Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Onion vol. 41 #13

New Onion today.

  • What Do You Think?, on the Morning After Pill
    "Why not? The tequila responsible for getting me knocked up in the first place is sold over the counter."

  • Infographic on Information Thieves
    New stolen identity beats old "sniveling computer geek"

  • Being A Considerate Houseguest
    • Ensure that you do not overstay your welcome by asking your host if you are overstaying your welcome every couple of minutes.
    • Avoid an awkward moment later on by telling your host upfront that you're a bedshitter.
    • Don't monopolize the bathroom: Take sponge baths in the kitchen sink, and pee in a bottle and hide it under the bed.

  • You Won't Believe This, But I'm Actually On A Crowded Elevator Right Now
    Oh, hey David. No, it's a fine time. Always got time for you, my man. Dave. How's that lady I saw you with on Saturday? No shit. You're something else, my friend. Really something. Oh, that? That was just the second floor. Yeah, you won't believe this, but I'm actually on this crowded elevator right now. Yeah, it's totally crazy. We're packed like sardines in here.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Resurresction of the Religious Left

As this Salon story asks - "The religious what?"

On this Easter day, here's wishing that Americans who claim to be Christian will snap out of their anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-death-with-dignity trance and realize that most of the Republican agenda, especially the designs of the Bush Administration, is decidedly un-Christian.

There can be such thing as a religious left; in fact there has been before, backing most of the major social progress of our country: emancipation, women's suffrage, civil rights, etc. The Salon article also gives interesting background on how the right co-opted Christianity in America:
A series of Supreme Court decisions taking prayer and Bible reading out of schools, and culminating with Roe vs. Wade -- as well as, it must be noted, some civil rights victories in the South -- angered conservative evangelicals, and convinced them that government would not remain neutral, allowing them to simply live as they wished. Similarly, many Catholics -- who had largely stayed away from politics while assimilating amid anti-Catholicism -- were outraged by the Roe decision, and they developed into a politically active force, forming pro-life groups organized not by diocese but by congressional district. Both of these groups were embraced by Republican strategists desperate to form a political majority, who recognized that they could find common ground in the belief that government should stay out of their lives. It was a match made in heaven.

There are signs that some church leaders are starting to speak up against the social injustices of our government. Earlier this month,
Five mainline Protestant leaders called the President's FY06 budget 'unjust':
"In telling this story, Jesus makes clear that perpetrating economic injustice is among the gravest of sins," the leaders said in a joint statement.

"Like many Americans, we read our daily newspaper through the lens of faith, and when we see injustice, it is our duty to say so," they added. "The 2006 Federal Budget that President Bush has sent to Capitol Hill is unjust. It has much for the rich man and little for Lazarus."

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Transparent Screen Effects

transparent wallpaper
Robert of "According To Robert" is right - this is a great wallpaper idea. Really only works with a flat screen, though...

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Without DeLay

Tom DeLay Abused Power Violated Ethics
Tom DeLay, U.S. Representative from Houston, TX and House Majority Leader, has got to go. It would have been best if he'd been sent packing by his own constituents last November, but it didn't quite happen. Regardless, his corruption and abuse of power is bad enough that he should resign or be kicked out.

Via The Daily DeLay, a pointer to good info on his scandals, abuses and general lack of ethics at Common Cause. The first, Tom DeLay’s Transgressions: A Pattern of Misbehavior, is pretty damning even if you just consider the titles of the sections:
  • "Unprecedented four admonishments by unanimous votes of the bipartisan House Ethics Committee"
  • "Questionable Conduct (not considered by House Ethics Committee)"
  • "The Latest Ethics Allegations Against Tom DeLay"
  • "Protecting Delay: Changing Ethics Rules"
  • "Protecting Delay: Ethics Committee Purge"
  • "Protecting Delay: Intimidate Accusers"

There's also a Q&A that's got some good info:
Tom DeLay and his supporters say this is nothing more than a partisan witch hunt. Is that true?

That's laughable. Tom DeLay has four times been admonished by the unanimous vote of a bipartisan Ethics Committee in a Republican-dominated House. The only partisan witch hunt underway is being carried out by the Republicans, who have trashed the ethics process to protect Delay and have retaliated against their own colleagues for admonishing Delay. Joel Hefley, the former chairman of the Ethics Committee, and two other members of the ethics committee - along with two senior staff -- were thrown off the committee for doing their jobs.

You can take action - sign Public Campaign Action's petition demanding DeLay's resignation.

Get Your War On #45

Starring: the feeding tube itself!
Get Your War On #45

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Onion vol. 41 #12

YAO (Yet Another Onion).

  • Child Walks Out On Toy Non-Proliferation Talks
    The elder Feits raised concerns that Corinne had accumulated enough dolls to entertain herself 10 times over, and certainly more plush toys than could be safely accounted for. Corinne countered that she did not have nearly as many Bratz dolls as her classmate Jenny Holmes, arguing that she had the right to pursue a relative degree of parity in the toy race.

  • What Do You Think?, on Oil Drilling In Alaska
    "But... but where will there be pristine and untouched wonders left for me to drive my GMC Yukon through?"

  • Infographic, on The New SAT
    Test offers unfair advantage to students who are smart

  • EPA To Drop 'E,' 'P' From Name
    "We're not really 'environmental' anymore, and we certainly aren't 'protecting' anything," Johnson said.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Republican Ghouls

The whole Terry Shiavo thing makes me sick. Let the poor woman die, already. The whole prolonged family court fight was bad enough, but now our fearless Republican government has to call special sessions, to pass personal legislation just for this case? God, it's disgusting. And ol' W takes the cake, saying in his statement:
In cases like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws, and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life.

Yeah, that's great, George. Tell it to the 152 people executed while you were Governor of Texas.

Rahul Mahajan at Empire Notes sums it all up perfectly.
Terry Schiavo apparently still has humanity even without meaningful brain activity, but the 300,000 residents of Fallujah have none to these adherents of the culture of life.

...This right wing apparently has a belief in preserving life only where that life is absolutely meaningless. It’s not a culture of life; it’s a culture of living death.


There was an article on Slashdot recently, about the Continuing Hunt For PATRIOT Act Abuses, in which few were found by the Dept. of Justice, and the question asked, "Could it be that there has just been a lot of fuss over nothing?" As the Bush Administration seeks renewal of the USA PATRIOT Act, here's a response that hits the nail on the head, saying, in part:
The rules we have to regulate our law enforcement activities are not there to make law enforcement easier or harder. They are there to protect us against ourselves - they inscribe a well-known and ancient protection against human nature, and our ancestors had to bleed into the earth for many, many generations to secure these freedoms, after wearying, inconceivable repitition of abuses, time, after time, after time.

We made our constitution difficult to change to protect our children from cowards. Cowards who run crying, begging for protection from terrorists at any price - even though they kill fewer people than slipping and falling, even though they are selling freedoms that sufficed for us through many, many crises before.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Batman: New Times

If you liked Grayson The Movie (and I know you did), then you'll probably also dig this. Via Slashdot, another cool Batman fan movie - Batman: New Times.

This one is a movie school student project, made with computer generated, LEGO-like bricks. Which is like, what, three levels of unreality? Not real people, but LEGOs. Wait, not real LEGOs, but some LEGO knock-off. No, wait again, not real LEGO knock-offs, computer-generated LEGO knock-offs. Okay, then. Regardless - a cool little flick. And with real movie stars (not LEGO, LEGO knock-off or even computer generated LEGO knock-off movie stars) for the voice acting: like Mark Hamill, Dick Van Dyke and even Adam West.

Daily Haiku - The Lollipop Guild

Call the Wicked Witch.
She'll be glad to know we've found
her flying monkey.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Onion vol. 41 #11

Bush Followed Everywhere
By Line Of Baby Ducks

Don't hate me for skipping last week's issue - here's a venti triple-shot serving of steaming Oniony goodness to make up for it.

  • Gym Membership Doomed From Day One
    "Just getting in here and signing up is enough for today. I think I'll reward myself with a smoothie."

  • Irish Heritage Timeline
    • 432 - St. Patrick arrives in Ireland, offering 25-cent chicken wings and 2-for-1 taps all night long
    • 1487 - In a decision still regretted today, Irish let a few British friends stay in Belfast
    • 1849 - In the wake of famine, millions of Irish arrive in the New World, seeking more of the precious potatoes they can't seem to live without
    • 1994 - A leader known only as Roth takes over the Irish Republican Army, transforming it from a terrorist organization into a tax-deferred retirement savings plan

  • What Do You Think?, On Tougher Bankruptcy Laws
    "If this doesn't teach Americans not to have medical emergencies or get laid off, I don't know what will."

  • Infographic on Wi-Fi Access
    • Brings Internet to the needy laptop-toting underclass
    • Mitigates frightening "I'm out-of-doors" feeling
    • Facilitates blogging while/about doing laundry

Sunday, March 13, 2005

How Much Is Inside?

How Much Is Inside A Keg?
Via jwz, an awesome site that answers the question man has pondered throughout the ages, "How Much Is Inside?" Which goes to great lengths to answer that question for:
  • Goldshlager
    The gold flakes swoosh around like a billionaire's snow-globe, attracting thirsty adults and nesting birds.

  • Print Cartridges
    I was already busy collecting the images I wanted to print...a wide variety of porn! After a long and tiresome sorting process alone in my room, I had a wide assortment of 8x10 inch images ready for printing.

  • Magic Shell
    Simply put, magic shell is awesome. It is ACTION FOOD! It forms a hard shell when put on top of ice cream, which protects it from burrowing insects and mites. It is the perfect way to make ice cream more fun & your classmates jealous.

  • A Keg
    Unfortunately, they only sell kegs with beer in them, and that much beer was certain to have a deleterious effect on our study.

    We decided to do the same thing that NASA does: Invite a hell of a lot more scientists to help out. I printed off some fliers and handed them out at a nearby petrochemical engineering convention.

  • And much, much, much more

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Playboy Hosted Mirrors

I went to download Apache Tomcat the other day, and was amused to see one of the mirror site selections on the download page was "". Was it a joke? Nope - it's real: exists, and in addition to Apache, it provides downloads for CPAN, FreeBSD, Fedora and mod_ssl. According to the admin:
This is an unsupported open source mirror utilizing hardware and network bandwidth generously provided by Playboy Enterprises, Inc. This server is located in Chicago, IL, USA.

...Playboy's resident tech nerds would like to thank the authors, contributors, bug testers, and everyone else involved in the Open Source software we use on a daily basis. THANK YOU!

But I wonder... maybe there's an ulterior motive? Maybe an attempt to get big companies that are blocking employee access to "" to open it up? "Come on boss, you told me to upgrade the Fedora boxes!"

And if it's not blocked at your company, but somebody's watching access logs somewhere, you better watch out...
Boss: Johnson! This report from IT says you've been downloading a lot from ""!

You: No, boss, you don't understand - I was just checking out the latest Tomcat!

Boss: I'll just bet you were!

You: No, no, no - it's open source!

Boss: Yes, that's how it was in the 60's too, my lad. Why I remember this one girl, Sunflower I think her name was...

You: Um, are you going to fire me or what?

Boss: Fire you? No, no, I guess not this time. But I am curious, Johnson; the URL says "mirrors" and "apache"... what is that? Some kind of kinky "Girls of the Reservation" or something? I've never seen that in the magazine...

Kidding aside, this is a pretty cool way for these open source users to give back to the community - kudos and thanks to those resident tech nerds. But I can't help thinking, if they really want to reward all the open source hackers (the male ones, anyway), they'd give away more of than bandwidth...

Also, Playboy is a good start, but there are other similar sites running Linux, Apache, andFreeBSD.

Well, enjoy this new download site, and as Bjørn Hansen says, you can always claim "I read it for the source code."

Friday, March 04, 2005

Fun With Progenitorivox (May Have Side Effects)

Via A Tiny Revolution, a catchy song and clever little video from Consumers Union about pharmaceutical safety (really!). But seriously, folks:
First we learn that Vioxx increases the risk of heart attacks. Now, we learn that Merck may have had research, as early as 2000, that uncovered these problems, but didn’t make it known to the public. It is time to end this secrecy. Lives depend on it.

Legislators have just introduced a bill--The Fair Access to Clinical Trials Act (FACT Act)--to require drug companies to make public all the results of their clinical trials so we’ll know about potentially harmful side effects.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Onion vol. 41 #9

Sucker Next Door Paying
For Wireless Internet Service

C'est l'Onion.
  • Area Dog Will Never Live Up To Dog On Purina Bag
    "Aw Jeez, look at him go," Buster said. "I can't even shamble up the stairs without tripping. That dog looks so confident and intelligent. Meanwhile, I still fall for the old fake stick toss half the time."

  • Infographic: New Bush Science Policies
    • The Make Coal Look Cleaner project of 2002
    • $44 billion to NASA to put a Christian on Mars by 2035
    • Ongoing financial and policy support of Industrial Pioneers For A Nice Warm Globe

  • Onion In History, February 26, 1913
    • Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Boasts: "No Man Can Stop Me"
    • Does America Suffer From A "Zeppelin Gap"?
    • Henry Ford's New "Assembly Line" Frees Workers to Contemplate Meaningless Void of Existence

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Fun With Firefox

Get Firefox!
A few goodies to enhance your Firefox experience.
  1. Came across this pretty cool Firefox extension: Bookmarks Synchronizer. If you have a web space that you can ftp to, or WebDAV to (e.g., .Mac), then you can upload your bookmarks there, and then synchronize from that "master" copy. This is sweet if you have multiple machines, because you can pretty easily keep their bookmarks all synchronized from that copy. This also seems to be available from a site called Mozilla Update, but the site is "beta", somehow, so I don't know... Those Mozilla people need to keep tidying up their website(s).

  2. Here's a cool feature that's been in Firefox, but which I somehow just never noticed. Did you know that the search bar in Firefox, which normally goes to Google, can be switched to search other sites, such as And Amazon, and Ebay? Just by clicking the little down-arrow in the Google icon? You did? Well, Mr./Ms. Know-It-All, did you know you can add other sites to search, such as The Site Which Makes The Internet Worth It All By Itself - IMDb? Just go to "Add New Search Engines" on Firefox Central.

  3. Also, 1.01 is out, with "several fixes to guard against spoofing and arbitrary code execution," so grab it if you haven't already.