Wednesday, April 30 gave rise to...

Man stabbed in line for Grand Theft Auto IV.

The victim is thought to have struggled home to fetch his own knife for a revenge attack but collapsed in the street and was taken to hospital.

Keep up the good work

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Directors' Cameos in Films

Don’t Quit Your Day Job: Directors’ Cameos in Films

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In the early 90s, Hollywood let Bobcat Goldthwait make a movie.

That movie is Shakes the Clown.

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Use GMail? Archive everything in your Inbox.

It runs noticeably faster that way.

Use labels and stars to manage your archived mail.

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Tuesday, April 29 gave rise to...

Fake 10-Year-Old Writes to Charles Manson, Manson Replies with Kind Words, Photograph, Doctoral Dissertation

Letters from a fake 10-year-old to serial killers such as Charles Manson, The Unabomber, and one of the Menendez brothers -- plus responses.

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The parents of an 11-year-old Wisconsin girl who prayed instead of seeking medical help for the diabetic child are facing homicide charges in connection with her death.

More than half the teenage girls taken from a polygamist compound in west Texas have children or are pregnant.

Mars, the makers of M&M’s, announced a deal Monday morning to acquire the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, the chewing gum concern, for about $23 billion. The transaction would create a confectionery behemoth and could pressure rivals into a cascade of other mergers.

Linux Guru Hans Reiser, developer of ReiserFS filesystem, has been found guilty of first degree murder of his estranged wife. There is no body; he says she is living in hiding.

An investigation was under way at a theme park in Florida yesterday
after a captive dolphin was injured fatally while performing an aerial stunt for tourists.

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Monday, April 28 gave rise to...

Doomsday Scenarios: The Large Hadron Collider

Every once in a while scientists get ready to try something that excites and scares the shit out of the world. It's happening again now with the Large Hadron Collider, a particle accelerator in Geneva, Switzerland at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

As discussed in the New York Times opinion article linked above, some say the activation of this supercollider will bring a swift end to the world.

The juxtaposition of these images and explanations of huge and important instruments of science with the words of skeptics and doomsayers leads me to think of science fiction. A lot of science fiction.

What if the black holes that currently exist in the universe are each the result of long-gone civilizations getting a little too curious about the nature of the cosmos?

Some interesting concerns about the danger of the Large Hadron Collider can be read at Large Hadron Collider Concerns.

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"This reaffirms the integrity of our oral history," Chief Strand said. "Our oral history needs to have a place in your scientific world."

Scientists have found a direct link between the frozen remains of a man found in a glacier in northern B.C. and 17 people living in B.C., Yukon and Alaska.

The news came at a symposium in Victoria this past weekend, focusing on Kwaday Dan Ts'inchi', an aboriginal man whose remains were found in 1999 by hunters in Tatshenshini-Alsek Park, which is in the traditional territory of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations.

"The connection to the people," said Al Mackie, an archaeologist on the project, "how they know his clan, how they know who his relatives are, that's amazing. You just don't get that in archaeology. It never happens."

Kwaday Dan Ts'inchi' means Long Ago Person Found, and he's believed to have died some time between the years 1670 and 1850. His remains were revealed after a glacier started to recede.

The Rest of the Story

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The "Tightsag" Has Gone Too Far.

I can't go another moment without posting this:

Most people are writing this off as another ridiculous experiment that the popularity of "streetwear" culture has enabled to take place. I think it's shit like this that demarcates the end of trends and the beginning of phenomena.

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His soul is from Mars, he roamed the Earth with dinosaurs in an earlier life, and he chats with people from the future.

This post is about ? & The Mysterians.

From Wikipedia:

? & The Mysterians - 96 Tears

Question Mark and the Mysterians (or ? and the Mysterians) were an American rock and roll band formed in Bay City, Michigan, in 1962.

The group is best known for its song "96 Tears," a garage rock classic recorded in 1966 that reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and would go on to sell over one million copies and receive a BMI award for over three million airplays. Rudy Martinez, the lead singer, legally changed his name to Question Mark (?). Question Mark and the Mysterians was perhaps the first band to be described as punk rock, and also may be the first Latino rock group to have a general audience hit record in the United States. The group named itself after the 1957 Japanese science fiction film The Mysterians, in which aliens from the destroyed planet Mysteroid arrive to conquer Earth.

The band's frontman and primary songwriter was Question Mark. Though the singer has never confirmed it, Library of Congress copyright registrations indicate that his birth name is Rudy Martinez. His eccentric behavior helped to briefly establish the group in the national consciousness. He claimed (and still claims) to be a Martian who lived with dinosaurs in a past life, and he never appears in public without sunglasses. He has also claimed that voices told him he would still be performing "96 Tears" in the year 10,000.

Poster from post-house fire benefit show for Question Mark

On January 10, 2007, a fire destroyed the home of Question Mark on his farm in Clio, Michigan, taking all of his priceless memorabilia and also taking the lives of his beloved breeding dogs (Yorkies).

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"a wide range of questions that still need answering"

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Sunday, April 27 gave rise to...

The Ultimate Machine

If you watch only one YouTube video this week, make it this one.

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Real Talk

Senate lawmakers in Florida have voted to ban the fake bull testicles that dangle from the trailer hitches of many trucks and cars throughout the state.

Police killed at least 11 people in a raid on Friday in the Cidade de Deus (City of God) slum, made famous in a hit film of the same name about Rio drug gangs.

Kim Jong-il builds ‘Thunderbirds’ runway for war in North Korea.

Tamil Tiger rebels have bombed military targets in the north-east of Sri Lanka using light aircraft, officials say.

A grizzly bear featured in the recent Will Ferrell film "Semi-Pro" and touted as one of the "best trained" in show business has killed its handler, but officials said on Wednesday they were puzzled by what provoked the attack.

Bicycle-Sharing Program to Be First of Kind in U.S.

A 73-year-old Austrian is under arrest on suspicion of hiding his daughter in a cellar for 24 years and fathering seven children with her, police say.

'If by some miracle, your movie, which stars 41-year-old Mrs. Selznick portraying 24-year-old Catherine Barkley, does earn $50,000, you should have all $50,000 changed into nickels at your local bank and shove them up your [bleep] until they came out of your ears.'

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Grand Theft Auto IV is out this week

And, just in time, here is Grand Theft Retail.

During a nearly one-year period, Frank Buchanan allegedly made about 192 purchases on two credit cards at various stores.

What was out of the ordinary, however, was that the 30-year-old Buchanan also allegedly had about 183 refunds on those cards.

The rural Albert Lea man's transaction history, authorities say, demonstrated an obvious purchase-return pattern mainly involving video games at multiple stores in numerous southeastern Minnesota and northern Iowa cities, including Austin and Rochester, according to a criminal complaint filed this week in Mower District Court.

Overall $23,178 in refunds was credited to Buchanan's accounts during that period, the complaint says.

Buchanan's alleged scam consisted of buying video games from stores, repackaging the containers with blank replica game discs, returning the fraudulent games for a refund and selling the original games on eBay, an online-auction site. From October 2006 to January 2008, Buchanan auctioned off about 447 video games on eBay for roughly $19,562, the complaint says.

Buchanan is charged in Mower District Court with three felony counts of theft by swindle alleging he obtained credit for fraudulent merchandise at area Target, Wal-Mart, ShopKo and Kmart stores.

One count alleges Buchanan got about $12,373 worth of credit through his scheme from Dec. 1, 2006, to May 31, 2007; another is for about $6,836 in credit from June 1, 2006, to Nov. 30, 2007; and the last is for about $3,969 in credit from Dec. 1, 2007, to Feb. 28, 2008.

Buchanan, who is summoned to appear June 9 in court, allegedly did his video-game scam at retail box stores throughout the region, including Mankato, Winona, Albert Lea, Fairmont and Mason City, Iowa.

On Feb. 27 law-enforcement officers from Austin, Albert Lea, Freeborn County, Mower County and the U.S. Postal Service used a search warrant at Buchanan's home along U.S. Highway 65.

Authorities seized about 41 items related to Buchanan's fraud scam, including a heat-sealing packager, an array of computer equipment and a journal listing Buchanan's purchases and returns with dates and stores, the complaint says. They also found numerous sealed and unsealed video games with purchase receipts attached to each game.

Buchanan allegedly admitted to starting the scheme in late 2006.

In a police interview, Buchanan allegedly said he opened and removed the video games at his home. He would scan the game, print a label on a disc, place the fake game disc back in the box and repackage the game with a heat-sealing machine, the complaint says.

Austin police detective Mark Haider began investigating Buchanan's scam after getting a fraud report Oct. 8, 2007, from a Target loss-prevention agent who said the store was the victim of a video-game return scam done by Buchanan, with the help of his mother, for several thousand dollars.

Buchanan's mother Dorothy Mae Buchanan, 68, who lives with him, is charged with a single felony count of theft by swindle (more than $1,000) for allegedly helping her son with the illegal activity from October 2006 to January 2008 in Austin.

She also is summoned to appear in court June 9.

Rural Albert Lea man accused of video game scam

GTA IV reviews @ Metacritic

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Saturday, April 26 gave rise to...

Morris Day + The Time: The Walk

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It could be worse

Lexington, Ky., tops the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America's 2008 list of "spring allergy capitals."

Greensboro, N.C., takes second place, followed by Johnson City, Tenn., Augusta, Ga., and Jackson, Miss. in fifth place.

The annual list is based on four factors: allergy prevalence, seasonal pollen, allergy medication use per patient, and the number of board-certified allergy specialists per patient. Rankings can change quite a bit from year to year. For instance, Lexington leads this year's rankings but was in the No. 52 spot on the 2007 list.

The Worst Spring Allergy City Is...

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Suicide Food: Incredible Site Devoted to Animals That Are Happy to be Eaten!

Bugs Bunny has something to show you.

No, it's not his ribcage. It's his shocking mental illness.

Thrilled to die, to be slaughtered, butchered, and eaten, he can still sell even in his current state. But, you forget: this is the state (i.e., dead and skinless, livid organs laid bare) he was born to assume.
From Suicide Food

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Friday, April 25 gave rise to...

Real Talk

A Japanese teenager has committed suicide by mixing common household cleaners, releasing fumes that made dozens of people sick, officials said.

Arby's is buying Wendy's for
2.3 billion dollars.

Wesley Snipes to serve 3 years in prison
for tax convictions.

Pete Doherty's art exhibition opens in Paris.

Pixelated Lower East Side Street Art (pictured)

Detectives accused of Sean Bell murder found not guilty.

Mitochondrial DNA study suggests that humanity neared extinction 70,000 years ago; population may have dwindled as low as 2000.

Wikipedia article on Mitochondrial Eve

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Thursday, April 24 gave rise to...

Data Visualization: Mapping the Seven Deadly Sins Onto America's Cities

We have unveiled the American city that has fallen the farthest from grace in each of the seven deadly sins ( lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, wrath, envy and pride). For each sin we stretched our imagination to find a workable proxy--murder rates for wrath, per capita billionaires for avarice--then culled the available data sources to rank the cities. Some of the results were surprising: Salt Lake City as America's Vainest City. Some were not: Detroit as America's Most Murderous.

Try it here

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Real Talk

Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.

More than 85,000 people want to be Paris Hilton's best friend.

A driver is being treated at a Saint Johns County hospital after his truck overturned, spilling Jell-O snack packs all over I-95.

Bear from movies turns on handler in Calif., killing him

Ships and planes searched along the coast of Brazil on Wednesday for a priest who disappeared after drifting out to sea suspended from hundreds of helium-filled party balloons, authorities said.

(video)An elephant has killed three people, including a 75 year old woman during a rampage at a temple festival in India's southern Kerala.

Fan favorite Clay Aiken is preparing to wow the crowd again with his upcoming album On My Way Here when it hits stores on May 6 -- but Claymates won't have to wait until then to get a listen!

The upper Midwest has the worst drunken driving rates in the country, according to a government report that says 15 percent of adult drivers nationally report driving under the influence of alcohol in the previous year.

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A fight broke out during the half-time show. It should have been over when Andy Staples punched Brett Huckleberry in the back of the head, knocking him unconscious. But then the teammates got into it. It quickly devolved into a savage free-for-all. Star Quarterback Thornton found the pyrotechnic controls and burned Diana Ross, who was immediately abandoned by her entourage when things got weird. He was expected to be the MVP of the game. In some way he still was. She died shortly thereafter.

The fighting stopped almost as quickly as it had started. The men organized loosely into groups, but not to strategize. They sat down and rocked back and forth on their asses. They ran in circles and cried together. From home it looked like a set of emotionally broken toys. This was terror. This was fear: things had gone wrong in a New way.

This had clearly been more than a fight; foul play was involved. But, because this was New, we could not conceive of any potential resolution, and that lack of foresight precluded any immediate inclination to get justice. On the bright side, people bought newspapers the next day.

We watched in fear as 22 men, 22 living symbols of Pure American Masculinity, were taken away in ambulances as caged animals and handcuffed children.

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Wednesday, April 23 gave rise to...

He had a history of karate kicks. Karate kicks were in his past as far back as anyone could remember. They joked that he kicked the shit out of his mother when he was in the womb. They said that he smashed the doctor's nose and shattered his front teeth with a fierce kick when he was being birthed. They said that when the doctor reflexively threw the little son of a bitch clear across the hospital room, he landed on his head. This legend explained everything.

He was a bus driver. Sometimes he would karate kick the morning commuters when they got on his bus. This earned him warnings and assignments to alternative bus routes. (It was a government job so it was difficult to fire him.) Before he drove buses and kicked the shit out of his passengers, he was a grocery store clerk who kicked the shit out of groceries. Sometimes he karate kicked watermelons and summer squash. He was fired because it was a corporate job, and his propensity for kicking made him a frightening liability. He practiced his kicks in public places such as I have described here -- uncomfortable places to kick -- but he also practiced at home. Home was sparse. There was a television and a VCR for watching the Kung Fu tapes he sometimes bought at the flea market. There was a punching bag for kicking and a mattress for sleeping. There was a simple kitchen where he made simple meals.

He hoped that one day the CIA would hear about him and invite him to their headquarters in Langley, Virginia, to receive special training to be a Kung Fu assassin. His face was as long and terrible as his legs were strong.

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He had a history of karate kicks. Karate kicks were in his past.

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I Like These Glasses. They Make Me Look..."Complicated." + It just gets better and better

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Tuesday, April 22 gave rise to...

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It just gets better and better

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Burn Down Apple

Skilled with computers? Understand how to configure a boot loader like GRUB? Jump into the emerging market of building Mac clone PCs for customers who like Apple products (but not enough to buy them). Or, do it for yourself. On an existing PC. For free. Like I did.

Using a Mac Pro that costs approximately $3000 as our point of reference, one can build and configure a clone with comparable hardware for about a third of the cost, by my calculations (at Mac Pro configuration page: downgrade CPU, double RAM, make hard disk 500MB, and change video card to Nvidia to see a machine roughly comparable to the one the article's author built).

In the quote below, he claims it is roughly half the cost, with roughly equivalent performance:

But the real question is, just how does the $950 Frankenmac compete with Apple’s hardware? Overall, quite well. To get a sense of just how well, I ran a few tests here, though I plan to ship the whole machine off to the Macworld Lab in San Francisco shortly, for an official run through our Speedmark test suite.

For the unofficial testing, I used a few old favorites—Xbench for overall benchmarking, Cinebench for graphics, and a quick blast through the standard Quake3 timedemo to give a sense for raw gaming performance. I ran the tests on the Frankenmac and my Macworld-provided Mac Pro (a 2.66GHz quad-core Xeon with 4GB of RAM and the ATI X1900xt video card). Using Xbench, the Frankenmac beat the Mac Pro on the overall score, 149 to 143. Within the individual tests, the Mac Pro was faster at the CPU, thread, and OpenGL tests, while the Frankenmac was better at the memory, Quartz graphics, user interface, and disk tests. Overall, there’s not much difference in the two machines’ Xbench results—and keep in mind that the Mac Pro is more than twice as expensive as the Frankenmac.
It seems wrong to charge $500 to install two extra Gigabytes of RAM. I got two gigs of RAM on a PC I built last week for less than 50 dollars. My RAM has a lifetime warranty at no additional cost. Apple's entire system, including the RAM, has a free warranty that lasts a year. You can get an additional two years added to the warranty for $249. At Newegg, most of the RAM at the same specifications (roughly 80%), even the high end stuff, is between 25 and 75 dollars.

They're not using some unique RAM that is blessed with holy ointment distilled from the afterbirth of every new product that Steve Jobs pushes out; their own specifications page shows that it's the same speed as my RAM. They are charging a 1000% markup on the RAM alone. Normal RAM.

That doesn't seem fair.

Pay attention to what's inside the box.

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Monday, April 21 gave rise to...

“Natural gait is biomechanically impossible for any shoe-wearing person.” Read on to learn:

  1. How to walk properly
  2. How the Clarks legacy fits into the grand equation of reasonable footwear
“Natural gait is biomechanically impossible for any shoe-wearing person,” wrote Dr. William A. Rossi in a 1999 article in Podiatry Management. “It took 4 million years to develop our unique human foot and our consequent distinctive form of gait, a remarkable feat of bioengineering. Yet, in only a few thousand years, and with one carelessly designed instrument, our shoes, we have warped the pure anatomical form of human gait, obstructing its engineering efficiency, afflicting it with strains and stresses and denying it its natural grace of form and ease of movement head to foot.” In other words: Feet good. Shoes bad.
Read on: "How We're Wrecking Our Feet With Every Step We Take"

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I Like These Glasses. They Make Me Look..."Complicated."

August 2005:

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Not of the Equidae Family

Relaxes pretty well at deep sea pressures
Relaxes pretty well with a huge snout, strange fin,
and hell of curly tail
Relaxes while being oblivious to this blog post and incapable of conceptualizing it, but still maintaining an air of coolness that is only capable in nature (What you see on Discovery)
Relaxes pretty well while being a pregnant male!

Syngnathidae is a family of fish which includes the seahorses, the pipefishes, and the weedy and leafy sea dragons. Fish of this family have the unique characteristic whereby females lay their eggs in a brood pouch on the male's chest, and the male then fertilizes and incubates the eggs. The name is derived from Greek, meaning "fused jaw" - syn meaning fused or together, and gnathus meaning jaws. This fused jaw trait is something the entire family has in common.

Syngnathidae @ Wikipedia

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Sunday, April 20 gave rise to...

Bioshock is:

The first game good enough to warrant two consecutive playthroughs in half a decade.

The radios in the game play music such as jazz recordings by popular 1930s era personalities like Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, and Noel Coward.

Download all songs played in Bioshock here

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Invention of the microwave unleashed global obesity ripple effect

The invention of the microwave may have been intimately connected to the beginning of an epidemic in obesity, according to Jane Wardle, a professor of clinical psychology at University College London. "I looked at the figures showing rates of obesity in the population over many years, and it seemed very clear [that] it began between 1984 and 1987," Wardle said in a debate at the Cheltenham Science Festival, which took place from June 6-10.

"We looked at what changes were going on in the food and activity world at that time, and one of the striking differences was ... in the speed with which we could prepare a meal."

The microwave oven first became a common household appliance in the mid-1980s. Wardle claims that the introduction of the microwave led to cheaper, easy meals -- including microwave dinners -- appearing in stores.

"I'm not trying to demonize the microwave, but it was emblematic of a change that took place in the 1980s in terms of the availability of food -- a real change in the disincentives for eating."

Between 1980 and 2004, obesity rates in the United Kingdom skyrocketed from 8 percent of women and 6 percent of men to 24 percent of both men and women. From 1995 to 2003, the rate of obesity among children leaped from 10 to 16 percent.

Also at the Cheltenham Science Festival, two other researchers suggested alternate explanations.

Ken Fox, a professor of exercise and health science at the University of Bristol, attributed rising obesity to the widespread introduction of new technology after World War II that largely replaced physical labor "in both work and leisure."

Tim Lang, a professor of food policy at City University in London, instead blamed the introduction of supermarkets, "heralding the late 20th century food revolution in which prices have tumbled, car use skyrocketed [and] physical activity plummeted."


Wacky Packages

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Saturday, April 19 gave rise to...

TF2 Medic Content Patch

Developer Valve released the final details on its upcoming Team Fortress 2 content update during a party tonight in downtown San Francisco.

In addition to the known crit-increasing gun "The Critzcrieg," the remaining two unlockable medic weapons were also available for hands-on time. Dubbed "The Blutsaugher" and "The Ubersaw," they will serve as replacements for the medic's standard syringe and bonesaw, respectively. The weapons will be earned through a new achievement system, and equipped through a loadout menu.

The Blutsaugher
For players that earn one third of the 36 new medic achievements, they will be given a new syringe gun. Called "The Blutsaugher," this new weapon no longer has the ability to score critical hits against an opponent. Instead it will draw health from enemies each time a syringe hits. Especially useful as a weapon to retreat away from the fight while staying alive.

The Critzcrieg
Once a medic has earned two thirds of the achievements, they will be granted "The Critzcrieg." This new medigun uses its ubercharge not for invulnerability, but to give its recipient 100% chance to fire critical ordinance. Medics and the player they are charging need to be careful though, because as much fun as it is to fire critical rockets as fast as you can, the other team will see what you're up to and try to put a quick stop to your plan.

The Ubersaw
For the determined medic that has earned all 36 of the new achievements, they will find themselves the proud owner of "The Ubersaw," which will take damage done in melee attacks and convert it directly to ubercharge. Four hits with this new weapon will fully charge whatever medigun the medic has equpped.

@ Shacknews

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Friday, April 18 gave rise to...

Warren Zevon - Lawyers Guns and Money

Feel free to disregard the video-narrative because it has fuck all to do with the song*

*Alternatively, pay special attention to the video-narrative because it has fuck all to do with the song

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Relax With A Steed

Today's Horse: Teaching A Horse To Relax

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Wednesday, April 16 gave rise to...

Relax With A Carp

Relaxing Carp Images @ Google

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Reptilian Agents Exist In The Government. Here is the patch to prove it:

"The origins of this patch remain unknown. The red star is in Southwest, which is many secret units' home, while military intelligence typically uses green vaults."
It must be true because:
  1. It was a top secret government project
  2. It is now on the Internet.
  3. Here is a picture of a patch

Skulls. Black cats. A naked woman riding a killer whale. Grim reapers. Snakes. Swords. Occult symbols. A wizard with a staff that shoots lightning bolts. Moons. Stars. A dragon holding the Earth in its claws.

No, this is not the fantasy world of a 12-year-old boy.

It is, according to a new book, part of the hidden reality behind the Pentagon’s classified, or “black,” budget that delivers billions of dollars to stealthy armies of high-tech warriors. The book offers a glimpse of this dark world through a revealing lens — patches — the kind worn on military uniforms.
“It’s a fresh approach to secret government,” Steven Aftergood, a security expert at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, said in an interview. “It shows that these secret programs have their own culture, vocabulary and even sense of humor.”

One patch shows a space alien with huge eyes holding a stealth bomber near its mouth. “To Serve Man” reads the text above, a reference to a classic “Twilight Zone” episode in which man is the entree, not the customer. “Gustatus Similis Pullus” reads the caption below, dog Latin for “Tastes Like Chicken.”

full set of patches + article @ NYTimes

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David Lee Roth + Co. Help To Explain The American Education System

One of the most bizarre aspects of the United States is how we organize public education at the elementary and secondary levels. For mysterious historical reasons, we leave all of the important decisions — from curriculum and testing to financing and bus routes — in the hands of local school boards. 130,000 of them, all told. The result, predictably enough, is screaming chaos. Not only do we have haphazard ideas about what to teach and how to judge how well it’s been taught, but the dispersal of resources makes economies of scale impossible, so we don’t put anything like the appropriate amount of effort into developing new techniques and training our teachers.

And it shows. Matt Miller has written a compelling article in The Atlantic, documenting how our screwy system — unique, apparently, in the developed world — has utterly failed to give our children the educations they deserve.

Original post

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Unemployment is Excellent

Given a choice between getting a check every week for doing nothing and getting a check every week for flushing 40 hours of the prime of their lives down the toilet, they chose the latter. I mean, what kind of self-hating, masochistic Protestant bullshit is that?

Not only do I feel no guilt whatsoever about sucking from the state’s teat, I feel that I’m absolutely entitled to it. First of all, the employer that fired me pays for half of my unemployment, and fuck them.

Full Essay

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The New Global Wealth Machine

Excellent graphic, huh? It's from The New York Times.

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Awesome Colors

by Marcos Lopez

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Monday, April 14 gave rise to...

I met God once. He looked like Ahab and rode a great white whale through the sky. He wound up his left arm, thickly corded with muscle, and threw a harpoon into my belly. Despite its size, when it hit me, I did not fall back. There was no noise as it flew through the air. The tearing was minimal, surgical even. There was blood.

The wound bled for days; red, with flecks of some shimmering golden-white material. As I bled from my stomach, I cried from my eyes and my soul. God laughed and floated away into the sky. The Kingdom of Heaven was revealed to me, briefly. I saw the wings of His seraphim and the beaming face of His son. The various books of His worshippers spilled forth. They left me to perish; to decompose. As the Gates of Heaven shut, they began to laugh. Their laughter was beautiful and rude.

My Dad found my crumbled body and had me cremated. He spread my ashes among fertilizer and planted a small tree in the back yard. The tree grew for 24 years. I grew for at least 20 of those years. I was reborn into a world where my whole family, everyone I had ever known, was dead. I wanted to cry for them, but tears would not come. In lieu of this, I tried to scream, but had no voice. I settled on spending great stretches of time rustling my leaves and creaking my wood with rage unbecoming of a tree. I ate the sun and drank water. I grew stronger still. Ate a few animals in the outrageous hope that in that way I might transform back into something dead one day; a dead boy, perhaps. Some birds tried perching on me and I let them. Animals saw this and tried to make me their home but I told them I wasn't a slut, that I was waiting for the right critter to make his home inside me and start a family. I was angry, so I uprooted myself and walked away.

My neighborhood was bigger than before. The houses were closer together and the air smelled somehow fresher. People walked the streets at night in droves. It had become a village. My house looked the same. Cars looked the same. There were more bikes. I looked into the window of my house and saw a family that did not resemble my own. They had a lot of food at their dinner table, and the table was freshly set. They were just sitting down to eat. In a fit of mischief, I took a huge shit on their doorstep. The shit was a crude bundle of leaves, kindling, squirrel bones, sap, pollen, and water.

I left and walked south among the forest and noticed voices. I could hear other plants speak in voices I recognized from my previous life. Sadly I did not hear my friends. The walk was easy and good. Their souls were generous; I was offered many friendships as I walked. I got to the edge of town and saw that it had become a city. I pulled a Traveling Squirrel from my core and sent him on reconnaissance. I ruminated on my situation. A turtle came to me and spit creek water into my roots. Other turtles appeared. There were never this many turtles in town when I was a man. They surrounded me, emptying liquid into my roots. I drank it in: reflexively at first, then eagerly. After my drink there was burning, then blackness, then nothing, then less than nothing. I came to feeling a fundamental difference inside of me. The bark flaked and burned off, revealing steaming-hot brown skin underneath. There was frost on the trees around me, but I was not cold.

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Gmail Redesigned w/ Stylish for Firefox

I wish this existed for Google Reader.

  • Get Stylish Addon for Firefox here.
  • Install the Gmail Redesigned style, available here.

Gmail Redesigned, by Globex Designs

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