Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

It was Jack-O-Lantern night at the Foil house earlier this week!

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Friday, October 30, 2009

More Stick Figure Funny...


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Philip Glass is Ira Glass’ Great Uncle!

It’s true. It must be. I read it in Wikipedia

Speaking of Philip Glass, Amazon is currently offering “The Orange Mountain Music Philip Glass Sampler, Vol. 1” free for nuthin’. Click here right away because I don’t know how long this will last.

I’m downloading my tracks right now…

Thanks to Jason Kottke’s blog for the heads-up!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chimpanzee Grief

From The Telegraph in the U.K…

When Dorothy, a beloved female chimp died at the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center in Cameroon, her burial was witnessed by the rest of the chimps residing there.

Monica Szczupider took this photo that showed a wall of grieving chimps paying their last respect:

Speaking about Dorothy, Miss Szczupider, 30, said the chimp was a "prominent figure" within a group of about 25 chimps.

"Chimps are not silent. They are gregarious, loud, vocal creatures, usually with relatively short attention spans", she said.

"But they could not take their eyes off Dorothy, and their silence, more than anything, spoke volumes."

Thanks to Neatorama for the heads-up!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


There is a lot of shit on our plate right now. You know, as a nation. We've got the financial collapse to deal with. We've got terrorism, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea and Iraq to figure out. We've got to get our arms around health care too.

I mean, we've really got to sit down and get this stuff figured out.

Which is why I'm getting sick and tired of people injecting mis-information, myths and outright lies into the debates. I'm talking about things like death panels and the Birther movement just to name two.

And damn it, its the right wing and the Republicans who do this the most...and most effectively.

So it's refreshing to see someone beat down the purveyors of this kind of misinformation and in the clip below Al Franken does just that.

He takes down Diane Furchtgott-Roth, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute who has the nerve to argue that health care reform will increase medical bankruptcies in the US.

Pay close attention at the 2:04 mark. Look at her face. As Franken dismantles her she glares, tilting her head slowly to the left, shooting daggers from her eyes. That is pure evil you’re seeing there… no movie villain ever captured it so perfectly.

BTW, the The Hudson Institute is one of these neo-conservative think tanks commited "to free markets and individual responsibility, confidence in the power of technology to assist progress, respect for the importance of culture and religion in human affairs"

Yup, sure. Just trying to make the world a better place...yup...

We Have Ice

The Guardian published an article on Friday about the birth of the Internet.

And while it’s hard to pin down the exact date, they make the case that October 29, 1969 is as good as any, making next week it's 40th birthday.

When it was twelve years old, there were…

“…still only 213 computers on the network; but 14 years after that, 16 million people were online, and email was beginning to change the world; the first really usable web browser wasn't launched until 1993, but by 1995 we had Amazon, by 1998 Google, and by 2001, Wikipedia, at which point there were 513 million people online. Today the figure is more like 1.7 billion.”

What rocked my boat though was this…on New Years Day in 1994 there were a grand total of 623 websites.

I can’t even get my mind around that because later in that same year I bought a used PowerMac from my friend Nick’s office and built the first Tim Foil web page. It wasn’t much…links to books, records and movies that I liked and a bulletin board which actually had quite an active little community.

I do remember a conversation with Nick about the nascent world wide web in which we kind of agreed that there wasn’t much out there. I remember searching and searching and searching for something – anything - interesting. People used to publish lists of interesting web sites because they were so seemingly few and far between.

Now I can’t even keep up with my RSS feed.

I wish I could go back in time and check out that first Tim Foil website again. I remember the front page had a picture of me singing into a mic in an old rehearsal space we used to rent. There was a sign behind me that read “We Have Ice.”

Turns out we had no idea what we had!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

XKCD Comes to Life

I like the web comic XKCD and have shared quite a few over the years...

Just tonight I found a video that animates and puts music to this particular strip and it made me feel good. Maybe it will work for you too!

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At the risk of becoming a bore but in the interest of completeness...

The Times and Democrat editors have spoken out on the question of whether or not they should have published that anti-Semitic letter from two local GOP chairmen.

They regret publishing the letter .

Pretty Picture From The Neighborhood

Caught this plant one wet morning last week trying to decide whether to be green or red...

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I took some good-natured ribbing from my friends when I bought a Honda Element back in 2003. My friend Carolyn organized an intervention saying that “friends don’t let friends drive Honda Elements.”

But the intervention didn’t work and now, almost six and a half years later, the Element is running strong and has been a perfect accomplice for most of my capers.

Last night on the way home from work, I clicked over the 113,000 mile mark and captured the moment…

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dumb-ass #2 rings the apology bell…

After a crassly anti-Semitic letter to the editor in last Sunday’s The Times and Democrat out of Orangeburg, South Carolina, Edwin O. Merwin Jr. joined fellow Republican operative James S. Ulmer Jr. in an apology.

From the very same Times and Democrat where they made their initial gaffe…

Ulmer wrote: “Last week I co-authored a letter to the editor which focused on the vital importance of reining in the unsustainable and excessive federal government spending which is going on currently in Washington, D.C. In one of the paragraphs which I wrote, I quoted a statement which I have heard many times in my life, truly in admiration for a method of bettering one’s lot in life.

“I admit that perception is indeed reality to many and that I could have certainly worded that sentence much better. I sincerely apologize for this great error. If I had quoted that great man from Pennsylvania, Ben Franklin, using his, ‘A penny saved is a penny earned,’ I doubt I would be writing this note.

“I meant absolutely nothing derogatory by the reference to a great and honorable people. I hope that anyone and all who were offended by my comment will accept my humble apology.”

Merwin wrote: At this time I wish to deeply apologize for any material included in that letter that would be considered anti-Semitic in any way. I have always abhorred in the past, and shall continue to do so in the future, anti-Semitism in any form what so ever. I concur fully with the apology offered by my co-author, Jim Ulmer, and likewise beg that any and all who were offended will accept my deep felt apology.”

So there it is. I hope you enjoyed the peak behind the curtain.

And oh by the way, shouldn’t someone at The Times and Democrat be held accountable also? Exactly what kind of letter wouldn’t they publish anyway?

Didn’t have to wait long…

The letter was published on Sunday and by Monday night one of the co-authors had aleady issued his apology. From The State out of South Carolina…

In an e-mail late Monday, Ulmer apologized for the language used in the co-authored letter. He said one paragraph contained a statement "... heard many times in my life, truly in admiration for a method of bettering one's lot in life. I admit that perception is indeed reality to many and that I could have certainly worded that sentence much better. I sincerely apologize for this great error.

"I meant absolutely nothing derogatory by the reference to a great and honorable people. I hope that anyone and all who were offended by my comment will accept my humble apology."

Wonder if we’ll hear from the other shithead?


The Times and Democrat, a newspaper out of Orangeburg, South Carolina, published a letter to the editor defending US Senator Jim DeMint for his opposition to congressional earmarks.

The author’s of the letter were Edwin O. Merwin Jr., Chairman, Bamberg County Republican Party and James S. Ulmer Jr., Chairman, Orangeburg County Republican Party.

Get a load of the beginning of their letter…

There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves. By not using earmarks to fund projects for South Carolina and instead using actual bills, DeMint is watching our nation’s pennies and trying to preserve our country’s wealth and our economy’s viability to give all an opportunity to succeed.

Wait. What?

How on earth? I mean…seriously…are you effing kidding me?

I eagerly await the inevitable apology.

Thanks to Pharyngula for the heads-up

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wall Street, why have you forsaken me?

From Phillip Greenspun’s blog via Jason Kottke’s blog

How Wall Street is Making its Billions

Wall Street banks have had profitable quarters. JPMorgan Chase reported $3.6 billion in profit (more than $1 billion per month). Goldman Sachs was only slightly behind, at $3.2 billion. These profits supposedly came from “trading.” I asked a friend who has worked in the money business how this was possible. “For someone to make money trading, there has to be someone on the other side of every trade who is losing money. Where does each bank find someone who can lose $1 billion every month?”

He explained that
“carry trade” would be a more accurate description of what they’re doing. Because of the Collapse of 2008 financial reforms, the big investment banks are able to borrow money from the U.S. government at 0 percent interest. Then they can turn around and buy short-term bonds that pay 2 or 3 percent annual interest. Now they’re making 2 percent on whatever they borrowed. They can use leverage to increase this number, by pledging some of the bonds that they’ve already bought as collateral on additional bonds.

I asked if they were taking any risk in order to earn this return. “If interest rates went up to 20 percent, even though the bonds are short-term, the price of the bond could fall enough to make the trade a money-loser.” (Though since the banks are too big to fail, they would simply be bailed out with additional taxpayer funds.)

What kind of bonds are they buying? Are they investing the money in American business? “No, they are mostly buying Treasuries.” So the money is just being shuffled from one Federal bank account to another, with each Wall Street bank skimming off $1 billion per month for itself? “Pretty much.”

A more old-fashioned way of making supranormal returns is insider trading, which was perfectly legal until the Crash of 1929 (
history ). The New York Times ran a story yesterday on Raj Rajaratnam, a hedge fund manager who invested heavily in inside information. Rolling Stone published "Wall Street's Naked Swindle" on October 14. The story is much more sensational and entertaining than anything from the Times. It covers a guy who spent $1.7 million on out-of-the-money put options on Bear Stearns on March 11, 2008. The options would become worthless on March 20, just 9 days later, unless Bear Stearns basically went bust. Bear Stearns collapsed the next day and the guy made a $270 million profit. He has never been identified by the SEC.

Crazy right? Didn't you just know in your heart that we were getting screwed on this deal?

By the way, in case you were wondering who Phillip Greenspun is, you can find his profile on Wikipedia .

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's that time of year again...

I posted about New England foliage at just about this time last year and now, courtesy of XKCD , I touch on the subject again...

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Spider Web

I got kind of tired of seeing Mojo Nixon's mug every time I looked at the page and so I present for your viewing pleasure a spider web that LittleFoil found last weekend...

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Git your Mojo on for free...

Mojo ya go for the beer-soaked-redneck-rockabilly-satirical-crass-trash thing?

If you do, shuffle on over to Amazon where his entire oeuvre is available in MP3 format free fer nuthin'.

Who knows how long it will last so don't dawddle. Now GIT!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Coca-Cola, why have you forsaken me?

I drink Fresca in the morning.

I’ve never liked coffee and I used to get my caffeine from Coke.

I used to drink A LOT of Coke.

But I quit caffeine about ten years ago and started drinking Fresca which is also made by The Coca-Cola Company. It's refreshing and has the same kind of course, carbonated mouth-feel that Coke has but doesn’t have any caffeine or calories.

The other day I took the time to read the copy on a box of 12oz cans.

Say you had a good night's sleep, but come mid-morning you're running out of steam. Could be you're a little thirsty. Nab a soda, water, coffee, anything will do the trick. Women may need as many as 9 cups of fluid and men may need up to 13 daily. Bodies do talk. We just have to listen.

Hey, we’re just saying…your body needs water. Well, let’s not say “water”, let’s say “liquid.” Or “fluid.” Yeah, fluid. Your body needs fluid to survive.

And hey, we sell fluids! Ergo, you need Coca-Cola products to survive! So dude, listen to your body and buy some Coke.

I’ve been meaning to do a post about that bullshit but haven’t found the right place or time to do it. Until I saw Muhtar Kent’s op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal last Tuesday.

Kent is the CEO of The Coca-Cola Company and as such is partly responsible for the health tip about hydration on the back of my Fresca box.

The purpose of his piece in the WSJ was to argue against various state tax proposals being floated to tax high-calorie and high-fat foods such as fast food burgers and soda.

And in much the same way that the rats in the Fresca marketing department have veiled their sales message in a bull-shit health and nutrition Trojan Horse, Kent hides his anti-tax message in a deceptive rant about the “real” causes of obesity.

What I’m saying is that you should be at about DefCon 2 when you consider anything this guy says.

So please allow me to share some highlights of the article along with a little TMUOTF commentary along the way. Mr. Kent's assertions follow in italics with my comments in standard text.

We at the Coca-Cola company are committed to working with government and health organizations to implement effective solutions to address (the problem of obesity).

Just as we’ve addressed the tricky problem of dehydration…

…a number of public-health advocates have already come up with what they think is the solution: heavy taxes on some routine foods and beverages that they have decided are high in calories.

Does anyone need to “decide” if soda is high in calories? Soda is high in calories. Period. Don’t tell me that you’re going to argue otherwise. Surely you’re not.

Oh yes he is…

Even soft drinks with sugar, like Coca-Cola, contain no more calories (140 calories in a can) than some common snacks, breakfast foods and most desserts served up daily in millions of American homes.

Hey man, our shit won’t make you any fatter than any of the other shit you have in your cupboard right now. Don’t blame us. Pop Tarts (198 calories in a single, ahem, pastry…) make you fat too!

So here’s the real deal with the calories in a can of coke. Kent is right, 140 calories in a can. But the most popular soda size is the 20oz bottle, not the 12oz can. The 20oz bottle has 242 calories.

What else has 242 calories ?

*A Krisy Kreme Apple Filled Cinnamon Sugar Cake Donut (280 calories)

*Burger King’s 5 piece chicken tenders (230 calories)

*Burger King's Hershey's Sundae Pie (310 calories)

So what Kent suggests isn’t that bad, is actually the equivalent of adding a Krispy Kreme donut to your diet every day.

And oh, by the way, millions of people drink two or three sodas every day. Think you'll get fat if you eat three Krispy Kreme's every day? Of course you will.

The taxes, the advocates acknowledge, are intended to limit consumption of targeted foods and help you to accept the diet that they have determined is best.

Sound familiar? It should. Its right out of the Republican/Conservative talk radio playbook. “These egg-head do-gooders are trying to tell you how to live your life!”

The average American spends the equivalent of 60 days a year in front of a television, according to a 2008 A.C. Nielsen study. This same research data show that the average time spent playing video games in the U.S. went up by 25% during the last four years.

True. Probably. If I had balls as big as Muhtar Kent’s I might try to argue that we don’t watch enough TV. But sure Mr. Kent. I agree. We watch too much TV.

But we also drink too much soda you asshole. Here are some statistics Mr. Kent chose NOT to share...

*Containing almost 17 teaspoons of sugar in every 20-ounce serving, sweetened beverages are the largest single source of added sugar in the American diet.

*Each day Americans consume 22 teaspoons of sugar — far surpassing the recommended 5 to 9 teaspoons per day.

*41% of children (ages 2–11 years), 62% of adolescents (ages 12–17 years), and 24% of adults in California drink at least one soda or other sugar-sweetened beverage every day.

*The average American consumes 50 gallons of soda and other sweetened beverages each year.

*Americans consume about 250–300 more daily calories today than they did several decades ago, and nearly half of this increase reflects greater consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

*A child’s risk for obesity increases an average of 60 percent with every additional daily serving of soda.

Over the past 20 years, the average caloric content of soft drinks has dropped by nearly 25%. This is due in large part to a determined focus by our company and others on the diet/light category.

Not relevant to the conversation. The tax proposals are about high calorie foods and beverages. Coke. Not Diet Coke.

Will a soft drink tax change behavior? Two states currently have a tax on sodas— West Virginia and Arkansas —and they are among the states with the highest rates of obesity in the nation.

According the The Arkansas Times , the tax in Arkansas is $0.02 per 12 oz of soda, not nearly enough to drive behavioral changes. The tax in West Virginia is even less.

But also, dig the logical inconsistency of his argument. If he’s so convinced that taxes will not change consumption behavior, then what is he so worried about?

…we agree that Americans need to be more active and take greater responsibility for their diets. But are soft drinks the cause? I would submit to you that they are no more so than some other products—and a lot less than many, many others.

In sales, this is called “the assumptive close.” First Kent dodges responsibility by saying that it’s not his fault and then he boldly agrees with his own assertion!

The lesson here is that when these corporate guys speak out on issues of public interest, they’re always, ALWAYS thinking about their own interests first.

Mr. Kent doesn’t care any more about obesity than he does about keeping you hydrated. Whether he’s talking to you from the packaging of a Fresca box or from the pages of the Wall Street Journal he’s feeding you a shit sandwich and trying to convince you that its the pause that refreshes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stop Making Sense

Next week, Palm Pictures launches a 25th-anniversary Blu-ray release of Stop Making Sense. Back in 1983, Director Jonathan Demme teamed up with cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth and the Talking Heads to document three nights of shows at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood.

Twenty five years ago. Good gravy.

I saw Stop Making Sense at the Coolidge Corner Theatre which should tell you all you need to know about how shit-kickin’ cool I am.

Check it, the original movie trailer. Kinda gets me fired up to see it again. (This is actually a re-mastered version of the original trailer which was re-released 10 years ago on the occasion of the film’s 15th anniversary…)

And speaking of Jonathan Demme movies, this is a perfect excuse to share a clip from his film Swimming to Cambodia with Spalding Gray, one of my favorites. RIP

Baby Elephant

I wavered a little bit on sharing this video of an elephant giving birth. It certainly makes for intense viewing at the moment of birth and if you tend towards the queasy you might opt to move along.

But I was moved by the behavior of the mother in the minutes following the delivery. There is compassion in her behavior and you can sense her anxiety as she works to get the baby to take its first breath. At the critical moment, when the baby has yet to breathe or even move, the mother bellows. I don't speak elephant but as a father I felt like I understood her. This primal, instinctive behavior is amazing to watch.

But again, not for the weak-of-stomach!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How Farmers Protest

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From the Wall Street Journal's Photo Journal Blog comes this image of a farmer spraying milk on police during a protest against falling milk prices outside the European Union headquarters Monday in Brussels.

EU farm ministers are to discuss proposals in Brussels Monday on European dairy market rules to help milk farmers hit by falling prices. (Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Kansas Farms from Space

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(Really, click it. It's cool.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ye Gads

I follow enough blogs to know that going weeks at a time without new content or comment is a sure-fire way to cull the readership. I have always had the goal of a post every other day and in August I managed 19 in 31 days and I felt pretty good about it.

Then came September and after two updates on September 2 I fell off the face of the earth. Work got hairy and pushed everything else to the sidelines.

If you clicked over a few times only to be disappointed by weeds growing on buildings, I’m sorry about that.

But work really has been off-the-wall crazy. And I don’t want to add too much to that other than to say I’ve been right on the edge of keeping my shit together. I mean RIGHT on the edge.

Now it’s the first Sunday in October – October. Can you believe it? – and I’ve just put LittleFoil down for a nap. If I’m lucky I’ve got two hours. So here we go…

People Who Died.

Mary Travers died while I was underwater. I don’t really have a connection to Peter Paul and Mary…no personal story to share about Puff the Magic Dragon or anything but you know, Peter Paul and Mary. So noted.

Patrick Swayzee died too. Did you see him at the end? It looked like he was dissolving before our very eyes. For a guy known for physicality he just wasted away. I figure a picture from “The Outsiders” era is probably the way I’ll choose to remember him. Again, no great connection for me but never let it be said that I put Baby in a corner.

And then there’s Jim Carroll. I was so crazy-busy that I missed the news of his death. It wasn’t until I saw a piece about what Patti Smith said at his wake that I realized he was gone. It kind of snuck up on my and took my breath away. Basketball Diaries was cool and so was Catholic Boy but my relationship to Carroll was all about Praying Mantis, one of the best spoken word records out there. Praying Mantis struck me in a very personal way. I got to see Carroll perform in Chicago back in 1995 or 1996 and it was one of my favorite shows ever even though not a note of music was played. I remember when Spalding Gray disappeared and then turned up dead a couple of weeks later. I feel kind of the same way about Jim Carroll. They were two artists whose work really affected me and I’m sad to see them go.

Looks like we’ve got ourselves a reader…

Here are a couple of interesting articles I’ve read in the last few weeks…

DNA evidence has exonerated at least 17 death-row inmates over the years and many people deduce that somewhere along the line we’ve used capital punishment to kill innocent people. But Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a 2005 Supreme Court opinion that there is not "a single case -- not one -- in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit."

So evidence of the execution of an innocent person has become kind of the Holy Grail of death penalty opponents. David Grann’s article in the New Yorker “Trial by Fire” details a case where it is seems certain that an innocent man was put to death.

And by the way, an interesting article in Salon outlines the reasons why “we don't need posthumous exonerations to tell us something that we already know from available evidence -- that considerable error inheres in the way we administer capital punishment.”

This article by Mark Binelli in Rolling Stone recounts the exploits of a chubby pizza delivery boy turned drug kingpin. I do love pizza…

In other business news, Alexandra Jacobs has an article in the New Yorker about the cultish atmosphere at Zappos , the online shoe store. CEO Tony Hsieh is just thirty five years old. Eight years younger than me. All around me successful, smart, well adjusted people seem to be getting younger younger while my back aches and my knees hurt...

Meanwhile, ever since Sully Sullenberger landed his airplane in the Hudson River last February, I can’t get enough about aviation disasters. Here are two great articles on that topic…

The first is David Rose’s 2001 column from The Guardian about the causes of the deadly crash of an Air France Concorde in 2000.

The second is William Langewiesche’s article from Vanity Fair called “The Devil at 37,000 Feet” .

Finally, as the NFL season has begun again, my favorite football writer – What’s that? Yes, I have a favorite football writer – is back at it again. I’ve mentioned Gregg Easterbrook’s “Tuesday Morning Quarterback” column before here and here .

It’s pretty cool to read a football column that has stuff like this little item stuck in the middle of the analysis:

“Let's Not Forget AIG Has $182 Billion of Your Money: Robert Benmosche, new CEO of AIG -- which continues to hold $182 billion of the taxpayers' money, and seems in no hurry to return any -- will be paid about $7 million per year. That means typical people, who earn a median $50,000 a year, are being taxed so yet another plutocrat can own an estate. Benmosche also is "eligible" for a $3 million annual bonus, meaning even after all the flap about AIG bonuses, average people are still being taxed for AIG bonuses. And he received 200,000 AIG stock options with a strike price of $20. Right now, AIG shares are selling for $40, meaning the options have a current value of about $4 million. Thus Benmosche could take home $14 million for his first year of running AIG. This money comes from pockets of taxpayers struggling to pay their rent. It doesn't surprise me that a plutocrat would be shameless about reaching into the pockets of the working class. It does surprise me that Barack Obama would OK this, and that the mainstream media would give up on AIG outrage. Have we simply accepted at this point that it's OK for Wall Street leadership to steal from taxpayers?”

And then later in the same column

“Meanwhile, previous AIG CEO Edward Liddy repeatedly said he was working "for $1 a year." He asserted this on "60 Minutes" and in sworn congressional testimony, and was broadly praised for his dollar-a-year service. Now it turns out he was lying. AIG quietly said Liddy received $38,368 for a New York apartment, $47,578 for personal airline flights, $31,348 for car services and $180,431 "to cover tax obligations." In what sense are these not income? You work at a job in order to be able to pay for your housing and transportation. You must earn income to pay your taxes; nobody pays them for you. If AIG was paying for Liddy's housing, personal travel and taxes, then he wasn't earning $1 a year. Yet he lied through his teeth about this and got away with it. That's the core lesson of corporate scandals -- the CEOs tell lies, pocket cash and never pay any penalty. What does this encourage? More CEO lying. Liddy also received stock options. AIG has never said how many; suppose it was 200,000, the number just granted Benmosche. When Liddy went to AIG, its share price was hovering around $5; if that's the strike price, 200,000 shares would be worth about $7 million right now. Plus AIG quietly said Liddy may receive a bonus payable in 2010. The man who was widely praised for claiming to work for $1 may end up with a king's ransom in his pockets, all pilfered from the average taxpayers. Why have the media dropped this story?”

You might also recall a post here on TMUOTF where I called bullshit on the $1 salary gambit. If I may be so bold as to quote myself…

“It appears now that the big-3 auto-makers are going to get about $15 billion in loan guarantees and bailout dollars. The three CEO’s have also announced that they will all be taking salaries of $1, a gesture showing their sincerity, integrity and patriotism.

But let me just point out what it means to take a $1 salary. Allow me to re-print John Thain’s compensation package from above:

Salary: $57,692
Bonus: $15,000,000
Restricted Stock Awards: $902,966
All other compensation: $4,449
Option Awards: $1,342,503
Total Compensation: $17,307,610

His salary ($57,692) amounts to just one third of one percent of his total compensation.

So don’t be fooled into thinking that these are stand-up guys who are rolling up their sleeves and brown-bagging lunch until this crisis has ended.

It’s all for show and you’re a sucker and an idiot if you don’t think that these guys aren't getting theirs in the end.”

That post was from last December…and if you thought I was tilting at windmills back then well, how you like me now???

Since I’ve been posting at a glacial pace, here are two items about glaciers…

Out of the UK comes this picture of a glacier published in The Daily Mail .
I presume that this image has been re-touched somewhat but it's still an excellent example of pareidolia.

Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon where our brains recognize and distill patterns in random visual or audio stimuli. It is what makes Jesus appear on grilled cheese sandwiches, makes potato chips look like Richard Nixon and makes clouds look like elephants.

Or, in this case, makes it look like Mother Nature is weeping because its getting so hot.

And from Wired’s Science Blog , pictures of glaciers from space…

(Bear Glacier, Alaska)

(Grey Glacier, Chile)

(Byrd Glacier, Antarctica)

(Erebus Ice Tongue, Antarctica)

In light of the tenor of political debate these days…

More funny stick figures from XKCD

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And how about one more for good measure?

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Video Dating

Now that online dating services have replaced video dating services, we may never again be able to enjoy collections like this one…

Where I Live

I’ve talked about loving where we live here and here and also here .

We keep a little boat at a marina near our house and I took a quick, getting-near-the-end-of-the-season boat ride and wanted to share a couple more reasons why I like it here so much…

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A Glorious Dawn – Cosmos Remixed

This video from Colorpulse is created almost exclusively from clips of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” series and Stephen Hawking’s “Universe” series.

An awesome piece of nerdobilia…

Weird Illusion

Follow the link below to experience a very trippy visual illusion.

BUT PLEASE NOTE…if you have photosensitive epilepsy or a seizure condition, you should skip it. It’s not that cool.

Moscow in Slow Motion

Camera and montage - Andrey Stvolinsky
Music - Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble

First Summit

On our most recent trip to Maine Owen made his first summit! It was Douglas Mountain, an imposing 1,382 footer with an observation tower on top.

I used to go to summer camp near Douglas Mountain – although we always referred to it as “Dougie Hill.” We used to take our cabins on a hike at dusk and pick blueberries on the way up and down. When we returned to camp we would give the berries to the chef who would turn them into blueberry pie. It was awesome.

And still is.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I Know

I know, I know. I do. Been up to my ass in it lately. More to follow, more to follow...