Sunday, August 28, 2005

Supernatural Selection

A certain American religious sect has been looking at weather conditions during "The Flood."

According to their calculations, during "The Flood" the winds, tides and currents were in an overall southeasterly direction. This would mean that in order for Noah's Ark to have ended up on Mount Ararat, it would have to have to started out several thousand miles to the west. This would then locate pre-Flood civilization somewhere in the area of Upstate New York, and the Garden of Eden roughly in New York City.

Now, in order to get from one place to another, something must move. No one in New York remembers moving, and there are no traces of Biblical history in the Upstate New York area, so we are led to the only available conclusion: the Ark has simply not left yet.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

You're A-Number-One!

So, the idea behind Brilliant Pebbles (aka: the Strategic Defense Initiative) is this:
Launch several hundred thousand 100-pound, 3-foot long, "smart," light-seeking, kamikaze computers into low orbit. There they'll sorta' mingle with the rest of the high orbital traffic, and whenever they see fire, the pack mentality will take over and they'll all just start bashing themselves into these huge incoming enemy missles, destroying them.

I love American ingenuity.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Did He Fall? Or Was He Pushed?

It was that way for him.
Some days he was flying.
Flying easily.
Everything seemed so easy.
White light. Great ideas.
He could do no wrong.
And then one day
it would all leave him
and suddenly nothing worked.
He burned the toast. He dented the car.
He was clumsy, depressed.
And then he would change again.
It would be so easy again.
It changed fast, and for no reason
it changed.
And he went to the doctor
and the doctor said "Chemical imbalance"
and gave him some chemicals
and cured him.
Cured him until it was all evened out,
every day, same thing.
And he was so relieved
to find that he wasn't crazy.
"It's not me," he said, "it's my biochemistry."

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Monday, August 22, 2005

All My Rowdy Friends

Yeah, so I'm in two -count 'em, two- fantasy football leagues this year. The aforementioned NFL.COM league (GO METEORS!), and a Yahoo league at the bookstore. We had that draft on Friday afternoon... I'm proud to present your Gotham Knights:

QB B. Favre
WR J. Walker
RB L. Tomlinson
TE L. Smith
WR Ro. Williams
RB M. Anderson
K M. Stover
K J. Feely
D E. Reed
D R. Harrison
DB S. Taylor
DB A. Wilson
DL D. Freeney
DL J. Peppers

In this league, you'll notice, we pick defense players, not entire defense units. Turns out I like this better. Last year I discovered I'm a defense savant... hopefully that'll hold true this year. Last year I also discovered that kickers make a ginormous difference in Yahoo leagues; they get more points for distance, as opposed to just getting 1 or 3 points for a kick (as in the NFL.COM league)... so this year I picked a starting kicker earlier, dammit! As a result I got the league's top kicker... but really all that means is some satellite's orbit will begin to decay soon, and bits of its solar panels will break off as it enters the atmosphere and fall on the guy's house, through his roof and pin him to his sofa, where he'll remain for the entire season, and I'll be stuck drafting George Blanda or something.

But you know, I'm really happy with this draft. Happier than I am with the NFL.COM draft, actually, and I'm still damn pleased with that (though I did do some waiver wire magic this weekend, and bolstered my kicker and tight end a bit)... but what's almost better than being happy myself about my draft, is the fact that others are not happy about it, and have been offering me trades all over the place. That has never happened to me in my fantasy football career... I kinda' feel like Carrie, when Tommy asked her to the prom... I hope this turns out better....

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Standing on the Kneecaps of Miscreants

I sit at my table and wage war on myself
It seems like it's's all for nothing
I know the barricades, and
I know the mortar in the wall breaks
I recognize the weapons,
I used them well

This is my mistake. Let me make it good
I raised the wall, and I will be the one to knock it down

I've a rich understanding of my finest defenses
I proclaim that claims are left unstated,
I demand a rematch
I decree a stalemate
I divine my deeper motivesI recognize the weapons
I've practiced them well
I fitted them myself

It's amazing what devices you can sympathize... empathize
This is my mistake.
Let me make it good
I raised the wall, and I will be the one to knock it down

Reach out for me and hold me tight.
Hold that memory
Let my machine talk to me.
Let my machine talk to me

This is my world
And I am the world leader pretend
This is my life
And this is my time
I have been given the freedom
To do as I see fit
It's high time I've razed the walls
That I've constructed

It's amazing what devices you can sympathize... emapathize
This is my mistake. Let me make it good
I raised the wall, and I will be the one to knock it down

You fill in the mortar.
You fill in the harmony
You fill in the mortar.
I raised the wall
And I'm the only one
I will be the one to knock it down

~REM, World Leader Pretend

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Friday, August 19, 2005

The K&K took my baby away!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Walken the Floor Over You

Holy shit.

I've never crapped my pants over somebody running for President before, but that's because Christopher Walken has never run for President. And if I just implied that I crapped my pants, good, because I totally did. And if I just implicitly stated that Christopher Walken is running for President, good, because he totally is.

Besides killing terrorists with his bare hands and curing life-threatening diseases, he's also kicked Hitler in the face twice. I want to live in a world where the President of the United States is Christopher Walken. It might end civilization as we know it, but imagine the President saying to Japan's Prime Minister, "I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell."

That's what I'm talkin' about!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Model Behavior

I don't care if Janice Dickinson actually is the world's first supermodel (as she claims) or not: with a driver's license photo as spectacular as hers, she can say pretty much anything she wants and people -including me, and my cousin Jenni who never believes anyone 'cause the last thing she believed was when a guy told her, "No, really... I'll pick you up for the prom at 7:00... and your hair looks great" and we all know how that turned out- will believe it.

She could call herself the world's first Nobel Prize-winning Poet Laureate of Stolichnaya, and if anybody doubted her she could just whip out her license and say, "Look, if I'm not the world's first Nobel Prize-winning Poet Laureate of Stolichnaya, then how did I get a driver's license photo that looks this fucking amazing?"

I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Fantasy football season has begun!

Nancy, Joe, Tony and I had our NFL.COM draft today... here's how it went:

Nancy San Jose Synecdoche
Collins, Kerry QB OAK
Dillon, Corey RB NE
Dunn, Warrick RB ATL
Boldin, Anquan WR ARI
Ward, Hines WR PIT
Heap, Todd TE BAL
Vinatieri, Adam K NE
Steelers, DST DST PIT
Palmer, Carson QB CIN
Barlow, Kevan RB SF
Kennison, Eddie WR K
Miller, Heath TE PIT
Peterson, Todd K ATL
Cardinals, DST DST ARI

Joe Eau Claire Charlatans
Green, Trent QB KC
Barber, Tiki RB NYG
Westbrook, Brian RB PHI
Driver, Donald WR GB
Walker, Javon WR GB
Shockey, Jeremy TE NYG
Janikowski, Sebastian K OAK
McNair, Steve QB TEN
Brown, Chris RB TEN
Burress, Plaxico WR NYG
Cooley, Chris TE WAS
Hanson, Jason K DET
Jaguars, DST DST JAC

Tony Crawford Vaqueros
Vick, Michael QB ATL
James, Edgerrin RB IND
Staley, Duce RB PIT
Burleson, Nate WR MIN
Wayne, Reggie WR IND
Gonzalez, Tony TE KC
Vanderjagt, Mike K IND
Harrington, Joey QB DET
Bennett, Michael RB MIN
Muhammad, Muhsin WR CHI
Troupe, Ben TE TEN
Kasay, John K CAR
Chargers, DST DST SD

Me Metropolis Meteors
Hasselbeck, Matt QB SEA
Jackson, Steven RB STL
McGahee, Willis RB BUF
Branch, Deion WR NE
Jackson, Darrell WR SEA
Watson, Ben TE NE
Longwell, Ryan K GB
Redskins, DST DST WAS
Boller, Kyle QB BAL
Arrington, J.J. RB ARI
Lelie, Ashley WR DEN
Mangum, Kris TE CAR
Scobee, Josh K JAC
Seahawks, DST DST SEA

I'm pretty happy with this. Pissed at the guy who got Shaun Alexander... but otherwise, pretty happy. I'll be posting weekly updates, so you can track your Metropolis Meteors progress throughout the season... but please: no wagering.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Gas(P) Guzzlers

From Safe & Sound Home Inspections, 199?

The Energy Crunch (Two Views)

The pessimist: How Soon We Forget

Back in the late '70's and early '80's, we had a real panic over energy costs as a result of the Mid-East oil cartel. To deal with this, many programs were introduced to conserve energy, including the Canadian Home Insulation Program (CHIP) and the grants that accompanied it. Everyone leapt on the bandwagon. Often this meant ill-informed homeowners hiring less than scrupulous contractors, to upgrade their attics.

It's hard for us in the seemingly energy rich '90's to imagine what the fuss was all about. At the time of the energy crunch, cars became smaller (the Rabbit and the Civic), and large houses were almost impossible to sell. So why today are cars (and vans) getting larger and more powerful, and why are so many large houses still being built? There are many reasons. First, the oil cartel self-destructed. Second, we came to believe that nuclear energy was the answer, and there was nothing to worry about. Then there was the short period of time when we were so oil rich (late '80's) that the oil industry put most of its crude into the production of plastics, resins, etc., and the leftovers went into gasoline, instead of the other way around.

But perhaps the more likely reason for the increases in our energy demands can be attributed to short memories. So let's ask a fundamental question. Is there more oil in the world today than in the '70's? The question is absurd. We know that our energy sources are finite in quantity. Furthermore, history has taught us that governments are reluctant to develop any energy source that has no military application (Wind, solar and tidal power are good examples of wasted opportunities).

That brings us to the bottom line - are we likely to have another energy crisis? It's almost like asking if El Nino will ever cause problems again. The next crisis will likely be triggered when we attempt to reduce our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in accordance with the agreement to combat global warming. Private studies on global warming predict dire consequences to the finances of each of us if we are truly to meet the CO2 emission targets set last year. There are even those who state that we are likely to suffer more financial hardship than we have from the recent debt and deficit reduction programs.

In practical terms, it means we will once again turn our attention to energy conservation.
When is this likely to happen? The first step is being put in place now. If Saddam Hussein becomes a legitimate oil exporter the increased production will force the Mid-East cartel to work together to control production and price. Stability in the region means no more cheap oil exports to finance costly wars, weapons and armies. Oil prices will rise as the quantity controls take effect, and natural gas prices will go up as well (naturally).

We've probably got a 2-3 year window before governments start warning us of a new crisis. (Marshall McLuhan said "The blind experience everything suddenly!"). How will governments respond to the combined forces of limited oil in the marketplace, plus a commitment to reducing our CO2 emissions?

The first response is predictable - taxes. Tax any furnace less than 8096 efficient. Tax fuel costs. There may even be a surtax on house size. What can we do now? Any renovation project should focus on insulating well. Vapour barriers need to be caulked to the structure to prevent air leakage, etc. And while it's fresh in your mind, have a peek in the attic to see what kind of shape the insulation is in. Finally, after considering these ideas carefully, if downsizing your home is in the near future, maybe it's time to think seriously about it.

Could there possibly be another point of view to this looming crisis that we aren't hearing?

The optimist: No Problem

The recent death of Julian Lincoln Simon, an optimistic economist (oxymoron?) has prompted this article.* Referring to himself as an 'economics educator," he wrote about 30 books and was in demand as a speaker on the university circuit. His approach to economics was gaining support in the States, and Fortune magazine listed him as one of the "150 great minds of the 1990s."
The short version of his position is that global warming, increased population and shortages of natural resources are overstated.

Simon challenged the accepted view that there were limits to growth. He also made a very public bet with an opponent in 1980 that prices of raw materials would actually fall. His critics all claimed that the earth's natural resources were becoming so scarce that they would become costlier to obtain.

The bet was to measure the price of copper, tin, chrome, nickel and tungsten in 10 years (1990). In 1990, as Mr. Simon predicted, all had fallen in price.

His critics, still outraged at his willingness to play down the problems, insisted that the question of growth, the environment, pollution, and global warming were going to destroy us.

Simon was always able to argue otherwise. For instance, typical economists have claimed (since Malthus in 1800) that if population growth was not checked, the world was facing starvation. Simon pointed out that India, once regarded as a hopeless case, could now feed itself. The world could deal with many more people, he said, because future generations would produce enough geniuses to solve the problems that more people would cause (One of his favourite questions was to ask how many Mozarts, Michelangelos and Einsteins had been lost to the world by birth control.) .

In his most influential book The Ultimate Resource (1981) he says "The ultimate resource is people: skilled, spirited and hopeful people who will exert their will and imaginations for their own benefit and so, inevitably, for the benefit of us all."

He believed that the threat of high prices for seemingly essential materials would encourage the search for new supplies or alternatives. His thesis is his confidence in the ingenuity of mankind to overcome its problems and to progress.

In his 1996 book The State Of Humanity, he made two predictions for the 21st century. The first, guaranteed to upset every pessimist, was that "humanity's condition will improve in just about every material way," whether it was life expectancy, the price of a natural resource or the number of telephones in China.

The second prediction was that "humans will continue to sit around complaining about everything getting worse." I think we can all agree that Julian Simon was at least half right.

Friday, August 12, 2005

What Would Jesus Ride?

“Join Danny, Joey, Kenny, and Ashley, on a great Dinosaur Adventure. Their teacher Mr. Woodring is a strong believer in evolution, but they won’t let that stand in the way of exposing the lies of evolution, and spreading the truth of creation. It’s a constant battle to see that the lies of evolution are stopped. So the group sets out to find an ica stone,but find themselves in all sorts of trouble. The coming chapters are always in progress, so be sure to check back to watch the newest Chapters.”

I wish this was a joke, but these Flash cartoons are a part of a promotion for an actual theme park in Florida called Dinosaur Adventure Land, where you and your family can relax and get away from the pressures of being a member of the 21st century. Darwin’s evil tentacles of scientific questioning can’t reach you in there.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Funky Bunch

I've never seen the show, but dammit... now I want to. Liquor Store, Poolside, Coffee Shop, Studio.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Dead Letter Orifice

The Dead Letter Office offers up random chunks of anonymous thought in letter form. Not unlike that Post Secret site we all know and love, but with less graphics and a bit more organization. A must.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Tuesday, August 02, 2005