Sunday, November 23, 2008



I have no problem if women want to spend four years at college studying (at their own expense) the role of indigenous women in the postmodernist Marxist movement of 1960's Paraguay, or whatever. However, I do have a problem when these same folks later complain that their income is below average or they are under-represented in the board room. Just peruse the top and bottom of this list at Carpe Diem.

College degrees most dominated by women include library science, consumer science, social science, education, language, psychology, and gender studies. Top college degrees most dominated by men include construction trades, engineering tech, transportation, military technologies, engineering and computer science.

Sorry, but I cannot imagine any possible restructuring of society and the economy where the first list is more valuable and has higher income potential than the second list.


This is appalling

I simply can't come up with the words to articulate the moral outrage that reading about this case inspires in me. Such things should not happen. This is truly a fallen world.


Eccentric and Fun!

SB7 amusingly arguing with Obama:
I don't want to debate climate science. It's boring, there are too many people hissing about such things on the internet for me to be able to contribute much, and said hissing almost always misses the point. But I will debate geometry and geography. That's eccentric and fun.
Sea levels are rising. Coastlines are shrinking.
Assuming arguendo sea levels are rising at measurable amounts, what relation does that have to coastlines shrinking? I contend there is none. We would have to have complex knowledge of the topography of land within some delta of the sea level to conclude whether the elevation isopleth at sea level is longer or shorter than the isopleth at sea level + 1cm, the sea level + 2cm, etc. Perhaps if you assume that all isopleths have the same fractal dimensionality then you can infer that high sea levels are congruent with shrinking coastlines, but this seems like a big assumption to me.

Another Reason To Oppose Government-Run Healthcare



The U.S. Interior Department said on Friday it took disciplinary action against government workers who had sex, used drugs and took gifts from employees of regulated oil and gas companies.

The punishments stem from an investigation by the department’s inspector general, who found there was “a culture of substance abuse and promiscuity” among employees at the department’s Minerals Management Service, which handles billions of dollars in oil and natural gas supplies that are turned over by companies as in-kind royalty payments for drilling on federal lands.

It’ll be different, this time. Really!

Dumb Criminal, Smart Pharmacist

Good job:

A quick-thinking pharmacist cut a robbery short today when he disarmed and tackled a would-be bandit, authorities said.

A man in a ski mask walked into the Walgreen's, 10701 Kingston Pike, just before 5:30 p.m., Knox County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Martha Dooley said. He pointed a gun at the pharmacist, jumped the counter and demanded all the store's oxycodone, she said.

As the pharmacist opened the safe, the man laid the gun on the counter. The pharmacist grabbed it, threw it across the room and tackled him, Dooley said. Three customers piled on to help while someone called E-911.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Headline reprinted without comment: Elderly Tampa woman ''lost'' by US Airways

You might be an engineer if...

Coyote complains:
One of the things you discover about food is that despite the incredible amount of quality control on its composition and taste, there is not much quality control on its construction properties. Pretzel rods that always seemed straight enough turn out to be, when you come to actually build something from them, more warped than picked-over Home Depot lumber. Ditto graham crackers. Mini donut sizes vary tremendously. Licorice tensile strength that always seemed fine turns out to be woefully inadequate. And don't even get me started on gumdrop repeatability.

Basic Instructions: My Favorite Webcomic Presents "How to Analyze Classic Literature"

Karl, this one's for you:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Random Thought of the Day

If the NFL merged the Houston Texans with the Buffalo Bills, wouldn't the team's mascot almost have to be a Beefalo?

Just wondering...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Bad Idea Whose Time Should Have Ended

McMegan on the idiocy of the idea of a "Manhattan project for [energy policy the speaker supports]."

Disney, Now with New Anti-Capitalism Flavor!

From James Lileks:
My child no longer participates in Toontown, an online consensual hallucination provided by Disney. I’m glad; it had promise, but seemed limited, the graphics were chunktastic, and your character had names like Merry Flippy Pantswhistle. What annoyed me most were the foes the toons had to battle for jellybean points – they were called Cogs, and they were all businessmen, various forms of capitalists in robot form. The Disney execs who signed off on the project must have a big bin outside the office where they could place their sense of irony before heading in to work.

Do NOT Bailout Detroit

For the record, I oppose any bailout of the Detroit Big 3 auto makers. Here are some persuasive reasons to agree with me on this issue.

Whiny Atheists

John C. Wright busts out an ironic berating for whiny atheists:

"There are an awful lot of agnostics, atheists and other types of non-theists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion."
I feel a rant a-coming on.


Are you an atheist because you want to be loved and smooched and patted on the head, Mr. Edword? Or are you an atheist because you think atheism is TRUE and REASON DEMANDS IT?


I realize that, now that I am on the opposing side, I have no more right to feel contempt for weakness in the ranks, but, by Jupiter's holy lightning-flinging scrotum, this kind of whiny talk used to really bug me, and I still suffer flashbacks to my old self. How can you feel lonely during Christs' Mass when YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN CHRIST??!! The crowd of lemmings is rushing off after the Pied Piper to worship the Unseen Flying Spaghetti Monster, and you are feeling all lonesome because you are not in the crowd? Who wants to be in any crowd when the crowd is mad?

Fascinating Map

Comparison: cotton production vs. blue counties in the American southeast:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

People With Too Much Time on Their Hands

Endor Holocaust: What happens when you detonate a spherical metal honeycomb over five hundred miles wide just above the atmosphere of a habitable world? Regardless of specifics, the world won't remain habitable for long.

And the Rebuttal!

The Truth about the "Endor Holocaust"

Propaganda failure

North Korean propagandists need to work on their Photoshopping skills. Unless the sun really does shine upon their "glorious leader" differently than upon other men...

Things that fill me with almost-incoherent rage

This really pisses me off:

Here's the quote:
We have been guided by a Republican administration who believes in the simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it and they have an antipathy towards the means of redistributing wealth and they may be able to sustain it for a while but it doesn’t work in the long run.
— Jim Moran (D-VA)
The "simplistic" notion that people are entitled to keep the products of their labor or exchange that labor for something else of value which they can then keep is what separates a free man from a slave. End of story.

I have a hard time being humorous about this, but here's SB7's lighthearted take:
Fun fact about Jim Moran: He believes in the simplistic notion that people who have pants are entitled to keep them and harbors an antipathy towards redistribution of trousers. When we are done battering Mr Moran about the noggin with enlightening tomes, please feel free to abscond with his britches. Perhaps this will teach him that keeping your own slacks obviously can not work in the long run.

What Happens When You Combine Woodworking With Legos?

You get the New Yankee Workshop - LEGO style!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Add this to the list of reasons I dislike government on a practical (as well as principled) basis.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Shenanigans with the MN senate election?

I'm not going to pretend to be convinced it's a vicious plot to steal the election, but there is something seriously fishy about how all the misreported vote corrections seem to be going Franken's way in the MN senate election:
When the polls closed Tuesday evening, Minnesota's Secretary of State's office showed that Norm Coleman had a 725-vote win in his closely contested race against Al Franken. By the next morning, however, Coleman's victory was already shrinking. As various precincts and county auditors have "corrected" their totals, Coleman's lead has dropped to a mere 237 votes. Minnesota Republicans are concerned that the fix may be in.
And later:
Yesterday John Hinderaker explored "What's going on in Minnesota?" with the late arriving-votes that have reduced Norm Coleman's lead over Al Franken from 726 votes with 100 percent of precincts reporting on Wednesday morning to 221 votes as of this morning.
The vote corrections should be thoroughly investigated and substantiated. Let's hope that this all gets handled fairly and transparently.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Capella Tribute to John Williams

This music is genius. It's written by someone other than the dude in the video, and I'm unsure if he's lip-synching, but you need to hear it. Seriously, watch this:


Bacon Beats Fries in State Senate Race!

Ugh. The cuteness...

Presented without comment (okay, aside from the post title):

The Fundamental Insight of Libertarianism

I ran across this long ago, but forgot to post it. According to Jonah Goldberg:
The fundamental insight of libertarianism is that the government is the government. It cannot be your mommy, your daddy, your big brother, your nanny, your friend, your buddy, your god, your salvation, your church or your conscience. It is the government. A big bureaucracy charged with certain responsibilities, some of which it is qualified to carry out, many of which it is not.
I think he nails it pretty well.

Obligatory word on the election

I am not enthusiastic about the impending Obama presidency (though I will admit that I would be only marginally more enthusiastic about a McCain presidency; I voted for Barr). I am glad that we now have now reached the point where we as a country are okay with electing a black president. Here's to hoping that Obama becomes as good a president as his voters believe he will.

Note to Obama supporters: This guy has promised more than any candidate in recent memory. Start lowering your expectations a little, particularly given the current state of the economy, which places major constraints on the ability of the US government to raise additional tax revenue.