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LAST 10 ENTRIES

Neverwhere
Michigan Set to Outpace Kansas
Nessie In The News
Not Dead
Minnelli's Matrimonial Mess
Salutations 5280 Readers!
5280
Take This Job and Shove It
Frau McKinney?
Bleeding Hearts?




« June 2003 | Main | August 2003 »



July 31, 2003

Neverwhere

A brief entry for Zuly's Reading Room, on Neil Gaiman's book "Neverwhere" - overall, an enjoyable tale set in a unique hodgepodge of places that have "fallen through the cracks," carrying our man Richard Mayhew on a life-changing adventure. I found it weak in a couple of areas though - too many events felt like a deus ex machina, making me think perhaps another rewrite or tighter editing was called for to make the story feel "real," no matter how fanciful - and the "Ordeal" which Richard faced, while a good idea, should have been much longer, more drawn out, and used in a way to truly show the changes he was undergoing. This, of course, could also be the result of the editing outside of Gaiman's hands.

Regardless, if you like Gaiman's stuff, pick it up - an easy read if you're looking to kick back with a story-driven book, even if some loose ideas bounce around the pages without explanation.

Posted by Andy at 10:06 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)




Michigan Set to Outpace Kansas

...when it comes to looking foolish.

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — A state House bill would require that middle and high school students who study evolution also be taught creationism, the belief that God designed life on earth.

Republican State Reps. Bill Van Regenmorter of Georgetown Township and Barb Vander Veen of Allendale are co-sponsors of the bill.

The legislation introduced this month says science teachers should tell their students that evolution and natural selection are "unproven theories."

Van Regenmorter and Vander Veen, aside from having last names that are both a mouthful AND fun to say together, are also pushing for legislation declaring that rain is actually Baby Jesus crying and thunder is the angels bowling way, way up in Heaven above.

Hey, you never know - perhaps our ideas of what causes them are completely wrong. Sure, to date our observations indicate otherwise, but maybe tomorrow we'll catch sight of a runaway gutter ball from Seraphim Lanes.

Van Regenmorter said that while he believes intelligent design to be fact, that is not why he is a co-sponsor on the bill.

"This provides balance. The way this bill is set up is if teachers are teaching evolution as a viable theory, than they also should teach intelligent design as a viable theory," the Ottawa County lawmaker told The Holland Sentinel for a story Thursday.

Uh, Mr. Van Regenmorter, perhaps that's because evolution is a viable theory - that doesn't mean that every competing idea is suddenly a viable theory by default. There's nothing viable or theoretical (in the scientific sense) about intelligent design or creationism; it's completely unfalsifiable, yada, yada, yada, search the rest of this site if you need to know more.
"There are scientific facts on both sides, and I think both sides need to be presented," Vander Veen said. "Our students are very intelligent, and they can make up their own minds."
The only scientific fact about intelligent design is that the Earth appears to exist. That's it. Period. One fact does not a complete explanation make.

Ah well, at least the "we're not doing it because we happen to think it's true and we love the Lord - praise be! - hallelujah! - and amen on top!" intellectual dishonesty is amusing.

Posted by Andy at 09:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




July 30, 2003

Nessie In The News

How very saddening:

LONDON, England (AP) -- The Loch Ness monster is a Loch Ness myth.

At least according to the British Broadcasting Corp., which says a team which trawled the loch for any signs of the famous monster came up with nothing more than a buoy moored several yards below the surface.

However, no amount of technology will stop the gullible and the superstitious from believing what they want to believe. The truth is out there. Really. Honest injun.

Posted by Andy at 09:25 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




July 28, 2003

Not Dead

Honestly, I'm not. Just keeping myself busy with the job hunt. You know how it goes - well, if you're a Denver blogger, you probably know how it goes. Seems they're all out of work; perhaps we should form a union. Or a support group. Ah hell, we already have a drinking club - that should about take care of things.

Speaking of drinking and bloggers and fun and monkeys, I'm set to announce that the Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash II.V will be held on Saturday, August 16, 2003 at Wynkoop Brewing Company (the usual place). I'll put up a formal post this week, but mark your calendars tonight - come on out and see your favorite, least favorite, and possibly never heard of before bloggers. Talk with them. Drink with them. Beat their asses at pool. Dazzle them by offering them lucrative jobs that require little work.

Posted by Andy at 07:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)




July 25, 2003

Minnelli's Matrimonial Mess

(also known as Liza Loses at Love, yet another demonstration of how adept I am at alliteration)

Well, this is certainly shocking news:

Liza Minnelli and David Gest, who were married last year in a star-studded ceremony, have separated, Minnelli's spokesman said Friday.
I wonder what could possibly explain this unfortunate turn of events...
Minnelli and Gest wed in March 2002 with best man Michael Jackson briefly carrying the bride's train. Elizabeth Taylor served as maid of honor.
Ah, yes, how silly of me - they're completely nuts.

And it probably didn't help matters that Gest looks like something out of Madame Tussauds' wax museum.

Well, at least their nutty nuptials outlived their idiotic idea for reality TV. Small miracles and all that.

Posted by Andy at 10:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




Salutations 5280 Readers!

I've nary an idea if anyone will stop by after reading the article in 5280, but if you do, welcome to the World Wide Rant! Have a look around, leave a comment or two, and if you're feeling really generous, I need a job!

In the real world, I'm a consultant specializing in process improvement, customer care, and the like, with some organizational development and training skills thrown in, whipped together and baked into the shape of me. I've worked in the Big Five (now the Big Four), as well as for a boutique consultancy - and for internal and external clients, both public sector and private sector. Sound like something you need? Leave me a comment and let's talk.

In the dream world to which I escape at times, I fancy myself a pretty decent writer and would be happy to do some freelance work. Have a read around the site and if you see something you'd like me to expound upon (for pay, that is), just ask - or if you have an idea of what you'd like me to write about (again, for pay - such is the plight of the unemployed!), just tell me - I'm sure we can reach an amicable agreement. In the meantime, I'll be getting started on the Great American Novel, just as soon as I figure out what the plot of it should be.

Thanks again for reading, visitors both new and old!

Posted by Andy at 05:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




July 24, 2003

5280

The long-awaited, much-anticipated mention of the World Wide Rant in the press has arrived! That's right, Denver's very own 5280 magazine is turning the spotlight on area bloggers courtesy of Dave Cullen.

So, if you're visiting here because of that, look, I really need a job. If you've got a job to spare, preferably in the consulting industry, let me know. And if not, well, thanks for stopping by - hopefully you found something mildly amusing here or in the archives!

Have a great night everyone - signing off from WWR-land.

Posted by Andy at 11:35 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)




Take This Job and Shove It

Or give it back to Roverpundit, the latest member of the Laid-Off Bloggers ClubTM.

This is a not-so-nice trend. Make it stop, Baby Jeebus, make it stop!

Posted by Andy at 11:26 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




Frau McKinney?

Confirmed: New study shows that 20-30% of the German population is undeniably stupid:

One-third of Germans under age 30 believe the U.S. government may have sponsored the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, according to a poll.

And about 20 percent of Germans in all age groups hold this view, according to a survey of 1,000 people conducted for the weekly Die Zeit.

Does anyone know if Cynthia McKinney moved to or toured Germany after her electoral defeat?

Posted by Andy at 02:32 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




July 23, 2003

Bleeding Hearts?

Our good friend Tom tells me that some people are upset about the jubilation at this news:

Rumsfeld: Uday, Qusay photos will be released

U.S. military details raid that killed Hussein brothers

I'm sorry, but what is the appropriate response? Sorrow? Grief? Beating ourselves about the heads and backs while screaming our mourning songs? I don't think so.

The people who should truly be celebrating this are the Iraqi people - they should be smiling and proud and overjoyed that these murdering tyrannical thugs have been dispatched - and we should be on the sidelines being happy for them.

Jesus, I bet some nutters Stateside would have cried when the news came that Hitler was dead or when the little people exalted in the death of the Wicked Witch.

Posted by Andy at 09:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




Outlook: Cloudy

...with a chance of meatballs.

Actually, my mood is much better now - the wife is doing temp work (although if anyone in Denver needs a solid IT manager, she's your woman!), my outplacement assistance starts next week, I'm finding some leads and jobs for which to apply, and I'm learning to appreciate just how little credit we give the women in our lives for raising children.

You see, right now, I'm Mr. Mom. This is hard work. Two dogs, two cats, and a two and a half month old do their best to find ways to keep me occupied, when I could be doing something useful like reading, watching television, or surfing the net. Ah well, I signed up for it I guess when I helped bring our little Fiona into the world.

As promised, a couple of the non-musical highlights from our adventures at the LoDo Music Festival (Blogcritics review is here for those of you that missed it).

First thrilling story - seeing the man in flowing robes, with flowing hair, and a hat that was made famous by a lanky, goofball trapped on an island after a three hour tour. Yes, indeed, it was Gilligan of Nazareth!

Second thrilling story - end of day one, we've loaded ourselves into the car for the drive home, when - while driving through downtown Denver - Matt gets pulled over for some nebulous moving violation. We're still not sure just what he did wrong.

So, Mr. Friendly Policeman asks him to step out of the car, makes him do a series of tests (he passes with flying colors - go to the head of the class!), and then, ever disappointed that Matt has defeated him, makes him take a breathilizer. Cha-ching! Point-oh-six, baby! Impaired? Possibly, were he a small child or an elderly gent. Legally intoxicated? Not on yer life, brother.

Mr. Friendly Policeman then gives Matt a ticket for said nebulous moving violation (the $86 or whatever wasn't very nebulous though), and instructs him to go park somewhere for half an hour or he'll be arrested. So we did. We drove a bit. And parked. Here.

I didn't say we drank anything, now did I?

Third thrilling story - on day two, after a rapid-fire Rhett Miller set, we retired to a nearby loading dock to rest a bit. The loading dock was next to the margarita tent. In the margarita tent was a young woman who shall remain namless to protect the innocent. Because she innocently gave us a couple of free margaritas. Membership, or something, has its privileges.

So, go - read the review - and then intersperse those exciting details among the paragraphs, and you'll feel just like you were there with us. And isn't that what all of you really, really want?

Posted by Andy at 06:09 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




July 22, 2003

LoDo Music Festival

The official BlogCritics write-up of the event is available here. See who we saw and what we thought.

More storytelling about our adventures to appear here shortly.

And thanks for the continued support in my new state of unemploymentednessicity. Doing much better now.

Posted by Andy at 08:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




July 19, 2003

Job Watch - Day 3

It's been roughly 48 hours since I got the news - and I am still not gainfully employed again! How long will this misery last?

OK, ok, I know I'm being a bit over-demanding. In reality, my network of contacts has - happily - sprung back to life quickly and vibrantly, so I hope leads will be in great supply by the middle of next week. Fingers crossed and other such superstitious acts for swaying ye Gods of Olde to find favor on their humble, albeit atheist, servant.

Also - a HUGE thanks to all of you for your support during this minor family crisis. Your well wishes and donations are greatly appreciated - I might have to rethink my cynical view of the world and rename this site the World Wide Cuddly Bunny! Seriously though, thanks to all of you!

I'll have a recap on the LoDo Music Festival up tomorrow sometime - Matt and I are headed out for day two of the event in a few hours. Last night brought us some good music, some good food, and a near ride home in a police cruiser (details later).

Stay tuned for details. And while you're looking for something to do, go check out this post on longing for marriage by Dave Cullen.

Posted by Andy at 12:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




July 17, 2003

Odd, I Don't Feel Any Smaller

Isn't that what's supposed to happen when you get downsized?

Ah well - expect blogging to be very light for the near future as I now have slightly more pressing concerns. If anyone is so inclined, this would be a fantastic time to hit that PayPal tipjar over there (click here if you don't see it, and you probably don't because of my template), if you've even been mildly amused by anything I've written in the last 16 or so months.

I make no promises that this site will stay up; perhaps Jon or Tom will put up the money for it - right now I'm not sure I can spend the money in good conscience with a wife and a child for who I am responsible. Or maybe I'll need this as an outlet on those days when it becomes a little too much.

Wish me luck - and thanks for reading.

Update: Hey, guess what! I'm still unemployed. Oh well.

I got to thinking that I should probably put on this post just what it is that I do. I've got 8 years of consulting experience, focused on process improvement, customer satisfaction, with some organizational development and knowledge management thrown in for good measure. A little over five years of that experience was in the Big Five, working for multiple government agencies and private clients.

If you know of anyone who might be interested in someone like that, preferably in the Denver area, but I'm flexible and willing to talk about moving, please let me know. Whoever finds me a good job gets a free beer. I'll also get my resume up on this post at some point - I hope to have it polished and ready-to-go by tomorrow.

Thanks again for all the moral support!

Posted by Andy at 01:07 PM | Comments (28) | TrackBack (10)




July 16, 2003

Vatican Advocates Cancer for Men

By default anyway, in light of this news:

LONDON (Reuters) - Frequent masturbation, particularly in the 20s, helps prevent prostate cancer later in life, according to new research.

Australian scientists have shown that the more men masturbate between the ages of 20 and 50, the less likely they are to develop the disease that kills more than half a million men each year.

Well, I suppose I can take prostate cancer off the list of things that might kill me.

(a big wank to Laurence for the story)

Posted by Andy at 05:06 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (2)




The Kids Aren't So Bright

...and the teachers aren't much better either:

Nearly half of the nation's middle and high school teachers were not highly qualified to teach their topics in 2000, a report to Congress says.

Federal law defines highly qualified teachers as those who hold a bachelor's degree from a four-year college, have state certification and demonstrate competence in the subject they teach.

I would say that I'm surprised, but - sadly - I'm not. Even though Tom and I attended LAMP*, an accelerated curriculum public school, we didn't always have the best teachers.

In eleventh grade (I believe), Mrs. Womack who, when not detailing for all of us the wonders of her husband's alcoholism, once informed us that the Spanish Armada was destroyed because all of the ships got stuck in ice. Historians, on the other hand, are pretty sure it was more like battle damage and storms.

Sure, she was our English teacher, so history probably wasn't her strongest area - but, on a test in which she asked for three examples of foreshadowing in a certain novel, she gave me credit for the non-answer "That the book had a beginning foreshadowed that there would be an end." So, maybe English wasn't the right subject for her either.

On the other hand, there were teachers like Mrs. Mullins. Not only did she do an outstanding job of teaching us the finer points of algebra and calculus, but (and Tom can vouch for this) she also looked great in jeans and sun-dresses - and out of them too, I would imagine, but that's all it was: a high school boy's imagination**.

Sigh.

Gimme gimme more more more »


Posted by Andy at 05:01 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)




Speaking of Drinks

Nothing says "seek counseling" like the fact that I'm after a bit of the hair of the dog this evening.

So, consider this an open invitation to join me, RoverPundit, and possibly other bloggers and non-bloggers this evening at the Rock Bottom Brewery on 16th and Curtis in downtown Denver. Festivities will begin around 6:30pm I would imagine. Tell your neighbors (even if you don't live in Denver - it will befuddle them).

Posted by Andy at 12:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




I'm Here, Almost

You know how after a long night of heavy drinking, you wake up the next morning, feeling like death, and vow to the heavens that you'll never drink again?

Why the hell don't we keep our word on that one?

Ugh.

Posted by Andy at 11:36 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




July 15, 2003

Coming Soon

Details on the Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash 2.5 - stay tuned.

Posted by Andy at 09:37 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)




Pray for Death

constipated.jpgNo, not the 1985 movie of the same name, starring Sho Kosugi and James Booth, which I've never seen and only know about because I did a search at IMDB.

This time around it's the face of evil itself, Pat Robertson, who - not content to sleep with a virtual tyrant - is now a-prayin' with all his Jesus-powered might that some Supreme Court Justices drop dead:

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson urged his nationwide audience Monday to pray for God to remove three justices from the Supreme Court so they could be replaced by conservatives.
Of course, Pat is not outright saying he wants them dead, but he did say this:
The same letter targets three justices in particular: "One justice is 83-years-old, another has cancer and another has a heart condition. Would it not be possible for God to put it in the minds of these three judges that the time has come to retire?"
In other words, they're all kind of sitting on the bench with one foot dangling off their chair and into the grave - and I'm sure Pat wouldn't mind if the Holy Spirit just kind of floated on into the Court and pushed them the whole way in. We don't even need to get into the free will implications of Pat's prayer request, do we?

Also - read the letter for yourself. Normally when you hear a Christian mention "prayer" and "illness" in the same sentence, you expect to hear them praying for healing for the afflicted. Nope, not Pat - he just wants them to go away - ever the good Christian that he is.

I would imagine that these Justices have all, at one time or another, considered retiring from the bench. But then they probably sit in their chamber, turn on the 700 Club, and see that anti-social hobgoblin spewing his vile hatred and decide that maybe they should put in a few more years.

If you're a believer, maybe you - unlike Pat - could pray that the Justices have long and healthy lives. And maybe that God will put in Pat's mind that some Ex-Lax will cure his constipation.

Posted by Andy at 07:32 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (1)




Why it's Become Difficult for me to Blog

When Andy and I started this little venture that has now become a best-selling novel, an award-winning Lifetime series, and a major motion picture, we began it with the idea that we'd be a beacon of reason in a sea of morbid stupidity...a capering jester poking fun at all purveyors of o'erweening partisan rhetoric with irrepressible glee (and not a little smugness, it's true.) We'd champion reason, science, humanism, liberty, with panache. Style. Wit. Longsuffering.

Beer.

Well, some things don't change.

And true, Jon and Andy are continuing to fight the good fight. They do an admirable and a consistent job. They have unending humor and incisive opinions.

But I just have a short fuse. As I became more involved with critiquing slope-browed fundamentalist troglodytes, glittery, fuzzy-brained neo-hippies and socialists, gay-bashing mullet-mongers, and do-or-die patriots and antipatriots of all stripes, I began noticing that I was reaching James Lileks's YWP so quickly that I couldn't even maintain my indignant ire long enough to write about it.

He defines YWP as follows:

Anyone who writes opinion pieces should consider whether their piece contains a YWP, or “Yeah, Whatever” Point. The YWP is the moment where half your audience automatically stops reading because they know exactly where this is going, and they’ve been there a thousand times before. Sometimes the YWP is triggered by a phrase, but it’s usually a statement of fact that betrays a certain breathless hysteria in the author. In most cases the YWP is triggered by the assertion that we have gone far beyond the standard push-me-pull-you of politics, and have entered a dangerous age in which all we hold dear shall be snatched from our hands, torn to pieces and washed away in a torrent of tears. Sometimes it's the UN and the Contrail pilots who are responsible. Sometimes it's the undead Halliburton Zombie Army. Either side is perfectly capable of generating a YWP, and on any given day either side usually does.
Perfect. My YWP threshhold is mighty low these days. I sometimes alternately refer to it as the "rolleyes" point, the "just give me another beer" point, or the "Jesus Haploid Christ, what an unbelievable fucking moron. Hey, what's on TV?" point.

I know, I know. As Andy says, we must think of the lurkers. Perhaps we may change someone's mind. It's awfully difficult, however, to think of the open-minded lurker when one is drafting YET ANOTHER "Evolution 101: A Primer for Dipshits who Still Argue About Piltdown Man," or "Pascal's Wager: One More Time for the Lethargic."

It ain't that I don't like discussion. Debate. Give-and-take.

It's simply that I'm becoming more and more convinced that most of humanity is irredeemably stupid and should be rendered down into industrial lubricant, sans discussion. It tends to just encourage them, and then they spew their dumbassedness everywhere.

Call me a curmudgeon.

Posted by Tom at 01:18 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (1)




July 14, 2003

World Wide Rant World of Arts

Direct from Dave Barry, via the blogqueduct that is Vodkapundit, who got it from (it seems) Ken Layne, comes the time waster of the moment!

That's right, we're all writing poetry to soothe the savage beast and submitting it to Poetry.com. Visit that first Dave link for los instrucciones.

Here's my submission*, from famed poet Theodorious P. Freemont:

A Reflection on the Nature of Words (or The Iguana)

It was a dark and stormy
Night
Much like this one
Albeit
This one isn't so dark
Or stormy
Really, it isn't.

But this matters not
No, it matters, but
Just
A
Little.
More.
Loving for me, won't you
Please?
Give me, give me,
Give me.

And then
A Shock, a horror
The dog ate mother's toes.

Oh.
No.

Say it ain't so,
Joe.

Amen.

Admit it, you're moved, aren't you? Go on, lie, just for me. Just this once. C'mon baby, why you wanna be like that?

Gimme gimme more more more »


Posted by Andy at 10:33 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)




Sisters, Sitars, and Free Markets, or Keeping Up With the Norah Joneses

Odd thing-

A co-worker offered to get me free tickets to hear one of my favorite instrumentalists, Anoushka Shankar, perform in Arkansas this winter. Anoushka is a world class beauty (though I make no claims to objectivity when it comes to Indian women- they're the best argument I know for heterosexuality) and a daughter of 60s legend/ Beatle musical guru, Ravi Shankar.

Gimme gimme more more more »


Posted by Jon at 08:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




A Very Special Episode of "That's Our Ari!"

First, as you know, we supported the war in Iraq. We believed there was a multitude of reasons for the operation, not just the pursuit to halt any WMD development. I'm not here to argue those points.

That said, where in the world did they find Ari Fleischer? A sample from today's briefing on the apparently false Niger-nuke documents.

Fleischer indicated the White House had no interest in digging deeper into an incident that has embarrassed the administration.

“I think the bottom has been gotten to,” he said. At the same time, Fleischer said, “No one can accurately tell you it was wrong. That is not known.”

Actually, that's not the full quote; I just watched it on NBC and was dumbstruck by the answer he was allowed to give.

I didn't tape it, unfortunately, but to paraphrase, Ari said "We thought it was right. It may not have been right. It may have even been wrong, but no one can say for certain that it wasn't right."

Well, yeah, Ari - and I have solid intel that you like to grind your privates against days dead barnyard animals, videotaping the whole affair for sale to Third World porn enthusiasts. Now, I think it's right - but it may not be right. It may even be wrong, but no one can say for certain that it wasn't right.

But Ari - you and I both know that isn't the way evidence works. You provide the evidence, with support, that Iraq was wheelin' and dealin' with Niger for uranium and YOU convince US. It's not our job to convince you that your evidence is weak or, at worst, wrong.

What do I know, though? Some people think that God exists because I can't prove he doesn't - so maybe some folks think Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger since I can't prove they didn't.

Actually, I bet both groups would be largely comprised of Republicans.

Posted by Andy at 06:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




Mad Messiah: Beyond Golgotha

For those with high speed Internet access, a trailer for Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion" can be downloaded here. For the three people who may not know, it's a depiction of the last 12 hours in the life of Christ that is written completely in Aramaic and Latin, though Gibson recently caved to producers insistence that it have English subtitles.

Gimme gimme more more more »


Posted by Jon at 04:54 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (4)




Mo' Money, Mo' Money, Mo' Money

As we all know, the FBI exists to help protect the people of the United States protect itself and bloat the budget:

Because she is fluent in Turkish and other Middle Eastern languages, Edmonds, a Turkish-American, was hired by the FBI soon after Sept. 11 and given top-secret security clearance to translate some of the reams of documents seized by FBI agents who, for the past year, have been rounding up suspected terrorists across the United States and abroad.

Edmonds says that to her amazement, from the day she started the job, she was told repeatedly by one of her supervisors that there was no urgency - that she should take longer to translate documents so that the department would appear overworked and understaffed. That way, it would receive a larger budget for the next year.

Yet another reason that big government and bureaucracies are bad things - it reaches a point where the critical mission is to ensure its own continued existence - something that both Democrats and Republicans would be well-served to finally learn.

Posted by Andy at 08:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)




July 13, 2003

Banzai!

Fox is currently airing their new series Banzai and, well, it's certainly different. I was looking forward to the play-at-home option, assuming there might be some sort of prizes, but it doesn't look like that's the case.

So, I think I'll go back to reading Salt: A World History until I fall asleep. No prizes for that either, but it didn't try to lure me in with implied winnings and strange Asian men screaming the title of the product.

Speaking of strange, screaming people - here's an idiot from the Banzai message boards, apparently distraught that a chicken got a chance to fly:

How dare you use a live animal for your interpretaion of a game! Considering that you have validated that this game is in real time and real life, I, Valerie A. Carr, will be filing suit with our animal rights lawyer for wrongfull abuse, as of Monday July, 14th, in the state of Connecticut. I encourage other readers to follow "suit". I, and as should you, will be contacting the state paper as well as my cable company. I encourage all readers to make the same complaints; use of animals via cruelty is not a source of entertainment, it is the route of abuse!
Maybe next week Banzai will bet on Ms. Carr's IQ. I'd aim low.*

Update: Michele watched the whole thing.

Gimme gimme more more more »


Posted by Andy at 08:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




July 11, 2003

O Canada!

Looks like I won't be a citizen anytime soon, what with my mind-boggling score of 9 out of 20. Guess I'll just have to keep on keepin' on with my American loyalties.

*whew*

(thanks to Soviet Invasion Plan for the link)

Posted by Andy at 08:36 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)




Stacking Them Up

Since our local library system has an extremely high limit on the number of books one may check out at a time (somewhere in the vicinity of 726, I think), I have added a couple more to the piles of pages that sit strewn across my house:

It will be at least a week before I get to them, so if you're just aching to know my thoughts on their contents, come back later.

And now, I'm off to begin the weekend. Have a great one!

Posted by Andy at 06:29 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)




New? Maybe. Science? No.

TBogg points out the latest idiocy coming out of the great state of Texas.

Controversy over textbooks erupted again Wednesday as scientists and members of the public addressed the Board of Education over the treatment of evolution in biology textbooks.

Nearly all of the three dozen speakers defended the teaching of evolution against a report that questioned the accuracy of evidence supporting the scientific theory in the 11 biology texts being considered for adoption in Texas.

After Discovery Institute — a Seattle-based public policy group — submitted the 55-page report, teachers, scientists and activists went on the offensive.

Tom makes the point that the Discovery Institute is hardly unbiased, so I won't address that aspect of the article. What I did find amusing was the following:
While intelligent design, which claims that a higher power directed human development, is more scientific, critics said it couldn't be included because it had not been peer reviewed by reputable scientists.
Emphasis mine.

I'm sorry, but intelligent design is not remotely scientific, and for a couple of very basic reasons. There is no way, absolutely none, to disprove it - evolution, gravity, thermodynamics, all of these could potentially be falsified by future observations, even though the likelihood is low.

Intelligent design, on the other hand, cannot. No matter what we find, if we assume the universe has a designer, then everything looks exactly as it was meant to look. See that rock? God made it that way. See those fossils? Yep, he put them there, sure enough. See the way that genetics and the fossil record make it look like we share a lineage of far-reaching entanglement with all other life? The Big Guy, baby.

Also, a designed universe could have popped into existence five seconds ago, fully formed, and it would look precisely the same as a current-state universe that began its inflation 14 billion years in the past.

There's simply no way to know - no way to say that intelligent design is wrong. But we can say that it isn't scientific and it sure isn't science; no more so than the unfalsifiable claim of an undetectable mongoose in your pants would be science.

How's that mongoose, by the way?

Posted by Andy at 09:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Well, It's Progress, I Guess

Students in my great homestate of Alabama are kickin' butt, takin' names, and movin' on up the charts when it comes to their writing ability:

The state Department of Education said 20 percent of eighth-graders scored proficient or above in 2002, as compared to 17 percent in 1998.
That is great news!

So, as of last year, only 80 out of every 100 Alabama eighth-graders were incapable of writing "an organized and coherent response with clear language and supporting detail," as opposed to that awful, awful statistic of 83 out of every 100 from 1998.

Wow!

Let's get those kids blogging ASAP!

"Our schools are doing a great job of developing writing plans for students in every grade," said Alice Doran, student assessment director for Montgomery Public Schools.
Now, if only we could get the kids to do a great job of writing, we might be on to something. In the real world (read: not the government), we reward planning followed by poor execution with another big word: termination.

I wonder if any eighth-graders know that word. Hopefuly some administrators will soon.

Posted by Andy at 08:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




July 10, 2003

LoDo Music Festival

Attention, people of Denver: the LoDo Music Festival is coming soon to your city. July 18th and 19th, Lower Downtown will be filled with throngs of people and plenty of music to keep you entertained!

I'm particularly interested in seeing Rhett Miller; Medeski, Martin, & Wood; Camper Van Beethoven; X; Blind Boys of Alabama; and BoDeans.

As it turns out, I and Matt Moore will be your faithful blog-based press reporters for the event, courtesy of the fine people behind the festival. Look for some personal thoughts here (and at Matt's site, I would imagine) as well as a comprehensive review of what we see, hear, and do over at BlogCritics.

It's great to see that blogs are being taken seriously as a worthwhile outlet for publicity, isn't it? A HUGE thanks to the organizers for allowing us to participate in this way.

There's a chance we'll get to spend some face-time with Rhett Miller, X, and Camper Van Beethoven - if you guys have any questions you're dying to ask them, post away and I'll add them to the list!

Now, go buy your tickets and see you there!

Posted by Andy at 09:32 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)




None Are So Blind

...as stupid people who will not see.

The girlfriend of the factory worker who killed five fellow employees this week interrupted a memorial service Thursday by standing up in the church and saying the gunman also should be viewed as a victim.

Mayor John Robert Smith was speaking during the community service when Shirley Price stood and spoke: "Excuse me. Don't criticize this man. He was human too ... don't exclude him. He was a victim, too. ... He was a kind and loving human being."

Who just happened to have a very strange way of showing it.

Folks, if you want to show me how much you love me, all I ask is that you not come into my office and shoot me. Monetary contributions will be fine, just hit the ol' PayPal tipjar and consider me loved.

Posted by Andy at 06:58 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)




Pennsylvania's Pinhead

Rick Santorum, not content to make stupid comments just once, has published some new thoughts on the institution of marriage and why it is in desperate need of protection:

Every civilization since the beginning of man has recognized the need for marriage.
Perhaps, but then pair bonding isn't exactly unique to us homo sapiens sapiens (neither is adultery, but that's another story). Also, Santorum is being quite liberal (heh, I bet he'd hate me using that word) with the word "marriage."

Marriage has had many meanings and interpretations throughout history and across cultures, including marriage as commonly practiced in the West, the submissiveness required of wives in the Middle East, the polygamy of the Mormons, the marriage-for-wealth of the ancient Greeks, the open-relationship marriages of the Spartans, arranged marriages, child marriages, forced marriages, the Hebrew tradition of marrying your brother's wife if he should die, and - as in the news of late - the concept of dowry, resulting in Indian men killing female infants to avoid paying up.

So, Rick old buddy old pal, which of these types of marriage are needed and which can we throw away? It's clear that Santorum means he wants marriage, but only as he and his slope-browed approbators narrowly define it. But you, dear reader, being as sharp as you are, knew that.

Let's continue.

This country and healthy societies around the world give marriage special legal protection for a vital reason — it is the institution that ensures the society's future through the upbringing of children.
Unfortunately, this leads to the logical end that people who do not wish to have children should not be allowed to marry - and that people who do want to have children, but cannot, should not be allowed to marry either (unless they adopt, but then whoever is giving up kids shouldn't be allowed to marry because clearly they don't want them).* After all, they are devaluing the importance of marriage as an instrument for raising children.
Furthermore, it's just common sense that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.
BOOM!

And just like that, Santorum strikes a fatal blow to every pro-gay-marriage argument in existence. Don't you people get it? It's just common sense! What an unforeseen and brilliant masterstroke Rick has penned! Who - tell me, who - could not be utterly convinced of the legitimacy of his argument now?

Devastating, Rick - postively devastating! Why, with such powers of logic at work in the Congress, I will rest easy at night knowing that common sense shall rule the day!

Nevermind that, once upon a time, it was common sense that black people were sub-human, suited only to, Oh Lawdy, pick a bale of cotton, jump down turn around and pick a bale a day.

Common sense is often nonsense, Rick - time to clue in to that.

There is an ocean of empirical data showing that the union between a man and a woman has unique benefits for children and society.
And allowing homosexuals to marry will alter these benefits how? Will straight couples suddenly throw up their arms in despair at the sight of two men in tuxes tying the knot? Will they exclaim "Our marriage is forever tainted!" and give up on the whole institution, give up on each other, give up on the children? Oh no! Say it ain't so!

Of course they won't. Straight people will still fall in love. Straight people will still decide to marry. Straight people will still raise families and grow old together, till death do they part (unless they part beforehand, lining the pockets of lawyers, all of which could be avoided by realizing marriage is a contract and treating it as such, but that's another post), yada yada.

Moreover, traditional family breakdown is the single biggest social problem in America today.
I'll concur that it's a problem, Rick - but what does the breakdown of marriages have to do with gay people wanting to get married? I would think that allowing dedicated people to marry would, oh, increase stability rather than decrease it, but I'm silly that way.

Further, what's a traditional family? Ah, yes, the one that you define. Perhaps our problems really started when we moved away from the extended family concept. I expect Rick to invite his parents, children, grandchildren, cousins, and whomever else to move in right away so that he can lead us in rebuilding our great society, rescuing it from the evil clutches of married couples living in single-family homes with their 2.5 children and a dog.

In study after study, family breakdown is linked to an increase in violent crime, youth crime, teen pregnancy, welfare dependency and child poverty.
And, since you've yet to show that gay marriages will in any way lead to further breakdown of the family unit, you might as well tell us that studies show that when you climb very high you can see very far, and that ice is cold. They would be just as completely irrelevant to the point you think you're making.
Marriage has already been weakened. The out-of-wedlock childbirth rate is at a historically high level, while the divorce rate remains unacceptably high.
So maybe we straight folk should look at the huge plank in our own eye before we go pointing fingers at homosexuals. Given the divorce rate, it's obvious that we're pretty good at mucking up matrimony - maybe the gays can do a better job and show us how it should be done. I'm willing to give them the chance.
Legalization of gay marriage would further undermine an institution that is essential to the well-being of children and our society.
How so? I read your blustering bravado in defense of marriage, but it's empty and hollow. There's no substance. Nothing you've written shows how gay marriage can or will undermine the concept of marriage, except that it won't be between just a man and a woman.

And, admit it, that's what really bothers you, Rick.

It's not that you think your marriage - or mine - or even Bill and Hillary's - will be affected by any of this, you just don't like the idea of giving even the aire of approval to gay people getting funky on the monkey with each other. Guess what - horror of horrors! - they're doing it anyway.

Lots.

And lovin' it.

Maybe some of them are even imagining their partner is you!**

Gimme gimme more more more »


Posted by Andy at 11:50 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (1)




Lost Gems

You know, I really don't think one could ever hear this classic song too many times.

OK, so I'm lying.

Posted by Andy at 09:46 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)




July 09, 2003

Denver Blogger Does Good

Denver's very own Dave Cullen has a new article up at Slate. It deals with the Air Force Academy's hunt for a scapegoat in the aftermath of the rape scandal and is today's required reading.

So, go. Read. You know the drill.

Update: Dave is catching hell for his article:

hey nice article, asshole! maybe you should have suggested that the victim actually be sentenced to prison. i mean, being raped and humiliated and having her career dreams shattered really isn't enough punishment for a woman for enrolling in a MAN'S academy. i mean, women don't even deserve to be there in the first place, right?

FUCK YOU. that was the most one-sided opinionated article i have ever read. you should be banned from any further attempts at "journalism". . .

Obviously, the complete and total imbecile who took 45 seconds to spew that blurb of crap didn't read the article. The guy didn't rape her. They were both drunk. She admits as much. No crime was committed - at best, two young people got drunk and did something that they later regretted. But, hey, dumbo, you know what? That's not a crime.

Dave thinks maybe it has something to do with the sensitivity of people to the rape topic - that maybe these people who are sending him hate mail are too close to the issue. Bullshit. They are unthinking hateful robots driven solely by their emotions and unable to reason beyond them. Screw them, Dave - they don't matter.

I say this as someone who has known several victims of sexual abuse and also was deeply in love with a woman who was a rape victim. She had been raped by an older relative as a young teenager. She told me who the culprit was. I informed her that if I ever met him, I would do my best to hurt and/or kill him since he had gotten away with his crime. I still hate the guy, even though I have never met him (thus, sadly, he still walks the Earth), and even though I am no longer with that woman.

But none of that matters.

THERE WAS NO CRIME IN THIS INSTANCE.

Those of you who are so consumed by your hatred that you see the woman as a weak, unwilling victim who could not possibly have had a choice in the matter do the same disservice to women as the kooky feminists who see every man as a rapist do to men. You're blinded by bias, refusing to engage in clear-thinking lest it shatter your preconceived notions of how the world works.

In short, you're both complete idiots.

QED.

Posted by Andy at 05:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




Slavery bad, says Dubya

Love him or hate him, you have to admire Bush's political gutsiness and "I don't give a damn what the opposition thinks" attitude when he said in a speech on Oree Island, Senegal that slavery was ''one of the greatest crimes of history.'' Always a man of conviction, Dubya finally did what most politicians only dream about and, in reckless disregard for the position of all the pro-slavery lobbyists throughout the country he expressed his views. I just hope this doesn't haunt him come election time.

Gimme gimme more more more »


Posted by Jon at 03:37 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)




Today's Moment of Kookdom

It would seem that my reading a book on the theoreticals behind time travel is a needless exercise when I can simply buy the plans for a time machine:

Most scientists now agree that time travel is possible. The theory of relativity allows it. The plans on this page are written by Steven Gibbs who also designed the Hyperdimensional Resonator listed on this page. They are not the words of us at Future Horizons. We can say that the machine seems to induce out of body experiences in most users almost immediately. When out of your body it is possible to travel in time and space with your astral body and witness or experience events in time.
And all of that for only $50.00! Wow!

For additional money, you can learn how to build such exciting devices as the Sonic Resonator, the Biotronic Oscillator, a Cosmic Diode, the Chronological Time Reflector, and the Atlantean Generator.

We'll be quantum leaping in no time!

Posted by Andy at 01:45 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)




I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Beer!

Not that any of you will take us up on this invitation, primarily for fear that RoverPundit is a crazed serial killer, but if you're still interested, he and I will be sitting down for beverages at My Brother's Bar this afternoon, somewhere in the neighborhood of 5:00 or 5:30.

Stop by and say hello - we might even let you sit with us. For a price.

I kid - I kid - I'm a kidder.

Posted by Andy at 12:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




Overkill - What The Hay?

As you know, or maybe not - ok, probably not - we here at the World Wide HQ of the World Wide Rant happen to have a love of music. So, it is in that spirit that we bring you this MP3 for your listening pleasure.

But first, a bit of a story.

While accidentally channel hopping and landing on NBC's "Scrubs," I noticed a familiar song and a familiar face. For those keeping score at home, it was this episode - the one with Colin Hay, formerly of Men At Work, playing a terrific acoustic version of their song "Overkill."

Oh, and - whaddayaknow - here it is.

Turns out that Tom really liked the song as well, in addition to some of Colin's other music, and so we had a bit of a talk about the brains behind Men At Work. I suppose I'll be seeking out his solo stuff now in order to buy it - and maybe catch a show if he's ever around these parts.

In the meantime, enjoy the MP3 - or don't - you won't hurt my feelings, or Colin's. I don't think so anyway.

Posted by Andy at 12:02 AM | Comments (20) | TrackBack (0)




July 08, 2003

This Blog Written By Boys

Gene Expression links to this article, which states:

According to a team of computer scientists, we give away our gender in our writing style.
Why this is news to anyone is beyond me. It should be dreadfully, painfully obvious to even a layman, since everyone knows that girls like to write about butterflies and puppies and tea parties and make-up and slumber parties, oh my, while boys write about important things.

You may hit me now.

No, no, a little lower and on the backside Michele.

Posted by Andy at 09:48 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)




July 07, 2003

Books, Books, and More Books

Having once again discovered the joy of ignoring the television and opening up a book, I paid another visit to the library today. Here are the additions to the reading list:


I skipped jumping into Franzen's The Corrections as it looked like dauntingly heavy going - so what did I do? That's right, I picked up the book on quantum physics and time travel!

So far, so good.

Posted by Andy at 08:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




A Closed Mouth Gathers No Flies

It also might help extreme right-wing crazies to keep their jobs:

NEW YORK (AP) -- MSNBC on Monday fired Michael Savage for anti-gay comments.

The popular radio talk show host who did a weekend TV show for the cable channel referred to an unidentified caller to his show Saturday as a "sodomite" and said he should "get AIDS and die."

I'm going to assume this is not what one would call "compassionate conservatism." Unless it means compassion for the gay-hating religiobots who share our planet; after all, we can't have those dirty sodomites keeping the good straight folk up at night pondering what's happening behind closed doors, now can we?

Makes one wonder if Mike would have said such things while swimmin' all nekkid up in there with Allen Ginsberg. Makes one wonder if maybe Mike isn't consumed by intense self-loathing. Makes one wonder indeed.

It's ok - come on out, Mike - Allen says the water is fine.

(thanks to ZombyBoy for the tip)

Posted by Andy at 04:42 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)




Jed's Dead, Baby... Jed's Dead

Well, now it's time to say goodbye to Buddy Ebsen and all his cells. He's the first celebrity death worthy enough to form a third for the triumvirate begun by Katharine and Gregory (Buddy Hackett was just not happenin', and I can't imagine Katharine and Barry White getting along).
I remember once at a Socialist Frottagists Anonymous meeting, a heavily bearded young lady (who later turned out to be Ted Kennedy) said "Buddy Ebsen never did anything watchable other than HILLBILLIES", and I said what about Breakfast at Tiffany's? I don't know which was odder: his love scene with Audrey Hepburn or Burl Ives' with Sophia Loren in Desire Under the Elms. Buddy's was definitely the more moving of the two.

Gimme gimme more more more »


Posted by Jon at 03:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Lies, Damned Lies

...and statistics.

Perhaps there is hope for our beloved America when nose-up-Dubya's-hiney-hole and Republidrooling idiocy combined with not-so-very-good writing meets a traffic fate such as this. Perhaps Extreme tracker is broken, but I hope not.

Too amusing.

Posted by Andy at 10:11 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)




Palestinian Dogs and Ponies

While Israel deals in good faith, the Palestinians are performing questionably at best:

Palestinian police have arrested a young woman suspected of planning a suicide bomb attack on an Israeli target, Palestinian security sources said Monday.
Sounds pretty good, right? Well, let's see how they dealt decisively with this criminal, shall we?
The woman was interrogated Monday and released into her parents' custody.
What? WHAT? Ooh, the mighty fist of justice in Palestine strikes fear into the hearts of potential martyrs everywhere! Perhaps this explains it:
One terrorism analyst said the arrest might have been staged for the benefit of public opinion...

Boaz Ganor, director of the International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism, said the circumstances of the woman's arrest were unusual because none of the approximately 100 suicide bombers who struck Israeli targets during nearly three years of fighting have crossed the heavily patrolled fence.

It also was unusual that the suspect is a woman, he said, because Gaza is a conservative territory and the two radical Islamic groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have been reluctant to recruit women bombers.

"We felt in the past when the Palestinians wanted to show as if they were fulfilling their obligations in fighting terrorism, they produced photo-op events ... to gain some points in world opinion," Ganor said.

"This could be another spin."

And not a very good one at that. Sorry, Arafat, we still think you're a terrorist. Sorry, Abbas, we still think you're complicit. Try again.

Posted by Andy at 10:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Quickly Recapping

Ahhh, Monday - well-rested and ready for the week, after three days of too much beer, too much food, and not enough shut-eye. Photographic evidence of Friday's good eats is below.




As mentioned previously, Tom and his girlfriend were out our way from beautiful Alabama, and we spent the Fourth of July at our friend's condo up near St. Mary's Glacier. As Denver baked below us, we were sitting comfortably at 10,500 feet, enjoying burgers and beverages - not to mention the, literally, intoxicating effects of high altitude and beer. It's days like that that make Colorado such a superb place to call home.

Saturday, we drove down to Colorado Springs to attend Vodkapundit's housewarming/holiday weekend get together. Steve and Melissa put together a great gathering, although with baby in tow and two dogs locked up at home, we could only stay for four hours or so. However, four hours adds up to a lot of Fat Tire. Mmmmm, beer.

Naturally, the usual blogging suspects were in attendance, as well as a couple others. While one of them fawned over my daughter, anxiously awaiting her to turn 18 in the year 2021 so that he might get a date, another showed awed interest in my wife's breast pump (hey, you can't make this stuff up).

On Sunday, I contributed to the ever-growing mythology of Andy by resting, and it was good. Tom and Kat, on the other hand, were up at the crack of dawn to fly home. Thankfully, John Ashcroft and his Crisco-anointed superpowers kept their flight safe from terrorists, and they arrived home, tired but alive.

Amen. El Fin.

Posted by Andy at 09:05 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




PayPal Spam Fraud?

Hey fellow bloggers and readers and whatnot, if you get an e-mail that appears to be from verify@paypal.com, asking you to verify your account online, my advice is don't do it. Following the link in the e-mail, which looked authentic on the surface, I noticed that:

...I didn't bother trying to type anything into the credit card or bank information fields as that was pretty much all the info I needed to know it was someone trying to scam my PayPal information. Or, at least it certainly looks like someone is trying to do that, and I think PayPal would know better (especially since the bottom of the verification e-mail warns people to not provide their passwords and always check the URL of the site to which they are taken - honest crooks? What the hell?).

If PayPal doesn't know better than that, then perhaps my money is safer somewhere else. I say that because I just filled the form in with junk, hit Submit, and it said it could not log me in, returning me to a PayPal screen. Of course, this could be just part of the scammer's submit procedure - grab the info, then log you into PayPal via a script, and you're none the wiser.

Either way, I'm taking no chances. Sorry, PayPal.

I've notified PayPal and - if you would - spread the word, lest those same people who run attachments from unknown senders find themselves out a lot of money (not that a fool and their money don't deserve to be parted, but I'm feeling rather generous today).

Update: Looks like I'm not alone in my suspicions (via Instapundit). Although, I would point out that the confirmation received from PayPal is an auto-confirmation, and not necessarily an indicator that they've read your problem. Although I still believe it to be complete and utter spam.

Posted by Andy at 08:17 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)




July 06, 2003

Is It Over Yet?

The weekend, that is.

It's been a long, grueling, thoroughly enjoyable 72 hours, but I'm taking this evening to recover, rest, read, and watch some television. Oh, and deal with a cranky baby of course.

A quick thanks to Steve and Melissa Green for hosting a fine gathering in their abode (a word that is remarkably similar to "adobe," which happens to be a type of abode - ah, the joys of language).

Weekend details shall commence tomorrow morning, unless Tom feels inspired to kick it off first.

Hope everyone else had a fine, fine weekend as well.

Posted by Andy at 09:12 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)




Stereotypes for fun and profit

Is it just me, or does the new Bravo show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, in addition to sounding like a candlelight vigil looking for a light, manage to use stereotypes to offend both gays and straights?
The premise for those who are unaware is that five gay men (decorators, fashion mavens, etc.) sprinkle their fairy dust on a fashion challenged straight slob and help him get some from his long suffering woman.

UPDATED

Gimme gimme more more more »


Posted by Jon at 12:36 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)




July 04, 2003

Celebrate Good Times, C'mon!

In the spirit of Independence Day, the boys (well, Andy and Tom anyway) sat down, reflected upon the history of our great nation, felt extreme gratitude to all those who gave their lives in the pursuit of liberty and freedom and the ability to do what you want when you want (so tell me what you want, what you really, really want) - then we drank a shitload of beer and forgot all about that, and came up with this holiday jingle for you, our adoring public - or even you, unfortunate passers-by.

So, without further delay, we proudly present a song to commemorate the holiday - we have lovingly dubbed it "Patriot Act Woo." We hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it, assuming we remember making it when morning's light comes.

Consider it auditory fireworks for the Fourth of July!

Amen. Hallelujah. Heebie-jeebies.

Click Here for Our Masterwork

Keep our day jobs? Yeah, no shit.

Posted by Andy at 03:39 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)




July 03, 2003

Have a Safe and Happy Fourth

My best wishes to you and yours as we celebrate our nation's independence this July 4th. I'll be off with family and friends, engaging in the American pastimes of grilling out, drinking hearty adult beverages, and giving my British wife grief about how we whooped up on them in the Revolutionary War (with the help of the French, who, shortly thereafter, forgot how to fight).

Seriously though, to my American readers, be safe, have fun, and take some time to reflect on the sacrifices many have made for our nation, regardless of their polticial party, their color, their sex, or any other reason we find to divide ourselves. First and foremost, we're all Americans and we're in this grand experiment together. See you on the 5th!


flag911.jpg
Never forget

Posted by Andy at 06:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




My What a Big Blogroll You Have

The better to link you with, my dear.

OK, so it's not that big of a blogroll, so no harm in making it a little bigger (with my Swedish Blogroll-Enlarger that I got via some really convincing spam!). So, a few additions.

OK, more additions later - have we overlooked somebody? Is it you? Are you sure? Should we link to you? (yes, Zombyboy, I'll get your link up - so to speak - been meaning to do it for a couple weeks) Regardless, won't you be a dear and say hello?

Update: This just in from the home office in Walla Walla. Tara's site is NOT known as The Cosmic Cheshire Cat, but is now known as Naturalistic Banter. We're not sure if this relates to her possibly being a witty nudist, but if so, we politely ask for more pictures.

Posted by Andy at 04:38 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




Now Leaving Normal

We have officially entered Bizarro world. At least, that's the only explanation I have for this story. In a time when our in-the-public-eye politicians are hiding when family issues arise (as if they are not some sort of reflection on their own shortcomings), a man like Ozzy Osbourne comes forward as a font of parental wisdom:

"The mistake that Sharon and I both made, and we both agree on this, is we never set any boundaries," the Osbourne patriarch told MTV News, addressing his son Jack's recent stint in rehab. "We never said, 'You must be in the house by a certain time.' We just let them have the freedom. Sharon and I are still learning. We're not the parents that say, 'We're always right,' because we're not."
It gets better.
"One thing I noticed is that he never cried," Ozzy said. "He never showed. He just locked it in, you know. I think what families should do more often is have family meetings and talk: get around the table and say, 'What's up? How you doing?' Every day I say to my family, 'I love you,' you know. And I do love my family. People forget to say 'I love you. I care for you. Are you OK? Is there anything you need?' "
Ladies and gents, allow me to present to you Ozzy Osbourne - biter of the heads of bats, and giver of sound parenting advice.

Pinch me, I must be dreaming. And even if I'm not, and you happen to be a hot little tamale of the female persuasion, pinch me anyway.

Posted by Andy at 02:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




Stop Gay Marriage?

Dave Cullen says you're too late.

And that's a good thing.

Also, check out Zombyboy's views on the subject - well worth the time spent reading.

Posted by Andy at 10:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




Dean for Liberia!

Apologies to Howard Dean fans Dave and Jo, but the man has just demonstrated that he has that charming political tendency to hold inconsistent thoughts and call them logical.

Dean argued there's no inconsistency in opposing the war in Iraq while backing intervention in Africa. He said Bush never made the case that Iraq posed a threat to the world.

"The situation in Liberia is exactly the opposite," Dean said. "There is an imminent threat of serious human catastrophe and the world community is asking the United States to exercise its leadership."

First, Liberia is even less of a threat to anyone than Iraq - and Bush also presented multiple reasons for going to war, although he did focus on the WMD angle when he went to the UN (after all, the UN doesn't generally mind slaughters that go on within the borders of sovereign nations, isn't that right my Rwandan friends?)

Second, perhaps Dean doesn't consider the brutality of the Hussein regime, the imprisonment of children, the ethnic oppression and wholesale slaughter, and the culture of fear in Iraq to be a serious human catastrophe. I'm curious how he would explain the difference (but wait, he's a politician - he doesn't have to!).

And finally, who gives a flying flippin' fadoodle what the world is asking? We should do what is right because it's right, not because the world says we should stay or we should go. This is the real world, not a high school popularity contest - those who base their morality on sheepthink are the most immoral among us.

Recognizing our long ties to the nation of Liberia, and the tragedy that is unfolding there, I support some form of intervention, be it economic, diplomatic, or military. I'm consistent. Dean is not.

I won't be so cynical as to imply that Dean is supporting action in Liberia because it's located in Africa - and Africa is populated with Africans - and many Democratic voters call themselves African-Americans. OK, maybe I'll hint at it.

A politician pandering? Perish the thought!

Or perhaps he truly believes that action there is a humanitarian necessity, but was against ending the tragedy in Iraq because of his loyalties to the left.

Either way, I'm not very impressed.

Not that I was going to vote for him anyway.

(thanks to Jo for the link, although she too seems to think that the UN blessing something makes it "right" - if that's the case, it must mean Libya is a human-rights Valhalla, eh?)

Posted by Andy at 10:21 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)




July 02, 2003

Threat Level Turquoise!

The FBI has announced the following:

Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, whose operatives have used fraudulently obtained passports for international travel, has acquired stolen blank Saudi passports....
Oh no, do you know what this means? Do you?

This means that Al Qaeda operatives could enter the United States of America and carry out terrorist acts WHILE POSING AS SAUDI CITIZENS!

Holy shit!

This could seriously skew the ability of Islamofascist bookies to keep proper score of which Arab states have provided the most terrorists to operations that have succeeded in killing Americans and/or other infidels.

Until this unexpected announcement, everyone had their money on the Saudis, given that 15 of the 19 hijackers on September 11, 2001 were from the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Now their numbers could be artificially inflated, completely screwing up the odds for betting all things Islamo-crazy (such as - which nation's virtue police will keep girls in a burning school building next?)

I don't know about you, but I'm calling my man Raheem and canceling my bets.

Posted by Andy at 09:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




A Fundraiser for Oral Education

After reading Michele's post on how some folks in Louisiana are reacting to the Supreme Court decision to strike down anti-sodomy laws, I think a fundraiser is in order.

But, first, a little background: at least a couple people down Loosiana-way have some sense about them.

Alexandria resident Robert Payne took issue with the notion the ruling was about gay sex.

"It wasn't a gay sex ruling," he said, "it was an anal sex ruling. Gay people are not the only people that have anal sex in Louisiana."

Payne said the court was right to strike down the law.

"I don't care what anybody wants to do in their home," he said. "As long as it ain't scaring the horses, it don't matter."

And if it is scaring the horses, perhaps you ought to make sure that's a human anus that you're about to give a good poking.

That bit of sensible thinking aside, others in Louisiana appear to live in bubble-enclosed communities of black-and-white-television, Ricky-and-Lucy-in-separate-beds groupthink:

Jessie Alexander of Jonesville disagrees with the decision. She also refuses to believe that heterosexuals engage in oral and anal sex.

"Why would they do that?" she asked. "I don't think heterosexuals have oral or anal sex. Only homosexuals do it."

She said Thursday's ruling was "a very bad decision because of the message it sends to the youth and children. This is a very wrong thing. It's like them ruling that murder is OK."

I wonder how one, as a journalist, maintains a serious expression when a babbling imbecile like Ms. Alexander opens her mouth and lets the floodgates spill forth with ignorance and increduility. Bravo for anyone capable of such a feat.

Now, the fundraising bit - I think Ms. Alexander needs a bit of enlightenment.

I think that this enlightement looks remarkably like the book Going Down: The Instinct Guide to Oral Sex, on sale for a mere $9.77 from Amazon.com.

I've nary an idea how we might get the book into her hands, but it's worth a shot. Anyone interested? Surely we can not let such ignorance persist!

Posted by Andy at 11:55 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)




Somewhat Random Filler

Unless something terribly exciting happens in the news world (and, no, Palestinians violating the cease-fire is not news), blogging will probably be light today. Duty calls, especially since I took yesterday off to spend the day with my daughter so that Mrs. World Wide Rant could have some time out with friends.

So, amuse yourselves with "What's Andy Doing Now?"

The Reading Room

Naked, by David Sedaris.
The Subterraneans, by Jack Kerouac
The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen (starting this one soon, actually)

The Listening Room

The Instigator, by Rhett Miller
Weezer (Green Album), by Weezer
Buena Vista Social Club Presents Ibrahim Ferrer, by Ibrahim Ferrer

Now, go and buy them - would I steer you wrong? And, no, I don't make any money off of the purchases.

Also, don't look for much content here from Friday through Sunday (you should be outside in the sunshine anyway). Tom, the original other half of the World Wide Rant, and his girlfriend are in town, so we have many festivities to which we must attend. I wish you all could join us, if only so you can help pay for the beer.

I'm an inclusive sort, you see.

Posted by Andy at 11:09 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




July 01, 2003

It Ain't Rio...

But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the Carnival over in Amish-land!

Posted by Andy at 09:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Ten Things I Hate About Montgomery...

...might well be on their way out. Roy Moore, Chief Mullah of the T'Alabam and Pandering Ass Extraordinaire, is probably fit to be tied, bound, and called Nancy as his illegally placed Holy Washing Machine is ordered removed by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Of course, Stupidity never closes a window without opening a door.

Posted by Jon at 06:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




Pride Goeth Before the Fall of Saigon

Like a lot of people, I have a mother. I love her, I respect her, and though I don’t always like her I’m the youngest of her children and I’ve always been the favorite and I’m unmarried, and as one of the Missing Beatitudes states (from “Four Gospels: The Director’s Cut- Special Features- Missing Scenes”) “Blessed is the youngest child, the one without children, for he shall inherit Mama.”

UPDATED

rainbow.jpegsaigon.jpggay-rnbw.jpgmiss-saigon.jpg

Gimme gimme more more more »


Posted by Jon at 05:55 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




Trust Us, We're The Government - Part 210

From Redneckin comes this charming tale of government research:

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon is developing an urban surveillance system that would use computers and thousands of cameras to track, record and analyze the movement of every vehicle in a foreign city.

Dubbed "Combat Zones That See," the project is designed to help the U.S. military protect troops and fight in cities overseas.

Police, scientists and privacy experts say the unclassified technology could easily be adapted to spy on Americans.

Let's see, we gave Ashcroft expanded powers to fight the war on terror, and he's admitted to using them for non-terrorism investigations...somehow, my faith in our government not to abuse any new technology is very weak.

Posted by Andy at 05:31 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




Oh, and you're a big poophead, too.

Why is Andy so happy today?

WIRED: Bloggers Gain Libel Protection

When it comes to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, even a broken clock is right two times a day.

Posted by at 12:34 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)






MONKEY BUSINESS








THE BLOGROLL