Month: August 2007

Brews You Can Use

Not much today. I’m off work and hope to get some serious writing done . . . in addition to going to Mass, attending tonight’s high school football opener with my football-wild sons, helping with my daughter’s birthday party (she became a teenager yesterday; she hasn’t started sassing yet, knock on cyber wood), and handling sundry matters in the nine-person household. Just a few things, then BYCU:

In light of the Oriole massacre two days ago, this ESPN writer came up with a great list of thrashings. . . . Remind me not to fish with my shirt off: Vladimir Putin has become a gay icon after being photographed with his shirt off while fishing (Drudge linked to another article on the same story yesterday, but this link emphasizes the gay angle, thereby increasing its humor) . . . “May I come in, or are you busy lying on your cot or lying on your cot or lying on your cot? Prison wardens have been urged to show respect to inmates by knocking on cell doors before going in.

Brews You Can Use

In case you missed it: A police report was lodged yesterday against a Tamil newspaper for publishing a front-page picture of Jesus Christ holding a cigarette in one hand and a can of beer in the other.

My church’s basement has a picture of Jesus playing horse shoes. Is … Read the rest

The Biden Pope?

The Pope is has been talking a lot about St. Gregory Nazianzus
. He must’ve seen my biographical sketch of the saint years ago. I hate it when my stuff gets ripped off!

Michelle Reitemeyer passes this along: The trials of grocery shopping with six children. It’s connected to an eBay auction. My wife can sympathize. I wish I had a beer for every time she has defiantly announced, “I’m going to the grocery store . . . and I’m not taking anyone with me.”

I missed this funny political ruckus: Presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Wednesday his wife was not taking a swipe at Hillary Rodham Clinton when she said, “If you can’t run your own house, you can’t run the White House.” I think I’ll vote for Obama’s wife.

Who’s shocked? A man who promised to name his second child Spiderpig if enough people joined his Facebook group has admitted it was a hoax.

PSA: Ten things your college student must have in his room. I spent seven years in college. I had none of these things (though I had a TV during my junior and senior years at the University of Michigan; for my junior year, it was a B&W that we propped up on a beer bottle). … Read the rest

Die Hard

Hand me an angioplasty. I went to the movies three times in the past seven nights: I took our out-of-town teenage company to see Bourne Ultimatum last Wednesday, my son Alex to see The Simpsons on Sunday, and my wife to see Live Free or Die Hard last night. I couldn’t decline heavily-buttered popcorn on any of the trips, of course, so I’m feeling pretty clogged right now. I need to go on a rabbit diet.

I liked Die Hard IV, incidentally. I’d never heard of a movie being based on an article, but this one is. A 1997 article in Wired. I found it, but haven’t read it (nine pages is a bit much to read on the screen, but I’m printing it out as I type this).

Later addendum: I read about half of it last night. It’s about the United States’ exposure to I-War (attacks on our computer infrastructure, which is what Die Hard IV is about). Summary: Technology is moving much faster than security. It’s scary and worrisome stuff. I would have had to drink more breakfast than normal today, except the article was written ten years ago, so I’m blithely assuming security is moving a little faster these days.

I forgot to link to this piece yesterday: Is this the end of English literature? Excerpt:

What do the following have in common: Oscar Wilde, Henry

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Quick-Hitting Eudemon

Well, isn’t that pleasant: The safety problems affecting Chinese goods spread from toys to textiles on Monday as New Zealand said it would investigate allegations that imported children’s clothes contained dangerous levels of formaldehyde.

“Dad, these pajamas itch!”
“Don’t worry son, it’s just formaldehyde. It’s the stuff we use to kill frogs. But in your case, it’ll just make your extremities fall off. The important thing is, we’re helping fund Chinese communism and its global aspirations.”

China’s market is trying to become American-like, but it doesn’t always quite succeed. This story reminds me of a person who speaks the English goodly. A shopping mall in China is promoting itself by inviting passers-by to stand on blocks of ice and eat Popsicles. Nice try, but I don’t understand the attraction.

People are upset about this, but common sense at the airports was ditched as soon as the government decided to pander to PCism and treat everyone the same: Seven-year-old Muslim boy stopped three times on suspicion of being a terrorist.

Looking to learn more about Ron Paul but don’t like to read? Here’s an assortment of Ron Paul videos on Youtube.

If these students were Poles, the jokes would be flying around the drinking establishments: Two Swiss students on holiday in Hungary played frisbee with an object they found on a beach unaware it was a live land Read the rest

Blog Column

My most-recent blog column at The Register is up, and I don’t think you need a password to access it. Excerpt:

The army of half-read books in my study has prompted me to think a lot about the problem of information and knowledge. How do we gain knowledge? What information should we seek? How do we know we can trust the information we find?

It’s an acute problem these days, with information hitting us every waking moment — cable TV, satellite radio, mobile feeds on our cellphones, newspapers, magazines and, of course, the Internet’s swarm of Web pages (8 billion pages from more than 100 million websites).

The Internet’s orc-like hordes of websites have helped many people realize a few fundamental truths about knowledge and information that I suspect most people 20 or more years ago didn’t appreciate: You never have all the facts. Whenever you trust a source of information, you are undertaking a leap of faith in the source’s authority. And no authority on factual matters is definitive.

As a younger man, I once wrote, “The redneck substitutes blanket skepticism for wisdom.” Now that I’m getting older, I’m beginning to think the redneck ain’t so dumb after all. In fact, the real wise man understands that he knows very little when contrasted with everything there is to know. I suspect the Internet and its suffocating avalanche of information makes every person a

Read the rest

Picture Tour of Europe

I don’t know why he did it, but Jeffrey Smith at The New Roving Medievalist posted a picture tour of Europe yesterday. It’s great, one of the best assortment of pictures I’ve ever seen. It made me think: What other area of the world can boast such variety and history and beauty? I know some far East countries have ancient histories, but beauty in the histories? They may have some great architecture, but such variety?

No, Europe is terribly unique. The historical causes are legion, dating back to Rome, probably back as far as Thermopylae. In any event, check out the pictures if you get a chance. It no doubt took Mr. Smith a long time. Hopefully, people will appreciate it.

I think everyone knows this, but I thought the MSM in large part denies it:

The Republicans are to a large extent the party of married couples with children, while the Democrats are the party of unmarried voters, who tend to be more sensitive to economic risk, and thus more supportive of welfare spending, than members of intact nuclear families. But the nuclear family has been in steady decline for years, pushed along by falling marriage rates and rising out-of-wedlock births, trends that are likely to create an ever-larger base for a left-populist majority.

Atlantic Monthly link.

I finally figured out how to post Youtube videos to my site … Read the rest