Sunday, October 25, 2009

Best. Political Cartoon. EVER.

Right here. It basically sums up my attitude toward a philosophy of government-as-do-gooder.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Best "Raise X dollars for charity and I'll do Y" incentive EVER.

John Scalzi points me at this offer by Chad Orzel:
If the Uncertain Principles share of the HP contribution is greater than 1% of the total, I will recreate the famous Bohr-Einstein debates about quantum measurement, in puppet show form, and post video of it on the blog.
As Scalzi put it: "Yes, that’s right: Einstein. And Bohr. In puppet form. Talking quantum physics. You know you want it."

Friday, October 09, 2009

Bullshit

If you didn't already think the Nobel Peace Prize was a bullshit political football (Arafat? Really?), this should should convince you:

Obama awarded 2009 Nobel Peace Prize

What on earth has he done that would even merit consideration for this? He was nominated within 12 days after taking office (the deadline for submissions), and has exactly zero actual accomplishments in substantive foreign policy (which is mostly what the peace price is for, after all), unless you count leaving eastern Europe twisting in the wind. WTF? The Nobel committee doesn't even seem to have a real reason for awarding him the prize - the article says that he's trying hard to "solve complex global problems including working toward a world free of nuclear weapons." Yeah, because nobody's tried that before. It seems to rest more on the fact that they like his conciliatory attitude toward the rest of the world, and want to give him the prize to give him more political leverage at home and abroad:
[I]t was clear the Nobel committee wanted to encourage Obama on the issues he has been discussing on the world stage....

The committee wanted to be "far more daring" than in recent times and make an impact on global politics, said Kristian Berg Harpviken, director of the International Peace Research Institute.

Awarding prizes to heads of state should really wait until after they can derive political benefit from it (i.e. they are out of office) - but apparently the whole point was to give Obama said political benefit.

This opinion at the (London) Times is spot-on:

Rarely has an award had such an obvious political and partisan intent. It was clearly seen by the Norwegian Nobel committee as a way of expressing European gratitude for an end to the Bush Administration, approval for the election of America’s first black president and hope that Washington will honour its promise to re-engage with the world.

Instead, the prize risks looking preposterous in its claims, patronising in its intentions and demeaning in its attempt to build up a man who has barely begun his period in office, let alone achieved any tangible outcome for peace.

This is just disgusting, meddlesome bullshit.


UPDATE: Radley Balko's idea is a good one.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Link Dump

Some links to things around the web that amused, baffled, or otherwise made me look twice.

1) Dan Drezner wonders "what if author bios [for pundits and academics] were brutally honest?" He provides a few examples.

2) Ukranian Amazons? WTF!?!?

3) A Chinese guy who paints himself into scenery. Odd, but cool. The last photo is particularly freaky.

4) A blog that proves that the customer is Not Always Right. Having worked retail through high school, I can say that I find these stories scarily plausible. In particular, I was amused by this, this, and especially this one (I worked in a pharmacy).

5) CEO chews out lazy employees, who either (a) get right back to work, or (b) call the cops to arrest the CEO. Which do you think?

6) Texas Stadium scoreboard fail.

7) And something adorable for you.

UPDATE:

8) I almost forgot - from the idiots behind Conservapedia, I bring you The Conservative Bible Project. Sometimes reality is truly beyond satire. (For the record, I think this is a monumentally stupid undertaking.)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Holy. Crap.

This is the most specific sports prediction you'll ever see come true: