rantings of a random scrub...
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. --H.L. Mencken
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
You know you're a geek when...
...you get the urge to pedantically correct the accuracy of the arms and armor of a Roman-military themed playmobil display.
Well, come on! The legionaries were all carrying sub-rectangular scuta, placing it in the early- to mid- imperial period (~ AD 0 to 300). Most of them were wearing the appropriate Gallic-style helms (well, minus cheek-guards), but a few were running about in what were clearly spangenhelms, which were never western Roman issue, and weren't even that popular outside central Asia until after the fall of the Empire. And then they had chariots in there? They were obsolete as anything other than a spectator sport by the time Rome was more than mud huts! And then, to top it off, one of the cavalry had a scutum strapped to his horse, which is just silly, as they were solely used by the Roman heavy infantry (a semi-cylinder that large would be impossible to use while mounted).
Normally I wouldn't be that irritated by this, but the photos I saw of this were apparently from a set used in a Roman ruins museum. So they should know better!
And yes, I do realize I'm silly to be irked by this at all, much less displaying it on the net for all to see. So sue me.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Well, THAT was unexpected...
Currently reading Kevin Roose's The Unlikely Disciple. File this one under "things I did not expect Jerry Falwell to say":
Listen up, students. Now, I made sure there were five thousand girls here on campus, and five thousand boys. I don't know how much more I can do. Folks, we need more Liberty babies for Christ. Let's get going!I'll admit that one had me laughing aloud.
--Jerry Falwell, addressing the students of Liberty University
I'll have more comments later for anyone interested as a buddy and I read the book and post some discussion online. I'm only 1/4 of the way in, but it's good reading thus far, and relatively fair to the people involved. Three cheers for promo copies!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Just a bunch of interesting things I've seen on the web lately:
1) Via TJIC, a video with truly impressive special effects: Guns don't kill people, cardboard kills people!
2) Woot turns the tables on the AP in hilarious fashion. Excellent!
3) Via Radley Balko, an excellently silly video combining Star Wars and dogs.
4) I can barely believe this exists.
5) Via SB7, this video is so hilarious I almost fell out of my chair!
6) These two photos pretty much sum up my reaction to World Cup soccer:
7) Soylent green is FAIL!
8) This facebook post is sufficient to make anyone come down against welfare.
Sunday, July 04, 2010
Nobody actualy agrees with the Declaration of Independence anymore
Well, that's putting it a bit strongly, but saying "<20% of the American population agrees with the Declaration of Independence" doesn't have quite the same punch to it.
Every July 4th, people intellectually genuflect in the direction of our founding documents, but nobody actually thinks about the meaning of these words:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.These words mean that, in principle, secession from a political state is both possible, and sometimes necessary. But mainstream opinion has it that secession from the USA is both unthinkable and immoral - tainted by association with the Confederacy's battle to preserve slavery. But if you take these words seriously, the Declaration of Independence implies that it should be possible for states to secede peacefully if the people no longer believe that the federal government is securing their "unalienable rights".
Some food for thought on your independence day.