Friday, April 30, 2010
A gang has attempted to steal the Stone of Destiny, the battered talisman of Scottish royalty that has been repeatedly targeted by thieves and politicians.
This time thieves turned up at Scone Palace, Perthshire, between closing time on Wednesday and opening time yesterday with a similar-sized boulder weighing 200 kg ‑ about as much as a fridge freezer.
The gang hauled the sandstone boulder off its plinth and replaced it with the lookalike, undeterred by the fact the palace stone is a century-old replica of the original, which left Scone some 700 years ago.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Each time I hear that 40% of Americans pay no income taxes, I feel my gorge rising in a way I haven’t experienced since getting my acid reflux under control. As I see it, if you don’t pay in, you don’t have the same stake in things that 60% of us do. It strikes me as immoral that any American should be free of this financial obligation. If it were up to me, if you don’t pay income taxes, I wouldn’t even let you vote. Why on earth should they have a voice in how other people’s tax dollars are spent or who gets to spend them?
AND I AGREE WITH BURT!!!
Image hiked from here and animated. I erased a smidgen of it for aesthetic purposes, but said aesthetics are now ruined by this guilty note. Information may want to be free, but a thing that is already free is feeling bad about trivia.
Clerk: I am Filipino.
D: What are the Filipino gods?
Me: She means before Catholicism.
C: Oh. There weren't any. I am a Catholic. What religion are you?
M: Do you have a religion?
D: I'm Jewish.
C: So we have the same god?
D: I used to have a god but now I have a fish.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Nowruz is widely celebrated in many Muslim countries, in the former Soviet republics in Russia's regions, where the majority of the population is Muslim. And although the Voronezh region not one of them, and we are celebrating Nowruz, because it is primarily confined to the day of the vernal equinox spring festival (the word "Nowruz" is translated as "new day").I applaud the effort of Russians to celebrate this Muslim ladyparts holiday:
March 23 in our high school held a concert devoted to this remarkable event. It was attended by foreign students not only Pedagogical University, Voronezh and other universities.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Today it might seem an impossible quest, but Taitz is fighting to make sure that the Constitution of the United States of America does not turn into a Dulcinea, who is never rescued by her Prince in Shining Armor.From her latest legal filing, seen at OCWeekly.
Hugo Chávez, provider of free education for the rich, was elected in 1998.
In recent years, access to [Higher Education] has increased in many countries worldwide, most notably in Europe and North America, where gross enrolment approaches 60%, compared to 28% in Latin America. Although HE intake has increased ten percentage points in Europe, and seven percentage points in both North and Latin America over the past few years20, this does not necessarily mean that the capacities of HE systems have been capable of absorbing the total demand.
The Venezuelan case is paradigmatic in this respect. There, Fourth Republic under-funding of public HE manifested itself in supply not being able to meet the demand, conjoined with the privatisation of HE. Between 1984 and 1998, applications for HE rose 56%, while admission only increased 30%. Although total absolute intake climbed from 54.087 students in 1984 to 70.348 in 1998, the share of public universities decreased: only 27.999 students entered public HE in 1998, compared to 38.590 fourteen years earlier. Put differently, in 1984 only 29% of admitted students entered private universities, compared to 60% in 1998 (percentages derived from MES, 2005: 16).
Table 1: HE attendance of 20-24-year-olds according to social class (in %)
1981 1997 2002
Quintile 1 (poorest)
Quintile 5 (richest)
Source: derived from Cepal, 2005.
Let us also keep in mind when thinking of funding higher education that Venezuelan institutions have to deal with stray lattices, which have very sharp edges. Universities with ЗОРБ infestations have an easier time of it. Dabblers in lattice genetics should think about the human costs.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Ron Rosenbaum gets himself worked up into quite an incoherent tizzy about the Tea Party and Nazism and Hitler and so on. He takes a swipe at my book, I'd wager unread. But I'm long used to that. As for the bile he aims at the Tea Parties, I think his over-protestation speaks for itself. I should say I agree with him that some Tea Party rhetoric goes too far and some signs are indefensible. We are not on the verge of a dictatorship and Obama is not a Hitler in waiting. The fringe folks who carry such signs help no one (which may be why the Larouchies seem to be the main culprits, a fact the MSM has no desire to clarify).
The Green movement, which had been an informal bucolic confederation of Sierra lovers of the wilderness, Greenpeace opponents of nuclear testing, and amiable eccentrics in hiking boots and pith helmets, brandishing butterfly nets and festooned with binoculars, became a rampart of the Left. Like the rural Communist guerrillas of the Colombian FARC, overwhelmed by the influx of massively armed and armored drug lords, the old agitators for cleaner air and water and pretty lepidoptera were inundated by the advocates of deindustrialization, abandonment of the automobile, and Churchillian resolution in the face of untrammeled cow flatulence. The genuine environmentalists were a perfect front for the beaten army of malcontents, radicals, and dull foot-soldiers who crowded like the grim wreckage of Napoleon’s Grande Armée at Smolensk in 1812 into this incongruous political ecosystem.Readers wondering if the authenticity of their hippie-deriding entertainment is somehow tainted if it comes from someone pretending to be an upper-class English blowhard should take comfort in the fact that Black is indeed a pretend upper-class English blowhard.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
In 1927, 17-year-old Cyril Rodd helped out family friend Emily Carr.Illustration unsatisfying.
"He did some yard work and walked her dog and her monkey," recounts Cyril's son Peter.
"He would tie [the animals] together. The dog would run and the monkey would get tired, and it would wrap itself around a lamp post to stop it."
Carr repaid his kindness by giving Rodd a ceramic eagle bowl and totem pole, signed in her native alter ego, Klee Wyck.
She made a special Christmas card for Rodd, whom she called "Twinkie." It featured a watercolour of her monkey, Woo, in a pink dress, and came with a little poem: "That all good things/May come to you/Is the wish/ Of little Woo."
She also gave "Mr. Twinkie Rodd" a cheque for $2.50. But he never cashed it, because he felt she was too poor and couldn't afford to give him the money.
Friday, April 23, 2010
I'm on a deadline, so I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks, but I think Ross Douthat is basically right in his take.That was about that goldarned epistemic closure doodadery.
Today Jonah walks it back:
Well, I stayed out of the whole brouhaha at first because I had a crazy-busy day. Then, as the argument around here played itself out, it seemed less and less necessary.Manzi, you dumbass, you don't read what Jonah writes and examine the truth claims, you read what Jonah writes and assess it as a talking point for conservatives or a slur against liberals. RTFM.
Still, since I wrote quite a bit about this “epistemic closure” business, and since Jim’s initial post cited me by name, and since some readers won’t rest until I say something, I guess I’ll say something.
I was a bit miffed at Jim for the way he used what I increasingly believe to be to break with his well-earned reputation for civility and decorum — and in the Corner no less. If he wanted to argue with Mark about global warming, I don’t see why he needed Ross Douthat’s “challenge” to do so.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Groupthink or corruption is always possible, and maybe the entire global scientific establishment is wrong. Does he think that these various scientists are somehow unaware that Newsweek had an article on global cooling in the 1970s? Or are they aware of the evidence in his book, but are too trapped by their assumptions to be able to incorporate this data rationally? Or does he believe that the whole thing is a con in which thousands of scientists have colluded across decades and continents to fool such gullible naifs as the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, numerous White House science advisors, Margaret Thatcher, and so on? Are the Queen of England and the Trilateral Commission in on it too?Andy "Bill Ayers and Birth Certificates" McCarthy clutches his Pearl Harbors:
But what evidence does Levin present for any of this amazing incompetence or conspiracy beyond that already cited? None. He simply moves on to criticisms of proposed solutions. This is wingnuttery.
I've read a number of Jim's articles and posts over the years, including more than a few involving exchanges with other writers. He has always struck me as a model of civility, especially in his disagreements with the Left. Why pick Mark for the Pearl Harbor treatment?K-Lo senses a Frumming:
He's heard a lot worse and can handle his own battles, but as one who has followed Mark's career, I found Jim's tone deeply disappointing. Especially at a time when Liberty actually is endangered and Mark Levin is not to blame.Who do we have to thank for this deeply disappointing attempt to call bullshit at the bullshit factory? The Manzi article starts off considering a challenge from St. Ross Douthat of Chunkiness and Popery:
What you don’t hear enough from the pundits and intellectuals, I think, are complaints about this state of affairs. Conservative domestic policy would be in better shape if conservative magazines and conservative columnists were more willing to call out Republican politicians (and, to a lesser extent, conservative entertainers) for offering bromides instead of substance, and for pandering instead of grappling with real policy questions. This is part of why attracts so much attention, positive and negative: Not because his policy preferences are so far outside the conservative mainstream, but because he’s made it his business to hold various prominent right-wingers and Republicans accountable for being vacuous or inflammatory, instead of just training all his fire on liberals. I don’t always agree with the targets he picks and way he goes about it, but conservatism needs more of that kind of internal criticism, not less.Well, Ross Douthat at the evil New York Times, if you can bring wagon-uncircling to the NRO you may have your uses before you die in that fire.
Mind you a little "I agree with this thing I'm not considering or even reading and I have to go" from Jonah Goldberg helps too.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Spare me the stories of your "genius" tech-savvy child who can name every country on Google Earth, or how, because of your iPhone, BlackBerry and three cell phones, you juggle 20 tasks at once and never miss any business—even at 4 a.m., because you sleep with your portable devices. Does anyone care that technology is destroying social graces and turning people into rude jerks?That was Rachel Marsden. Let's observe the social graces in action:
On the following day [Jimmy] Wales announced on his Wikipedia user page that he was no longer involved with her. In return, [Rachel] Marsden, who claimed to have learned about the breakup by reading about it at Wikipedia, turned to eBay and put up for auction a t-shirt and sweater with white stains that she claimed belonged to Wales.In the past you'd have to auction your ex-lover's come-stained clothing by standing on an upturned shopping cart on the streetcorner while your cats meowed for food that would never arrive. Such were the social graces of the time.
*Wall Street Journal? Surely even as a grunty little Malebeast I am entitled to one "Who'd she blow?" in my lifetime.
Apparently I like that one song. Forget the name of it.
The ratings system:
★★★★★ I always listen to this song when it comes up in the shuffle
★★★★ I sometimes skip past this song but nothing about it bugs me
★★★ I sometimes skip past this song and something about it bugs me
★★ Don't like this much but for some reason I can't let it go
★ Trash at the first available opportunity
Monday, April 19, 2010
Here's another about a daring man who delivers potatoes from one place to another AND SPEEDS:
I can't see too many reasons for those outside Canada to care about the man's contribution to song, but within the country he was a baffling anomaly: someone who gave enough of a shit about where he lived to write about it. Growing up I mostly heard fantasies about bigger things on the radio, the songs were of American cities and girls whether the bands were Canadian or not. It still sounds weird that he'd write about Big Joe Mufferaw - Paul Bunyan was a ripoff you Yankee bastards! - or a classy tomato from fucking LEAMINGTON. Go on, search the lyrics databases for Leamington. I dare you. And see if you can replicate the sick-making steel-guitar solo that ends that song like a mistimed punchline.
Tom's something of a cranky prick, constantly pissed off at the government for not supporting Canadian artists and at Canadian artists for following the money south. But he's Stompin' Tom, and he fucking stomps the shit out of the floor - a feature in the recordings - while he's singing about hockey and snowmobiles and tobacco picking and uranium mining.
The former President has cropped up on TV and in an op-ed the NYT warning about the potential for violence. I know why the Tea Party is in the news, but what's with Clinton?Also adventures in writing, but that's Ann Althouse for you. Note that the words "Tea Party" appear nowhere in the Times piece: myself, I would have thought it was a message about the broader mania of the extreme right wing which indeed "threatens his political party" with death, helped along by users-of-yokels like Fox and Dick Armey. Not that Bill would be averse to sticking it to left-wing revolutionaries, as he was always a triangulator.
Victoria Jackson has studied her Glenn Beck. I wonder if she can handle a weapon?
Sunday, April 18, 2010
JERUSALEM—Israel this week has been blocking travelers from bringing Apple Inc.'s new iPad* into the country saying the device's wireless technology threatens to create interference with other products, a move that has puzzled people both in Israel and Silicon Valley.I just don't understand what Israel thinks all those unemployed iPads milling around in Gaza are gonna do. Play checkers?
*How is it that everyone agreed to capitalize the names of these products as Apple would have it done?
Friday, April 16, 2010
I don’t know if I should Buenos Aires or Bonjour, or... this is such a melting pot. This is so beautiful. I love this diversity.And take a big breath:
But this reminds me of heading out on stage on the VP trail when I was getting ready to debate Joe Biden. And there were like 40 some million viewers that I knew were out there waiting to see “is she going to crash? Is she going to be able to handle herself? How’s it going to go?” Whenever we go and do something big in life, like a vice presidential debate – it’s kind of big – I like to say a prayer about it, you know. I need some divine inspiration and I need to remember what it really is all about, so that evening before the debate I remember being back stage and looking around for somebody to pray with. And looking around at the campaign staff and there’s nobody to prayer with. But backstage there was Piper, at the time my seven year old. And I told Piper, I tried to make it easy for her to understand, I said “Piper, kay, I’m going out on stage. I’m debatin’ this guy, it’s going to be kind of tough.” I said, “So pray with me, honey.” And I grabbed her hands because that’s what we always do, we pray together. I said “Piper, just pray that I win.” Cause you know, why not?! Just pray that I do well, and oh man, try and keep it easy, I said “Just pray that God just speaks right through me.” And Piper said “God, speaking through you? That would be cheating.” Not that I would ever think that God would speak through me, but wanting to leave you with a little bit of inspiration and encouragement and maybe on a personal level have a conversation with you about some of the things that Todd and I have been through in the last year and a half, the last couple of years, that hopefully you can learn a couple of lessons from, because we’ve been through quite a few challenges, quite a few battles and you all too, everybody goes through battles, everybody has challenges.And:
I want to talk real quick about purpose in life and it not being an accident that you are all here today together at this time, in this hour, there is a reason things just worked out for all of us to get to be here. And I’ll talk about that in this context. In about one year’s time span, what Todd and I have gone through. Sometimes when I have just a second to stop and think about things, maybe just one of these events is pretty earthquake equivalent of, it’s pretty earth shattering, just one of these events. You think, wow, there could be some lessons could be learned in this. First of all I was very, very busy.And:
And again, as Plato said, I just want to remind you to be nice to one another, and remembering that everyone fighting the battle, some played out publicly, some are not, everyone though going through some tough times once in a while, so be merciful and forgiving and generous and then you will be blessed in return.And:
We North Americans we come from the stock of our ancestors. My husband, he’s Alaskan native. He’s Eskimo. And then my Idaho roots. And I look out here and man, this melting pot and I recognize all our diverse backgrounds. And North America and our countries together, it’s playing a role in history of all of us, and we share the ideals of freedom and prosperity and sharing with others. It’s great places like Hamilton that make up the fabric of our nations. So knowing that there are many challenges in the years to come, through strength and perserverance, we’re going to continue to hold the global stage and our responsibility to stand up for what’s right.Dodged the bullet there, huh?
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Must be nice being a leftie and NEVER having to worry about some childish television creator taking a gratuitous shot — from completely out of nowhere — at what you believe in. Not so for we righties.
“Glee” spent all of last season building up buzz and an audience, and as soon as they get one: POW!
Screw you, righties. We don’t like you and we think you’re stupid for liking Palin.
April 15, 2010:
Slated for release on August 6, 2010, “The Other Guys,” written by Adam McKay and Chris Henchy and starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg (whose “funky” credentials expired a long time ago)A Cheney/Palin ticket in 2012 would be awesome.
Okay, then, how about the old standby villains – Eurotrash terrorists as seen in films like “Die Hard,” “Nighthawks” and just about any Bond film you can mention? Nah. Been there, done that. This is 2010, baby – it’s a new decade in a relatively new century, so we have to keep up with the times. According to the script, the villains in “The Other Guys” are…drum roll please…
But more importantly, our eeevil banker has even more eeevil Blackwater security contractors – I mean, mercenaries – protecting his sorry ass. You may not know this, but Blackwater used to have “long ties to the White House and prominent Republicans.” Speaking of Republicans, guess who the Big Villain, Carl Bastion, hangs out with? Get ready for the sucker punch moment:
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
The Palm Springs Patriots Coalition's Tax Day Tea Party is expected to draw some big names — notably Orly Taitz, the leader of the so-called birther movement, which questions where President Barack Obama was born — but at least one headliner won't be there.I'll bet he does.
Riverside County supervisor candidate Gary Jeandron was “never definitely scheduled” and has other events planned, according to his campaign manager, Cathedral City councilman Chuck Vasquez.
Oh Orly, where will you find love?
Sunday, April 11, 2010
In an especially sad episode of the The Twilight Zone Arnold Kling fell through a dimensional rift, ending up in Ladylibertopia where he was unable to find a job and starved to death.
Kling on the Tea Partiers a while back:
Now, the elitism of President Obama and his supporters has reached in-your-face levels. They have utter contempt for the Tea Party-ers, and the Tea-Party-ers know it.The stupids are too stupid to hang out with, but I trust 'em more than the stupids I hang out with. Does he hate humanity more than M. Bouffant?
I wouldn't want the Tea Party-ers at the faculty picnic, either. But my sense of class solidarity with Obama and other educated progressives does not make me want to see them exercise power. If anything, being a member of the educated elite and knowing knowing them as well as I do makes me share the Tea Party-ers' fears.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
The world famous comic book bands The Archies and Josie and the Pussycats, hook up like never before! And now a new flame, Valerie, the super-bright and beautiful songwriter/bassist of Josie and the Pussycats, will play her way into the Archie love triangle.
But how long can the secrecy---and their love---last? With The Archies and Josie and the Pussycats co-headlining their first tour together, things could get messy. A stage is hardly a place to hide, and when Betty and Veronica find out, it could be the end of Archie and Valerie's rockin' romance!
Link for those in thrall to Archie news updates.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Yes, that is correct, instead of the word "scroll" our manual prefers clockwisearrow-mouse-counterclockwisearrow. Chances that anyone proofread it?
Fuck you Lotus Notes.
Note: neither the name of the sender nor the name of the recipient is "eat me". On the other hand finding a Merle Travis guitar solo is better than finding Insane Clown Posse.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Lori Whisenant knows that one way to improve the writing skills of undergraduates is to make them write more. But as each student in her course in business law and ethics at the University of Houston began to crank out—often awkwardly—nearly 5,000 words a semester, it became clear to her that what would really help them was consistent, detailed feedback.Apart from the obvious "can those folks grade to standard" questions, the takeaway here is that the professor doesn't have the resources to do her job.
Her seven teaching assistants, some of whom did not have much experience, couldn't deliver. Their workload was staggering: About 1,000 juniors and seniors enroll in the course each year. "Our graders were great," she says, "but they were not experts in providing feedback."
That shortcoming led Ms. Whisenant, director of business law and ethics studies at Houston, to a novel solution last fall. She outsourced assignment grading to a company whose employees are mostly in Asia.
*I see this quite often. That English - and learning models - are different in India and Malaysia and Singapore may make a difference.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Also via the BBC, EAT ME MATTEL!
This too is kind of a FUCK YOU MATTEL but panic averted. TPM to the rescue.
- A team I like will win a basketball game.
- Tiger Woods will accept the Lord.
- Then there will be a bloody revolution.
Don’t get me wrong here. A greater fear would be if We the People would not take the Jefferson Liberty-tree, crimson-tree irrigation route and simply continued to slouch our way onto the ash heap of history.Clarified! It's the lesser of two evils, the greater being an insurance plan.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
My friend Bonnie asked me to drive with her to Searchlight, NV for the Tea Party Express Kickoff where Sarah Palin was going to speak. I said, “Yes!” Then, I started thinking about reality. I would need to pay a dog sitter and a teenager sitter. My daughter couldn’t come with me because she was winning an award at the 168 Film Festival in Glendale – all the more reason for me to stay home. Then, I would have to sit in a car for ten hours round-trip. I hate sitting. I don’t travel unless I’m getting paid. Tea Parties don’t pay. Of course, I attend them for one purpose only – to save my country.What a selfless individual. But wait, there's more!
But, it helps if there’s an added incentive, like a free T shirt or meeting Sarah Palin! But, if I was in a crowd of thousands there would be little chance I would meet Sarah. Suddenly I was invited to be one of the speakers at the Searchlight event! YES! This would ensure my private moment with Sarah, so I said YES!Okay! Fandom established.
I finished reading her book so I would know what to say to her when I met her.A stretch, but okay...
She was the “me” I could have been if I had made different choices, and if fate had…you know, made me Alaskan. We had so much in common.Agreed.
There is way more weirdness in the article apart from the Palin fandom (which includes comparisons to Jesus). I hope Palin's folks read it. Also:
I ran into Joe the Plumber and was thrilled to meet him. I tried to hook him up with my friend Bonnie who’s single. Joe’s single, muscular and gave a great speech, with no notes! I told him that his fateful, little exchange with Obama had been the last piece of evidence I’d needed to conclude my theory that Obama was a Communist. That quote, “Spread The Wealth,” was the last nail in the coffin for me. Joe smiled and nodded.I'll bet he did. Need I mention that Victoria Jackson never actually gets to meet Sarah Palin? Yes, I need to.
The foregoing might be worth comparing and contrasting with Norman Podhotoztoerozerotzes's Our Greatest Saint was Stupid and Sarah Palin is Stupid Too article.
Much as I would like to believe that the answer lies in some elevated consideration, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the same species of class bias that Mrs. Palin provokes in her enemies and her admirers is at work among the conservative intellectuals who are so embarrassed by her. When William F. Buckley Jr., then the editor of National Review, famously quipped that he would rather be ruled by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the combined faculties of Harvard and MIT, most conservative intellectuals responded with a gleeful amen. But put to the test by the advent of Sarah Palin, along with the populist upsurge represented by the Tea Party movement, they have demonstrated that they never really meant it.Far be it from me to divine the workings of the conservative mind, but my suspicion is that Buckley didn't imagine that insanity and stupidity was particular to those whose last names start with the letter A.
Friday, April 2, 2010
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has lost "all credibility" over the way it had dealt with paedophile priests.EASTER
The Archbishop of Canterbury is sorry:
Dr Williams' comments about the controversy had angered the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, who said he was "stunned" by them.Revelations 3:15:
Dr Williams later telephoned the archbishop to express his "deep sorrow" and insist he meant no offence.
Speaking on Aled Jones' BBC Radio 2 show on Sunday, Dr Williams said he did not think he had said anything that had not already been said by others, including the leaders of the Irish Church.
"I was saying sorry that I had made life more difficult for the Archbishop of Dublin and his colleagues who have been trying to tackle this crisis with great imagination and honesty," he said.
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Here's a direct link to a long interview with a soldier who converted to Islam while serving at Guantanamo Bay.