Maybe It's Not The Most Compelling Argument, Ladies
Via Attu Sees All
Via Attu Sees All
Not the greatest game, but it's different. Most of the points seem to be found in the small "town" to the right, where you may profitably indulge your godless lust for destruction.
Warning: Music and sound effects. There doesn't seem to be any way to mute them at the site, so turn down your speakers beforehand if that's going to be a problem. Link, or click the photo to start.
A few years ago the Swiss added to their national constitution a provision requiring "account to be taken of the dignity of creation when handling animals, plants and other organisms." No one knew exactly what it meant, so they asked the Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology to figure it out. The resulting report, "The Dignity of Living Beings with Regard to Plants," is enough to short circuit the brain.
A "clear majority" of the panel adopted what it called a "biocentric" moral view, meaning that "living organisms should be considered morally for their own sake because they are alive." Thus, the panel determined that we cannot claim "absolute ownership" over plants and, moreover, that "individual plants have an inherent worth." This means that "we may not use them just as we please, even if the plant community is not in danger, or if our actions do not endanger the species, or if we are not acting arbitrarily."
The committee offered this illustration: A farmer mows his field (apparently an acceptable action, perhaps because the hay is intended to feed the farmer's herd--the report doesn't say). But then, while walking home, he casually "decapitates" some wildflowers with his scythe. The panel decries this act as immoral, though its members can't agree why. The report states, opaquely:At this point it remains unclear whether this action is condemned because it expresses a particular moral stance of the farmer toward other organisms or because something bad is being done to the flowers themselves.
What is clear, however, is that Switzerland's enshrining of "plant dignity" is a symptom of a cultural disease that has infected Western civilization, causing us to lose the ability to think critically and distinguish serious from frivolous ethical concerns. It also reflects the triumph of a radical anthropomorphism that views elements of the natural world as morally equivalent to people
I tracked down the report, and here it is, in all its po-mo stupidity, if you can stand it. [PDF file):The hierarchical position can be criticised for being unclear about why the membership of a species, or the complexity of abilities, should be morally relevant. This objection is usually countered by saying that the complexity of an organism’s telos correlates with its ability to perceive harm. Further, we should take into account that our understanding is multiply situated, i.e. it remains tied to the abilities given to us and achieved by us culturally: the human perspective cannot be overcome. This does not rule out our ascribing moral status to other living organisms.
Via Ace of Spades
Well, here you are at your college graduation. And I know what you're thinking: "Gimme the sheepskin and get me outta here!" But not so fast. First you have to listen to a commencement speech.
Don't moan. I'm not going to "pass the wisdom of one generation down to the next." I'm a member of the 1960s generation. We didn't have any wisdom.
We were the moron generation. We were the generation that believed we could stop the Vietnam War by growing our hair long and dressing like circus clowns. We believed drugs would change everything -- which they did, for John Belushi. We believed in free love. Yes, the love was free, but we paid a high price for the sex.
A grumpy old man walks into a local First Baptist Church and says to the secretary, "I wanna join this damn church."
The astonished woman replies, "I beg your pardon, sir. I must have misunderstood you. What did you say?"
"Listen up, dammit. I said I want to join this damn church!"
"I'm very sorry sir, but that kind of language is not tolerated in this church." The secretary leaves her desk and goes into the pastor's study to inform him of her situation. The pastor agrees that the secretary does not have to listen to that foul language. They both return to her office and the pastor asks, "Sir, what seems to be the problem here?"
"There IS no damn problem!," the man says. "Looky here, I just won $200 million bucks in the damn lottery and I want to join this damn church to get rid of some of this damn money."
She is the biggest loose cannon in either campaign. She's got a chip on her shoulder the size of a redwood and an overweening sense of entitlement that makes her one of the more unattractive advocates for Barack Obama - despite the fact that she's his wife.
Michelle Obama is a disaster waiting to happen. Unless Obama sends her on a very long cruise or tries hiding her in a closet until after the election, there is little doubt in most observer's minds that she will eventually, detonate a bomb or two that will require major damage control.
OTTAWA - Stéphane Dion is poised to unveil a carbon-tax scheme and attempt to neutralize any political damage by offering corresponding personal income tax cuts of between $10-billion and $13-billion to working Canadians, senior Liberal sources say. The Liberal Leader wants this major environmental policy to be the centrepiece of the party's election campaign platform, according to the sources, and is anxious to reveal it this summer to give Canadians a chance to digest the idea before a federal election.
The plan, according to sources, would shift the 10-cent federal excise tax on a litre of fuel at the pumps into a broad-based carbon tax that would also apply to other fuels, such as for home heating. Sources say that the plan would not add more taxes to gasoline.
But the key is that the money raised - estimated as much as $17-billion - would be returned to middle-class and working Canadians in personal income tax cuts, making it revenue neutral. There could be corporate tax cuts as well.
Think about this for a bit. The rationale behind collecting a carbon tax is to mitigate the alleged damage caused by emitting greenhouse gasses. Therefore you would expect the revenues collected to be directed towards research and implementation of such things as fuel-efficiency, carbon sequestration (burying underground the CO2 produced from such things as energy production and utilities), alternate energy sources, etc.
These may be or may not be good ideas; my bet is on the latter. What would be unquestionably a bad idea would be to try and meet our elusive (and impossible) Kyoto targets by buying hot-air credits on the ridiculous "carbon markets" that they're proposing. Handing over untold billions of dollars to Russian and Chinese kleptocrats in exchange for their promises not to build things -- the competition is young, but that's possibly the stupidest concept of the century.
But never mind all that. Assume that every last dollar remains here, fighting nasty climate change. Do you see a little problem?
Namely that the Liberals are promising to make the tax "revenue-neutral," which means that they're lying (again!). If they truly intend to give income tax breaks of an equivalent value, then they've just blown a $17-billion hole in federal revenues. Where will they find the money to cover it? From health care? The military? Provincial transfer payments?
My guess is none of the above. They'll announce big, showy tax cuts and then proceed to scrape every nickel and dime of it back through user fees, new levies, handling charges and the like.
This is the final picture in the series, taken shortly before the dog ate the baby. OK, just kidding about that part. But I'm sure the thought crossed his mind.
Often it seems as though American higher education exists only to provide gag material for the outside world. The latest spectacle is an Ivy League professor threatening to sue her students because, she claims, their "anti-intellectualism" violated her civil rights.
Priya Venkatesan taught English at Dartmouth College. She maintains that some of her students were so unreceptive of "French narrative theory" that it amounted to a hostile working environment. She is also readying lawsuits against her superiors, who she says papered over the harassment, as well as a confessional exposé, which she promises will "name names."
An article about some whiny, thin-skinned professor (no doubt, an affirmative-action hire) at Dartmouth. This, though, was my favorite part:
I once wrote a term paper for a lit-crit course where I "deconstructed" the MTV program "Pimp My Ride." A typical passage: "Each episode is a text of inescapable complexity . . . Our received notions of what constitutes a ride are constantly subverted and undermined." It received an A.
(If you're not familiar with "Pimp My Ride," it's a program where people nominate either their own or a friend's beater of a car. Then a team of automotive specialists -- who are very good at what they do -- descend on it and rebuild it from the wheels up, topping it off with a custom paint job and enough video and audio gear to annoy other motorists from five blocks away.)
Via this comment at SDA
A woman with the rather strange name of "Tica." However, this isn't a photograph; nor is it computer-aided graphics. It's the stunning airbrush (mainly) work of a man with the rather strange name of "Dru." More of his stuff here (safe for work -- I took the liberty of cropping Tica rather than shrink her lovely visage). The menu is at the top.
As you are about to find out in the next 1/100th of a second. I haven't seen so much panic since the Titanic went down.
Full size here.
If Canada doesn't act to protect human rights in the case of Omar Khadr, the country is no better than terrorists, Liberal Senator Romeo Dallaire told a parliamentary subcommittee Tuesday.
The former general, one of the most high-profile personalities to speak out in favour of bringing the detained Canadian home from Guantanamo Bay, told MPs that Mr. Khadr is a victim, a child soldier who should be rehabilitated and re-integrated into society and not tried before what he calls an illegal court.
Mr. Dallaire, whose troubling experiences during the 1994 Rwanda genocide helped make him an outspoken advocate of human rights, said the Khadr case points out a moral equivalence among Canada, the United States and al-Qaeda.
Well, no, it doesn't -- unless you happen to be a moron. Then again, you are a Liberal senator, so I guess that it's probably part of the job description.
Say, Romeo, since you were in charge of the UN's spectacularly-successful Rwandan operations, does that make you, oh, I dunno . . . Idi Amin or something?
I keed. I keed. After all, the old butcher only has half as much blood on his hands as you.
Forget your Burmas; piss off, you whining Chinese quake victims! We've got real news here: Barack Obama called a woman "sweetie"!
Clearly, it was inappropriate for Obama to address the female reporter as "Sweetie." This trivializes her professional status and causes her colleagues to make "kissy-face" noises behind her back in the staff lunchroom.
Instead, he should have used one of the honorifics that women have earned by bringing their gentle, nurturing sensibilities to newsrooms far and wide:
Bitch. Barracuda. Shark.
(If you don't believe me, ask anyone who's worked in the business.)
It's somewhat reminiscent of something someone (I forget who, or in what context, so this quotation is approximate) said a few years ago:
"You have to remember, they [the Washington press corps] are probably the most cynical, hardbitten, foul-mouthed, hard-drinking group of people in America.
"And the men are even worse."
Judging by the reaction, he left off one critical adjective: "Humourless."
There are over 7 million patents registered in the United States, a great number of which describe practical inventions designed for use by everyday, ordinary human beings. Then there's the "guy" stuff, ideas so lunkheaded and irrational they could only have come from that tiny portion of a guy's brain not dedicated to scratching himself. The following inventions have received actual patents from the United States government - proof positive that heavy drinking is not being discouraged at the patent and trademark office. The illustrations are those submitted by the inventors themselves, whose surnames have been withheld as an act of mercy.Such as:
The principle is simple - two guys, disguised in a cow suit, amble out into an open field, conducting themselves in a cow-like manner (the guy in back may find ambling a bit difficult due to the placement of the udder). When the moment is right, the courageous sportsmen burst from various secret cow openings and blast away to their hearts' content. As an aside, should the hunter in front wish to play a tremendously humorous prank on the hunter in the rear, he can amble seductively into the holding pen of Farmer Johnson’s prize Brahma bull.
One hopes the thing is armor-plated for those unfortunate times when hunting season and beer season coincide.
WHY YOU THINK YOU’RE COOL: Dude, this game totally rocks! I love this song! Hell yes! Welcome to the Jungle, baby! You’re gonna diiiiiiiiiiiee!
WHY YOU’RE NOT COOL: Despite what the commercial says, you do not suddenly turn into Slash when you’re playing this video game. You are playing a child-sized guitar that doesn’t even have strings. It has multi-colored buttons and an on/off button. And playing this video game does not mean you can play the guitar now. If I have to hear someone say “I can totally play ‘Anarchy in the UK’” but actually mean “I can totally play ‘Anarchy in the UK’ on Guitar Hero,” I am going to take a pee inside the nearest PS3.
For all that the media focuses on ostensible Taliban achievements, they have not, in fact, taken or maintained control of any territory where forces - national and international - have been deployed to push back. Even in Helmand province, the insurgency's heart, the Taliban are on their back foot with the recent arrival of aggressively on-the-offence U.S. Marines, driving insurgents downwards to the Pakistan border, whence most came.
A keyhole view is often favourable to the Taliban as the shadow-government in this district or that region. They get big splashes with increasing IED attacks and suicide bombings, especially now aimed at Kabul. That ratchets up the terror and discourages foreign investment but has not brought the Taliban any closer to regaining power. That, remember, is their objective - to drive out NATO, usurp or assassinate Karzai, shred the Constitution, dissolve Parliament and reimpose their puritanical dominion.
They are not remotely close to doing so.
Rosie DiManno looks at the Afghan War and likes what she sees.
goes to Ian Robinson in the Calgary Sun:
Taking crap from the UN is hard at the best of times, given it's the most monumentally corrupt and ineffective political body since the court of Louis XVI.
It certainly looks like he's pointing something, and the reaction of the child on the sidewalk -- who looks startled, and in the midst of breaking into a run -- leans to that interpretation. But trying to determine what, if anything, is in the boy's hand is a bit trickier.
For one thing, it appears to be bright white in color. It could be nickel-plated, and catching the light at an odd angle, but there's no metallic glint that I can see.
Furthermore, if it is a gun, what is he aiming at? If you go into Google Earth (it's been a while since I last used it, but I don't think there's anything to install. I certainly haven't on this relatively-new computer) at this link and pan and zoom around.
The little girl (?) on the sidewalk doesn't appear to be a target; as best as I can see, the "gunboy" is pointing at something parallel to it. There are some people on a staircase about 50 or 60 feet ahead; but they, too, are out of the line of fire (and it's not exactly optimum pistol-shooting range).
But follow the path of the Google camera as it travels south on the street. The first photo shows the boy behind the vehicle. The second shows the "shooting" pose. In the third, he looks like he is talking to the child, and his "gun" hand is nowhere to be seen.
So, in conclusion: No harm; no foul. Of course, if you've spotted something I've missed, I'm certain the Chicago Police would be delighted to hear from you. (Please don't mention my name.)
Australian Tim Patch, who goes by the pseudonym in the title, paints using, um, a rather unusual tool. And no, it's not a palette knife.
If you can't figure it out from his nom d'art, his (mildly NSFW) site is here.
Dinner time, and time to search for a recipe:
WIENER WATER SOUP
1 pkg. wieners
3 c. water
Combine wieners and water in a two quart saucepan. Bring to a boil until wieners are cooked. Throw the wieners in the garbage. Serve soup. Serves 3.
And what do you know? I've got most of the ingredients!
Well, not really, though I do admire your active fantasy life. Still, it's a relaxing pastime, sort of like Where's Waldo, but with fatal head shots.
If you can, identify all the enemy snipers and eliminate them first. Because once you fire that first shot, they start looking for you. All of your targets will be within the white boundary-lines indicated on the briefing screen.
Click on the picture or here (for a full-screen version).
Warning: Some sound effects, mainly the sound of your gun and ricochets. There's no muting, so turn down your speakers first if need be.
It is said * that a cell phone stores the energy -- positive or negative -- of its owner, to be released only by the magical power of microwaves. So if you see this guy coming . . . run.
* Well, mainly by me, but feel free to run with it.
Via The Presurfer
"I make no allegations here. I don't know the facts, and that's the point. I want someone in government to establish the facts and establish if there is -- or is not -- a link with a minister of the Crown," [Liberal critic Michael] Ignatieff told reporters Monday.
"I don't care about her skirts, I don't care about her cleavage, I don't care about her quivering, bee-stung lips, I don't care about her thrusting, heaving bosoms, I don't care about her pert, eminently pinchable botto--" At which point he was dragged away, foaming at the mouth, by House of Commons staff.
Update: Minister Bernier has resigned. Ignatieff had no immediate comment, remaining "under sedation, on doctor's orders."
For reasons likely to puzzle baby name experts around the world, American parents have become infatuated by names, particularly for their sons, that rhyme with the word “maiden.” These names for boys include: Jayden (No. 18); Aiden (No. 27); Aidan (No. 54); Jaden (No. 76); Caden (No. 92); Kaden (No. 98); Ayden (No.102); Braden (No.156); Cayden (No.175); Jaiden (No.191); Kaiden (No. 220); Aden (No. 264); Caiden (No. 286); Braeden (No. 325); Braydon (No. 361); Jaydon (No. 415); Jadon (No. 423); Braiden (No. 529); Zayden (No. 588); Jaeden (No. 593); Aydan (No. 598); Bradyn (No. 629); Kadin (No. 657); Jadyn (No. 696); Kaeden (No. 701); Jaydin (No. 757); Braedon (No. 805); Aidyn (No. 818); Haiden (No. 820); Jaidyn (No. 841); Kadyn (No. 878); Jaydan (No. 887); Raiden (No. 931); and Adin (No. 983).Via the corner
A few years ago I mused how unlikely it was that a well-known Islamic terrorist group would take its name from a pig's hindquarters. It now seems that Hamas has caught up with my logic, and is taking a serious look at rebranding its image:
Warning: SFX, music.
Via reader Ilan S.
LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya is at it again:
Nathan built this anatomically correct heart for the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. He says, “A piece like this is a great tool to help doctors talk to young patients about their own hearts. Hopefully kids will relate to a heart built from a medium that they are familiar with.”
Except that I think he did not make it. This looks like a clear case of theft.
I had no idea the Preakness Stakes had gotten so, um, rambunctious.