the time
called it a “high-tech program of dubious value.”

Is this really high tech? It bounces radar off the atmosphere, so it
can detect things beyond the horizon. We’ve known that the earth is
round since 1492, and the Brits invented radar in the 40s…this
doesn’t seem like a giant leap forward to me.

Would this have protected the US at all? Didn’t/don’t the reds have several thousand ICBMs?

Why bother dismantling it? The thing is a sunk cost in any case, so you
might as well just leave it there rather than waste more money. I for
one plan on going to see it this summer. It could be a pretty big
tourist draw…a relic of the past like the ICBM silo in North Dakota that was turned into a national park.
Look how ready we were! the park rangers would tell visitors from
Nebraska. It could signify a statement against wasteful government
spending, proof that advocating massive reductions in our ridiculously
bloated military spending could (if done right) have no effect
whatsoever on our defense capacities, a counter to the knee-jerk right
wing reactionism that brands anyone in that camp as an America-hating
terrorist sympathizer. Maybe I’ll form a non-profit called “Taxpayers
for military fiscal accountability.” That sounds so much more appealing
than “Friends of The Over-The-Horizon Backscatter.”

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Napoleon Dynamite

April 18, 2005 at 8:32 pm (Music, Rant)

Want to make a film that critics will call an avant-garde social commentary? Here’s what you’ll need:

A nice batch of hackneyed, stereotypical characters, devoid of any
personality or charisma whatsoever. Make sure to include in your
blend a nice helping of Teenage Outcast, a pinch of Ethnic Minority, a
dash of Cool Kids, and at least one teaspoon of sleazy Thirty-something
Who Could Have Been Great. Script the characters so they interact
through dry, monotonous dialogue, interspersed with awkward
pauses. Add plots to taste, although you won’t get a review in
the Village Voice that way. Mix well Somewhere in Middle America,
and viola! One of the worst movies ever.

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Welcome

April 15, 2005 at 11:31 pm (Random)

Just doing a some much needed housekeeping. And here’s a special
shout out to all the people who have been hitting me after googling
some variation of “Dell sucks.”

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Quote of the day

April 15, 2005 at 6:48 pm (Quote of the day)

“Sure, taxes are high, the feds are investigating city government,
and too many Philadelphians are getting shot. Nevertheless, the
rate at which Philadelphia is losing population has
slowed for the fourth year in a row, according to the U.S. Census
Bureau.”

Link

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Skull Bong

April 15, 2005 at 5:43 am (Random)

No shit.

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