morning cartoons

by twit

starring “Young Hillary Clinton”

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Denver left behind

by twit

Is there really so little news out there that an omg-space-alien-in-the-window story gets this much coverage?

A video you can watch by clicking on the pic is the local news channel doing a fairly oblivious caricature of itself, at least from the twit’s perspective.

Some more oblivious than others, perhaps…

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Endangered Species circa 2008

by twit

The BBC reports that “uncontacted” tribes of people who aim bows and arrows at passing aircraft are in danger of having their way of life wiped out.

Uncontacted tribe near Brazil-Peru border

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It’s time to come out of the closet. You know who you are.

by loadz

Apparently, a Japanese man recently found a woman living in his closet, according to Reuters.

After food kept disappearing from his kitchen, he found the woman out by catching her on a hidden camera.

Officers rushed to the house and found a 58-year-old unemployed woman hiding in an unused closet, where she had secreted a mattress and plastic drink bottles, the Asahi said. Police suspect she may have been there for several months, the paper said.

It’s eerily similar to an experience I had as a college student at Pacific Tech when my roommate Mitch found out someone was living in our closet.

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Cyber breaks down real world walls

by lestro

According to the New York Times, there is a team of Palestinian and Israeli coders who are working together on creating a new web-based personal computer that will allow people to log in to their own virtual harddrives from any internet connection.

Despite the differences between their people and the walls put up to stop them, the programmers are working toward a common vision and goal.

They trade ideas through a video hookup that connects the West Bank office with one in Israel in the first joint technology venture of its kind between Israelis and Palestinians.

“Start with the optimistic parts, Mustafa,” Gilad Parann-Nissany, an Israeli who is vice president for research and development, jokes with a Palestinian colleague who is giving a progress report. Both conference rooms break into laughter.

The goal of is not as lofty as peace, although its founders and employees do hope to encourage it. Instead wants to give users a free, Web-based virtual computer that lets them access their desktop and files from any computer with an Internet connection., pronounced “ghost,” is short for Global Hosted Operating System.

“Ghosts go through walls,” said Zvi Schreiber, the company’s British-born Israeli chief executive, by way of explanation…

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Burma on fire

by twit

Another day, another outrage, another reason for war.

From the BBC on May 30, 2008, there are reports from Myanmar indicating:

Burma’s military government had begun to evict homeless families from some government-run emergency camps.

It has given them bamboo poles and tarpaulins and told them to go and rebuild their lives, say reports.

An estimated 2.4m people remain homeless and hungry following Cyclone Nargis, which struck on 2 May.

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I told you to go before we left the planet

by lestro

Houston, we have a problem.

Four words you don’t want to hear in space:

“The toilet is broken.”

Space is a long way to try and hold it. Try sitting on the edge of the capsule and crossing your legs.

Russian mission control told the crew — Russian Cosmonauts Sergey Volkov and Oleg Kononenko, and Garrett Reisman, a NASA astronaut, to use the toilet on the Soyuz capsule that is attached to the station as a lifeboat. But that system has very limited capacity, and so repairing the system has become an increasingly urgent issue.

“Increasingly urgent.” I like that.

I know when my toilet is busted or the water in my building is turned off for repairs, things can get a bit, um, difficult for me, but at least I am not 217 miles away from the closest toilet. Or tree.

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welcome to the future

by twit … also known as “brain-machine interface technology” or “controlling robots with your mind.”

The BBC reports on May 28, 2008:

Monkeys have been able to control robotic limbs using only their thoughts, scientists report.

The animals were able to feed themselves using prosthetic arms, which were controlled by brain activity.

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could this possibly be real?

by loadz and by twit


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Attention Hypochondriacs: Leprosy is Fun

by twit

So sayeth the Washington Post on May 27, 2008:

“it has been a really cool experience having a biblical disease.”

Which probably has a lot to do with the fact that in this modern age, when it comes to leprosy, “about 95 percent of people are thought to be naturally immune to it,” there’s a routine test to diagnose it and it is “effectively treatable.”

Please make a note of it.

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Budweiser presents: The 2008 Democratic Convention

by lestro

According the the NY Times, the Dems are lagging on their fundraising efforts for their convention this summer in Denver. Smart money says the problem is that donors are wasting their money on a primary race that is being dragged out by one candidate who has no shot.

But at least the corporations are lining up to help write the platform. Promotional consideration paid for by the following :

Companies that have already donated to the Denver committee and whose logos appear on the committee’s Web site include the Lockheed Martin Corporation, the Ford Motor Company, Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Merck, Lilly, Allstate, Travelers, Lehman Brothers, A.T.& T., Visa, Target and Western Union.

Politicians are like racecars. They’re always gearing up for the next race and they’re both sponsored by hundreds of corporations, all hoping to have their interests advanced by some tool in a crash helmet and a three-piece Teflon suit.

Anyone running for office should be forced to wear the emblem of whatever toxic waste-dumper or puppy-flogger toward which they’re turning a blind eye and deaf ear.

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I’ll believe it when I see it

by twit

From on May 28, 2008:

“Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said that the House Judiciary Committee would be willing to arrest Karl Rove if the former White House official doesn’t testify about his role in the firing of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006.”

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Beware of Crows. Be Very Aware of Crows.

by twit


Click on the image to watch the video “The amazing intelligence of crows”

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Don’t piss off the Soviets. We’re talking to you, Mr. Spielberg

by loadz

According to Reuters, Communists in the former Soviet Union are a little pissed off about the portrayal of KGB agent Irina Spalko in the new Indiana Jones movie.

Wow, the Soviet Communist party is still around?

Apparently they’re upset about revisionist history casting the former-Soviet Union in a bad light.

“Our movie-goers are teenagers who are completely unaware of what happened in 1957,” St Peterburg Communist Party chief Sergei Malinkovich told Reuters. “They will go to the cinema and will be sure that in 1957 we made trouble for the United States and almost started a nuclear war.”

Yeah, because that didn’t happen until 1962.

The best part is that they unpacked the old communist-y lingo to deride the acting of both Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett (who is actually Australian):

Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett (are) second-rate actors, serving as the running dogs of the CIA. We need to deprive these people of the right of entering the country,” said another party member, Andrei Gindos.

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Florida, you are the weakest link

by twit

Florida has been a distinct thorn in this country’s side since the year 2000, so the twit is beginning to think that maybe it is time to just let the state go once and for all. Perhaps we could vote on it…

From the Sun-Sentinel on May 25, 2008:

[Port St. Lucie Department spokeswoman Michelle] Steele said the boy had been sent to the principal’s office because of disciplinary issues. When he returned, [the teacher] made him go to the front of the room as a form of punishment, she said.

… After each classmate was allowed to say what they didn’t like about Barton’s 5-year-old son, Alex, his Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo said they were going to take a vote, Barton said.

By a 14 to 2 margin, the students voted Alex — who is in the process of being diagnosed with autism — out of the class.

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Oh thank heaven

by loadz

First time I saw this, it said you killed kitties when you masturbated.

Finally I can beat off guilt free.

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Soldiers are not the only ones dying for your freedom

by lestro

Today is Memorial Day. Originally started as Decoration Day following the Civil War and expanded into the summer-starting three day weekend of flag-waving, barbeques, parades and blockbuster movies, each of us should make sure we take time today to reflect on the meaning of the holiday.

Especially when so many Americans are currently off fighting and dying in stupid wars for leaders who have no way out.

But soldiers, sailors and Marines and not the only people out there in the war zone every day, fighting for your freedom. Each day, journalists from around the world also pull on their flack jackets and head out to the front lines, armed with only a notebook or a camera.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, so far this year, 10 journalists have been killed on duty. They join 65 killed in 2007.

Dozens more remain missing.

In Iraq, two journalists have been killed so far this year, bringing the total number of journalists killed in this conflict to 127. Both deaths this year were Iraqi reporters, highlighting again the danger and power of information in a country wracked by war.

There is no job more important to freedom and liberty than the simple journalist. The founding fathers knew it too, which is why it is the only non-governmental job protected by the Constitution.

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Ghosts of Iraq

by twit

An insightful comment on a previous post raised an important point about the mental health effects of combat stress, and it reminded me of a recent news story that goes far beyond the cold statistics of the suicide rates for our war veterans:

From the Fort Mill Times on May 25, 2008:

Until the day he died, Sgt. Brian Rand believed he was being haunted by the ghost of the Iraqi man he killed.

The ghost choked Rand while he slept in his bunk, forcing him to wake up gasping for air and clawing at his throat.

He whispered that Rand was a vampire and looked on as the soldier stabbed another member of Fort Campbell’s 96th Aviation Support Battalion in the neck with a fork in the mess hall.

Eventually, the ghost told Rand he needed to kill himself.

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If you discovered a whole mess of Japanese pot in your suitcase…we want it back…unsmoked.

by loadz

What’s worse than breaking the law to slip 142 grams of pot into some poor sucker’s suitcase?

Not being able to find it.

A customs officer hid a package of the banned substance in a side pocket of a randomly chosen suitcase in order to test airport security.

Sniffer dogs failed to detect the cannabis and the officer could not remember which suitcase had the stash.

Whoops. Hey listen, we’re really, really sorry about the 142 grams of pot we slipped into your suitcase next to your unmentionables, but if we could have that back we’d surely appreciate it.

One hundred forty-two grams? That’s five ounces. And their dog couldn’t find that?

Apparently now is the time to start smuggling your dope into Tokyo.

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In Honor of Memorial Day

by twit

Bush and his lapdog John McCain argue against the veto-proof support in Congress for a new and improved GI Bill “on the ground that the bill is too generous and may discourage re-enlistment.” Please make a note of it.

Mr. Bush — and, to his great discredit, Senator John McCain — have argued against a better G.I. Bill, for the worst reasons.

… They have seized on a prediction by the Congressional Budget Office that new, better benefits would decrease re-enlistments by 16 percent, which sounds ominous if you are trying — as Mr. Bush and Mr. McCain are — to defend a never-ending war at a time when extended tours of duty have sapped morale and strained recruiting to the breaking point.

Their reasoning is flawed since the C.B.O. has also predicted that the bill would offset the re-enlistment decline by increasing new recruits — by 16 percent. The chance of a real shot at a college education turns out to be as strong a lure as ever.

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Clinton Blames Obama for the RFK comment controversy

by twit

and who wouldn’t? Just look at what his campaign said:

“Senator Clinton’s statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton.

and then there’s this!

A prominent ally of Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin also weighed in, telling the Associated Press: “I know Hillary Clinton, and the last thing in the world she’d ever want is to wish misfortune on anybody. She and Barack are friends.” He added: “It was … a careless remark, and we’ll leave it at that.”

and worst of all, from Senator Obama himself:

“I have learned that when you are campaigning for as many months as Senator Clinton and I have been campaigning, sometimes you get careless in terms of the statements that you make, and I think that is what happened here,” he said in an interview with Radio ISLA. “Senator Clinton says that she did not intend any offense by it, and I will take her at her word on that.”

I mean, really. These outrageous statements are over-the-top and simply uncalled for.

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The Miracle Marine

by twit

Cpl. Merlin German was injured so badly by a roadside bomb in Iraq he was rushed back to the United States so his family could have a chance to say goodbye. 97% of his body was covered in burns but he defied the odds and slowly began the long process of recovery and rehabilitation.

People started calling him the “Miracle Marine.”

The Associated Press reports on May 25, 2008:

At Brooke [Army Medical Center], he designed a T-shirt that he sometimes sold, sometimes gave away. On the front it read: “Got 3 percent chance of survival, what ya gonna do?” The back read, “A) Fight Through, b) Stay Strong, c) Overcome Because I Am a Warrior, d) All Of The Above.” D is circled.

His recovery became legendary:

“Early on, he thought, ‘This is ridiculous. Why am I doing this? Why am I working so hard?'” Renz recalls. “But every month or so, he’d say, ‘I’ve licked it.’ … He was amazingly positive overall. … He never complained. He’d just dig in and do it.”

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Beware the Ides of June

by twit

well, if we want to give her the benefit of the doubt, we could say Hillary was just thinking about the month of June and how the nomination isn’t always wrapped up by then.

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morning cartoons

by twit

a new and improved “Black Knight scene” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail…

with thanks to Wired.

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The Invasion of Burma

by twit

can begin now. From the BBC on May 20, 2008:

The UK National Health Service emergency medicine consultant says 5,000 sq km (1,900 sq miles) of land in the region remain under water.


but via M&C, by way of Slog on May 22, 2008:

Bangkok – Myanmar’s junta claims the relief phase of an emergency programme for Cyclone Nargis is over…

While international aid agencies claim to have only reached 25 per cent of the affected population, Myanmar’s junta is already claiming that the ‘rescue and relief’ stage of the operation is completed

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bonjour tout le monde

by twit

which translates into “NSFW” and “causing a bit of a commotion,” because apparently no one can figure out how and when the pictures were taken, so France now readies itself for a spate of copycats…


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Stripteasin’ for Justice

by twit

The campaigners in their pants

from the BBC:

Campaign group Pants to Poverty said the “pantathlon” showed “the unfinished business of third world debt”

… “Ten years ago this same weekend, 70,000 people gave birth to a new phase in the fight against poverty.

“This event shows our committed ‘panters’ are prepared to drop their clothes to drive governments to drop the debt.”

Craig Haynes, 22, of Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, was one of those taking part.

He said: “We’re here, not to expose ourselves, but to expose injustice.”

the clinton campaign takes a great leap forward

by lestro

yet, somehow more Mao than I expect they’d have hoped:

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“guitarzan is my president”

by lestro

According to a report in today’s LA Times, right-wing rocker Ted Nugent is apparently a favorite to take over for moses the next time the NRA membership votes for a president:

Though Nugent has not sought the presidency of the NRA (the next election is in 2009), he believes that “right now, if you literally took a membership vote of the NRA and said who would you like to be president, you’re talking to the guy that would win.”

Nugent is, of course, an outspoken NRA member and proudly talks about only eating food he himself hunts and kills, which I can’t help but respect.

But there is apparently another challenger, Magnum PI himself:

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In Golf We Trust

by twit

Olbermann has some choice words for Bush about his claim of sacrificing golf out of respect for families of soldiers lost in his wars:

via Buzzfeed.

Bush foreign policy advice is like weight loss tips from those fat twins on the scooters

by lestro

Today the President in all his wisdom chided those who would negotiate with “terrorists and radicals.”

It is being perceived as a shot at Obama, for his (amazingly Christian, something you’d think our born-again crusader of a president would know) view of talking with our enemies in an attempt to resolve the issue by not having to start a multi-billion dollar, never-ending war.

“Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along,” Mr. Bush said.

“We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: “Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.”

We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”

What a son of a lame duck bitch he is.

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New York State is just silly…

by the squid

Today New York State signed into law legislation which would require pedophiles to register their screen names and e-mail addresses that so they can not be used when trolling for children on the social networking sites. I am not a fan of pedophiles, they are the lowest of the low. However, I am a fan of human nature.

My spidy-sense makes me think that those who are trolling on social websites posing as teenagers looking to “score” with the under-age are not the “follow-the-rules” type of people. The new law demands that the CONVICTED sex offender notify the proper authorities within ten days of changing or adding a new screen-name or e-mail address.

“Under the new law, registered sex offenders must also disclose all their user names and e-mail accounts for the purposes of chat, instant messaging, or social networking. If they create any new online profiles, they must notify the state within 10 days or face prosecution for a new felony. “

That is just silly.

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Hillary strip mines the Democratic party

by lestro

In the opening of her victory speech last night, Hillary Clinton dropped this little nugget and it got me thinking:

There are some who have wanted to cut this race short. They say “give up, it’s too hard, the mountain is too high,” but here in West Virginia, you know a thing or two about rough roads to the top of the mountain. We know from the Bible that faith can move mountains and, my friends, the faith of the Mountain State has moved me. I am more determined than ever to carry on this campaign until everyone has had a chance to make their voices heard.

In a place known as The Mountain State, her speech writer must have been particularly proud of that bit, but one can go even deeper into Hillary’s mountain metaphor.

The biggest industry in West Virginia is coal mining and the newest thing is called “mountain top removal” which involves blowing the tops off mountains and dumping the dirt into valleys, burying streams, communities, whatever and is, as one might expect, absolutely horrendous for the environment:

Mountaintop removal involves clear cutting native hardwood forests, using dynamite to blast away as much as 800-1000 feet of mountaintop, and then dumping the waste into nearby valleys, often burying streams.

While the environmental devastation caused by this practice is obvious, families and communities near these mining sites are forced to contend with continual blasting from mining operations that can take place up to 300 feet from their homes and operate 24 hours a day.

Families and communities near mining sites also suffer from airborne dust and debris, floods that have left hundreds dead and thousands homeless, and contamination of their drinking water supplies.

It’s an absolutely horrible process, one the Bush EPA has looked the other way on for years while the Bush Administration has actually been trying to expand the practice.

So here’s the deeper metaphor drawn from Hillary’s speech: Instead of doing the hard work of actually building herself up to climb to the top of the mountain, the Clinton Campaign has been doing everything it can to slice the top off that mountain and bring it down to their level by knee-capping her opponent.

Meanwhile, in doing so, she has completely poisoned the surrounding party environment and vastly hurt their chances of taking back the White House, all in the name of her own, sick profit.

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The Battle for Burma

by twit

While the current scope of government-facilitated death and destruction fails to move the world to further action than what the Burma junta permits, the situation is predicted as about to change dramatically for the worse.

From the Guardian on May 14, 2008:

Weather experts said there was a good chance the tropical depression in the Bay of Bengal could develop into a “significant” cyclone within the next 24 hours.

There is no doubt at this point that Burma is contributing the scope of the crisis:

Gordon Brown today described the crisis as having touched “the whole conscience of the world”.

He said that, while more relief planes had been allowed into the country, the situation was still “not good enough”.

“A natural disaster in Burma, by the actions of a despicable regime, has been turned into a … manmade catastrophe,” he said.

China is currently responding to its own natural disaster, demonstrating what a military can do to reach survivors in devastated areas.

From the Associated Press on May 13, 2008:

Soldiers hiking over landslide-blocked roads reached the epicenter of China’s devastating earthquake Tuesday, pulling bodies and a few survivors from collapsed buildings.

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morning cartoons

by twit

with thanks to the epic Kevin Kelly:

[This video is] created by an artist photographing a very long series of his murals. The artist’s name is Blu. He is an Italian graffiti artist, though it appears this series was painted in Brazil.

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