Thursday, January 28, 2010

R.I.P. J.D.

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


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Best iPad headline so far…

“Behold The Miracle Doodad” from .

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


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


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 – 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 .

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.


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.


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