Thursday, May 29, 2008

Quote of the day.

Cox: Thanks to your little gesture, she (Dr. Clock) actually believes that the Earth is full of people who are deep down filled with kindness and caring!

Kelso: Well that's absurd. People are bastard coated bastards with bastard filling.

Cox: Exactly!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sock it to me! Sock it to ME!

Dick Martin, half of the lead of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, has passed away. I grew up on that show...well, sort of. I was so young that I got few of the jokes and almost none of the political humor. Watching it today, I see how critical it was of social conventions.

This is a sample of what Laugh-In was about. Unfortunately, it doesn't have anything about the final bit with the doors, which was always my favorite part. But it does have Ruth Buzzi bludgeoning people with her purse, and I had totally forgotten how funny and creepy the dirty old man was.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Best ad blocker ever.

Download this right now. Seriously. It replaces ads, including banner ads, with classic works of art.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Personality test results.

The following is from the VisualDNA test on the linked site. What, they don't look official?

Mood: Sofisticat

You’re romantic in your outlook with a bit of a taste for the exotic. You love feeling the sea breeze in your hair, sun on your skin…You always take the first dip. When it comes to art, you tend to have a traditional approach. You are passionate about history and true classics. Truly great art stands the test of time. As for music, it’s the soundtrack to your world. You’re up to speed with downloading, and your mp3 is always close by. Music helps you focus and concentrate. You probably find it hard to ever switch it off.

Fun: Thriller

You love to be far away from your everyday life. There’s nothing like catching some rays and slowing down—you know how to take things nice and easy! For kicks, you like to indulge in your great passions. You are happy to live highs and lows; you are fiercely loyal and passionate. You like to be part of the big picture. When it comes to holidays, nothing beats the bright lights of one of the world’s biggest cities. With the metropolis as your playground, you’ll never run out of things to do.

Habits: Back to Basics

You love being a little bit naughty. Nothing beats getting up close and personal with the object of your affection! When it comes to drinking, you have a taste for the exotic. You’re always up for trying the local tipple when you’re on holiday—it’s all about fuelling the fun! As for the home, you have an expressive personality with contemporary tastes. You like to be surrounded by the precious possessions that define who you are.

Social: Socialite

You’re a really sociable animal at heart. Nothing beats being surrounded by all your favorite people. And if the tunes are pumping, that’s even better. You’re a pretty worldly wise and realistic person. When you think of freedom, you think of the hard cash that can buy it for you.

The People Who Agree with Me Institute.

What a great name for a blog entry! This one's from Joel Achenbach at the WaPo. It's about how bad information can exist when we are supposedly surrounded by sources to verify said information. It's also about how easy it is for people to believe in bad information.

My favorite passage:

"Part of the willingness to believe spurious "facts" comes from a distrust of science...Except what they believe isn't true. That's not a political observation, unless insisting on objective reality can be considered political. And if it can, I'd like to sign up for the political party that's in favor of truth."

Amen, brother.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Unintentional Mythos quotes.

Great quote from Jim Woodring's blog:

"...and then the day will dawn when the time for speculation has passed and the time for fleeing has commenced."

Mexico: A Failed State?

Today's Stratfor article on Mexico and its drug smuggling problems has some interesting ideas. I think the following makes a case for Mexico legalizing drugs in its southernmost states. Not in its northernmost states, thank you, America has enough problems resulting from the drug trade there.

Or else we should man up and start nuking or landmining the northern Mexican side.

"There are examples in American history as well. Chicago in the 1920s was overwhelmed by a similar process. Smuggling alcohol created huge pools of money on the U.S. side of the border, controlled by criminals both by definition (bootlegging was illegal) and by inclination (people who engage in one sort of illegality are prepared to be criminals, more broadly understood). The smuggling laws gave these criminals huge amounts of power, which they used to intimidate and effectively absorb the city government. Facing a choice between being killed or being enriched, city officials chose the latter. City government shifted from controlling the criminals to being an arm of criminal power. In the meantime, various criminal gangs competed with
each other for power.

"Chicago had a failed city government. The resources available to the Chicago gangs were limited, however, and it was not possible for them to carry out the same function in Washington. Ultimately, Washington deployed resources in Chicago and destroyed one of the main gangs. But if Al Capone had been able to carry out the same operation in Washington as he did in Chicago, the United States could have become a failed state."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The problem of IKEA.

This is a Click Opera post from 8 May 08:

"Without critical design, without this restless process of legitimation-distinction (and I'm invoking Max Weber and Pierre Bourdieu when I use those words), we'd be stuck in a wilting coffeetable world. It wouldn't really be such a bad world -- we'd have pretty colours and catchy shapes that we'd recognise instantly, the way we recognise the chords and arrangements in an Oasis song, the way it sounds familiar even on the first listen. But, like the creative world of Oasis, it would be a limited and lazy world."

This. It's why I find IKEA so annoying. It's why Fight Club works (the film, haven't read the novel yet).

Friday, May 02, 2008

Supernatural Horror in Literature.

H.P. Lovecraft's manifesto on weird fiction. Note that he uses horror, terror, and the like to describe what he means as weird fiction. He discusses what we now call horror because it was the source genre for what he and others later wrote within. S.T. Joshi maintains that Lovecraft thought mere horror writing was hack writing.

"Radiant with beauty, the Cup of the Ptolemies was carven of onyx."

I am putting that sentence over the archway of the gaming room, whenever I build it.