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Extra Aqua Vitae Nulla Salus


Funny Letter to the Editor

Any Drink Tank readers or contributors care to go back to school and do Elizabeth Maples a favor? (bottom of linked page)


Happy Cthulhumas


Movie Madness

Hey, lookie! After the slaughter of four US Marines, we extracted vengeance on the dastardly Faloojis by sending a Robot Trained To Hunt Robots and his wookie friend. Iraqis? I hate those guys!

The Ukrainian Southeast

"What about doing trade in Severodonetsk?"

"Do you know what it's like there? The women who do trade stand out 12 hours every day in the rynok trying to sell stuff, and do you know what they make in profit? 100 rubles -- three dollars -- a day. Three dollars, for standing out in the cold all day. It's not possible."

"You have family there?" I asked.

"Yes, my mother and father."

"They're together, not divorced?"

"No, why?"

"Just curious. Mine split up when I was seven."

"Mine are still together, although... my mother's on pension. She's 45. And my father doesn't do much. He's drunk all the time. All the men there are."

"Why's your mom retired so young?" I asked.

"She worked at the Azot chemicals plant. It's the main employer in town, it's very well-known. You've heard of it?"

"Probably, yeah," I lied.

"Of course you have, everyone knows Azot. But it's harmful to work there, so they let you retire much earlier. I would have worked there myself."

"Doing what?"

"I'm a chemist by education. But they don't allow you to have children while working at the plant, and you have to wait nine years after you stop working before it's safe to have a child. That would be such a problem because I want children."

I thought: so instead, you became a whore, which is something your child will thank you for. Cuz you know, nothing keeps a womb fit 'n fertile like having its walls pounded by drunken strangers twelve times a day...

Hero Attacked

Batman Begins

Check out the new trailer. Based on 'Year One' I think.


Seven grain oat-nut crunch education

Imagine you live in a town where you are required to pay several thousand dollars of taxes each year into a public fund that is used to buy food for the entire community. There is a publicly elected "Menu Board" that determines each year's offerings. You wanted rye this year? Sorry! The Board voted for Wonder Bread. Again! You could, in principle, opt out of the public food system and buy rye, pumpernickel, or seven grain oat-nut crunch at a fancy private store. But you've already paid thousands in taxes, and can't afford to pay twice for everything you eat. The Menu Board picks it. You eat it.

They After Us



Am I A Freak?

I hereby ruin this blog by posting an email forward so funny I had to share it.

Everything is bad about this -- it's .swf and loud and not worksafe. It is funny, though.

Funny Flaps

Willy Wonky

Apparently some sort of public health service in Britain.

Today In Alternate History

A fun blog.

Dinosaur Tales

TCS: Tech Central Station is going to have many interesting articles on climate change this week. Already we have a look at the numbers to show the actions would be useless (e.g. 0.2 degrees difference by 2050 w/ US involvement), and also see an alternative motivation for the entire protocol (e.g. developing countries get money in the form sold credits on the greenhouse gas markets).

Rather than cost the US economy hundreds of billions of dollars, why don't people who actually believe that climate change is a threat, that it is caused by human action, and that it is cheaper to eliminate that action than adapt to the changes, just use nuclear energy or buy some solar cells and drive an electric car?

It would be a lot better for the economy, and the climate wouldn't be much different either way.

It might also shut up the player piano press, pushing predictions of pandemonium. ssssSNAP!


The Japanese are Wierd

This is a little more wierd than this. And yet, to their credit, this seems to be true too.

Amphibious Interlude

It's... alive!


"Global Warming Negotiations Heat Up". I wonder how many times that pun has been used.

Lego Star Wars

Because they can.


China to Limit Some Textile Exports

Drudge links this odd report from China, worried about flooding our markets with textile good, will place quotas on exports because current international quotas are being eliminated by WTO Agreement on Textiles and Clothing on January first.

Too bad. I was looking forward to getting $4 levvi's jeans, and $3 rebokk sneakers.

There have been a few people speculating about the growth of China as an economic powerhouse recently. I'm sure it'll be fine, if people just embrace change. Given the synergy of free trade, I have no problem with a country 4 times the population of America being the largest in the world. That's the way it should be, right?

Also, hopefully, more economic growth in China will lead to things like a free press. Maybe I underestimate the jackboot.

Oh Man,

I wish they had a frontal picture.


10-701 and 15-781 Machine Learning, 2004

Man, that test was long! Hope I passed :)
Another test, another talk, and a paper, and I'm good to go.


Pantera Assassination (rambling post)

Here's a promotional page for the issue of Metal Hammer where former frontman Phil Anselmo calls for the late "Dimebag" Darrell Abbot to be severely beaten. Looking for the article online I found this fellow from another (way better) band telling Anselmo "we slept with your girlfriend" etc. etc. (Here's a lot of the he-deserves-to-be-beaten interview, btw.)

Does Metal Hammer magazine make it to Ohio within 8 days of publishing? Probably a few do, I guess. I suppose I doubt if the killer got one. Interesting, though.

The big difference between the Biggie-2Pac slayings is that this one is solved, but I think Pantera may have had a similar size fan base... could an insurance company say that there's a level of music popularity where shit-talking becomes a real danger? That makes me think of the best part of The Metallica Movie, when the frontman of Megadeth talked to his former bandmates about how much it hurt his feelings when Metallica fans screamed "Megadeth sucks" at him.

My new roommate has this awesome looking book. I'll read it if I ever finish The Baroque Cycle.

Looking for stuff about the Pantera killing on the internet, the part where a cop puts one in the killer's face while the killer has a hostage is always exciting. Good one, officer!


Holiday Spirit

Are you guys around NYC before Christmas? We're going to try to have a little SantAnarchy here ourselves.



Drudge is all upset that Rumsfeld was "set up," but in fact, this whole shebang should be in the often-slim "good news from Iraq" file. Reading the linked article, the reporter emails "I have been trying to get this story out for weeks- as soon as I foud (sic) out I would be on an unarmored truck." So he tells the soldiers he's been working with that this is the best forum to gripe they're ever likely to have, and soon thereafter the SoD Rumsfeld is promising them the armored humvees from his office. This is an example of the strength of the press, that a combative attitude combined with self interest will likely prod the powerful into doing good where they wouldn't otherwise.

This argument presumes, of course that the brouhaha over bad equipment (years into the the occupation of Free Iraq) will result in better equipment for American soldiers, and then a more efficient transition to the modern humanist democratic nirvana our planners have in mind.


Worthwhile Blog Post


As a side note, one of the charms of this film (opened in NYC a week or two ago; is in fact based on the same theme as this other very good movie) is the oft repeated rhyme:
Doggie fart
Gladdens the heart

laptop might burn your genes

First thought: your genome can fit on a CDR?
Second: how much is the sequencing?

Third: wouldn't people notice?

Star Wars Gangsta Rap Special Edition

Sometimes the special editions really are better.

Get your pun on.

My new sig: "Resistance may be futile, but capacitance has potential."




This Some Asinine Shite

Recently, Rosa Parks' lawyers have filed two suits involving the hip-hop duo OutKast and their record company, BMG, over a song titled "Rosa Parks." They seek a total of $5 billion.
I'm sure the 91-year-old Parks (who has dementia and is in poor health) was infuriated when she pumped up the volume on the local hip-hop station and listened to her name being used repeatedly in an historical reference.


Pesci 4 best. Pesci 1&3 good. Arnold 3,5; Pacino 1, 3.

Colin Luther Powell: Rapper's Delight

This, after the Village People incident, makes me wonder if Powell shoulda been more than just a political song and dance man:
Powell toasted honoree Warren Beatty by parodying the actor's role as a rapping politician in the movie Bulworth: "I'm Colin Luther Powell/Public service is my thing/Don't do it for the fame/Don't do it for the bling."


Celebrate Diversity

Secret Russian Bio-Weapons Leave Their Marks on Ukrainian Election

The pain was so severe that doctors had to place a large intravenous line into Mr. Yushchenko's chest and essentially nearly anesthetize him with huge doses of opiates. Because opiates depress respiratory functions, his breathing rate slowed, and his vital signs had to be constantly monitored. More medicine would have required that Mr. Yushchenko be placed on a respirator, Dr. Zimpfer said.
Bad sushi my eye!

Fly Me to the Moon

Thomas Friedman thinks we need a new moon shot: energy independence in 10 years. He starts out by talking about how America lacks good engineers and basic science research because there is no such cause and there is a lack of government funding.

He goes on to talk about the ways in which a lack of profit from Oil would help reform corrupt ME regimes.

There are a few problems with his views, but let me start by saying that I agree to a certain extent with the policy proposals. I think all subsidies going to farmers and oil companies should go back to the tax payers or fund research. I really wish the government would not be involved in so many things, and focus on a few. How about: long term research, defense, organizing retirement and health savings accounts. The other 70% of government can go, and those responsibilities go to the states. Note a few things missing: education, environmental regulation, welfare, and health & drug regulation (pretty much all regulation). I see no strong reason why the federal government vs. individual states can do a better job of this.

Anyway, back to the article:

- If globalization is unstoppable and good, how exactly does it hurt the US to have fewer engineers? Don't the contributions of foreign nations to basic research impact positively on our economy and standard of living? If anything, we will evolve a better organized meritocracy, where those more skilled throughout the world will benefit from their skills, rather that just being lucky to be born in the US. Those in America (and the world at large) who can't compete will suffer. Isn't that desirable? Isn’t that the only forcing function needed for Americans deciding whether or not to try at school?

- Mr. Friedman meet China. China meet Mr. Friedman. China doesn't put scrubbers on their coal plants. Compared to the US they produce a quarter the energy from half the coal and pollute twice as much. This is one example of many on how they will not take the more expensive, but better, path in energy policy. How exactly will energy independence in the US stop their consumption of oil, which is sky rocketing? If it doesn’t, how will you get the reform you’re looking for?

- If corrupt governments in the ME are a threat and bad, why act so indirectly using our demand for oil? If Saudi Arabia just takes our oil money and funds extremist madrases, isn't that the problem, and not the fact that we get oil from them? Why so passive aggressive?

- Nuclear energy could easily sustain most of our energy needs. It goes unmentioned.

Merci pour l'electro

It & My Computer live op RGB festival. I've enjoyed their music, but have found no good source to 'borrow' it. Listen to this live session.


'Mosh' video re-edited

The original cut of the video ended with a shot of an animated Eminem leading a mob to register to vote, but this has been changed now the election has taken place.
Interscope, Eminem's record label, agreed to pay for a new 50-second ending which now features the same mob storming the Capitol during Bush's State Of The Union address. This leads to a shot of Dick Cheney suffering a heart attack.
Anyone have a link? I can't find it.


Decentralizing Bittorrent

Forget the topic... note the cool sig.
"yields a falsehood when preceded by its quotation"
yields a falshood when preceded by its quotation.


Video Interlude

Watch a great series of twenty 3-4 minute animations by the Cartoon Network people, filling the gap between the second and third Star Wars prequals. Far superior in style, dialogue, fight scenes, and every other way to their $200M-U.S. "live action" counterparts, without question. This solidifies my "Lucas Equation," a formulation that holds that any George Lucas seeded endeavor enjoys a creative output inversely proportional to any George Lucas involvement.

Be like me and download Las Guerras Clone on accident. Search Clone Wars with main category Movies. I'd say the Español confusion makes for a far better experience. Hear an animated Padme with improved bust yell, Tres-PO! and 3PO answer, Madre Mio!

MORE dancing robots

I love transformers. I should buy this car just to support the advertising campaign.


$10,000 martini

Parker's ode to the martini adorns hotel napkins: "I love a martini -- but two at the most. Three I'm under the table; Four, I'm under the host."

The Ukraine is Strong

Prepare yourself for a new Ukrainian precedent.