Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Proclamation

The twenty-fifth day of December.

In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth;

the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood;

the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham;

the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;

the one thousand and thirty-second year from David's being anointed king;

in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;

in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;

the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome;

the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;

the whole world being at peace,

in the sixth age of the world,

Jesus Christ

the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,

desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,

being conceived by the Holy Spirit,

and nine months having passed since his conception,

was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary, being made flesh.

The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hell, I Wouldn't Comment Either

Thanks to Christopher Blosser for updating my blog. Unfortunately, though, I have the new-style comment boxes that require fellow blowhards to enter a password and identifier from a menu of omnivorous corporate data hogs.

"This blog does not allow anonymous comments. Please enter the RFID number Google has implanted under your skin, your Google password, your Google social security number, Google date of birth, Google bank routing number and tell Google a little about yourself. That's a good minion."

When did Google get taken over by Nigerian scammers?

"Google is run by Cynthia Okore, wife of the late General Okore. Read General's tragic plane accident here. Google wishes to give you many moneys to distribute to needy causes in your country with commission for yourself. Google's attorneys require the RFID number Google has implanted under your skin, your Google password, your Google social security number, Google date of birth, Google bank routing number and tell Google a little about yourself. Yours in whatever new age fad we have displayed this week."

Soon there'll be a voice-recognition comment system run by GoogleSkype, or GoogleAT&T:

"Gracias por llamar Google, la localizaciĆ³n del Internet para todas sus necesidades de la realidad. Para proceder en espaƱol, ahora presione 1."

"Mi dankas vin pro vokanta Google, Interreto loko malgrau via realajo bezonas. Se vi volas procedi En Esperanto, gazetaro 2 hodiau."

"Thank you for calling Google, the Internet location for all your reality needs. If you wish to proceed in English, press 3 now."
"Thank you for calling Google, the Internet location for all your reality needs. Please enter the twenty-digit RFID number Google has implanted under your skin, followed by the pound sign.
Thank you. You entered the following twenty-digit RFID number 13567235996831644821. If this is correct, press 1 now.
Thank you. Please enter your Google password, your Google social security number, Google date of birth, Google bank routing number and tell Google a little about yourself, followed by the pound sign."
Google did not understand your last entry. Please try again before we cancel all your credit cards. Enter your Google password, your Google social security number, Google date of birth, Google bank routing number and tell Google a little about yourself, followed by the pound sign."

[thirty minutes later]

Thank you. Would you like to enroll in GoogleAdvantage, the home appliance use monitoring system? Say yes or no at your own peril.
Thank you. One last question before we begin. Google is updating our RFID technology. Press 1 if the skin on your left wrist begins to itch. We appreciate your cooperation.
Google did not understand your last entry. Please try again before we show every burglar in the world where your house is vulnerable and when you're not at home. Press 1 if the skin on your left wrist begins to itch. We appreciate your cooperation.
Thank you. Select your comment from the following options. Please pay attention, as the menu may have changed:

To leave a recorded message about Google's outstanding customer service, press 1.

To leave a recorded message explaining why you love Google, press 2.

To call the blog's author a moron, press 3.

To inflate an aside or tangential vague statement in a blog post into the main point of the author's existence and then refute or confirm that existence at length, press 4.

To superimpose your own world view on a blog post and identify the author as a Republican or Democrat fascist, press 5.

To superimpose your own world view on a blog post and identify the author as a Republican or Democrat communist, press 6.

To superimpose your own world view on a blog post and identify the author as a Freemason, press 7.

To accuse Google of being a secret world front for Freemasonry because it assigned Freemasonry the number 7, press 8.

To call the blog's author a genius, press 9.

To complain that the author secretly approves of something terrible and unrelated to his post, press 10.

To praise the author for secretly approving of something wonderful and unrelated to his post, press 11.

To exploit an unrelated blog post as an opportunity to advertise your own goofy product or service, press 12.

To expose the author as one who exalts form over substance, press 13.

To expose the author as an indifferentist, press 14.

To spend time with a loved one or friend, hang up and dial your operator.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Avatar: Stunningly Bored?

Ohhh . . . it feels good to be a blowhard again.

From what I've read, the film is exactly like Titanic, a film of breath-taking garbage, fantastic drivel, beautiful twaddle. As something to get your mind around, Titanic fails on so many levels that you'd need more space than the end-credits to list them. The entire plot follows: Girl from a wealthy family finds love and human meaning by rejecting the ridiculous and barren social prejudices of her class with the help of a lower-class sort of fellow who truly knows about life and the ship sinks. James Cameron could have told the same story while filming the Great Chicago Fire, the Battle of the Bulge, or janitors at Wal-Mart (as to that last, check out Career Opportunities for something that's at least intermittently intelligent).

To find out just how bad Titanic is compare it with A Night to Remember, the 1958 classic that's available through the Criterion Collection. ANR is a bit dry and documentary by modern standards, but at least you know why all the action happens on the Titanic. Or compare the 1960 film The Last Voyage about a family trapped on a sinking ocean liner. (By the way, for all the hype about water tanks used to film Titanic, the director of The Last Voyage actually filmed the movie aboard a sinking ocean liner). Like Titanic, the story of The Last Voyage doesn't have to occur on any particular ship. In fact the same story could be set on one of those silly pontoon boats you see on the local man-made lake. But you care about the family, and the film asks a subtle, nagging question -- would you give up trying to save the life of your spouse?

Titanic's story isn't about anything to do with the Titanic, and not even $200 million can make the romance in Lady Chatterly's Lover (or Anna Karenina, The Wild One, Rebel Without a Cause, Breakfast Club, Twilight, every movie shown on the Lifetime Channel, or every book published by Harlequin) fresh or interesting again. It's all right to like the film because of the special effects. I personally loved the spectacle of the great ship. But the hackneyed romance and jejune social commentary eventually had me rooting for the iceberg.

From what I read, Avatar is no different. It's a blindingly insightful and surprising story about greedy men from a technologically-advanced society destroying beautiful habitats and native cultures. One of the soldiers who serves the greedy technologically-advanced society falls in love with one of the natives. He begins to appreciate the beauty and dignity of native culture and eventually takes the natives' side against the evil greedy men who are trying to destroy them. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Who could have imagined such a story? Everybody who saw The Return of a Man Called Horse, Superman, Dances With Wolves or The Last Samurai, that's who.

I'm sure the special effects are stunning. They'd have to be, wouldn't they. Chris Rock's career wouldn't last very long if all he did was tell chicken-crossing-the-road jokes. Nobody would watch the Superbowl if the teams agreed to use exactly the same plays in the same order as the last Superbowl. But $100 million in special effects can get us interested in a CGI-enhanced chicken or "wardrobe accident." There's just something weird about people eager to hail a barren exercise in story re-telling, like a kid being overjoyed to get the same present as last Christmas because the wrapping paper has more pizazz. Dark speculations about the future of our culture arise, but I won't make them. I'll just say that the Athenians had it better, and Athenian playwrites had it tougher, because there's just so much you can do with a hoist.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Man, this is good!

Sausage Plate


Roasting pan (disposable aluminum will do fine).

As many garlic cloves as you like.

2 TB olive oil

2 cans cannellini or great northern beans, drained & rinsed.

8 Johnsonville sausages (any style), or 4 Johnsonville and some kielbasa. You can add beef franks if your kids prefer them.


(1) Preheat oven to 375. Denude garlic cloves. Be sure to cut the tips off -- they can break a tooth. Drizzle the oil in the roasting pan. Prick the sausages and place them and the garlic in the roasting pan. Ignore for 20 minutes.

(2) Remove the pan. If necessary, prick the sausages again (sometimes they swell up and close the original holes). Turn the sausages. Put back in the oven. Add the kielbasa and hot dogs, if any. Ignore for 15-20 minutes.

(2) Remove the pan. Throw in your beans. Drizzle some more olive oil and stir. Put back in the oven until the beans are hot. Serve.
I Liked this Part

In this story about a giant iceberg floating toward Austraila:

Dr Young said an iceberg the size of B17B had not been seen so far north since the days when 19th century clipper ships plied the trade route between Britain and Australia.
Perhaps Dr. Young hasn't checked his emails. The era of clipper ships ended in the 1870s. Giant icebergs are supposed to be a sign of global warming. That's why John the Baptist (a/k/a) Al Gore used a special-effects clip from the adventure film The Day After to show us how global warming is causing the arctic and antarctic is shelves to melt.

Pardon me for being, uh, inconvenient, but why were giant icebergs like this crashing into the sea 150 years ago but not from then until now?

Maybe the good folks at the University of South-Southeast Cumbria's Climate Research Unit could explain this. I'm sure they know a "trick" proving that the greenhouse gas generated by flapping canvas sails during the 19th century is greater than the greenhouse gas produced from then until the 21st century.

That would probably be very satisfying to them. It would mean that alternative energy strategies are out. If flapping canvas causes as much global warming as 150 years of industrialization, wind turbines and all the rest of it won't do much good. It would mean that humanity would have to live like actual 19th-Century serfs, something far more pleasing to the new "Wings Over the World" crowd than lording it over virtual 21st-Century serfs.

It just amazes me how similar the global-warming crowd looks like the Bushies whipping us up for the invasion of Iraq.

Because Americans can't do anything without their government.

Monday, November 30, 2009

This just in . . .

Expensive Old Coot Whines About Federal Healthcare Program
Climatologists Harassed by Hackers

SOUTH SOUTHEAST CUMBRIA (PEANUT) -- Hundreds of alleged private emails and alleged documents allegedly exchanged between some of the world's leading climate scientists during the past 13 years have been stolen by dastardly evil hackers and should be ignored, it emerged today.

The computer files were apparently accessed earlier this week from servers at the University of South-Southeast Cumbria’s Climate Research Unit, a world-renowned centre focused on the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change. Rest assured that this crime will not go unavenged.

Evil climate change sceptics who have studied the emails allege they provide "smoking gun" that some of the climatologists allegedly colluded in examining data to support the widely-held and incontrovertible view, based on all available evidence, that climate change is real and is being largely caused by Americans.

The veracity of the alleged emails has not been confirmed and the scientists allegedly involved have declined to comment on the story, which broke on a blog called The Air Vent.

The alleged files, which in total amount to 160MB of alleged data, were first uploaded on to a Russian server, and we all know about the Russians. The alleged emails were accompanied by the anonymous statement: "We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code and documents. Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it."

A spokesperson for the University of South-Southeast Cumbria said: "We are aware that alleged information from an alleged server used for research information in one area of the university has been made available on public websites. Because of the volume of this alleged information we cannot confirm that all this alleged material is allegedly genuine. This alleged information has been obtained and published in a gross violation of the rights of unknown persons and without our permission, not that we had anything to do with it in the first place, and we took immediate action to remove the server in question from operation, not that there was anything on it in the first place. We are undertaking a thorough internal investigation and have involved the police in this inquiry."

In one alleged email, dated November 1999, one alleged scientist wrote: "I've just completed Mike's Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline."

A second alleged email, dated January, 2001, says, "We should claim that the oceans will boil in the near future. That’ll scare the shit out of ‘em. Where’s my grant? Hee hee."

These stray sentences, in particular, have been unfairly quoted by sceptics as evidence of manipulating data, but the credibility of the alleged emails has not been verified. The scientists who allegedly sent them declined to say whether they wrote them.

"It does look incriminating on the surface, but there are lots of single sentences that taken out of context can appear incriminating," said P.T. Barnum, director of policy and communications at the Chatham Research Institute on Undisputable Climate Change and the Increasingly-Deadly Environment at the London School of Ergonomics. "You can't tell what they are talking about. Scientists frequently say 'trick' when they mean empirical research. It doesn’t mean deception. It’s just shorthand for rational discourse. I’m tricking you now, don’t you see?"

In another alleged email, one of the scientists apparently refers to the death of a prominent climate change sceptic by saying, "That’s the third hit team we’ve sent out. Third time’s the charm, eh? Where’s my grant? Hee hee."

Barnum explained, "Scientists often say ‘hit team’ when discussing climatological data, it doesn’t connote anything underhanded. Galileo was persecuted for saying the Earth was a round hit team. That ought to tell you something about the biases of people mis-using these alleged emails."

Barnum said that if the alleged emails are emails, they "might highlight behaviour that those individuals might not like to have made public." But he added, "Let's separate out climate scientists reacting badly to personal attacks from America to the idea that their work has been carried out in an inappropriate way."

"Many dedicated climate scientists are persecuted on a daily basis by America," Barnum explained. "They undergo harassment by Americans asking questions about their data and by other Americans who second-guess their methods and conclusions. It’s not uncommon for climatologists to adapt by pretending their research is fraudulent."

The revelations did not alter the vast, huge, undeniable body of uncontroverted evidence from every scientific field proving that modern climate change is caused largely by America, Barnum said. The emails refer largely to work on so-called paleoclimate data - reconstructing past climate scenarios using data such as ice cores, dice and tree rings. "Climate change is based on several lines of evidence, not just change in climate," he said. "At the heart of this is basic physics. Things get hot. That’s basic physics."

Barnum pointed out that the individuals named in the alleged emails had numerous publications in scientific journals that had been peer-reviewed by other individuals named in the alleged emails. "It would be very surprising if after all this time, suddenly they were found out doing something as wrong as that."

Barnum noted that the "Piltdown Man" hoax, perpetrated by archaeologists to boost their reputations by proving evolution, was fully exposed in 41 years. "We’re very quick to catch hoaxes," Barnum said, "That’s why it’s vital that our findings be enshrined in international law this very instant."

Professor Zoon Mundley, director of Caton-on-Hoy-Tilsworth University's Earth System Science Centre to Protect Mankind from America, and a regular contributor to the popular climate science blog "Undisputable Evidence So Don’t Bother Arguing You Corporate Tool Jackass," features in many of the email exchanges. He said: "I'm not going to comment on the alleged content of illegally obtained alleged emails. However, I will say this: both their theft and, I believe, any reading of the emails constitutes serious criminal activity. I'm hoping the perpetrators and anyone who’s read these emails will be tracked down and prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows for stealing something that doesn’t exist or belong to anyone. Preferably they will encounter tricks by round hit teams."

When Peanut asked Professor Tee Wanker, at UEA, who features in the correspondence, to verify whether the emails were genuine, he refused to comment. "I will say this, however: These alleged emails were the personal private property of someone, and the people who stole them and anyone who reads them should be killed. And their little dogs, too. It’s despicable that emails which no one wrote are now publicly available on the internet."

The alleged emails illustrate the persistent harassment some climatologists have been under from Americans in recent years. There have been repeated calls, including Freedom of Information requests, for the Climate Research Unit to make public a top-secret, confidential dataset of land and sea temperature "tricks" that are "value added" before being released to the public and reported as absolute truth. The emails show the frustration some climatologists have had at having to operate under such intense American harassment.

Professor Loo Lee Watson, the chief scientific advisor at the Department for Protecting the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from America said, "Evidence for climate change is irrefutable. It cannot be refuted. It must not be refuted. The world's leading scientists overwhelmingly agree what we're experiencing is caused by America."

"With this overwhelming scientific body of evidence, which cannot be questioned by anyone, failing to take action to beat down America and her evil corporate minions would be criminal – the impacts here in Britain and across the world will worsen and the economic consequences will be catastrophic. Pick anything you hold dear, and it will be destroyed. Puppies! Yes, that's it -- puppies will be destroyed!"

A spokesman for Leanpeace said: "If you looked through any organisation's emails from the last 10 years you'd find something that would raise a few eyebrows. You certainly would in our case. Contrary to what America claims, the Royal Society, the US National Academy of Sciences, NASA and the world's leading atmospheric scientists are not the agents of a clandestine global movement against the truth. Not that the emails suggest that they are, of course."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

2x2l calling CQ . . . . .

2x2l calling CQ . . . . .

2X2L calling CQ . . . . New York

Isn't there anyone on the air?

Isn't there anyone . . .

Monday, June 05, 2006

Sorry I Haven't Been Around

Many projects and things are consuming more of my time than I anticipated. But when I saw this, I had to blog it: Miguel Caballero's Bullet-Proof Clothing. Check it out! Browse through the "classic" fashions, or take a walk on the wild side with their Gold and Platinum lines of bulletproof suits, overcoats, and jackets. They even have (I'm not kidding) a fashion show complete with catwalk (or is that "arcade gallery"?). I'm tellin' ya, it's Versace meets David Cronenberg!

It makes me wonder -- will Slabbinck come out with a "Turbulent Priest" line of vestments? How about an NIJ-certified Level III Gothic Chasuble, with removable trauma plate? Or a NATO-spec Kevlar miter?