Wednesday, July 29, 2009

pick a peck of pixels

This image was taken from the photography web site pick a peck of pixels. It just filled with wonderful images such as these. I highly recommend it. Go check it out!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Where is the libertarian outrage?

While both sides of the political spectrum are guilty of excessive spin and distortion, it has always surprised me how the Right is so unconcerned with self-consistency. Republicans in general, and conservatives in particular, love to tell anyone who will listen that they stand for freedom and liberty. They loudly proclaim their disdain for taxes, big government, and rules that get in the way of their freedoms (read making money). Yet, with the same breath, they'll tell you of their love of authority (e.g. the military, the Pope, and the police) and conformity (e.g. HOA's, vice laws, and what religion you should practice). In the end, they, not liberials, are the masters of spin. Everyone remembers the flag waving, and practically no-one remembers the rest.

So I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise that there isn't any libertarian outrage over the police arrest of Henry Louis Gates. Since when is behaving badly in the privacy of your own home an arrest-able offense? According to both accounts, Gates eventually identified himself as the resident of the house. No where was it shown that he was a threat to himself or anyone else. So why couldn't the police just walk away? Aren't they the ones paid to have cooler heads?

I remember a friend of mine who worked for a Sheriff's department in Southern California. She told me that there was a code used by their officers to indicate they were bringing someone in who had shown a bad attitude. It was not on the books, and the person would never get charged. They'd be held in a cell for the 24 hours allowed by law before it was required they be charged with something. The whole being to let the person know who was actually in control.

Now I don't know what happened between the Cambridge Police and Gates, and I doubt we'll ever know for certain. I suspect that Gates, having just traveled half away across the world, might have been a bit cranky and didn't take too well to being questioned by the police. But frankly I find both parties stories suspect. Neither side's stories add up. But even if you take the police at their word, it troubling that they can arrest you in your own home for being uppity. And it is even more troubling that kind of power doesn't seem to scare anyone. Especially the defenders of freedom on the right.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

10 reasons Moltz knows the Apollo 11 moon landing was faked

  1. There were three men on the Apollo 11 spacecraft. That means that the odds of someone dying at any given point in the mission were one in three… YET NO ONE DID!
  2. The moon is approximately six kajillion miles away. It is impossible to travel that far because “kajillion” is a made-up word and not a measurable distance. You would be travelling forever!
  3. If men had landed on the moon, this would have angered the lunar vampires we know to live there, sparking a war between Earth and the lunar vampires that would currently be ravaging both worlds. No such war appears to be taking place. Yet it is. The government is just covering that up, too. But it wasn’t started by an incursion on their territory, it was started during a dispute over the ownership of a mule named Paco.
Read the rest here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Republican's answer to everything

Double Speak

By now most folks have heard about Amazon remotely deleting every single copy of 1984 and Animal Farm from every Kindle ever sold. The issue appears to be that the publisher didn't have rights to the book here in the United States, so Amazon was required to remove the Kindle version from their US bookstore. Whether or not they were required to delete already sold copies from everyone's Kindle is an open legal question. They took the easy out.

One would think that if they'd given it any thought, they'd have realized that their action was going to be a PR nightmare. Specifically if they remembered that the main character of 1984, Winston Smith, is "a bureaucrat in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth, revising historical records to match The Party's contemporary, official version of the past." If Orwell had only know how easy this would be in the digital age! Can't get any more ironic than that.

In reaction, some are vowing to never purchase a Kindle or similarly licensed technology. Turns out you don't own your itunes music either. You've just leased it for a very long time. According to Apple's end user agreement, they can take the songs back, and refund your money, at any time and for any reason.Welcome to the digital age.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Taco Bell Chihuahua Dies

Gidget, the Chihuahua best known for her Taco Bell ad campaign, died from a stroke on Tuesday night at age 15. [She] lived out her days laying in the sun.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Flawless, (not the 1999 film with Robert De Niro, but the 2007 film with Michael Caine) is a nice little a 1960's period diamond-heist film. Flawless is reminiscent of the original The Thomas Crown Affair, but has a slightly more intricate plot. Oh, and it stars some actress called Demi Moore.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dogs in a Deadly Crossfire

The war on drugs has become a war on our pets. We're not talking about attack dogs at drug houses, but man's best friend in suburban neighborhoods.

a ... news station in Oklahoma aired security-camera footage of a police officer pulling into driveway of dog owner Tammy Christopher—just to ask for directions. In the video, Christopher's Wheaten terrier runs out from the house, and it's difficult to tell whether the dog is charging the officer or bounding out to greet him. But the officer was on the dog's property. And instead of merely getting back into his car, he pulled out his gun and shot the dog dead. The officer was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Police have recently killed pets while merely questioning neighbors about a crime in the area, cutting across private property while in pursuit of a suspect, and after responding to a false burglar alarm. It doesn't matter if your dog is loose or leashed, or if you've posted "Beware of Dog Warnings." Last August in Colorado Springs, police entered a woman's house after her children let them in to look for a fugitive. The children locked the family dog in the bathroom with their mother, who was showering, and warned the police that the dog was defensive. The police opened the bathroom door anyway, the dog bit one of them, and they shot and killed it, inches from where the woman was showering. The fugitive wasn't in the home, and the owner said she's never heard of him.


Even during highly charged police raids on houses guarded by aggressive dogs, it's hard to see how shooting them is the best option. A grazing shot will only make the dog angrier. A miss imperils other officers and innocent bystanders. During a terribly tragic drug raid in Lima, Ohio, last year, an officer shot and killed the suspect's two pit bulls shortly after the drug team entered the house. Another officer mistook the shots for hostile fire, and sprayed bullets into a bedroom, where a 26-year-old unarmed woman named Tarika Wilson had dropped to her knees, as ordered, while holding her 1-year-old son. Wilson died, the infant lost a hand.

Read the whole article here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Apollo 11

This is a sneak preview of restored Apollo 11 video! The original tapes were erased when some fool recycled them. The footage was recreated from digitally cleaned archival tapes.

Thanks to
My Vintage Cameras for pointing this out.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Socialist Pope?

(And here I thought the red stood for Pentecost.)

Ever since the Care Bear got elected this November, the right has been having conniptions about his being an un-American, closet-Muslim, socialist magic-negro overlord and re-education camp counselor ™ . Will Republican Catholics show any self-consistency and rail again the Pope for his recent socialist manifesto?

… Benedict sketches a radically different world economy, in which access to food and water is a universal right, wealthy nations share with poorer ones and profit is not the ultimate goal of commerce. He advocates the creation of a “world political authority” to manage the economy.

He blames “badly managed and largely speculative financial dealing” for causing the economic meltdown. The primary capital to be safeguarded is people, he says, adding that economic systems need to be guided by charity and truth.

My friend KT over at the Scratching Post has taken the discussion a bit further.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Dog Flu

The dog flu, canine influenza, or the H3N8 virus, is a highly contagious respiratory infection of dogs. It is thought to have originated in horses and jumped to dogs somewhere around five years ago. It is one of several viruses associated with what’s commonly referred to as “kennel cough.”

The dog flu has been documented in 30 states, but is very prevalent in Colorado, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania.

Most dogs recover within two weeks, however, some dogs progress to pneumonia and have died. The mortality rate is around 5%. Compare that to a 2% human mortality rate for the 1918 Spanish flu. Fortunately, a vaccine is in the works and should be available soon at a vet near you.

Read the story here.

Update: For those who kindly asked, Kelly and Andy are free of the dog flu, but many dogs here on the front range are not so fortunate. Until we get a better idea how wide spread a problem it is we've curtailed their social activities and will keep them out of Doggie day care and avoid kenneling.