Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Romance Blog

My Dream Date With Sebastian Junger.


Our lips parted. The distant whir of helicopter blades, though not audible, could be felt. A rhythmical whumping battered our flesh. Our eyes met. His were inscrutable, but I believe I detected an ineffable sadness in them, in between the involuntary blinks engendered by the insistent percussive thumps.

A rope ladder, or perhaps hemp, descended silently. Sebastian gripped a rung with one strong hand, and began to rise. He broke our gaze and turned it upwards, and mine faltered as my tears welled. There was a faint lingering aroma of kerosene and Old Spice. Then he was gone.

Nostalgia Blog!

Punchlines, remembered with fondness and regret

Rectum? Damn near killed him!


And here's a banana for your monkey.

Pretty big word for a six year old.

Is it a black dick?

Rufus, you is a vagina!

Break her fingers.

That's not my finger.

A frog in a blender.

He gave me a ten inch pianist.

Smell it? I'm sitting in it!

Well, we're not gonna SPANK him.

And that's the bastard who ran over my frog!

You fuck ONE goat....

Dopey fucked a penguin! Dopey fucked a penguin!

Who's that guy with Bob?

I was talking to the duck!

Why the long face?

I'll have whatever she's having!

Why would a circus need drywall?

What was THAT all about?

Monday, August 01, 2011

Crisis Averted Blog

Jeff Jarvis feels hope!
He got drunk and tweeted, "Hey, Washington assholes, it's our country, our economy, our money. Stop fucking with it." Someone in the twitterverse, lifting his banner, suggested, "@jeffjarvis Hashtag it: #FUCKYOUWASHINGTON." This apparently sparked a Twitterlution. Thousands of tweets, saying things like:

@jellencollins: "#fuckyouwashington for making 'debt' a four letter word and 'fuck' an appropriate response."

@tamadou: "#fuckyouwashington for giving yourselves special benefits and telling the American people they have to suck it up or they're selfish."

@psychnurseinwi: "#fuckyouwashington for having the compromising skills of a 3 year old."

And so forth.

Jarvis concluded, in his July 25th post: “Believe me, I'm not overblowing the significance of this weekend's entertainment. All I'm saying is that when I get to hear the true voice of the people – not the voice of government, not the voice of media, not a voice distilled to a number following a stupid question in a poll – I see cause for hope.”

Take heed, Washington. The people have texted! The Kraken has been released!

Dawkins hits on woman, woman offended!
Gawker reports that Richard Dawkins, famed atheist, was at a skeptics’ convention in Dublin. After the day’s activity, consisting of speeches and panels about the continuing non-existence of God, various folks retreated to bars to further insist on God’s non-existence. Around 4 a.m. Rebecca Watson, conference participant and feminist non-believer, took an elevator to return to her room. Richard Dawkins was also on the elevator, and invited her to his room “for coffee.” Ms. Watson rebuffed him. You’d think that would be that.

But she returned home, and blogged a few days later, “Just a word to the wise here, guys. Don't do that. I don't know how else to explain how this makes me very uncomfortable, but I'll just sort of lay it out: I was a single women in foreign country in a hotel elevator with you, just you, and I—don't invite me back to your hotel room right after I finish talking about how it creeps me out and makes me uncomfortable when men sexualize me in that manner.”

Various folks weighed in on this, pro and con, but then Richard Dawkins weighed in on the comments section at the science blog Pharyngula: “Dear Muslima-- Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and … yawn … don't tell me yet again, I know you aren't allowed to drive a car, and you can't leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you'll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with. Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep"chick", and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn't lay a finger on her, but even so …And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin. Richard”

That was not a good idea, Richard Dawkins!

Various people weighed in, many not at all sympathetic to Richard Dawkins, culminating in Ms. Watson herself, on “Skepchick,” writing, “[To] have my concerns—and more so the concerns of other women who have survived rape and sexual assault—dismissed thanks to a rich white man comparing them to the plight of women who are mutilated, is insulting to all of us. Feminists in the west have been staunch allies of the women being brutalized elsewhere, and they've done a hell of a lot more than Richard Dawkins when it comes to making a difference in their lives.”

Then, according to Gawker, she called for a boycott of Dawkins' books.

Message I’m getting? Atheists don’t get laid much.

And, with the existence of God no longer in dispute, they don’t have many important things to worry about.

On Wisconsin!

Earlier this year, Wisconsin passed a law that in order to register to vote in that state you must have a valid picture ID issued by the DMV. Due to budget restraints, Governor Scott Walker is closing ten DMV offices in the state, all of them, strangely, in Democratic districts.

Further, Wonkette aggregated this: “… the Wisconsin DMV is not obligated, and in fact it is not their policy, to first inform a voter ID applicant that he or she is not obligated to pay the $28 fee for issuing the card. The applicant must know to first request a free card, and then find a small box on the form asking for the free card. Otherwise, the applicant is automatically charged $28 for the state ID. To the small minded, that sort of sounds like a poll tax!”

Changing subject abruptly! Insert Casey Anthony joke here.

Then bow your head in shame.

Eric Schmidt in conversation with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria

“Today, your phone knows who you are, where you are, where -- where you're going, to some degree, because it can see your path. And with that and with your permission, it's possible for software and software developers to predict where you're going to go, to suggest people you should meet, to suggest activities and so forth. So ultimately what happens is the mobile phone does what it does best, which is remember everything and make suggestions. And then you can be just a better human and have a good time.”

Because we need suggestions from algorithms in order to survive! Don’t you see that? What are you, a luddite?

The Debt Ceiling…

…has been raised! Thank you, Jesus! Now, America, go back to not having a job, getting hounded for getting abortions, trying to avoid foreclosure, holding bake sales to buy pencils for your public school, steering around potholes, watching bridges fall down, getting put on hold when you call 911, dropping dead from heat exhaustion, hoarding guns, hoarding gold, supporting the troops (until they come home), blaming unions, blaming pensions, blaming immigrants, blaming Obama, and texting Washington with mighty tweets. I’m behind you all the way. Over here. Cowering in my hovel.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Weiner dog weiner blog

Weiner… showed his weiner!
I have to wonder if Weiner’s last name weren’t Weiner, would that flap have lasted so long? A Johnson would have been pretty good as well, I guess, and of course, there’s Boehner (that’s BAY ner! BAY ner!), and Dick Cheney. Also Dick Nixon, but he’s dead. (“Pull out like your father should have.” Remember that? Political discourse has always been thus.)

Has always been thus.
One of the plus sides of the new crudity in political discourse is that the phrase “… has always been thus” does not have the ubiquity it once possessed.

Zuckerberg: Carnivore

"The only meat I'm eating is from animals I've killed myself," says Zuckerberg.
He posted, on Facebook, “I just killed a pig and a goat.”

Go the bleep to sleep.
So the faux-children’s book, GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP (about an exhausted Dad’s attempt to get toddler to etc.), the object of much hilarity and controversy, is finally a real best-selling book. Nothing can live up to the title, gentle readers. The author should have let it rest.

And, sure enough, Katie Roiphe, described by Gawker as “one of the leading sex-opinion-havers of American letters,” (Gawker ought to know) has weighed in on the book and its author in SLATE:

‘The book, in all its cleverness and artfulness and ingenuity, raises certain other questions: Are they having sex, these slouchy rageful parents? Not enough, perhaps. When the father turns back to the waking child's bedroom, we look out at the comfy, sexless, vaguely depressive scene of his wife sprawled asleep on the couch under an ugly old blanket….’

See what happens when you turn a one-liner into a book? You get forelock-tugging about vast cultural implications!

I eagerly await the sequel. LET US NOW HAVE DISGRUNTLED EXHAUSTED SEX, PLEASE, COME ON HONEY. HONEY? HONEY… It will be a sad, short book that will become an unfunny comedy with Jason Segel and Jennifer Anniston. I will not see it.

Murdoch shuts down treasured newspaper!

Thousands of phone accounts have been hacked for no apparent reason by Rupert Murdoch’s Sunday newspaper NEWS OF THE WORLD. Thanks to the tireless (I mean REALLY tireless) investigation from Nick Davies at the UK Guardian, it has been discovered that the journalists at NEWS OF THE WORLD, via private detectives, had not only hacked the cell phone answering service of a missing person, but deleted messages, in the hope (apparently) of making room for more. Unfortunately, the missing person, Milly Dowling, was already dead. This action by NEWS OF THE WORLD could, I believe, I’m no expert, be termed evidence-tampering.

In the wake of the growing “controversy,” Murdoch shut down the newspaper, which has been around for over a century and a half. Rebekah Fleming, News International Chief Executive, held a tearful farewell for Mr. Murdoch’s beloved former employees. She said, “The Guardian newspaper were out to get us, and they got us.” As of this writing, she is still employed. But, Guardian, watch out. Rupert will buy you, and then destroy you.

Maybe we need soldier journalists. Arm competent warriors with appropriate weapons and state of the art recording devices. Send them out into the world to create wars, and simultaneously report them. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck, formerly of Fox News, a Rupert Murdoch entity, now seeking to build a mini-empire of his own, went with his family (and security detail) to Bryant Park in NYC to see a free screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s THE 39 STEPS. There, he was recognized. Various Tweets from the audience emerged. At some point, the folks behind him spilled some wine which may or may not have landed on the wife of Mrs. Beck. In her vicinity, anyway. The Becks left before the end of the movie.

Subsequently Mr. Beck, on his now defunct broadcast, spent ten minutes or so feeling sad about America. Among other things he said (approximately), “If you are sitting on a blanket, or anyplace, next to a guy that you vehemently disagree with, don’t kick your beverage on them, and certainly not their wife….”

The beverage kicker in question began to e-mail GAWKER and other publications to tell her side of the story. Her e-mail promptly showed up on Glenn Beck’s web site, Well, you can imagine what happened….

Obscene e-mails to the woman to the person behind the Glenn Beck party: "GET A LIFE YOU LOSER CUNT" And "It is with great pleasure I informed your mother that abortion is a right! You should have been aborted a$$hole!~"

From the larger blogosphere: “Tomorrow is ‘Punch a liberal in the face’ day.” That’s from Human events dot com. As is this: “…make it "Bring your own club day.” Although most of us Vets are perfectly capable with our fists!... Maybe it's the Concealed Carry laws, or that we don't mind bouncing them off a wall a few times in my neck of the woods!”

Ann Coulter wrote: “Maybe it's time for Beck to pony up some of those millions of dollars he's earned and hire people to rough up the liberal mob, or, at a minimum, to provide a legal defense to those …who do.”

All this, from a little spilled wine at a Hitchcock movie. Good movie too. I recommend it. The villain looks like Franklin Delano Roosevelt. But, of course, that doesn’t mean that he is. Ask Dr. Memory!

Friday, June 10, 2011

OK I'm back blog

Snippets from commercials I heard yesterday
“Coconut fruit freeze does not contain coconut or fruit juice!”
Delivered in a sprightly tone, as if that were a good thing.

“Never ending bra problem.”
I didn’t make it to the end of the ad, but I believe that problem is now solved. With your good credit.

Where have I been?
Moving. Debating whether to continue with this thing or not. Moving about killed me. The blog is, well, not that hard. Thinking about doing something different though. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. Blogs seem to be WAY over. On the other hand, what do I care if they’re over or not?

Song I just wrote. Will be performing said song with Philosophy Talk, at the Marsh in SF on June 19th. Info here:

The media gather. A fast breaking flap.
Another fine scandal has dropped in our lap.
The Blackberries shudder. The cameras click.
The fast-rising Congressman looks a bit sick.

A manager, lawyer, consultant and friend
Plead with us, “Please bring this thing to an end.”
A photograph’s shown of the family, intact,
Of the man who just may have been caught in the act.

It’s only a sin, and all sins are forgiven.
The wicked can tremble. The upright stand tall.
The good man will sin. It’s the proof of the living.
Just bow your proud head, and you never will fall.

Someone is sorry, for something was done.
Think of his daughters now, think of his son.
No need to call a man outside his name.
It’s just human nature. We all share the blame.

Up snark the tweets. There goes TMZ.
Guilty or not, doesn’t matter to me.
The Congressman’s wife looks quite lovely in gray.
She stands by his side, with her face turned away.

It’s only a sin, and all sins are forgiven.
The wicked can tremble. The upright stand tall.
Every good man will sin. It’s the proof of the living.
Just bow your proud head, and you never will fall.

We count on you, brother. Treat the thing right.
Thank you for watching. Good night. Good night.
It starts with a bang, sister, ends with a glare.
Thank you for watching good night.
Thank you for watching good night.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

This Just Blog

This Just In.
NEW YORK TIMES review today says the accident-plagued Broadway production of SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK is really awful. And looks cheesy. The critic at SLATE kind of liked it though. Tickets start at $150.

AOL gets HuffPo
Ariana Huffington will rule the world! Brent Bozell III disapproves! “This proves AOL News has lost its mind,” he said in a statement to CNS, a division of Media Research Center, of which he is president. I guess he was talking to himself.

Sarah Palin weighs in.

AP: “Sarah Palin says the Obama administration must tell Americans what it knows about who will be Egypt's next leader. In a Christian Broadcasting Network interview released Saturday, the 2008 vice presidential candidate says the administration should level with the American people on what it knows about the Egyptian crisis.”

“Palin said the U.S. must find out who is ‘behind all the turmoil’ and that ‘we should not stand’ for a government led by the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Sarah Palin has a hunch, apparently, that President Obama either knows or can find out who’s behind all the turmoil, and already has the next Egyptian leader tucked away in a pocket somewhere. Why won’t he tell us!

Money woes.
So we don’t want to increase the taxes on millionaires, but we do want to trim the pensions of public employees. That’ll fix things right up.


From “Comment is Free,” by George Montbiot:

“For his film (Astro)Turf Wars, Taki Oldham secretly recorded a training session organized by a rightwing libertarian group called American Majority. The trainer, Austin James, was instructing Tea Party members on how to ‘manipulate the medium.’ This is what he told them:

“‘Here’s what I do. I get on Amazon; I type in “Liberal Books.” I go through and I say ‘one star, one star, one star.’ The flipside is you go to a conservative/ libertarian whatever, go to their products and give them five stars. … This is where your kids get information: Rotten Tomatoes, Flixster. These are places where you can rate movies. So when you type in “Movies on Healthcare,”I don’t want Michael Moore’s to come up, so I always give it bad ratings. I spend about 30 minutes a day, just click, click, click, click. … If there’s a place to comment, a place to rate, a place to share information, you have to do it. That’s how you control the online dialogue and give our ideas a fighting chance.’

“Over 75% of the funding for American Majority, which hosted this training session, comes from the Sam Adams Alliance. In 2008, the year in which American Majority was founded, 88% of the alliance’s money came from a single donation, of $3.7m. A group which trains rightwing libertarians to distort online democratic processes, in other words, was set up with funding from a person or company with a very large wallet.”

The Twitter Revolution.
Nothing irritates me more than hearing the events in Tunisia and Egypt describes as a Twitter Revolution. We might as well say the American Civil War was fought with telegrams.

According to SLATE…

Nobody’s in charge of the revolution in Egypt. Somebody ought to tell Sarah Palin, before it’s too late. Send her a Tweet!

Also in SLATE:
Dana Stevens is puzzled by Natalie Portman. Writes about it. Huh. Whatever.

Mark “Facebook” Zuckerberg has issued a restraining order against a stalker. Was he a Facebook stalker? Insert poking, friending, etc. joke here. And then be ashamed.

How it works…

“Intel AIM Suite face detection algorithms have statistically learned the pattern of a human face by being trained on an audience database of thousands of pictures of human faces. The demographics of a face can be determined using a similar process to how a face is found, where the patterns being looked at correspond to male or female faces, or certain age brackets (children, young adults, adults, seniors). The algorithms have learned which face features have the strongest weighting for each gender and age bracket. The combination of various facial features such as eye positioning, nose shape, cheek bones, and overall facial structure are among the variables that are taken into consideration during this process.”

The above is Jose Avolos of Intel explaining Meal Planning Solution to Mashable. This is a kiosk, in development by food provider Kraft and Intel. It scans your face and based on that data, lets you know what you want to eat. Because we no longer know for sure. Another spokesman for Intel told Mashable, “We think the technology — anonymous video analytics along with the immersive digital experience in-store, has huge potential.” Just what Safeway needs: an immersive digital experience.

Friday, January 21, 2011

This is your blog, on drugs.

“There is a saying ‘Only in Tucson,’ when something out of the ordinary happens. Tucson is home to the weird and Tucson needs prayer also. It is no surprise that such a deranged and probably paranoid schizophrenic young man grew up in this grunge city with its most prominent public statue that of the bandido Pancho Villa and its streets lined with tattoo shops, murals reminiscent of Marxist art, bong stores and so on. Tucson celebrates diversity, but rarely does one hear about commonalities.”

If Tucson hadn’t had bongs and murals, none of this unpleasantness would have happened. That’s the message I’m getting.

Tucson thought…
I listened to President Obama’s memorial speech in Tucson. I was struck by the pep rally tone of the proceedings, which many conservative pundits took to be evidence of something unwholesome, and for which (of course) they blamed Obama.

I figure it this way: in America, nobody teaches us how to grieve. But everybody knows how to cheer.

Has FORBES gone insane?

This is from a recent article by Wendy Milling:

“At their core, public safety nets use government force to systematically seize property from some individuals and transfer the loot to others, with the implicit threat of organized government violence against those who resist. Public safety nets are systematized robbery by government proxy.”

Deduct social security from your paycheck, or jackbooted thugs will come to your door and remove it for you!

Not the WIRED editor, Chris Anderson is curator of the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conferences.

He blogged, for WIRED Magazine:
“I believe that the arrival of free online video may turn out to be just as significant a media development as the arrival of print. It is creating new global communities, granting their members both the means and the motivation to step up their skills and broaden their imaginations. It is unleashing an unprecedented wave of innovation in thousands of different disciplines: some trivial, some niche in the extreme, some central to solving humanity’s problems. In short, it is boosting the net sum of global talent. It is helping the world get smarter.”

Wasn’t the first book printed, in the West at least, the Bible? What was the “free online video” equivalent?

I do get tired of Web enthusiasts yammering on about the exciting possibilities of new stuff. It will all just turn into some different stuff five years from now (or less), with a new batch of enthusiasts, and an equal lack of evidence that anybody’s getting smarter, much less the world.

Mommy World
Once a year or so, some new book or article shakes Mommy world to its very foundation. This year, it’s BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER, by Amy Chua.
If you haven’t heard of the book, you haven’t listened to NPR, or the BBC, or listened to talk radio, or watching the morning tv chat shows.

Here’s Judith Warner, introducing the Mom herself in the New York Times: “Chua, who is Chinese-American and a Yale law professor, pushes her children to get straight A’s, forces them to spend hours each day practicing piano and violin; they are not allowed to pursue loser activities like playing the drums…. She refuses them playdates and sleepovers and TV and video games, and she demands unstinting obedience and devotion to family, all of which leads, unsurprisingly, to no small amount of crying, screaming and general tension.”

Reaction to the book comes not from the book itself - which is apparently a memoir, and not a how-to call to arms to mothers everywhere, -but from the most “controversial” portions of the book, published in the Rupert Murdoch-run Wall Street Journal.

Further, of course, the reaction to the book doesn’t even come from the excerpts published in the Wall Street Journal, but from media reactions to them. Who has time to read? Much better to listen to some talk show host read a couple sentences for you, and then throw open the lines.

The better to hook you, guilty Mommy, as you call up the talk show to defend yourself from the onslaught of Chinese mommies who are better mommies than you will ever be, calling the talk show on your handsfree cell phone, as you ferry your kids to ballet, to the Mandarin lesson, to the museum, as they hunch in the backseat, watching Justin Bieber videos on the DVD, and texting their friends on how much they hate you.

Two spacers, unite! Or don’t. Who cares.
In Slate, Farhad Manjoo issued a rant about punctuation, a diatribe against the practice of putting two spaces after a period when typing a document. The author calls this “totally completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.” He calls practitioners “two-spacers,” jokingly, of course. But maybe not.

He wrote: “Over Thanksgiving dinner last year, I asked people what they considered to be the ‘correct’ number of spaces between sentences. The diners included doctors, computer programmers, and other highly accomplished professionals. Everyone—everyone!—said it was proper to use two spaces. Some people admitted to slipping sometimes and using a single space—but when writing something formal, they were always careful to use two.”

These accomplished professionals won’t be breaking bread with Farhad next Thanksgiving, I’ll bet. Did he invite them all to Thanksgiving to feed them, or to coerce them into being a focus group for his insane obsession? What else was discussed? “Before we serve up the pumpkin pie people, one simple question: do we really need the semicolon? You’ll find pencils and notepads just above your butter knife.”

Animal news!
Back in World War II, a couple in Finland owned a dog. When you commanded, “Hitler,” it would raise its paw in salute. And its bark sounded like “Heil.” Newly unleashed documents, according to the Associated Press, have revealed: “In the months preceding Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union, Berlin's Foreign Office commanded its diplomats in the Nazi-friendly country to gather evidence on the dog and its owner — and even plotted to destroy the owner's pharmaceutical business.”
You’ll be pleased to know that both dog and owners were spared Nazi wrath, and survived the war.

But the story achieves a special resonance in the wake of recent strange animal stories. One of my favorite publications, THE FORTEAN TIMES, which devotes itself to the inexplicable, occult, and the bizarre, had a brief series of articles about monkeys, including one from the Chinese government-run PEOPLE’S DAILY, which claimed that the Taliban is training monkeys to fire machine guns at American troops in Afghanistan. Animal experts are skeptical. While quite adept at flinging their poo at observers in zoos, monkeys are not known for their sniper skills.

The closing days of 2010 also brought news of a series of shark attacks in the Red Sea – Here is Time Magazine. “Over six days, five swimmers were attacked by sharks. That compares to just six attacks over the previous decade in Egypt, according to the Global Shark Attack File, a scientific archive that documents shark attacks worldwide.”

Sharks themselves are rarely sighted in the Red Sea, and investigators have concluded that two of the attacks were by the same shark! A serial killer shark!

Time said: “Local explanations for the shark surge varied wildly in the days following the first attacks, citing everything from climate change to the de rigueur blaming of local calamities on alleged Israeli plots. “

That’s right. The Mossad trained this shark to scare Muslims so they won’t go swimming.

News from Dubai, from The Telegraph

“…[T]he World, the ambitiously-constructed archipelago of islands shaped like the countries of the globe, is sinking back into the sea, according to evidence cited before a property tribunal.
The islands were intended to be developed with tailor-made hotel complexes and luxury villas, and sold to millionaires. They are off the coast of Dubai and accessible by yacht or motor boat.
Now their sands are eroding and the navigational channels between them are silting up…”

Seth Rogen, fresh on the heels of GREEN HORNET’s stunning box office and critical glory, reports that he was in a meeting with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, in which Lucas began holding forth about how the world was going to end in 2012.

He told the Toronto Sun: "I first thought he [Lucas] was joking ... and then I totally realised he was serious and then I started thinking, 'If you're George Lucas and you actually think the world is going to end in a year, there's no way you haven't built a spaceship for yourself ... So I asked him ... 'Can I have a seat on it?'
"He claimed he didn't have a spaceship, but there's no doubt there's a Millennium Falcon in a garage somewhere with a pilot just waiting to go ... It's going to be him and Steven Spielberg and I'll be blown up like the rest of us."

Spokespeople for Lucas, claim that he was joking. But yes, there will be no seat for Seth on the Millennium Falcon. That space is reserved for Chris Rock.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

You can tell everybody this is your blog.

Late breaking new from WWII.
Some guy in Finland owned a dog that, when you commanded, “Hitler,” would raise its paw in salute. Its bark also sounded like “Heil.”

Newly unleashed documents, according to the Associated Press, have revealed: “In the months preceding Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union, Berlin's Foreign Office commanded its diplomats in the Nazi-friendly country to gather evidence on the dog and its owner — and even plotted to destroy the owner's pharmaceutical business.”

Nothing happened to the guy, or dog, however.

Recent study suggests….

The New York Times:“In several experiments, researchers found that men who sniffed drops of women’s emotional tears became less sexually aroused than when they sniffed a neutral saline solution that had been dribbled down women’s cheeks.”

A study, conducted by the Weizmann Institute, in Israel, hopes to expand its study to include men’s tears. Neurobiologist Dr. Noam Sobel told the Times that “… researchers started with women because when they advertised for ‘volunteers who can cry with ease,’ they could not find men who were ‘good criers,’ readily able to fill collection vials. Fortunately, he said, ‘we have a male crier now.’”

No. It’s not John Boehner. That’s funny though.

Nature News!
The closing days of 2010 brought news of a series of shark attacks in the Red Sea – Here is Time Magazine. “Over six days, five swimmers were attacked by sharks. That compares to just six attacks over the previous decade in Egypt, according to the Global Shark Attack File, a scientific archive that documents shark attacks worldwide.”

Sharks themselves are rarely sighted in the Red Sea, and investigators have concluded that two of the attacks were by the same shark! A serial killer shark!

Time: “Local explanations for the shark surge varied wildly in the days following the first attacks, citing everything from climate change to the de rigueur blaming of local calamities on alleged Israeli plots. “

That’s right. The Mossad trained this shark to scare Muslims so they won’t go swimming. Or maybe it was Dr. Evil.

In other natures news!
Thousands of birds dropped dead from the sky in Arkansas. Anderson Cooper invited the Christian actor Kirk Cameron to venture his opinion about the event on television. He said maybe somebody should call a veterinarian. There is a popular video game called ANGRY BIRDS. I’m just saying.

My vow to you
I will never again tag a comment with “I’m just saying.” I suggest that the rest of you refrain as well.

Congress in action!
The House, in its wisdom, decided to read the United States Constitution aloud. Well, not ALL of it. Members skipped the part about slaves counting as three-fifths of a person, for instance. And members drifted away as the reading went on. This was partly because the reading was not continuous. As each distinguished colleague read a chunk, he would then yield the floor to the next distinguished chunk reader.
Thanks to Jed Lewison at DAILY KOS, I learned that it went something like this:
Rep. GOODLATTE: I now yield to the gentleman from Rhode Island, Mr. Langevin.
Rep. LANGEVIN: Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
Rep. GOODLATTE: I now yield to the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Lance

These symbolic moments take time!

John Boehner himself (again, according to the DAILY KOS) bailed on the reading halfway through to hold a press conference with Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Fox News dropped its covering of the reading to cover them.

In related news…
Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot over the weekend, along with some 17 others, two of whom died (federal judge, child). She was attending a series of constituent meetings at a Safeway in Tucson. The alleged shooter has been apprehended. Early reports indicate that he is some kind of crazy person.

During the Constitutional reading, she read the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Tea Party news.

The New York Times checked in with the Tea Party on January 1st. Part of that report?

“Do I think that they’ve recognized what happened on Election Day? I would say decisively no,” said Mark Meckler, a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, which sent its members an alert last month urging them to call their representatives to urge them to “stop now and go home!”

“We sent them a message that we expect them to go home and come back newly constituted and do something different,” Mr. Meckler said. “For them to legislate when they’ve collectively lost their mandate just shows the arrogance of the ruling elite. I can’t imagine being repudiated in the way they were and then coming back and saying ‘Now that we’ve been repudiated, let’s go pass some legislation.’ ”

So…. Mr. Meckler is upset that the body elected to pass laws passed some laws. That’s the message I’m getting!