Friday, March 30, 2007

Can of whoop ass....with fish jaws

Oh man, this is disgusting.

Via the hilariously named Majikthise.

Therein lies the rub

This post by Josh Marshall asks the $64k question: why is it that all of the US Attorneys ignominiously fired for "performance reasons" (or whatever the "reason du jour" is) are in swing voting states (plus California...oh wait, that US Attorney was prosecuting the Cunningham bribery case against...wait for it: Republicans)?

Usually one wants to give someone the benefit of the doubt; there must be some other explanation that does not posit ridiculous, corrupt behavior, that is, does not assume that the USAs were fired because they were not prosecuting "voter fraud" cases?

I can post background info on anything above if anyone wants it, but since I am the only one who READS this blog, I do not have the motivation.:-)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

With a heavy heart

Ralph Nader and I go way back. Well, anyway, my one-sided relationship with him does. Like long-term relationships generally, they can fall apart hideously. When that happens, I at least try to be the one who took the high ground.

The year was 1990. I was an idealistic youth who was two-fisting progressivism: in one had was "Animal Liberation" by Peter Singer. In the other was seeing Ralph Nader speak at a local community college I was attending. The subject was factory farming; it was disgusting and funny and persuasive. And it was that day that led me to become a vegetarian. Ralph will always have a special place in my heart, as does Peter Singer (though I have grown wary of his ethical reasoning).

That was then. This is now. I have repressed the memory of Ralph Nader making a ridiculous spectacle of himself during the 2000/2004 presidential elections. This article reminded me of it, as well as this post by Eric Alterman. I unofficially divorced myself of my infatuation with Ralph in 2000. Now the repressed anger has come back, as white-hot as ever. Oh, how the mighty have fallen so far...

I am still a vegetarian. Not a saintly one, but I never claimed to be a saint.

Buy why did you change, Ralph?


Another winner Engrish:

Distilling it down

I have been following the US Attorney scandal closely and have not had much to say about it, except that it is despicable. Then I came across a post from Hunter at DailyKos:

You know, I imagine somewhere it might be considered funny that the entire Department of Justice can't figure out why the hell a handful of U.S. Attorneys were fired when they themselves fired them, after spending over a year arranging for it, and that they must continually revise their statements on the matter because their past statements keep being demonstrated to be bullshit. But in that the entire premise of the Bush administration is that the entire American population is made up of morons who would actively believe that aforementioned lying bullshit, I'm not exactly sure where the joke is.
Enough said.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

DMCA - someone fights back

Great article here: Law Prof posts the NFL's "legal disclaimer" saying that rebroadcast of NFL games are strictly prohibited, which is actually wrong. "Fair use" provisions allow their use for such things as "educational" use. The professor posted it on YouTube and linked to it from her blog which is used for teaching purposes. Sweet.

The money quote:
This is where the saga starts to get messy. Seltzer's counter-notification—which was forwarded to the NFL from YouTube—clearly described her use of the clip as fair use: "an educational excerpt featuring the NFL's overreaching copyright warning aired during the Super Bowl." As Seltzer outlines in her blog post, the NFL's only option in response to her counter-claim would be to force her to remove the clip via court proceedings. This obviously did not happen, and instead, the NFL chose to ignore her claims completely. After receiving her counter-notification claiming fair use, sending another takedown notice over the same content is considered a knowing misrepresentation that the clip is infringing, according to DMCA section 512(f)(1). Under the DMCA, the NFL would be liable for all legal fees incurred by the alleged infringer, along with damages.

I can see....the color of cheese rinds!

You may not know this, but mice are color-blind: they cannot see the red side of the spectrum, so things that are red are not seen as red (from what I have heard, they see shades of gray). In this article, scientists were able to change one gene present in humans and not it mice that enhances their ability to see the red side of the spectrum. From an evolutionary point of view, this is really an interesting point as it seems to suggest human vision of the color spectrum was a rather trivial mutation of this one gene.

A good quote:
Most mammals, including mice, are dichromats, possessing only S and M cone pigments. As a consequence, they can distinguish only a fraction of the wavelengths that can be distinguished by humans. John Mollon at the University of Cambridge has suggested that the evolution of trichromacy could have permitted primates to discriminate between unripe fruit, which is typically green, and ripe red- and orange-colored fruits. Reciprocally, the colors of ripened fruits may have coevolved with primate trichromacy, since animals that could recognize and eat the ripe fruit would have assisted plants by spreading their seeds.

Check out the link to the sidebar for a good illustration of red-green color blindness.

They are out there

Check out this: a hexagonal shape on the surface of Saturn gets passed by the Cassini probe. Great pictures. Cool quote:

The hexagon is nearly 25,000 kilometers (15,000 miles) across. Nearly four Earths could fit inside it.

This is great

Look: if you use someone's creative work that is offered for free but requires credit, give it. Especially if you are a candidate for the President of the United States. Like John McCain. I mean come on.

The site has been /.'d, so it may be slow.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I had called this years ago: the Bush administration would go down in a pool of scandal. The latest one is the US Attorney purge which will most likely lead to indictments at most and at least, the resignation of that a-hole Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

See here for the latest.