Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hey look! It’s the Boston Common!



What do you mean you don’t recognize it? Haven’t you ever seen a visualization of the relative proportions of different colors seen in photos taken in each month of the year as plotted on a wheel?

Dude! The resulting diagram picks up the ebb and flow of seasonal colors. The close-ups below show winter, spring, summer, and fall.



Read all about it here . The final project appeared as follows in Boston Magazine…

Ye Gads! 13 Days!

It’s been a long time since my last post loyal reader, and I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. It seems that blood and flesh life is interfering with bits and bytes life and I’ve been crunched for time. And inspiration.

While I am still here and grateful for your visit, the truth is I’m going to be hard pressed to live up to my “once every other day” average post goal for a little while. The next three months or so are going to be very tough.

And so today I’ll let someone else do my blogging. I hereby present a link dump courtesy of The Guardian UK .

I’ll be back as soon as I can.

How to redesign a hot dog…

Good reasons to avoid using the telephone…

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is growing. And I include this reluctantly because I think that a lot of hyperbole and nonsense surrounds this phenomenon…in fact, one day maybe we’ll do a blog post delving into this a little bit further. I should be able to get to something like that in, oh say, June of 2011…

Why humans kiss . File under self evident?

The Secrets to an Interminable Life .

Why boogers are good for you . Littlefoil’s going to love this…

Working at an ad agency isn’t as much fun as it used to be. Boo-effing-hoo…c’mon into work with me one day…

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Farewell Grog

FOT and frequent commenter Grog has returned with his wife Anita to Indonesia where they will get busy readying for the arrival of their first child.

Good luck Grog. Keep in touch.

Mumbo Jumbo Rhubarb Rhubarb…

I present this without comment for your entertainment…



Via FOT Molly’s blog A Little House in the Clouds

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Great tweet from Roger Ebert today...

"There are no atheists in foxholes, and no health care opponents in cancer wards."

You vill buy zee color teevee and you vill vatch!

From the Guardian UK comes an article by Corey Doctorow that has something to do with the BBC and some British agency called Ofcom and DRM and the auctioning off of British spectrum…

Right? Fascinating stuff?

But in the course of the commentary, he also tells the story of the transition in the US from B&W to color television. Even Werner Von Braun is involved!

And of course the space geek in me can’t let the Von Braun bit slide by without comment. Before I paste some of the article and share a video, I will say that the Von Braun part seems apocryphal. There is no doubt about his Nazi past but Disney's efforts to burnish his image as he took charge of the development of the Saturn V rocket would seem to require a little bit more documentation that Doctorow provides. Still, its an interesting story…

In the mid-1950s, NBC (a broadcaster whose parent company, RCA, made colour sets) began the process of rolling out colour broadcast apparatus across the nation.

But there was a problem: there was practically no colour programming. Broadcasters didn't want to commission colour broadcasts to transmit to a nation of black-and-white sets; viewers didn't have any reason to switch their sets to colour if everything being aired was in black-and-white.

There was one source of ready-made colour material that could have gone out over the airwaves: Hollywood had been shooting feature films and accompanying short subjects in colour for decades and had amassed a prodigious back-catalogue of material that might have jumpstarted the colour TV transition.

There was another problem, though: the studios hated TV, feared it, and would like to have seen it dead and dusted. It was the competition.

Until Walt Disney decided to build Disneyland, that is. To raise the $17m he needed to embark on a mad scheme called Disneyland, the company raised millions by opening their vaults to ABC.

In 1961, the Disney show moved the NBC, where its mission became the promotion of colour TV. The programme was eventually retitled Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, and each episode featured subjects that were apt to make the black-and-white viewer feel like she was missing out on something special, indeed.

The video below is a great example of the programing that they created. It features The Spectrum Song as performed by Ludwig Van Drake who Doctorow describes as a “remix of the Nazi war criminal and rocket scientist Werner Von Braun, whose reputation Disney had helped to rehabilitate with TV specials that presented the former SS Sturmbannf├╝hrer as a cuddly, daffy scientist who would help America win the space race.”

A great, pure sales pitch for color TV, hidden in an animated Nazi duck scientist. Again, it’s a gol’dang weird world.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Celebrity Following Me on Twitter…

It has been a rather typical Monday. Late start, lots of traffic, a day full of conference calls and angry e-mails…

As I was sagging into my seat under the weight, I clicked over to my private e-mail account to see the most amazing subject line ever: “Lou Barlow is now following you on Twitter!”

Hell yeah! Lou Barlow to the rescue again.

And no, I’m not even paying attention to the fact that he follows anyone who follows him (3,331 followers and following 3,209). I’m just going to take the “feel good” and try to stretch it through the afternoon.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sign Language: Director's Cut

Oh, hey. Look at that. Didn't even notice that there was a director's cut available. So, here it is.

Sign Language

A sweet little movie found via Neatorama

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hey Pope! Keep your hands off my record collection!

I haven’t pulled any punches in my occasional criticism of the Pope and his flunkies but this time its personal.

The Vatican is treading on my turf!

According the Wall Street Journal (and dozens of other sources), the the Holy See’s official newspaper, L’ Osservatore Romano, published what it called “a semiserious guide” to the top ten rock and pop albums of all time.

Or, what I am now referring to as Pop(e) Rock.

Whether or not the Vatican has any authority on morality is one thing but there should be no question whatsoever that their reach does not extend into my record collection. That’s right, I said it, “record” collection.

Curious what the Pope jams in his Pope-mobile?

1. Revolver by the Beatles
2. If I Could Only Remember My Name by David Crosby
3. The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd
4. Rumours by Fleetwood Mac
5. The Nightfly by Donald Fagen
6. Thriller by Michael Jackson
7. Graceland by Paul Simon
8. Achtung Baby by U2
9. (What's the Story) Morning Glory by Oasis
10. Supernatural by Carlos Santana

Hey, it could be worse. I could fire a couple shots at each of these but considering the source, this isn’t as out-of-whack as I had hoped.

Still, a dangerous precedent don’t you think? We let him in the door with his not-bizarre CD’s and the next thing you know he’s staking out our liquor cabinets and bedrooms.

Which leads me to the title of my next record: It’s a Slippery Slope When it Comes to the Pope. In record stores soon.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ron Houben Update

There is some news in the case of Ron Houben, the Belgian man who was thought to be in a vegetative state for 23 years but who appears to have had almost normal brain activity the entire time.

Recall from my posts here and then here that a speech therapist supposedly broke through to Houben using the discredited technique of Facilitated Communication. (For more on FC, click here.)

Dr. Steven Laureys, Houben’s neurologist, initially seemed to buy into the claims of the speech therapist but promised a more thorough investigation. Now, Spiegel Online is reporting that…

Laureys has now carried out those tests, and his results hold that it wasn’t Houben doing the writing after all. The tests determined that he doesn’t have enough strength and muscle control in his right arm to operate the keyboard. In her effort to help the patient express himself, it would seem that the speech therapist had unwittingly assumed control…

In the more recent test, Houben was shown or told a series of 15 objects and words, without a speech therapist being present. Afterward, he was supposed to type the correct word — but he didn’t succeed a single time.

There is no lack of research on the subject of FC. It has been unequivocally shown that all communication is done unconsciously by the facilitator, a phenomenon known as the ideomotor effect. (For more on the ideomotor effect, click here .)

It's a crazy dol'gang world right?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hairy Mary!

Behold this video of a truck crash. The driver fell asleep but the on-board cameras stayed awake.

Beware this video of a truck crash. There is no visible personal injury but people were no doubt grievously injured. This is a violent wreck so, you know, choose wisely.

Perhaps my favorite element is the English language translation of, I guess, the native Taiwanese. It’s like accidental poetry.

When affairs took place
Car up the camera took
Of actual condition

The left side camera
Claps of condition

The right side camera
Claps of condition

The guard only needs a second
But get hurt is
An Influence lifetime.

Indeed. Truer words, truer words…

When celebrities goof...

Drew Brees, quarterback of the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints has a birthmark on his right cheek. When Oprah welcomed him onto her show she thought it was lipstick from a wayward kiss and tried to wipe it off.

Oops! Reminds me on a night just last week when I asked a waitress where she was from because I couldn’t place her accent. Turns out that she didn’t have an accent but a speech impediment.

At lease no video exists of my gaffe. Oprah? Not so lucky.

Don't know why I have more on Doug Fieger than I had on J.D. Salinger. I guess Salinger didn't put out enough videos...

Straight from the serious journalism department at Entertainment Weekly comes the sad news that Doug Fieger, lead singer of The Knack, died at 57 after a battle with cancer.

I distinctly remember people talking about The Knack being the new Beatles back in the day. “Get The Knack” was released in 1979 and while it spent six weeks at number it certainly didn’t have an “A Day in the Life”…

Still, I’m going to get my skinny tie out of the closet and reminisce via the magic of YouTube…



Sunday, February 14, 2010

Maybe it was a fever dream…

But I swear, I swear, that I was filling up with gas last night and looking at the “gas TV” on top of the pump and all of a sudden a hot, bubbly Entertainment Tonight-type host came on and said “Here are two of the founding members of Camper Van Beethoven accompany you while you pump your gas.”

And then the two guys played an abbreviated “Take The Skinheads Bowling.”

I scrambled for my phone to obtain video proof but it ended as quickly and mysteriously as it started. “Drive safe!” said the bubbly hottie and it was over.

Anyone out there able to confirm this observation for me?

Friday, February 12, 2010

An early Valentine

From our friends at XKCD ...


(Click to embiggen...)

Happy Darwin Day!

Darwin Day is a much better holiday than Talk Like a Pirate Day...

A Brief History of Pretty Much Everything

This Jamie Bell’s final piece for an art course – a flipbook animation made entirely with Biro pens. “It’s something like 2,100 pages long and about 50 jotter books. I’d say I worked on it on and off for roughly three weeks.”

And no, I have no idea who Jamie Bell is.



Via Phil Plait’s Bad Astonomy blog…

TMUOTF: Now The Uncoolest Thing You Can Do On The Internet

From the Guardian UK’s Technology Blog yesterday…

Last week, the US research organisation Pew Internet published an extensive survey that appeared to sound a death knell for blogging. It found that where, in 2006, 28% of teens described themselves as bloggers, that number has now tumbled to 14%. As the technology writer Nicholas Carr wryly concluded on his blog, Rough Type , the survey "put a big fat exclamation point on what a lot of us have come to realise recently: blogging is now the uncoolest thing you can do on the internet".

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Moratorium on Space Posts Temporarily Lifted

Copped word-for-word from Boing Boing …you know, to save time…

Rusty from SomaFM writes,

"The Space Shuttle Endeavour has taken off and is in space, traveling to the International Space Station where it will be delivering parts including the third connecting module known as 'the Tranquility node' to the station. It's also bringing up a seven-windowed cupola to be used as a control room for robotics. The mission will feature three spacewalks."

"You can hear it all mixed with electronic ambient music on SomaFM's Mission Control channel .

Just go to somafm.com and click on Mission Control.

"The best time to tune in is around 2pm pacific time (06:00 GMT), when the astronauts are just getting up and starting their checklists for the day. Astronaut sleep periods are approximately from 6am pacific to 2pm pacific. There will be minimal mission audio at that time, but the rest of the time all sorts of stuff is going on."

Moratorium back on…

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Moments

Copped word for word from the very cool blog Iconic Photos



On 13th June 1981, a tourist in London photographed the Queen of England reviewing her troops at the annual Trooping the Colour. Six shots rang out and the Queen’s horse shied. Members of the crowd, police and troops guarding the ceremony quickly subdued the shooter, who told them “I wanted to be famous. I wanted to be a somebody”.

On his return home, the tourist, Georg P. Uebel, developed his film and discovered the above picture, which he turned over to the British police. They used it to prosecute Marcus Sarjeant, an unemployed 17-year-old, inspired by the recent shootings of the Pope, Ronald Reagan and John Lennon, to attempt an assassination on the Queen. He only fired blanks, and the Treason Act sentenced to five years in prison, a sentence for what he did, not for what he might have done.

The picture was made public at his trial in May 1982 but did not attract that much attention. It was as LIFE magazine called it, “a misfired moment of minor note”. More shocking however was the fact that at the time of his arrest, Sarjeant had on him a tape noting his intent to attack the Queen again with a loaded weapon.

Sarjeant wrote to the Queen from prison to apologise, but he never received a reply. Released in October 1984, at the age of 20, he changed his name and disappeared into history, a mere footnote.

Try this at home!

How to levitate by standing next to a wet spot on the sidewalk…



Via Boing Boing .

What was your first concert?

I always cringe when that conversation comes around because my answer is Kansas. It was the Portland Civic Center in Portland, Maine during my first summer as a Junior Counselor at summer camp.

David Johansen* opened up in support of his post-New York Dolls / pre-Buster Poindexter record “Live It Up” which I remember specifically because he was awesome.

Kansas? All I really remember is that they played “Dust In The Wind”, performed to perfection here by the Muppets very own Beaker.



Like it when the Muppets do pop music? Here’s another one.

*Six Degrees of Separation from David Johansen: He is the distant cousin of FOT (friend of Tim) VA who happens to be the WOB (wife of Bob) who was the drummer in the legendary It Can’t Happen To Me (ICHTM) and is a sometime-commenter here at TMUOTF. I know. WTF?!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Is that the forumla to calculate the diameter of a circle?

I concluded my post on the Tea-Bagger convention by noting that Sarah Palin would be delivering the keynote address.

And then, in the greatest gift to bloggers ever, Palin delivered that speech and took questions while sneaking peaks at crib-notes she had scrawled on the palm of her hand!





Check out the video. It's pathetic.



Insert pithy but disgusted comment about the state of things here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Teabagging and Happy Endings

Thought I might grab you attention with that…

Littlefoil and I were at Friendly’s restaurant the other day and after we finished lunch our waitress cheerfully asked me if I wanted a happy ending,

Which, in the world of casual dining ice-cream restaurants, means a little ice-cream sundae for dessert.

And I was transported to a marketing meeting at Friendly’s corporate HQ…

Sr. Marketing VP: OK team. We need a snappy name for the dessert that will come with the lunch specials…let’s just spit-ball some ideas here…shout ‘em out.

Marketing Flack #1: How about “Afternoon Delight?”

Sr. Marketing VP: I like it. Might have a problem getting the rights though. Have legal call the Starland Vocal Band and make inquiries. Good start though, Anyone else?

Marketing Flack #2: How about a name that suggests something luxurious…like a “Pearl Necklace?”

Sr. Marketing VP: Not bad…a little off-topic but I like your thinking.

Marketing Flack #3: How about a “Dutch Oven?”

Sr. Marketing VP: A what? No…focus people! Ice-cream is what we do here. It’s what brings ‘em in…keep going…

Marketing Flack #4: I’ve got it! How about the “Rear Admiral?”

Annnnnd scene! Twenty five minutes later they settle on “Happy Ending.”

Someone in that room knew right? Someone must have known. And they kept their mouths shut. Probably figured that they’d let the Sr. VP hoist himself on his own petard. Probably never dreamed that “Happy Ending” would actually make it through the vetting process.

And the next thing you know, I’m having a wholesome father-son moment with Littlefoil and being propositioned for a hand-job at the same time.

I picture the very same scene way back when the Tea-Party protesters were getting organized. Only this time it wasn’t around a conference table at a corporate HQ but rather around the kitchen table of some crazy, Christian, conservative nut-job (CCCNJ).

CCCNJ #1: You know…I’m just not ready to raise my family in a socialist country!

CCCNJ #2: And that’s why we need a snappy name for our conservative, racist, homophobic anti-tax movement that won’t reveal how far out on the fucked-up fringe we are.

CCCNJ #1: You’re right! Something that harkens back to a simpler time when we didn’t have to worry about godless communists teaching evolution in integrated classrooms!

CCCNJ #3: Something that connects us to the past…to our history…

CCCNJ #1: How about we organize a modern-day tea party?

CCCNJ #2: That’s it! And we’ll call ourselves “Tea-Baggers!”

And thus, you and I have the distinct pleasure of watching a bunch of racist homophobes proudly refer to themselves as “Tea-Baggers.”

Life does have its rewards.

Oh what’s that you say? Maybe I’m being too hard on the Tea-Baggers? After all, “racist” is a pretty strong word…

Yes it is! Strong and appropriate. ABC reported on the first ever National Tea Party Convention where the opening night speaker was former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo).

Tancredo ripped into President Obama and the “cult of multi-culturalism.”

“Multi-culturalism”…thinly veiled code that even the racist rednecks at this convention understood.

Still have doubts? Tancredo went on to assert that Obama was elected because “we don’t have a civics literacy test before people can vote in this country.”

It appears that Tancredo was not taught evolution or history in school. Before the federal Voting Rights Act in 1965, many southern and western states used elaborate voter registration procedures and so-called “literacy tests” to deny blacks the right to vote.

Another glimpse behind the curtain!

Oh, by the way, guess who will be delivering the keynote speech at the National Tea Party convention tonight...

Sarah Palin.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

R.I.P. J.D.

JD Salinger died today at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire. He was 91.

Crumby.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Best iPad headline so far…

“Behold The Miracle Doodad” from Salon.com .

Flip a coin...

While surfing around on my new phone during the past week, I’ve been picking up on the over-the-top buzz about Apple’s press conference earlier today. They announced a new device called the iPad which caught absolutely no one by surprise.

It also happens that Barak Obama will be delivering his State of the Union speech tonight.

Based on my focus-group-of-one, it appears that the entire webish world was crawling out of their pants in anticipation of the Apple announcement. Obama? Not so much.

To determine whether or not my observation was valid or just a case of confirmation bias I did a quick Google search on “state of the union” which returned 87,300,000 hits.

I did a search on “Apple press conference” and was deluged with 168,000,000 hits.

While not entirely scientific, this appears to confirm that the world is upside down and bass-akwards.

(I should dismount from my high horse because I can almost guarantee you that I will not be tuning in to the SOTU either.)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Aging is the worst part of getting old...

I’m about to slide from my “early-forties” into my “mid-forties” and my neck hurts. My back is a little stiff and my knees ache.

With my birthday approaching I am getting a little bit depressed about growing older. If you’re interested in helping lift my spirits, I do have a couple of suggestions for thoughtful gifts that would definitely cheer me up.

First on my wish list is the US Airways Airbus 320 that Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed in the Hudson River last year. The bidding is open until March 27 so you still have time to get in on it.



Sure, the avionics and engines have been removed and the offering page says “severe water damage throughout the airframe, impact damage to underside of aircraft” but how great would that thing look in my back yard?!



If you get out-bid on that, NASA is offering a retired space shuttle for a cool $28.8 million. You might want to go in with a couple of people and make this a “group gift.”

The Space Shuttle Discovery has already been claimed by the Smithsonian but the Atlantis and Endeavour are still available.

And don’t balk at the price tag because $28.8 million isn’t a bad deal. NASA was asking $42 million just a year ago! You can’t really afford not to pick one up!



There are actually lots of cool old space program related items for sale including surplus main engines for the space shuttles and Apollo and Mercury space suits (You already know how I feel about the Mercury space suits
…).

For a complete list of shuttle-related items, check out this PDF .

Hey, I’m not looking for a big party or telegrams or anything else. I just know how hard it can be to find the exact perfect gift so I just wanted to help.

Friday, January 22, 2010

One way or another I'm going to convince FOT Pat to check in here once-in-a-while...

...and if that means posting a rare color photo of The Beatles from 1957, then so be it.



In this picture, George Harrison is 14, Paul McCartney is 15 and John Lennon is 16. And technically they weren't The Beatles yet, they were The Quarrymen.

From All That's Interesting via Brainpicker via Jason Kottke .

More Stick Figure Funny...

...from XKCD ...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Choakley

Paul Stanley gets it. Ted Kennedy had it. Martha Coakley botched it. And now Scott Brown has it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mind Blown - Kid's TV Show Being Questioned


I just saw something unbelievable.

I was caching up on my Yo Gabba Gabba with Littlefoil when The Super Music Friend Show began and...

Look, words fail. Just please, follow this link and check it out. YouTube has a crappy version that I won't even bother embedding. Just follow the link . Turn up the volume and...follow the link !

(C'mon already).

DJ Lance is right! Listening and dancing to music is awesommmmmmmme!

Glimpses Behind the Curtain

ABC News reported yesterday that coded references to New Testament bible passages are being inscribed on high powered rifle sights that are being supplied to the US military by a Michigan company called Trijicon .

One of the citations on the gun sights, 2COR4:6, is an apparent reference to Second Corinthians 4:6 of the New Testament, which reads: "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

Other references include citations from the books of Revelation, Matthew and John dealing with Jesus as "the light of the world." John 8:12, referred to on the gun sights as JN8:12, reads, "Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Trijicon, who had $100 million in government contracts in 2008, won a $33 million contract last year and landed a $660 million contract to supply the Marine Corps with sights in 2005, sees nothing wrong with the practice.

Tom Munson, director of sales and marketing for Trijicon, said the inscriptions "have always been there" and said there was nothing wrong or illegal with adding them. Munson said the issue was being raised by a group that is "not Christian."

Damn those “not Christians.”

Every once in a while we get a peek behind the curtain, a glimpse of what the invasion of Iraq was really all about. I’ve documented some of those glimpses here at TMUOTF…

Glimpse #1: In August of last year, I posted about George W. Bush’s efforts to rally the “coalition of the willing” for the Iraq invasion, and particularly French President Jacques Chirac by invoking the menacing Old Testament characters Gog and Magog. Money quote from Bush to Chirac: “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East…. The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled…. This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.”

Glimpse #2: In 2005, the UK’s Guardian reported on a conversation between Bush and the Palestinian Foreign Minister Minister in which he said "I am driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did."

Glimpse # 3: Also recounted in my August post was the GQ article from June of last year in which it was revealed that Donald Rumsfeld used to present daily intelligence briefings to Bush that featured apocalyptic bible verses side-by-side with battle photographs from Iraq. Stuff like this:



Glimpse #4: Rifle scopes engraved with biblical codes.

Religious dudes waging religious war against religious dudes. On YOUR behalf no less!

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Count Basie Talks About The Blues

Cool, personal video clip from a 1968 TV show called "Jazz Casual." This is a fantastic use of your next seven minutes and 46 seconds.



Tip of the cap to Boing Boing .

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wait…what’s this? Oh. Nope. Still an asshole.

Pat Robertson’s comments about the history of Haiti and their very obvious pact with the devil have spawned a press release from Christian Broadcasting Network spokesman Chris Rosian. (CBN was founded by Robertson and broadcasts "The 700 Club" where Robertson made the comments in question.)

In the interest of fairness, I’ll let the spokesman speak for himself. What follows is the unedited press release as found on the CBN website here.

I do think my favorite part is when he asserts that “countless scholars over the centuries believe that the country is cursed.” Yes. That is definitely my favorite part…

Statement Regarding Pat Robertson's Comments on Haiti

CBN.com – VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., January 13, 2010 -- On today’s The 700 Club, during a segment about the devastation, suffering and humanitarian effort that is needed in Haiti, Dr. Robertson also spoke about Haiti’s history. His comments were based on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion led by Boukman Dutty at Bois Caiman, where the slaves allegedly made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French. This history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed. Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God’s wrath. If you watch the entire video segment, Dr. Robertson’s compassion for the people of Haiti is clear. He called for prayer for them. His humanitarian arm has been working to help thousands of people in Haiti over the last year, and they are currently launching a major relief and recovery effort to help the victims of this disaster. They have sent a shipment of millions of dollars worth of medications that is now in Haiti, and their disaster team leaders are expected to arrive tomorrow and begin operations to ease the suffering.

Chris Roslan
Spokesman for CBN

Milky Way Transit Authority

How badly do you want a t-shirt of this?

Check out Samuel Arbesan’s graphic representation of our galaxy.



(Click to embiggen)

Here They Go Again

FOT* and frequent commenter Grog pointed me to the new OK Go video for their single “This Too Shall Pass.”

I’ve posted other OK Go videos here and here .

It’s pretty neat so I thought I would share and I was all set to write a disclaimer that, all appearances to the contrary, I was not a big OK Go fan but you know what? I’m coming around…



*Friend of Tim

WWTD: The Rear Window Edition

(WWTD – What Would Tim Do? - is a semi-regular feature (read: space filler) in which I select letters from actual advice columns and answer them myself without reading the advice columnist’s response first. I will post my reply and then the columnists reply so you can enjoy comparing and contrasting answers. Feel free to offer your own advice in the Comments section.)

Today’s letter is from the January 14 “Dear Prudence” column at Slate.com .

Dear Prudence,

I'm a happily married man in my 20s with a gorgeous wife, whom I adore. We live in a big city in an apartment building. In order to let in light, we keep the curtains open in our bedroom (sans naughty time). I've recently noticed that the female who lives in the apartment directly across from ours and the female in the apartment one floor below also leave their curtains open as they walk around half-naked. I'm not saddling up to the window for hours upon end, but on occasion I catch a glimpse of skin, and I'll admit that I don't turn away. I don't know whether my wife has noticed the neighbors, but I haven't told her that I have. I feel as if I'm hiding a secret from her and even committing a form of adultery by not walking away when I see them. Should I tell my wife so we can make a decision about what to do together (and hope she doesn't divorce me)? Or should I unilaterally reach out to the neighbors, telling them that my whole building has probably been getting a show for several months and they should be more aware of their actions?

—In the Window

What Would Tim Do?

Dear In The Window,

First of all, I don’t understand why you wouldn’t take this opportunity to choose a “sign off” name that references the Alfred Hitchcock classic “Rear Window.” Opportunity missed my friend.

As for the matter at hand, it strikes me that there are three people you need to consider here. Let’s start with you. Is it weird or unhealthy that you’re compelled to sneak peaks at your naked neighbors? Not at all. You’re hard wired to be compelled in that way. As long as you don’t act upon those urges or allow yourself to become obsessed, you’re cool.

I’m not saying that there’s not a line you can cross here. There definitely is. Let’s all agree that filming your neighbor and posting her on YouTube is crossing the line.

Taking the occasional peak and allowing yourself to become titillated though…hell, we’ve all got bigger fish to fry.

The second person to think about is your “gorgeous wife.” She might not be down with the “hard-wired” idea. Best not to ogle obviously. Again, until you cross the line and start staking out your neighbor’s lobby, you’re not committing any egregious offenses.

And the third person to consider is your neighbor. Are you obliged to somehow warn her that you (and surely a lot of your building-mates) can see her naked every night? No. That’s on her. Having lived in a building similar to yours, I was always aware that my life was an open book when the lights were on and the blinds were open.

She is surely aware of what she’s doing and might find it titillating to think about strangers ogling her from across the alley. She may be putting herself at some risk in the event that one of your neighbors does cross the line to obsession and becomes dangerous but that risk is probably pretty small.

All in all, let your neighbor continue to pursue what excites her and don’t beat yourself up too much for what is a very natural response to visual stimulation. Keep it in check and be cool about it.

Sincerely,
Tim

And now for the actual response from an actual advice columnist…

Dear In the Window,

Virtually any heterosexual man finding himself in your situation would conclude he's got a Donald Trump-like gift for picking real estate. Since we're making comparisons with The Donald, who is also an expert on adultery, let's narrow the definition of it to actually having sexual contact with a woman other than your wife. As for your plans of attack, let's take the second option first. If you secretly make the rounds of the Victoria's Secret models across the way and explain to them the distress their dishabille causes you, that will surely be the day your wife does glance out the bedroom window at the neighborhood lovelies and wonders what in the world you're up to. So forget the friendly lecture. But since your voyeuristic impulse and subsequent guilt are bothering you, go ahead and mention the peep show to your wife. She may surprise you and suggest the two of you discreetly catch a Saturday matinee. If, however, she (ridiculously) gets all huffy that you didn't run in horror when you realized the neighbors were scantily clad, you should point out that while you two draw the curtain for your own "naughty time," that leaves a lot of your own half-dressed lives on display. It's possible your entire neighborhood is engaged in an endless round-robin of Rear Window. You could suggest that you get some sheer bedroom curtains so you continue to get light but don't put yourselves on view. And if it happens that when you're alone in the bedroom, the sheers somehow get nudged open a crack, and you see that next door the show goes on, consider it a freebie.

—Prudie

Agree or disagree? Have a different take? Put up or shut up in the Comments section!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Newsflash: Pat Robertson Is An Asshole

...and I quote "They (the people of Haiti) were under the heel of the French and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said we will serve you if you get us free from the French. True story."

TRUE STORY he says!!

Monday, January 11, 2010