Drink Tank

Extra Aqua Vitae Nulla Salus


Six Finger Discount

Devender Harne, 10, was born with 25 fingers and toes -- six fingers on each hand, six toes on one foot and seven on the other.

Bees Heat Attackers!

At least two species of honeybees there, the native Apis cerana and the introduced European honeybee, Apis mellifera, engulf a wasp in a living ball of defenders and heat the predator to death. A new study of heat balling has described a margin of safety for the defending bees, says Tan Ken of Yunnan Agricultural University in Kunming, China.

Giant Squid Devours Blair

No, seriously.


We did well this month

The Shining

I remember finding it a little boring on repeat viewings, but this amazing trailer makes me want to see it again.

Film recommendation

Perdita Durango | [current events]

Fruitful Union

Google Inc. confirmed Wednesday that it will build up to 1 million square feet of offices at NASA Ames Research Center and collaborate with the space agency on research surrounding topics such as supercomputing that could benefit everything from moon launches to online searches.

The partnership is intended to blend the expertise and huge resources of one of the leading Internet companies with an army of scientists focused on the stratosphere and beyond.

"Google and NASA share a common desire to bring the universe of information to people around the world," said Eric Schmidt, the company's chief executive officer, in a statement. "Imagine having a wide selection of images from the Apollo space mission at your fingertips whenever you want it."

This could be a great way to get normal lay people more interested in space. I already think NASA has a pretty fine online incarnation, and they've definitely been doing their damnedest to get Soccer-Mom Judy to sit down with little Frankie and Jessica to 'steer' the Mars rovers over their cute interactive website, but just imagine how Google can improve this. Maybe one day public interest could actually rise above epsilon exactly at a time when a critical mass of millionaires stimulates the private sector. (Shit, with SpaceShipOne and the recent little Space Elevator success, I reckon we're already in the middle of this critical mass.)

Meanwhile, if nothing else, what better way to improve the dilapidated NASA culture than lessons from one of the most successful companies in the world right now?


My roommate is a "do"


Blunt picked to replace DeLay as US House leader

DeLay said his legal problems will not derail the Republican agenda.

"If the Democrats think we're going to go crawl in a hole and not accomplish our agenda, I wish they could have been a fly on the wall and seen these members come together for a bold and aggressive agenda," he said.

"What I told the members basically was, we all know what this is -- a political witch hunt," he said.
He's probably right. If anyone Republican representatives can recognize a politically motivated witch hunt.

I'm already bored of this story. The more talk about politics, from appointment business to personality trips to indictments, the less talk about policy.

Selfish Gene author on a Dangerous Opiate


Unfortunately, teetotalers are shunned in modern society.

"DeLay indicted, will step aside as majority leader"

I wish he could be indicted for conspiracy to be an ass in declearing an "ongoing victory," saying there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget.

World Beard Championships

Germans have traditionally dominated the competition

American beard team blog


Has anyone seen a trackball-mouse hybrid?

Use the mouse for precision, and the trackball for speed over distance?

I suppose I can take appart some old hardware and play around with this idea.

Tom DeLay Gets DeLayed

As if everyone else on the Internet is not going to be talking about this all day:
A Texas grand jury is deciding whether to indict U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Tom DeLay on conspiracy charges related to fund-raising activities by a political action committee he created, the Austin American-Statesman said on Wednesday.

Living A Nightmare Life

His day begins at 4:30 a.m. The 64-year-old retired math teacher doesn't own a clock or even a watch, but the internal alarm that has kept him alive while so many have starved to death tells him he had better get out to pick grass if his family is to survive.

Soon the streets of his city will be swarming with others doing the same. Some cook the grass to eat. The teacher feeds it to the rabbits his family sells at the market.

At 10 a.m., he eats a modest meal of corn porridge. A late breakfast is best as it allows him and his wife to skip lunch. Then he goes with a hand cart to collect firewood. He has to walk two hours, mostly uphill, to find a patch that has not been stripped bare of vegetation.

"There is no time for rest. If you stand still, you will not survive," said the teacher, a lean, soft-spoken man with salt-and-pepper hair who could be described as elegant if not for his threadbare trousers and his fingernails, as gnarled as oyster shells from chronic malnutrition.

Later, if it is one of the rare evenings when there is electricity, he might indulge in reading Tolstoy. More often than not, he collapses for a few hours of sleep before the routine is replayed for yet another day.

Hey, I Just Learned About A Great New Scam!

This one involves a dream car giveaway and devolves rapidly into an exciting ninety minute presentation...

Coming Soon

original posted by josko @ 8:42 PM Sept. 25, 2005

Update. Here is an interview with boc (thanks Mark). They seem pretty weird and I like it. I hope the new album is good, 'cause I've been waiting a long time and was disappointed with their last one, Geogaddi.

If you go to this website, you can buy one of the tracks from the album (ppsh, yeah right), and link to listen to all of them in shitty RealPlayer (click the top left little album-cover thumbnail and you'll see all the tracks laid out). I listened to all of them, but I won't caste judgment 'till I hear it proper.

Avast Ye! At 9:15 am on September 30 2004, the Giant Squid as we be knowin' 'em changed forever.

A special rig was set up, comprisin' a camera, stroboscope light, timer, depth sensor, data logger and a depth-activated switch attached to two mesh bags filled with a temptin' bait o' freshly mashed shrimps, yarr.

Suspended from floats, the rig was lowered into the icy black depth of the sea on a nylon line, with flash pictures taken every 30 seconds for the next four to five hours.

At that moment, 900 yards down in the Stygian gloom, an eight-yard beast lunged at the lower bait bag, succeedin' only in a gettin' itself impaled on the hook.

For the next four hours, yarr, the mighty sea-beast be a tryin' a get itself off the hook as the camera snapped away every 30 seconds, gainin' not only unprece-dentured pictures but also precious information about how the squid be able to propel itself.

After a monstrous battle, the squid eventually freed itself, but left behind a giant gastly tentacle on the hook...

When the severed limb was brought up to the surface, its huge suckers were still able to grip the boat deck and any fingers that touched them -- testimony indeed to the myths of yore, that spoke of monstrous arms that grabbed ships and hauled them to their doom in Davy Jone's Locker.

The deep-sea pictures suggest that the squid be far from being the "sluggish, neutrally buoyant" creature that it has traditionally been deemed to be.

Quite the opposite, say the Japanese seamen Kubodera and Mori. It be an active predator that attacks its prey horizontally, and its two long sea-legs coil up into a ball after the strike, rather like it the pythons that be rapidly envelopin' their prey in their sinuous curves, says I.



Is The Red Cross A Red Crock?

Just in case you didnt know what to get me for my birthday


Donald Rumsfeld is giving bush his daily briefing, and concludes by
saying, "yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed in a terrible

"OH, NO!" exclaimed bush. "That's terrible!"

His staff is stunned by this display of emotion, and continues watching
nervously as bush sits, head in hands. Finally, bush looks up and asks,
"how many is a brazillion?"

Author's Guild Versus Google

Curious as to what the drinktankers opinions are on all of this. Mine are not much different than the views expressed in the post linked above:
The Authors Guild believes that Google should only scan books belonging to writers that opt in (yeah, right -- and your VCR should only record shows from broadcasters that opt in, and Google should only index web-sites that opt in). An opt-out system such as the one that Google has proposed isn't good enough for the copyright nihilists at the Authors' Guild, who believe that even though the Google Print program will sell more books, it shouldn't be allowed without permission from rightsholders.

An Inside Peek at the Intelligent Design Process

And the Lord God said, “Let there be light,” and lo, there was light. But then the Lord God said, “Wait, what if I make it a sort of rosy, sunset-at-the-beach, filtered half-light, so that everything else I design will look younger?”

“I’m loving that,” said Buddha. “It’s new.”

“You should design a restaurant,” added Allah.

No Direction Home

Watched part one of No Direction Home... pretty good, IMHO.
The best guy is Liam Clancy, who's always filmed with a pint in front of him. In my favorite part so far, he's talking about a song with a full beer in front of him and then it jump cuts and the beer is mostly empty and Clancy is standing up singing and waving his arms around. From linked article:
Irish folk singer Liam Clancy is an absolute hero, a man who listens not to the prevailing winds of passing fancies. Dylan explains on the film how Clancy would sit him down in the White Horse in Greenwich Village, require him to drink 30 pints of Guinness, and then say to him, "Bob - no malice, no fear, no envy." I think that's good advice for us all.

I Just Can't Keep Up With All These Neat Google Inventions

Google-freakin'-Moon, people!

Strange fruit off of trees, sitting in chairs

Death penalty an outlet for societal bloodlust?

If at first you don't succeed

Britain to sack the Iraqi army, again.


"In this place may our fertile tree bloom with fruits in strange elysium, where in the place of the chosen, angels surround the origin".


Holy Shit! I Mean, I Love New Orleans, But Still, Holy Shit!

Louisiana's congressional delegation has requested $40 billion for Army Corps of Engineers projects in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, about 10 times the annual Corps budget for the entire nation, or 16 times the amount the Corps has said it would need to protect New Orleans from a Category 5 hurricane.

Louisiana Sens. David Vitter (R) and Mary Landrieu (D) tucked the request into their $250 billion Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief and Economic Recovery Act, the state's opening salvo in the scramble for federal dollars.

The bill, unveiled last week, would create a powerful "Pelican Commission" controlled by Louisiana residents that would decide which Corps projects to fund, and ordered the commission to consider several controversial navigation projects that have nothing to do with flood protection. The Corps section of the Louisiana bill, which was supported by the entire state delegation, was based on recommendations from a "working group" dominated by lobbyists for ports, shipping firms, energy companies and other corporate interests.

The bill would exempt any Corps projects approved by the commission from provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act. It would also waive the usual Corps cost-sharing requirements, ensuring that federal taxpayers would pay every dime.

With the public eager to help Katrina's victims, President Bush and Congress have already approved $62.3 billion in spending for the Gulf Coast. But some budget hawks are grumbling about the impact on the deficit; the Louisiana delegation's $250 billion bill would cost more than the Louisiana Purchase under the Jefferson administration on an inflation-adjusted basis. Some critics of federal water projects said the $40 billion Corps request could make the delegation look especially greedy and undermine support for the state's reconstruction plans.

On Language

I like langauge.

bakku-shan, a girl who appears hot from behind but not from the front (I guess English has 'butter-face' but that's not quite the same).

There's also katahara itai: the action of laughing so much that the side of your abdomen aches.

This has these and other words with no English equivalent. Maybe one day we'll adopt 'em? Check it out.

"Space elevator robot passes 1,000-foot mark"

Military Dolphins: Armed and Dangerous

This was totally not on porpoise:
It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Drudge Report is dirty right now

Years after Lewinski's cigar, he's still got a hankering to write about snatch...

The Space Review: Review: Magnificent Desolation

Loved Chomsky, Hated Bush

Who knew?
(like all good things on the internet, via sploid)

Deep Throat, Doggy Style

$347.47 billion surplus

Save The Poor Dept.

This should be a new topic on this blog. Oded and Josko, on a delightful but short visit to Boston, incited a good conversation on the topic. I don't think the poor need to be saved from themselves. Oded does.

The link above is to a topic I find very interesting generally: why do people make irrational decisions about insurance? For example, they buy extended warranties on appliances but not on themselves (long term care insurance).

Another general way of asking: when can you trust people to be rational? When can't you?

It would seem people respond to incentives very well. It would seem many don't understand the power of compounding interest, for increased credit card debt, or lack of long-term savings.

Is there a market for very inexpensive financial services? Imagine an internet cafe where, for a small fee, you could get an advisor and MS Money Account. I could train someone with a high-school education to provide advice at minimum wage for a great number of people. It needn't be general, as the best results come from repeated consultation, e.g. working over the course of months to pay down debt.

You could call the shop "free money", if contractually you only get paid a percentage of the growth in net worth.


Who'd Like To Talk To A Beachboy?

More Hot Cop on Cop action

Sheriff's officials deny that the deputies were trying to keep Harris downtown or prevent him from going back to Long Beach.

But LAPD officials and downtown community leaders aren't so sure. They have long been concerned about the possibility of dumping by other agencies — so much so that for several months, officers patrolling downtown have been under orders to stop and question any out-of-town police car they see cruising the area.

Smith said they enacted the policy after his officers reported seeing police cars from far-flung communities in the San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley and South Bay letting people off in downtown.

'Downtown Los Angeles is just not positioned to be the solution for every other city in L.A. County and the state parole system,' said Councilwoman Jan Perry, who represents most of downtown Los Angeles.

Dumping criminals, homeless and mentally ill people downtown has long been discussed as a problem, but even the most vocal critics have yet to prove a conspiracy by outside police departments."

Hot Cop on Cop Action!!!

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A University of Central Florida police officer was shot to death by an Orlando police officer outside the Citrus Bowl as fans were arriving for a college football game Saturday, authorities said.

Dennis Smith, a reserve officer for the Orlando Police Department who had retired after 25 years on the force, was put on administrative leave after shooting Mario Jenkins before the University of Central Florida's football home opener.

Jenkins, an undercover officer working with state agents to stop illegal drinking, was a four-year veteran with the university police who was in his late 20s.

Witnesses told the Orlando Sentinel that the incident started with Jenkins breaking up a tailgate party. When he encountered resistance, they said, he fired three shots into the air. Smith then saw Jenkins with the gun and shot him several times, the newspaper said.

Authorities believed a third person was involved, said Barbara Jones, spokeswoman for the Orlando Police Department. Jones refused to say if the person was injured.

A UCF student also was wounded in the fracas and was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center.

The shooting occurred before the University of Central Florida's victory over Marshall University.

'It's pretty freaky. You don't think you would see this at a UCF game,"



Today's Nigerian Witchcraft Mob Story

This type of behavior keeps popping up in the news:
A mob in northern Nigeria has beaten to death a man who police say confessed to involvement in ritual murders.

How to make $2,000,000,000 from booze

Seems like "the first one's free" is an important part of this business.

Let's give the English the benefit of the doubt

Here's a lot of speculation that the British are acting as agents provacatuers, but anyone can speculate, right?

What about if these soldiers were peace loving British Special Forces on a legitimate Operation Iraqi Freedom school-painting mission, and they were captured by al Qaeda? Dressing them up in offensive wigs, giving them explosives and detonators, and "capturing" them would be a pretty good tactic, right? Better than decapitation.

Still no convincing explanation for any of this... probably never will be.

Minotaur Missile Light Show

Made a post on my blog about the light show created by this evening's Minotaur missile launch:


Not a bad way to get things kicked off on a Thursday night.


Markets at Google

A cool post on the official Google blog about how they have created internal predictive markets. Also this cool Idea Futures Market software on sourceforge.net seems pretty nice...wish I had more time to talk about this but I am burnt for the day. More fun tomorrow.

Leave No Pet Behind

For your own sake, avert your eyes...

...if you are still bored of politics and amazed that one could question how hot markets are.

I've heard it asserted before that the airline industry is an 11 or 12 figure money loser over aviation's history, and I find that easy to believe. I got the New York Observer for the 1st time in a few years this morning and there's a good article called There’s No Free Market At America’s Airports. I'm not sure if it's so horrible that transportation is so heavily publicly subsidized, but I do think it raises the question of what society would look like if not for massive collective investment in this area...
The airline industry has never drawn an unsubsidized breath. The development costs for passenger aircraft and their avionics have been paid for, directly or indirectly, as a national-defense gimmick for a century, and we will not even venture a guess as to what it would have cost the industry (even if it had had the money) to build the airports.

It's ineffecient, but if we were to halt the spending referenced above, or choose not to keep Delta/ Northwest in the air, etc. would our economy suffer because these things really are public goods? I kind of think so.

Also, these realities are why I tend to regard free market rhetoric as empty sloganeering (and I find it doubly frustrating how often it comes from politicians I regard as tax raising maniacs.)

Some videos

Have you all seen the Wendy's how-to-cook-a-burger rap video? It was new to me.

I got this Presidential speechwriter skit IMed to me this morning; looks like SNL or something; pretty funny.

Try the "Watch Preview" button on Doggie Poo. Looks interesting, but is it empathising or making fun of feeling like a piece of shit? My roommate has it coming on his Netflix account.

Sentry Gun

This is awesome.

They need to do auto-tracking with a human in the loop to say "go".

Lunar Lift

Interesting idea to build a space elevator on the moon. It would then be cheaper to send material into Earth's orbit from the moon than from the earth.

Further, you wouldn't need carbon nano-tubes because the moon is so much less massive.

Further, an easily available supply of Helium-3 on the moon could power all of the US.


Riddle me this...

Does this "employment" site make you want to work at Sarcos?


KFA Forum

"Can we not complain to someone about such slander? Why has not the KCNA denounced this piece of capitalist propaganda? To think that they make light of the general and debase his greatness!"

Go here to get some background.

From The Department Of Perfunctory Torture

"He said it was a cheap little alarm clock and that there was no reason to lie," Mr. Qin said. "I should just confess. Then everyone could go home."

Mr. Qin said he hoped his detention really was prompted by a petty theft. But instinct told him not to admit stealing something he did not steal. So the pressure intensified.

Mr. Shen organized four teams of two policemen each. The teams interrogated Mr. Qin in consecutive six-hour shifts, day and night, for three days.

The questioning quickly turned to torture.

... ...The technique is known as "tiger stool."

... ... This was referred to as "taking a jet plane."

... ...They referred to this as "circling the pig."

By his third day in detention, he said, he felt delirious. "It would take a superman to resist," he recalled.

Zoo is the New Prison

I am assuming that this is at the Zooloski Vrt in Maksimir:
A Croatian zoo is offering visitors "the complete animal experience" by locking them up in cages.

Today's Giant Pink Rabbit Story

An enormous pink bunny has been erected on an Italian mountainside where it will stay for the next 20 years.

Relief Workers: If We Don't Engage In Debauchery, Then The Terrorists And God Have Truly Won

We all must do our part to show God just how foolish is His plan to annihilate the money-lenders, sodomites, and other hedonists. That is why I spent so much money on alcohol and fantastic curse-laden hip-hop remixes two Sundays ago. Congradulations again Miguel and Oded!

Pledge of allegiance | Samizdata.net

I pledge allegiance to the curve
Of supply and demand in equilibrium
And to the principle for which it stands
Market pricing, with low transaction costs
Yields utility and profit for all
original posted by Ivan @ 1:53 PM

This thread is so radioactive that I think it warrants a resurgence. --josko

Drugs Are Bad, Mmkay? Drugs'll Get You Fired, Mmkay?

In a move with little precedent in the fashion industry, Kate Moss, one of the world's most recognizable models, was dismissed from a planned advertising campaign yesterday after executives said she had admitted to recently using cocaine.

H&M, Europe's largest clothing chain with 78 stores in the United States, had photographed Ms. Moss to promote the global introduction in November of a fashion collection designed by Stella McCartney. But a spokeswoman for H&M said the campaign was canceled after Ms. Moss told store executives in New York that a report of her drug use in a London newspaper was correct.

"If someone is going to be the face of H&M," the spokeswoman, Jennifer Uglialoro, said, "it is important they be healthy, wholesome and sound."

By the way, these are a steal.

Okay, Now These Tit-for-tat Retaliatory Import Quotas And Tarrifs Are Getting Personal

Kobe beef should stay off U.S. menus if Japan won't buy American beef, the Senate has decided.

Senators retaliated Tuesday against Japan for refusing to lift a mad cow-related ban on U.S. beef. On a 72-26 vote, the Senate adopted an amendment prohibiting importation of Japanese beef until Japan lifts its ban.

Japan's stalling is unfair, said Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., who offered the amendment.

Moon Life

Whether or not there is frozen water is at the poles, and whether or not the Moon was formed from a giant impact, Paul Spudis and nearly all lunar scientists and enthusiasts agree: Life on Earth would not be the same without the Moon, and understanding it better explains life here on Earth.

Spudis points out that without the Moon's stabilizing effect on the Earth's rotational axis, life on Earth would experience extreme climate changes and also wouldn't have evolution-catalyzing tides in the oceans.

"Without the Moon we may have evolved into an intelligent race of dolphins," Spudis conjectured, only half jokingly. "And with fins instead of thumbs, we may not have had a Saturn V rocket to ever get to the Moon in the first place."


Get blown away


There was a lot of discussion as to whether it'd be in bad taste to serve Hurricanes at our benefit. I was all for it, but we ended up deciding "better safe than sorry" and tried to be a little more inoffensive. I see nothing wrong with the actions of these so-called "sleazy" lawyers.

Well, So Much For That

NORTH KOREA dismissed a deal to give up its nuclear arms programme just one day after it was struck, with a vow to keep the weapons until Washington allows for the provision of civilian atomic reactors.


We've been dancing around the question of who we're fighting in Iraq and what motivates them a little bit here and here. But I never thought to suggest (even though I'm quite a war skeptic) that the terrorists we hear about attacking Iraqi police and civilians are British Special Forces.
They had been wearing Arab clothes when they were arrested in the southern city by a Shia militia loyal to the Iraqi government.

The militia accused them of shooting at policemen who approached them.

Click through to linked article to see a picture of a (different) English soldier on fire as he jumps out of the tank that the British troops used to break their special ops out of jail with.
UPDATE: Sploid has more info & pictures and has it right when they say it's "the most outrageous story from the Iraq occupation since Abu Ghraib." We've been told we're there to prevent a civil war...

Students for an Orwellian Society

Students for an Orwellian Society:
Students for an Orwellian Society (SOS) is a nationwide student group. Although SOS has always been a nationwide student group, there is evidence to suggest that it first appeared at Columbia University. The mission of SOS is to promote the vision of a society based upon the principles of Ingsoc, first articulated by George Orwell in his prophetic novel, 1984.
War is Peace, kid.

Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it never really care for anything else

History's greatest man hunter died today.

This crazy guy is going away for a while.

This is going to the top of my queue. Comments for other man-hunting movies/ stories/ etc...


Blog Of The Week

An example. Scroll down and see the awesome charts they have that sum up the procedure graphically.

ponystan is more like it.

Grover Norquist, a leading advocate of substantially reducing the federal government, argued that the disaster only underlined the need for more tax cuts to spur the economy.

Jeb Bush's Magic Warrior Friend

What do you guys think?

i love the british

you're a "a drink-soaked, former Trotskyist popinjay" oh yea well everything you just said is "sinister piffle, masochism offered to you by a sadist."

Lights On, Lights Off

This is fucked up. plain and simple.

Drink news

John Kerry to poke fun at the President's alcoholism today.

Bushistan a great bargain at only $200 billion

Who knew a market paradise could be built right here in the USA for so little?

[Wall Street Journal report]

Eliminating wage protection, liability, taxes for the wealthy, etc. in a disaster area is an especially clever move by conservatives, since in any cases where it doesn't seem to work, Katrina can be blamed.

Fuzzy Math

30 months later, US starts releasing official #s. Good news: while insurgents claim about 450 kills over the last two weeks, the US boasts that we've killed/captured three times that many insurgents over the same period. Bad news: not all numbers necessarily line up.
Since 2003, U.S. forces have detained 40,000 people, twice U.S. generals' highest public estimate of the number of fighters in the insurgency.

BTW, if anyone wants to talk about this in comments, you know how to talk, right?

Team America a reality?

North Korea disarms

Condi Rice & GW Bush play the roles originally performed by Susan Sarandon and Michael Moore, as negotiations "move forward."

Pork Reports from The Heritage Foundation

I'm listening to a Felix Da Housecat's "Silver Screen Shower Scene (LRD Remix)", which has a solid beat. Go to this blog, turn on a housey song, and use your scroll wheel to go down one post per beat.

Watching the millions fly-by is kinda crazy.

That you could play a song for an entire year and get at least $50K/beat in federal spending is mind blowing. Forget the drugs next time you go clubbing, just think about a 110lb. sack of dollar bills raining down on you at every beat.

My Posts Today Get Weirder And Weirder

Read this article. Some highlights:

Your face will be removed and replaced with one donated from a cadaver, matched for tissue type, age, sex and skin color. Surgery should last 8 to 10 hours; the hospital stay, 10 to 14 days.

Complications could include infections that turn your new face black and require a second transplant or reconstruction with skin grafts. Drugs to prevent rejection will be needed lifelong, and they raise the risk of kidney damage and cancer.

After the transplant you might feel remorse, disappointment, or grief or guilt toward the donor. The clinic will try to shield your identity, but the press likely will discover it.


Matthew Teffeteller might seem an ideal candidate.

Hair is driving him crazy. What used to be a beard can't grow through the skin-graft quilt that Vanderbilt University doctors stitched over parts of his face that were seared off in a car crash. Trapped under this crust, hair festers, leading to staph infections, pain and more surgeries.

"It's a nightmare and it never ends," he said. "Being burned is the worst thing that can happen to you. I'm about sure of it."

Teffeteller, 26, lives south of Knoxville, in the foothills of Great Smoky Mountains National Park where he worked, ironically, as a fire fighter. The day after Valentine's Day in 2002, he was taking his pregnant wife to buy a cowboy hat and go country line dancing to celebrate their first anniversary.

"The next thing I remember, everything just went all to pieces...there was a big explosion. I remember seeing gas splash off of the windshield," he said.

Rear-ended by a truck, his car flipped and caught on fire. His wife died. He was burned trying to free her.

"They said my face was charcoal black," he said.

He didn't see it for two months, until he glimpsed a mirror on his way to therapy.

"Oh, my God," he thought. "I remember seeing my eyes pulled open. I remember my ears were burned off, and I remember my bottom lip being pulled down."

Three years later, his face still frightens children. Yet he wouldn't try a transplant.

"Having somebody else's face ... that wouldn't be right. When I look in the mirror, I might be scarred but I can still tell that it's me," he said.

"I'd be afraid something would go wrong, too. What would you do if you didn't have a face? Could you live?"


Holy Shit, It's Real! Part 2

This mutt got an arrow right through his head and was up and about playing fetch the next day. True story.
I saw this when I was looking for a certain Do on the Vice website, from an article about the greatness of mutts (people, dogs, etc.) . It comes to show that dogs are the true uber-being on this planet.

"Gamblers Seen As Superstitious And Stimulus Cravers"

Holy Shit, It's Real!

An update.
We didn’t claw our way to the top of the razor game by clinging to the two-blade industry standard. We got here by taking chances. Well, five blades is the biggest chance of all. That’s right, this is our chance to make razor history. Let’s dream big. All you have to do is say that five blades can happen, and it will happen.
Fuck yeah!

Who yah gonna call?


SO THE EARLIER PORK POST -- in which various bloggers posted and emailed about pork in their states -- looked kind of promising, and N.Z. Bear and I got together to figure out a way to take it up a notch.
How are we going to mobilize the blogosphere in support of cuts in wasteful spending to support Katrina relief? Here's the plan.

Identify some wasteful spending in your state or (even better) Congressional District. Put up a blog post on it. Go to N.Z. Bear's new PorkBusters page and list the pork, and add a link to your post.

Then call your Senators and Representative and ask them if they're willing to support having that program cut or -- failing that -- what else they're willing to cut in order to fund Katrina relief. (Be polite, identify yourself as a local blogger and let them know you're going to post the response on your blog). Post the results. Then go back to NZ Bear's page and post a link to your followup blog post.

The result should be a pretty good resource of dubious spending, and Congressional comments thereon, for review by blogs, members of the media, etc. And maybe even members of Congress looking for wasteful spending . . . .
Feel free to copy the cool logo by Stacy Tabb (or this larger version) and use it on your own posts.
Technorati tag: porkbusters.

Considering this blog covers 3 states, it should be easy to find something to post about. Follow the title link to see all his links. I think this is a very good idea.

It would be a work of political genius if Bush managed to get an equal amount of permanent funding cut to pay for a temporary program. Given the record, I'm not confident. Mapping the decisions to your local governors, senators, and representatives directly should help.

What will keep the local systems in line?

Fear of this blogosphere.

[heh, sorry, had to do it. You can't say the phrase 'local governors' without thinking it.]


Who Can Civilize The Chinaman?

It would appear the Chinese are up to the task:
Even Miss Manners might blanch at the task at hand: charm school for a billion people, a good number of them convinced that life means never having to say you're sorry, excuse me or thank you.

This is no tutorial on fish forks. In advance of the 2008 Olympics, the government has embarked on a crash campaign to instill manners in the world's most populous country. The effort has left government planners struggling to break some deeply entrenched habits, including public spitting and urinating, driving that evokes a "Road Warrior" set, and an inordinate fondness for cutting in line.

It also used to be much better. Historians note that China — a nation that perfected the subtleties of good taste and behavior thousands of years ago — now finds itself lagging. Some attribute this to poverty, limited education and the eradication of an upper class, the traditional champion of good manners.

Others point to the enormous imprint of Mao Tse-tung, a man who often enjoyed flouting convention. "Some people might have considered him coarse and vulgar," American reporter Edgar Snow said of Mao in his landmark 1938 book, "Red Star Over China."
Snow described how Mao would scratch himself, remove his clothes and conduct meetings naked when he felt hot, and on occasion "absent-mindedly turn down the belt of his trousers and search for some guests," namely lice and fleas.
In 1972, Mao attended the funeral of Marshal Chen Yi in his pajamas. And in 1954, he met former British Prime Minister Clement Attlee wearing worn trousers that were patched on the backside. Advised by an aide that he might want to wear a new pair, according to a biography by historian Chen Jin, he replied: "It doesn't matter. Who will look at my bottom?"

During the Cultural Revolution, it was a compliment to be called dalaocu, or big, rude guy, as leaders sought to upend anything associated with tradition. Nor were manners the only thing destroyed during those years, said Guo Shixing, author of a 1999 play about disrespect titled "Bad Words Street." By stripping away civility, China often destroyed the fundamental trust between people, a legacy its society is still paying for.

Today, wealth has come so rapidly to some Chinese that they haven't had time to absorb it. "You see people, yesterday they couldn't eat, overnight they're millionaires," said June Yamada, dean of a Shanghai-based "school of elegance" and author of an etiquette bestseller titled "Tell It Like It Is, June." "They have no education, but they have money. They still forget to take a bath for three days."
Hmm, am I to understand I ought bathe MORE than every three days? *Ptttoooeee*

Charge It To The Game

I like that they refer to him as 'power dressing' - funny:
An Australian man built up a 40,000-volt charge of static electricity in his clothes as he walked, leaving a trail of scorched carpet and molten plastic and forcing firefighters to evacuate a building.


$62,000,000,000 cuts

A lot?

Not compared to $2,338 ,000,000,000

"Tony Blair Pulls the Plug on Kyoto at Clinton Summit"


Some New Magic: The Gathering Cards

Billed as Katrina: The Gathering. I am stunned at the amount of work this must have taken.

Zombie Infection Simulation

So i've been seriously thinking about making a zombie simulation program.

Then I do google search and find this site.

This is also interesting. Here is the wiki.


Infidel Tees

I'm gonna buy a ton of these

Mayang's Free Texture Library

Bill Maher's newest rule

Mr. President, this job can't be fun for you any more. There's no more
money to spend--you used up all of that. You can't start another war
because you used up the army. And now, darn the luck, the rest of your term
has become the Bush family nightmare: helping poor people. Listen to your
Mom. The cupboard's bare, the credit cards maxed out. No one's speaking to
you. Mission accomplished.

Now it's time to do what you've always done best: lose interest and walk
away. Like you did with your military service and the oil company and the
baseball team. It's time. Time to move on and try the next fantasy job. How
about cowboy or space man? Now I know what you're saying: there's so many
other things that you as President could involve yourself in. Please don't.
I know, I know. There's a lot left to do. There's a war with Venezuela.
Eliminating the sales tax on yachts. Turning the space program over to the
church. And Social Security to Fannie Mae. Giving embryos the vote.

But, Sir, none of that is going to happen now. Why? Because you govern like
Billy Joel drives. You've performed so poorly I'm surprised that you
haven't given yourself a medal. You're a catastrophe that walks like a man.
Herbert Hoover was a shitty president, but even he never conceded an entire
city to rising water and snakes.

On your watch, we've lost almost all of our allies, the surplus, four
airliners, two trade centers, a piece of the Pentagon and the City of New
Orleans. Maybe you're just not lucky. I'm not saying you don't love this
country. I'm just wondering how much worse it could be if you were on the
other side.

So, yes, God does speak to you. What he is saying is: " Take a hint. "

Where Does Spam Come From?

A Google Maps visualization of where your spam is produced!

Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades

Would someone tell me how this happened? We were the fucking vanguard of shaving in this country. The Gillette Mach3 was the razor to own. Then the other guy came out with a three-blade razor. Were we scared? Hell, no. Because we hit back with a little thing called the Mach3Turbo. That's three blades and an aloe strip. For moisture. But you know what happened next? Shut up, I'm telling you what happened—the bastards went to four blades. Now we're standing around with our cocks in our hands, selling three blades and a strip. Moisture or no, suddenly we're the chumps. Well, fuck it. We're going to five blades.

This is why I only shave once a week. I can't stand the constant drama!


"Terri Schiavo was not kept alive; she was aborted in the 169th trimester, even though that was not her mother's choice."

I'm not sure if they're insane, but this is hilarious, no matter what they're trying to say.

I know how he must have felt.

Critical Mass

Toyota sees 100% hybrid vehicle lineup. Record fuel prices will shrink demand for its conventional cars, automaker contends.

Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. said all its vehicles will eventually be run by hybrid gasoline-electric motors, as record fuel prices curb demand for conventional automobiles.

"In the future, the cars you see from Toyota will be 100 percent hybrid," Executive Vice President Kazuo Okamoto told reporters, without giving a time frame.

Japan's biggest carmaker is aiming to make as many as 400,000 gasoline-electric vehicles in 2006, including Prius cars, Camry sedans, Highlander sport-utility vehicles and Coaster buses.

Other car companies are bound to notice and most likely follow suit. Better now than when an abrupt simultaneous shift from fossile fuels by all sectors would torpedo* the world's economy.

*BONUS fun fact: did you know the torpedo was invented by a Croatian?

MJ In NC To Prevent Another NOLA



Rampaging Sea Lions Sink Boat

Gets my vote for 'article of the week.'
Think of them as amphibious sumo wrestlers. A pack of rowdy sea lions has invaded Newport Harbor, sinking boats, thrashing docks and, with their nonstop barking, turning residents into sleepless zombies.
Mutant animals and zombies. Case closed.

Eminent Domain Can Kiss My Eminent Ass

This is the first thing I've read about the Roberts nomination that has piqued my interest whatsoever:
John G. Roberts Jr. today told senators weighing his nomination to be chief justice that it is "very appropriate" for Congress to consider legislation that would counter a recent Supreme Court ruling that allows cities to seize private property in the interest of private economic development.
It's a good start.

Google Launches Blog Search

Today's blogosphere related hot topic.

Great News!

Government running at peak efficiency. The house majority leader deserves great praise for this accomplishment.

I've Gotta Give Him Props For This

Like most Americans, I am not the biggest fan of George W. Bush, but I can definitely commend him for being a man and taking responsibility on the Katrina affair, rather then continuing to point fingers(which is common to most people in politics - not just George):
With a rare but simple declaration - "I take responsibility" - President George W. Bush said for the first time yesterday that he would bear the blame for mistakes in the widely criticized federal response to Hurricane Katrina.
To me, admitting your mistakes, your weaknesses is a good first step towards making improvements and I have to give him props for taking the hard path on this one.

As Truman said: "The buck stops here."


Josko Says It With Authority, 'Cause The Crackaz On The Street, Is The Minority

New York Non-Hispanic Whites May Be Election Minority, NYT Says
By Vivek Shankar
Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) -- New York's non-Hispanic whites are projected to be a minority of those voting in a mayoral general election, the New York Times reported. Rodriguez is the most common surname among the city's voters, the Times said, citing a study by John H. Mollenkopf, director of the Center for Urban Research at the City University of New York Graduate Center.
Non-Hispanic whites constituted 56 percent on the city's electorate in 1989, 55 percent in 1993, 53 percent in 1997 and 52 percent in 2001, the Times said, citing exit polls taken at the time.

45 Bodies Are Found in a New Orleans Hospital

"The bodies of 45 people have been found in a flooded uptown hospital here, officials said Monday, sharply increasing the death toll from Hurricane Katrina and raising new questions about the breakdown of the evacuation system as the disaster unfolded."

I thought the death toll was less than 500. The revision down from 10,000+ is good, but it mainly raises new questions about reporting and sources.

But, I don't disagree that almost everything you find in the UK sized disaster zones raises questions about disaster preparedness. One big question: will people still rely on government? Not just for themselves: will people trust the government to do good for those who couldn't help themselves?

Given the history of the "war on poverty", I don't.



As has been observed, the fewer people read an op-ed, the less important it is. If you need to pay to read it, fewer people will, then it will be less important, then fewer people will pay…

I'm surprised too see this move towards true irrelevance.

My Hip Hurts

" Large Portion of Los Angeles Loses Power"

Did this affect anyone you know?

Power Down in Los Angeles

Hey, who turned out the lights?

Bush: The Worst Disaster in U.S. History

The Belmont Club: Tal-Afar

Interesting reading. The commentary at the end is also interesting.

I am certain the idea I'm about to propose is a way, way too touchy to be taken seriously, but I'd be interested in a simulation of the insurgency, man-on-the-street, and coalition forces in Iraq. It would be a sims-meets-battlefield_1942-meets_GTA where playing the insurgent means convincing goons to attack coalition forces or civilians, playing an average joe means doing nothing, getting a AK and taking control of your neighborhood, or joining the insurgents. Being a soldier (coalition or Iraqi national guard) would be a lot like counter-strike at times, but also like the sims, e.g. make a friend and they might get your back in a street fight.

It would have to be a lot like counter-strike with people who are realistically sensitive to bullets and the like.

Just an idea…

I'd also like to see a non-video game simulation of the world economy. Make plausible models of corporate governance from past actions and such. Use as many demographics as you can to simulate different types of individual behavior, etc. For instance, if you live in city N, and earn income X, the chance you will commit a crime and go to jail is P. Could you get any macro data from 6 billion agents? What about just America?

For instance, how would house building/buying homes be affected by enacting a flat-tax where capital investments are deductible, but mortgage interest isn't? I wonder if there is any such massive simulation done today. Probably not. The overhead alone would be difficult. You could also make it an opt-in MMORPG where people play themselves. It could hook into quicken or MS Money to track your basic decision making and all your investments/loans, with the benefit of seeing how you fit into the grand scheme of things.

The biggest failings would be an inability to predict innovation, creativity, and irrational group choices.

Meat Free Balls

They'll Get Clowned

Come on now guys, you should know better:
A suspected new al-Qaida videotape that singles out two cities – including Los Angeles – as likely targets for terrorism surfaced over the weekend, a dose of chilling propaganda apparently timed to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Pressurized Water Nuclear Reactor

With a mention to Raiders Of the Lost Ark, you have to read it.

In a word...



Pajamas Media: Never Forget

Look at that destruction, that massive, senseless, cruel loss of human life ... and then I ask you to look in your hearts and recognize that there is no room for neutrality on the issue of terrorism. You're either with civilization or with terrorists.

On one side is democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human life; on the other is tyranny, arbitrary executions, and mass murder.

We're right and they're wrong. It's as simple as that.

-- Rudy Giulani, October 1, 2001


What do you think caused that background scuffling?

When a Vice President's public relations trip inconveniences you, disaster victim, you can expect to be cuffed and held at gunpoint while the responsible grown up in the administration wears a shit eating grin on camera.



A new study out of the UK suggests that terrestrial sinks across the planet are mopping up much less carbon than predicted, on balance, and so the planet may warm at an even faster rate than expected. The study focused on the carbon content in soil at 6000 sites in the UK between 1978 and 2003 and found that the soil released the equivalent of 8% of the UK's total 1990 carbon dioxide emissions. These emissions are more than the entire reduction in emissions the UK has achieved between 1990 and 2002 as part of its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol. This would effectively cancel out the UK's recent successes in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and would have wider global implications as well.


And The Award For History's Greatest Philosopher Goes To...


Regrets, I've had a few

Powell regrets UN speech on Iraq WMDs.

Some members of the US intelligence community "knew at that time that some of these sources were not good, and shouldn't be relied upon, and they didn't speak up," Mr Powell said.

"These are not senior people, but these are people who were aware that some of these resources should not be considered reliable," he said.

"I was enormously disappointed."
Me too.

Minnesota Trivial Pursuit

If (as I once did) you ever find yourself playing this game, when you're asked what the governor did to deal with the horrible devestation caused by locusts in 1876 and 1877, the answer is: declare a statewide day of prayer. I guessed wrong, and later thought it was a funny answer that reminded me of how silly official life was in the olden days. Things haven't much changed.


Leon Kass Leaves Bioethics Council

Bad news.


The thing about the joke is that it's really about the performer, not the punchline


People's Daily Online

Lester Brown, who scared the world by asking "Who will feed China" in 1994, said today that, "the United States has become the greatest threat to world energy."

Brown, president and founder of the Earth Policy Institute, based in the United States, called for the China to give up its model of economic development, which evolved in the United States and is characterized by inefficiency and pollution.

"The fossil-fuel based, auto-centered economy of the United States threatens not only the world energy supply, but also the climate," said Brown, during his stay in Beijing to attend the "Twenty First Forum," in an exclusive interview with Xinhua which sharply criticized US energy policy.
As you could have guessed, I don't agree. China can't afford NOT to follow the US model. With wealth, comes the ability to pay for more advanced technologies. Wealth literally brings environmental health. Just compare (though these might be old numbers) the burning of coal in the US & China. The US produces 4 times the energy with half the pollution and twice the coal as China does.

Further, as I like to point out, "energy policy" isn't just about the government. It's about what the people choose as they become more interested in conservation. Judging from the growing number of Priuses in Boston, I'm confident the change will impress everyone.




Vice President's portfolio up by about 10%. Would that our leaders profited from American achievements instead of calamity and misery.

This is on Sploid right now, backing up most of the facts in an inflamatory article I saw yesterday in the Village Voice.

The very first thing George W. Bush did in response to Hurricane Katrina was to offer a helping hand—not to the people stranded on rooftops in New Orleans, but to his friends in the oil industry.

I'll believe that. The oil industry is surely filled with the same type of storybook villians we saw at Enron; a reckoning for them would be most welcome.

Required Reading

I'd like an easy to access list of links to good articles on very straightforward topics.

The economic ignorance of a fellow at work motivated me to include one on "price gougers".

I'll be adding to the list older articles I really liked and new ones as I find them.

The format is very different from a blog, and I hope they compliment each other.

A digital home

I'm sorry, Economist Writers, I can't pay attention to your article about the demand (or lack there of) by consumers for uber entertainment centers. I'm too busy fantasizing about humanoid mecha-entertaina-bots battling to see which will have the privilege to entertain me.


Washington post lieing for the man yet again

"NEW YORK In its Sunday edition, the Washington Post quoted a 'senior Bush official' who said that 'as of Saturday [Louisiana Governor] Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency.' This, of course, was meant to make the governor look foolish and spread the blame around for the disastrous response to the disaster, though it was hard to imagine on what grounds the newspaper would quote an unnamed source in this case.

Several hours of blogosphere howling ensued. Later in the day, the Post ran this correction, or rather, 180-degree turn:

'A Sept. 4 article on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina incorrectly said that Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D) had not declared a state of emergency. She declared an emergency on Aug. 26.' "

Frustrated: Fire crews to hand out fliers for FEMA

Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers.
Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations officers for FEMA


Dawkins On 'Intelligent Design'

Accepting 'intelligent design' in science classrooms would have disastrous consequences, warn Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne

Brooklyn Bayou

Oded and I are helping to organize a hurricane relief fundraiser, and would very much appreciate it if you could come. It's going to be held this Sunday, September 11, at Low Bar in DUMBO where my roommates work, and where the owners have agreed to let us use their space. We will be raising money for the Red Cross, and I'd be very pleased if you would contribute at our event. There will be DJs and live music, interrupted only by our MC (Oded) repeatedly asking for you to give charitably. The proceeds from the bar, donation box, and auction will be going to charity. In addition, a number of businesses and individuals have donated valuables to be auctioned off (training at Gleason's Gym, various artworks, etc.)

More info is at our webpage, with the easy-to-remember URL brooklynbayou.com

Again, it'd be great if you could come; feel free to reply with questions, suggestions, etc. We're still trying to get contributions for our silent auction, so if you know of any opportunities for that, we'd love to hear about it (email sent to donate@brooklynbayou.com goes to Oded, Paul and myself). Hope you had a nice holiday weekend, and I hope to see you and any friends you'd like to bring next weekend around 7pm.

Charles Murray Re-enters Great American Inequality Debate

Ever read "super taboo"? This is an even bigger taboo.

I'm more interested in the fact that the taboo exists than believing the controversial ideas.

But the comments mention an interesting idea, independent of race: try to correlate high intelligence with genetic markers. Then make a [insert biotech-geek-speak] therapy to strengthen/express such genetic markers.

I'm been told even a slight increase in IQ (even for a minority of the population) has a huge, nonlinear effect on GDP.

All in all, this is the same complaint as I'm sure I've mentioned before: "why isn't there a smart-pill without significant long or short term side effects?"

Solar Tower video

More info here

Rice on foreign government aid

Duct Tape and NASA



YES! It's about time "MacGuyvering" became a verb!


Doom - Trailer - Large

Dude, they're actually putting in some first person perspective.

Too bad they glossed over the whole "hell" thing, as the trailer makes it seem just like genetic anomalies.

French jokes

Here's a new idea for our blog. This is a good one:

Bush et Blair sont en grande discussion lorsque Chirac arrive.
- Vous semblez très occupés, chers collègues...
- On est en train de préparer la troisième guerre mondiale.
- On n'a pas encor e décidé les détails, mais le but est d'exterminer 140 milliers de musulmans et un informaticien.
- Un informaticien? Pourquoi voulez-vous exterminer un informaticien?

Blair regarde Bush :
- Tu vois ce que je disais? Personne ne nous posera de questions sur les 140 milliers de musulmans!!



Some reaction

Wow, I know articles can give misleading views and misquotes, but my gut reaction to some of the comments is 'fuck off'.


While Rome Burns ...

Does it seem like Bush has senioritis to anybody?

Inteligent Design...litteraly

Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.

Micheal Yon

If the above linked story about the "embedded blogger" Micheal Yon is interesting, read his blog. I like it a lot.

Electric Motorscooters and Motorcycles

Idea: slap an ultra-light enclosure on this for safety and streamlined efficiency, sell to people who have short commutes.

A few thousand dollars, recharging while at work and home for pennies, covered, and zero emissions.

Offset the increased weight from the cover and relatively short range with more batteries and a photovoltaic cell for good measure.

A happy thought

Overheard at my subway station, a man talking to no one in particular.
Tupac shot Suge! He's alive, son! Yea, Makaveli!

To my knowledge, police have made little headway investigating the shooting.