Friday, October 31, 2008

Best Political Rant EVER

Best quote, "You liberals wouldn't know fascism or oppression if it sat down next to you to smoke a bowl."

I'm laughing so hard, I can't breathe.




(via instapundit)


As a follow up, THIS is an excellent essay on the dangers of Big Government.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ice Cream = Happy

Well duh!

Dude, Where's My Bailout?

Because if I make a series of bad decisions, I deserve to be "bailed out" as well.

OK, This Is The Last Election Blogpost, Honest

Mark Steyn is always a hoot.

This is an amazing race. The incumbent president has approval ratings somewhere between Robert Mugabe and the ebola virus. The economy is supposedly on the brink of global Armageddon. McCain has only $80 million to spend, while Obama's burning through $600 mil as fast as he can, and he doesn't really need to spend a dime given the wall-to-wall media adoration.

And yet an old cranky broke loser is within two or three points of the King of the World. Strange.


(via instapundit)


Addition: THIS is a good summary of my thoughts for this election. I'm one of those 10-15%, and it sucks.

Thomas Sowell described the choice the other day as "a choice between disaster and catastrophe" which doesn't seem that far off for someone who believes in limited government and individual liberty.
heh, no kidding.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Starbucks To Offer Free Wi-Fi to iPhone Owners

Ok, how about letting those of us who don't want or need an iPhone use your wi-fi connections as well? Maybe you'd convince me to hang out in your stores and buy more of your overpriced, overroasted coffee.

Bear in mind, I can aleady go to Coffee Bean or Peet's and get free wi-fi... with better coffee as a bonus.


Presidential Polling Methodologies For Dummies

Seeing as the Presidential Election is only days away, I'd like to take this opportunity to provide a primer on how polling is conducted.

ENJOY.


And always remember, "Margin of Error = Who the hell knows?"









(btw, the article is satire)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thoughts On Gay Marriage


Because Proposition 8 is front and center for this election cycle, I've been reading a fair amount of commentary on the issue of gay marriage. Being something of a libertarian, I've never been able to figure out what gives government the right to decide who gets married and who doesn't. In essence, I don't care if you are gay, straight, crooked, or something in between. If you want to marry someone (or something) else, go for it.

What's also interesting to me are the arguments against gay marriage. THIS article points out one of the more bizarre arguments to oppose gay marriage. I just don't see how two guys living in Hillcrest, who choose to marry, has any effect whatsoever on the strength or weakness of my own relationship. Can someone explain is to me? Honestly, I just don't get it.

Also of note is rather convoluted argument seen in the first comment on that page.

First the commenter says this:

I object because I do not feel that the government has a place in
defining, limiting, prohibiting, promoting or regulating marriage at
all, one way or another. It is a spiritual, personal matter, between a
man and a woman, and their God, if they have one.

Of course, this is the exact same argument I use to say it's OK for gays to marry. This woman is using this point to argue against gay marriage. So that's a little odd.

Then she says this:

Civil unions, for those financial and legal matters, is a separate
matter. That is the purview of the state, and should be a separate
concern from marriage. As far as that goes, I don't care who makes up
this civil union, all that should be required is a commitment to share
the financial responsibilities of a household.

Civil Unions vs. Marriage. It's a distinction without a difference.

Those Who Forget History...

What If We Won A War And Nobody Cared?

Why aren't things like THIS getting more attention in the main-stream media?

My guess is that it doesn't fit the narrative that we lost, things are horrible, it's a Civil War, Bush is Hitler, etc. etc.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Potential Assassin Shoots For Both Teams

There's nothing more fun than mocking the manhood of some idiot neo-nazi scumbag. Nothing.

The best line, "He'll be popular where he's going." haha.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kobi Needs An iBONE


Elizabeth is getting a new phone, so it only seems fair that her dachshund should get one as well.

There's no two year contract. It's easy to use. Kobi would be the coolest dog in the condo complex. She's already the most fashionable.

My Candidacy For President of the United States

After much thought and consideration, I am happy to announce that I am officially running for President of the United States for this election. Elizabeth and I were going through the California voting guide the other night, and we were able to pick votes for every race except President of the United States. As a compromise, we decided that I should make a run for the White House.

Simply put, the alternatives were disappointing. Obama is just terrifying. I've never been a fan of McCain, starting his asinine promotion of one of the most blatant attacks on First Amendment Rights in the history of the country. Elizabeth doesn't like Palin, although I'm somewhat neutral on her. Biden is a moron who I wouldn't trust to run a donut shop, let alone the entire country.

We then looked at 3rd party Candidates. The Libertarian candidate, Bob Barr, is a former Republican who I've never had much of an opinion of. He's uninspiring at best. Ron Paul is a popular "small l" libertarian who has a massive, if not a little cultish, grassroots following. I'm inclined to like him but for two reasons. First, he's a foreign policy isolationist. In today's world, that's just not realistic. Second, he's not on the California ballot, which means you'd have to write him in. If you're going to write in a candidate, why not just vote for me instead?

The Green party candidate, Cynthia McKinney, is certifiably insane, racist, and completely unhinged. All of the other candidates were similarly blah.

So, about me... I'm 35 and was born in Kalamazoo Michigan, so I'm eligible. Here is my platform.

  • I promise you NOTHING. If you want something, go earn it.
  • I plan on spending most of my time in office traveling the country, trying to find the best sushi and pork ribs.
  • I promise to put working families first by doing things that make that happen.
  • There will be a pack of at least a dozen dachshunds on the White House lawn, supplementing the Secret Service protection.
  • I promise to cut tax rates for anyone who actually PAYS taxes, and to institute a minimal income tax for ALL Americans, even the poor. It's important to be invested in the government which can control you.
  • I will create jobs by making riveting speeches about the importance of connecting with the middle-class. America is ready for jobs.
  • Government spending for all non-military departments will be cut 15% across the board. There has to be at least that much waste in every part of the government. Tough economic times require sacrifice from everyone, including politicians.
  • I will use my power and influence to get 50 yard line seats to all home USC Football games.
  • I will retroactively veto the "Bailout", even if it's not legally binding.
  • I will work hard to do lots of things that I can't think of now, but are sure to be important to the future of America. Americans want these things, they're for the children.
Vote for ERICH for President. It's easy, it's futile, it's FUN!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Elizabeth's First Band


Elizabeth just did the first Band Name/Album trick and got this. Pretty good. Nice imagery... the title certainly fits the picture in theme.

Stuck On A Name For Your New Band?


I found a great way to come up with a name for your new band! It's simple, quick, and relies on wikipedia. What more could you ask for?

Instructions HERE.

I tried it myself, and got the picture you see on the right. Not bad. I'll be sure to credit all the little people when I get my first Grammy.

Now, I just need some songs...

And Biden Is Meant To Be A Foreign Policy "Expert"

If so, I wonder what passes for a Foreign Policy Amateur? THIS is horrifying. This guy is either the most naive man in politics, or the dumbest. Or both.

At the Tuesday-morning meeting with committee staffers, Biden launches into a stream-of-consciousness monologue about what his committee should be doing, before he finally admits the obvious: “I’m groping here.” Then he hits on an idea: America needs to show the Arab world that we’re not bent on its destruction. “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,” Biden declares. He surveys the table with raised eyebrows, a How do ya like that? look on his face.

The staffers sit in silence. Finally somebody ventures a response: “I think they’d send it back.” Then another aide speaks up delicately: “The thing I would worry about is that it would almost look like a publicity stunt.” Still another reminds Biden that an Iranian delegation is in Moscow that very day to discuss a $300 million arms deal with Vladimir Putin that the United States has strongly condemned. But Joe Biden is barely listening anymore. He’s already moved on to something else.

How To Become a Pediatrician

Over the last year or so, I've written an extensive series of articles on a range of medical topics. Most of them have been published on either Helium, or Associated Content. It's been fun, and has brought in a small pile of pennies as well.

I don't have a ton of time to blog today, but I figured I'd copy one of my more popular articles here. This is an article on the path to becoming a pediatrician. The original on Helium can be found HERE.

_________________________________________________________

HOW TO BECOME A PEDIATRICIAN

A career as a doctor is a long and sometimes grueling path. But it can also be quite challenging and a heck of a lot of fun if you take the right approach. As a recent medical school graduate, I'm still close enough to the process of becoming a doctor to appreciate the effort and focus it takes to be given the responsibility of caring for people as a doctor. Although I'm not a pediatrician, the path to become one is almost identical to what I choose to do as a doctor.

Becoming a doctor is not a short or quick journey. You can expect to spend years of your life studying, working, and struggling to get that "MD" added to the end of your name. There will be days and weeks that not fun and exciting. There will be nights when you question your ability. There will be many days when you question your sanity. But in the end, if it's truly what you want to do, it's all worth it.

The path starts in High School, and even sooner in some cases. You absolutely must learn good study habits. This doesn't mean that you have to study all the time, rather it means that you must learn to be disciplined and efficient with the time you do have to learn. Becoming a doctor is a marathon, not a sprint. A proper balance of learning from books and learning about life is essential. Take time off when you need to, but when it's time to memorize the Kreb's Cycle or the major genetic lysosomal storage disorders, well, hop on it!

Good grades are essential. You aren't going to become a pediatrician, you absolutely must get good grades. No one is going to trust the care of their children to you if you are failing classes. Period. Now, this doesn't mean that you have to get an "A" in every course you take throughout your academic career, but on average, you should be working hard and scoring solid grades.

In High School, you should focus on a broad education. Do NOT just focus on science classes. Doctors of all types need to be well rounded. You are going to treat a wide range of people over your career and it never hurts to be able to relate to all types of people and backgrounds. Learn to write well. That is more important for a doctor than most people realize.

Going in to college, you are going to need to graduate from a 4 year University or College. You will need a BA or BS to get in to Medical School. Aim to get in to the best college you can, but you don't need to go to an Ivy League school to be a doctor. Doctors come from all ranges of Universities.

When you are picking a major in college, focus on what you enjoy and excel at. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A SCIENCE MAJOR! There is no such things as a specific "pre-med" major. Any major can be "pre-med". If you enjoy biology or chemistry, by all means, do that. But if you are like me and enjoy reading and writing, then be an English Major (or History, or Classics, or Music etc.). Contrary to a lot of advice you are going to get, the choice of your major makes very little difference to Medical School admission committees. In fact, some Medical Schools look favorably on students who have a different and unique educational path. Once you start Medical School, you are going to be focusing on science all the time. If you want the chance to broaden your education, your undergrad years are the time to do it.

Of course, you will have to complete a basic set of science classes in college, no matter what major you choose. In general, this means that you will need a minimum of a year of biology, chemistry, physics, and organic chemistry. Most Medical Schools also require at least some math. Each Medical School publishes a list of the specific requirements they have for admission. These requirements are compiled in to a book called the MSAR (Medical School Admissions Requirements). This book is available at any University Bookstore or at Amazon.com. Get it your freshman year in college and use it as a reference guide for picking the right classes in college. You don't want to graduate and find out that you are missing several basic requirements to apply to Medical School. This book will guide you. Buy it. Read it. Love it.

You will also need to take the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) in college. You will likely take this exam sometime near the end of your 3rd year or the start of your 4th. This assumes you are going to apply to start Medical School immediately after graduating from undergrad. Most students DO NOT do this. Most students take a few years to go out and work, live a little and learn a bit about the world outside of University life. But at some point you will take the MCAT.

The MCAT should really be named the MViciousRabidTiger. It will be a humbling experience for most students. For me it was the first time I was not able to score well on something on the basis of just being a generally bright guy. If you don't respect this exam by devoting the proper amount of time to preparing, it will chew you up and spit you out. It is a comprehensive exam covering all the basic science requirements to apply to medical school and it's not an easy test. The MCAT alone is responsible for many "pre-med" students suddenly having a change of heart and picking a new career path. There's no point in getting in to tremendous detail here as you will learn more about it as you prepare to take it.

Once you are in Medical School, you will take the same classes as any other future doctor. In your 4th year of Medical School, you will have some choices of areas you may want to focus on. If you want to be a pediatrician, this would be a good time to take a few electives in pediatrics.

During Medical School, you will face a series of three licensing exams named the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). Step 1 of this exam is taken after two years of Medical School. Step 2 comes in two parts and is taken when you are near graduation. If you thought the MCAT was bad, these exams make that test look like a cute cuddly kitten. The USMLE is considered by some (usually those taking it) to be the hardest standardized exam ANYWHERE. Good luck... you're going to need it.

At the end of Medical School, there is a process by which you apply for your first job as a doctor. The process is known as "The Match" and how it works is one of the Great Mysteries of the Universe. In The Match, you will apply to Pediatric residency programs. It is your post Medical School residency training where you become a pediatrician - all Medical School graduates are the same. There are no "majors" in Medical School.

Once you are accepted to a Pediatric residency training program and graduate from Medical School, you are almost there! Of course, by this time, you have been studying and in school for over eight years after High School, but hey, all good things come to an end eventually, right?

You can expect your Pediatrics residency to take about three years. At this point you are a working doctor, albeit a young and inexperienced one.Your workload will double from Medical School and you will spend three years working grueling hours. Consider it the sprint at the end of the marathon - only a few more months and your journey to become a pediatrician is over!

After three years in residency, during which you will be flogged by senior doctors, barfed on by sick kiddies, and have streams of baby urine hose you down daily in an aquatic salute to your hard work and dedication, you will finally be let loose on the world and be free to venture forth and cure the children of the world from fevers, earaches and swallowed marbles.

Congratulations!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dell Customer Service Complaint

A couple of weeks ago, Elizabeth was surfing the internet when her laptop suddenly gave her a blue screen of death. This is not the first time. In fact, it was the third time in less than a year.

So she got on the phone with Dell Customer Support and proceeded to spend the next 4 hours walking through a series of "diagnostics". The problem was not fixed. The next day, we were talking to them again, and it appeared that they were about to have us go through all of the same "fixes" we already tried. Having dealt with numerous computer failures (including my own Dell laptop) over the years, I was reasonably sure that the problem lay with the hard drive. In short, the drive was dead. Or at least the sectors containing the operating system were fried.

Elizabeth had spent a reasonably large amount of money on the extended warranty, so the machine was still covered. I finally convinced Dell to replace the drive. A new drive arrived within 24 hours. All seemed well until we realized we had to sent the old drive back. Although the drive would no longer boot into Windows, most, if not all of the data contained on it was still technically there.

Passwords, word documents, and all manner of personal identity information were still on the drive. I don't have the technical equipment to get this data off the drive, but I know enough about computers to know that this is not an insurmountable problem for a professional.

We tried fighting the return of the old drive, even offering to destroy it before sending it back. Dells response? They threatened to bill us for the old drive if we didn't send it back. And if we didn't pay the bill, they further threatened to report us to a credit agency. Nice.

They offered NOTHING in the form of a guarantee that the data would be safe in their hands. All they said was, "Don't worry. Trust us." Yeah right. In the end, we had no choice but to return the drive. (Although I suppose we could have simply paid the bill. Although that would have been bullshit, at least the data would have been safe.)

So we filed a report with the Better Business Bureau. Here's the correspondence from that exchange. Remember, the moral to the story: Don't EVER put yourself in a situation where you have to send an old drive somewhere. Physically destroy hard disks with personal information on them. By "physically destroy", I mean use a hammer.

___________________________________________________________

The Better Business Bureau - COMPLAINT ACTIVITY REPORT

Business Info: Dell Inc
1 Dell Way MS 8210
Round Rock, TX 78682


Consumer's Original Complaint:

My Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop crashed for the third time in a single year on 10/6/08. After spending almost four hours on the phone with tech support, my husband and I were finally able to convince them that my hard drive was corrupt. When I purchased my laptop, I paid a hefty amount for a 4-year warranty. I was very pleased that Dell honored this warranty by sending me a new hard drive on 10/7/08. My laptop is now working perfectly.

My problem lies in the fact that Dell is demanding that I return my old hard drive. They have indicated that if I do not, they will bill me for it and then report me to a credit agency. Although I understand that this return policy is probably in place to limit fraudulent claims, I have stressed to Dell that I am not comfortable returning my hard drive with all of my personal information on it (e.g., previous tax returns; online account passwords; banking account information; social security number; etc). Dell has assured me that my personal information will be destroyed upon Dell's receipt of the hard drive, but in a world where identity theft is common, I feel that it is unacceptable to require customers to return items containing such such sensitive information. I have done some research and discovered that the only way to be 100% certain all sensitive information is removed from a hard drive is by physically destroying it. Dell said they would not accept my hard drive if I break it before returning it.

The following is some information I came across in my research:

http://www.pchell.com/hardware/destroyingdataonaharddrive.shtml
"If a computer store, consultant, or other qualified computer tech tells you your hard drive is crashed and the data is unrecoverable, ask for them to return the original drive to you. This way you can physically destroy and dispose of the drive to your satisfaction and avoid situations like Mr. Bowen's where your data suddenly appears on someone else's computer screen."

http://brainstormsandraves.com/archives/2008/01/01/harddrives/
"Another data security hole can occur if you are required under warranty to turn in your current "broken" hard drive to get a replacement. Once you read about identity theft from simply trying to follow warranty requirements, perhaps you'll think twice unless you're absolutely certain that you have no sensitive data on that drive or anything else that you wouldn't want to share with the whole world."

Dell's customer service informed me that if I am concerned, I should take the old hard drive to a local computer store and ask them to remove all personal data. As I have mentioned above, there is some question as to whether this is 100% effective and I do not want to take this risk. Furthermore, I do not feel that I should have to pay to have this done after I spent so much on a warranty. The entire reason I purchased the warranty was to avoid additional expenses for this laptop.

Consumer's Desired Resolution:
I would like Dell to understand my fear of identity theft and my unwillingness to return my old hard drive. I would like Dell to waive their return requirement, meaning that they will not charge me for the hard drive, nor will they report me to a credit agency. Alternatively, I am requesting that Dell allow me to physically break my hard drive before returning it. This way, they can be assured that I did not file a fraudulent claim and I can be assured that my sensitive personal information is not compromised.


Dell's Response:

I am writing on behalf of Dell Inc. in response to the inquiry filed with your office by Ms. Elizabeth XXXXXXX. Thank you for making us aware of her concerns.

After reading Ms. XXXXXXX's complaint, the following is what I have determined to be the issue(s).
* Reluctant to return old hard drive due to personal information contained on it

We apologize for any inconvenience that Ms. XXXXXXX has encountered. Several Dell representatives have assisted Ms. XXXXXXX in addressing the issues. Ms. XXXXXXX stated her issues have been resolved concerning returning the hard drive and we have received it back at Dell. In the event Ms. XXXXXXX requires further assistance we request she contact us directly using the information provided below.

If you have any additional questions regarding this issue, you may contact the agent directly via e-mail at Linda_Kelly@Dell.com or by telephone at 1-800-624-9897 ext 72-62156. She will be happy to assist you.

Sincerely,

William E Bartell


Consumer Rebuttal to Dell's Response:


"Ms. XXXXXXX stated her issues have been resolved concerning returning the hard drive and we have received it back at Dell."

I did not state that my issue has been resolved. It patently has NOT been resolved. Due to the repeated threats of Dell representatives to report me to a credit bureau if I didn't return my old hard drive, I felt I had no choice but to return it. In this sense, I suppose the issue is resolved - there is nothing more Dell can do in my case because the hard drive with my personal information has been sent back to them. However, the larger issue - Dell's policy of mandating customers to return hard drives with extremely sensitive data - is NOT resolved. In order to properly resolve my complaint, Dell needs to change their policy and allow customers to physically destroy their old hard drives prior to returning them. The Identity Theft Resource Center (www.idtheftcenter.org) indicates that becoming a victim of identity theft is no longer a matter of "if" ...it's "when." In light of this, Dell needs to change its policy. Threatening me into sending my hard drive back is not a satisfactory resolution.

"Several Dell representatives have assisted Ms. XXXXXXX in addressing the issues."

Although I did indeed speak with (and send emails to) a number of Dell representatives, none of them actually addressed my issue. As has always been my experience when dealing with Dell, the representatives simply recited scripts. At no time did I feel that my concern about identity theft was truly understood. Frankly, I want nothing more to do with Dell - interacting with their representatives is a maddening and extremely time-consuming experience.

"In the event Ms. XXXXXXX requires further assistance we request she contact us directly using the information provided below."

I have elected not to do this because I do not feel that it will resolve anything. As stated above, Dell does not seem to be willing to take my concerns seriously. Admittedly, they have assured me that Dell views privacy as an important matter, but they do not seem to listen to my argument that their entire policy needs to be overhauled in light of growing concerns about identity theft.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

When All Else Fails, Blame the Patient???

Despite this blog being run by a doctor, and having a subtly medical title, I've done surprisingly little medical blogging.

HERE'S an interesting article in the NY Times (yeah, it's still around. Surprised me too.) about therapists placing blame on patients for their illnesses. Although there are some very rare cases where this may be the situation, I think it's a dangerous way of thinking for doctors. However, it does highlight that even doctors can get frustrated with long-term care.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rep. Murtha Clarifies His Idiocy

Well, thanks for clearing that up for us John. That makes it all OK then... heh.

You really have to wonder if there isn't some senility going on with this guy. He's always had a history of saying strange things, but this is just bizarre. These are his own constituents he's talking about.

It's guys like this that need to be purged from national politics if Congress ever wants to get it's approval ratings about 9% again.

Hey people of Pennsylvania... do us all a favor and VOTE THIS GUY OUT OF OFFICE!!! It doesn't matter if you are Democrat or Republican, it's not about that. It's about having a guy in office who's been there waaaaay too long and needs to be retired.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Kennedy Democrats Are Dead

I haven't gotten on the "Joe the Plumber" bandwagon that's been going around in the last week, but THIS article is too good to pass up.

There was a day not too long ago when the Democrat Party portrayed itself as the Party of the Middle Class... the union worker.

They can no longer say that and expect to be taken seriously (at least by me). It's disgusting and contemptible to watch the takedown of a man who dared ask a pointed question about increasing tax rates.

Joe the Individual is not important, what's important was Obama's answer to the question. Obama flat out admits to his Marxist leanings. THAT is what the media and Americans should be worrying about.

More HERE. Disgusting.

Uga Wins Mascot Challenge


OK, if it can't be Traveler, I'd just as soon see Uga win this "contest".

He's goofy looking, but adorable.

Those Who Forget History...

THIS is a long, yet worthy read on the history of regulation in regards to the economy.

Many people, especially liberal politicians, have blamed the disaster on the deregulation of the last 30 years. But they do so in order to avoid the blame’s falling where it should—squarely on their own shoulders. For the same politicians now loudly proclaiming that deregulation caused the problem are the ones who fought tooth and nail to prevent increased regulation of Fannie and Freddie—the source of so much political money, their mother’s milk.

In short, not all regulation is a good thing, and not all deregulation is bad. More often than not, government intervention is the cause of the problem, not the solution. Ronald Reagan said this in the 80's, and it remains just as true today.

Good News! You May Not Need A Tube Stuck Up Your Butt!

Men at low risk for colon cancer can rest a bit more easily tonight.
"This study showed that CT colonography is a good screening test for cancer for those at average risk," said Durado Brooks, MD, American Cancer Society’s director of prostate and colorectal cancer.
All kidding aside, this is actually an interesting development. Maybe this will lead to a reduction in the number of men (and women) who avoid screening because of the... ahem... uncomfortable nature of the procedure.

Well, I Can Die Happy Now

Brittany has a new website.

Honestly, what did we all do before the Internet?

Where's the Fairness Doctrine When You Need It?

Maybe Jay isn't quite as balanced as we thought.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Silly Chinese, Rights Are For Non-Communist Nations!

Now that the Olympics are over, can we get back to reminding everyone that China isn't such a wonderful place when it comes to human rights?

There was something just waaaay too creepy about seeing the bigger-than-lifesize portrait of a genocidal dictator over the shoulder of Bob Costas during the Olympics. He just chatted away about the latest swimming results, as if the portrait could have been of his uncle.

Creepy and dangerous.

Mutated Sweater Virus Attacks Heads and Laptops


Somehow I just don't see THIS taking off as a trend. Of course, I've never been in with the "fashionably hip" crowd, so who knows.

er... um... I'm trying to think of a sufficiently witty comment to add here... but I'm just drawing a blank. Sometimes the picture just says it all.

(shakes head in bemused wonderment)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cool Photographs of Very Tiny Living Creatures


THIS is a cool gallery of pictures taken of some very very small living creatures.

Extreme close-ups of tiny things always seem really cool. To the right is a squid embryo. And to think when it gets all grown up, it will attack submarines and pirate ships on the open seas with it's big, suction-cup filled tentacles. heh.

Modern Day Slavery in Dubai

I'm on record for being quite a vocal critic of the human rights violations that routinely take place in many countries in the Middle East. Whether it's women, gays, or just anyone who isn't a member of a very specific religion, most of the cultures in that part of the world don't exactly have a great track record for human rights.

It was only a few months ago that the lunatic leader of Iran proudly proclaimed, "We have no gays in Iran." (I'm paraphrasing.) Of course, he left out the part about killing any homosexuals that are found. A small, yet highly significant detail, methinks.

And now, thanks to Gizmodo and The Guardian (UK newspaper), the dark underbelly of the new Dubai is being exposed.

FREAKING BARBARIANS

Some of the comments on the Gizmodo site predictably try to blow it off with the justification "Well, America did it once..." Yeah asshole, and we fought a WAR amongst ourselves to stop this sort of thing to. 150 YEARS AGO! Maybe it's time the Middle East join the 21st Century. Are you trying to say that what's happening in Dubai TODAY is okay because America had legalized slavery at one point in it's history? What? Really?

It worries me that there is a significant portion of our "enlightened" society in the West that is so willing to overlook these things in other parts of the world. $100 says this guy also believes George Bush is the real threat to human rights. If so, the inability to separate real evil from political differences will be our downfall. (maybe a bit of hyperbole, maybe not.)

File Under, "No Kidding, REALLY?!?!?!"

Sometimes I run across a medical article containing research that is so obvious it seems silly to actually study the issue.

Things like "Researchers Find Drinking Anti-Freeze Harmful to Children."

or...

"Hot Metal Rods Shouldn't Be Inserted Into Eyesockets, Scientists Find."

or...

"Bug Bombs Can Also Harm Humans."



Wait wait wait... you mean inhaling chemicals which are designed to KILL BUGS could also hurt a person? What? That's C R A Z Y! Thankfully we have researchers ready and willing to get right on top of this previously silent hazard.

I suppose in light of the new evidence, I should stop lighting these things off in the living room just for fun.

We Didn't Start the Fire

No really, we didn't.

Maybe the End Of The World isn't approaching.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Shining a Light on the ACORN Cockroaches

ACORN has been operating as an "open-secret" for years. Now the "secret" part of that can be dropped. The media is starting to catch on to ACORN, exposing their agenda, funding, and associations with a certain candidate running for President.

Investors Business Daily
links Obama to ACORN.

The Wall Street Journal piles on.

And lastly, Jim Hoft at Pajamas Media gives some great details on the voter fraud issue.

Horrifying

This is absolutely the most horrifying Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest in the History of the Universe.

Slow Cooker Chili

I'm trying my second recipe today with the crockpot. It's a TURKEY CHILI. Easy to make. The base ingredients cost less than $8 (beans, ground turkey, tomato soup), although I did have to buy some spices which can be used in future meals.

It completely filled my 4 quart cooker, so I'm looking at eating chili for the rest of the week.

The hardest part is going to be sitting right behind it all day as it cooks. The smell is fantastic.

Spread the Wealth Around...

In case there was any doubt that Obama is a full-fledged Marxist (aka Socialist) here's all you need to see.

See the video HERE.

Listen to the end of the video for the take home message. A good chunk of Americans ALREADY don't pay taxes. But Obama plans on giving them a check anyhow. That's not a good thing folks.

For the record, Palin's voice is like, really annoying. OMG!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dachshund Fashion Show


Yes, Elizabeth and I have now officially joined the ranks of "People Who Dress Up Their Dog."

OK, it was my idea. We couldn't let her got to Colorado this December without the proper attire, could we? No way.

So we hopped in the car and took Kobi to the local PetCo. She did a short fashion show for us there, working it up and down the aisles of the store. Most impressive, with luck, maybe she'll be "discovered" and get a modeling contract. She's easy to work with, non-demanding, and takes direction very well.

Of course, now that she has a coat, she's going to start demanding other things, like a cell phone (with bluetooth), a later curfew, and iced mochas from Starbucks. Incorrigible I tell ya.

I'm Pretty Sure This Is A Bad Idea

THIS is a hilarious take on something that we just don't need in America. Not that there should be a law against it, of course. What the heck is Burger King thinking? Honestly.

I really just don't see myself ever stopping there to imbibe some chilly cup of flavorless swill. But then, I don't suppose I'm the target demographic... too much education and all.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sell Sell Sell!!

No wait, BUY BUY BUY!!!

If Obama Wins, Can We Call Him "President Select"?

The left is still furious over the 2000 election. Of course, groups like ACORN have long been involved in some very, very shady voter registration practices. It seems one of Obama's favorites, ACORN, is finally having some light shed on their activities.

The likely response from the main-stream media? "Move along folks... nothing to see here... Move along."

Of course, I'm well aware that Obama himself isn't involved in these activities. But there are certainly people who are supporting him who have no problem doing illegal things - a trend that seems to be quite pervasive in his history.

More on ACORN HERE.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

USC 28, ASU 0


USC got the shutout today, but it was u-g-l-y. The offense started the game with a nice drive (which I didn't get to see as ABC didn't cut away from the Texas/Oklahoma game until too late), but later started playing some pretty nasty football. If it weren't for a great game by the defense, this actually could have been a close game, despite the final score.

At one point in the third quarter, we had four turnovers in four possessions. Not good. Each time the defense stepped up and shutdown the Sundevils. Poor Rudy Carpenter ended up being taken out (again). He's been a tackling dummy for our defense in his career against us.

Anyhow, Elizabeth and I had a couple friends over to watch the game. Made sausage rolls and taco dip stuff. Much fun was had.

Touchdown Stafon ------------->

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The End of the World is Nigh...

Forget high fuel prices, congressional misconduct, meltdowns in the DOW Industrials... the real sign of the End of the World is here.

Led Zeppelin is looking to replace Robert Plant!?!?

This cannot be allowed to happen. Call your Senator. Call your Congressman. No wait, those people are useless. Call SOMEBODY. We must stop this before it goes too far.

A Literal Take On "Take On Me" by A-Ha

This is one of my favorite 80's videos. Someone did a clever remix of the lyrics. They simply narrate what is literally happening in the video. Hilarity ensues.



Seen first here:
Take On Me Remix

Sunday, October 5, 2008

John Scalzi is My New Hero

I picked up Old Man's War by sci-fi author John Scalzi last year and loved it. He's also been a long-time blogger, who does silly stuff like taping bacon to his cat and taking pictures.

Now he's fired up about the recent economic bailout bribes. Happy to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way. These people should be in jail. All of them.

Slow Cooker Yumminess!


I just ordered one of THESE. Looks like a lot of fun. I'm a big chili fanatic, and am looking for some new cooking ideas. It's cheap ($19, free shipping) and looks easy to use.

Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

Oh geesh... this is getting RIDICULOUS.

Wow... just wow.

So... where's N.O.W. when something like THIS hits the news? Strangely silent, don't ya think?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Amazon Kindle v2.0?

I sure hope so! Hopefully, a new version will bring the entry price down. As a comment says on the review, Amazon needs to adopt the razor/razorblade sales model. Sell the razors for cheap and make money on the blades. Similarly, Amazon should sell Kindles at cost and make money on the books.

Read the review HERE.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Truer Words Have Never Been Spoken

This is a great article by Michael Malone on the recent economic crisis and the role of government. A must read.

Roundup of VP Debate Reactions

Turns out Sarah did pretty well.

"Joe Biden has literally no idea what he’s talking about."

Well, that's not really a surprise to me. Turns out, he made a really, really stupid comment during the debate last night. One that a "foreign policy expert" shouldn't do. Michael Totten at Slate catches him on it. I wonder if anyone else in the media will? (Don't hold your breath)

In Thursday night’s vice presidential debate between Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin, Biden said the strangest and most ill-informed thing I have ever heard about Lebanon in my life. “When we kicked — along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, “Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t know — if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it.” Now what’s happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government in the country immediately to the north of Israel.” [Emphasis added.]

What on Earth is he talking about? The United States and France may have kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon in an alternate universe, but nothing even remotely like that ever happened in this one.

Nobody – nobody – has ever kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon. Not the United States. Not France. Not Israel. And not the Lebanese. Nobody.

Read the entire article HERE.