Drink Tank

Extra Aqua Vitae Nulla Salus


Sugar Free Sour Gummi Worms

"Excessive consumption may have laxative effects."

Robot Videos

A good collection.

Kung Fu demonstration in Beijing. - Google Video

Go Pajarito!

I've been to this stadium, and the show they put on is fun to watch at first, but gets depressing as bull after bull is tortured (to get them angry) and then killed. By the end I was hoping to see something like this.

[Click to see "Little Bird" fly into the stands and attack the people with the best seats in the house]

OIC, Arab League Seek UN Resolution on Cartoons

Wow. People should relax and share a Tuborg.

pee-tree by Joanita Herrenknecht


"vodka is like coffee -- it's great, but it doesn't belong in a martini."

National Recreation Crisis!

While health care costs are undeniably rising fast, this is not necessarily a sign of something wrong with the system. It could simply be a reflection of the legitimate preferences of an increasingly wealthy nation. After all, once basic necessities are met, it is reasonable to assume that an increasing share of each extra dollar earned will go to things that improve quality of life, like health care, beauty aids, or recreation.

In fact, that is what has been happening. Over the past 20 years, spending on recreation, health clubs, even lawyers, has climbed at about the same rate as health care. (See Table 1.) Yet nobody talks about a national health club crisis, or the need to reform the nation’s recreation industry.

Sears & Progress

Take a Sears Catalogue from 1975. Take one from today. Normalize the prices of comparable goods by the average hourly nominal earning of production workers at the time.

Translation: how much could you buy for an hour's labor?

The answer is that you can buy a whole hellava lot more today on the average dime.

Pretty predictable if you don't forcast doom & gloom in terms of relative incomes. Things are getting better -- faster today than yesterday.

This makes me happy.


The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny



Productivity is the story of the human race. Almost every significant change in history can be tied to it.

The recent story for the past decade is the insane boost to productivity from ITC.

aol sucks - Google Search

I just waited on hold for 30 minutes because AOL is charging my credit card for an account I don't have.

These issues aside, I'd simple like to relate to you how satisfying it was when the aol-dude said, "And I'm surprised to see here on your account that you currently don't subscribe to AOL's excellent internet services"

To which I replied, "It is no surprise at all: AOL has horrible service".

330 MPG

Effectively a covered motorcycle with a hybrid diesel engine. If it burns biodiesel, you could use zero petroleum products. The epic question lingers: will it have an ipod input for the stereo?

SupersizedMeals.com - Foodstuffs of Epic Proportions

A gentleman's blog.

p.s. blogger's spell check thinks "blog" is misspelled. useless.

'Baby Jessica' Traps Self In A New, Life-Stifling Hole


Fear Of Girls

Slashdotted, but pretty hilarious.

Screw Before Speaking

"A growing body of research shows that it is specifically intercourse, and not other sexual behaviours, whether alone or with a partner, that is associated with a broad range of psychological and physiological benefits.

"And greater frequency of intercourse is associated with greater benefits"

And The Winner Of The Country With The Most Drinking-est Young Girls In The World Goes To...

Scotland! Congratulations Scotland!


Manchester Passion

"Jesus will sing the legendary Joy Division anthem Love Will Tear Us Apart before dueting his arch-betrayer Judas on the New Order hit Blue Monday, according to senior church sources involved in the production."

Move Over Rocky


Blogging From Death Row

Hi Vernon,

I'm from Brazil. Here, we do not have death penalty; however, our convicts live in sub human conditions inside their own cells. Here, being sent to jail is already a death sentence…. As a convict, what would you say about the way that prisoners are treated in the USA?
- Wilame Lima, Sergipe, Brazil


To answer your question, I think that any prison can present harsh treatment at any given time. In the history of the USA, a lot of inmates have been killed just for being leaders or just for being weak. There are men who sometimes get power stuck and those men will create situations in which blood will be spilled.

Wilame don’t be mistaken, inmates in the USA have not always had hot water and health care. Many men and women fought in the sixties to even have hot water or heat. Today in the USA, a lot of prisons are cutting work training programs. That can mean that a person has only his or her hustling jobs to look forward to once he or she is released.

Convicts that are willing to change conditions in prisons here or abroad should organize, think legally, and start writing to leaders of human rights institutions. Just remember, change comes with patience.



Happy Birthday Mozart

For mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager, Mozart is ''a gift from God'' and ''the light I orient my life around.''

Salzburg cabbie Andrea Gautsch put it more simply Friday: ''For us, Mozart came with mother's milk.''

Too much hoopla? Consider this: Mozart wrote his first symphonies before turning 10 and his first significant opera at 12. He was instrumental in changing opera into the form we enjoy today.

He was prolific like few others, creating at least 626 musical works despite living to only age 35. Other greats like Beethoven and Wagner publicly recognized their debt to him.

But he had plenty of detractors in his day.

Some history books depict his tenure in Salzburg ending ingloriously in 1781 with a kick in the bottom from a servant of a patron, the city's imperious archbishop, after Mozart refused to follow orders on how to compose.

Still, the town where he was born on Jan. 27, 1756, was Mozart Central on Friday.

Always a trove for Mozart kitsch, Salzburg has outdone itself. Stores are stocked with Mozart beer and wine, Mozart baby bottles, Mozart milkshakes, Mozart knickers and Mozart jigsaw puzzles -- along with the usual T-shirts, calendars and coffee mugs.

Salzburg was sprinkled with posters proclaiming ''Happy Birthday Mozart'' on Friday and the daily Salzburger Nachrichten displayed a full-page portrait of a serious-looking ''Wunderkind'' sitting at the harpsichord, as it proclaimed: ''Salzburg celebrates its great son.''

On the Salzburg schedule were Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Vienna Philharmonic with Mozart's Piano Concert No. 18. Later, Riccardo Muti was to lead the orchestra -- and renowned singers -- through their paces in a collage of his works. Many of the 12 main events, including outdoor parties complete with mulled wine, were to start in the evening.

Salzburg visitors were advised to watch the calories. One of the attraction at an open-air event was a gargantuan birthday cake weighing in at more than 300 pounds.

Wish I was there...

Insane Aurora Video

The future is NOW!...... in Japan

What you are looking at up here folks is the marriage of robotics and applied drink science. It is a beer pourin, 40 chillin, mug frostin mean hunk of circutry. Best of all, that bitch is free if you collect 36 Asahi lables and live in the magic land of tenticle sex and robot bartenders.

More on Chuck Norris Facts

Crop circles are Chuck Norris' way of telling the world that sometimes corn needs to lie the fuck down.



Hot moves

Terrorist State

Tell you what, maybe a liberal Western power should undertake a military occupation to establish democracy as a model for the region.

Backwards songs...

Oh here's to my sweet Satan. The one whose little path would make me sad, whose power is Satan. He'll give you give you 666. There was a little toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.

From Zepplelin's "Stairway To Heaven".

Also check out Queen and Spears.


A nice music video

Are any of our readers into dogs?

End of the Line

Shout out to Audrey!

PS3: Killzone2


Lueke, I am your Faethere

One for drinktank

Damn scrappleFace can be funny...

"The California-based company also announced that its trademarked button that takes the user directly to the top search result will, on the Chinese site, further demonstrate Google’s cultural sensitivity with the new label “I’m Feering Rucky.”"

CIA involved?

That would mean a level of operation that I've come to not expect.

I wonder how mad Iran can get if foreigners are coming in and setting off bombs to destabilize the region.


What you get for illegal skating

Warning: photos at bottom of this page will infuriate you.

Roller Derby girl beat up by cops after crossing the street drunk.


Ivan: Shark!
Shark: Yes, Ivan?
Ivan: Google just totally jumped you.
Shark: Far out ... grabbed some sweet g-air.


Young Chuck Norris

5th graders, dude

Let's Hear It For Your 2006 Drink Tank Team

Brought to you by Josko and Oded.


50 Most Loathsome People of 2005

Absolutely riveting reading.

Call the Unamerican Activities Commitee!

Miss America on a platform of intolerance?!

Holy Shit, That's A Sticky Spider!

Scientists have found that the way spiders stick to ceilings could be the key to making Post-it® notes that don't fall off - even when they are wet. A team from Germany and Switzerland have made the first detailed examinations of a jumping spider's 'foot' and have discovered that a molecular force sticks the spider to almost anything. The force is so strong that these spiders could carry over 170 times their own body weight while standing on the ceiling. The research is published today (Monday 19 April 2004) in the Institute of Physics journal Smart Materials and Structures.

This is the first time anyone has measured exactly how spiders stick to surfaces, and how strong the adhesion force is. The team used a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to make images of the foot of a jumping spider, Evarcha arcuata (pictures available - see notes). There is a tuft of hairs on the bottom of the spider's leg, and each individual hair is covered in more hairs. These smaller hairs are called setules, and they are what makes the spider stick.

The paper reveals that the force these spiders use to stick to surfaces is the van der Waals force, which acts between individual molecules that are within a nanometre of each other (a nanometre is about ten thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair). The team used a technique called Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to measure this force. The flexible contact tips of the setules are triangular, and they have an amazingly high adhesive force on the underlying surface.

Andrew Martin, from the Institute of Technical Zoology and Bionics in Germany, said, "We found out that when all 600,000 tips are in contact with an underlying surface the spider can produce an adhesive force of 170 times its own weight. That's like Spiderman clinging to the flat surface of a window on a building by his fingertips and toes only, whilst rescuing 170 adults who are hanging on to his back!"

That, my German scientist friend, is why they call him a super hero.


Damn, And I Was Gonna Buy This Book

The Piracy Calculator

How much do you owe?

I am supposed to give someone $8k?!

I might make a similar post within a few weeks after I file my tax return. :(


Slate Asks: What's With All The Blind Clerics?

The blind clerics most often mentioned in the Western press are radical jihadis like Abu Hamza al-Masri or Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman—the "blind sheik" accused of masterminding the World Trade Center bombing of 1993. But blind clerics are just as likely to be moderates. The revered Saudi Abdelaziz ibn Baaz, for example, renounced violence in the name of installing Islamic governments. He also issued a fatwa allowing Muslim men to take Viagra.

In fact, blindness could be a liability within the most militant sects of Islam. In the 1980s, members of the Egyptian jihad movement debated whether Abdel Rahman's blindness made him a poor operational leader. The strongest voice opposing him belonged to Ayman al-Zawahiri, now thought to be al-Qaida's No. 2 figure.

Meanwhile, I ask: Who's ready for burritos at my house tonight?

The formula:



= FUN.

Another Cute Blog

Keep 'em coming people; the world needs more of these.


Reconstruction Efforts Going well

I'm not sure I ever posted about this video.

Getting depth from a moving camera can be fun!



He's no Oprah, but

IN THE LAST 48 HOURS, Bill Blum's "Rogue State" has risen from the 206,000th most sold book on Amazon to 35st place, thanks presumably to the favorable review by Bin Laden.

33rd place as of this posting.


Any idea what TUAW stands for?

Skater: splits + head hit by hoard

not too extreme. .. but really funny


Bubb Rubb Remix

New Horizons: the pluto mission

The probe will go 36K mph.

It will take 10 years.

What are the chances that that another ship will get there before? Imagine a probe going 100K mph launched 5 years from now...

Wow thats cold!

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia shivered in its coldest spell for a generation on Thursday with temperatures in Moscow plunging overnight to minus 30 Celsius, killing the homeless and drunks, and threatening power supplies.

Moscow's coldest spell in 26 years brought out the quirkiest in the Russian character with one animal trainer feeding an elephant a bucket of vodka to warm it up -- only to watch the drunken beast set about wrecking the central heating system.

Fightin' Words

Windows Live Local


Movie Recommendation

Since many drinktank posters are my Netflix friends and many drinktank posters saw this exhibit with me last week, I'll go ahead and point out Arakimentary. I know the director (swell guy) and the movie turned out great - it's the first real English-language film or tv show on the subject, so all the participants, from Araki himself to Björk, Richard Kern, and Takeshi Kitano were very enthusiastic about talking on camera.

Vows U.S. attacks, huh?

I say if this Osama bin Laden jerk attacks the USA, then we ought to deploy our military to capture or kill him and his!



Read about the bad perscription drug benefit. Is this half socialism worse than whole?

Next time anyone brings up the faults of free market health care, I'm going to ask them what they think of the free market for unicorns. Neither exist.

Snakes Don't Have Friends

Zookeepers with a sick sense of humor have forced a 3.5-inch dwarf hamster to share lodgings with a 3-foot-long rat snake.

The human monsters who run Tokyo's Mutsugoro Okoku Zoo put the hamster in the snake's cage more than three months ago.

The snake wasn't eating frozen mice. So Gohan the hamster was put on the animal world's version of Death Row, even though the innocent rodent never harmed anyone or anything.

"Gohan" means "meal" in Japanese.

Aochan the serpent "decided to make friends with the furry rodent," zookeeper Kazuya Yamamoto said.

"I've never seen anything like it," Yamamoto said, according to the Associated Press. "Gohan sometimes even climbs onto Aochan to take a nap on his back."

The tiny rodent is locked in a cage with a rat snake. What the crazed zookeeper describes as taking a nap on the serpent's back is obviously nothing more than the little animal climbing as high as he can get and then going unconscious with fear.

Snakes don't have friends. Snakes want two things from other living creatures: warmth or food. It is only a matter of time until Aochan decides his hamster "friend" is worth more as calories than as a space heater.

Ownage Compilation


"Prostitution combines free enterprise with sex. Which one are you against?"

Remember this?

Follow the link to remind yourself of the dogs killed in Al Queda weapons tests.

Apparently, the dude responsible was just killed in Pakistan.

An unequivocal victory in the war on terror [on dogs]!

What do you get when you cross an accountant with a giant jet airplane?

A boring 747.

How laughter evolved to signal social conformity more often than humor.

Shatner sells kidney stone, raises $25,000 for charity | IndyStar.com


NASA - NASA TV Landing Page


Drinking trivia of the day

Drink up, me hearties, yo ho! The sailing life gave us the intoxicating phrase "three sheets to the wind," although "three sheets in the wind" came first.

Among nautical folks, a "sheet" refers to the rope used to secure a ship's sail. On the square-rigged ships of yore, three sheets were needed to tie up the sails. So, if all three of the ship's sheets were loose in the wind, the sail would flop about and the ship would go off course -- rather like a drunken sailor staggering around on shore.

"Three sheets in the wind" was first recorded in 1821 by Pierce Egan in his work "Real Life in London." In those days, sailors had a rating system for their inebriation. "One sheet" was merely tipsy, and it went up to "four sheets," meaning unconscious. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum, indeed.

Do you know where you can stick that colliflower vindaloo?

Maybe he was just channeling homer?

Ray Nagin: It’s Time To Rebuild a “Chocolate” New Orleans [w/ video]


Martin Luther King

The fight against communism

The FBI sent this letter to Martin Luther King, Jr. a few days before he was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in October of 1964. It was accompanied by tape recordings of phone calls King had made to his mistresses and was presumed to be a demand for his suicide. The FBI had plans ready for others "to assume the role of leadership of the Negro people when King has been completely discredited," according to this 1976 Senate report on domestic surveillance.

Only the good die young: King was killed in 1968, while J Edgar Hoover, his primary antagonist in the US government died in 1972 at age 87.

I hope everyone's enjoying a day off in honor of racial equality and non-violence.



My dad said it would never happen," Morgan, 51, said as he prepared to drink. "Here's to a new tradition in Westerville.", a lone tear rolled down my face.


Around the net

No Justice, No Peace!

Sploid calls it like it is, alt text especially: racism in the jingosphere.

Speaking of Sploid, this is very Match Point (spoiler potential).

This is a week old, but maybe not everyone saw it... Jesus Christ Super-skunk?

Did you cobloggers see the evil frog today?

Vladimir Zhirinovsky is in the news for calling Condoleeza Rice single (har har). The Exile claims that Zhirinovsky is a boogeyman created by the KGB to make fascists like Putin more acceptable to Amercan businissmen/politicians.

If Democrats are ever elected to office, I bet libertarians will be Republicans again. Until then...

The No Child Left Behind act continues to amaze. There may actually be good reason to test kids on the mannerisms of the rich instead of history, etc.; maybe the ones who know country-club jargon will be significantly more upwardly mobile.

This was a pretty sweet exhibit! I have this book. My birthday is in June.

Have a great weekend in Boston/ trip to the southern hemisphere (Josko & Trevor assure me that we'll be playing poker with Ivan's money by the middle of next week :)

In President George W Bush's 2006 State of the Union address, how many times will the President say the words, "Space Terrorism"?

once, i think

Big government

The Mark of the Beast is, of course, only one manifestation of the unprecedented spending increases under Bush Jr.

I assert that the muddied, paranoid thinking behind this program is very typical of the ways taxpayer money is wasted under Republicans.


Say the wrong thing, go to jail

A Muslim Homophobe might have violated permitted speech laws in the UK. As you can assume, Samizdata is all over this.

Fun with optical flow

this video looks like hyper dimensional beings merging & splitting...

This is probably the civil war every one is talking about

More on Pensions

Perhaps this is the market leading where the government needs to follow with Social Security.

Blue Ball Machine

Stare at it really hard. Reaaaaalllly hard.



The annoying thing about filibusters...

A filibuster means that fewer than 60% of the members of the senate vote to end debate. It does not mean that fewer than 60% of the senators present at the time of the vote choose to end the debate.

Keepin it real

cuz the root of -1 is so 2005.

"Beatbox" + Google Video = good waste of time.

Well Said

Saying "Let the market handle it" is to reject a one-size-fits-all, centralized rule of experts. It is to endorse an unfathomably complex arrangement for dealing with the issue at hand. Recommending the market over government intervention is to recognize that neither he who recommends the market nor anyone else possesses sufficient information and knowledge to determine, or even to foresee, what particular methods are best for dealing with the problem.

It's Official: the real world looks worse

Black sergeant was 'loyal Klansman'

About 25 years ago, Ron Stallworth was asked to lead the Ku Klux Klan chapter in Colorado Springs.
Problem was, the outgoing Klan leader didn't know that Stallworth is black.
"He asked me to take over the lead because I was a good, loyal Klansman," said Stallworth, who had been in constant phone contact with the Klan leader while leading a yearlong Colorado Springs police investigation into the Klan.


The Amazing SpiderWoMan

STOCKHOLM, Jan 11, 2006 (AFP) - A spider that nested in the ear of a Swedish woman was discovered and removed alive after 27 days, Swedish tabloid Expressen reported on Wednesday. The black spider, "the size of a thumbnail", crept into the woman's ear while she was sleeping and went undiscovered for almost a month, the paper said.

The woman, whose name was not disclosed, told the paper that she at first experienced "a slight loss of hearing" and assumed that she had a build-up of wax. But when she heard "a scratching sound" in her ear she decided to go to the pharmacy to buy a cleanser to wash out her ear cavity. When she did so, the spider was flushed out alive and crawled away. The woman recalled having seen a spider on her bed in November, 27 days earlier.


great legal blog

love that this guy is an appeals court judge.


And fuzzy...


I'm not sure if it's an "intergalactic love story", but a boy using a bot to interface with the world, love interest and all, looks a little weird.

Ohh, did I mention it's Japanese? Yould have never guessed, I'm sure.

Christian Pap

Apple shares close at $80.86



Tagged by users of Flickr, these photos are either parodies of, or photos of first-time viewers of.... GOATSE. If you know what I am referring to, you will find photos of first-time viewers of it pretty funny. I am not going to link it because I trust you either are resourceful or want to keep food in your stomach.

IMPORTANT: If you have not seen GOATSE, make sure someone takes a picture of you while viewing it for the first time!

I think this sums it up:



NSA Secretly Traps Jihad In Fat Man's Goiter

Tice says the technology exists to track and sort through every domestic and international phone call as they are switched through centers, such as one in New York, and to search for key words or phrases that a terrorist might use.

"If you picked the word 'jihad' out of a conversation," Tice said, "the technology exists that you focus in on that conversation, and you pull it out of the system for processing."

Everyone is so surprised that this is happening.. as if people haven't been talking about Echelon (that is Echelon) for years.. So lets celebrate the public's reawakening and get those Drink Tank hits up at the expense of the NSA crawlers!!!




At least he has passion.

Cyber Terrorists Strike

The damage to the economy (for gloriously dumb videos) could be staggering.

Charlie Rose December 26 2005 - Google Video

Wow. $0.99 for an Hour of Milton Friedman.


Remember this?

Here is the full lib.

"notorious big" SBIR - Google Search

Nuthin like listening to gangsta rap (BIG hypnotize) while writing a Phase I SBIR research proposal for UAV automatic surveillance for the Airforce.

I can't believe this googles search came up with something.

U.S. Senate: Senators Home

Wow, it's so easy to pop out an email to your senators and representatives.

Ask your's to cut spending.


EUnicycle? More like eunuchCycle.

Watch the video.

Jesus, how close could they get to SouthPark's Mr. Garrison's "IT"?!

"Push to Hear" Headphones

I've been waiting for these:
-Inner ear buds
-Noise cancellation
-Push-buttom toggle a microphone so you can hear stuff.

I can't wait till there is a computer in the loop, and it'll let you hear certain stuff:
-The person talking next to you, but not others
-The person talking perhaps hundreds of miles away (cell phone etc)
-What people around you are listening to.

Make it wireless/bluetooth. Make the buds really, really tiny. Install them in everyone's ear canal. Add mind reading control or an interface to the sub-dermal general purpose remote control imbedded in your hand.

The Exile was right

Book reviewer (and possible War Nerd coauthor) John Dolan has challenged the truth of bestselling author James Frey's rehab "memoirs" several times:
[A Million Pieces Of Shit] [A Million Bottles Of Beer On The Wall] [Frey's Fairy Godfather]

Now The Smoking Gun is onboard, disputing all the "facts" in the book which should have had a court record of some sort. A Million Little Lies: The Man Who Conned Oprah. Notable quotable:
When we suggested that he might owe millions of readers and Winfrey fans an explanation for these discrepancies, Frey, now a publishing powerhouse, replied, "There's nothing at this point can come out of this conversation that, that is good for me."

This type of thing was formerly known to Oded and I as the Iceberg Slim phenomenon after the jailbreak stories in his memoir Pimp - "that story is so amazing I just don't think it's true."

In other literary hoax news, JT Leroy may be HIV positive, but s/he is not real.

Big Brother watching you, again

Shortly before Christmas, The New York Times disclosed an enormous domestic spying operation. More revelations followed almost daily, including reports of the National Security Agency's widespread eavesdropping on the phone calls and electronic messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands of American citizens. The justification given was that it was a time of war and that we were facing a ruthless enemy and that rules had to be broken. The public was outraged, and Congress vowed to begin an investigation.

That was three decades ago, in December 1974.

James Bamford wrote the excellent NSA book Body of Secrets, which I know has a fan or two in our readership. Today he reviews James Risen's new book about War on Terror spying for the New York Times.

Kim Jong Il, Zarqawi Protest Belafonte’s Bush Remarks

“I can assure Mr. Belafonte,” said Mr. Zarqawi, “that his visit here will be a short one. Daylight come and he want to go home.”


"Real wages are flat" is something you hear a lot. "Health Care costs are rising" is something else you hear. When you display the important numbers though, with real compensation (wages+benefits), things look great.

This article is completely right that critics are finding it harder and harder to find things to complain about.

Note that I haven't mentioned Bush yet. That is appropriate: presidents excel in “managing” the economy when they stay out of the way. He’s done that pretty well, but we’ll have to see about spending...

Already posted?

I'd be surprised if not.

Bottom line: short fat glasses make you pour more than tall thin ones.


French Retreat Hastily From Iraq After Never Having Been There In The First Place

"Bernard Planche, 52, was kidnapped on his way to work at a water plant. Planche worked for a non-governmental organization called AACCESS and was found Saturday night near a checkpoint in the Abu Ghraib neighborhood. His captors had demanded the withdrawal from Iraq of French troops - even though the country has none in Iraq."

See that?? The spineless French left the country! The insurgents win again...

Van Gogh.. Or is it?


Developers, Developers, Developers , Developers , Developers


Come on

Miner's Wife Hopes Prayers and Metallica Will Help Him Pull Through

The wife of the lone survivor of the Sago, W.Va., mine disaster hoped that blasting his favorite heavy-metal band would help him.

The world is left wanting to know... is it pre black album?? If not, well... pull the plug.

The 2006 Election Results


In the Senate, the current Republican majority is 55-45. Only a third of seats are to be contested this year. Of these, the Democrats currently occupy 17 and the Republicans 15 (the other is held by an independent who usually votes with the Democrats). To win an overall majority in the Senate, the Democrats would have to keep their behinds glued to all their own seats and snatch a further six from beneath the Republicans.

Charlie Cook, an expert watcher of such races, currently lists only five seats as toss-ups, with four of those defended by Republicans. For the Democrats to get a majority, they would have to win all the toss-ups and both the seats Mr Cook lists as leaning Republican—Missouri and Montana. A better bet for the moment would be a net gain of just three seats.


In the House of Representatives, the Republican majority is 231-203, with one vacancy. All 435 seats are being contested. The Democrats need to gain only 15 seats to win control of the House, but that is harder than it sounds. Incumbents in the House are fiendishly hard to dislodge—in a typical election year, more than 90% of those who stand, win. This is partly because both parties have shamelessly gerrymandered districts to protect sitting congressmen, and partly because incumbents outspend their challengers by a factor of 6.6. (Why give money to someone who's going to lose, and can't return the favour?)


The fall of Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania's junior senator, is even more eagerly anticipated by the American left. Mr Santorum is one of America's most articulate opponents of all things permissive. His six children are home-schooled; he opposes stem-cell research; he feels that sodomy should be outlawed; he favours national service. James Dobson, the head of Focus on the Family, an evangelical group, praises his “integrity, vision and unwavering commitment to the principles and beliefs upon which the United States was founded”. Meanwhile, gay activists use his name to denote something indescribable in a family newspaper.

Something To Do When I Get Back From Montreal

All to be closer to Him.


Type in your birthday and this site will tell you what the corresponding Number One Song was. Mine was Call Me by Blondie.

NYC 14% Closer To Living Forever

"The number of New York City smokers has dropped by roughly 200-thousand since the city raised cigarette taxes and banned smoking in most public places."


Take this long geek test

Woah, "39.44773 - Major Geek"

I wonder how much it would increase if there was an option for "you're going to blog this"

Darwin Awards: 2005


"The shit trickster" 'nuff said.

Inside Higher Ed :: Bush Push on ‘Critical’ Foreign Languages




Ivanistan TAKEN?!

"reserved for a past country"

I've started Jindostan. If you want to know what a Jindo is, go here or here.

I'm curious to see how these things pan out. I'm assuming my poorest are starving because I'm libertarian.


If this site shows a picture of the server hosting it by tonight, I will be very happy.

More forthcoming...

Dirka Dirka, Ahmadinejihad!

"Hopefully, the news that the criminal of Sabra and Chatilla has joined his ancestors is final," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency.

In The Spirit Of Posting Cute Things Now And Then...

I give you Cute Overload. The boobs are just icing on the cake.

Thanks Fran.

UPDATE: Oh shit! Ivan totally already posted this, and many hours ago at that. I got a little ahead of myself with excitement.

Bush and Former Cabinet Members Discuss Topic No. 1: Iraq - New York Times

Mr. T ... Bush ? :)

I've seen this before...

Some people think a liberal democracy is hopeless in Iraq. Some say the cause is a culture that is simply uninterested in such niceties. If this is true, our problems are much bigger than Iraq. From the article linked before:
Since the president unveiled the so-called Bush Doctrine--the plan to promote liberty throughout the Arab world--innumerable "progressives" have routinely asserted that there's no evidence Muslims want liberty and, indeed, that Islam is incompatible with democracy. If that's true, it's a problem not for the Middle East today but for Europe the day after tomorrow. According to a poll taken in 2004, over 60% of British Muslims want to live under Shariah--in the United Kingdom. If a population "at odds with the modern world" is the fastest-breeding group on the planet--if there are more Muslim nations, more fundamentalist Muslims within those nations, more and more Muslims within non-Muslim nations, and more and more Muslims represented in more and more transnational institutions--how safe a bet is the survival of the "modern world"?
Good thing I don't think Muslims/Arabs as an aggregate are so incongruous with modernity. I can't imagine the level of hopelessness of those who think Iraq will fail and the West will be destroyed by a mass of people that can't be changed. FuturePundit is a good example of one such person.

It is only the extremists that we need to worry about. We're killing them ASAP in the GWOT.

(heh... say that last line to the tune of killing me softly, with gwot pronounced “gee-what”)

Striling Engine DIY


Optimize XP

Good List

Natonal security

Special measures are required in a time of war to prevent more massacres at national landmarks. And unflattering books about Karl Rove.

Cute Overload! ;)

HT: Franimal

Socialism at its finest

We're doing it wrong; it'd be smarter to give 'em booze stamps. Seattle is apparently on top of this great public works trend.

Abramoffukkah: The Assfucking Angle

FARK.com: (1837095) Pick the best photoshop image of 2005 used in a previous contest

Good stuff

The $100 computer

Interesting comments from the Globalisation Institute.

Makes me wonder: what's wrong with the developing world's adults? No, seriously. Why are we all about giving 10 year olds power tools, instead of their parents?

Is it just me, or does it seem like the west is saying "fuck the parents, let's try the next generation".

Given what you can buy for $100 that we already know will help the lives of the world's poorest families, the whole effort seems odd. I mean, cheap laptops are great…

But why do you want the governments of the world's poorest countries to buy millions of them, when giving a cow or buying some grain would seem to help more.


No Mention Of The Mob Or America's Junta

Amazon: Listmania! - View List "ZAP! What a Robot might use in a fight"

Look at the final item.


Holy bible garden, batman

Confederate states to make Jesusland a reality.

Don't ask me about the music...

But this video looks awesome. $50 for an RC chopper!

"Muslim Community Leaders Warn of Backlash from Tomorrow Morning's Terrorist Attack."

Dust in the wind


NYC Base Jump

Saw this randomly after the last video. Watch till the end! (Fixed link)


Drink Bush


Happy Abramoffukkah Everybody!!!

As we approach the coming of Abramoffukkah, we learn more and more about the origin story behind the scandal. It goes something like this: Our parents always told us that the problem with Washington was that with all the lobbyists and special interests and money moving hither and yon, there was too much skin in the game. Now we learn that most of that skin was wrapped around the manyly bone structure and vital internal organs of Jack Abramoff, who may have influence-peddled his way into the bosom of a considerable number of well-heeled politicos.

We only have Abramoff on the hook today because his partner, Michael Scanlon, rolled on him. And, as Raw Story reported today, we may only know about Michael Scanlon because of a jilted former lover, Emily Miller, who avenged herself after Scanlon took up with a manicurist by going to the FBI and dropping the proverbial dime. You may remember Miller from the time she famously attempted to prematurely end a Meet The Press interview with Colin Powell.

But wait, it gets even more enjoyable.

Tom Delay, whose extensive dealings with Abramoff have goosed speculation that his name may be well-suited to appear on the Abramoffukkah bingo card, has loudly complained that all of the scandals surrounding him are baseless and are all "just another seedy attempt by the liberal media to embarrass me." Deliciously, Scanlon and Miller met one another when they both worked for Tom Delay -- he as his director of communications, she as his press secretary -- and soon after, took up their campaign of furtive, secret a-boinking. So I guess these means that the "liberal media" includes Delay's own press mouthpieces. Who knew?

It's all a seven-layer dip of tasty malfeisance with the sourest of creams yet to be added. Still, you have to wonder, with the intricate webs of distrust so clearly on display within the Congress, between members and aides and lobbyists, isn't it just awesome that it will be these people who will try to decide who gets to wiretap who?

Got to love that Wonkette. countdown till Ivan points out that there are some democrats named starting now.

Need more spirits

Party like it's BCE.
"The Festival of Drunkenness was not a social occasion for them," said Betsy Bryan, who led the dig. "People did not come to enjoy themselves. They drank to enter an altered state so that they might witness the epiphany of a deity."

(via Oded, who IMs "walk like an egyptian.")

Cafe Hayek: Monopoly [the game]

Wow, what a great NPR piece. Read the comments in the post for some insight into the way I think Risk 2210 should be played.
When our children got old enough, we'd play Monopoly, a game that was an important part of my childhood. The vivid orange of Tennessee Avenue. The royal blues of Boardwalk and Park Place. The little man with the mustache being hauled off to jail. And all that pastel colored money.

But if I play Monopoly now, it's only to teach my kids how badly its lessons prepare you for the real world.

In Monopoly, whoever has the most toys wins and winning means taking everything belonging to everyone else.

In Monopoly, landlords are parasites that eventually drive everyone into bankruptcy. And bankruptcy is like death. Game over.

Monopoly is the ultimate zero-sum game. You profit only by taking from others. The assets of its world are fixed in number. Yes, you can build houses or hotels, but somehow, the greater the supply of places to live, the HIGHER the price, an absurd contradiction to real-world economic life.

In Monopoly, hotels never get a makeover and railroads, unlike Amtrak, are always profitable.

In Monopoly, getting rich and succeeding in business only comes from exploiting unlucky suckers who randomly enter your life. There's no role for hard work or creativity— figuring out what customers might want to buy that isn't being offered by a competitor. There’s no competition.

I know. That’s why it’s called monopoly. But only Marxists look at the world of capitalism the way the game of Monopoly does—as an unrelentingly gloomy system of exploitation where the rich eventually wear everyone else down.

Ironically, most of the new board games with more realistic economic lessons come, like Karl Marx, from Germany.

In games like The Settlers of Catan players compete, but they also cooperate and trade in various ways. One player’s economic success can end up benefitting fellow players. Yes, there’s a random element to success but life has that too. And in these new German-style board games as they’re sometimes called, strategy and skill matter more than the roll of the dice.

So leave Monopoly on the shelf and try the Settlers of Catan. My wife usually wins when we play, but at least my kids learn about the value of trade and cooperation in creating wealth and success.

robots among us...

Which robot would you want? Are some of them CG?

How To Treat America's Fat Fucks

When Irish researchers recently reported that many people's rear ends are too fat for regular-length needles to reach their target, the finding immediately made the opening monologues of late-night TV shows on this side of the Atlantic. The wisecracks were an easy laugh, but for the one in three American adults who is obese or close to it, they were no joke.

Because of this country's expanding heft, blood-pressure cuffs now come in "large adult X long" for arms that don't fit smaller circumferences. Patient gowns can be ordered in size 5X, providing "comfortable, comprehensive coverage," according to the ad for one product. There are wheelchairs with seats up to four feet wide, scales that measure many hundreds of pounds and hospital beds built sturdy enough to handle excessive loads.

Drug injections in the derriere are merely the latest example of how extreme weight complicates the delivery of routine care, often with adverse effects...

"People call and say they had to go down to the boatyard or the post office to get weighed, and it was humiliating," said Scott Hanna, whose company, QuickMedical in Washington state, offers "AmpleWear" gowns and "high-capacity" home scales that go up to 660 pounds.. "Until you speak with these people heart to heart, you don't understand what they're going through."

The only thing I have to say to that is, "AAAAhhahahahahahaha!"

And Now For Something Completely Cute

But why!? WHHHHYYYY?!?!?


"Lasso Me"

Larry David on Brokeback Mountain.

Drink Tank exclusive - must credit DT

President Bush had advil and pizza for breakfast on Sunday. Seriously, Check out this picture. Can you think of any other common New Year's Eve activities besides brush clearing that result in cuts when done improperly?

In the print edition of the paper the image is huge and also runs along this article which ends with the sentence:
Other hangover problems for Bush include the ongoing investigation into political guru Karl Rove's role in outing CIA spy Valerie Plame, and the indictment of Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff for allegedly lying about his involvement in the Plame affair.

It doesn't discuss the 1st hangover.

The Rodney Dangerfield Economy

Less than a year ago, we labeled the current U.S. expansion the "Rodney Dangerfield economy"--because it "gets no respect." Ten months later our now $12.5 trillion economy has only maintained its strength even as it still gets disparaged in the media, which continues to fret about the fragility of what has undeniably been a resilient expansion. There are a few policy lessons here, assuming Washington is awake.

The 3.5% to 4% rate of growth in 2005 has been especially remarkable given eight Federal Reserve Board interest rate hikes, oil prices as high as $70 a barrel, and one of the most devastating natural disasters in American history. Yes, fourth quarter GDP may come in softer thanks to limping auto sales, but the entrepreneurial U.S. economy will still have grown at about twice the pace of Old Europe in 2005. As economist Michael Darda of MKM Partners, puts it: "This is the most derided and ridiculed growth cycle in post-World War II history, even though by many measures, including productivity and corporate profits, it's one of the most impressive..."


Stabilized video of Kennedy Assassination. Watching things like this make me mad.



Tell Me

...will midget robots replace midget photographers?
Brought to you by the New York Times' Year In Pictures montage and the collaborative effort of Josko and Oded.